The “Bully” Breed

At 5AM on Saturday morning, there was a scratching at the sliding glass door in my bedroom.

Outside, looking huge and muscular and scared and pitiful was a full grown white and black male pitbull. At first I was unsure as to whether or not to let a strange dog in to my house – I have two kids. a pregnant belly, and a 6-month old pitbull named Leo, so letting in any strange dog, regardless of breed, is risky. But he looked so pathetic that I opened the door and held out my hand, which he sniffed gingerly before strolling in.

Leo was immediately excited to have a new friend, because Leo is a doofus and thinks everyone is his friend. In this case, he was right. Despite being twice his bulk and age, the new guy rolled around playfully with my little pup, nibbling gently and emitting a contented noise that can best be described as an oink.

When they calmed down I inspected this gentle giant who had likely become scared at the sound of fireworks and somehow escaped his home. Because he definitely belonged to someone – his nails were clipped and he was obviously well fed.

He also had, around his neck, a length of heavy five pound chain to serve as his “collar”. There were no tags attached. He was not neutered. He was far filthier than he should have been for a dog that had only been out a day or two. He had small wounds on his legs in various stages of healing. I concluded that he was probably kept outside most of the day. The weather here has been in the 90s and 100s for weeks. Given that he had no tags and his testicles were still in tact, I doubted if he had been adopted from a shelter, which meant he most likely didn’t have his shots either.

I removed the “collar” immediately.

I kept them both in the bedroom and set an alarm for myself to go off before my girls typically wake up – I still didn’t know how he’d be around children.

He met Evie first, and remained perfectly still as she stroked his massive head and cooed at him. He didn’t wiggle around or get excited, although he did try to put his paws on her shoulders but I intervened. He did just as well with Guin.

He didn’t bark. He didn’t bite. He didn’t scratch. He didn’t growl. By the middle of the day Saturday I was convinced that he was nothing more than a gargantuan baby who snored while he napped and made an oinking noise when he was happy. We wanted to keep him – an older dog, especially a pitbull, stands little chance of being adopted from a shelter. If his owners put up posters or came looking for him, they could have him back – but I made up my mind that they would not leave my home with that fucking chain that was around his neck and that I would thoroughly berate them for not neutering him, bathing him, or treating the numerous cuts and gashes on his legs.

That night, he fell asleep on Guin’s bed with her. She covered him up and gave him her stuffed pig. She fell asleep holding his paw.

Sunday, my landlord came over to fix the air conditioner. She took one look at our new addition and demanded we get rid of him – pitbulls are an “aggressive breed” and aren’t allowed by her insurance. Apparently there’s a clause buried somewhere in the lease that prohibits them as well. Leo, evidently, doesn’t look enough like a pitbull for her to notice because she said nothing about him.

So, these people at an insurance company who have never met this dog, or touched this dog, or played with him or snuggled him, have deemed him vicious, violent, dangerous, aggressive because of shitty fucking dog-owners who train them to be that way. The same can be said of Rottweilers, Dobermans, and Chows, and a laundry list of other breeds that are misunderstood.

Funny. Dalmatians are notorious for hating children. Every chihuahua I’ve met has bitten at least one person during their lifespan. I’ve known goldens who have attacked other dogs and Jack Russells who have turned on their owners. I’ve known labs that have killed cats.

But I could own any one of those breeds, and that would be acceptable. Because it’s not a pitbull.

Yes, I could register him as a therapy dog or I could have a vet sign off on papers that list him as a different breed (some vets are sympathetic to the plight of pitbulls and their owners and will do so discreetly). But I was honest with my landlord about how we found him, so any attempts I made to keep him would look sneaky and underhanded, and I am not sneaky and underhanded. Our lease is month to month, and I absolutely can’t risk getting tossed out.

But there shouldn’t be a risk at all. I shouldn’t have to defend a dog who has done nothing wrong.

I stayed in bed and cried for most of the afternoon over the sheer unfairness of it all.

Last night, he got out. I saw him in the field across the street from our house, just as he disappeared through an opening in the fence. That had happened twice before – the girls sometimes forget to close the door, and our front yard isn’t in fenced in. Both times he came back.

