For years, I managed to dress myself. Then I married a consultant. Getting dressed has become an adventure.
I was heading to the closet to snatch something to wear to my brother Dan's wedding.
''You probably want to set out your shoes to be polished,'' my wife called out as I started up the stairs.
''Not really,'' I called back.
''Yes, you do,'' she said.
I turned and stared down the stairs, trying to puzzle out this bit of information.
''They're fine,'' I finally said. ''It's not like I'm going to prop my feet up on the pew in front of me.''
''Do you want this to be a happy wedding?'' she asked.
''I don't think Mary Jane is going to care if my shoes...''
''I wasn't talking about the bride,'' she said.
''Oh,'' I said.
I changed directions to find the dusty shoes that I now knew I would be polishing.
''Set out the clothes you plan to wear so I can check to see if they need ironed,'' she said.
''They're fine,'' I said. ''I'm wearing these brown slacks and that blue shirt.''
''Brown? With your gray jacket?''
''Sure,'' I said. ''I wear that combination a lot.''
''Not since we've been married you haven't.''
''Well, I would, but the pants keep disappearing. It's as if someone sneaks in and steals them. But I knew Dan and Mary Jane's wedding was coming, and I wanted to look nice, so I hid the slacks under my side of the bed. Let me just shake them out a bit ...''
''You'll find your black slacks already pressed and hanging in the first slot on the left.''
''But I like ...''
''Happy wedding,'' she said.
I kicked the brown slacks back beneath the bed. I reached for my shirt, then froze.
''Um, Sweetie, what shirt have I decided to wear?''
''That blue one is fine.''
''Am I sure?''
''Yes, you are.''
''That's what I thought about the pants and the shoes, but it turns out that I was wrong,'' I said. ''Say, about your outfit, ...''
''Go change,'' she said.
''Happy wedding,'' I said, and ducked.
As the time to leave drew near, she said, ''Don't forget your tie. Unless it's the green one. Forget that. You know which tie to wear.''
I knew the exact one. I'd dressed myself before, after all.
This day was about love. Romance. A happy wedding. Very carefully, I extracted the perfect tie from the back of the rack, folded it and slipped it inside a pocket of my gray jacket, which had been deemed fine.
Then from the front, I took the preapproved, classic, conservatively striped tie and draped it around my neck.
''I'll put on my tie at the church,'' I said.
Moments before we were to be escorted into the sanctuary, I walked into the restroom to put on my pocketed tie.
And that's how I walked down the aisle of my brother's wedding wearing my Looney Tunes tie with all its big, red hearts and expressive scenes of Pepe Le Pew, the amorous skunk, wooing a frantic, paint-striped Penelope Pussycat.
''What's that?'' she gasped.
''Classic wedding tie,'' I said, walking to our seats. ''Told you I could dress myself.''
It was a very happy wedding.
---- Find wedding photos, Le Pew and all, on Facebook. Consult with Cole's consultant at firstname.lastname@example.org