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SWF seeks That Person

Monday, January 20th, 2014

The moment I opened the door, I knew. The air was different. I just knew.

Throwing my purse and lunch bag to the couch, I made a beeline for her kennel, calling her name as I went. “Foxy? Foxy, are you okay?” I was sure of what I would find when I got to her, but had no idea the extent of the damage – until I crouched down and saw it with my own eyes.

I was immediately on the phone with the emergency vet.

“Hello, I have an emergency. Actually, it’s not an emergency-emergency, but just this thing that’s happened and my dog is in her kennel and I don’t know what to do.”

“It’s okay,” she said. “Slow down.”

“I mean, everything’s okay, it’s just that my dog – ”

“Do you have an emergency?”

“No. I mean yes! I mean, I don’t know. My dog is sick.”

“Your dog is sick?”


“Is she breathing?”

“Yes – ”

“Is she vomiting?”

“No – ”

“Is she conscious?”


“Is she – ”

“Ma’am, my dog has had an explosion of diarrhea.”

I waited. Silence hung on the line. Finally,

“Is that why you called the emergency vet?”

I explained to her that my dog had been spayed on Friday, and that the clinic had told me to keep her incision dry at all costs, and that since I’m a rule follower to the fullest extent – I spent years using a full 1” of toothpaste on my toothbrush every time I brushed because that’s what the package told me to do – I wasn’t sure how to clean her without water hitting her belly, and also do you know how much toothpaste I was going through?

“Well, you’ll just need to be careful – keep her incision covered while you wash her off.”

“Ma’am, I don’t think you understand. My dog is covered – covered – in poop. There’s no way I can get her clean without washing every moment of her body.” I thought about some of those… moments… namely the ones beneath the tail… and what it was going to take to get her clean (that is, my own personal fortitude).

“You’ll probably want to get someone to help you. Just keep the incision covered and you’ll be fine. Good luck!”

And that was that.

I scrolled through the contacts in my phone wondering who to call. Because who is That Person? WHO IS THE ONE you count on in moments like these? I’ll be honest, I don’t think I have That Person* – because the yearbook didn’t call them out in the superlatives, “Friend Most Likely to Help Scrub Caked Shit Off Your Dog Whilst Protecting Her Lady Parts.” I knew that this was going to be a solo endeavor.

Like a surgeon in an OR, I prepared the bathroom. Towels – check. Dog shampoo – check. Hair in a ponytail – check. Okay. Let’s bring her in.

I opened the kennel door, and my crap-crusted dog bolted out like her life depended on it. “FOXY!” I screamed, as she tore under the dining room table, hiding between all of the chairs, rubbing poop into the rug. “No! Come here! COME HERE.” I pulled her out from under the table, and we retraced the brown paw prints back to the bathroom.

Friends, someday I will find the words – but tonight’s moments in that bathtub are beyond my current storytelling abilities. I am now familiar with areas of Foxy’s body that, frankly, I never want to think about ever again.

And I’m sure she feels the same way.


*If you are That Person, please let me know. This is an arrangement best decided upon in advance, like the meeting place for your family if your house burns down or where you’ve stashed the fake passport when you need to make a run for it.

Holiday hobo girl

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

This is the week, the one that happens every December, the one that I always tell myself that I’ll do differently next year but I never do.

It’s the week before Christmas, which always seems to be busier than the week of Christmas.  Parties, people, events, high heels, big hair, sugar, wine, beer, money that slips away like a hand full of water.  It’s the most fun, most crazy-making week.

I haven’t worked out since Sunday, which makes me feel completely deranged.  There is a pile of clothes, shoes, coats, and bras on my bed, and I just keep pushing it over to climb under the covers at night.  I haven’t been getting enough sleep.  I’ve eaten cookies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  My toenail polish is chipped.  I haven’t responded to emails and texts and phone calls (I probably owe you one – I’m so sorry).  My level of busyness is making me a gigantically cranky stress ball.

Tonight is our company holiday party, and last night, I pulled out the dress I was planning on wearing.  It’s wrinkled and dirty from last year.  Why do I never learn to have the dress dry-cleaned at the end of the season so it’s fresh the next year?  Now I’m going to look like a hobo.

