Today marks the 26th year of marriage for Devin and I. Twenty six years of give and take….and learning….lots and lots of learning! When I look back on our first years of marriage, well, it’s a wonder we ever survived! We were both so dumb (or maybe I should say, we had limited knowledge) as to what it took to make a marriage work. This story, of a pair of yellow shorts, is a prime example of how difficult it can be for a young couple, trying to blend two very different personalities into one healthy relationship.
During the summer of our second year of marriage, I took a trip, from Conway, Arkansas, where we lived at the time, to my hometown of mobile, Alabama. I wanted to visit family and enjoy some beach time in Gulf Shores where I had spent every summer of my childhood. While I was there, mom and I had plans to do some shopping at the outlets malls in Foley (a must, if you are ever in Gulf Shores, by the way). Back in those days, living on a youth pastors salary, finding extra money for shopping was a rare treat, and being married to the worlds tightest man made the task even harder. I had saved as much money as I could, Devin even managed to squeeze a little out of our tight budget so I could enjoy the day of shopping with my mom.
When I arrived in Gulf Shores I was reminded of all the bright colors the beach life had to offer. Everybody was in bright flowery sundresses, crisp cotton shorts, cool gauzy tops and beautifully colored bathing suit cover-ups. Coastal living just offers a whole different atmosphere and way of life. I had been raised in this bright and carefree atmosphere, and I realized how much I missed it!
Devin, on the other hand, had been raised in the country, where you’re just lucky to be alive! His days were filled with counting cattle, fixing fence and baling hay. The pastime of choice was work and the color of choice was tan! Can you see the potential problem?
As I was shopping, I spied a beautiful pair of yellow, Duck-Head, bermuda shorts. They were perfect! They would look so good against Devin’s dark skin and jet black hair, I thought, so I bought them! I didn’t want to go back home without something for him and I thought it would be a nice change from his usual color pallet of brown, tan, olive, gray, and camouflage. I couldn’t wait to get home and tell him about the good deal I got on his present, and to see him in those beautiful Canary yellow shorts!
After I arrived back in Arkansas, I quickly unzipped my suitcase and excitedly presented him with my gift. I waited anxiously for his reaction. As he pulled the yellow shorts out of the bag, a half grin appeared on his face, he paused for a minute and said, “boy, now them are some yeller shorts!”
That’s all he said!
He didn’t say, thank you honey for thinking of me, or wow, what a beautiful color…nothing! Just, “wow, them are some yeller shorts”. I was furious to say the least! Here I was, spending my vacation money on him and he didn’t even appreciate it! “don’t you like them”, I said. “Everybody down there was wearing them and I thought you would like some color in your wardrobe” (see, back then I didn’t even know that country boys don’t have a wardrobe) He just smiled and said, “well, they are nice shorts for sure but, I just wish they weren’t so yeller.” “That’s why I bought them!”, I said, with a raised voice, “I thought, just maybe, you would like to try a bright color for a change!” “I appreciate the gift”, he said, “I just don’t like yeller.” Nothing more was said.
The more I thought about it the madder I got! He needs color, I thought. I am sick if tan and brown! A few minutes later, I went to look for the shorts. There they were, still in the bag with the tags still attached! He had no intentions of wearing the shorts at all, I thought, so I wadded them up and put them in the trash and out by the road to be picked up.
A few days later Devin and I were getting ready for a cookout we had been invited to at someones house. He came from the bedroom and said, “do you know where my yeller shorts are?” “yep”, I said, ” they should be at the dump by now, I threw them in the trash!” “what did you go off and do that for?”, he said. “I was gonna try them on!” I couldn’t believe my ears! He just walked off shaking his head and laughing…which made me even madder!
To this day, I’m not real sure if he was lying or if he would have actually worn the yellow shorts…I doesn’t really matter now…26 years later. Now it’s just a funny story we tell often and laugh about.
Today, Devin’s closet is still full of olive green, tan, brown and camouflage….no yeller in sight. And Me? I never buy him clothes 😉 It works for us! Happy anniversary babe!