Zac: Still tuxed up? Not Cheating? Chin up, champ!
Tim: [picture of Tim still in tux, flipping Zac the bird] In all seriousness, the time at home in the tux has been difficult. Far worse than the rest of the day.
Zac: I can imagine. Just 30 more times.
Most of yesterday, in truth, wasn’t all that difficult. Yes, I had some issues with sweat when I was forced to walk outside. But like most office buildings in North Texas, ours is kept pretty cool, so the time at work wasn’t bad. Some of the ladies walk around our office with Snuggies. (And by “some of the ladies,” I really just mean Laura Kostelny.) A tux at work in August is really no big shakes.
My house is a different matter. Owing to a midcentury modern design, we don’t have an attic. No attic means a thin heat barrier. Upshot: even with 6 tons of AC blowing full tilt, my house can only achieve a temperature of about 25 degrees below ambient. Yesterday’s official high was 107, tying the record set in 2011. I’ll do the math for you. My house was 82 degrees when I got home yesterday. Which is actually fine if you’re wearing shorts and a t-shirt.
I was wearing a tuxedo.
Here I should probably apologize to my wife. And to my children. Maybe if I’d remembered to bring home some tasty, refreshing Patron XO Cafe, that would have taken the edge off. Instead, I’m afraid, I was a total bitch.
The first thing I did was start a fight with my wife about the temperature of the house. “It’s not exactly cool in here,” she said, perhaps innocently, by way of starting a casual conversation. I took it as a complaint about something that I should fix. I pointed out, helpfully, that when it gets to 107 degrees outside, THE HOUSE IS GOING TO BE LESS THAN FROSTY. Words to that effect.
“Listen,” she said, “if you’re going to be like this, I’ll put the kibosh on the whole thing.” Meaning she’d put an end to the Great Tuxedo Challenge of 2012, brought to you by Patron XO Cafe, with special help from Al’s Formal Wear. Let’s just say I don’t do well with threats.
My 13-year-old son wandered into the kitchen, assessed the situation, and asked me, “Wanna play some ping-pong?” I glowered at him and imagined the conversation I would have with the Child Protective Services agent when he asked about the contusion on my son’s buttocks that perfectly matched the shape of a ping-pong paddle.
“Out of solidarity,” my wife said, “I’m not changing out of my work clothes.”
“Then you’re foolish,” I told her. I’m sure it sounded much more loving than it looks in print. “If you’re not kidding, if you’re being serious and you’re not changing out of your work clothes to show solidarity, then that’s foolish.”
After that, we fought about an explanation-of-benefits statement that she’d received from Blue Cross Blue Shield. That was fun. Productive, too.
So to my wife and children: I apologize. I’ll try to do better. But just in case, we maybe ought to talk about the possibility of my not coming home every day until after 8:45, when the sun has set and I’m allowed to take off my tuxedo.