We’ll Go Dressing In The Dark…

Who let me out of the house looking like this?

Marriage is all about perspective.  Everything depends on your viewing angle.

Yesterday morning I got up earlier than my husband, Bill.  We work together, and both need to get to the office by 8:30.  I was silently putting the finishing touches on my toilette when he woke up and sat on the side of the bed. (Cue beautiful dawn music from the William Tell Overture)

“Good morning.  Boy are you a sleepy head today!” I said sweetly to his silhouette, dim in the dark bedroom.  I spoke softly so as not to overly jar his just-awakened senses.

“How can I get any sleep” he snarled in a gruff voice “with Beeby caterwauling and you banging everything around?”

Whaaa??? (Insert noise of abrupt scratch of record in middle of sweet music.)

He had it pegged with our cat, Beeby.  She has developed the nasty habit of meowing loudly outside the bedroom door each morning.  When I’m feeling charitable, I think she’s trying to help by acting as the backup alarm clock.  When I’m crabby and sleepless, she’s Satan’s agent sent to rob me of sleep with her unreasonable feline demands for attention.  But as to the part about me… what alternate version of reality was this? 

“Wait a minute.  Even though it is 7:45, and you’re probably going to be late, I was tippy-toing around in the dark, risking life and limb so as to not wake you up.” I kept my voice low and sweet, despite my growing indignation.

“Every time you open and close the bathroom door, it’s like there’s a construction crew at work in here.  I always go through the hallway door to avoid all that noise.” He replied, still surly.

Our bathroom can be accessed via a door from the hallway or a pocket door from our bedroom.  Pocket doors, for the uninitiated, hang from 2 pegs on an overhead track that disappears into the wall.  One of the pegs broke, oh, about 6 months ago.  Now, instead of smoothly, silently sliding into the wall, you have to pick up one end and bump and lurch the door open and closed.  We could avoid the hassle and leave it open all the time, but it tends to destroy all the romantic mystery when one is treated to the full glory of the partner’s bathroom habits.

“I don’t use the hallway because as soon as I open our door, Beeby would come streaking in here and jump on your face.  THAT has a pretty good chance of waking you up, too.” I said, still sweetly, whispering, albeit through gritted teeth.  I didn’t even say anything about the fact that HE had made no move to do anything about the broken door.  

From Bill’s perspective I was deliberately banging and clanging about the room as an editorial without words about him sleeping in.  That could not be further from the truth. 

Here’s what really happened.

The alarm buzzed.  I slowly, reluctantly crawled out from under the cozy down comforter.  I felt my way through the dark bedroom, not wanting to turn on a light out of consideration for my dear husband.  As I felt my way for the bathroom door I momentarily forgot that the thing is hanging catawampus on one top hinge, so even when pushed into the wall, the bottom of the door juts out at an angle.  You probably see where I’m heading with this, even if I couldn’t.

I banged my toe on the damn thing.  Smartly.

Picture me silently, oh so silently, hopping around on the one remaining good foot, stuffing an old (smelly) sock into my mouth to stifle my screams of pain.  When my vision cleared, I limped into the bathroom, closing the door as silently as possible by using my thigh to push the bottom while I lifted up the top.  After taking care of bathroom business, I cautiously went back into the bedroom and felt my way in the Stygian blackness to the chest of drawers upon which I keep my jewelry and various perfumes, lotions and deodorant.   Locating the later by touch, I gave each armpit a swipe.

Then I felt for the bottle of Paloma Picasso, my favorite perfume, and gave a quick spray behind each ear.  From the smell, I’d say I tagged the Aqua Net instead.  A quick feel around located my classic, gold hoop earrings and I managed to insert them in the proper ear holes after stabbing myself in the ear only 3 times.

I played Blind Man’s Bluff around the foot of the bed and switched on the one, dim bulb illuminating our closet.  This was my sole source of light.  Squinting into the murky darkness, I tried to remember exactly what my clothes looked like.

I chose brown, herringbone pants, a cream blouse and a brown sweater.  I got into the armholes and pant legs with a minimum of trouble, only falling over once.  Luckily, I was right next to the bed so the mattress muffled the sound of my fall.

I was just putting on brown leather pumps when Mr. Sunshine deigned to get up.

