When Tallulah and I were checking out at the vet the other day, this little girl was walking past. She was a cute thing, springy black curls, and may I just add she had an enormous dog of her own. But when she walked past Talu, who was minding her own business sniffing the food bags, the little girl raised her hands in the air all dramatically and screeched, "I'm afraid of that doggie!"
I mean, okay, drama queen. That doggie was doing nothing menacing, unless you were a piece of kibble. But I am sorry to tell you Tallulah raised her snout from the bags, took one look at old Academy Award nominee over there, and said, "Bark." Then she went back to the bags of food.
This resulted, of course, in the dramatic child screeching and crying and yelling, "Doggie mean!" and of course I was mortified and yanked Tallulah over near me, and I swear Lula was giggling a little. I mean, she totally did it on purpose. She has never barked at a kid before in her life. Doggie really was being mean.
I don't know why I have to have the weird dog. Aren't dog supposed to love kids, and want to romp with them, and clamor for their attention and such?
You know what the problem is? My dog is just like me.
When I was a kid my parents had to lock me outside 15 minutes a day to make me play outside. And if either one of them deny this I am gonna get really, really mad because it's TOTALLY TRUE. When I was really little, I played with Faithful Reader Pal from MA, who was similarly an only child, so we understood each other and it was cool. We totally snubbed all the other kids in the neighborhood, with their families and their chaotic homes and their Kool-Aid and loudness and roughhousing. We'd go over there, roll our eyes at each other, and go back and play quietly together in our sunny back yards, kind of wordlessly.
When she moved away the summer we were seven, I was totally screwed.
I think it was that summer that I started reading in earnest. It was that summer that she got an ulcer. We were not equipped to be ripped apart. That much was certain.
And you'd think the part where I just wanted to be in the basement all the time, reading Jonathan Livingston Seagull, would make me not very popular with the other kids in the neighborhood. You'd think they'd stay clear. But no. Somehow those idiots CLAMORED to my house. I don't know if my indifference was a novelty or the part where I had good toys was a draw (I had a pinball machine), or maybe all that peace and quiet was kind of nice for a change. But I couldn't go an hour without some kid at my back door.
Even at eight, this irked me. "Do they not know how to knock?" I'd think. Seriously, I'd think that.
"You wanna come out and play?"
"There is no such word as 'wanna.' However, I will come out for awhile because Pam and John make me go out for 15 minutes daily (I called my parents by their names. Yes, I did.). We can play Little House, if you'd like."
Seriously, why did anyone like me? And how did I ever NOT get assigned the part of Nellie Olsen?
So I guess this is why I got a weird dog. It's poetic justice.
Maybe I need to get her a sister or a brother dog. What do you think Marvin? Hmmm? Hmmmm? Hmmmm? You wanna?
It is SO a word.