Yesterday turned out to be not quite as I had hoped.
On a beautiful sunny autumn day, we drove about half an hour to a market that we had learned about from a roadside placard. While it was not a terrible market, it was certainly not a great one, either. There were very few stalls, undoubtedly reflecting their bravery (or foolishness) in going up against the huge Salamanca Market only ten minutes down the road and across the bridge.
And the stalls that were there featured pretty much nothing we were in the mood to buy - most were the sort of arts+crafts things we don't buy anyway; LK isn't shopping for inexpensive jewelry; we have no toddlers to buy cute, overpriced clothes for; and this eternal South Beach diet cannot quite find room to include toffee apples and macarons.
But choosing your Saturday activity from a roadside placard was always going to be a gamble, so it wasn't the market that made the day turn out to be not quite as I had hoped. Nope, it was the bright sunshine.
For when I got out of the car at the market, I looked down and saw that my standard-uniform hoodie was speckled with dots of tomato sauce. And that is when I made the strategic misstep of saying to my bride that I was surprised she didn't tell me I looked a mess before we left the house. Let's make that a major strategic misstep.
For at the point LK proceeded to review my look and decided I did indeed look like one of those clueless retirees who wander around with food stains on their sweat clothes. It was hard not to agree, of course, since I was precisely that.
She acknowledged that these spots were not the result of sloppy eating but sloppy cleaning up after eating. "I know where the stains would be if it was from eating," she said. She then proceeded to expand the review by telling me that my beard was seriously lopsided, looking as if I hadn't shaved or trimmed the right side for weeks. I couldn't really argue since I had noticed the same thing yesterday but hoped it wouldn't be all that obvious. I was wrong.
By the end of our trip, she declared with full solemnity that henceforth she is reviewing my look before I leave the house. She noted that I change out of my house sweatpants and into chinos when I go out, and wondered how I could care enough to do that and not bother to see if I was stained, smeared, or otherwise disheveled.
Grasping for an answer, I told her there weren't enough mirrors in the house. She looked at me with an expression roughly translated as "Is that the best you can do?" and proceeded to list the large number of mirrors in the house. I had to admit that what I really meant was that there weren't enough mirrors in the house that I used to see how I looked. In other words, I lost.
And so, strengthened even further by my strategic misstep LK later that day told me in no uncertain terms that it was just plain wrong that I haven't posted on this blog in more than a month. And that's why you are now reading this and I am wearing a clean hoodie and have trimmed my beard.
And somewhere in the distance I hear a whispery voice saying something about how my life has just changed significantly.
But at least I will look better.