Ew, poop

Joey recommends The Memoir Project by Marion Roach Smith.

Are dog owners stupid? Or just lazy? When lawn clippings and other green waste are left on the edges of neighborhood streets, you will also see piles of dog shit in small tied-off plastic baggies. Don’t these idiots know dog shit contaminates the green waste? I tried to explain this to a lady who was tossing her baggie on top a pile of leaves. Do you know what she said? She said that the bag was biodegradable, and the poop would decompose naturally. I laughed so hard at her stupidity, that I couldn’t set her straight. Since everyone reads your column, I was hoping you would set idiotic dog owners straight.

Have you seen the local government brochures that list what is acceptable as green waste? Many seem written for an audience with copious amounts of free time. Some of those brochures ought to be mailed with a magnifying glass. Brochures with right-sized type show pickup days but fail to remind residents not to pile poop or electronic equipment (another hazard) into the green mix. Hey, I’m not defending dog owners (wanna see cute pics of my pooch?). You are correct, canine companions should know better. Still, bad science abounds. There is at least one dog trainer in El Dorado Hills who assures her human students that it is not necessary to pick up after a dog. “It just goes back to nature,” she beams (I wonder what her backyard looks like).

Your mission to educate dog owners is epic; resistance is inevitable. Even if you grant leeway to the person who forgot a bag or who ran out while on a walk, hordes remain who embrace any excuse to make poop scooping someone else’s work. Your best bet for inspiring change is to shake off your anger. Hike up your smile instead and focus on educating people, not shaming them.

And, yes, dear dog owners, it’s true. Your biodegradable bags are a marketing ploy. Such bags do not alchemically render dog poop into a harmless substance suitable for mixing with yard waste. If you don’t believe me, ask a nursery person about the suitability of dog poop for garden fertilizer. Ew, is right.

I have been dating online since my divorce. I’ve noticed that there’s a core group of men who have had the same active profiles for nearly a decade. Some of them have changed their headlines but everything is pretty much the same. It makes me wonder whether this stuff really works.

Of course it does, just not for everyone and not all the time. Online dating sites thrive on the possibility of connection. If everyone actually found their life partner, the sites would not earn as much money as they do. That’s because online dating is a gamble. The emotional rush it offers is precisely why some people enjoy it. (Others fail to track personal expenses with accuracy so dating sites continue to charge the credit card on file.) Regardless, please keep in mind that these are dating sites. Many people still buy into the old belief that dating should always lead to commitment. Here in the 21st century we are awake enough not to expect dating to lead to anything except self-understanding.

Dear Readers:

Fifteen years ago, I was invited to write a relationship-advice column for SN&R. I refused at first (OK, actually the first three times I was asked), uncertain I had the necessary skill set or experience. Learning about love with you has been one of the most inspiring, profound, startling and exhilarating experiences of my life. Thank you for trusting me with your life challenges and for your patience, kindness and honesty. You are a blessing!

Meditation of the Week

“It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell,” said the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama. Are you triumphant? Or still traveling the same circle and imagining it to be the internal journey?