I took the moral high road, had pity on Bill’s just-awakened-crabbiness, and swallowed any justifiably snippy comments that occurred to me.  I quickly gathered my stuff and headed to my car as he lurched the door to the bathroom open.

It wasn’t until I arrived at the office that I saw my get-up in all its splendor, revealed by cruel, fluorescent light.  Here are the elements, in case you want to repeat this look:

  • The sweater jacket was gray.  Not brown, like the pants. 
  • Based on the beach smell and stickiness, I had applied stick sunscreen instead of deodorant to my armpits. 
  • The Aqua Net hairspray-in-lieu-of-perfume spritz to my neck left a shiny patch that cracked when I turned my neck.
  • Instead of classic gold hoops, I had come up with an old pair of large, pink plastic Hello Kitty earrings that my daughter wore when she was 11. 
  • I completed the ensemble with my navy blue Pilgrim-look pumps with the big buckles on the toes (why, oh, why do I keep those?) to go with the brown herringbone slacks.

All day I walked around like Helena Bonham Carter at a major awards event, garnering an equal number of looks of fashion sympathy and censure from all who had the misfortune to view me. 

It just goes to prove that old adage – no good turn goes unpunished.  Consideration for ones’ spouse may be good for marriage, but it’s hell on fashion.

About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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48 Responses to We’ll Go Dressing In The Dark…

  1. Hilarious. ( but have to compliment the cat who tried to run interference and deflect some of the annoyance away from you. That’s loyalty….well they are loyal-ish to the food givers)


  2. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    Hilarious! Ok, next time, turn on the lights. Sleeping hubby, be damned! Does he want you to wander around looking like a street urchin all day?


  3. Did you notice Joan Rivers lurking in the corner?


  4. bigsheepcommunications says:

    A brilliant piece – might be my very favorite Peg posting (well, second only to Walmart, the Musical). At this point, there’s nothing to do except embrace the Helena Bonham Carter look and walk around like you fully intended to put on those Hello Kitty earrings. You rock.


    • pegoleg says:

      Well thank you, ma’am! And if anyone would know about rocks, it would be you. Rocks, bricks, massive amounts of dirt and anything else that can hold up a retaining wall.


      • bigsheepcommunications says:

        Oh, you flatter me! Pleased to report the wall is still standing and now has some pretty impressive holes drilled into it. Our cul de sac, the staging area, looks a little bit like an offshore drilling platform, which frightens me just a little.

        By all means, turn the lights on next time!


  5. Janu says:

    Sounds like our house…..cats and pocket door included! Years ago I went to a very important business meeting wearing 1 black shoe and 1 navy blue shoe – because I got dressed in the dark so I would not wake up hubby. Another time I ended up in the emergency room with a broken toe, and the Dr. said, “let me guess, you were walking around in the dark, because you did not want to wake up your husband. ” My question is, does the male half of couples also have this dillema?


  6. Spectra says:

    Peg, we can clearly see that all of this early-morning-consideration nonsense has begun to interfere with your quality of life. It’s not the Hello Kitty earings that bother me, it’s the sunscreen under the armpits. That’s only really helpful to those beachy volleyball players.


  7. Ha! I’m with SDS, turn on the lights next time, hubby be damned. Of course, I do that and STILL end up looking like Helena Bonham Carter. Fashion is not my strong suit.


  8. Oh, if this is true, it’s brilliant. I think the earrings are my favorite part. Does Bill appreciate that you looked like you’d had a stroke while dressing, all for his sake? Or did he later turn to you at work and say, “Why are you wearing that?”


  9. Tori Nelson says:

    Listen. I think your outfit sounded pretty hot. Then again I’m wearing a neon scrunchie in my dirty hair, an over-sized sweatshirt, and some winter print pajama pants with an unfortunate tear in the crotch. I like to think it’s just a little eccentric?


  10. Doesn’t the man know by now that he should be on his best behavior because the world is going to read about it if he’s not? When will they ever learn? 😉

    Great post. You had me laughing as usual! 🙂


  11. winsomebella says:

    Thanks for giving us a view of the angle of your marriage. Very, very funny Peg.


  12. Tar-Buns says:

    Very good. Had me laughing all the way 🙂 Since Pat leaves before I get up in the AM, I don’t usually have this problem. Only when he takes the day off and I have to go to work do I encounter this fun. Hmmm where to plug in the hairdryer so as not to really wake him up???

