Yesterday, while driving to work, I realized that I had forgotten my briefcase and had to return home. Once home, I made directly for the bedroom, where I suspected the briefcase would be. Opening the door, I discovered my wife – you won’t believe this – being a bird. I mean, she was literally a bird and to be more specific, she was a stork. A very nice-looking stork, I guess, but a stork. I quietly shut the door before she noticed me and then, after a moment of panicking in the hallway, I knocked. She opened the door and I saw that she had returned to her human form. I wordlessly collected my briefcase and left. What am I to make of this, Alistair?
Of a Different Feather in Amsterdam
Your wife is a welkie. Not, as you might suspect, a Native born Welsh, but a relative of the selkie, Celtic creatures who wore and became seals. They’re a bit like mermaids.
First of all, don’t tell her you know. Selkies and their kin are notoriously nervous and flighty. In fact, she probably hasn’t worn the stork in months and was just taking a bit of a fly-round. If you come straight out and say, “So, how’re the rooftops, dear?” She’ll probably flee, never to be seen again. What you need to do is be gently supportive without being specific. Try referencing how much you love birds; how you’ve always wanted to make a nest on a wagon wheel; how it would be cool to be married to a stork; things like that. Relieve the tension that comes from hiding a horrible secret by giving the impression that it’s not so bad after all.