Don’t you love it when you get home from an unexpected day at work and find that your partner has taken the mail and dumped it in what was formerly a neat pile of old magazines and that the only way you would have known it was today’s mail and not a now messy pile of old magazines is that he’d opened one letter and left it laying on top of now said messy pile. And if you hadn’t seen that opened letter and realized it was today’s mail, you would have missed the car registration that is due and requires getting the car checked every year instead of every four or whatever it was in California.
And don't you love it when you find a "personal" reminder note from the Vet in the pile of mail for your dog to get her very important, will kill her from some icky disease if you don’t get them shots and they don't even bother to write her name in the blank space provided. It just says ‘Your Family member__________ is due for his(her) yearly exam and vaccinations.’ Why bother making a notice that allows for personal handwritten communication and then not use it? Not that you were ever going to go back to this vet since the last time you saw them, the staff swarmed Tigger the Dog, straddled her and taped her mouth shut. Not the best thing to do to a dog that already has trauma issues and was whine-shriek-gurgling like Chewbacca.
Then, don't you love it when you have a five-minute conversation with someone who you’ve not seen in 14 hours about a series of events during your day that lead to a story with a titulating punch line and right before you get to said salacious punch line he says "I wasn't listening. What did you say?" And then you have to tell the story again but quicker because now you know he's not really listening so you skip over the little details because you’ve told it before and you’re trying to keep it interesting and to the point but then the story doesn't build the way it did the first time you told it and when you finally get to the scandalous punch line the second time, even you're not invested in the ending and it comes out weak and not at all worth the time and effort it took to speak.
And then, don’t you love it when you finally fall into a grumpy sleep in your lovely mattress pad warmed bed, and you have weird unsettled dreams that somehow end with you walking up a long staircase that creaks that is, for some reason, backstage during a performance and you're carrying a handful of fresh cut potatoes wrapped in a paper towel and trying to keep quiet but you know you have to get them into your dressing room before the intermission for the play you are not in or something horrible will happen.
Then, don’t you love it when you wake up all unsettled and discombobulated because of the weird dream about potatoes and it’s cold but pretty but really cold and you have a full day of bouncing about and smiling to look forward to... yeah, I don’t love it.
Actually, that’s a lie.
If I didn’t have bouncing and smiling to look forward to, I’d be here, on the internet trying to figure out what fresh cut potatoes in a paper towel mean and grumbling about the evils of messy mail leavers who don’t listen to awesome stories that have outrageous endings on par with that Weiner guy, while looking for a new Vet that knows how to write the dog’s name… so I’m going to go with YEAH, I DO LOVE IT!!! BRING ON THE FRIDAY!!!
Yup. Even I don't believe me.
During the freeze earlier this month that was (insert big scary TV newscaster voice) The Polar Vortex!!!, Husband purchased a heated mattress pad for our bed. Since we currently don't have insulation in out attic or in the ceiling of our basement, 2deg outside is not much warmer inside despite the furnace pumping away all night.
I was pretty scoffy about the heated pad. I know scoffy isn’t a word but it describes my attitude with the whole thing. Husband likes his things to be shiny new things that turn on and plug in and I'm pretty scoffy about all of them. Most of the shiny new things end up being his toys regardless of the gift to me. Take the iPod boom box thing – he has used it non stop during this remodel and it’s now covered in paint at sawdust. My phone is the exception. And so I would scoff whenever Husband would say, “You’re gonna love what I got for you.”
Consider me a reformed scoffer.
This heated mattress pad is like no joy I’ve ever known. I've had electric blankets before but they are a bulky pokey mess compared to the heated pad. Slipping into bed at night is like slipping into the perfect temp in a hot tub only there's no water to go up your nose and the top of your head isn't wet and cold. It’s like a full body massage without the awkward oils and touching and your body parts getting cold and stiff while other body parts are getting massaged. It is just pure molten heaven.
Husband has even stopped laying pillows between us so I don’t touch him with my feet icicles or I don’t move the blanket and let in the dreaded cold air.
He was doing this nightly and getting more than pissy when I started my nightly circus cartwheels. I feared that this bedding would be necessary to save our marriage.
The bonus being you wouldn't be able to see the pen stains on the sheets from all those times I forgot to cap the pen before falling asleep. The reality is, this bedding would really be more accurate. And fair.
