the excuse

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Excuses.

We all have ’em.

Riding shotgun besides a blatant lie or perhaps a gentle apology, they line up in the corners of our brain, ready to be put to use.  Some are old standbys.  Some are reality.  And some are just shameless whoppers.  We have the famous ones such as, ‘not tonight, I have a headache’ or ‘I have to wash my hair’.  Along side of those, we have the “I’m sick, I can’t come into work” ones.  All in all, excuses are disguised as justification, a feeble attempt to absolve our guilt at doing or not doing, something.

Excuses are issued to grant us a little wiggle room, when we just can’t verbalize the true words.  They pave the way out of saying what we really want to convey.  Our exit clause. In realty, excuses keep us on the hook, wiggling around like the worm being cast out to the fish, wondering if they’ll bite.

I can remember when my sisters were just starting their families.  As the babies came, one by one, so did the excuses.  They weaseled out of more dish duty and kitchen prep work with one baby excuse after another.  They were either feeding babies or tending to their bath time.  Putting them down for bed time or setting up Finding Nemo for the little ones to watch.  Always at the precise time of dinner clean up.  Not married and with no incumbents, I suffered dishwater hands for most of my young adult life. But not any more. Nope, now, I have my own cop-out.

Every so often, Malcolm and/or myself find ourselves presenting our own excuse.  A standby that is now our reality. The words ‘can’t’ and ‘unfortunately’ creep into the conversation when we offer our necessary confession.  The words like ‘not tonight’  and ‘the kids’ pepper our cover story.

I call it the Dog Excuse. We have two of them.

The first one is utilized when Malcolm or myself, absolutely do not want to perform.  And by perform, I mean attend a B-list type party, dinner or soiree where we pretend to enjoy ourselves, where we bluff our way through convo’s and feign delight at being a contributing factor to the event.  This is when the dogs come in handy as an attempt to save us.  When they are our excuse to be excused.  When we happily say the word ‘can’t’ and ‘not tonight’ cuz Dolce and Amore need us at home.  This is when the no-go turns into a no-show.

Our other rationalization is airtight.  It is also our sum and substance of our lives.  If we want a mess-free house to return to when out and about, we have a four to five-hour window of absence before canine chaos hits the home front. This dog excuse releases us out of whatever agreement and/or obligation we are in the middle of. This is where I now joyfully get out of KP duty. Somewhere around the four-hour mark of being gone, Malcolm starts to get antsy, making noise it’s time to get home. Time to check on Amore and Dolce, making sure they haven’t caused any additional mischief.  Time to make sure the house is intact and sound.  Time to make tracks for home.  Leave or be left with mayhem.  This is when our time-to-go turns into gotta-go. Now!  By the fifth hour of our truancy, Malcolm is in the driver’s seat, revving the engine, tapping the horn at me, to hurry and get on the road. Our dog excuses said, we leave to attend to our life’s choice – two beautiful dogs that need us at home.

Life with dogs means exonerated whitewashing, circumspect cop-outs and plenty of canine cover-ups.  What’s your excuse?

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