A few years ago, Jamal and I went to an animal rescue/petting zoo in the middle of nowhere New Jersey. Of course it was in New Jersey. This was before we adopted Fitz, thereby inviting more insanity into our lives than we were prepared for, and we were looking at any and all dog rescues in the area. Oh! How young and naive we were. This particular rescue had just received a large group of beagles who had been taken from a test facility in North Carolina. Let me just tell you that you shouldn’t even go near an animal rescue unless you are prepared to weep over every single animal in every single cage. It’s torture to walk in and not be like, “I’LL TAKE THEM ALL!”
But that’s not the point of the story, the point is that before we even got into the actual building, we realized that the grounds of the park were packed with peacocks. They were everywhere! Heaven for me, since I love peacocks the way I love all other animals, in a full-on Elmyra Duff kind of way: “I’m gonna hug you and squeeze you and love you forever and ever!” I even took a picture with one, so enthused was I:
Apparently, it wasn’t so heavenly for Jamal. After he snapped this shot, I said, “Okay! Your turn!” and he just stood there, looking at me as though I’d just cuddled a giant hobo. “Your…turn?” I tried again, walking over and taking the camera from him. Once I got closer to him I realized he was staring past me….at the peacock. With a look that could only be described as hate-fear.
“Is something wrong?”
“I don’t like peacocks.”
“WHAT?! How could you not like peacocks?! They’re so beautiful and majestic and colorful!”
“….I got chased by one as a kid.”
“Stop laughing, it was really scary. I don’t like them.”
I mean, okay. I’m marrying someone who is terrified of one of the least violent and evolutionary harmless birds ever, a bird whose only defense is to open a giant fan tail of royal blue feathers and be like “BACK IT UP I AM TOO PRETTY FOR THIS NONSENSE.” It could be worse. I’m just not sure how we’re going to handle taking a future kiddo to the zoo and not instilling in him/her a lifelong fear of peacocks. “GET AWAY FROM THE KILLER BIRD!” is not really a scenario I want to inflict on my child.
Anyway, he’s clearly in the minority, because peacock themed goodies are everywhere. While it’s unlikely I’ll be able to bring any of these things into my house without potentially triggering a flashback to his traumatizing peacock experience, I couldn’t resist making a round-up.