On Marriage, Writing, Sharing and Parrot Ownership

Sunday, December 23, 2007
By Sally Franklin Christie

It is a Sunday morning, over thirteen years into a marriage. Oh, if only I could make those young people who come to me for a custom wedding ceremony understand that thirteen years from now, if they followed the rules, they will be oh, so different.

My mom came to visit early in our marriage and gave us an Eclectus Parrot. These are not the blue and golden birds with the long tails, nor are they the cuddly white umbrella cockatoos. No, Molly is a Red and Blue medium sized parrot who does not like to cuddle, but will become amorous on a regular basis and offer to lay an egg for the most available human. She plucks herself if we try to leave her in boarding on vacation. She eats too much, tends to fling food and destroys woodwork. Sometimes she lets herself out and rummages through the house for junk food.

Like any marriage, I mean pet, the first months were filled with exploration, learning about each other and lots of talking. Thirteen years later, I sit at the keyboard, deep in thought when REEEEK! Out of nowhere, she makes a head drilling, ear-ringing shriek. How am I going to complete a thought, never mind a whole revision project with this horrid noise going on?

I don’t need writers block, I have a husband with a cell phone. Yes? You want to buy what? Well, isn’t it your money? You thought I said what? Oh, no, we were arguing about your inability to make a decision, wondering how you got through work all week without me. No, it isn’t that you need permission. I’m sorry, the bird was squawking, the phone is doing funny things, yes, I love you, too.

My couples, about to embark on a lifetime together, is there a way I can relate to them the patience and craziness involved in growing together and maintaining a civilized relationship? I don’t think they’d believe me. I just hope to write just the right vows for them that include a wedding gift that might possibly out live them both! Should I share that I will never, ever, have a day of peace as long as this bird shall live?

Oh, sharing, that was the other issue. I did not want to share my headphones with the noise cancelling ability. What a stupid thing that turned out to be, after all, I shared enough to make a beautiful thirteen year old boy. What’s a little ear oil on my headphones, after all? Did I mention, they only cancel background noises, the Shrieking comes through loud and clear.

Be well e ….. yikes, what thought was I following, I sure wish that bird would …… where was I?

Before I pull out my revision project I want to encourage everyone to look back on the days of getting to know each other, days when you shared more than headphones and didn’t say ick, and write through the frustrating moments.

Be well everyone.


Anonymous said...

Great article, Sally! It's funny how many similarities your relationships have. Thanks for the chuckles!

Anonymous said...

This was a great article. It sort of reminds me of how my dogs act.....they bark or whine at the most inoportune times so I can identify. Although, I've never had a parrot of any kind. Thanks for the laugh.

Jeff Beesler said...

I think Molly needs to learn her place in the food chain...err, in the house. Any animal that distracts a writer from the craft is an animal destined for an ill fate as far as I'm concerned!

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