Small things tend to jolt me into realizations that I must now, unfortunately, claim the label of “real person”. With this unenviable title come all the things many people associate with independence, freedom, and the American Dream (cue star-spangled banner), but really it just means that I now have to spend a lot more money on things that inconveniently are not that new Singer I’ve been drooling over.
One of these jolts came on Thanksgiving Day as I drove over to my parents’ house in Durham. I was still suffering a twinge of resentment towards the vehicle underneath me, having recently spent an offensive amount of money to fix elements of the car that I didn’t even know existed. A package of savory ham biscuits rested on the seat next to me, gently sweating in the heat of the morning sun. Fifteen minutes prior, a relatively decent bottle of wine had been expertly chosen at Whole Foods by the most knowledgeable looking of the random guys behind the cheese counter. (Credentials included lack of both noticeable body odor and bloodshot eyes)
The wine, the biscuits, the recently repaired car, and the fact that I had to drive 40 minutes home on Thanksgiving rather than groggily walk down a flight of stairs led me to the conclusion that I had somehow found myself dumped unceremoniously in the grown up category.
I was well-received at home; everybody seemed relatively excited to see me, and perhaps rather more excited to see the wine. Somehow, until this Thanksgiving, I had missed the memo that holidays are infinitely more enjoyable, relaxing, and pleasant when aided by a hefty dosage of alcohol. After hugs and kisses, glasses were immediately poured. It was wrapped in this warm comforter of Merlot that Nance found an entirely emptied tube of cat hairball laxative lying guiltily on the living room floor and covered in teeth marks.
A quick census of the zoo that is our house led us to immediately pin blame on Electra’s cat for the acquisition of said laxative. His digestive tract seemed to be intact but his mannerisms were far too prim to relieve him of responsibility. Our search for the ill-fated recipient of the tube’s contents continued tipsily around the house.
Then a deep and unhappy rumble resounded from the far end of the room. We all looked immediately towards the origin of the sound and found Holly, our extremely good-natured but needy lab mutt, with a slightly stunned and deeply alarmed expression on her face. Ears back, eyes wide, her bowels repeated their resolute bid for freedom with a noise like a baby pig in a blender.
Of course Chuck was immediately shoved into his winter coat, a plastic bag thrust in his reluctant hand (“he has to at least LOOK like he’s going to pick up after her”), and bundled out the door with the now extremely uncomfortable canine in tow. Fortunately, she was able to make it outside before her innards indignantly expelled the crux of the cat’s joke. The realization dawned on us that she would likely need to be taken out every couple hours for the next day or so until the effects wore off. Another glass of wine seemed called for.
This startled another jolt out of me as I recognized that conveniently I would not be responsible for “the dog we got YOU for Christmas!” and her current GI tract concerns; that charge was now squarely on The Rents. As Nance and I topped off our already full glasses, and snorted empathetically at Holly’s (and now Chuck’s) current misfortune, I decided that adulthood did come with a couple of useful perks.