We met through an online dating service, chatted on the screen and exchanged phone numbers. We talked every night for three and a half weeks. When we prepared to meet face-to-face for the first time, my new beau asked me what I was going to be wearing.
“So you’ll know it’s me?” I asked.
No, he had my picture. He even had a photo of my car, albeit buried under snow. He was simply curious what I’d choose and maybe wanted a mental picture to feed his anticipation.
“I don’t know yet,” I told him. I honestly hadn’t planned. “It will be a dress or a skirt, though.”
“I like color,” he said. “Life’s too short for a gray t-shirt.”
I was a little bit insulted. “I’m not going to wear a t-shirt to our first meeting. It’s important to me.”
He told me what he meant was he liked to dress up. He said he sees people out in public wearing wrinkled clothes, blah things they simply plucked out of a drawer without much thought for appearance.
This man who would become my husband had not yet told me his shirt collection took up most of the guest room. His jeans are starched, he wears cuff links at every opportunity and he can color-coordinate with anything I pick out of my closet. He doesn’t even own a gray t-shirt.
His philosophy carries over into other aspects of life and I’m learning to adopt it as my own. I suppose I could say, “Life’s too short for canned soup. Life’s too short to stay home watching other people’s drama. Life’s too short for a bad attitude.”
Life on earth is brief, especially when one gets to the other side of fifty. I still want to see the Mediterranean. In the last two years I stood at the edge of the Grand Canyon and slid down a ski slope on my derriere. I took an ocean cruise to the Bahamas, saw manatees, sharks and dolphins. I finally went white-water rafting. I picked up sea shells at Corpus Christi. I rode a Jet-Ski. I fell in love.
Since I wed my husband and adapted his gray t-shirt philosophy, life hasn’t gotten any less short but it has certainly become fuller. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to gray t-shirts.