Saying Goodbye to my NB Pup
I had to say goodbye to my gorgeous red and white co-pilot last night. It was all very quick and unexpected. Just Monday we played red ball.
For those of you who were around in 2012, he was my new beginning puppy (of all things born on July 4th of that year, so he really was my freedom dog). We took that leap of faith together and built a life taking care of each other for ten years.
When I brought him home after that horrible start to 2012, I wondered what the hell I was thinking. But, 24/7 love of such a brilliant creature was just the ticket to get me out of my own head.
He taught me how to love again - to thrive after another break-up and a pandemic. And in the end, we did it all just the two of us every time.
He made me laugh every single day and was the most hilarious dog I've ever known. He joined me in all things (what are we doing next?) - from work to travel and capturing the hearts of everyone who knew him. The hole he leaves is big.
Every night as he hopped in his spot next to me I'd say similar words: I'll always take care of you, thanks for being my dog, love you for all time, put your little dog head down and go to sleep. Rest well now, buddin.
28 comments posted: Sunday, December 4th, 2022
And thank you.
1 comment posted: Sunday, February 6th, 2022
A Little Snark for the DS'ers (Long)
I pick great friends. Interesting, genuine, brave, reliable, accomplished, self-actualized, generous, and hilarious friends. But I chose serial cheaters to partner up with. I also made sure to invest several years in them. I preferred ones whose emotional maturity never progressed past the age of 15. Their inner demons rumbled close to the surface in a way that could easily be mistaken for flatulence.
Of course, I was going to be Ms (and even Mrs.) Fix-It which was evidently my dream job. Turns out these man-boys had their own tools for self-soothing when that old friend “I’m just not happy” came calling. They fed those untamed beasts with other women. Assclown even skipped off hand-in-hand with what’s-her to the misty lands of everything is all better now.
The last time I stood up from being a sobbing pile of bones on the floor, I decided to see if I could flip hurt and hate on its head - changing the narrative loop set on replay in my own brain. Instead of feeling like my life had gone to shit and they were off flitting and prancing about in ever-unicorn loo-loo land, it was time to get real and tell a tale of true lurve for our star-crossed soulmate…things.
• The first item of business is to have a kind of debutante ball, introducing our couplet into polite society. Make sure to hire a clown or bouncy house. Spin lots of yacht rock – Steal Away by Robert Dupree or The Pina Colada song are both crowd favorites. Lay Lady Lay is always a winner when a DJ hired from the roller rink calls for couples only. (Bonus points because it includes the lyric “You can have your cake and eat it too”)
• Don’t forget to paint overpasses, carve initials into trees, and appear on the kiss cam. Win stuffed animals at the fair or have a 9 ½ weeks moment in front of the fridge (applies only if someone remembered to grocery shop).
• Also, while at the carnival, make sure to put your hands in the back pockets of each other’s jean shorts as you stroll the Midway. Matching air-brushed T-shirts make a beautiful souvenir.
• As to how they met – either quote one of the above songs or emphasize how “it just happened.” Both of them happened to be walking down the same street when one tripped and just fell onto the other’s genitals. Whoopsie Daisies!
• Crowd the first bookshelves they’ve ever owned with self-help best-sellers they’ve actually read. Some are even highlighted with lots of pretty colors. They go to couples counseling and tell the truth.
• Their life plan consists solely of “being together.”
• No one ever apologizes because, you know, Love Story.
• Real life never intrudes. No one ages, gets sick, loses a job, or has a loved one die. They also don’t have to pay bills, cook dinner, or launder each other’s funky underwear. They adore all the in-laws.
• They will never cheat on the other because of that soulmate thingy. A little flirting. Or just kissing. Maybe 3rd base in a parking lot. But no cheating. And no one ever gets traded in for a new model…
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me prov'd,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.
(Anyone else got some snark to add to the list? )
[This message edited by Chili at 9:49 PM, July 29th (Thursday)]
9 comments posted: Thursday, July 29th, 2021
Flying Solo for Holidays?
This will be a first for me - to not travel and be with family or friends - visit or host or whatnot. I know I'll be in (probably lots of) contact with folks, but really it'll just be me and the pup.
I'm not particularly blue about it - 'cause you know, 2020 - and that's been the norm for me this year.
Just trying to cipher out what the hell I might want to do with myself to make a moment. Maybe a stroll in the woods or cook up a big pot of _____? Or it might be cool to make some music.
It would've been a perfect time to go somewhere and volunteer, but yeah, see above.
Any one else flying solo got a game plan for a thing?
16 comments posted: Tuesday, December 15th, 2020
Backstory: SO I and together just over 7 years. Living together but apart.
Current story: It’s going to have to be over. What started as a necessary Covid break because of life circumstances became a Covid clusterfuck.
