996. The Loss of a Smile

I got back from Italy yesterday.

After a brief rest I was going to write a very clever and informative post about my trip.

That’s going to have to wait a day.

I got a call from my neighbor and friend Jeffrey with the sad news that his husband Dominick died in a car crash.

The world may know Dominick as Dominick Avellino a famous clothing designer and artist who hobnobbed with the rich and famous in the 70’s and 80’s.

Much of this I didn’t know. I’d seen his magnificent paintings in his apartment and recognized him to be more than gifted.

Here’s what I did know about him.

He was warm and lovely. He always greeted me with a hug and a kiss.

Both he and Jeffrey made me feel that they would be there for me on a seconds notice.

I can’t mention them without thinking of 9/11.

As Jews and Italians are want to do when the buildings fell the first thing we did was go to the supermarket.

I met Dominick and Jeffrey there . We hugged and hugged. Instead of buying basics, you know in case we were at war, I bought a turkey and told them to come and eat with us.

We ate and drank that night and thanked everything holy that we were alive and together to weather the horror of the night.

So rest in peace you dear man.

I will miss your smiles and hugs and I promise to look after Jeffrey for you.

995. Here’s why I’m anxious today

On Tuesday my sister and I are taking our yearly trip to Italy.  I love my sister so much and it is the only time we do whatever we want to do without thinking about anyone else.

That is not what’s bothering me. Here goes.

While I’m away my Super’s family is minding Debbie.

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I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it but Debbie has some quirks.

  1. She growls
  2. She’s known to nip at people.
  3. Did I say nip? Replace that with bite.

I’m really worried about the family.

I know that after a short time she will accept them and be her own sweet self but I really love these people.

What if she kills them?

Then there’s Debbie’s emotional state.

She’s only been here a few weeks. She’s just starting to feel at home.

I keep thinking that her other family that had her for her first seven years dumped her in a kill shelter.

I’m afraid she’ll be so sad when I’m gone.

What if she hides and they can’t find her

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But I’m feeling a little better because I had a very stern talk with her and I think she’ll behave.

994. Ya gotta take the disgusting with the good.

Guess who came over last night.

David, my old neighbor!  It really was so good to see him.

I’ve always been kind of proud of myself for liking him even though he’s the worst person I’ve ever known but on this visit David called his friend who makes him seem like Mother Teresa.

More about that later.

When he called and said he’d be in town and would come over for a drink I warned him that I had a new dog who doesn’t always welcome strangers.

Debbie is a complicated personality.

When you first come in, especially if you’re male, she will try to kill you. She’ll jump on you and attempt to bite you.

If you don’t make any sudden moves and just sit down quietly she will lull you into a kind of  comfort and sit with you and even kiss you.

dog up

She might even take a little nap near you.

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In fact even if you insult her she will be quite playful

 

If you misread that you are home safe it will be at your own peril.

Only a fool will try to go to the bathroom or scratch their head and expect to do so unscathed.

Anyway it was wonderful seeing David.

He’s had his fill with Texas. Not for any reason that a human being would have their fill of Texas like their gun laws and shit but because he isn’t getting enough yucks there.

We were reminiscing about the people we knew and his friend David L. came up. I won’t mention his last name mainly because I won’t be saying anything good about him and he might have family that loves him and would take offense. I doubt it but anything is possible.

I knew David L. only though texts etc. Through the years he’s given me a few laughs and since we were on our second drinks I suggested we give him a call which we did.

He seemed pleased that David and I were together again.

I explained that

“Since trump’s election I found that David wasn’t a funny aberration but a large part of the country so we’d lost touch. But we’re back together again”

I was pleased to add that David did not vote for trump and felt that weapons of war should not be on the streets. He also said guns shouldn’t be sold to ” loonies, children, felons and people on the no fly list.”

He wanted me to add one other no gun person but I can’t write it because I’m not a complete animal.

He’s almost acceptable except he’s okay with almost anything if it puts money in his pocket.  And I mean anything. He’s also a gun carrying bigot who hated Obama with a passion.

I take it back. He isn’t acceptable.

I have to keep reminding myself that he was so good to me when dave ran away.

Anyway David L. says “Well I did vote for trump and I think he’s doing a great job.”

“You can’t really mean that”

“Sure do.”

He had more to say but I was too busy gagging to hear him

This guy lives in California. One of the good states. I wonder if he has any friends.

