Another “Pets And Kids Destroy Everything, It’s A Good Thing They Are Cute” Story

I try not to let “things” control my life. I want to live simply, staying as healthy as possible, laughing lots and experiencing all the joy the world has to offer. I don’t need a Gucci watch or a Northland 72″ side-by-side custom refrigerator to be happy. Having said that, I also don’t want to live in a cardboard box. (And I wouldn’t turn down that refrigerator if someone just left it on my doorstep.)

Sometimes, I want nice things – nice pieces of furniture, and nice articles of clothing. Besides, nice things – or things that are made well – generally last longer than not-nice, cheap things. Can you say that stupid IKEA desk and those even stupider IKEA lamps?

Anyway, I’ve been doing a little shopping lately. We have a basement that is sitting pretty much empty, and we needed a new couch at least, and some chairs, and an end table or two, and possibly a coffee table, and there was this pair of jeans that I saw…

OK, OK, so one of the items that I bought was this beautiful coffee table/trunk. Now, here’s the issue. Because of the cats, we can’t have stuff that’s made of fabric. The cats destroy things like that faster than my kids make a mess of the kitchen when they are having a snack.

My husband says we could get rid of the cats. He says that somebody would pay a good dollar for three of them. He says the fourth, we’d have to actually pay someone to take, and they still probably wouldn’t. Jackson is just that strange. My husband is kidding – sort of. I gave him a hard shot in the arm after he said what he said.

No, any new furniture coming into our house can only be made out of leather, wood, or concrete. Yes, concrete. I’m not joking about that. As indestructible as possible would be ideal. It might not be comfortable, but it would definitely be a money-saver. My kids and/or my cats can wreck almost anything without even trying.

So yeah, I bought this coffee table/trunk type deal. It’s custom made, leather, and expensive – REALLY expensive. I wanted it to be something we’d have in the family forever, you know, to pass down to my children and my children’s children. It’s also a heavy motherfucker. And when I say heavy, I mean three hundred pounds of “the two of us could barely carry it down the hall and it almost crushed my foot” heavy.

Break in the story here just to say that what happened next is the perfect example of how things operate in my house.

The coffee table/trunk heavy son-of-a-bitch arrived the other day. My husband and I unpackaged it. We then struggled to get it inside and to put it into place. We’d just set it down – literally JUST set it down – and we’d turned our backs to clean up the mess of styrofoam bits and pieces of cardboard that had followed us down the hall, when Lionel (our one cat) came over, sniffed it once, and then dug his claws right into the top, leaving a few gashes in the smooth chocolate brown leather.

I’m still angry. I can’t even talk about it. Sure, I can write about it here on my blog, but don’t ask me to speak the words “my cat defaced my new coffee table/trunk two seconds after we brought it in the house” out in the open, or I just might cry. I feel like I’ve been abused or violated somehow, and by my best cat friend no less.

Ahhh, but he looks so cute…

Another "Pets And Kids Destroy Everything, It's A Good Thing They Are Cute" Story | TheFurFiles

And even though Lionel was sitting on my lap moments after it happened, and I was patting him and talking to him in that silly baby cat voice that my husband hates so much, not everybody in the house was calm. My husband “roiled” – I don’t know if that’s even a word, but it’s the best I could come up with to describe how he reacted – his way down to his office where he then sat plotting. Don’t worry, I’ve calmed him down since then. No one is going to the vet to have their claws removed. I’d never let him do that. He’d have to move out first.

I am however, off to the craft store to buy some pieces of poster board, and lots and lots and LOTS of double-sided tape. You know, to put on top of the coffee table so that if the cats jump on it, their paws get stuck and they immediately jump off. If you wanted to teach your cats to stay off your brand new leather, expensive, coffee table/trunk, what would you do?

Any suggestions are welcome.

P. S. The water squirt gun is on stand by.

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Flashback To The 80’s: Nerds Are People Too

I grew up in Cambridge, Ontario. It is a medium-sized city with a population of approximately 133 000 people. It is a very picturesque place with a river running through it, and a few old and very statuesque churches scattered throughout the downtown. It also has a wonderful farmer’s market and the best chocolate store called Reid Chocolates. If you are ever passing through, make sure you stop there. The “tortoises” (like extra-large Turtles) are amazing.

