Househusband: The Virus

So what's a househusband to do?

The office is dormant--and, with the odd exception, is likely to remain so until May--the kids are in school. TFBIM is out by 7am and not back until 9pm-ish. And I, dear reader, am reallllllllly bad at being bored. I handle boredom worse than Sherlock Holmes, only I have enough sense not to shoot up with cocaine to relieve the tedium.

Instead, I shop.

I think I am in the small minority of men who like to shop. I can't make a day of it and for the most part I can't shop WITH* anyone. I know what I want/need and I go hunting for it, and, once I have found it, I have to make sure I have gotten the best possible price for it. To paraphrase Leona Helmsley: Paying retail is for little people.

Anyway, the good folk at RL called me to say my new tuxedo is in. Then, while rummaging for the receipt to retrieve same, I ran across a GC for a MTM shirt which expired THAT DAY. So given the solitude of my condition, and the urgency of my tasks, off I went. The tuxedo fits like a dream, especially across my shoulders, which are not only broader than I'd prefer, but also pitched forward. (This makes it a ß!+¢# to fit properly, and only the RLPL and Polo and Alan Flusser "silhouettes" do the trick)

Still, they forgot to cut the buttonhole for the boutonniere on my lapel. I don't often wear such a thing but I am firm in believeing nothing marks a rube so much as a pinned boutonniere.

::SHUDDER::

Then I hit the place to get my MTM shirt. I have never so much as walked into this establishment. It's owned by 2 brothers from Spain and we discussed menswear for a while (the realities of life in a capitalist society dictates they carry some stuff you wouldn't be wearing whilst suffering from a fit) and they were pleasantly surprised at my requirements, since the few men who do get shirts MTM, just do so to accomodate unique physical characteristics, not to get the features/details one wants. Without going into a whole thing (you can go HERE for that), suffice it to say, that color aside (pink) the shirt is one of hardassed sartorial reactionary splendor.

But that still left me with tons and tons of time to kill, and what better way to do that than by a saunter through Williams-Sonoma. After much sauntering thereat, I emerged with an All-Clad cassoulet pot, a couple of Calphalon things, some Vac-U-Vin wine preservation stuff (with a vaccumizable tupperware-like thingy as a GWP) and a couple of panini presses. (Not the machines, the cast iron ridged thingies you put atop a panini in your griddle)

The Waterford store was having a sale, so I had to decant some of my hard-earneds there too. This way TFBIM won't feel slighted.

Then I came home and used my new vessels to make something I hadn't made in EONS. Spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. Normally, I get all Italophilic and wouldn't dream of something like this, but a talk with a friend from college** put me in the frame of mind of something in a Little Italy vein. And I made the meatballs with ground turkey thighs, which I ground my own damned self (have I mentioned how bored I am?) and which are stellar and pretty indistinguishable from that pork/veal/beef classics, at least in pasta.

I'm just glad the tablecloth used was a buttery yellow and not some red/white checkered thing, otherwise I may have thought I had walked on the set of The Sopranos.

How was your day?

-J.

* I can be with someone as he or she shops, yeah. But it just doesn't work for two humans to shop in congress if I am one of them. Either I walk and chat with you or I shop. My brain cannot handle both. Example: I have gone with Poppy as she shopped, keeping her in stellar company and offering constructive suggestions such as "Well, [that item] doesn't make you look deformed."

** This guy used to have me over for a week or two during summers waaaaay back when and even though his family had moved to the genteel pastures of the Princeton-flavored side of NJ, it was impossible to shake off the Arthur Avenue mindset. Still have no idea why they called pasta maccheroni and the sauce gravy, but there you are.

Comments

Gina said…
Speaking of your passion for fashion, I have a few questions regarding dressing the boy. (I realize that I have a gay ex-husband whom I could ask, but he's been going through a rather new(ish)ly-out-gay-man-approaching-middle-age sartorial crisis, and his opinions are questionable for now.)

Questions: Am I some kind of Nazi for making Teddy wear an undershirt? Obviously I don't require that he wear one in the sweltering, messy heat of summer camp and such, but otherwise? There's a clean white t-shirt under whatever he's wearing. I don't see this on nearly enough of the boys around town, including his school friends. Am I nuts?

Also called into question is the belt. Teddy doesn't leave the house without a belt if he is a.) wearing pants with belt loops and b.) wearing something he must tuck in. Is this extreme? Because, again, I'm not seeing it around.

Finally, should his socks (when he isn't wearing sneakers) match his shoes or his pants? Most often I don't have to question because he wears khaki pants and brown shoes/boots, and so his socks are in shades of brown. But he also wears navy pants to school (casual, cotton twill or cords), with the same brown shoes/boots. Should his socks be navy? That's what I opt for, but sometimes I wonder.

Will this help you kill some time?

Thanks!
BabelBabe said…
you can come to my house, Joke. We have lots to do, or my husband is going to make me sell it.

Can you wield a paint brush?

failing that, you can come help me pick out clothes that don't make me look deformed.

am also curious about the sock issue as H. and I have discussed this.
Joke said…
Answers:

1- I dunno about Nazi...but I, personally, do not care for undershirts. If he doesn't want to wear them, I wouldn't make him. If you wree REALLY passive aggressive (not that you are or that I think of you that way) you would just buy him REALLY itchy shirts and he'd wear the undershirts of his own free will.

2- You are right about the belt and I agree with you. But I cut some slack (ha! I kill myself, really...slack, get it? Hello, is this thing on?) with jeans.