No need to read further, but the following novella is the rest of the story:
Those life circumstances – some I came into the relationship expecting to navigate – kids, profession. We also weathered years of challenges – some unexpected. But also teenagers, deaths, medical issues – stressors and events that all relationships face. Had fairly regular sessions together with my longtime IC who helped guide us from time to time. No major ick along the way.
Last year or so I’d been bringing to the table my wanting to be more connected. To carve out time in these crazy lives for just us. To work at nurturing our shared experiences. I saw this as a crinkle. You know – common relationship stuff at having to be mindful about watering your own grass.
March. Covid. Physical separation. Surgery needed for him. I jump in as his caretaker – going back and forth to his house to look after him and do the things I do. Cooking and stocking fridge for him and kids – trying to be safe all along until he heals enough to drive after 2 months. As we approach the other side of that, I’m pretty exhausted. Managing my own life and a chunk of his over there and all the shit that has come with these days – I don’t even need to type it out - you all know how hard things are for everyone.
In a phone call one night I tell him directly I need some emotional support – I don’t even know what I asked for – kindness – compassion – acknowledgment …but that I was feeling pretty puny right about then and could use some lifting up. He asked “what am I supposed to do?” I rattled off 4-5 making up shit off the top of my head possible gestures – leaving a little note in the empty Tupperware containers the next time I was there. Maybe call in an order for a surprise food delivery for me one night. Text me something silly or interesting or…? He replied with: “You have chosen to live the life you do and it seems to me like you need to be the one to live with those choices.” No shit – he said that. I wasn’t even sure at first what it meant, but the next day it sure translated in my head as “I got nothing for you. Suck it up Buttercup.”
So I checked in with him in case I was just being Covid crazy and yep – that’s pretty much what he meant according to the additional word salad I received.
So I smacked down a boundary. I said that I was shocked but appreciated him being honest with me. And that maybe we shouldn’t be beating our heads against the wall. Maybe we should take a break from taking care of each other. That we should both live with our own life choices. And if he wanted something different to let me know. His reply was simply: “Ok.”
That was June. Crickets. Total freeze out. Not a word from him since.
I could speculate all day. Real him revealed during time of high stress. At his limit of coping skills. Coward. Passive-Aggressive. Built up resentments. Emotionally detached. Depressed. Or since this is SI – cheating? I don’t know. It’s still his shit.
But I have nothing to work with. Nothing.
So I went back to my own detaching guide and read my own tips. I’ve re-assembled my posse (virtually). I’ve been seeing IC (virtually). I’ve been making new plans for my future as much as I can in these wacky days. I’m taking good care of myself. And I told the new beginning dog (who is the best co-pilot ever) that it’s back to just us. And that will be more than just fine. I have loose ends to tie up with him and I’ll deal with those when I’m ready. In a way that’s healthiest for me.
I’m angry. I’m very sad. I miss the kids. I’m feeling all those things that you feel when a relationship is ending. I hate that I so carefully and slowly brought him so into my family and life and now I’ve had to try and explain what the hell is going on. I mostly hate that feeling of: “another one didn’t work.” I keep thinking of that T.S. Eliot line about things ending not with a bang, but with a whimper. Sigh.
68 comments posted: Tuesday, October 13th, 2020
Ramblings About Resilience
You know those periods where life just seems to pile on and tests your resilience?
Dealing with any variation of infidelity AND _______ life event can be particularly sucky. And sometimes just those life events alone can test our strength. I remember reading at some point about the Japanese concept of the inherent sadness of being human. So kind of like that.
I was kicking this around the other day with IC because I was feeling like my well of coping was starting to run a little dry. Since late Fall last year – it just seems I’m having this series of unexpected events that come in waves and layers. The feeling of “I just need one damn thing to go right.” Then I read something on here from someone in a certain forum lamenting “when do I get my time – I should get to pursue my own happiness and joy and good time charlie fun and when does it all get to be about me and my feelings” – or at least that’s what the translator in my head told me. And I think my eyes rolled in my head and I might have sighed out loud a little dramatically.
Tapping into my resilience after infidelity was one of the hardest journeys I’ve ever made. On the other side of that I have few fears that I have the tools to get through all sorts of shit. But you know, sometimes you just get a little tired. I was making a long road trip for work and while tooling along, I had this little tiny tickle of nausea deep in my belly. And it’s not that anything is particularly “wrong” – it’s just stuff we all have to face (well…those of us who choose to address things in our lives instead of run from them in unhealthy ways).
So here’s a couple of recent examples and my two of little ways of coping:
The Gratitude Thing.
