19 Jun 2006

Strange Bedfellows in Berkeley

, , ,

You will be amused at this romance feature from the Sunday Times Style section. Sophia Raday, a typical Berkeley peacenik devoted to everything trendy leftie, recounts the story of how she fell for a West Point graduate, Oakland cop, and National Guard colonel.

MY husband is like the Lone Ranger: he leaves a trail of bullets in his wake. Not silver bullets, but gold 9 millimeters, orange “simunitions” and menacing hollow-points with bronze tips.

I find them at the bottom of the washing machine, next to the pile of mail in our front hall or mixed in a heap of change. He is a police officer in nearby Oakland, Calif., a former SWAT team member, and a colonel in the Army Reserve. Sometimes when I gather the cool bullets in my palm, I stare at them and wonder: How did I, a Berkeley resident, a former peace activist, someone with a “Bread, not bombs” button, end up married to The Man?

I like to tell people we met because he pulled me over, and I avoided the ticket with my feminine wiles. It’s not true, but our partnership is almost that unlikely. After all, I’ve been arrested several times in political protests and once for possession of marijuana. I’ve even trespassed onto a naval base to spray-paint protest messages over the sloganeering billboards.

My husband, on the other hand, subscribes to a magazine about wound ballistics, calls people he doesn’t like “communists” and distrusts anyone with a beard. He gets his hair cut at least twice a month. He loves to rub my hand over his spiky scalp while bragging about how especially “high and tight” it is this time.

The truth is, I met my husband on a blind date set up by a cousin who had gone to West Point with him. It amused me that on Tuesday night I was going out with a motorcycle-riding lesbian while on Wednesday I had a date with a soldier/cop. I wore a short skirt that showed off my long legs. When he arrived, I was charmed by his old-fashioned formality, how he called me “Miss Sophia” and pulled out my chair.

It was on our third date that I discovered he never left the house without a firearm. We went to see “Heat,” a crime drama with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, and when we were driving home, I asked, “So when you’re off-duty, do you ever carry a gun?”

He laughed. “Always. Got one on my hip right now.”

I was delighted. This was high adventure. I liked having covert awareness of hidden things under his clothes. Dangerous things. And I liked the idea that I would try to tame him, that I would be the one to put a daisy in his gun.


I mentioned this story to my wife, particularly noting the detail of the husband referring to people he doesn’t like as “communists.” My wife sniffed, and said, “That’s exactly what you do!”


Please Leave a Comment!

Please note: Comments may be moderated. It may take a while for them to show on the page.

Entries (RSS)
Comments (RSS)
Feed Shark