Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Trouble with Friends

You've heard me blog (too much I think) these past few months about friendship troubles.  The good news is that I don't have anything specific drama to talk about (Whew!), but I read a recent blog post by the magnificent Mockingbird, Don't Write entitled At Least My Mama Loves Me.

Of course, our stories and such are different, but she so eloquently writes the thoughts in my head I often struggle with in regard to friendships, especially female friendships.  Don't get me wrong, I have a handful of very dear friends with whom I trust all my venting, happy ranting, and disappointments - and vice versa - but that number has been desperately dwindling the past few years as life pulls them away, both figuratively and geographically. 

The hard part, for me, is making new friends.  Not acquaintances, I have lots of those!  And I love our time spent together.  Sometimes I wish it could be more, but even if we both would like to be better friends, it is hard as an adult to do that when you have SO MANY obligations and priorities. 

Anyway, without further ado, I want to give you the excerpts of the blog that are worded so well I couldn't even try to explain it any better:

"I often feel like making friends will always be my greatest challenge. It has been for as long as I can remember, and despite dalliances into friendships along life’s dusty trails I’ve found only a few people with whom I share my intimate self with, and even they tend to fade off into the background after only a few, short years of contact. I’m not sure if I’m a bad friend or if I just have bad taste. I can easily assume it’s a fair balance of both. And though I really like me, and really think I’m a barrel of monkeys, I totally get why others might not share my enthusiasm for myself, and toe the line between friend and acquaintance, *just in case* I’m mentally unstable. "
"Nonetheless, when a friendship sours before it’s had the chance to ripen on the vine, my heart hurts a bit and I wonder, “Is it me?” And it probably is me, in some small way or another. For I have made the same conscious decisions not to aggressively pursue friendships with certain other women, for various and sundry reasons, so I too understand that these things just happen. But when it happens over, and over again, you get a little down on yourself, and you smile at yourself a little less when you look in the mirror, and you crack fewer jokes for a few weeks, and you sleep a little more restlessly than usual."
"[...]You gave it your all. But your all wasn’t good enough. Because you really just had no idea what I’d gone through before you got me. [...]You don’t know. And it ain’t your fault. You never got the Cliff Notes on [me], and it’s not your fault. It really isn’t your fault."
"But it is what it is. And I am what I am. And tonight I’m sad that I can’t seem to make friends, despite my attempts at normalcy and approachability. I don’t even blame people when they scootch back anymore. It’s more a ho-hum it was good while it lasted kinda feeling, and an eye-balling nod your direction as you slip out the door, your own eyes glued to the floor. It’s okay. You gave it all you had. You just never got the reference book, and no one can blame you for that."

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cobwebs in my brain

Hello lovely readers,

I returned from our yearly trek to the San Diego International Comic Convention as utterly geekified, exhausted, and excited as ever.  I have lots to tell you about it, but I'll try to break it up into smaller, more easily digestible posts.

This post is just getting some of the random "other stuff" out of my brain and onto the page.

I realized today that the month of July is half way through, which means summer is almost gone.  I know, I live in Texas and our summer lasts well into October, but we're on the downhill slope.  It'll start getting really hot in August, but by the time my 28th birthday rolls around we'll be looking at college football season (Riff Ram!  Here we come Big 12!) and before you know it summer is over.  Plus everyone's summer vacation plans are starting, slowly but surely, come to an end - which means I'll have a good couple of months to really see my friends and such before the holiday season picks up and drags us into other obligations.

The trip was also a stark reminder of how much things have changed in my life since last year - for both better and worse.  Financially the burden of the trip wasn't so harsh due to some good luck we've had with Brent's career and such, but it's tempered with the reminder of trinkets we brought home for friends who no longer wish to speak to us.  It is also bittersweet to see things that I know old friends (like from high school and early college) would love, but we've drifted apart so much that I'm not even sure they would still enjoy what used to bring us laughter.

That's probably the thing I hate most about my oddly reliable memory - I can remember the most random thing about someone from almost 10 years ago.  On the other hand, I have a hard time remembering what I did yesterday or if I remembered to shampoo my hair before I put in my conditioner (true story - happens more often than I'd like to admit).

