Sunday, January 23, 2011

Baby's Got Blue Eyes?

A couple days before Christmas, I came across a post in my Facebook newsfeed from a pet ID tag company calling for haikus about dogs. But the haiku couldn’t be about just any old dog, it had to be someone else’s dog. No matter… could you say no to that? About 7 minutes and 17 syllables later, I’d posted my contribution, only to realize I had entered a haiku contest!

The subject of my haiku was Nina, my friend and manager’s dog (that’s her at top). Nina and I had recently met on my Seattle trip, and I’d been thinking about her a lot. She is this unknown-to-me mix of laid-back and driven—a bee-line maker to other dogs if she so desires, but calm and happy to wait in the car for her mom.

Is it an East Coast/West Coast thing? I’m used to NYC dogs, but Pacific Northwestern canines somehow seem so different they may as well be monkeys! True, I only encountered several—1. Nina, with whom I saw my first eagle and walked through a field of tall lion-colored grass, 2. a droolly tail-wagger on the beach, and 3. an exotic-looking mix who turned to look at us as he hot-to-trotted along with a major case of what I call “butt pride.” (Cats can have butt pride, too, btw. Puffer did.)

Anyway, I forgot about the whole haiku thing until last week, when another post from Fetching Tags came across my newsfeed. Hmmm…I wonder who won, I thought…probably some sappy, Hallmark-y sentiment about loyalty and best friends…

Well, guess what? Check it out!

I was so excited that I read my haiku like 20-million times (well, it IS only 14 words)…but very soon doubt began to creep in. Does Nina really have one eye blue and one eye brown?

I emailed 2 of our coworkers, both of whom weren’t sure but didn’t remember Nina having different-colored eyes. So I looked at Sue’s Facebook photo albums and I couldn’t fight the truth. Both of Nina’s eyes are blue, which makes me…

A haiku liar.

I was instantly transported back to 3rd grade at Most Holy Trinity. Our class was having a bake sale, so all us kids brought in whatever our moms had slaved over the day before and sold it during lunchtime to the other grades. Chocolate chip cookies, brownies, sugar cookies with colored sprinkles, chocolate and vanilla cupcakes… everything was probably like 25 cents or something. There were also two cakes to raffle off, one of which everyone was obsessed with. It was pink and perfect, with swirly peaks of pinker frosting and smelling like Lip Smackers. Clearly from a bakery—someone’s mom must have forgotten about the sale and bought it at the last minute. I hadn’t purchased a chance for the raffle, but that cake was doing crazy things to my head.

Me: “I brought in those cupcakes and I was in charge of selling all the chances. I deserve a free one.”

Michael Hayes, handing me a piece of paper: “Here, just write your name on it and put it in the box.”

So, I slipped it in the box and well, wouldn’t ya know…

My name was called as the winner of the pink cake.

Michael’s eyes bugged out, and I was just about to ‘fess up when he looked at me and shook his head in a “Don’t say anything!” way. Looking back at it now, I realize he saw my winning the big pink cake as a good and fortuitous thing, not a scam on my part to cheat the class and everyone else who paid for their chances. Well, d’uh. Third-grade boys could care less about a pink cake. And in that moment, I didn’t care that I was a fraud…just give me my dang cake.

I'm going to shame myself in the eyes of New Order purists by saying 1) I like the 12-inch version better than the 7-inch, and 2) for a long time I got the title of this song confused with "Everything's Gone Green," because of all the eye-color references.

P.S. As I recall, the cake was awful. Not only was it sorta dry, but it may as well have been covered in BITTERcream frosting, what with the growing guilt and shame I felt. And I know it’s not the same thing as the haiku, but I also want to say--Nina, I’m sorry I inadvertently misrepresented you, but I do indeed think you are beautiful.


  1. Pune- you weren't lying at all. She does have both blue and brown -- one eye has brown in the northern hemisphere; blue in the southern. The other eye is brown with a blue triangle at the bottom. Thanks for the memory of our great Lake Washington walk, and thanks so much for the winning haiku! Nina is walking around like a Princess.

  2. Pune, the reason I couldn't remember the color of Nina's eyes is because I thought they had blue and brown in them--not the piercing blue you see in some huskies--but I was almost 100% sure they were pretty much the same color--Sue's explanation says it all and Nina is beautiful, no matter the color of her eyes!

  3. Pune the haiku is beautiful! My confession is that I don't know more than one or two New Order song titles because they don't ever appear in the song (at least not obviously). And never ask me which Death Cab for Cutie tracks I like. Hopeless.