My husband loves me a lot. I know that and he really doesn’t have to do anything to prove it. But sometimes he does anyway and it’s awesome.
This is Marky Mark (standing among a Funky Bunch of Bananas) and he is my new monkey butler.
Reaction to my original tumblr and Twitter posts about Marky Mark were not positive. “Terrifying” and “creepy” were the most common adjectives, but I think that’s just because many people do not appreciate unconventional beauty. And they do not know Marky Mark’s back story.
In September 2010, my husband Phil and I were in Nashville to attend the wedding of our friends’ daughter. The day of the wedding we realized that Phil had not packed a tie. So we went to Stein Mart, an eclectic discount retail chain just down the street from the hotel.
Stein Mart carries clothes, shoes and housewares. I suspect it gets a lot of its merchandise in unsold lots from wholesalers, because frankly, it’s pretty bizarre and you always see something different on every visit. As we wandered through the decor, I spotted a 3-foot smiling monkey, sporting a jaunty fez and gleefully holding a tray.
It was gloriously kitschy, borderline tacky, and undeniably awesome. I was in love.
Phil, however, was unconvinced that the monkey butler needed to become part of our family. Despite my pleas, which he assumed was just me trying to cajole him into making a ridiculous purchase, we left the store sans the smiling simian servant.
And in the past year, I have never let Phil forget it.
Every time I was unhappy, I mentioned I also don’t have a monkey to hold my drinks.
When The Bloggess purchased a giant metal chicken that she named Beyonce, I reminded Phil that there is a gallery here in town that features a giant metal zoo– grasshoppers, chickens, praying mantis — and I have never made a single purchase. All I ever wanted was a monkey butler. Sigh.
When The Bloggess purchased a mongoose-cobra-taxidermy death-match scene, I once again said, “See! All I wanted was a monkey butler. Which is far less creepy than a dead snake and an also-dead mangy mongoose. But I didn’t get a monkey butler, did I?” Sigh.
Little did I know, that as my husband was saying that he felt great camaraderie with Jenny’s husband Victor (Phil has also ended conversations with me by announcing he’s not talking to me anymore) that he had decided to
shut me up make me happy by finally getting me my own personal primate.
Days later, as we were
getting our drink on sipping cocktails on the sofa, FedEx knocks on our door.
MY MONKEY BUTLER!
My husband spent a lot of time scouring the Internet for a monkey butler ( actually, he spent just a few minutes because you can find almost anything instantly on the Internet apparently) that would complement our decor. He even consulted a mutual friend to test the awesomeness of various drink-holding chimps.
He finally found this happy fellow with a Harlequin vest, gold bowtie and pants (that matches our wall color, bonus!) and a silver tray. I named him Marky Mark because, well, why shouldn’t he be named Marky Mark? I was overjoyed.
Sure, he’s shorter than the one we saw in Nashville, and he doesn’t have the jaunty fez, but that’s actually a plus in the feng shui of the room. Besides, he’s much more beguiling.
And more than just being a conversation piece in our otherwise very traditional (read bland) decor, every time I look at the grinning two-footed-2-foot-coaster, I am reminded that I married my best friend who would literally do anything to make me happy.
And that? Is the best present I could ever get.