Up until now all the tuxedo rental chitchat had been pretty boring: payment, deposits, lead time, bla, bla, bla… but now! Finally! Things were getting interesting!
I leaned forward to make sure I could hear every word.
“So,” the salesman repeated, “do you know what colors your date will be wearing?”
Tiger’s eyes narrowed dangerously.
It was no use; the boy just wasn’t going to spill. Disappointed, I sat back in my chair.
Sure, Tiger was willing to tell everyone else in the world about his upcoming dance—everyone that is, except for Hubby and me. But the only info I’d bring home today was that tuxedo rental clerks were also excluded from Tiger’s list of People Who Need to Know.
I guess it was back to MySpace.com for me. The tuxedo guy was on his own.
He tried again. “So you don’t know what she’s wearing?”
“Eh,” said Tiger and gave the tiniest of shrugs.
“Excuse me,” I said, “but why does he need to know what his date is wearing?”
“Because sometimes the girls like to color-coordinate their dates. You know, so the tie and vest won’t clash with the dress. You know, for pictures.”
I almost fell off my chair. “No way!”
“It’s true!” he insisted. “It’s a real problem, too, if they decide to wear a different dress.”
I just couldn’t wrap my brain around this concept. As a person who has been known to mess up a black-on-black color-coordination, I can honestly say other people’s wardrobe color schemes never register on my radar. It’s hard enough remembering my own, much less coordinate someone else’s.
The salesman picked up the phone and handed it to Tiger. “Do you want to call her and ask her what she’s wearing?”
Woo hoo, I thought, this just kept getting better and better! But, oh dear! What if she told him what colors to wear? And worse… what if he did what she told him to do?
Tiger’s eyes widened as he stared down the phone. Before we knew it, the salesman and I got slapped with the junior version of Hubby’s infamous “Snake Eyes,” a patented look that’s been known to wilt small dogs, large houseplants, and inquisitive mothers-in-law.
He had a way to go to perfect Hubby’s lethal glare, but I can tell you it’s quite true what they say about the young being deadlier than the adults. Less experience with controlling the potency of the scowl, and all that.
“No,” said Tiger, tersely. “No. Thanks.”
The salesman was a pro—I’ll give him that much. Hundreds of hours of experience with teenager tux customers must’ve given him a Kevlar hide. He didn’t even blink.
“Okey dokey,” he said. “Neutral colors it is. Unless—” he paused and looked at Tiger again, “unless you want to pick a non-neutral color?”
He pulled out a poster board and placed it on the counter. It was full of fabric swatches, dozens and dozens of colors in 3-inch squares.
No, make that hundreds and thousands of color swatches—or at least it seemed that way to me. My heart turned over as I thought about how long it would take me to pick a color from such a wide selection. Several days, at least, and only after I’d consulted Hubby, Sissy, the neighbors, the grocery store checkout clerk, and the car wash guys.
Just then I noticed Tiger’s Snake Eyes were gone, replaced by a look… a look that seemed familiar somehow. If I could put a name on it, I’d say it was… panic.
Oh, my lord. Tiger… He was color-impaired! Just like his mom!
The salesman saw it, too. He sighed sympathetically and pointed to two swatches in the bottom corner of the chart.
“A gentleman can never go wrong,” he said, “with basic black and white.”