Lonely

Lately I’ve been feeling a little lonely, sort of wishing I had a partner in crime. Some would assume the feelings of loneliness are being brought on by the fact my one sister is recently married and another is recently engaged. Maybe that is the culprit but maybe it isn’t. Most of my adult life I have gone back and forth between loving my total independence and the single life and being lonely, wanting someone to share my journey with, someone more than my family and amazing girlfriends.

When I was in my late teens and early twenties I definitely wanted a relationship, desperately. Except I would still hold men I was interested in at a comfortable distance. Eventually they would tire of not getting anywhere, me closing them out, and things would fizzle. Go figure. I even went through a phase around the age of 21 or 22 where I had decided I wanted nothing more than to get married, have kids, and be a stay at home mom.

When I was 26 I feel in love for the first (and only) time. I was all in for the first time in my life, probably to a terrifying degree for the guy. To be fair he was the first one to bring up the idea of marriage or kids but I was the one who ran with it. I remember writing him letters when he was in Iraq to discuss parenting styles. Oh Lord, I was hopeless. I figured if that was the track we were on, we needed to communicate and make sure we were on the same page with major issues.

Anyway that train imploded and sometime after that I decided I was good on my own. I had experienced love and I loved it but then I experienced heartbreak and disappointment and that sucked. If I could not go through the disappointment and heartbreak and hurt feelings again I would be quite happy. A slew of horrible dating experiences later and I was definitely content with the idea of single for life.

As time has gone on there’s been a few guys that I’ve left my guard down for. A few different men that I could see myself having a relationship with. Ultimately none of them worked out. There was the teacher with two first names that I really clicked with. We could talk and laugh and joke in person and via text. I was attracted to him. He was an animal lover. Seemed perfect right? Until I found out he was into threesomes. I would rather have an open relationship over group sex any day. Only 2 people in the bedroom please and thank you.

shutterstock_337991192Then there was the older guy that came out of nowhere. He was totally unexpected but somehow he got past all of my walls. We would talk every day on the phone, for hours, about everything. So despite our age difference, despite the fact he had 2 kids from a previous marriage, I was open to seeing where it went. He would say the most amazing things to me. Like rom-com amazing things. Until he said one of the most awful things a man has ever said to me… “I don’t see you being a forever thing, I’m sorry.” Well damn. That hurt!

Next there was what seemed to be an online dating success, MM. We met through OkCupid and we were seeing each other loosely, for 6 months. Yet our dates were spread out to maybe 1 or 2 a month. We never got to the point of defining what we were or whether or not we were exclusive.  Then one day he ghosted.

Why am I writing about the dating failures and hurts? They have been haunting me. My ex, appears in my dreams, snapshots of happier times. I know that what I miss is not reality by far. I miss the idea of who he was or what he represented. I miss the other few guys that I let in as well. I am feeling the sting of being let down or hurt. I’m feeling the pangs of loneliness, and yet, I still celebrate the freedom that my single life affords me. When I imagine my life, my future, there are things I feel like having a relationship would hinder. I never want to be that woman who has to check in with her man before making plans. I don’t want to be that person who puts her man above everyone else in a gross way.  I don’t want a man talking down to me or patronizing me.

Yet… Sometimes… I don’t want to be alone. Sometimes I want that person to share inside jokes with, tender moments, laughter, silliness. I want that person who has my back in tough times, and to celebrate the good times with. I want to experience an actual, healthy relationship.

What’s a gal to do?

The Tale of Dishonest Abe aka Another Dating Adventure

Well… I have another dating tale… I recently dipped my toes into the dating pool, as usual, giving only a half-hearted effort because frankly, online dating/dating in general doesn’t seem worth my time and energy. I had a few men contact me from the site and while some were ruled out rather quickly there was one that actually progressed to texting: enter Dishonest Abe.

