I know what I should be writing about today: the incredible baby shower that my sisters-in-law and mother-in-law threw for Baby this Sunday. But I will not write about that now.
“Why is that?” I hear you asking.
Well, there are certain events that require a degree of emotional distance in order for me to write about them. The shower was definitely one of them. I can’t really explain right now why it hit me the way that it did, especially since I only showed up for the last 20 minutes of it, but suffice to say that when I was reading Library Lion later that evening, I suddenly found myself bawling hysterically.
When picture books about libraries and lions make me cry, I am clearly too fragile to write about the outpouring of love that Baby received this weekend.
So I will write about dandelions.
My wife hates them. She thinks that they are the ugliest form of life in the known universe, over and above most even the most virulent strains of the bubonic plague and herpes. When she sees them on our lawn, she freaks out and starts ranting about how we must look to the neighbors and how we are the laughingstock of the entire world.
I, on the other hand, think that dandelions are no more or less lovely than any other yellow flower. They bloom brightly and don’t require any maintenance. They spread to provide sturdy ground cover. They hold topsoil in place. The leaves make a decent salad.
But these arguments fall on deaf ears when I present them to my wife.
She has become a victim of the vicious anti-dandelion propaganda that Monsanto has been forcing on us since 1901. I don’t judge her for this. She was raised to hate them. The media tells her that they are weeds, not flowers, so she cherishes the snapdragons and roses but spits on the dandelions when she sees them nearby. A thirsty tulip gets lovingly watered but a dying dandelion gets a swift stomp to the stamen.
“Why won’t they all just leave?” she says, peering out our front window. “I hate them. I wish they would all just die.”
I accept my wife in spite of her dandelion hate, but this week she went too far.
She made me weed.
For almost two hours, I knelt on our postage-stamp-sized lawn with a weed-picker that could charitably be called “the least ergonomic tool ever made by human hands,” ripping every visible dandelion from its home, dumping it on a bucket that would later be thrown into a large paper bag of yard “waste.” My thumb blistered and my back ached as my pregnant wife looked on, sneering at each upturned root.
But now I do not weep for the dandelions, for it is two days later, and they have all returned.