Life is Run by Barney Stinson

I will never (insert horrible thing here)!

After you’ve been on the planet a while, you realize what an incredibly stupid thing that declaration truly is. On a fairly regular basis, I have acted in direct defiance of my own decree and boldly done the horrible thing, simply because I had changed my mind.

Last year, for example, I crossed my own line and got a tattoo. Oh, it’s not like a giant Popeye across my ass or anything. It’s small and it’s subtle and it means something to me. I had previously made a loud fuss about never, ever getting a permanent mark on my body and then life came along and slapped me upside the head, altering my opinion.

I should back up and say that the tattoo I got last year was not my first. It was the first one I voluntarily acquired. I have three others. They are tiny, woad blue dots that a mildly sadistic radiation tech marked right on the middle of my breastbone and then two, equally located on the same horizontal plane on the sides of my ribcage. I needed them for the techs to align the machine as I underwent treatments for breast cancer. They hurt like a bitch. Especially the one in the center as there isn’t much meat right there and I could feel the needle pressing to my bone. Not fun.

The one I got last year is a small, woad blue V and a smaller circle that sits just below the bottom of the V marking the zero point. I had it placed on my left wrist, just at the pulse point. I was in California attending a workshop and doing research for another book I am working on. The symbol means “NOW” in my Sci-Fi character’s native Arcturian (yes…an ET) language. I got it because every time I’d get in the shower, I would see the blue dots on me that kept reminding me of “then” and I was so damn sick of living in the past and the “close call”.

I had been drawing the little mark on my wrist for months as I was writing. One day, while sitting up on Mount Shasta looking at all that wonder, I glanced down at my wrist and I knew that it was, NOW. I dragged my friend, Trisha, into the Small Town Ink shop on the main drag of the town of Mt. Shasta, and she sat with me while John did his thing. When I got home with my new mark, my grown kids found it fascinating. Some more conservative friends raised a silent eyebrow. I’ve also had some women my age, give me a high five and then ask about placement suggestions for their own little tattoos. Never…ever…now.

A few weeks ago, I was holding the four month old kitten that I had brought home when the daughter said, “Remember when you said you would NEVER get a kitten? And that you would never, ever get a male cat because they spray and take over the Universe?” Yes. Yes I do. Now shut up. The little guy (Yes! A male. You shut up too) is a feral rescue from a rural Michigan farm area and however the miracle occurred, he is a completely adorable, healthy and sweet flame point Siamese mix. It’s been ten years since I’ve had a cat in this house. My former cats moved to Michigan with us from Florida. The last one, Sushi, a rescue from the Hemingway House in Key West and famously six toed, died at the ripe old age of 22. Her best pal, Mouse, another rescue, died a year earlier at the age of 21.

When I bring something home, I don’t screw around with the commitment thing. Hell, we had a 6 year old guinea pig here, which is like 200 years old in human years. Which was another creature I once said I’d never have in a house. I love having a kitten around again, especially when they crawl up to sleep on your shoulder with their face against your cheek. Oh, yes. Lucca is an epic snuggler. Lucca adores Matty, the Great Dane; who is doing very well now that we’ve identified her Addison’s Disease and are treating it.

Life is listening and taking notes when we make “I Will Never” declarations. It listens like Barney Stinson. It responds like Barney Stinson, as well: Challenge Accepted. If you’re going to be stupid enough to make never-ever declarations, at least make them about things that you are already, secretly waffling on. Then, when you cave in and do the horrible thing, which you will, unless you’re a Cylon with a pre-programmed mandate, some child that lives within you can happily gloat for having turned you to the dark side.

Here’s the thing about those kinds of declarations; as important as we thought they were when we originally made them, they slip into the sea of forgetfulness that is our brains and even when THE SITUATION is smack in our faces, we will not remember how adamant we were about our position on said situation. Our stupid brain wants what it wants and it wants it now. Sometimes, that’s a good thing, because we just might override our imagined limitations and prejudices and then we can have a snuggly kitten sleeping on us and a small sign from the heavens that reminds us to be here now.

Nom. Nom. Nom. Never…ever… Hey, these words are delicious!

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Lucca and Matty

Lucca napping

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