December 1, 2009

"Their description of me made me sound like an arrogant prick."

John Horgan talks about the science of and his experience with eHarmony, in a Bloggingheads episode that begins with his revelation that he is separated from his wife and headed toward divorce. He doesn't talk about why he is getting divorced — that would be even more inappropriate than all this openness about dating while one is actually still married. But we wondered about his marriage. His wife is Suzie Gilbert, and here's an article about what she's been doing in recent years:
Gilbert floundered before landing work in a nearby Hudson Valley animal hospital and later volunteering at a raptor center. Hooked, she opened her own rehab operation, Flyaway, Inc.
I love the use of the verb "floundered." Before she found birds, she was like a fish.
“Some people are drawn to cuddly things,” she notes. “But I’m in awe of these creatures that can hurt you. I can’t get over their strength and nobility. It’s a force of nature.”
And here's a description of her book:
In this captivating memoir, Suzie Gilbert tells the rollicking story of how she turned her family life upside down to pursue her unusual passion for rehabilitating wild birds....

She began bringing abused and unwanted parrots home and volunteering at a local raptor rehabilitation center, activities she continued for the next eleven years, even as she started a family. Then came the ultimate commitment to her cause: turning her home into Flyaway, Inc., a nonprofit wild bird rehabilitation center.

Gilbert chronicles the years of her chaotic household-cum-bird-hospital with delightful wit, recounting the confusion that ensued as her husband and two young children struggled to live in a house where parrots shrieked Motown songs, nestling robins required food every twenty minutes, and recuperating herons took over the spare bathroom. Gradually, however, the birds came to represent the value of compassion and the importance of pursuing even the most unlikely of dreams.
Compassion and dreams... and a whole lot of birds. But eHarmony thinks the husband is an arrogant prick. Well, Horgan has quite a sense of humor about himself, I think. He's smiling and laughing there, isn't he? Or is that a grimace, a rictus?

In any event, good luck to all, human and bird. I know the human being and bird can coexist peacefully.


vbspurs said...

That's a halibut quote from Bushy.

traditionalguy said...

But has she been to Bodega Bay?

Chip Ahoy said...

Funny. You liked floundered, I liked hooked, which was visualized as taloned.

jaltcoh said...

eHarmony is an arrogant website.

traditionalguy said...

When your E-Harmony profile matches you up with Bird-Woman, then Meyers-Briggs has discovered that you are not human after all.

DADvocate said...

Ah, that left-praised compassion: always for others - never for one's own husband and children.

My thoughts exactly. But, husbands and children complain too much. No man/woman is a prophet in his own home.

gregory.hlatky said...

My lovely bride and I raise and show dogs ( Right now we have 20.

She and I spend, of course, a lot of time taking care of them. But while we love them all, they have their place out in the kennel and we have our place in the house.

I don't mind my lovely bride being gone weekends at shows, but I think I'd mind a lot if there were dogs under foot wherever I went in the house or if I couldn't sit down or go to bed without pushing some critter out of the way.

I should think that friction arose not from the amount of time taking care for the birds consumed but in allowing them to take over the house.

WV: nolyp. A good outcome to a colonoscopy.

Wriiight said...

I'm sure it must be difficult living with a heron addict.


no joke.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I'm sure it must be difficult living with a heron addict.

That made me laugh out loud. LOL

TMink said...

"But eHarmony thinks the husband is an arrogant prick."

Just because his wife is a loon does not mean that the husband is not a tool.


veni vidi vici said...

"Was it a rictus?"

More likely, a "rectus", namely, the expression commensurate with having taken it in the keister for years with the crazy bird-woman wife at home, only to be double-fisted by some silly dating web site's profile of you.

Michael McNeil said...

While a flounder is a fish, when a person “flounders [thrashes] about” that word flounder is not a cognate on the fish, but rather apparently originated as a variation on “founder,” as when a ship founders.

bearbee said...

I'm sure it must be difficult living with a heron addict.

That made me laugh out loud. LOL

Me too.

Video of Suzie Gilbert releasing a rehabbed raptor.

Freeman Hunt said...

Odd. I used the word "flounder" today on a blog post before I read this blog post. I hardly ever see that word anywhere.

Freeman Hunt said...

I'm surprised to find that there are homes where one spouse is allowed to bring in an animal without the prior consent of the other spouse.

TMink said...

Freeman, my wife's pregnancy ended in triplets. Does that count?

Speaking of which, best to you and your family on your bambino's first Christmas.


traditionalguy said...

Love me, love my Raptor Bird. That sounds like a rejection of the other spouse's right to an equal relationship.

kentuckyliz said...

She broke the rules. Only husbands are allowed to have eccentric all consuming passions. Wives are to adapt themselves around their nutty hubbies. She got it all backwards.