Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Try On, Cry On

Being the ringbearer meant trying on a tux.

Getting measurements was the easy part.

In a large, open store on a cool February evening,

with an easygoing
tailor who joked in a Latvian accent, the mood was light.

The mother says to the boy in her best bass voice

like the man on the commercial,

"You're gonna like the way you look."


The dad stands nearby,

also getting fitted.

The occasion becomes a memory

of pre-wedding pleasantries.

Being the ringbearer meant trying on a tux


Three days before the Big Day.

To make sure everything fits.

It's early March in Maryland,

but feels nearly Bahama-ish.

Which is great

if you're outside.

Trying on a tux means putting on
layers of clothes.
And accessories.








In a small dressing room,

already too warm,

he begins to panic.
Dramatic breathing.
Pulling at his collar.
The shirt sleeves are too long.
The lady rolls them up.
It looks tacky.

"Let me try a different one for you,"
says the lady.
"No, please not another one!"

His mother is helping him get the shirt off,
but she is also overheating
in more ways than one.
It's not drama, it's real.

"Mom, I have warmaphobia!"

The mother smiles, but the boy says it's not funny.
His brother in the next dressing room

trying on his own tux that fits beautifully.
He hears the commotion, embarrassed,

and when he comes over, says
to the sibling half his age,

"Man up. Don't be such a girl."

"I'm not being a girl! I'm dying of heat!

Get this off of me!"

The mother tells the older brother (the best man)

not to antagonize. It IS really hot.

The pants are too loose, but the new pair, says the

lady (who is not the Latvian comedienne, but a

serious Sally)--"the new pair might stay up better."

"What?? I have to try on another pair of pants???!!

The new pair is too tight.

You would think he had just been squeezed by a boa constrictor

the way he fought the black fabric on his legs.

Put the first pair back on with suspenders, I suggest.
"They're fine, Mom. They'll stay up, don't worry!"

I believe him. Let's just get out of here.

I share his warmaphobia.

I snap a couple of pictures of the suffering.

Photojournalism at its best.

Or worst, depending

on which side of the camera you're on.

The store lady is doing her best to hurry up and get us

"scanned out."

Thank you. Yes, we'll go across the street

to your other location for a shirt that fits right.

What's one more trying try-on session

if the promise is that

You're gonna like the way you look.

Three days later,

in a very-cool-on-purpose hotel room

the mom stood by with her camera

while her boy and his dad tried on

those tuxes for their March Down the Aisle.

The mother smiled yet again.

She knew

she was gonna like the way they looked.


Much later.

When the wedding day

was a cool 45 degrees outside,

he was feeling great in all those layers.

And he did, indeed, like the way he looked.

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