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Thursday Thirteen Ed.# 82: Thirteen Stupid Things People Have Said to Me Since My Dog Died

February 28th, 2007

I loathe people who keep dogs. They are cowards who haven’t got the guts to bite people themselves.
– August Strindberg

He’s wrong. I do bite. And yes, yes, I know. People can’t help that they’re stupid.

(PS — By the way, all of these stupid comments were made to my face or over the phone. Not on the blog. You all have been incredibly supportive and kind. Thank you. You would think, since we don’t know each other in “real” life — most of us, anyway — that that would mean license to be flip, or rude or whatever. Maybe we just save our best manners for the people we don’t know “face to face.” We should save our best manners for everyone, because you never know what someone’s deal is. I appreciate you guys, and thank you. You mean the world to me.)

(PSS — Thanks to Carol and Beth for keeping Thursday Thirteen going.)

For my Thursday Thirteen, here are…

Thirteen Stupid Things People Have Said to Me Since Wacky Dog Died

13. He was really old, right?

12. He was neurotic.

11. Your dog was really neurotic.

10. He would have drove me nuts.

9. All of that chewing would have drove me nuts.

8. You’d better find a way to deal with it, because he’s gone.

7. He’s still lost? (This from a friend who got my message saying, “We lost the dog.” Apparently my sobbing into her voicemail didn’t tip her off.)

6. Yeah, Labs have problems.

5. I’m glad we have a small dog. Small dogs live longer.

4. You’ll be glad not to pick up after him anymore, I bet.

3. At least he was old.

2. It just seems so… sudden.

1. Was he even sick?

Yeah, I know. I need to keep my mouth shut. More secrets = more better, right? Less information = less hurt. Yes, in some cases. But when you’re crying for a week solid, and you still have to do things like go out in public to get your kids to and from school, people ask questions. And what a lot of people don’t know, because 1) it’s none of their business and 2) I keep it guarded like the dark secret it is — people know that my Dad jumped. (I wrote about it here.) But what I never tell people is — he took our dog with him and killed her, too. (Because what? It wasn’t going to damage us enough, with the suicide? He had to throw a little more damage in there? Thanks, Dad.) She was a black dog, and really sweet, with a white blaze on her chest. She looked like a miniature version of Wacky Dog. And I was just a little older than my daughter when it happened. So analyze that in your spare time.

Also, Wacky Dog was our last dog, and some of my sorrow is because of that. I love dogs, even the crazy-kooky ones like Wacky Dog, and I’ve never not had a dog. But my husband and I decided this a long time ago. He’s not really a dog person, and I cannot deal with this kind of grief and sorrow again. Not when I can have a choice in the matter.

A lot of people have said the right things. Not everyone is stupid. So I give you:

13. I loved Wacky Dog.

12. He was a great dog.

11. You guys were a great family to him.

10. It’s good that he’s not in pain anymore.

9. My dog will miss him — they were good friends.

8. He was the best dog.

7. He ruled.

6. You’re going to keep hearing him — and looking for him — for a long time. I am sorry to tell you this, but for me it was (two months, six months, or just a pause, and then, “a long time”).

5. This must be tough for the kids.

4. This must be making you really sad.

3. I am sorry.

2. I wish there was something I could do.

1. He had a good home with you guys, and you did all you could.

Snow Morning!

February 28th, 2007

Funny, since there’s no snow, that we should have a two-hour late school opening today. And no morning pre-k for Wacky Boy. There is the teensiest bit of snow — a dusting on the cars, a few flakes (that are already melting) on the lawns. Go talk to PPS about this one, would you?

I’m a slacker, in general. And a stay-at-home mom, to boot. So I don’t mind a mellow schedule. But my kids are hardly ever in school.

“Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning?”
– George W. Bush

Ed. to say: 1 p.m. no snow at all. In fact, we didn’t have any “real snow” over here at all — just gray skies, clear skies, sun and a little bit of a breeze. This being Oregon. I took FOUR BOXES OF STUFF to Goodwill and left a ton of recycling by the curb. We’ve also packed a dozen boxes of stuff we can live without to go into the attic. Less clutter = less crazy. Who the hell knew? (My husband. He’s been begging me for years to get rid of some of my junk. Probably one-third or less is his — the kids and I can claim two-thirds, or possibly more…) Anyone who walks into or near my home is getting a door prize — maybe a plant. Maybe a book. Maybe some recycling, because ALL OF THIS IS NOT GOING TO FIT INTO THE BINS.

I even itemized the Goodwill drop for the tax receipt. (You have to do this to figure out how much you can write off — go here for details.) Plus, the nice man who took the donation (all of it, even the ripped flannel shirts and college textbooks) gave me a dozen boxes when I told him we were moving. I’m getting lots of tips on moving from Iowa Drift — they’re relocating from Iowa to Massachusetts. She writes one of my favorite blogs — I love her style.

