I’m not a huge baseball fan, but I do love going to the games. There’s something deeply reassuring about us as Americans on display there. People of every persuasion are happily hanging out together enjoying the weather, the food, drink and each other. They are just glad to be in the moment. It’s quite literally the most mindful, relaxing experience you can share with others.. outside of a yoga studio. 😉
Going to a baseball game reminds me once again, that the VAST majority of Americans have nothing in common with the bullies being featured, normalized and sometimes even hailed as heroes in the press.
The other good news?
My husband caught a ball for my daughter.
It was pretty chaotic… three of us squeezed into a tiny dorm room last week packing up and trying to move out. I was sitting on a box folding piles and piles of clothes and layering them into bins for transport. Every so often, my daughter’s roommate would let out a sigh and comment about how much stuff she had accumulated and the need to get rid of some things..specifically shoes. I nodded in total agreement.
“This is actually a great example of having too many clothes” I said as I shook out a balled-up, wrinkled, ‘Happy Cinco de Mayo’ T-shirt to show to my daughter. “OHHH, there it is!!” she wailed, “I was looking all over for it and couldn’t find it in time!!”
“But honey” I declared, “you’re making my point exactly. You have so little space for storage and every square inch is so stuffed to the gills you don’t know, or can’t find, what you do actually have… why would you take up one ounce of space in a tiny dorm room for a shirt you can only wear once a year???”
“I LOVE my Cinco de Mayo shirt mom!! I got it for free at Taco Bell last year..DO NOT throw that away!” she warned.
I rolled my eyes (again), dutifully folded the shirt and put it into the bin.
My eldest daughter used to be a clothes hound too, and her dorm looked just like this. Now, her closet resembles a small, super-organized, airy boutique, (no overcrowding) so I know..I KNOW… there’s hope for my youngest.
Because at some point you transition away from accepting chaos to craving clarity..
You’ll know you’re getting there when you give your unopened Clinique “gift with purchase” to the local women’s charity and start tossing all those dang free T-shirts.
I grew up spending most of my summers on the water; specifically on boats. We’d go out on trips, toss the anchor in, swim all day and sleep under the stars at night.
On one of those occasions, I remember waking up to a sound that was rather odd. It wasn’t overly loud, it wasn’t mechanical, it wasn’t alarming..it was just different.
I laid still for a while listening to this sound, but finally rolled out of my bed to figure out exactly what I was hearing. When my eyes finally adjusted to the darkness outside I was shocked to discover we were in imminent danger. The anchor had slipped during the night and we were only yards away from hitting the rocks. The sound I had heard were the waves as they gently splashed against a large wall of rocks creating an echo off the stern of our vessel.
Sometimes you get that warning..
an echo of sorts pinging off impending trouble.
But you have to be still long enough in order to see and hear it.
My quest to find a furry companion led my husband and me to the doors of a Charlotte Pet Smart this past Saturday. The local Animal Rescue group was “showcasing” about 30 dogs who were up for adoption. I had seen a little pup on their website earlier in the week and when I inquired about him, the lady told me to come to the event so I could meet and play with him.
I’ll spare you the chaotic details, but suffice it to say, this is not a good way to try and find a pet; at least it’s not for me. It was hot and crowded and had the feel of a going out of business sale at MACY’S. No one was fighting over the “merchandise” per se, but it was still very intense.
When we found the dog I saw online, I asked the woman in charge if we could walk him to a quiet corner so we could get to know him better. She said “sure,” but within minutes an overly aggressive guy showed up looking for the same dog. He went on and on about how he and his husband had recently lost their dog and how they fell in love with this little terrier the moment they saw his picture ..blah, blah blah.
What could I say? I mean this dog wasn’t mine..so I eventually handed the leash to the guy so he could have some private time with the pup as well.
My husband and I walked into the Pet Smart and spent about ten minutes roaming the aisles and talking. Bless his heart, my man was ready to go right back out there and wrestle that dog away from the big, loud guy. “Do you want him Cindy?” he asked, ready to roll..
My answer was an exasperated “I don’t know!” I hadn’t had any time to get a feel for this dog’s personality or anything else for that matter ….and by golly, this is a huge commitment!
I asked my husband what he thought about the dog.. not that I didn’t already know. He isn’t crazy in love with the idea of having another pet (and all the work that comes with it)…. but he is crazy in love with me. So there we stood for a while amongst the leashes and squeaky toys, looking out the window at all of the dogs and all of the people until I knew for sure that I wasn’t sure..at least not sure enough to make this decision under this kind of pressure.
Later on that evening in a quiet booth at a local tavern, I reviewed the day’s events over a glass of bourbon. And there, sitting across the small table, listening to me analyze the situation for the 100th time was my husband, my hero, patiently reassuring me that things would turn out just fine in due time.
My gosh, how I love this man.
I have been wrestling with the idea of getting a dog or a cat ever since our old Bichon died. It’s a big commitment to be sure, and I’ll admit I’m hesitant because there’s a part of me that’s become downright possessive and protective about my time, my freedom AND my new floors..😉
This on again, off again, passive search for a furry companion includes logging onto ‘Pet Finder’ every so often to see if there’s a pooch or a kitty who’s clearly “calling my name.” I haven’t found one yet, but cannot help being drawn to these animals and their stories.
Pet Finder does a great job describing animals’ predilections, predispositions and personalities. A brutally clear portrait is painted and where possible, histories are transparently shared. This organization isn’t just about placing pets, they want the match-ups to be longterm, mutually beneficial and successful…. i.e. – no sugarcoating, no surprises.
I couldn’t help but compare Pet Finder to the dating site my daughter was recently using; Match.com. While the service for placing dogs puts value on being honest, the same can’t be said about the service for “placing” humans. Forget the bogus, inflated bios, you’re lucky if the photos even remotely resemble the folks searching for “authentic love.”
And heaven forbid you put anything in your profile that even hints of a less than perfect past or present day life…
When it comes to people, we simply aren’t touched by the hardships others have overcome in the same way we are when it’s an animal. In the dating world there’s a whole different “guide book” being used. Call it evolutionary prejudice, but we don’t want our mate to have, or to have had, any major issues. Bad prior relationships? Recently lost 100 pounds? Had to go back and live with mom and dad after a job loss? Yeah.. no thanks- pass…swipe…delete. Whereas we are drawn in by an animal’s less than perfect history, we are often repelled or frightened by a human’s.
Of course I know there are differences between animals and humans..the biggest one being the baggage so many of us insist on carrying through life. By contrast, most animals move beyond pain and suffering with remarkable resolve. A lot of love, newfound trust, a healthy environment, some habit breaking and most of these sweet souls are ready to slam the door on their old lives forever and move on to the new.
In that respect, we could learn a lot from our four legged friends about what a fresh start actually requires.
But I also wish we lived in a world where grace and patience and understanding were extended as freely to humans as they are to animals . Just think about what a relief it would be not to have to pretend to be so perfect, especially for those looking for love..
..and in the final analysis, isn’t that what we are all looking for?