Ferris Bueller Is My Spiritual Guru
Monday, November 23, 2009
Warning: This post is as rambling as a Moammar Gadhafi address. Watch your step when entering.

I have this one enormous regret. I wish I had focused on my writing earlier in my life.

Now, don't get me wrong. I've always written, but except for a little stint in my local paper, I'd always kept my writing to myself. I often think, if only I'd been trying to pursue writing in my 20's or my 30's, maybe I'd already be on the road to somewhere.



But, my 20's were pretty much a waste of partying and big shoulder pads and curly perms. 

And as for my 30's, I realized this morning why I would not have been able to pull it off. 

I was too tired. 

I'm pretty sure any time in my  30's when someone tried to have a conversation with me, I responded in slow-motion with, "Uh... wha? Were you talking... like, to me?" And that was about the height of my wit during those sleep-deprived days. 

I was slow-motion-witted.

I spaced my kids out, which meant I'd just get the hard years over with- I'd have the youngest out of diapers and bottles and on the road to self-sufficiency where they could make their own breakfast and wipe their own hiney and then BAM-another one would come along.

And that meant years of sleepless nights, years of functioning on interrupted, 3-4 hours of sleep.

The last few nights have been a reliving of my 30's. I've slept 3 hours at the most and that was just cat-naps, here and there and I now remember how much of a fog those days were for me. Man, I so respect the Mommy Bloggers of today who are writing slamming good stuff all the while with small children killing their sleep patterns. 

I'm an absolute walking vegetable these days and here is the reason for that:


Now before you go all judgey on me, Internet, thinking, “Gosh, I thought she was a good person all this time. Turns out she’s a DOG BREEDER. I hate her!”



Don’t hate. I’m not a breeder. Hear me out first.



You see, I have this dog, Bella. And not only is she sweeter than cotton candy and everyone who meets her falls in love with her but, she’s also one of those hypoallergenic dogs like the Obamas needed for their little girl. She’s a Labradoodle. My Bella, not the Obama's daughter.

And before you go all eye roll on me- Again Internet- stay with me, because I like you. I really like you.

I grew up in a household full of animals and I have a feeling this is going to be a rambling post, so I’ll save my farm life days for another day. But, one of the things we had around our house were some Labs. And if you’ve never had a Lab than you are completely unaware of the fact that Labs are the best dogs in THE WORLD, that’s right THE WORLD.

And because we have some people in our family who are severely allergic to dogs and because they visit us a lot and because we love them very much, we knew we needed a dog that would allow them to breathe while in our home. We’re great hosts like that, allowing people to breathe and such.

So, that’s when I discovered Labradoodles. They’re hypoallergenic and super smart thanks to the poodle part and they’re also part the best dog in THE WORLD.

We decided after long and careful consideration to do this, just once, because so many people love, I mean L-O-V-E my dog.

And I've had a lot of experience with doggies and giving birth because of my animal upbringing. I am no Prissy- "Miss Scarlett, I don't know nothin bout birthin no babies." I'm sort of an old pro at these things, having reached inside a dog and helped her birth a few pups in my younger day. Stories for another day.

And none of these pups will be sold. They will be given to good homes with only the cost of their immunizations and and a promise that they will be well-loved, well-maintained with good medical care and never, ever, ever hit.

And if it makes it any better, each one of these babies has a loving home waiting for them. In fact, we don't have enough pups for all the loving homes that are asking for one.

My friend Michelle, who by the way, when I ranted about her celebrity boyfriend right here, she told me I had no right to say her celebrity boyfriend was not a proper boyfriend. She said, "This is America and I can have Matt Lauer as my celebrity boyfriend if I want to." So, ok Michelle, keep Matt Lauer, but be warned, he will never come speeding up on a motorcycle and rescue you from your suburban life by sweeping you up and depositing you on the back of his Ducati where you could snuggle up into him as he zoomed away.

It would mess up his pressed pants.

