Erica Lucke Dean

"Making the world a better place, one book at a time."

dongles, dogs, and a death march

Morning.

My alarm went off every ten minutes for almost an hour before I managed to wake up completely.  I had been preparing for this day all week, but when it was finally upon me, I was pitifully unprepared.  I should have showered the night before.  I should have skipped the caffeine all day long.  And I should have gone to bed before eleven thirty (which was still much earlier than every night before, but not nearly early enough.)  But I didn’t do any of those things, so I was tired.  I showered, dressed, and prepped for my day in a virtual fog.

The slow death march into the bank this morning was preceded by two things: first my Tupperware container of milk tipped over as I took the turn into the parking lot just a little too sharply…and second I reached for the milk (forgetting the wonderful powers of the airtight Tupperware seal) and managed to hit the curb with the right front tire of the car, thus denting the wheel cover ever so slightly.  When my husband finds out, I don’t think he will find it as funny as I did, but the important thing is, I’ve now managed to ruin a perfect record of no clumsiness while driving the car.

The day was a bit of a blur.  I don’t know if it was the shock of being back, or the fact that everyone in town decided that today was the day to go to the bank, so I was very busy the entire time.  I barely had time to catch up with my colleagues or grab donuts in the break room.  (I did have a donut, there’s always enough time for at least one.)

Afternoon.

I was hungry from the moment I set foot in the house after work.  It was lunchtime, and I was craving wings.  Nothing new there, but I don’t think I’d eaten wings the entire time I was on vacation, so I was due.  I would have to be overdue another day, because I was not going to be getting wings.  In fact, I was destined to eat nothing but burnt popcorn for lunch today.  I didn’t burn it by accident as you may have imagined.  No, I burn mine on purpose.  I think it’s an acquired taste left over from my youth when we popped (or rather burned it) the old fashioned way, in a pan with hot oil!  Now it’s microwaved for just one more minute than required in the instructions.  

I had no sooner eaten my bowl of charred popcorn when my husband told me he needed to run to the store for a new power cord for his laptop.  He had left his somewhere, and needed to work on something from home.  So off to the Best Buy we went to find a new power cord. As I always do when in Best Buy, I cruised the Playstation 3 aisle in search of a replacement dongle for the original guitar.  I don’t know why, but I never give up hope that Sony will discover the error of their ways and begin to produce the part for those of us who have lost our dongles.  Alas, they have not yet read my mind.  No new dongles for me today.  But my husband did find the cord he needed, and one hundred dollars later, he was plugged in and ready to go! 

Instead of rest and relaxation on the rest of my Saturday, I was plunged into a sea of teenage drama, dirty dishes, and dog hair.  I was too tired to clean the house, so instead I slunk into my leather sofa with my laptop and surfed the internet while my daughter played Rockband on the PS3.  If only we had another dongle, I could have played second guitar with her.  I would have been horrible! I can’t quite figure out that game.

It was there…on my sofa…that I got the phone call from my son. 

“Mom…I’m at the park…”

My overactive imagination filled in the blanks with such things as, “I’ve been pulled over for speeding!” Or “I ran out of gas!” Or even, “board up the windows, there is a zombie invasion in Atlanta!”  But definitely not, “I found this lady giving away puppies, and I want one!”

Don’t I already have three large dogs and two big cats? (One of which is a claw carrying ninja kitty?)  Oh yes…I surely do!  Not that that little fact was going to deter my twenty year old son from using the time honored guilt trip of, “but Mom…I’ll feed him, and walk him, and take care of him all by myself.  He won’t be your dog.  He’ll be mine!”

I had heard this all before.  That is precisely how I got three dogs and two cats to begin with.  And not one of those is the Pug named Claude (pronounced Cload, because he speaks with a French accent!) that I have imagined myself owning for the past several years! My French speaking dog from China will have to wait until the geriatric dogs have gone on to doggy Heaven, and the ninja kitty retires his claws for much gentler pursuits. 

Of course, I said no to the new puppy. 

But my son is now an adult (so they keep telling me) and he was not backing down without a fight—or rather a well thought out intelligently fought debate.

His arguments? 

A)    He is in fact a grown up with the means to provide for this new mouth to feed.

B)     He would be keeping his dog with him at all times other than while at work or school in which case he had already provided for alternate care (his girlfriend and his sisters)

C)     He isn’t five anymore so he actually knows what it means to be totally responsible for another creature.

So yeah, he got the dog.  He is on a thirty day probationary period.  If he can’t handle the first thirty days the puppy goes back.  He is a cutie.  And I have to admit, it is refreshing to play with a puppy and then give it back.  I guess it’s like practice for the day when it’s not puppies but babies.  And I won’t even say that word.  The G word.  My mother is a grandmother, I am not a grandmother.  Not even to a puppy.

Evening.

In a very funny twist of events, while my son was puppy proofing his bedroom, he discovered a strange object tucked under some papers in his room.  It was a dongle.  The very same dongle that he had accused me of losing!

Sometimes even the worst days have a happy ending!

Until the next time…I’ll be brushing up on my Rockband skills!

Copyright © 2000-2016, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.