Trying to quickly fly across the country to be with oldest friend and my goddaughter after a sudden death in their family. Funeral arrangements happening quickly – lots of scrambling - you can imagine the routine. Night before morning flight – furnace quits working. Single digit temperatures on the way. Good fun. The days out there were difficult but wonderful at the same time – travel was exhausting – furnace was expensive. But you know, this is when I really took one of those minutes to practice that cliché gratitude thing. How incredible is it that I have a life that allows me to really be there for others when they need it? And the support system on the home front to step in and help get things fixed? There was not a single thing about that series of events that was “fun.” But I do think there is true joy in celebrating the real shit.
The Humor Thing.
Humor is always my favorite way to flip the absurdity of life. So on the heels of the above, I decided to be good and keep my appointment for a colonoscopy. Bad roll of dice: I got the 4 liter split prep eau de citrus nastiness in a jug. Prep is cruising…or maybe that was me cruising in and out of the bathroom. Let dog out in between one of these visits and apparently he eats a big mouthful of grass (I'm not really sure, I was inside expelling random organs into the toilet). In between another one of my trips to the bathroom (we’re full on at this point and I’m getting a little weak and oh so done but we’re still drinking shots so it won’t end soon), dog pukes said grass in the middle of the floor. Now, I actually had to stand there for a minute looking at the floor wondering if when I bent down to clean it up I was going to shit my pants. Should I sort of fall to the ground on my hip instead? Squatting definitely a no go. How to come at this so I don’t have to clean up shit and puke at the same time? Oh yeah, this kind of problem-solving moment is just so joyful and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t pursing my own happiness right then. But it was funny as fuck. (Epilogue: don’t have to get another colonoscopy for 10 years. Thank you blessed GI Goddess).
So the challenge from IC was to come up with a “something” for myself. I know I’ve talked here about giving ourselves permission to be a little frivolous – to really carve out time or money or space and give ourselves a break. So mine is looking forward to the first nice Spring day – splurging on beautiful fresh food and maybe a bottle of wine – buy a pot of early season flowers – put on some good tunes and sit on my deck with SO and pup and just…be. Probably not very exciting. But it’s for sure attainable and gives me a little something something to look forward to and plan in my head.
Anyone else got some tips from their own toolbox that have worked for you?
[This message edited by Chili at 11:56 AM, March 3rd (Tuesday)]
8 comments posted: Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020
Someone sent this to me today. I thought it was so great - just had to share.
“What an astonishing thing a book is. It's a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic."
[Cosmos, Part 11: The Persistence of Memory (1980)]”
― Carl Sagan, Cosmos
4 comments posted: Monday, April 15th, 2019
Anyone Else a Thread-killer?
I swear, sometimes it feels like the quickest way to end a thread (besides Sisoon or WOES whipping out the padlocks in quick draw fashion) is for me to post on it.
Apparently whatever I've been saying lately is not conducive to continued dialogue. Honest, I'm not actively trying to be the kiss of death.
Any other certifiable thread enders out there?
[This message edited by Chili at 11:56 AM, February 6th (Wednesday)]
958 comments posted: Thursday, February 7th, 2019
Copyediting Rant Take 2
I swear....I can't take it.
This time non-fiction. Heard author (long-time journalist) during NPR interview. Fascinating subject. Sounded promising. Nothing like opening (and smelling) a new book.
Has to be one of the worst editing jobs I've seen in a long time. Horrible continuity. I can let some of that slide. Big stories are difficult to order sometimes.
But the proofreading mistakes? Yee gads.
My two favorites.
2108 for 2018 (twice)
As they headed back to the coast, Kevin, finally they would all be back together as a family.
I still wonder who Kevin might be. Is this a subliminal message to a mystery Kevin? No Kevin anywhere else in the book. Is there a coast somewhere named Kevin?
I'm one step away from calling up this publisher and asking if I can donate my time to be an Advanced Reader or something. Think they would be open? I'm actually kind of serious about this. Maybe I should quit complaining and do something...
Or maybe I'm a dinosaur and just need to get over it?
5 comments posted: Monday, July 2nd, 2018
Ok - so I just needed to vent this into the book universe and figured you folks would get it...
In two recent books - both by big time authors - published by big houses - I have found some major glaring editing issues. Typos - spelling errors - really stupid grammatical mistakes. Not all over the place, but enough to really piss me right off. You want us to pay...what is it now full price hardcover for some of these books...$35? And you have these kinds of mistakes?
Seriously - how many people have taken a look at this manuscript before it goes to press. How many advanced copies did you send out to other authors or critics to get your little back cover blurb? Certainly _____ & ______ publishing company had 20 different eyes on this thing and NO ONE caught it?
I mean, I know I'm hypersensitive to this stuff for various reasons, but it's insulting to readers.
Whew - that feels better.
(Don't get me started on fact-checking.)
14 comments posted: Monday, April 30th, 2018