Tuesday, December 5, 2006


The St. Paul Pioneer Press Bulletin Board is a daily must-read for me. For those of you who have not heard of this feature, it’s a wonderful collection of stories sent in by readers that covers the gamut of life as we know it - or don’t, as the case may be.

One of the categories of the Bulletin Board is the U.O.P.P. – the Unofficial Official Parking Place. The U.O.P.P. doesn’t just apply to parking places – it can be a church pew, a favorite daily walk, or where each family member sits at the dinner table. Most of the time, we’re not aware that we have these U.O.P.P.’s until someone parks in “our” spot, or sits in “our” place.

Like the other contributors to Bulletin Board, I have a number of U.O.P.P.’s. In thinking about why I do this, I’ve come to realize it’s all about a daily routine. There are too many other important things to focus on than where I parked the car – or where the daily walk will take me.

What’s surprised me is that apparently this U.O.P.P. phenomenon is not limited to humans. Belle gets downright rebellious if we pass the tennis courts without stopping to play, or pass the “metal grate” stairs without practicing the cue “step”. Sometimes her rebellion is shown by simply sitting down, sometimes it’s more like a total revolt. It’s then I’m reminded of Eileen’s comments on the importance of varying the places that we train our dogs. None of us really knows what will ultimately be required of our dogs, and thus we must prepare them for everything, including changes in routine.

I think I can handle varying our walking paths, after all, my house hasn't moved in all the years I've lived there. Just don’t make me change my favorite parking place. I’ll never find my car.


carrot said...

Ha! My version of "official" "unofficial" is my supersecret parking meter street at Vanderbilt. Not only is it near my office, it's almost always got an open spot AND I don't get tickets when I forget to go back and plug the meter. When there isn't a spot I get very mad. And I can only imagine how mad I'll get when I show up and there's a ticket on my windshield...

Speak(er) said...

My first comment - I'm so proud. Is there such a thing as e-framing?