This past month has been a cornucopia of inspiration, and to be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure what to write about. I had thought of resurrecting my How to Talk to Your Kids About… miniseries by adding a piece about Kim Davis. But haven’t we all read, heard, and seen just about enough of that mean-spirited, dim-witted, misguided, and easily manipulated Mat Staver hate-prop…at least for now? (I totally reserve the right to write about her next month.)
I also considered writing about a friend who thought he was giving me a compliment when he proudly proclaimed that he saw a physically unappealing hetero couple (that’s PC-speak for he thought they were gross) making out and thought to himself: “I’d rather see two guys macking on each other than watch that.” I had to break it to him that putting my hot man-kissing anywhere on the continuum of things he finds disgusting ~ even if it’s not quite at the farthest edge of ew ~ isn’t really the compliment he thinks it is. (This would also have dovetailed beautifully with Deborah Goldstein’s recent piece about navigating the offensive “compliment”.)
I was toying with writing about Jewish queerness as we celebrate 5776, atone for 5775, and how every year I look forward to breaking the fast when Yom Kippur comes to a fabulously gluttonous end. In the piece, I was going to expound upon the sin-washing, soul-stirring joy of devouring an entire table filled with bagels, onions, capers, cream cheese…and fish. Plates and plates of fish. Mountains of glorious, tasty, smelly, salty, unaffordable fish. Whitefish. Sturgeon. Lox. Nova. Kippered Salmon. Baked salmon. Carp. Sable. Creamed herring. Matjes herring. Pickled herring. Herring in wine sauce. Sweet Mary Mother of God, it’s an embarrassment of fishes. No matter how many times I brush my teeth, my husband won’t come near me for at least two days after, but it’s worth it. It’s so very, very worth it. This orgy of bagel and piscine goodness is without a doubt the best meal of the year.
But these ideas were all sidelined as I wound up with a family member who had to make an emergency visit to the doctor. Our sweet, beautiful corgi, Wilbur, was having some issues this morning, and he needed professional attention. Details aside, the little bugger might be really sick, and since he has a difficult time using his words, we just kind of have to guess and make the best decisions we can with the information we have.
As I sat in the vet’s waiting room calming his jumbled nerves and trying to whittle down my monthly VillageQ topics, it suddenly dawned on me ~ he is my topic. He is as much a part of this queer family as any other life form, and when he needs me, I’ll pretty much forsake anything to take care of him. How could I not know what to write when what to write was staring me right in the face with those big, brown trust and love-filled eyes?
Dogs. When we first meet them, they seem like such odd creatures with hair everywhere and questionable breath. But soon it becomes clear: to look into a dog’s eyes is to see a soul. A soul that gives not one shit about your weight, your job, your car, or your hair. A dog that sees you chasing your own tail of voices, vices, imaginary competitions and fictitious stresses, and can’t for the life of them figure out what all the fuss is about when there are ears to be rubbed and bellies to be scratched. Dogs don’t care about much, just that you feed them, let them out, give them something awesome to chew on, and let them love you right back. They care that you are present. That is their demand. To love and to be loved. So clear. So easy.
So this month I dedicate my post to the pups who enrich our lives and remind us what’s important when our own tails seem so very out of reach. Here’s to the pups who simplify the complicated and clarify the hazy. Here’s to the pups who love with reckless abandon and with wet, wet kisses.