a view from the laundry pile…

…it's all about perspective.

Superman never wore plaid

on April 12, 2012

“I need a cape.”  And so the day begins…

I would’ve asked “for what” but the look on my face with my curled upper lip, Uncle Chuck eyebrows, and squinting through my little morning pig-eyes, kind of summed up my confusion at the statement Fred just made.  “For dodgeball”  he added.  Oooh, of course. I get it now.  It’s his first game and he wants to make a “good impression” (let’s face it, cute as he is, his sense of humor really is the reason I married him).  So, off to work he went and off the thrift store I went (hey, life is too short to not get someone you love a super-hero cape if they want one…).

I really dislike this particular thrift store, though, and not just because it always smells like feet and the flourescent lighting makes all the employees look like “Night of the Living Dead” (though I’m not sure they don’t look like this, anyway…).  The items are overpriced and you can, more often than not, get the same thing for less, brand new, at a department store — and the thrift store items are usually damaged in some way, to boot.  It’s like a giant garage sale…after it’s been picked over….on day two.  But, living at the end of a peninsula, it’s the only game in town and, if I have to, I can hold my breath and leave a trail of computer printed “Thriller” photos, with the words “you were robbed!” in big, red letters, all over the store to occupy the zombies long enough to find what I’m looking for.

After checking out the “fabric” section (that’s the part of the rack between the cat-hair covered blankets and baby vomit-stained towels) and not finding anything “cape-worthy,” I meandered over to the mens department.  As I was filing through the shirts, I glanced up and noticed a gangly young man, directly on the other side of the rack, staring at me.  He had short, brown, “Mother-Nature-did-my-do” hair, a crumpled, short-sleeved, crookedly-buttoned shirt, knee-high knickers (I hear not everyone can pull these off…and he was no exception), white-ish socks, and canvas tennis shoes (think “golfer miraculously survives lightning strike at seventh green!”).  Honestly, I don’t care what people wear, as long as black clouds of body odor don’t suffocate you when you pass too close to them…but, be warned that, if I find it at all funny, game’s on…

I did the standard “I don’t know you” half-smile, moved down the aisle a few feet, looked back up, and there he was again.  I don’t think he was doing anything, other than annoying me, but I thought it best to nip it in the bud, right here, right now, before it went any further.  I looked him square in the eye and, very seriously, asked “do you know where they keep the super-hero capes here?”  He wrinkled his nose and cocked his head (he was really thinking about this?)  “I need to find one for my husband…he’s lost his and I have to replace it before anything bad happens in Metropolis…”  The young man took a deep breath, as if he were actually going to answer, held it for a second, looked quite puzzled, slowly exhaled, and walked away.   (You should see what I do to car salesmen who won’t leave me alone…).

I found a nice, big 3X shirt in brown & black plaid that I thought I could upcycle, pretty easily, into a cape.  A few snips here, a couple hems there and voila!  A super-hero is born.  I took it home, worked on it in the afternoon and, when Fred came home, I asked if he wanted to try it on.  I knew I was in trouble the minute he saw it and got ‘that look’ on his face.  You know, the one that says “if I smile big enough, can I hide the fact that I’m horrified right now?”

“What?  What’s wrong with it?” I asked.  “It’ll fit you.”

His face crinkled up as he searched for the words. “But….it’s plaid!”  he finally spat out.

“I know.  They didn’t have any solid colors and look!  It has an adjustable collar!”  I pointed out, trying, unsuccessfully, to channel my inner Vanna White.

“But….it’s PLAAAAID!” he kept repeating.  “I can’t wear plaid!  Superman doesn’t wear plaid!”

Fiiiine…” I sighed, as my chin hit my chest and I rolled my eyes in defeat.  “I’ll go out tomorrow and get some blue fabric and try again.”

“Um, Superman’s cape is red…” he muttered.


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