Mr. Wow Blog
Mr. WoW, B. and the Tale of the Easter Swan
2:37 pm | April 7, 2012

Author: Mr. Wow | Category: Point of View | Comments: 30

 Dear Friends…Happy Easter or Passover or nothing. That is, just be happy you might have an extra day off from work.  Many of you have followed me from wOw, and probably recall this story.  But, for those who are new–and I see there are more than I expected–perhaps you’ll enjoy this post.  It says a little about me and a lot about B. 

Mr. wOw’s Easter swan

Every relationship has its rituals — but as Mr. wOw learns, it’s the small ones that end up mattering the most

Many years ago—back in the fabulous early 1980’s (well, if you didn’t factor in AIDS), B. went off to Denmark. He was a medical researcher and was … researching in Denmark. B. was away a while. He loved Denmark. He loved the work he was doing and the people he was working with. Especially one fellow. Cute and  smart. Doctor smart. Just like B.   Mr. wOw was jealous.

When B. went off for a second stay in Denmark, he said, “wOw, why don’t come along? Everyone would love to meet you.” This was odd. B. was and is a shy guy, who needs some prodding in the social area. One of the reasons he liked me is that I wasn’t shy, once I relaxed, and would always strike up animated conversations with strangers, and had friends, and brought people over. This eventually ended—it was too much work for me: I cooked I cleaned, they were my friends, I entertained. I got tired. I was working nine to five.

But B. gregarious himself, in another country?! This I had to see. So I braved my very first plane ride to Denmark. I was terrified, but made a hell of a lot of acquaintances during the seven or eight hours in the air. I also drank a lot. Not that it helped. (It was the beginning of many years of air travel, and imbibing way up there.) Denmark was wonderful, and in many ways B. was a different person. Not totally, but that’s another more serious tale   I met B.’s friend and was really jealous. But, I kind of got over it. I loved Denmark too. And we often went to a park in the middle of Copenhagen and admired the swans. We loved swans, despite their famously irritable nature. They were always polite to us.

I left Denmark. B. followed a few weeks later. He returned — depressed, it seemed to me. Was he longing for Denmark and his doctor pal? Was he regretting me? I was so childish. So poor. Not his equal, I was sure. Finally, I asked him, “Do you want to go back? Do you want to separate? We’ve only been together six years, we’re young. You have time to make another life.” His answer was a curt, final, “no!” (Big girly conversations are not his forte, though he allows me an annual monologue.) He seemed to improve somewhat, but I thought he still missed Denmark. It troubled me. Then one day at the supermarket I found a large plastic swan. I brought it home, filled the bathtub and put him in to float.

When B. came from work I said we’d received a visitor, who was splashing around in our tub. B. hurried upstairs, and I wondered what kind of visitor he was hoping to find in our tub? (That cute kid down the block?)   It was the plastic swan, serene. B. was amused, perhaps even touched. I was (am) so rarely sensitive when I should be. He seemed better after that.

We tucked the swan away, and I never thought of it again until Easter rolled around. I woke up Easter Sunday to find our swan jam-packed with sweet goodies of all kinds. I love candy. B. said: “I heard the flapping of wings last night, and he suddenly appeared with all this stuff. It was quite a journey. He can stay awhile, yes?” Of course! Who turns away a swan bearing chocolate?

We must have been hospitable enough. Every year since—more than 25, now—our Easter swan has arrived, loaded down with sweet gifts. He always comes when I am asleep. Sometimes B. expresses concern about the weather, and the swans great age, but he always comes through, not much altered by time, though no great conversationalist. He stays until we’ve pretty much finished off his gifts. He always leaves quietly in the night. Sometimes B. is awake and bears a message—the swan has had a relaxing time, loves us, and will be back next year.

All relationships have rituals. Funny little nicknames and habits. Sometimes they start out annoying but oddly you grow to depend on and even love them. The swan started out as a nervous joke by an insecure Mr. wOw, hoping to charm his B. Today, if anything happened to that damn plastic swan I think I’d have to be strapped down and medicated.

I’d like to go back to Denmark someday with B. Look at the swans again. And maybe bring a present back  to our swan (he’s definitely a Dane.) After all, he’s given us so much. And I don’t just mean chocolate rabbits.

