Maurice Sturgeon's lips folded themselves into a pout as she gazed at her reflection in the mirror. She tilted her head in the direction of the bathroom.
"Honey, I don't like this dress. It makes me look FAT."
Rod strode out of the washroom and cast his wife an appraising glance.
"You look fine."
"I look like a wrapped sausage."
"You look good enough to eat to me." Rod retreated back into the washroom like a turtle retreating in its shell. Maurice threw another glance at the mirror. Ugh. What had prompted her to buy this preposterous thing in the first place?
"Rod, I should've gotten the black dress. Black is more slimming. This salmon colour makes me look gross."
"I look like a beached whale."
"I thought you said you look like a sausage. Does the sausage contain whale by-products?"
"I should legally change my name to Willy."
"Or you could change it to Diane and you could be the Princess of Whales."
Saltwater rose to her eyes.
"So that's what you think of me? I bought this dress for YOU, you know."
"You might want to take it back, dear. It's not my size."
Maurice flung herself onto their bed, blubbering into her pillow. Hesitantly, Rod emerged from the bathroom and sat down beside her. He patted her awkwardly. She jerked her shoulder away from his hand, her wails increasing in pitch.
"I'm sorry dear. I shouldn't have baited you like that."
Maurice looked up miserably.
"I just wanted you to tell me I look nice," she mumbled.
Rod shook his head in bewilderment.
"Then why didn't you ASK me how you looked?"
Maurice shrugged her shoulders. Rod grinned.
"If you really want to know how I think you look, just ask."
Maurice wiped her eyes, sniffled one last time, then wiped her nose with the back of her hand.
"How do I look, Rod?"
Her husband smiled warmly.
"You look absolutely stunning. And I LOVE your dress."
Smiling tentatively, Maurice rose from the bed and brushed herself off.
"Then you don't think I look like a whale?"
Rod shook his head.
"Not one bit."
Maurice took his arm as they headed out the door.
"This was the last one they had in stock, you know,"
"Oh really? Talk about a FLUKE!"