Darn that Dream

If you read my earlier post about how #adoptdontshop was ruining my life, then you’ll know I was searching for a dog.

On a Saturday morning I got in the car, entered an address into my GPS, and nervously drove out to meet 10-month old “Perth”. A mutt with a strong case of “Cur”.

Just a few days prior, I got a call from a woman with a southern accent to tell me about Perth.  He was currently down in Georgia with her, ready to be transported to the Pacific Northwest to get adopted. Him and his siblings were unsocialized and underweight, dropped off at a kill shelter before they were saved by her. She wanted me to know every detail she could tell me about him before I met him, good and bad. He was nervous at first, but warmed up quickly. He did not like crates, and shouldn’t be crated if I could help it. He was affectionate once he got to know you, and his leash skills needed work, but were improving.

When I arrived to the home of the rescue volunteer, there were a few other dogs there that had been transported up with him. I knelt down and Perth immediately came up to me, and while it was short, let me pet him. By the time I had taken him out by myself, he was letting me give him more and more attention. He seemed to be a chill dog, which I could appreciate, and I decided to take him home for a “trial-to-adopt” period.

He did not want to go in the car. He didn’t even want to be near the car. He slammed his crooked-tailed behind into the ground with stubborness and strength and refused. The rescue volunteer had to eventually pick up his solid, strong, thrashing body and quickly get him in while I waited in the driver’s seat, slamming the door behind him. This was my first worry. I like exploring with my dogs, I like taking them places and socializing them. How was that going to be if he hated the car?

Then we got home, and he again did not want to come in the front door. He eventually followed me in but was definitely not coming near my boyfriend. He would cower and scurry away anytime Erich put his hand out. This was my second worry. How am I going to have a dog that can’t be social, when one of my favorite things of dog ownership is being social with other dog owners? Or just simply being social myself and having visitors?

I decided after he had been there for a few hours to take him for a walk. I wanted to get a sense of his leash manners, which the rescue in Georgia said he needed work on. He was a little wild on the leash, but I did not imagine the biggest challenge with walking him: he was terrified of cars. As we walked along, he would bolt away from the street as a car passed and try to pull himself out of his collar. If he didn’t do that, he’d stop in his tracks and cower. This was my third worry. How am I going to walk him in my somewhat busy neighborhood if he’s afraid of the cars?!

But he did take to me. He spent most of the weekend cuddling with me on the couch. When I left for work in the morning, my boyfriend texted me to tell me that the dog was howling, crying, yelping, and barking for an hour. My last and biggest worry: he has separation anxiety. When I was in the house, he would follow me to each room. Waking up out of dead sleep just to follow me into the kitchen for a few seconds.

If I had been a first-time dog owner, this would have really overwhelmed me. Knowing what I know, I set out to try to control, improve, or stop the behaviors that worried me.

I immediately took him on a walk the next day. When he saw a car I would make sure he was paying attention to me, and give him a treat. I eventually started throwing them on the sidewalk so that he would continue walking as cars passed by. It took a total of one day for him to get over his fear of cars.

As often as I could, I would pick him up, no matter how much he resisted, and get him the car. I’d go to fun places like drive-through coffee stands, where I know he’d get a treat. We drove to my parents so that he could meet their dog and them. We drove to the dog park. I wanted to show him that being in the car didn’t always have to be traumatic, and in fact, he usually would lead to something fun. By the fifth day, he was willingly jumping into the car by himself.

Seeing his quick progress led me to believe he could be a confident and obedient dog with just a little bit of patience. When our two week trial period was up, we decided to adopt him. His name now, is Dexter (you may or may not get the title reference from his name).

Dexter still has a little anxiety when I leave, but knowing that I consistently come back for him has shown him it’s not that scary, and he has brought down the crying to some whimpering for a few minutes after I leave.

He also still has a hard time trusting people. I regularly take him to public places so that he can see a variety of people and learn that they aren’t all scary. He gets showered with treats, so that he knows being around people is fun, because he gets treats! For those willing to practice patience with him (usually other dog people), he learns that other people will also give him treats if he will trust them — temporarily at least.  It takes him less and less time to warm up to a new person, so I am hoping with continued work on this, it will be like he never was terrified of people.

