Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Dog's Life

I've been pet sitting for a couple that's on vacation this past week. I have a lot of fun with their two tiny dogs, who are full of energy and personality (contrary to the pic above - my camera is not fast enough to catch them in action). They make me laugh hysterically every night when we play (I mean seriously, could that tail GO any faster?), then they curl up on the couch and melt my heart with their snuggling. I'm grateful for this quality time with my canine friends because it reminds me that life is more than what bills I owe or how much work I have left to do.

The tail waggers are all about the treats and the petting and the constant anticipation that anything I might be fiddling with up on that counter MUST be something for them to eat. I mean what else is a human's purpose in life if not to feed them? They're positive today is the day they're getting that plate. "What? You're taking that to the CAT? For real? DOG has three letters too - maybe you misread the package! Look again - no wait, ok, I'll follow you. Put the plate down tho. Like now. Ok, let me try to jump up and eat it while it's still in your hand. Is this a game? I'm right here! Why are you still walking? Just put the plate down. No, right here - I'm right here! Oh man... that cat gets all the good stuff." ::scratching and whining at the door ensues::

Dogs are just so present all the time. Now is the only moment on their clock. When you walk out of their sight - even if you're just taking out the trash - they think you've left forever. They cry and pout, then give you the most joyous greeting when you return: "Oh thank God you're back! We thought you were a goner. That door is surely a black hole, or worse - the vet! Did you escape the vet? We're SO happy to see you we will cover you in dog kisses anywhere that skin in showing! And thank you for forgetting NOT to wear flip flops again because we're SURE your toes need our spit between them." Where else can you get unconditional love like that?

I don't have TV because I rarely watched it back in NJ, so I figured why bother even hooking it up here. I haven't missed it, but while I'm with the dogs, it's nice to zone out and flip through channels. Besides, it's impossible to read a book with them on the couch because they are aware of the handicap it creates, and the ratio of two tongues against one hand. The daschund has incredibly good aim and likes french kisses. BLECH.

Tonight I landed on an old black and white movie starring Katherine Hepburn: Little Women. I remember reading the book by Louisa May Alcott when I was young. You could never get my nose OUT of a book back then. I don't remember reading too many of the "classics," but this was one of them. I even collected the Madame Alexander dolls of the characters (the only dolls I could ever tolerate) - in fact, I still have them in a box in the garage. I was amazed that as the story line played out on the screen, I could clearly remember the sets and characters my imagination created back then. How cool is the brain to retain all that for so long? Ok, not THAT long (Jimmy!).

The movie also made me think about that fairy tale I'm trying to manifest. Maybe I'm just old fashioned but whether it was Hollywood or the era itself, it seems to me that men were more gentlemanly back then. That's what I'm looking for. Chivalrous, respectful, and somewhat innocent in their romantic pursuits (or at least they were able to keep things in check during an entire courtship) and they were good sports if they were refused. Ladies were graceful and elegant, with good manners, good posture (of course, who DOESN'T have good posture in a corset?!), and proper speech. Even though the acting was comically bad, the blocking made you wonder if this was the director's first time out, and there were no special effects, there is a certain charm to those old movies that I think more people desire in their daily lives than will admit. Maybe they don't realize that civility is the ingredient that's missing.

What kind of jaded society have we become that we are too lazy to enunciate, too impatient to walk slowly into a new relationship, and too presumptuous to properly introduce one another and take the time to learn who we are? I contend that these are simply bad habits we've fallen into, and we are lazy as well so we don't change them. Most people know how they should act, they just don't bother.

I know not ALL people are like that, but generally in Generations X and Y the tendency towards these traits, along with a sense of community, is deteriorating. I feel like some old biddie when I worry what the following generations will be like, and how this effects our happiness as a Whole. Just lock me up in a retirement home now. Perhaps we can't live in an ideal world because everyone's idea of perfect is different (or maybe we DO live in an ideal world since the Universe works without fault), but I still feel there are some things that everyone would agree could improve.

After I came home I sat on the balcony in the papasan chair awhile, conversing with the moon. It's beautiful and full tonight, glowing so bright it cleared the sky of stars except for the outer reaches of the horizon. In my head I listed out all the good things in my life, and imagined dancing with the man of my dreams. Silly? Maybe. It's true though. He would have the grace of Fred Astaire, the charm of Charlie Chaplin, a dash of the rogue Humphrey Bogart's characters embodied, and the humor of Dane Cook because c'mon - I don't live in that era afterall!

I'm too tired now to really know where I'm going with this so I guess I'll end it here. The things I told the moon I am thankful for were:

  • The balls to move to San Diego
  • New friends
  • Always having enough
  • The ocean only 15 miles away
  • New beginnings

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