This column first appeared in a newspaper in April of 2008.
On Thursday morning, I was standing in our kitchen talking to our German shepherd Shilo.
I do that a lot, by the way. I talk to my dog. I like talking to Shilo. She, unlike my wife or my 10-year-old daughter, Emma, seems to listen to me. Although, to be fair, Shilo — like my wife or Emma — normally doesn’t have a clue what I’m talking about. She just stares at me hoping I’ll say something she understands. You know, words like “Walk.” Or “Rabbit.” Or “Limbaugh.”
Thursday morning, I think I was talking about the Kansas City Chiefs’ draft. I told Shilo I thought the Chiefs did a pretty good job in the draft. I think Shilo was getting ready to tell me that the Chiefs should have drafted a center for the offensive line, but before she could my wife screamed from upstairs.
Because my wife yells at Shilo a lot, Shilo immediately assumed she was in trouble and tried to hide behind my legs. But because my wife yells at me a lot, I also immediately assumed I was in trouble and tried to hide behind Shilo’s legs. It got confusing in our kitchen for a minute or two.
When my wife came downstairs, I manned up and asked her what was wrong. She told me she had to change tops. I asked her why. (I am, if nothing, a gifted conversationalist.) My wife told me she had to change tops because the one she was wearing had “too much beige.”
I told my wife that made sense to me, even though it didn’t.
First of all, I’m sort of unsure about beige. I’m not really clear what beige looks like. I have six brothers and sisters so a lot of times, as a kid, I got hand-me-downs. One of the things that sometimes got handed down to me were crayons. So even if we were lucky enough to have a box of crayons that carried the exotic color of beige, by the time I got the box the beige crayon would have been lost. I’m also unsure about aqua for the same reason.
I think beige is some sort of off-white, or off-gray, or off-brown. Really, all I know about beige is that it’s “off” something.
But even if I was sure what beige looked like, I didn’t understand why having too much of it would force my wife to change tops. I guess having too much beige is a fashion no-no. I guess having too much beige is the equivalent of wearing a blue denim shirt with blue jeans. Although, to be honest, I was under the impression that you could wear blue denim shirts with blue jeans. I seem to remember doing that a lot. I seem to remember a lot of people doing that a lot.
My wife told me that I’m correct in my memory. The only problem, my wife said, is that my memory was from 1978 and this, as my wife is fond of reminding me, is not 1978. I don’t understand that. Well, I understand that this is not 1978. What I don’t understand is if it was OK to wear blue denim shirts with blue jeans in 1978, how come it’s not OK to wear blue denim shirts with blue jeans today?
My wife said it’s not OK because she says it’s not OK. I asked my wife if that means I can’t wear my blue jean sports jacket with blue jeans. My wife told me that she threw my blue jean sports jacket out years ago.
I asked my wife if she also threw out my Larry Bird Boston Celtic’s jersey out. My wife said no. She said I threw it out when I discovered that it was too small for me.
That’s too bad, I said. Because I was really looking forward to wearing my blue jean sports jacket with my Larry Bird Boston Celtic’s jacket and blue jeans.
My wife told me she was married to a moron. I asked her if he was bigger than me. My wife told me that was an old joke.
After my wife swapped her top with too much beige for a top with no beige, she left for work. After she left for work Shilo and I looked at each other for a second. Then I asked Shilo if she knew what color beige was. Shilo didn’t say anything. Then I remembered that Shilo is a dog and, as such, can’t see color.
Then she told me the Chiefs also should have drafted another cornerback.