What is the Purpose of your Tuxedo?

Idiot Boy didn’t plan ahead and bring his tuxedo in his check-in luggage. It is either in a warehouse somewhere in the United States, or on a boat somewhere between America and Bangladesh. If Idiot Boy wants to be dressed appropriately for the Marine Ball, he needs a new tuxedo. Luckily, tailors are plentiful in Dhaka.

I visited the office of the “CLO” (community liaison officer) in the Embassy to ask for some recommendations. As luck would have it, another LE staff member, who is a clothing snob expert, happened to have been in the office at the time. He helpfully gave me a list of several tailors, along with a rolling commentary about which tailor was the equivalent of what French and Italian label. Of course, Idiot Boy is also Philistine Boy. I know which side of my pants is front and which is back, I (usually) remember to zip up my fly before leaving the house, and I know not to put both socks on the same foot, and that’s the extent of my haberdashery knowledge.

So I did what any resourceful and responsible person would do: I chose the first name on the list: K.L. Sweden (spoiler alert: he is NOT Swedish).

Stairway to the tailor shop. The name of the shop is helpfully printed on Every Single Step.

I don’t speak Bangla, but luckily for me, most shopkeepers have at least functional, if very heavily accented, English. I walked into the shop and announced my presence. “I called yesterday to come in for an appointment. I need a new tuxedo.”

I was not prepared for the question that they posed. “What is the purpose of the tuxedo?” The shopkeeper asked me.

How many purposes do tuxedos have?, I wondered to myself. In my experience, tuxedos are for prom, weddings, Marine Ball, and spycraft (if your name is James Bond). That’s it. I’m too too old for prom, already married, and God knows I’m not James Bond. That narrows it down quite a bit.

I didn’t know how to answer that question, and told him: “it’s a tuxedo,” like that was self-explanatory enough. Which, to my pea-sized brain, it is. I mentally encouraged him to evaluate me and confirm for himself that I am much too old for prom, and am clearly not James Bond.

Maybe it worked, but probably he took pity on my ignorance, and told me to sit and wait while he Made Some Phone Calls.

A few minutes later Imran came in. He was much less suspicious of my intentions, and got me measured and fitted. Imran doesn’t care what the purpose of my tuxedo is, apparently. I can pick up my new tux next week.

If only I can determine the purpose of the tuxedo.

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