I just wish, sometimes, my long term memory was as unreliable as my short term.  I'd like to forget the ones who've moved on in life, to a different place or whatever.  It's not that I wish any ill will, I just want to ease this feeling of nostalgia.

In other, less depressing, news, on Wednesday, I have my first meeting of a new book club I've joined recently.  I haven't read the book yet but I don't imagine it's any harder than college, right?  I should be able to pull it off the night before or the morning of, LOL.

Ok, off to pick up the dogs and head home to do some neverending laundry.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Where I've been lately (Pt 2)

Sorry for the delay - as you can tell I'm not great about this blogging often thing.  I try not to put too much thought and pressure on myself about the timing of my posts. I'm not looking to be famous for my writing (obviously!), and if I think too much about it my anxiety kicks in....followed by a shame spiral that convinces me to just give it up entirely because "what's the point"...you know?

Anyway, I'm here to complete the tale of my journey across the Southwest - or as the bestie called it "Thelma & Louise if they were happily married and had two kids in the car".

So we left LA and actually made it out of the city in remarkably good time.  Now, a wise person would have taken the lack of LA traffic as a bad omen, but I thought it seemed like a good one.  It was, for the remainder of the first day.  We drove through the California desert, and hit our planned Tuscon stop much earlier than expected.  Since it wasn't even 5:00pm yet, we decided to keep driving until we were so hungry we couldn't stand it.  A. and I figured that it was better to be ahead of schedule at the end of day 1, since we still had 2 more days on the road.

We made it to Wilcox, AZ before the girls started getting cranky.  Since we were just a hop, skip, and a jump from New Mexico, we decided it was the perfect place to stop.  We found a decent hotel room, fed the baby and got our suitcases settled.  We found a little mexican food place nearby for dinner, and it was remarkably good.  The manager was a sweet woman who found baby K so adorable that she sat nearby and played with her for a good 30 minutes or so while A and I ate (with both hands!).  The day went absolutely smoothly. 

Unfortunately, that's where things started to get "interesting".

The first sign of mayhem was when we went to put baby K back in her carseat.  She was having NONE of it.  She screamed and cried the whole 5 minutes back to the hotel.  As soon as we pulled her out, she was fine.  We chalked it up to her being tired and thought nothing more about it.

Bedtime went according to plan, and we passed out pretty early.  After a late night on Thursday, and an early start to Friday, I was exhausted.  I slept like a rock for most of the night...except for one incident in the middle of the night (K's crib snuggler that plays water noises and a cute little melody was wedged just right between her little body and the side of the crib so that it just KEPT PLAYING on repeat).  After taking a much needed bathroom break, I tried to wiggle the doll from the current position, ever so slowly, praying that I didn't wake the sleeping 6 month old.  Luckily I was successful, but the whole ordeal took a good 30 minutes - just enough to fully disrupt my sleep patterns.

Oh well, I thought, thank goodness I have my meds to keep me awake all day anyway.

Little did I know that this would be the last time I slept until I arrived in Dallas.

Day 2 started out well - we made good time through New Mexico and didn't have any issues besides both K and L's tantrums over being in the car.  Technically L was throwing a fit because she "wanted to watch cartoons" on her little DVD player...and apparently a Disney movie, while animated, isn't a "cartoon".  This went on for an hour, I think....maybe it just felt like an hour.

We arrived in El Paso for lunch a little ahead of schedule.  We had lunch at Luby's because the place my El Paso native friend suggested was packed and not really suitable for A to breastfeed.  Lunch went well, besides the now constant tantrums everytime little K was put in her carseat.