But, my friend Jane did agree to change her celebrity boyfriend, because she realized playing Celebrity Boyfriend did not give her the right to be a pedophile no matter how cute Zac Efron is. She changed to David Beckham and I say to Jane, now that is more like it. Not only is David Beckham one fine celebrity boyfriend, he is like, the manliest of all the men. So, it's weird like that, how Jane's tastes go from one end of the teeter totter to the other.

And now I'm back to my story. You see, this is exactly what sleep deprivation gets you, a rambling mess. So, Michelle is married to Tim and Tim's parents, who are some of my favorite people in the whole world, have asked about puppies since the day we brought Bella home.

Ellen, Tim's mom is AWESOME. (This is also what you're getting from me on 3 hours of sleep, lots of capitalized words.) Ellen is a native Rhode Islander and so it goes without saying that she cuts to the chase on every conversational subject there is. She can be a whole hankering of fun in that way. She likes her wine from the box and one time when she and I had been knocking back a box, she got on the subject of sex. And she was Ellen at her most awesomeness then. She started talking about how sex was a beautiful thing and then she started talking about how beautiful the whoopie-making process still was for her and Tim's father.

Oh, it was straight up delightful watching Tim flee from the room. We found him in the kitchen and I think he might just have been crying.

So when Ellen first requested a Bella pup, she informed me she didn't want a black dog. Her Rhode Island Awesomeness said, "I don't like black dogs, but that doesn't mean I'm a racist. I like black people, just not black dogs."

I told Ellen I might have to report her to PETA on the grounds of racial discrimination. And just as she was telling me about her bigotry, Bella barked and Ellen said, "And I don't want a dog that does that."

And I said, "Bark?"

And she took a sip of her Box O' Wine and said, "Yeah, that's right."

I looked it up on Wikipedia, (the source of all wisdom), because I knew there was some kind of dog that doesn't bark. It's a Basenji. And according to Wikipedia, so you know it's true, Basenjis do not bark because they YODEL. Wouldn't that just be fabulous if I found Ellen a Basenji puppy and informed her that I had searched the world over for a barkless dog and here it was and then right after I left her with her new puppy, it started yodeling!

Oh, Ellen would so cut to the Rhode Island chase then, if I gave her a yodeling dog!

So, Ellen is for sure getting a dog, because I've counseled her on the barking thing and she's ok with it now and Ellen is AWESOME. And I have many other worthy, worthy folks who are ready to open their hearts and homes to these puppies.

And...we're keeping one for ourselves, so Bella can have someone to bark with or perhaps yodel with and roll in poop with and all the other grand past times that dogs partake of.

I'm going to post about the whole birth experience with Bella which was definitely just that, an experience, but I'm going to hold off on that until after Thanksgiving.

See, I have a houseful of some of my favorite people coming and I am very, very tired. I can not summon the energy it takes to walk up the stairs, much less clean out the dung beetles living quarters.

Here's another reason you should not hate me. The reason I haven't slept is because I haven't wanted to leave Bella alone. It's hard enough having to be a single mom and now on top of it, she's a mom of multiples. She has 5 of them! It's kind of making me soften my stance against Kate Gosselin.

And so, I just wanted her to know if she needs me to rub her ears, (Bella, not Kate Gosselin), to help latch on a puppy, to get her fresh water, to be her handmaiden in any way, I'm there for her.

The Hubby, aka my Macgyver, built her an awesome whelping box with PVC piping built into the sides so she can't lean up against a wall and squash a puppy and we put her whelping box in the corner of our Florida Room.

Isn't that just a nifty name for a room?  We called it that because it has a sliding glass door that runs the length of the room and it pockets back all the way, so when you feel like being outdoorsy but still want to sit on a comfortable couch, you can open it up and technically be in the midst of, that's right, Florida.

 It reminds me of the olden days when we would visit friends in Miami who would say to my parents, "Let's have our cocktails in the Florida room." I just thought that was so cosmopolitan. So old Florida. I only wish I had a davenport and I could invite people into my Florida room to sit on my davenport. That would be the schizz.

