Things my beloved has lost: a dinner jacket

How can you lose a dinner jacket? Well, we’re not sure exactly how the loss took place. My beloved went to a black tie do with his dinner suit and only came back with the trousers. However, I can probably hazard a guess. This was his first major loss. Until this it had just been the usual towels, swimming trunks and swimming goggles carelessly left behind at one of the UK’s many swimming baths after a training session or water-polo match.

Many moons ago, all-male black tie dinners were quite popular. When we first got married, my beloved couldn’t afford to buy a dinner suit and had his late father’s one altered to fit. It was a lovely double-breasted jacket and, in my opinion, he did look rather handsome in it. Generally at functions where he was obliged to wear it, I was with him. But (sadly) not on this particular occasion.

He left for the black tie event with the suit in one of those heavy plastic suit carriers which he hung up in the back of the car to make sure that the freshly pressed (by me) suit remained in pristine condition. He returned from the event and rehung the carrier in the wardrobe without saying a word! Several months later we were due to attend another black tie event, this time with my parents. The week beforehand, I checked the suit carrier to find out whether the suit would need pressing, spot cleaning or dry cleaning. There was no jacket, just the trousers. I checked the other hangers in the wardrobe but there was no sign of his dinner jacket.

When he returned, I questioned him about the jacket and he immediately began to look uncomfortable. My beloved cannot lie. It was clear he was aware he’d “lost” the jacket when he’d repacked the morning after the event and couldn’t find the jacket anywhere in his hotel bedroom. Of course, he didn’t think to enquire of his dinner companions if they could remember what he’d done with it or even ask the hotel staff if they’d found a lone jacket! Too late to enquire now of the hotel staff, even if he could remember the name of the hotel where he’d stayed. It must have been some event!

In our early days of married life, we didn’t have much money and, consequently, I didn’t feel like busting the budget to replace the suit. Instead I opted for pairing the black trousers with a white dinner jacket, as none of the black ones in Marks & Spencer were of the same weight and colour as his trousers. To be honest this made him look more like one of the waiting staff – white gloves anyone? – than a guest but he just had to grin and bear it. It was quite some time before I bought him a new dinner suit which I’m delighted to say he still has in his possession, not that there’s much call to wear tuxedos these days, except at French weddings.

So, how did he lose it? The jacket was made from a heavy wool and was rather warm. I suspect that as soon as he was able to do so, probably after the port had been served, my beloved divested himself of his jacket and hung it on the back of his chair. Thereafter I’m sure the table probably headed for the bar and my beloved left his jacket behind. No doubt it was found by the hotel’s waiting staff who put it into lost property, fully expecting its owner to reclaim it the following day. Why my beloved didn’t bother to enquire of the hotel whether they’d found his jacket, only he knows. On the bright side, as far as I was aware there was nothing of import in any of the jacket pockets.

I was rightly annoyed with him because he’d made no attempt to find the jacket and, if he’d owned up about the loss sooner, I would’ve rung the hotel to reclaim it or at least tried to track it down. At worst I would’ve made a small claim on our household insurance for a replacement. As it was, three months down the line, none of these was now an option.

Things my beloved says: I’ll be able to help more when my leg’s better!

I’m married to the original high-maintenance man who basically does little other than his job. I pretty much take care of everything else. My family call him “The man who just turns up.” He’s not what you would call domesticated. There are times when I believe he was put on this earth simply to create more work for me. I joke that he’s MC (Master in Chief) Drinks but even that’s debatable. He does open the odd bottle and has been known to offer to make cups of tea or coffee, but rarely completes the task in full. He has on odd occasions inexpertly wielded a vacuum and very occasionally put the rubbish out, but that’s pretty much it. He has no idea how most of our electrical appliances work or where anything goes in the kitchen, despite having lived here for over 12 years.

My work-load has increased exponentially since he broke his leg over two months ago. Initially, he got around the flat on his crutches so he couldn’t fetch or carry anything, that was my job. Patience is not one of his strong suits. When he wants something, he wants it NOW! So imagine my surprise when he acknowledged my increased workload and said that as soon as his leg was better, he’d be able to help out more. As if the act of his leg mending is suddenly, and inexplicably, going to make him more amenable to helping out around the house. I also take objection to the more which somehow implies that he’s going to be doing more than he does at the moment. More than nada is still nada! To be honest, I’d just settle for him making less mess.

When we were in Australia, I kept seeing these large billboards asking if I needed a husband. They were promoting a handyman service whereby qualified tradesmen come around to do all those jobs you’ve been waiting for ever for “him indoors” to do. Sadly, they don’t appear to have a French franchise. But that’s exactly what I need. I have a million and one jobs around the house that require someone (other than me) who’s handy with a paintbrush and screwdriver. My beloved isn’t exactly bad at DIY but again he never finishes any of the jobs he starts and tends to make so much mess that it’s not worth even considering asking him.

The accidental loss of one of his crutches has forced him to start walking without either of them. However, he’s still not doing any more around the house. Instead he’s still expecting me to wait on him hand and foot! He’ll be taking his first solo business trip without the crutches next week when he’ll be away for just over a week, including the UK Bank Holiday week-end. This will give me enough time to get everything clean and tidy and then, on his return, he’s going to get a rude awakening.

Of course, I still have to organise my reward. I’m thinking a few days away on my own, somewhere I’ve not been before, in mid-June. Suggestions welcome.