    This reminded me of a Mark Twain item. Letter to the Rev. J. H. Twichell, which my World Lit class reads. It’s about Twain unable to sleep and decides to get up at 2am while at a hotel in Munich, but doesn’t want to awaken his wife, Livy. He goes through all kinds of fun, just like you, trying to do so quietly.

    My love to you and your man. Don’t know how you tolerate Beebe and her antics, like peeing on everything. 🙂


    • pegoleg says:

      Is Pat tippy-toing around so he doesn’t wake you up with his hairdryer and other beauty appliances?

      As to Beeby, what can I do? The alternative to living with it, is to put her down, and that’s just a euphemism for kill her. Can’t bring myself to do it.


      • Tar-Buns says:

        Pat and beauty appliances? Are you kidding me? Have you met my husband?

        He’s one of those 30 min SSS and out the door, wet hair be damned, and you know how much of that he has 🙂 Really, all I know is that the one and only bathroom is not available from 5:30-6am in our house.

        So I stay in bed and hope to not need the facilities while they are in use. Wish I had another bathroom……

        I understand about Beebe. It’s a conundrum isn’t it?


  13. Big Al says:

    Right off, you know any experience that invokes the words caterwauling and catawampus is going to be a good one. That none of the four-letter variety ushered forth is the real surprise.

    Funny story, Peg!!


  14. Sandy Sue says:

    Honestly! No need to credit your spouse for that red-carpet ensemble! Next: Project Runway!


  15. Ima Bovine says:

    The Bull once got dressed in the dark the morning of a job interview so as not to wake me. Got on a plane and it wasn’t until he arrived 700 miles from home, late of course, that he noticed his jacket and pants were not from the same suit. Remarkably he got the job, I got a laugh and we ended up relocated. Who would’ve figured?


  16. pattisj says:

    I was wondering what you ended up wearing when you mentioned the “one dim bulb.” Everything looks the same in that light, so it all matches–until you get outside, anyway.


    • pegoleg says:

      I hate to admit that this morning I’m wearing dark gray pants and a sweater I SWORE was gray at home, which turns out to be a very dark, loden green. Maybe the problem isn’t Bill so much as I need to invest in more than a 40 watt bulb for the closet?


  17. egills says:

    So funny and thank you for giving me an insight to what might happen when I get married…. nah, I have a written contract ( signed and hidden safely ) that HE has to make ME a cup of coffee and bring it to me when the alarm goes off…. please tell me this isn’t going to change once I’ve signed on the dotted line!


  18. Lenore Diane says:

    Laugh out loud goodness, though your outfit seemed more Cyndi Lauper’ish. I hope your toe is feeling better.


  19. Barb says:

    Why do husbands take it as a personal, intentional attack on their sleep? We waged a battle of banging doors and hard pushed drawers for 3 days before there was an armistice. Spot on post!!


  20. Val says:

    This made me laugh (and I am still smiling.) Reminds me of my nights as I usually go to bed later than my husband and have to manoevre my way to bed in the dark, carrying my glass of water with me (yep, a throwback from childhood, except then it was milk). My sense of direction is useless so I bump into cupboards, stub my toes on the bed, walk into the wall. The bedside table is hard and noisy to put anything on so I’ve learnt over the years to lower the glass carefully using my fingertips to feel for the surface and estimate its distance from the paper-hanky box… in all this, my husband has absolutely no idea what is happening… he is fast asleep. Then in the mornings (or sometimes if he wakes during the night) he queries the ‘bouncing’. What bouncing? My actually getting into bed and turning over. That’s what disturbs him. Not the injuries to my limbs or the careful lowering of the glass but the dip in the bed. Hmmm…

    They’re often not happy with their life, are they, men? 😉


    • pegoleg says:

      Jeez, Val, after all you go through to ensure hubby is not disturbed, he should erect a statue in your honor, not gripe about the bouncing. Like I said, marriage is all about the point of view…


  21. Amy says:

    One day (not that long ago actually), I tried to be nice and not turn on the bedroom light while dressing so I wouldn’t wake my sleeping husband. I thought all was well until I got to work and found out I had on two completely different shoes. One brown, one black. One a wedge, one a stack heel. I was so mortified that I went out and bought a cheap pair of black flats at lunch.
    Never again. The lights get turned on from now on.


  22. yearstricken says:

    Wonderful post. The things we do for love!


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