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What My Dog Taught Me.

It’s truly miraculous how many people don’t want to be your  friend when you’re just a dog.  I mean seriously.  When I posted my bestest New Years Eva picture,  me in a gold dress with a lil cleavage,  I suddenly had many, many new friend requests; people I know without a doubt, didn’t know me from UP.  37 in one week to be exact.

When I changed my profile pick to my dog, Mopsy, the requests suddenly stopped.  HMMMMMM…

This is not the first time my dog Mopsy has taught me a valuable lesson….

Mopsy was nothing more than an abandoned mutt. My mother found her when I was about seven years old tied to the front door of the humane society. There was no note. No explanation. And nobody coming back to get her. At first glance this was nothing new.  It was a no kill shelter which made things very hectic and cramped. Dogs were constantly being dropped off anonymously. My mother volunteered on Saturdays and most times, I joined her. I played with puppies, nursed back sick kittens and held my nose profusely when I was forced to walk through the ‘dog room.’

Upon first meeting Mopsy, every one wondered aloud, “How could anybody give this adorable, silky long-haired puppy away?  She is absolutely precious!!” One black ear always laid flat to the side of her head, the other, which was white, always stood straight in the air. Her milky white fur was long and thick and her tail curled over her black fanny.

When my momma went to pick her up and bring her inside, she instantly figured out the reason why nobody in the world wanted Mopsy.

The. Dog. Was. Mean. As. Hell.

Nobody and I mean nobody could pet, pick up, or really, go near this dog.  And seriously, nobody wanted to.  This dog was totally hateful – even to the other animals at the shelter. My momma always had a special bond with broken dogs, she was a true blue dog whisperer.  Growing up, it was nothing for us to see an injured dog on the side of the road and either take it to the vet or nurse it back to health at home.  It didn’t really surprise me that she somehow made friends with this particular dog. One week after she was abandoned, Mopsy was brought home to live with us.

Most did not share any affection whatsoever for this dog.  Why? She bit.  She barked. Endlessly. She growled,  snarled and bared every single tooth in her head should one even attempt to approach her.  I believe the words ‘Fruits of the devil’ and ‘Satan’s spawn pup’ were recently used to describe this very dog. Consequently, Our yard man quit.  We were sued twice by the neighbor two doors down because she ‘attacked’ them. Mailmen began carrying very large sticks and mace.  She made my friends cry and plead with their mothers to pick them up early when they would visit.  My little brother, George, learned how to run very fast to avoid the wrath of Mopsy.

I, on the other hand, absolutely adored her.

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Nobody besides my mother and I were ever allowed to touch her.  Hold her.  Be within two feet of her.  Momma used to say that it was probably because she was beaten when she was little.  “Its a survival tactic.” My mother would tell me.  “She’s been hurt and she’s trying to protect herself.”

FYI: Mopsy never did cozy up to anyone else in the family.

I can’t remember why exactly, but for some reason Mopsy instantly liked loved me. Perhaps it was because I didn’t mind slipping her meatloaf remnants under the table when my mother wasn’t looking.  Maybe it was because I taught her to sit up and pray, her lil paws clasped tightly together.  Perhaps she appreciated the fact that I was the only one willing to wash her and blow her long mane dry and promptly plop her into my bed.  On the nights I couldn’t sleep, it was Mopsy who sat up with me, listening intently as I told all her all my deepest secrets. Sometimes we ate crackers in bed, probably sharing  the same water glass, Mopsy rolling around my bed, playing and pretend sneezing. Me scratching her pink freckled tummy and promising her: You are finally safe. Mopsy didn’t mind our long discussions of friends who had hurt my feelings the previous day at school.  I didn’t mind the tedious work of picking the fleas from her thick coat.  One by one, I’d smoosh those menaces  together, in hopes those terrible fleas would never return.

FYI: Mean friends and mean fleas always return. it’s just a burden we bear to be alive.

Perhaps my dog adored me and no one else because I didn’t fuss when she would leave unwanted presents on my mothers fine oriental rugs nor would I fuss when she would eat my friends underwear and snarl at them when they would enter my room.  “It’s ya own fault, I would holler at my friends.  You shouldn’t have left your bathing suit on the floor, you know my dog is quick!!”

Maybe Mopsy  loved me because I made her feel a like lil movie star as I propped her on my pink butterfly bike for a long afternoon ride. Somehow she propped her paws on the cross-bar and together, we soared through my neighborhood – Mopsy balancing herself, never once falling off.

We must have looked like the biggest buffoons.  I totally get that.

But at the time, we thought nothing of it –  We were having delightful fun! We furiously waved as people would slow their cars and roll down their windows saying things like “Is like…that dog tied to your bike?  How is she staying there?” I’m sure when they rolled up their windows nd drove off, they looked at the person sitting next to them and said “What.  A.  Freak!!”