As nice as Cambridge is however, it wasn’t the most exciting place to grow up. Typical bush parties, and walks to the burger joint for a bowl of fries and gravy – that’s about as thrilling as it got for me as a teenager.

The only other fun thing we had was the town roller rink. “The Forum” as it was called, was the highlight of my world for about two or three years – from the time I was about fourteen until I was old enough to use fake ID to get into the scummy local bars. You see, “The Forum” – not to be confused with the strip joint that was located directly across the street – transformed every Saturday night into a huge dance party for kids my age.

Flashback To The 80's: Nerds Are People Too | TheFurFiles
My nerding it up with my little brother. We were making Easter eggs. I really haven’t changed over the years.

I remember getting all dressed up in my 1980’s outfits – one particular gem was a knitted red pencil skirt with matching top and shoes…and probably matching purse and hair accessories as well. No one ever told me that dressing like a tomato wasn’t attractive, so I went with it.

I remember waiting in line at 8:30 for the dance to start at 9 p.m. We all got there early. We had nothing better to do. I mean, what does life consist of when you are fifteen? For me, it was reruns of Happy Days and Love Boat, and my cat Nelson. Surprised? Probably not.

I remember finally getting in and then hanging around the edge of the rink, leaning on that half wall (the dance floor was the rink itself), sipping our drinks, scoping out the crowd. Were there any cute guys? It’s not as if they were going to talk to me, but there were always a few.

I remember dancing like a human pogo stick to songs like Pigbag and The Clash’s Rock The Casbah. I’m sure my “moves” didn’t help to attract any of those cute boys, but I was happily oblivious.

I remember the flashing disco lights and the faint smell of sweat. We were younger teenagers then. I don’t think any of us knew about deodorant.

I remember watching from the wall when the slow songs came on and all the cool kids were “close-dancing”. I wanted so badly to dance to Sister Christian’s “Night Ranger” or was it Night Ranger’s “Sister Christian”. Either way, I was a nerd. Nobody wanted to dance with me except for the fellow with the huge dental apparatus. He asked – spit on me in the process – and I said no.

You know the funny part? My husband used to frequent these dances too. He lived in a city close by. Whenever I tell this story he always says, “Thank God I didn’t know you back then. I’m not sure we would have ended up together.”

When he declares this, I always reply, “Look who’s talking.” He was a big nerd too with even thicker glasses, so what if he ran track and played football as well. I was a cheerleader – once. And then I quote Alice Sebold from The Lovely Bones – “Sometimes the dreams that come true are the dreams you never even knew you had.” And finally, I add, “It was destiny bitch, and there’s no escaping it now.”

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I Hate You, Steve Perry

Before you get your feathers all in a “don’t be mean to Steve Perry, he’s a good guy” flap, I don’t really hate him. But right now, if I hear his song Don’t Stop Believin’ even one more time, I’m going to take something very sharp out of the cutlery drawer and slice through someone’s shirt (not my own) just enough that they get the idea that I’m losing my frickin’ mind.

The problem: Zach a.k.a. Roary Raynor a.k.a. Mr. Rockstar (as I like to affectionately call him)…

I Hate You, Steve Perry | TheFurFiles

(NOTE: For those of you new to my blog, my oldest son is the lead singer in a band. His goal in life is to be a musician – a money-making musician (there IS a difference) – and as his mother, I will do whatever it takes to support him. My husband, on the other hand, says that he has until he finishes school to pursue his dream and mooch off of us, and then it’ll be time for him to get a real job. Dads are always so tough. I guess, we’ll see what happens. He has one year left.)

Continue reading “I Hate You, Steve Perry”

I Had Kids And Then This Happened…

When I was younger – BEFORE children – I was different. As you might expect, physically I was different, like my belly was relatively smooth and stretch-mark free, like I didn’t have so many grey hairs, like my vagina hadn’t been assaulted by a doctor’s arm and three bowling ball-sized creatures that had passed through it.

