Sunday, March 29, 2009

You Don't Want To Be My Neighbor: Reason 9,723

At 2:32 a.m. I stumbled to the bathroom for migraine medicine. I was thankful to have awakened enough to be able to do this. Sometimes, while I am sleeping, the monster attacks and I am unable to get conscious enough to get out of bed. I am sleeping and I am aware of the pain and somewhere in the most primitive part of my brain I know that if I don't get up, there will be hell to pay. Thankfully, last night, that was not the case.

However, at 5:37, I was still fighting the pain and got up to take pain medicine. This medication is a blessing when the migraine prescription doesn't fully do the trick--particularly at night--because it allows me to sleep. Actually, that's the only time I take the pain meds, because I don't function really well after having taken it. It's good stuff, this pain medication. People deal it on the streets and rob pharmacies for it. In fact, it has been stolen from my home before. Along with a loaf of banana bread. But that's a story for another time, perhaps.

At 8:13 I felt a cold nose on my back. Tilly. She let out a little whimper and wagged the back half of her body when I rolled over and acknowledged her.

It should be stated here, that I love this dog. I was fully on board with getting a dog. In fact, I had a rather raging case of Doggy Nudge. I was trolling Pet Finder for weeks looking for our new family member. But! Somewhere in the wee little cortex of my brain, I knew that I would be bearing most of the responsibility for this dog--particularly first thing in the morning. The children are doing a fine job of following the feeding schedule and playing with and walking Tilly. But I am on the early shift. Shift happens... As much as I knew that I would be taking all of this on, that doesn't mean that I am chipper about it. (Anyone who knows me well, knows that "chipper" is never used to describe me first thing in the morning. I believe the adjective we're looking for here is surly.)

So after the wet nose to my back, I put on my best Martyr Face, followed by a rough throwing back of the covers and the utterance of the Martyr Motto: "I have to do everything around here! Everyone else gets to ______, while I have to ______!" (Insert "sleep" and take the "damn dog out" into the respective blanks.)

I didn't bother to put my one contact in, brush my teeth, comb my hair or anything else other than throw a jacket on and slide on some slippers because I was going back to bed, come hell or high water. I didn't even look in the mirror. I just hustled the dog down the stairs and out the back door.

Tilly trotted out in the spitting rain to her usual spot to do her "business" and I followed behind, covering my un-contacted eye so that I wouldn't fall. (Ah, the challenges of having one "bionic" eye and one blind as a bat eye! Also a story for another time.) As soon as she got out the door, our backdoor neighbors dog started barking. A dog I might have seen had I had two good eyes. Ahem. Tilly, not being a wallflower, tore out of our yard and rushed over to say hello. I was running after her, yelling her name (and thank goodness no obscenities. Hi mom!) ready to yank a knot in her tail when I was brought up short. I thought the neighbor's dog was tied out. Turns out, the dog was on a leash. Anchored at the other end to the dog's owner. Gah! I croaked "Good morning. Sorry!" while trying to get a hand on the dog. And really, the gentleman was very nice. He didn't look at me twice and with a "dogs will be dogs" note in his voice said, "At least they're both friendly."

I wrangled Tilly back into the house, muttering idle threats about sending her back to the pound. Yeah, she knows they're idle threats, too. Which is why she is continually pulling these shenanigans. She knows the most that will happen is her crazed Alpha Human will march behind her shaking her fist and possibly yelling. But all she hears is "blah, blah, blah, Tilly, blah, blah". Much like my children.

And then! Oh, then I chanced to catch my reflection in the mirror. I looked like the apex of the vortex of Crazy Bag Lady with my mismatched pajamas, ill-fitting jacket, slippers, and squinty eye. And did I mention my hair? No? Well, it's hard to describe what my hair looked like. Imagine a mushroom shaped mop with rooster tails in three spots at the crown and bangs like a unicorn horn. Now you are somewhere in the neighborhood (but still several blocks away) of what my hair looked like. Yes.

The good news is, the man who saw me is my neighbor's father who is just in town watching the neighbors' kids while they are out of town, so I probably won't run into him again any time soon. The bad news is, I'll have to plan Tilly's potty breaks so that I don't run into him for the rest of the weekend.

Next weekend I plan on wearing my swimsuit, brown socks with sandals and a clay-based facial masque to fetch my mail. You know, just to give my other neighbors something to talk about.

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