I was mortified.
I’m a sucker for leopard print and lace, but I’m not a lingerie person as a rule. I find shopping for it oppressive. The lighting is poor and the mirrors make me suspect that somewhere out there, a fun house is missing some mirrors.
One day I thought I found a way around the torture that is the process of procuring lingerie.
What could possibly go wrong?
My adventure started when a friend came over with a glossy mail order magazine. I thumbed through the pages eagerly, reviewing the many lacy options that required no appraisal of my form in a freakish shopping mall mirror.
I was feeling pretty proud of myself. I surveyed the handy chart and selected the most appropriate size for my measurements.
I found something that was just my style.
I was sure my partner would be as I excited as I was for this unique experience. After all, I typically don’t do this sort of thing, but on the day I decided to make this unorthodox-for-me purchase, I figured we could both use a little spice in our lives every once and a while.
Lingerie is all about anticipation.
It’s like the shiny silver cover pulled dramatically off a platter, revealing the best meal you’ve ever imagined eating. I waited for its arrival with what I felt sure was the same anticipation he would feel when I wore it for him.
It was simultaneously exhilarating and excruciating.
Normally, I only have to wait half a second for my credit card to clear and a few more for the twelve-year-old-looking lingerie store cashier to lovingly wrap my purchase in fancy tissue paper before I can rip open a purchase. (Side note: I wonder why they do that. Do they think the casual observer might mistake the packaging for a birthday gift and not assume the carnal intent of the contents therein?)
Anywho, mail-order takes decidedly longer to be able to enjoy than a mall purchase, but for me, it was worth it.
Finally, my long anticipated garment arrived, with little fanfare except the sheer joy I luxuriated in while imagining the excitement it would bring.
I pulled it out of an impossibly tiny vacuum-sealed package and held it up to the light. The brightness filtered through the leopard laciness. I could tell it would not keep my secrets well. I took a deep breath and secretly tried it on while my partner was at work.
Far from the fun house mirrors and awful lighting, I was pretty impressed.
I liked how it made me look. I felt confident, sexy and sassy.
He was going to be so impressed! I was giddy with delight imagining the way he would look at me.
I longed for his eagerness. I felt like a hostess trying to conceal a surprise party. I could not stop smiling. I’m pretty sure if he'd seen me at that moment he would have thought I was crazy.
I mostly cared what he would think of the lingerie.
Later that night, in the darkness of our bedroom, I slid it on surreptitiously. I flicked on a lamp so he could gaze upon my lusciousness. It soon became abundantly clear he could not contain his reaction.
Within minutes, the room echoed with the sound of his … LAUGHTER?
Uproarious, joyful guffaws escaped his lips. He clutched his belly from the discomfort of the unplanned abdominal workout he received from gazing upon me in my sexy undies. I looked to him for some explanation for this outburst.
“You look like ... You look like ... Pebbles!” he blurted.
“You know ... from the Flintstones?” he clarified helpfully, in case I didn’t understand the outdated pop culture reference.
I was mortified.
My moment of sexiness, the hotness of everything I had hoped for was reduced to a character frequently featured on children’s chewable vitamins everywhere.
What could possibly go wrong? Well it turns out the vitamins I reminded him of are much easier to swallow than the idea that me in leopard print and lace is hilarious conceptually.
The fun house might not be missing its mirrors, but when I looked at him looking at me, I realized that somewhere out there, a circus was missing its clown (and I certainly wouldn’t be sleeping with him.)
Even though we broke up, the sound of his laughter still echoes in my mind each time I lay my fingers on a new piece of bedtime finery.
But I won't allow that to be the end of my love affair with leopard print and lace.
Mall shopping's funhouse mirrors may distort how I see my body, but I'm determined not to let his thoughtless laughter do the same.
The moral of the story, I suppose, is that when someone does something to make you smile, don't just leave them feeling like a punchline, or one day they will be the one laughing the last laugh — with someone who doesn't find the site of you in sexy panties anything but HOT.