A couple is going out somewhere for the evening, let's say to a special event, or to a banquet or some destination that isn't an every-day place they would normally go.
And with that being the case, it becomes the setting for one of those what-to-wear sessions.
Perhaps you've experienced one of these emotionally charged clothing-selection episodes with your spouse or significant other and lived to tell the tale.
If so, I feel your pain.
Depending on your gender and the extent of your wardrobe, the decision-making process might start days before the event, maybe even weeks.
If you're a guy, maybe it took no time at all. You just put on what your wife laid out for you.
This whole what-to-wear session is an occasion for the woman to wonder "What do I have to wear?" - as in what's in my closet, what outfit is appropriate or pretty or something I like or something that doesn't make me look too fat or funky - vs. the man approach, which also is "What do I have to wear? only the translation is a little different.
In this case, he's hoping it doesn't mean he has to get dressed up, suited up, tie on, shoes shined, yee-haw.
I thought about all this during the past week, starting with Monday when Better Half and I were at the annual Herald-Star, The Weirton Daily Times, Presented by Weirton Medical Center Community Stars dinner.
We were sitting at a table where a husband and wife were laughing about picking out clothes to wear that evening. The husband mentioned he'd been "informed" that he had to wear dress pants, which put him on a search through his closet and a discovery that the waistbands on many of the ones he had simply weren't cooperating with his waist size at present.
It made me laugh for two reasons. One was because Better Half does the same thing. I swear it's the only time our closet gets a cleansing. Out come all these pairs of pants that won't see the light of day again until the next event. It's a through-the-years kind of style show where we wonder will we lose weight? Will this come back in style again?
The other thing that made me laugh is that men's attitudes toward dressing up are very different from a woman's.
I have big worries when I am deciding what to wear somewhere, mainly did I just wear this in recent history because if I did, I surely can't wear it again too soon. I can't go to one event one week and another event the next week and wear the same thing. For pity sake, what if the same people are at both events and remember what I had on?
Better Half, on the other hand, used to have this Hawaiian kind of shirt. It was very nice, but it became a family joke because it was the "multipurpose shirt." It was his wedding shirt, graduation shirt, first holy communion shirt, funeral shirt, you get the picture.
To his credit, when Better Half decides what to wear, that's it. We have reached the "who cares anyway" stage of getting ready to go anywhere.
I, of course, am concerned not only with what outfit I'm wearing but the accessories, too. Jewelry, purse, shoes, etc.
Better Half's accessories? Wallet. Pen knife. Comb.
The beauty of all this going out and getting dressed up is knowing we can return home and be ourselves again at last.
Let's hear it for raggedy sweat pants with forgiving waistbands.
(Kiaski, a resident of Steubenville, is a staff columnist and features writer with the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and community editor for the Herald-Star. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)