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1. plowed and harrowed but left unsown for a period in order to restore fertility as part of a crop rotation or to avoid surplus production.

2. not pregnant.

"I'm still fallow, Mom, because I'm reducing my grain surpluses. GAWD."

Maybe 50 percent of my friends have kids. It sounds fun until they actually HAVE them, and then they don't sell it as well.

Day the kid is born: "It's like your whole life before was meaningless."

First time the kid poops in the carseat and caca geysers up the kid's back and into their hair: "It's like your whole life before was meaningless."

Maybe there's a tonal shift there I'm not conveying. Or geysering. Anyhow, the second version is filled with wistfulness for the days the new parent could get out of the car without shit to clean up.

I recently brought home an old cat from the shelter, and then a couple of months later, I brought home an even older dog. Attempts to empathize with my parent friends come out about as awkward as you'd expect.


"Little Charlie is trying to walk but he keeps crashing into the couch. It's so cute."

"My old dog sucks at walking too. He basically pinballs down the hallway. It's more disturbing than cute, though."



"My parents got Annie a Barbie Dream House for Christmas, but all she wants to do is play inside the box with the Boon Grass — oh, Boon Grass is this special drying rack for bottles."

"Yeah, my cat has four scratch posts but all he wants to do is tear up the huge sheet of brown paper from the Amazon package the new poop brush came in. Oh, a poop brush is what you use when you don't have a proper yard and wanna scrub the patio really well so nobody gets ringworm or whatever from wandering out there barefoot."


"My sister was helping little Miles use the toilet but she had to hold him up in the air and start screaming for me because it was all over him and the floor. It was so gross."

"My cat once killed a bird and left its ribcage on the kitchen floor and its guts by the foyer and the dog was trying to eat it all. I had to squirt the dog and the cat with a water bottle and call Animal Control. It was so gross."


"Pete has been begging for a dog for months and then one day, he brought home the most adorable kitten from the across the street. He said he was gonna name it Pinecone. I couldn't say no."

"My cat's mostly been killing small birds but one night, he brought home a huge dead rabbit from somewhere in the bushes. He put it on my brand new rug and kept batting at its dead body. I had to call Animal Control again. I have them on speed dial now."

Despite the differences, my bestie Allison has assured me there are similarities.

"The feeling you get wiping human shit off your flip flop or skimming it out of the bathtub is akin to cleaning up discarded animal carcasses. You hate them and love them at the same time. Sometimes it's closer to hate. You won't die alone — we'll all be on the porch at the old folks' home together."

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