Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Welcome to The Happy Badger!

Welcome, welcome! I figure I'll introduce myself by retelling a little story about how the blog and business got its name. Enjoy! Tomorrow,  I'll be sharing my Memory Keeper story about Allison Gilbert, wonderful woman and author of the new book (released today and on Amazon!) Passed and Present.

Please do visit the Etsy store, Happy Badger Industries.

So...Why "The Happy Badger"?

The answer to “Why the name?” is easier than “Why the whole curb-shopping thing?” so I’ll start with that.

The time: spring, 1998. The world still reeled from Princess Diana’s death, though it had occurred months earlier.

The place: Mainz, Germany. The town square flaunted a monumental banner advertising The Spice Girls’ movie, Spice World.

The moment: The man I loved, loved, loved had defied my cynical expectations and had moved from glorious Santa Barbara to gray Germany, to be with me. We were snuggling in my rented attic room. Its sloping ceiling, against which my lover always cracked his head when he sat up in bed, made Anne Frank’s attic look palatial.

At his suggestion, I had just finished reading Farley Mowat’s Never Cry Wolf.

In my romantic bliss, I recognized a kinship with “Angeline,” who excitedly, delightedly greeted her mate “George” every time they met, no matter how many or how few moments had passed since they parted.

“You remind me of George,” I murmured.  “So strong and loving….Or, maybe you are a noble stag, like Bambi’s dad.”

My lover gave me a sidelong glance and a quick huff through his nose.

“Soooo…” I went fishing for a compliment. “What animal do I remind you of?”

No bites.
“Um… hello?” No murmur now. “What animal do I remind you of?”
Quiet thought crinkled the edges of his eyes.

I waited, eager to hear “wolf,” which surely would indicate that we were meant to be together forever. My ego demanded “hawk” or “lion,” something fearless and strong. But even felis catus would have pleased me. Yes, at that moment, I would have been mighty contented to be this man’s pet.

“Hmmm….” He hesitated a moment longer, then pronounced, “I think you’re a badger.”

End romantic reverie. Cut to barroom brawl.

Just as a general warning, Readers, never ever call your female lover “a badger.” I can guarantee that she will instantly become one. This warning goes double, triple, if your lover happens to have spent twenty-one of her twenty-five years on earth loving and studying and teaching the English language.

“I’m a WHAT?!! You DO know that “badger” is a VERB, right? And it’s NOT a GOOD verb! There are NO positive connotations associated with ‘badgering’ something! And,” I howled, “I’m tall! I’m not a damned badger!”

Literally and figuratively, I had my lover in a corner. He flushed but held his ground.

“I’m sure that a badger could be very sweet and loving when she’s happy—”

That “I’m sure” and that “could be” were directly responsible for at least fifteen extra minutes of shrieking, snarling, spitting rage.

But, bless him, my lover never fled me. And I didn’t kick him to the curb. To quote Charlotte Bronte, “Reader, I married him.” Truth be told, I am the Mr. Rochester in this relationship, and my husband is Jane Eyre.

It's 2013.

We live in Westchester County.
People still grieve for the loss of Princess Diana. When I see the latest oversexualized princess of pop shake what her mama gave her, I grieve for the loss of the Spice Girls.

From time to time over our nearly fifteen years of marriage, I have thrown my husband's ridiculous pronouncement back in his face. I even tell the story to skittish lovers to assure them that they should hold steady and not take the wildly insensitive things our beloved says too much to heart.

My husband has never bowed to my pressure to find me another animal comparison, dammit. (That’s probably because he’s the noble Prince of the Forest, humph.)

But, what I find more astonishing is that all these years later, his choice makes sense. A hawk flies high and far, but it is an isolated, anti-social creature: not me. A lioness is pretty awesome, but she’s too often willing to share her mate with others: NOT me. I like to cuddle, but I am no one’s kitty cat. And, to be honest, those animals are happiest when they have blood on their beaks or teeth.

The fact is, now that I am a wife-mother-tutor-curb-shopper-upcycler-blogger, I am genuinely happy. I love my suburban den and my family with all my furry, mammalian heart. I will bristle from my curly hair to my hairy toes and snarl and spit at anything that threatens them. I love to trundle around from place to place, juggling socializing and isolating activities.

Turns out that I am, indeed, The Happy Badger.

Copyright 2013 Tanya Monierhttp://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1580056121/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1460517740&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=passed+and+present+gilbert


  1. What a great story!
    How about adapting this story into a children's picture book?

    1. Thanks! I actually HAVE a children's book written, but not of this story.