It was all fun and good times until Mopsy would get her long furry tail caught in the spokes of my bike. This proved to be a most unpleasant predicament. Without a cell phone and usually several streets from home, it proved quite the challenge to flag down fellow passersby and say “Yo! could you please call my momma, my dog’s tail is stuck in the spokes again!”

Horrified, the driver usually knew us or knew of us and my mother was summed at once and would arrive with her black pair of sewing scissors. Five minutes later, Mopsy was cut free and we were back on the asphalt streets, making our rounds.

Mopsy has been long gone but she has never, ever left my heart. If you know me at all, you would know that I beat to my own tune: I wear my hair big with four different kinds of hair sprays. My ear rings are even bigger.  Every room in my house is painted a different and mostly – a bright color. I absolutely adore wallpaper and if you stand next to me for any length of time, beware: I may try to wallpaper you as well.  I wear red lipstick.  Or hot pink. Frosted if the spirit moves me. Those close to me call me their friend who never left the 80’s.  I could give two rips.  It’s just who I am. Now with this being said, years later, my perspectives may have changed a bit:

  • I’m not sure I would be tolerant of my puppy piddling on oriental rug.
  • The thought of picking and popping fleas makes me instantly nauseated.  I cannot believe I did that…
  • And sharing my water glass and bed with my dog….not so much.
BUT:
  • Sharing my bike with my puppy dog, no matter how utterly ridiculous I may look? Absolutely!

Mopsy taught me early on in life that just because something is beautiful on the outside does not mean that they are not an absolute mess on the inside. Maybe the reason she chose to love me is because she knew that I needed her just as much as she needed me. Sometimes we are hurt.  Broken.  And afraid.  We all need to be loved unconditionally. Fleas and snarling teeth included.

I pray I always have the courage to be who I want to be, to hop on that pink butterfly bike with my nearest and dearest and venture out. Shouldn’t we all? If not, when did we suddenly become afraid to be who we really were?  Afraid of what people would say or mock us?  Where did that COURAGE as a child come from? Or maybe, it was nativity?  Which ever word we choose to use, I want more of it.

Never ever quit the journey of you.  Even if it involves making a buffoon outta yourself.

Life is short.  Live it.

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King Poo Poo 

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This lil adorable babe is my first-born, Jake. As evidence from this precious picture, you can see that Jake has always been treated with the  of respect. Why, he’s royalty as far as I’m concerned! Yep, my own lil King Poo Poo. King Poo Poo has been off at college in Atlanta Ga for a lil over a year now.  From the beginning, I explained to my son that I am on my own as far as paying for college goes and that he would need to get a small part-time job to cover his extra curricular activities.  Now before you go and start feeling sorry for ole King Poo Poo, please take into consideration that it is a proven fact that students who hold a part-time job in college on average, do 15% better than those who don’t. Not to mention King Poo Poo drives a cute lil Lexus, has traveled to France, Washington DC and New York several times and until now, has never once been asked to pay for anything.

Until now.

Last year did not go so great as far as the employment situation goes.  King Poo Poo obtained a job at the Shake and Steak but quit within 3 weeks due to the fact that and I quote “you are timed on making the shakes and momma, it’s just too stressful.”

Hmmmmmm.  Next came a job at Abercrombie.  This was fabulous for about two weeks until the job was eliminated due to the fact that it was only a temporary Christmas job and when the nerd (King Poo Poo) let the manager know that he would be leaving for home and not staying to work over the holidays (he said that being away from his family during the Christmas season was too stressful) King Poo Poo was eliminated as well.

Still, I had high hopes for my child and was very proud of him for volunteering to take summer courses.  Unfortunately, King Poo Poo thought that taking a full load during the summer might cause ‘unneeded stress’ and as a result took only two classes which canceled out his Hope Scholarship.

Momma had to pay the $1500 for summer classes.

This year, King Poo Poo has settled in nicely for his sophomore year but I continued to badger him to get a job.  Ok, I got evil. I told King Poo Poo that if he didn’t find a job by October 1, I was going to come up to Atlanta and take his car for his little sister to drive.

Wow, would you believe King Poo Poo now has a job?  It’s a miraculous miracle!  You can’t imagine how stress free it was to find a job once he was threatened enlightened. Now, King Poo Poo works on campus and absolutely loves it! I can tell he is totally proud of himself.  But alas, the problem of a lowered Hope scholarship has arisen once again and when I called the school office, I am informed it is because my son is not taking a full load.

Again.

I of course asked King Poo Poo why in the world he wasn’t taking a full load at school?!!!!!!

His response?

You guessed it…… Stress.

My response?

Momma unloaded on him.

His response?

A drunk call.  Yep, you read me right.  My sweet, innocent child, AKA King Poo Poo, called me drunk as a monkey at 2:03 a.m. on a Saturday night.  I always turn my phone on silent at night so I missed it.  I also missed his text that read “Hey mom – now that I have a job, do you want me to send you money, you know, because I’m such an evil, disgusting bum……”

Errrrrrrrr ummmmmm. If memory serves me, I don’t believe those were the exact words I used….

