My husband is a power shopper — meaning that when he needs things, he buys them in bulk. He’s not hauling his ass to the mall to come back with one shirt! He stocks up. He doesn’t want to have to return for the same item for at least a year — and I’ve seen him stretch it to two years. He usually just goes to the same store and repurchases the same shirt in the same six or seven colors. This method works for him, mainly because in my husband’s world there are only twelve colors anyway.
“Fang’s rainbow” consists of red, orange, yellow, blue, green, purple, brown, black, white, gray, off-white, and, of course, maroon. Fang is partial to maroon, which is why it has a place on his color wheel. I don’t even know how exactly to characterize maroon. It’s really less a shade or a tone, more an amalgamation of red and brown. He’s convinced it’s a fabulous color, though, so who am I to argue?
I’m his wife, that’s who! The woman who has to be seen with the man in the maroon shirt. I’m not, as you can imagine, a big fan of maroon. It has very little place in the fashion world. I am of the opinion that only Harvard students or alumni should have access to maroon. They’ve earned the right to it’s ugliness.
Fang and I engaged in a stimulating discussion regarding colors recognized by the rest of the civilized world vs. Fang’s perception of color prior to embarking upon a recent semi-successful polo shirt shopping expedition, in which yours truly was somewhat of an unwilling participant. To be honest, I only went along to try to stop him from buying any more maroon shirts.
The only positive thing I can say about this trip was that at least we weren’t pants shopping. Because shopping for pants with Fang is a real treat. Partly because he’s difficult to fit; partly because he’s stuck in the ’80’s. Fang may well be the last person on the planet who actively seeks out pleats. He labors under the delusion that they look good on his body. They don’t.
It took some convincing on my part, but I actually got Fang to abandon his usual store, in favor of one that I had noticed on MY last foray into the mall, had a far more extensive collection of polo shirts. While they indeed offer maroon, they also carry somewhere in the neighborhood of thirty-odd other colors. And that’s just in “their” brand — the brand that lined two walls in the Men’s Department. I was drawn to the lilacs, the seagrasses, the corals, the aquamarines and, the salmons; Fang, on the other hand, was determined to find blue, red, green, black, brown, and, of course, maroon.
Somewhere along the line I noted that he had selected, in what was probably a feeble attempt to humor me, something a little more colorful, something that wasn’t maroon. It was, however, gold. Not a nice, orange-y gold, but more of what I would describe as a hideous mustard-y gold.
Knowing Fang as I do, I did not ask him why he wished to look like a Century 21 agent, I simply attempted to steer him in another direction. Avoiding orange and yellow altogether, I pointed him toward the asparagus, coral, powder blue, orchid, and plain old pink. As I was acting as his valet, as well as his personal shopper, when he wasn’t looking I surreptitiously ditched the gold. I was hoping he wouldn’t notice.
For what seemed like hours, I watched as my husband compared and contrasted the heft and construction of what must have been a hundred polo shirts. Fang prefers a medium-weight! I had, at this point, grown weary of this exercise. So, I handed him the few shirts that he had decided upon and left him to his own devices. It was getting late and I needed to head upstairs to buy myself an umbrella — to replace the one that had somehow disappeared from my life — the one that was last seen leaving the house with Fangette. I promised Fang that I’d make it back before he made his final selections.
Imagine my surprise when he showed up in the umbrella section, purchases in hand. To be fair, I was gone longer than expected — I didn’t head right over to the umbrella area — I made a brief foray over to where they sell women’s tank tops. I had purchased one the week before and was very pleased with the neckline (this gal LOVES a V-neck!) and the fit — even in a size large the armholes are not designed to fit Popeye. I hate it when the armholes on a tank top don’t cover my bra. Hate it!
Distracted by my own purchases — I even managed to find a cute “cheetah-print” umbrella — I didn’t even think to check out what my husband was going home with. It wasn’t until much later that I thought to investigate.
I am happy to report that he didn’t find or purchase the gold one. Sadly and, I guess, inevitably, he is now the proud owner of yet another maroon polo shirt. It seems that I did make some impact on his final selections, though. Because nestled amongst the red, the black, and the gray, I was delighted to find an ultramarine and a sage. Some progress, I suppose, is better than no progress at all. Perhaps next year he’ll work up to orchid or, if there is a God, salmon.
photo credit: rainbow