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Anniversary Bedding and Other Extreme Sports

Wednesday, June 6, 2018 | 0 Comment(s)

Last week was my wife and my sixth anniversary.
*Pause for audience applause*
Anniversaries are like birthdays for your marriage, but they are also unlike birthdays, in that they celebrate an actual accomplishment.
I mean, unless you want to argue that birthdays are a celebration of the accomplishment of your mother giving birth. Because all you really have to do to achieve a subsequent birthday is not die. And since I don't see people having "Mom" themed birthday parties, I'm gonna say that birthdays are like personal New Year's Eve celebrations: Much ado about celebrating the passage of time as an accomplishment.

Now anniversaries are an entirely different beast. Every year of marriage is a legitimate achievement, worthy of celebration. Hell, anniversaries are important. You don't want to take for granted the success of simultaneously negotiating two lives (at least) without complete implosion. Marriage is work. It turns out that "forever," even for humans, is a pretty long-ass time. And so, every year, at the very least, ya'll earned yourselves a cake. More than likely, a night out is in order.

Last year, our dog Grover took us on a trip to the Veterinary ER for our anniversary. It was, and forgive any potential hyperbole, the absolute worst fucking anniversary ever. So, the wife and I decided to bring it back to basics this year. Get our nostalgia on. And since our relationship poked its budding head out of the soil in Boston, we headed back to the Fens for our weekend celebration.

Pictured: My wife and my relationship, as a metaphor, in Boston

40

Thursday, May 31, 2018 | 0 Comment(s)

I distinctly remember my Mother's surprise 40th birthday party. I was 7. My brother was 10. The reason the image of this particular birthday burned itself into my brain is that I felt slighted by my father. My father had not felt his sons would able to keep the secret of the looming surprise party, so we were whisked off to Hebrew School like some mundane moving part in an Ocean's 11 movie. I wasn't conscious of it at that point, but I have a propensity for grudge holding, a trait I actively work to soften daily. Forgiveness is freedom.
Dear Me, Forgive yourself for looking like this. Forgiveness is freedom.
Back at our Ocean's 11 caper, a family friend had taken my Mom out to breakfast, or coffee, or some other lame backstory that I wasn't privy to but surely could have improved upon if I had been consulted. After consuming their unimaginative beverage or food, they swung by the synagogue to pick my brother and me up before returning home. When we got home, as you might imagine, she was surprised. Verily. And so was I. And then I was angry. Super angry. Little kid Matt was a little messed up, but at least I could still enjoy a party. Which I did.

The reason I bring any of this up is that I am turning 40 this year, and it is the first time I will be turning an age I clearly (and I think I've demonstrated both depth of knowledge and clarity) remember one of my parents turning. And let me be clear - this is not that kind of existential crisis. I'm not promising that there won't be future pontification, but it will not be of the I'm that much closer to death!?!?! variety.

Holy Motherfucking Shit. The Battle of the Bulge in my Spine--Grover Edition: Part Two

Monday, July 10, 2017 | 1 Comment(s)

Grover's back-end was paralyzed following surgery. This fact was obscured by the staffs' practiced use of medical jargon that denoted immobility while purposely not using the "P-word." I don't think I fully comprehended his paralysis until a few days later, after he's regained some range of motion.

That said, some dogs regain full mobility (but not strength) immediately following surgery. Twenty percent become temporarily paralyzed. As we covered in part one, if there is a 20% change of a dog having a certain outcome, Grover will have it 100% of the time. He's one in a million, and he puts those odds to use when it comes to medical maladies. Not my favorite aspect of his uniqueness if were being honest. 

Holy Motherfucking Shit. The Battle of the Bulge in my Spine--Grover Edition: Part One

Thursday, May 25, 2017 | 0 Comment(s)

(If you go back in the archives to Sept. 1, 2010, you can read a number of pieces regarding my personal battle with back issues, the first of which shares its title with this post.
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Today was the first day in a week that I didn't get woken up by the vet calling to give me an update on the status of Grover, my power animal and companion.

Hi, I'm Grover. This is me.

In truth, I was only woken up by the call the first morning.

If you are unfortunate enough to have a serious veterinary medical emergency in the greater (and I do mean greater) Massachusetts area, you will be directed to the Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital. And, as hospitals go -- not animal hospitals mind you -- but all hospitals, this 24-hour facility is the bomb. It is the bee knees -- which, for the record, they could probably fix.  They have three staff neurosurgeons, an MRI machine, and surgical facilities. This is all comforting information to be told when your pup's back legs randomly stop functioning properly at 4pm on a Monday afternoon.

Once your pet is admitted to the Vet Hospital, the doctors assigned to your case calls you, religiously, both after morning rounds and again in the late afternoon/evening. In my experience, when your pet is gone for a week, as Grover was, these calls become your everything. These calls are the reason you set your alarm for wayyyyyy earlier than you need to wake up, in order to be cognizant when Dr. Silver calls and tells you that while the surgery went well, Grover is now paralyzed from the midsection back. She will tell you that, while frustrating, this is normal in about 20% of cases.

Of course, all you will be able to picture is your best friend (wife excluded) with a limp back end and those longing lonely eyes staring up at you confused. The puppy you promised you would take care of and love forever is paralyzed. You'll tell Dr. Silver that you are coming to visit, 5 hour trip be damned.

Dr. Silver will tell you in a calm knowing tone that while you can, of course, visit your pet at any time, they are trying to keep Grover as immobile as possible right now, and if I think he would get excited and wiggly seeing me, then it is probably best to just wait until he has gotten better before coming to see him.