T.P.

Growing up my mom never talked about the act of pooping, but she had some interesting sayings about poop. One of my mom’s poop saying is, “You might as well shit in one hand and wish in the other and see which one weighs more. I understand this is not the most optimistic of sayings. However, I am certain I do not need to test this logic. The logistics of crapping in ones own hand I think will be trickier then one would think, and if you are actually doing this to see which hand weighs more, then you have bigger issues at play.  However, for some reason this saying keeps rolling around in my head with the new state of affairs that are now upon us.

It is a mystery to me why so many people who appear reasonable would stock pile toilet paper. I might understand this if the overwhelming side effect or symptom  of this global epidemic might require one to be tied to the toilet seat for hours and hours in a unmanageable purge of bodily fluids, but this does not appear to be the case. This did get my wheels a spinning thinking about the average American and their bathroom habits.

It might be that people are so frighten that they have a heightened startle reflex. Aside from this unending self-quarantine and social distancing, I can relate to this. If I would arrive home and find many friends and family waiting inside for me. I would most likely think incredibly deeply about the location of my toilet paper for a few seconds or minutes. However, I want to be clear, I have nothing against surprises. I would believe it was an intervention until I see the balloons.

Aside from all this toilet paper shortage talk, the smatterings of stomach upset commercials, and Dr. Oz, I find that most people don’t talk openly about poop. It might be a inner circle discussion for some. I do know some feel comfortable enough to openly announce proudly upcoming features or movements, while others hide every hint or evidence that this natural phenomenon occurs much like they are hiding a crime.

I have a friend that openly announces that he launches SEAL teams, sometimes  he only launches half a team, sometimes he launches a team with support. When he leaves the bathroom after a successful launch he will give a yell. I find this fascinating, because I have been a bit of the opposite. I have bought  things like Poo-Pourri, their tag line is “Don’t Do the Doo Without It.”  My goal is to be quick and to hid every evidence of the event.

Growing up, in my house, nobody ever spoke of number two and I think this is incredible with the understanding that six people shared one bathroom. I do remember my father spending an inordinate amount of time inside this room of mystery while all of the rest of us would wait impatiently outside. I also think this also shaped my current bathroom habits to be a quick as humanly possible.

From my childhood, I will always have the memories of my gram walking across the room, while crop dusting the entire length. During these events she would state she was going to visit “Aunt Sally” and she would disappear into the bathroom for a bit. I have to admit before I became wise to my gram’s poop humor I wondered why Aunt Sally never came out of the bathroom, and I questioned when my gram had excessive gas it made her think of Aunt Sally.

Most of the people I know do not talk about poop. My runner friends only talk poop before a race, because it very well may be with as much as we all run, we all have had that unfortunate memory of going out for a run and coming back with one less sock. And it might be just me, but in the summer I look for the neighbors who are doing home renovations and have a Honey Bucket in their front lawn. I have never needed to use any of these, but knowing this might be an emergency option is comforting  to me for some reason.

Recently the Pepto-Bismol commercial has been bugging me and  mostly don’t pay attention to them, maybe it’s due to all this toilet paper talk. It has the familiar jiggle singing about stomach aches, heartburn, upset stomach, and always ending with diarrhea. However, this time the guy singing, sings diarrhea in a manner that is just too polite for the action we all have come to understand. Instead of this pleasant musical dedication, I think the diarrhea part should always be sung with complete urgency with the background of the heaviest heavy metal that one can image. Until this happens, I will put my version on the wish list. Nonetheless, I think I might be getting sidetracked.

This current global situation has brought everything down to assholes and people’s overwhelming need for toilet paper. If you think all you need is rolls and rolls of T.P to feel safe and secure as you all shelter in place, then there is not much I can say to convince you otherwise. If you think the excessive amount of rolls will serve you if you get sick. Well, you might as well shit in one hand and wish in the other and see which one weighs more. Just wash your hands, especially the hand that weighs more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In The Land of Almost and Good Enough

I found my daughter in the laundry room sorting through freshly washed clothes much like how a raccoon pilfers through trash looking for a tossed tasty morsel. The only difference between the two is Ella was looking for a clean bra. Surprisingly, I had no idea Ella has the same startle reflex as most wild animals and rodents. She jumped up from the laundry pile and scurried around me, holding her bra and her heart as if she had been mortally wounded.