This time, he didn’t.

He was with us for two days, which isn’t a lot, but in that two days this big, beastly snugglemonster stole my heart. He was not dangerous or aggressive or vicious. All you had to do was look in to his big brown eyes and you could tell.

And that’s all that should matter. The name of the breed shouldn’t make a difference. The reason they were originally bred shouldn’t make a difference. A handful of shitty breeders, owners, or dog fighters shouldn’t make a difference. A dog can be unloved, but still sweet. They can be abused, and then become the best friend you’ve ever had. Just like people.

If you’re the type of person who shies away from certain dogs because of your preconceived notions that they will attack you or hurt you, then stop it. You’re part of the fucking problem. You’re part of the reason that shelters are filled to capacity with these misunderstood creatures who want what EVERY OTHER DOG WANTS – a home filled with love. And maybe a chew toy.

This. This is what people call vicious. Dangerous. Aggressive.

It has to stop. It HAS to stop.

From Fat to Thin to Pregnant

There is a benefit to being a fat teenager (although when you’re a teenager it probably doesn’t seem that way): if you are a fat teenager who becomes a skinny adult, you have first-hand knowledge of how much it can suck to not be considered attractive, and that tends to keep you humble. Most of the people I know – myself included – who have slimmed down considerably since those awkward high school years are infinitely more confident than we were…but we never really evolve in to self-absorbed, vain assholes.

Assholes like that made us miserable during a very vulnerable time in our lives. We don’t want to be them. Ever.

But as difficult as it is to be overweight (in myriad ways), it’s devastating to get thin and develop a  sense of pride when you look in the mirror…and then fatten up again.

Now I’m not saying being thin is a requirement for having self esteem. I’m just saying for some people, it sure as shit helps. I am one of those people, and I’m not ashamed of it. I am happier when I am at a smaller size.

So when I not only got pregnant but got pregnant with twins, I got big. And I got big quick. And I got bigger than I probably should have because after the girls were born, I still had sixty pounds to lose. I was basically the same weight I had been in high school and one by one, I packed away the articles of clothing I was once able to wear, telling myself I’d wear them again. When life wasn’t so hectic. When the girls were walking. When my schedule at work changed. After the holidays.

Three years later, I wasn’t any smaller. I wasn’t any bigger either, but I definitely wasn’t any smaller.

I thought about it every day, wavering between telling myself  I was okay with it, that I had kids so it was understandable, and being thoroughly disgusted with myself. It consumed me.

And then, one day, I stopped. I stopped thinking about it. I stopped beating myself up. I stopped focusing on every bulge and roll and how wide my thighs were when I sat. I just stopped giving a shit because I didn’t seem to have the motivation to fucking do anything about it. I stopped having internal conversations with myself that mirrored the things all those fucking cunt girls used to say to me when I was fifteen. I just…stopped. Because the more I tormented myself over how I looked, the less I cared about changing it.

But then I changed anyway. I dressed up more. Wore makeup more. Put more effort in to myself. I wore jewelry, perfume, and smiled when I entered a room like I owned that bitch. I wasn’t dieting or exercising. I was just not giving any self-pity steeped fucks. And the bulges and rolls and and thighs and belly were all slowly, gradually, little by little…going away. And they went away because I stopped giving so much of a shit about them. I stopped letting them control me. They were just one facet of myself. They were fixable, should I get the will to fix them through hard work and dedication – but if not? Well fuck you, I’m still pretty. Maybe not to you, or her, or him, or them, but to me? I’m still fucking pretty.

Four years after my girls were born, I was nearly back down to the size I was before I became a mother. Not quite, but almost. I could probably be there again if I lost a measly ten pounds…but I don’t give a shit. Five years ago, I hated my body as much as I did in high school and it wrecked me. It made me sad and bitter, and that made me dislike who I was as a person. And that’s not in the least bit motivating.  Today, I am perfectly comfortable with the way I look – even knowing I could stand to do a few crunches.

