The Bad Wife

Holly Collingwood essays

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Every kid has a favorite shirt. Most outgrow them. But not my husband.

If you love all things 80’s, you’ll understand my husband. He’s a Han Solo, Van Halen, Better Off Dead, Sure Thing, Muppets, Duran Duran, pegged pants and rolled shirt sleeve, Miami Vice kind of guy. Through our 14 years of marriage I’ve managed to relocate many of his favorite artifacts to the garage, but one terror remained.

It lived in our closet. It used to be navy blue, then it turned lazy blue. It was a polo shirt with a totally 80s collar and cut that haunted me.

This 80’s husband thought it was just fine. Yes. Just fine. Dressy, actually. He wore it to work. He wore it to dinner. He wore it everywhere. Once he even tried to wear it to a wedding with a sport coat.

I begged.

He changed.

Eventually, each time I saw it in the laundry pile, I would toss it to the bottom of the dirty basket. I’ll wash that next week. Maybe. I bought him new shirts and hoped he would forget about favorite navy, but it still remained in his pitching rotation. Until one afternoon when it literally jumped out of the dryer and into my arms on a feeling-funky kind of day.

It was begging me, right.

The scissors were also begging me.

Taunting me actually.

And suddenly there were two nickel-sized round holes in the shirt. Where, you ask? Oh, as best as I could estimate, they were exactly where his nipples should be.


And then I shook out the wrinkles, hung it on a hanger in the closet and waited for this all-star to come to the top of the rotation again.

It only took about three days (told you it was a favorite). The left hole was in the correct nipple location while the right showed more chest hair than nipple.

The look on his face was shock. Then mad. Then awe. And then the chuckle came.

The chuckle that says, “You got me, but you better watch out.”

To know this 80’s husband is to love him, except for THIS shirt.


About the Author

Holly Collingwood

I am a stay at home mom by day and a freelance writer by night. My kiddos are 3, 5 and 7 and full of energy and crazy loudness. I love good jeans, snow forts, wildflower hikes, playing barefoot in the grass, jellybeans and homemade guacamole. Grumpy people, dogs and saliva are on an entirely different list. Read more about my adventures at .

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