I felt sorry for her and then for myself for not having the time or organizational skills to sort all this for her, but I try to remain positive.   The bra almost made it into her dresser, sitting nearly empty just a couple rooms away and at least it’s clean. Good enough.  It has not always been this way. I took a new job about 8 months ago, and there has a been a progressive down slide into what exists here in my household today. The state of my house reminds me how a dystopian novel reads… chaotic, hopeless, and apocalyptic. Unfortunately, I do not see any hero in, on or near the horizon coming to save me from the ever growing cascade of my list of to do’s.

When the weekend hits, I have a few moments of fleeting optimism. 48 hours seems like enough time. However, the realization of how things have gone a stray and having enough insight to understand that the amount of my shit exceeds the number of hours needed to make a dent. In spite of this I do my best.  But as I often say, sometimes your best isn’t good enough. I might have this engraved on my headstone.

Balancing the responsibilities of being an adult, being a parent, and still wanting to have a little fun, means for me that my house might look like my hair when I first wake up in the morning. I might be faster to take a comb through my hair then to clean my house, but I have been accused of being a bit vain. I feel it is my right to still try to look pretty in a messy house.

As a recovering perfectionist, I am trying to embrace the concept of almost and good enough. In one, five or twenty years, I wonder how much of this will matter? I highly doubt on my deathbed I will mutter the words to Ella, “I’m sorry your bras didn’t always make it to your dresser.”  Nonetheless, I do think, maybe too much, about lining up a person who can cull all those things I have collected that I don’t want Ella or others to find after my demise. I think this is a whole other can of worms that I might unpack on another day. Until then I will try to live happily ever after in my very imperfect world.

 

 

 

Cold Chicken

My daughter has a tendency to become quite agitated quickly over small silly things that  tickle me more than they should. We spend a great deal of time watching TV in my bed in the evenings and sometimes in the mornings.  Ella often walks into my room, hovers and becomes entranced by whatever is on the television. It seems she gets hung up on the commercials produced by the pharmaceutical companies, and often mocks all the side effects and allergic reactions that might occur.

This week we both were caught up watching a few Chantix advertisements. If you don’t already know, this is a medication some people take to help quit smoking. Ella was a bit infuriated by the featured chickens in this commercial (who were attempting to quit smoking) and she did not understand why they had clothes on, one had a coat on and another was wearing a blanket. I did not have the same confusion or agitation at the time I was watching these ads, because I feel nothing makes sense anymore. My only response to Ella, ” Come on Ella, don’t you know all chicken’s wear clothes when they quit smoking, duh?”  I even shared the story with a friend, cause it made me laugh. And I went on about my day, laughing at Ella and Chantix for the ridiculousness that is in marketing and in general.

Hours later… I was thinking about the chickens. Why were the chickens cold? I  then realized it is obvious that I need to see my eye doctor and I absolutely do not know how to identify cartoon edible fowl.  I  do take some solace in the fact that Ella has the same affliction of her eyes, her genes, and possibly shares the same apathy towards ornithology.   I do know the phrase quitting cold turkey makes much more sense when marketers use turkeys in their commercials.  Perhaps the moral of this story is it makes no sense when chickens wear clothes.

Taking Stock

I am not one for resolutions. I don’t like them. The undue pressure on top of all the other responsibilities one has to achieve on a daily basis is a recipe for bad self-esteem. The cycle from year to year continues. It often leads to feelings of not being good enough based on societal expectations that you may not even personally aspire to achieve, but feel pressure to do.

