Husband and I do not have children. We do, however, have perfect hypothetical children; Jenny Taylor is one of them. We haven't come up with an offensive name for the second hypothetical child but he is also perfect.
Our hypothetical children are polite and well spoken. In public, they are quiet; keep their hands to themselves and are only amusing on purpose. They never cry or beg for toys or junk food. They never ever whine, scream or throw temper tantrums. If our perfect hypothetical children did any of those awful things, one evil eye look would be enough to stop their behavior. We never take them to parties unless they are specifically invited. And when they are invited, all the people at the party make a point to tell us how lovely our children are. At home, they stay in their rooms and read quietly by themselves or play together in cute ways that inspire funny stories we could tell at work. They pick up all their toys without us having to ask and do chores around the house with a smile. And our dear hypothetical children are always clean and smell delicious. They never ever have that funky dank smell of dirt and unquestionable bathroom habits because our hypothetical children are perfect.
But we don’t have children, hypothetical or otherwise.
We have a dog. And our 80lbs dog, Tigger the Dog, has blown our hypothetical parenting out the window.
TTD is whiny and rude. She is messy and clumsy. She likes to rub against my leg when I’m wearing black pants leaving a trail of her blonde hairs. Or she sticks her nose in my crotch, usually when there’s company I’m trying to impress. She never cleans up after herself. There are toys all over the house and stray balls all over the yard. She can clear a low table with her tail and a room with her gas and she doesn’t care one bit when we jump and yell about it. Our evil eye look doesn’t work on her; she just gives us the droopy sad eye and then rolls over for a tummy rub.
She’s super annoying with her need to go out at midnight and again at six am and need us to watch her outside while she pees in the dark cold rain. When she's back inside, her muddy footprints all over the room, the only thanks we get from opening the door and keeping her company is a loud whiny demand for a treat. And, as I'd mentioned before, not once has she used the nice gravel floor bathroom I set up for her. Apparently, that is because she likes to lie in the grass and roll herself about in the sections she’s peed and pooped in. It contributes to her very special scent, eau de s**t - a literal eau de toilette.
To add to that image, our dear TTD likes to lick herself - very loudly - usually when we’re trying to go to sleep. There is nothing less soothing than the slurping and lapping of a dog’s tongue to send you off into a funky dreamland. TTD also has the uncanny ability to start squeaking her ‘babies’ right at the climax of any TV show we're watching. For all we know, most murder mysteries end like this, “The murderer is …squeaky squeaky squeak.”
All of this would be fine – irritating, exasperating, frustrating, annoying but fine – if it weren’t for the following me around.
I go to the kitchen, and she’s right behind me. I go the bedroom, and she’s right behind me. I go to the bathroom, and she’s right there waiting on the other side of the door. Sometimes I try messing with her, moving in one direction and quickly stopping and heading in another. But she’s quick. She follows, bumping her nose into my crotch for good measure. If I get frustrated and yell at her to stop following me, she doesn’t. She’ll just add pacing to her following and do steps in double time. It’s very stressful – for us both.
When she adds her awful high pitch whining to her lovely habit of following, I start wishing for a hypothetical dog. A small quiet one that just sits and watches me but never makes a sound.
But that would make her a cat.
I dressed up for Halloween Sunday, per the boss’ request. I wore Husband’s brown pants, a sloppy green shirt with leaves sewn on to it and I had a ‘branch’ headband in my hair with a bird attached. I was a tree with a bird in its nest.
No one else dressed up.
We’re a week away from Halloween and most folks don’t work with children so my drive to work in my mustachioed Smart Car while dressed like a tree earned me quite a few more looks than usual.
No one else out and about was dressed up.
I was reminded of the time Husband and I got invited to a Halloween party. As a Scotsman, Husband had never gone big with Halloween costumes. I had to talk him into the concept and then talk him into a themed couples costume because, “come on, it’ll be fun!” But then, I was stupid enough to agree to his themed couples costume idea.
A quick side note: Husband’s last name is Taylor. We don’t have children but he always used to joke, if we had a girl, we’d name her Jenny. Get it?
So many years later, we’re going to this party, and Husband has decided he wants a couples costume and – drum roll please – he wants me to dress as Jenny Taylor while he is dressed as Pete Ennis.
