When we last left off I was hiding out on the patio, pretending to listen to Adam on the phone while my mind spun with how I was going to explain to my husband the scene he’d just walked in on.
It’s not everyday you surprise your wife in the middle of a naked photo shoot.
I finished what had to be my tenth cigarette in 15 minutes and decided it was probably time to go back inside and face the music. I strolled casually by my husband, who had returned to watching TV on the couch, and flashed him an unconvincing “this is not at all awkward” smile as I hung up the phone.
I couldn’t tell by the look on his face if he was trying not to laugh or suppressing the urge to interrogate me. There may have also been a glimmer of hope that he had just interrupted what was meant to be a sexy surprise for him. I knew I had to shatter those dreams as quickly as possible.
“So… umm… you might be wondering…” I stammered.
“I’m curious,” he admitted.
In a rush I tried to explain what I was doing, frantic to get to the end before the words “naked” and “internet” had a chance to raise any red flags in his head.
“It’s for my blog. It’s not trashy, I promise. Totally tactful. Body image thing. Acceptance. I thought a picture would help. Not showing anything though, really. It’s not bad. I’ll show you. I promise. I know it sounds weird.”
He raised an eyebrow at me and I could tell he was struggling to maintain an uninterested look. “Do you need any help?”
“No! It’s not like that.” I rolled my eyes, grateful to be able to grasp the high ground as I shot him my most superior “you are sooo immature” glare.
He chuckled under his breath and went back to his Survivor Man marathon. I flounced back into the bedroom, reminding him to “leave me the hell alone so I can finish this up”. Ah, yes. Nothing like a little defensive superiority to mask humiliation.
Alone again in my bedroom, I locked the door. And checked it. And relocked it. And checked it again. When I was confident it was finally secure this time, I slid a dresser in front of it.
I quickly snapped another ten shots and determined that surely there would be something in here I could Photoshop the hell out of use as a symbol of acceptance. Besides, the longer I stayed in the bedroom alone, the heavier the weight of the curiosity from the other room became.
I got dressed, removed the camera from the tripod, and went out to the kitchen to begin perusing the proofs on the laptop.
I experimented with new Photoshop actions. I desaturated and added contrast. I softened and compared and eliminated potentials until I had narrowed the field to two basic concepts: a back shot and one from the front.
“Would you like to see these and help me choose what to put on the blog?”
He smirked as he pulled himself off the couch and came to stand behind me.
“Hmm. I don’t know. Whatever you think.”
“You have no opinion?”
“They all look nice,” he responded as he put his arms around me and snuggled in close to my back.
“Does this bother you at all?”
“What? No. Of course not.”
“Well, I just wanted to be sure. I mean, it is the Internet.”
“Honey, they’re beautiful and not at all tasteless. You’re fine,” he assured me.
His ease and nonchalance renewed my confidence. He kissed the top of my head and disappeared back into the living room, leaving me to put the finishing touches on the picture and the words that would accompany it.
I continued the Photoshopping and deliberating, occassionally calling into the other room, “you’re sure this is OK?”, which would be met with a “whatever you want babe” and one “you’re not selling them, are you? Can you sell stuff like that?”
I eventually made my decision and posted the back shot along with the letter. I hit publish and called Jared back into the room for one final vote of approval.
“That’s great babe. Really. You did a good job.”
“Thank you honey. That means a lot to me.”
“Are you ready for bed?” he asked. I wondered briefly if I’d just seen him wag his eyebrows at me.
“Yeah, let me shut this down and I’ll be right there.”
I finished up the last few emails of the night and shut down the computer. I returned to the bedroom and slid underneath the covers beside my husband.
“I think it’s amazing how supportive you are, I just want you to know that.”
“I like to see you naked,” he breathed as he laced his arm around my waist.
“I know you do baby. And I love you, really, I do, and -”
“I love you too,” he whispered.
“Oh, we’re not having sex.”
The eyebrow wagging was immediately replaced by a look of utter shock.
“But… but… the… the naked… you’re… and…”
“Honey, I’ve felt like I’ve had to poop for three days now. Do you have any idea how uncomfortable it is to have sex when you think you could poop at any minute?”
“You just.. you write that stuff… your posts… you say these… but shit. Seriously?” he stammered. “You can’t.. not like… I mean you just don’t SAY stuff like THAT!”
“I’m sorry, is there a better way to say I’m too constipated for sex?”
With a snort and a heavy sigh, he rolled over, shaking his head at my complete and utter confusion.
And he never told me.
Is there a better way to say you’re too constipated to have sex?