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Mr. Apron has already written Closet, part un, in which we tried to bite the bullet and pay some fancy franchised closet organizer company to make the maximum use out of our existing closets.  See, in 1929, they only had 3 dresses, or 2 suits, and 3 pairs of shoes.  If they happened to be clothes horses, and owned 6 dresses plus a fur coat and 7 blouses, they they probably bought an armoir.  We, however, are modern folk.  I also have a fear of large pieces of furniture, specifically entertainment centers and armoires.  We like our closets built in, to hold our 17 spring skirts, 17 summer skirts, and 17 fall/winter skirts.  My man, at least, has nearly 50 dress shirts, including button-collar oxfords and his dressier spead or point collars (and two eyelet collars), as well as some short sleeve dress shirts, many circa 1950-1970.  He owns one pair of jeans, from an ex-girlfriend whose lasting compliment was, “You’ll look handsome when you get some clothes that fit you”.  She made him shell out $68 for a pair of Structure jeans, which he has never worn, but keeps as a reminder of stupid choices he’s made.  He has pants, slacks, “trousers”, instead, in three tiers of fashion.  Tier I are the nicest pants.  They may have creases, pleats, and cuffs.  They’re suitable for all but the most formal affairs.  Tier II are the more casual pants: Dockers, knakis, vintage polyester trousers, linen pants I introduced him to on our honeymoon to Bali, and Tier I pants which may have met unfortunately with a too-hot iron or an overzealous dryer.  Tier III consists of paint pants, moving pants, gardening pants, and set-construction pants.  They usually started life as Tier II’s.  All of these, you understand, must be hung up.  And then we get to the ties.  Mr. Apron used to shell out $50 or more for new brand name, designer label ties.  Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hil, Calvin Klein.  When we met, he had about 30 or so ties, almost all of which fit on a rotating tie rack.  Then I introduced him to TJ Maxx, Marshall’s and the thrift stores, where he discovered he could get 4 or more ties for $50!  So the collection has, needless to say, grown quite a bit, and no longer fits even on the custom serpentine tie rack I made for him.  And while Mr. Apron has many tastes (British comedy, the 3 Stooges, Gilbert & Sullivan, Herbie the Love Bug, Banjo, Finley, me), my mother continues on her endless quest to buy him more and more and more clothing.  She considers it her personal mission to find each and every odd-sized piece of clothing and buy it, to prevent any other man Mr. Apron’s dimensions from buying clothing that fits.  See, he wears a 15″ collar, with 34/35 sleeves.  I learned about these things.  That means he has a skinny minny neck with go go gadget arms.  Hard to find.  And in trousers, he wears a 30/32, which, again, means he has no waist, and legs that stretch to China.  He’s not overall so grotesquely proportioned; there are many men taller and some men skinnier than he.  It’s just that his combination makes buying clothing challenging.  But not so challenging that my mother didn’t help us fill two suitcases and many several boxes with his oceans of clothing. 

I am guiltier than he.  It was I, afterall, who introduced him to discount shopping, encouraging his acquisition, supporting him to buy short-sleeve shirts when he had nothing but his plaid jersey knit polos from 10th grade to wear in the summer.  So it is my fault.  And, being a woman, I have a worse clothing obsession.  It’s difficult when you’re known for your unusual style, and you find yourself wearing the same half-dozen shirts through the late winter because everything else is in boxes.  When shoes go through a 3 pair rotation because I’ve run out of shoe racks and I still have two boxes of shoes unpacked.  My poor darlings.   I miss them so.

So these closet people came, see?  And the first one tried to convert our future nursery ito a 7’x11′ closet (to keep us from procreating?), as well as try to sell us on closet systems built into every other wall in the house except in our bedroom.  And then when she told us her systems ran from $1,000 to $10,000, we had written her off while she sketched measurements into her folio.  The second guy was on his way out at 5:15 after a 5:00pm appointment.  He fired us, stating simply, that he could spend our money, or we could.  He had no solutions for us, but at least was honest about it.  He told us to hire a handy man to “throw up some drywall and a closet rod.”

And so we did.  Well, we’re trying to.  The first guy we called gave us a estimate of $1600.  We cried all over again, resigning ourselves to curtaining off some garment racks from Bed, Bath, & Beijing.  Then we went looking for another guy.  We asked Mr. Apron’s parents.  “General contractor?  What’s that?”  You know, a handyman.  The guy who fixed your medicine cabinet and shower door.  “Oh.  No.  He asked us not to call him again.”  Dead end.  We asked our grown-up friends who live locally to give us a referral.  And it was then we found out that a friend we already know is a handyman.  Which we didn’t know, because Mr. Apron doesn’t do LinkedIn with him; he just does Gilbert & Sullivan with him.  He’s semi-retired, we think, so he has lots of time, we hope.  All I know is, he showed up on Sunday afternoon with 5 two-by-fours, immediately started, umm, pacing off, our closet space, sawing boards over our carpet with his “ginsu” knife, and screwing boards into the floor.  He quit when his screwdriver’s battery gave out, and we had to leave.  But I think we hired him?  I mean, I guess we did hire him.  He’s giving us the “thespian rate”, which will amount to about $500.  It’s a freaking bargain. 

One mystery he solved was the crackling bulging piece of wall in our bedroom.  He said it was  caused by the bathroom mirror.  Yes, you read that right.  When the previous owners installed a superwide three-way bathroom mirror with a built-in medicine chest, they had to saw through a stud, and remove it.  Meaning that the other side of that wall (our bedroom wall) is not anchored to anything at all.  They didn’t even do a half-ass job of securing it above and below the cabinet.  But our friend said it wasn’t anything structural, it wasn’t in danger of crumbling, and that it would be hidden in the new-to-be closet.  That it was just a bulge; and that’s okay.  Quoth he, rubbing his stomach: “I have a bulge, too.”

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