The Way Things Are



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Raging misconceptions.
2006-03-07, 11:25 a.m.

Just to clear up what might be some raging misconceptions going on out there – and you know I care deeply – please allow me to make a few clarifying observations.

Clarification the first: I still love Mrs. Beans, in all her neurotic, unteachable, passive-aggressive manipulative glory. She’s very sweet, very funny, very affectionate, very pretty, and perhaps the world’s weirdest dog. I won’t go on and on and on on and on (the beat don’t stop til the gravy’s on) describing her here. I’ve done enough of that over the years of this journal. Beans is missing a part of her internal code, as well as having a screw loose. But I still love her, even though she can be a little difficult to love.


Beans hanging out, eating, with her white trash carpet scrap. Nothing says class like a Doberman and a ratty carpet scrap on the front walk.

HOWEVER, it is nice to have a normal dog in the house again. Piper takes a lot of care: taking out, watching, cleaning up after (she either puked or sharted in her crate in the car yesterday – it was so foul, we couldn’t tell what end it came out of), encouraging her to walk through doorways and eat out of a bowl, both of which beflummox her, teaching her not to bite us with her little needle-like teeth or jump on us with her little needle-like baby talons, etc.

Both dogs get equal amounts of snuggling and whatnot, but Piper will actually look you in the face as you’re kissing the top of her head, unlike Beans, who has always turned her head to the side so as to avoid any kind of affection other than vigorous petting or snack feeding. Piper is normal; Beans will take our affection and attention on her terms only, and sheesh, she’s just a lovable high-strung freakish piece of work.

THIS WILL NOT TURN INTO A DOG BLOG, I SWEAR.

Clarification the second: when I was about, I dunno, 11 or 12? I was dubbed “Laura Flea” by one of my parents’ friends. He’s a very nice man named Bubba (honestly!), with a very nice family, and 30 years later, I still see these folks from time to time as they have remained my parents’ friends, and I still get called Laura Flea, or just Flea, by some folks in my parents’ circle of friends. And also by my sister, who pronounces it “Lar-Flea”.

“Why, she’s no bigger than a flea!” I still remember that moment very clearly, because it was probably the first time I was called a nickname that was affectionate in nature, and not like the “Ugh Lee” that my stepdad nicknamed me around the same time.

“Ugh! Lee!” I remember talking at some point back in the archives about being hard-wired for self-loathing and having a really hard overcoming that, and expecting other people, particularly my husband, to just hate my guts after an initial period of thinking I’m cool, and Ugh Lee is part of my rich legacy of self-doubt. Because, you know, that shit sticks in your brain, and I really and truly do think I’m pretty ugly, and that everyone who thinks otherwise is just being nice or is smoking the good stuff.

So the Flea thing has nothing to do with the fleas our new dog has, and shall soon be rid of. My Flea predates her fleas by a good three decades.

And if anybody starts protesting my self-perception in the comments, I’ll delete your comments because I’m not looking for arguments or compliments. I’m just stating the facts. It’s just The Way Things Are. See? Full circle. I’ve compensated for my perceived shortcoming in the looks department with my sparkling personality.

Clarification the third: whenever anybody calls me a skank ho, I will delete the comment. ALL OF YOU. I know you’re nice people, but I really don’t want to read that because it’s kind of harsh. ‘K?

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