Now I’m pregnant again, and I’m aware I’ll probably have around 15-20 pounds to lose after my son is born. Bring it the fuck on. At 24 weeks, I can still fit in (most of) the clothes I wore six months ago. I still wear makeup and perfume and dresses (without heels). I still look in the mirror and see one good-lookin’ broad, with or without the giant basketball I appear to be smuggling under my shirt. There’s a good chance I’ll never have the body I had at nineteen, and you know what?

I don’t want it. I’m not nineteen anymore. I’m almost 30, I’ve had three kids, I partied in my early twenties, I love the fuck out of high quality, rich food, I don’t like physical activity, and fuck you, I’m cute anyway. If you don’t agree, that’s cool.

I’m the only one who needs to believe it to be happy.

 


dec13Little Black Dress – December 2013

 

24wks
Same Little Black Dress – 22 weeks

How To Have Amazing Sex

If you’ve stood in line at the grocery store like, ever, you’ve undoubtedly seen shelves of women’s magazines, all offering a bright pink block letter promise of spicing up your sex life. Pleasing your lover. Getting the spark back. And so on.

Turn the pages and you’ll find a pretty unimaginative article that suggests trying sexy talk, using feathers or food, watching porn together, and a laundry list of other shit that you probably could have figured out yourself (or may have already tried).

Because apparently, the cure to a ho-hum sex life is as simple as throwing a little kink in the mix. First of all, cuffing your man to the bed and giving him a strip show isn’t kinky. It’s fun. It’s not kinky. Put down “50 Shades of Grey” and learn the difference, you vanilla bitches. Kink is not for the weak.

But I digress; I’m not here to talk about kink, I’m here to talk about how to have sex that is mutually satisfying and makes both parties unwilling to move for the next several hours. The secret is not in the bottom of a can of whipped cream or in the tattered shreds of lingerie torn off in the heat of passion. Those are temporary fixes; sure, they’ll get things going for a little while, but what happens when that stuff loses its luster?

You’re gonna go out, buy another magazine, watch another special episode of Dr. Fucking Oz, and hope someone will give you another band-aid for your broken sex life.

Fucking stop it. Save your money and your time. I’ll tell you how to have mind-blowing sex all the time.

Are you ready? Here it comes. Wait for it…

FUCKING COMMUNICATE, YOU IDIOTS.

Instead of assuming what your partner is going to go wild for in bed, instead of taking a shot in the dark (heh heh), instead of thumbtacking “101 Ways to Make Them Scream” above your goddamn headboard, just fucking ask!

It is not embarrassing. It is not awkward. It is not fucked up. This is, if not a person you love, then someone you give a shit about right? If someone is going to laugh at you or make you feel less than when you open up about any of your needs, sexual or otherwise, you have way bigger problems than a dull sex life.

A good partner is willing to listen and is open to criticism. They won’t dismiss your fantasies as gross or stupid or weird. They won’t be offended if you ask them to try something a different way. You know why?

Because they are probably as sexually weird as you are. 

Your foot fetish is not creepy. Your curiosity in BDSM is not twisted. You’re not really a slut if you want your boyfriend to call you one in bed, and you’re not gay if you want your girlfriend to try plugging you.

I’m not saying your partner is going to be 100% open to everything that you suggest. Everyone’s got a line. But most people with really extreme fetishes (like watersports, for example) are aware that their fetish isn’t for everyone and will be open about what they want fairly early on instead of springing it on someone three years down the line. Just like with everything else in your relationship, compromises can be made, deals can be struck, arrangements can be set in place.

BUT NOT IF YOU DON’T FUCKING ASK!

So please, put down the magazines, turn off your TV and stop listening to your friends. Listen to me, a perfect stranger on the internet. If you want to have good sex, you have to have a dialogue about what good sex is to youGirls, don’t be shy – your boyfriend really enjoys fucking you, and will probably welcome any suggestions that could make the experience more pleasurable for both of you. Boys, your girlfriend is probably more willing to get adventurous than you’re willing to give her credit for.

