Hours Of Free Entertainment!
Would you really pooh-pooh a few minutes of fun because it doesn’t last longer?
Which reminds me of a story.
Thirty years ago I was in a relationship with a nice, but melancholy, man. One day we kept his 10-year-old son out of school, and we all played hookey together. We went skiing. We had a fantastic time. The weather was perfect We all skiied till we were exhausted – which for me was about seventeen minutes – but father and son skiied on and on joyously for hours. On the drive home, the young boy unbuckled his seatbelt and leaned forward and put his head on my shoulder. I never felt closer to a kid. I was so happy. When we returned home, we had hot dogs and hot chocolate, and the kid went right to bed. As I was getting my things together to return to my own place, I turned to see that my boyfriend was in tears.
“What in the world is wrong?” I asked.
‘It really kills me,” he said, “that we can’t have fun like this every day.”
The fun made you miserable because it wasn’t eternal?
Anyway…. enough of sad, ridiculous immature men…
Let’s not devalue a few minutes of sheer happiness.
And I know just the place you can get it.
The Pet Supply Store
There’s probably one in your town. PetSmart, PetcCo…. you know – those collosal kibble castles.
Whether you have pets or not, you need to stop by on a busy Saturday.
At the pet supplies superstore, their motto is: “Well-behaved pets on leashes are always welcome.”
That’s such a trip.
First, you’ve got folks who have these sweet little dogs who are trying on sweaters. Dogs who all look like someone’s grandma. They really should be wearing pearls.
And then there’s the other group.
Pet parents who think maybe – just maybe – this time their dog will be well-behaved. The ultimate optimists. Whose dogs are peeing in the aisles and sniffing butts and dragging their owners down the hamster aisle.
I’m in the latter group.
I end up spending a lot of money there, because my Theo is a shoplifter. And once the chew toy is already in his mouth, it’s a little awkward to put it back all wet. And with a corner torn off.
If you are really lucky, they’ll be an obedience class going on. You will get to see a whole bunch of puppies with the attention span of the fleas their collars are supposed to repel. Puppies so wiggly they can’t possibly ‘Sit’. They excel at getting tangled in their leashes and at knocking each other over. They excel at adorable.
And then there’s cats. Occasionally you will see a cat on a leash, which is quite wonderfully weird. Mostly though, you will see the cats in the adoption center. The best moment is if you get to see one going home. Maybe with you.
The grooming salon is all windows so you can watch the dogs get their cute or unfortunate hairdos. Last week when I was walking by, there was a big tough guy watching the dogs grooming from outside on the sidewalk. He grinned when he noticed me, and said, “I can just watch these pups all day!” I agree. This is better than “Survivor.”
Spend a few minutes, too, with the fish, the iguanas, the hamsters and mice and gerbils, and the huge and tiny birds. If you take your well-behaved pet, though, you may want to wait for another time, as you really don’t want tragedy to ensue.
Years ago, a coworker told me that when she was broke she took her two-year-old to the pet store, and told her it was the zoo.
And you know what? Why not think of it as a little free zoo? Why not spend an hour being entertained by screeching parrots and dogs in tutus?
Every day does not have to be the perfect ski vacation. Sometimes an hour smiling at shy cats and berserck puppies is fine too.
PS – You can still buy the kindle edition of my novel JUST WHAT I ALWAYS WANTED for just 99 cents until March 30. Here’s the link: JUST WHAT I ALWAYS WANTED.