Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ants and Grasshoppers

I value diplomacy in a person. My husband is very diplomatic, but also honest. This is a difficult balance to strike, because sometimes there really isn't anything nice to say, so he has to say the nicest thing possible. For instance, when he called me Old Thunder Sides while I was pregnant, I knew that comparing me to a WWII battleship was the kindest epithet I could expect because it came from Bryan, who loves me but whose instinct is to call'em like he sees'em. Needless to say, I have a thicker skin now than I did before we met.

"You have something of the Grasshopper about you," he says today when I ask him if he would be able to tell that my parents were divorced if he had just met me. (To Bryan, there are Grasshoppers and there are Ants. Ants are industrious and square. Grasshoppers are lazy freeloaders who can play the fiddle.)

"What does that have to do with my parents being divorced?" I ask, looking at him in a way that makes him nervous because I am prone to violent attacks.

"Grasshoppers don't expect consistency."

I name somebody.

Bryan: "He's a Grasshopper who is overcompensating by trying very hard to be an ant."

I look at him: "Honey, what kind of animal do you think I'd be if I was an animal?"

He makes a face. "You mean right now? A barnacle? I mean a beautiful coral?"

I grab an hunk of skin from around his ribs and he shrieks, "I mean a beautiful fairy who hangs around a coral reef!" I let go.

A couple of seconds go by, and then he says, very matter of fact: "Now that I've buttered you up, I'm going to be needing some dollars. For my coffee tomorrow morning."

"Who's the Grasshopper now? You're not even the product of a broken home!"

"You're right, my darling," he says. "Absolutely right."

He really is a treasure.

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