Friday, 8 June 2012

The Senior Cat is a conservative

dresser, a very conservative dresser.
It was years before he would wear anything other than a white shirt. Eventually it reached the point where he agreed, reluctantly, to wear a pale blue shirt. Over the years he has had other muted shirts of blue, grey or green. The faintest stripe (blue or grey) is now acceptable but only just. He still insists on grey melange trousers and one of two conservative sports jackets for winter.
His "going out" pullovers are plain. He does not like colour work or cables. They are extremely boring to knit.
Around home it is a different story. His workshop woollens are a riot of colour. They are made from leftovers. There is even a pink stripe in one. He does not care. He believes they can get as dirty as he likes. I do my best to drag them from him before they get too bad. I do not always succeed. He wears his checked flannelette shirts until they are thin enough to poke a finger through them - at which point I do insist on throwing them out and remove the buttons so he can no longer wear them. The trousers he wears are equally disgraceful. We buy them in the local charity shop - so far the choice there has been between "new" and "almost new" but about a tenth of the price they would be new from a shop. Again, he feels it does not matter how dirty these get or if he stains them with paint and glue.
But, we have a problem. He likes conservative underwear too. It is becoming increasingly hard to find. He is appalled by the idea of anything other than white underwear. The younger males in the clan appear to wear brightly coloured underwear. The shape and fit is different. It has been carefully explained by my sister that this is what men now wear. It is not, the Senior Cat says, what he wears. The other day I spent some time trying to find the sort of underwear he likes. There was none. One shop even said they no longer stock that type "because nobody wants it any more".  I could have pointed out that someone did but I kept my mouth firmly closed. Next time I am in the city I will go into the more conservative men's outfitters and see what they have.
Yesterday the Senior Cat had to go to the doctor. He had to pass another branch of the same chain I had tried without success. He went in and was, I think, genuinely shocked by the underwear on display but there, under all the brightly coloured piles, was a broken packet of three white underpants. They were his style. They were his size. That is all they had. No, they will not stock them in the future.
He came home purring triumphantly nevertheless.


jeanfromcornwall said...

Triumph indeed! In recent years I have thought of the problem many elderly people must have getting the right underwear. The trouble is, although there are numbers of little old dusty shops that still sell the right sort of voluminous underpinnings, they can only stock what the wholesaler can supply, and the wholesalers are dependant on the items being made somewhere. So maybe the supply is finite.
Nevertheless, Senior Cat is protected from the need to change for a while longer.

Jan said...

If you keep an eye out when shopping, sometimes such things are thrown out for a song, just to get rid of them as stock.

Before dad retired my mother bought a supply of the Lucas (???) undies she liked. Very expensive even then. Then they became unobtainable so she bought copies at half the quality. She eventually compromised with white Bonds cottontails. She extracted a promise from my sister that after she had died, these would be thrown out, regardless of condition and not passed to sister's mechanic friend to use as rags.

My grandmother could use only white sheets. She maintained that anything else, no matter how sedate, kept her awake. She was once at my aunt's place in a bitter winter. Aunt noticed light on long after she had gone to bed. Grandmother was sitting in room, in flannelette nightie and bed stripped. Aunt had used white sheets so what was the matter? The electric blanket had been turned on to take the chill off the bed. Grandma was returning the chill and waiting for the bed to cool.

Miriam said...

A few years ago, when my mother was staying with me, I tried to buy her a suspender belt to keep her stockings up, as the ones she brought had only one holder that worked on each leg - if that. I managed to find one, but it looked very flimsy compared to hers and she didn't want it.

catdownunder said...

Oh, you wonderful people. It is nice to know that other people have their equivalents of the Senior Cat.
Miriam I had no idea you could still buy suspender belts for everyday consumption!
Jan - I think I would cool the bed down too...hate electric blankets but have heard of Lucas underwear - remember seeing it when shopping with my grandmother (a very long time ago).
Jean you are right of course...I may need to do more prowling!

widdershins said...

Perhaps an interwebz search will prove fruitful?

catdownunder said...

that is a thought Widdershins - I should make him do that! :-)