Rise of the Tellers 5: Dress Code

Back at Pizza Hut and I am pretty quiet tonight. Couples’ therapy has brought up another bomb for me. And I am trying to deal with it. Thinking about the past with Bekah and how things were versus how they were perceived.

I told her in therapy that I didn’t want her throwing my things away. That no matter how much she hated a shirt or a pair of underwear, I would be the one who decided to toss them out from now on. No more.

And I was brought through the same talk. The same kind of conversation and I figured out I was wrong. Things had not been as I thought they were.

She had not thrown my Coca Cola shirt away. That had been Mary. Rose had thrown away my cut-up jeans. Less had thrown away my first really great black shirt. Angel had thrown away my favorite pair of pants. Of all the things I had assumed were tossed out by Bekah none of them had been.

There had been no sly smile when I realized something was missing, had been no argument that whatever the object was was too old and ratted to keep. Bekah had never looked at me and said, “I did you a favor. You ought to thank me. That thing was gross.”

The brown shirt with the rough texture, the one with the v-neck that showed my chest hair, had not been thrown out by Bekah. Now as I sat across from her in that booth, I wondered what other sort of phantom wrongs I had been blaming her for that she was innocent of. I vowed we would find as many of them in therapy as we could.

The pizza was perfect. As if I made it myself, and I left a tip for the cook and the waitress. I knew he would have to give it to the waitress. That was the rules of the restaurant, but I wanted to do it anyway. Maybe she would be more appreciative of him and his quality.

We got to the house. Met up with the butt-shaking Morgan. Pet my girl and kissed her neck, then the phone rang.

Bekah picked it up and she was talking to Bliss. They talked for a while before Bekah hung up and turned to me. “We need to go get you fit for a tux tomorrow.”

“For what?” I said.

“For Bliss’s wedding.”

“No,” I said. “It’s not my wedding. I’m not going in a tux.”

Bekah waved it off. “It’s a formal wedding. Everyone will be in a tux.”

“Not me,” I said gently.

Bekah turned to look at me. And frowned. I could see she was thinking. I could see she did not agree with what I was saying but she was not attacking it. She was thinking about it. I sat on the couch and crossed my legs. She sat on the stuffed chair and crossed hers.

“You are not going to dress me. That is my responsibility. You can tell me what you like but I pick out my own clothes,” I said softly.

“The wife dresses the husband. Makes sure he doesn’t make a fool out of himself,” she said. “That is the way it has always gone in my family.”

“Not here. Not with us. I don’t tell you how to dress. I complement what I like and leave it at that. If you want to wear the bathroom rug to your sister’s wedding, we will do it,” I said. “But I will pick what I wear. I have ideas, we can go shopping tomorrow.”

“This seems wrong,” she said as I stood. I looked at her and sat back down.

“Okay, why?”

“Well I know the event. I know what other people will be wearing,” Bekah said. “Bliss wants a very fancy wedding. She wants everyone in tuxes and evening gowns.”

“Will Haystack wear a tux?” I said.

Bekah laughed. She shook her head. “No, my country cousin will not be wearing a tux.” She smiled. “I would bet on it.”

“Will your Uncle Badger wear a tux?”

“Probably not.”

“Okay, well we are getting off topic,” I said. “It doesn’t matter what anyone else will wear. What matters is that I am a grown man and I decide my dress code. This is how it is for this wedding and this is how it will be for the rest of our lives. I’m not a doll and you do not get to dress me,” I said calmly.

She took a deep breath and nodded. “Okay. We will go with that.”

She picked up the phone and called Bliss.

“Jesse is not going to wear a tux,” Bekah said.

“Why?” Bliss snapped.

“Not everyone will be wearing tuxes and he doesn’t want to wear one.”

“Then he wears a suit with a coat and tie,” Bliss said.

“He has not decided yet what he is going to wear,” Bekah said. She looked at me and I nodded.

“He has no say. He is wearing a suit at the least. You put him in a suit,” Bliss said.

“I do not dress Jesse. He will come wearing whatever he thinks he will be comfortable wearing. It won’t be a tux. I don’t know if it will be a suit.”

“This is not going to work! I am not having him ruin my wedding with some sloppy clothing,” Bliss said.

“You get to dress me, yourself, our sister, your husband, his groomsmen. But you don’t get to dress your guests. How many other people have you called to tell them to wear a tux?”

Heavy breathing. “That is not the point!”

“Are you dressing Haystack?” Bekah asked.


“Well you’re not dressing Jesse, either,” Bekah said. “He will look good. I guarantee it.”

I leaned forward and whispered to Bekah. “I would never want to embarrass you so I will dress well,” I said pointing at her.

“He would never want to embarrass me so he will dress to impress me,” Bekah said.

They hung up and Bekah turned to me. She sighed. “We go shopping tomorrow.”

“Can’t wait.”

We went to a few places. I bought a navy-blue suit, a light blue business shirt and a silver tie. I bought cufflinks and comfortable shoes.

“You are going to wear a suit?” Bekah said.

“Not the coat,” I said.

“Why not? You will look great in the coat.”

“I hate the coat. It is big and bulky and it doesn’t fit right. You gotta trust me.”

I wore the shirt, the pants, with a chain wallet, the cufflinks and the vest. I added the tie with a tie pin and I was set. When I walked out of the bed and breakfast onto the balcony where the wedding would be held, I looked sharp. I turned heads. And everyone complimented me on how I looked.

To this day Bekah has never suggested clothing to me again.

None of the guests wore tuxes. Not one guy. Not even Vigil.

This chapter is from Reality of the Unreal Mind, Vol. 2: Normal Street.

Vol. 1: Teardrop Road is available now on Amazon.

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