Saturday, November 15, 2008

Leonard the Bully

One of the first things I learned about Leonard when we were dating is that he was a relentless teaser to his siblings. He would relate the stories with strong regret - picking on a pint-sized Louis until he cried, a young Adam calling his mom on vacation because Leonard just wouldn't leave him alone.

"I knew I should stop bugging them...but I couldn't," he once confessed.

I learned very quickly that this wasn't just an older sibling phase.

It's a lazy Saturday morning - Leonard is eating cereal, my head in his lap. I slowly stretch my arms above my head. Sensing my vulnerability, Leonard swiftly sets his cereal down, and grabs both of my wrists with one hand. With the other he taps his finger on my forehead in quick, successive beats.
"Name 10 fruits," he says.
"I can't Ky, don't!" I protest.
"Name 10 fruits!!!"
"O.k., o.k., um, Strawberry, Plum, Banana, ow!, um, Peach, Apple, Pear..." I trail off, my concentration completely altered by the distracting tapping.
"Four more!!" He says encouragingly.
"Um, um, Raspberry, um, Cantaloupe, Mango, Papaya!"

The tapping stops immediately, and relief washes over me.
"Good job!" he says, and I realize he still has my wrists.

"Now name 10 cereals!"
The tapping quickly picks up again.
"No, no, I can't!"
"Just do it!!!!"
"O.k., O.k."
The subject matter gets more and more difficult. When he wants me to name 10 shampoos I completely refuse.
"O.k., then, name 10 liver diseases and I'll let you go."
No problem, I think.
I fail to realize how difficult it is to access the medical part of my brain with the tapping.
"I can't! I can't concentrate!"
"You can do it Megs, I know you can!"
"O.k., o.k., um, Hepatits A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C," (I completely forget about the uncommon Hepatitis D and E), "um, ow!, liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, um,"
Dang it, knowledge! Where are you?
Leonard cuts in, "Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy."
Show off, I think. He has the luxury of uninterrupted concentration.
"Budd Chiari" I respond defensively. "Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, um, Hemochromatosis, um, um.." Just one more "Gilbert's Disease!" I shout triumphantly.

The tapping stops, but Leonard doesn't let go of my wrists.
"Now, name 10 Himalayan Prime Ministers" he grins.
I scowl at him and he lets me go. I sit up, rubbing my forehead.

At least I didn't get a noogie or a wedgie this time.


Rebecca said...

Ohhhhhh, do I know about husbands needing someone to pick on! Mine is almost totally satisfied by picking on the kids now, and it was outlawed when we were newlyweds for him to ever try to scare me. He scares EVERYONE, and has gotten very creative with playing innocent when he'll be just standing calmly around dark corners I happen to be walking around.

Jeff Hamm said...

I wonder if "being able to take my teasing and still loving me" is a love language? Thanks for sharing this with us! I love hearing about all these little tidbits... it makes me want to get to know the side of Leonard I didn't know existed until this blog started.

T.J. said...

Did I ever tell you about how he beat me at Street Fighter with his feet?

Amazed said...

you guys are nutso! It's really your fault for lounging on him while he is eating his cereal....

Patti said...

Megan - this post was hilarious! You should compile a book of your life's funny anecdotes - a la David Sedaris.