Raheema Sayyid-Andrews offers another instalment in the continuing story of being in love even after marriage:
You are standing in front of the closet in your underwear, mentally cursing at those phantom five pounds, the five pounds that you can feel and everyone else can see, and shaking your head because you have nothing to wear.
Blouse after blouse gets pulled out and then tossed aside. The pastel’s too plain and the pink’s too bright; the purple turns you into a ghost, the lime green clashes with everything, the black and white chequered jacket makes you look bulky and the white pants that go with it is in the wash anyway.
Why, oh why, did you buy that flowered orange thing? Nothing goes with orange…except maybe the black skirt. But that rides up and you’ll have to spend the day alternating between pulling it down and flashing passers-by.
You are seconds away from pulling your hair out—figuratively, of course—because you’ve just spent two hours washing, blow-drying and styling it and a bad-hair day on top of a no-clothes day is the last thing you need.
Then, out of the corner you pull that pair of pants, the ones that add a full foot to your legs and curves to your otherwise non-existent hips. When allied to those ridiculously-expensive-yet-completely-justifiable pair of black wedged heels (the ones you still keep in the box at the very back of the closet), they activate, like the Wonder-Twins, time travelling powers and power you back into your 21-year-old self, all perky and unstoppable with the world at your feet.
Amazingly, rummaging one more time, you now find the perfect top to complete your ensemble and lying there, no longer lost among the masses, are the ideal accessories, belt and handbag.
Everything slides on in seconds, you hardly notice the little jiggle that comes with the little wiggle as you properly situate all your bits and pieces. Not a tendril of hair has released its hold or lost its shine or bounce. Your lips remain smudge-free and your complexion looks radiant, your inner goddess shining through with almost too much glory for mere mortals to behold.
As you gracefully return the discarded pieces to their proper place, you can’t understand how you could have forgotten that you had bought that orange shirt because it hugs and enhances your bust line. You remember that the lime green blouse with its lovely print is really comfortable and you are reminded that pastel is the new power suit, redesigned and re-engineered for the twenty-first century woman.
Just as you replace the last item on the rack, the bathroom door opens behind you and out walks your guy, clean-shaven, great-smelling, still swathed in his towel. In what seems like mere seconds, he is completely dressed looking for all the world like he needs to be locked away for his protection and your piece of mind but ready and raring to go.
A glance at his ring finger makes you wonder if a wedding band is ever really enough to keep those husband-stealing vultures away from all of that yummy goodness. He smiles as he catches you watching him. In a flash, he becomes the ‘ogle-er’ and you the ‘ogle-ee.’
“Wow!” he says.
You can’t remember seeing him move but he’s now close enough to take your hand in his. He eases you into a twirl so that he can take in the whole effect and you find yourself gripping his fingers a little more tightly. You add a sway here and a hip thrust there, exaggerating every move and feeling the laughter rise lightly from your toes.
“How is it,” he whispers into your ear, closing his arms around your shoulders and smiling into your upturned eyes, “that you look more beautiful every single day and you never seem to try?”
With a shake of his head that conveys genuine confusion, he guides you out of the door. You look at your still linked fingers and you can’t help but smile.
Today, you know, is going to be a truly wonderful day.