Stain Magnate

Wesley’s parents gifted him with a most timely and necessary birthday gift this year: new clothes. They voyaged with him to the outlet mall yesterday and bought him some much-needed new t-shirts, sweaters, and pants.

The reason these new clothes were so needed and thusly so appreciated is that my husband has an inexorable relationship with stains. Try as he might, his body exerts an unseen magnetic-like attractive force that invites every crumb, splatter, and splotch to land squarely somewhere on his personage. I can honestly say that he tries to avoid staining his clothes but it’s like trying to butter a piece of untoasted bread with cold butter: completely hopeless.

He showed me his new acquisitions last night and we began the delightful task of removing the tags from the clothes (clothes really feel like they’re yours when you get to remove the tags, don’t they?). As I was reviewing the care instructions on all his new clothes, I realized that when you bring a new item of clothing into your wardrobe, you have to form a kind of relationship with it.

You have to learn which of your other clothing items it looks sharp with and which it looks schlumpy with. You have to learn how to care for it (Would you like to be tumbled dry on low heat or laid flat to dry? Can I interest you in some fabric softener? How about a nice steam ironing? Care to take a trip to the dry cleaner?) and make room for it amongst your other clothes. You have to deal with the ensuing emotions that come from introducing new clothes to your old ones (personally, I always like my existing clothes a little less when I see how frayed/faded/dated they are in comparison to my shiny new clothes.)

Therein lies the danger in buying new clothes: they severely decrease the chance that you will wear your older clothes again. This is partially the reason we never buy new clothes. We figure that as long as the clothes cover our bodies and are decent to wear in public, they’re probably fine and don’t need to be replaced.

Luckily, our annual trip to Goodwill with unwearable clothes is coming up. This means room in the closets for new clothes and more than one pair of pants for me to wear! I’ll be sure to fill you in on my sticker shock as I confront the prospect of spending money on something as stainable and transient as clothing. It’s sure to be a hoot!

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