My wife reminds me occasionally that I forgot to propose, and that our marriage certificate was not notarized properly under the laws of New Jersey. We’ve been not married for 29 years now. To assuage my guilt, awash in the glut of new age engagements initiated by princes in hot air balloons accompanied by life-sized stuffed giraffes, I’m finding new ways to say I love you to my love.
Here’s one, prompted by her absence for a week as she travelled to spend time with our daughters. You had me at hello…woops…that was for Zelleweger although Karen loves Tom Cruise. Seriously, being single for a week makes me realize how lucky I am. Furthermore, bachelorhood confirms my helpless nature, and the inverse of Tom Cruise statement, “Your absence, my aloneness, incompletes me.” How romantic.
The gaping void also magnifies my sense that whatever weirdness inhabits my soul grows exponentially in the vacuum of singularity.
For instance, tonight I bought a gun and four kinds of corn. And I hung out with the NRA crowd.
It started one morning when I discovered more holes in my yard than in the dried bed of Camp Green Lake. I had spotted the culprit a few months ago, an armadillo. When I mentioned this to my friend Jim, he said, “Shoot it dead.” “But I don’t own a gun,” I replied. “Ya gotta kill it, or it will take over your lawn, eat your corn and drive your John Deere while you sleep.”
Since the pantry is bare and my house is gunless, I headed off to Bass Pro Shop in Broken Arrow. I decided to buy a pellet gun since it looked like if you bought a real gun, they took you to an interrogation room with a trick window and heated by klieg lights, strapped you to a lie detector asking if you really had the skill, experience and savvy to buy a real gun. I felt under-qualified in the bright lights of the NRA crowd. I paid for the gun, 350 .177 pellets and several co2 cartridges, and gingerly walked out the door into the view of a uniformed young man who I first thought was a Marine with questions about my gun, but turned out to be a boy scout selling popcorn, and I bought twenty dollars of Extra Buttery Roasted Summer Corn (it really tastes like corn on the cob).
Then I drove to the other NRA crowd and hung with them awhile, the nuts, raisins, and apples crowd at Sprouts grocery. I love that place, just like I love Bass Pro Shop. I’m not certain I fit in either NRA crowd. One NRA wants to shoot, catch and trap everything before eating or stuffing it…the other NRA wants to save, sustain, nurture, and then eat it and tell everyone else to stuff it. Both NRA’s want to get at stuff and eat it, they just go about it with different tools.
So here’s a proposal. Karen, I love you, marry me…and come home soon. I’m tired of eating corn and hanging out with the NRA.