LONDON -- We're going to a wedding and my British wife needs a new dress. I'm with her for the purchase and for reasons I'll never understand, she's asking my opinion about the two finalists -- one gold, one black.
As a heterosexual male, my fashion opinions carry absolutely no weight in Kim's mind, but that doesn't stop her from asking me what I think.
"This dress. Yes or no?"
She's wearing the black one. It looks great on her, but to me it's not a wedding dress.
"No," I say.
Kim doesn't even react as she regards herself in the mirror from all angles. "Give me your honest opinion," she says.
It doesn't seem to occur to her that in effect, she's just called me a liar. Truth is, she wasn't really listening. In situations such as this I'm like our chocolate labrador, Bailey. I'm just along for the ride, and Kim speaks to me as she does to the dog, expecting nothing more than tail-wagging in return.
But my tail is tired from wagging over fashion matters, so I decide to speak up, just for the hell of it.
"I GAVE you my honest opinion. I don't like it. Not for a wedding."
"Why not? I have shoes that'll go with it!"
"Too somber. Try on the gold one."
I step outside her dressing room so she can change. The rooms are full of British women who overindulged during the holidays, "Oh-my-Godding!" their way through attempts to squeeze into sizes that used to fit them.
Kim sticks her head through the curtains. "Come in here and give me your honest opinion," she says.
Well, it's a knockout -- a burnished gold number, classy and not flashy.
"Wow," I say.
"Yes or no?"
"Does it make me look fat?"
"Honey, please. We're going to an Italian wedding. You fit the Italian definition of anorexic."
My smart-ass crack does not even register. Kim regards herself in the mirror one more time before announcing, "I'll get the black one."
Normally, I'd sigh and let it go, but we've just reached our eleventh wedding anniversary, and it's time to shake things up.
So I press a fist against my right hip, thrust my left foot forward, stick my chin in the air and let it fly:
"Sweetheart, that gold dress looks absolutely FABULOUS on you, whereas you'll be TOTALLY out of place in the BLACK dress unless we go to the WRONG church and attend a FUNERAL instead of a WEDDING!"
I'm breathing hard after my soliloquy. My wife looks at me in wonder, the way a teacher looks at a stupid student who suddenly says something brilliant.
"Are you sure?" Kim ventures.
"Okay, then, the gold one."
Victory! We pay up and I head for the exit, but my wife pulls me in another direction.
"Where are we going?"
"I had shoes for the black one, but not this one."
Charlie Carillo is a producer for the TV show "Inside Edition."