Most of my life I’ve considered it a virtue that I’m willing to look like a fool. My children found this to be one of my most endearing qualities when they were young, but as they’ve enter adolescence, well…not so much. A good example was trying out my LandRollers today. As a veteran of bilateral knee surgery, I have to wear knee braces. The current pair I’m sporting are gray, as are my LandRollers. I happened to be in brown shorts and an orange and brown tie-dye shirt, not exactly a match made in heaven between top and bottom. Taking the time to change clothes seemed silly though, so off I went, tearing down the driveway, a mismatched melange of colors teetering toward disaster. I heard my son mutter, “I am not related to you in ANY way!” as he heard my rendition of Jim Croce’s “Roller Derby Queen” start while my husband snapped candid shots with our camera.
My husband is much more willing than my kids to smile in amusement at my antics these days, probably because they have worked in his favor more often than not (yes, I willingly wear lingerie that would make an underwear model blush).* Another reason may be that it suggests a depth of character, laughable as that may seem, that he respects. My husband is paraplegic, has been since the age of 12, and while in my eyes he literally embodies the physique of an Adonis, he weathered several rejections on internet dating sites (before we were “matched”) simply because he was honest enough to say he used a wheelchair. I could never make sense of that when he told me about it after several dates. Here he was, a strong, handsome, virile, man who had been a number one seed on the USTA wheelchair tennis circuit with a coporate sponsor; financially independent with a six-figure salary and enough savings to retire whenever he felt like it; an intellect that both dazzled and seduced simultaneously…..how on earth could something as minor as his use of a wheelchair be a dealbreaker? (his sexy red sports car only added to his “hotness”) Whether you call it luck or destiny, there was incredible chemistry, and he sealed the deal with our first kiss.
I don’t know if there is any relationship between my willingness to play the fool and the profound love I found on the internet. It’s an attribute that I’m stuck with and that I hope endears me to my family. They might have preferred Sophia Loren (especially my husband) but they’ll just have to accept someone closer to Lucille Ball.
* [This attribute must run in my family, because one of my sisters and I ended up laughing to the point of tears as she described squeezing her middle-aged thighs into a pair of chaps her husband had gotten her in a size based more on wishful thinking than reality.]