In all honesty, Vicky should be writing this. After all, it’s about her. But, after not sending me the pictures from Bastille Day, who knows how long it would take her to actually write this! Okay, seriously though, she’s been really busy of late so I’m going to cut her some slack. Anyway, the story’s more about how I feel about Vicky than about Vicky…
So, we went to the OC Fair Saturday night. Vicky was primed because she really wanted to go – I can’t explain why – and, when we stepped past the entrance, Vicky immediately wanted to enter the petting zoo. It was free so why not? Jeff and I decided it was a good time to step out of the gate and partake in a cig.
When we walked back in, we found Vicky looking across from the petting zoo, crying. Across from the petting zoo were the elephant rides. This great elephant trudged around and around in a circle and people boarded her back. This once great creature of the wild was now enslaved strictly for the amusement of those who didn’t know any better – and there were plenty of those people about, smiling and laughing as they subjected this poor elephant to this humiliating enslavement. And Vicky was watching this and she totally got what it meant, and it moved her to tears.
This is one of the reasons I love Vicky so much. When it comes to this planet and the animals we share it with, she gets it. She gets that to harm them is to harm ourselves, destroying their habitat is destroying our own. When we enslave them, we enslave ourselves. She gets it.
Too bad she doesn’t get it about cows… We went to the livestock show and I had to watch her coo at and pet these big, sturdy cattle, the one who would get slaughtered for carne asada, sloppy joes, beef burritos, etc. etc. etc. Vicky likes her steak but, ironically, likes living cows as well. (No, she does not lick them.) I don’t understand how she can rationalize it; I often suggest we go more veggie. I should add that she’s gone more veggie since we met – I have to give her that – but there’s more we can do. I used to have one steak a year so I suggested to her one steak a month. Even that would lower our impact on the earth. I don’t think it took, though.
Okay, so she’s not Ghandi. I told her that I love her as a person, not a project. I’m not out to change her but I see her ethics fighting against her urges and I’m here to help her along.
When we were ready to leave, we took the Skyway – basically an elevated ski lift that took you over the fair and back to the entrance – back instead of walking. Only after we were up did I find out that Vicky did not like the comfort of being suspended a hundred or so feet above concrete by a single cable and, basically, our shoes. Oops. I said to her, trying to sound comforting, “Just enjoy it for what it is, not for what it could be.” Sure, Ken. As if that’s a philosophy you practice. What’s that old saying about advice? “Something nobody wants and everybody gives.”
But, back to the elephant…
Later, Vicky and I were visiting her friend, Julie, as the bar where she tended. Julie laughed at the elephant story and I tried, in my own non-threatening, political, ineffective way, to stand up for my wife. Yeah, I suck at that. Don’t want to come down too hard on Vicky’s friend; Don’t want Vicky to feel hurt. Is there really any winning there? But I said something that solidified my feeling about Vicky, and that is that Vicky has an incredible heart. She’s giving and loving to all kinds of things, sans steak, and it is in those moments when I realize just what compelled me to stay with her from that very first time we met.