Cayden popped open a bottle of red wine while we got ready. I propped myself up on my bathroom counter with my feet in my sink like I did every morning. It was the perfect seat. I could put on my liquid eyeliner with perfect precision and watch Cayden get dressed in the other room at the same time. I laughed to myself when I saw Cayden ironing his jeans and shirt. I couldn't remember the last time I'd ironed anything, much less a pair of jeans. In fact, I could list at least four shirts off the top of my head that I hadn't worn for half a year because they were wrinkled. If it didn't unwrinkle in the dryer or the steamy bathroom while I showered, then I wasn't wearing it, which is just one of the many reasons I'd make a shitty housewife.
I watched the muscles in his upper back and shoulder tense and relax as he pushed the iron back and forth against the denim. I wasn't sure if it was the wine or my fresh-out-of-hibernation hormones that did the trick, but I'd never been more turned on by the simple act of ironing. I began to wonder if the ironing board was sturdy enough to support the weight of two people.
"Does this look familiar?" he asked, startling me out of my starched sexual fantasy. He was holding up a long-sleeved white button down with thin, gray stripes. In my mind I thought, Yes, that looks like the same white button-down shirt every guy wears when he's forced to wear anything nicer than casual.
Out loud, I said, "I feel like I've seen you wear it before," while looking at him quizzically. I was totally guessing. I mean, why else would it have looked familiar?
"This is the shirt I was wearing when we met," he said. He looked a little surprised that I hadn't placed it. For the most part, I have a photographic memory and can remember the most random details about any scenario. But that's only when I'm focused. Not when I'm in the middle of watching a squeaky ironing board porno in my head.
"Aw, baby, that's so sweet!" I said. "Don't even ask me about that dress I was wearing when we met. For some reason that empire waist looks more like a poor disguise for pregnancy than a fashion trend."
The dress was still in my closet, hanging there neglected. I hadn't worn it since I moved away from New York. It showed way too much boob to be considered a work dress, and it wasn't like I was going out to bars or clubs to meet men anymore.
I loved that Cayden remembered things like that. Recently, he'd admitted that he'd kept all of his boarding passes from his flights to and from Texas for sentimental value, which made me feel like a cold-hearted bitch because I'd spit my chewed gum in mine and tossed it in a trashcan before leaving the airport.
I put the finishing touches on my makeup and hopped off the counter. Cayden tilted his wine glass to mine for a quick cheers and then kissed me on my lips.
"You look beautiful, baby," he said looking me up and down. My hair and makeup were done, but I was still wearing my torn jeans and black-and-white striped V-neck from work.
"If you think this looks good, just wait until you see my dress," I said. "Your girlfriend is going to look hot tonight." I slapped his ass and yanked my dress off the hanger. I stripped off my clothes one layer at a time, leaving a trail into the bathroom. The dress needed a lot of tugging pulling and lifting and shifting, and I didn't want him to see me until everything was in place. There's nothing worse than walking around with misaligned nipples in a cold restaurant.
When all was good, I walked back into my room and propped myself up against the door frame, sticking my hip out to the side to appear even more curvy.
"Wow," he said when he saw me. "Just wow. Stunning."
I loved it when he said "stunning" because in his accent it sounded like, "stooning."
"Wow yourself," I said as I blatantly checked him out. The shirt was snug against his biceps and just tight enough on his chest to make me wish he weren't wearing one. Naked. Ironing board. Sex. I shook my head to regain the conductor's seat on my train of thought. Birthday sex would have to wait until after birthday dinner.
The one thing I hadn't considered when picking out my dress was what kind of shoes I'd wear. What does one match with rust? Brown? Black? Bright purple? I could tell the dress needed heels to complete the look, but hated heels with a fiery passion. I downed another glass of wine while I tried on every shoe in my closet. When I ran out of flats to try on, I moved on to my very limited supply of heels: the shiny black heels from Shanna's wedding and the suede black booties with the four-inch heel I tried to wear at Cayden's birthday dinner the year before. I like to refer to them as my 'Stripper shoes.' I bought them specifically for a pole dancing class and I hadn't worn them since.
The stripper shoes looked much better than the wedding heels, but I'd lost feeling in my toes after five seconds of trying them on. In the end, I went with the stripper shoes and just prayed both feet would go numb before I felt severe pain.
"Oh! You guys look so good!" Joyce said when we finally emerged from my room. She looked like a proud mom on prom night.
And in true prom night fashion, we posed for photos in front of the fireplace.