Dexter, my little Georgia peach, has made a lot of good strides since finding a home with us. As it turns out though, him being “chill” is a defense mechanism. As soon as he got comfortable with us, he’s been absolutely crazy. My boyfriend really appreciates that (not really). Oops!

He’s crazy, silly, a little clumsy, but a rockstar in his training classes – and he’s all ours!

Dexter and his favorite toy, the pheasant. His "grandpa" is proud.
Dexter and his favorite toy, the pheasant. His “grandpa” is proud.
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Adventures in Costco

I have spent the last three years of my life trying to find a balance between wanting to stay young and free and wanting to do things adults do — like having meals planned out for the week, wanting to own a home and feeling that clock starting to tick. Trust me, it repulses me to know that my brain has begun to acknowledge that there is a clock at all.

Living with my boyfriend has nudged me towards some adult tendencies. I do try to keep a meal plan in line, for instance, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t totally enjoy a dinner consisting solely of cheese and wine when my boyfriend is out with a friend. It has also introduced me to the benefits of Costco membership!

Yes, I had been to Costco before, but it had never been a regular stop seeing as I didn’t have a membership until he linked me to his. And, as a single girl, did I really need 50,000 rolls of paper towels or 40 eggs?

I wanted to share a recent Yelp review I wrote about my local Costco. I thought it perfectly described my feelings (and maybe yours!) about the mega store.

source: Huffington Post

Costco. Why must I love AND hate you?

On the weekend, it’s a zoo. The Costco I hate: Hundreds of people swinging around their giant carts with no care or awareness of those around them; Abandoning their carts in the middle of an aisle so that other people with their giant carts can try to maneuver around them; Sample ladies yelling about their product; Insane lines; The parking lot nightmare.

But then there’s the Costco we all love: The one that lets you have an insane amount of cheese for 7 bucks.  Where you can snag a bag of popcorn as big as your head for 3, and procure a huge case of wine for a better price than any other store. I find myself telling myself that I need something just because it’s double the size. Look at this giant jar of pickled asparagus! I NEED IT. Those damn sample ladies always rope me in one way or the other. I can’t pass up that amazing smelling garlic bread! Now I need 50 lbs of that garlic bread, don’t you understand?!

After you’ve walked around, you work up an appetite and need a hot dog or a slice of pizza that’s like 6,523,451 calories but it’s 2 bucks so it’s OK.

Then you have to wait in line behind all the bozos who can’t pick up the tempo or steer their giant carts just so someone can take a look at your receipt and items. Seriously, who is going to jack anything from this place? Where would you even hide it?! No, sir, I didn’t take anything from here! I am just 35 months pregnant.

More attack of the carts in the parking lot. Followed by people with either too little or too much patience making the parking lot a very dangerous situation. I am always terrified I will be t-boned or shanked by someone who has spent a little too much time at Costco and will kill in order to get home as fast as possible.

It’s a time suck, it’s jarring, and it’s wonderful. Costco, you are riveting. 

Do you share the same sentiments about Costco? Or, are they more mellow where you live? 

Let me know.

Fernweh and El Salvador

Sometimes, bad days happen. After bad days happen, fernweh kicks in. I’m known to start browsing travel websites to begin planning my next escape after a rough day.  There is something about the thought of getting away and being somewhere totally different that is calming, and within minutes I’ve forgotten anything bad has happened at all.

I had the type of day at work today that pushed me to plan. Boyfriend and I are planning on going to Europe in April, but we haven’t exactly nailed down exactly where we are going and for how long. Within the matter of a half an hour I had more or less planned a rough itinerary. What is almost as good as traveling is sharing your travel experiences, and I’ll be delighted to share them on the blog when I do.

Thinking about our future trip made me realize I never shared my last big trip to El Salvador.  To be honest, if my sister hadn’t decided to teach there, I might have never gone there. I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about El Salvador, but I’m so glad I did.