Happy Easter to you all—whether it is a time of spiritual contemplation or bunny rabbits and colored eggs. Or just a few days off.

I must go. Jelly beans are beckoning.


  • deirdre

    She is lovely and made more so by all the goodies she brings each year!  What a wonderful tradition for you and B.  I think we need traditions even when we say we don’t believe in ritual or traditions.  Hope you and B have a wonderful time eating every bit of candy from you swan.

    2:59 pm | April 7, 2012
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      Deirdre…Well, I try not to eat every bit of candy.  Hoping to keep the choppers, which are still quite nice.  (On that score, I should see my dentist more often!)

      She is lovely.  I must say, holding up quite well.  I’d like her secret.  Maybe it’s spending most of the year in Denmark.

      4:32 pm | April 7, 2012
  • Haunted Lady
    Haunted Lady

    What a wonderful story. It’s charming and a bit poignant. In my family, we have the Easter Moose and the Chocolate Christmas Stegosaurus. Nothing elegant and classy like a swan. I hope you and B have a lovely Easter.

    3:57 pm | April 7, 2012
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      Dear Haunted…The Christmas Stegosaurus?  That sounds like another name for yearly epic tree trimming. 

      I am looking forward to a lovely little holiday. Tonight is Rita Hayworth night on Turner Classic Movies, starting with “Gilda.”  I love religious epics (we get all those tomorrow) but Miss Hayworth in her prime is a religious experience.  I intend to worship the goddess.

      4:38 pm | April 7, 2012
    • Haunted Lady, I would love to hear how THOSE traditions came about!  And… anything with chocolate has to be good.

      9:47 pm | April 7, 2012
      • Haunted Lady
        Haunted Lady

        When my older niece was little, she wasn’t a big candy eater, unlike the rest of the family, so my brother and sister-in-law would give her more toys than sweets. One year, she got a toy stuffed moose that she really liked and it became her Easter Moose.The stegosaurus is something one of my cousins came up with. He wanted to contribute to Christmas dinner and started to make a chocolate cake. I think he was trying to make something seasonal but it came out a little wanky. He made some thin cookies, cut them to shape and stuck them along the “back” of the cake. It made a great stegosaurus and chocolate icing on chocolate cake is always a winner. It is now a tradition that this cousin provide the Chocolate Christmas Stegosaurus. We like to be flexible in my family, especially where chocolate is concerned. And, yes, we’re a bit odd, but we’re generally harmless.

        2:47 pm | April 8, 2012
        • Haunted Lady, ha!  I love the Christmas Stegosaurus!  I’d love to have a tradition like that but… it’s one of those family things that really has to arise by accident.With us, my hubby proposed on Valentine’s with a dozen roses, or so he thought.  Later, counting, he discovered there were only 11.  So for a long time, he got me a dozen roses for Valentine’s but would always take one out and put it in a separate vase.  Lately though – we have let that tradition slide in favor of a box of Godiva chocolates.  They taste so much better than roses!  ; )

          9:07 pm | April 8, 2012
  • Haunted Lady
    Haunted Lady

    “The Christmas Stegosaurus?  That sounds like another name for yearly epic tree trimming. “It’s smaller than the tree but no less enticing. Chocolate does that.

    7:10 pm | April 7, 2012
  • Mr. Wow, you DO tell great stories.  And what a great tradition.  Happy Easter to you and B!

    9:45 pm | April 7, 2012
  • Jay Kay

       My lover and I used to have a bird tree at Christmas, along with the usual ornaments, our tree was also an aviary of ‘made in China’  styrofoam, feather covered birds.  One year the duck, of which we had only one, got placed on top the tree, and became, The Christmas Duck.  From then on it became a tradition that the Christmas Season in our house didn’t start till the Christmas Duck took his honored place atop our tree.   We didn’t have to create a tradition for ourselves, it just happened.  And I think many people, and partners, and families do similar simple things that enrich and give unique significance to their lives.  

    1:49 am | April 8, 2012
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

        Dear Jay…I love your duck!  And it’s true, these small, random things become so important, they can symbolize and define a relationship.

      I hope your duck still flies in every Christmas?


