Today was cold and snowy and I just wanted to lay on the couch all day and snuggle with the pugs. I arranged to try out a new mobile groomer thinking it would be nice to have the girls washed and fluffed in the convenience of my driveway instead of taking them somewhere else. I received great reviews from neighbors on the Nextdoor app and was encouraged with what I heard. When we lived in Harrisburg, we had this service and Robin and I loved it. There was a menu of services for the upscale dog owners including aromatherapy, organic shampoo and doggy massages. The girls would finish their treatment with little flower collars that made them irresistibly cute. The groomer would share sweet stories about the happenings in the van to reassure us that it was a pleasant experience for the pups.
Needless to say, I was excited to try out this “pet stylist” as he branded himself. He had an exotic name that led me to believe that the girls would be coiffed by a very stylish dude. Wouldn’t it be exciting for my girls to have a European groomer who kept up with the latest puppy trends and could introduce a new look for the gals? Unfortunately, my dreams were quickly shattered when I opened the door to an unmarked somewhat dirty van. I was greeted by a middle aged man wearing dad jeans and looked more suited to give me a quote for snow removal than style my dog. He was friendly to the pugs but was kind of no nonsense and quickly grabbed the girls so they could get on with it. This guy had no foreplay with me whatsoever, no oodling how cute my pugs were .. nothing! I wanted to know about his vision, his products as it was a big deal to me to develop a rapport with him. He did not feel the same way and quickly gave me a brand name of the shampoo and did not want to waste anymore time with me. I helped carry Ella to the van and also take a look inside but he quickly stopped me and said he had them and I could go back into the house. I was terrified, wondering if my pugs were going to be abducted and used for puppy trafficking right under my watch. I quickly decided to not let my imagination get the best of me .. since he had great references and I am a little nutty with my girls. But lets’ just say that my read on this mobile unit was that it was not a spa like experience that I hoped but more like a Motel 6 vibe.
After about one hour, he brought the girls back in and they did look fluffy but noticed they had no zhoosh. I was thinking I would get a cute accessory such as a flower on the collar or at least one of those howdy doody bandanas around their neck. I mean the guy did say he was a stylist – yet there was no style. The girls were clean, smelled nice and seemed to be happy and wagging their tail but definitely a no frill operation from him. He asked if I wanted to book the next appointment and I said, let me think about it and that was that… Harrisburg really beats Metro Detroit in the doggie grooming area, miss my flowers and discussions about pug massages. 😦
The girls and I reverted back to the couch for round two of napping and cuddling which lasted for a few more hours. At about 4 p.m., I finally got up partly because I could not hold mother nature off anymore. I decided maybe it was a good time to start preparing my tax information and getting my finances in order. One thing I vowed to do was be more responsible with my spend and sock money away as Isabelle is about 1.5 years out from college (can’t believe it). Any type of tax refund would definitely help the Isabelle university fund.
As I started to gather documents that I needed (thank goodness for a great CPA who sent a nice checklist) it started dredging up old memories. I went through all the Salvation Army receipts that itemized Robin’s clothes and belongings which were donated. I also had to go into his email to find any charity invoices for 2018. He was always so generous (something I loved about him) but it was hard. I looked through his email folders with titles such as Tax Stuff, Family – Oy Vay and Sirius Bullshit. I heard his voice in my head as I laughed at the names. Boy I miss him.. this guy was sharp, funny and I loved his humor and him!!!!
After gathering the necessary documents, I filled out the tax questionnaire from my CPA and marked my new marital status and inserted Robin’s date of death which will be six months on the 23rd. It is so hard to believe he is gone sometimes. It has been half a year of not having him in my life and it is weird. Robin always handled the tax preparation activities in the past. We had started this game about 10 years ago, guessing how much money we would get back. We always withheld the maximum to recoup it at the beginning of the next year. Now I play this game by myself, hoping we will have a reimbursement with all the changes that have occurred in 2018. Funny how small rituals that we thought nothing about in the past, now evoke such profound memories and a little loneliness. 2019 is a new year and a new filing status for us. Time to go back on the couch for round three of sleeping and snuggling with my fluffing under styled girls. So much and so little happened today….