I used to have these two Shiba Inu dogs, or #doges before they were Very Meme, Much Interwebs, So Pupular in comic sans. They were father and daughter, and every time it got windy outside, they would go ballistic inside. I guess it was the noise and the rattling of the windows that set off some vestigial primal fear of tsumanis from their natural homeland of Japan. When the wind blew, the father dog, Cruise, who was a big pussy, and so very cute, would try and bury himself in my head. Whether I was laying down or not, he’d hop on the bed or on my lap, then climb my shoulders and start digging on my neck and face. So exfoliating. In his mind, my head was the highlands, some kind of mountainous safe space for him to seek sanctuary. What an idiot, if he only knew what a dump my brain is and how I fail to clean it up, he should have dug into my stomach and aimed for the womb because maybe its not a luxury hotel but it’s a pretty decent air bnb with free booze at happy hour.
The female dog, his daughter Penny, feared the wind with the same intensity but faced it head on like the savage warrior she was. When the windows rattled, she’d run up the the second floor of the house, scratch at the bay window in the front room, snout the window open and then scratch the screen so she could bust through, and then plop her ass down on the porch roof and sit ever so still like Much Gargoyle. She had that ninja dog thing that no matter what barrier you created, she would find another way out.
Pretty much anything I needed to know about life, I could have learned from Penny and Cruise had I have paid closer attention. Especially about on-line dating: Penny had mad hunting skillz and could catch small animals (birds! squirrels! hamsters from their cages, oy!) and actually follow through and kill them and then actually fucking eat them, wasting no meat, INCLUDING A SKUNK, unlike most domestic dogs who may catch a squirrel by the tail, get freaked out, lol about it, and let go. This is like everybody on Tinder by the way. A bunch of wily woofers chasing squirrels in the fenced park, all game no bone. Swiped right, match! What to do now? Close app, so scared, pretend it didn’t happen, back to Candy Crush.
****NOTE: Im just going to carry on about this wind business THEN I’ll tell you how I faced my fears and went on an actual Tinder date because I know that’s why you read this blog, bear with me.
So! It’s been 11-12 years since those two crazy shibes have gone to doggie heaven and I still think about them every day. Especially yesterday when a random gust-o-palooza of wind starting blowing out of nowhere, certainly my iPhone weather app gave no indication of a hurricane. I get all antsy in windy situations from all the years of #ShibeLife, and the memories of coming home and seeing Penny sitting on a slanted roof and going into panic mode: me, inside trying to bribe her with food while the neighbour, outside on a ladder, pushes her stubborn ass back into the window and thinking she was going to slide off and plunge to her death or worse, get injured but not so serious she would have to be put down for a set price, but like a broken leg or something, think of the vet bills, oh my god.
I think I gave current dog, Betty, the wind phobia by transference as she is very intuitive. By “intuitive” I mean spoiled as fuck where the whole family anthropomorphizes this beast like she’s a doggie oracle who runs the household based on her love of pizza parties and belly rubs. But we love her and it bonds us all, don’t judge.
So during the wind last night, Betty and I huddled on the couch, panting frantically and watching Jeopardy, fucking dog always forgets to answer in the form of a question. The windows rattled, Betty’s breath was so bad, I tried to bury my head in my iPhone. At one point, I channeled my old dog Penny, and ran onto the back deck and Instagrammed the branches flailing in the wind. Yes, this is it, those fucking weed trees from the jungle next door are going to rip up by the root and leave giant holes and plumbing issues and I’m going to have to call the insurance company and get shit fixed which will take forever and then inflated premiums! and! the whole thing will cost way more than a vet bill for a broken dog leg. That’s how my mind works: Stop worrying about one thing and go on to the next and make the worst case scenario into a movie-of-the week drama starring Daphne Zuniga. Maybe if Dean Cain isn’t doing anything, he can be the tough-as-nails insurance adjuster who at first is a dick but during the plot twist, maybe where he saves her dog from the roof, they end up falling in love, proving there is hope for divorced middle aged women everywhere. Might as well make my fears have happy endings.
My next door neighbour, Colleen, bristles with excitement every time the wind picks up from our stagnant porch life. “Peterson! It’s amazing!” Maybe she has Penny’s ghost sitting on top of her head? I’m always, like what the fuck, it’s so scary, the wind is all about change and I hate change. I want everything to be the same always or at least gently eased into the new status quo. I have to be greasy and blindfolded to keep moving. In fact I’m amazed I even made it out of my mother’s womb in the first place.
Colleen doesn’t see wind as impending doom, instead it’s fresh opportunity. I don’t know for what, neighbourhood watch fodder? Or maybe when she saw The Wizard of Oz she actually thought it was a barrel of fun instead of a depressing allegory of a girl reaching puberty, getting her period (ruby slippers!), leaving home because wind, yo! landing in some strange place and then running into a bunch of hapless jerks, 3 dudes who represent the holy trinity of male foibles that we’ve all dated: a dumb ass scarecrow who is friend zone material, an emotionally unavailable and obvious closet case tin man, and the quintessential cowardly lion who has erectile dysfunction because he probably drinks too much (I’ll take that one, btw, I can work with it). I think the wizard represents religion, he is a deity of sorts, and the witches are directional pulls, where is the witch of the south though? Hmm. I could go really deep into it and blow our minds but my local weed dispensary has been shut down. But! Suffice to say there’s a lot of anxiety in the land of Oz and that Dorothy is a pretty bad ass lil bitch because she FACES HER FEARS. Just as an observation though, I feel like when she poured water over the wicked witch that that was a real lame-ass deus ex machina in terms of the plot device. Like oh, yeah, we’re supposed to believe that water is going to melt this bad bitch into oblivion when the ho flies her broom in the dankest of skies where there is probably 90 percent chance of showers and dollars for donuts she has gotten wet before.