And keep in mind, talking sex isn’t restricted to exploring one another’s fantasies. Maybe you just wish she’d blow you more. Maybe you want to squeeze his ears between your knees once a day. Maybe you want to be on top more. Maybe all it would take would be you piping up and saying, “a little to the left, please”. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

Don’t be scared of sex, people.

Make it your filthy, naughty little bitch.

The Friend Zone: Women’s Edition

Women are notorious for taking perfectly dateable men and transporting them to a cold, dark place known as The Friend Zone. You’ve done it. I’ve done it. We’ve all done it. And we probably have at least one  “friend” that we’re kicking ourselves in the ass for friend-zoning.

But let’s not assume that this practice is exclusive to women. Men, I’ve found, do the same thing, and women are just as oblivious to it.

When it comes to The Friend Zone, there’s really no question as to why a man has been put there: the woman doesn’t want to date you. She will never date you. She will ask you to fix stuff for her, and she will bitch about the asshole she’s currently dating, but she will never date you, and that is clear.

Not so with men. They have what I like to call the Back Up Barn and it is here that they herd sad, desperate females with the oft-unfulfilled promise of “I dunno, maybe, one day, possibly, I guess.”

Here’s how to tell if you’re just another sexy sheep.

 

1. Obviously if he’s being up front with you about his other romantic interests then you are not one of them. Most women are smart enough to figure that out, so they pack it up and move on. But if he’s being deliberately vague with you about other women, or what his feelings are with respect to you, guess what? HE DOESN’T HAVE ANY. You’re a Plan B, sweetheart. A silver medal. Give it up.

2. If all of his compliments are with respect to your looks, that’s pretty much all he’s interested in. Feel free to fuck him all ya want, but don’t expect it to go further than that. Men are not as shallow as we make them out to be – he’s not pursuing a relationship with a pretty girl just because she’s pretty; he’s actually interested in her, on some level, as a human being. The majority of people aren’t going to enter in to a commitment with someone they can’t stand or have nothing in common with – and that includes men. If you think every guy who’s ever turned you down falls under that category, maybe you should ask yourself why you’re drawn to that kind of man in the first place.

3. You know how you’ll talk to someone every day, and there’s flirtatious banter and cutesy exchanges and winky faces and hearts and shit? Ever had that just stop abruptly, and suddenly your conversations (which you always seem to initiate) become forced, and there is absolutely zero explanation for it? There is an explanation for it: he’s talking to a girl who isn’t you. And if this happens every few weeks or so, he’s talking to a lot of girls who aren’t you.

Yes, people get busy. Yes, shit happens unexpectedly. But people who actually give a shit about you are willing to explain that. If a guy can spend three hours texting back and forthwith you,  he can spend three seconds texting you to say he’s busy at work, or out of town for the week. If he doesn’t, you weren’t that important to begin with. Get over it and find someone who does think you’re worth three seconds of their time.

4. It takes a lot for a anyone, male or female, to muster up the courage to ask a potential partner point blank where we stand as far as dating is concerned. That’s a really vulnerable position to be in – and if the guy snaps on you, gets pissed off, clams up, is visibly offended, or basically reacts in any way that isn’t civilized open dialogue, you’re a back up bitch. You exist solely for “just in case”. Otherwise, why is he turning this in to such an issue? Why would he make you feel about thisbig for asking a fairly simple question?

Remember ladies and gentlemen:

-You are no one’s second choice.

-You are no one’s silver medal.

-You are no one’s back up plan.

 

If you think that’s all you deserve, go be in a relationship with yourself for a while. It’s probably for the best.

What Babies Are Not

I know a few people that are always going on about wanting children, how they’re going to have a baby in a year when things “settle down”, how they think they’d make great parents, how they’re going to do everything right when they have a little one of their own. And in nearly every single fucking instance, I think to myself, “You are the exact type of person who should not have a baby right now.”

And it’s because they really have no concept of what a baby is. What it means to have a child. They do not comprehend that once you decide to have a kid, the life you have led for however many years is gone. You have a new life now. In many ways, it will be better, and in more ways it will be harder, and that is due in no small part to the fact that parenting is one of the few things in life that you pretty much have to completely fucking improvise. There is no manual, no two week training period, no documentary. You just kinda have to, you know, do it, and hope like hell no one dies.

