It was a Saturday. I had a long list of things that needed to be taken care of. The dishes needed washed. Sili hadn’t had a bath in probably a year. If i bathed her i would need to wash the sheets or she’d smell just like sweaty dog again shortly. However, the sheets had to be washed at the laundromat because the sweaty dog smell ruined all the clothes and the last washer when washed at home. So i put the dishes in a bin in the yard, filled it with water, put the transparent lid on, and let the sunlight go to work warming the water and loosening the grease. Then i filtered a bunch of well water for the house, did some cooking, did the clothes laundry at home…packed all the detergent and baking soda into the car with trash bags full of blankets, sheets, and pillow cases, and grabbed a leash and my purse. I told sili to load up in the trunk, locked the house, and started the car. I had told myself when i put the dishes in the tub in the sun, you had better not run over these with the car, and that’s exactly what i did. Imagine being my sister in her city clothes doing her city job when she receives the text, “so i was soaking the dishes in the yard when i ran over them with the car.” She sent me a question mark emoji and then explained to me why this statement was not self explanatory. I spent the next half hour picking glass and stoneware from the dirt. I had to make sure i got every last shard of glass or one of the dogs would suffer for it. I didnt want their paws cut. So i moved the car forwards and continued to pick through the area again and again until i got every last piece. I considered being devastated that i’d just taken out at least 8 of an entire stoneware set of bowls from my childhood and two plates. However, considering my childhood was a tumultuous one fraught with anxiety causing memories, i felt like God might be telling me it was time to move on and create happier memories. I decided to choose acceptance over devastation and drove to the dollar general with sili in the back of the car. I picked a 1 dollar cherry and leaf plate, a 3 dollar bowl green bowl with a vanilla bean speckled inside, and a 1 dollar glass cup with polka dot shapes. A man went backwards in the cueing ropes to get to the checkout before me so he could be next with his 12 pack of beer. He asked me if i minded, if i was in a hurry. I told him i did leave my dog in the car and was kind of in a hurry. He then said, “i only have one thing” and turned back around. What an ass. He had tried to be polite and seem concerned hoping i would say, “no im not in a hurry, go ahead.” But in actuality him stepping aside and letting me go ahead of him was never on the table. He just wanted to seem nice, not actually be nice. I stood in line silently thinking he was one of the many things wrong with the human race. Chivalry is dead. At this point he decided to look me up and down and exclaim, “wow, you really dressed up to come to the dollar general huh? Pajamas and an apron?” He gave me a grin showing his two teeth and i assessed him in his soiled shirt and torn pants holding his one grocery item; beer, and decided he shouldnt throw stones from his fragile glass house. I answered, “yeah it’s laundry and chore day…dont really dress up for that.” Then he turned to me and suggested i do the self checkout saying that the only reason he’s not doing it is because they wont let people self checkout beer. I said, “it’s got a sign on it that says ‘sorry, broken until further notice.’” He said, “Oh.” The person at the checkout finished arguing about her invalid coupon, then a tall thin man bought some groceries. Now the toothless beer hound went. When he had finished he turned to me and said “thanks. Thanks very much.” Like i had chosen to let him cut in front of me. I didnt consent to anything. He just went in the cueing area backwards because had he followed the rules i would have reached the front of the line first and he didnt want that. I let it go, checked out, and returned to my dog who despite the wait, had not expired. There was no a/c so i rolled the windows down and let the wind blow in. We drove to town. I put the load of laundry in a couple washers at the laundromat. Then i drove Sili to the pet shop and bought what used to be a 10 dollar stint at the bathing station and was now a 14 dollar experience. I lifted sili into the little tile stall and put the little noose around her neck to hold her still while i rinsed and soaped her. There was conditioner. She would be so shiny and soft. On each rolled up towel was a dog biscuit. She was gluten free and couldnt have any but it reminded me of a fancy hotel. I dried her off and then we had 7 minutes to get back to the laundromat to switch the blankets. I left sili in the car while i switched the blankets to a dryer for an arm and leg’s worth of quarters. Then i set the timer for 60 minutes and took sili for a walk with the leash and poop bag in the neighborhood behind the laundromat in the nearest town. I couldnt leave sili in the unairconditioned car for an hour and she needed to dry anyways. We watched a gray blanket of clouds come in from over the hills. We walked in this wealthy deer-filled neighborhood with nice houses and manicured lawns. Some people stopped us and asked us where we were from. I was in pajamas and an apron and sili wasnt wearing a fancy collar or a sweater so they knew we werent from the area. I didnt care. When they asked me where i was from i answered honestly, center point, because i didnt care what they thought of us. Sili was oblivious to their biases or judgment. She was just having a blast smelling all the smells and seemed pretty proud of her sweet scented new hairdoo. She was all clean and ready for a one on one day with her mama. We had an hour to kill and i was gonna give her a good walk. Sili and i had to keep our distance from the city deer, who had clearly been fed by humans and associated us with corn. They thought we had food and followed us a whole block in a couple cases. Most alarming was big bucks running after us. Once they realized there was no corn they left but i was uncomfortable being chased by bucks that big. These deer were not like our deer. They were fat. They werent wild anymore. They were weird deer. They didnt run away from us and had no bones about trying to check my pockets.
Once the laundry was finished i loaded the blankets and sili back into the car and drove it back to center point where i stopped at the post office and checked the mail. Then i went home and finished washing all the dishes that had survived being run over by the car, along with my new plate, bowl, and cup. I put all the glass and broken stoneware in a trash bag and dragged the trashcan from the shed. I put all the honey covered items from the fridge in there as well (honey spilled in the trash bag of food stuffs waiting for a new fridge to house it). I reunited sili with cashew. Now both dogs have been shampooed and conditioned this year. It will be an annual tradition. A pre Christmas bath in town. I made up the bed again and sniffed it. It smelled much better. Less like sweaty dog. More like detergent.