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Monday, March 17, 2014


This cranky re-run is from March 2012. 

Nothing upsets a woman quite like her man ruining a perfectly good shirt doing dirty chores.  Why do men wear a good shirt to do gardening work, change oil, or paint a room?

Sometimes, I admit, we just do not think.  If we see something that needs fixing while wearing a good clean shirt our one track minds go right to the task without even thinking of the consequences of dirt or grime.  Often, however, the fault lies at the clean freak gene that makes up every woman’s DNA.

Women do not save dirty shirts.   When a shirt gets a stain it gets thrown away.  Often it gets thrown away as a penalty to her man for soiling the garment in the first place.  Dig in the garden in a clean shirt; it will get thrown away.  Do a quick paint touchup and drip onto your new shirt; it gets thrown away.  Fix a sticky door and get grease on your shirt; it gets thrown away.  Spaghetti sauce on your new shirt?  Bye bye new shirt.

“Look what you’ve done!  Now I have to throw it away!”

The next time the man plans to do a dirty job he cannot find a dirty shirt to work in.  They have all been thrown away.

While I was married to the unstable wife, I had a beautiful pair of overalls.  They were 45 years old.  They were my Dad’s.  They were broken in and comfortable.  Paint and oil stains covered 80% of these overalls.  The overalls had multiple pockets and hooks to carry hammers and screwdrivers.  I loved those overalls.  I kept them in my smelly basement on a hook by my tools.

When I prepared to work on a dirty job, I always put on the overalls.  Even if I wore a good shirt underneath, the overalls protected everything.  If I got paint on my hands, I could just wipe it on the overalls without guilt.  They were perfect.

One day the wife assigned a painting project to me.  I bought the paint,  purchased new clean brushes and taped off all the molding.  I removed everything that could be moved and covered everything else with a tarp.  Fully prepared to start the job, I went into the basement to pull on my overalls.

They were gone.  They were not on their hook by the tools.  I went into panic mode.  The wife noticed.

“What is wrong with you?”

“I can’t find my overalls.”

“Where were they?”

“In the basement on a hook by my tools.”

“That dirty old thing?”

“Yes, that dirty old thing.”

“I threw it away; it was covered with oil, dirt and paint.  It could never be cleaned.”

“What!!  Being dirty, oily and paint covered is what made them perfect.  They could not be ruined.  Plus they were super comfortable, and they were my Dad’s.  They were covered with my Dad’s dirt, my Dad’s oil, and my Dad’s paint.  I loved that pair of overalls!”

“I’m sorry; I’ll get you a brand new pair.”

My wife did buy a brand new pair of overalls.  Crisp, clean, shiny and starchy.  They even smelled brand new.  They were about 100 washing machine cycles away from being comfortable.

I never wore those new overalls.  I couldn’t do it.  I could not bring myself to get them dirty, and they reminded me of losing my Dad.

I painted that room in a new clean shirt.  It was a shirt that my wife had bought me that I never liked.  I wiped paint drips all over it.  When I was done with the room that shirt was an unclean-able mess.

When I was through cleaning up and putting the room back together again, I tore that shirt off and threw-it-the-fuck-away.

When I divorced the unstable-one several years later, those new overalls remained in the basement.  I never wore them and refused to take them with me.

That is why I ruin good shirts doing dirty chores.


A St. Patrick's Day bonus...Irish Cooking lesson:

Boil everything.  Before serving give food a taste test, if it has flavor, boil some more.       


  1. I do not touch my hubbies clothes. If, I say if they get thrown away he does the throwing away. It has been working just fine here. I can see why you're not happy about those coveralls. Yes I can.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  2. You are hilarious!
    Having said that, I completely sympathize with your dismay over the overalls. No one should presume to throw away anyone else's personal things. My husband tried that trick. Once. He's still here but I don't have to worry about it ever happening again!

  3. sad about the old coveralls.

    i wear LOTS of stained, paint-dripped, torn and mended shirts and pants. LOTS. as a farm girl should that grew up really poor.

  4. I can't imagine a wife that would throw anything of mine out without asking. My Mrs. C. wouldn't think of doing this, not that I get dirty all that often. Our son CJ inherited my dad's overalls and he cherishes them.

  5. Delighted to be following by email - really preferred the GFC way but "they" won't let me do it! Tried changing password etc and still no luck! Oh well, send me those new posts as soon as they're up! Thanks!

  6. Sorry to hear about the overalls. That is probably one of the many reasons she is an ex.

    I find I tend to keep more of the dirty shirts and torn up pants and wear them to keep the 'good clothes' nice. They are broken in, they are often stained, they have been washed, they have been worn and likely have some good memories to go with them. Throwing some clothes away would be doing everyone a favor.

  7. Do holes from smoking count?

  8. Those old worn, torn, splattered t-shirts and shorts are the ones I put on as soon as I walk in the door. I only write off old clothes when they essentially just evaporate in the washer. I do still wash them just to get the stink out, but it doesn't make them look any better, which is fine with me.

  9. The unstable one. HaHa. My husband has a desk job. He rarely gets dirty.

  10. Late to the party here, but I have to chime in.
    Number One: Now it has become glaringly obvious why you got divorced. The noive! And here all along I thought it was you. Silly me.
    and Two: I do all the laundry here at the Ponderosa. No relation to Hop Sing either.
    I'm too parsimonious to ever wear anything other something I wouldn't wear to a dog fight to do dirty jobs.
    I did once drip ONE DROP of paint on one of my "Moosehead" t-shirts, and even though it's worn around the collar and probably should be considered a rag, I peeled it off immediately and put it in the wash. Came out fine.
    But wear one of my "good" (read, at least a hunnert bucks) shirts? No way man.
    But then again, it's been several decades since I had anything remotely like a "desk job".

  11. This crystal clear, perfectly logical bit of rationalization will be copied forthwith to the edification of my illogical wife...

  12. I guess we're an unusual couple. I don't buy/throw out any clothes for my husband. He doesn't buy/throw out any for me. Works for us.

    I do let him buy me one item of "jewelry," as I call it: a beautiful neck strap, with a camera attached at the end. But I send him the model/serial number and the link on Amazon.

  13. My husband pays for a uniform service at work. The company is paid to clean his clothes, no matter where the messy work is done. THEY can throw his clothes away if they're uncleanable.

  14. Oooohhh. You're a testy one, aren't you?

  15. yeah, what he said ....

    .... i keep my basement so scary messy she don't go there, only way I can preserve such treasures

  16. Hmm, if I was into pop psychology (which I am) I would say that maybe you kept those new overalls clean and unworn as a pointed snub to your wife...
    I'm guilty of not keeping stained/torn clothes, but only mine. I never throw out anything of my husband's. But when I need old clothes to wear for gardening or whatever, I never have any because I've thrown them away. That's why I rarely do gardening or such things.

  17. Hmmm, I guess the whole purpose of coveralls as a protective garment was lost on her. Oh well, you could always use the new coveralls as a painter's blanket the next time you need to refinish a room. You could also try running it over with your car a few times. You may still not want to wear it but it'll be therapeutic.

  18. It is funny the way you write about your clothes as if they are old friends of yours. I guess, we do love our most worn out clothes. LOL