It was time. It had been years and years…and years since I’d taken inventory of the few pieces of tired fabric hanging in my closet. I needed help jazzing up my wardrobe and sought it in the person who sees my clothes most often — my husband, Jean-François. Granted, he is a watchmaker and is more interested by what is worn on the wrist than on the rest of the body. But still. Surely, he’d have an idea of what to acquire on my next shopping trip.

It was late and we were reading in bed. My side of the closet door was, conveniently, open wide and in clear view, when I said, Oops! Forgot to close the closet. Silly me. If you were to make three pieces of clothing appear in my wardrobe, what would they be? 

You’d think that it would take a while for a person to consider the limitless possibilities; the amount of thought involved might be overwhelming.  But, no, my dearest didn’t miss a beat — or even manage to blink — before he had his answer, Underwear.

Well. Go figure. Underwear — as in fine lingerie, which is what I assumed he meant — has got to be about the least cost efficient item one could buy in Switzerland.  For example, if I buy a package of five honest white cotton undies for CHF15.00 at the local supermarket, Migros, I can wash them in the machine, add a little bleach now and then to take away any eventual grey, and wear them for at least three years; that comes to CHF1.00 a year per panty.

Besides that, I don’t keep my underwear hanging up in my closet; it’s tucked discreetly out of sight in a drawer – so I have no idea where his idea came from.

Anyway. If I buy lacy-sexy-lady-underwear, let’s say, in a posh boutique on the rue du Bourg, I’ll only be able to wear them for, maybe, three minutes before my dearest would rip them off of me.  That’s underwear value of about CHF15.00 a minute per year because, after the third ripping, surely those dainty little stringy things wouldn’t hold up very well.

I tried to look like as if Jean-François had answered reasonably as I pulled the closet door closed and said, Really? Hmmm. That’s an idea. What would be the second thing?

Again, it was as if his moment had come.  Without any hesitation whatsoever, he recited, Nighties. This time, I thought, surely, he had to be kidding.  Why would I need new pyjamas?  Mine – another blessed 100% cotton cost efficient Migros supermarket find – are loose, comfortable and warm. The Migros sizes – for nighties and underwear — run S, M, L, and XL and, therefore, cover all. (Meaning, all of me, in all my phases.) Plus, the Migros has parking. For free.  Besides, just like the lacy-sexy-lady underwear, if I did wear something remotely enticing, he’d just rip it off of me and I’d freeze all night fighting for the duvet.

Oh really?  Interesting.  And the third item? I asked as I crawled back into bed.

He paused, much to my relief.  He seemed to be considering countless possibilities but I guess it all became too much because he blurted out, Something white! You look good in white!

Perfect! I said. Clearly, it was just a matter of adding, once again, a little bleach to my honest underwear and nighties. And everything felt just right: my size, my wardrobe and, especially, my husband. And I turned off the light.



2 thoughts on “Bleach

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