      Best, Mr.W

      4:17 am | April 8, 2012
  • lulu

    Happy Easter and Passover to All!!!How true, the traditions that simply happen provide the best memories.  On Easter we had a grand hunt in our house and back yard for the dogs by hiding dog biscuits and special treats throughout.  The Golden Retrievers would wait patiently until they were given the go find command.  As much as the dogs loved every moment my husband and I had the most fun.  We woke up this morning and said, ‘who hides the biscuits this morning?’  Unfortunately the years have passed and at the moment no dogs but the tradition continues in our minds every year.

    11:14 am | April 8, 2012
  • Baby Snooks

    Reading about your Easter tradition is becoming part of ours – how lucky you both are to have each other.  And how lucky all of us are to know both of you!

    2:47 pm | April 8, 2012
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      Dear Baby…thank you so much.  The swan arrived safely last night.

      I am lucky to have B. and all of you, too.  I’m always ashamed when I rail against this or that in my life.  If I had to walk a mile in most people’s shoes, I’d be wheelchair bound.

      How did it go for you today–this weekend?

      2:56 pm | April 8, 2012
  • DanS

    I can’t help but think that I should really take that first big step and actually find a significant other that sticks around long enough for such lovely traditions to form. The older I get, the more sentimental my crazy-talk begins to sound.

    5:00 pm | April 8, 2012
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      Dear Dan..don’t be silly.

      Unlike Margo Channing, I adore cheap sentiment and crazy talk.  Not that it’s crazy to want to love and be loved.  And have Easter swans…Christmas tree ducks and/or a chocolate stegosaurus.

      Keep looking, kid.  I wasn’t even looking for B.  It…just happened.

      12:10 am | April 9, 2012
      • DanS

        Well, it’s not crazy-talk in a more general sense of giving and receiving love, but it is crazy talk when it’s coming from me. I’ve always been one of those people that has spent his adult life wonderfully-single and loving every minute of it. I don’t think I’ve ever been closed off to the idea of that bigger sort of love – it’s just that I’ve never found it. I imagine my choices have played a part in that: I tend to find the ones that are fun to date if you don’t mind dealing with a bit of crazy for a while. I think I’m just reaching that age where I’m starting to wonder what my future will look like. Or, at the very least, I’m starting to see a diminishing return with the current life. It’s not something I lose sleep over, but it is something I’ve thought about. At least if I ever settle down, I’ll have stories.

        5:21 pm | April 9, 2012
        • Mr. Wow
          Mr. Wow

          Dear Dan..

          You remind me of a wonderful friend.  He’s significantly younger than I, but no longer really young.  He’s hot and funny and super smart.  I had a big crush on him when we first met about ten years ago.  Obviously, it didn’t lead to anything except a lot of silly flirting on my side.  

          To me, he is such prime boyfriend material.  But he has drifted from one brief relationship to another.  It used to be fun for him.  Not so much anymore, I think.  And I wonder what he wants, or what people want from him, or what people want in general these days?  I never dated.  I didn’t have boyfriends.  That was not what the life I led, led me to.  So, it is difficult for me to give advice in this area. 

          But I feel so much for my friend, who wants and deserves love with a big L. It seems to to me it was easier back in the day, just going to a bar.  Now –to my mind–there is too much choice, too available, too instant, too much pressure–and so much of it conveyed by the “intimacy” on the Internet.


          I think my friend will settle down.  And so will you.  And hell yes, you’ll both have stories!


          11:00 pm | April 11, 2012
  • deirdre

    DanSNot crazy-talk at all!  That is what we all keep telling each other here. In hundreds of different ways about small things and big things.  So perhaps, just perhaps it is time to take that first big step and know that there are people here who will listen and encourage you all the way. 

    9:19 pm | April 8, 2012
  • goodgirl096567

    What a wonderful tradition. I read this last year and am thrilled you brought your Easter story back.

    11:13 am | April 9, 2012
  • BabySnooks

    How do you “reply” on here? I just figured out how to “log on” although I am not happy with BabySnooks. But it wouldn’t accept Baby Snooks.  Actually I just round the “log on” screen. Didn’t occur to me to “scroll down.” Like I like to say, I’m not stupid. Just a little slow at times.  Easter. Some go “humbug” at Christmas. I tend to go “humbug” at Easter for some reason.  I forget which pagan festival it originally was.  But I suspect  the Romans went bunny hunting and raided chicken coops.  And filled plastic swans with candy!

