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Almost Perfect


"What's a five-letter word for 'give me a break'?" Jody said. "I'm your type.

"Well, yes, of course, dear. I just couldn't help noticing that this woman in the aubergine undies is attractive too. Don't you think she's lovely?" Jody just laughed.

"Mmmmmm," I enthused, two days later, at a Beyoncé video. I tried to sound hungry.

"Are you trying to say Beyoncé is your type?" Jody asked.

"Oh, no," I said with James Taylor–ish innocence. "But she's nice-looking, isn't she?"

"Jimmy Stewart in The Philadelphia Story," she said simply.

"Pardon me?"

"Tommy Tune," she added.

"What are you talking about?" I said, perfectly aware that she was naming all the tall drinksa water who, unlike me, made her glad she was a woman.

"Tim Robbins," she said.

"Susan Sarandon," I fired back.

Jody just laughed. "Chris Isaak," she volleyed.

"Oh, yeah, well, I wouldn't mind chatting with Teri Hatcher, let me tell you," I said.

This was a low point: going one-on-one against my wife, pretending to be intrigued by a clichéd cast of female celebrities who heat up pretty much every middle-aged man in America, while she counterpunched with a carefully considered list of ectomorphic men who make her weak in the knees.

"Hugh, you don't get it, do you?" Jody said. "Anybody can fall in love with their type. I'm the one who ought to be offended. You could have fallen for any woman with eyes this green and a figure to die for," she rolled on, gesturing toward her own. "You didn't fall in love with me. You fell in love with this incredible body, with this incandescent smile. That's a no-brainer. But for me to fall in love with you? That took some imagination on my part."

"Oh, now I feel better," I said.

"You should," she answered. "My love for you is serious. I was alert enough to get over my D.H. Lawrence fantasies of some powerful, rawboned gamekeeper."

Stunned, I managed to mutter, "So you're saying that I am your type, after all, right?"

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