Wendyl Nissen
Wendyl Nissen on being 'The Supportive Wife'

Wendyl Nissen: The tragedy of matching couples


Wendyl Nissen shares her worst fear.

The 'you jump, I jump' appeal of partners committing the same fashion crime leaves writer, Wendyl Nissen, shuddering. Photo / Thinkstock
The 'you jump, I jump' appeal of partners committing the same fashion crime leaves writer, Wendyl Nissen, shuddering. Photo / Thinkstock

Years ago I invested in some aviator sunglasses. They're the ones made by Ray-Ban, with green lenses and gold frames.

I loved my aviators so much I promptly lost them, then forked out a couple of hundred bucks for another pair. Then I lost those, which meant I had to buy another pair. And when I lost my third pair I replaced them but said to myself: "This is absolutely the last time I am buying you those hippy sunglasses."

And then I lost those.

So it was back to the cheap glasses at the chemist for me and, to be honest, I missed the careless, Beatles-esque quality I felt they gave me. No longer did I walk down the road hearing sitars and smelling patchouli. Instead, I looked like every other middle-aged woman in plastic, bug-eyed sunglasses.

Then one week I went to stay at my caravan after a long absence.

I opened the door and, for some reason, was overcome with the desire to give it a thorough clean out.

Which is when I found one pair of aviators tucked down behind a squab. Ten minutes later I found another pair at the back of a drawer. And towards the end of the day I found the third pair hanging out in the sunscreen basket.

"Awesome. I've got three pairs of aviators!" I yelled.

I've never lost them again, but having three pairs is not such a great idea. Because people like my husband see them lying around, pick them up and decide they'd quite like to wear them, too.

"Those are mine," I said as he slid into the car reeking of hippy cool.

"They were spare. I thought I'd use them. I think they look good on me, don't you?"

"No, I don't. You're the black Wayfarer guy. I wear the aviators, you wear the Wayfarers. That's how it's always been. We do not wear matching sunglasses."

"Mmm, I think I'll wear the aviators anyway."

I took my aviators off.

"What are you doing that for? Does it really matter if we're wearing the same?" asked my husband.

"Yes, as a matter of fact, it does."

What he didn't know was the night before I had laughed my head off watching a sitcom where a character made fun of a middle-aged couple who were both wearing aviators.

"Tragic old people trying to look cool in their aviator sunglasses," was how the script went.

And here I was, with my husband, being tragic.

Then I noticed that we were also wearing matching black hoodies.

"Why are you wearing your hoodie? I'm wearing mine!" I shrieked.

"I'm sure lots of couples wear similar clothing and sunglasses. When you look at it, there's something quite cute about it, don't you think? Stylish even," he said.

"Take it off," I said. "Now."

He refused. So I took off mine.

We were about to leave on holiday and the last thing I wanted was to be one of those couples you see walking around Europe in matching khaki zip'n'go travel pants, shoes, backpacks and parkas.

I told my husband my fear.

"Oh dear," he said, as he reached into his shopping bag and pulled out two T-shirts. "I bought these for us.

"It's a witty take on Angry Birds except it's NZ Angry Birds. I thought we could wear them when we were in Finland where Angry Birds was invented!"

I threw mine out the window. I hope the person who finds it enjoys wearing it.

- Herald on Sunday

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