At first contact Dishonest Abe seemed intelligent and capable of maintaining a reasonable conversational flow. His profile was severely lacking but the messaging aspect seemed decent. The first night we were texting involved all the normal getting to know you questions including my two least favorite questions, “Why are you still single?”   and “Have you dated x race before/do you date outside of your race?” HELLO!!! I’m on a DATING site! I’m talking to you! So clearly I must be ok with dating outside of my race or I wouldn’t respond to your contact.

When Dishonest Abe asked me why I was still single, I gave him the usual answer, “I guess I haven’t met the right man yet,” and then I turned out and asked him why he was still single. He said he’d just been waiting on me… Awwww. *rolls eyes* Since it was such a standard cheesy answer I decided to be sarcastic so I asked him if we were going to jump right into marriage or if he planned on us dating first. He decided we should date first, definitely, and know each other really well before getting married. That was a least a reasonable answer. As the conversation continued I mentioned my younger sister’s upcoming wedding. Dishonest Abe asked me when she was getting married and I told him. He responded with, “That’s cool, you and I are getting married in May 2018.” Strangely enough, commitment- phobe that I am, I found the conversation silly and amusing, so I went along with it.

Dishonest Abe happened to be black and as I mentioned, we had the conversation about one dating outside of their race. With the pivotal questions out of the way, I figured that things would progress as we get to know each other. At this point it was 10:30PM on a Sunday night and Dishonest Abe wanted to meet up. Somehow jumping in my car to meet up with someone I had just started texting didn’t seem like a good plan. I told him I was tired and heading to bed soon.

Throughout the week, we continued texting here and there, joking about our impending nuptials and getting to know one another. We had made plans to go out Saturday evening for our first date. He even told me that he deleted his dating profile which seemed unnecessary since we hadn’t gone on a single date yet. Of course since he put that out there, I had to check, and the only thing he deleted was his pictures from the profile, the profile itself was still there.

Wednesday night, Dishonest Abe and I were texting when he sends me the ominous message, “I have to tell you something,” to which my mind went into overdrive trying to guess what he might have to tell me. I was certainly not prepared for his revelation. “I’m African.” I responded with, “Ok…?” He said, “Well some people don’t like to date outside of their race, so I’m just putting it out there.” I was struck with a sense of déjà vu, hadn’t we already covered this conversation Sunday night? I mentioned to him, “We already discussed this. I have dated black guys before, you’ve dated white girls before.” He responds with, “ I know, just saying. but I wanted u to know that.” We move past that weird conversation that left me scratching my head. I shared the conversation with a couple friends, my mom, and my sister the next day. All of us were laughing over it and we all came to the same two concussions: 1. Either he is talking to multiple women and didn’t remember that he and I already had the race conversation or 2. He was trying to say he was like, straight from Africa (but then, wouldn’t he name the country he was from rather than the entire continent?). Anyway…

Friday was my day off but I knew Dishonest Abe was working so I waited for him to text me. That evening he did contact me, the standard, “Hi how are you,” stuffs but then he makes another confusing proclamation. For one to fully appreciate this conversation I think I need to share it, as it happened:

DA: Hi.. how r u

ME: Good. How are you?

DA: Sick bad

ME: Oh no!!! I’m sorry to hear that

DA: Yes since in the morning


ME: That sucks!

DA: I’m sorry. I could not eat

ME: Huh?

DA: I mean we could not meet today

ME: Well we weren’t meeting today. We were supposed to meet tomorrow…

DA: I know just letting u know

ME: You’re just letting me know that we can’t go out tonight when we never had plans for tonight? It really feels like you’re confusing me at times with someone else…

DA: I know is tomorrow. . I said I’m not feeling good. That way if I’m still sick . tomorrow we may or may not

ME: I see

DA: Yes madame

ME: Yes you said you’re not feeling good but why tell me we can’t meet today? Unless you were meeting someone else today and can’t keep your ladies straight.

DA: I am a one man lady … besides I am too old to play games It doesn’t get u anywhere I’m just telling u out of respect.

