12 years ago, I married Cap’n Izzy Firepants in a beautiful ceremony on his pirate ship, attended by about 100 of our closest loved ones.
About 15 years ago, I met Cap’n Firepants when we were introduced by a friend. At least, that is the way I usually tell the story. At our wedding ceremony, his First Mate, during the toast, decided to give a few more details about the way we met:
“Mistresses and Marauders, today we toast the wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Cap’n Firepants. I must admit, I never thought this day would come. When Izzy called me, and told me he had picked up a girl at a bar, I almost fell out of my crow’s nest. When he told me he was dating this girl, I -”
Well, I don’t really remember the rest of the toast. Sitting at the Head Table, and watching all of the eyebrows go up, all I could think of was that the Cap’n’s First Mate needed to walk off a plank – about 40 stories high, and in dry dock.
The truth is actually a combination of both stories. We were introduced by a friend. And we did happen to be at a bar at the time. Here is what really happened:
My fellow teacher and his girlfriend were determined to find me a new boyfriend that night. I had recently broken up with someone who was a bit volatile, so my fellow teacher said, “We’re going to find you a nice guy tonight.”
I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but it’s a bit difficult sometimes to determine if a perfect stranger is a nice guy. My friend, however, being a guy, felt that he was a good judge of male character.
As we relaxed at a table outside, my friend spotted a few people, who I immediately nixed – based on the fact that they were obviously trolling for women. Then, my friend’s eyes landed on Cap’n Firepants.
“Look at him, sitting with those other guys over there. He looks like a nice guy.”
And I agreed. Maybe it was the eyepatch. Or the parrot on his shoulder. But nothing happened. My “Come over here and introduce yourself” magnet did not appear to be working on nice guys who were pirates that night.
After five beers, my friend went inside to, uh, make room for more beer. At the inside bar, he passed Cap’n Firepants, and said, “The girl sitting with me is interested in you.”
Here, the stories diverge. No one seems to remember if Cap’n Firepants said, “Oh, the girl in the red dress?” or “Which girl?” And things could have gotten a bit hairy as we were sitting with two other women, one of which, as I’ve mentioned, was my friend’s girlfriend.
Regardless, Cap’n Firepants and one of his friends (not the loquacious First Mate) came to sit at our table. And my friend introduced us. So, technically, I’m not lying when I say that a friend introduced us. The facts that he was my friend, not the Cap’n’s, and that he didn’t even know the Cap’n’s name when he introduced us, and that we had all had a few alcoholic drinks, are trivial parts of the story with which I don’t usually feel the need to bore people.
So, we spent the rest of the evening chatting. Actually, the Cap’n’s friend and I chatted. We had both lived in New Jersey and had both gone to Barry Manilow concerts when we were kids. It is very rare, in Texas, to find someone else who was subjected to Barry Manilow and agrees with you that New Jersey has some very nice parts that look nothing like the movie depictions of inner city gang war zones.
The Cap’n had very little to say during all of this. Which I erroneously attributed to the fact that he had no interest in a former Yankee who knows all of the words to “I Write the Songs”. And, yet, when we closed the bar down, he insisted on walking me to my car, and finally said the most important thing I had heard all night.
“Can I have your number?”
So, we went on a date the very next evening. And he almost died in a vicious attack. But that story is for tomorrow…
I feel sorry for any woman who is not married to a pirate.
My own swashbuckling buccaneer rescued me once again this weekend.
I hate having to be rescued. And I really hate asking to be rescued. But if it has to happen, thank goodness I have Cap’n Firepants to do the rescuing.
Cap’n Firepants may not be a pirate in real life, but no genuine pirate would be fierce enough to face my husband’s daily trials. Forget scurvy, rotting teeth, and cut-throat shipmates; Cap’n Firepants has to deal with Wonderbutt and me.
At the conclusion of my not-so-great birthday week, Cap’n Firepants sensed that my dissatisfaction with the lack of fireworks and parades in my honor could only be alleviated by one thing – an afternoon of shopping. So he generously volunteered to usher Dimples to her synchronized swimming practice and remain for the entire 2 1/2 hours since she might or might not be feeling well enough to survive the rigors of stretches, laps, and rehearsal for an upcoming show.
