I looked down at my second favorite summer nightgown. Lace bodice cut in such a way I look lithe and thin as it sweeps out from the empire cut to mask my broad hips. It makes me feel thin and young and shapely.
“Really? I love this night gown.”
“The color is weird.”
I looked at him with that squinty side-eyed look I learned to give my kids when they were acting up or I was confused by their behavior. Was this just Dr. Doctor being his usually Don’t-bother-me-it’s-morning self or did he really not like this nightgown? We never argue about things unless it’s incredibly geeky stuff like antibiotic resistant bacteria. I wasn’t going to plug into my own morning aversion and argue with him about a silly nightdress.
“Did I hurt your feelings?”
“Not really and besides you’re the one who has to look at me and I’m glad you finally told me how you feel about my nightgown.”
I really wasn’t upset but rather highly amused because he is such a bear in the morning. His gruff morning self is a little endearing and not terribly believable if stuff upsets him before ten. But the childish drama queen in me was tempted to just whip off the nightgown in one big dramatic gesture, flailing it over my head and hurling it to the ground, standing naked before him in his kitchen. I would add to the big flourish a punctuated: “Fine then! It’s gone!”
But I knew I wouldn’t get a belly laugh because it was well before lunch; and nothing is terribly funny before lunch on Sunday when you’ve both been up far too late watching cheesy HBO vampire drama. (Hey now, we know how to party in the middle of the middle of nowhere.)
Besides, I’m also not much of a morning person either. I avoid him by lolling about in bed for an hour or so after I awaken. I just pretend to be all damn sunshine and fucking light at 8:30. But that morning my nightgown was the last straw, especially after he growled at when I asked for a sticky note. Not a morning person, eh? I’ll show you. The gauntlet was thrown and he must know a line was crossed. So I took a passive-aggressive stance with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek.
“You know what…from now on if I’m upset with you I’m gonna wear this nightgown. I don’t care if it’s in tatters. Thirty years from now, you see this nightgown you’ll know you’re in trouble.”
NOW that got a guffaw out of him.
My poor maligned nightgown. And it’s not like it was a Walmart special. It came from Anthropologie land of the C-note nighties! Sure it was on sale but still it wasn’t your average nightgown. And sure it is an odd shade of green-maybe-yellow-wow-is-that-neon-whoa-that-thing-is-making-me-squint-where-are-my-sunglasses.
Plus there is sentimental value to this nightgown. I bought it so I had something reasonable to wear at his house. And it’s the frock I had donned just before the hired man caught me messing about with Bea last fall. Remember that time I was in the yard clad in only nightie and blanket on my shoulders? The hired man and his cowboy friend were getting ready to take the horses out on a ride? I’m sure his cowboy friend talked about that half-dressed woman he ran into at Dr. Doctor’s place until at least the following Wednesday.
I also thought it was an extraordinarily sexy nightgown without screaming:
“Hey now! Who wants to get laid?! Mememe that’s who!!!”
I was under the impression it whispered, “C’mer, I got something for you.”
Seems it was yelling: “Lookit me!! Imma make you grumpier than a sticky note request.”
But to keep the peace I’ll retire my soft cotton nightie with the charming lace bodice to my house where I can wear it without interference or a Wintour distain. Unless of course I’m upset about something and I want him to guess what it is. (Oh lordy kill us both now before I start those relationship games)
I hate to admit it really is an odd shade of green-maybe-yellow and the shoulders are getting stretched out so it doesn’t fit as good as it once did. Yup maybe it’s time for it to serve as a threat:
“Do I need to get that yellow nightgown out? Because I will! I will get the yellow nightgown just to show you!”
*this exchange and turn of events is related to the best of my memory. I’m sure there are inaccuracies. That New Boyfriend isn’t much of a morning person but that just means he is quiet and a tiny bit grumpy. The other 20 hours of the day he is a gem. Plus I got a new nightgown.