Life with my husband, Sam, is never boring. Embarrassing at times, but never boring. Last night he came home from Target bearing a bag containing not one, but two pairs of bright red fleece pajama bottoms sizes extra large and XXL. One was a lovely plaid that would have made a good kilt and the other was emblazoned with little brown footballs the size of small hands. The idea of man over 60 wearing such pajamas–not in the comfort of his own home, but to a football game–a PUBLIC football game, the Redskins vs. Philadelphia Eagles, thankfully an away game, gave me shudders. This is, after all, Philadelphia where the fans throw batteries. Not only that, the lovely red bottoms comprise the lower half of a Santa costume that Sam’s friend, B. J. acquired minus the pants.
“Watch ESPN and see if I make national news!” he called with boyish enthusiasm as he headed out the door this morning for the drive to Philadelphia with B.J., my son Sammy and another friend, Steve, in tow. I pictured watching the game and in my mind’s eye, saw the camera pan to my husband and decided, no, I will not watch the game but will instead focus on quiet intercession to God, asking the Almighty to blind the cameramen to my husbands finery.
He looks . . . words fail me as I gaze at his Santa outfit. Earlier in the season he was asked to reprise his role as St. Nicholas for the City of Light, a role he played last year with great success. The St. Nicholas costume was more dignified–red bishop’s hat, regal robe and crosier. I walked beside him without shame and enjoyed watching the children’s eyes light up as he approach. Sam’s bright smile and happy eyes delighted the little ones . . . But the City of Lights fell to the axe of budget cuts this year so while we were in Hawaii in early November, Sam shaved off the white mustache and beard he was growing for the occasion so that his snorkeling mask would stop leaking. Today’s costume came with a one of those white curly beards, the ones that appear so unnatural that they are sure to frighten small children. I hope he does not wear it. I told him he should simply explain that Mrs. Claus made him shave off his mustache so he could snorkel with her in Hawaii. But I will never know as I have no intention of watching the screen.
My mind goes back to several years ago when Sam was recruited to play the role of “Bubba the ballerina” for the church Christmas play. The theme was the 12 days of Christmas and part way through the performance I was alarmed to see my husband on stage explaining a “costume mix-up” whereby he was issued a pink tutu while the other 8 “Lords of Leaping” got tunics with tights. For modesty’s sake the wardrobe manager had sewn a paid of plaid boxer shorts to the under side of the tutu; the shorts came nearly to his knees; and he had a pair of matching pink suspenders holding the tutu firmly in place but it was a pink . . . tutu . . . nonetheless.
After the performance the audience was promised photo opportunities with the cast and my husband was in great demand. Smiling proudly he posed again and again often coming over to stand near me between requests. But each time he came near, I scooted away. As I said, life with Sam is never boring. Embarrassing at times, but never boring.