Cole wants a corgi.
He saw one on a television show recently and fell in love with their squatty little bodies immediately.
He made a horrible mistake however. He asked his father if he could get one.
The only time his father says this word is when it involves bringing home another pup as Lamar is usually the care-giver and the scooper of the yard.
Had Cole asked if they could ride their bikes sans helmets down the side of a waterfall or set something on fire, Lamar would have eagerly agreed.
But this time, Cole asked for a pup and Lamar shut him down.
A battle has ensued for weeks now, with Cole trying to convince his father why he needs a corgi.
Lamar, however, is unyielding.
Cole is even trying to convince him by telling him the merits of the pups.
“They are herding dogs,” Cole begins. “You love herding dogs.”
“I prefer German shepherds,” Lamar replied.
“But, but, but—”
Cole stops his sentence short realizing his father is not budging.
Taking his laptop and a pen, he sat at the table, furiously punching at the keyboard, then scribbling on his paper. Shortly afterwards, he stood in front of his father with an essay he had drafted to present his case.
I was impressed – the child had not only researched the breed but prepared a good argument for the corgi case.
Lamar sighed but still refused to budge.
“What am I gonna do?” Cole asked me later. “He’s not gonna let me get a corgi, is he?”
Cole was so upset he called in his reinforcements, the one ally he has no matter what, and the only one who will stand up to his parents: Nennie.
And Nennie, of course, thought the child deserved a corgi and was quite beside herself to hear her only grandchild had been told no.
“Is something wrong with Lamar?” she asked me. “He said no.”
Not just to Cole, she added but about a dog.
“Mama, have you met Lamar? He always says “no” anytime I or Cole say we are going to get anything. If I say, “Let’s get a dog,” he automatically says no. I just have to show up with one.”
Then it hit me.
That’s how I had brought home the last two; I just ceremoniously showed up, toting a puppy. It’s pretty much what I did with Mama when I was growing up any time a stray cat wandered into the yard.
A habit I picked up from my uncle, who still brings in every stray he can.
When my uncle came home with another dog one day, Granny fussed.
This was not unusual, the old gal fussed about everything. But she particularly liked to fuss about anything that had to be fed.
My gentle, quiet uncle ignored her.
A few years later, I found a kitten, all tiny and covered in fleas. We immediately took it to the vet.
While we waited, I looked at my uncle and whispered, “Is Granny gonna be mad at us?”
My uncle laughed. “Probably.”
Of course she would be — she was breathing, so she was mad about something.
“What are we gonna do?” I asked.
“Well, if we ask her, we know what she’s gonna say, right?”
I think Granny held the copyright on “No.”
“So, it’s better if we just take the kitten on home and ride it out. She’ll get over it in a couple of days or find something else to get mad about. Eventually, she’ll forgive us.”
He was right. She was furious at first but thankfully, her sister Bonnie ticked her off about something else and she had a new rant to focus on.
I wasn’t sure how my uncle knew this would happen. Then, I realized: he learned it from the old gal herself.
I had outgrown my tiny closet and sorely needed a place to put my clothes. I was a teenage girl – clothes were an obsession. I had found an armoire that was perfect but expensive so no one would buy it for me.
Mama’s sensible suggestion was to put my clothes in the drawers when she left them folded on my bed.
I thought that was insane.
These were peplum skirts, cropped jackets, Bedazzled sweaters, and other high-fashion horrors.
I couldn’t put them in drawers.
Mama’s other not-so-sensible suggestion was to weed out my clothes; there were only 7 days in the week, I couldn’t possibly need 17 pairs of jeans.
Granny told me she would come up with a solution.
“Don’t you worry about it,” she told me when I asked what she was going to do.
The following day, my Pop had a message to call a contractor. Being a roofer who worked with most of the contractors in our town, Pop called him back, thinking it was about a house he needed to cover.
When he got off the phone he bounded down the hallway looking for my grandmother.
“Helen, did you call and ask about quotes to add on to the house?” he demanded.
Granny didn’t even look up from the biscuits she was making. “I did.”
“What in the dickens were you thinking?” he asked.
“I was thinking that Sue needed a better way to hang her clothes up. And since no one wants to get her something suitable, I figured we’d just go ahead and add on to her room there and get her a closet and her own bathroom, too.”
The next day, my armoire arrived from the furniture store.
“Would you have really added on to my room if he hadn’t bought it for me?” I asked.
The old gal gave me an opossum-eating briars grin and said, “Yes, I would have.”
“What if he had a fit?”
The smile grew bigger.
“Well, Shug, it’s better to ask forgiveness than it is to ask permission any day.”
As long as he asked, the answer Cole would get would be no.
But maybe asking forgiveness would at least get him the dog.