If I could be as cute as Gracie women would stop me on the street and ruffle my hair and say that I was the cutest thing ever.
I never felt cute as a child. I desperately wanted to be cute. I wanted to be handsome. My fantasy was that I would be scooped up and hugged because I was too cute to walk by. I wished that women’s heads would turn because I was so handsome.
I did not want to be pretty; pretty was for girls. If anyone’s head turned it was because I was one awkward chubby kid with short hair in an ugly dress. And my mother was probably speaking sharply to me.
When I walk Gracie women stop me on the street and say “oooh what a cute dog!”. Gracie is a big flirt. She lays her ears back and pulls on the leash to say hi. She smiles at the woman passing by. She gets up on her hind legs and waves her front paws. She loves toddlers. She sticks her nose into strollers. She will make a bee-line for a woman on a park bench. She will sidle up to strangers and rub her head against their legs asking for a little scratch. She has admirers in the neighborhood. Tom and Bill carry special treats just in case they run into Gracie out on her last walk in the evening. She is a popular girl.
I was not a popular girl (already I can hear myself muttering “I was not a girl”). I was not a popular child. I was a shy kid who wanted to be a cute boy (in my mind there was no other kind). The girls at P.S. 40 said I had cooties. I was teased and picked on. I kept to myself. I thought it was my fault for being weird.
I get to be cute by extension when I am out with Gracie. When I am walking her I feel cute too. Loose, relaxed, bouncy, free, real, approachable, friendly. Now if I could just learn how to flirt.