Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Law of Entropy as it relates to Dog Hair

We have a dog. Her name is Sweet Potato. It goes without saying, that I love her very, very much. Like any dog she has her flaws, but they are few and far between (sort of) and greatly outweighted by her strengths. However, she does shed. Her hair is pretty short, so its not AWFUL shedding, but still. It's there. We also have a cat, Miss Pattie, who also adds to the hair in our home. Granted, she is smaller and releases less hair, but still. There is dog AND cat hair to be dealt with.

Now, allow me to go ahead and state, that no one who knows me would ever accuse me of being a neat freak. Although I think we keep our house reasonably clean and tidy, I wouldn't recommend eating off of the floor or anything. I do not freak out over small messes, and am capable of relaxing in a house that is less than perfectly clean. But, even I am overwhelmed by the dog hair.

I vacuum the carpets, and then a few hours later, I look, and there's dog hair on it again. I dust the coffee table, there's dog hair on it the next time I sit down. I sweep the floor, it's there again the next time I walk past. I lint roller my clothes, only to get whereever I'm going, look down, and see.... dog hair. I cook food, and find a dog hair in it. There's dog hair in the laundry, dog hair in the car, dog hair in the bathroom, dog hair in my bed, and, we don't even let the dog get in the bed!?! Dog hair collects in corners, it sticks to the sofa cushions, it creates dust bunnies under the bed, it sticks to my socks, everywhere I go I find dog hair! It is a monster that I cannot conquer.

What do people do who have multiple dogs? How do they win the fight? Do they vacuum every day? Every hour? Am I insane to think once a week is a reasonable amount of exercise for my vacuum cleaner?? What if I just vacuumed the dog? Would this help?

Dog hair in my life is the purest example of entropy that I know of. I should guest lecture in a high school science class. The law of entropy (2nd law of thermodynamics, in case you've forgotten) states that all forces in the universe are moving inexorably towards disorder, and that it takes energy to combat or stop that disorder. Like, a LOT of energy.

Dog hair is constantly moving my house, my life, and my very soul towards disorder. I cannot stop the spread of chaos. The dog hair situation can often make me feel as if I am ill-equipped to live life as an adult. Ill-equipped to handle all of the situations in life that are entropic and full of disorder. I mean, come on, if I can't even keep the dog hair at bay in my house, how will I do anything important in life!?! Recently, however, I have begun to think that instead of being a foreshadowing of my impending failure as a human being, that perhaps the dog hair in my life is a good metaphor for life in general.

I try as hard as I can to keep things together, keep the balls all in the air, stay on target, eyes on the prize, all that crap. We try to keep the house reasonably clean & organized, reasonable amounts of reasonably healthy food in the refrigerator, pay our reasonable bills in a reasonable amount of time, do a reasonably good work at our respective jobs, keep in touch reasonably well with the people we love, keep reasonable tabs on our health, stay in a reasonable budget, be a reasonably good and active citizen, have a reasonably solid marriage, and have a reasonably strong spiritual walk. Sounds reasonable right? Like, maybe as reasonable as being able to get rid of dog hair?

It just isn't going to happen. Life in entropic and it tends towards disorder. I drop the ball, I forget to call, I oversleep and overspend, we run out of food sometimes, and there is dog hair in my house. Always, there is dog hair. I live in entropy.

And, you know, I think I am okay with that. I am sitting on the sofa right now. I vacuumed yesterday, and yet I can see dog hair on the coffee table, and some more on the floor to my right. Not to mention the fact, that the dog's head is halfway on the keyboard while I type, and it is hairy. But, you know, I am still pretty darn happy. If dog hair is the price I have to pay for having my sweet doggie, I think I will cough it up. Besides, maybe it will remind me that my life is not, and will never be perfect, and that I want to be okay with that.

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