It’s not often that my husband and I go out for dinner. We say we will and then the day goes by and we get busy and then too tired to fuss with good clothes and so we throw on some sweats and fix dinner at home and drink wine out of juice glasses.
On that rare occasion that we actually get through the day and still feel like going out to our favorite restaurant, I indulge in a going-out-to-dinner ritual first, the hour or so before we leave when I attempt to transform myself from ho-hum daytime Lynn to a more reved up, perked up nighttime Lynn.
It starts with me in a bathrobe and wearing a plain face. I apply a little more makeup than I wear during the day – the mascara’s a little heavier, the eye shadow a darker shade of brown. I dig out the blush and powder that live on the bottom of my makeup bag most days and put them on my nose and cheeks like I know what I’m doing. A few bracelets, a pair of earrings, and I find my wedding ring on the window ledge above the kitchen sink and put it on.
I get dressed, wearing something just low enough to attract a few double takes in the restaurant. Then I dab on a little “Happy” between my breasts, just enough that I can smell it throughout the evening, but not enough that it intrudes on others.
I bend over and I let gravity help wake up my tired hair. My fingers scrunch out the frizz and I freeze the curls in place with hairspray.
Finally, lipstick and one last check in the mirror.
Playing in the back of my mind throughout this ritual is the song “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton, ever hopeful my husband will notice that I look different than the woman he woke up next to that morning.
I walk into the living room where my husband is sitting, waiting patiently for the unveiling.
“You look nice,” he says with a smile.
“Thank you,” I say.
Salmon and a nice cabernet aren’t the only things on the menu tonight.