Thursday, July 7, 2011

sexy ankles keep a marriage strong

"Can you see my ankles in these pants?"

"Dude, I can see your shins in those pants."


"No bueno, man. Gotta get new pants. Hate to say it but wowzers, they got those wrong."

It was late at night, in a hotel room in the middle of nowhere, on the 4th of July weekend. The kids were passed out on one bed, and I was sitting on the edge of another craning my neck to check out Sam's tuxedo. We had a wedding the next day, and he had just gotten off a plane.

And the tux didn't fit.

I lay back on the bed and absentmindedly scratched the rash on my forehead that had popped up with perfect timing that morning. Either I had touched something I was allergic to, or it was a reaction to the antibiotics I had been taking. I didn't really care why I had the rash, I just needed it to go away - it was really itchy and super unattractive and covered not just my forehead, but also half my face, and my neck. And it was creeping onto my chest. I was starting to wonder if it had been brought on by stress.

None of the tuxes had been right. Either they hadn't fit, or the tie had been the wrong color, or the shirt had been pleated instead of flat front. Some guys had cufflinks, some didn't. And when I had picked up Sam's tux myself, earlier that day, I had been aware of the issues, and made sure I had the right sizes and colors and styles. Except. The pants were too short.

I wasn't surprised, but it still sucked six ways til Sunday. Because what this meant was that tomorrow morning, after 3 weeks of not seeing each other, we were going to spend another day apart. He was going to leave and spend the morning getting new tux pants, and the afternoon as an usher, while I spent another day wrangling two kids and trying not to lose my cool. Only this time it was going to involve dress clothes and an orthadox church.

But what can you do? It's a wedding, it's family, and he did look pretty hot from the knees up so in my mind it was worth it. I would gladly give up 3 hours in the morning, for 12 hours of my husband in a tuxedo later. And we didn't have to return it until the next morning.

Bonus. Let's get our James Bond on - no pants required.

The thing that was really bugging me about all of this was the moments leading up to that slo-mo Hallmark moment when he ran up to my car at the airport, dropped his bags on the curb, and swung me around like a soldier home on leave greeting his best girl. Even the cop gave us a minute before blowing his whistle and reminding us it was an active loading zone we were making out in.

It would have been so much better had I not been sweaty and my arms shaking uncontrollably.

I had just completed the pre-wedding triathalon: tux, shoes, airport - and I was totally drained by the time I found my husband standing on the sidewalk in the crowd of arrivals.

It started innocently enough. I was going to leave the kids at the beach with their cousins, drive to Boston, pick up a tuxedo, get Sam, and drive back to the beach. But of course there were complications. The first one being that I had absolutely no idea where the tuxedo shop was. Turns out, it was in the middle of a pedestrian mall - with no parking or driving allowed. So I ditched the car in Chinatown and went racing through the narrow streets, some smelling not-so-faintly of piss, some so foreboding that I turned around and ran back in the opposite direction looking for an alternate route. I got to the tux shop an hour before closing - and 15 minutes before Sam was due to land. After checking the bag carefully, I remembered a key element:

"Oh yeah, we need the shoes."
"You didn't order shoes."
"Sure I did! I put his shoe size on the little card thing-y."
"No, no shoes."
"Well, okay, whatever, I need shoes. Can you just add them to the tab?"
"Um......can I pay seperately?"
"We don't have any shoes." The man was saying this like there was something wrong with me. I looked around wildly. I was in a place with the words "Men's" and "Warehouse" in the name. There were displays of shoes. I was renting a tux. I needed shoes.
"I don't understand. The wedding is tomorrow. You rent clothes for weddings. I NEED SHOES FOR THE WEDDING." I checked my watch. The plane was landing in 5 minutes. I was in the center of Boston, 10 minutes from my car, arguing about renting patent leather shoes? I mean, let's be real. NO ONE wants to rent those damn shoes. They must have garbage bags full of them in the back. RIGHT?

Apparently, not. Not right at all. No shoes.

"I can sell you some shoes." the man said helpfully. I glared at him. I didn't want to buy ugly shoes. I wanted to borrow them for 36 hours. I grabbed the tuxedo and ran out the door. 2 minutes til touchdown. I needed shoes. I stood in the middle of the street and got my bearings. Macy's. I was going to Macy's. THEY would have shoes.

The salesman took one look at me and dropped the stack of shoeboxes he was taking to the back. "How can I help?" I stood there clutching the garment bag to my chest, and gave a silent prayer of thanks. "I need a pair of black, super comfortable shoes for a man morally opposed to wearing shoes in a size 13 that can be worn with or without dress socks and that are not hideously ugly or $100. Do you have anything like that?"

He did. While he was ringing me up, my phone dinged. "SAM AIRPORT 7:21" flashed on my screen, reminding me I was supposed to be at the airport. I would have called and left him a voicemail, but that leads me to my next problem.

Sam had put his cellphone thought the washing machine the day before. He was unreachable.
He had been calling me from payphones as he made his way across the US, checking in at airports during his layovers, letting me know his progress. Hopefuly he would call soon. In the meantime, I raced out of Macy's with my purse on one elbow, the shopping bag o'shoes dangling from the other wrist, and holding the garment bag over my head as I weaved through the crowds. I rounded the corner and headed down the cobblestoned street, cutting through a parking lot and dodging traffic.

I made it back to the car, threw the stuff in the back, climbed in the drivers seat, and gingerly maneuvered my way out of the parkiing space and onto the narrow street. I got to the stop sign at the end of the block and realized I had absolutely no idea where I was going. My phone rang as I tried to type LOGAN AIRPORT into the gps. "Hi honey, I'm here." I looked up and saw a cop watching me and dropped the phone into my lap. "HONEY I CAN'T TALK I'M DRIVING I'LL BE THERE SOON GOTTA GO COP"

"I can't hear you sweetie" his voice drifted through the line. I hit end and swerved into traffic. He'd figure it out.

And so did I. I found the airport, I found my husband, and now all we needed to do was find some tux pants that had an inseam longer than 26 inches. No problem, we just had to go to Men's Warehouse and get a new pair. It's a warehouse.....there must be tons of pants there.

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