Emotionally, I was different as well, like I didn’t worry so much about every single, itty-bitty, teeny-weeny thing.

And I bring this up now because my girlfriend wants me to go with her so the two of us can get our motorcycle license together. I’m not sure. Honestly, I feel like it would be taking a risk that I’m not ready for. My children still need me – a lot. And I know, I could walk out the door and get hit by a bus tomorrow [knock on wood], but still, motorcycles make me nervous. Not that I don’t think I’d look good on one. I would – in my leathers, and my sexy boots, because I WOULD have sexy boots. Not sure how the helmet would affect my hair though.

OK, so I was never a huge thrill seeker, but I was also never such a super cautious “I hide in the closet for most of the day” loser either. When the kids came along however, I turned into a worrywart in every sense of the word.

I worry about the most ridiculous things.

I hear a noise, and I immediately think, “OMG, a meteor is about to strike the house.” It could happen. #Chelyabinsk

I Had Kids And Then This Happened... | TheFurFiles

I worry that I haven’t turned the stove off. I think we all do that, but do we all go back into the kitchen and stare at the knobs for a good 30 seconds or so, touching and retouching them just to make sure? My husband says, “Crrrrazy.”

I worry that I’ll get attacked by a dog when I go out for a run. I saw a girl the other day – and she WAS a girl, not more than sixteen – walking these two HUGE German Shepherds. I thought, “What is she gonna do if they decide they want to rip my leg off?” That’s right, not a damn thing, and then I’d be left maimed and/or legless for the rest of my life. And I work so hard to keep my legs strong. What a shame it would be. Sadly, I’m no match for a canine that’s gone berserk.

I worry that my daughter will take food up to her room, and then choke on it while she’s in there, with no one to hear her gasp for help. I worry that I won’t find her until a day later because she hates me “in her section of the house”. Oh the scene – bugs crawling all over her poor stiffened body, a tuna sandwich halfway in her mouth, the cats eating her leftovers. I shiver at the thought. At least, I’d get to wear her clothes without anyone shouting, “Don’t touch my damn stuff.” That would be a bonus. She has nice clothes. I know because I buy them, and they cost a LOT of money.

I worry that one day I’ll just be driving along, and the earth will fall out from under me and I’ll end up at the bottom of a sinkhole. Those things are weird as hell. Shit like that should NOT be allowed to happen on this planet. I saw in the news once that a guy’s whole house fell into one. As if.

I worry that my worrying will cause shit to happen in a “create your own destiny”, negative consequence of “The Secret” sort of way.

I worry that worrying about worrying will give me a heart attack, or more grey hairs, or a stroke. My grandmother had a stroke. My grandfather had a heart attack. Both run in the family.

Holy crap, I can’t type anymore. I’m worrying that I might be getting arthritis. My grandmother had that too. OK, enough. I’m off to read Megan Hart’s Tempted. That should put my mind right where it belongs. Ah, that’s better. πŸ˜‰

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Celebrities Being Eaten By Sharks

If I had my way, this is what I’d like to see on Shark Week. And don’t send me any hate mail. First of all, Kim’s HAD the baby. Little North – or is it East? – wouldn’t be in any danger. And I’m not saying that I want poor Kim to get eaten exactly – even though it looks like it – I just want her hair and make-up to get really messed up. No one should look that good all the time. It’s fucking annoying.Celebrities Being Eaten By Sharks | TheFurFiles

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Hey Kids, God Has A Message For You…

Hey Kids, God Has A Message For You... | TheFurFiles

And God said,

“Children, listen to your mother, or I’ll give her permission to…

Post a picture of YOU wearing HER underpants when you were two on YOUR Facebook wall. Guaranteed, all of your 1543 friends will think it’s frickin’ adorable.

Never give you another birthday present for as long as you live, not even a gently-used glass eye.

Take that “me so horny, me love you long time” t-shirt that you love so much and give it to your father to dry his body with AFTER he showers – his WHOLE body, if you know what I mean. Once the t-shirt’s dry again (but probably not washed), she’ll give it back. You won’t even know it was gone.

