Love is in synch

By Mir
November 20, 2008

So. Tonight. Tonight is the big gala. It’s a black-tie event, you know. Fancy schmancy.

So naturally Otto and some of his other professor colleagues (please note: all males) got together and decided that they could get away with just wearing suits to this thing. Even though the non-faculty, donor-type guests will all be in tuxes. Even though I will be wearing a torture device underneath my full-length gown.

Yeah. Fine.

I took a couple of deep breaths and said that that was FINE if they’d all agreed they could get away with it, but that AT THE VERY LEAST he needed to buy some new shoes and a new tie. Please. For the LOVE OF GOD. (In fact, we sort of had an argument about it, and I was all snotty and exasperated, and he was mad at me, and then later we had a conversation about how I’m not sleeping and that sort of makes me a big jerk. So.)

So last night Otto had to work late, and then he came home, first, so that he could see the kids before they went to bed, and then he went BACK OUT to go shopping.

Otto—like most men—would rather have a root canal than go shopping. But he did it, because he loves me. Also because I threatened to pretend not to know him if he didn’t at least get a decent pair of wingtips or something, SERIOUSLY. Every year he pulls out the LL Bean catalog and buys himself a few new pairs of khakis, and every birthday and Christmas I give him a few shirts, and every now and then I look down at his feet and threaten to throw those shoes away while he sleeps, so help me God, and… that’s pretty much how his wardrobe is sustained.

So Otto was shopping, and I was sitting here at my computer, working. And I got a picture message from Otto. “What do you think of this one?” it said. I started to type a message back to tell him that I thought that looked good, but the phone rang and it was him. So we chatted about it briefly; Otto is tall and really needs an extra-long tie, but apparently the store only carries extra-longs online. So this tie would be sort of a pain in the ass, but he could make it work. Did it meet my approval? Yep, it was fine—nice utilization of school colors, there, too. Go ahead and get it. He said okay, he’d be home soon, and we hung up.

And then I felt a little pang of guilt. Here Otto was spending his evening shopping (which he hates) and buying a tie that really isn’t even the right size for him, when actually, I have a new tie for him tucked away in my closet.

It went like this: About a month ago I was surfing an online sale and noticed that the same store he was at had those extra-long ties online. (I remember being surprised by that, because I’ve never seen them in the store—and I hadn’t known they’re online-only.) So I was poking around in the ties when Chickadee walked up and asked what I was doing. I told her there was a big sale going on and I was thinking of picking up some things for Otto’s birthday (next month). She immediately said, “I want to pick out something for him.”

I scooched over on the couch and she snuggled in next to me. “I want to pick out a tie for him,” she said. And together we browsed around until she found the tie she wanted to get him. We put it in the cart along with a few other birthday presents (shirts! because we are predictable!) and I completed the transaction.

A few weeks ago, the package arrived and I tossed it into my closet, unopened. (Birthday presents are easier to hide when they’re still wrapped up.)

So last night, after hanging up with Otto, I remembered that we had a tie, an extra-long tie, even, waiting for Otto’s birthday in a few weeks, and I started thinking how stupid it was that he was buying a tie that wasn’t even the right size.

But then I realized I couldn’t even remember what the tie Chickie had picked looked like—maybe it wasn’t gala-suitable.

So I went into my closet and opened the package. And pulled out the tie. And then I called Otto back.

“Don’t buy the tie!” I said, as soon as he picked up.

“What? Kinda late now,” he said.

“But you JUST CALLED!” I said, “You’re checked out already??” He was. I sighed. “Are you still at the store?” He was. I sighed again. “Honey, go return it. Trust me. I have a tie here for you. It’s an extra-long, even. Just return that one. I’ll explain when you get home.”

Otto arrived home about half an hour later, and I showed him the tie Chickadee had picked out for him.

It’s the same tie.

Apparently the stripes go the other way, on the extra-long, but it’s definitely the same tie.