Yours in order and precision,

WM

Thursday Thirteen Lives On

February 27th, 2007

No, the Thursday Thirteen is not going away. Yay!

Why Move to Iowa?

February 27th, 2007

To those of you pooh-poohing this idea, this grand scheme to leave the moldy-wet, expensive and fast-paced Pacific Northwest and move to my husband’s hometown of Iowa City, I ask, do you even know what the Big Ten schools are?

Harry: Yeah, nothing from her, not even a smile. So I downshift into small talk, and I asked her where she went to school and she said, “Michigan State,” and this reminds me of Helen. All of a sudden I’m in the middle of this mess of an anxiety attack, my heart is beating like a wild man and I start sweating like a pig.
Sally: Helen went to Michigan State?
Harry: No she went to Northwestern, but they’re both Big Ten schools. I got so upset I had to leave the restaurant.

(from “When Harry Met Sally”)

And without further ado, they are:

* University Of Illinois
* Indiana University
* University of Iowa (which is IN IOWA CITY, thank you)
* University of Michigan
* Michigan State University
* University of Minnesota
* Northwestern University
* Ohio State University
* Penn State University
* Purdue University
* University of Wisconsin

I know. Penn State makes it eleven but everyone still says Big Ten. Midwesterners are generous that way.

Also, the naysayers are not the readers of this blog. Oh, no. All of you are asking me, “How can you put up with that rain? Yes, move. Damn. You cannot build a rainman, can you?” No, and I would not want to. I am saying, “We will move.” And we will. Because I am Through with this place. Through.

See? I blame it on Nora Ephron.

Harry: There are two kinds of women: high maintenance and low maintenance.
Sally: And Ingrid Bergman is low maintenance?
Harry: An L.M. Definitely.
Sally: Which one am I?
Harry: You’re the worst kind. You’re high maintenance but you think you’re low maintenance.
Sally: I don’t see that.
Harry: You don’t see that? “Waiter, I’ll begin with the house salad, but I don’t want the regular dressing. I’ll have the balsamic vinegar and oil, but on the side, and then the salmon with the mustard sauce, but I want the mustard sauce on the side.” ‘On the side’ is a very big thing for you.
Sally: Well, I just want it the way I want it.
Harry: I know, high maintenance.

He’s Right — Writing IS Easy!

February 26th, 2007

You know why I love the Internet? A lot of reasons, really, all of them starting with I can look up the lyrics to any Sly and the Family Stone song that I want, ANYTIME I WANT. This still amazes me. But you know, I’m easily impressed so that’s not saying much. I also adore the Internet, the Information Highway, running willy-nilly from here in Oregon all the way over to North Carolina, down to Rio by the Sea-O, then flying ZOOM like a CRAZY BOOMERANG all around the world, BECAUSE IT MEANS I DO NOT HAVE TO PHOTOCOPY AS MUCH STUFF. (more…)

Peace

February 26th, 2007

“I do not want the peace which passeth understanding, I want the understanding which bringeth peace.”

– Helen Keller

Family Mottos

February 25th, 2007

Going through old boxes of cards, clippings and journals here, getting ready to move. I refuse to drag too much of the past with me, especially when it’s bad journal entries circa 1992. Haven’t found jobs yet, but we’re readying the house for sale, just in case, and getting as much packed as we can.

Turns out you can accumulate quite a few Very Important Things if you live in the same place for seven years. You look at them again, these things, and you think, “I can live without this.” So you pack it and hide it in the attic, put it in the Goodwill box, or give it to a friend. It is amazing how much we’ve gathered. And a little crazy, when you start wondering how it’s all going to fit into a moving van???

Here’s something funny from one of my old journals — I started collecting family mottos from my friends. A few of the funnier ones:

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“If you leave it in a public place it becomes public property.” (from my friend KC, who came from a large family)

“Better late than dead.” (From my friend CB, who came from a family of too-fast drivers.)

“It looks just fine.” (A good all-purpose motto, no?)

“Take it as it comes.”

“I didn’t do it” and “You smell like a goddamn brewery.” (ha ha — same family for both of these mottos. Denial, anyone?)

“Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” (EQ, another member of a large family)

“Don’t grow up too fast.” (and from the same family…) “Date an educated man — they’re more civilized.” (and, for family members who refused to get out of bed…) “OK. Be a loser.”

My family’s: “Roll with the punches” and “Men are like streetcars — there’s another one along every fifteen minutes.”

What’s yours?

More searches

February 23rd, 2007

If you were looking for:

wacky mommy
mommy sex
volcano cake
chocolate volcano cake
pictures mardi gras shoebox floats
norovirus puking
nasty neighbors
money makin mommy
quotes from because i said so
nasty neighbor

Well, here I am, baby.