So yes.  If you see a cranky, deranged woman in a stained satin dress wandering the streets of downtown Nashville tonight, hobbling in her high heels because of her broken toe and carrying her lipstick in a bindle instead of a purse, that’s me.

Or it’s Mindy McCready.

It’s either Mindy McCready or me.

The first three calls were funny

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

The first call came at 12:45am.

“Hi, I’m wondering if you still have the cat mailbox?”

Um, what?

“The cat mailbox! I just saw the ad on Craigslist.”

Excuse me?

“Posted about a half hour ago – it’s darling.”

Lady, it’s the middle of the night, and I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Do you have any idea how many people in Middle Tennessee have been waiting their entire lives for a free mailbox in the shape of a yellow tabby cat? 27. TWENTY-SEVEN PEOPLE have called me in the past 15 hours, responding to an ad on Craigslist that I did not post – but that clearly stated my name and phone number.

This is worse than a “Call for a good time” scrawled in a bathroom stall.


Flip-flop spirituality

Monday, June 16th, 2008

Last night at church, I sang with the band. I was wearing my Kenneth Cole wedge sandals – which, incidentally, are very cute but not very comfortable – and thus towered over the other girl I was singing with. She was wearing flip-flops.

I was so jealous.

I get a lot of comments on my shoes. I own three hanging shoe-bags full, and even still, I don’t have enough room for all of my pairs. I have hiking boots and cowboy boots and black leather riding boots. I have red heels and blue heels and strappy heels and heels that never should have been invented, they are so painful. If the government ever wants to really punish a terrorist, I have a horrendous pair of black peep-toe wedges that they can make him walk around in. I’d give him a few hours before he cracked and gave up all of his information, unable to take the raw rubbing and the blisters.

My point is this: I have shoes for every occasion, and a reason for every pair. Each pair serves a purpose. I like the practicality of it all: this pair for working out, this pair for making my legs look longer, that pair for the days when nothing but flats with a green ostrich print will do.

Flip-flops, on the other hand, serve no great purpose. No purpose, that is, except comfort.

I am convinced that we can draw direct parallels between our feet and our souls. So often, I want to cover up my feet, or encapsulate them in sometimes-painful casings for the sake of vanity. I don’t want anyone to see me with my guard down, and so I mask my anxiety with leather and rubber and color. In the same way, I like to keep the ugly parts of my personality carefully contained, out of sight of the general public. I cover up my flaws with a shimmering personality and a cute bow. Or if things are really bad, I will simply elevate myself to appear above it all.

When I wear flip-flops, I am forced to not be a control freak. I can’t hide my chipped toenail polish or my calluses or my cracked heels. I can’t ward off the wet dirt creeping onto my feet from the recently watered lawn. I can’t run fast and far. It’s just me and my dirty, unglamorous feet.

But it feels good. It feels good to let it all out there, bug bites and all. It feels good to be kind to my poor, aching feet. And it feels good to not care what they look like.

So thank God for flip-flops.

…okay, and thank God for these, too.

– – – – – – – –

Bonus feature:
Here’s a little weekend update video for you, recorded yesterday afternoon. Why a video? I don’t know – because I can.

Weekend Update from Annie Parsons on Vimeo.

For lack of a better title: On Washcloths

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

My dear, sweet blog readers… we’ve been friends for a while now, right? And there’s nothing I could do or say that would make you disown me – or my blog, which is the closest thing I have to a child? I feel like we are intimate enough that I can let you in on something a wee bit quirky.

I hoard washcloths. Seriously, I stockpile washcloths like a worldwide cotton plague is imminent. I have – I don’t know? – 40 or 50? And while I got rid of many things before the big move last summer, I cannot tell you that I got rid of any of my precious washcloths.

I wash my face every morning and every night, and usually once in the afternoon, each time with a fresh, clean rag. Many things are better “used,” but this principle does not apply to bathing suits, car tires, or washcloths. As I am traveling light (um, “light” being a relative term) on The Big Trip, I left many things behind. But not my washcloths. I brought them all.

The washcloth must be laundered, fluffy, and folded into quarters. It must have all loose strings cut from the edges. It must be stacked in a multi-colored pile, never next to the same shade. It must be drenched in significantly warm water, and used with Biore face scrub. It must.

I promise I am not a freak.

Actually, I just read what I wrote, and… never mind. I hereby raise my freak flag – fastidiously, and in the form of a washcloth.