I think maybe starting small is a better idea. For example, I always want to organize my sock drawer. When I am in a rush and trying to stuff my backpack full of workout clothes, I am always slowed down in the morning when trying to match a pair of socks. This process of opening up this bin, looking in, and muddling things around reminds me of the card game I used to play in grade school. I remember shuffling a bunch of cards and laying them face down. The process is to flip, look and turn the card back over. Then flip another, look and remember where I saw the identical card (the match) I turned over earlier. This childhood game somehow turned into my sock drawer.

I am aware how easy it would be to match the socks when I do my laundry, but I don’t. Yes, I do understand the extra time spent on matching the socks when I fold laundry would make up the time wasted on trying to match them in the morning, but apathy doesn’t care. I’ve decided this daily exercise of matching socks isn’t a nuisance, but a cognitive practice that will hopefully stave of dementia in my later years. It has to be.

The amount of time spent on taking stock and nit picking or minimizing behaviors that may be significant does require more than just setting a goal and thinking your intention alone will make it happen. The changing of one year to the next is not enough to move or motivate a shift when cognitive behavioral therapy, detox or a prescriptions of medications will do the trick to effect the wanted transformation. My point, stop the nonsense of making big life changes that are driven by the stroke of midnight.

Tuning up the engine instead of majorly overhauling it might be a better way to approach this yearly phenomenon. In my case, for example, instead of wishing for the socks to be paired, I should appreciate my ability to put my socks successfully on my feet, matching or not. Or just acknowledge that my socks are clean and are put in the proper place. Baby steps my friend. Grounding oneself in gratefulness might be a better approach.

I think most of us have all this backwards. Maybe people should focus on the positive things that occurred over the past year and expand on it. For example, I did not tuck my shirt directly into my underwear in 2019, at least to my knowledge. I plan to continue to not tuck my shirt into my underwear in 2020. Tucking, low wasted jeans and bending over are not friends to me. Perhaps the real goal should be not caring about it if I do. I may be oversimplifying this and getting off track, but I feel change should be reserved for those rock bottom moments.

For those who are in the first week into a resolution and have failed already. Please give yourselves some grace. If you are getting up in the morning, breathing air into your lungs, managing to put one foot in front of the other, then rejoice. You are still here. Whether you think your life is sometimes heaven or hell, you are here and you must be doing something right. I’ll embrace my unmatched socks and terrible tuck jobs, if they occur. I hope that my approach to this coming year will help me return to the gratefulness that I think we all need to embrace in 2020.

Christmas Miracle

Since the birth of my daughter I have been an innocent bystander on watching her grow. I have been there for her first smile, rolling over, crawling and finally walking. I have been there cheering her through this aging process. I have to admit I was not fan of the infancy phase. I was a nervous wreck for most of it. I can’t say I loved the teetering toddler phase and the terrible twos and threes, I will never forget the power struggles that ensued. Ella also had a hair trigger vomit reflex that I have never experienced in my life before and hope to never again. As soon as she would get upset about ANYTHING, she would go into a dry heave to full on explosive vomiting, really in a matter of seconds. Emotion=Vomit. I spent most of her younger years, approaching her with towels, talking softly and giving her ample choices regarding whatever it was I wanted her to do. I walked on egg shells especially when I was in public, because sometimes I forgot my towel. Oh, and those folks that were stuck in our row on airplanes during this phase, you poor souls.

I have to say that her most recent milestone is my favorite. I have waited years and years for this. And it has finally arrived and I could not be more proud of her. When it came time this year to decorate for the holiday, for the second year in a row, I just could not bring myself to go through the steps of getting a Christmas tree. Of course, Ella wanted one and I was on the fence. We did decorate the outside with lights, which was enough for me. We had a bunch of lights left over to put on a tree, but still I could not make myself go pick out a tree. So, Ella and I decided to make a “tree” out of the lights on one of our windows. It took two strands of multi-colored lights to make our Christmas tree. I could tell during this process that Ella was just going along with it and was not super excited about this at all. We finished and stood together to get a look at our creation. I put my arm around her shoulder and asked, “Well, what do you think?” She stated, ” It’s breathtaking” in the most sarcastic tone. I almost cried, she finally gets sarcasm! It truly is a Christmas miracle.

