Wednesday, July 21, 2010

In which a dog pees on my friend's bridal shower presents

Actually, it might have been two dogs. But let me start at the beginning.

Before that, I'll tell you I am going for a quick story today because I have to read through the drivel of nine, yes nine, journals from my youth. I have read only the first five or six pages of one, plus flipped through to read the odd page here and there and peoples, I tell you, somebody should have slapped me. I was a whiney, self-pitying, drama queen. Oh, the angst! Oh, the lack of understanding from everyone around me! Oh, the wallowing! Oh, the sounding like a 14 year old!

Only I was in my late 20s.

Anyhow, I have to read through the journals and glean anything worth relating here. Don't worry, I won't subject you to this sort of thing:

Dickens said it in "Two Cities." This past year has been the best of times and the worst of times. The time I spent with [grad school jerk boyfriend] was the happiest time of my life. The time I've spent since without him has been the worst. I never knew it was possible to feel so miserable without someone.

And so on, for pages and pages. And pages.

You don't deserve that kind of torture. It's boring the heck out of me, but like that kid says, there has to be a pony in there somewhere.

Back to my friend's bridal shower.

My friend Leigh was getting married. Her friend Desiree and I co-hosted a bridal shower. I asked Desiree what she wanted me to do and she told me just to bring some food. She didn't want help with the invitations, with setting up at her house, with anything. "Bring snacks" is all she said. I suggested a tea bread and maybe brownies. I can't remember. I do remember the dill-onion tea bread, though.

Brownies is my other standard contribution because there is never enough chocolate at these things. Or at a church potluck. Have you noticed that? Potlucks here are pretty heavily weighted toward dessert, much as church lady cookbooks consist of 1/5 entrees, side dishes (such as "Milky Way Salad," which yes, consists of Milky Ways, apples, walnuts and whipped cream) and appetizers and 99% desserts. And yet there is rarely any chocolate. Why is that?


At no point did Desiree mention she would be charging me. At no point did she say, "I think we should do this and it will cost $X, what do you think?"

Just "bring food."

I arrived at Desiree's for the shower. I rang the bell and heard frantic barking. Desiree opened the door, blocking two yappy dogs, the worst kind, and warning me, "Don't let the dogs out!"

She then repeated that action and those words for every guest who arrived after I did, with the additional statement that, "It really upsets the dogs to have strangers in here."

My friend Megan and I looked at each other, rolling our eyes. We decided we needed to get away from the dogs, so we gave ourselves a tour of Desiree's house. In the upstairs hallway, we discovered dog poop. Not fresh dog poop, but dog poop nonetheless.

We told Desiree about it, thinking she might not want to be exposed as a really bad housekeeper who lets her dogs poop on the carpet and then doesn't clean it up. Desiree told us again it upset the dogs to have strangers in the house.

Then Megan went into the guest bathroom and discovered a towel laid on the floor. There was dog poop on the towel. Because that's where the dogs pooped.

Desiree did have a fenced-in back yard.

The dogs pooped on the towel.

Desiree invited everyone to get something to eat. We filled our plates and returned to the living room, where the dogs continued to yap and to jump on us. Desiree ignored her obnoxious dogs.

Megan and I went to get the presents.

They were wet.

I looked up to see if there was a leak in the ceiling.

No leak.

I sniffed a wet present.

It smelled like pee.

Dog pee.

"Desiree," Megan said. "Your dogs peed on Leigh's presents."

Desiree ran to the kitchen to get a rag.

We sat again to watch Leigh open her presents.

The dogs continued to jump. We guests sat politely and gently pushed the dogs away, casting pleading glances at Desiree as we did so.

Desiree did nothing. She did not tell the dogs to sit. She didn't apologize for them. She did not put them out.

This is where I tell you that Desiree is a psychologist with PhD.

Why would a psychologist let her dogs act aggressively and obnoxiously and put the onus on her guests to put up with the behavior?

Discuss. For extra credit, analyze the possibility that Desiree, who did not have a boyfriend despite her boob job, might have been sabatoging the shower because she was jealous of Leigh.

The dogs jumped on Megan for the last time. "Desiree, you need to put these f***ing dogs outside," she said, teeth clenched.

Desiree sighed and rolled her eyes. (Well, maybe she didn't but her overall attitude was of deep, sacrificial sighing and eye rolling.) She grabbed the dogs and locked them in the bathroom with the poop towel.

Leigh finished opening her presents. We finished the food. We cleaned up.

The days later, Desiree called me and told me I owed her $60 for my share of the food.

I was very happy when Desiree was not involved in Leigh's baby shower a few years later.