Mr. Rocque took my x-lite to Home Depot, about a month ago to get it cut. The guy who cut it was curious about it and asked what it was for. Hubby told him that it’s a pole that I work out on. Home Depot man said, “At least your wife works out! Mine doesn’t do nothing anymore. She fell off, she doesn’t dress up, no workouts, nothing.” After Mr. Rocque shared this story with me I wondered what happened to that man’s wife that made her “fall off,” and came to the realization that I have fallen off too.
Actually, I didn’t “come to a realization.” It was more acceptance that I’ve gotten frumpy and haven’t been inspired to do anything about it for a while. (I finally understand those women whose husbands take them on Maury for makeovers because they’ve turned into Spongebob pajama-wearing trolls.) Mr. Rocque noted my newfound frumpiness a few months before that Home Depot incident. He looked me up and down one day and blurted out, “You’ve gotten frumpy lately.” Thanks. It stung, but then I told myself that it wasn’t true and that I don’t care what anyone thinks, not even my husband.
But apparently, I should care, because I’m married and appearance is important for the spice of a relationship. It’s not like I didn’t know this. I just didn’t really realize I was falling off, and this is why I think it happens to so many people.
There are a few things that no one knows about me unless they know me in real life. One: I’m a rebel. I’m not the type of person to be anti just for the sake of being different. I’m more of a natural non-fan of vanilla because neapolitan with sprinkles is cooler. Two: I’ve always had a quirky sense of style, even as a kid. Three: The only times I “dress for others” is for job interviews or a formal events, because I understand that how you look plays a major role in how people respond to you. So, for the sake of professionalism I go with logic and dress accordingly.
Other than that, you never know what you’re going to see me in. That’s a nuance about my fashion sense that Mr. Rocque was attracted to. He said he didn’t exactly like all of my style choices, but that they stood out to him, and he appreciated it.
There was never any method to how I dressed, but I never could function in the winter, and my style always suffered then. It’s still suffering now, because it’s still cold. My winter staples are long shirts and leggings, and I wear them as much as I can. What’s the point of wearing anything remotely interesting? It’s going to be covered up with a bulky coat and probably layered with bulky clothes. Heels are out of the question; I refuse to concentrate on not falling while walking since I’m already weighed down by a ton of other stuff. My fashion brain works better in the spring, summer and fall, and even that’s taken a hit based on some recent circumstances.
I gained weight, so a lot of my clothes don’t fit. And I moved to a city that doesn’t inspire me. Excuses, I know. But it’s true.
I was the more stylish one when Mr. Rocque and I first met. As time progressed, he started evolving into a dapper and polished grown man, while I stopped being quirky and wearing lots of colors, or mixing patterns and contrasting styles (military with ruffles, spikes with dainty dresses). My style now is officially nondescript. It’s cold! I fluctuate between depression—which makes me want to hide under a blanket—and being okay. I also really miss my home city. And I haven’t lost the weight that I need to for any of the clothes that I actually like and used to wear to feel comfortable. (More excuses, I know.) But I am working on some of the stuff that can actually be changed.
Then again, if I’m a rebel, why should I care?
I care because it’s true that looking good can be a mood booster, but also because the visuals are part of keeping the spice in a relationship. The rebel in me still wants to wear leggings and oversized shirts every day to stick it to the man (literally). But considering all of the above, and my desire to feel better, I guess I could stop being “frumpy” in the name of love, myself and others.
Has your spouse gotten frumpy? Sound off!
Mr. and Mrs. Rocque are the couple formerly known as Anslem Samuel and Starrene Rhett, New York-based journalists who found love in between bylines. Follow the newlyweds’ musings of a marriage in progress here, on Twitter and via their joint blog.