So I am going to start this story by telling you a little something that could be construed as embarrassing. However, by this point in my blogging career, I have so many stories that could be construed as embarrassing, what’s one more, right?
About a year after Tom and I got married, he finally noticed a pattern in my behavior. Once a month, for about two days, I was either a raging bitch or an emotional wreck. I was either on the verge of throwing a knife or stabbing myself with one. I was either on the brink of pushing him out of a second story window or jumping from it.
Yes that’s right, my period was coming. Even though Tom has three older sisters, he did not seem to understand the concept of hormonal imbalance. All he knew was that we would either fight or he would leave the room stupefied, unable to understand why I was so horribly sad that the shampoo I normally used was raised in price by $.59. (Don’t laugh, that actually happened. It was during an economic downturn in our lives, and I felt that even Proctor and Gamble had it out for me.)
Anyway, somewhere between delirium and befuddlement, he had a moment of clarity. He had an epiphany. These bits of madness occur almost exactly 28 days apart. My craziness was a byproduct of menstruation!
In sheer joy, he came and found me in the house. “You’re period is coming isn’t it?” he said to me.
“That’s why you get like this! I finally get it.” He hugged me hard, assuring himself, I am sure, that he did not marry a stark raving lunatic, and that I wasn’t going to chop off his penis in the middle of the night and try to feed it to the dog.
“I think we need to talk in code about this,” he continued.
Boys. So many words make them uncomfortable. Menstruation. Tampons. Vagina. They’re just words, Boys.
“Okay, how will we do that?” I will admit, I was slightly intrigued by the interest he was taking in my monthly visitor.
“Hmmm. When I see you acting like this, I will ask you if Sam is in town,” he said triumphantly.
“Okay, but you know I only get crazy before my actual period? Sam, as you call it, won’t be in town.”
“Well, then you can give me a time frame. She’s packing her bags and coming in tomorrow. She is set to arrive on the noon bus Saturday.”
I put up my hand for him to stop. “I get the picture. You don’t have to lay out different flight plans and travel arrangements.”
To be honest, the code worked well. He learned not to get angry with me when I was seething over something ludicrous. He learned to walk away and let me have my moment when I just needed to cry about the peanut butter commercial.
For almost fifteen years, we had a wonderful world of deception.
The other day we were in the car, and I was lamenting about the changes in the school curriculum and I must have sounded like I might cry. I was looking out the passenger window so he couldn’t see my face, so he gently touched my forearm. I turned to him, and he had a concerned look on his face. “Is Uncle Sam coming to town?” he asked.
Before I could respond, “No,” and explain that it was just my scratchy throat that made my voice sound emotional, Lizzie piped up, “Who’s Uncle Sam?”
Tom and I laughed. “You know,” he said, “Our country’s mascot.”
“He is not a mascot,” I said.
“Sure he is.”
“It’s not like he’s a bear or a parakeet or something.”
“A parakeet?” He sounded outraged. “Who has a parakeet for a mascot?”
“I don’t know. NBC?”
“That’s a peacock!”
“Oh, right. A peacock. Either way. Lizzie, Uncle Sam is not a mascot.”
I thought about it. Maybe America should have a mascot. Someone to get the Senate riled at all the meetings. Someone to run through the crowd carrying the American flag. How cool would it have been if the Uncle Sam mascot would have been at the Inauguration. All the people waiting for the swearing-in could have been led in USA cheers and chants.
We, as Americans, love to feel like we belong. Everyone has their favorite sport team, their favorite NFL teams, and with those teams come the beloved mascots. Maybe, just maybe, if Uncle Sam got crowds riled the way Brutus the Buckeye and the San Diego Chicken do, maybe, just maybe, we would feel more united and more spirited to be Americans.
And then there is the economic benefit to consider. Everyone is so gung-ho about the buzz words “job creation.” Uncle Sam could be rented out for parties: political rallies, birthday parties, anniversaries, Bar-mitzvahs. You name it! You want a political icon to be your mascot? It can be done. I know the Indians get top dollar loaning out Slider to private parties. “Uncle Sam For Hire” could actually chip away at the national debt and create jobs.
It’s a win-win.