Simcha Fisher, author of The Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning writes for several publications and blogs daily at Aleteia. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and ten children. Without supernatural aid, she would hardly be a human being.
When I decided to start blogging twice a week for Register, rather than three times a week, I thought it would, as Norman Osborn said, rectify certain inequities: to wit, I thought I'd have a safe place on Patheos to purge my yappy brain of trivialities like stories about my new puppy and how the baby was sick and oh my gosh, ticks are disgusting, and does anybody know how to make corn nuts? And then I could talk about, you know, Catholicism, on the National Catholic Register. Good plan, eh?
But there comes a time when we must remember the words of Duns Scotus, who famously said, "If it's about puppies, it's Catholic."
What I'm trying to tell you is that we drove three hours to get a puppy (half German Shepherd and half Great Dane, because that's the kind of dog you want when you bought a house with ceilings under seven feet tall) in the next state, and he liked us okay. We started to go home, but then the transmission broke, and we had to wait two hours on the side of the road to get it towed, and we got yelled at by a State Trooper for waiting for a tow truck. Also, people shouted funny things at us, because we were stranded. Ha ha! And somebody blew a trombone out their car window at us. Why a trombone? Because they didn't have any hilarious boiling oil to pour on our heads, I suppose.
Then the tow truck came, and he dropped us off at a garage, which was closed, and in a rural spot, by which I mean I'm not entirely sure they will know how to replace the transmission, since they are located in the middle of an area which looks like it only recently became acquainted with the wheel. So we picked up the puppy, who is too stupid to know how to walk -- TO KNOW HOW TO WALK! -- and packed up all our stuff, and our dog food, and our dog bowls, and we started to walk to a gas station two miles away to put some food into our poor, empty bellies, and figure out what to do next.
Then the thunderstorm hit. And hit, and hit, and hit. The puppy did not, for some reason, think this was okay, even though I suggested singing a dog marching song to keep up our spirits. Now, the angry wife of the owner of the closed garage (who may or may not have spotted me using her back yard as an emergency rest room, because I thought no one was home) had given us careful, if angry, directions to the nearest gas station. So we walked and walked and walked, and the dog screamed and cried, and the thunder boomed and the lightning flashed, and my husband kissed me, because it was his idea to get a dog.
Well, we kept on walking till we got to the end of the road, and lawsy mussy me! Guess what? The gas station wasn't there. But the state trooper was. The same state trooper. Only this time, he yelled at us for walking down the highway in the thunderstorm with a puppy.
Well, I can't really blame him there. I thought it was a pretty terrible idea, too, but I'm one of those disgusting out of staters who drives three hours just to pee in other people's backyards, so what do I know?
I guess I can skip the rest of this story, because you do know the end, which is me, still writing. Except for one little detail.
We found a dry spot to huddle until the storm passed. The poor dog fell asleep in my lap, and when he woke up, he was warm and dry and in love with me. My husband went out into the storm one more time to find some food, and he came back with a bulging brown bag, which, as he came closer and closer, I undressed with my eyes, imagining how I would feast on the delights within -- a sandwich, maybe! One of those gas station sandwiches, with the squishy white bread and the shiny lunch meat, and gelatinous cheese and dangling lettuce! I was drooling freely on the dog in my lap, as closer and closer my husband came.
Now, I want you to know that, throughout this entire day, my husband did everything right. Heck, he did everything right before that, too: we waited fifteen whole years to get this dog, and he did his research, and took it slow, and made sure we had a good plan, and he had Triple A, and he carried the puppy and the heavy bag, and didn't cuss, not even at the state trooper, and he walked closest to traffic so I wouldn't get splashed too much. He even held the door for me in the tow truck.
But I'm gonna tell you right now, there are certain moments when it really comes home to me how different he and I really are. And one of those moments was when he sat down beside me and said, "Look! They were only 99 cents!" and pulled out a couple of cold beers.
Oh, I drank the beer. I drank it pretty fast. But I sent the poor man out again, and this time he came back with an enormous gas station sub for me, and chips, and corn nuts, and a package of those little waxy chocolate mini donuts.
Well, that was four days ago. Our car is still in the next state. The puppy still loves me. The ceilings are still too low. And I still work for the Register. All of these things are baffling to me, but the only one I feel bad about is the car. That, and being so dang tired that I ditched my half-finished post about beauty and brokenness, and wrote this ridiculous thing instead.