So yeah, maybe wind isn’t so scary if you keep the windows open and try and remember those flying monkeys are all up in yo head. Your dog wouldn’t want to scratch his way inside if they were actually real. If the breeze brings change, like in the form of a scary email or something, maybe it’s just best to deal with it rather than stress over it. It’s better to be the dog sitting precariously on the roof, than the one scratching itself into a living human head and even if it was a hollowed out skull, he couldn’t possibly fit like a LolCat in box. Am I right?
So yeah, just thinking about Dorothy and her 3 main archetypes of men reminded me of a Tinder date I went on last month. It was an actual earnest date, not like a hookup-Netflix-chill type thing, this dude asked me out in public for a drink. In the daytime, I might add, which wins points for me. Also he was “age appropriate” which is not necessarily a good thing from my field studies. I find that the middle aged men in the dating pool deny that term as though in their 45 year old minds, they are planning on living way past the age of 120. I don’t fucking think so, but I will give the term “middle age” a loosely dug out cave window of 40ish-60something less than 65, just to be nice. And so my field studies indicate the middle aged men are all out in the park chasing squirrels half their age because they think they can until they realize they are cowardly lions, than haha, joke’s on them. So anyway! More points for this dude for asking an old tree bound squirrel out on a date. Here’s how it went down:
We meet at the bar place and he is cute! Like a swarthy hipster with some character. He has one of those haircuts with the intricate fade and pineapple mess on top (hipster, and I’m ok with that) and a massive scar on his cheek that looked exactly like someone hollowed out a beer bottle and smashed it in his eye (totally hot). Best of all, he has a big black beard with silvers in it, you know that’s my number one weakness since I’ve given up on ginger ones.
We sit outside in the brightness of the sun which is pretty brutal, why not just go to a nude beach and stand in front of each other and lay the sunscreen on, but whatevs. He has a British accent! Cute! But! He keeps saying “wanker.” Ugh. First beer goes down nicely and then he orders shots of whiskey or whisky whichever. Is that a red flag in day drinking first date? But YOLO and did I mention it was my birthday? And it turns out he’s a shot sipper! Just like me! Teeny tiny sips! Cute! But his eyes have turned to slits already. Ugh. We order another beer. He mentions I seem nervous. I fidget, it’s my nature. He calls the waitress a wanker because she thinks our shot sipping is wimpy. She is awkward, it’s probably her first serving job. She’s a mere child though, I’m sure she drinks Bodacious mixed with 7-Up and calls it Sangria.
Second beer, second shot, he tells me the other waitress should take off the dress she is wearing, which is tight as fuck, you could play mini-golf on her cellulite, meow. I’m thinking seriously? Is he’s ogling the waitress in front of me but I play along because I’m one of those bro-girls you can talk shit in front of even though I hate it and say, “Oh is it because she has one of those hot tear drop shaped asses like a Vargas girl?” and he looks at me all squinty with no understanding whatsoever and says, “No, because the pattern on the fabric clashes with her tattoos.” THE PATTERN ON THE FABRIC CLASHES WITH HER TATTOOS. I don’t think I could get a lady boner over someone who gave a fuck about fabric clashing, had the wherewithal to even form that thought in his head and then actually say it out loud but! it was my birthday and I’m willing to be open. Silver in the beard, silver in the beard, I keep thinking.
Third beer, third shot. “You seem so nervous,” he said it again! No, I’m not nervous per se, I just didn’t get high before the date, Perky McPercocet. His eyelids have melted over his nose. Which was small by the way, I like me a big ass nose. Plus I’m actually just trying to carry on a conversation and not pretending to be a guest judge on Project Runway. We kind of run out of things to say, although second beer in, I did get the story of his life where he described himself as the family “ne’er do well” and how his first boner was with a nurse who held his little boy peen for him to pee after he got an emergency circumcision at a cognitive age. Her fingernails were red and pointy, and when he looked down at her feet, she was wearing sexy spiked heels. Of course she was.
Anyway, when we were done and waiting awkwardly for the check, he lays back on his seat, stroking his beard, and staring at the men in front us, he actually says, “That wanker shouldn’t wear that fedora in that colour.” Oh my god. He may as well as poured water over my head, ding dong, the lady boner is officially dead. This guy was a tin man if there ever was one.
Footnote (literally): From the get-go, I could tell his disapproval of me when he looked down at my shoes which were Sketchers and yes, like they are stitched up from sexy grey upholstery of a Hyundai Sonata but fuck it, who cares, when I wear them I feel like walking on a winding road made of the tender soft balls of a million munchkin menfolk. Squish, squish. Bring on the wind machine!