Monday, February 28, 2011

Sweet Home Trainwreck


You can’t ride two horses with one ass, sugarbean.

My guiltiest of guilty pleasures has to be the movie “Sweet Home Alabama”. I don’t know why, but I can’t walk away from it when it’s on TV. I will drop EVERYTHING to watch it - even several times in one day.

You can stop laughing now.

So anyhoo, I had had this whole entry written a few days ago about all my friends who are getting married, having kids, and how I keep discovering that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. And I deleted it.

The part I regret deleting is probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever written… Seriously. Writing about my parents? Walk in the park. Writing about the bipolar? Taking candy from a… oh, wait. That’s actually quite a nice intro.

A few weeks ago, I journeyed to CT to meet my little brother’s baby, Bean.

It’s no secret that I’m not a huge fan of kids.

Actually, just the idea of them makes my skin crawl.

When Jeff shoved Bean into my arms and made a big deal out of me holding the baby, something in me melted. 

Not a whole lot, but just enough to bug the shit out of me.

See, I’ve known for my whole entire life that I don’t have IT. Whatever that magical thing is that drives women to have children, I just don’t have it. I’ve never been interested in kids. No babysitting. No dolls. Nothing. My shrink once blamed it on the fact that I lost my cousin to cancer before his third birthday, but that’s bullshit. I know what I know… some shrink who only gets an hour in my head, and only gets to access what I say they get to access? They are not allowed to blame my dislike of kids on Inky. Grrrr.

It didn’t help when I found out that I was bipolar and that it is genetic. If for some unknown reason, I changed my mind, I would run the risk of having a bipolar kid. Not. Even. Worth. It.

I knew at 22 that I didn’t want to have kids. I tried to get my tubes tied, but the doctor wouldn’t do it. She said I was too young; that I would change my mind when I found the right guy. I laughed in her face, changed doctors, and was afraid to ask again. It wasn’t that I thought I would change my mind. It was that I didn’t want people pushing their religious agenda on me. (Welcome to Ohio, Nelson!)

I KNEW that kids were never in my future, but sometime after my father died, I found myself doubting that decision. I had almost talked myself into believing that I wanted kids. That I would raise some little hockey players. That I would name the first one Nicholas, the second one Charlie.  I started to want to have kids. I never said anything to anyone about it, but I was feeling a lot of pressure from a lot of different places, and all I wanted to do was fit in.

I don’t remember when I came to my senses but after we moved back to New England, I finally had my tubes tied.

No… this isn’t where I say I’m sorry I got my tubes tied. After all, I keep coming back to where I’m supposed to be, right?

This is where I announce the startling realization that while I’m still very anti-kid, my resolve may be weakening.

Will I ever WANT to hold Bean, babysit him, blah blah blah? OH HELL NO!

But I’m open to spending time with Bean - as long as his parents are there.

And that, believe it or not, is progress.

Posted by Matty on 02/28 at 10:19 PM

Monday, February 21, 2011

... and we’re still laughing.


us :: venetian, las vegas :: august 24, 2002

I had this whole big post written out where I talked about my friends having kids and getting married. There was this whole tangent about seeing the high school honey and all the weirdness that always dredges up.

It ended with the idea that I keep coming back to where I’m supposed to be.

Out of all the pictures taken at our wedding, this is my most favorite one. I have no idea what the hell we were laughing at, but I remember it was absolutely hilarious at the time.

At the end of the day, whether or not we actually tied the knot (we did), whether or not we ever have kids (Oh, hell no! My tubes are tied!), I’m with the perfect guy for me.

I never would have guessed that I’d get married, but I’m damn glad I did.

Any one that can make me laugh that hard, day after day, year after year, is the one I’m supposed to wind up with.


Posted by Matty on 02/21 at 10:31 PM

Saturday, February 05, 2011

A Tribute to My Daughter


arsey melissa :: feb 25, 1998 - jan 25, 2011

Where do I even start?