So, this room can also be all closed off and we did just that, shut all the doors and I've been sleeping on the couch next to Bella, you know, for all the mom support I can give her. And it turns out puppies make a heck of a lot more noise than human babies at night. They cry like all the time. Only when they're sleeping and eating, do they stop crying. The rest of the time is just one big whine fest.

Which brings me to the cat.

She has no idea what in the hell is going on, so she sits at the glass door from the hallway looking in on us and meows and meows and meows and meows. And if the meowing isn't bad enough, Bella, who in a non-hormonal state is terrified of the cat is now Miss New Mom Bad Ass. The cat meows. Bella stands up, shaking free all the comfy sleeping pups curled up around her and barks ferociously. The puppies start to cry. The cat runs away. Bella settles back down. The puppies cry until they find a feeding spot which takes a crapload of time, since their eyes are shut and they have to just wiggle around until they get poked in the closed eye with a teat and just as they ease back asleep, the cat comes back and meows. Bella barks. Puppies cry. And there I am, thinking, that keeping people awake and never allowing them to sleep should definitely be used instead of waterboarding as America's official form of torture.

They could make it even more torturous by keeping them awake while blasting Miley Cyrus tunes at a constant. loud volume. That would be over the top, though. They wouldn't be able to obtain any classified information because the prisoners would for sure go insane.

And speaking of interrogators, one year at Thanksgiving we had a true-to-life CIA interrogator here as a guest. And let me tell you, he looked like an interrogator, all scary and very quiet, like he was just watching us all, waiting for somebody at the table to commit an act of treason or something. The Hubby and he were completely inseparable all day. I'm sure The Hubby was trying to find out all his secret ways of torture. He didn't spill. He's an interrogator for Heaven's sake. Aaaand.... this is also a story for another day.

Back to the story at hand, Bella is very hungry constantly and I remember how ravenous I was as a nursing mom, but Bella is kind of turning up her nose at all the various dog foods I have been collecting for this moment. And this is common for new mommies to feel a little nauseous. I'm sure when the father of your puppies does the deed and then says, "I'm outta here", never to be seen again and you're laying there with 5 new babies nursing on you, you probably do feel sick as a dog. BAM!

And speaking of the male dogs. Who, in the history of dogs, chose the names for everything in dog world? Because they were one misogynistic asshole, I tell you! Why is the sweet Mamma dog who does all the work called the bitch? And why on earth does the boy dog whose only part in the whole baby ordeal is to get his rocks off, why is he called the stud?

Shouldn't he be the bastard? I think it's a much more fitting name.

Circling back to my story. At least for mommy dogs, the best food for an upset tummy is meat.

This and the fact that they eat their babies' placentas are two big differences between dog mothers and people mothers. When I'm nauseous, I'm certainly not thinking, "Gosh, a big ole plate of liver would just settle my stomach so nicely right now."

So, at 3:00 the other morning, I was microwaving my dog some chicken.

Because, I knew my sweet girl was hungry and I knew meat would do the trick and I know, I know, she's a dog and I could have served it to her raw, but then I would have been the nauseous one and I'm microwaving, the cat is meowing, the dog is barking. the puppies are crying. And Tori is walking in the house from the midnight premiere of that vampire movie.

And that is why I should have been writing in my 30's.

Look at that woman and what she's done with all her Twilight mania and her writing isn't even very good. But, she IS in her 30's and she has a pack of kids, so I can't dis her. She did it. And I'm microwaving chicken for the dog...in the middle of the night. So...there's that.

I'm still getting to the point of my story which is:

Thanksgiving.

I'm starting to feel like Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Because it's about two things-giving thanks and food. That's all. And when you start mixing in the buying of presents and Christmas cards and decking the halls with blinking lights and garland, it totally ruins the holiday.