I guess it’s official that our morph into some sort of Borg family hive mind is complete, then. I mean, the selection of extra-long ties on the website (particularly the ones on sale, because you KNOW I was only looking at the sale stuff) wasn’t all that large, but Otto walked through the entire store and picked this very tie. How many ties do you suppose there were? Fifty? A hundred? What are the odds??

I pulled Chickadee aside this morning and told her I had a huge favor to ask. Poor Otto doesn’t have a nice tie for tonight, so did she think maybe she could give him her tie as an early birthday present, so that he can wear it to the gala? Please? She grinned big and said sure. I cannot wait to see their mutual delight tonight when Otto is gifted with this very special tie.

Happy Love Thursday, everyone. May you all be assimilated!


  1. Jenny

    Resistance is futile.

    Have fun at the shmancy gala!

  2. Jen

    Awwww. Happy Love Thursday!

  3. Beachgal

    That’s so awesome.

  4. Melissa

    Ok, I only have to say something because I work in fundraising with the fancy donor types at a university. I know Otto and his faculty friends mean well, but if the invitation says black-tie, that’s really what is expected. Trust me, everyone will know they are faculty because they are dressed the part…and not in a good way. I’m glad you convinced him to get new shoes and a new tie. Hopefully his suit is black.

  5. The Other Leanne

    Wow, what are the odds?! And it is a beautiful tie, too.
    I gotta admit, I am still taking a mental step back at the “no tux” decision. Eek.
    Otto is going to fall over when he sees Chickadee’s choice!

  6. Katie

    Coincedences are such funny things. Happy Love Thursday!

    Now my husband on the other hand… I’m begging him to stop buying ties. New shirt=new tie to him. He has like 50. And 6 pairs of black shoes. But he’s in a suit and tie for work so I can’t really complain too much.

  7. Em

    Wow! That is great, especially because I expect it hasn’t always been an easy transition for everyone involved. So even with the occassional disharmony, they were getting to know each other all along (or Chickie to Otto certainly by this story though I am sure it goes both ways).

    Have a great time tonight!

  8. Kendra II

    You’d better have a picture of the 2 of you tomorrow! Seriously-I have to see your $8 dress

  9. Ann

    I will be waiting patiently for the photos tomorrow with your new hairstyle AND the two of you all fancied up!

  10. Barbara

    Have to say that when I saw the matching ties the theme to “Twilight Zone” began in my mind.

    -That does not take away from today’s love or Otto’s nomination for patron saint of husbands – really, it adds to his miraculous resume.

    Hoping that his new accessories will meet the minimum-standards for dress despite what Melissa says above. If you both pretend to be unimportant, the donors will love you.

  11. karish

    that is adorable :)

  12. Megan

    BeYEWtiful tie. And yes, you must have photo evidence of the fabulous dress (I don’t insist on one of the torture device. That would be a bit much) AND the lovely new hair, right? Because we didn’t get a hair update either which is just mean (particularly as I broke down and GOT that surely-dipped-in-pure-gold magical hair straightener and know what? It works. It actually truly works).

  13. ChristieNY

    I am beyond thrilled about this post. Chickie and Otto sharing brainwaves is simply awesome! Can’t wait to see pics from tonight! :)

  14. MomCat

    Go tie one on tonight – we’ll be thinking of you. :)

  15. Jessalyn

    That’s awesome!

  16. Hip Mom's Guide

    The same tie?!! Seriously, what are the chances? I’m no mathematician, but aren’t there about a gazillion ties to choose from?

    Have a great time, “torture device” and all.

  17. annette


  18. Leandra

    I’m sorry, I know I’m going against the grain here, but if you have to wear FOUNDATION GARMENT *AND* a full length gown, Otto should have to wear a tux. Plus, men are always SO handsome in a tux.

    You’re going to post pictures, right?

  19. tj

    Mmmm, the ole LL Bean catalog, I know it well :)

  20. mamalang

    My SIL and I kept making the same comments together last night. Yes. We’ve even assimilated the in laws.