 

993. Some beautiful Mother’s Day stories

I was in my teens. My boyfriend of 4 years, Jerry Esposito, had broken up with me and I was very depressed.
I walked in on my mother while she was taking a bath.
“Ma, I think I want to see a therapist.”
She didn’t miss a beat.
“Why? He’ll just tell you what I’ve been telling you for years. You’re too fresh”
I shrugged and backed out.
The night before my wedding my mother called me into her room.
“Get me my jewelry box.”
“Yay” I said to myself.
My mother had really nice jewelry and she was clearly going to give me something.
I sat on the bed and watched while she opened the box and examined each piece carefully.
Then she closed the box, got up and put it back on her dresser.
I realized she liked all of it more than she thought she did .
I just shrugged and backed out.
I was about 7.
The doorbell rang.
I hid behind my mother’s legs while my two friends, Annie and Teresa in unison tattled on me.
“Mattie tore the sash of Annie’s dress”
“I’ll talk to her”
I was more than a little nervous.
She closed the door, looked down at me, patted me on the head and said
“Good girl”
I was in the third grade.
The class was lining up to go out to lunch.
I got yelled out for talking. Miss Lynch said she would keep me in for lunch.
I wasn’t a thin child plus my mother was waiting outside to take me home to eat so missing lunch was catastrophic.
The line was dismissed and I left with them.
When I got to my mothers car I burst into tears.
“What happened?”
“Miss Lynch said she was going to keep me in for lunch” I sobbed.
My mother got out of the car and grabbed my wrist and walked quickly towards the school.
“Who does she think she is? I’ll wipe up the floor with her.”
I will never forget those words.
My mother was a force to be reckoned with.
She was almost 6 feet tall (everyone in my family is except me. I could never reach the wall phone. My mother used to say she made me with leftovers.)
Anyway back to the drama.
Miss Lynch turned white as my mother entered P.S. 81.
“Mattie said you were going to keep her in for lunch.”
“Oh no no.” she said smiling. “She’s just a little talkative. I wouldn’t do that.” She patted me on the cheek.
Home we went for my delicious soggy tomato sandwich.
When it was time to go back to school I told my mother I was scared to go back after the incident.
“Don’t worry. Here’s a bag of tootsie rolls for the class”
I slunk in the classroom (is that a word?) and walked up to Miss Lynch and quietly mumbled
“My mother sent these tootsie rolls for the class”
I expected anything but her reaction.
“How nice. You can give them out but first let me taste one to make sure they’re as good as they look” and she winked.
It was at that moment I knew my mother was all powerful.
 mom 2
My mother wearing some of her very nice jewelry.
She both scared me and made me laugh more than any person I’ve ever known.
I miss her every day.

992. Ka-Ching

Sure money isn’t as loose as it could be but that has nothing to do with my new plan.

When you find something you’re good at that you really enjoy doing you should make that your calling.

And why not make a few bucks at it.

I’ve decided to open a dog training academy.

I’ve had Debbie for a few weeks.

When she came she was quiet and clung to me constantly. She spent the day sleeping and watching me.

Under my tutelage she is a new dog.

She’s able to express herself and spread her wings.

You shouldn’t have to “guess” what a well trained dog is feeling.

For example: If I go out and leave her home, when I return I see that she has gone through the garbage and kicked around her wee wee pads so they become a wet crinkly ball on the other side of the room as if t say “I too like and outing even if you’re going to the dentist.

garbage

She should have the freedom to relax with no one bothering her.

stretch

Stretching until she finds just the right position.

tble

If I had started training sooner I could have saved a load of money on a new dishwasher.

Now my plates are clean without wasting water and electricity.

I’m not sure I can take credit for all of her improvements though. Some of her traits are just true to the breed.

For example thriftiness. She hides things on and in my bed.

The other day I saw what I thought was a doody on my Ralph Lauren quilt.

But no, it was a clump of Mighty Dog beef.

That little rascal was saving it for later.

I will take students through my Facebook account (get it? Free adverts)

991. We Are Fam-i-ly

Every dog is a new experience.

Especially rescue dogs.

You don’t know what their lives were like before and what made them the way they are.

Ray and Debbie are very different.

Ray was very slow to love me.

Debbie acts like I walk on water.

Ray loved men.

Debbie hates them.

Ray was fat and mushy

Debbie skinny and leggy

But here’s how they are alike.

They are both perfect for me.

Now that the Debster feels at home she is just great.

I worried about her with visitors but it’s no problem at all. She jumps up on them when they come in then sits on their laps and kisses them.

Yesterday we had a lot of company.

Miss Liz was in town and got to meet her. It was love at first site.IMG_0452

She stuck with her until our other two friends Karola and Andrea came over.

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We all went out to lunch after which Deb and I had a nap.

Such an excellent nap in fact that we didn’t wake up in time for our routine Sunday dinner company Julie, Dan and Violet.

My 2 wine spritzers at lunch may have had something to do with it but what was Deb’s excuse?

Anyway she again welcomed her visitors with love and affection

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How she is with toddlers I still don’t know but frankly I never met a toddler I liked so who cares.

As long as she greets me like this when she hears my voice.

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990. True Colors

The biting doesn’t seem to be much of an issue any more. She kisses my doorman whenever we go out.

She seems to be more at home.