Don’t get it? Say them fast while mumbling in a Scottish accent. Got it? Good. Because the photos are too obscene to post.
Husband’s costume was jeans, a pink button down shirt with two rather large pink balloons attached to his waist, topped off with a pink wooly hat a size too small on his head.
I had just taken my hair out of extensions and sewed the synthetic hair on to a pink shirt in the shape of Jenny Taylor. It wasn’t too offensive until Husband attached red tissue paper to the inside oval. That little touch served to make it quite obvious what was on the front of my shirt.
To my mind, there was no mistaking what we were but, just in case no one got it, we wore name tags, the kind that say: My Name is… These ended up being very useful because everyone knew what we were but were too polite to say it. Reading the name tags out loud made it look like they didn’t have dirty minds. I knew better.
We drove to the party; me slouched down in the seat so no one could see my parts and Husband grinning broadly because his balloon parts were tucked out of sight. Husband parked the car and we got out, both of us rearranging ourselves and headed for the front door. It was still a bit light out and we got a few looks from the neighbors driving by. At the front door, Husband did one last check to make sure his ‘balls’ weren’t crooked, and we rang the doorbell both of us giggling like twelve year old boys looking at their first dirty magazine.
And this is where it all went tits up.
The hostess answered the door in a rented Little Red Ridding Hood costume, complete with basket of goodies over her arm.
It took a moment to figure out what we were and then, shocked, she called her husband to come have look. He was in a rented Big Bad Wolf costume, complete with big ears and gleaming white teeth. He took one look at us and laughed so hard, his ears shook and the light glinted off his teeth.
They stepped back to let us inside and they directed us into the kitchen dinning area where NOT ONE PERSON WAS DRESSED UP.
And, to add to the horror, not one of the folks in that room possessed a sense of humor – or rather a crass sense of humor. In fact, I think they were all down right disturbed. Of course, when very large male and female body parts confront you, perhaps your reaction should be shock followed by disgust.
Now, walking into a party is awkward for us anyway. Neither Husband or I possess the ability to ease into a space and neither of us is great at the small talk. Frankly, both of us were pretty darn conversational dressed as we were. But the room was silent. Not one of the folks said a word to us.
And that is how we ended up outside by the keg for the night.
Husband and I had not brought a change of clothes and so we hung out with the folks that wandered outside for a smoke or to get more beer. Thankfully, they were all much chattier and vulgar, like us. Sadly, I was the designated driver and so could only watch as Husband got ploughed, (giggle giggle), his balls all askew, while me in my girl parts drank coke awkwardly in the corner.
The next year he talked me into going as the man and woman bathroom signs. It was the last time we dressed up in themed couples costume because, “come on, it will be fun.”
My ego can’t handle that kind of fun.
Yesterday, I wrote a blog post that apparently didn’t post to Facebook because it had imploded - Facebook not the post - and then I went outside and finished digging the trench for the French drain, moved 10+ wheelbarrows of dirt to the other side of the house, installed the drain - which required straightening out a 100 ft. pipe that had been stored in a loop, cutting it, threading a sock on it, laying it in the trench and filling the trench with countless wheelbarrow loads of ¾ limestone gravel. I chatted with the gas guy who came to fix the very old gas meter that was leaking gas about the famous folks that live in our hood and, despite the gas leak fix, spent most of the afternoon sure the house was going to blow. I laid out the boarder for the grass area and planted 6 bushes and 2 grasses around the edge and watered them all while dealing with a whiney annoying dog that kept trying to play ball with me but then wouldn’t bring me the ball.
And then husband came home and pointed out that my boarder wasn’t straight.
While I was holding a pick ax.
Eight and half years of marriage and I’m not sure how he’s going to survive if he keeps pulling crap like that.
Yesterday's post can be found here: The things I do for you...
In our last house, we had an area in the yard set aside as the bathroom for the dog so she wouldn’t poop or pee on our fake lawn. It was awesome. It meant that we could lie on the lawn, or TTD could roll about in the ‘grass’ and not worry that we would smell like pee and Husband and I could look out at the dog loo and blame the other for not picking up the piles of poop.