3- It depends. The short answer is that the socks ought "go" with the darker of the two, which is usually the shoe. Having said THAT, I like to match the color of socks with the tie. But that's just me. In the case of navy, however, you run into exceptions. Shades of brown, sockwise, will look weird with navy. Stock up on burgundy-ish socks when you catch them on sale.

You will be pleased to know I have an unblemished record of heterosexuality. Sometimes people look at me weird because of my "passion for fashion" (I'm SO stealing that.) but I must confess that the fact I prefer girls has a great deal to do with my desire to look and dress nicely.

It also helps to not care in the least what people think. They are all just madly jealous and I know it.

-J.

P.S. I paint like a muhfuh! I also do all the cool broken color things to walls and junk. Not so good with the carpentry thing though.
Badger said…
You are such a good little trophy husband!
Gina said…
Thanks for the input. I must confess that I heard "passion for fashion" on a television commercial for those INSANELY HORRIBLE Bratz dolls. Do with that information what you will.

I'm going to stand by the undershirt training, in hopes that the habit will stick. I cannot abide a man whose . . . self . . . shows through a perfectly nice dress shirt. I am immediately turned off if I glimpse man-nipple through a shirt. In fact, writing those words makes me nauseated.

My ex-husband mentioned in ninth grade that he didn't want to get old because he wouldn't know how to dress. How did I not know he was gay?
Sarah Louise said…
Gina, I am SOOO with you on the undershirt thing...I once dated a guy who didn't wear them, and ick...and besides, Joke, we are in a colder climate here up north.

And as for "passion for fashion," here in da Burgh, this week, it's anything black and gold. I may blog later on the site I saw last night...HIDEOUS does not begin to describe what this woman was wearing...okay I'lll fill you in: a yellow and black hat that looked like a cheeseburger on her head, and an argyle style sweater with a pendant that had the Steeler's logo (as in US Steel) that had blinky lights that continuously blinked. OMG, I almost died for her. It was beyond tacky.
julia said…
Whatever about the clothes, I want to hear more about Williams-Sonoma. I love that store. I lust after just about everything in there and unfortunately (or, probably, fortunately) don't have the means to satisfy my cravings. Do you have Sur le Table? Also like a crack house for culinary fans. Books and cooking stuff. I'm an addict.

And up here in Bahston (well, westa wistah), it's always called macaroni and gravy. At least all the Italians I've ever known have called it that.
Joke said…
Badge,

"Arf!"

Gina,

If anything shows through, it is not a proper dress shirt. In my case there is simply no instance of visible Joke-nipplage when I am wearing a shirt of any description. You also can't see either of my chest hairs.

Mind you, my dad wears them even UNDER T-shirts and even when it's eleventy jillion degrees and 167% humidity. At any rate, my parents used to try to make me wear them and I'd take them off in the bathroom at school and put them back before I got on the bus. I find them very straight-jacket-y.

I realize we live in a pluralist society and all, but the sight of an undershirt showing through a ::sneer:: "dress shirt" drives me up the wall. But we can still be pals.

And SL, I'm from Michigan...which considers Western PA to be a subtropical zone.

Yikes, I'm squicking myself. I'm just glad nobody has spoken favorably on the matter of short sleeved shirts with ties.

-J.
Joke said…
Julia,

I must satisfy my SLT cravings online. Also, because I am a raving, orthodox cheapskate (Poppy will chime in...oh....three or four days from now, and confirm that) I only go to the W-S clearance section. I even got a gawjus copper stock pot for $64!!! (Down from $29X) because the lid wouldn't seat properly. Then I got it home and with three taps of a rubber mallet fixed it.

I am also a cookbook slut. I have 9' x 4' of shelving, LITERALLY crammed with cookbooks. That does not include cooking magazines.

Whew.

-J.
Gina said…
Where in Michigan, Joke? I lived in Royal Oak for almost two years, and liked it very much despite its almost frighteningly flat topography.
Joke said…
Grosse Pointe (w/o the Blank part). Compared to SoFla, it's practically like living in the Himalayas.

-J.
BabelBabe said…
all i can think of is that commercial:
If you've got a passion for fashion
And you've got a craving for savings
Take the wheel of your automobile
And drive on down to I-Deal.

Was that a regional/SJersey ad??

***

Why do I find the phrase Joke-nipplage so amusing? I think because it reminds me of the episode of Sex and the City with the artifical nipples.
Gina said…
We used to pronounce it "Glllloss Pwant", because it was so fancy. :-) I used to work at Kirk in the Hills church, speaking of fancy. Ever been on its lush, huge, un-Catholic property? More money than GOD over there!
Joke said…
The only thing I remember clearly about GP is that was definitely not an area that seemed to be the native habitat for the Common North American Papist.

Pretty lush, as memory serves, but other than that not much sticks to the memory of this then-child.

-J.
Carolyn said…
I am extremely jealous of your wife.

My husband doesn't even buy his own clothes. I have to go to the store and get docker-type pants. They can't have pleated fronts. They can't be black or navy blue because that color material is "itchy." They have to be tan or olive green and one hundred percent cotton. NO TWILL IS ALLOWED.

His shirts have to be one hundred percent cotton also. They have to be short-sleeved polo style. The material must be cotton.

It's like being married to rain man.
Joke said…
Carolyn,

She gets that a lot. She then rolls her eyes like a slot machine and mutters under her breath.

-J.
Gina said…
Carolyn--you just made me laugh out loud with the Rain Man bit. I love that black and navy fabrics are itchy! :-)

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