The Kinky Zebra Outfit

zebra tie

The plan was simple: when Brandon landed his first legal job, I was going to

1. Encourage him to film a testimony for our Church, and

2. Cook dinner in lingerie

Both are simple and straight-forward. I was eager for the day when he’d walk in and give me the good news. I used to imagine what would happen…

The way I saw it, first he could sign up for his testimony filming. You see, in our Church, people who have their prayers answered film what are called testimonies, short little videos explaining what they struggled with (ie “I was sick with cancer, but I believed God’s healing power would save me”), and the end result. It’s one of my favorite portions of Church—mainly because I like to clap. Any excuse to clap is alright with me. They air the video, everyone is inspired to press through their own struggles, and I clap. ‘Tis great.

And then secondly, I figured that celebrating his good news was going to finally allow me the chance to overcome my fear of cooking in my bare essentials. I didn’t invent this out of the blue, but rather got the idea from my friend, Deenie. She had recommended I try it years ago, when I was an unmarried woman. I declined time and time again, not because I was unmarried back then– which should have been reason enough; single people, don’t give up free milk when she/he hasn’t purchased the cow– but I declined because the thought of hot grease burning my skin was enough to make me put on long sleeves and two aprons.

Well, as I already mentioned, the good news finally came in last week– and that’s when I looked around and realized I wasn’t prepared to execute this plan. We got the news when I least expected it, and I was caught off-guard. I weighed more than I wanted to, and my hair wasn’t clean. Plus, I had no steak and no potatoes, his favorite.

I gave him a hug, did a bit of squealing, and a lot of praising. I was so grateful, so blown away at how faithful God is yet again. I pulled together a delicious chicken dinner, and then ran to my top drawer. There were plenty of pretty lacy things, but no real statement pieces that I could see without digging. With one exception:

The Kinky Zebra Outfit.

The KZO came from Michelle, the most unsuspecting of the group. The main piece is a black and white necktie that even includes a little knot to tighten for customized fit around your neck. It also came with a headband with little ears on it, and some stockings. There was a legitimate roar from the circle of women who sat around me at my bridal shower when I pulled it from the bag. “That’s not all,” Michelle said. I reached my hand back in and pulled out a giant can of Red Bull. “For your wedding night.”

I packed the KZO for our honeymoon, along with the other outrageous outfits that I received from sweet, saved women that I go to Church with. I thought about packing my Ben Nye theatrical make-up kit from college, just in case the Parisian Model outfit didn’t come through all the way. Perhaps I should add little rouge circles on my cheeks I thought. I can’t help it. I’m a former actor, and if I’m going to play the part of  a Parisian Model, I must have more than frilly panties. I must understand her, and her needs. Lights, camera, and action!

I debuted a different ‘look’ each night, and I got a kick out of making Brandon guess who had given me which items. He’d name my loudest, most boisterous friends, too naive to recognize that it’s the quiet ones who have the biggest imaginations.

Out came the Baby Doll. The Bad Girl. Then the Strippin’ Milkmaid. And finally, the Kinky Zebra Outfit.

“Ta da!” I cried. I flung the bathroom door open and stood in the entryway, ready for him to applaud. See-through white curtains billowed in the breeze. I could see the ocean outside of our balcony. He turned his eyes toward me, and then cocked his head back like he needed extra room to process what he was seeing. And then he said…nothing.

“I’m a zebra,” I said. I lifted limp hands to my waist, symbolizing little paws. “Neigh! Neigh!”

He parted his lips as if to say something, but no sound came out.

“You don’t like zebras?” I asked.

“I like zebras just fine.”

“But?”

“But I don’t want to have sex with one.”

“…Well why didn’t you say so sooner?! This tie is choking me!”

And starting that night I slept in normal, cotton t-shirts for the rest of the trip. And I haven’t stopped since.

I thought back to that night on our honeymoon, and how much he appreciates the normalcy and beauty of me being myself. I dropped the lingerie right there on the bathroom floor, and put on something I used to help my grandfather cut the grass in. And on the eve of good news we laid there, talking about how good God had been to us. Me in my cotton, and him in his polyester basketball shorts. I laid my head on his chest and listened to him explain the power of grace, and the power of trusting God. It was better than anything I could have planned. What you see on tv is cheap, fake. What happens between two real, down people is amazing.

I don’t know if we will ever see the Kinky Zebra Outfit again. I am happy to retire it for the time being, and to appreciate how simple and lovely things are. And who knows, maybe one day we will be old, with kids who have overrun our house like a zoo.

And when we get there, I will be ready at a moment’s notice to say “Hey, you know what this zoo needs?..”

“A zebra.”

To you, you know who you are:–

Finding a mate is like losing weight: if you want to be skinny, you can’t eat everything you see. You need to skip a meal every now and then. Stop having sex with these random women, and save that beautiful skin and those beautiful eyes and those strong hands for a woman who will cater to your every need. The deepest ones. In your heart.

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One thought on “The Kinky Zebra Outfit

  1. This is a really nice tribute to Mr.Wood. keep them coming. Your kids have a real mountain to live up to. Keep raising the bar.

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