Sunday, February 17, 2013

Picture This

We all have friends and family that we share history with.  And I'd bet that all of you have stories in your past that are hysterically funny.  The kind of story that can rock you to your core with laughter at a  moments notice.  Maybe only a few words need to be spoken.  Sort of code words that will ripple through your group or between two of you and bring tears to your eyes.  In a humorous way.

I have several of these that I share with all sorts of people, but this week one came to mind.  I had just given birth to Gracie.  I think maybe two weeks earlier.  I had set up a vet appointment for our two dogs, Chester and Winston.  And I had made this appointment way before I knew Gracie would be arriving early.  I could have rescheduled, but was thinking that Scott would probably take the dogs in for me.  As luck would have it, he worked overtime and wasn't able to make the appointment.

I was feeling good.  Really good.  After a pregnancy plagued with all sorts of complications, I felt like a million bucks.  I had a gorgeous and healthy baby.  I had lost a ton of my pregnancy weight and I had energy to spare.  My baby slept through the night.  Life was good.  How hard could it be to take the dogs to the vet?

I put Gracie in her car seat.  Made sure I had the diaper bag.  Hooked the dogs up on their leashes and made sure they did what dogs do before they got in the truck.  Off we went.  I was singing with the radio.  It was a sunny October day.  I really couldn't believe how beautiful it was.  It was a short drive to the office and I parked right out front.  I slung the diaper bag over my shoulder and lifted the carseat out by the handle, balancing Gracie in the crook of my left elbow.  To the other side of the truck.  I picked up the leashes and out hopped Chester and then Winston.  My perfect family.

Just as we step up onto the sidewalk the dogs start to pull.  Off to my right a woman has just pulled up in a small car.  To the other side of her car she goes and lets out her dog.  More like a cow or a horse.  I still don't know what it was.  Perhaps a mastiff or something.  Anyway this tiny woman was trying to coax her larger than life animal into the vet's office.  It was not going well for her.  Lots of pulling, grunting and empty promises on her part.  On the other hand, her dog was resisting and rearing back.  The woman looked at me as if to say, could you help?  I thought, really, with a diaper bag, baby and two dogs of my own?  But I did my best.  I said come on buddy, it'll all be over before you know it.  It's not so bad.  I even tried to enlist my own dogs in the process.  Come on boys, I said, let's show this big fella that it's fun to come here.  I am not lying when I write this.  Both my dogs, on hearing this from me, sat down in protest.

So the bull's owner is still pulling and I notice something.  Um, excuse me, I said.  I'm not sure how things are up there for you on the north end, but on the south end we have some action.  The dog was starting to crown.  And I'm right there to bear witness.  Now I should mention that I was never sick a day during my pregnancy.  Like vomiting sick.  I have a stomach of steel.  For real.

But when that dog/bull pooped two steaming turds the size of soda cans, I couldn't help it.  And these  waves of nausea took over my body.  What was I going to do?  It's not like I can move anywhere fast.  There's too much involved.  So with my best aim, I puked into the bushes.  Did I mention this vet's office is on a very busy street and right across the street from a high school track?  Where there were several dozen students running at that exact moment.  An audience.  Terrific.

The look of horror on the bull owner's face was the final stamp on this humiliating moment.  And then she had the nerve to finally get her dog in the door and didn't even mention the remnants on the sidewalk to the receptionist.  Unreal.  So I did.  Not like it could be mistaken for something my dogs left behind.  And then I said with utter embarrassment, when you hose off the sidewalk you might want to spray off  the shrubs, too.  Sorry.

Our appointment went just fine and the dogs, baby and I had a three hour nap when we got home.  The appointment had exhausted us.  This event happened thirteen years ago.  And was randomly brought back to life this week.  Good times.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Too Much Of A Good Thing

I know right off the bat that this post will strike a nerve with some of you.  I'm ok with that.  Because a nerve has  been struck with me.  I think that technology is ruining family life.  There.  I said it.  Computers, cell phones and iDevices are a convenience for sure.  I happen to own them all.  And I'll be the first to say that I enjoy them.  These technological devices are definitely a convenience.

I need my cell phone.  It is the way I clock in and out of work.  It is the way that I stay in touch with my out of town family.  It is the way my husband and daughter are able to reach me in an emergency.  This is where the need ends.  And the dangerous slippery slope of wanting the technology begins.  It has become the norm to use cell phones as communication.  But there are times when this is taken to the extreme.  People are sitting in the same room and text each other.  I saw a couple in a restaurant who sat through lunch never saying a word.  And they both were on their cell phones texting or using the internet the whole time.  Sad.  I actually read about a couple that were in bed and texted each other good night.  Really.

I have been around kids that are absolutely unable to live without their phones.  They literally freak out if they aren't able to respond to the latest Facebook posting.  Kk. Lol.  I kid you not.  I have seen kids almost shake with withdrawal from using their phones.  I live in a house where the television and computers have taken over the living room.  And because of this, conversation has been minimal and feelings are hurt.

I hardly feel that I need to mention the overuse and misuse of the phone in cars.  Accidents happen all of the time because of this recklessness.  I was almost hit the other day while I was walking across the street because someone was texting while driving.  And how many of us are glad to have a distraction for our kids when we need them to be quiet?  I get it.  I've done it myself.  What I don't get is why this has become the norm.  Electronics shouldn't babysit your kids.

I guess what I'm saying is that I've had it.  Enough.  Too much of anything good can be bad.  Just ask my girl.  She has to figure out how to make it through the next twelve hours without her phone.