Sunday, November 30, 2014


Thirty-plus years ago, my high school sweetheart and I got married. We were young and dumb. So young and so dumb that the memory of this life altering decision has the power to cause my husband to have semi-faux panic attacks—usually in the shower. 

Afterwards, he stands in the bedroom wrapped in a damp towel and yells, “What were we thinking?”

“Not much!” I respond.

It might be easy to think that life has been a smooth sail on an endless pond of Jell-O for a couple of high school sweethearts like the two of us. 

Not so much.

Luckily, in the beginning we didn’t own luggage, and it was too embarrassing to get ticked off and leave while dragging plastic garbage bags. It looked pretty stupid to have to haul your junk out of the house in black plastic garbage bags. Sometimes poverty and a lack of luggage are blessings in disguise.

Bottom line, my high school sweetheart can still make me want to stuff black plastic garbage bags full of my shoes and makeup and drive to the state line.

And just recently he made me revert all the way back to a primitive state I like to call: Barbarella Viking Bride.

I was so angry . . . 

About what? Not important. Never is. 

I was so angry that I walked into my kitchen, felt my fingers curl around the satisfying curve of a fresh-from-the-hen-house egg, and chucked it as hard as I could into the sink. It was an egg bomb. I found shards of that egg in invisible nooks and crannies for three days—not to mention my eyebrows. 

Mostly, I found egg dripping down my face. I, literally, had egg on my face. But instead of being embarrassed or ashamed or self-conscious, I reached up and with two fingers drew parallel lines down both my cheeks and across my forehead in the yellow yolk of rage. In the split second it takes to heave an egg, I had become one with my Viking ancestor’s state of primal berserk, wearing the war paint of sticky gick. 

Staring at my fearsome visage, I thought about getting more eggs and egging the truck, burning down the mailbox, or ransacking an abbey. 

Then I realized that I’d just have to clean all that mess up, so I washed my face, picked egg shell out of my hair, and pulled the veneer of civilization back over my head like a waterproof poncho.

Still mad, I did the worst civilized thing I could think of: I went to the store and bought orange juice with LOTS of pulp in it. My husband hates pulpy orange juice.

He swilled it down just to spite me.

He can be a bit of a Viking berserker himself.

That’s the problem with civilization and civilized behavior; it can be a mighty thin veneer at times—as thin as an eggshell. 

Linda (Shield Maiden) Zern 

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