At this point, while I was highly entertained I was also over it. Besides, I don’t want to date a ‘one man lady,’ I want to date a one lady man. Saturday came and went without a word from Dishonest Abe but then again, he was ‘sick bad,’ so I wasn’t surprised. Usually at this point I would block a failed dating attempt to prevent further contact but I suspected there may be a little more entertainment value left with this one.

Sure enough, he contacted me Tuesday evening. There was no mention of the date that didn’t happen or the lack of communication from Friday to Tuesday. Being the asshole that I am, I text him, “So I guess Saturday was ‘may not’ huh?” He reiterated that he was ‘sick bad’ and apologized. I told him it was helpful the way he canceled the non-existent Friday plans as a heads up that we wouldn’t go out on Saturday. At that point he text with, ‘how r u my love,’ and as I was know home sick with a stomach bug I didn’t have the energy to play along any more. I told him I wasn’t his anything and wished him luck. Immediate blocking happened right after I hit send.

I think I will stick with my back up plan, which is stay single, adopt about 3 more cats, and drink all the wine while having a great time hanging out with my family and friends. Dating is certainly overrated.online dating.jpeg

Saying Goodbye

Wednesday, February 3rd, the day that no pet owner/parent/guardian wants to face came for me. I had to say goodbye to Dane, my first little dog, my guy, my constant companion of nearly 15 years. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.

Backing up a little here, I have lost family pets before. However, with every single family pet before Dane, there was always a clear cut, medical reason that eliminated choice. Dane, of course, had to be different (and difficult).  The last year and a half or so, I’d have to guess, Dane slowed down dramatically. He went from being a perpetually spunky little sh!t to suddenly… Slower. Walks took more out of him than they once had. Heat affected him far more than it ever did before. Cold was even worse and his back end occasionally collapsed.

This past September he was diagnosed with early stage kidney disease. He had lost weight and was hunched most of the time. He was already on a joint supplement at this point. After talking with the vet we agreed that daily pain meds were now on the menu along with special food for his kidney function. My sisters (that do not live with me) had been saying for a couple months that he looked like a sad puppy but I brushed it off. “He gets nervous because Milo gets so excited when company comes over,” I’d say. That explanation made sense for the first five minutes until Milo settled in and no longer posed a threat of knocking Dane out. It didn’t explain away his not looking comfortable or the constant nervousness while people he loved were over.

Still, Dane and I trudged on. I bought him a doggy stroller (something I abhor) just so he could continue to go on walks in the neighborhood. I invested in orthopedic dog beds since he couldn’t sleep in my bed anymore for fear of him peeing it. When winter set in I even bought self heating dog beds which I put in the orthopedic bed to help soothe his arthritis.

Since December Dane’s accidents in the house had become more frequent, earning him the nickname “Mr. Puddles.” Thanks to my at home job I was able to put him outside literally every two hours (twenty-four hours a day) but even that wasn’t always enough. My sister and I would be walking around the house in our stocking feet and discover he’d left us a puddle.
I was good with all of this, the additional work of taking care of my senior dog. After all, he was my heart dog, my shadow, my constant companion. Still, I struggled internally for months wondering if it was time, or close to time for us to part ways. My dog loving friends would tell me, “When its time, you’ll know.” The thing is, unless it was a major medical calamity, I wasn’t sure how to tell…

A few weeks ago now Dane started to pee in his dog beds. Sometimes as he was sleeping in them, usually when he was trying to get out of them. I upped his pain meds to his full dose, assuming that it was pain slowing him down from getting out of the bed in time. It didn’t help. Even with going out constantly, he’d still end up peeing his dog bed as he attempted to get out of it and then ultimately crawl back in the wet bed and lay down. It broke my heart. No one deserves to lay in their own filth and no matter if I washed dog beds daily, I couldn’t keep up with him. There are 6 dog beds in my house but still he’d end up laying in urine.

I attempted bellybands but Dane could pee it within an hour. Keeping a wet bellyband against his skin didn’t seem like a wise idea. In a desperate attempt at fixing things I bought a supplement from the internet that was supposed to help with doggy incontinence. I gave him the pills twice a day for a week. I didn’t see a change.

