Me: No–I totally went, but it was flooded, so no walk. See the pictures?
Mate: It totally counts. You went, you got out of the car, you took pictures. Counts.
Me: Excellent! Win!
* * *
I’m in line to pay for Geoffie’s grooming while the groomer’s get her ready. Johnnie is on the leash, dancing nervously at my feet. About the time I notice he’s decided to mark a display box, a woman looks down and says, “Oh, isn’t he cute!”
“Yes, of course!”
I come back with the spray bottle and paper towels handily provided by a staff that realizes dogs mark everything. When I’m done cleaning up I smile apologetically and go to throw the paper towels away.
“He’s cute, but he’s sort of an asshole,” I say to the woman by way of explanation.
She laughed, but seriously, I don’t think he looked so cute to her anymore.
* * *
“Meow, meow, meow! If only this door wasn’t open, you bird fuckers! I’d totally come get you!”
I’m like, “Cat, the door is open. Go get the birds.”
Cat’s like, “If only….”
Go get’em Steve. You got those bird fuckers on the run.
* * *
“Yeah,” I said, “and my mom told me to remind them to fold their clothes just right and that they need to bring drinks they want and that we should bring a crate for the dogs…”
Mate’s all, “Okay. Fine. We can do that. Do they know?”
“Yeah, but I forgot to tell them to watch out for big waves and not to talk to strange men and to make sure they don’t wander off and get lost and–“
Mate says, “But those sound like rules.”
“They’re not rules.”
“No,” I correct, “they’re worries. I have to worry about them, and then I have to communicate my worry so those worries don’t happen.”
“You don’t have to worry–they’ll be with your parents.”
“But I do have to worry! Don’t you understand? If I forget to worry about something it will happen and if I remember to worry about it we can stop it from happening. The entire weight of my worry has kept our children safe for over twenty-five years.”
“Your worry alone.”
“It’s a terrible responsibility.” I need to make sure he knows this. “It’s exhausting! But if I don’t worry about all of it now, and it does happen, it means I screwed up and it’s my fault!”
“You’ve been doing this for twenty-five years?”
“Twenty-six. It started when I was pregnant.”
“Well, uh, carry on. I guess. If that’s what you think will help.”
“It’s kept them safe this long.”
“Sure it has. Absolutely.”
So, scuse me, my mom will have the kids but I do need to spend some of my time worrying!