b Papa Dog's Blog: My Nipples Explode with Delight

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Saturday, August 28, 2004

My Nipples Explode with Delight

Yesterday, an old friend of Mama Dog’s visited from Back East. Let’s call her Baltimore, because I’m growing weary of the animal names. I’m not by any means certain that Baltimore (the city) is the place whence Baltimore (the person) was visiting, but since it is (by any definition known to California) a city from Back East, it will do as a fake name for the duration of this post.

So, Baltimore’s parents live in L.A., but she’s not planning to swing down that way this trip. Moreover, Baltimore says she hasn’t told the ‘rents where she’s staying or how to get hold of her because last time she made that error during a Bay Area trip, they drove up here and expected Baltimore to spend several days of her brief vacation in their company. The big problem, as Baltimore put it is, “They hate everything I love: San Francisco, hippies, Democrats. What am I supposed to do, hang around playing cards with them in their hotel room for three days?”

This put me in mind of my own parents’ upcoming visit. They’ll be coming in a couple of weeks to meet their newest granddaughter for the first time. Happily, though they’ve exhibited a certain degree of bafflement regarding many of my lifestyle choices over the past 20 years, they’ve never turned it into a big culture war thing, nor indeed ever expressed disappointment in anything I’ve done. That’s pretty good, I think, because – frankly – a lot of the things I did between 1984 and 1998 were pretty disappointing, even to me.

The closest thing I can recollect to a moment of that sort of generational/cultural clash betwixt my forebears and me came one night the week Mama Dog and I wed. We spent that week showing our collected sets of parents around various of our favourite Bay Area restaurants. One night we visited the Blue Restaurant in the Castro (lukewarm and slightly condescending review here, surprisingly detailed and accurate description of the bathroom here – but you have to scroll down a bit to find the entry for Blue). After dinner we wandered around Castro Street for a while and at one point I found myself alone with my dad, waiting out on the street while everyone else looked in at a tchotchke shop of some sort (if memory serves – and its been nigh on five years, so don’t place any bets – Mama Dog was looking at lunchboxes). We had one of those hands-behind-the-back-not-saying-much-of-anything moments to which white people from Canada seem particularly prone when I suddenly noticed that we were standing in front of a storefront display snappily decked out with an array of elaborate gay sex toys. Just then I noticed my dad noticing me notice this – and further, I noticed him noticing what it was I had just noticed. He looked at me and probably noticed that because I had noticed all the noticing, the moment was growing even more awkward. Gosh yes! Pardon me while I ponder what might make a diffident straight white man from Canada feel more awkward than standing with his father in front of a window full of elaborate gay sex toys. Okay – yes – I’ve got one – that would be if the diffident straight white man from Canada was for some reason posing in the window and demonstrating the use of the sex toys when he happened to look out and see his father window-shopping. But short of that, it was pretty awkward.

So – because it was clearly incumbent on me to do something to arrest this downward spiral of awkwardness, I grasped for a deadpan comment and the best I could come up with was, “Uh…I don’t think there’s really an equivalent neighbourhood in Edmonton.” And because my father has always been my model for the laconic deadpan reply, he gave a long, slow, nod, and said, “Nnnnnnnnnnnno.”

So what, I wonder, will Baby Dog be doing ten or fifteen or twenty years hence to if not shock, disappoint, or enrage me, then at least cause me to re-examine any fundamental assumptions about life that I don’t currently realise I hold? Will she join the Bush Youth? Surely there will be a Bush Youth by then. Will she take up a sport of some sort? Will she move to L.A.? I shudder to think. But I’m braced. I really am.

Miscellaneous other matters: this is kind of a weird story.

Forgot to mention - when she saw the doctor yesterday, Baby Dog weighed in at 13 pounds 6 ounces. This is up from 12 pounds 11 ounces a week and a half ago which means the calculation we made after that measurement is correct; she's gaining a little more than an ounce a day.

No papers this time. Only a couple of pages of Nana. This could take a while. So far it’s all about a group of rich nobs waiting for a variety show of some sort to begin, and the slimy theatrical producer lording over them his new discovery, the titular Nana. Little time to read. Kind of a busy day. Sick baby, visitor from out of town, did some laundry.

And lastly – an embarrassing yet somehow poignant milestone: today I threw out a pair of underwear and belatedly realised that it represented something of a final turning point. This underwear, which had gone unnoticed in the back of a drawer for several years only to return to active duty sometime in the last year, finally gave up the ghost in the last laundry cycle and had to be humanely dispatched. They were, I now realise, the last piece of pre-Mama Dog clothing still in my possession – which is to say they were the last article of clothing I had which she would never have let me buy. So fare-thee-well, raggedy-ass gauche-green Hanes-three-pack briefs. Diggity Dog is dead. Long live Papa Dog.


Blogger Brownstein said...

Great post today.

As to what the infant will do to disappoint upon reaching adulthood, I would look to the elements in your own and your spouse's family trees that are less agreeable to your temperment. The disappointments will likely not be big ones, like playing sports (which you will grow to appreciate in terms of her performance, should she choose that path) or joining the Bush youth. They'll be things like finding god or moving to Canada or thinking Celine Dion is actually a talented chanteuse.

Also: if Diggity Dog is dead, does that mean the bottle of Strom Thurmond scotch is still intact?

9:13 AM  

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