After BF and I were married, we decided to divide up “cooking” responsibilities. Whoever got home from work first started cooking, whoever didn’t cook did the dishes. After a few of my cooking nights came and went, I noticed a little tic that BF had. He’d walk into the door from the garage and gaze, disapprovingly, at my shoes. You see, I hate wearing shoes. I hate sitting in chairs. I hate wearing coats. All of those things, too confining. So, as soon as I walked in the door from work, I kicked off my shoes and started prepping dinner. I didn’t walk upstairs to put my shoes in the master bedroom closet (which was in the furthest location possible from our kitchen). I just figured those shoes would go upstairs with me when I did for the night (and they always did). Perhaps we were a few weeks into wedded bliss, who knows. What I had noticed was that each time BF walked in after me, he looked at my shoes first and sighed dramatically but didn’t say a word. You might guess from that evidence that BF has a little obsessive-compulsiveness to him, and that is a safe guess. Unfortuantely for B, I have no obsessive-compulsiveness to me. Anyway, one night BF walked into the kitchen, saw my little sandals and sighed like he always had. But the sigh wasn’t enough to satisfy him– or to relieve his anxiety about the shoes being out of their place.
“Seriously, you couldn’t take those upstairs and put them in the closet before starting dinner,” he asked.
I stared at him for a minute, waiting for him to start laughing. He didn’t.
“Nah, man, those shoes don’t go upstairs until I have a reason- a different reason then the shoes- to go upstairs.”
“Seriously?” He looked at me, disappointed.
“Seriously.” Now his sigh was especially forlorn.
“You have got to be kidding me,” I said. But the look on his face showed that he was not.
“Oh my god,” I responded, startled. “I am going to be the cool parent.”
BF looked stricken, as if to say “say it isn’t so.” “Seriously,” I told him. “Shoes are going to be a deal breaker for you, and they are so not a deal breaker for me.”
Fast-forward to now, when Lola clearly hasn’t gotten the memo that I am the cool parent. I rescued her. I begged BF to let me bring her home. I trained her. He even called her ugly (and stinky, which she was but 87 baths and a diet of non-road kill helped a sister out). And, yet, you would think that BF dripped with bacon fat the way that Lola follows him around and absolutely drops her ‘basket’ (what my sister calls losing one’s mind– I believe she takes this from Steel Magnolias but I’ve never seen SM so I am not sure) when he pulls it shut. For a moment, she whines in a brokenhearted way– seriously, it is the most pathetic sound– at the side door when he closes it behind himself– leaving her inside to hang with me for the day. Then, she runs to my office to look out the window that flanks our driveway, watching BF back out. Then she runs to my other office window- the one that flanks the road- to watch him travel down the road. And then she just mourns it all right there in the middle of my office, an inconsolable pup who doesn’t remember that I rescued her. That he called her ugly. Because all that matters to Lola now is that BF walks her in the morning first thing. Who cares that I throw her filthy favorite ball to her (nicknamed by all three of us as Brain) over and over again in the back yard in the middle of my work day. Never mind that I lie down on the floor and read my stuff right next to her so I can rub her belly. Never mind that I let her back into the house from the yard before she gets wet from a sudden rainstorm. All that matters to Lola is her dad and when he might get home. And then, of course, the whole cycle of her despair begins again when he pulls back out of the driveway. I’ll feed her yummies; I’ll rub her belly; I’ll throw her dirty, dirty Brain. And then I will be ceremoniously pushed aside when BF pulls up at the end of the day.