I keep hearing my dad’s voice in my head, “She’s just a dog.”

But, oh, Dad, you are so wrong.

Arsey was never just a dog. You even recognized that fact when you met her and declared her your buddy. You were a man who didn’t even like dogs until she came into your life. During your brief time together, you two bonded.

So why do I still hear your voice in my head?

Tuesday, January 25th, I woke up to J screaming for me. She was not in good shape. Not at all. It was pretty obvious she was dying. So, we got her into the car and drove to the emergency vet. They pumped her full of fluids and revived her.

False hope is a son of a bitch. I almost wish we had let her die at home.


They were able to get her back to normal and run some tests on her. We discovered that she had a bleeding mass on her spleen. There was an 80% chance it was cancer, and if it was, it was blood-borne and aggressive as fuck. They couldn’t even tell us if it was cancer unless they removed her spleen. If it was cancer, even with chemo, she wasn’t going to last more than a few months.

I didn’t like any of our options - how could you put a thirteen year old dog through major surgery, knowing that if she even survived the surgery, she probably wasn’t going to survive the cancer? How could I just leave her as she was? How could I let her go?

After a very long, tear filled, heart wrenching conversation, we decided to let her go. It was her time, and anything else wasn’t really in her best interests.

In the end, she made the decision for us. We spent a lot of time with her at the emergency vet’s. Once they had her off the fluids, she faded fast. Too fast. If we hadn’t decided to help her along, she probably would have gone in another hour or so.

She was never just a dog to me. To us.

At our first meeting, she chose me, and she remained my dog until the very end. Don’t get me wrong, she loved J, but she was my dog.

She used to sleep between his head and the headboard, butt towards me… every night, like clockwork, she’d roll onto her back and get stuck. She’d always end up kicking me in the head. If I was really lucky, she’d fart in my face.

You would talk to her, and she’d burp in response.

She loved the snow - after 12 years, she still got excited by the snow and loved to chase snowballs.

When she was excited to see you, she’d howl and add a little trill in the middle of it. I’ve never heard a dog do that before, and I loved how unique she sounded.

You could get her to wag her nub on command.

You could also get her to poop on command.

However, you could never get her to puke where you wanted her to. She puked in my hair, twice, while I was sleeping. Always, always, no matter how hard we tried to get her to the door, to get her at least to the hardwood floor, she’d puke all over the the braided wool rug. Those reddish dog food stains don’t come out.

She used to love to go for rides. One Saturday, when we were still in Ohio, she INSISTED on going to the Post Office with me. Of course, I couldn’t bring her in, so she pooped in my car. It took two weeks to get the smell out.

Whenever we’d take her to the park, people would stop and tell us how pretty she was. And you can’t tell me she didn’t understand them, because that adorable Aussie smile would take over her face.

She refused to be towel dried after a bath, preferring to do what J and I called the “Aussie air dry.” She would run around the house, rubbing herself against everything she could before finally flopping on the carpet and just rolling in whatever stink she could find.

She was a busybody… always too interested in what everyone else was doing to focus on behaving. She flunked obedience school. Twice.

We named her after Toledo Storm goalie, David Arsenault. Other names we tossed around: Chewbacca, Boba Fett, Jabba… I’ll never know where “Melissa” came from, but she was always Arsey Melissa.

She had her own song: “Arsey. She’s a puppy dog. Arsey. She’s not a big bullfrog. Arsey. She’s the puppy. She’s the puppy, she’s my puppy, she’s my dog…” (To the tune of the “Colonel Bogey March” from “Bridge Over the River Kwai.” You know - the whistled one.)

I dunno…

I think J’s final words to her were spot-on: “You’re the best girl.”

She was. She really, really was…

Posted by Matty on 02/05 at 03:22 PM

Thursday, February 03, 2011

For Arsey…

I will carry the weight and I won’t let you have to again


Posted by Matty on 02/03 at 08:30 PM