On the one week mark, I couldn’t let him go on this way anymore. It no longer seemed fair to him. I drove my family and friends insane I am sure. Long winded texts explaining our situation and asking what they would do if they were in my shoes. Nearly everyone told me that it was time to let him go. A week before I actually did it, a couple of my close friends came over. Two women who have known Dane for several years now. They both told me he didn’t seem happy or comfortable anymore.

The night before our appointment I took Dane to Wendy’s. He has always loved french fries but for the last few years couldn’t really have them for fear of causing a pancreatitis attack. I got him fries and a plain hamburger. He devoured them! I stayed up nearly all night with him just watching him sleep. I talked to him a lot, cried a lot, pet him a lot, kissed him a lot. My dad came over that morning to go with us. We both cried before we even left my house.

At the vet’s office they took us into a really nice room set up for those last moments with your loved one. There was a couch with pillows, end tables stocked with kleenex, a fake fireplace heater, a little rock fountain. There was also a rug on the floor and a thick comforter on top of that. They wrapped Dane in a soft fleece blanket and I held him, sobbing, during his last moments here on earth. Feeling him relax, seeing his body without any of the tension I’d grown accustomed to seeing made it abundantly clear that I had done the right thing. Even my dad commented, “He hasn’t been that relaxed in years.”

His remains were delivered back home to me the very next day. The crematorium also made his little paw prints into plaster or whatever they use. I put his paw prints in my office so he is there with me, in a way. I know that I did the right thing. I know that Mr. Dane was difficult and made me measure the quality of his life to determine when it was time to let him go. He has forever changed me and I know that he isn’t far away even now.

It’s been heartbreaking and difficult adjusting to my new normal. Dane had
followed me, either physically or with his eyes, nearly every moment of the last 15 years. If I was home I was never out of his sight for long. He always knew where I was and chances are, he was right there with me. After I got home that day and my dad left, I crawled into bed with Frankie and Milo and barely moved. Oliver came in and visited now and then. I’m still not used to the fact Dane is gone. I look for him at times or think, “Oh it’s been awhile, I need to let him out,” only to remember… I don’t… Every break I took Saturday from work, I instinctively reached to lift him from his dog bed to take him outside. It will take time for me to heal but I am at peace, knowing he has found peace at last. He deserved it. Love you Daney Butt.20120908-124646.jpg

Living with an Old Dog

As of this month, I have had little Daner Butt in my life for 14 years. Dane is the first dog to ever bond with me. Instantly he was mine and I was his. What an adventure we have been on ever since! He has always had an old soul, not one for playing very often. He would clearly look down on the other dogs in the family for their more playful natures. Dane was all about observing and being served.

Now that he is actually an old dog, I have to serve him even more. In the past year, Dane has quit jumping on and off of furniture. At first it was a bit of an issue to remember to lift him down. I would leave a room as I normally would, Dane snuggled on the bed or couch, only to hear a sad little cry after a few minutes. Then I’d remember I needed to lift him down, he could no longer jump down to come follow me. I’d find him scooted all the way to the edge of the furniture, straining to see where I had gone. Talk about breaking one’s heart!

In the past eight months, Dane has been a major drain on my sleep habits which is not helping anything in my life. His entire life Dane has had the occasional night during which he gets up several times and likes to meander the yard, sniffing at god-knows-what. It started going from an occasional night of being woke up several times to nearly every night. It went from a few times a night to every hour to three hours at max. I was exhausted!

I’d go to bed only to have Dane wake me up after an hour, crying, laying at the edge of the bed. I’d lift him down and he would make a beeline for the water dish. I would block him because in my mind if he drank water he’d have to go out again and I wanted sleep. I’d put him outside, he’d do his thing and dutifully come back in. This process would happen over and over again throughout the night, for months. Wake up, block him from the water dish, put him out, let him in, block him from the water dish, back to bed, wake up…

Before anyone jumps to conclusions and think I am ignoring a medical condition with my dog, somewhere after 7 am he lets me sleep. He sleeps peacefully for hours after that point. If I have a lazy day off we’ll snuggle in bed for hours at a time, me watching tv, him sleeping happily. So I knew
that him going out was not a medical necessity, something else was going on.

