Mrs. Kravitz popped by this afternoon.
She came in the front door and after we exchanged hellos, scrutinized my freshly-painted entryway.
“You’ve gone with an orangey tone.”
(ORANGE? I feel as though I've been slapped. The card said it's Tuscany Red.)
Then, she sees the new puppy. “Oh!” with a look of cautious disdain. “It’s not a beagle is it?”
(Well, thank God it’s not.)
“Beagles are naughty,” she says with disapproval.
“It’s a Jack Russell terrier,” I reply.
“Oooh. . . they’re so. . .”
“. . .very smart and intelligent.”
“Really???” she asks, with raised eyebrows.
“You know little dogs are so easy to box train,” she says with authority.
“Well, I’d rather he poop outside.”
“But if you box train him,” she persists, “then if you want to take him with you when you go somewhere, you just take out the box and. . . “
“He won’t be going anywhere with us.”
“Huh. I see. So, what made you decide to do this?”
“We’ve been tossing the idea around for a while. And Em is wonderful with him. I haven’t once had to clean up after him or take him outside. She does everything.” . . . ( and I suddenly feel as though I’m being defensive so I shut up, and she changes the subject, commenting on how the tree is down and I’ve already got Christmas packed up and put away. And I find myself being defensive again, feeling like a fallen Catholic because I put the crèche away, burying the Christ Child in tissue paper before the arrival of Epiphany Sunday.)
We say our good-byes and I close the door after her, leaning against it and wishing I could wiggle my nose and turn our cute little puppy into a pit bull. Just for a few minutes.