The Dog Ate Pot (and Other Excuses)

fullsizerender-65Dear Mom,

As you know, Italians ingest a healthy dose of guilt. When I was a baby, you offered me biscotti for my teeth and guilt for my soul.

Now, as you have aged, I justify my actions based on a sense of loyalty – and guilt.

After your rash of infections and hospital rounds, I found myself rather inattentive to your needs. I wanted to write and tell you why.

  1. My dog ate some pot. No, really, he did. Enzo licked at a patch of grass in a little pocket park in the city. Later, his eyes rolled into the back of his head. He spent the night in the Veterinary ER and rebounded the next day.
  1. The dog’s stomach did not rebound. For two weeks, I cooked more meals for the dog than for Mark and me. I kept him on a tight leash or in his crate. I worked less when your grandson, Davis, was born premature.
  1. I visited while you slept and I cleaned your closets. You might answer, “That doesn’t count, because I didn’t get to tell you, ‘No, no, no,’ or crush your hands in a death grip while we walked around the hallways, or just throw cookies at you.” Yes, we shared a beautiful moment where I could just love you while Sinatra crooned on the CD player.
  1. I went to Washington to march. We, as a country, elected a president who likes to tweet about random things not related to his actual job of governing. “Tweel,” you asked once when you heard it on TV. “Tweel,” you asked again. Finally, I spoke into your good ear, corrected the mispronunciation, and moved you off the topic.
  1. I participated in boot camp. No, it’s wasn’t a military maneuver. Actually, I didn’t go away, just participated in online discussions about my manuscript, the one mostly about you. Did you know there’s a boot camp for everything these days? Boot camp opening scenes, boot camp how to ride a bike on city streets, boot camp baby food production, which I could have applied that knowledge for the dog.
  1. I stood up to speak out against sexual violence, and essentially, women’s rights. “But, we did that already,” you might question. Yes, but we should have been doing it every DAMN day until the violence ended, and its still here.
  1. I walked a few neighborhoods because I promised something stupid like, ‘I’m going to walk, then blog about all of Cincinnati’s 52 neighborhoods ( before the next mayoral and council elections. The math worked out to one neighborhood per week. However, I started four weeks late. And winter. And the dog.
  1. I visited you on a Saturday, though I usually visit on Sundays, and my timing messed with your biorhythms. You slept then too, and didn’t yell at me. The timing messed with my biorhythms too.
  1. I traveled to Florida to see your granddaughter, my niece. She needed connection to our family whether she liked it or not. Plus, she was adorable and her moon face and her, well, bossiness, reminded me of you.
  1. One day, I quit working on my manuscript to grocery shop. After shopping, I returned home. Later, I discovered your supplies of Gatorade and Lorna Dunes in the back of my car. I was horrified. I had wanted to see you that day. However, you, the thought of you, had slipped my mind.

I’ll return to our regularly scheduled programming soon. However, in missing you, I learned guilt was quite the motivator.

But you already knew that.




  1. Annette, Wow, you’re writing continues to develop so beautifully! Thanks for sharing. Happy Valentine’s Day! Cissy

    Sent from my iPhone



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