Picture it. Virginia. December 2004.
The CSO, who is not much on present shopping, has been needling CC for some time to come up with what she wants for Christmas. They finally both have good jobs, and this is the first Christmas they've had together that this has been the case. He doesn't know it yet, but he's getting an Ipod. Finally, CC allows as to how a pearl necklace is part of the Washington DC uniform and would certainly be welcomed.
As the the CSO is getting her the necklace, she wanders over to a nice-looking underwear store. CC finds Victoria's Secret rube-filled and appalling. The one in this mall is bright magenta. So she's always looking for a good place to find underwear.
The bathrobe is right in the window. It's made of silk and cashmere, amazingly soft to the touch, cable knit, but really thin. It's a little bit Katharine Hepburn and a little bit Catherine Deneuve. It comes is a deep vampirish red, CC's favorite color, and CC is convinced that she will feel like a sex goddess in it.
But it is 150 dollars. And the CSO is off buying her a perfectly wonderful pearl necklace.
Being a reasonable person, she does what any reasonable person would do.
She shuts up.
After all, it would be silly to go and buy such a thing. She's sort of chubby and plain and wouldn't really do such a bathrobe justice.
A silk suit that she could wear for work? Maybe. But a silk and cashmere bathrobe? Come on, that's a little much, really. There are Jamaican kids who've never owned a pair of pajamas and she's lusting after a thing like that?
She's really not a silk-and-cashmere bathrobe sort of girl.
She idly mentions it but doesn't belabor the point, even as she and the CSO buy other, considerably less expensive but still really nice, bathrobes for the ChaliceMotherInLaw and the ChaliceSisterInLaw at the same store. (Transference, yes, but she likes to think it is the good kind.)
CC is shopping again, not having been in the mall since Christmas. She had looked for a new suit for work, but hadn't found one and is a mite dejected.
She goes by the underwear store figuring she'd ogle the bathrobe for a minute.
It's on the sale rack.
It's marked $15.00.
CC pulls out her size and her AmEx card. Then she realizes, duh, it's the ChaliceMom's birthday in two weeks. So the ChaliceMom gets one. And Katy-the-Wise has done a lot of freelance pastoral care since CC's brother got arrested, so yeah, why not? A blue bathrobe and a brown one drape across CC's arm.
Then she thinks.
What other woman in CC's life deserves to feel like a sex goddess?
All of them.
(Well, except for the one who threw out my wedding invitation. But I really did call my best friend, who is marrying her, intent on asking what color she'd like, figuring he could give it to her and shoot me the fifteen bucks later. He wasn't home. Them's the breaks.)
All told, CC bought seven bathrobes. And six pairs of matching slippers. (CC doesn't do slippers.)
And CC right now is imagining six women she cares about opening boxes and running sex goddess bathrobes across their cheeks feeling the silk and cashmere and knowing that there is someone out there who thinks they are worth it. Each of them will know that there's someone who sees them as a silk-and-cashmere sort of girl.
And CC feels about as at peace with the planet as she gets.
Ps. The store's website is selling sex goddess bathrobes for $37.50. Not getting a commission for this, I swear.