Sunday, March 25, 2012

Practice Baby Part One: Adopting a Dog

If you'll remember back to an earlier blog post about my new years resolutions, one of them was to get a dog. Well, friends (with and without babies), we are doing it! After exhaustive searches on the internet, at the Burbank Animal Shelter and at many rescue organizations, E and I have found our little guy. We pick him up today. He is about 3 years old, he has white curly hair, and...that is about all we know about him. We are, however, going to invite him to live in our house with us, and sleep in our bed. Now normally, I would think this type of behavior is Crazy (with a capitol C.)

Not to be one of those people that compares their pets to other people's children, but let's be real here friends, a big part of adopting this dog is to experience, what I like to call, the Practice Baby scenario. As I've mentioned before, E and I have done a fair amount of "practice parenting" before, so this is just taking it to the next level. I'm pretty excited about this. However...the other night I found myself lying in bed until the wee hours of the morning having a minor to major anxiety attack. Was the attacked being caused by the anxiety I feel about having a dog of our very own, or about all the other stressful things in my life? We'll never know...except that I do know. I know that it was primarily about the dog.

Dogs are a lot of work. This I know because, just as I have been a babysitter, I have been a doggy sitter many times. I also had dogs as a kid and have lived with dogs as an adult. But this is the first time that Eric and I will be on a joint venture this serious. We've discussed it, we made lists, we went and met all the perspective dogs together, choosing this particular dog because his doggy personality was in line with our desires. We have planned this as well as someone can plan adopting a dog. And I'm still anxious about it. How will I ever deal with kids?!

I'm pretty sure the answer to that question is that you just deal with it. You deal with the lack of sleep, you deal with the changes to your social life, finances and even to your body. You adjust because the over powering love you feel towards that child makes it all a non issue. If the movie "Friends With Kids" taught me anything other than  (SPOILER ALERT) if you have a baby with your best friend it WILL all work out, it taught me that the overpowering love you feel towards your baby makes ALL CHANGES totally worth it. I'm hoping that the sweet, strange, stray, animal I have just invited in to my bed will make me feel the same way. At least I got a brief written synopsis of this doggy's history on, and spent 45 minutes with him before we extended him the invite to become our P.B. That's more than most couples get with their babies, right?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Dinner Party Advice

Well friends. I am officially OLD. My birthday last week confirmed my increasing suspicions that I was getting old, and now I am sure. What are some of the signs of aging that I have witnessed in myself? I find myself falling asleep in bed, sitting up, glasses on, still holding my book in the "I'm just resting my eyes," fashion that I often catch my mother in (she's old too.) I am finding an alarming amount of blond hairs (let's face it, they are not blond. For the last time, Adrienne, you will never be blond!) and the last straw is that I can't hold my alcohol. I can't seem to exceed the 2 drink minimum of any good social event without spending the next day somewhere between sluggishness and agony. The only consolation is that I don't let the threat of being hung over stop me enough, and that seems like a sign of immaturity, not old age, so at least I still have that going for me.

In honor of said "OLD" birthday, some lovely friends came over to my house for a dinner party in which they all cooked me dinner. If you don't already know this about me, I love dinner parties. If you are thinking about having one, please invite me. I will show up with great wine and sparkling conversation, or sparkling wine and great conversation. I will even do some of the cooking. A lovely dinner party definitely softens the blow of getting old, and being unmarried and childless.

Many of the guests at this dinner party were also "old" or at least, "oldish" and many of them were married and chidfull, so the conversation quickly became about babies; a subject I love. If you don't already know this about me, I love babies, almost as much as I love dinner parties. First we talked about whether or not these FWB (friend's with babies) felt ready and prepared when their children were born, then we talked about what it's like to have 1 year olds, and then the conversation shifted a little when advice started being issued to the childless couple in the room, i.e. Eric and myself. This advice was not unsolicited. I asked for it. I'm always asking for advice. The advice was as follows; "Just go for it" "You are never really ready" and "There's never a GOOD time.""It's the greatest feeling you'll ever have" and my favorite, "you have a duty as Democrats to procreate." But then Eric posed the question of responsibility in a world so fraught with destruction, global warming, autism and bad parenting. "Is it irresponsible to bring a person into the World when you know that the World and/or you are inevitably going to screw them up?" Eric asked. The FWBs all had an opinion on that, and more advice followed. Books we could read etc. It was all very interesting and I wish I remembered more but as I mentioned before, I has exceeded my two drink maximum and parts of the evening are a blur.

But it did get me thinking about advice. I always ask the advice of others, whether I know them to be more qualified or not. When a friend of mine had a baby a couple of years ago, and because I had been a Nanny she asked my advice constantly in the beginning, but now, not so much. She's confident that she is the expert on her own kid, as she should be. I have had a harder time taking that leap of faith with myself. I am constantly asking advice from people. My mother, sister, friends, boyfriend, the Media. "Should I talk to my Boss about the incident the other day?" I ask, or "Should I just bite the bullet and buy the ticket to New York for the weekend?" "Should I wear a dress or pant?"  I don't always take the advice (see my mother's advice to write a letter to Oprah) but I ask it all the same. I still, even at my advanced age, don't trust myself to know what is best for me. "Is this normal?" I wonder.

A day after the dinner party, I found myself in the chair of a quirky hair stylist who was born in Iran, grew up in Paris and has lived in New York and Los Angeles. I got a discount on Lifebooker! Never Pay Full Price (NPFP.) And as she applied partially toxic chemicals to my hair to cover the blonds, I told her about the party the night before. She told me that drinking alcohol isn't good for you because it "gives you estrogen. Too much estrogen gives you breast cancer, so it's no good. And that is why when guys get drunk, they act so effeminate, yes? And why gay guys act even more gay. So no more wine for you, yes? Just one glass a week." I nodded. That's what you do when someone gives you advice you are not sure what to do with. I've been meaning to look that estrogen thing up, I'll do it right after I open this bottle of Pinot. At least there is some advice I have got the better of.