Why I Hate Math (And I am not a Mama Orangutan)

I’ve had a couple of hard things going on. Only one I am (sort of) ready to write about.

I had to get rid of one of my dogs.

He bit my Little Sir.

And, I am a Mama Grizzly with my babies (pronounce: bay-buhz). The Dean at my daughter’s school once told me, “Well, she relies on the knowledge that you’ll storm up here to rescue her.” My daughter was in a horrible bullying situation at the time.

I responded, “Damn Straight.” I still can’t figure out why the Dean made her statement like it was a negative thing.

So, my wonderful, brilliant super dog had to leave because he just could not fathom that this squalling, wobbling two foot tall terrorist that invaded our house eighteen months ago was going to be higher in the pecking order.

Because this incident was not the first and because it was pretty B-A-D and because I know dogs and because I had all ready worked with this dog A LOT, I knew the decision that had to be made.

And with the decision made and trembling with self doubt, I called my Uncle Les because he loves animals as much as I do, but (and this is a KEY difference) he is a former  Marine. So, he is a softee in the same spots I am but he is way WAY tougher in other spots.

And he said something that has continued to resonate inside me like the echo of your voice at the Grand Canyon once you are back in the family sedan headed for home. The thing he said has profoundly affected how I am viewing all hard things in my life right now.

He said, “You know what you have to do and you know it is right, you just don’t like it.”

And the absolute, EXACT TRUTH, of this statement is what is bouncing off the sharp and slimy parts of my insides.

Isn’t that how the TRUTH is? You hear it and just are startled because it is sharp and cozy all at once.  It shoots right to the core of you and then fills  all the nooks and crannies with such a spreading warmth. Like an arrow of  hot cocoa from God.

My uncle is right (again).

I have done the math, but I don’t like the total. Much in the way I have gaped at my checking account balance. That just CAN’T be right. Or the way I have LEAPT off the scale. That REALLY CAN NOT be right.

Two plus two equals four and it’s really pissing me off.

And this idea that my adorable dog can’t be mine anymore is a summation that I just keep trying to re-add, hoping the total equals something different.

But it doesn’t.

From Brookfield Zoo.

My Uncle also said that I could be a Mama Orangutan because they are so protective. This is why I like English. I like the variables, imagery and subtlety found in language. Mama Grizzly sounds WAY better than Mama Orangutan. So, I asked him to please refer to me as a Mama Grizzly from here on out.

Then I gave my dog a bath and his most favorite thing- a blow dry- and have hugged on him a lot.

And I have done the same with my Little Sir (not the blow dry) who screamed in terror for 20 minutes after the dog wigged out.

My Veterinarian and the Animal Behaviorist liked my math metaphor too. “You have done the math correctly. You just need to circle that total and move ahead.”

God, I hate math.