Because I drive my husband to the train in the morning, he wakes me at 6:30 am by gently stroking my arm and asking, "You awake Dear?" To which I reply, "NO, no I'm not."
I do this early rise and drive because it's a super long commute for him, 1 hour 45 minutes - one way. Car to train, train to subway, subway to pathway, and shuffle-ball-chain from pathway to office.
My commute is 7 minutes and 3 traffic lights long. Clearly, I have commuter guilt.
We have the same conversation every morning. "Still awake?" he asks as I drive 45 miles an hour across back country roads - both hands grasping the wheel and eyes in a vacant stare.
He will complain that traffic light number two is too long, and I will remind him that it gives us more time to be together.
I demand four kisses before he exits the car. I don't care who's watching. I wait until he turns back, smiles and waves, then disappears up the stairs. It's a post 9/11 thing. You never know for certain if you'll see each other again. Besides, I love watching his ass climb those stairs.
Today, he surprises me by asking if I am going to write. I tell him I have nothing to write about.
"You could write about the dog therapist you spoke to yesterday," he suggests.
Yes, I suppose I could. Or... I could write about the eel that swam up the Chinese man's penis during a spa treatment.
I posted a link to the story for my campmates in a private facebook thread. Their bizarre, quirky comments have been my main source of entertainment.
What's that you say? Just say NO to an EEL IN PENIS story?
Okay, but if this post is "DULL", send your negative comments to my husband: email@example.com
Sunday was Greenwich's annual dog show (slash) festival, Puttin' on the Dog, which benefits the local Adopt-A-Dog agency. Here they showcase pets that are up for adoption and you can also enter your pet in a host of contests that range from tail wagging to costume extravaganzas.
I used to enter the dogs in all sorts costume contests but after a string of losses and an embarrassing rant on YouTube, I've permanently banned myself from participating.
My main objective this year was to get a first hand look at a litter of orphaned, alien looking foxes that had been nursed by a fox-terrier.
Aren't they adorable! My daughter had her heart set on adopting one, and I was pleased to inform her that these "wild animals" were headed to a local zoo.
The event also featured vendors that included, pet groomers, animal masseuses, canine nutritionist and a "doggy therapist."
After explaining Mylo's "issues" to the therapist, he suggested that I bring him down for a one on one.
"But he's extremely fearful of dogs outside of his immediate family. He'll bark obsessively and try to bite them," I explained.
"Even better," he answered, "I'll see him at his worst."
Fifteen minutes later, surrounded by dogs that ranged in size from a Great Dane to a Pomeranian, Mylo was living his worst nightmare.
Therapist: "What do you do when he tries to bite or barks?"
Me: "I pick him up."
Therapist: "What about his behavior makes you want to pick him up?"
Me: "Well, its clear to me that he is afraid, so if I pick him up he feels superior to the other dogs."
Therapist: "So, you're rewarding him for his poor behavior..."
Can he NOT see the "ENABLER" sign hanging above my head?
Therapist: "Don't take this the wrong way lady, but the problem isn't the dog, its the dogs owner."
I was asked to hand over the leash, which I did with hesitation. This time, in his expert hands, when Mylo barked he was yanked and yelled at.
"BAD DOG, BAD DOG!" he screamed so loud anyone within 50 yards was frightened.
So much for dog whisper, this guy was a dog berater (can't believe that's not a word).
Every time Mylo barked, he yanked and yelled at him. And every time he yanked and yelled Mylo cringed, looking up at me with tears in the eye as if to say, "make the bad man stop."
This guy knew he was going to have to push hard if he was going to get me to sign up for his sessions.
Therapist: "Look Ma'am, I know what I'm talking about. I've been doing this for 30 years. Now listen to me close. I'm only going to tell you this once, unless you buy my book, then you can read it as much as you want ."
Me: "And I'm only going to tell YOU once... do NOT call me Ma'am!"
Therapist: "LADY, If you went to China and tried to order a hot dog do you think you'd get it?"
Therapist: "NO, NO you wouldn't and do you know why? I'll tell you why...because you don't speak their language."
Me: "But I do speak some Chinese"
Therapist: "Never mind that Lady, LISTEN to me. Its like Mylo is an alien that just landed."
Me: "Have you seen the baby foxes - they look like aliens."
Therapist: "You're NOT payin' attention Lady. Mylo doesn't understand you, its like you're talking Chinese."
Me: "What is it about you and the Chinese? Just so you know, my shih-tzu's commands are in Chinese."
Therapist: "Shih-tzu! Those dogs can be nasty! Talk about biters and barkers!"
(Clearly, this is the part where I lose my mind, and yet, I am able to recite by a line from 1975. One that my sisters now x-husband said to my then boyfriend when he commented about their shiht-tzu's smooched in face.)
Me: "Not only is my shiht-tzu well behaved, she baths regularly and knows who her parents are. Can you say the same?"
More Me: "You Sir should also know that my daughter is half Chinese and her father is 100% Chinese and I take offense to your constant Asian references."
Too Much Me: "Do you hear me making fun of people with Long Island accents? NO. Or men who think their handlebar mustache looks cool? NO."
Me Trying To Get Back on Point: "No, I won't sign up for your newsletter. Nor will I sign up for your classes. And guess what, I'm not buying your book!"
With Mylo safe in my arms I ended my rant with...
"You wouldn't be so careless with your Asian comments if you knew about the poor Chinese man who had an eel swim up his penis!"
"Wake up da Monkey" photo courtesy of pixdaus.com