Sunday, July 14, 2013

Fights, Family and Farewell to Facebook Forever

I started the week by deleting my facebook account yet again and for the final time.  I knew why I deleted my account the first time but having friends and family ask me if I saw something on facebook and Rob’s saying, “You should look at so-and-so’s facebook.”  Photos of people I love that can only be seen on facebook.  Stories that people write on facebook and don’t have time to email to anyone.  It’s so easy. 

And so complicated.  I hate so much of what I see on facebook.  I see someone complaining about something day after day and when that something changes they say nothing.  Or I share good news and happy posts but the moment I share one venting rant about not losing weight people who never commented before eagerly leave well-meaning advice.

I understand the rationale.  Where there is frustration, pain, anger, it is natural to want to come in and clean up what seems messy.  But I honestly think everyone who creates a facebook account should be forced to learn something about  B F Skinner and the idea behind positive and negative reinforcement.  Why do we make more effort to lick wounds when we could be spending more time dancing for joy?

And so it was enough is enough for me and I deleted the account for what I know will be the final time.  I begrudgingly recreated my account.  At least once a month, I’d bitch to poor Rob about something hateful or stupid or even vicious I would see there.  So we have an understanding.  No showing me something on facebook or telling me I should check out what someone else shared on facebook.  If it’s important enough for me to see, he can email it to me or maybe even share it with me on google+ but I’m done with facebook forever.

12 July 2013 ~ Met Rob's family including his Aunt Trish, his cousin Jennifer and her husband Keith, his cousin Loralynn and her son Gray.  My face looks weird in this photo.
My face looks distorted.
Aunt Trish, Rob, and me in front.
Cousin Jennifer, Keith, Cousin Loralynn and Gray in back.
On Thursday, Rob and I had brunch with some of his large family.  His aunt Trish and her daughter Loralynn and her son Gray.  We were also joined by Rob’s cousin Jennifer and her husband Keith.  We had a lovely breakfast, talking about so many different things.  About Rob’s uncle retiring from the funeral business.  About Loralynn’s daughter singing in a choir in Washington DC.  About another cousin’s daughter taking accelerated courses so that she’ll graduate from high school with an associate’s degree.  About Rob planning a trip to Kentucky soon.  About our niece Isabelle and the gifts we have already bought for her for her birthday in August. 

I think I even managed not to offend anyone because they all gave hugs when we left.  On the ride home, Rob told me a little more about his aunt and uncle.  How the uncle stepped in and was like a father figure after Rob’s parents were divorced.  And he got tears in his eyes, remembering how much Trish and Sonny meant mean to him.  He even told me a lovely story about Loralynn.  They were riding a bike and hit a bump, were both thrown from the bike.  Rob was barely scratched up but she had a cut that was bleeding.  Yet, she was more concerned about how they would get the bike back so she could return it.  I guess it was borrowed but that wasn’t the point of the story.  The point for Rob was that she was more concerned with a replaceable object than she was with a bleeding laceration on her scalp.

So much love in Rob that it welled up as he shared these stories about his family.  Family is so very important to him and I forget that sometimes. I wish I knew how to impress this upon my children, how important they are to him.  All they have to do is try to listen, to see.

On Friday Rob and I took Snowdoll to the dog park.  When we arrived, there were no other dogs there but Snowdoll enjoys all the new smells and the big space to run around.  Soon a man showed up with two large dogs and one small yorkie.  Shortly thereafter, two women arrived with two more big dogs.  Perfect!  The man threw a ball for one of his dogs, a golden setter.  She chased the ball and came bounding back with it, immediately settling down at his feet, ignoring everyone because she had her ball.

I was sitting down because I was taking advantage of the time at the park to call my mother and update her on things.  As I hung up, I overheard one of the women laughing about something, and I heard her say, “Oh my god, my dog does the same thing.  That’s why I don’t bring her to the park.”  Later, Rob explained to me that the setter is territorial about balls, that she growled because one of the other dogs came too close.  Which is why this woman doesn’t bring this particular dog with her.  She leaves the dog home because it gets aggressive when it has control of a ball.

Most of the dogs were dashing around.  One in particular came to me and Snowdoll came over as well, showing signs of having had enough.  We had been there for over 40 minutes and it is summer hot so it’s no wonder she was ready to go home.

Another man with a large dog.  Rob decided we should leave because this guy said his dog plays rough but, it’s okay, because he has a shock collar on the dog.  Really?  How safe do you think we were feeling at this point?  Not very.  And seriously, why would anyone bring a dog so aggressive it needs a shock collar to an off leash dog park?  Why?

So we got ready to leave.  We said, “Okay, Snowdoll.  Let’s go.”  She knows what this means and started trotting over to where the gate is, just slightly ahead of Rob who was likewise slightly ahead of me.  And that is when the setter dropped the ball and pounced on Snowdoll who immediately threw herself onto her back while aggressively protecting herself.  Rob shouted out, “Get your damn dog off my dog,” as he ran to catch up.  Not precisely the most gracious way to handle things but, given how Snowdoll was just attacked by that stupid brown dog last weekend . . .

He did apologize.  He explained that Snowdoll had been attacked three times recently and he didn’t mean to over-react.  He apologized again as we were walking away from the fenced in area reserved for dogs. 

So is Snowdoll putting off an “attack me” vibe or something?  I don’t know.  But I’m bloody tired of dogs attacking her.  She remains unharmed (except for a few weeks ago when that little brown dog hurt her ear).  More importantly, she remains a friendly dog, eager for play and fun.  How many more times she can be attacked before that changes, I do not know.  I can only say that four random attacks is clearly not enough.

species photo
Black Rat Snake
Image found here.
Speaking of attacks, Rob had an encounter of his own in our back yard.  He saw a black rat snake, somewhere between 4 and 5 feet long.  He was anxious that Snowdoll would find it and want to play with it so he went to get a rake to sort of nudge it away.  When he nudged it, however, the snake merely lifted its head and looked at him, as if to say, “What?  I’m lying here.”  So Rob did what anyone would do—he threw the rake at it.

Okay.  That is not what anyone would do.  That is what anyone in a horror movie would do—throw away their only weapon when confronting a danger.  In this case it worked; the snake slithered off.  But when the zombie apocalypse comes, one of us is going to survive, and it ain’t gonna be Rob.  


  1. and now I understand why that horror movie trope exists...I would have nudged the snake with an ax...

    1. Rob still insists it was a good idea but he also concedes that as soon as he did it he laughed at himself for doing so.