I was in love with this dress from the moment I saw it. It mixed my three favorite things: a black-and-white print, a flattering silhouette, and a sale price. I ordered it immediately.
But when I tried it on for the first time, something wasn’t right. I hung it in the closet and decided to try again later.
Later was the next morning. I put the dress on and thought it looked great. It just needed time to lose the wrinkles from packing and shipping. I topped it with a hot pink sweater. At this point, I normally would kiss Hubby goodbye and hit the road. For some reason, that day, I asked him what he thought.
“You should get a belt,” he said. “Or it looks a little frumpy.”
FRUMPY?!?! That’s an all-or-nothing adjective. There is no such thing as “a little frumpy.” I checked the clock. There were less than 10 minutes left before Mini Me had to catch the bus. I scowled, grabbed a belt, and herded the kids out the door.
My outfit gained a different response at work. I told colleagues at the coffee station about my conversation with Hubby. They assured me the dress looked fine.
Hubby was cleaning the kitchen when I got home.
“Everyone at work said my dress looked nice,” I said.
“It does look nice,” he stopped washing dishes long enough to kiss me hello.
“You said it was frumpy this morning.”
“Well, yeah,” he said while squinting. “It just needed the belt.”
My mind started to turn. How does a dress go from frumpy to fashionable with just a belt? More importantly, when did my husband become André Leon Tally? Something wasn’t right.
“Do you know what frumpy means?” I asked.
“Sure,” he said, way too quickly. He continued scrubbing dishes. “So, um, what is it?
“Matronly. Homely. Unattractive.”
“No,” he turned to look at me.
“Yes.” I nodded.
“Well, I just meant the skirt was puffy. The belt makes it not stand out so much.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. I spent a good portion of my day being miffed at Hubby for a mistake in vocabulary.
Have you ever felt like you and your partner were speaking two different languages?