Everyone acknowledges that men and women play by different rules. We certainly do.

For instance, clothing. I have a blouse I bought to wear on Christmas Eve five years ago. I am not sure why I decided not to wear it, but it is a lovely blouse. So it still hangs in my closet, waiting for an occasion.

My husband, on the other hand, gets rid of perfectly good golf shirts because “They are taking up too much room in my shirt drawer.” Sidebar: His dream shirt drawer would contain two shirts: one to wash, and one to wear. So he keeps a Goodwill box in the bottom of his closet, and as soon as I or one of our daughters buys him what we think would be a shirt to build up his paltry wardrobe, he gets rid of a shirt.

Did I mention that I also have a pair of pants I bought before the pandemic caused universal sweatpants wearing? That these are really cute khakis? With the price tag still attached? Now that we are getting out in the world, I fully intend to wear them someplace. As long as all the other people in that place are still six feet apart and wearing masks.

Moving on. Books. My husband has a bookcase in his office without a single book in it. This drives me absolutely insane, because everyone knows that you put books in there. My husband instead has one or two framed photos on each shelf. One photo is of his PT Cruiser (long gone; apparently sorely missed). One or two photos on otherwise empty shelves. The designers on HGTV would have heart attacks. It looks terrible. Luckily, I don’t go into his office unless I have to vacuum. I vacuum very quickly and leave.

We have two bathrooms. One is for guests. My husband uses both of them. One is apparently for his pills and for pandemic hand washing, and for you know, using the toilet. The other one, just off our bedroom, is for toothbrushing and shaving. This also frustrates me, as I have to clean one more bathroom than I would have to if he would just limit his use to the master bath, for God’s sake.

I have to loop back to clothing, because the more I think about it, the more I have to say! Shoes. I have the completely understandable collection of shoes. Sneakers for walking. Flip flops. Three pairs of dressy flats. One pair of dressy sandals. Two pairs of “walking” sandals. Crocs–everybody wore those during the pandemic. One pair of slippers. One pair of waterproof walking boots (for horse shows; granted not all women need those). One pair of “semi-dress up” flats.

My husband has three pairs of shoes. One for winter, one for summer, and one pair of golf shoes. He also has two pairs of cowboy boots. Nothing else. This is ridiculous.

Let’s talk pants. Again, he aspires to having only three pairs for each season. In summer, it’s two pairs of khakis and one pair of lightweight wool pants to wear to church. You read that right–the SAME pair to church every Sunday, with which he alternates one of his two “nice” golf shirts. Note: I no longer go to church, not only because all of that kneeling and standing up and down is hard on my joints, but because I don’t want to get those looks from other men’s wives who have certainly noticed my husbands tiny wardrobe. I wouldn’t know how to do the Peace portion of the service where all you do is shake a hand and say “Peace to you.” I would want to shake a hand and say “Really, I try to get him to increase his wardrobe, but he just refuses–it’s not what it looks like–he ONLY WANTS TWO SHIRTS AND ONE PAIR OF CHURCH PANTS…”

I have just come from my closet, where I counted ten pairs of “good” pants. You know, in case we ever go out to a restaurant or the movies, I want to have some stylish things on rotation. I have one pair of linen capris for summer, a gorgeous red paisley pair from Talbot’s,  of course four pairs of jeans, and on and on. I also have a leggings drawer in my bureau full of pandemic leggings. I wore leggings every day for over a year. That justifies the leggings drawer, correct?

But here’s the thing:  My husband seems to feel that he has to audit MY wardrobe and pepper me with questions:

“Have you ever worn these pants?”

“How many white blouses do you actually need?”

“It’s global warming. So why do you have these snow boots?”

“You never wear this robe.”

“Do all women have three raincoats?’


I just went online. LL Bean is having a sale on men’s golf shirts. Feeling spiteful, I ordered him FIVE of them.


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