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Old 01-20-2017, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Eastern Oregon
983 posts, read 761,577 times
Reputation: 1859

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Regarding the noisy keys hanging from his belt loop: how many women wear dress shoes that clack when they walk? And if he sounds like a janitor when he moves, so what? There is nothing wrong with being a janitor.

The only thing I would suggest is that when he does happen to wear something nicer, compliment him on it. Other than that - the man is retired. He's earned time to wear what he wants...if he doesn't get great service when he's out and dressed like a slob, then maybe he should take his business elsewhere. There are very wealthy, intelligent men who have dressed like slobs, and businesses gradually learned to treat those people as equals to "nicely" dressed men...Bill Gates has a reputation for being a slob; he did especially when he was younger. And look where he is now!

 
Old 01-20-2017, 09:06 AM
 
2,054 posts, read 1,098,169 times
Reputation: 3945
Is he really dressing like a homeless person? Or do you just not like what he wears and don't think that it is 'fashionable'? You said that he acknowledges that he gets better treatment when he is better dressed so what is his reasoning for wearing what he does? Does he find it comfortable; does he not care so much about what kind of impression he makes while he does his daily routine?

What is his answer when you ask him why are you wearing that?
 
Old 01-20-2017, 09:14 AM
 
Location: RVA
2,165 posts, read 1,266,382 times
Reputation: 4456
I would bet his answer would be "Don't worry, this is fine." Or "I'm okay wearing this."
 
Old 01-20-2017, 09:16 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
478 posts, read 300,635 times
Reputation: 1697
Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
He is 77 year old retired Electrical Engineer with 2 degrees and a successful career under his belt. Today he left for a doctor's appointment in old baggy-butted jeans, a black tee shirt and an old flannel shirt unbuttoned over it. Ratty old tennis shoes too and a stocking cap. But the worst part is he wears his key ring on his belt and it hangs down and makes noise with so many keys on it. He looks like a janitor or a building super.

He has nice khakis, button-down shirts, jackets and sweaters and better shoes in his closet but he only wears them when I am going out with him and ask him to "clean up" a little bit.

He showers daily, has regular haircuts and gets his beard nicely trimmed and he has acknowledged he gets better treatment in shops and restaurants when he is dressed better but he just doesn't seem to care enough to present himself better...unless I gently remind him.

Also he really didn't have to wear a suit or even a tie for quite some time while he was still working so it's not like he is rebelling.

I'm no fashion plate but at least I try to wear something better than knock-around-the-house clothes when I go out.

Now I hear some saying "Leave the man alone. He's not hurting anybody" but I think he is hurting himself even if he doesn't realize it. I realize he is not going to change but I am wondering if other women are having the same issue with their elderly husbands.
My husband is just like this, he looks like a lumberjack! Cleanly shaven, beard meticulously trimmed, nails clean and trimmed, etc...but he dresses the same way now. A few times he's forgotten he's had slippers on and left the house for appts. with them on. Geez, I just about died. I finally chucked his scruffy t- shirts and flannel shirts and got him new ones. At least he looks a little tidier. I don't know what to tell you either... I figure if that's the worst thing he does, so be it. He's a good man and loves me, what more could one ask for!
 
Old 01-20-2017, 09:18 AM
 
2,987 posts, read 1,217,110 times
Reputation: 1934
Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
He is 77 year old retired Electrical Engineer with 2 degrees and a successful career under his belt. Today he left for a doctor's appointment in old baggy-butted jeans, a black tee shirt and an old flannel shirt unbuttoned over it. Ratty old tennis shoes too and a stocking cap. But the worst part is he wears his key ring on his belt and it hangs down and makes noise with so many keys on it. He looks like a janitor or a building super.

He has nice khakis, button-down shirts, jackets and sweaters and better shoes in his closet but he only wears them when I am going out with him and ask him to "clean up" a little bit.

He showers daily, has regular haircuts and gets his beard nicely trimmed and he has acknowledged he gets better treatment in shops and restaurants when he is dressed better but he just doesn't seem to care enough to present himself better...unless I gently remind him.

Also he really didn't have to wear a suit or even a tie for quite some time while he was still working so it's not like he is rebelling.

I'm no fashion plate but at least I try to wear something better than knock-around-the-house clothes when I go out.

Now I hear some saying "Leave the man alone. He's not hurting anybody" but I think he is hurting himself even if he doesn't realize it. I realize he is not going to change but I am wondering if other women are having the same issue with their elderly husbands.
Reminds me of the time I was returning 3 bags of cans and bottles for the deposit and someone offered to give their bag. Obviously they assumed I was down and out and my manner of dress only helped to reinforce their opinion. If those things bother you at least be happy that unlike me his beard was trimmed and hair was not long and messy.

Just to clarify I am a person with a MBA and a good position at a software company.
 
Old 01-20-2017, 09:31 AM
 
5,429 posts, read 2,827,948 times
Reputation: 10171
Quote:
Originally Posted by crusinsusan View Post
I certainly understand. It's embarrassing to be with someone who looks homeless, and that goes for both sides. In a relationship, keeping oneself looking nice and attractive should just be part of the deal. But it seems to be so much more acceptable for a man to look crummy then for a woman. And it does make a difference in how you're treated by others and in who you might be drawn to you (ie: new friends).

If you have a good relationship, try talking to him about getting rid of the cruddy stuff and buying comfy stuff that has it's color retained. As for the key ring....why? I mean really, what more does he need now but the car and house key when out?

