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Sympathy = Zero

I can’t help but chuckle at all of the people on Facebook and in the media lamenting Whitney Houston’s death. They all feel “so horrible” and “so sad” about her “untimely passing”. Well guess what? I don’t. Not an ounce of me feels bad and I refuse to apologize for my stance on this too.

I can credit my parents for my complete lack of sympathy for anyone who chooses to ruin their life with drugs. Growing up, my dad went out of his way every chance he got to not only tell us that drugs ruin people’s lives, but he would show us too. A few times a year, he would drive us over to the Bronx and let us see how other people lived. That was in the 70’s when the Bronx was in its poverty heyday. (Watch Fort Apache, The Bronx if you don’t know what I’m talking about.) He would drive us through neighborhoods where people had cardboard for windows, half of the buildings were abandoned, graffiti was everywhere, and junkies roamed the streets. He would slow down and say “Do you see that? If you do drugs, that’s how you are going to live! It’s pretty cold in the winter when you have cardboard windows”. He would drive us past the Bronx Detention Center, where I still remember the inmates being able to yell out the windows. He would say “They can’t go to a Yankee game like we are because they are locked up for drugs.” Drugs over the Yankees? Never!

He also taught this lesson close to home, every chance he got. He would comment every time we drove past the park by my house and saw people were sniffing glue out of paper bags. Again, he would slow down and say “Do you see that? If you want to ruin your life and be homeless, then sniff glue like that guy is doing! You will melt your brain and definitely won’t live in our house. You can live at the park with that guy instead!”. Living in the park with glue sniffers never sounded very appealing to me. Neither did cardboard windows or a half melted brain. In fact, all of his examples scared the sh*t out of me! Thus I never did drugs.

I don’t raise my daughter any differently than my parents raised me. This morning she came downstairs and asked if I was sad because someone named Whitney Houston died. I told her “Absolutely not!” and used it as an example of drugs completely ruining someone’s life. I told her all about what a great singer she used to be, and let her hear some of her songs. Then I showed her the picture in the paper of her from one day ago, all sweaty and drugged out, and told her that Daddy and I don’t have any sympathy for people who choose to destroy their lives and throw their gifts away, and neither should she! This isn’t a new topic for her. I have also let her see parts of Celebrity Rehab and Intervention so she can see what a disaster drugs are on people’s lives. I have friends that have told me that perhaps that’s a little much, but I don’t think it is. My parents went out of their way to make sure I never did drugs by showing me examples, and I hope for the same outcome by showing my daughter the same things every chance I get. I hope I am scaring the sh*t out of her, and that someday she does the same to her kids!

So there it is…my two cents. I’m not being holier than thou. If people want to destroy their lives using drugs, that’s their choice…but there will be no sympathy coming from me. I don’t feel sorry for Joe Schmo drug addict and I don’t feel sorry for Whitney Houston either.
PS – Thanks Mom and Dad!



“You’re In My Spot!”

Summer is the time that I get back on the exercise class wagon. During the school year, I just have too much to do on a daily basis, and usually just work out at home. I love going to class, but what I do not love, or even remotely understand, is people’s crazy obsession with their “spots”.

I usually try to go to class at 5:45am…bright and early. It’s not crowded and my friend teaches the class. Sometimes, I just can’t get out of bed and will take a different class in the morning…and that’s where the craziness starts.

Last week, I took a later class for the first time on a Friday and it was PACKED. If you know me at all, then you know that one of my biggest quirks in life is my “space issue”. Unless I am super comfortable with you, I get extremely uncomfortable if you are anywhere within arm’s reach of me. I mean uncomfortable to the point that the hair on the back of my neck stands up, I get a knot in my stomach, start getting antsy, and need to back away slowly .

Anyway, I put my bag down and stood in an area (I refuse to say spot) that looked a little roomy. A second later this gaggle of older women come to where I am standing and unbeknownst to me at the time, begin to claim their sacred territory that I had invaded. Since I don’t really talk to people there (Shocker, I know) I just ignored them and stretched a little. Next thing I know, the one woman is standing SO close to me that her arm hair is almost touching mine. When I look up at her, she is glaring at me. Ah, now I get what’s going on…and I decide to stand my ground for a minute or two…just to be a jerk. Finally I couldn’t take it anymore because if she got any more in my space I’d be giving her a piggy back ride. I was mad at myself for doing it, but she had found my kryptonite…so a few steps to the right I went. As if her winning “her spot” back wasn’t enough, she turns to her gaggle of pals and says “See? I got my spot back!” You can imagine the face I made at that comment.

That face must’ve struck a nerve with her, because today she actually gave me a little tutorial on “her spot”. Yes, I forgot that this was the one class time I wanted to avoid, and made the same mistake twice. As soon as I got there and a good 50 other women came in, I seriously contemplated picking up my bag and leaving, because it was way too crowded for me. I’m glad I didn’t, or I would have never learned about this woman’s obsession with “her spot”.