The first plan of attack was the thought Dane needed more exercise/stimulation. Despite the fact it was winter, we started walking in the evenings, at least until the really cold weather hit. For a day or two it seemed to help but after that it was business as usual.

As the cold weather set in, Dane’s arthritis became more apparent and after talking with the vet we put him on a joint supplement. I thought, “Maybe now I’ll get some sleep. Maybe he was in discomfort from arthritis and now that he isn’t, he won’t get up as much.” No dice. He was still getting me up.

I tried diffusing lavender oil in my bedroom at night to help knock me out, but hopefully it would also relax the dogs. I considered drugging Dane with Benadryl. (I never did but the thoughts that go through a person’s sleep deprived mind at 3 am are not always pretty. I can’t tell you how many times I fantasized about putting him to sleep just so I could get some sleep).

A few weeks ago Dane woke up at night as he usually does. He immediately drank some water. I didn’t try to block him from the water dish as it didn’t seem to help either way. Then he looked at me to be lifted back into the bed. Confused but happy to try and sleep, I lifted him back into the bed and we both fell asleep. A lightbulb went off.

All the months of sleepless nights weren’t happening because he needed to go out, he was thirsty and I wasn’t letting the poor guy drink! Or at least I hoped that’s what it meant. The next night I made Dane sleep in the dog bed rather than my bed. This way he had access to water whenever he wanted it. IMG_0040Suddenly I was getting several hour stretches of sleep at a time. It was lovely!

After a few days of apparent success, I bought three orthopedic, memory foam dog beds. This way I wouldn’t have to worry about a dog not having a bed. Since then, it is usually only twice a night that the boys get me up, usually Dane is the one to wake me. They go out, do their thing, and we all go back to bed.

For anyone wondering, no Dane doesn’t drink every hour at night. I finally realized what was happening. He had been waking me up since he was thirsty. I wouldn’t let him drink, instead throwing him outside. Being the obedient little guy that he can be, he would go, come in and still be thirsty but I’d still deny him water. I’d lift him into bed and he’d settle into sleep for about an hour before his thirst was getting us up again. Poor, thirsty little dog! Now that I am sleeping at night (for the most part anyway) I’d hazard a guess that Dane drinks maybe twice to three times at night.

After all of this I have decided that in the future, no dogs in my bed at night! Right now Frankie still sleeps in my bed but the other two sleep in their dog beds. Any future dogs will be trained from the start to sleep in a dog bed at night. It makes for a much better night of sleep for me. The things I do for this old dog of mine!

Queen Margaret Intro/ Of Pistachios and Meat Tenderizers

My grandmother, Queen Margaret, as our family affectionately called her was one of a kind. Whenever she spoke of my grandfather, who passed seven years before she did, she would always say that “God broke the mold when He made Frank.” Well that’s how we feel about her too. For years my aunts and uncles have said that I should write a book about Grams (one of her other names). This may not be a book but at least I am writing about her and her outrageous antics. Here goes:

IMG_0063Of Red Pistachios and Meat Tenderizers

I moved in with Queen Margaret when I was 30 and she was 92. She had lived on her own until that point, not wanting anyone to move in with her after Papa passed away. When it was suggested that I move in her response was always, “I don’t want anyone living here. I like living alone. This way I can pick my nose or scratch my butt whenever I want.” Then suddenly, she decided she no longer wanted to be alone and I moved in.

Grams was a night owl. She could stay up until 1am, 2am, 3am easily. Since she obviously didn’t have a job to go to it wasn’t an issue. It didn’t matter how late she stayed up because she could sleep in the next day. Me, having a job, I had to get to bed at a reasonable hour.

