January 16, 2007

Not like Britney and Kevin, but the word I would use to describe my life one year ago. Playing this game, I would say it was a sleep deprived anxiety induced heart palpitations chaotic. I had my one year, "I am a lawyer" review at work. And I had not idea what to expect, I had never been reviewed, at least not openly and to my face. And don't particularly like criticism. I feared the harshness of the words would lead to tears which would lead to embarrassment. Earlier that week I was at lunch with a new friend, when he offered a dinner and a plan for Saturday night. But I was planning on a trip to L.A., a real vacation. Not a day for laundry or one at the beach. This was vacation. Whole multiple days off from work basking in the glory of sunshiney movie stars. Two days before that transcontinental Delta flight, I learned my 93 year old grandfather had taken a turn for the worse. Flights off. We are on alert and Mom flew immediately to Montreal to be with the family. Instead of vacation, I could accept the dinner date extended earlier.

This was my first dinner, my first let's call it real date, with Magoo. Under the crazy pretense of a relative on his death bed. That Saturday night we dined, laughed, cried, and closed down the restaurant. I revealed in the first breath of the date that I hated basketball. He displayed his dismal sense of direction. Five days later I accepted a second date. In the interim, I also accepted an offer presented via IM at work, "Anyone want a beagle?". The message came through on a Tuesday morning, that a six year old beagle was up for adoption. This was how and when I came to meet Ginger. I lay awake those first few nights in a constant state of anxiety. Worried I would not be able to handle the responsibility of another creature. Worried she would commit the P trifecta; pee, poop and puke. But like all parents, you adjust and deal. 'Cuz yeah they all happen. I also stressed that he would not be a dog person and I just blew something by quickly adopting a dog in a matter of minutes. Then, I rationalized that I did not want to be with someone in the end who didn't like dogs. I had dogs in my future, so if you too wanted to be in the future, you too must love dogs. Just like the movie. Seemed simple but stress can play cruel tricks on your psyche and your heart. Mine raced and pounded out of my chest every night for a week. Pure sleep deprived chaos.

Date two. He learned via e-mail that there has been an addition to the family. Instead of flowers or candy he showed up at the door with a dog toy, a squeaky basketball. A present for her and a joke for me. Clever. I love clever especially in gift giving, it shows smarts and heart. And he had me at the squeak. Again, we close the place down while downing five too many classes of Sangria. Small plates of tapas and not so small talk. This was the real deal. After the chairs had been stacked on the tables and the staff swept the floor around us, we return to what is now our home to walk the dog together arm and arm, buzzed from the wine. Within the next week, my grandfather passes away. That la la la L.A. vacation turned into a week long trip to snow bound Montreal. Not the glam trip planned, but a necessary family event and a fact of life. He lived a hearty loving life, to an age we can all hope for, in good health for a majority of those years, accompanied down the road of life by his wife of fifty some odd years. A celebration of his life and not a mourning. All the time, awaiting for me at home was a new man, who diligently dog sat a dog he barely knew for a girl he may have liked.

Many sleepless night were had during those four weeks. The review was less than stellar, causing more panic and a fresh set of tears, both in an out of the office. I swore to Magoo life was not always this way. He made it through that time, including crying at that first dinner and urine on his carpet (Ginger's, not mine). And here we are one year later. Ginger still pees and I have a pesky review right around the corner. Somethings never change. We move on and in together. Holding and helping each other through it all. At least that is the idea. Since there is always going to be something chaotic. But we have each other and maybe that is where the chaos lives. We just learn to manage and control. Wheel and deal. Whine and dine. Coping is what draws us together and the chaos finds a home on the couch cushions next to the pillows and the hand knit throw. It lives there dormant and cozy. Controlled by the balance, waiting to appear again when the timing is not right. We just hope there are less tears.

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Anonymous Magoo said:

Baby Boo,
I know I have told you this countless times, but you are a fantastic writer. Your recounting of our first date was so accurate it is as if I was getting lost going to a restaurant 5 blocks away from you all over again. I am so happy to have both you and Ginger in my life. I love you so much!

9:06 AM 

Blogger JustRun said:

Aww, that was so nice. So very nice. How wonderful to have a place to call home that is in reality, not some perfect fantasy.

Also, "P trifecta" is classic! :)

9:48 AM 

Blogger brookem said:

I play that game too. Sounds like the chaos brought you to a good place. Happy one year from then.

10:43 AM 

Blogger Paige Jennifer said:

I hate when people rewrite my writing but...

"whine and dine"

....I love love love it.

10:57 AM 

Blogger e.b. said:

JR: we are in the process of looking for an industrial stregth carpet cleaner to remedy the pees.

Brookem: it is often a nice game to play to remind us how far we have come (at least we hope).

PJ: initially it was a typo or maybe a Freudian slip, but I liked it and kept it. Because really that is my life, whining and eating. And some sour grapes too.

12:11 PM 

Blogger magnetbabe said:

What a sweet story! A pet toy shaped like a my least favorite sport would win me over too. It sounds like you've got yourself a keeper!

6:56 AM 

Blogger Ally said:

Great story. I'm a sucker for clever gift giving too. I went out a few times with a guy who has such a knack for picking out the most unusual and thoughtful gifts; just receiving the smallest thing made me smile all day.

Reviews do suck especially since the bottom line is numbers. So have you been working two years now?

9:30 AM 

Blogger e.b. said:

MB: he is a keeper. As for that toy, Ging is a smart lady and never touched, not once. So it is now 2 v. 1 on the basketball issue.

Ally: yes I have been here for just about 2 years, I had a temp legal job before that. It is so about the dollar signs, mine and theirs. I just wish that was said and we move on.

10:50 AM 

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