I love musical theater. Matt, my boyfriend, does not. When we first started dating if we saw a musical together we both had a terrible time. He hated the experience, and I could tell he was miserable which ruined it for me. The third and final time we ever saw people singing together on stage, I realized that each time the actors inhaled to prepare for a note, Matt sighed heavily and audibly, like the last breath escaping a dying man. He was completely unaware that he was perceptibly expressing his disdain for show tunes.
We stopped going to musicals with each other because I love him and wanted our relationship to last. Also, I have other friends to enjoy them with. Then earlier this year—roughly sixteen years since our last musical—we were out for dinner and looked quickly to see if any movies were playing near the restaurant. If we rushed, we could get to The Greatest Showman, a movie about P.T. Barnum. We both like a good history/bio flick so we rushed to the theater and sat just as the movie was starting. Seconds later when the movie opened with a distinct beat, Matt leaned into me and whispered with remorse, “Is this a musical?”
“I don’t know, but it appears it might be.” I responded. Then I heard that familiar, audible sigh. For the next two hours I anticipated regretting not reading the entire synapsis.
The movie is a musical. Amazingly, we both really enjoyed it. I particularly loved Hugh Jackman and Zac Ephron’s high-waisted, tight-fitting pants. I suggested Matt get a similar pair—not because I want him to look like Jackman or Ephron—but because I thought he would look great in just such a pair of pants. He laughed at the idea. “I’m 5’9,” he said. “The last thing I need is high-waisted pants.” I insisted he had the perfect frame. “Maybe for my birthday,” I joked.
Matt travels to Thailand occasionally for work where he has suits tailor made. It’s more affordable then a suit off the shelf in the U.S. and it’s actually challenging to find clothes that fit his smaller frame. We weigh the same amount at 140 pounds, and I’m five inches shorter. Sadly for both of us, he can fit in my jeans, but I cannot fit in his—a fact I’m not proud of. He claims it has something to do with hips, but I remain skeptical.
After his most recent trip to Thailand, he returned home and announced that I needed to see the new pants he’d had made. A grin crossed my face. He hadn’t? Matt and a small team of Thai tailors spent hours designing and crafting a pair of Victorian pants. The waist is high. The butt is fitted. There are buttons for suspenders. They look stupendous. I’m not sure what he was worried about. He doesn’t think he can wear them anywhere, particularly not to work. I think people would look at him, stop, and think, “Wow. Now those are nice pants,” but I’m in love with him so I may be partial. He suspects a lot more laughter and awkward glances would trail behind him.
Since he may never wear the pants publically, I suggested maybe this year we have a goose at Christmas. He can wear the pants and serve the bird. We’ve never had a Christmas goose, but it seems like the kind of feast that would perfectly match the pants. And, perhaps, like the movie and the pants, a Christmas goose will be a pleasant, unexpected surprise.
When you have been together for a long time, you can often assume you know how a person will react to every situation. But we are all slightly different people on each new day. Matt liked a musical—a shock to both of us. He brought home freshly made Victorian era pants, which is actually just the kind of thoughtful gift he’d design. Life is full of surprises, but I knew he would look good in those pants.
This pants story is one of the plank stories I told my classes while they hold a 90-second plank. Here are some others:
Matt’s dream birthday: a nap.
There’s no joking with the TSA
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