Valentines All Around
Why I Love Trey Reason #87: The saleswomen in Agent Provocateur know him by name – yet he had never once crossed their threshold until we were together.
Agent Provocateur, if you are not familiar, makes the most ridiculously beautiful underwear in the world: at once incandescently hot and perfectly elegant. (Not to mention meticulously constructed!)
It was early spring when he took me there the first time. He was most dashing and Alain Delon-like in his trenchcoat; I felt like Anna Karina exiting with my pink and black bag. Another day, he returned to buy me stockings: rose - colored with seam and heel. “She already has those” said the saleslady, looking at my file on the screen. “Not anymore,” said Trey. “You ruined them!” she grinned. Trey, a gentleman, said nothing, which said everything.
A most excellent thing to have a husband who joyfully buys you exquisite underwear! But it isn’t really about the underwear, but about being cherished and understood. With Trey both my femininity and femaleness are a source of creative joy. I like being all the Lillets -- like having no disconnect between his escorting me to the Carlyle in a beaded dress or my painting the kitchen in a wifebeater and his undershorts, between weeping at The Rabbit’s Wedding and my drawer of underthings lifted from L’Histoire D’O. It is like being a cross between an advent calendar and a hypercube, with all the doors open at once.
I was reminded of this last night while making him a Valentine’s present. I can’t tell you what it is – except that I tried something in an untried-for-me medium, which means it’s not a sestina or a collage or a Calin-Genou. In our kitchen nook, listening to music and working on a very silly thing, I felt ridiculously calm and happy, the calm and happy that comes from making something, no matter how silly. But consider the etymology of “silly:” from the Middle English seli, silli, blessed, innocent, from Old English gesælig, blessed. Indeed, blessed and unmediated. Wholly unmediated for the first time in my life.
I am grateful to Trey every day for dissolving what was left of my corpus callosum when he kissed me – I can hear the strange music in an instruction manual, see the poems in the poorly-lettered deli signs. There are valentines all around! What I thought was a beautiful painting in an inaccessible museum in a country I was never good enough to enter turns out to be the window into our very own house.