Whenever my mother and stepfather have an anniversary, my stepfather, who is enormously sappy, says, "Twenty-eight wonderful years" or "Twelve wonderful years" or however long it's been. Marvin and I then started doing the same thing, except when it was our ninth anniversary, for instance, we'd say, "We've had five wonderful years."
Troubled marriages. They're hilarious!
Today, however, marks the five-year anniversary of the day I found Tallulah, and they really have been five wonderful years. In case you weren't here five years ago--and where were you? What could possibly have been more important than this? Where are your priorities? I was living with Marvin in TinyTown, population 3,000, and five years ago on this day, I was on my way to Raleigh to--please, God--find a job in a bigger town.
Let me interrupt this story to tell you a somewhat freakish story. I knew I had this interview in Raleigh, so the weekend before, Marvin and I drove there to check out the town. See the sights. See if we'd like living there. Of course, what I did not know is Ned was living there too, as he lived in Raleigh for 27 years.
Marvin and I were downtown, liking Raleigh quite a bit, as it turned out, when I got this overwhelming feeling. I've never felt anything like it before or since. But I thought, "The next man I fall in love with lives here. I'm going to meet another man, and fall in love with him. And he's in this town."
I remember being really disturbed by that thought, and calling my friend Renee after and telling her, and she said, "Oh, June, you HAVE to move back to LA." I guess she thought that'd save my marriage or something. Who knows? Maybe it would have. But no matter where you go, there you are, so it probably wouldn't've.
When I told that story to Ned eventually (I should have told him on the first date. That would've been unscary), he told me how he lived right near where Marvin and I were when I had that thought. Maybe he was walking right past me when I was thinking it.
Isn't that weird?
Anyway. Five years ago today I was having zero thoughts except man, do I have to get to this stupid interview. I didn't particularly WANT the job, because it was a proofreader/receptionist position, and I do not see how you can effectively proofread anything with the damn phone ringing all the time. But I was determined to get out of TinyTown, which of course now I kind of miss.
About an hour into the drive, I was on a busy two-lane country road, and there on the right was not only a bathroom (bah) (you know, how people always think the song is There's a bathroom on the r--oh, forget it), but there was also a little yellow dog. Just STANDING there right near the traffic.
"Oh, NO," I said, doing a U-turn because I'm a good driver that way. When I pulled up, I saw the dog was in fact a skinny yellow puppy, and when I opened the car door she waggled up to me. I think of how she'd bark her fool head off now if some stranger came up to her. I guess I ruined her.
Anyway, as I've told you a million times before, when I picked her up, because of COURSE I picked her up, the sun shone through her gold eyelashes and I knew right then and there I owned a dog. And I wasn't going to any interview.
Here's the first picture I ever took of her. Note how in one day I managed to steal a dog, take her home and get obnoxious bowls for her. I'm a machine. I'd also screamed her over to the vet where she was diagnosed with malnutrition, worms, and fleas. I can pick 'em.
Anyway, I'm just saying to you. The day I found Talu was one of the best days of my whole stupid life. She's been nothing but wonderful ever since. Except for the time she ate that first edition, signed book that wasn't mine.