El Salvador is small, poor, lacks an advanced infrastructure you’d see in more developed countries, and suffers from a lot of gang violence as a result of a brutal civil war they went through in the 90’s. There are a small number of wealthy, however, and you can find them hiding themselves away behind 10 foot cement walls in San Salvador neighborhoods that include a second layer of cement walling and private security.

But what El Salvador lacks in development, is more than made up for in beauty — both in landscape and in the people.  I had heard before I visited El Salvador that the people were kind. I learned immediately that to simply use the word “kind” is an understatement. Before I even lifted off US Soil, I witnessed the kindness they are known for.

I was in LAX, waiting at my gate, when an older gentlemen started to get a nose bleed. A few women who did not know him, hurried up to grab tissue and towels to bring to him. They motioned to him how to pinch his nose and keep his head up. His nosebleed, unfortunately, was not ceasing. Soon enough, half the people waiting at the terminal were by his side. He had the attention of most of the people around him long before any medics arrived.  Throughout the flight and even in the customs line when we arrived in San Salvador, people were checking up on him.

The only way coffee should be had in the morning.
The only way coffee should be had in the morning.

When I first arrived, my sister and I immediately drove out to a private home in Barra de Santiago. It’s an oceanside town, but much smaller than some of the other oceanside towns in El Salvador. It was quiet, peaceful, and more relaxing than I could have ever imagined. Coconuts littered the property, and every morning the groundskeepers would cut a fresh coconut open for us so that we could feast on fresh coconut and coconut juice all day.  Every morning when they would bring coconuts to us, there was always humor to be found when my dad would try to communicate with the groundskeeper who knew no English, while dad knew no Spanish. My sister and I spent at least an hour a day  translating back and forth between the two when my dad wanted to know what every single plant and flower was called.

I was waking up at 6am (4am Seattle time!) and actually enjoying it. Drinking smooth coffee and munching on fried plantains while watching the waves crash in every morning, while simple, was a highlight of my time in Barra de Santiago.  I felt like I had found my own personal piece of paradise for a few days.

The Beautiful Jardin de Celeste. Also the scene of my poor mother's accident.
The Beautiful Jardin de Celeste. Also the scene of my poor mother’s accident.

On our way out of Barra de Santiago, we spent one day in Ataco, a beautiful little town chock-full of my favorite thing: COFFEE! We toured a plantation, tried espresso in several adorable shops, and did some shopping for original trinkets to take home. At the end of the day, we stopped at this beautiful garden restaurant at a resort on the ruta de las flores: jardin de celeste. After we finished one of the best meals we had during the whole trip, we all split off to admire the gardens.  Ruta de las flores gets it’s name from, you guessed it, the abundance of flowers. Unfortunately, we arrived right after their budding period had ended, but nevertheless it was still beautiful and green. After I had spent some time taking in this quaint place, I found my sister who had alerted me that our mom had fallen and hurt her ankle.

We walked to the front of the restaurant where my mom was standing outside our car, full of tears.  A taxi driver who was waiting for a group to come out passed by her on the way into the restaurant. When he returned, he came bearing tissues and a bottle of water for her.  In the United States, and especially in Seattle, hordes of people could have passed her and not thought twice. But small gestures like this seem to be plenty normal for El Salvadoreans, and it made a big impact on us. As for my mom, she ended up with a tear in her foot that needed to be treated with physical therapy for weeks after our return. She maintains that her injury had no effect on her truly enjoying the trip! vacation.

I also encountered my own misfortune when I contracted an extreme case of travelers sickness on our last afternoon. It was bad enough that the doctors who tended to me thought I could miss my flight the next morning. But, the two shots to the bum, antibiotics, and long list of medications seemed to do the trick enough to get me home. Like my mother, our great experiences with the people and the beauty of everything else far overshadowed our miniature emergencies.

Once in a while, I’ll miss El Salvador and want to return. Someday, I will. But for now there are too many other parts of the world to explore.

