Hygiene

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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?”

“Yes!”

“Is she breathing?”

“Yes – ”

“Is she vomiting?”

“No – ”

“Is she conscious?”

“Yes!”

“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.

fox

*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.

Horrid, rotten teeth

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

You have no idea what a numb-face I am right now.

Three miserable cavities down.  Many, many more to go.

Oh yes.  The initial number was seven, but they are spreading – spreading like tweets about “Inception.”  This is some kind of mysterious, contagious decay that moves from tooth to tooth, and if I don’t get these fillings, like, yesterday, then my whole mouth is going to fall off.

I had to apply for a CareCredit credit card to cover the cost of this dental work.

I hate it when things feel out of my control – when I’m doing all the right things, being responsible with my health and hygiene and finances, but it doesn’t make a difference.  The shaft cometh regardless.

Damn you, shaft.

(And yes, I know – things could be so much worse.  I am counting my blessings – and I have more blessings than I have (horrid, rotten) teeth.  But I just want to wallow for a second, okay?  A GIRL NEEDS THE OCCASIONAL WALLOW.)

A time to wash, and a time to… not

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

I have no way of explaining how it happens, but it does. That strange phenomenon of “timing.” I am not speaking of relationships… although I currently could… but no. Today, I am referring to, literally, the precision and accuracy of timing.

When walking toward a curb, one begins calculating and adjusting her steps at least 10 feet in advance, assuring a seamless arrival at the sidewalk, and allowing an easy, natural gait when confronted with the last step up onto the concrete. She might have to adjust her timing earlier – to skip and chassé in the middle of the crosswalk, perhaps – but in the end, her final step is confident and graceful. Whatever she has to do early on to make her final step successful, she will do.

I apply this principle in my own life, especially when it comes to showering.

I do not enjoy showering. In fact, I get depressed and overwhelmed when I consider the fact that it’s an activity that has to be a part of my life FOR-EV-ER. The endless cycle of wash, shave, scrub, dry, curl, lotion, makeup, spray… perhaps I’m a little high-maintenance, but I, for one, want to minimize the amount of times I have to repeat this sequence of events. And so, to ease my pain, I look at my calendar, and depending on the activities of the week, plot out when I will take my showers. I even pencil them into my red leather planner. Things to consider: workout schedule, whether or not I will have worn sunscreen, dates, weddings, meetings at work, the possibility and likelihood of a ponytail, etc.

Call me crazy – see if I care… or if I change my ways.

Depending on my week of events, sometimes I need to take two showers two days in a row – quick steps on the crosswalk, if you will. Other times, I will stretch it out as far as I can go – long, extended steps. Ultimately, it does not matter the manner of pace that I take – all that I am concerned about is the final step, the ending mark, which is usually a “look cute” event of some sort.

I am operating with 4th-day hair today – as in, I have not showered since Saturday night. Please don’t be grossed out – if you saw me today, there would be no denying the fact that my coif has reached a crescendo of glamour unknown to every-day-showerers. I cannot explain why – it just is. After the initial shower and styling, my hair looks better and better and better with each day that passes.

To a point.

Tonight, I will gather all of my strength and sheer force of will, and reluctantly heave myself under the shower-head. The motivation? My beautiful friend Christina’s arrival from Boston tomorrow. (Know her, read her, love her.)

There is an art to timing. And I am learning to perfect it, even when the in-between times are full of stumbles and grease.