They Fit Like A Glove


Does she think I’m incapable of following simple instructions? She asked me to wait until the oven reached 400 degree and put the pork loin in to cook for thirty minutes.  She said I’d need to set the timer.  I have no idea how to set the timer on the oven, but I’m pretty familiar with the alarm on my phone. I’d do it that way.


She was getting dressed in the closet when I walked in to change clothes myself.  I needed to get ready for church.  Our conversation was something like this: “Did you put the pork loin in the oven?  I responded, “Yes “Ma’am”.  That was followed by the next predictable question: “Did you set the timer”.  I responded, “Did you think I’d forget?”  Her response was immediate: “Actually, you seldom remember anything.” Ouch! That seemed a bit harsh.  On the other hand, I set it all up. I shouldn’t have asked: “Did you think I’d forget?”  What was I thinking?


As I took a freshly ironed shirt from my closet, she proceeded with Lecture #8153 related to the need to take laundry out of the clear plastic bags from the cleaners. You know the drill: “Your laundry is covered with chemicals from the cleaners.  I’ve always read….”  Will it ever end?  I predict that she’ll even tell the undertaker how to lay me out.  She can’t help herself.  She is the quintessential “do everything by the book” kind of gal and she never alters from expected protocol.  I’m the guy who never read the book, so how should I know what to do without a gentle reminder? 


I’d say ours is a good working relationship. If a person needs to feel important, she has all the makings of the perfect role. I couldn’t even get dressed for church without her. “You’re not going to wear that with that are you?” often is the question she asks of me.  I don’t know how I manage to make it to work without her assistance.  However, I’m not going to suggest that she set her alarm for 5:45 a.m. to check my clothing before I walk out the door.  For one thing, that would set me up for the: “Why don’t you retire” question. That would be followed by, “Once you retire you won’t need all those clothes” lecture.


She even brought it up again last night.  She made the statement, “We both still need to get go through our closet and get rid of more things.  We don’t have room for one more thing in our closet.”  She’s right, we don’t.  However, think of the money we’re saving.  If we don’t have room for one more thing, we probably won’t buy anything else.


I didn’t exactly pass-up the end of January clearance sale at Dillard’s this year.  I ran through the mall at the end of January and the first couple of weekends in February just to look.  True to life, they had some really nice clothing marked 50% off and then 40% off of that. How could I not take advantage of the sale?  Some of the clothing was 65% off with an additional 40% off of that. I’ve never failed to succumb to the temptation to take advantage of that kind of bargain before. However, this year I saw a lot of things that I liked and the price was right, but truthfully the General is right. “We don’t have room for one more thing.


She’s thinking that when I retire I’ll be content wearing a pair of well wore, comfortable jeans around the house.  For that matter I might even wear some casual shoes without the need for socks.  Some would call it the “Life of Riley”. In case you’re not familiar, the “Life of Riley” phrase originated in a popular song of the 1880s, “Is That Mr. Reilly?” by Pat Rooney, which described what its hero would do if he suddenly came into a fortune.  Of course you don’t remember. I’m the only one old enough to remember that. Other theories exist as to the origin, for example from “James Whitcomb Riley’s poems in the 1880s depicting the comforts of a prosperous home life, but it could have an Irish origin: After the Reilly clan consolidated its hold on County Cavan, they minted their own money, which was accepted as legal tender even in England”.


Maybe the General is right. Could anything be more comfortable than a pair of well worn, comfortable old jeans that fit like a glove?  You tell me. I really don’t know.  I have three pair of “jeans” in my closet.  The first is a black pair of Levi’s I bought in 1996.  I remember the year because I was living in Midland at the time.  Buckner had just taken over the residential child-care program where I was serving as executive director.  An oilman in Midland telephoned toward the middle of November saying: “There are a group of us that want to throw a Christmas party this year. We thought it would be nice if we made it a fundraiser for a local charity. We won’t actually charge for admission, but we’ll suggest that people in attendance make a donation. I was provided your name. Would you be interested?


I didn’t have to give it a second thought.  I told him we’d be both honored and grateful.  He seemed very pleased that we were open and said he’d get back to me.  Did I mention that successful oilmen in Midland in the midst of the boom know how to party?  The guy called me back the following week saying he’d sign a contract for the convention center in Midland and a contract with “Asleep at The Wheel” to play the music. He also mentioned there’d be a cash bar.


The phrase: “Hello Houston, we’ve got a problem” ran through my head.  There is something about the connection of the word “Baptist” with the phrase “cash bar” that had the potential for being a real problem. Of course, I didn’t tell him that. After all, I’d figure out a way to make it work.  I figure forgiveness is always easier to come by than permission. It worked out well.  The following year they signed a contract with Ray Price for a duplication of the same event benefitting our charity.  I wore by black Levi’s with Nocona boots for both events and had a grand time.  I also have a pair of blue Levi’s in my closet that I purchased to wear to an event at Miracle Farm, the boys ranch program our agency has in Brenham.  Four or five years later, I opted to purchase a pair of blue Wranglers.  I wanted to fit in with the crowd and I’d noticed that most people had made the switch.  However, I am a creature of habit. I wore Levi’s as a kid.  


I figure all three pair of jeans will last me forever. I only wear them one or two times a year with boots.  Consequently, I can’t tell you they are extremely comfortable. Maybe the heavy starch I get from the laundry has something to do with that?  Who’s to say? It is approaching 5:00 a.m. and I need to start getting ready for work. The General is sleeping soundly. I’m sure I’ll go out the door without knowing if “this goes with that”, but I’m not worried.  Not everyone has read the rule book.


All My Best!

Apple Computer, Inc.




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