Victoria's SecretThe Victoria's Secret catalogue no longer thrills me. I know this confession will probably lead to my expulsion from the Good Ol' Boys' Club, but I'm pretty sure I was never a member in good standing anyway.
The one on the far right is easier to take,
her eyes half-closed
as if she were listening to a medley
of lullabies playing faintly on a music box.
Soon she will drop off to sleep,
her head nestled in the soft crook of her arm,
and later she will wake up in her
Spandex slip dress with the high side slit,
deep scoop neckline, elastic shirring,
and concealed back zip and vent.
But opposite her,
stretched out catlike on a couch
in the warm glow of a paneled library,
is one who wears a distinctly challenging expression,
her face tipped up, exposing
her long neck, her perfectly flared nostrils.
Go ahead, her expression tells me,
take off my satin charmeuse gown
with a sheer, jacquard bodice
decorated with a touch of shimmering Lurex.
go ahead, fling it into the fireplace.
What do I care, her eyes say, we're all going to hell anyway.
***Excerpted from "Victoria's Secret" by Billy Collins
Now it's The King Arthur Flour Company's Baker's Catalogue that stirs my fantasies. I dream of dipping my hands in bags of velvety flour. The thought of melting 5 pound blocks of luxurious, bronze caramel over a slow, low heat quickens my pulse. Even the $9,950 price on the Italian, hand-crafted, wood-fired oven, doesn't deter from flirting with the idea of standing in my backyard baking pizzas that possess the seductive powers of Sophia Loren. I am not a well man.
However, I have a wonderful wife who keeps my insanity from running amuck. This is why I always consult my wife before making a purchase of $50.00 or more – yet another reason to have my Good Ol' Boys' Club membership renounced. My wife and I have always consulted each other before major purchases; it's just the way things are done in our household. This consulation has halted numerous impulsive purchases on my part - a sausage grinder/stuffer contraption for our KitchenAid mixer, a yogurt cheese maker, and some fringed, buckskin boots. I've found that a good marriage operates on a system of checks and balances -- something our federal government once utilized. Last week I consulted my wife before making a King Arthur Flour Company purchase. Here's how it went down:
Me: Hey, King Arthur has $3.00 shipping, and I'm thinking about placing an order.
My Beautiful, loving wife: What are you ordering?
Me: Some plastic storage tubs that will hold 25 pounds of flour.
My beautiful, loving wife: Do we own that much flour?
Me: No, but I'm planning on purchasing a couple of 25 pound bags of flour.
At this point, my wife looked at my like I had just informed her that I intended to purchase weapons-grade plutonium.
My beautiful, loving wife: Does flour expire? You can't possibly use that much flour.
Me: I'm planning on doing a lot of baking. Also, it's less expensive purchasing flour in bulk. These trying economic times call for frugality. I heard on NPR that the price of food staples like flour will steadily increase over the next few months.
At this point, my wife grimaced because she hates it when I begin a sentence with, "I heard on NPR . . ." Then the grimace disappeared and she embraced her fate. Then she gave me a look that said, "You know that you're lucky to have a wife who tolerates your quirky behavior."
My beautiful, loving wife: That sounds like a good purchase.
Even though I probably won't be able to hang with those back-slappin' Good Ol' Boys, I'm content. I'll just stay at home, hang with my family, bake a lot of bread, and keep fighting those windmills.
But this is already too much.
Who has the time to linger on these delicate
lures, these once unmentionable things?
Life is rushing by like a mad, swollen river.
One minute roses are opening in the garden
and the next, snow is flying past my window.
Plus the phone is ringing.
The dog is whining at the door.
Rain is beating on the roof.
And as always there is a list of things I have to do
before the night descends, black and silky,
and the dark hours begin to hurtle by,
before the little doors of the body swing shut
and I ride to sleep, my closed eyes
still burning from all the glossy lights of day.
***"Victoria's Secret" by Billy Collins from the book Flying Around the Room Alone.
Have a great weekend and make time to do something fun,