I purposely stood in that area to the right of their lunacy and had no intentions of even looking at them this time…and I sure as hell wasn’t going to concede another inch of room to them after last week’s antics. As I am stretching, the woman who announced her greatness for all things “spot” came up to me and asked me if I had enough room. I felt like this was a trick question, so I just kind of glanced up at her and didn’t say anything…but I know I was making one of my patented faces. She then proceeded to tell me about “her spot” and not just tell me…but showed me the actual set of squares on the floor that she truly believes are hers. She showed me that there is a tiny (and I mean TINY) scuff mark on one of the squares and that is precisely where she NEEDS to stand to start. She was really proud of that little scuff mark because apparently she made it. It’s like the aerobic equivalent of the Zorro Z to her, and I guess now I am to recognize it and concede it to its rightful owner. Crazy, right?

When I looked around the room today, I came to the realization that it’s not just the old woman wolf pack next to me that claim “spots”. Apparently all of these women claim “spots”. It’s like the movie Groundhog’s Day in there right before each class starts, and I never really noticed it before. They all come in, and stand in exactly the same “spot” they stood in last time. I watched them while I stretched and could read their facial expressions if they felt someone was encroaching. It really cracked me up.

Personally, I could care less where I stand. I like the left side of the room better for some reason, but I’ll stand anywhere. Guess my method of having no method is really screwing up people’s days. Guess what ladies, you all have at least another month of me screwing it up for all of you….and I’m considering touring the room.

Man’s Best Friend…Literally

In case you haven’t had the pleasure, this is my husband’s dog, Rory. I should say our dog, but if I did, I would be lying. He’s only mine by proxy or that 5% of the day that he needs something…otherwise, he’s my husband’s dog.

I have to say that it kind of pisses me off. Everyone always says “He has a face only a mother could love!”, and I suppose so…unfortunately, he saves all of his love for Daddy – and sometimes my daughter. It cracks me up, because who picked him out of the litter? Me! He was the biggest and cutest of the pups. I thought maybe this dog would be “mine”, unlike the last one, but noooo. He apparently does not remember that it was me who picked him up out of that crate of puppies and claimed him to be the newest member of our clan. It was me who went through baby books to find a name that suited him…Rory: Irish for “The Red King”. Yep, none of that matters…because I am a second class citizen, according to him.

Here’s a quick list of times I actually rate high on his scale in life:
1. When I put my fork down to signal I am done with dinner. Oh yeah, it is at that exact moment that I am aces. He jumps up, puts his head on my lap (or tries to crawl up) and stares at me with his “Mommy, you’re the best…please feed me” face. As soon as I put his bowl on the floor, he growls for me to get lost. Sigh…

2. When he needs to go out, who does he come to? That’s right, me! He strolls right past my husband (even if he is standing next to the door holding the handle) to find me. Apparently I am the only one magical enough to let him out back.

3. When he is sick, who’s his nurse-maid? If you said “Me“, you are right. Any little thing that’s off kilter with this giant hound and suddenly he has a flashback from the crate and his first hug and kiss. As soon as he is better though, it’s see ya sister! (I am also very good at extracting him out from under the bench at the vet…since it falls under being sick, I can list it here)

4. Short and sweet – if he needs his back scratched in a spot he can’t reach or his ears massaged, I’m his girl.

5. There is no number 5. I’ve obviously only got 4 good uses working in my favor.

Now, when it comes to my husband it’s nothing but love. Not just love…an obsessive love that actually leads to frequent panic attcks if he strays more than 2 feet from him. He cannot even go outside for a minute without Rory doing sprints through my house – door to door to door – trying to figure out how life can be so cruel and they could possibly be apart for more than 10 seconds. Then the crying starts…it’s unbelievable. One day when he went out somewhere, Rory vaulted his gigantic self up onto my kitchen counter (Yes, all 4 legs were up there) to see if his keys and phone were gone! I kid you not, and so wish I had gotten a picture of that move! This is the same dog that would help me pack my bags if I was leaving…and maybe even scrounge up a little extra gas money for me too.

When my husband watches TV, this 147 lb dog HAS TO have his giant self on the arm of his chair like a poodle. The 2 inch rule is in full effect..any more space than that would be unacceptable. Meanwhile, his giant body takes up the rest of the couch, leaving me about 1/4, if I’m lucky. If I try to move him, he turns into Sir Growls A Lot. He needs a lot of space to stare lovingly at my husband for hours.

My all time favorite love sick move Rory does happens everytime my husband leaves for work. I never have to wonder where the dog is because this is where he always is…

…laying by the front door, awaiting the moment that Daddy returns and all is right in his world again. Actually he usually has his nose about an inch from the door, but as you can see we got a delivery that day and awful me couldn’t move those heavy boxes out of his way. I’m sure it was just another strike against me.

Oh, I do need to tell you the chaos that ensues when my husband does stroll back through that door. Rory will joyfully run in place for a good five minutes and emit sounds that can only be described as “scream whimpering”. Do you know what he does when I stroll through the door? He looks PAST me for my husband. If he isn’t with me, Rory looks back at me with visable disappointment and goes right back to staring past me as if trying to magically will his Daddy to appear. It does wonders for the ego.

So now you know. If you see us somewhere, please don’t say “Wow, your dog is cute!” because the correct phrase would be “Wow, your husband’s dog is cute!”. Just don’t use the phrase “Daddy” because it will lead to yet another panic attack.

By the way, these are the only two in my house that actually show me some love……until my husband walks up to the tank and taps their fish food jar on it…then all bets are off….

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