Once upon a time I was a young, twenty-two, newlywed who uttered the words, “There will never be deer heads hung on my wall.” Of course, I also was once a young, naive, fourteen year old who uttered the words, “I don’t think I want children and most certainly will never own a minivan.” And on that day God laughed and laughed and laughed…
I guess my point is sometimes we make downright ridiculous LIES to ourselves and don’t even know it. Because about three years into marriage, I caved on the deer heads. Which now, nearly seven years into marriage I ask myself, “Self, why did you even care in the first place?” It’s like at 22 I had completely disregarded the notion that I had married a younger Crocodile Dundee from northeast Georgia. The man came home with a bob cat once, for crying out loud. I mean honestly.
So now, (being a much more seasoned wife to my husband), there’s very little that surprises me, or that I don’t just shake my head, roll my eyes at, and say “ok honey…” After the first year or two of marriage and you know, 800 kids later, you kind of grind the sharp edges down on each other. Which sounds a lot like wearing eachother down, but in the best way possible. We are at a soft, steady spot in our marriage where we accept, and sometimes even find endearing the absurd of eachother. And some days we just are completely annoyed but love each other, so we let it be. Like, Brayde no longer makes mention of the ridiculousness to the very specific ways that I make a gallon of tea, told laundry, load a dishwasher, or scramble eggs. (I would like to say there’s more than one way to skin a cat on these topics, and you could.. if you wanted to do them incorrectly…) OR why I am sent into complete and utter overdrive on Sunday mornings. I just do. Until my feet hit the steps of the church I am a total raving lunatic. Its like, “I just need to praise our Lord and Saviour and hug our peoples necks, AND YOU YAYHOOS DONT KNOW WHERE YOU PUT YOUR TOOTHBRUSH?! WHY IS IT NOT IN THE BATHROOM!? SHOES!!?? HERES AN IDEA, CHECK THE CLOSET!!!” Because ya know, I’m chalk full of grace and patience just moments before singing praises to our Almighty. But, Brayde doesn’t say a word. He just rushes the girls in the car and has my bible and a cup of coffee waiting on me when I get in. (Just in case anyone is wondering, yes. The answer is yes. I completely married up and out of my league.) And when the man wants to go fishing or hunting or go do any of his many endeavours, I tell him to “Go and ride like the wind, bullseye!” Because those things just do not phase me. But then there’s the days when we have an argument, and days later I’m still scratching my head and going, “whaaa?”. Which brings me to my story…
This past summer Turner Mackenzie became obsessed with turtles… Which in a long series of unfortunate events, led us to getting a pet turtle. He lives in an aquarium which we inherited from my daddy, the keeper of all things. This is just who he is. If the zombie apocalypse begins tomorrow, then just head on over to my daddy’s house. There is everything to make a complete bunker, along with an aquarium and probably 72 extra rolls of duct tape… and maybe even an inflatable pool. You can have your own little oasis… You’re welcome.
So, a few days ago Brayde comes home from fishing with a slew of crappie, brim, and catfish. All of which I care nothing about, unless of course, I caught them myself.
Listen, I have inherited some of my husband’s interests over the course of our marriage. Fishing for huge monster stripers will make me jump up and down and giggle like a preteen asked to her first junior prom. Hunting? Yes, absolutely- if it’s exactly between the temperatures of 73-92° other than that, nope. No thank you. Hannah cares ZERO about being too cold or really, not even too hot.
But even though I didn’t catch any of these fish, I love my husband, so I caved and went to take a look. Listen, if he can can look at how well I organized the new Tupperware in our drawer and be tickled for me, then I can do this for him. (We don’t do gifts… this is our love language.. get off our backs, man.) But I absolutely mean this when I say, it may have been the biggest crappie I have ever seen in my life. I congratulated my man on his awesome catch and turn to go back in, when he stops me to ask where the water conditioner is for the aquarium.
“Hmm? Beside the turtle food, why?”
“Because I need to add more water.”
“Oh no babe, I just cleaned the tank and added more water Monday. The turtle’s fine.”
“No, the fish will never make it in that little bit of water.”
If you can’t tell, by this point, my brain has still not caught up to the fact that my husband wanted to KEEP THE CRAPPIE FISH IN OUR TURTLE TANK.
In his defense, it was, as I stated before, quite a large Crappie. Maybe even state record. But no. Just no. Noooooo. This is not Bass Pro Shop!!! I have enough mouths to feed! Not to mention that our turtle is an omnivore and Lord only knows what kind of a mess I would have in that tank if it got a hold of a fish. Actually, I do know. BECAUSE Hubby once put a baby bass in there, and there was nothing left except an awful stench and a fish head floating around hours later. So, NO to the Crappie.
So at this point, the fish never made it as a pet. I “won”, but that’s the thing with “winning” an argument. It never quite feels like winning. And then I felt bad, because Brayde and I just don’t ever really say no to each other about much of anything, really. So, I felt bad and told Brayde that if it meant that much to him. Then keep the fish. I didn’t care. But I didn’t want it to stink. Or breathe. Or swim. Or look at me. And thats when he told me that I was making his head hurt and to quit talking about it. He said some sort of mature, rational nonsense like, “You’re giving in with stipulations, and that’s not really giving in at all.” And he was right. Pshhh. “Ok fine, Mr. Feeney.” (Shout out to my 90’s kids 🙌). But I still didn’t want it to stink up my house. So, I kept my mouth shut and now a few weeks have gone by so I feel like I should tell somebody the hilarious stories which are my life.
Ps. In case any of you are wondering, we had a fish fry that week with hushpuppies and slaw. And it was jam up. And I’m fine with all of this. So, good day and Godspeed.