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Robbins: Black shoes with watermelon Why not?
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My wife is out of town for a couple of days, which means a couple of things.

First, we’ll eat pizza for dinner. And breakfast.

And my children will have carte blanche (French for “let the buyer beware”) on what they wear. This often presents issues.

The last time my wife went out of town for a couple of days, I came home to her standing in the doorway, hands on hips, right foot a-tapping.

“Uh oh,” I thought as soon as I recognized the universal wife’s gesture of “You’ve done something wrong and I’m waiting on you to talk about it.”

But what had I done? Or what had she found? I burned those pictures from my bachelor party. That can’t be it. I wore socks to church last Sunday. I left her at least a spoonful of chocolate chip mint ice cream in the fridge.

“Who dressed our child today?”

Whew! Good. It wasn’t about the mess I left in the bathroom trying to build a robot.

“Uh, I did.”

“Well ...” She then went on to tell me that when I dressed our (then) 5-year-old son for school, I had let him pick out his own clothes – not the clothes she had chosen for him before she left town.

“So?” I replied.

“So, it doesn’t match,” she told me like I should know better. What’s she talking about? She knows I don’t know better.

“Yes it did too match,” I replied indignantly.

“No, it did not,” she responded sharply about the dark green T-shirt he wore with dark blue jeans.

“And not only did he not match on picture day, but it wasn’t weather appropriate. You sent him to school in the middle of winter with sandals on, and his brother’s jeans that are three sizes too big.”

Apparently, I can’t match clothing, or sizes, or recognize the change of seasons.

To prove this point, my wife then brought up the watermelon incident as proof.

Years and years ago, we were going to some kind of “spring” party, and my wife asked me to dress our daughter in the “watermelon” outfit. I was so proud of myself that I was actually able to find the watermelon outfit. It was pink and green and had watermelons on it (that’s what tipped me off). So I dressed our daughter in the outfit and then put some black shoes on her.

When we appeared at the door ready to go, my wife started laughing hysterically.

As is my practice when someone looks at me and laughs hysterically, I looked down at my zipper.


“What are you laughing at?”

“Those shoes don’t match that outfit, silly,” my wife chortled.

“Huh, yeah they do,” I retorted, sort of miffed. I did find the outfit.

“Black shoes? She can’t wear black shoes with that,” she said.

“Yes she can,” I replied. “They’re the seeds. Watermelons are pink and green with black seeds.”

Who made up these rules anyway? And where are they posted? I’d like to see them.

Where is it written that you can’t wear a swimsuit to bed? Why can’t you wear a sweater with shorts? Why do we have to iron my son’s pants? He doesn’t care. It’s not like he’s going to a job interview.

I read a passage once about a football coach who asked one of his players:

“What’s wrong with you? Are you ignorant or apathetic?”

The player replied: “Coach, I don’t know and I don’t care.”

My feelings exactly.

Len Robbins is editor and publisher of the Clinch County News in Homerville. His column appears weekly.

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