VERNON COUNTY - All day Friday, I was excited about my upcoming date night with Dane. He was taking me to a concert in Viroqua and I had devised a plan. Nothing outrageous or weird—I was simply going to get all dolled up and knock his socks off.
I don’t have a knack for matching jewelry, or even matching socks, but I was going to do my best to look my best. I’ve been diligently counting my calories and taking the dogs for long hikes after my long days of work, and I felt I was looking better.
My plan was to finish work early, take care of all the animals, treat myself to a luxurious bath with a moisturizing mask on my face, and then proceed with the dolling up.
Once home, I got busy. I scooped two cups of Epsom salt out of my 50-pound bag, threw it into the tub and added my favorite oil until the surface looked like a Gulf oil spill. I pulled on my aqua-colored terrycloth headband and smoothed the blue moisturizing mask all over my face. But I slid too quickly into the tub, causing me to come up spitting out blue gunk. The mask had gotten into both of my eyes, making them itch and burn. I jumped from the tub, grabbed a towel and wiped my eyes until the stinging subsided. Back in the tub I placed a warm washcloth on my chest, took one long deep breath, and exhaled slowly as I carefully sank back into the water up to my shoulders and closed my eyes.
Immediately, Monkey Butt, my sleek, black, water-loving cat, hopped up onto the tub’s edge and started pawing the water and meowing. Before I could open my eyes fully, Monkey took a leap and landed on the washcloth on my chest. Uff da! This was not relaxing. I shooed Monkey away, got out of the tub, shut the bathroom door, turned off the light and slid carefully back into the oily water, catching myself before I started spewing blue again.
I awoke with my mouth hanging open, drool slipping down my chin, mixing with the blue stuff. Worried about how long I’d slept I got out of the tub, taking care not to slip on all that oil, and began to towel off.
“Hello, hello!?” Darn, Dane was already here, yelling for me. I pushed open the door a crack and answered in my fake non-crabby voice, “I’m in here. I’ll be ready in a minute.” Now ,the race was on. I rinsed and patted my face dry, rubbed in a mountain of face cream, combed my hair and began to blow-dry it with my head hanging down, because I once saw in a magazine at the laundromat that doing so would give my hair lift and body.
When I finished, I needed to re-wet my hair because it was standing straight up like a troll doll’s. I applied my go-to favorite makeup—mascara—and tried out my newly learned technique of making my eyebrows great again. Then, I slathered my legs, stomach, and arms with coconut oil while Finn, my rat terrier mix, tried to lick it off.
Almost done, I put on a clean pair of evening blue underwear, my new Darn Tough hiking socks, a fresh pair of blue jeans straight from the dryer, and my one and only good top. I finished off with my boots, a pair of silver hoop earrings, and a touch of color on my lips, and exited the bathroom.
Dane was sound asleep on the couch with Téte, my black nothing-but-a-hound dog at his feet, and Finn on his chest in a coconut oil induced coma.
“How do I look? Can you tell I’m losing weight?”
Dane struggled to wake up, then looked at me, looked again, and looked at me some more. “No.”
With the animals all taken care of, wood in the stove, and Dane wide-awake, we headed for the car. Dane looked over at me and said, “You look nice tonight.” I smiled an honest-to-goodness smile and we headed to town.
Standing in line waiting for the doors to open, I was thrilled to see a new gal from one of my classes behind me, and another gal who works out with me behind her. After introductions, my left hand brushed my leg and felt something big and hard there. Sweet mother of pearl, a growth?! “Feel this,” I said to my workout buddy. She looked confused, but I grabbed her hand and ran it over the mass on my leg. Next, I grabbed Dane’s hand and gave him a feel.
I hurried to the door with Dane following and we marched across the street to his car. I opened the car door and, standing just inside it while Dane covered for me, I unzipped my pants and pulled them down far enough to see the growth. Out popped a couple pairs of wadded up underwear.
Back inside the theater, I showed my workout friend the undies that moments ago were a malignant growth and said loudly, “I told Dane we shouldn’t have stopped to make out on the way here!”
Later, as we drove home after the concert, I reached for Dane’s hand and held it all the way home. I love date nights and Dane, but getting dolled up is just a little too stressful for me.