Double Dalmatian Betrayed Me

Disney and Vans paired up recently to release a line of super nostalgic shit. The 101 Dalmatians items were especially nostalgic for me because we had a Dalmatian when I was growing up. I got a Dalmatian crew neck sweatshirt (it’s white and covered in giant puppies) and red sneakers (also covered in puppies). When I wear these two articles of clothing on the same day it’s called Double Dalmatian. I also have a pair of Dalmatian earrings that I got when I was tipsy at Disneyland, but I don’t wear all three pieces at once. I don’t want people to think I’m mentally unstable.

I’m in Double Dalmatian one day when I decide to stop by the record store where I used to work. I always make sure to look sexy and cool when I visit, just in case I run into my ex-boyfriend, or the guy who asked me out and then blew me off four times, or any other ghosts. I have a brief flash of reality that I’m in Double Dalmatian, but then decide, “Whatever, I’m confident.”

The second I enter the store, my ex-boyfriend walks right past me and into the break room. I haven’t seen him since our break-up a year ago. I freeze, but he doesn’t see me. I make a mental note of the time so I can be sure to hide when he comes back out in fifteen minutes.

I try to flag down my best friend who’s working the register, but she’s dealing with customer drama. So, I head over to rock vinyl and am rifling through records when I hear, “Hey!” I turn around and there he is. Not my ex-boyfriend or the guy who blew me off a million times — it’s the guy I’ve had a crush on since I saw his band play on my birthday.

There he is, greeting me, asking about my band, shyly looking down at the ground with just the right amount of stubble, wearing a plaid button down with the sleeves rolled up (a.k.a. my kryptonite). Shortly after the shock of his presence wears off, I realize I’m in Double Dalmatian. I’m in DOUBLE DALMATIAN. Both the sweatshirt and the sneakers. And a red bandana worn as a headband. And my glasses. And my phone and keys shoved in my back pockets. This is real life. At least I’m wearing my grey Gap jeans instead of the polka dot Old Navy pants.

Overall, things are going well. And then it happens. The thing that happens every time I hold a conversation with him. I get weird. I don’t mean to, but I just get really nervous around him and I say weird shit. I bring up that he’s going on tour soon and am like, “You’re going to be EXHAUSTED when you come back, but you’ll have good stories.” He agrees with me and then I drop more bombs like, “You’re going to Europe — you’re probably going to eat a lot of MEAT there.” Again, he’s cool and says that two of the girls in the band have dietary restrictions so it might be difficult for them to find good food to eat on the road. So obviously I go, “Well, I’m sure there will be a lot of POTATOES there, too.” I don’t know why I’ve decided they’re going to be hanging out in Germany the entire time, but that’s all I can think about. Like, he’s going to be in a place with a very meat-heavy diet.

He asks when my next show is, but before I can answer, he gets called away to grab a collectable record off the wall for a customer. I frantically start texting my best friend (who is still trapped behind the counter), laughing and having a total meltdown about the meat talk and his hotness and my DD outfit.

He comes BACK to finish our conversation and asks AGAIN when my next show is and then we talk about musician stuff we’re stressed about, but agree that it’s all going to be fine and sometimes you just have to be in the moment and accept what happens. Then he smiles and says, “We’re tortured artists, ya know, so of course we’re going to get upset about this stuff.” All I hear is WE. WE are something. Together.

We say goodbye and I’m totally melting until I spot my ex-boyfriend again — this time strolling through the aisles, dangerously close. I duck down and then run to the back of the store to hide, peeking out occasionally until he disappears. I finally meet up with my bestie at the counter, tell her everything, and then sit in my car in the garage, Snapchatting the entire story to my sister through the deer filter.

On the drive home, I’m laughing hysterically, pleading, “Of ALL the days to be in Double Dalmatian…why TODAY??” And then coolly justifying it, “You know what? I just really like dogs and everybody knows it.”

I get home, look in the mirror, with the big red bandana in my hair making me look like a goddamn baby and I scream, “Double Dalmatian BETRAYED ME!!” It seems so unfair that puppies have trampled my big moment with him. I also can’t stop smiling. Of course I want to be cool and sexy all the time, but the truth is that I’m also Double Dalmatian. And that’s totally okay. It’s actually perfect.