I’ve discussed briefly (or maybe not so briefly) my struggle with/decision to not immediately look for a job upon moving to Fort Campbell. Perhaps my biggest excuse until now, however, was wedding planning. Last month I spent two straight nine-hour workdays drawing up my reception seating chart; while I realize this is obsessive, I also realize it would have been impossible with a full-time job. Between the wedding, settling into my new home, tricking Jonathan into eating quinoa, and some freelance editing work, my days pre-wedding were free of boredom and often surprisingly eventful.
But, now, the wedding is over and the registry items are unpacked. The editing projects are winding down. Jonathan doesn’t even put up a fight anymore when dinner is quinoa three days in a row. Everything is finished ahead of schedule, and now the schedule is terrifyingly blank.
My first day home from the wedding trip when Jonathan went to work, I went through the wedding folder on my desktop and ritualistically opened all my spreadsheets and lists, and just stared at them with my cursor blinking blankly for a while. Then I realized that I was sort of exhibiting postpartum symptoms over a wedding, so I should probably get my shit together.
So in an effort to get that shit together, I made a list of possible ways to cure the after-wedding letdown, and promised myself I would absolutely choose one to pursue before the month was out:
- Join the circus
- Deep-clean the house
- Start a goat farm
- Hang out at Walmart; use observations to write expose
- Get a job
- See how many cups of coffee I can drink without dying
- Become a drifter
- Spin around in circles until I throw up
- See how many sweatshirts I can wear simultaneously
- Cat hoarding
- Learn the art of Chinese water torture
- Take up competitive Sudoku
- Cover all my furniture with Post-Its
- Write a formula for glue
- Adopt and train a dog
I dabbled briefly in the “see how many sweatshirts I can wear” option, but it was still sort of hot outside so I gave up after two and chose a different option.
Adopting a shelter dog has been on Jonathan and my to-do list since nearly the moment we met; we spent a lot of time during his last deployment making plans to take home a pup as soon as he was back on American soil. But our Tennessee apartment complex had a strict and unexpected no-pets policy I discovered upon moving in, so we’d pretty much resigned ourselves to wait until our next duty station.
But when we pulled into our complex after the 11-hour drive home from our Maryland wedding festivities, the first thing we noticed was a booming bark coming from our next-door neighbor’s unit. The next morning, we saw an empty dog crate box outside our other next-door neighbor’s apartment, and that pretty much sealed the deal.
Less than a week later (on my birthday, because why not), we stopped by a shelter where one of Jonathan’s Army colleagues and his wife volunteer. All of their adoptable dogs come from the to-be-euthanized line at animal control, and I’d told Jonathan beforehand that we were “just going to look” to see if one of their current dogs seemed like a good fit for us, at which point we would discuss whether or not we should go through with an adoption.
That, of course, didn’t happen; at least three of their dogs seemed like good fits for us, and we spent my birthday evening drinking sparkling red wine and enjoying the last time our pants would be free of dog hair.
He’s not quite a year old yet, and the shelter did a phenomenal job taking care of him; he is neutered, completely vaccinated, familiar with “sit” and “no,” and, most importantly, understands the basics of doing his business outside. We’re still working on not GOING INTO BAT-SHIT ATTACK MODE when we meet other dogs and getting through our walks without too many SQUIRREL! incidents, but so far he has been a loving, silly, and incredibly welcome addition to our after-wedding household.
He is very good at pooping on the carpet when he’s scared of something.
They say that getting a dog is good practice for a couple who’s thinking about having kids, but don’t get any ideas. The wedding was, like, two weeks ago; the only kids we’re interested in right now are the kind whose tantrums can be cured with Pupperoni.
And, in case you were wondering, we did not accidentally misspell Locksley while playing homage to Robin Hood with our dog’s name; he’s the Mel Brooks Robin Hood Men in Tights “Robin of Loxley,” because he’s half Jewish and appreciates a good smoked salmon pun.
If you’re also in your after-wedding letdown stage but you already have a dog, here are a few more suggestions to shake the postpartum:
- Start collecting troll dolls
- Make a jewelry line using only the medium of human hair
- Read the Harry Potter books in reverse chronological order
- See how many pieces of chewing gum you can fit in your mouth at once
- Volunteer to clean up your local park
- Use trash from local park clean-up to build modern art and sell on Craigslist
- Send care packages to oversees troops
- Conduct a Google Image search for “animals wearing hats”
- Make a word-a-day calendar using only words that rhyme with “pie”
- Think about porcupines
- Give human names to each pair of your shoes
- Touch every carpet sample at Home Depot. Twice.
- Make the perfect grilled cheese sandwich