A cabana restaurant in the middle of what seemed like nowhere. On the other side of the
On the other side of the “barra”, opposite the ocean, was a large estuary. This little seafood spot was planted far away from most of the homes on the bar, at the very tip where the estuary and ocean met. There were supposedly alligators in these waters!
The tour guide at the El Carmen Estate coffee plantation, pouring a cup of their most popular bean at the end of the tour.
The tour guide at the El Carmen Estate coffee plantation, pouring a cup of their most popular bean at the end of the tour.
on the street in El Tunco, a popular destination for surfers all around the world. Very colorful and diverse, but very touristy!
On the street in El Tunco, a popular destination for surfers all around the world. Very colorful and diverse, but touristy and relatively expensive!
Inside Iglesia el Rosario. If you've spent time in Latin America, you will find that most churches and cathedrals are designed similarly. This was very controversial because the designer went against traditional cathedral style and created a church out of cement and glass. From the outside, it looks nothing like a legitimate place of worship. A heap of gray concrete. But on the inside you see it's much more beautiful than that.
Inside Iglesia el Rosario in downtown San Salvador. If you’ve spent time in Latin America, you will find that most churches and cathedrals are designed similarly. This iglesia was very controversial because the designer went against traditional cathedral style and created a church out of cement and glass. From the outside, it looks nothing like a legitimate place of worship. It just looks like a forgotten heap of concrete. Once inside, you’ll see it’s much more beautiful than that.

Have you been anywhere recently? Are you planning or dreaming your next trip? Where is it?

Let me know.

The Guilt of the (Dog) Adoption Process

source: darwindogs.org

Earlier last week, as you may have gathered from my previous post, I was having a tough go of things in the dog-search. Though I’ve spent most days searching petfinder.com and perusing through city and county animal shelters online, I had decided to slow down to keep from overwhelming myself.

Then on Tuesday afternoon, out of morbid curiosity, I decided to check out the website of the shelter near my home. That’s when I saw Mercedes for the first time. The info sheet described her as a hound mix but she had the features of a taller and larger terrier. Red fawn and white coloring, a nervous look on her face, but adorable. I decided after work I’d go visit her.

On Tuesday I stopped by and found her kennel. She wasn’t timid to approach the kennel door, her tail wagged, but there was a faint whine in her exhales. I looked at her age and at 7 years old, realized she was a bit older than I had expected and wanted.  Based on her age and her reaction to being in there, it seemed like she hadn’t been in this spot before.

I went back out to the front desk and asked if I could meet her. The girl at the desk told me they were closing shortly, and closed on Wednesday, so I’d have to return on Thursday to meet her. I did find out while chatting with the desk person that her owners were homeless, and had to surrender her.

She was a little older than what I was looking for, but I thought it wouldn’t do any harm to visit her and see if we “clicked”. I decided to come back Thursday.

I rushed down on Thursday afternoon to meet her, and was promptly told she was just spayed and was recovering, so I’d have to wait to see her tomorrow.

On the third night, I came back to see her once again. My mom, who also lives close and shares my affinity for dogs, met me there. That was when we found out that she was actually about 9 years old, and was already showing some foggy vision according to her vet check sheet. 7 years old was already a stretch, but 9? That made it tough. The employee mentioned that she was more on the aloof side and a “hang out” dog. I was fine with that, but then said she because of her age, she was a little more selective with other dogs. She claimed that Mercedes was probably not a “dog park” dog. Okay, a little older, and not a dog to take to dog parks. A social dog is important to me, so this was another hit. Still, I felt compelled to meet her.

The shelter adviser took her out of her kennel and left her alone with my mom and I in a secured area. Sure enough, she was aloof. She cared more about sniffing around the secured area than she did with us, or toys. But once in a while, I could get her to come to me. She’d mosey over slowly, tail wagging, and greet me. And in the same amount of time she’d move on to smell something else. As time went on, she’d come to me more often and spend a little more time with me. She started to hook me.

When the adviser came back in and asked me what I thought, I was speechless. I told her that I didn’t know, and I actually didn’t know. Mercedes tugged on my heart strings in a weird way.  Maybe it was the fact that any interest in people that she did show, it was in me. Or the fact that I knew she would be a really “chill” dog — a perfect introduction dog to my boyfriend who had never owned (and never cared to own) a dog. But I knew there were a couple things against her.  I put her on hold so that I could think about her, and talk to my boyfriend about her.

