Who has a loved one that is super stubborn?  Or perhaps I should say “very determined” to soften this characterization…   But as I want to keep my blog musings “real”, I have to say for the record that there are times when my husband of 25 years has simply amazed me by how unwaveringly obstinate he can be.

He reminds me of Holly Hunter’s character in the movie O’ Brother Where Art Thou? Hunter plays George Clooney’s wife (lucky gal) and declares: ‘I’ve spoken my piece and counted to three” and then George’s character knows her decision is final — set in stone– and there is no changing his wife’s mind. Yup, that is my hubby too.

Well, I guess we all can be unwavering about certain things…So even if I point the finger at my hubby, I know there are times I can be stubborn too about this and that. And because we are all friends here, I will share the particulars about me.

I’m stubborn about:

  • No talking or loud munching noises during movie watching–especially if it has the aforementioned George Clooney or Kevin Costner in it. Nothing gets a bee in my bonnet faster than someone making noise while I am focused on the George’s or Kevin’s lips moving.
  • No to not covering your food when using the microwave –because if you splatter your leftovers (and worse don’t clean it up), I promise to hunt you down with container of Clorox Wipes and accost you with some choice words about cleaning up after yourself.

Sidebar: Much to the chagrin of my hubby, I admit that it’s a little ironic that I care so much about microwave cleanliness but not so much about other parts of the house. I have been known to quote comedienne Phyllis Diller: “Housework can’t kill you, but why take the chance?”

  • For every Christmas, I can’t help myself and must buy my family matching Christmas themed pajamas. In my mind it simply isn’t Christmas without us hanging out in our flannel p.j.s on Christmas Eve.  That is just the way it has to be – even if the kids complain about their lack of closet space due to the annual contribution of yet another set of holiday themed pajamas that I hand out with glee. “Look! It’s surfing Santa this year!” “Aren’t these woodland creatures dressed in Christmas colors amazing?” “Check out these pudgy penguins sledding down the iceberg on candy cane sleighs!”

Sidebar: Let me just say that I am seriously giddy about this year’s pajama theme. And, yes I have already purchased them for this Christmas (even one for the dog!)

O.K. O.K. I digress.  Let’s get back to the person who truly epitomizes stubbornness = my husband. His dogged outlook on certain things is on a whole other level.

The good part of his stubbornness is that this man gets things done.

  • If he decides to rework the plumbing, he You Tubes what is needed, goes to Home Depot, comes home and gets the job done.
  • If he decides to make Latvian rye bread for Christmas Dinner – with the ferocity of a Doberman, he will guard his rising dough and ban others from using the oven. The result was delicious bread but I actually had to use the outdoor grill to cook the Christmas ham.
  • If he has trained for a 100 mile road bike race for months and the ride happens on the day it is 98+ degree temperatures with accompanying wild fires seen by the naked eye in the foothills of Big Sur – he will not only refuse to drop out as other riders are, but through sheer will finish the ride in a time that beats most others.

Sidebar: He actually once finished a cross country mountain bike race without his bicycle seat for 2/3rds of the race.  He stood up on his pedals and biked through rugged terrain for miles. But that’s another story…

So let me get to the main anecdote.  This is proof that if you are wired that way, your brain just can’t seem to help its mule-like self and  while this trait can take you to a finish line it can also make you enter dangerous waters.

Case in point:

Let me tell you a story about this July 4th Weekend…

My husband was going surfing. It had been a while since he had gone so after finishing up some fixer-upper home projects, he was ready for some fun in the sun — A reward he longed for and worked for and thought about with  much anticipation.  So off came the paint spotted, grimy work clothes and on went the surfer gear.  And with a pep in his step I saw him walk towards the beach, long board under his arm, smeared with sunscreen, and his special surf hat on his noggin.

A couple of hours go by and my hubby is back at the house rinsing his board at the outdoor shower.  I ask “How was the surfing?” and he replies, “I need a drink.”  “I’ll get you a nice cold Gatorade”, I respond.  He states, “I mean a real drink.”