I woke up the next morning and gave King Poo Poo’s text some true, sincere thought.

My response?  A text.

Now, the next time he is tempted to ‘forget what I actually said,’ it will be forever engraved in a text.

With love and compassion,

Here is my response:

Jake ~

I do not want you to send me money.  I want you to work part-time while off at school and take a full load of courses as well.  This is what 80% of everyone at college does and despite the fact that you THINK you are not capable of this, you very much are.  This is a compliment to you and a tribute to your character.  You are above all the past anxiety  you suffered with as a 5th grader.  That is in the past.  Now, you are a living, breathing, responsible ADULT.  You are not some sniveling brat who takes half a load at school and drinks his entire way through college because he is too incompetent to make something fabulous out of himself.  Perhaps I hold you in a higher regard than you hold yourself?  I don’t know and I don’t care.  All I know is that you were created for something wonderful and you better accomplish it.  Sitting around worrying about your stress life will do nothing more than add stress to your life.

Very counterproductive.

Get off your butt.  Show up to class and do the best you can do.  Go to work.  Be responsible and move up the ladder.  If I didn’t think you could be something outstanding, your butt would be at the nearest technical school learning how to assemble toilets. 

Now have a nice day.  I love you.  I’m very PROUD of you!

And if you ever text me or call me after you have been drinking again, I will slice up your liver into tiny pieces and saute them for your dinner…

 

King Poo Poo’s response to the Queen mother’s response?

“Yes mam.  Love you momma.”

 

 

Empty Nest Syndrome…Is For The Birds…

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This is my son, Jake. Cutie patootie, right? He is 4 years old, loves apple juice, Thomas the tank engine, tearing through my house faster than the Tasmanian devil and endlessly watching The Lion King.   Oops. That was then….. Meaning 15 years ago. This is now:
Yes, he is 19 – a bit older. Would you believe his interests have somewhat changed?? He loves cooking anything greasy and or spicy, reading long theological books and randomly analyzing his mother and sister. When he graduates, He wants to be a psychologist and open up a clinic to help children with PDD. Being diagnosed at age 8 with Asperger’s syndrome, Jake is a success story and wants to help other children so – and I quote “they won’t grow up feeling like a total out – of- place idiot everywhere they go.”  In other words, My son wants to save the world…

As the end of His freshman year at college comes to a close, I have just one constant thought that dances through my mind –

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         Looks like we made it!!

(Oh Lawd how he would hate it if he knew I compared his life to a Barry Manolo song. Good thing that neither of my children are especially supportive of my blog. They have no idea whatsoever the cruel things I say about them.)

Anyhow, back to the pictures… and yes, I am well aware that they are screen shots from my Facebook but I have no idea how to save my pics and then post it. And the one person who does know is now off at college – hence the blog post on empty nest syndrome.

Any hoo- I received a phone call from our interim associate pastor today.

HER: Hi there – we are starting an empty nest support group and a little bird told me you might be interested.

ME: “Errrrrrrrrr. Ummmmmm.” I squeak; sucking back 2000 gulps of air. “Oh really, somebody told on me- I mean – somebody told you that?” My face burns and tears begin to collect in the corners of my eyes. “No! No! You’re mistaken. I’m doing much better. No support needed here!” I say trying to hold it all in. “I mean, seriously, it’s selfish to miss your child so much, right?” I say while hearing my voice cracking.

HER: “Well no, I think it’s normal and being around others that are sharing a similar struggle can be very soothing.”

ME: “Ohhhhhh ummmm thank you very much. I don’t need to be soothed. In fact, I think it may make things worse if I’m reminded that he’s no longer here. You know, the whole yanking the scab off a wound thing? My scab and I, we’ll think about your support group though and we’ll keep in touch.”  My scab and I tell her.

Now It’s one of those – I wish I hadn’t even answered the phone call days… The whole thing put me in such a puddle dither, it makes me sad all over again.  I don’t need some stupid support group. What are we gonna do, sit around with our snotty nosed mascara smeared faces  and boo hoo about the last bird that flew the coop?! No thank you.

I have to ask… What is it that makes some people go through this transition so much easier than others? Is it because they are not a single momma? If you’re married, You won’t be coming home to an empty nest. Not really. Big bird daddy will Still be around. Is it because others have better coping skills? A more vibrant career all set up? For the love of George Washington, I’ve still got one at home…how could I be sad?!??

ONE

ONE chickadee LEFT. THREE YEARS and then that lil bird will be flying away too. Uggggg!!!

Is it just me? Do I need to just get a life. I thought I had one….. Being a mother 🙁

My scab and I will report back to you in the near future with our decision on the support group. In the meantime, any and all advice is welcome.