Very little of this blog happens in real time, but my wife is mad. She is mad now. Her eyes are narrow and dark and to look in them would be to risk a cut, a pint of blood, a lost limb. Okay, maybe not that, maybe just a finger, but still I'm not looking at them. Not directly. And I'm not even the one she's mad at.
"She called me a bad mother," my wife said when she came home. It was a bit anticlimactic, because the three girls had run in before her, dusted in snow, to tell me first. They were beside themselves with excitement. "Those are the exact words she used," Sharon continued, as I helped the kids off with their snow clothes. "She said, 'You are a bad mother.'"
Being a mother sucks. Any choice they make, somebody is going to tell them it's wrong. Everyone from learned people to crackpots. But mostly crackpots.
"The girls were chasing some pigeons, trying, you know, to get them to poop on them--"
"We were saying 'Poop on me! Poop on me!'" the girls, all three of them, interject. We are a troubled family.
"--and this woman comes over and asks the girls to stop, saying they are abusing the pigeons. So I said, no ma'am, they're exercising the pigeons. And then she tells me that I need to stop them because kids who abuse animals grow up to be serial killers."
"Poop on me! Poop on me!" the girls yell, and for a minute I think serial killers may be an improvement on what we're raising.
"Chasing pigeons is not animal abuse, is it?" Sharon asks, her tone changing, softening, but I still won't look at her eyes, not her eyes.
"No. Of course not," I say.
"Pigeons aren't even animals."
"No. Not even animals." Don't look up.
There is a pause. This could go either way. I hold my breath.
"This is your blog's fault, you know." Don't move, say nothing, avoid eye contact. "Nobody in this family'd be chasing pigeons, yelling 'Poop on me!' if it weren't for your blog."
"They said it is supposed to bring luck," I say.
"There's got to be a limit to how much luck it can bring."
"Probably," I agree, "but you know, serial killers need as much luck as they can get."
Turns out, it wasn't the eyes I needed to be worried about.