My relatives had an elegant party. I got dressed up and went over.
I let myself into the house and showed up in the kitchen, where my cousin-in-law, Dave, looked startled to see me and was speechless for one second. I know I arrived early so he wasn’t expecting people.
Then he said, “Diane! I didn’t recognize you!,” laughed, and gave me a hug. Dave then said some iteration of that phrase another five or so times.
“I look that different?” I quizzed. I last saw him 18 months ago.
“You do!” he remarked, but wasn’t sure what it was. Maybe that my hair’s grown longer. I just haven’t cut it.
It’s not a strategy on my part to have a certain length of hair. I’m unemployed and I can do what I want with it.
I did, however, also gain weight, and was feeling really tired for months in the body clock transition from early mornings to regular life. So his comment made me self-conscious after a while.
Dave’s so sweet and he realized this, too, so he made some course correction in the form of, “Well, I invited my regular old cousin, not some movie star! Ha ha!”
Many a husband, I’m sure, has been pressed into service as a therapist, as mine was the following day. “Do I look that different?” I queried Claus.
Here is proof that he has been married long enough to come up with a voluminous variety of placations:
“Of course not.”
“You looked beautiful.”
“No, you don’t look larger.”
“No, you don’t look tired.”
“You looked fine. No, fine means wonderful.”
“He’s just used to seeing you dressed down at the pool, and last night you had all that fancy makeup and stuff.”
So we went with that and I let us drop it.
Pretty good, Husband. He’s got a future in behavioral therapy if he should tire of the world of business.