Miss Sugar is an artist. She is also a promoter for other artists, putting on shows and arranging for them to hang artwork in venues in our town, ranging from a bank and restaurants to even a veterinary clinic. Last week she rented her own studio within a gallery run by a group of artists.
I support Sugar in her art endeavors. Last night, however, I drew the line at what I could not support.
I helped her set up her studio by putting up a hanging system which is too complicated for those of you not familiar with art galleries to fully grasp. Let’s just say I used an electric drill, screwdriver, hammer and a saw. I’d like to give the impression that it was a job for a manly man such as myself, but the rest of the story is that Sugar, who is not manly at all, had to kind of tell me how to set it up. I might be stupid, but I sure am strong. Plus I can reach pretty high without a ladder.
Sugar also cut a piece of carpet to fit in a spot in the larger gallery, but then we needed a transition strip where the carpet met a wood floor. Let’s just say I cut the wooden strip with a handsaw, something a girl like Sugar would have trouble doing. She hammered the strip to the floor. Big deal!
We were at the gallery last night and I was sawing the wooden transition strips as Sugar was in her studio painting a watercolor. The gallery was closed, or so we thought. Some men came in for an after-hours class. It was a figure-drawing class. The students were there, but no model had yet arrived. Clearly, I was the maintenance man. Sugar came out from the room that is her studio to see who came in. Who was she? One of the men asked whether Sugar was the model. She said she was not.
“Sometimes our model does not show up.” One of the other men told us that with a worried look. He pointed out some of his drawings from earlier sessions. It was, I could see, a nude figure-drawing class.
The men did not know this, but Sugar won the swimsuit portion of the Miss Texas/USA pageant “back in the day.” In connection with that, the Kim Dawson modeling agency recruited her as a swimsuit and lingerie model for both “print work” in catalogs and newspaper and magazine ads, as well as runway work at the Dallas Apparel Mart. It is not only my opinion, but the opinion of modeling professionals, that Miss Sugar is above-average in the looks department. She continued modeling after moving to Colorado — for a classy dress shop. She even modeled for them at bridal fairs when she was approaching 40 but still looked 20. She was in their newspaper ads for years.
The men did not know that I am Sugar’s husband as well as the maintenance man.
One of the guys, tired of waiting for the model to arrive for the class, had an idea. It was for the good of the artistic community. After all, the class had assembled.
“Would you mind modeling tonight?” he asked Sugar. “We pay $25.00 for an hour class.”
I played dumb, which is easy for me to do. I made like he was talking to me and I answered in her stead. “Thanks for asking me to model, and $25 is surely more than I’m used to getting for taking my clothes off, but we have to get home pretty soon.”
I also added, “In my modeling days, I insisted on a warm room and it seems chilly in here.”
My sense of humor only goes so far. The man with the good idea did not clarify that he meant for Sugar, not for me, to be the model.
I am pretty sure he “got the picture” that I am her husband and did not approve of his idea. He might have also noticed when I arose from working on my knees on the floor that I am a fairly big guy.
If you ever have a bachelorette party at which you want me to pop out of a cake, I will do it for $12 plus mileage. You will need a pretty big cake.
Miss Sugar modeling a bride’s dress in Colorado many years after the Miss Texas pageant and while mother of a teenager.