Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Love (04/27/06)
TITLE: Finding Love Beyond the Mud Mask
By Joanne Malley
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My darling husband flexed his big ol’ love muscles with pride.
His facial smirk proved he was about to present me with the card of all cards on the day reserved for love.
I know that little angel, Cupid, is responsible for transforming every guy into a dopey, babbling fool. I’ll proudly admit it - I don’t care who or what it takes for my other half to profess sweet nothings. I’m game for whatever works.
No jokes or pop-up hearts for my man. He opted for the mushiest, gushiest card that drew a river of tears from the depths of my aching heel spur. When I read the heartfelt addition of personal scribble on the card, I looked around with a hawk eye for evidence that I was a contestant on “You’re On Candid Camera.”
Chalk one up for Cupid. I owe him big time.
When my husband wasn’t looking, I shook the card briskly. No diamond necklace flew out, but the promise of a glorious day at the spa did. I’m blessed with a man who knows my aches and pains personally, recognizes my stress level, and does something about it.
Who needs bling? I’d soon bask in sea salts and green mud from head to toe. Add in the anti-aging wrinkle-diminishing facial, tummy tightening cream and the stretch mark eraser, and for reasons unknown to other women on the planet, I’ll say…“Diamonds? Who needs diamonds? Mud is my new best friend.”
Quite frankly, once you bypass forty, sparkle and bling does zilch for saddlebags and other nuisances caused by aging. I’ll opt for that plastic surgery in a squeeze bottle any day and hope my man thinks I’m Raquel Welch by the time my birthday arrives. Maybe then, I’ll get the diamonds. I’ll pray his dopey, love-crazed stupor lasts that long.
Anyway, my happy tears dried up quickly all over the words that said, “My gift to you is a day at the spa!”
Visions of being pampered made every layer of my skin giddy. I’d enter the front doors of the spa where indoor waterfalls and soothing music would await my arrival. Any stress I carried would roll off my aching back and onto the sleek marble floors. Happy, smiling people clutching warm towels would be my personal slaves for the day. Best of all, the mud I’d touch wouldn’t be all over my son’s clothes or ground into the carpet for once.
Aaaaah. Peace. Solitude. Renewal. Every woman’s dream was about to become my reality at Avante’ Day Spa. The question was, when?
I thanked my husband profusely for my gift, the lovely card and the velvety, crimson roses. All day I bounced on air because my man is awesome. At 12:00 midnight, my husband still wore his proud smirk.
It was time for bed and I felt heavenly thinking of my day at the spa. Since my appointment was pending, I got a head start with my own mud mask. With my hair pulled back, I closely surveyed myself in the magnification mirror. You know…after getting up that close and personal, I’m convinced a guy with an evil streak invented those things.
Anyway, I counted each crow’s foot, inspected my head for new gray sprouts and proceeded to slop on the cool, green paste. I waited patiently for a miracle to occur.
After my face was painfully taut, I realized ten minutes was not nearly enough time for even God to perform a miracle. I walked from the bathroom to the bedroom wearing disappointment and dried mud on my face.
My darling spouse relaxed on the bed and had the audacity to look good without a nighttime regimen. For reasons we women may never understand, our men remain unscathed by that little mishap in the Garden of Eden. Why are we the one’s who pay dearly through tucking here and pulling there? Not to mention all that sloppy slathering of smelly, earthen muck!
Just once I want to look as good as him without lotions, potions or torture.
“Hey, gorgeous. Wash off that beautiful face and sit with me,” he said.
“And, by the way, green is most definitely your color.”
I peered at the clock. It was 12:15 a.m. As Cupid was officially off duty, I realized my husband’s sidekick had absolutely no influence on him in the love department.
Hmmmm…a genuine compliment <I>and</I> the ability to notice my best color?
Now, that’s true love.
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