He pointed the brie. All else could have been forgiven if only
my main squeeze had not made that serious faux pas of gobbling up the most
select section of cheese served during the opening reception of The Congress
for the Study of Language and Literature. After all, I was attending that
conference not only to present my research on gender-bias talk in elevator use,
but also to seek an editors blessing for my new book on discourse, e.g.
on talk captured by the triflings of imaginary hedgehogs.
Most often, my beloved is more than heroic in our relationship.
Consider, for instance, how skillfully he explained, during our courtship, his
work on Keynesian Economics. For two hours, nightly, for a total of three
weeks, he deconstructed the choicest bits of his research until I was able to
succinctly explain why it is utilitarian for contemporary marketers to chase
consumers otherwise stymied from obtaining their favorite goods and why saving
money hurts currencys value during recessions. Granted, few among our
friends cared anything about effect demand or about the paradox of thrift, but
their lack of concern made small difference to me or to my aficionado.
Also, take into account the way in which my man took charge of
the children, who came quickly after we tied the knot, while I served as the
keynote speaker at The 10th International Meeting for Fanciers of Rhetorical
Forms. I was lecturing on the importance of academic departments funding
dialectical pedagogy. My university paid my round-trip ticket. The professional
organization paid for my hotel suite. My husband paid for my freedom.
At the time, my much-loved limited his frantic texting to less
than two missives per hour. His topics included our oldest daughters
declaration of squatters rights to our lone bathtub and her actions
consequence of filling our bedroom with snot-dripping, diaper-stinking, muddy
children and the viability of transporting, via pillowcase, our rabbit to our
vet. In my absence, our honey bunny, who had been living by caprice on our sun
porch, rather than being contained within his pen, had swallowed a significant
portion of our middle childs bottle cap collection. In addition, I
received a text about our second oldest offspring repeatedly shouting, all the
way to the school bus, that he lived in a house full of zombies who did
not cry out for braaains, but for choooores, and
a text about our youngests sudden aversion to food. When asked, by his
dad, if he ate anything healthy for breakfast, our baby answered, Yah, I
Although the kids and our nearby neighbors were not entirely
thrilled with the parental choices of my life partner, I was ecstatic. So
delighted was I with the manner in which my collaborator herded our children
while I was out that I arranged for his mother to watch them and for him to
accompany me to the next meeting of The Society for the Study of Language and
Literature. Had I been gifted with foresight, I would have reconsidered.
Our travel was uneventful. We even arrived early enough to
revisit romance. In truth, the trouble really didnt begin until the wine
and cheese fest.
Those in the know realize that a wheel of brie ought to be
sliced from the radius of the cheese rather than across the point. That way,
all comers receive a roughly equal amount of skin and of the better, inner
portion. Neanderthals, such as my spouse, however, while expert at abstractions
about production, distribution, and consumption, operate with relatively few
concrete directives when it comes to actually making use of comestibles. The
mistake at the professional meeting was far worse than was his letting the
children sup on hotdogs and chocolate eggs or than was his packing a picnic of
warm beer and cold beet salad in honor of our anniversary.
Albeit, the semiologist from Cal Tech could be blamed; it was
she who chose to sit next to the light of my life and who proceeded to
pontificate on demographics west of the Rockies. That woman claimed that no
real citizen will ever give a salt lick about the improved administration of
goods and services. Accordingly, her flowing patter reduced my help opposite to
a glazed autonotom. Her harangue, not my husbands hand, was culpable for
the curdled milk crime.
Nonetheless, an entire ballroom full of communication theorists
and of teachers of neoconstructivist criticism, many of whom I had considered
peers, were reduced to gasps and whispers when my husband gouged out his piece
of cheese. Whereas it was me who ordinarily played the ponce, kissing up to
deans, to publishers, and to anyone else who might keep my career flying, that
night, I insisted that my darling apologize to a hall full of complete
To say he was miffed would be more than an understatement.
I tried to make amends for the hurt and embarrassment I caused
him with offers of homemade chicken soup and of restaurant-supplied scrambled
eggs. He coldly dismissed my tokens of atonement, stating that he would only
agree to overlook my strong reaction to his relatively insignificant behavior
if I accompanied him on a weekend road trip. He loves autumnal folk festivals.
I like Bach, and occasionally, Rimsky-Korsakov.
Thus, it came to pass that during my Columbus Day Vacation
Grandma again babysat. Grandma supervised the middle ones tenth birthday
party, swarming fire engines included, and took it upon herself to teach our
children how to: fill the bathtub past the overflow point, coax Mr. Ears back
into his pillowcase to get his stitches removed, use gutter speech, instead of
anatomically correct phrases to describe bodily functions, and count her
cookies as proper nutrition.
If the opportunity ever comes again to bring my sweetheart with
me to an academic conference, Ill leave him home. In the privacy of our
residence, he can cut the cheddar in any way his heart desires and Bunny can