Inklings

  • Friday, June 1, 2012

Mad(dening) Men
          Do you ever feel that the Love of Your Life doesn’t really see you? Over breakfast with friends the other day we discussed the dual subjects of being forgetful and/or being overlooked. This sparked a couple of memories from my long wedded bliss.           One day, when we were practically newlyweds, being married for about 10 years, I was to meet Jim for lunch at a club on Charleston AFB. I didn’t tell him I was getting my hair frosted (for the first time) that morning and was hoping he would think I looked as snazzy as I thought I did. I waited by the glass front doors and watched him exit his car and come up to the entry. He came in, said “Excuse me ma’m,” and proceeded to the dining room. He returned, a grim look on that punctual face, passed me again, stepped outside and perused the parking lot. Looking disgusted he strode once more into the hallway and after a few steps, stopped and stared back at me. “Good God!” he intoned.           I didn’t know whether to hug him or hit him. He managed to wiggle out of that one by saying how different I looked and he just hadn’t expected me to be so. . .so . . . blonde! Ah, well, I opted for the hug and he got used to it. However, a few years later he had a harder time squirming out of another minor detail we both overlooked. We were building our home in Summerville. It was now our 30th anniversary and we were going for a romantic dinner in an elegant Charleston hotel. “Get all gussied up,” he told me. This is going to be a special night!” I wore a cocktail dress, dangly silver earrings and three-inch silver heels; he donned a suit and tie.           The head-waiter led us to a seat by the window overlooking a bricked-in garden featuring a fountain. We loved the site so much we decided to have a facsimile in our backyard. The waiter could hardly take his eyes off me as we were seated and he kept glancing my way as we ordered. I mentally patted myself on the back for the time and care I had taken to apply makeup. “Not too bad ole gal,” I told myself. We toasted each other with flutes of champagne. It was a wonderful, warm romantic evening – until I had to excuse myself.           Upon entering the ladies’ room I stopped dead at my reflection in the mirror and discovered that after all it was not my fatal charm that had riveted the waiter’s attention. It was the fact that right in the middle of my forehead were two huge pin curls blatantly anchored by thick aluminum pin curl clips each in an “X” shape. I had meant to comb these out at home at the last minute.           Groaning, I ratcheted a plastic pick through my hair and stomped as gracefully as I could back into the dining room. “Why-in-the-world-didn’t you-tell-me-I-still-had-my-hair-in-PIN-CURLS!?” I hissed in his ear when I reached the table.            “Oh,” he said, passing me the tartar sauce, “I thought that was probably some new style or something. Dig in. Those crab cakes look delicious!”           MEN!

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