What A Woman Wants
A Day At The Fair
My husband, Donnie, has learned to recognize the signs. My eyes sort of glaze over and a smirk will cross my lips. "I feel a blog coming on," Donnie will quip.
I firmly believe we perceive the world around us in a familiar format. Donnie loves music and is prone to spontaneous humming, singing, drumming or air-guitaring when something strikes him a certain way. As he once told me....he always has a song in his head. Some people see the world through a camera lens...even if their camera isn't with them. It's second nature. For me, the world is churning with words just waiting to be untangled from the rest and then woven into a tale. It just takes a catalyst, a spark to ignite an idea...
What Women Want
Sometimes I am amused by my own gender, in a bemused way...since I'm just as guilty. We burned our bras and then shop at Victoria's Secret. We want equality...except on date night. We'd like our men to be sensitive to our needs but not to the point where he eagerly anticipates watching a chick flick so that the two of you can have a good cry together.
The modern man has it rather rough compared to his more Neanderthal ancestors or his noble knightly brethren. Where do you find that tricky middle ground, somewhere between dragging your woman off by the hair and slaying dragons for a token of her affection? The answer is...don't. I don't care how independent your little princess may be...deep down inside, she still believes in Prince Charming. Sure, these days Prince Charming usually has a great job with health and dental and perhaps a financial portfolio that would make a mother weep for joy...but he's still got to woo his fair maiden.
So there I was...with Donnie, my Prince Charming, at the Arizona State Fair. We ride the rides, we shop the shops, we eat bbq and roasted corn...and walk past all the carnies as they hawk their games that guarantee a winner every time.
Shamelessly, I will admit that I was a bit jealous watching the mother of two walk by with her husband who was pushing the stroller while his trophies of stuffed carnival critters dangled lazily over his shoulder. And look at that romantic couple over there...is that a giant bunny she's carrying clutched to her bosom as she looks up starry eyed at her hero? My eye critically appraises my Prince Charming...gauging his abilities against the challenges that lay before him. Was he a balloon popper perhaps...deadly with a dull dart? Or maybe he was more of a ring toss Romeo? Either way, I was satisfied after these musings that my swain could perform any of these carnival quests and come back a conquering hero.
So why wasn't he eager to thump his chest and step up to prove his prowess? As we walk down the midway I begin to psychoanalyze the situation. Perhaps....perhaps he is wisely choosing to abstain from the somewhat questionable ethics of the games...and...uh...despite his incredible prowess at any of these games of skill...he believes he will be cheated. Or...he's afraid he'll lose and he doesn't want to look bad. As I weighed both possibilities, I decided that it really boiled down to this...
I wanted a damned stuffed animal.
Prince Charming would need a little coaching...and I bided my time, waiting for an opportunity. After a couple of rides, including one white-knuckled, sweaty-hands, "oh my god we're going to die" ride on the ferris wheel (I really am the biggest fraidy cat alive) we'd pretty much exhausted our options of rides that I wouldn't require valium before going on. This left us with tickets left to spend...and what better way than to spend them on one of the games! At least this is what I "suggested" to Donnie. There! The seed had been planted...now to step back and see if it would sprout.
"Well, what game did you have in mind?" he asked warily.
"Hmmm...I don't know...let me think (as if I didn't have an answer because this was all just so sudden). How about...oh...I dunno...maybe one of those water balloon games?" I figured since a lot of people were competing at one time, if he lost...it wouldn't be a reflection on his skill. However, and call me a braggart if you will, but I had the feeling that when it came to accuracy, the twelve year old next to him didn't stand a chance!
After sizing up the available prizes, Donnie chose the game with stuffed animals the size of your average five year old. Oh yes...I could see the fire in his eyes as he stared down his opponent and carefully wrapped his hand around the pistol...he meant business. It was time to slay the dragon...
The bell rings and my eyes look up....watching the water fill the tubes and the stuffed frogs climb their poles. Yes...I think he's winning...oh no...that one is catching up...it's going to be close... I close my eyes, hold my breath...
The Winner! Yes! My Prince Charming has vanquished his foe and cockily tosses the kill over his shoulder before we continue our stroll down the midway. I give him a besotted smile. He is my hero, winner of giant stuffed frogs!
In my peripheral vision I catch a glimpse of a woman, wistfully eyeing my incredible fortune and then turning her consideration to her hapless partner. I know exactly what she's thinking...