Last night, I got ready for my third wedding anniversary date with my husband as a stunning almost-full moon rose over the Santa Cruz hills. I was, of course, jealous that the moon could look so celestially heavenly with so little effort. Meanwhile, my non-luminescent, just-battled-traffic-on-the-road self was trying to make the best of a dire mothering-worker what-not-to-wear situation.
Naturally, I was in need of a haircut and my hair looked like those commercials for shampoo and conditioner in the clips before the model gets shampooed and conditioned. I opted for these hot rollers that my mom gave me, hoping that they wouldn’t make me look like I was inadvertently (or worse purposely) rocking big 80s hair or, alternatively, trying to look like my mother (not that looking like her is bad, she’s actually way more glam than me, it’s just that who wants to go on a date with their man looking like their mom?). Of course I had a mustache, because I didn’t have any time to go to wax and my salon lady was short-staffed because her waxing person was pregnant and home feeling ill, but I figure marriage is about for better or worse, through mustache and waxed, and in sickness and health, right?
Moving down, I realized that I had no appropriate wedding anniversary-date going out clothes. This was for many reasons: a) I go to work, I go home to my child, sometimes I go Maracas. I don’t go out, ergo I don’t notice when I don’t have going out clothes; b) in the two years comprising being pregnant, giving birth, breast-feeding and being back at work, I’ve changed sizes multiple times and have given up getting new clothes until my body makes final decisions about which parts have grown, shrunk and shifted; c) I don’t have time or energy to shop, except for rushing to get pampers at Pennywise; and d) I’m not really a shopper and usually am most comfortable in grungy jeans or barefoot by a river.
So, I stared into the dark night of my closet, feeling the least hottest one could before going on a date. People may think going on a date with some stranger or new person is pressure. Nuh uh. Going on a date with the person you’ve been with for twelve years is pressure. You want them to look at you as they did twelve years ago (when you really felt tsss! hot), you want them to remember why they thought you were hotter than the rest, you want to be checked out, looked up and down, dog-pant wanted, despite the fact that they’ve seen you push a placenta out your vagina (which is powerful, but not sexy), they’ve seen you look like Mac from hell put together your exhausted morning face, they’ve seen your breasts point in decidedly different directions than they used to, and you have a mustache.
I’m good in crisis though. First, I figure the least you can do in these keep-the-spark-alive situations is wear a sexy panty. Now, my man isn’t into lingerie, which I happen to love and find very cool about him (he just likes “natural skin” which I think is great, free and one size fits all my sizes), but no hetero, happily married man is going to be unimpressed with the effort of donning some black lace pulled from the back of the drawer. And, I still got some swag in my back pocket (that place where politicians keep election dates). So, I began crisis management from there.
Somehow, I found a top bought in London before I got pregnant and never wore – and it kinda matched what husband was wearing too, which, you know, felt sorta cute. But, then I remembered I never wore it because, among other reasons, I never had – and still don’t have – the right, strapless bra. Bras are over-rated in my mind and I hardly used to use them (and didn’t have to, kaching baby!), but things have changed and there are just some outfits I can’t al fresco my way through anymore. Plus, strapless bras have never worked for me and I don’t know how they do for other women. Don’t they just slide down? Is it only me? Is it possible to have a PhD and still not know how to wear a bra? Clearly. That said, of course I haven’t gone bra shopping to outfit myself for my new conditions. See a), b), c) and d) above.
Breathe. Okay. I’ve got hot rollers. Check. The kind of underwear he’ll want to take off. Check. I rig up a bra-esque something. Check. I got jeans that fit. Well. They kind of fit, but I could really do with a belt. Yep, no belt works with the top, which I’ve finally got to work with the bra, which I’ve done the work to basically invent.
Breathe. Okay. Skip the belt and just keep one hand pulling up the hook of the pants. Pretend strategy isn’t obvious. Find shoes to match. Ah shoes…Now, I’m not a strapless bra kinda girl and I’m not a high heels kinda girl, just like I’m not a Chinese foot binding kinda girl – which is how I think of high heels. I don’t need shoes to feel empowered, I need them to feel comfortable. So, you know I have four pairs of sneakers I basically wear, and who want dress code have to jes dress back. But, sometimes, I wish I had the gear to just get into a good look and out of the house without an over-the-phone session with a therapist.
Breathe. Okay. Find shoes that work with the hair/top/bra/panty. Start to feel arrright! Husband comes in, sees the rollers. Asks ‘if all dat is necessary’ as ‘we jes going out’. Bless his blurry-glasses self, he thought my hair was already perfectly fine. Wonder if it’s better that he didn’t notice I was in a mess or doesn’t care.
Take out rollers, fluff hair. Look like younger, less glam version of mother. Accept the inevitable. Decide its time to go and I look good enough to focus on the fact of love, the moment of togetherness, the importance of what’s on the inside of each other and the relationship, and the cosmic radiance of an almost full moon on a rare, date night.