Friday, November 28, 2014

This Month's Homework: The Beasts I Live With

I'm not having human children.  I have no interest in reproducing.  

I have pets.

I don't think "pets" really captures the severity of the situation.

Exhibit A:  Trixie LaRue, aka "Trix"
I have a 55 pound rescued Poodle named Trix, who has survived 3 years living in a shelter, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, some sort of sepsis situation brought on by eating (but not passing) a corncob that rotted in her stomach for two weeks before puking it back up, a weird autoimmune disorder brought on by the corncob incident, pancreatitis brought on by the steroids used to try to combat the autoimmune issue, a very aggressive melanoma of her conjunctiva that tried to kill her and took her eye, and now has vitiligo triggered by the melanoma vaccine.  She also appears to be allergic to fleas.  She is intensely needy, hogs the bed, has terrible leash manners, is jealous of everything I pay attention to that isn't her, and costs a fortune in both vet bills and grooming fees.  On the upside, she is entirely made of love, keeps the bed very warm in winter, will let you do anything you want to her aside from touch her toes, and lets the cat eat out of her dish.  She is the only reason I get out of my house after work.  She loves humans more than is probably healthy, including the nephews and all three of her vets- GP, eye guy, and oncologist.  She panics when I take her collar off, because she does not like to be naked for any reason.  She looks really goofy without her moustache and beard.

Exhibit B:  Michael Leroy Sandman, aka "Zippy"
I have a more-than-10-less-than-20 pound gutter kitty named Zip, who was an abandoned feral kitten rescued from crows by the grounds manager at work.  He was only 5 weeks old when his destiny changed.  He has only had minor eye problems (probably brought on by trauma from running through the bushes), and will probably not have any real health problems because I shelled out for pet insurance because I will never finish paying off Trixie's vet bills and I learned my lesson.  He cannot handle being petted without biting, is an insufferable morning person, and likes to escape from the house and lead me on a merry chase when I'm already late for work.  He is also deeply in love with his dog, has a tail like a fox, and makes a devastatingly cute BLEE noise when he hears my voice but can't find me.  He is currently learning to love roast chicken enough to come in when I call him.  He pretends to be a badass, but is afraid of sounds, strange movements, and humans who are not me.  He will steal the dog's toys, but it's okay because the dog steals his.

Are you ready to look at pictures of my kids?  IT IS TIME.

Curly black planet, fuzzy tabby moon.
I am also responsible for the lives of four coworker animals.  

Exhibit C:  Boris
Exhibit D:  Vincent
Two of them live in my guest room.  They are healthy, pleasant old men, and enjoy human food and shredding paper.  Boris is starting to lose fur and the lead-like density of youth, and Vincent is probably going grey, but I can't really see it because he was taupe to begin with.  Zippy is a terrible predator, so I must keep the guest room door closed at all times to prevent their brutal murder.  I told them to kick his ass when he was a kitten (and approximately their size) so he would fear them as an adult, but they could smell the scent of carnivore on him and refused.  They often come to work with me in a cat carrier, and Vincent feasts upon sunflower seeds while sitting in my mail tray while Boris sleeps like the dead wrapped up in a towel.  They are tolerant of children and will allow themselves to be petted.

Exhibit E:  Mr. Bunnyman
Exhibit F-You:  Geraldine
 The other two live in a very posh little outdoor complex that I designed and built for them.  They are aloof but friendly enough, and like having their faces rubbed and their food dish refilled.  Neither of them are super keen on being picked up, and they're not really thrilled with humans who are not me, but that's understandable, as we are predators, after all.  Geraldine has chronic eye problems, but Mr. Bunnyman loves to groom her face, so it works out.  Their favorite time of year is complex cleaning day, when I release them into the butterfly house so I can work.  They greatly enjoy running around a giant, plant-filled enclosure, and make me chase them to get them back in their real home.  Both of them need the exercise, though.  They will allow children to pet them, but it's not their favorite activity.

I'd write more about them all, but the dog and the cat are currently wrestling on top of me.  That's sort of the story of my life.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

TMI Time!

So, I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but I'm sorta asexual.

I say "sorta," because I don't know if it's just a phase in my life, or if it has always been this way and I am just now realizing it.

I do not know that I have ever found anyone sexually attractive.  I am not aromantic, and I have been in love many many times, but I do not really know if anyone has really turned my gears that way, so to speak.

I know when people are physically beautiful specimens, and I certainly like looking at that sort of person, but it's a detached sort of feeling.  I like to look at flowers and gemstones and beautiful architecture, too.  It's pretty much the same emotion for me.

When I was younger, I craved the feeling of being wanted, and I figured that the feeling I got when someone desired me (for whatever reason) was sexual attraction.  Now that I'm older, I'm not sure it is.  If I do become aroused, it's certainly not directed at anyone.  It was an odd day when I realized that other people DO find each other arousing.  The only thing I wanted from other people was to be approved of.

In any case, over the last five years or so I have stopped performing behaviors that would indicate that I am interested in sexual relationships of any kind.  I do not flirt.  I don't make sexual jokes.  I do not use double entendres (at least, not on purpose, which can get embarrassing when people think I've said something suggestive and I didn't realize it).  I do not move my body in ways that could be interpreted as inviting.  My vibe is "chilly and distant" or "human Muppet."  Neither are alluring.

For the most part, I think people pick up on it.  If anyone asks, I generally say that my sexual preference is "no, thank you."

When someone doesn't pick up on it, I get extremely uncomfortable.

When a casual acquaintance includes a winky-face emoji and a reference to massage in an FB message about whether or not I will be attending an event, it makes me cranky.

Yes, I will be attending this event.

Before, I figured that the days leading up to the event would be filled with thoughts of "what appetizers shall I bring?"

Now, they get to be filled with the discomfort of knowing that I will have to be face-to-face with someone, and that I will have to bluntly state that I do not welcome that sort of interaction.  I don't like making someone feel awkward, but I also am not interested in being flirted with, jokingly or not.    I do not like being made uncomfortable.  I don't like making others uncomfortable.

But if it's going to happen one way or the other, I'm going to make damn sure it's not me.