A Christmas card arrived the other day, with photos. I was stunned to discover that the little baby I’d once visited in Milwaukee is now a) grown up; and b) has a Jewfro, even though he’s Catholic. How did that happen?
This didn’t start me down a weepy path of nostalgia and humming “Sunrise, Sunset.” It made me think I want to see Mary’s backyard Christmas cactus in faraway Los Angeles, which she claims blooms at Christmas every year. Yes, friends, it made me think of …the power of pictures.
So now until the end of the year, it’s Send Me a Picture time here at NN.C. I’ll start:
If I were an Airedale, I’d have killed you by now.
You all know who this is. The day he got his hair cut, there was an Airedale in the next cage at the groomer’s, a dog of truly fearsome energy. Airedales are terriers, but with the complicating factor that they weigh 80 pounds or so. When we were struggling to train ha ha our own terrier, Alan and I would often remark that if this dog weighed an ounce over 20 pounds, the experience would be a lot less comical and perhaps even life-threatening. (Yes. Spriggy flunked out of puppy first grade when the instructor decided to assert her dominance over him by pinning him to the floor and he brazenly growled in her face for several minutes. He never did stop, although the instructor decided she had other dogs to teach and finally let him up, with a comment that he might actually be untrainable. This was the next-to-last session, and we didn’t go back for graduation. By the way, as soon as she let him up he was all waggy and friendly again, but man, this dog does not submit to anyone.)
He will wear his antlers for 30 seconds or so. Be quick with that camera, and you’ll get your shot.
Sorry to be boring today, but I have two stories to write and that 7,000-word (plus appendices — I keep having to add that) anal blister of an edit to get started on. I’ll leave you with a huge story you can read if you feel like it and wring hands over in the comments: Little Hotties, from last week’s New Yorker. It’s about the Bratz dolls, which give parents fits. Why? Because they look like pint-size hoochie mamas, that’s why. I’m pleased to say that Kate has already passed through her Bratz period. I considered objecting to them — it’s hard to hide your horror when you see them the first time — but decided on a different strategy: Going limp. Not only did I go limp, I aided and abetted. When Kate asked for a new Bratz for Christmas, I went out and bought the trashiest one I could find. The Bratz I bought that year made a Vegas streetwalker look like Julie Andrews — short skirt, bootz, and my favorite style detail, a faux-fur shrug over a halter top.
See, my Barbie experience taught me something that they don’t teach in Women’s Studies courses: Little girls don’t see dolls the way you do. You see “slutty,” they see “pretty.” Kate didn’t ask for short skirts and halter tops; she just played with them. And then she graduated to American Girls and all the Bratz are down in the basement, legless and seminude, waiting for the next garage sale. Parents of younger girls, behold I say unto you: All things must pass. And so will this.