Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dining Alone

I have been contemplating life alone. Being alone does not frighten me. I am not an easily frightened person. Being alone with 2 dogs is a piece of cake. I can earn money. I can pay the bills. I can maintain my house - or hire the necessary people to do it.

The one thing that I cannot do?

I cannot eat in a restaurant alone.

This is a holdover from my childhood. My childhood had rules, especially for "ladies".

A lady's name was in the newspaper 3 times in her life: when she was born, when she was married, and upon her death.

A lady did not sweat. Horses sweat, men perspired, and ladies "glowed".

A lady did not leave the house without appropriate clothing - and this included foundation garments.

A lady did not open a door if she was accompanied by a gentleman, regardless of his age.

A lady did not light her own cigarette if she was accompanied by a gentleman and he was of age.

A lady did not smoke while walking, only when she was seated.

A lady did not eat alone in a restaurant.

I have broken a lot of these rules. Number one went by the wayside upon my second marriage. I live in the panhandle of Texas. Unless "glow" can run down your face, neck, and plaster your clothes to your body, I have sweated. I no longer wear appropriate foundation garments, in part because they no longer make them. I do not, however, wear my pajamas to the Walmart. This is a matter of pride. I do not open my own door when I am accompanied by a gentleman, and this includes my grandson. Some days, it also includes my daughter, as both of us stand in front of a door. She generally gives in first as a matter of respect for her elders. I no longer smoke but when I did, I never smoked while walking and never lit my own cigarettes.

I do not eat in restaurants alone. Even when my husband and I were driving truck for a living, I did not eat in restaurants alone. If we were at a truckstop and I was hungry and he was sleeping, either I got food from the deli section of the truckstop or ordered food to go from the restaurant and took it back to the truck. This holds true for road trips that I have made. Several times when I helped deliver my grandson to his dad for vacations, we ate in restaurants on the leg of the trip that Moose was with me. On the opposite leg of the trip, I either ate from the deli sections, ate chips, or went through a drive-thru (not possible in a semi).

I know that I can invite friends to eat with me if I want to go out but sometimes I just like to be alone and not have to talk.

What do you think? How do you handle this, if you do?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Boy and His (no, wait, my) Dog

We have four dogs. We had 3 dogs and a pup but my grandson, while visiting last week, noted that the pup was no longer a pup. She is a dog.

This short post is about my bestest and favoritest and oldest dog, the Duck. Duck is 12. My grandson is 11. He is visiting this weekend, at least until Sunday morning when we must return him.

Duck is getting old. In the morning, when the other dogs run out before breakfast, she waits. She has breakfast and then goes out. While the other dogs are running in and out all day long, she lolls. She watches TV, she hangs out with my husband, she lies next to my bed while I sleep. She goes out after dinner and then again just before bedtime. She is just getting old.

The Moose knows this. He is very aware that she is not the same dog she used to be - the dog who would run and fetch until she wore out the child; the dog who loved water so much that she would swim in a flooded loading dock; the dog who was always thisclose to the boy whenever he was available.

We went out to brunch this morning and then ran errands for long enough that it was too hot for yard work when we got home. Moose came in and put his stuff up and asked if he could play outside. I said he could and he headed for the door. As I was telling him not to be hurt if Duck didn't go, she ran, yes, RAN, to the door and waited for him to let her out. No way is she abdicating the wearing out of the child.

God, I love watching the two of them together.
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