“YOU look hot in those jogging pants,” my wife informed me as we strolled through the town on Wednesday.
“Thanks,” I replied.
“No,” she said, “I mean, it’s too warm to be wearing thick jogging bottoms.”
Any compliments these days are either a miscommunication or form part of a plea to get me to do a favour.
I am often referred to as “my beautiful husband” by my wife. As in, “Does my beautiful husband want to empty the dishwasher?”
“I don’t know,” I’ll respond, “does my darling wife want to boil her head?”
“No, but you could boil the kettle while you’re out there.”
And so this witty banter goes back and forth, until she pulls a knife and I empty the dishwasher. Laughter and the mild threat of physical violence: the staples of long and happy marriage.
The jogging bottoms speak volumes for my sartorial state of mind. Plain grey, no labels, shapeless.
They are the Adam Woodyatt of fashion.
If there were to be movie made of my life, Adam would be a shoo in for the lead role. And after 27 years as Ian Beale in EastEnders I guess he’d jump at the chance to stretch his acting wings.
He may have to wait however. Richard Ord: The Movie has yet to be pitched. I’ve got the main characters pretty much fleshed out, but the plot is a bit shaky.
After an initial read-through with friends and family there’s a suggestion that I may have to play fast and loose with the facts of my life so far to get the interest of Hollywood producers.
A lot less newspapers and nappies, and a few more car chases methinks. I don’t know, shoehorn a few rampaging robots and rabid sharks into the script here and there and I reckon Adam may well have found his way out of the TV soap.
Anyway, I digress.
Clothes and age are strange bedfellows. There was a time when fashion meant so much, now it barely registers.
Getting changed the other day, I put on my jogging bottoms and kept my shirt and tie on. I then put my work shoes on and asked our 11-year-old son, Bradley, what he thought.
I said: “There’s some new staff in the Echo office these days, and I thought I’d go for a more casual look. What do you think?”
I looked like I’d just rolled out of a home for the mentally bewildered. The look he gave me backed that thought.
His brother, aged eight, wasn’t so flustered. “I don’t think the shoes go,” was his response.
It’s no surprise. Bradley is the most fashion and image conscious in the family.
Give Isaac the choice of clothes to wear and nothing will match. He’s like an Apache smashing open a trunk of women’s clothing after a ransacking a wagon, he just sticks everything on in any order.
Me, I don’t much care any more. A bit like Adam. I could go out and flash the cash on a Dolce & Gabbana shirt, but generally stick with George at Asda.
I dare say Adam looks at the red carpet at Cannes and considers that audition for Die Hard 5, but at the end of the day sticks with EastEnders. We’re comfortable.
As the temperatures were reaching 20˚C, I swapped my jogging bottoms for a pair of shorts.
Yellow T-shirt, black shorts, trainers and a pair of plain black dress socks. Dress socks with trainers is one step short of the horror that is dress socks with sandals.
“Michelle,” I said to my wife, “I don’t look too ridiculous like this do I?”
That just about sums up my fashion sense these days. As long as I don’t look “too ridiculous” well that’s okay. My wife looked me up and down.
“To be honest,” she said. “With legs like that, your socks are the least of your worries.”
I smiled, and reached for the knife …