Tis The Season

Every year around this time, I seem to take a nose dive into the abyss of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). I am uncertain how many years I have suffered, but I became acutely aware a few years ago. During my first recognized bout, I decided that I no longer could visit the grocery store for my weekly supplies. Before I even noticed I had a problem, I found myself in the local store parking lot lacking the will to get out of my car and walk through the doors into the chilled arena. I sat in my car for an unspecified amount of time, losing the battle, driving home with an empty car and eventually empty stomach.

Knowing that my daughter had to eat and fearing child protective services knocking on my door, I resorted to ordering all my groceries online and had them delivered. The amount of time selecting each individual item from the list on the website most likely took me much longer than driving to the store and doing it myself. The more frequently I placed orders, the easier it became. The website remembered my order from week to week. When my groceries were delivered, I felt judged by the person who dropped off my goods after the realization I was not elderly.

As I unpacked the items, I always would remember the one item I forgot. All orders had to be over $50.00, so I would do without until next week. That year was the winter of delivery. When the sun returned in March, I was able to get in my car, drive to the store, and walk through the doors without a second thought.

I know this will happen every year, but I feel there is little I can do to change the months of darkness that I tend to wade through. Each season tends to bring about different nuances of this abjection. Luckily, in the last few years, grocery shopping has not been affected. Surprisingly, I don’t stay in bed or miss work, and I keep up on my running and the gym .

Last year, during my long runs I had to change my running course for those 3 months. I had an overwhelming urge to jump from one (or maybe two) of the bridges. I knew I would not take the plunge. I didn’t classify myself as suicidal, but just incredible curious about the water below. Perhaps I wanted to see if I could beat the 50/50/50 rule. The rule says that a 50 year old has a 50% chance of surviving 50 minutes in 50 degree water. I figured I was close enough to the 50 year old mark to give it a go.

Interestingly, researchers have found the urge to jump off a bridge or veer off a mountain side cliff is surprisingly common. A not so recent study found that this urge to jump occurs in both people who report to having suicidal thoughts and people who have never shown this self destructive urge. This is referred to as the “high place phenomenon.” Every time I am up high, I want to plunge to the floor below. It is terribly freaky to have the impulse to do this every single time I am up high.

I describe it more like a Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) that makes me feel obsessed with plummeting. There are many theories regarding why this happens, but they are exhausting to list as they might only partly apply. However, since all I could think about while running across the bridges was to leap over the side, I decided to not temp fate and stay on one side of the river. When the light returned in the Spring, I could then resume my runs across the beautiful bridges without the overwhelming thought of hurdling over the side.

Unfortunately, this lovely season is upon me once again and I feel the effects. I am still grocery shopping and I am running across the bridges, at the present. However, this seasonal affliction tends to make me look up at the universe and challenge it to maybe smite me. Or I have the urge to lay in my front yard, cover myself with the falling leaves, and become one with the earth. However, all the while I am conflicted with the need to start Thanksgiving prep, Christmas shopping,decorating, and then attempting to ring in the New Year with some sort of positive attitude. Thinking, at the same time, each winter is just one big disastrous ground hog day where I always see my shadow causing me to white knuckle through weeks of complete feculence.

I am doing my best to cope at the moment. I oscillate between half-assing and not giving a shit to wanting to wrestle someone. My chosen sparing partner can be willing or unwilling. I’m not picky. I believe I have three months until my light will come back on. I am only half terrified of what will transpire between now and then. My other half, that is not terrified, doesn’t care about such things. This is the half that has the urge to poke a sleeping bear or try to start or break up a drunken bar fight, depending on the night and the bar. I should be on the hunt for vitamin D and a SAD therapy lamp, but I’m not. However, if you happen to have one or both those items, I’ll wrestle you for it.

Have a Mother F***ing Great Day!

The two blocks I walk from the parking lot to the office isn’t far. Two blocks seem pretty insignificant when you think about it, especially when considering Portland blocks. They seems to be much smaller when compared to the streets I walked in Philadelphia. However, the encounters that occur within these short blocks are not inconsequential.