We proceeded to drive across the West Texas desert which included:
  •  A Homeland Security/Border Patrol checkpoint that took at least 30 minutes to get through.  We were luckier than the poor guy that they decided to search.  He was standing out in the 100 degree heat (but in the shade, of course) while they pulled out every last piece of anything in his car to make sure it wasn't stuffed with illegal immigrants or drugs (or illegal immigrants stuffed with drugs)
  • A toddler who peed so much that once her diaper was soaked, she proceeded to soak her clothes, car seat, and anything else near by that would absorb liquid - without so much as muttering a word about it.
  • A screaming 6 month old
  • Stopping to change the diapers of aforementioned children at a truck stop in Nowhere West Texas where we were the only white people, and possibly English speakers, in the place (although we did see a white family enter as we were leaving).  This didn't really bother me in any way until I noticed everyone in there staring all wide-eyed at us as if we were (literally) ghosts....or unicorns or werewolves or something.  THAT was creepy.
Despite all of this, we were still ahead of schedule and made it to Odessa about 7pm or so.  It seemed perfect - we would stop, get a full nights sleep (fingers crossed), and hit the road early enough that 6 hours later we would arrive in Dallas with enough time to spare for Amy to visit with Brent (and so Brent could meet his newest goddaughter) and still be in Tyler by dinner.

There was just one problem.  There wasn't an open hotel room in Odessa....or Midland....anywhere.  We called every where we would be willing to stay and any affordable room was booked for some convention (I'm assuming it was some oil convention). 

After driving around a bit, we found an IHOP and stopped so we could have the time and space to formulate a plan.  By the time we were seated, it was well after 8pm.  We fed the children, ate ourselves (alternating holding the adorable K who was as sweet as she could be when freed from her carseat cage), and decided on the dumbest plan ever:

Let's just drive straight to Dallas. 

Let me explain.  We were approaching the ever increasingly cranky baby/toddler duo's bedtime.  That coupled with the tantrums at the sight of a carseat made us realize that just driving for 3 hours to the next sizable town and unloading the kiddos was a horrible idea.

**(for my non-Texas readers...this is the reason Texas is both awesome and horrible.  There are parts of the state where you can drive for 3 hours without a decent hotel/motel in site.)**

Arriving in Abliene to unload two kids at 1am only to load back up at 8-9am the next day and drive the last 3 hours seemed exhausting.  I know, saying that outloud sounds like we were being silly, but at that point we were so desperate to avoid more baby crying that we just wanted to get home.  A was exhausted herself and wanted to just crash in her bed while her mom watched the girls.  I just wanted to curl up with my dogs and be happy I didn't have kids to annoy me.  Plus we felt bad for the obviously upset kids...poor things were so unhappy and we just wanted them to feel better.

We left it open, saying if we were too tired we'd stop when we got to Abliene.  We didn't - luckily A was still on Pacific time so she was still good to go.  We drove through Abilene without so much as pausing.

There was a very scary bathroom break on the other side of Abilene.  This gas station/convienence store had a set of always open, public restrooms attached to the building, but seperated by a covered walkway.  The store was closed at 2am, but we still had an hour or more to arrive in a city big enough to have any place open that late.  It was like being in a horror movie.  The walkway was open on both sides, so I was just waiting for someone to come jumping out of the bushes behind the store.  There was a younger guy parked next to a tinted Tahoe, and he was standing next to the driver side door - which had the window rolled down so they could carry on a coversation.  At first I didn't see who he was talking to inside the vehicle, so of course I assumed it was a drug deal or something.  I shot a nervous glance at A and told her that if I wasn't out in 5 minuts, to grab something really sharp and come look for me.  Apparently the driver of the Tahoe was a cute girl about my age...and my presence in the murder's haven that was that public restroom was enough to embolden her.  She arrived just as I settled into my stall.   Apparently, to make this even more messed up, the door on her stall (there were only two stalls total) was completely missing - not didn't lock...the door was MISSING!

Anyway I hung out in there a few extra minutes to make sure I didn't leave her alone, and the young man was nice enough to hang in the parking lot until Amy rushed in and back to the car.

The rest of the drive is a bit of a diet coke/red bull blur.  I remember stopping at a gas station near my Aunt's in Weatherford, and from that point I was on autopilot. I'd made that drive so many times, and as recently as the week before.  I wasn't worried because from that point because we were, at most, an hour from my sleeping husband, in case anything went wrong.  The girls slept like, well, babies during all of this.

We arrived at my apartment right before or after 4am.  I have never been so happy to see my incredibly tiny place.  After a little crankiness from L, we changed, cleaned up, and passed out.  I was still up befoe 9am, but I got a nap in with K while the husband was in class.


