My husband almost paid me a compliment the other night. I was fresh out of the shower without a stitch of make-up on. My hair was… well, clean. I was wearing his old boxer shorts and an ancient sweatshirt from a sorority I was never even a member of. Suffice it to say, I’ve looked better.
He put his arm around me and asked tenderly, “Know who you remind me of right now?”
Wow! A compliment! I decided to think about it for a minute. Who did I remind him of? That was a tough one. If I say Nicole Kidman, I’m on a major ego trip. On the other hand, if I low-ball him with, say, Sally Struthers, I’m clearly fishing.
I kept thinking. It’d have to be someone with my unique attributes. Someone sassy. Intelligent. Attractive, of course. Natural. Low-maintenance. The kind of woman who seems lit from within. Radiant. Yeah, yeah, that’s good: radiant. But also someone of substance, right? Not shallow or vapid or anything. Someone smart enough to toss the word vapid around. And she’d be well-rounded too, balancing the classics with Star magazine. She’d be a fun mom, who’d let her kids eat cake for breakfast on their birthdays. She’d need to be a little bit of a rebel. Oh, and thin, too. Thin would be good.
Needless to say (after I regained my tenuous grasp on reality) I couldn’t come up with a single person who resembled this pathetic fantasy of who I wished I reminded my husband of. But the pressure was on; he was expecting an answer. My mind raced. Cheryl Ladd? Nah… too serious. Meg Ryan? Too perky. Pam Anderson? (Just kidding about that one.) Tara Reid? Too drunk. Gweneth Paltrow? Not drunk enough. Come on, I’m dying here — somebody throw me a bone!
And then, mercifully, I stumbled onto something. A faint light at the end of a long, delusional tunnel. I decided I reminded my husband of… hold on to your botox… Sheryl Crow! (Did I mention my grasp on reality was tenuous?) Preposterous, I know, but that’s what I came up with. Sheryl Crow.
Naturally I didn’t say that out loud. What kind of egomaniac do you think I am? Please. I know I can’t hold a candle to Sheryl Crow. But maybe, by some miracle of blessings by the goddess of terminal vanity, my husband thinks I can. Hey, they say love is blind. (And in this case also tone-deaf.) Anyway, when I couldn’t take the suspense for another second, I said, very casually, “I don’t know, honey. Who do I remind you of?”
At which point he said, “Gary. You know, that guy from thirtysomething.”