Beckerman column: That’s the way the ball bounces
This is what isolating with my husband has come to. Nearly 30 years of marriage and we are fighting over dirty dog balls.
“I saw you throwing the ball for the dog outside this morning,” I said to my husband. He was making himself some eggs while the dog lay panting on the floor.
“I did!” he said enthusiastically.
“You used the wrong ball,” I said, walking past him to pet the panting dog.
“What do you mean?”
“You threw the green ball that has the treats inside,” I said. “You’re supposed to throw the yellow ball with no treats.”
“What are you, the Fetch Police?” he said, as he flipped his omelette.
“No, but when you use the green ball, the treats inside get dirt and dog drool all over them.”
He shook his head at me. “I don’t understand. Don’t the treats get dog drool all over them when the dog eats them?”
“Yes. But this is dirty dog drool.”
“Is there such a thing as clean dog drool?” he wondered.
“I’m not going to stop using the green ball,” he said defiantly. “It has a better bounce than the yellow ball and he likes to catch it on the bounce.”
I glared at him.
“BUT THEN YOU HAVE TO WASH IT AND IT RUINS THE TREATS INSIDE!” I bellowed and stormed out of the room. Then I stopped, turned, and yelled over my shoulder. “AND THEY’RE ORGANIC!”
I shouldn’t belittle the importance of this topic. The dog’s favorite toy is the green rubber ball with the treats inside. When he pushes it across the floor with his nose, the treats will come out of a hole on each end. According to the dog toy people, this is supposed to be very intellectually stimulating for dogs, which would mean at least one member of the family was being intellectually stimulated while the other two-thirds of us were spending our time fighting over dog balls.
The problem was, when my husband threw the green ball outside, it would get filthy and the treats inside would also get filthy. Then he’d wash the ball and the treats inside would then be filthy and also wet, and they wouldn’t come out when the dog pushed his ball across the floor. Then I’d have to fish out the dirty, wet treats from a little hole in the ball with my pinky finger and be really annoyed because, clearly, this is the most pressing issue on the planet right now.
The dog seemed completely unbothered by all this fuss. My husband and I, however, found that living together, 24/7, for over a month, was making even the littlest things, like dog balls, fightworthy. We were getting on each other’s nerves and this was how it was showing up. It was clear our marriage was going to the dogs.
I stewed in the other room for a while but then realized that we could be stuck together for quite a bit longer and it would be best if we tried to be adults and worked out our ball issues.
“Hey honey, I’m sorry I barked at you about the dog balls,” I said as I came back into the room.
“It’s stupid. And really, I’m just thankful that with everything that’s going on we have each other.”
“And I’m thankful for you, too,” he said and kissed me. “The dog has a lot to be thankful for, too,” said my husband.
“What’s that?” I said.
He smiled. “At least he has two balls.”
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