However, Tolstoy occasionally departs from the story and his very human -- amazingly human characters to philosophize about such things as why Napoleon made such and such a decision, or why historians were all wrong about the cause of this or that victory; and I must admit, those pages I am only ever reading through to get back to Pierre or Natasha, prince Andrei or Nikolai, or even Marya and the old prince. And since a spell of those pages are upon me I decided I would spend today's nap time (you know, the time my kids nap) catching up on blogging. Now there should be enough new posts that no one will notice my absentee status for the remaining 400 pages.
So, moving right along, I thought I'd discuss how very difficult it is being married -- particularly when one member of the marriage arrangement discovers something seemingly minor about the other member that causes them to question just who on earth they have married and if they ever even knew them at all!
For example, when sister Shannon found out that her Jason didn't like horses. He hated horses! What on earth was she to make of that? People don't hate horses. Luckily he likes them now, and he would have actually liked them much sooner if he'd been sitting in my backyard one day with my sister Megan and I while we chatted and watched our kids play. Our very mellow horse Honey was in the pasture trying to mind her own business, and our half grown Australian Shepherd (that is a dog, not a half sized shepherd man from Australia in our employ) was barking about Honey's heels annoyingly. All of the sudden, so quickly that if only one of us had seen it we wouldn't have believed it to have happened, Honey decided she'd had enough and grabbing Bud (the dog) with her giant horse mouth, tossed him a good ten feet. Both Megan and I just stared for a minute, then looked at each other dumbfounded wondering if we had both just seen that, and then we burst into laughter (justified only by the fact that the dog was unharmed -- or at least only his pride was harmed -- and because Honey seemed to be giving him just what he deserved. . . . We just didn't really know that horses could do that). Here is an artist's depiction of the event (I don't know what artist -- probably a famous one though).
Another example would be when I found out that Mike didn't like fireworks. Who was this man I had married, lived and borne children with? I refused to believe anyone could dislike fireworks until the following night when our firework happy neighbor nearly blew up the entire neighborhood by accidentally setting off several thousand dollars worth of fireworks at once. "Oh," I said to Mike, "Now I see."
But now it is Mike who has been so rudely startled from his marital bliss and it all happened by me saying, "Snicker doodles? I don't like snicker doodles! What kind of a Sunday night treat is that?" Apparently this was quite a shock and perhaps insulted his fondest and truest childhood memories because he told me cruelly, "You wouldn't know a happy cookie if it slapped you in the face." At which point I covered his mouth and told him not to say anything further or he might say something we'd both regret. It isn't my fault though. Rare is the treat that I can truly love with out a chocolaty component. Pumpkin squares and strawberry shortcake maybe. I even told him I didn't mind sugar cookies with frosting -- upon which he suggested I "de-snicker" a snicker doodle or two. I wasn't buying that. So, grumbling and mumbling something about fools mocking and later mourning, he retired himself to the kitchen where he and the girls proceeded to make snicker doodles (and even a few snicker snakes), but I don't think he looks at me quite the same anymore.
It is tough this business of love and marriage. I hardly know how we do it. It is a good thing Mike has supported me in War and Peace, or who knows where we would be! (He has looked up various bits of history online for me when I have been confused about something they discuss in the book, and he even bought me a happy little LDS fiction the other day at a garage sale because he figured that after War and Peace I'd need some "fluff" reading. I love Mike).