Since I am a strict disciplinarian at heart I decided that I’m not going to let Debbie trap me into staying home and not enjoying my life.

Therefore I went to Brooklyn yesterday to spend my favorite day which is lunch  and a mani pedi with Susan.

It was glorious. We laughed, complained and just bad talked everyone in our lives. I didn’t rush home because, like I said, I’m not going to be some dog’s slave.

When I walked in the door I was greeted with leaps and screams and licks galore.

When I used to come home to Ray he barely looked up from the couch.

“This is  nice” I thought.

Then I started looking around.

“Weren’t those pillows on the couch when I left?”

pillows

“Wait, wasn’t that gift on the dining room table? And I’m sure that the bag wasn’t torn”

present

I walked into my office.

“Why would I leave my comb on the floor?”

comb

And then I looked at her on the bed with her porcupine.

with toy

I could be wrong but did her expression say,

“I hope you had a good time with Susan. Oh btw how much do you like that new TV? I hope it doesn’t totter off the dresser when you aren’t home to watch it.”

 

989. I didn’t sleep well last night

I kept thinking thinking thinking.

I had a lot on my mind. I’m not going to name them all. Just the tip of the iceberg so to speak.

First of all taxes. I handed in my personal taxes but for some reason the corporate taxes are delayed.

That involves dave so I’m gonna have to contact him on the matter. That always gives me the willies.

Every morning my sister calls me at 8 a.m.

Here’s a picture of Marcia so you can put a face to what I’m telling you.

marcia

It’s an important call because I get to discuss how I’m feeling:

Me: “I’m dying”

Her; “No you’re not.”

Me;  “Whew”

And what our plans are for the day.

Her: Going on a hike. Healing her friend who’s going on a hike. BTW she’s a healer.

Me: emailing dave and trying to get my head around that John Cena break up just before his wedding to the greatest girl anyone could want. (see any news site anywhere).

And what’s buggin’ me.

Today was a big one. I began.

“Marcia, as you know my two favorite singers are Bob Dylan and Nina Simone. I love them both.

But how the fuck do either of them belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?”

Her: “You know what Billy Joel says, “It’s all rock and roll to me”.

Me: Oh

And my second problem,

Say I have my usual group for Thanksgiving, from 20 to 40 people, how is my little little dog, (see photo)

blanket

She’s there under the blankets, take my word for it.

As I was saying, how is my little little dog going to be able to bite all those people?

Okay it’s time to start my day.

Time to check on either CNN or TMZ. heh heh

988. OR…. maybe it can go both ways

We arrived and it looked like it was going really well.

Except for a few scuffles she got along with Stephanie’s dogs. Actually it might have been more than a few but it wasn’t terrible.

She loved being in the country.  Remember she’s been inside mostly and she’s never been outside off the leash.

Here she is having fun with Steph and two of her dogs and her cat. The other dog was too scared to go near her cause, ya know, the scuffles.

having fun

Here she is running.

She immediately made herself at home in the house.

bed

Laura loved her too and the feeling was mutual.

laura

And except for one little moment where she tried to kill Stephanie’s gardener the visit was perfect.

And I don’t use the term “kill” lightly.

I’ve  known him for a long time. He set up my terrace and helped me a million times when I was at Steph’s.

The fact that he’s oh so easy on the eyes only adds to his cache.

He walked over and kissed me hello.  His mistake.

I’ve seen dogs who snap before. Ray was excellent at that.

But this wasn’t a snap. It was attempted murder.

She not only jumped up to bite him, she ran after him leaping up to seal the deal.

I know what you’re thinking.

Mattie is sorry she got that dog.

Well let me tell you.

I don’t love her one bit less.

In fact I have this new pink lipstick that makes me especially attractive and the Debster can protect me from cads and bounders.

Of course I can give up any idea of remarrying or dating or even saying hello to a man.

I can live with that.

987. This could go either way

Today is both stressful and exciting.

I’m bringing Debbie up to meet her two cousins Stephanie and Laura Rose plus dogs, horses, donkeys and cats.

We’re sleeping over.

I’m happy because I know they will love her because she’s so cute and sweet.

I’m stressed because

1.She will be going in the car for the first time since I have her.

2.She is going to a new place.  The only new place she’s ever gone other than my house was a kill shelter.

3.She’s never been outside without a leash. In fact she hasn’t been outside much even with a leash since every time I pick up the leash to walk her she hides.

4. She is paper trained.  No one in my family has ever had a dog who is paper trained. By the way “paper trained’ means she pees on the paper and and makes doody real close to the paper.

5. I am really scared she will bite Steph or Laura.  I don’t think she will but I’ve only had her for a few days.

6. I’m more scared that she will pee or something not on the paper because Steph has made it clear to me that she likes her house more than she likes me.  She did say that she will accept one (1) mistake.

I’m hoping that this will make up for any misdeeds.

deb