Play so many cat videos on your laptop at once that it crashes, and it takes the guys at Apple a good two weeks to fix it.

Steal your iPhone, take a picture of you while you are sleeping – hopefully naked… your father says you do that now – and send it in a private message on Facebook to that girl/guy you like so much. Why not get this relationship jump started?

Yes, Facebook really IS a great revenge too. I’m so glad I made someone think of it.”

It’s just been that kind of day already, and it’s only 10:30 a.m. Kids. [frown]

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When Pets Get A Little Too Close

If you don’t already know this, I love cats. I mean, I REALLY love them. In the hierarchy of love that I have for things in this world – and this is how my husband sees it – it goes kids/cats, working out, HGTV, clothes, shoes (to be differentiated from clothes), new furniture, ice cream, The Bachelorette/Sister Wives (I’m addicted to both), open windows and doors, and my husband. Yes, he can play that “pathetic martyr” card sometimes. Break out the tiny violin.

Out of all of my cats, there have been a few over the years with whom I’ve really connected too. At the present moment, it’s Lionel. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of my furry babies, but Lionel – oh, Lionel – he and I have a special bond. I knew it from the moment I saw his picture on Kijiji, his little paw just reaching out to me through the computer screen.

When Pets Get A Little Too Close | TheFurFiles

He was sweet when he was a baby, and he’s only gotten sweeter, and better looking, and smarter. OK, maybe not smarter – he spends a lot of time chasing his own tail – but he’s very charming and loving and EXTREMELY handsome. His eyes get me every single time. It’s like looking at the cat version of Johnny Depp and Colin Farrell combined – uber hypnotic.

The best part about him – as much as I love him, he loves me back even more. He just wants to be with me all the time. He’s like my shadow. Everywhere I go, he goes.

When I’m writing my blog, he sits on my lap, purring away to beat the band. When I work out – if I’m home – he comes with me downstairs. Every night, when I have a bath, he sits precariously at the edge of the tub waiting for me to finish. When I sleep, he snuggles with me under the covers, his head nuzzled against my side, his claws kneading emphatically in and out of my husband’s bare flesh, which – I tell my husband – is what he gets for sleeping naked.

Lionel is ALWAYS there. Thus, it is not uncommon for him to be there when my husband and I want to get “romantic” as well.

At times like this, my husband says, “Can you get that damn cat out of here. He’s giving me the creeps.”

“Why?” I say. “He’s fine.”

“He’s NOT fine. He’s looking at me. It’s like he’s jealous.”

When Pets Get A Little Too Close | TheFurFiles

“You’re being silly. He’s just sitting there, probably dreaming of bugs and birds and catfood.”

“No, he’s probably dreaming about clawing me in the penis while I sleep. Just get him out of here.”

Begrudgingly, I shoo my little angel out. And I’m not saying that I proceed by imagining that my husband has whiskers and a cute white muzzle or anything, but…

Just kidding. I dream about him having a really long tail. Thank goodness my husband has something like that. πŸ˜‰

 

Men’s Logic

The other day, I was explaining how the people in my house all sleep naked. It was a moment of over-sharing, and truth be told, we are about to have another one.

You see, THEY sleep naked. I, on the other hand, always wear what my husband lovingly (but also very disparagingly) calls my “armour”. I wear pajamas. Not the sexy kind either, though I do own lots of lingerie for those “other” occasions.

No, bedtime to me means wearing pajama pants and t-shirts, or full-length (or almost full-length) nightgowns, or sometimes pajama pants, t-shirts and those almost full-length nightgowns as one ensemble, especially if it’s winter. Oh yeah, and I often wear wool socks.

My husband complains – “Oh there she goes, putting on her ‘armour’ again.” When he says this, he is inevitably rolling his eyes.

To which I reply, “What do you think I am, a sex goddess twenty-four hours a day?”

Men's Logic | TheFurFiles

“Yeah.” He has no hesitation, which is good. It is the right response.