So. For those of you who think you can like, omigosh, so totally handle having a kid cuz maybe you’ve babysat a few times and your nieces and nephews seem to like you – read on. This is for you.

1. A baby is not a doll. You’re having a human, not a Barbie. And if you knew shit about kids, you’d know that the last thing you need is a plethora of cutesy little goddamn outfits, since a baby will just shit and puke all over them, then promptly get too big to wear any of it.

2. A baby is not a relationship Band-aid. Your marriage/partnership will not improve by bringing a human life in to the mix. My guess is it’s probably going to get worse because babies are stressful and exhausting. If your relationship is on the rocks, work that shit out before you drag an innocent child in to it.

3. A baby is not proof of your maturity. If you think it is, you’re not mature enough to have a baby.

4. A baby is not fun. Yeah, there are parts of parenthood that are fun. But in those early, formative months, it’s a lot of craziness, trial and error, questions, stress, confusion, worry, and sleepless nights. You aren’t going to have fun for a while, champ.

5. A baby is not temporary. Your life is changed now. You can’t just dump the kid off with someone and go about your pre-kid existence. You can’t party every weekend. You can’t party in the middle of the week. You don’t get to sleep 12 hours a day anymore. Your shitty minimum wage job will no longer cut it. Your child deserves all of you, they require the absolute best that you have to give.

6. A baby is not a dog. I shouldn’t even have to fucking say this. I don’t care how much you love your dog. I don’t care that your dog has pet insurance and is doted on and worshipped. I don’t care that you think dog owners have it harder because they don’t qualify for government assistance (yeah, I’ve actually heard these words come out of someone’s mouth). YOUR DOG IS NOT A FUCKING HUMAN BEING. PERIOD. IT IS NOT THE SAME. 

To help put this in perspective: Let’s say your apartment building is on fire. A baby is trapped inside. So is your dog. Now let’s say your best friend comes along. When given the choice between rescuing YOUR DOG and a STRANGER’S BABY most people are going to pick the baby. Yes, the fact that you take such good care of your pet is a good indicator that you’ll be good with a child. But if you think caring for a dog and caring for a baby are basically the same thing, you’re a fucking idiot.

7. A baby is not leverage. Pregnancy is not how you keep a man in a relationship. A child is not a pawn for use in your divorce/break up. If you think a child is a good way to manipulate people, you are a shitty person.

8. A baby will not grow up to be your best friend. It’s your child, not your buddy. You did not give birth to a minime. You gave birth to a goddamn individual. If you are still operating under the assumption that you won’t be like your parents, that you’ll let them wear what they want and talk how they want and do what they want, you are delusional. My kids’ grandmother put it best: “if your teenager doesn’t hate you at some point, you’re not doing your job as a parent.”

9. A baby is not a trophy. You are going to fuck up this kid. No matter what you do, you will do something wrong. And chances are, your kid is still going to be okay. If you have this grand idea in your head that feeding a kid only organic food and never letting them watch TV and making sure every hard surface in their life is covered in foam, you are totally missing the point of being a parent. A baby is not something you parade around and show off so everyone knows what a stellar person you are. You aren’t perfect. Your kid won’t be either. And that’s okay.

 

Please breed responsibly.

How We’ll Spend Our Summer Vacation

It’s that time again! The kids are out of school! Time to entertain them every second of the next 90 goddamn days.

Here’s a list of fun summer activities you can engage in. No. Really. They’re fun. I swear.

Bring liquor.

 

Water Parks

Because I know nothing gets me out of bed quicker than the knowledge that I will spend the next eight hours in wet clothes traipsing around a concrete jungle of slides in the blistering heat making sure my kids don’t drown in the pee-tainted waters. Oh you’re hungry? Why yes, I’d love to buy you a $14 grilled cheese sandwich. Thirsty? Let me just take out a second mortgage on the house so I can buy you bottled water. A souvenir? Yes, because nothing says “I had a great time!” like a $50 stuffed dolphin the size of my fist.