Truth is, despite the insanity of it all - the 6 hour plane delay, the crazy cabbie, and the 14 hour drive straight from Wilcox AZ to Dallas TX -  I really did have a good time.  K is such a sweet darling baby, and I'm so happy she's close(r) that she was before.  Plus L is growing like a weed so it is really nice to see her at least once a year.

Oh, and hanging out with my favorite Thelma&Louis counterpart A and catching up.  It has been almost 2 years since we've really spent time together.  Living 1500+ miles away will do that.

Now I'm opnly 8 days away from going BACK to California, but this time with the husband for vacation.  We're totally flying back too, so hopefully plane delays will be the least of our problems.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Where I've been lately (Pt 1)

So it's been awhile since I last posted.  Sorry about that.  I've had some insanity going on in my life, but at least that should make for some interesting blogging (am I right?)

A week or so ago, I flew to LA to help my BFF and mother of my goddaughters drive all the way from California to Texas.  Long story short, they lived in Monterrey Bay, but now her husband is stationed in San Angelo for 6 months or so.  The best plan for A and the girls to live was with her mom in Tyler  - she'd have a babysitter, be closer to his family for grandbaby visits, plus save some $$ while not having to pay rent.  He was shipped out on a Friday, but she had to hang back to get all the paperwork regarding their rental place squared away.  She needed help with the driving because (1) mom + (1) 6 month old baby + (1) wiseass 3 year old + 1500 miles = a recipe for disaster. 

Since the good ol' USA reimburses military families for their moving expenses, they bought my plane ticket and all my meals - all I had to do was show up, drive half the trip, and watch one of the two kiddos while we were in public.

Well, it was SUPPOSED to be that easy.

First, on Wednesday, my post-work flight was scheduled to leave Dallas at 5:35pm.  The plan?  Join another good friend as a guest for some "super awesome" boot camp she does at 5am for a workout (I was going to be sitting for 3 days straight, after all), get to work early, ride the train to my husband's office, and head to the airport about 30-45 mins before my flight (I only had a single carry on bag - this was the best decision I ever made, but more on that later).

After a grueling workout - that involved almost puking and spending at least 25-35 minutes laid out on my mat - I got to work right on time and checked my flight status.  Before 8am that day, it was already delayed for 20 minutes.  First thought?  "Oh shit, that's not good"

Oh, what an underestimation that was!

The departure time stayed firmly placed at 5:55pm when I left my office at 4pm to catch the train.  There was some rolling thunder and cool lightening in the sky, but little rain and the clouds weren't TOO dark.  I shrugged it off and kept on watching Netflix.

When my husband picked me up, the flight had been delayed again...this time until 7:00pm.  We decided to make use of our extra time together and get some dinner.  (PS - if you're ever in Dallas and looking for a greasy burger...Maple&Motor is pretty darn good!). 

Just as we paid and left, the bottom fell out of the sky.

**side note - for my non-Texas/Southern readers.  Our thunderstorms are an amazing natural phenomenon that are a beautiful sight to behold.  The phrase "bottom fell out" refers to when one of those storms becomes a monsoon.  You cannot see more than about 7 feet, if you're lucky, due to the heavy rain**


So long story short, my flight didn't leave Dallas until 11:30pm and once I got to LAX, I knew more about driving around in LA than my cabbie.  I climbed in bed in LA 24.5 hours after my alarm went off that morning.  And I was up at 7:30am the next morning (9:30am according to my "still on central time" brain...thank God for small miracles!) and we hit the road. 

I'll update later with our road adventures.  Part 2 is too long to tag onto here.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Tales of APMHC: Part 1

So I decided to start a running series called "Tales of a Postmodern Hippie Chick".  Mostly because, well, my life isn't super exciting on a day to day basis, but I do have some great stories in my arsenal.  Like Part 1:  How I got the nickname Macguyver:

Back in the Fall of 2004, I participated in a semester long program to earn college credit for doing a full time internship in Washington DC through The Washington Center.  Long story short, TWC provided us with fully furnished apartments and (mostly non-paid) internships that took place in some part of the government process.  Some students were interns for Congressional Members or Senators; some were interns for government agencies like the State Dept.; some were interns for media outlets on the Federal politics coverage teams; and the rest of us worked at either Political Action Committees or lobbyist organizations. 

