Preparations for Mike and Emma's wedding continue at a pace; it's next week, and this morning I went to collect my suit from Greenwoods in Redditch.
Weeks ago, before we went on holiday even, I went to get measured up, so this visit should have been a formality. Essentially I could have just picked up my suit carrier and come home. But I thought it would be wise to try it all on anyway.
- Shirt - fine.
- Waistcoat - fine.
- Jacket - fine.
- Funny looking cravat thingy - fine.
- Trousers - oh bloody hell.
These strides were cutting me in two. I was having a little difficulty in breathing. And any sensation in the lower half of my body was rapidly becoming a fond, if somewhat distant, memory. "We should be thankful it's not my wedding day," I thought.
Having struggled to do them up, it was all I could do to get them undone again, as I couldn't move the waistband out far enough to get a hold on the various inside-out buttons and hook-and-eye things they put inside formal trousers these days.
But whilst I was grappling with myself around the groin area, I noticed something odd. Now that's a sentence I never thought I'd find myself typing. Anyway. The size label was shouting 38" waist at me.
I think the year began with the number "1" the last time I was wearing trousers that size. 38" is something I aspire to - the Holy Grail of pants, if you like. And I knew at that point that there'd been a genuine mistake - the actual measurements they'd taken those few weeks ago were well in excess of a puny 38" - I remember the measuring session too well.
There were some mixed emotions at that point, I can tell you. The annoyance that someone had cocked it up was mixed with considerable relief that my waist hadn't in fact gone in the wrong direction.
Getting a replacement pair of trousers sorted? A small inconvenience.
Realising your waist hasn't actually ballooned? Priceless.