The Labor-less Part of My Labor Day Weekend (Well, except for the part where I chase the dog…)

Happy day-after Labor Day! I hope you had a fun and relaxing weekend, or if you didn’t, I hope that means you took that “labor” part seriously and got some stuff done!

My weekend was both labor-filled and labor-less. To be honest, my weekend isn’t quite over yet. My boys don’t have school today due to a teacher in-service (weird timing, I know), so I’m hoping to get a bit more to add to my “labor-filled” part of the weekend today. Stay tuned for the highlights (or lowlights) of that . . .

As for my “labor-less” part of the weekend, it consisted of hanging out with my brother-in-law, sister-in-law and nephew on Friday night, which was very refreshing. My SIL and I chatted while sipping on Margaritas while my BIL and Husband grilled and our boys ran around with light sabers and swords. But since we’ve mastered the art of tuning out the duels and “play killing,” this didn’t bother us at all. Paper plates meant no dishes to do, so the night just kept getting better.

Saturday morning came the long-anticipated kickoff to the college football season for us, and Husband and I watched our Iowa Hawkeyes easily prevail while trying to coax at least one of our three boys to come watch the game with us. How sad is it that we have THREE boys and NO ONE was interested in doing the football thing with us? Boys #2 and #3 were too busy running around in their underwear playing Pokemon, and Boy #1 was too social to sit with his parents for an afternoon. Maybe our grandkids will find us interesting; this seems to be our only hope.

Sunday I started a painting project and mid-afternoon Husband finally checked his email and saw that we had an invitation to a party that started at 4:00. It took me several minutes to take in the situation, beings as how we are not exactly what you’d call “socialites.” In fact, I honestly can’t remember the last party we’ve gotten invited to. But the party was being hosted by a family from our old neighborhood, and a lot of our old neighbors were going to be there, so we decided to be spontaneous and go.

But of course, things did not exactly go as planned. Would you have guessed otherwise?

I had showered, put on my favorite T-shirt and jeans, which I thought were just trendy enough without looking like I was trying TOO hard to be fashionable, and was putting the finishing touches on my makeup when I heard Husband yell and the front door slam. My heart sank as I knew what had just happened.

One of the boys had accidentally let the dog slip out the front door.

If you’ve been following my blog, you know what this means. This dog does not come home willingly, or even unwillingly. He just doesn’t come at all. And he’s like a jackrabbit on the open range, which makes him impossible to catch.

I believe the last time the dog got out, Husband said that was his last time chasing him, which meant it was up to me. Just so you know, I could care less if he ever comes back when he gets out, so I don’t go after him for my own sake. But the fact that all of the neighbors know who he belongs to could be an issue if he decided to tousle with another dog or nip at a stranger who tries to contain him. We have not figured “paying legal fees” into our budget right now, so go after him I must.

I headed toward the neighborhood pond, and sure enough, that’s where I found him, taking an afternoon swim in the moss-filled water. Upon seeing me, he bolted but fortunately got distracted by a couple dogs in a fenced-in backyard. This is about the only way I can even have a chance of catching him — to try to distract him with other dogs and somehow snag him when he’s running the fence with them. However, this is not an easy feat, nor is it one that is quick or painless. I was literally chasing him for an hour. At one point there were, I’m not kidding, 10 people standing around helping, or just staring at, me. One nice neighbor and her college-age son went and got me a towel to use to try to throw over the dog like a net, as well as a pair of gloves to wear. This is because once I managed to get a piece of the streak as he whizzed by, and he bit my hand. He didn’t draw blood, but he made his point clear that he wasn’t ready to go home.

Several times as he was running along the fence, he would widen his running path and take another dip in the pond. Normally white and tan, he was now black.

While the neighbors were hatching a plan to try to open the gate enough to see if my dog would run in the fenced-in yard without letting the other dogs out, the dog was finally distracted and worn out enough for me to grab him — and not let go.

Thanking the neighbors for their help (and secretly hoping I never see them again because I’m so embarrassed), I carry home my smelly, wet, dirty wriggling bundle of fur. Once refreshed and somewhat cute-looking (as cute as I get, which isn’t saying much), I was now covered in filth, my hair was flat and my face was dripping with sweat. Excellent.

So after arriving an hour and a half late to the party, I immediately became self-conscious because this wasn’t just a little get-together, it was a REAL party, complete with an amazing spread of food, a table full of drinks, music and tons of people, most of whom I either didn’t know at all or didn’t know well enough to hang out with. Not exactly the environment I’m most comfortable in.

To my relief, I soon found my old next-door neighbor, who I love because she is perhaps even more down-to-earth than me, and clung to her for dear life. We chatted on the patio for a while and then found our way into the house as it was starting to rain. There were a few open chairs at the dessert table, which looked like the perfect spot in which to hunker down for the evening. It was soon after that I realized how much I do not have in common with many of the guests.

As my friend and I were double-fisting the brownies, fruit pizza and Rice Krispie treats, more than a few women, who were both younger AND thinner than me, walked up to the table, commented about how good the desserts looked and then went on to explain loudly how they just COULDN’T take any dessert because they are STILL trying to lose those 8 pounds they gained after their baby was born, or some other such nonsense. Seriously, one girl was MAYBE a size 2, and she obviously works out because she is not only thin but had just the right amount of muscle to pretty much constitute a perfect body.

“Just wear elastic pants. Then you can eat whatever you want,” my former neighbor told her as she took a bite out of a chocolate chunk cookie. And this is why I so miss living next door to her.

Lest you think I’m some sort of fun-hating prude, I wasn’t completely anti-social. I did listen to conversations and occasionally even participated. I even managed to down one did Margarita. But I’m either getting old or just getting boring because as I was sitting amongst the crowd of movers and shakers of the southwest side, I kept thinking how I’d much rather be home in my sweatpants drinking a Coke and watching a rerun of 30 Rock.

And maybe eating some Cheesy Blasters.

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