One particular night I had gone to bed while she was still up watching television, probably The Kardashians or The Little Couple, as these were her favorite programs. I fell into a comfortable sleep only to be awoken a few hours later by a bang.

As I lay in bed I listened intently, trying to figure out what the noise was. I didn’t hear the clattering of her walker so I was fairly certain she didn’t fall (also there were no curse words). I didn’t hear anything else, just the blaring sounds of the tv. I closed my eyes when there it was again BANG.

Now I’m trying to figure out what she could be doing to make that noise. She wasn’t calling for help. She didn’t seem distressed. I was about to give up and go back to sleep when I heard it yet again BANG. My curiosity was peaked and I had to know what she was up to. She was known for taking things apart and not being able to put them back together so I prayed she had not attempted a home improvement project. I was no more adept at that sort of thing than she was.

I crept down the hall and as I approached the kitchen I heard it again. However this time I got to see what was causing the sound. There sat Queen Margaret at the kitchen table, a meat tenderizer in her hand, a pistachio crushed on the white placemat. Because of her arthritis she couldn’t open the pistachio nuts the way most of us would, so being an enterprising woman she found her own way. To make matters worse she had insisted on red pistachios because in her mind, they tasted better. Her fingers were red, the meat tenderizer was dyed reddish pink, the placemat was also stained. Grams looked up to see me taking in the scene before me at which point she asked sheepishly, “Oh you heard me?”

I stared back and said, “Of course I heard you. I just couldn’t figure out the noise. I thought you fell or something.”

She apologized in her sarcastic way that wasn’t an apology at all and ordered me back to bed. As I headed back down the hallway I heard the banging sound as she said, “Maybe just one more.” Then another bang “ok maybe two more,” another bang, “three more.”

I gave up and went to sleep since I knew at that point she was safe. Her hands were stained for days from the red dye as were the placemat and the meat tenderizer. I had so much fun telling her caretaker the next day and the family at our next dinner. These are the sorts of stories that live on even though Queen Margaret is no longer here. Damn I miss that woman (but not the red pistachios).

Animals Are Not Disposable

IMG_0087Lately I have spent a lot of time thinking about my dogs, how much they annoy the crap out of me, how much I love them anyway, and how there are people out there that view pets as something disposable. It seriously irks me. I have three dogs and I think at this point they can all fall under special needs. At least my family is constantly reminding me how ‘special’ they are, with a smirk on their faces. I don’t disagree.

First off there is Dane, my 13 year old chihuahua who has slowed down significantly this past year. He is hesitant to jump on or off the furniture. Instead he will pace on the floor, crying to be lifted up. Or he will lay at the edge of my bed or the couch, crying to be lifted down. He wakes me up several times a night to go outside and when he gets out there, he tries to meander around sniffing but I make him come inside because I’m a jerk who wants sleep. He’ll get me up again in an hour (or three) with his sad, plaintive whine. He is so happy though when I lift him down, his tail wagging as he looks at me with love.

Frank. Oh Frank. That’s how conversations usually start and end about him. He is 5 lbs without a tooth in his mouth. His tongue hangs out the side of mouth constantly. He is full of piss (literally) and vigor. I adopted him when he was 7 years old. Frankie came from a hoarding situation and lived most of his life in a cage. When I adopted him Gram was alive and they bonded very quickly. In fact there were a few times that Gram got sick and the thing that pushed her to get better was to get home to her Frankie. It was the sweetest thing.

After having him for several years now, I’m frustrated to report that Frank STILL pees in my house if not watched constantly. It’s annoying and I’m so tired of cleaning up pee. In nice weather he will come and let me know he has to go out but even then there is a chance he will pee only a little and hold a reserve to come in and douse my couch. I’ve never had a dog that will go somewhat outside and then come in and finish in the house. Thankfully my aunt bought me a Bissell Little Green Machine for furniture and I have hard wood floors which makes clean up easier. A rescue that I adore recently posted about ‘bellybands,’ and so I ordered one for Mr. Frank. I’m hoping that will keep him from peeing in my house. I’ve tried everything, else, including a $200 Porch Potty to give him as an alternative to the great outdoors. Not one of the dogs will use it. Granted, if I didn’t get lazy at times, and kept a watchful eye on Frank 100% of the time, perhaps his potty issues could be broken. Sometimes though it is exhausting. I have two other dogs and after a busy day at work, I don’t want to chase his every move. It’s easier to yell to my sister, “Frank’s coming your way,’and hope that the time it took him to leave me and reach her didn’t allow for an accident.