I have seen more naked body parts, people sleeping on the sidewalks, an occasional  person in the process of vomiting, people urinating, and even had a women take a swing at me. Most of these events take place before 9 o’clock in the morning. Way too early to bob and weave and I am not sure there is ever a good time to view a stranger’s penis, I believe.  Sometimes all this happens before my first cup of coffee, so I consider my surviving the blocks to the office an overwhelming accomplishment. Nonetheless, I doubt the consumption of coffee, prior to or after, would soften the impact. However, I would like to think that having a healthy level of caffeine induced agitation might give me the upper hand with some of these encounters.

A few years back, I walked by a man as he was urinating on a parking meter. This man actually lives in the building located right next to my office. He literally was urinating 100 feet from his apartment. I glanced in his general direction, trying to make sense of what I was seeing and apparently this was upsetting to him. He began yelling at me in an animated manner. Of course, I did not react, as I really didn’t want to have a conservation with this guy while he was holding his willy in his hand, and I didn’t have the time to wait until he put it away. I suspect our discussion would not have had a productive outcome anyway.

Interestingly, this man has become part of most of my mornings as I walk by his building and into my office. He is incredibly verbal. He stands, typically, leaning on a parking meter, muttering to himself about various topics. His unrest is just below the surface. After the urinating incident, it seems he decided to put me in a special category. When I pass by, he pays close attention. If I glance in his general direction, he will almost instantly go on the defensive and he calls me a “mother f!@%er*”.  I didn’t immediately understand these two words were directed at me until I noticed that every time I glanced over at him he throws them my way.

At first, I was sorry that I agitated him. I would go out of my way to avoid upsetting him. I would look down and walk fast. Being the source of anyone’s irritability, especially in my line of work is not uncommon. I have to admit I do become a bit numb to being the unpopular person in the room. Maybe that’s why I  sometimes  would forget myself and look his way and boom!  He’d toss those two words right at me. I would feel bad. To be clear, I did not feel bad for me, but for him. To be the source of anyone’s displeasure, either irrational or real, makes me uneasy even if I might be a little numb to it.

However, something changed after I accepted a new position at my job. Now I go into the office much more and I tend to have the same level of agitation brewing just under the surface. I noticed he does stop what he is doing and he does focus on me as he sees me approaching. Now when I see him, I look directly at him. I attempt to make eye contact and like friction to a match, I hear those two magnificent words hurled right at me. This interaction is quick and there is no escalation. All I know is that when I do not see him on my way to work, I don’t feel quite right. These two words are like heroin in the veins of an addict. It just feels so good.

I have not seen him for about a week and I am as concerned for his well being as I am for mine. I am hoping that this unseasonable cold weather has kept him in his apartment, keeping warm. Nonetheless, his self care is impacting my morning routine. All the coffee is not giving me the dose of optimism I get by hearing his daily affirmation. I suppose I am a bit like a masochist, but with words.  I am willing to accept that good morning and good day do not do a darn thing for me anymore. If you see me out there, don’t waste your breath on me by using an empty greeting. If you are willing to accept that I need to have a good morning too, then by all means…I cannot wait to see you.

 

 

 

 

Don’t Be Koi

A few months ago, I met up with my friend and we ate at a local sushi restaurant. We decided to dine outside and we were sat at a table near a fountain that contained some Koi fish. The sound of the fountain, the the red flashes from the swimming fish seemed nice enough. Throughout dinner kids would walk up to take a look at the fish, so I decided to take a gander after I finished eating.

As I walked over, I thought about how relaxed I was after sitting in ear shot of the trickling water, and pondered the long term effects of having a fountain with fish might be something I would like to incorporate into my lifestyle. I made it to the fountain and looked in. As I  leaned over the edge, I saw about 12 fish staring up at me. The Koi were wide eyed and looking at me. All were opening their jaws wide like a yawn and then closing their mouths in a manner that seemed nervous or anxious. Every fish was looking in my direction with this intense need or want in their eyes. I couldn’t tell which, as I often get want and need confused on a regular basis.

