So it’s spring here in San Diego. Which means the weather is … well, like it is just about every other day of the year, which is so beautiful it practically makes you want to stay inside and close all your curtains since you can’t take the pressure of having to do something worthy of such a beautiful day. (It’s a real problem. People think we Southern Californians are mellow because our weather makes Actual Angels jealous. But the truth is our glorious environment makes us feel stressed and inadequate. It is, in fact, our need to at least pretend to be better and more interesting than we are—to at least act like we deserve our weather—that drove us to make Hollywood.)
The church my wife Cat and I go to (“Cat” is short for Catherine—but she likes her friends and loved ones to call her “Mrs. Shore”) is right across the street from San Diego’s famous Balboa Park. The park is huge—in fact, being 1200 acres make it, according to its website, “the nation’s largest urban cultural park.” It’s also home to 15 “major” museums! Isn’t that amazing! I’m not sure the park’s Model Railroad Museum actually qualifies as “major,” but it’s a great place to stand around and look at little trains through smudgy glass. Which I actually like doing. I love model railroads. I have no idea why. Well, I guess for same reason any model train enthusiast does: It affords such a wonderful, detailed opportunity to imagine you’re Godzilla.
If I could just interject something here (that, I’m afraid, has even less to do with crazed attack squirrels than does model railroads): Two weeks ago Cat and I went to the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park to see Annie Liebowitz’s “A Photographer’s Life.” Part of that exhibition was a separate room with a television showing a documentary about the same photographs that were on display right outside that room. And that room was packed. There were more people watching a TV show about the photographs than there were actually looking at the photographs themselves! I couldn’t believe it! Worse: no one moved! I could not get a seat! Troglodytes!
The park has also got all kinds of open space—grass expanses, wooded areas, trails, nature walks, all that. I like nature. I especially like the way it looks through a window. But yesterday after church, Cat said, “It’s such a beautiful day. Why don’t we go for a walk in the park?” And you know how it is when you first get out of church: You feel all mellow, and … agreeable. Plus, I want to be a good husband; I want to do stuff my wife wants to. I wish she never wanted to do anything but stay home, eat pizza, and watch comedy TV shows on DVD, but that’s kind of the point. Part of being a good spouse is learning to appreciate the way your mate can sometimes make you feel really good about yourself by affording you the opportunity to pretend that you want to do something that you really don’t.
So it was in that spirit of noble self-sacrifice that I said, “Sure, honey. Let’s do go for a walk in the park.”
And that was where our trouble began.
Tomorrow: I definitely try to do a better of job of finally getting to the point.
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