My husband has had many nicknames since we met, but the one that stuck is Buffalo. This is partly on account of his broad shoulders, narrow hips, and massive amounts of thick hair on his head and chest. But what really sealed the deal was the day we had a food fight. One of our food fights.
I was standing at the stove making chicken and dumplings, and Hubby was playing with the kids. Before I knew what I was doing, I had pirouetted onto one foot, posed like a Renaissance-style fountain-nymph, and gracefully hurled a spoonful of stew at my husband. Which landed square in the center of his scalp, dripping bits of chicken and doughy dumpling onto his face and beard. My three children immediately collapsed into uproarious hysterics, and my husband charged at me and managed to shove a fistful of stew down the back of my pants before I could escape, gluing my crack together very effectively. But the best part– the part where I laughed so hard that I literally hyperventilated and gagged on my own saliva– came when he tried to shower off.
My poor, chicken-and-dumplings-covered husband went to wash the food from his hair and face. He’d been in the shower for about two minutes when the kids and I were rendered suddenly silent by the sound of a distinctly high-pitched scream and lots of crashing from the bathroom. We all ran to the door, banging on it and yelling, “ARE YOU OKAY???!!” My husband didn’t respond for a moment, and we started to panic. Then the door was wrenched open, and he stood holding the bathroom rug in front of him like a shield. He pushed past us and laid it out on the floor.
“Look,” he said, pointing. And there on the rug was a perfect human outline.
“What the hell did you do??!” I exclaimed.
And he proceeded to explain that, while showering the bits of stew from his hair, they had collected in the bottom of the bathtub and formed a slippery film. So when he spun around to reach for the loofah, he lost traction completely and flew out of the tub, through the shower curtain, and landed flat on his back on the rug, head twisted to the side and arm flung over his head, legs up over his face. Which accounted for the screaming and crashing. He said that, flying through the air, he immediately panicked that he would land on the toilet and break his back or fatally injure his “man stuff” or die of a terrible head injury. When he landed, unhurt, he was instantly furious that I had put him in that position but also thanked his lucky stars that he wasn’t dead in a humiliating bathroom accident. As he stood up, he saw the exquisite silhouette he’d made and knew we’d never believe it if we didn’t see it.
As he stood proudly over his body-artwork, I clutched my stomach and doubled over laughing, eventually collapsing onto my knees as tears ran down my face. “You’re a fucking buffalo!” I gasped between laughter and hiccups. “You crash into everything, and you’re hairy and loud!!” I couldn’t pull myself together, picturing my poor Buffalo flying through the air and landing with his naked ass in the air, shrieking like a banshee. I eventually gave up staying upright and rolled into a ball on my side, laughing until I grew light-headed. From that moment, my husband’s official nickname became Buffalo, and it has stuck for four years. He’s hairy and loud and temperamental, and you do not want to get in his way when he’s stampeding. But he’s also gentle and loving and protective, and he’s mine. And that glorious rug-silhouette is proof that he will forgive me for just about anything, even when it makes him scream in a distinctly unmanly fashion.