But now, because of the wonder of our heated mattress pad, we don't argue over sheets and sides and cartwheels. We’ve both been going to bed earlier and earlier, groaning loudly moans of pure joy as we slide in and snuggle down, toasty warm from toes to nose.
The dog doesn’t know what to make of us, though odds are, she decided we were nuts long ago. I also think she’d prefer this bedding but it’s not going to happen. EVER!
Husband and I played dress up on Saturday night. Well, really I played dress up, he actually just wore a dress shirt and black dress pants like he does each day for work. He didn’t want to wear a white dress shirt because he didn’t want to look like the wait staff so he went with a steel grey. I, on the other hand went full out – little black dress, wicked high heels, makeup AND Spanx! I spent far too long debating on whether I should wear tights or not wear tights. Since this is the first time I’ve dressed up since I don’t know when, I didn’t have any nylons in the house and didn’t think to get any. And the only tights I had were those thick ones that turn fuzzy after one wash that did not look in the least glamorous with my little black dress. I chose to wear no tights. You know the tights must have looked absolutely awful since no tights meant bare legs in 30-degree weather with all my bruises on display. Were I famous and there were paparazzi camped outside the restaurant, there would be close-ups of my bruises in next weeks Trash Magazine of your choice.
Anyway, buffed and polished we went off in Husband’s shiny car for our evening out. Husband’s car is white with a red interior and red roof. His friends in Scotland call it his “hairdresser car.” It’s one of those sporty ones that everyone looks ridiculous getting out of because it’s soooo low to the ground. Add heels, a belly and Spanx and I looked like a toddler negotiating stairs for the first time. There was a lot grunting and turning around to back out and not one ounce of what I did looked good. Thankfully, it was freezing and no one was outside to witness my oafish display.
Husband and found our way inside the country club through the highest set of stairs I’ve ever climbed, which turned out, of course, to be the wrong entrance. It meant we had to turn around and go back the mountain of stairs or walk through the restaurant and down a looong hallway to get to the event space. Long hallway it was though to be accurate, Husband walked and I toddled. Once in the right room, we quickly found the bar, loaded up on drinks and looked for a table.
We see the folks in this club once a month and only know a few of them to talk to and a few more to nod at. And because of random life conflicts, it had been three months since we’d been to any meetings so we awkwardly found a table towards the back and staked our claim. Both of us sat there trying to look interesting and charming with our own conversation but not too interesting and charming that we might put off any seat mates. Husband realized he’d forgotten his name tag and went off to his car to get it – leaving me trying to look interesting and charming by myself, a feat not actually possible. At least not for me at a dinner where I only know a few folk to chat small talk too and none of them are there, and I’m sitting down so I don’t fall over and my Spanx is slowly rolling down my belly under my little black dress and I’ve just noticed a bruise the size of Cleveland on my shin. Feeling a right tit, I smiled my social smile and tried not to inhale my drink too quickly.
And then, the most wonderful thing happened. A couple, not put off by my inner monologue of crazy, sat in the seats to the right of us and a couple sat in the seats to the left of us and they looked friendly and not at all weird and frightening and we chatted silly small talk with those weird awkward pauses where we smile at each other and then look away but it was good. And then Husband came back and told us the President of the club had called him over – whistled to him to come over actually and informed him that there were supposed to be floodlights outside on the cars and that he needed to take care of that right away and that that when he was done, he was needed at the bar and to make it snappy. This is a man who has met us more than a few times. Apparently husband’s choice to wear the grey shirt and not wear the white shirt because he might look like the wait staff backfired since all the wait staff was in grey!
And that’s all it took – one embarrassing story that did not happen to me – and the ice was broken. We became fast table friends and told interesting and charming stories to each other all night and had a fabulous time.
So what if we didn’t win any of the fabulous prizes – oversized calendar anyone? So what if after a year of membership, the President of the club thinks Husband is wait staff. So what if I was laughing so hard on the way back from the bathroom, the older woman in the knitted shawl shot me the look of death. I didn’t fall down or drop anything and I made a new friend.
I might actually try dressing up more than once every few years. Look Ma, I’m growing up. And it’s not as scary as I thought.
