Monday, June 14, 2010

Monday, Monday

(My last glimpse of Abby in the mornings before I went to school. Could she make me feel guilty!)

“Monday Monday, can't trust that day,…” Part of the lyrics to a song by The Mamas and the Papas. Normally, I don’t go for that old hippie, peace, love and dope, folksy Top 40 crap (I do however like just plain ol’ Top 40 crap) but there are a few songs from the time period that I like. I actually can’t say I’m in love with this. The reason it came to mind was a certain routine or habit Abby had on Monday mornings.

Normally when I returned home, the first thing I’d do was to change clothes from the jeans I wore at the lab into a pair of shorts. In grad school, there was not a strict dress code and grad students could wear shorts if they wanted. I chose not to for a couple of reasons. First was safety. There was broken glass on the floor, not a lot but enough that a shard could easily find its way into exposed skin and drag some chemicals with it. The second reason I wore jeans to school was that TA’s in chemistry labs were not allowed to wear shorts. The students were not allowed to wear shorts either, so we had to set a good example for the young, impressionable students. Sure, I could have changed clothes after I finished teaching labs, but I didn’t feel like doing that.

In the evenings and on the weekends, I would wear shorts and a T-shirt. Sure, I was living out a stereotype; just look at this link from the site “Stuff White People Like”, but often times, the NC weather is not conducive for long pants. I’m sure Abby associated my wearing shorts with my being around her, playing with her and her overall having a good time. When she saw me in jeans as I was about to leave the house, her expression was a long, sad one.

She wasn’t aware of what I was going to wear because she would wake up before me, go to the front, greet my mom and then she would be let out to go to the bathroom. Meanwhile, I would be getting ready for my day. By the time Abby saw me in my jeans, she knew the jig was up, the party was over, and that I would be leaving her for the day. This was compounded by the fact that we most likely had a fun filled weekend full of playing outside, going in the pool and grilling out which meant the fun times were over for now. She knew her fun-level was going to drop that day and that I wasn’t going to be around with her.

One Monday morning in particular sticks out to me. Abby was at the other end of the house, and I had somehow made it to the other end by the kitchen without her seeing me. The moment Abby saw me, her face dropped, her ears drooped down, and she hustled down the hall to bid me farewell. She was sad and knew how to give me a guilt trip. I petted her, told her that I’d be back and went off to school. It’ didn’t take Abby long to learn the meaning of the phrase “I’ll be back.” To her it meant, “Gary is leaving.”

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