September 18, 2008

What Men Want

Guys can really surprise you sometimes. You think you know them really well, almost inside out in fact, then they hit you with a new piece of information that has you going “whoooa! Never saw that coming”.

Or is it just wedding planning that does that to them?

This has happened quite a bit recently, in some surprising places. When MM and I sat down in a little village pub one evening a week after the proposal, we knew we’d be discussing wedding plans. When, who, how much and definitely what. We were able to quickly agree on our overall style and feel and a bunch of other details. Like a lot of guys, MM is pretty laid back about this stuff and tends to acquiesce to my vision of the way things should be. We both agreed that weddings can get stupid expensive if you aren’t careful and we wanted to have money left over from his deployment windfall to have a fab honeymoon and a nest egg for a house down the road. We agreed to cut corners where possible and not spend on un-necessary things.

But then the talk turned to clothing; specifically to how we and the wedding party should dress for the event.

And that’s where it happened...

Me: “I was thinking I’d go to a few consignment shops and check out their wedding dress section. You can get some really beautiful gowns cheap that way.”

MM: “Used? You were thinking of buying a used dress? Nuh huh, no way. Get a real dress”.

Me: “ A what?” … *lots of blinking as I scrambled to think of what to say* … “They are real dresses.”

MM: “ But they have been worn before right? So they’re used. Ick.” *scrunch face of disapproval*…. “No, You should buy a proper dress.”

While I was still reeling from this info and trying to figure out what it was about a worn-once wedding dress that caused him to balk so hard, the conversation turned to the male attire for the party.

Me: “What were you thinking of wearing? Your dress uniform”?

MM: “Gah! No, no way. *visible shudder* I’ll wear a suit, I guess. Or a tux, sure. And maybe my dress brogues from the uniform, because no civvie shoes can shine that hard. But no way I’m wearing my uniform”.

I suggested the dress uniform because I am proud of who he is and what he does for a living, and I wanted him to feel comfortable and be himself on our “big day”. Since he is a military man, I thought it logical he’d want to wear his uniform. The refusal and the shudder perplexed me.

Now, I’ve heard his take on being out in public in uniform before and I’ve seen it first hand while having coffee at a doughnut shop before work or grabbing groceries with him after work. The stares, the whispers, the frowns of disapproval, the weird people who pull their children away as if they’re afraid MM will go postal on them or something equally stupid. That is when he is in his “combats” as they’re called; the green camouflage-printed baggy pants tucked into dull black combat boots, the equally baggy jacket over a military green tshirt, all topped by a green felt beret with his regimental cap badge on the front crest area. However, I’ve never heard him react too much about his dress uniform. Granted, he rarely ever wears it. Being army, he gets to go to work in his combats (or “pajamas” as the guys laughingly refer to them, because of how comfortable they are). Other military branches have to wear their dress uniform daily.

So why not his dress uniform? Stares from non-military people at the wedding? They’re all family and close friends, it shouldn’t matter, right? Or was it that he figured he’d want to forget for one day the fact that he was a military man and just be a regular guy? Was he wanting to wear a kilt, since he is proudly Scottish?

All plausible possibilities. But as it turns out, none of these are the reason.

The reason? I asked.

Me: So why not your uniform?”

MM: “Have you seen the colour? That sickly pale green shirt? Ugly! And the jacket makes me look fat.”

And there you go. My colour blind and rather buff proud military man refuses to wear his dress uniform because the colour is ugly and he doesn’t like the way it makes his tummy look.

Yep, guys. They can definitely surprise you sometimes.

…more in this story about our wedding planning to come next week

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