“I can’t lend you my jacket, because clothes moths have eaten a hole in the shoulder” said my brother-in-law with a Gallic shrug.
I looked over at my husband, unsure whether to be amused or dismayed, but he seemed to be in deep thought, calculating his remaining options. As a ‘Freeman of London’ (a title bestowed upon my family 350 years ago), we had received an invitation to a luncheon in the English capital, to be held at the end of June. I possessed suitable glad rags, but my husband needed a jacket and tie – objects that have never graced his person. Not even when he got married.
At least he should still be able to fit into his wedding day trousers, I thought glancing over at him. His hair was now short, cut down to 2mm and he had 5 day stubble on his chin, but he still seemed as lean as the day we got married, almost 9 years ago. No paunch on him, I noted proudly as he suddenly got up to go and try the trousers on, just to be on the safe side.
The quest for suitable attire for Monsieur started about a month ago, when my parents offered to buy us the plane tickets to London to attend the banquet. Rubbing shoulders with English high society, was an occasion not to be missed, but unfortunately it defeated the capacities of his farmer’s wardrobe, where “luncheon” meant a barbecue in the back garden in t-shirt and shorts.
Still, I thought, my father would be able to provide him with the shirt and tie and there remained another couple of people who may be able to lend him a non moth-eaten jacket before we had to think about buying one. And of course, he still had his wedding day trousers that were classical and practically unworn.
A few minutes later he was back, a sheepish grin on his face and with a sinking feeling I suddenly knew what he was going to say. “I must have put on a bit of weight” he muttered, “there’s no way, I’m going to get those trousers buttoned”.