The fish held my stare for longer than I wanted and for every second that passed I became ridden with the weight of their expectations.  I felt immediately guilty I would never be able to live up to the standard they were setting fourth with their pleading gazes. I am certain they were only wanting food, but the intense look in their eyes made it appear like they wanted something more.  As I walked away, I realized that I needed to, or is it wanted to… go back to therapy.

I replayed their incessant gazes throughout the evening after leaving the restaurant, much like the replays during a football game. It was similar to the plays that are reviewed over and over, either horrific or amazing, depending on the circumstances. I am not sure what spurred my mind to do so, but in several of the replays if I concentrated enough, I swear, with my limited fish lip reading skills,  one fish actually mouthed, “I need school clothes!” I never considered that a Koi pond would be the measurement for me to understand the state of my mental health, but it seems so.

I haven’t returned to this restaurant yet, but plan to as I used to frequent this place a bunch. I can only surmise I have been waiting for it to get cold enough that there is no chance that I would have the choice to sit outside. Knowing myself the way I do, I would most likely choose to have a second encounter with the fish, if only, to gain some type of understanding about the current state of my mind. However, I am not certain my mental fortitude is in a place where I can withstand the weight of the agonizing gazes that wait for me in the bubbling water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m Not Going to Eat Your Face!

I recently cleaned out my pantry and came across several uneaten chocolate Easter bunnies. It appears that they were a collection of my daughter’s and my past leftover Easter goodies, and this family of bunnies seemed to multiply with as much ease as the  real ones. I had about 5 in total and I didn’t feel comfortable with all those eyes staring  back in my general direction, but I could not bring myself to eat them or throw them away.

Since I can remember, I have always had a problem with eating candy that were made in the image of any particular animal. I felt horrible chomping off a leg, ear or arm. Every time it made me over think the joy of the simple sugar rush. This issue was brought up yearly for me when commemorating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Easter bunnies and Jesus. Perhaps I have issues with eating chocolate Easter bunnies  due to guilt over my general religious apathy.

However, tying this to religion would most likely make it more complex of an issue than it really is for me. I have tried in the past to ignore the intense pain of sadness as I rip the bunny’s ears off, leaving the rabbit looking like it is a severally injured with a head wound that proves fatal for both of us. I get weepy, and somewhat despondent every time. It ruins my day and I spiral for a few hours, feeling like a murdered the real animal.

I don’t believe in most of my attempts to fully enjoy this holiday, I have made it past the ears. I have tried to go at it in the other direction, starting with the feet, but this leaves me feeling no better. I get sad and the more I look at what I did, the more I self loathe about my decision to wound this poor animal. I strive to belong to the group of people who can rip off the bunny’s head and chew it to pieces without a second thought. I hope to get there someday.

The most conflicting part of this for me is how much I love those candy eyeballs some bunnies come decorated with, and I can’t resist. I have made the mistake of picking one or both of those eyes off and eating the candy, leaving my bunny winking or blind. And it torments me.

This really does not make a lot of sense, since I have no problem eating any type of meat, poultry, or fish. However, I have sobbed at a restaurant when I mistakenly ordered quail, after it was delivered to my table looking like the tiny bird that it is most certainly.  I also realize I can’t eat a whole baked fish when the head is still on, as it gives me a shaming stare from my plate. No thank you, lesson learned.

Those happy expressions staring back from these candy animals, and the fact that they has no anticipation of fear at all for what is coming their way. It gets me. Next Easter, I might leave the bunny on the store shelf and find other things that  will fill my daughter’s basket, but I don’t want to deprive my daughter of this yearly soul crushing joy. For me, I will pretend not to notice when the bunny goes missing, and I’ll believe that it happily hopped away.

 

 

 

 

 

Like a Dog

I often fantasized about what it would be like to be a dog. Especially, on any given Monday morning. I would much rather stand guard over my house, and never leave it, ever.  To have someone feed me every meal, tell me how good I am, and invite me into bed every night to cuddle. Well, that sounds almost like heaven.

