There's a woman at work, one of the Alexes who's actually named Alex and not some hapless coworker I've roped into the name because I'm hilarious. This Alex is making a gift basket for someone she knows who's had some rotten stuff to face in this life, even rotten-er luck than having Lottie for a puppy.
Alex asked a bunch of us if we'd contribute to the basket and I said sure. So last night I went to the store to get her a pretty flowered journal and a nice pen. In my mind I was going to spend $20 and Dear Kaye, I AM SORRY. We didn't discuss gifts, really.
The point is, I found out that they really stick it to you with pricing pretty pens. I got her a nice not-too-costly journal, though. It's in the car so I won't forget it, or I'd show it to you.
Anyway. THE REASON I'M TELLING YOU THIS is I saw one of those adult coloring books, and by "adult" I don't mean it's all "Paint the Vagina!" I just mean allegedly they're for adults. I just did a thing at work where I researched if coloring for adults was really good for you or not. Turns out, it really is supposed to be relaxing.
Here's my thing. I don't relax. I don't. Not anymore. I used to. I used to be a copyeditor all day who had two adult dogs and someone to split the bills with. Now I'm single with THE DEVIL HERSELF as a dog, and my job is meet meet meetings and emergencies and OH MY GOD THIS IS DUE NOW YOU DIDN'T KNOW? all day long. And on into the evening. It's totally different from what I did for 19 years.
And, I mean, then I come home, and when I'm not getting work emails at 11:19 p.m., I'm dealing with this dog. This DEMON of a puppy. Remember how calm Stanley was? What the hell with me? Lottie is awful all the time. All day long. She jumps up and TWIRLS in the air to bite at my face. When I'm here typing, she bites my back through the chair. Iris looks depressed, and poor Edsel is so beleaguered.
I know this part will pass, and perhaps I will actually like Lottie one day, but in the meantime, there is no relaxing at this house. Plus also, I have to jump up and follow her everywhere to make sure she doesn't poop on the floor. I have to bring her into my tiny bathroom with me, and she spends the whole time trying to bite the toilet paper.
I seriously have no relax time. Okay, when she's asleep. But then the work emails. So.
This is why I wanted an adult coloring book. I thought it'd be a good way to maybe have some not-hysterical time. When, I don't know.
BUT I DIDN'T BUY IT, KAYE, because budget. I got my journal and my $2,394,5060 pen and left.
I'd already been home, after work, and noted I had a package but hadn't acknowledged it because I had to feed all the pets and let Lottie in the back yard to worship a goat and so on, but when I got back from the store, I opened my package.
It was an adult coloring book. And pencils.
My birthday is coming up, and I tend to choose two kinds of friends: the first I'm drawn to, over and over, is the Charismatic Attractive. The CA is flashy in some way, usually by being spectacular-looking, sometimes by being funny as shit or whatever, but the point is, I always feel a pull toward this type. "Ooo, who's that?" I'll ask myself, then work to become that person's friend.
And that's what it always is. Work. The Charismatic Attractive ends up being flaky, always, and a bad friend often. This is the type of woman who'll call your ex after you break up. Or say she'll come pick you up when your car breaks down and just never show up. I hate to say this, but my friend Melanie was a Charismatic Attractive. My ex-best friend was a CA. She was supposed to be my maid of honor and throw a bachelorette party for me, and what we ended up doing was just going to a bar. And she sat at another booth.
She also, on my wedding day, came late, then said to the hairdresser doing my hair, "Oh, good! Can you do my nails?"
The other type I make friends with is the Low-Key Reliable. This is a friendship that generally starts out small. A funny exchange here, a good talk there. It takes a year to two to really catch on. This person is definitely the grownup of the two of us, and generally finds me bemusing, which may be a polite way to say it.
My friend Sandy is an LKR. BRF Alex is an LKR. My friend Marianne, who got me crackers and a shot of whiskey on my wedding day when I felt nervous and my CA maid of honor was having her nails done, is an LKR.
So is The Poet, whose photo I snapped during a (wait for it) meeting yesterday at work. Look at her, just waiting to be reliable.
The point is, LKRs always remember my birthday. CAs never do.
I try very hard to be an LKR to my friends, but I'm more a Charismatic Awkward-Looking. I flake all the time, and I hate myself for it. I'll have, like, 10 nights with no plans, and on night 11 I'll accidentally make four plans. I do that all the time, and my phone's calendar helps me nonce. I need a Hallmark date book, I really do. Do they still make those?
So I got a birthday present in JUNE from one of my reliable friends, who's the type to mail a July birthday present three weeks early, "just in case."
I tend to send something the day before, via Sweaty Emergency Amazon.
I colored this for all my LKR friends. It's my personal gift to you. Yep. You.are.welcome. I guess it's the crop from a labia farm? Unsure.
Anyway, it was fun. And Lottie tried to eat my pencils so I shot her. Now, THAT was relaxing.
The other thing I got, that I love love love, is a 5-year diary with a question for each day. Yesterday's question was, "What are the last three songs on your Recently Played list?" I had a different answer last night than I do today, because I listened to my iTunes while I colored. Today, that list is:
Age of Consent (New Order)
When the Levee Breaks (Led Zeppelin)
Hazy (Rosi Golan. It also "feat"s someone, but I hate that. Stop saying feat.)
Today's question is, What can you live without right now?
Hmmmm. Probably another puppy.