Monday, April 10, 2006

My 'caring' husband Thomas Friedman worries I don't have time to appreciate his 'genius'

It's been a busy period and I haven't had time to record my thoughts in this computer journal. I've decided I'm just going to sit down and take some time this evening and what makes it up, makes it up. To make sure I wasn't bothered, I grabbed a big serving tree, sprayed the can cheese all over it and handed it to Thomas Friedman. He complained that I should make "such a delicious meal" when Gilmore Girls is on but I think he's fine with watching Tyra Banks as he laps at the cheese. (We're out of crackers, not that my husband Thomas Friedman noticed.)

So I was speaking to Elaine about wanting to get some college courses under my belt awhile back because, let's face it, this marriage isn't going to last and, if it does, reading Thomas Friedman's columns indicate that it's only a matter of time before he moves into a suite at Bellevue.

She has a friend at The New School and could get me in despite the fact that I have no school records. So I'm enrolled for the summer session (starts June 5th).

Of course Thomas Friedman hit the roof. Money was the chief concern until he learned I actually had some financial assistance. Then he started in on, "How will you have time for school and to cook my meals, to clean my clothes, to clean our home and to appreciate my genius?"

I assured him that appreciating his genius never took any time on my part.

Then I buttered him up and said, "Thomas Friedman, I just want to be an iota, a smidge as smart as you. I know that I, being from a backwater village, could never be as talented as you, but I would lilke to do this to honor you."

The way his chest puffed out and his ego swelled, it was surprising there was room for me in our living room. But it did the trick. He relented.

It was easier convincing him to let me go than my actual interview with Elaine's friend. He wanted to address the issue of my husband's columns. This was on March 31st and Thomas Friedman's "Iraq At the 11th Hour" had just been printed in that day's paper.

"I know you're a friend of Elaine's and I understand you're difficult situation," Prof said, "but I'm honestly concerned that you might not be able to keep up."

I was thinking he meant due to my lack of transcripts (or any knowledge of my past before 2005). He didn't. He was concerned about my knowledge base "since you are married to, forgive me for being blunt, the global idiot."

He began tentatively noting that Thomas Friedman began his column praising himself. His column, try his day? He delivers speeches to himself for thirty minutes each morning and claims they are morning affirmations but they sound to me like self-praise.

"Who's the sexiest? No, not Orlando Bloom. No, not Angelina Jolie. It's you! Thomas Friedman, you, I, are, am, the sexiest in the world. You have the body of a Dega. The mind of Einstein. And if there's only one thing more impressive than your studly body, it's your humility. Yes, it is. You know it is. Thomas Friedman, you are a god."

The Prof burst out laughing as I recited that in my cruelest impersonation of Thomas Friedman. Still I felt it lacked something because a stocky man in a shorty robe can never be fully conveyed by a woman of my size fully dressed.

I then ripped the column apart.

He writes about the tensions between Shi'ites and Sunnis that are escalating and offers, "One embedded, this cycle of fear and revenge is almost impossible to break." Now? Now, he's noting that. Three years plus of occupation and he thinks only now that fear and revenge are effecting Iraq?

He then went on to write that "Donald Rumsfeld's criminally negligent decision not to deploy troops in Iraq to begin with created this security vacuum." I offered, "Kind of thought the invasion might have helped. No illegal invasion, no security vaccum."

I noted that he wrote of "happy talk" and explained that he'd been rejected by the right as not sufficiently macho (well there's the shorty robe issue again) and was now attempting to get some "props from this online site called The Common Ills. He's obsessed with being mentioned there because they cover the New York Times and he believes that he is that paper of record. C.I.'s been using 'Operation Happy Talk' to denote each wave of propaganda and he thought by using 'happy talk,' he could get a shout out from The Common Ills."

Finally, I noted his closing sentence: "It is five minutes to midnight." If Thomas Friedman's not watching his own Saved By The Bell marathon, he's in bed long before nine. The only reason he gets up is to fix a snack (he says he has a thyroid condition and if he doesn't eat 4 meals a day with frequent snacks, he'll be a rail) is when he has a nasty gas attack.

I was really glad that Prof was laughing throughout my commentary and nodding his head in agreement. He asked if I'd read "Should This Marriage Be Saved?"

"Read it?" I replied. "I live it."

Telling me I'd done well, he officially welcomed me to the campus and asked me to do something about Thomas Friedman quoting right-wing bloggers. You better believe I did. I lectured him about Riverbend of Baghdad Burning. I was aided by the fact that she was noted Sunday, April 2nd at The Common Ills.

"Oh, Betinna!" Thomas Friedman squealed as he worked on his April 7th column, "I'm finally going to get my just praise at The Common Ills!"

But I'm getting ahead of myself.