It started out innocently enough – first a worn out t-shirt under the house and, on occasion, an old Tupperware bowl containing some dinner table scraps. Sometimes the guest would be there and other times would be gone for days. There were no expectations, no commitments. It was reminiscent of that girl you “hung out with,” but weren’t dating and certainly you both could see other people. Neither one wanted it to be anything more.
Soon the fall tag sale season was in full swing. A bed was purchased for $1.00 to replace the old t-shirt and a food dish for 50 cents to replace the Tupperware bowl. The overnights were becoming more frequent. That girl you “hung out with,” but weren’t dating was now leaving a toothbrush in your medicine cabinet. She would be back, you just didn’t know when and neither did she.
Winter was approaching and the fall tag sale season was winding down. There was still something missing, but no extraordinary effort was going to be made to find it. Even if found, it had to be $5.00 or less. But it was this item that symbolized a caring, although not ready to be verbalized, equivalent to giving that girl you “hung out with.” but weren’t dating one of your dresser drawers to keep a few things in. Luck would have it that at a tag sale of an elderly person’s medical equipment, the item was found and the price was right; a $2.50 heating pad to place under the bed.
That Christmas there was an extra, although generic, stocking hung by the fireplace. Santa was going leave a few treats in it and maybe a new bowl. For all intents and purposes, the stocking was the extra key you had made to your apartment so that girl you were now dating could let herself in and out even of you weren’t there. But, despite this transference of the key, things were to remain “casual” and the key was not used on a daily or sometimes even weekly basis.
Spring arrived and it soon became warm enough to have dinner on the deck. An extra place was set nightly because there was always a dinner guest.
And then it happened. The decision to commit was made. It was clear neither was going anywhere and obviously you both enjoyed one another’s company so why not make it official?
The trap was set, the dinner guest caught and loaded into the back the SUV and dropped off for a few hours at “the spa”; a spa that offered unique services, such as spaying, neutering and rabies vaccinations. A complimentary claw trim was included in the price.
And now, each morning after breakfast, you sit together on the front steps, just talking or playing and thinking about the day ahead. Sometimes you even reminisce about the old days.