06.01.04

9:25 p.m.

You mean things need nutrients to live?

I’m apparently incompetent...no, not incontinent (although give me 50 years and I will be) – incompetent. Just thought I’d share.

My mother left for Cancun today and left me in charge of keeping things alive. Ok, maybe I deserved the four page letter describing in detail (with a handy reference map of the garden) how to keep the plants alive. I have a tendency to kill them quickly. Who knew those things actually need to be watered more than once a month? However, I don’t think I needed any guidance in the pet department. I do work at a vet clinic; amazingly...I haven’t killed anything there unless I was specifically asked to do so.

“Don’t forget to give the dogs fresh water – EVERY day.”

“Ricardo needs his pills TWICE a day-once in the morning, once at night.”

“Make sure you feed ALL of them EVERY day.”

I felt like a Special Olympics contestant being read the rules. Every word was slowly and deliberately pronounced, just to make sure I fully comprehended each and every one. All this took place at 7:00am while I was driving to work. I actually set the phone down for a good 2-3 minutes once; I’m pretty sure she didn’t notice. Unless I was actually mentally handicapped, I think that was all pretty much common sense. But, it seemed to have made her feel a little more at ease, so I thought I should appease her.

Tonight, I found a seven page letter describing in even more detail (if at all possible) exactly what we had been through this morning on the phone. Everything from the blankets that each dog likes to sleep on, to the location of the heartworm medicine (even though they aren’t due until long after she gets back), to cremation choices if any of them happen to die in my care.

At the very bottom of the page, a few sentences were scribbled out. Being the insanely curious person I am, I strained to read it. This is all I could make out:

“If there happens to be a medical emergency, call the vet’s office right away. The number is listed on the refridg....”

I think she realized in the middle of that sentence that she’d gone a little bit too far – even for her. I wonder which parent I get my anal retentive qualities from?

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