Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Saga of Size, Sighs.

This title is not meant as a pun (though it is a fine one), but rather as stakes to ground the flyaway tarps that are me trying to make my life into sentences. See also: that past sentence.

But first, Pinto.

I know, guys, I know, you're all out there rolling your eyes thinking Juh-heee-zus Rachel shut up about your dang dog already but whatever! I can't help it. He's my little fluffer nutter, and he is loved and revered by all who are fortunate enough to know him.

Also, he is a moose.

Both my parents have visited me this summer, and they have both said the same thing re: my moose dog: He's huge! To be fair, Penny, our Corgi, is small. Or, at least, not huge. As in, she is about 20 pounds, and Pinto is 50.

Now, as you will recall, I am actually somewhat retarded when it comes to numbers of any sort--my brain starts buzzing like the yogurt section at Wal-Mart and no matter how much I try to think, I can't really put 50 pounds, or 300 feet, or 7000 miles, in perspective. I'm certain whatever quadrant of my brain devoted to spatial reasoning was long ago taken over by Oasis lyrics.

Then there's the fact that I have been with Pinto since he really was just a wee little bean, so he hasn't sprouted so much as imperceptibly increased in the previous months. Ergo, to me, he doesn't seem like a big dog. He is not a little dog, yes--most of the time I just think of him as my little fluffer nutter.

Then we went to puppy school.

To be short, I think I now understand how mothers who get called about little Bobby's trip to the principal's office feel. Pinto is not exactly a star student. In fact, he's the equivalent of Roger from Doug--not the kind of dog you'd want to bring home for dinner. After our first class, I was pretty close to just sitting in the car and having a meltdown, but then I realized it was way too hot outside for such silliness, and, moreover, how silly it was to be so upset.

As my wisest friend Karlena J. Riggs put it: "Rachel. Seriously. You have to stop taking criticisms of your dog as a personal affront." (Karli also said, when I screamed OH LOOK IT'S A PIGGY at the Animal Actors show at Universal: Rachel. Seriously. You need to calm down.)

Pinto has a whole slew of little idiosyncrasies that make him a special case at puppy school: he is completely uninterested in the presence of food, so while the other dogs are happily heeling and sitting and staying, Pinto is dancing around so he can go make friends. Pinto's head is 90% mouth, so he likes to say hello with his teeth. And, I think, most tellingly, Pinto has a vice-tight grip on my heart because he was the only thing that stayed constant in the past 6 months, when I was completely alone and afraid and awkward--the other couples in the class (and they are all couples) have children, have houses, have each other.

I have my dog.

So that's why I never shut up about my dog, and why I crouch on the floor daily to look him in the eye regardless of the inevitable faceful of puppy breath, and why I sleep with him even though he vibrates the bed whenever he gets an itch, and why I almost crash my car every time I take him on a drive because I'm looking in the sideview mirror at his ears flying back and the unmitigated glee on his face.

And if that isn't a good enough explanation for you, well. Too damn bad.

So we went to puppy school for the second time yesterday (it's a 6 week course before he is "Star Puppy" certified), and we did a little exercise where we swapped dogs, a kind of canine musical chairs. And so I got to pet the 2 month old Shepard, and the little spring-loaded yellow mutt, and then I look over and Peyton's owner, a guy probably 6'5, muscled, imposing, is straining to keep Pinto in order.

That's when I kind of thought: okay. I guess he is a moose.

The good news is two-fold. Whenever we're out walking, absolutely no one fucks with me because I have a beast at the end of my least. Also, because I spend about an hour a day reeling him in from whatever squirrel/cat/interesting patch of monkey grass he is desperate to interact with, I am acquiring some legitimate guns. If my professional Scrabble career never takes off, I might start entering Arm Wrestling tournaments.

As usual, this post has been entirely about Pinto. But, briefly, there is also the size and the sighs of me.

Roll the drums and sound the trumpets, bitches, because I've lost 40 motherfuckin' pounds. Again, due to my inability to process any kind of abstract integer, I have no real idea of how much this is, but I do know this: I went to Ross. I scoured the racks. I extracted a slinky, teal-blue satin Calvin Klein number, thinking, "Oh, what the heck." I put that sucker on. I zipped it up.

And I looked good.

Which then, of course, inspired me to keep looking, and extracting, and zipping, and amaze-ing, and, of course, purchasing. So I'm down about a Benjamin, but my gigantic closet, weirdly located off the bathroom, is replete with a dozen new dresses. 5 of them are Calvin Klein. I wish I wasn't so proud of that, but I am.

And it is so, so, so nice to go through my clothing and discard not only what's too big, but what's cheap, what's worn, what's simply ugly because I can now go into a store and look through the middle of the rack, not the extreme end. It's a really awful phrase that I'm not fond of, but I have to admit, it's kind of true: Nothing really tastes as good as looking good feels. (Which, again, does not mean I don't eat, but that I only treat myself to a cheeseburger when I'm having my monthly Cheeseburger & Chandler night, where me and my detective novel pull up a stool at P.T.'s).

When I started typing this, I thought the 'sighs' in the title referred to all the sighing I've been doing lately, which is a lot--mostly exasperated, exhausted, between moving apartments by my lonesome (see the aforementioned budding gun show) and making novice's mistakes at the radio station and my dog's tumbleweeds of shedding hair that are overtaking the corners of my apartment--but I think I deserve some contented sighs, too. I have a semi-tan from spending days at the beach. I have a dog who does not shit on the carpet. I have five Calvin Klein dresses.


Glory hallelujah amen!

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