Thursday, May 12, 2011

girls rule and dogs drool ( a lot)

I took Einstein to the dog park today!
notice the drool that is about to plummet from his mouth to the floor below. number one downside to an exhausted dog.
 This probably wasn't the best idea considering I was freshly showered and would inescapably be flecked with mud within minutes, OR because it is pretty freaking hot outside and Eistein and I have too much hair to really be comfortable (except when in the shade). Yet still we ventured to the park and enjoyed the adventure.

At first, it was just poor Einstein. No friends, no Frisbee skills, incapable of fetching a ball (he doesn't even run after it- how is this possible?).  Then some other dogs showed up and he revealed himself to be That Dog. That jerk dog who play-fights with everything and humps everyone. Bros, bitches, soccer moms. He's not picky, just overly enthusiastic. But he's fixed. Go figure.

Oh, I forgot to mention that these other dogs are attached to people. Presumably their owners, but who can tell? And as I sat at my loner table, reading Tina Fey's Bossypants and periodically intervening to keep Einstein from trying to "dominate" a German Shepherd puppy, I realized that this is about socializing dog owners as much as it is about socializing the dogs. I know what you're thinking: Duh, Claire. Where have you been? And I knew this, but it was illustrated brilliantly to me today.

Women come in with their dog(s), and you exchange pleasantries.  
  • What's his/her name?  
  • ...What is it? (this means "what breed?" but I take it slightly offensively because my dog isn't clearly identifiable and the supposition is that he must be some sort of mixie. which he is, but whatever.)
who doesn't love a panting pooch and a refreshing beverage?
These people very rarely learn anything about you, however.  The very least they will come to knowing about you is why you named your dog Vermouth or where you can get the best vegan dog food. I overheard one woman today say that she had a live-in dog trainer for four months. A LIVE-IN DOG TRAINER. I think live-in nannies and maids are lush, but a dog-trainer? I quickly realized I was out of my element.
I didn't have any cute stories to share about Einstein ("the little rascal ate poop this morning! It was adorable- like, we give you food, silly thing! Oh, parenting can be tough, right?? Hahaha. Oh, you!") so I decided to let the two women entertain themselves and I cracked open Bossypants and slurped my iced coffee.

That's when I realized: if this is people socialization too, I am failing. Big time. I am that kid in middle school who sits by herself at lunch so she can eat her food and read at the same time. I am the kid who pretends her backpack is taking up too much room so no one will sit next to her on the bus. Oh, who am I kidding? I was that kid in middle school. Why should that change now? I may have thought years of proper socialization and a strong friend group over the last ten years would change that, but again, who am I kidding?

I understand now that just because I didn't jump in to their "my dog is so silly" conversation doesn't mean I am some sort of loner deviant or a taller better-dressed version of Claire in middle school. I might just not be a dog person (the term "dog person" always makes me think "dog-person" like the Egyptian god Anubis) or at least not a coo-over-my-dog person. Which is fine with me. Just as long as I'm not reverting back to this person:

Actually, I look pretty happy to have gotten that i-zone camera, so it might not be so bad. But if I have to be in 6th grade again, I am straight up skipping health class this time.

EDIT: I totally forgot to explicitly say this: Read Bossypants. It is fantastic. Fantabulous. Wowza Hilarious. Read it. You can borrow my copy, because I won't be able to restrain myself from finishing it in the next six minutes. 

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