Thursday, March 09, 2006
birds on the brain
Before I say anything, let it be known that I am myself a person of great nerdiness. I was born nerdy, grew up nerdy, and have remained so. I have never entered the ranks of the cool people. I am quite comfortable with that.
But there's nerdy and then there's beyond nerdy. There's regular, slightly-unfashionable-and-occasionally-socially-awkward nerdy and then there's HUGELY, no-need-for-contraception-when-your-husband-is-this-nerdy nerdy. My husband has definitely approached this threshold.
Yesterday, Fatty had an afternoon off work. So what would any good birdwatcher do? Of course, he donned hat and sunscreen and disappeared off to the bush with his camera. But just before he left, our 3-year-old Ben starting crying, bleating, 'I don't want you to go bird-watching, Daddy'. Guiltily, Fatty promised he'd meet up with us at swimming lessons in an hour, and then he slunk away to get his birdie fix. Tweet tweet.
Ten minutes into the kids' swimming lessons, I figured Fatty probably got distracted by the striking markings of a blue-faced honeyeater. Understandable, really. But alas this was not the case. Striding towards me along the length of the pool was a sweat-streaked Fatty, in tucked-in polo shirt (ugh), yard shorts (hmmm), with belt (what?), and some grotty running shoes, with socks sneaking towards mid-calf region (who *is* this man?!). The whole ensemble was set off by the fact that Fatty's hair, having been compressed under his Akubra hat, had morphed itself into a kind of comb.....rooster-like. I bravely smiled in greeting, and tried my best to look loving and accepting. Perhaps I could pass him off as my brother.
It seemed all the other fathers there had trendy shorts, or funky shirts, or earrings in one ear. They lounged, casually, as Fatty whipped out his camera and started furiously snapping shots of our aquatic-dwelling offspring. He refused to sit down, preferring to remain standing and snapping. I furtively tried to smooth down the peak of hair on his head. He snorted derisively, " Who cares? I'm not here to hit on anyone, I'm watching my kids swim!".The woman next to me glanced at my shiny, rumpled husband, and politely averted her gaze again.
Now you all know I do adore Fatty, and I'm not so superficial as to think any less of him just because he publicly humiliated me at the pool. But let's just say that when Fatty's been out birding, the blue-faced honeyeaters probably want to be close to him a hell of a lot more than I do. And even they take flight.