Growing Up Hairy

I am a pure bred Armenian and for those who don’t know, Armenians are stereotyped as being “hairy”. Most ethnic stereotypes are grossly exaggerated. In my case, however, its somewhat spot on.

My mother said I was born with hair on my legs. My aunt always tells the story of the day I was born when they looked at my plump legs and said “Yep, she’s going to be a hairy one”. I didn’t become aware of my overgrowth until the 4th or 5th grade when a very observant peer pointed it out to me and the class that I had a mustache and looked like a monkey. Oh kids, how cruel they can be. As if going through puberty and desire to fit in wasn’t hard enough, I was now coined as the hairy girl (not a boy’s first choice to ask to the dance). In a sea of fair skinned blond girls, there I was, oily olive skin, hair the color of asphalt, a uni-brow and mustache that made some of the boys jealous.

I did what anyone else in my place would have done, I went home crying, developed an extreme insecurity and begged my mother to let me shave. My mother, being a veteran hairy person herself, said that under no condition could I shave. She said that shaving will turn my already bushy legs into a hair brush. The only way to successfully rid this fuzz was to wax. She vowed that waxing lasted longer and in time would make the hair grow less and less. Her argument was convincing and not knowing what waxing was I happily agreed. Most American mom’s can remember their daughter’s 1st ballet recital or 1st dance. My mother, on the other hand, will never forget my 1st waxing session. If anyone heard me that day they probably would have called DYFS. With each pull of the strip, however, I just kept thinking of how great it will be to be hair-free and just bore the pain. It was this day that a crusader was born.

Coats for Kids

Every morning I wake up, tear myself from the loving embrace of my toasty bed to take my beloved Jack for his morning walk.  This ritual is followed rain or shine, hot or cold.  Since in recent months it’s been nothing but cold, I bundle up to the point where my outfit can pass as a burka.  I leave a narrow slit between hat and scarf to partially see where I’m going and be on the look out for any sneaky squirrels.  Our home is close to the high school and we encounter several teens on our daily route.  These youngsters are observed wearing a scanty t-shirt with a mere zip hoodie on top.  Not a hat on the head or a glove on the hand.  Its averaged 20-30 degrees all winter and these deprived youths don’t appear to have coats.  Its not just one or two, male or female, but all who seem without a proper cover up.  

Judging by the way these kids are dressed, one would think that I live in an impoverished area. Quite the contrary, I live in Northern NJ amidst many affluent homes (I happen to live in a meager townhouse on the other side of the tracks but share the same zip code none the less).  So it baffles me that in the bitter windy cold with two feet of snow on the ground, our futures traipse around with a thin piece of fleece.  Is it because they are young and have higher body temperatures?  Have coats become out of style in the 15 years since I’ve been a high school student?  Has the economy affected even the well-to-do to the point that they cannot afford coats for their children?  (Although, I don’t think the recession is the problem because these coat-less kids are all wearing $200 Uggs on their feet.)  Perhaps I have become too far removed from the teenage world to understand this phenomenon so I will continue to shroud myself in layers outside and deem this yet another unsolved mystery.      

Jack the Dog

It was Spring of 2007 when my husband and I felt ready to make the commitment to expand our family and bring into our lives a long awaited four legged friend.  Before getting married to DH, I had made it very clear that I could not live a life that did not involve a dog.  He had never lived with pets but wanted to be with me so if that meant a dog in our future then so be it.  At the time there were only 2 things we knew 1) we wanted to get a Lab 2) we would only rescue/adopt.  Before delving into the adoption process, we read several books, explored many websites and religiously watched Dog Whisperer episodes to broaden our knowledge of dogs, the breed, training and care.    We found a great Lab Rescue aptly named Labs4rescue through but our exciting journey into dog ownership slowly became discouraging.  We had filled out what seemed to be as lengthy as a college application and requested several dogs, but none of them were deemed suitable for us.  The DH and I both work full time and as if that wasn’t bad enough, we live in a townhouse that does not have a fenced in yard – 2 huge marks against us.  Not willing to give up and wanting a dog now, more than ever, we continued on with the search.

 One Saturday morning, we saw a new posting of a goofy looking yellow lab, crossed our fingers and sent in the request. Later that afternoon, I received a call from a volunteer who put me in touch with the woman in Louisiana who had taken this dog out of the local euthanizing shelter.  I was on the phone with this sweet southern woman for quite a while and felt as if I had known her for years.  I was told that this handsome fellow was found wandering the side of a highway in LA with a case of heartworms and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  The following day, the volunteer called and said that we could adopt this pooch and he was to arrive in 1 week!  Like any proud soon to be parents would do, we immediately went to the pet store to prep our home with food, bed, toys, treats and agreed on his new name “JACK”.  I’ll never forget the day we picked him up from the drop off location.  We saw him with the amazing volunteers who had been driving for 2 days to give these dogs a second chance at a permanent home and it was instant love. 

The Cove Secret is Out.

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