“I am never going to buy you another piece of clothing again!”

Being startled into consciousness as I was enjoying a brand new quart of Ben & Jerry’s chocolate ice cream I had no idea of what I could have done to deserve that comment even though deep within my heart I knew I did.

OK, since my mouth was stuffed with one of the most remarkable tastes on the face of the earth and I was just about to begin a frozen headache, I could see why she would think I am a pig but how did she see me from the laundry room in the basement?

I’ve had a problem with stains all of my life. My mother used to yell at me all the time when I was a kid because stains used to find me no matter where I tried to hide. I remember coming home from school and having my mother immediately rip my shirt off because of some kind of stain. I used to think she thought it was a kind of disease or bug that was trying to kill me.

There are certain times when this disorder complicates my life the most. Going out to dinner with friends at an expensive restaurant is a time most of us look forward to and enjoy. Because of my disorder this activity represents a time of stress for both my wife and me. It is stressful because I desperately try not to spill anything on my clothes. It is stressful to my wife because she knows I will do just that.

If I ever wear a new pair of pajamas and lie on the couch without a doubt I will have something stained on the front. I will swear to my wife that I had just lain there watching television. She just shakes her head in disbelief. There must be some sort of an invisible bird that flies over me every time I wear something new. The only thing that is not invisible is what it leaves behind.

Sometimes I wish I could wear some sort of a Teflon suit that would make all of the stains that jump on me slide off. Maybe even a kind of bubble that does not allow any grease or grime to become attached to my clothes or person. I wonder if there is some sort of spray I could wear that would make the alien stains leave me alone.

For the past 30 years my only defense to this obvious genetic flaw has been explaining to my wife that the day I am not stained or leaving stains would be the day that I am no longer me. I just hope she is not waiting for that day.


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