Monday, February 20, 2012

Day Two A.G. (After Gracie)

I promise I won't keep counting the days like this for long.

I woke up this morning with Bruce Springsteen's "Cadillac Ranch" going through my head. I don't know why; I haven't listened to Bruce in months. Although I made it through "buddy when I die, throw my body in the back" just fine, I fell apart on the last line of the song: "Came and took my little girl away." We started calling Gracie "little girl" the day we got her. She was so petite, pretty, and soft that she always struck us as a very feminine dog. Judging by how she responded to "little girl", we suspect that one of her previous owners called her that as well.

Then I went upstairs to order the Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook online. My wife checked it out at Barnes & Noble last night, but I didn't want to pay $35 when I knew it would be much cheaper at Since I still ordered from B&N, I didn't feel like I was ripping them off (generally I think it's rude to pick out something in a regular store and buy it online from someone else). With a coupon for an extra 20% off, the book cost us less than $20 (and we get free shipping as members) so it was worthwhile financially... until they sent me an e-mail minutes later canceling my freaking order. WTF? I had noticed they had an old credit card on file, but since I paid with a B&N gift card I assumed it didn't matter. It turns out that it does matter, and I had to go through 30 minutes of hassle to get it all straightened out. I suppose since I don't work it was still worth half an hour to save $15, but it threw my whole day off.

I headed toward the grocery store, planning to eat at the Corner Bakery and read for a while first (my usual routine). But that wasted time with B&N set me back so it would have been the lunch rush, and I'd be getting dirty looks from other customers for hogging a table in a busy restaurant. On a whim, I decided to visit my grandparents' graves instead. It will be one year next Monday since my grandmother died. It's been a difficult 12 months losing two grandparents, three more distant relatives, and two dogs.

I don't know if going to the cemetery does anything for me. I mean, I've been there a few times but it's not like I feel their presence, and I always feel awkward saying anything to them or their spirits or whoever it is that people talk to at cemeteries. Is that because I've never believed in all that supernatural stuff? I cleared away some debris from their markers and straightened out a wreath that had fallen over. My grandmother always hated my unshaven face so I apologized for my stubble, explaining that I hadn't been planning to visit when I left the house. Then I asked them to look after our girls for us since we aren't planning to join them anytime soon. Grandpa liked eating out, so it seemed relevant to mention a few restaurants that have closed since he died. I joked that the local Chili's probably closed because they didn't serve Merlot, his drink of choice in later years. I imagine he would have said the same thing.

The rest of the day was uneventful. I ate, read, and bought groceries. While I was out, my wife went to visit a co-worker in the hospital who apparently got a heart infection from having his teeth cleaned. He's only in his forties, but he's in pretty bad shape and may not live long.

Tomorrow will be better... It's Paczki Day!!!

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