David, my husband, didn’t make a good first impression on my parents. As a matter of fact, he dressed so shabbily the first time he came over to their home in League City that I almost didn’t let him into the house.
His shoulder length light brown hair, streaked with blonde highlights from exposure to the summer sun, formed a tangled and windswept halo around his head. His t-shirt, yellowed with age, had no arms and had a chewed collar. I wondered if David had chewed the mangled fabric himself, or if one of his Westies had mistaken the shirt for a dead animal and mauled it.
I almost didn’t want to check out the rest of David’s attire, but my eyes shifted downward on their own accord. His shirt perfectly matched the condition of the bleached cut-offs he wore. Below the ragged hems of his shorts hung frayed front pockets. The back of his cut-offs had no pockets at all, and I fleetingly wondered where he kept his wallet and keys. However, a look at his hands answered that question. He carried a pair of relatively new Converse high tops in his hands, the wallet and keys stuffed inside. In horror, I looked at his bare feet.
As my mind wrapped itself around the image David would present to my parents, I heard my mother come up behind me and say, “Well, Lizzy, let him in!”
Over the years, David took quite a bit of teasing about his appearance on that first meeting with my parents. Being gracious and loving people, they set aside their misgivings and looked beyond the rags to find the richness of David’s character.
To this day, David always manages to find his favorite black and orange flower print shirt no matter how deeply I bury it in the back of his closet (I’m thankful he’s up-graded from the tattered white t-shirt). I do manage to keep him in respectable shorts most of the time, but I suspect he’s just humoring me. Although David does wear shoes now, he kicks them off as soon as he crosses the threshold!
Copyright 2005 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman
David didn't change his "look" for the first few years of marriage!