There was nothing to be done about it but go through the process. The style was thirty years out of date, the fabric a cheap synthetic, and the colour was all wrong. Dave was more a cardigan and grey slacks type for weddings and funerals. The suit was a relic of one of Marjorie’s campaigns to make him into her image of a husband.
At an early stage of the marriage, Marjorie, in a fit of romantic fantasy and on the strength of an old family name, had the notion that Dave’s olive skin was the result of noble Spanish ancestry. One year, for the annual fancy dress held by the school her children attended, Marjorie created costumes for the children reflecting her idea of Iberian gentry. The results were a sad comedy: a couple of reluctant little Zorros wearing satin trousers of flaming red, ruffle-fronted shirts and black jackets. Dave had no pretensions of links to nobility, but from long experience with the implacable Marjorie saw no good outcome in arguing against her folly. The cost in humiliation had to be borne by the children.
Now, after decades of estrangement from children and grandchildren, one of the grandchildren had invited them to a wedding.
The trousers fitted. Dave grumbled that they were tight. Retaining her optimism, Marjorie helped him into the jacket. His belly had grown in the thirty years.
“I can’t wear it if the jacket doesn’t fit!” protested Dave.
Marjorie helped him out of the jacket then hung it, folded the trousers, and returned both to the wardrobe. Dave smiled. A small triumph.
published 26 March 2016