A HOLIDAY SHOPPING FABLE
Luckily the f-bomb technically is not a swear word, so technically, I didn’t swear. I was lying on my stomach trying to figure out how to get up. My knee was screaming. I was wearing Sven’s large, clunky winter boots and I felt like I was in one of those not so pretty downhill ski twisted knotty predicaments where you aren’t exactly sure what to do. Hunter was looking at me sheepishly. His frozen solid dead friend was hanging out of his mouth, and when I say friend, I am using the term loosely and when I say dead, I am not. It was truly a one sided relationship between my dog and a robin. Hunter found it under a big old pine tree earlier that morning on our first walk. It had been in perfect shape, other than the fact that its bright orange breast wasn’t pulsing with a heartbeat and its eyes were stuck wide open. I tried to convince him to drop the damn thing, but he was not in a convincing mood. Instead the popsicle-like bird came along with us on our walk. When we got back to the house I had to draw the line. “If you want to keep that bird you will have to stay outside,” I said. He did. So I hooked him up to the chain that is in the yard for occasions such as these and went inside to get ready for an exciting day of holiday shopping. It was cold out there, so by the time I was ready to leave Hunter was ready to come in out of the snow. Solo. Off to the city I drove and I spent hours of hard core shopping, shopping, shopping, first the mall and then shop after shop after shop. At Kohl’s alone I saved over $4000 and received $100 in Kohl’s cash. I was also one of the lucky 40 million people whose security was breached at Target. I returned home with both car and trunk stuffed to the gills and I was ready to chill. Now if you know anything about my life, (Please refer to my post: Millie & Sven’s School of Dog Whispering), you know that this would be one of those times that Hunter would like to go for a walk, and it wouldn’t matter to him that I just wanted to make myself a Tom & Jerry, pat myself on the back for all of my efforts, put my feet up and perhaps stare at the Christmas tree lights. Instead, I pulled a box out of the many, many bags that were strewn about the kitchen. This box was for me. Inside it was a new pair of soft, fleece lined, easy pull-on boots. I’d been wearing Sven’s humongous winter boots, with cat pee saturated laces, for dog walks ever since I’d found that I couldn’t get my ankle to twist and turn into my own pair, after having sprained it doing housework three weeks prior. I know. I should never have been doing something so dangerous as washing all the bedding on my day off, but it had to be done and somebody had to do it and Sven doesn’t even know how to. So I’d pulled all the sheets off our bed and the spare bedroom bed, wadded them into a giant ball, threw the new laundry detergent on top of the pile and started making my way to the laundry room. It’s just that when I got to the landing my foot got tangled in a sheet that had slipped out of my wadded mess and it was all over for me after that and Sven’s afternoon was ruined too when he had to mark his page and take me into urgent care where I received x-rays and an air cast. I pulled my new boots out of the big pink box and “SON OF A BITCH,” I yelled. Sven was upstairs reading and he had to put his book down to find out what awful, terrible, tragic, tragedy had occurred. “I have two fucking left boots here!” I’d yelled to him. “Oh, maybe then you should dance.” “Ha ha!” “Didn’t you try them on?” “I only tried on the one." “Well, didn’t you even look at the other one?” “No! They always check them at the cash register! Always! Always! Always! Son of a Bitch,” I sputtered and grabbed one of Sven’s stinky old boots, to put on as noisily as possible to make sure that the whole world, or at least everyone in our house knew how pissed off I was about the situation. I think it was that little tantrum that caused me to lose focus on the task at hand, which was to take Hunter for a walk. Normally, I lock the retractable leash in place so that when we go out the door, we go out together and nobody pulls anybody off the deck by shooting out like a bull being sprung from it’s pen. But I didn’t think of that. I was still picturing the cute little fucking cashier who HAD NOT checked to make sure that I didn’t have two left boots. I realized what was about to happen to me and I stood there and watched the whole thing play out. There, lying in the snow was that frozen robin. In milliseconds, my mind raced, “Will the lead reach it?” I heard the whirr of the leash zipping out of the round case in my hand at a very high rate of speed. The movie was in slow motion, but I was motionless. Before my brain could signal, “DROP IT,” to my hand, I was yanked in the air and landed with a thud. So as I was trying to figure out how to get myself back up, out there on the front deck, with Hunter and his bird both staring at me, Sven yells down from the upstairs window, “Millie, are you okay?” I know he was thinking, “Damn it, if I have to take her to urgent care again I am never going to finish this book.” Of course I didn’t answer him right away. I was still all pissy about my boots, my knee hurt, my hand was throbbing and the f-bomb was shooting out of my mouth several times in several fashions like it was a machine gun. Hunter was looking at me all startled-like. The bird looked startled too but he’d been frozen that way ever since he’d slept in and missed the big migration. “I don’t know.” I answered Sven all pitiful-like. Then I worked my way up and out of my pickle. Hunter, his bird and I hobbled away until we got around the corner of the wood shed. This way Sven was able to witness that he was married to a martyr who no matter what, takes care of her responsibilities even though she’s exhausted, has a sprained ankle, a twisted knee a beat up hand and an idiot for a dog. Hunter spit the bird out shortly after that on the same walk when another scent drifted past that nose of his and he dragged me straight into the bushes. As far as I know he has not paid a visit to that frozen, dead, robin friend of his since. I have to say, it didn't really have that much of a personality. The moral of the story is: Bad words, mean thoughts and tricking your husband into believing that you are severely injured will get you no further in life than in a big heaping pile on your front deck.