The Shame and Disappointment

kimmieroxieA winter’s morning, and a fine layer of icy frost covers the expansive grounds of an Australian caravan park – circa 1977. A family holiday is taking place. There has been a raucous evening of card games, the classics: Old Maid, Snap and Fish have been mastered. We are children without screens, a family of paper and glass. Family card games roll on through the evening, warm milo for the kids, perhaps a brandy to keep warm for parents. Dressing gowns have been purchased for the holidays, slippers and wooly socks are worn, while a fan heater blows a shot of warm and constant air into the van.

The morning walk to what my mother insists on calling the “ablutions” block is teeth chattering. My sister, mother, and I huddle as a group giggling at the sheer ridiculousness of the cold. We enter a room of women who are dressed in a similar fashion, we are all carrying toiletries bags, teeth are to be brushed, hair washed. I am wearing a plastic shower cap, a purple dressing gown with a white lace trim and slippers. I am desperate for ugg boots as they will make my life infinitely better – I am sure of it. My sister being old enough and far more trustworthy with personal hygiene is allowed to make her own way to a shower stall whereas I will be supervised. I believe this may have something to do with an unsupervised hair washing incident involving my head and an alluring pink bottle of my mothers make-up remover in a hotel room in Melbourne.

I digress.

As I disrobe to enter the shower, my teeth chatter while my knees knock together. I am the coldest I have ever been at this point in my life. The water hits me and I feel instant relief. It is at this point that I lose all perspective of where I am and what I’m doing. There are no excuses, no reasons, no lack of kegel exercises, no incontinence issues. I am blissfully unaware of what is happening until I hear the voice of disappointment of my mother.

“Oh Kirsty” she is looking at me with a mixture of shame and failure. For I have broken the cardinal rule in a public showering block and wee’d down the spout hole.

It was a look I had forgotten, a moment that had escaped my mind. A memory imprinted yet faded, encoded yet un-recalled – until our cocker spaniel pooped on the freshly mopped floor of the vets waiting room yesterday morning.

“Oh Kimmie” (we didn’t name her) I feel the need to tell people this when I mention her name, to the point that I may actually change her name to Kimmiewedidn’tnameher

Kimmie came to live with us a couple of years ago, when we decided that one incessantly barking, food obsessed mid size dog was so much fun we might as well get two. She is a companion to the beagle, and while the neighbours are possibly not as fond of their frequent wake up calls to let us know that the 32nd cat of the evening has made its way into our yard – we love them, dearly.

Kimmiewedidn’tnameher is a fan of pooping on solid ground. While the beagle prefers a nice lush grass to squat, the cocker spaniel will poo right in the middle of the road. Right. In. The. Middle. Of. The. Road. Or right in the middle of the vets waiting room. Or right in the middle of the outdoor party you are holding. This is her treat, her prerogative. The beagle’s prerogative  is vomit.

I will spare you the details, but share with you the text I sent G yesterday morning. The text that thanks to the new IOS is perfectly predictive.

“Roxie threw up in the car and Kimmiewedidn’tnameher pooped in the middle of the vet’s waiting room. The fact that I am the one who always takes the dogs to the vet should be the reason you love me more than anyone else. Just saying.”

“Who’s Rocky? And what’s he doing in your car?” was the reply.

Damn you autocorrect.

When I returned to collect them with the little travellers at the end of the day they were greeted with squeals of admiration. “Look at how clean and beautiful they are!” said the second. “They smell beautiful” said the fourth. I paid the bill, began to eye Kimmiewedidn’tnameher suspicioulsy and suggested they be taken outside before we experience a right in the middle of the floor moment.

As I made my way past the Husky named Disappointment, the unwanted kitten, and the international cat who appeared to give me the finger as her owner announced she was about to leave her desert home for a new life in Paris – I saw her, Kimmiewedidn’tnameher.

Right in the middle of the car park.

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