I think you deserve to feel proud of who your with. If it bothers you, I think a conversation and change is in order. (If it doesn't bother other people, that's their business.)
The key ring probably allows him not to worry about whether he has all the keys he needs when he goes out. Although I keep my keys on two different rings or carabiners, there are a total of FIFTEEN of them. I don't need every one of them every time I go out, but if you have ever removed a few keys and then cursed yourself for thinking you had them with you, you would understand the guy's habit of wearing the entire ring.

My keys are separated by house-related (6 keys) and truck-related (9 keys). Multiple lock sets on different house doors, mailbox, cab door and ignition, gas cap lock, topper lock, roof rack locks, padlock and chain for locking items outside either house or vehicle, etc. all add up. If I am not driving, it is a simple matter to leave the "truck set" at home, but the "house set" always comes with me unless my husband has his house keys.

If the husband can categorize his keys into separate sets and put each ring on a carabiner, he could reduce the jangle factor. There are many, many types of keyholders sold to make this an easy process. He doesn't necessarily have to do the ring-swirl thing to remove keys.
 
Old 01-20-2017, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,484 posts, read 43,769,854 times
Reputation: 47257
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
I always wonder why someone would post something like this.


Looking for advice and help with a situation? That never seems to be the case.
Looking for sympathy and agreement? Don't know. Getting either from an internet forum seems kinda sad.
Just venting? Again, I am just guessing.
Telling a story to help out the rest of the world? Doubtful.


Then I wonder why and how the rest of us get sucked in. We offer a different perspective, advice or ideas. There is rarely any sign that those efforts are appreciated. Usually there is just an argument instead.
I said I knew he wasn't going to change and that I simply wondered if other wives had to deal with the same issue. And some do.
 
Old 01-20-2017, 09:36 AM
 
4,481 posts, read 4,743,078 times
Reputation: 9940
Well, as long as he doesn't smell like a homeless person. THEN you have a real problem. I have to deal with homeless people in my work. Believe me, dressing like one is nothing.
 
Old 01-20-2017, 09:37 AM
 
5,429 posts, read 2,827,948 times
Reputation: 10171
Quote:
Originally Posted by Perryinva View Post
Well, as a life long engineer with exactly the same propensities, I can tell you that you all have pretty much missed the mark. The real answer is that it is not high enough on his "worth worrying about" list, so he auto pilots to what is comfortable. If you want him to wear nicer (but they still MUST be comfortable) clothes for appointments, etc, all you have to do is lay them out before hand. I have a closet of nice and comfortable clothes. My wife of over 20 years STILL can not understand why Inwear the same ratty jeans, sneakers and sweat or tee shirts all the time. Yes, they are the MOST comfortable, but that is not the reason. It really NEVER occurs to us to differentiate what must be worn when/where unless it is a defined habit. I wear pressed shirts and khakis every day to work. When I get home, I change out of them to jeans and a t-shirt plus a sweatshirt this time of year. The habit of what to wear is how we cope with the senseless "fashion" that we really could care less about. There is no "habit" for the occasional outing like a Dr appt, or casual lunch out, or going to a movie. As long as it's comfortable we will wear it. The problem is we will also wear nice clothes and end up doing yard work or working on a car in them. They are clothes. Unless they are impractical or expensive, which any engineer will react to, it doesn't occur to us that they could not be used just like other....clothes.

Also, every engineer I know likes to wear t shirts with sayings on them. My wife hates them, but has learned to accept that. Since the OP knows other engineers wives, I'm surprised she hasn't learned what it takes, but maybe its a non engineer woman thing. Accept it. At 77, he's not going to change. Heck, at 59, I'm not going to change. When my wife asks "How, after being married for over 20 years, have you not learned this?", I always answer "Exactly!" . Yet she still doesn't get it.
Like the one that says, "I are a engineer" ?
 
Old 01-20-2017, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Idaho
1,454 posts, read 1,155,024 times
Reputation: 5492
Being an engineer and married to one, I agree with Vision 67 and Perryinva.

Engineers are practical so we put comfort over style most of the time (more so for men than women). We don't waste time thinking about 'unimportant' things like dressings so we typically do them out of habit or routine. While working, I would automatically grab my work clothes from the closet on work days and house clothes from the dresser on weekend. Now that I am retired, I have to think for few minutes on what to wear before heading out of the house.

In addition, by culture, tradition or even nature, women are generally more concerned about appearance than men. Once in a while, I had to ask my husband to change his clothing either because they looked too ratty (with holes, stains, too frayed etc.) to be seen in public or not appropriate for the occasion.

I also try to replace his favorite clothing or shoes with new items (same style, fabric, cut etc) not abruptly but slowly. I would buy them and ask him to try the new clothes or break in the new shoes. At first, he would be very reluctant and use them rarely. Once he is more comfortable with the new items, I ask him to throw out the old ones.

BTW, I disagree with jrkliny regarding whether this subject should be posted and his somewhat disparaging comment on women's need to show off and preen. I'd bet that many women including myself understand the OP's issue regarding their husband's dressing habit in retirement. There is nothing wrong with 'venting', looking for support or maybe some insights or suggestions by posting this type of problem. Regarding women's need to showoff and preen, I have yet to see a man state that he prefer to date or marry an ugly and dowdy woman. I also think it a rare case that a woman would prefer the company of an unkempt, 'hobo-looking' man over a clean, nicely dressed man. However, IMO, over preening and too much emphasis on look and appearance is as bad or even worse than not paying any attention on one's appearance.

P.S.
I just remember an exasperating but amusing incident of my husband's clothing preference. One day, he decided that he would no longer put up with the constant rubbing of crew neck shirts against his throat so he got the scissors and cut a V-notch in ALL his T-shirts. I wished that he had asked me to do the alterations.

Last edited by BellaDL; 01-20-2017 at 09:59 AM..
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