It's happening. My wildest dreams are coming true.
We still don’t have any money or an extra car or a big house or anything, but I can’t seem to care less about all that when I consider the marvelous gift that’s been laid out in front of me.
Gary is finally starting to get in touch with his inner nerd.
Before I go on, I want to make one thing perfectly clear: Gary Gray is a man. He’s a biiiiiiig man. He enjoys doing manly things like fly fishing, smoking a pipe, sleeping outside, shooting guns, and knocking back the occasional PBR. He builds things with his bare hands, squashes bugs with his work boots, lifts heavy objects, smokes meat on a charcoal grill, drives a big black truck, flies helicopters, wears Wranglers, and bites back when Brutus gnaws on his tree trunk of an arm. He’s chivalrous – he respects his mama, opens doors, helps ladies at the grocery store get things down from the top shelf, sacrifices his body to shield Sarah and me from rogue fly balls at Sky Sox games...you get the picture. He’s a man’s man’s man.
All that being said, I’m not sure why he likes me, ‘cause I’m a chick flick loving show choir nerd with glasses and braces. (Ok maybe that was more me in high school, but that’s when we started dating, and even at age 16 he’d already built up the sturdy foundation of manliness that helped grow him into the beast he is today. The only major difference is that back then he was rocking the original Justin Bieber ‘do, long before J Biebs first became acquainted with the dangers of revolving glass doors.)
My latest dweebsession is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. While Gary has grudgingly agreed to sit through every Harry Potter movie that’s been released so far, I accepted long ago that he has absolutely no interest in reading the books. The whole “magic” thing really isn’t his bag, since he’s always been more of a Mark Twain – Life On the Mississippi type of guy. But after reading The Hunger Games and its sequel, Catching Fire, I started to think Gary might enjoy the series. The protagonist is a female, but she’s not the helpless, sulky whiner that can be found in a certain other popular series I could mention...this girl is a badass. She takes care of herself and her family and might actually make a decent role model for all those impressionable young girls out there. There is somewhat of a love story, but it’s not the main focus. It’s about survival against all odds and it is awesome.
When I first told him about the storyline, he seemed less than mildly interested. I have only myself to blame for years of gushing over Jane Austen novels and “vampire smut,” as he so lovingly refers to the Twilight series. I understand why my stamp of approval doesn’t hold much weight with him anymore. But I persisted, and over several weeks of relentless pestering, he said he’d think about reading them.
If, like most people, you’ve been taking diligent notes on my blog posts, I’m sure you’re aware that thanks to my favorite mom ever, I am now the proud owner of the audio versions of the first two books in the series. A couple nights ago, I convinced Gary to listen to “just one chapter...and if you don’t like it we’ll turn it off and I’ll never bring it up again.” This was most likely a lie...but I’ll never know for sure because we ended up listening to two chapters. While he wasn’t jumping up and down with excitement, he also wasn’t disgusted or annoyed, so I allowed myself a tiny victory dance.
Last night he consented to listen to a little more while we made dinner. After we ate, he casually asked if I wanted to listen to some more. I assumed he was just being nice to me because he knows I’m a tad obsessed. I kept glancing over at him to make sure he was still awake, and found to my tremendous delight that he never drifted off even for a second. 10:30 rolled around and I suggested we come to a stopping point and call it a night. He responded with a, “What? Why? It’s only 10:30!” I tried to mask my triumphant jubilation by chuckling and agreeing to listen to one more chapter. I repeated the suggestion that we turn in at the end of each successive chapter, and time after time I was shot down.
Finally, a few minutes before midnight, I insisted that we go to bed so I wouldn’t turn into a zombie at work today, and he reluctantly agreed.
E: You’re really enjoying the book, aren’t you?
G: Eh, it’s ok I guess.
E: Really? We just listened to it for over 4 hours.
G: Go to sleep.
And go to sleep I did, but not before I spent a little time basking in the glory of the almighty I Told You So.