When we moved in here, Tigger The Dog began using the whole yard as a toilet. It wasn’t an issue at first. It was winter when we moved in, we weren’t rolling around in the grass. At that point, it was mostly mud and who rolls about in the mud. (Yes, the answer is TTD. But we had a hose and she stopped doing it after several very cold showers.) In the spring, when the lawn was a lawn, it was overgrown and we weren’t trooping through the weeds to pick up dog bombs. Chiggers and Ticks lived there so neither one of us was brave/stupid enough to do it.
Sadly, our lack of housekeeping meant TTD discovered the wonder of pooping wherever she chose to – within the bounds of the fence. We didn’t worry about it until she stopped bringing back her ball. When she stopped bringing back her ball, we had to go get it. And when we went to get it, we stepped in a dog mess. Every time! Didn’t matter how carefully we looked, we would walk out of the grass with poop smeared deep into the nooks and crannies of our shoes. Then TTD started rolling about in the grass again, right where she pees. Not awesome.
So, genius that I am, I decided it would be best if she had her own powder room again and I set about building one. I spent some time figuring out where in the yard would be best; where could it go and not look offensive from the street, what would be best in the winter when we just open the door and shoo her out, what would make sense based on where she was already going. I picked a place by the side of the house. I recycled some logs and artistically put them across the front to serve as a barrier. I moved some plants along the boarder to give her privacy. I loaded it with a cubic yard of limestone gravel for drainage and I opened it up for business.
TTD was not interested.
I coxed her over. She stepped into the box. She stepped out of the box - and promptly peed right next to it.
The next time out, I encouraged her over; she stepped in and began to wander about as she does before she goes. I got excited. She stepped outside the box and pooped right next to the log. Frustrated, I stepped out of the box and right into a pile she’d left there the day before.
It has been one week and not once has she used her outhouse. She has, however, taken to heading in that direction just to tease me, and then turning and running into middle of the lawn. This morning I tried again. I now have poop on my slippers.
TTD and I are not speaking.
More than a few of you expressed concern about my experience on Wednesday. Some of you were worried about how the actual experience was affecting me and some of you were troubled about the response – mainly from the men – about my posts about the experience.
Thank you for your concern but I'm fine.
I started this blog for a few reasons: One - this stuff is really running about in my head at all times and I was hoping that putting it on virtual paper would ease the manic ‘what if...’ circles my brain will get itself into. Two - I have no one here to have these random conversations with. I am female in a new place and we females don’t make friends like the males do. Or at least I don’t. I can’t very well tell the parent at work I regrew my uterus during class. It would get awkward when her kid asks what a uterus is and then, before you know it, we’d be in a birds and bees discussion when we're supposed to be pretending we're at the zoo. The boss would not approve.
Rest assured, I will not put up or share online or anywhere anything I have not thought through. A lot. I realize that the Internet is forever. I am comfortable with the fact that someone might someday approach me and point and laugh as they call me on my prominent cervix or my bad grammar. I discovered long ago that I was prone to getting myself into pretty awkward situations and if I didn’t point and laugh at myself, I was going to end up alone or dead.
On that note, here's another awkward story from Wednesday:
After my crazy morning re-growing my uterus, I came home and spent some time moving some of the 4 cubic yards of much I had delivered Tuesday in an attempt to make our yard look landscaped and not ravaged. It was drizzling but that worked in my favor for a while. When it actually started to rain and I started slipping down the hill, I decided to call it quits. I was attempting to push the wheelbarrow up beside the mulch pile when I hit a bump. A small bump, I thought and backed up to take a run at it.
And that is how, at full speed, I ran the wheelbarrow into a large rock and the handle of the wheelbarrow, at full speed, into my pelvic bone.
The pain was pretty intense I almost lay down on the driveway and cried but, smashing my pelvic bone the same day I regrew my uterus? I can’t make that stuff up. Alanis Morissette could write a song about it. So, instead of crying over my possibly shattered pelvic bone, I laughed and I laughed and I laughed. Because really folks, this stuff happens to me and if I don’t laugh about it, I’m a sad, middle-aged woman with a broken pelvis, lying on my driveway crying.
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