This is the kind of thing you can expect to land in your inbox if you have been my friend for the past 7 ish years.
A book bender weekend means I’m reading two books at once. The Puppy Diaries, a story about a couple of empty nesters raising a golden retriever puppy named Scout, after To Kill a Mockingbird. Also reading MWF seeking BFF, a book about a married woman in Chicago seeking friendships in a new city with one date a week. Another one of those ubiquitous blogs turned book deals chronicling a year long mission. All I have to say is that it would be a shorter book if she had gotten a dog. Dogs are friend magnets as they are four-legged conversation pieces.
Reading books about dogs makes me want to pen my own novel about my furry companion. After nearly 3 years of having Ray, I have a lot of material. It all started with looking for months on petfinder.com. Once I saw his photo, his raised ear, my heart melted. It was puppy love for sure.
I got Ray the month before I began my year long foray into online dating and there were similarities with matching pets to owners and eligible bachelorettes to bachelors. Firstly, in the art of selling yourself, everyone lies.
This is what I read about Ray on petfinder.com:
…an amazing little fellow with an easy diposition. He gets along splendidly with adults, children, and other animals, and is crate trained and house broken. He loves to play ball, chew ice cubes, and gaze at the stars. In fact there’s his one ear that stands up all the time as if he picking up signals from outer space. Thank you for considering him as a wonderful addition ot your life.
Ray does get along well with adults and children. If there is an empty lap, he will jump in it. As far as other animals go, he hates cats and will try to take down any large dogs. Yes, he is house broken, but there has been more than one occasion when I have returned home to find poop in the fireplace. This was during the holidays, so you can imagine the look of surprise on Santa Clause’s face.
I was met with equally similiar surprises with the guys from match.com. It was only after meeting them in person did I realize that two dates lived at home. I wasn’t fishing from the high school pool of suitors either, these guys were 20-30 somethings living at home for one reason or another.
I didn’t have the same luck with match.com as I did with petfinder.com considering the relationship with my dog is the longest one I’ve had.
Last weekend, I drove to Asheville, NC to reunite with a friend from high school who was speaking at the arts and crafts conference. She lives in bustling metropolis Cody, Wyoming and is getting married this summer at Yellowstone to a guy who was born on June 12, proving that all my friends secretly want to marry me.
She invited me to share her luxurious king bed. At every nightly turn down service, guests are bestowed samples from the spa. She was also bestowed a bottle of wine from the hotel, but had to give it to me because it wouldn’t fit in her suitcase and since I am such a good friend, I took it off her hands. See those Mardi Gras beads? While touring downtown, we caught the end of a Mardi Gras parade because hippies love to party.
First order of business was to explore the historic section of the spacious resort in search of the pink lady, a permanent guest. We didn’t find her. Speaking of historic things, the hot or not of yesteryear, My Daguerreotype Boyfriend.
Everyone jockeys for the prime real estate that is a rocking chair in front of a roaring fire. I wanted to roast a marshmallow in the worst way. Instead we sipped drinks from the bar and I got carded three times. It will be a sad day when I stopped getting asked for my ID.
No trip to Asheville is complete without a stop at Tupelo Honey Cafe. As if two locations aren’t enough, one is opening in Knoxville, TN. Hello biscuit and honey!
For dinner I ordered the vegetable plate. Only in the South is mac and cheese considered a vegetable. The mac and cheese was nothing to write home about, nor was the basic house salad, but the mashed sweet potatoes were sweet enough to serve as dessert. After one bite I regretted my decision in not ordering a fluffy stack of the sweet potato pancakes they are known for. On the bright side, I do have their cookbook and can make them anytime.
When not exposing my friend to Southern cuisine and sharing gossip about former classmates, we were shopping. We popped in and out of shops like Minx, MIA (Made in Asheville) and bookstores like Malaprop’s. At one used bookstore I spotted something I could wear on next casual Friday at work, a t-shirt that read “Drink.Smoke.Read.”.
This is what I purchased at the Dillard’s Clearance Center:
Not a damn thing. Why? Closed on Mondays.
Free heart-shaped Chick fil A biscuits for any patrons wearing red yesterday.
It’s just not Valentine’s Day without strawberries.
Chocolate-covered strawberries that is.
One half bag of Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate chips melted down on a double boiler. Helps if you use a spatula with hearts. Thanks Tiffany!
Pink sprinkles are a nice touch.
I swear I found Ray like this when I got home.
Number of times last week I was asked of my marital status: 4.
Number of Valentine’s Day cards I have receieved: Exactly 3 (one of them was from my mother and it was addressed to Ray so I guess technically the correct answer is 2).
Number of roses: 0
Number of boxed chocolates: 0
Number of conversation hearts: 0, but I’m not complaining. Those things are chalky gross.
Number of dates: 0
Number of secret admirers: Hundreds, but they are unaware they are my secret admirers.
Number of stalkers that transition into the arena of secret admirers this time of year: 1 I know for sure.
Number of romantic dinners: 0, but I am cooking dinner for my neighbors this week to thank them for taking care of Ray when I jetted off to New York. I think they delight in my absence so they can have him all to themselves. Would not be surprised in the least if they give him a Valentine’s Day card as well.
Number of days until my delivery of hypo-allergenic cats and gray cardigans: 1