As she watched the pattern start developing,
Lacey began to wonder: was it too late to make a change?
It was a question she was asking more frequently. What to do? Should she try to ignore the whole thing and just hope it would go away?
It didn’t seem to be going away. And it was driving her crazy.
In the beginning, things were idyllic. She was in love, and she didn’t care who knew it. Roosevelt was a good-looking guy who belonged completely to her. He was the one creature in the world who could make her happy. They were going to make each other happy, and life from here on out would be great.
They began to make a few public appearances together. Lacey’s friends would invariably shriek, “Oh, Lacey, he’s sooooo cute!” Roosevelt seemed to smile at this. Then, Lacey’s friends would fawn over him, and she walked a little taller, apparently receiving their mutual admiration as a compliment to her good taste.
Teachers and family members added their approval as well, and Roosevelt, typical male that he was, simply lapped it up. He never said one disparaging word about all this. In fact, though one probably could not force him to admit it, Roosevelt seemed to receive lavish praise and admiration as his due.
To be honest, the poor boy probably couldn’t help himself. I know for a fact that one of Roosevelt’s closest relatives told him at every possible opportunity that he was a very good-looking guy, and he seemed to feed on this good news. Plus, which was to his advantage, he was getting taller and adding lean muscle mass.
Lacey petted and pampered her pretty boy, and he kissed her in front of everyone. He started warming her bed. They were inseparable. At least in Lacey’s mind.
Time passed. Lacey’s commitments to her education and to her friends started taking her farther away from Roosevelt, who in turn was developing his own interests, and forming his own friendships. After a while, he let it be known that he wouldn’t be Lacey’s lapdog anymore.
I mentioned to Lacey that they seemed to be growing apart. “Oh, Mom,” she huffed, “Everything is fine! You are blowing it all out of proportion!” I tried to apologize to Roosevelt on her behalf. He looked away while I was talking.
After this, I noticed that Roosevelt seemed to be smiling at other girls when Lacey was not around. He still loved Lacey. But she was no longer enough for him. Before long, Lacey’s sister, Rachel, started giving Roosevelt the attention he seemed to be craving.
“What are you doing?” I demanded.
Rachel haughtily replied that she had done no wrong, and that Roosevelt was happier when she was around. “When I ask him if he wants to spend time with me, he never says, ‘No,’ Mom,” she asserted.
I told Rachel she was hurting her sister. But she didn’t seem to be able to stop herself. Roosevelt had truly become the babe magnet I had always known he would be. By this time, with his gorgeous brown eyes and handsome face, any girl would have trouble resisting his attentions.
Roosevelt never stopped sleeping with Lacey. But now he started looking for chances to slip into other beds as well, often waiting until Lacey was asleep. Whereas some people become connoisseurs of fine art or fine food, Roosevelt became a connoisseur of warm bodies and an assortment of different kinds of beds, rotating regularly through several different beds, sometimes in a single night, much to Lacey’s consternation.
Lacey and Rachel started fighting. More than they usually did. Since she couldn’t easily make her sister happy, Rachel had decided to throw in her lot with Roosevelt.
Roosevelt’s disloyalty became increasing blatant until Lacey could tolerate no more. None of us had any good answers for her heart-broken questions. Still, she kept asking.
Finally, one morning, after waking up alone one too many times, Lacey loudly stomped down the hall, bellowing out the question we had all learned to dread hearing: “Who’s been sleeping with my dog?”
This is a story I wrote last fall for something that had happened several months earlier.