Jerry Nelson: A Clothing Conundrum

Jerry Nelson
Special to the Farm Forum
Jerry Nelson

It was an awkward question to pose to my wife, especially since we’ve been married for such a long time.

“Will this fit?” I asked.

“Let me see it,” she replied. “Yep, that’s the right size.”

“Good!” I said as I put the new T-shirt into our shopping cart.

I hardly ever buy clothes. If you were to hold a gun to my head and demand to know the size of my underwear I would exclaim, “Just pull the trigger because I have absolutely no idea!”

It bodes well for the success of a long-term relationship if one person’s weakness is the other person’s strength. My congenital indifference to shopping is perfectly balanced by my wife’s enthusiasm for it. I hate buying clothes whereas she actually enjoys that strange activity.

In fact, she will – imagine this! – purchase new clothing before she actually needs it! My attitude toward buying new clothes can best be summed up by Jimmy Stewart in the movie “The Cheyenne Social Club” when he exclaimed to his pal, Harley, “You already have two shirts! You don't want to wear but one of them at a time unless it's winter.”

Part of the problem is my perpetual bewilderment regarding clothing fads. For instance, my wife and I were dining at a restaurant when a twenty-something young lady strolled by wearing blue jeans that were missing vast portions of the fronts of their legs. Her jeans looked like the result of a chaotic attempt at creating homemade cutoffs.

I remarked to my wife, “Remember how that happened to my jeans after I carried a leaky tractor battery across the farmstead? My pant legs had more holes than a lace doily, so you made me throw them out. We should have kept them and sold them for beaucoup bucks!”

I guess that wearing ratty old jeans simply meant that I was at the leading edge of fashion.

The postman will occasionally deliver some mysterious package or another to our house. These packages are never for me. Thanks to the internet, my wife can purchase new clothing any time of the day or night.

“Don’t you already have a blue blouse?” I’ll ask as she shows me her latest acquisition.

“This isn’t blue, it’s periwinkle,” she’ll explain patiently. “Besides, it was on sale.”

Ah, yes. Those two illustrious words “on sale” give license for the purchase of anything from a new blouse to a pet rock. I’m just glad that my wife doesn’t have a penchant for luxury sports cars.

I recently received an email from a large ad agency. The sender breathlessly described how a major brand of western wear had been “organically spotted” on the hit TV series “Yellowstone.” Would I be interested in learning more about the collaboration between “Yellowstone” and this particular brand of western wear?

The email’s author had obviously made a mistake. She seems to think that I’m an influencer. Nope, not even close.

I’m not young, nor female, nor attractive. I’m not on TikTok, and our Facebook feed mostly consists of pictures of food or farm stuff. 

The email’s sender said that I could order some free samples from the Yellowstone Collection. She also offered to arrange interviews with the clothing company’s executive team “to further discuss the synergy between the denim icon and cable’s hottest show.”

I clicked a hyperlink in the email and viewed the Yellowstone Collection. You can purchase clothing that might create the impression that you’re a Yellowstone Ranch hand or that you have a close personal relationship with the Dutton family. Wearing this clothing could imply that you are a cowboy or, depending on the cut and color of the garb, a cowgirl.

I’m not a cowboy, although we do own a handful of Jersey steers and I’m male. I guess a person could stretch that into something that vaguely resembles the truth.

Well! I was perched upon the precipice of a big decision. Would I be willing to shill for a majorly huge clothing corporation and a TV show with a fan base that’s both extremely large and extraordinarily passionate? Should I sell my soul for a few measly scraps of mass-produced commercialism?

On the other hand, free clothes are a far better deal than “on sale.” Where do I sign?

I replied to the email, saying that I’d like to sample a few select items from the Yellowstone Collection. So now I’m eagerly waiting for the postman to bring a package of clothes that, for once, will be for me.

I just hope that the guys at the Yellowstone didn’t wear any of my stuff while carrying a leaky tractor battery.

If you'd like to contact Jerry Nelson to do some public speaking, or just to register your comments, you can email him at His book, “Dear County Agent Guy,” is available at and at booksellers everywhere.