To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee, One clover, and a bee, And revery.
The revery alone will do, If bees are few.
--Emily Dickinson

Sunday, May 27, 2012

My new phobia.....

It's not much fun when you discover new weaknesses about yourself. I don't normally think of myself as a fearful person. Heights don't bother me. Neither do snakes, spiders or dark, close spaces. I love fast, high roller coasters and theme park rides that make your toes curl. Death doesn't even bother me  much. It will come when it's supposed to and everyone faces it eventually. So imagine my surprise when I walked into our Texas garage and began screaming in a high-pitched tone, most associated with animals in pain and prepubescent girls. Yes, I was screaming like a girl. Over what you might ask? A giant cockroach.

I know what you're thinking. It's an insect, big deal. Except in Texas everything, even the roaches are bigger. It's probably the warm climate because they just don't grow that huge in places that freeze regularly. I've seen and squashed my fair share of roaches. Those weren't a big thing. But these are ginormous. In Texas, they can grow up to two inches in length. Did I mention they have wings? So if you go to crush them, they just fly off, usually in the direction of your head. (Enter screaming here.) If they were just smaller, they wouldn't bother me so much. But they're like every magnified science textbook picture you've ever seen, you know the ones that illustrate small insects and they're reproduced so large that it grosses you out? That's what it's like with these Texas-sized critters. Everything about them is magnified. And bigger in a cockroach is not necessarily better.

When I explain my new-found phobia to my bench buddy, the guy I chat with while I wait to pick my girls up from school, he tells me that his mother was bitten on the stomach by a giant cockroach. And it got infected and formed some sort of weird puss pocket. Okay, so now they bite. Great.

But don't worry, I have an appointment already set up with an exterminator. Until then, my husband gets to traipse out to the garage freezer at night. It's too risky for me to go. The high-pitched screaming might just wake the neighbors.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Living with a lover of sports

As a much younger woman when I would think about what kind of man I would marry, inevitably I would imagine someone artistic. Someone who played in a band, enjoyed poetry slams and would make me the subject of his verse. I imagined this person would love to have long, meandering conversations about Foucault. He would be passionate about me and probably just as devoted to saving some almost-extinct form of wildlife -- like the western ground parrot (that's an Australian bird). He would play the guitar and serenade me often. I thought he would have long dark hair, probably held back in a ponytail. Anyway, you get the idea.
So imagine my surprise when I fell in love with a guy who doesn't have a ponytail, but sports a crew cut instead. Oh, and he's blond. And he doesn't play guitar. Also, the closest he's ever come to a poetry slam was the summer when we were dating and he had mono. We went on a picnic and he read me some poetry. Of course, every time I remind him of those romance-filled, wooing days he tells me he had mono and was half out of his head in delirium. (I tend to believe him. He hasn't read me any poetry since.)
Don't get me wrong. My husband Jason is an excellent father and a wonderful husband. I wouldn't trade him for anyone. When I look back at the expectations of my younger self, I realize that some pony-tail wearing, artsy dude with a mercurial temperament probably would not have been a good fit for my own personality. Jason is logical and even-tempered, a nice balance to my stormier, emotional make-up. The only time my husband loses his usually cool head is when there's a Bears or a Bulls game on.
He's an avid sports fan. Whatever the season, he's usually watching the corresponding sport. Unless I'm at a sporting event, I have little interest in them. And sometimes, even when they're right in front of me, I have little interest. Just ask Jason about the time he took me to the U.S. Open and I brought a book. (Was I really the only one there who couldn't see that tiny ball floating through the sky toward the hole?)
So when my dear hubby has tuned into a game or tournament I zone out with a book or magazine -- until the shouting begins. You see, my level-headed sweetie starts arguing with the refs when the call is bad and cheering and clapping when the plays are good. It's when he watches his favorite Chicago teams that he's particularly animated.
That's when I leave the room all the while wondering if I've married a mad man because he's shouting at the television. Surely, he doesn't expect it to answer?
But then I remember my wedding vows (I should have had something about sports written in. "Will you love him in football AND basketball season? Will you love him through golf tournaments AND hockey season?) Does sports count in the sickness part of "in sickness and in health"?
The answer, of course, is yes. Even if he isn't discussing Foucault or spouting poetry he still balances me in ways that no other person can. I'm certain he loves me through all my annoying quirks. Although at the moment I can't really think of any, I'm sure after he reads this post he'll remind me of a few. Blogging about him, for instance?