I'm not sure why, because usually I hate to cook, but I love to tie on my cute apron and plan a Thanksgiving meal. I love to spend the day in the kitchen cooking with my sisters and of course our master chef, My Hubby. I love sitting around a table with good folks and wine and a table groaning with entirely too much food. I love the long row of card tables I set up down the length of my foyer and into my dining room, all dressed up in Fall Flavors. I love the kids tables and the beautiful wine glasses I hand them, brimming with chocolate milk. I love my stuffing. Yes, I do, I love my New England apple nut stuffing. And I love the feeling of just being together for no other reason but giving thanks.

And in my opinion, Thanksgvings should be big. I'm always saying, "come on over and bring your friends!" Because, I'm sure the Pilgrims weren't discriminating. I don't think they only invited certain members of the tribe.

So, what I'm getting to, is this week is my Ferris Bueller week. I'm going to have to step away from the blog for a few days. My lovely Lena and Mallory will be here. I've got new furry babies in my house and a Mamma who needs my tender, loving care. I've got card tables to set up, shopping to do, little girls to dote upon, a college girl back from school to enjoy, sisters to have fun with, a Macy's Day Parade to watch, pounds of potatoes to peel, chocolate milk to pour, friends and family to kick back with and an incredible amount of blessings to be thankful for.

So, in the wise words of Ferris Bueller:

Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. sound bite



I wish you and all of yours, a happy, blessed Thanksgiving. I'll miss you and I'll see you right after Turkey day.

Today's Terrific Download: The Talking Heads, "Once In A Lifetime." One of My Hubby's all-time favorite bands. David Byrne is some kind of musical genius. We used to go to all the Talking Heads concerts in the 80's with my big shoulder pads and my curly perm. And he was just so amazing, amazing, amazing. There are those who find David Byrne a little odd and to that, I say: Well, we're the kind of folks who enjoy odd.

It's just like the movie, "Where The Wild Things ARE." I'd been told by so many friends, what a disappointment it was and how it wasn't anything like the book. And first of all, Hellooo, the book is 10 sentences long. That sure would be some kind of snoozefest if it were adapted directly from the book.

So, we decided to go see it for ourselves, just The Hubby, me, our Julia and her practically other sister, friend.

We loved it.

We loved the sweet, subtle humor. We loved the sadness that was such an essential part of the story. We loved the quirkiness of the movie. We loved the endearing messages of tolerance and love. We loved the hand-held cinematography. We loved the beauty of this movie. At one point, I looked over and Julia had tears flowing down her cheeks. And I was deep-down happy that The Hubby and I have produced these daughters who so get it, who see the world just the same way their odd parents do.

"And you might find yourself in a shotgun shack.....And you might find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile. You might find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife and you may ask yourself: Well, How did I get here?"

Internet, at 3:00 am when I was microwaving chicken for my dog, like a clanging gong in my head, that song and these 6 words, "Well, How did I get here?" were my anthem.

"Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. Same. As. It. Ever. Was."




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3 comments:

Anne Chatfield said...

Joann,

Another masterpiece! I LOVE reading your stuff! You're right about Labradors. I had two named Dixie & Dan who were extraordinary. They were both black and gave me three litters of beautiful black, yellow, and chocolate puppies. They lived to be quite old - Dan left me at age 14, and Dixie followed soon after at the age of 15 (She was a year older than Dan.) I was with them both when the time came to put them to sleep. Five minutes after her heart stopped, Dixie's tail wagged about four times. I know the scientific reason for this, but screw science. That was Dixie, in her quintessential Labrador way, telling me goodbye. They are buried side by side (a la "Where the Red Fern Grows." I hope to see them again in heaven.

After two years of mourning their loss, I adopted a white bull terrier from the Humane Society. Bullies are the world's second best dog.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Love,

Anne

Aunt Becky said...

I require the CIA guy story IMMEDIATELY dedicated to me. Why? I don't know. I'm sleep deprived and have been nursing sick children all day long.

sassypriscilla said...

Ellen needs a cat. My celebrity boyfriend is Daniel Craig. I love your dog so much that it makes me almost want a dog. Almost.

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