In the comic strip Baby Blues, the husband, Darryl, is Christmas shopping for his wife Wanda. A clerk asks what Wanda has on her wish list, and Darryl reels off “me listening better” and “doing a load of laundry once in a while,” her “sleeping more and cooking less,” a “better, safer world for our kids” and “to be appreciated for being the good woman, wife and mother she is.”

The clerk informs him that the store doesn’t carry any of those, so Darryl opts for a push-up bra.

Typical guy, right? Who’s he want that for? Wanda—or himself?

It may sound like a slam-dunk question, but it’s not. Trust me on this. Darryl is no doubt thinking, “Wanda would look hot in a push-up bra.” And if you focus on the last three words, he does sound self-centered and clueless.

But if you focus on “Wanda would look hot,” it’s a completely different thing.

And it’s not as though he believes she has to wear sexy clothes to look sexy. In my first novel, Chick Flick, the lead character watches his wife get dressed and thinks about how her body is like a jewel and bras, panties, teddies, bustiers and stockings et al are like settings. A diamond looks good enough just sitting there on a table, but a gold band or a silver pendant really sets it off.

That’s also Clay’s philosophy in Fast Lane.

Getting back to our hapless comic strip hero, after three kids and several years of marriage, Darryl still thinks his wife’s pretty hot. And isn’t that a present any woman would love?

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