A Normal Night


It’s a typical night, like any other night. I just bathed a wiener dog and the phase, “I’m going to get drunk off pickles,” recently came out of my mouth. Needless to say, all is “bueno” on Bueno Avenue (in case you’ve missed it; I literally live on a street called Bueno Avenue) and this is nothing atypical. I was telling a story today where someone said: “Tanya, these things only happen to you.” This isn’t the first time someone’s said that phrase to me, and certainly not the first time I’ve nodded in agreement or thought it to myself.

Work was long and full of so many papers that a paper cut seemed imminent and I was surprised to find myself unscathed at the end of the day. I forewent my usual shift beer. Even though I don’t work in a restaurant, I still use the phrase “shift beer” because it sounds more acceptable than “I’m going to drink several alcoholic beverages after work, pretty much everyday.” That’s considered totally cool to do when you work in the service industry. My “get out of jail free” card on that is that I work at a Brewery so I guess I’m pretty lucky in that respect.

I came home right after work, because I wanted the semblance of a normal night – and what is more normal than coming home, cleaning your house, and then going shopping with your girlfriend to get your small dogs sweaters because it’s finally getting to be cold. We mobilized for Petco, dogs in tow – because like children who want a new pair of JNCO’s, or whatever is cool these days, if the parents are going to spend the money, we’re going to need them to try that shit on. My Chihuahua Nora Jones whined as per usual, doing her signature “whisper bark” as she was sure we were either going to the Pet Store or to euthanize her, one of the two. 12-year-old Star settled into the crook of my arm contently, not caring whether she was in the car or had boarded a rocket ship to Mars.

This is how I found myself on my hands and knees on a Petco floor, forcing my dog into ill-fitting jackets. “Babe, it’s just like…she’s too big for a small and too small for a medium, nothing is working!” As frustrated as I was, I couldn’t help laughing because I remembered seeing a woman in a pet store years back, talking to her dog as she put it in tiny tutus and sweaters and thinking: “MAN, what a nutbag!” And there I was. While Nora was having a hard time, Star was blindly shuffling the aisle in a leather bomber jacket. While none of the practical fleece lined down jackets fit her stout and sausage like body, this somehow fit her like a glove. Bitch seriously looked like Amelia Earheart minus the funny goggles (note to self: buy Star funny googles). Most likely, this is what pissed Nora off and made her actually start pissing in protest on the corner of every aisle. Catching her at the start of a stream, I addressed her sternly: “NORA JONES,” I made eye contact with a man at the end of the row. “I’m not yelling at the singer/songwriter,” I promised, “It’s my dog’s  name. I think Norah Jones write lovely music.” We scurried away.

In the next aisle she decided to poop. Not a clean and orderly pile of poop, but she did that thing dogs do when they poop while walking and leave a trail to where they are. As if we’d have a hard time finding them after we watched in horror as they shit-walked away from us. That was the last straw. My girlfriend pointed out dogs probably piss and shit in there all the time, and while I was sure she was right – for whatever reason; everything from that point on was the absolute worst.

We went into the shoe store and I whined when they didn’t have the one pair boots I wanted in my size. “No one carries my size,” I said, “It’s like size 10 is the equivalent to fucking clown shoes for woman.” The girl working offered to order them for me or check another store and I told her not to bother. When we went to Whole Foods I complained about the 32 oz soup costing $9.99 and refused to get it, “I’ll just do the salad bar,” I contested with a sigh. Salads, shoes, and ill-fitting dog sweaters – I was experiencing some pretty real life shit so it’s no wonder when we got home I silently ate my salad and then flopped down on the bed defeated.

My girlfriend, whose really good at not taking my crap, gave me a good ten minutes before she came in and stared at me from the corner of our bed. “I don’t know what to do with you right now,” she glared at me but somehow sweetly, “It’s like one thing happened and then everything after that was wrong.” “Cam you tell me,” she inquired, “What exactly is wrong with you right now.

“I….I…..” I was struggling to come up with an answer was what I was doing. She was right, and god forbid I admit that she was right. One dumb thing had triggered me, and from then on I was straight up doomed no matter what I did. I could have won the lottery and found a way to turn it around: “A million dollars?” I would scuff, “Well there goes my humility!” When put on the spot, I couldn’t hold face – I got out of bed and offered to help in the tub, as I’ve probably forgotten to mention we found some mystery bugs on Star whilst trying on tiny dog jackets and decided we needed to give her a bath as precaution.

This is how I found myself ankle deep in water with a Dachshund, and manifested the idea of making “Pickle-Martini’s” as a reward for our strenuous night of white people problems, and actually made a drink that tasted like “getting drunk off of pickles.” It was a simple night, and anything but, but everything all at once. I had a meltdown, and a reality check that included possible dog lice and dill pickles drowning in a bottle of New Amsterdam Gin I bought because it was on sale for $12.99.

I couldn’t help thinking about how ridiculous and precious my little life was. That I loved my dumb dog even though she treated Petco like an outhouse, that I loved my clown feet, my girlfriend, and that the soup at Whole Foods was probably really good and I missed out. My life is a series of odd occurrences,  punchy one-liners, unwarranted melodramatic monologues, an uncanny amount of bad penis jokes for being a lesbian, running into people I don’t want to run into, and of course: things that could only happen to me. Even in the most normal day, there’s always a story that’s waiting to happen.

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