I love surprises, but after more than forty years of marriage, I never imagined my husband would ask to borrow my lingerie.
Barely awake one cold December morning, I thought I’d misunderstood him. “My what?” I asked.
“Garter belt,” he repeated.
"Sure thing, sweetie, it’s in my dresser drawer right next to my granny panties."
The last time I owned a garter belt, Ronald Reagan was in the Oval Office, leg warmers were in style, and the Internet was yet to be invented by Al Gore.
I shook my head, hoping my husband -- a Vietnam Veteran and grizzled grandpa who hunts, fishes, and chops wood -- hadn’t been keeping secrets all these years.
When he held up a thigh-high, thick brown stocking, I understood. He had surgery a few days earlier to remove a varicose vein from his right leg. His surgeon prescribed a compression stocking to control swelling and improve circulation.
Unlike me, Hubby has thin thighs. Every time he put on his stocking, it fell down. That afternoon I headed out in search of a plain white garter belt, size small.
While browsing at a discount store, I asked a twenty-something employee where I could find one. She greeted my question with a smirk and a raised, pierced eyebrow.
What did she think I was--a hoochie grandmomma?
At my next stop I asked an even younger-looking sales clerk for help. I guess she didn’t get many requests like mine from senior citizens. She snickered and led me to her supervisor.
Hoping the gray-haired manager of the lingerie department would be more sympathetic, I blurted, “I’m not looking for anything fancy.”
Peering over her glasses, the woman sized me up, “Sorry. We don’t carry those any more.”
With flushed cheeks, I retreated into the crowd, realizing the manager and I belong to the same church. Good thing I hadn’t mentioned the lingerie was for my husband.
Ostrich Legs didn’t have any luck with his shopping excursion either. He told me, “The salesgirl looked at me like I was a pervert.”
Thank goodness our former vice president finally invented the Internet because my compression-stocking honey found a garter belt online.
A few days later, his package arrived in the mail. That night, while garter-belt grandpa bent over to stack wood in the fireplace, I spotted the top of his lingerie peeking out from his jeans.
There’s nothing like the unexpected to rekindle wedded bliss -- even after forty years.
Donna Volkenannt lives and writes in St. Peters, Missouri, with her husband Walt and their two grandchildren, who fill her heart with joy -- and who are always full of surprises. When not carpooling, running to school or sporting events, or shopping for garter belts for her husband, she blogs about writing and the sweet mysteries of life on http://donnasbookpub.blogspot.com