My New Normal: Part Deux

I’m a grown-assed man and a creature of habit. Having never had a wife or children, I’m also used to having things my way. Yes, I’m more than a little set in my ways and interfering, as any of my ex-lovers will tell you, is ill-advised.

For all kinds of reasons, changing my morning routine–the subject of My New Normal: Part One (posted January 13)–requires an act of Congress. Even if I wanted to change, getting a bill through the House and the Senate isn’t going to happen. So I’m stuck with what I’ve got which is just fine by me.

After the restructuring I no longer had someone to cook for me, do all the shopping, and take care of the dogs. Talk about shitting on my routine. Turns out, taking care of me is a helluva lot of work. Why, I had no idea! Imagine my surprise.

My time after work and on weekends is devoted to critiquing submissions from the writers group, working on revisions to After Christmas Eve, plowing ahead on my new novel, and writing posts for my blog or guest posts on other blogs. Everything else gets worked in during breaks, periods when I’m too brain dead to write, or when it reaches a level of urgency I can no longer ignore.

Toodles is often a force I can’t ignore. So far, she’s taught me four commands. Laying still on the floor with her head on her paws means it’s poop time. She stomps her front paws and makes these high-pitched yapping sounds for chew time, jumps in my lap and puts her paws on my chest for cuddle time, and scratches at the front door when she wants walk time.

I live on Healthy Choice frozen dinners, turkey burgers, cereal, ginger snaps, almonds, and ice cream, tossing in a salad or steamed broccoli when I can’t remember how long it’s been since I ate any vegetables. The ex and I get together for dinner about once a week. Going out to eat is too much trouble, but I will sometimes treat myself to crap food from Arby’s, Wendy’s, or on rare occasion, Burger King or KFC. I skip Chick-Fil-A for religious reasons and can’t bring myself to go to Taco Bell.

Going to the grocery is, by far, my most despised chore. If they’d just let me have the place to myself for thirty minutes, I wouldn’t mind so much. Then I could dash up and down the aisles, tossing stuff into my cart as I went before whisking through a checkout line where someone helps me empty my cart, another rings things up, and two more bag my purchases so I can get the hell out of there. Somehow, no matter how long my list, it’s always $140 worth of stuff. Ready-to-eat ain’t cheap!

Somewhere along the way, I try to work in two Zumba classes, a thirty-minute session with my trainer, another hour or two for weight-lifting, and weather-permitting, two or three hours for a couple of good runs. Some weeks I’m better about this than others, but I know consistency is the key so I make myself go to the gym. I’m always glad I did and feel guilty when I skip.

The biggest change, thanks to AT&T Uverse, is my new DVR and the freedom to watch shows I like on my schedule. Before the DVR, there was never crap on when I was ready for some television. I missed a lot of “good” shows because I couldn’t stay awake for anything that came on much after nine o’clock. The television is on a lot less, but when it’s on, I’m more likely to be watching something I want to watch instead of whatever I could find.

Am I dating? Bwahahaha! When? I do have several hook-up apps on my phone–they’re the modern day equivalent to gay bars. I get hit on a lot by guys that live in Brazil or someplace else hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Closer to home, the assumption seems to be that someone my age is desperate enough to be grateful for any boner thrown my way.

But I do live in a college town, where I am apparently a magnet for a surprising number of young gay men with serious daddy-attachment issues. Red, yellow, black, and white in every size and description, they’re all cute when they’re little. But you know how it is. Once you feed them…  I don’t let them come around because it’s so hard to put them back out on the street. Besides, I’ve been around long enough to know they all grow up, lose their hair, gain weight, and lay around farting on your sofa.

No thanks. Toodles and I like things just fine the way they are. She’s taught me another command, too. She has nasal issues and snorts when she carries something in her mouth. When she comes honking down the hall with her squirrelly, it’s time to go to bed. Thats how we roll. Taking in a youngun would just mess things up here in…

My Glass House

(I miss my sign-off really, really bad!)