I embarked on my afternoon of freedom with high hopes of finding some brown ankle boots to replace the pair that I’ve had for 10 years. Before heading to every woman’s shoe Mecca – Nordstrom’s – I made a quick stop at a mega shoe store across the highway. I scanned the aisles for something that fit my simple criteria: brown, sexy, comfortable, classy, appropriate for work, appropriate for a night out on the town, the envy of all women on earth, reasonably priced.
With that background research accomplished, I now felt I was justified in making a trip to Nordstrom’s. I headed back out to my car to continue my journey.
And my trusty red Rav wouldn’t start.
A few things went through my mind – the first being, “Of course. How else could I end this less than stellar birthday week, but with a disappointing afternoon stranded in the parking lot of a store I’ve already scoured up and down?”
Because it’s all about me, People.
Over the years, Cap’n Firepants has had to: change at least two of my tires, drive home from work to let me into the house, drive home from work to take me to the hospital, stay up until 1 A.M. trying to fix a garage door that I broke (not even ours – long story for another time), and drive to my school because I took the wrong set of keys (his). He has never once complained, called me an idiot, or in any way shape or form used any of these situations to make me feel guilty.
And he didn’t start now.
After I explained the situation, and we decided that I wasn’t exactly in dire straits, being stranded in the parking lot of a major mall in broad daylight with a SuperTarget across the street, he offered to finish up supervising Dimples’ practice, swing by the auto store to get a new battery, swing by our house to pick up his tools, and drive the 20 miles to where my pitiful car that he hates waited to spit grease all over him.
He didn’t even yell at me when it started raining as he began the delicate operation of attaching wires to the new battery. We’re in a SEVERE DROUGHT, People. And it started raining right during the five minute time period that was pretty much the only moment in the last 6 months we would have asked for it to NOT start raining.
The testament to his true nature, though, is that, when he was finished, drenched and filthy, he never even questioned the thought that I was going to continue my shopping.
I defy any Knight in Shining Armor or Swashbuckling Pirate to be more chivalrous than that.
So yesterday, as many of you know, was Talk Like a Pirate Day. Considering my husband is now known to all as Cap’n Firepants, I thought he, of all people would embrace this great holiday. When I reminded him of it, he merely raised an eyebrow, and said, “Arrr. Now, do you want me to go to the grocery store tonight?”
I’m pretty sure the last sentence was never spoken by an actual pirate.
The exchange made me a little curious about the origins of this day, so I looked it up, and there’s actually a whole website devoted to it, surprise, surprise.
The website was very informative. I particularly enjoyed the pirate pickup lines, although “You. Pants off. Now!!!!” did not really seem to fit into the theme. I do believe it would work with Cap’n Firepants, however.
Don’t ask me why, but that made me think of my favorite pirate (besides Cap’n Firepants, of course) – the Dread Pirate Roberts, AKA The Man in Black AKA Westley in The Princess Bride.
This led me to a website with Princess Bride quotes. I spent fifteen minutes reading all of the quotes and chuckling about every scene in the movie.
When I realized how much time I’d just wasted reading practically the entire script of a movie I’ve watched a hundred times, I chastised myself strongly and got off the Internet.
But then I reminded myself we were still looking for a Halloween costume for Dimples and wouldn’t a costume from The Princess Bride be so cool?
Well, I got a little off track again. I found pictures of a man dressed as Inigo Montoya at a Purim party. Since I didn’t know what Purim was, much less why one would dress like Inigo Montoya for such a party, I had to research that.
Then I found a Fezzik costume for sale on eBay for only $300. I think that Dimples, Cap’n Firepants and me could all fit in this costume at the same time.
This is beginning to be my worst attack of ADD ever. Focus, focus, focus. You are trying to type a blog. Stop surfing the Internet, you fool.
Inigo Montoya: Hello there. Slow going?
Man in Black: Look, I don’t mean to be rude but this is not as easy as it looks, so I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t distract me.
Inigo Montoya: [apologetic] Sorry.
Man in Black: Thank you.
Yeah. This isn’t going to work.
It’s time for me to go see what crawled out of the bung hole.
(Find out what I’m drinking with dinner, People! You really need to get your minds out of the gutter, you land lubbing bilge rats!)