Monday, April 6, 2009

The Good, the Bad, and -- yep! -- the Ugly

Wow. This is Blog #101 for me. And it's #3 for today. I'm a fairly all-or-nothin' kind of person, but this is a bit much for even me.

I had both dogs in the car today, returning from the vet, and I decided to go get dog food. That started with stopping for cat food (don't ask). I was in the store not even ten minutes. When I returned, I saw that one dog (who shall remain nameless) had shat in not only the front seat, but the back seat, too. I'm sure he moved to the back seat hoping to avoid his own action. By the time I returned, he was behind the back seat of the station wagon.

That was bad enough, with nothing but plastic bags for cleanup. What was really nasty, though, was the woman parked next to us. She was well-groomed (as opposed to my raggedy self), in her mid-forties maybe, in an SUV. She was on a cell phone, but she was eager to talk to both whoever was on the other end and me.

It turned out that she was talking to the police because I had dogs in the car with the windows rolled up. As it happened, I had dogs in the car with one window rolled down. The temperature was not hot and the sun was not out. In fact, my online source says it's sixty-one degrees right now, and this was an hour ago. Even if the temperature has dropped ten degrees (which it hasn't), it's still not hot. Plus, the wind has been fabulous today, hasn't it?

She railed at me, asking how I'd like to sit in a hot car in a fur coat with all the windows up. She absolutely would not listen to my pointing out that it's not hot and a window is open. My driver-side window was open, but that was on the non-her side. (Shouldn't I get some sort of punishment for that sentence? The "non-her" side?) She sarcastically commented on my so-called love for my dogs. She told me I'm very lucky because it turns out that the police don't care about dogs in hot cars with the windows rolled up.

I didn't actually feel lucky, but I'm sure I am.

After I'd cleaned up the best I could, I invited her -- nicely, I swear, and calmly; she was upset enough for all of us -- to sit in my car herself to see that it really wasn't hot at all. I'm delighted that she refused, because out of four sitting spots, two were fouled with canine manure and one with an elderly dog. I told her she might be less angry if she had more facts.

But she was full of righteous indignation -- one of my favorite drugs -- and adrenalin (which I don't like), so a reasonable conversation really wasn't in the offing. As I buckled up, she yelled, sarcastically, that she supposed I treated my dogs differently in each season. Driving away, I thought, well yeah: I do. Gee, and I dress myself differently, too. And I take an umbrella or not.

Yeah. It was just ugly and I hate that it affects me so. I wish I could just ascertain my own innocence within my own self, and get on with my life -- without her. Instead, I blew off the dog-food part of the trip. After all that babbling earlier today about fragrances, I really wasn't up for a longer ride with stenches, plus my good mood had been shattered, plus it was rush-hour.

So driving back to Gulfport, a car full of Michiganders in the next lane was charmed by Benji sticking his head out the window, standing proud and brave like a Norse figurehead on a ship (not that figureheads are generally portside ...). The son, maybe eleven, asked if the dog in the back were a Golden Lab. Goodness, no. But I so wanted someone to be right that I simply lied to the lad. "No. She's a cocker spaniel [truth], " I said, "but she's the same color as a Golden Lab [falsehood]."

That made me feel a little better. And when I got home and had cleaned up the car, I saw that my second cousin had a new blog entry ( about skiing in Colorado, so I read and watched that. It entertained and distracted me, although I must say that a lifetime without ever seeing a raw Rocky Mountain Oyster would have been a serene lifetime. My cousin's the Meg in frankandmeg.

Still, it takes a lot of effort to overcome negative experiences, doesn't it? Is that true for you, too, or am I just a faint-hearted, delicate thang? I have thought before that if even a tiny grain of truth lives in an otherwise unfair accusation, I can feel enough guilt to cover the world. But there's not the teeniest bit of fact in that woman's scene today, and I am still unduly affected by it. Well, I am a Libra, and you know how we hate injustice. In fact, Mom's most-repeated phrase (to me, anyhow) was, "No one ever said it was going to be fair." I trust that was in response to my chronic whining of, "But it's not fair!"

If everyone in my life is a reflection of me -- and there is a school of thought that believes so (but I am not a registered student there) -- then, what? I unjustly accuse people of wrongs they haven't actually committed? I think I need to straighten everyone out?

Yikes. I'd rather talk about bull balls.

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