Once I left the shelter I felt the most torn I have in a while. When I got home and my boyfriend asked about her, I explained the internal debate going on in my head. He immediately vetoed her based on age, and I burst into tears.

I can’t tell if it was because he told me no, and I had gotten attached to her in our short visit or that I knew she wasn’t the right dog for us but again, I had found myself attached.  By the end of the night, I realized it wasn’t a right fit and I was going to have to release the hold on her, but it wasn’t without sadness. I shed tears both that night and the next morning. Even last night when I thought I had it under control, I was overcome with emotion again.

Now I’ve committed myself to waiting a month or two to try to find another dog again. The emotional rollercoaster I went through just for this one dog will kill me if I have to do it again, or too soon. I also don’t think I can go to that shelter or visit their website while she is still there. It will break my heart too much.

Because of her age, I know that it will be more difficult for her to find a home than it is the other dogs that are nowhere near as easygoing as she was. And I hate that I am one of those people passing her up based on her age. The guilt is immeasurable.

Have you ever been attached to a dog and logic (or partners) overruled it? How did you handle it? Do you think it happened for a reason?

Let me know.

#AdoptDontShop is Ruining My Life!

#AdoptDontShop is the worst. It’s ruining my life. Okay, I’m over-exaggerating. Before you start thinking I’m a horrible person, I’ll retract my previous statement. Whether it’s ruining my life or not…that’s up for debate. Okay, fine. It’s not really ruining my life. Quickest debate ever. In the past few years, #adoptdontshop has been a huge social media campaign to bring awareness to the overpopulation of puppies (and kittens) that are being sold, oftentimes from “mills”, when there are plenty of homeless pets out there who also need homes. Dog shelters, rescues organizations and Adopt Don’t Shop supporters have promoted rescue as well as spaying/neutering pets as soon as possible to avoid overpopulation.

Most of the dogs in my life growing up were rescues. We had incredible luck with these rescues, mostly because my mom has this uncanny ability to pick dogs out a shelter that fit perfectly with our family. One of these dogs, Keiki, had a huge impact on my life. She was a family dog but she was my girl.  Whenever I had to step outside at night, I’d call her up from her bed to follow me. She’d groggily get up and stand on the front porch, watching over me, until I came back in. She always greeted you with the most love you could get. She was sweet and silly and one of the most valued members of my family. When she was diagnosed with cancer, I wrote about it in a blog I was required to make for a class. To this day, reading it makes the tears well up.

Now, a little over two years after she passed, I am finally living in a place where having a dog is doable. My boyfriend and I live in a house with a sizeable fenced backyard, and I’ve since graduated and no longer have 14 hour days on my hands. I’m ready for a dog. Or so I thought. The truth of the matter is, shelters have very few dogs these days. At least from what I remember. I attribute this to two things:

1. Adopt Don’t Shop. It really is a great campaign, and I am glad it is helping homeless dogs find safe and happy homes.

2. In Seattle, there are actually more dogs than there are children. We love our dogs (affectionately called fur-babies) and it shows.

It really is a good thing that there are fewer dogs to choose from, but it has made it difficult for me to find the right dog for me. The dogs are either too big or too small, they don’t like children or they don’t get along with cats, they don’t like getting along with other dogs, or they’ve been through such trauma that they’re exceptionally nervous. On the few occasions I’ve been able to meet dogs in shelters, we haven’t “clicked”.

As far as getting a dog from a rescue organization, that’s a whole different ball of wax.  In order to even meet the dog, you have to fill out a 6 page application detailing your job, your partner’s job, how long you’ve lived at your residence, your veterinarian’s number for reference, three separate references that can attest to your pet ownership, your training and disciplinary style, pictures of yourself, your house, your yard. I think that if you actually want to adopt the dog you have to submit fingerprints, a vial of blood and your social security number! All the while, someone else could have adopted the dog you want while you’re still writing your whole life story on an application!

