Pair: something made up of two corresponding pieces.

Jason’s favorite season was fall and his favorite month was October, same as me.  We loved October not just because it signaled the end of the oppressive and miserable swampy air of North Carolina, but fall meant leaves shifting from green to vibrant reds, yellows and oranges. We usually made an annual trip to Asheville just to take in the colors and drink delicious craft beer.   It also meant we could take the dogs for long walks and not be drenched in sweat and covered by mosquito bites.

He liked the darker colors of the clothing and the timeless styles that came with fall fashion.  He loved layering sweaters over button-up shirts and buying new scarves to go with his wool coat.  His fashion icon was Joseph Gordon-Levitt and any model in the Banana Republic catalogue.  Jason knew how to dress.  He always looked amazing and he had the right body type to pull off the slim shirts and pants.  I always felt mousy and unstylish in his presence.  I was always under-dressed, even on weekends.  My sense of fashion has become even worse recently because I don’t have anyone to hold me accountable.  I go home after work and immediately put on elastic pajama bottoms and a t-shirt far too big for me.   I top off the look with a hooded sweatshirt I purchased at least 7 years ago.  I no longer put clothes away after washing them, I just pull out whatever is on top of the laundry basket and wear it.  I can imagine Jason’s disapproving look because he also hated wrinkles…and everything I wear now is wrinkled from being balled up in a laundry basket for week.

The other reason we both loved October was Halloween.  We had lists of costume ideas, and they were always pairs.

Curious George and The Man in the Yellow Hat, Hall & Oates, Strawberry Shortcake and the Purple Pie Man, Jack the Ripper and Mary Kelly, Ronald McDonald and The Hamburglar, Fantastic Mr. and Mrs. Fox, etc…

A couple of years ago we dressed up as characters from an extremely disturbing German horror film.  Nobody at the party knew who we were supposed to be and it was great!  It was just one of our many inside jokes that we didn’t have to share with the world.  We had lots of them but I never assumed there would be a finite number.  So many strange things have happened over the past 4 months and I’ve often said aloud “Jason, I wish you were here because you’d understand why this is so ridiculously amusing and then we could reference it for weeks, ad nauseam.”   I really miss my sidekick.  He understood me and I understood him.  And to find that quality in someone after 31 years of searching, and then to lose it only 6 years later seems unnaturally cruel.  Far more disturbing than any foreign horror film I’ve seen.

I want to celebrate Halloween this year but what will I dress up as?  There can be no Oates without Hall, no Mary Kelly without Jack, no Curious George without The Man in the Yellow Hat.  I don’t want to be solo, I want to be part of a pair.




4 thoughts on “Pair: something made up of two corresponding pieces.

  1. My husband also loved Halloween. I used to tease him about wearing these awful bright orange jack-o-lantern boxers all year long. Okay, so he was not as adept at fashion as your Jason was, but that was just him. There are so many emotional landmines approaching with the season and I can really relate to what you wrote today. I think that the right costume for you will come to you and when it does, I hope you share.


    1. Ah, the festive holiday boxer shorts! I would always buy these for Jason and he would never wear them. He always made fun of my Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch underwear.

      We have a full year of emotional landmines to navigate but we’ll make it. Sharing these little memories of our husbands keeps them alive and with us. I’ll let you know if I come up with a costume…and I hope you find a way to celebrate too, even thought it feels different now.


  2. “I don’t want to be ‘me, my, and I’, I want to be ‘we, us, our’.” This was something I said within the first weeks
    …I have continued using the plural forms as much as possible…but I think only the British can get away with that for too long.
    In hopes of this idea not coming across as inconsiderate… Since both you and I know that your loving husband is by your side always but not visible to us, is there any way to incorporate an invisible presence into your Halloween costume ideas? It could still be a secret between the two of you as to the choice of costume, and wouldn’t have to be explained to others…


    1. Yes, become suddenly singular after years of being plural is a lonely feeling. I still sometimes catch myself using a present tense when talking about him, as if he is coming along with me…and perhaps he is.

      I like your idea of incorporating him into my costume. I’ll have to put some thought into that because it’s a great suggestion and would be very meaningful to me (we).


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