I married a non-conformist ax murderer.

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Brian...in his natural habitat

Ok, so he’s not really an ax murderer…I tend to have a flair for the dramatic.  Ask anybody.  But I did marry the King of Non-Conformity and Eccentricity, and he certainly wears the royal honor with pride. His kingdom is a small organic garden out back.  Most afternoons in the spring and summer will find him surveying his kingdom wearing normal gardening attire….complete with a boonie cap and desert boots from his 18 month all expenses paid vacation to the Middle East five years ago.  He may be hovering over his rabbit ravaged edamame or his flourishing garlic. Or clipping lavender for our tea later.

“Honey,” he says, giving his spectacles a quick adjustment, as he is wont to do when he is giving something serious thought. “You know what I really want to do?”  I look up from writing the next Great American novel…ok, my facebooking.  “Sweep me off my feet and take me on a European vacation?”  “No,” and he doesn’t miss a beat here…He looks up from reading his favorite online magazine, Mother Earth News.  “I want to buy ten acres of land and build a house on it…ourselves.”  I wait…I know he ain’t done.  “….out of mud….”  huh?  “….with solar panels and a wood burning stove… maybe a cistern, rain water collection..or maybe a well..” He’s losin’ me.  “…we’d be self sustaining with bio intensive mini farming….” fadin’ fast…. “…and goats for meat and milk and…” Wait! What? Goats?!  Now, I’m starting to panic and  have visions of dirty hair and a white trash stigma that a yard full of goats and rain barrels will certainly provide.

Before he downloads a recipe for making our own toothpaste or how to sew our own clothes out of hemp, we need to have a come-to-Jesus meeting…post haste.  I’ll concede to buying most of our consumables at the farmer’s market.  I enjoy supporting the local economy; shaking my fist at big, faceless corporations, eating cleaner, and recycling my cardboard and aluminum.   You could definitely talk me into buying a hybrid car. But a mud house and grazing goats.  I draw the green line there, Al Gore.

I recently saw an episode of Oprah with Ed Begley, Jr– Hollywood’s trailblazing environmentalist.  Ed’s sitting on his deck, peddling a stationary bike to produce enough energy to toast bread. His wife is only partially on board with his bohemian lifestyle; I feel her pain.

I love my husband. I do, I do.  For better or worse.  However, I don’t remember agreeing before God, family, and friends to suffer through bouts of complete insanity in our wedding vows–I may have found a loophole here.  On the bright side, at least he’s not asking me to live in a glass house.  “Of course not…a glass house wouldn’t be energy efficient,” he says. Sigh… So we are at an impasse.  He with his need to have zero utility bills and live “off the grid” in a mud hut and I with my need to bathe regularly in a goat free environment.  Wait…didn’t I read recently that Leonardo DiCaprio wants to build a house out of mud…?

©Mary Flanagan Taylor June 13, 2010

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