When she ate my socks, I just thought she was expressing the thought that my feet were so beautiful, they didn’t need cover. When she ate the letter I had ready to send to a book agent, I thought maybe she was expressing a literary critique on my work. When she ate the Christmas presents, I assured myself it was simply her silent protest to the commercialism of the holiday.
But when the dog ate my address book, the fun was over. She ate it in pieces; I had plenty of warning. She started on the leather cover and chewed out a couple of addresses for people I didn’t contact anymore anyway. But I was careless once more and left the battered book where my intrepid billy goat dog could, by stretching herself up onto the desk, retrieve it, and my communication notes became her endive salad!
It was so angering—all my addresses, telephone numbers, important dates—gone in a flurry of ripping teeth. I banished the dog to the basement, but that did not recover my address book. And for a woman with the memory of a kitchen sieve, this became a real crisis.
I knew from the start that it was serious. Not only is my memory notoriously unreliable, but I have a real mental block when it comes to numbers. It’s true; you can ask my high school math teacher—oh wait, his telephone number was in my address book. Well, take my word for it. Although I might remember that my daughter lives on Green Street, even though I’ve been there, I have trouble conjuring up the house number. I don’t remember zip codes, and as for street, avenue, drive, boulevard, etc. and S, E, NW, SE, forget it!
Telephone numbers are even worse. I didn’t realize just how much I relied on the address book to call people. Since the dog’s impromptu banquet, I have had occasion to need to call my sister, and I had several short and apologetic conversations with the people I called before I finally hit on her telephone number. My children’s numbers are all in my husband’s cell phone, but I’ll have to wait until he has more time to assist, so I can retrieve them. By then, I’ll have acquired them some other way—perhaps I’ll write and ask them…no, that’s not going to work is it?
The author of all this misery, is of course, living at my house so I don’t have to call her or remember her address. She’s clever enough to know when I’m thinking about that lost address book, because as soon as I start squinting at the ceiling with the phone in my hand, muttering, “That’s 857…or is it 587..or, oh, I don’t know,” she puts her tail between her legs and slinks down to the basement.
Eventually, I’ll get my address book back together and this time the pages will be stainless steel with a lead lock. In the meantime, I’m going to do a lot of driving around, trying to use the GPS I call a memory to find the people whose addresses are presently in the digestive system of a dog who seriously did not get any nutritive value out of my records!
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