    12:23 pm | April 9, 2012
  • BabySnooks

    I think what bothers me about Easter most is the “evangelicals” who pop out of everywhere. Usually on the Sunday morning “news” shows. Yesterday it was Franklin Graham reminding us all that only Christians get to go to heaven. And then Rick Warren. Reminding us of the same and then adding that Christians don’t get to go to heaven because they are “good” but simply because of “grace” as he called it. The translation is that no matter how “bad” you are it doesn’t matter because Christ died for your sins and they are all forgiven. And that, of course, sums up what’s really wrong with Christianity. There of course was no “equal time” for rabbis. Never mind Passover. Or Moses. Or the fact that if it hadn’t been for Moses, well, Christ wouldn’t have had anyone to preach to. Some would say perhaps the world would have been a better place if he hadn’t. Personally I think, again, that the next time god throws a rock at someone wandering around the desert god should aim a little better. As for Easter, well, again, “bah humbug…”

    1:21 pm | April 9, 2012
    • DanS

      Easter pulls the same sort of Christian magic trick as Christmas does. In these days, we treat the two holidays like benchmark dates for the birth, death, and zombification of a guy named Jesus. But any casual study of history shows that these are Winter solstice and Spring harvest festivals that Christianity piggybacked onto long after their inceptions. And the increasing din of the Evangelicals stems from an odd sort of resurgence where people are celebrating more-and-more of the original “pagan” aspects of these holidays and increasingly ignoring all the Christian dogma that got tacked on later. With ever-louder voices and with competing proclamations that have to be bigger than the other guys’, it feels like they’re having to scream “I don’t hear anything!” But while we’re here casually studying history, it isn’t too hard to flip those history books back a couple of pages and find (much to the amazement of many people, including me when I began to research it) that the biblical Jesus was extremely likely to be a fictional character that never actually existed in history. But don’t ponder that for very long – it might make the Easter Bunny cry.

      5:49 pm | April 9, 2012
  • Rho

    Hi Mr. Wow.  I am also trying to reply.  Seems it’s not working.  Just wanted to tell you, I am just about done with the “other” site.  I love yours. 

    6:11 pm | April 10, 2012
    • Mr. Wow
      Mr. Wow

      Dear Rho…we had a slight glitch.  Should be okay now.

      7:34 pm | April 10, 2012
      • Lauriate Roly.

        I am so glad to see that Rho has joined up with you Mr. WOW. On the other site she was always my absolute favorite, and now on your site, I can continue to enjoy reading her comments, which were often quite short and sweet, but always very relevant. I join you in welcoming her. Lauriate.

        1:18 pm | April 11, 2012
  • Rho

    Thanks Mr. Wow.  I’ll see if it’s working now. 

    10:12 am | April 11, 2012
  • BabySnooks

    There is no “reply” icon.  Some apparently have it. Some apparently don’t. I don’t. Maybe it’s my ancient Windows 98/IE 6? Rho, I think everyone is done with wowOwow. It lost its “wow.” They should have left well enough alone in the beginning. I noticed every time they tried something new there were fewer comments. I suspect some could never log back on. I finally figured out that if I typed in my email address instead of my screen name it would log me in.  But it was fun while it lasted. They finally put up the “new” home page. And of course there is a photo of Joni and Mary Wells Lawrence in front of Barry Diller’s “sailboat.”  No doubt Liz Peek will be back soon with her “Asparagus Report.” Joni is apparently a little out of touch with the reality confronting most American women. And most American men.  But, well, vacousnness has its place I suppose.

    11:13 am | April 11, 2012
    • Rho

      I see the reply button.  This is a new computer with Windows 7.  Going to look now at Wowowow. 

      3:01 pm | April 11, 2012
      • Lauriate Roly.

        Rho:   I hate new computers.  I have purchased at least six since the first one I bought. All six are horrible to work with and I don’t use them.  You are looking at a message produced on my first adorable 2004 HP PC, still lovely and easy to work with.  Just a little dusting once in a while and it’s just like the first day I brough it home.Good luck with your new Windows 7.  Just thank heaven it isn’t VISTA otherwise you could never reach Mr. WOW again. Lauriate.

        7:13 pm | April 12, 2012
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