By COLLEEN LEDDY
I came to bed late Sunday night, snuggled up to David and was immediately overcome by a terrific malodorous odor...it was as if I’d gotten into bed with a giant tube of salami...the kind at deli counters where they slice off as much as you want.
It was my own dang fault. David had been coming down with that cold that’s been going around, and earlier that night I had suggested he chop up and eat some garlic since we were all out of astragalas, the echinacea-like herbal remedy that usually works wonders if you ingest it before you get too far into the throes of whatever cold or other virus descends upon you.
I just wasn’t anticipating the smell would linger so long and so heavily on his breath. You know how it is: if you aren’t eating it, garlic isn’t the most pleasant smell to encounter. I couldn’t really get mad at him. Number one, he was sleeping; number two, I had made the suggestion; and number three, which I think I’ve stated here before, even though I poke fun, complain, and otherwise give him a hard time in this life, David is a pretty good guy.
And I’m not saying that just because he actually arranged to give me a birthday present this year (that doesn’t always happen or it’s some odd thing like romaine lettuce). This was a real bonus year: his brother Thom called him from Mexico this past summer and asked if David wanted him and his wife Ginny to shop for any silver jewelry for me. David thought that was a good idea and kept the secret from me all this time. What a surprise when I opened the gift bag Sunday morning to find the most beautiful and unique silver necklace with inlaid something or other in my favorite colors.
Likewise, I’m not biased just because David keeps me amused by his total and utter lack of fashion sense. I was reminded of that this Christmas when telling the story of how I walked into the Observer one day this summer and David was wearing a new shirt I had hurriedly picked up for him on a shopping trip to Toledo. I remember looking at him quizzically and commenting that the shirt looked a little big. Later, we discovered the shirt was size XXL; David wears a medium, but could easily fit into a small. I laughed and laughed; how could he not have realized the shirt was too big when he put it on? He had not a clue.
Fashion and customs aside, even though I disagree with him on many matters, David is just really on-target when it comes to the essentials of life and politics. He has an inner compass that just knows true north and what’s intrinsically right in the world and what is abysmally wrong such as invading Iraq—he wrote editorial after editorial about that back then and I often urged him to give it a rest.
I was reminded of how wrong I was about that when I heard foreign affairs analyst and journalist Robin Wright on Fresh Air with Terry Gross last week. Wright has covered the Middle East for 43 years. Toward the end of the interview, Terry asked her the speculative question of what the Middle East, what the world would look like if the United States had never invaded Iraq. Wright said she thought it was the greatest mistake in U.S. policy since we were founded as a nation, even though we were well-intentioned in trying to topple a dictator. The repercussions of the invasion: we never would have had Al-Qadea, never would have had Isis if it hadn’t been for the invasion of Iraq. It’s an excellent interview, but Terry could have just asked David.
I mentioned on Facebook that this is an especially significant birthday since I turned 58 and was born in 1958 and that I intend to take full advantage of whatever privileges that bestows on me...using that to justify any little thing I want to do this year such as indulge in desserts and buy beautiful things such as Motawi tiles.
But I think I should also turn my attention to the more important things and really appreciate and notice the wonderful aspects and people of my life like David. I poke fun of him and give him a hard time over truly insignificant things like dirtying the bathroom hand towels and taking forever to fix a faucet, but I don't take the time to revel in how lucky I've been in life to have found such a kindred spirit and fellow nutcase, garlic breath and all.