“I need to relax occasionally. Besides, what would you do if I was always naked?”

“Always have sex with you.” Of course he would, but then who would work, and who would make supper?

“You would seriously want to have sex all the time? That just doesn’t sound appealing to me. There needs to be ebbs and flows in life otherwise things get boring. Don’t you think that the times you don’t have it make you appreciate the times that you do?”

“No. I just want it.”

“OK, well you can’t tell me that you’d want to eat chocolate cake every single day. It would start to taste bad.”

“No it wouldn’t. That’s women’s logic. Chocolate cake would taste like chocolate cake.”

“So are you insinuating that men’s logic is better? Men’s logic would have us all playing video games, watching football, fighting in the street, and eating steak with lots of barbeque sauce and not doing anything else. Oh wait, and having sex. How could I forget that?”

“Sounds like a good plan to me,” my husband answers plainly.

Moral: you can’t argue with a man.

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Living In A World Of Excess OR The Quest For The Perfect Vagina

In our family, we like to talk, debate, and argue like two hungry lions at a “who wants the first rip at the antelope” party. Everyone has an opinion about every damn thing around here, so it was really no surprise that I got such an earful when I asked my children (ages 18, 20, 21) what they thought of women having plastic surgery on their vaginas.

The first thing they ALL said was, “What’s the problem? If someone wants to do something to make themselves feel or look better, then why shouldn’t they?” Not one of them hesitated, which makes me wonder, am I getting old and are my opinions old-fashioned? Or are my children just totally caught up in appearances like everybody else on this planet? As if turns out, it’s a little bit of both.

Living In A World Of Excess OR The Quest For The Perfect Vagina | TheFurFiles

“Don’t you think that having surgery on your vagina might be going a bit too far?” I asked. Honestly, I just can’t wrap my head around this one. I understand that people are doing it, and I’ll even concede that in some cases it might be warranted, but for the vast majority, I’ll bet it’s not. I think the same way about breast implants. I’m not a big fan of those either. “You know that I think natural is better,” I said to the kids.

“You’d better watch it, Mom,” snorted my oldest son. He is like the “ethics” king in our house, the doer of good deeds, the watcher-outer for anyone with false intentions. “You do lots of things to yourself that aren’t exactly ‘natural’. You get your hair done. You shave your legs. You put cream on your face to keep your skin clear. You even had braces as a kid. So how can you say that doing one thing is OK and another is not? If you think people should be natural, then you should be completely – and I mean COMPLETELY – natural yourself, otherwise you’re a hypocrite.”

Now, my son is smart – which is good – but sometimes I just want to punch him, metaphorically speaking of course. “So are you saying that it’s all or nothing? Are you saying that just because I use pimple cream (still), and just because I had a monoblock dental bracket when I was nine so that my front tooth didn’t stick straight out, I can’t have an opinion about women altering their vaginas. Some things carry more risk. I think that’s my main concern. A person could die from having surgery.”

“Risk doesn’t always compute when you are not happy about something. And taking that risk is up to the individual to decide.” He’s right. People will do whatever it takes if they feel like they aren’t living up to society’s standards.

“You can’t control what other people do,” my daughter chimed in. I sort of had the feeling that she was talking about herself here since she has a tendency to be a bit of a rebel, but at least she was participating in the conversation. That doesn’t happen very often.

“I’m not trying to control anyone,” I said. “I just think it’s a sad state of affairs that some women feel the need to cut their vaginas, or their breasts, or whatever, in an attempt to be ‘normal’ or ‘attractive’. Most people don’t even know what ‘normal’ is. And what the media tells us is ‘attractive’ is pretty much unattainable.”

And this is about where the conversation went from semi-rational to a slightly psychotic.

“I just feel like nobody can tell anybody else what is excessive. If that were the case, people might say you work out too much. They might say that by overdoing it, you are putting yourself at risk for injury. What about that, huh? Also, if you are talking about excess, what about our house, or the cars we drive, or all the televisions we own? Personally, I don’t think you or I or any of us in this family can talk about excess, which is why I say if someone wants to change the way their vagina looks, then they should. You’d have to live in a grass hut and wear the same thing every single day and never do anything to yourself ever in order for to make judgement, because right now, you are being that hypocrite I was talking about.” Whoa. Shots fired.

