How To Get A Red Dress

This year my husband and I decided not to celebrate Valentine’s Day as per our usual bah humbug practice. At the last minute, I suggested we meet me for lunch, as that was the only meal we were going to have that day without the children. In an uncharacteristic stab at romance, I decided to surprise him by wearing: 1) make-up; 2) a sleeveless, body-hugging black dress; 3) high heels; 4) the expensive pearl earrings he gave me six months into dating when we thought he was going to be deployed to Iraq; 5) actual styled hair; and 6) lipstick.  I was purposely a few minutes late so I could make a grand entrance. I don’t even remember exactly what he said when he saw me. Maybe, “so you do own a dress”.  Whatever it was, it sounded like “You got your haircut. Do you like it?” and I was immediately turned to shit. He apologized profusely when I told him he hurt my feelings by not fawning all over me. By then I had literally and figuratively dug my heels in and anything he said I matched with skepticism or ridicule.

We were in and out of the restaurant in 45 minutes, including drive time. I was humiliated that I’d gone to so much effort for nothing.  I felt like I looked like an over-priced call girl who was trying to shake down recalcitrant customers in a hotel that was too nice for her. I seethed for the rest of the afternoon.  I was mad and full of risotto that felt like it was expanding in my stomach.

Devlin would have told me I had pretty shoes. “Mom, you have pretty yoga pants.” “You have pretty socks.” “I like your nose.” I didn’t think I deserved a medal for shaving my legs AND  plucking my eyebrows, but I didn’t think it was too much to ask to be positively acknowledged for going out of my way. And I sort of thought that by virtue of it being Valentine’s Day that one could naturally expect the ante to be upped a bit. It’s not like I was faulting him for not making me feel special on Groundhog Day, though it would be awesome to get flowers on Groundhog Day.

Then I remembered that I sent him an email a week prior with a picture of a beautiful red dress. I had said, simply, “size 6”.

THIS is why I hate Valentine’s Day. It has nothing to do with love. I know he loves me. As much as I try not to have expectations, I have expectations. He knows I’d punch him in the neck if he gave me flowers. Another expectation. I wondered if it would occur to him to run to the mall and make an impromptu dress purchase to placate my hurt feelings. As I wondered whether I would be more peeved to get the red dress or not, the UPS man rang my doorbell. The asshole ordered my dress a week ago. I couldn’t even be mad at him anymore. Then it dawned on me how to get what you need from the other person. Tell them exactly what you want and what size. They never read your mind, or your high heels, like you think they should.

Like it? Share it!

One Comment

Leave a Reply