Dog Park Bitch

I met up with Luke, the guy from the dog food store, and we had our doggie play date. Luke was a totally normal guy.

He’s a writer, working on getting an agent. He wants to write TV shows like The Wire.

Anyway, we were hanging out while the dogs chased balls, etc., when a middle-aged woman comes into the park with her Rottweiler. She lets him off leash as people do but when Tad goes over to say hello (i.e., sniff his butt) the Rottweiler nearly chews Tad’s head off. The owner just looks at me and says, “My dog’s not good around other males.”

Now being a people person isn’t just about talking to strangers and complimenting guys’ ties in elevators. It’s also about talking to assholes when you’d really rather not. So the idiot woman brings her aggressive dog to a dog park and says he’s not good around males?

I said, “Well, you shouldn’t bring him to a park then.”

She takes a tone with me and says, “The other dogs know when to stay away from him.”

Oh, okay. So now my dog is dumb. He’s supposed to know you chained up your dog at the junkyard.

I said, “You need to put your dog on a leash or stay out of the park. It’s simply not acceptable to let an aggressive dog roam free around other dogs.”

At this point Luke jumped into the fray. He added, “I work at Centinela Pet Supply and we offer free training classes–”

The woman cut him off. “My dog doesn’t need any training, thank you.” And she starts to walk away.

At that very moment, her dog starts to mount Tad. (This is just a show of dominance to all you non-dog people. He’s not actually trying to rape my dog.) Still, I jumped in there trying to get her dog off of mine. Luke helped out but was mostly trying to avoid having the Rottweiler attack me. Together we got the dog off just as the asshole woman rushes over. And she says, “Don’t touch my dog!”

At this point, I admit, I lost my composure. I said, “You know what? Go fuck yourself.”

And with that, she and her dog left the park.

Doggie Play Date

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming… Tad eats a lot of food and his dog food is expensive.

So when I saw an ad for $18 off per bag of Canidae at Centinela Feed I raced to the store and bought four bags. (Canidae is regularly $47.99 for a 35 pound bag; they were selling it for $29.99.) That’s a year’s worth of food but I saved $72!

Anyway, at Centinela they have really nice people who take your dog food out to the car for you. (I always wonder if you’re supposed to tip them but I’ve never seen anyone else do it and they walk away pretty quickly.) This guy was about my age and he said, naturally, “Wow, that’s a lot of dog food.”

I said, “Yeah, I mean it’s such a good deal I had to stock up and I don’t even have a dog!”

He looked at me, a little confused. He laughed a little but he was clearly thrown off by my joke. He needed clarification. “You really have a dog, right?”

I assured him that I wasn’t a bizarre dog food speculator and that did in fact have a dog. Then, as dog people do, we talked about our dogs, the breeds, personalities, etc.

Then I took a bold step. I said, “We go to the park on Barrington if you want to meet up one day.”

He said, “Like a doggie play date?”

I asked, “Is that too weird?”

He said, “It’s a little weird but I think I can handle it.”

We exchanged info and I told him I’d email him when we were going to the park.

Dog Park

Sorry I haven’t posted anything all week.

I thought I was fine with Chloe breaking up with me, but it turns out I was actually pretty upset about it. I’ve been working long hours, too, and haven’t been in the mood to talk to much of anyone. Then, yesterday I ran into Polly with her dog Fellini. Fellini and Tad have hit it off since they met and Polly invited us to join them at the dog park.

The funny thing about the dog park is how everyone refers to themselves as so-and-so’s owner, not by their real name. But the dog park is a friendly place where strangers just naturally talk to each other and there’s always something to talk about: your dog. So I met some of Polly’s friends, a big bald guy with a lot of tattoos (Hunter’s owner); a bookish woman in her sixties (Mimi’s owner); an Asian guy who does something in the music business (Chulu’s owner); and a few others.

I really liked the dog park and Tad did, too. Polly and I walked back to our apartment complex and I thanked her. Then she said that she thought I seemed down and I decided to tell her about Chloe. She was sympathetic. She didn’t reach any conclusions or offer any advice. She just said, “Well, I hope the dog park cheered you up a little.” And it did.

Chloegeddon

So as you all know now, Carmageddon was the Y2K of 2011. But that didn’t stop us from moving forward with Chloegeddon.

Chloe came over around 2:00 on Friday. Things started off a bit shakey when I saw how much shit she brought. I mean, she’s slept over before, so I thought three nights would equal roughly three times as much shit. But she literally brought moving boxes. I was so freaked out I blurted out, “It’s just the weekend, it’s not permanent.”

In retrospect, this was the wrong thing to say, I admit. I might as well have said, “Don’t get your hopes up, kid.” Anyway, she got over it, and after an afternoon at the dog park, we walked down to San Vicente to have dinner.

Friday night was actually pretty fun. We did watch a movie (The Lincoln Lawyer–not bad but not exactly romantic or particularly memorable). And we did actually make s’mores on the stove.

The trouble happened on Saturday when we realized Carmageddon was a bust and that the freeways were empty. Chloe had been… how can I put this without sounding like a douche?… touching my stuff. Not to be confused with touching my junk, Chloe was just moving a lot of shit around. Making suggestions on how to arrange things differently. Opening drawers I didn’t want her to open. It seems super small now, but at the time it was really bugging me.

We played Monopoly and I got the yellow properties. She landed on Marvin Gardens and I had a hotel there. She didn’t have enough cash so she said, “Oh, well, you win.”

I said, “No, you have to mortgage your properties.”

She said, “What’s the point? You win.”

I said, “That’s not how you play. You have to mortgage your properties and then you can buy them back later if you get enough money.”

We argued about this for a while. Then she said I was acting like a typical investment banker and that “there’s more important things in the world than money.”

I had no idea she had this deep-seated resentment of what I do for a living. She’s never complained before when my banking job bought her dinner.

I said, “If you don’t like the way the game is played, then why don’t you just quit.”

I don’t know if she thought that had some deep subtext, but I really just meant Monopoly. But she started packing up her stuff.

I said I was sorry. I said to stay. I said the freeway is still closed.

She said there’s no cars on any roads and she’d make it home just fine.

Then she left.

Can someone please tell me what just happened here? And why did I think it was a good idea inviting her to move in for the weekend?