Thursday, June 23, 2005

Chain Reaction

On the 21st we sat outside around a campfire to enjoy the lingering daylight hours. Up here it means we were out there a long time. It was close to midnight when we finally went inside. I was sitting there with my freshly painted red toenails when my husband commented that he liked my nails. Before I could reply he went on to tell me that he liked my hair with its new dye job and highlights, my wearing makeup, my new clothes. All of it, he liked it. He said it showed him that if I was taking an interest in myself there must be this interesting woman underneath. I nearly fell out of my chair. This is a man who has hardly ever said a word to me about how I look in our 23 years of marriage.

I started to protest. But he was raised with women who never wore makeup, never went to a hairdresser, wore no jewelry and definitely no red painted toenails. [There was a time in our marriage when I tried duplicating that look. Grew my hair down to my waist, wore a headcovering, left my makeup behind and only wore dresses. And while my husband was never pleased with any of that on me, he had often said he liked long hair, liked the natural look.] In fact that very night I had changed from wearing my first ever tank top to a top that covered me up better because his folks were coming for supper and I knew the tank top would be offensive to his dad. My husband stopped my protest by telling me that doing all these things were very feminine and he liked them.

Probably the best thing to me about it all is that I hadn't done any of it for him. The last time I had a marked response from him about my appearance had been the summer we both shaved our heads in a fundraiser for the local Cops for Cancer Campaign. [Being married to a bald woman was enough to illicite a comment or two from him!]

His comment stirred up quite the conversation between us. My last post had had him teary eyed. He keeps telling me that it goes so much deeper than red painted toenails. We both know something is happening in me that is a good thing. Like a domino effect, change happens, deep change, when I DO something. Who'd have thought red painted toenails could start such a chain reaction?

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