Archive for August, 2013

The Tube of Toothpaste

August 30, 2013

I remember reading once in some magazine, you know the kind… marketed to women, full of advice for life, liberty and the pursuit of mascara that lasts all day and alerts you to the presence of employed, semi-intelligent men within and forty yard radius. ANYWAY, I was reading and there was a survey. I took the survey. It asked if I squeezed the toothpaste from the bottom up, or (and this other option somehow oozed scorn so I just knew it was the option chosen by degenerates and thieves) from the middle of the tube.

I said I squeezed from the bottom, of course. I’m normal. I’m a healthy American girl. I like baseball and apple pie… ok, I don’t like apple pie. I like the idea of apple pie, and I would cook an apple pie for you if you really wanted one and I knew how, but I’m not fond of fruit cooked with sugar. I like my fruit as nice, cold fruit. Raw. Where was I?

Oh yes, I claimed I squeezed bottom to top. In my defence, I thought I did. I really believed that I was a regular gal who carefully pinched from the bottom and diligently mashed out every… last… glob of toothpaste, doing my part to prevent waste and saving pennies for my folks… then later for me.

But it was a lie.

I think it took the ending of my marriage to make me see it (you know how it goes when every last flaw is dragged out for display and makes good cannon fodder for the final volleys over the mast… I’m losing myself in this metaphor so I’m going to stop). I squeeze from the middle and always have. I wrap my hot little hand around the middle, and I just make that fist, and half the paste goes to the bottom, and the other half comes out the top, and I do that until the middle is all crumpled. Then I squeeze from the TOP. Oh, sure. Eventually I have to squeeze from the bottom. I mash it against the counter and force the remaining Crest through the wrinkled, exhausted center, and finally to the top where I must perform the Side Press maneuver, pushing the deceased bottom off to the side, so I can push what remains inside out.

I’m sure you’re thinking I’m going to reveal how all of this discussion was really about something else entirely, like American economic policy or the role of women in the modern Episcopal church. But alas no. It’s just about the tube of toothpaste. The tube I have squeezed out. From the middle. Like the rebel I am. Like the outcast paraiah it makes me. Like a heroine of some dystopian YA novel soon to be made into a movie and badly cast.

It’s how I brush.

Warning: This blog contains God stuff, so if that’s not your thing, read another blog.

August 28, 2013

Ok so have you ever gotten something into your head, and you were pretty much obsessed with that thing, against all logic and clearer thinking?  And had you confessed what you were obsessing over to your best friend, that friend would have given you a slap upside the head (metaphorically speaking… because if you have a friend that really slaps you, you are either in an abusive relationship or into some weird stuff and hey I don’t judge) and told you to snap out of it?

Now, my OCD friends just said, “Duh, I do that, like, ten times a day!”  I am talking an UNUSUAL obsession.  One that came onto you like some kind of possession. 

Yes, obviously this happened to me.  So it all started with I joined a neighborhood social media group.  A good thing, really, but that’s another story.  Someone on it needed to find a new home for her shih-Tzu.  My mom recently lost three pets in a row and she’s been blue and mopey and INSISTENT that she wants no other pets once Methuselah the 900 year old poodle (real name Beau, age unknown, blind, deaf and perpetually sleepy) dies.

NOW, as you already suspect, I decided Mom needs animal companions.  She’s depressed without them.  I should know, as I am the same.  So I told her about the shih-Tzu and she was all no, I can’t, really, it’s the wrong time, well maybe, find out if it is male or female and neutered, but no probably maybe no call me back.

Male, not neutered.  Deal breaker.

So that should have been the end of it, but NO!  I became obsessed with finding a pet for my mom.  I was scouring shelter sites, craigslist, taking the kids to Petsmart, but nothing fit.  Nothing called out to me.  All I knew was that this pet (dog, I figured) was out there SOMEWHERE!

Now let me pause to assure you that this behavior is not really like me.  I have things I like, and things I do with regularity, but I don’t get obsessed with stuff.  I can take it or leave it.  So when it happens, something is UP.

So Saturday, still obsessive and driven, the kids and I were going to take the train into Dallas for an event.  Well the train station is on Lancaster, and what else is on Lancaster?  Why yes!  The Humane Society!  So I hurried the kids along, hurry come on get dressed, socks and shoes, did you brush your teeth, no brush your hair in the car let’s go! and we got to the HSNT and parked in the only shady spot in the lot!

Upon exiting the car, an older man says to me, “Do you all want two cats?”

It seems that Mrs. Man’s sister had died.  She had asked them, on her deathbed, to take care of her cats.  Sadly, Mr. Man’s idea of doing this was to bring them to the Humane Society.  But Saturday is apparently a big day for dropping off or dumping (depending), and Mr. Man was told to come back in an hour. 

I said, “Can I see them?” and he showed me two terrified, traumatized, HUGE cats, one a long-haired Himalayan, the other a Ginormous short haired possibly Siamese-ish Leviathan.  So I called my mom.  Can you guess her response?  You know my mom… or you should.  She couldn’t bear the thought of their being dumped (HSNT is a kill-shelter, unfortunately), and she said, OK.

So we went to Mr. and Mrs. Man’s house later that day and brought the poor, HUGE kitties to our house and in our bathroom (the reactions of our own two cats is fodder for another blog, which I will title, Warning, this blog contains references to cute cat antics).  The next day we put them in the crates again and trekked to Dallas to give them their new home, Mom’s Spoiled Rotten Rest Home For Traumatized Fat Cats.

So here’s the God part.  I know why I was being driven so hard.  I know why I was obsessing.  It was all to get me to that shaded parking spot at HSNT so that I could help save two poor animals whose only sin was to have their owner die suddenly.  God has acted in clear ways before in my life, ways which I was unable to deny.  I am grateful when I see it and feel it.  It’s cool.