The rotten dogs that live at my house have leashes. These leashes are kept by the front door. There is no container for them, no box with DOGGIE LEASHES stenciled in bone-letters, no shelf for all things doggie to reside. The reason they are kept by the door is because that’s where they are taken off and no one in the house is brave enough to touch them long enough to move them anywhere else.
They are rotten dogs, for sure, but they are also smart dogs. The second you reach for those leashes they go ape shizzle. They instantly turn into crack-hounds, freed research monkeys, caffeine on pogo sticks. They begin leaping, bouncing and panting, They turn a rather nice couch into a trampoline and a rather nice plant into a dirt devil project. They circus act around the living room leaping and drooling over each other. One begins to run laps around the dining room table and the other performs a tap dance routine with her front paws. And then RACES away. And then taps some more. And RACES back. And taps. Meanwhile, the furniture is being rearranged and I’ve aged 6 years. And really, unless you yourself are on some kind of bender, it is just all too much. So the leashes stay where they are. Period.
The leashes themselves don’t really deserve so much fuss. One is green. The other is purple. They are made of webbing. They are a little dirty, a lot covered in hair and somewhat frayed on the sides. Contrary to what the reaction may lead you to believe, they are not made of ham. Regardless, the pups still go crazy when you get near the leashes. Of course, I’m not dumb, I know it’s not really the leashes they are so excited about, it’s what the leashes represent. What they stand for. They like the leashes because the leashes mean WALKS! and RIDES IN THE CAR! and maybe juuuuuuust maybe the greatest invention of all time, DOGGIE DAY CAMP!
That, my friends, is a little thing we call association.
It’s not limited to dogs.
I am having some association issues too. Mine have nothing to do with leashes. Mine are all about this valve in my chest. When I first got my port, I liked it. I thought it was neat. I showed it off a bit. I didn’t exactly run around the house when people got near my port or think my port was made of ham, but it was cool. That was 100 years ago. Things have changed. Now I don’t like my port. Not at all. I, in fact, hate it. As much as the dogs like their leashes, I hate my port. I hate the look of it, the feel of it, the whole blasted idea of it. In the past few days I’ve come darn close to using a paring knife to remove it. (I think I could do it too. I mean, how hard could it be?) Why this change? Why should a perfectly normal girl (I heard that) go a little crazy about a simple implanted medical device and want it out so badly when it doesn’t really hurt, or get infected or get in the way?
Association. It’s not the port I’m upset about. It’s what keeping the port means.
Only people with cancer have ports.