Ok. Again, I am over-exaggerating. But it’s an exhausting experience. I spent half a week trying to contact a rescue home only to find out after I finally emailed the director of the organization, that the dog was going through the adoption process with someone else. And for some odd reason, there are tons of rescue orgs from Texas trying to get dogs adopted in the Pacific Northwest. Yes, they’re cute, but how am I supposed to know they’re right for me if I can’t meet them? And is it really okay to put a dog through a flight like that?!

Part of me wonders if I’m also subconsciously holding back because I know they won’t be like my Keiki. I know it’s not fair to compare, but she set the standard high. I also know that in order to find the right one for me, I just have to have patience and deal with rejection when dogs I fall for get adopted.

Has anyone else had a problem finding the right rescue dog, when they didn’t before? Am I just being a high-maintenance dog finder? Am I just being crazy?!

Let me know.

My -Not so- Guilty Pleasure…

I have a lot of trouble with pride.  For as long as I can remember, my two goals in life have been this:

1. Win
2. If you don’t win (or even if you do), always save face.

I can’t really tell you why I became a competitive and prideful person, but most of the time I like to blame my parents who have the same competitive and prideful tendencies.  The difference is, the both of them combined made a mega-monster (me) of competitiveness and pride that is a little over the top.

Part of having this tendency toward pride and saving face is that I haven’t always felt comfortable telling the world what I really enjoy. Especially when it comes to media. When I was a teenager, I loved reading music and architecture magazines just as much as I loved reading Cosmopolitan.  But Cosmo was what vapid girls read, so when asked what magazines I enjoyed reading, I only talked about Rolling Stone and Architectural Digest.  Looking back, these are kind of nerdy things to be telling everyone you read in high school, but I thought it made me seem cultured and smart.

I also enjoyed the movie 10 Things I Hate About You just as much (if not more!) than Fight Club and Requiem for a Dream.  However, again, 10 Things seemed shallow, so I only mentioned Fight Club and Requiem because those made me seem more open minded and artsy.

I loved good ol’ country Taylor Swift just as much as I loved my favorite punk bands — but I wasn’t shouting it from the rooftops. You get the picture.

So, as I grew up and people continued to ask me questions about what my favorite books, movies, tv shows and music were…I started to get over saving face little by little. At least enough to tell you about it now.

But two TV shows remained in my “never tell anyone you watch these” show banks for a LONG time. I would splay over the couch at home watching them in secrecy. I would laugh along, getting sucked in for hours, and craving more once a season ended. For years when people would ask me what my favorite TV shows were, the titles of these two shows would never, EVER, creep across my lips.

However, I found myself watching these shows so much that I would begin validating them.  I didn’t watch them because I was brainless — I watched them for the social science behind it all.  Yeah! That’s it! Social science!

Eventually, I stopped caring and started embracing. I know that I am intelligent, well-rounded, and even a little cultured. I know deep down that what I watch does not make me who I am. Ladies and gentleman, I’m proud to say that YES, I love THE KARDASHIANS. and YES! I love 90% of the REAL HOUSEWIVES! I’m not ashamed anymore because the love is real. It’s real, guys. It’s real.

I love cringing at a housewife making a total fool of herself in front of cameras.  I love laughing at random pranks that Khloe will play on her sisters. I love observing, analyzing, and picking a “right” side of a ridiculous argument. That is my fun and entertainment. And yes, I may once in a while spit out very stupid sounding words that I hear on these shows while in a comfortable context because I am humored by it.  But that doesn’t mean I am trying to walk/talk/act like these people and more importantly, come off like one.  Even if I *do* think they’re fabulous and funny.

So go ahead, judge away. I don’t give a rip.  I love watching filthy rich people complain about their problems while vacationing on million dollar yachts, getting in fights at their fancy restaurants, and calling themselves fat as they squeeze into a pair of pants that probably wouldn’t even fit around my arm and cost twice the amount of my car. Don’t care.

source: RealityTVGifs

I can’t be the only well-educated person who loves some contrived drama from overly vain rich-people! Do you love the Housewives franchise and the Kardashians as much as I do? Or are you still in the closet about them?  Is there some other guilty (or not so guilty) pleasure you prefer?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “No Apologies.”