WM

Blame It On the Rain

February 23rd, 2007

I have to give you something here, because Jesus. It’s bad enough I’m miserable, and torturing myself, but I have to do the same to you? Misery loves company, or what? Nothing is making me feel better, not even making the Internet, my husband and my father-in-law cry (usually this would help, but noooooooooooo it’s not helping), but then I came across this. Which made me think of my boyfriend, circa 1989, and how he wanted to look just like Milli Vanilli. (Milli and Vanilli, I used to call them.) He even grew his hair long and had it corn-rowed (I found out later he slept with the hairdresser, a girl I worked with).

He was white. (Probably still is.)

With not that attractive of a face.

It was not such a good look for him.

Oh, what a loser.

“Honey, do you look at him now and say ‘What was I thinking?‘” my cousin asked me, in her Louisiana accent.

Yeah, and then some. He was also gay (or bi, who knows, and needed a pretty girl “cover” such as myself so no one would suspect.) Guess what? Everyone suspected. Or knew. Except me and his mother. And probably the hairdresser. So he didn’t want to just be Milli Vanilli, he wanted to be with Milli Vanilli.

I will not run his name here, but if you send me an e-mail I’ll send you his website. Where he claims to have graduated from Portland State. (He flunked out.)

Goddammit — I think this might make me feel better.

Ed. to say: Don’t get me wrong. I do not give a fig that he was queer. Be gay. Fly free, friend. Don’t worry, be happy. Just don’t be having sex with anonymous men in bathrooms hither and yon, as was the case here, I found out later, and then come home and stick it to me. Because I will not be happy with that. Also? His mother informed me awhile back, “He’s not gay anymore” and told me that he married a girl. Poor thing. Go light a candle for her, would you?

Also, if you’re asking himself, Wacky Mommy, how did the date end? I fell in love with someone else. He was 6’5″ tall (my ex was 5’6″, tops). He was a comfort to me. You know, as I rebounded.

grief

February 23rd, 2007

My husband is over the dog and moving on. The kids are over the dog and moving on. Thankfully, they’ve stopped asking if I’m going to get them a new kitten. The kids, not my husband. Somewhere they got the idea that when a pet dies you run out and get a new one. This is not happening here. No one could replace Wacky Dog and all his crazy lovey ways. No more dogs. I cannot take this heartache again, this horrible decision I had to make. By myself. Because my husband was nuts about the dog and couldn’t let him go, and I can’t fault him for this. I loved the dog, too. He was my dog — he was our dog, but he was my dog. And the kids are little. Too little. If they were teenagers I would have discussed it with them. As it was, I just told them, before I left to take him in, “He’s really sick and the vet doesn’t have medicine to make him better. I don’t know if he will make it.”

And I’ve decided that when I start to break down, it’s okay to cry and break down, but I don’t need to answer the kids’ each and every question, when I’m a mess over this. They wanted to know specifics and I don’t want them to have that information. I just tell them “This is too difficult for me to talk about.” Because it is. And because I want them to be kids for as long as they can. That’s why I’m the grown-up.

I didn’t stay there with him, in the room. I sat with him in what they call “The Comfort Room” for a long time, petting him and talking with him. (And it was comforting. It was softly lit, with a nice couch, and art on the walls, and several boxes of tissue placed around.) I was counseled by a vet tech, who was just an angel, she was so kind and understanding, and a vet who was equally compassionate. It sounded to him like Wacky Dog was showing signs of senility, the way he’d get confused (wanting outside, then back in, not going to the bathroom outside, then going in the house). And the way all of his obsessive-compulsive stuff had gotten worse (chewing on the woodwork, gnawing on his paws and tail, not being able to sleep at night, fretting over everything). The vomiting and the diarrhea had gotten worse. Medicine wasn’t helping. He was such a big puppy, my guy, but when the vet said that, about the senility, I knew he was right. I told my dog, you don’t have to worry anymore, and I let him go.

I’m not over the dog.

I still hear him everywhere — I think he’s scratching at the door and I go to let him in. I spill food on the floor and whistle for him. I peek at the weather and the clock and think, “We have time for a walk, good,” then I remember. I can’t figure out why my foot is cold, then I realize he’s not lying on it. He was a cuddler.

It’s only been a week and a day. That’s not very long. Of course everything is dogs, dogs and more dogs at the moment — the black Lab (just like mine!!!) who snuggled up to the lost climbers (yet more people here, lost in the snow, but they were OK) on Mt. Hood; dogs are running all over the park; they’re jumping into the backs of people’s cars and they’re going places. Then on “Grey’s Anatomy” last night, there’s Meredith in the after-life, with Denny and the bomb squad guy and she says something like, I don’t really want to see you guys, the one I want to see is…

And her dog, Doc, who she had to have put to sleep, bounds up on the table.

I’ll see you somewhere over the rainbow, Wacky Dog.

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