In 1961, John Cheever wrote a hilarious, and sad, story called “The Chimera,” about a dutiful husband who made his wife breakfast in bed every morning. However well executed the meal, she had something to complain about. After setting down her breakfast one morning, she blurts out words to this effect,”how long must I put up with being served breakfast in bed by a hairy man in his underwear!” The narrator husband, after remembering that his wife’s two older sisters had been suspected of killing their mates, in desperation, begins to pine for what he wants in a woman, “tenderness, love, loving, good cheer — all the splendid and decent things I knew to be possible in the world.”
On the way home from date night tonight, Mary and I were talking about all the women who try too hard. They get dolled up. They slim and tuck and coif and take in the look of their nylon-veiled calves in different dress/heel combinations. They rouge themselves and pout in the mirror,practicing their selfie smile.
And it’s all good. Women are beautiful. Praise God.
But men pine for tenderness and loving good cheer. It’s the real love potion, the one that lets you stretch out and yawn, content, when you wake up on a Sunday morning and the day is before the both of you.