Then there is the Milo Monster as I affectionately call him. He is my energetic Boston Terrier that was an owner surrender, partially due to his high energy. Milo is excited about EVERYTHING! Life, a person coming home, seeing one of the other pups if he hasn’t seen them for a few hours, people walking down the street, dogs being walked down the street, a paper towel roll to destroy, a toy to wrestle with. He is happy go lucky and go go go all the time. He is silly and loving and very sweet.

However, if I’m under the weather, the last thing I want to deal with is a dog bouncing off the walls, wanting to play. He’ll come up to me on the couch, and hit me with his front paws trying to coax me into a game of chase, or fetch or wresting, or whatever. He is so exuberant when I first get home that he will fly on the couch and put his paws on my chest and want to drown me with kisses. He pushes the other two dogs out of the way as he wants all of the attention for himself. “Milo, easy,” or “Milo gentle!” are phrases repeated a lot in my house.

Why did I write about all the ways that my dogs drive me insane? Because I know people who will give them up, turn them loose, or put them to sleep for much less and it breaks my heart. I cannot stand people who abuse animals, or turn their backs on them, or give them away for the silliest of reasons: like the dog doesn’t match the new furniture, or it grew larger than they thought it would, or they don’t like dog hair, etc.

My dogs drive me up a wall at times. I want to cry when I’m not getting a good night’s sleep, I do mutter to them that I want to strangle them when it’s up/down all night long BUT it is part of my commitment to them, when I CHOSE to bring them into my life and my home to take care of them, and be there for them, until it is their time to leave this world. So I do, and I will. I know that there are people who would have given Frankie away a long time ago or put him to sleep for his peeing in the house. Or people who would say Dane is old and put him to down so they could get a good night’s sleep and not be bothered. Milo has been given away several times, originally found left behind in an apartment by someone who didn’t want to deal with him.

I just don’t get it. Pets are living, breathing, loving creatures that deserve the best from people. Why do some people think they can chain them outside of a shelter and just leave? Or push them out of a car in some strange city and drive away? Or beat them?  As much as my dogs can annoy me, they bring me way more joy and happiness and love than I could ever measure. Seeing Milo play so gently with Frank and the two wrestling, or seeing their joy on a walk and being allowed to sniff all the scents on the fire hydrant. Snuggling up with them after a long day. Just watching them live and be. Honestly, the forgiving nature and unconditional love of a dog make me feel closer to God than sitting in a church does.

I know this time of year pets are a popular choice for Christmas gifts. I beg of you, please do not get a pet unless you are willing to be there for him or her 100% until their time on this earth comes to an end, which could be 20+ years depending on the animal. Animals are not disposable.

The Joys of Dating

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I have (for the millionth time over) decided to give up on dating. I am so done. After my recent attempt at online dating I am burnt out. I swear, sometimes I am a loser magnet! Let’s recount the last several guys I’ve gotten to know… I shall not name names, in order to protect their identities and because nicknames are way more fun.

The first guy to contact me I have dubbed The Racist. One Sunday afternoon I receive a rather complimentary message from a gentleman. I wasn’t attracted to him based on his picture but I clicked on his profile, read what he had to say and messaged him back.

As we are chatting he mentions that he is a ‘legal marijuana grower,” and he was quite concerned that would scare me away. He stressed several times over that he was totally legal. The conversation was starting to bore me. You said you’re legal, let’s move on. I told him I didn’t care what a person does for a living assuming it is an honest living. The things I judge a person for would be multiple children with multiple women or being a racist. To my surprise he responded with, “Well, I guess this means it won’t work for you and I. I’m a racist.”