Now that was probably my favorite semester in college...except that I racked up credit card debt that I didn't get out of until two years after college, but that's not important.  The important thing was spending three and a half months living with 3 other girls (we shared a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment, dorm style) and sightseeing our nations capitol.  Thank God that all Smithsonian things were free to attend (even the Zoo!!).

We flew in right after my 20th birthday, and left the week before Christmas.  The week of Thanksgiving, we had Wednesday and Friday off from our internships, and all of my roommates spent the holiday with family.  The two Texas girls flew home to Houston, and my Midwestern roommate met her aunt and uncle at the last train stop in Virginia where they picked her up and drove her to their house, which was another hour or two away.

I stayed in DC - by myself.  I was broke (and my parents were poor).  I had just enough cash to buy my plane ticket home so I couldn't afford to spend Thanksgiving with the family.  I was terribly homesick, but determined to enjoy the remaining few weeks I had.  So Wednesday I went shopping and spent Thursday morning baking a pan full of cornbread dressing.  Bravo had a Queer Eye marathon on all day, so I was geared up for a wonderful day eating dressing out of the pan and lounging on the couch.

About 3pm the wind blew open our balcony door.  I decided that it was a sign to go outside and enjoy the view.  Also, it was a good time to make a round of holiday phone calls to friends and family (and the boyfriend too).  I called everyone and either spoke with them or left messages and sent out a mass text to everyone else.  I spent just a few moments staring north looking at the beautiful leaves that stretched out into Maryland.  It was a perfect moment.  Well, until I tried to open the balcony door to head back inside.

See, we lived on the 17th floor of a high rise building and had a tiny little balcony adorned with two camping chairs.  The roommate that went to Virginia?  She smoked at the time.  Apparently, before she left to hop on the Metro that morning, she had one quick cigarette and didn't shut the door well...oh, but she made sure it was locked.  So there I was...locked out on my 17th floor balcony on Thanksgiving day. 

First I tried to be smart.  I called all my roommates to see if they had the number for the on call "RA".  (Or program had a Residential Adviser living in every complex and they had a pager for holidays and weekends that rotated in case we had a maintenance issue or emergency - this way the management staff didn't have to deal with a new group of college kids every few months).  None of them did - it was at the apartment. Which is where mine was....on the fridge.

Then I called my best friend back home to log into my email and see if I had something in there with all that information in it.   Nope - after almost an hour of calling and asking and begging I was exactly where I started.  Standing on a balcony on the 17th floor wearing a thin tshirt, jeans, and completely barefoot.  I was starting to get cold...and the sun would be going down in the next few hours.  I tried opening the window behind me into one of the bedrooms....but it was locked.  I ended up pulling a muscle before I gave up though.  I sat down and contemplated my options which were:

** Call 911

** Break open a window with one of the chairs

** Pray that the Roommate in Virginia would get my message and come all the way back to DC to let me in

** Camp out on the balcony

Then I thought about how those would play out:

** Call 911.  Fire trucks have to use their tall ladders to get me down, or the police have to bust open the door.  Then I end up on local, and later national news, as the filler story  because it's a slow news day.  I would forever be "that girl who was trapped on her own balcony on Thanksgiving".

** Break open the window to get inside.  Then have to pay for damages and replace said window...which would cost a few hundred bucks.  Money I didn't have.  There had to be a better way.

** Keep praying, realizing that she probably wouldn't check her phone for hours.  And she may not be able to get her family to drive her back to the train.

** Camp out on the balcony in late November in Washington DC with no blanket or anything to cover my feet and arms.  Develop hypothermnia and go to the hospital.  Then we're back to the whole "news" issue.

Ok, none of those were acceptable options.  At this point, I started to panic.  Majorly panic.  I really thought for a second that I might die out there.  I sat about 30 minutes to an hour contemplating how I was going to save myself from what was a possible death scenario.  I looked at the door, and noticed something....

The lock was not a "key" lock.  See, the door locked at the handle (if that wasn't already obvious) but on my side of the door was just a tiny hole where the key hole usually sits.  I know this type of lock (and how to pick it) very well, since it was the type of lock found on our bathroom and bedroom doors growing up.  And since my siblings and I have no sense of personal space, we quickly learned how to break into them so we could snoop (and prank) undetected.