“I see your point, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree that having plastic surgery on your vagina is a good idea. I just want women (and men) to feel good about themselves.”

And then someone – possibly my younger son – made the comment that if your vagina looks like a wizard’s sleeve, then surgery is definitely warranted.

And then someone else – possibly me – told that person that he was being an ass.

And then my husband got involved, and voices got louder and louder.

In the end, no one got whipped with a iPod cord, thank God. As my oldest son flew out the door on his way to band practice, he said, “I’m just saying Mom, if you want to change the world, you have to set a good example yourself.”

“Thanks, son. I’ll try,” I answered. I love being lectured by a twenty-one-year-old. At least I know, I’ve raised him right – I think.

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Did I Choose The Right Man?

Before I go any further, I just want to make something clear for my husband who is probably reading this and flipping his lid right about now. The short answer is yes, yes I DID choose the right man. It’s OK dear, I simply thought the question would make a catchy blog title. You can go back to watching your motorcycle racing.

Did I Choose The Right Man | TheFurFiles

Now to proceed with what I was going to say…

As I observe my young adult children navigating the ups and downs of intimate relationships, I often wonder who they’ll end up with long term, if anyone. And thinking this makes me contemplate what it takes to make a relationship last. And then I say to myself, “Hell, I should know. I have a good relationship, and I’ve been with my husband for twenty-five years.”

And then yesterday, I saw an article in Oprah’s magazine entitledΒ Choosing The Right Man: What Happily Married Women Know. Of course, I had to read it, to see if our opinions matched up.

Indeed they did. I thought the article was great. Nine different couples were showcased, and each wife answered the same six questions about her relationship with her husband/partner. I agreed with almost everything everyone said. I even took the time to answer the questions myself. This is how I responded about my husband and I…

Ages: 43 and 44 (for now)

Years married: 23 although it seems a lot longer. Just kidding. It seems like it was only yesterday that we met, after which a bunch of other shit happened – like a LOT of other shit.

Occupations: orthopedic surgeon and writer/fitness enthusiast/Olympic money spender. I’m sure I share this last title with a few other careless and “totally unconcerned with their finances” people out there.

How did you know he was the one? I knew it the very first night we met. There was just an ease in talking to him. He wasn’t an idiot – that was key – and he was really down-to-earth, smart and funny. We just “got” each other. Plus, he was wearing a pink sleeveless shirt and somehow – don’t ask me how – I thought he was the best looking man I’d ever seen. Oh yeah, and he could dance – really well. That was also pretty high up there on the list of things my potential partner needed to be able to do. That and hook up electronics’ equipment. God knows I can’t do that stuff.

What made it last? We just like being together. We get along, you know? We are opposites of each other. What makes me mad, doesn’t seem to affect him, and vice versa. There are not usually two exploding fire bombs going off at the same time, if you get what I’m saying. Not only that, but we are always pushing each other to be better people. And he hasn’t killed me in my sleep yet. I think that is SO important. Not to mention, the sex is great. [Zach, Charles, and Tess, if you are reading this, ignore that last statement.)

Advice: Marriage is about compromise. You can’t always have the really expensive couch that you want. (Or can you?) It’ll never work if you think like that. (Or will it?)

I think it’s also important to realize that people change. No one stays the same. And your relationship will change as well. You have to be flexible. Just like you do with children, you have to pick your battles. He wants to buy another motorcycle? OK, but there’s no way in hell he’s going to stop you from getting chairs to go with that new couch of yours. Yes, you have to know what’s worth fighting for and what isn’t. You’ll go nuts otherwise.

I think you also have to understand that marriage is hard work, meaning that it’s not always going to be a bed of roses. Sometimes, it’s going to be crappy. Expect and learn to work through the difficult times. And try not to pull your husband’s hair when you get mad. OK, there was that ONE time, and that was back when he had some.

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