I wasn’t sure if he was serious or not so I attempted to question him. After all, sarcasm can get lost in translation through text. He told me he didn’t like “gehtto black or gehtto white.” Well, I don’t care for someone who can’t spell ‘ghetto’ correctly. I asked him if he actually had a problem with race or if it was behaviors that he took issue with. (To be honest the moment he said he was a racist I was done but my curiosity got the best of me and I had to ask him more questions.) He stated “I am from the south,” which I took to mean he didn’t want to admit to the ugliness inside him but that he really was a racist. I quickly bid him adieu.

I received several messages from guys in their very early 20’s which is a bit too young for my taste. I had a man ask if he could be my slave. I swear there was nothing in my profile to solicit such an offer. I had another man message me asking what I was looking for, turns out he wanted ‘casual sex’ which is NOT something listed in my profile.

Finally I handed my phone to one of my closest friends and let her look at guys for me. She picked about four different men, all of whom I was ordered to contact. I looked through her choices and messaged all but one. This led me to “Failure to Launch.” I dubbed him that because he reminds me of the movie by that title, staring Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew McConaughey.

FTL and I chatted for a week before going out on a date. Now there were some red flags up front. He worked at a doggy-daycare center. I knew that most likely that meant he was broke. I’m not looking for someone to take care of me I just want an equal partner. He still lives at home with his parents but in this day and age, that’s not something to judge a person by.

During our week of communication he had said a few things that gave me pause. One instance was when he pointed out to me what a caring guy he is. To me, if you have to tell someone your good qualities it means you’re probably lacking in said qualities… He also told me in the past three years he had been on a total of four dates. None of them went well because he said the women wanted sex on the first date and that is not his style.

Saturday night rolls around and I get to the agreed upon location promptly at 8pm. At five after, I text asking if he was there, despite the fact I didn’t see him. He responded with “almost, five more minutes.” While mildly annoying, shit happens.He arrives and as we head to our table, he says something about his mother having driven him to our date. In my head I am thinking, “I’m sorry, what?” I’m sure the look on my face was disgust as I asked him, “Does this mean I have to drive you home?” He assured me that was not the case, he would text his mother when it was time to get picked up. I felt I had gone back in time twenty years, meeting a boy at the roller rink. What self respecting male lets their mommy drive them to a date at the age of 34?

As the date continues (only because I didn’t have the balls to tell him have his mom come right back and get him), he tells me about helping to support his sister that goes to college out of state. He walks to work, unless he takes too much stuff, then his mother drives him. When it was time for the bill I had the waitress split it, paid my portion, and left. As if he didn’t have enough strikes against him, in person, he eerily resembled my uncle.

I was just about to delete my profile when a new guy messaged me and he used complete words and sentences! It was such an exciting prospect I thought I’d give him a chance. We messaged for a few days but there were too many red flags. I had to cut him loose. If I had to pick a nickname for him, I’d say, “The Asshole.” He was estranged from his entire family. He told me his dad died but he didn’t care, he was a terrible person and they hadn’t talked in years. His mother was alive but she was a terrible person and he didn’t talk to her. He had two sisters, one was a psycho and the other owed him a ton of money. He had broken up with his baby mama 6 months ago, and she was psycho. Granted, all of those people could be terrible, horrible, awful people but… If everyone in your life is an asshole… Well… Maybe it’s not them, maybe its you? After he confessed that he spoils the shit out of his daughter and she will be hell when she is a teenager, I couldn’t take anymore. Bonus? He offered to accompany me to a doctor’s appointment for our first date… How romantic!

I have since deleted my profile and decided that as naive as it may be, I want to meet someone organically. At this point I just need to focus on creating the best life I can. Focus on school and health and spending my time with the ones I love. I don’t have the energy for anymore weirdos from online dating right now. Being single is definitely underrated.

(image courtesy of flickr)