Since I started visiting here in blogland, I think I have read at least 10 different posts titled "Don't Poke the Bear." It seems to be pretty much a universal theme in "these here parts." (That is a little cowboy talk I picked up from reading so many of Sunny's books.) The whole concept of ttwd could probably be summed up in those four words.....don't poke the bear.
I have a dear friend who has tagged Sam as a "big cuddly bear." That description really made me laugh! I do love when my man cuddles me, although he would never use that word. Might hear instead, "Comere you," with a smile in his voice. There's a certain spot between the living room and the hall where Sam pushes me up against the wall for some loving attention. If he forgets, I will stand right there until he notices. It doesn't take long.
Even the "bear" part is OK with me as long as it means I am getting a happy bear hug, at which Sam is quite good. A real bone-crusher can damn near lift me off the floor. I love when he loves on me that way, and I laugh until there are tears in my eyes. With no shirt on, I bury my face in the hair on his chest and breathe in his scent. Poking his chest, literally, would not have the desired effect at all.
But "Don't Poke The Bear" (hereafter known as DPTB) doesn't have a literal meaning, unless it is a game between a father and a child perhaps. Most often, the expression is used metaphorically to advise or prevent someone from asking or doing something that might provoke a negative response from someone else.
Always on the first day of the new school year, I guided my fourth or fifth graders in understanding and adapting the Preamble to the United States Constitution to govern the way we would treat each other and achieve our academic goals. After they proposed and voted on their own rules, I gave a short DPTB speech on what behaviors I would not tolerate at any time. This may sound a bit dictatorial compared to the democratic introduction, but most teachers would probably identify with my methods. Prejudice, humiliation, and ostracizing someone are 3 that come to mind. The first time a child messed with the Holy Three, the Bear was out of the cave. It didn't happen often. There were a lot more rewards than growls.
Actually, DPTB is often a game between Sam and me. I poke and the bear spanks. My man usually enjoys this, too, but several weeks ago, the Bear decided it was time to lose some winter weight. Somehow there were a few extra pounds he had put on during those months of hibernation. Now, at my request, Sam is used to helping me maintain a healthy weight, and is quite sweet about it. He is not quite as sweet, though, when he is munching on carrots and cauliflower instead of peanuts or chips.
Most every night, I am off to bed a good while before Sam is ready. I pour myself some water, grab my Kindle, and head down the hall. Sam comes in a bit later for some hugs and kisses. If it is a work night, he might even say, "Lights out in 10." When he slips into bed later, he will pull me close to spoon and pat my bottom. Life doesn't get much sweeter.
Some nights I might bring a small snack to munch on as I read. The other evening I remembered there were pretzels in the pantry, and I took 3 rods. Sam met me in the hall and furrowed his brow when he saw the sticks in my hand.
"Where are you going with those," he asked.
"To read, of course," I answered with a smile and here is where the bear-baiting began.
"Are you supposed to have those?" he frowned looking at the pretzels longingly.
What popped into my head was....
Thou shalt not covet thy wife's pretzels.
Instead, I smiled and said, "Yes, I can have these because I am not trying to lose weight; I am simply trying to maintain."
I did not think I sounded like a Weight Watchers Wise Ass, but apparently Sam thought I did. He grabbed me in a bear hug with one arm and started spanking my wise ass with the other. When I started laughing, he yanked down my pajama bottoms quicker than you could say, "Don't Poke the Bear."
The Bear had been officially poked, and my giggling just fueled the fire. He most certainly was lighting a fire on my ass. Way back when ttwd was new to us, I believed that a hand spanking was really lightweight. Well, times have changed, and Sam tells me it is "...all in the wrist."
I was off to bed with a lovely glow on both sets of cheeks. After kisses and hugs I settled in to read with a big smile on my face. I decided to do a little research on the habits of bears. As a public service announcement please pay close attention to the information below.
What Ella Has Learned About Bear Behavior -
1. A bear's strongest sense is smell, and they can pick up the scent of pretzels from over a mile away.
2. It is believed that bears "mark" a trail by clawing trees, and they do this to establish male dominance. My bottom had been marked, for sure.
3. Finally, it is a well known fact that a hungry bear is a lot more aggressive than a bear who comes home to beer and peanuts.
Remember what Smokey the Bear says:
"Only You Can Prevent Ass Fires."