Huh?  “What happened? “I ask.  Jokingly I add “A shark want a nibble?” He just stares at me and gives me a shaky smile.

He pours himself a rather generous portion of bourbon from the liquor cabinet and takes a few Adam’s apple bobbing, big ass gulps of booze and tells me the following:

“There were so many people at the beach celebrating the 4th, so I was happy to make a smooth entrance into the water with my board.  I timed the waves just right to get out beyond the surf crashing on the beach. I’m thinking, that was good. I looked cool…:)  I paddled out farther and within less than a minute what do I see?

A huge dorsal fin about 15 feet ahead of me.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. I took a bit of a closer look and I realized it was a Great White shark the size of my board (10 ft). His dorsal fin had the identifiable large triangular shape and his body had the notorious Great White barrel form.  He was just basking in the sun on the surface.  Hanging out. Working on his tan. Just kinda not caring I was bobbing on my board so close to him. So I just quietly back paddled and headed away from him and went south.”

“YOU WHAT?” I exclaimed. “Why didn’t you go back to shore?”(like a normal person who has just accidentally introduced himself to one the world’s biggest ocean predators).

“I didn’t want to go in after just having paddled out. I had planned on surfing and I wanted to surf.” He responded.( Definition of Stubborn = See Norm)

“But, yeah. I probably should have taken that as a sign to turn in. Because about 30 minutes later I had other encounters with different sharks.” He says, gulping down more bourbon.

“YOU WHAT?” I screech.  “Why didn’t you go back to shore after seeing the second shark?”

“I wasn’t sure if the second one was a shark. I saw a huge dark splash out of the corner of my eye.  I thought it could have been a dolphin. It was later on when the lifeguard in the tower told me they saw a shark breach next to me.”

“HOLY SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS!” I exclaim. (not really, leave out the ake mushrooms part)

“ There I was… enjoying surfing with these beautiful schools of silver fish. They looked really cool and the water was crystal clear.  But then I look out and  clearly saw a shark actually riding a freakin’ wave. It was a cool sight until I realized the shark was heading straight for me.  But he ducked under my board and disappeared.”

“O.K. SO YOU GOT OUT OF THE WATER THEN. RIGHT?” I am nodding my head up and down, begging for the answer to be “Of course I did.”

“Well, not exactly.” He responded.

“I wanted to because by then I was getting nervous. But as I headed to shore another shark popped up between me and the beach. I was really shaking at this point.  Because I felt trapped between two sharks.”

Wow. Just Wow. How often can a person (marine biologists excluded) make that statement in his/her lifetime???

Cue Jimmy Buffet Music:

Can’t you feel ’em circlin’, honey
Can’t you feel ’em swimmin’ around
You got fins to the left, fins to the right
And you’re the only bait in town.

He finishes his massive tumbler of bourbon and says something that further cements his extreme stubbornness–” I really wanted to paddle closer to home before getting out of the water.  I didn’t want to carry my board that far in the sand…”

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME??”

He continues, “but then there was a family on the beach pointing at me and yelling ‘Look at the shark by that surfer!’ And I knew I just had to make a move and get to shore.”

“THANK GOODNESS! HELLO SANITY!”

I paddled into shore and the lifeguard told me about the show I put on for the folks on the sand. The lifeguard was so funny and casual about it. She was like “That was really cool! The ocean is just teaming with wildlife this summer. I guess I better go post some more shark-warning flyers .”

Ironic that the same guy that doesn’t get out of the water upon coming face to face with a Great White (albeit, a juvenile at only a mere 10 feet long) is the same guy that was surprised that the lifeguard was so chill about sharks in the water.

Go figure.

So I guess the moral of this story is that we all have stuff we are stubborn about. Sometimes it’s a good thing. Sometimes not so much.

For my own sanity, I am hoping we get a break from the shark encounters this summer as we are headed to Michigan for a vacation in a couple of weeks.  Gotta love Lake Michigan – Salt and Shark Free! 🙂

Here’s to everyone having a safe and sound summer!

 

 

 

2 Comment on “The Waves Are Calling And I Must Go.

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