I imagined I’d be a lady of leisure, only pretending to watch the house. Letting my person dress me up in dresses, overalls or tutu’s. Wearing wigs, of my person’s choosing, and giving permission to paint my nails without any fight. No shame here. In my mind, I would have even greeted him or her at the door and quite possibly peed a little.

Days full of naps and nights full of mindless sleep, without one damn little care in the world. My only wish would have been for a doggie door. I don’t think I want to be escorted to a bathroom. Dogs always look so pathetically vulnerable squatting in front of others.

I surmise I would have derived some pleasure while watching my person pick up my hot turd, with a flimsy piece of plastic. Especially, if I was forced to poop in public. Conceivably, wishing for a small, unnoticed hole in that bag.  I am certain I would have been a little, bitchy dog that growled and wagged my tail when someone petted me.

What could be better than being a dog I thought? I might have even been okay with the spaying and neutering. The thought of  getting a bone now and then without any worries seems pretty nice, and I can’t count how many times a day I find my dogs “grooming” themselves. I thought I’d be just fine in the canine form.

However, this past weekend I took both my dogs to the vet for a check up and all this fantasizing about being a dog came to a halt. The visit was normal enough at the start. The doctor was thorough. I actually never encountered a vet who attempted to build rapport with a dog. He inspected teeth, fur, joints, and eyes. I even felt the urge to run around the room with my dogs, so he could watch their gaits, hoping to win a ribbon or two.

After finishing with most of the checkup, the vet then disclosed that he would end the appointment with the needed vaccines and a anal examination. In my years of owning dogs and the countless check ups attended,  I don’t recall this ever happening.  I was immediately anxious for my dogs. If I went to my doc for a physical, I would be a bit concerned with an announcement  of an anal probing.  This would be something that would have to be discussed many, many days prior to the appointment, and I still might cancel anyway.

For some unknown reason, I decided to pay serious attention to my dogs during this part of the exam. I stared intently in to my dog, Rainy’s face (before, during and post anal exam), and then did the same with my second dog, Jazzy, locking eyes with her. I am not certain what I initially was looking for in faces of my dogs. Fear? Protest? Maybe a raised eyebrow? I don’t know. However,  I realized after this procedure I most likely have changed my mind about wanting to be a dog.

If I didn’t know it was happening at the time, I would have never been able to guess. Both of my dogs did not react at all. Nothing. Not a whimper, a yelp, or even a growl. There was absolutely zero recognition they had experienced a finger up their bums.  I believe I need to be of a species that is capable of acknowledging when their posterior has been breached, good or bad.

As I reflect on this past appointment, I am still not 100% percent certain I have changed my mind. There are variables I need to consider. The vet could have had a gentle touch. I am sure he must conduct these sort of examines daily, and might be an expert.  I mean, he did not wine or dine them or bring them flowers, but the dogs didn’t seem to mind in spite of it.

Perhaps, my dogs are just used to having their butts be the center of attention, especially seeing how dogs greet each other. Maybe they have friends with poor boundaries and  are frequently  subjected to an overly inquisitive nose.  Or my dogs could be two dirty bitches, outliers from the norm. I will never know. But I didn’t feel right about being a spectator, despite my intrusive attention to both of my dogs in the moments of this event.

On the way home from the vet appointment, I kept looking at both my dogs in the rear view mirror while driving them back to our house. They both were innocently sitting in the back seat glancing out the window with tongues a wagging, not a care in the world. I felt the need to process with them, but they seemed perfectly unaffected.  I realized I was the one who was not the same.

I was then reminded of an old friend of mine who dropped acid a bunch of times and told me that after he came down from his high, he never felt the same. He told me that his whole reality shifted after each drug induced trip. I finally understood what he meant now.  Who knew that dropping and acid and watching my pets anal examinations would produce the same affect. I believe that next time I will use the “just say no” slogan to being a spectator and my trip will include walking from the examination room to the waiting room.