Friday, 21 November 2008

So, Who Is Going To Look After Me?

The relationship I had with my late wife was a wonderful one.

She really got me, and I would like to think I understood her.

I would often hear her say “You know just what to say (or I need).”

And there were many a time I would think, if not utter, the same things.

Yes, we had one of those wonderful relationships that would warm others around us, while also making them feel a little bit sick.

It was not just the interaction and understanding we held, being able to lift, comfort, cajole or giggle one another, we also split our responsibilities really well.

We were both independent, and able to operate under our own thunder, but did enjoy the practical benefits an effective relationship can bring.

Cooking would be shared, cleaning would generally come under Sam’s remit, as would grass-cutting mine.

Cars, holidays, household bill reconciliation and locking-up were all tasks I naturally assumed.

There were jobs I used to hate, like ironing, shopping for gifts and getting new clothes.

My wife shared my loathing of re-flattening clothes, but loved the latter two.

Remembering birthdays, anniversaries and buying appropriate presents were no longer my problems.

I was very grateful, and rather perversely I thought, Samantha was too. She was doing a chore that she actually largely enjoyed.

The same was true of fashion.

She was a snappy dresser, and enjoyed reading about, or ogling the world’s glitterati in various magazines, to see what she was going to buy next.

I did not manage to totally escape this, and I was definitely looked after in the wardrobe department.

Again, she KNEW not to push me too far.

My jeans-t-hood-trainers comfort zone was ebbed away at gently.

But throughout our time together replenishment of my clothing stocks were bought, or most certainly, brought about, by my wonderful lady.

I dislike going shopping for clothes.

It is the general smarm-e-ness of nice clothes shop employees, together with my own inability to accept popular fashion and general inability to decide what I like rather than what looks good.

Also because of being tight frugal, I like to shop at more cost effective outlets. But I also have a great fear of walking into a room filled with people making the same choices from the UK high streets’ finest.

I have bought clothes since my wife died. I like the shop Pull and Bear, mainly because their clothes are cost-effective, and until they recently opened stores in Liverpool and London were not available on this isle.

Regular trips to Europe meant that I would make reasonably effort free visits to their stores, at enough frequency to not run out of togs.

However, as I am taking a sabbatical from temporary foreign sabbaticals, these visits have somewhat dried up.

And a by-product of this is that my current clothes are falling apart. I do not have a pair of jeans without a major defect – ripped, split pockets, missing buttons – even my wallet has fallen apart.

At the moment whenever someone asks what I might like for my birthday or for Christmas, unless I desperately need something, I opt for clothes and rely on their fashion aptitude being better than mine.

This has become not enough.

But at least my shoes still fit me.

I am going to have to go shopping. And I am currently in the process of recruiting likely shopping partners.

Those that can make the whole process much less painful.

My wonderful sister tops my list of targets, which also contains the names of some of my female friends.

She is looking at her schedule to see if she can do a day before the New Year.

And I think everyone at Liverpool’s Pull and Bear store should cross their fingers that she does. Share/Save/Bookmark


Roads said...

Ah, I think every male sympathises with this one. As a single male, there are some advantages. You don't get nagged to throw away that grotty old sweatshirt.

But, long term, that approach does lead to some tricky problems. Like when the smart sweatshirt has turned into the grotty one.

*Sigh* It's bite the bullet time, I guess. Perhaps someone might look after Max for the day, so you can really concentrate on the ordeal. And to keep your inner Mr Frugal happy, at least you can remember that there are always bargains in the post-Christmas sales...

The Grocer said...

Why not try really frugal, I've been buying from Oxfam et al for the last year or two and have managed to find some bargains that have carried me through that time.

Snickollet said...

Sounds like your relationship with Sam was much like my relationship with John. Sigh.

I, too, despise shopping for clothes. I wish you luck. You're right that bringing someone along makes it more enjoyable, or at least less tedious.

Have a great weekend . . .

single mom seeking said...

Wow, this is such an incredible post, makes me feel so emotional reading this. Thank you for being so open and honest.

Sending you a big hug.

Penelope said...

Oooh I love taking guys shopping and assisting them to part with their money! I do wish you lived closer, I would have you all set up in no time, and I'm a great bargain hunter (although my daughter even tops me!)
Good luck and post pictures!! ;o)

Single Parent Dad said...

Roads - That was my plan, and that will still be bad enough!

Grocer - That might be an interesting experience.

Snickollet - Will do, and indeed it was.

Single Mom Seeking - Thanks for your kind words and virtual hug. I enjoyed both.

Penelope - I'm sure you would have too. And thanks, but don't hold your breath for pictures.

Beth in CA said...

I found my way here via Snickollet. I find that you always leave such kind and thoughtful comments for her and wanted to read more. What a lovely father (and friend) you are.

Single Parent Dad said...

Beth in CA - Thank you for finding your way here, and leaving those kind comments.

Hope you hang around.

Working mum said...

I think it's a combination of 'male' and 'parent' thing. My husband hates clothes shopping and I don't have time. I tend to leave the Next directory hanging around for my husband and when he expresses an interest I order it! He has also learned the art of flinging a T-shirt or two into the basket at Tesco.

Hope you enjoy your trip!

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