  21. Groovecatmom

    Seeing as how I have enough trouble clothing myself and my children, there’s no way I can keep my husband in ties. He’s good at picking them out himself, for the few times a year he needs to wear one. We are assimilated in other ways. Just not clothes. :)

  22. Stephanie

    Amazing! Maybe you guys need to start doing psychic readings. ;-)

  23. exile on mom street

    Well, it sounds like you’re destined to be like my mother (in a good way, I swear) she’s been married to my dad for almost 40 years and has seen him in a tux ONCE. For my wedding (the first one). It made me feel really special, that he did something so against the grain just to make me happy on my special day. Although now that I think about it, he probably would have worn one to celebrate the divorce, if I’d asked him to. So anyway, just hold out for Chickie’s (ack!) wedding. Unless you can convince her to elope….

  24. Angela

    Awwww. You just about made me cry. That’s really special!

  25. Katie in MA

    Awwww! I bet Chickie is fairly glowing. How much this must mean to her – and Otto – and you! Their love was slow to build, but I know it’s twice as strong for all of that. What an awesome feeling when you know that your family just clicks.

    Happy Love Thursday!

  26. Half Assed Kitchen

    Oh, tux vs. suit. Who really cares? I mean, who really, really cares? In the big scheme.

  27. Astrogirl

    See, this is why I married Bunker Hubs (no, it wasn’t love, don’t be SILLY!). He’s a country boy, through-and-through, but because he used to DJ, he has quite a dapper Ralph Lauren tux that he wears whenever he needs (he wore it to our wedding ten years ago, and it still looks good).

    Half Assed Kitchen is totally spot on. In the grand scheme, it’s not a biggie. But being an obnoxious brat, and a Taurus, and also elegance-deprived, I would have forced the hubs to get a tux. But I’m a bitch like that, and pretty pretty Mir isn’t. I’m sure you will both look smashing. Pics please!!!!

  28. juliness

    LOVE that! What a cool story.

  29. Burgh Baby

    Have a great time tonight!

  30. laurie

    now THAT is groovy.

  31. Jamie AZ

    Wow, what are the odds?! Have a great time in your fancy, schmancy $6 dress!

  32. Marissa

    Aww. This reminds of the a few Christmases ago when my husband bought me the exact same earrings I bought my mom. The EXACT SAME ones, chosen from the hundreds – possibly thousands – of choices at Macy’s!!

  33. Randi

    It’s been said, but I have to say it again.


  34. Azul

    So cute. I’m guessing she’ll be thrilled to know he’s wearing it to your fancy schmancy gala tonight.

  35. Flea

    Rock on, Rocker!

  36. Krismom

    That is too freaky! :) Very cute! Have fun!!

  37. matinyoupi

    Erm… And I just wanted to know: has Otto tried to strangle you with the tie yet? If he does, at least he has an evidence in his favour here! ;o)

  38. Brigitte

    He DOES know resistance is futile, right?

  39. stw

    My husband hates shopping for himself also. But when he finds a brand he likes, he’ll actually seek it out. For ex., shoes by Trask. They’re expensive, but they’re really well made. What’s even better: 1) most are made of leather that seldom needs any more attention than a wipe-off and 2) from time to Sierra Trading Post has some so they can be had at much less than retail price. Maybe Otto would like to try these.

  40. Mom on the Run

    Great minds think alike. My sister and I went shopping as children for Easter eggs. In England we would buy each other gold-foiled covered eggs filled with Cadbury’s chocolates. My parents gave us each money. We each bought the same egg at a different shop. Weird.

  41. getsheila

    Don’t boys like to get all gussied up every once in a while like girls do? You mean he doesn’t look forward to wearing a penguin suit one night of the year and playing Wealthy Philanthropist to your Southern Belle?


  42. Heather

    You should have Otto buy a tux if you think you may have more of these fundraisers to attend. My husband bought one for our wedding and I think it paid for itself in the next year or two.

  43. sheila

    That worked out wonderfully! Sounds like you have a really great family!

  44. zandor

    That is so great.

  45. Asianmommy

    What a cute story!

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