Tigger the Dog is a rescue and an absolute pain in my butt at 6:30am when I get up to let her out. She has massive panic anxiety attack each morning, all day really, that consists of her pacing in crazy circles and whining a high pitched whine as she looks about for something - preferably a stuffed animal ‘baby’ – to put in her mouth at once. Only a having the baby in her mouth won’t calm her down. It just makes it hard to breathe while she’s panicking and the whine becomes a siren of awfulness punctuated with a snuffle that turns into a Chewbacca gurgle. That joyful noise combined with her out of control 80lbs body and whipping tail can cause quite some damage – to the house and to anyone’s nerves within a ten-foot radius.
It’s so bad that when we decided to drive across country during our move, I went and got drugs for her. (I couldn’t justify drugs for me as I was going to be driving part of the trip. Until I got fired as driver, that is. At that point I seriously considered taking some of the dogs pills but was afraid of the side effects. I’m hairy enough as it is.) Anyway, I did a test case the week before we left and it left her so stoned she couldn’t walk. And as funny as that was, we’d just sold the house and having a stoned dog walk through a wall of windows wasn’t really going to be a great punch line to our last day in California. Let alone driving with a stoned dog in a car in Arizona or Texas or any of the many states it took us to get here. That meant no drugs for Tigger the Dog and no drugs for us. She spent the trip in the boot surrounded by babies and whine-shrieking and we spent the trip trying not to listen. It was a joy.
We don’t have any history on her aside from her vaccinations so we have been playing detective for the past two years, trying to figure out what has made her such a mess. At first Husband thought her trauma was because she was because she was spayed after having puppies, that her need to carry a baby around in her mouth was her missing them. I wish I had a picture of the Vet’s face when Husband explained his theory. Let me just say, the Vet should not take up acting. The baby really just seems like a pacifier to her anyway and doesn’t really seem to be a nurture thing.
Then we had a theory that she might be Chinese. Well Husband did. Totally ignoring the fact that he has a Scottish accent and puts, like eight r’s into the word ‘girrrrrrrrl’, he decided she wasn’t understanding us because she’d been raised in a Chinese household. I’ll let you imagine how we tried out that theory. We were very, very wrong. It turned out she had ear infections in both ears and couldn’t hear anything at all, Chinese or not. So, two weeks after getting her, we had to hold her down and drop goop in her ears twice a day. It did not do much for the honeymoon of her getting to know and love us and it totally didn’t help her anxiety issues. Or mine.
Then we decided she had witnessed a murder. Okay, that was really my theory. Loud noises, like a door slamming or a book dropping on the floor make her freak out, grab a baby and run around in circles whine-shrieking and whacking things with her tail. She must have been in the house when her other family all got slaughtered, I said. We're the doggy witness relocation program. Husband just looked at me. I know, there is something wrong in my head.
But then we noticed she does the same when the doorbell rings – in real life or on TV. And she does the same thing when the blinds going up. And she does the same thing when the blinds going down. And with the shaking of the bedspread. And when we let her inside. And after she poops. And when she needs to poop. Or pee. Or eat. Or whatever… Pretty much everything brings on the whine-shrieking, pacing, whacking things show.
This is my attempt to take a pic of the whine-shrieking, pacing, whacking things, baby in mouth show this morning. These are the only ones that weren't too blurry. And she was totally Chewbacca gurgling, snort-whine-shrieking at the same time. Pure awesomeness.
Husband said it’s me, that she’s picking up on my crazy messy energy but even with all the swirling emotions inside me, am not that much of a mess that Tigger the Dog needs to panic all the time. Sometimes my brain is actually at peace.
Which brings me to the realization that THAT is the best thing about Tigger the Dog; whatever she had going on in her past, she is MUCH more of a mess than me.
I would like to say I’m taking MLK day to reflect and promote his message of equality for all but the reality is my brain is fuddled and I can’t put two thoughts together to form a sentence let alone a story.
So please spend the day doing deep and meaningful things. I’m going to pretend that is what I'm doing as I shuffle about the house in a fog of feelings.
And look at this lovely pic of a hedgehog that someone sent me. I don't know who took the pic and can't credit them. If you do, please tell me so I can thank them for the little bit of love I feel every time I see it.
My name is ej. I'm a girl. I say that because with the short hair and the short initials, folks aren't always sure. More brilliant insights to who I am in About me