I realized at that moment that I could get back in....if only I had a coat hanger or bobby pin with which to pick the lock.  I double checked my hair and my jeans pockets' to see if I had a bobby pin somewhere I didn't remember.  But, nope, just the clothes I was wearing and the phone in my pocket.

Then, I had my Eureka/"House" moment - The clothes I was wearing!!  I needed something metal, long, and thin....for example the underwire in my bra!!!

I quickly took off my bra (while my shirt remained intact...like a lady of course) then CHEWED a whole into my (*sigh* favorite) bra until I could grasp the underwire.  I used the underwire and picked the door lock.  Within 5 minutes, I was back inside where it was very warm and safe. 

About 15 minutes later, my roommate in Virginia called, LOL.  But I told her not to worry - I wasn't leaving that apartment, even for the balcony, unless there was a fire.  And I promised I'd save the RA's emergency line in my phone before I went to bed that night - which I did.

After I called all my roommates back to let them know I survived, I went to bed.  First thing on Monday they told every other student from my school in that program the hilarious misadventures of my Thanksgiving in DC.  From that point on, I was giving the nickname Macguyver....because I'm the chick who chewed a whole in her bra to use the underwire to pick a lock.

I really did love that bra...it was so comfortable.

Moral of the story is this - ladies, don't you ever leave your couch without an underwire on.  You never know when you might need it :o)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Comic Books Are For Twelve Year Olds

This was actually said to my husband on Facebook after he posted a comment about how great he thought The Avengers movie was.  The guy who said it is the husband of a good friend of mine, and while they are older than we are - it isn't by much.  B (the husband) turned 30 this year and I'm not far behind him - whereas our friends are in their early to mid-30s.

In case you don't actually know much about me, my husband and I are HUGE geeks.  Wait, I take that back - he's a geek....I'm a nerd.  I like video games and he's gotten me into comics, but mostly I was just a smart but quiet kid who liked reading and playing Resident Evil 2.  My husband has loved comics his entire life.  He actually had a fan letter printed in a Batman comic - and if I remember correctly it is in the issue where Bane breaks Batman's back.  Our wedding invitations had robots on them; we took our honeymoon 9 months late so we could spend it at the San Diego Comic Convention.

My husband is also a HUGE Whedon lover, so attacking The Avengers without even seeing the movie because "comic movies suck" and "comics are only made for 12 year olds" is pretty much the dumbest personal attack ever.

I loved the Avengers, and no, it is not only for kids.  The movie has some amazing dialogue and well rounded characters.  Plus, the themes are unquestionably adult.  The idea that even in the most gray areas of life one can find right and wrong sounds simplistic, but the question on the ethics of a weapons race (like, whether earth should be armed with weapons that are powered by the Tesseract due to our frail and weak nature compared to the aliens that often attack us) is something that has been argued since we started to develop automatic firearms.  How much firepower is too much?  Is there such a thing as too big of a weapon?  How far should you take weapons development?  Because, at the end of the day, they'll probably wind up in the wrong hands at some point, and then was it worth it to build them in the first place? 

The Avengers is about realizing that none of us are perfect and that we aren't always going to get along, but when we need to we can stand together for one day - for one fight - to defend that which we hold most dear.  We are all flawed and imperfect, but that doesn't mean we can't work together.  We can put aside the mistakes and imperfections of others to stand side by side and fight for what is right.  That's what America is about.  That is why comics, historically, have always been such a great reflection of the American people in that time in history.  Comics are the Great American Mythology.  They are the voice of the people - and tend to highlight why the USA is such a great place. </patriotic propaganda>

Aside from all that, some of the best writing these days happens in the comic book world.  By writing, I mean storytelling.  I've never been great at understanding literary criticism - what makes writing great?  Is it proper sentence structure and perfect grammar? No one talks that way, so what is wrong with making writing a one sided conversation?  If a book is popular, then it is doing something right, I would think.  Then again, some of histories "great" novels are so boring to read that I can't stay awake for more than two paragraphs.  However, I find, that the thing that good, popular reads and "great" historical novels have in common is the ability to tell an amazing story.  You can picture the scene, understand the character motives, and know every detail without spending too much time reading pages of pure description. 

