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Life's Little Lessons

"Why don't you want to snuggle?" my husband pouted, right as our heads met our pillows. The ceiling fan whirred over the bed like killer bees caught in a funnel cloud. Despite the air conditioner running a mighty-man marathon, we lay drowning in late summer's humidity.

"It's hot. Besides," I retorted, "draping your heavy leg across my hips until my feet turn blue does not a snuggle make. It feels like I'm strapped down in an asylum."

"You used to want to cuddle all the time."

"What if I ate steak every night? Every night, I had to look at steak. Every night, I had to cut and chew steak. After awhile, I would want something other than steak."

"You're comparing me to a heifer?" he questioned.

"No, I've always pictured my steak coming from a boy cow. They make steak out of girl cows?"

"What do you think happens to female cows when they quit producing milk?" He couldn't believe my naivete.

"Man they've got it rough - birth the babies, make the milk money, and be the bacon. They're like superwomen," I admired.

"Without the painted fingernails," he quipped.

"Superhero women don't have painted fingernails. That would look ridiculous."

"Yes they do," he insisted. "Wonder Woman has American flags on hers." "No she does not. You're making that up. Superheroines are too busy saving the world to paint their nails."

My spouse let out a deep sigh. "Think about it. Superhero women aren't softball players, they're super models. And because they have special powers, not like regular heroes, they don't have to worry about breaking a nail fighting the bad guy," he explained.

"There are degrees of heroes?" I clarified.

"Theoretically, yes," he confirmed. "Everyday heroes get their hands dirty rescuing people. Superheroes are born with special powers, or come from outer space with them, or get hit in the head and realize they posses them. They don't have to risk messing up a manicure by actually engaging in hand to hand combat. For example, the bionic woman does not count as a superhero, but Batgirl does."

We lay in the dark contemplating the nuances of heroism. He wondered, to himself, who would win a mud wrestling contest, Lindsay Wagner or Comet Queen. I thought about whether cutting my cuticles could catapult me to super status.

After a few minutes, about the time my thoughts started crossing the fuzzy line into dreams, my bedmate blurted, "We're hurtling through time, you know."

I sleepily rebuked him, "That's not a very nice thing to say. Don't bring up stressful stuff like that when I'm on the verge of snoring."

"You know how I can tell, besides the fact that we have only six more years with our oldest child living at home? Think how quick these last twelve years have passed. He'll be gone faster than that."

"Don't talk this way," I begged. "It's unpleasant and offensive."

"The other way I can tell we're hurtling," he ignored me, "is that it's darker in the mornings now, when I wake up."

"How about drumsticks?" I changed the subject. "Those come from boy chickens, right?"

"Yeah, and drummettes come from miniature hens," he scoffed.

"They do. Very short ones."

The smooth cotton sheets rippled, pushed in no particular direction by the fan. Unable to see, my beau made another attempt to enfold me, this time accidentally extending his muscular arm across my neck.

"Do you know how I can tell we're hurtling through time," I choked.


"You're already back to trying to cuddle me by squishing my windpipe under your bicep."

Web posted on Thursday, September 13, 2007

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