The Butterfly is Dead

The mister is convinced that, when I almost stepped on the beautiful butterfly on the sidewalk, it was merely cold and would be good as new after it warmed up. I am convinced it was already dead.

I have to admit, though, that it is rather strange for a fully-grown butterfly to be lying on its side on the concrete, in perfect condition, without any signs that it had fallen, been attacked, broken a wing or a leg or otherwise suffered any type of injury. It’s brilliantly colored wings were folded perfectly together and all six legs completely intact. Odd.

But I still think it was dead.

Regardless, it is dead now, as it’s been inside warming up for about a week with no independent movements.

It currently lives between two cotton makeup pads inside the plastic case for an old Gameboy game until the mister can decide whether or not (and figure out how) he wants to display it. It’s not every day you find a butterfly perfectly frozen and naturally preserved.

I, on the other hand, find this to be a perfect (albeit slightly morbid) example of mine and the mister’s attitudes about life.

To him, the butterfly was merely cold and would fly free and beautiful again after sitting in front of the heater for a while. To me, the butterfly was dead before it came in the door.

Even while I watched him try to revive the insect in front of our living room heater, he was saying, “I think he just moved his legs!” and I was saying, “Well it’s only going to live another few days anyway.”

The mister sees potential in all things and all people (most of the time). He believes diseases can be cured, accidents can be fixed and mistakes can be corrected. I, on the other hand, tend to believe that stains will never come out, injuries will always be excruciatingly painful and stupid people will always be stupid.

The mister has the patience of Jesus and I dissolve into uncontrollable panic at the smallest things. I have periods of ridiculous frustration and uncontrolled rage, while the mister sits on the couch and tells me to take a deep breath, Walmart will restock chicken broth soon.

And that’s the thing: what makes me angriest, the most upset and the most worried are smaller, typically insignificant things.

I freak out about whether or not Walmart has ingredients I think I need. I rant and rave about having to explain the same simple procedure to a classmate fifteen times in an hour. I am reduced to tears because I don’t have time to go play with the puppies at the companion animal lab.

I don’t worry about Tuesday’s election and the future of our country. I don’t spend time wondering if our children will be able to grow up with the same freedoms the mister and I have always enjoyed. I don’t even put much thought into what we would do if we were to have children too early (which is going to jinx me, I know). My problem-meter is completely screwed up!

But, regardless of whether or not I admit that I have a problem, the butterfly is still dead. The mister will graduate from vet school and spend his life trying to provide comfort to the injured and dying and save those that can be saved, and I will spend my life wondering why people put Chihuahuas on life support.

The mister knew all this about me before we got married and apparently thought this, like all other problems, could eventually be overcome. But, in the meantime, opposites balance each other out and maybe someday the butterfly will live again.

(But I doubt it.)


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