 

barbecue“Talking to you makes me want to kill myself!”

Barbecues

You mean you want me to invite over a shit ton of people so they can eat my food, play in my yard, shit in my toilet, drink all my beer, awkwardly mingle with me, instruct me on the proper way to cook a burger, and in return I shall receive boatloads of store bought potato salad and extremely unappetizing dips? And I get to clean up by myself? Where the fuck do I sign up?

Fireworks

Nothing says summertime like sitting in itchy grass surrounded by bugs and drunks, waiting an hour and a half for 15 minutes of colorful explosions which my children will lose interest in after about ten minutes and then ask if they can play Fruit Ninja on my phone.

bro“Bro, do you even bro, bro?”

The Beach

Sometimes you wake up on a Saturday and think to yourself, “I really feel like it’s a good day to pack up half the linen closet and 2/3 of the refrigerator, load that shit in the trunk, get the kids in swimsuits, drive to a public swimming locale, pay $10 for parking, haul all that down to the shore, slather the kids in lotion, and send them on their way so you can witness the parade of thong sporting club girls navigating the sand in strappy gold heels and frat boys in plaid shorts and flip flops chugging beer and tossing their cans on the ground like assholes.

Amusement Parks

For those times that going to a water park, where you can at least cool off in a mixture of urine and chlorine, just doesn’t adequately fulfill our desire to be fucking miserable. For those times, locate your nearest overpriced, overrated, overcrowded land-o-fun, fork over half your salary for the month, and let the misery begin.

roadtrip“I’m going to smother each and every one of you.”

Road Trips

Is there some place you’ve always wanted to visit but you feel that getting there quickly and comfortably is for sissy bitches? Why not cram the fam in to the car, fill every available space with luggage and snacks, and spend the next week slowly learning to hate all of the people you live with?

 

Would I Like California?

A friend of mine asked me this question today.

My answer was yes. It was also far more condensed than it might have been had we been speaking face to face. And I’ll tell you why.

Because every day I wake up and get my first look out the window, I fall in love with California all over again.

I wasn’t born and raised here, technically. I’ve lived here for a third of my life. But I can say, without question, that that third has always been my favorite third.

So when someone asks me if they would like California, what I want to do is sit them down and tell them everything. I want to tell them how the Pacific Coast Highway looks at sunset and how the redwoods look at dawn. I want to tell them how our summer days are hot, but the nights drop to sixty. How in the middle of July, you can sit on the beaches of Northern California under the stars wrapped in a blanket in front of a bonfire and still feel a chill. How our avenues are lined with palm trees and the streets of San Francisco are lined with architectural rainbows and  palettes of people. How I still smile when I see a trolley. That enveloping sense of pride I get when the frame of the Golden Gate Bridge begins to emerge from the distant fog, a symbolic arm stretching out its hand to escort me in to the city.

I think of Apple Hill in Placerville and the drives I took in the fall with my mother for apple wine and butter, and the trips to Tahoe for the weekend so we could go to “the snow”, and how everyone calls going to Tahoe “going to the snow”. I think of the Santa Cruz boardwalk and the Santa Monica Pier and those tiny towns that dot the northern coast, like Ferndale in its perpetual state of Christmas and Solvang in all its authentic Danish glory.

I think of those things and I marvel at how lucky I am to live in what I’m pretty sure, after 30 years of traveling and seeing damn near every state, is the most breathtaking place in the country.

It’s more than just my history here, the fact that this is where I kissed my first boy, made the friends I still have today, became the person I am now. Those aren’t what I thought of when I was 1500 miles away and missing home. What I thought of was the sense of belonging I felt, the peace that filled me when I stood in a ray of California sunshine. We have our crazies, we have our hippies, we have our gun-hating, overly-PC idiots. Totally. But what I see most here is love. People love living here. And they love other people. We are offended by injustice, we are disgusted by inequality. We snub bigotry and promote acceptance. We love. The people, I’ve found, are as magnificent as the scenery.

So would you like California? I don’t know. But for me, this place is home, and there is nowhere else I’d rather be.