Karma’s a…Nice Lady!

This morning started out like most Mondays, by waking up late.

For some reason on Friday and Saturday nights, I can’t stay up past 10 for the life of me, weaving in and out of consciousness while trying to watch a movie or yawning through dinner and drinks.

But then comes Sunday.  I stay up watching Walking Dead at the boyfriend’s house until 10 o’clock (you can’t possibly expect me to wait a whole day to watch it, can you?), and then spend half the rive home shivering, waiting for my car to heat up.  By the time I get home I’ve somehow found the second wind that I coveted so badly during the previous two nights, chat with my roommate, and decide I need to read a few more pages of The Andy Cohen Diaries. Next thing I know, it’s midnight and I have to be up in five hours.

But I never get up in five hours.  My alarm first goes off at 4:30, and somehow in my drunken-like sleep stupor, I hit the snooze button every seven minutes until all of a sudden I hear a faint alarm sound going off in the distance beckoning me to actually open my eyes.  That’s when panic sets in.  I know I’ve hit snooze way too many times and now I’m up late.  I grab my phone, yep, it’s 6 o’clock! and immediately jump out of bed to get ready.

So this morning, as I rushed around my apartment trying to get ready in 15 minutes, cleaning my hair with dry shampoo (don’t judge me), I heard a knock on the door.

My first thought was “who the hell is knocking on our door at 6:10am?!” and then I started to formulate in my head why we were getting a visitor to our door.

Oh my God.  We’ve left our pumpkins from Halloween out too long.  They’re starting to get a little rotty out there.  Oh my God, someone is coming to complain about our pumpkins! Oh my God, how embarrassing!

I peek through the peep hole of the door and see our next door neighbor.  I’ve only chatted with her a few times, each time being pleasant, but she looks like she’s looking down at our pumpkins when I see her. Oh my God, she is so disgusted by our pumpkins she decided to complain about them at 6:00am! She must really hate us!

I opened up the door just slightly, prepared to profusely apologize over our moldy hello kitty-carved pumpkins when she introduced herself (again) and asked if she could use my phone.  She managed to lock her phone in with her keys in her car while running so she was locked out of her car and her house.

I left her out there while I went to look for my phone and immediately felt like an asshole. Oh my god, you jerk! You left this poor lady out in the cold with your rotten pumpkins!

I ran back to the door when I had my phone, let her in, and invited her to sit down while she called AAA on my phone.

I kept worrying that my roommate would wake up and not realize we had a guest in the apartment.  Her dog has a habit of going absolutely bat-sh*t nuts on strangers so I just imagined her coming out from her room, the dog sprinting out and jumping this poor lady in the face while she wondered who in the hell has infiltrated our apartment.

Well, she didn’t realize anyone was here.  She incoherently stumbled out of her room, with her dog bounding out in front of her.  She looked confused and bewildered and I had to whisper-explain what was going on.  Luckily, her dog didn’t rip our neighbors head off. Just turned around and barked at ME like I was the one to blame.

Eventually AAA was called and I offered our neighbor a ride to the coffee shop up the street in case she wanted to wait in warmth.  She declined, thanked us, and went outside to wait for help.

Tonight we got another knock on the door.  NOW we’re getting complaints about the pumpkins! I REALLY need to get rid of those!

It was our neighbor again.  She brought us Starbucks cards to thank us for helping her out.  Apparently, two different people in the parking lot refused to let her use their phones, and multiple people wouldn’t answer their doors.

I understand there are a lot of scary people out there, and nowadays it seems that no one wants to have contact with others if they don’t have to (I am definitely guilty of this), but to turn-down your own neighbor who is locked out of their house in freezing temperatures?  Heartless.

Little did I know that helping this lady out would mean a contribution to my healthy addiction to coffee. Today, karma was a nice lady bearing coffee cards. 🙂