When you are a single person, living on your own, there is a special kind of freedom that you don't even realize you have until you don't have it anymore. And that is the freedom to be yourself, no matter how stupid, dorky or mental you may be underneath the cool, smooth, composed facade you present to the world on a daily basis.
Example: I have this thing about my pores. I am fascinated by the fact that they are so incredibly huge you could hide a small boatload of Cubans in there. When I was single, I would take the shade off of my bedside lamp and examine them with my compact mirror...then I would experiment on them. I would rub lemon juice on them, I would rub ice cubes on them, one time, before my first date with the man who is now my husband, I got really desperate, certain that if he got a good look at my pores he would leave me for a much more facially firmer woman, and I rubbed my face down with Preparation H - I had to eat through a straw for a week.
Since I now live in the smallest freaking house in the free world with a boy and a man who acts like a boy, there is nowhere for me to experiment on my pores. There have been times when I have been so desperate to get a look at them that I have lied about going to the grocery store, driven to the park and sat in my car examining my pores, plucking my eyebrows and picking out those black chin hairs which has proven to me once and for all that it's much better to be judged insane by strangers driving or walking by than by people who gather with your family on a regular basis.
Over the last few months, however, things have changed. With a job that allows me to work at home sometimes, a couple of shift changes for my husband and a kiddo who is now in school, I have slowly come to realize that I have time...yes, time...to myself.
Granted working from home is harder for me than working in an office setting where there is structure, but there's something nice about being able to practice talking like Carmella Soprano when I call customer service numbers. I'm also enjoying a very liberal primping policy which allows me to try on several different outfits while watching television that ISN'T cartoonage or NASCAR. Sometimes I get wild and crazy and eat a pop tart in the living without a plate...yeah, I said it...NO PLATE.
However it occured to me today, as I was standing outside with the new puppy, Biskit, that all the while these things are going on, I am not really alone, for there in the shadows, chewing on my favorite purse, making Biskit bubbles on my report that's due the next day, is the dog.
Biskit is new to our house...one of those "designer dogs" called a Shnoodle-a cross between a Schnauzer and a Poodle, which if you ask me is kind of like letting Paris Hilton and CarrotTop breed - just asking for trouble.
I don't know if I can trust him yet.
Zeus, our dog for 12 years before he had to be put down last month, kept my secrets. Zeus never told anybody about ABBA karaoke day. He never said a word about my obsession with learning all the moves to Michael Jackson's Thriller video after seeing that Jennifer Garner movie 13 Going on 30. He went to the grave never spilling the beans about the unfortunate self-tanner incident of 2005; ditto for the repeat trial of 2006.
Biskit has witnessed a few things that make me nervous; nothing significant or that could get me kicked out of the PTO...just a couple of Oscar speeches, just in case and a really experimental eyeliner technique that left me looking like Alice Cooper on anti-depressants. He hasn't said a peep about either, but I think that's because I've seen him...well, proposing romance to a couple of the stuffed animals in Kyser's room and let's face it, if you were the new dog in the pack would you want your new friends knowing you were mackin' on Tow-Mater?
Will we reach an impasse, this newest addition and I? Will he begin to tell my secrets, tarnishing my questionable good name? Or will he use the information against me, running off with my favorite sparkly shoes and hiding them in his little hidey hole that I can't seem to find, leaving little ransom notes extorting Beggin' Strips from me in return for not yapping? Signing it with his cute little puppy paw print?
Only time will tell. Truth be told, it's all about the relationship, I suppose. I trust Biskit, mainly because he can't talk, the whole opposable thumbs issue and what I know about him and Mater, let's just say he's gettin' it done... Yet that uninhibited and yes, sometimes psychotic and questionable behavior is something I would never show to my husband or my son, although I'm sure they suspect it. Why don't we want people to know what we are really like? Is my pore obsession really that bad? I'm sure there are others who would enjoy ABBA karaoke day...
And yet those things are only mine and I think that is because despite all of our desire to attach ourselves to another person, to be loved and to love, to entwine our lives and our hearts there must remain that weirdo individualism that made you what the other person fell in love with in the first place.
So I will enjoy my days here and there - I'm desperately trying to learn all the moves from that Finger 11 Paralyzer video and I'd like to try some worchestershire sauce on my face. And Biskit will be right along beside, observing and keeping his mouth shut...that is if he knows what's good for him.