Sorry for the tangent.

Back to the topic of comics and The Avengers - I am 61 days away from flying out of Texas to San Diego, CA for the San Diego Comic Con.  I can't wait to be in one of my favorite cities with 125,000+ nerds, geeks, and dorks celebrating all that I love.  From comics, to movies, to television, I love the variety of things celebrated at Comic Con.  I'm shaking with anticipation! 

I also plan on blogging as much of the trip as I absolutely can.  Hopefully I will make the time to take notes and to write it up while I'm there.  I want you all to see and know why I love this event so much!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

How owning Boston Terriers is like having children:

If you don't already know, I own (or am owned) by two darling Boston Terriers.  Besides my husband, these are the loves of my life.

There is Jesse, the 12 year old curmudgeon who I've had since he was 6 weeks old.  He was a runt who still needed bottle feeding when my dad brought him home.  The only time we've spent apart were my first two and a half years in college when I lived in the dorms and pets were not allowed.  When I would come home for a weekend visit or a long break, he would decide how happy he was to see me by the size of the bag I brought home with me.  If it was just my small overnight duffel bag, he would just sigh and look at me with disapproving eyes.  If it was my large suitcase, he knew I'd be home for several weeks to a few months, and would leap around and twirl in excitement.  When I was in college, he was my anchor in a sea of anxiety, and in my deepest depression he was a reminder that someone loved me just as I was - imperfections and all.  Dogs have an uncanny ability to do that.

While Jesse is the dog closest to my heart (and usually the dog who is never far from my feet or lap when I'm at home), it is Lucky that is the most well-known by our friends and family.  Jesse is quiet and calm (unless my husband is deliberately annoying him, but Lucky has a joie de vivre that endears him to every dog loving visitor of our home.  He's almost 7 now, which seems impossible to me.  My husband (then boyfriend) adopted him after I rescued him from a neglectful owner for a roommate who then decided she couldn't handle "a dog that hyper".  He was clearly abused - crouching and peeing in fear whenever you raised your voice or moved your hands too quickly when you reached out to pet him - so I couldn't return him.  Jesse did not like this new, very dominant, still mostly a puppy in his space so they fought constantly.  I am very lucky that B took him in - both because I was in school and working 2 jobs, so I didn't have the time Lucky needed to be socialized and trained but also because I fell in love with Lucky from day one.  Even when we were driving back from Forney, Lucky clearly wanted to be in my lap instead of my roommates (and I was driving!).

B taught him how to use the stairs and all the basic commands.  He also regained Lucky's trust in humans.  That was five and a half years ago.  Now Lucky almost runs the house, although I still will put my foot down to remind him, and my husband, that he is not the top of the household food chain.

Lucky gets SO. EXCITED. when we have guests, and I guarantee if you visit our apartment he will completely ignore my husband and I so you can give him all your attention.  He knows we'll be there but guests leave so he needs to get those snuggles and play time in while he has you there.  He meets me at the door each evening and jumps on my legs and paws at me until I squat down and let him put his paws on my shoulder to give him a hug.  It is seriously cute.  He is obsessed with his toys and will often sit staring at them on the highest shelf from his cozy spot at the foot of the bookcase.  He's a climber.  And, he is fat - like was once mistaken for a potbelly pig fat.  He is SO fat that he is notorious for eating Jesse's food after cleaning his bowl because he is so hungry - and this happens often enough that he knows what the command "THAT IS NOT YOUR BOWL!" means.

My husband and I often joke with my bestie (who is the mother of my two godchildren) about how our dogs are so very similar to their toddlers.  We always get worried when they're too quiet - although in Jesse's case it's because we're afraid he's curled up and died somewhere.  Also, much like kids there's little private time or intimacy left in our house - no one can go into the bathroom alone (although Lucky will guard the door if he's locked out), and there's no snuggling unless it's with a dog.  My husband and I are usually separated on the couch or in the bed by Lucky, who loves being in the middle where we can both pet him.

I often think that B and I will be better parents after chasing our black and white furbabies around after all these years, but I know parenthood will be more complicated than that.  Maybe we should just stick with dogs.....