The Contest

Check out Ellen Sandbeck's papercuts of the Buddha on the Facebook page "A Buddha A Day." Choose your favorite image, then send a wonderful piece of your writing, one page or less, on any topic, to You may win the original papercut of your choice!

Winning entries will be posted on this page.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Winning entry from Daphne Woll Shapiro

How to date a werewolf

You’re standing around, minding your own 
business, and suddenly out of nowhere you
meet someone. You talk, you flirt, you 
exchange contact info.  

The rest is history.

True Love.  

It all seems so simple, unless of course, you’re 
dating a werewolf.  Then all bets are off.  

In the early stages it‘s no big deal.  The usual 
course of the usual romance. So he’s not always 
available, it happens.  You write it off. Hey, you’re 
not always available yourself - no red flags here.  
But it gets harder and harder to avoid the topic of 
why at least once a month, he is totally incommunicado. 
Can’t get him on the phone, he doesn’t text, he doesn’t call.  
Doesn’t matter where he said he was going to be, what he said 
he was going to be doing. He’s gone.  

It’s a little disturbing and sometimes very aggravating, but it’s 
hard to stay mad for long.  After all, the rest of the time he’s great:  
sweet, playful, loyal. Waits for you at the end of the day, cuddles at 
night.  He’s pretty much the ideal boyfriend.

Eventually, however, the truth has to come out. Come on, people, 
you’re dating a werewolf, how long did you think that discussion could 
be avoided?  There’s gonna be some crying and anger. It’s inevitable. 
Nine times out of ten there’s a brief breakup, but then you’re back together.  
We’ve all been there at one time or another. Anyway, what the hell. 
Couldn’t be much worse than that other guy you were dating, the one with 
the wife.  At least this guy’s single.

If only it ended there. But let’s face it, dating a werewolf is a mess and it 
just gets messier. I don’t care what werewolves do in the movies, in real 
world it‘s not an exact science.  That whole full moon thing is only part of 
the equation.  Under the right circumstances, anything can set them off, a  
bright round light fixture, those nighttime solar globes in the garden, you 
name it.  You’re at home, in the middle of a great dinner, you’ve got the 
candles going,  you’re sharing a bottle of really good wine, and suddenly 
without any warning, he changes over. Clothes start ripping, shirt buttons 
pop off and embed themselves in the upholstery. Pants and shoes and 
socks and underwear and watches and credit cards are strewn across 
the floor.  Not to speak of the coarse grey wolf hair which ends up 

And that’s not the half of it. In the olden, golden days werewolves 
usually lived in big isolated castles in the middle of the woods with lots 
of loyal servants to clean up after them. No problem.  Open the gate, 
let down the moat, they’re outta there.  But that was then.  Nowadays 
werewolves are everywhere, including in your apartment right now.  And 
they’re all alike. They stand by the window and howl, they scratch and 
bite the furniture, they jump on the kitchen table and 
rip up the left over rotisserie chicken you were planning to pack for 
lunch tomorrow.  They do this ALL NIGHT LONG. And romance? Forget 
about it.  Just put the sexy nightgown right back in the drawer where you 
found it and break out the vibrator. That’s where its going tonight.

This all gets old really fast. So the main thing is to TALK ABOUT IT. Get 
it out there.  Be kind, but firm. Set boundaries. First order of business
immediately following this conversation: buy a leash.  Any pet store has 
them. For best results, I suggest purchasing the equipment together, as a 
couple.  Some folks get all S&M about it and go for the fancy choke 
collars, others prefer the padded harness approach.   But, whatever works 
for you.  The main thing is to work as a team and have a well thought out 
strategy to  get him out of the house and into the great outdoors as soon 
as possible after the change.  

All I want to say at this juncture is “chin up”. If your boyfriend is going to 
be turning into a wolf on a regular basis, and you are going to have to leash 
him up and stop at every fire hydrant in town, then let’s make a party out 
of it already, OK?  Life is short, stop obsessing.  God has given you a 
lemon - make lemonade.  Better yet, let’s add some vodka and make it 
a lemon drop.  And while you’re at it, go ahead and get an outfit. A really 
good one. I’m talking a tailored designer jacket, a tight leather pencil skirt, 
stiletto heels.  Invest in a string of expensive pearls and a vintage Hermes 
scarf and you‘re in business.  It’s the classic “walking a werewolf” look 
for city dwellers.  Impeccable.  Above reproach.  These are tough 
circumstances and looking good helps, it really does.  Of course, people 
will talk - they always do.  The same inane questions over and 
over again like "Where did you get the wolf from?” “How do you fit him 
in your apartment?”  “Can you use a regular-size pooper scooper?”  
The first couple of times out, it’s squirmy.  Then you get used to it.  
You have to.  You’re in love with a werewolf, deal with it.,

Before you know it, it‘s dawn. They’re all about sausages and bacon 
and steak at that point.  There won’t be a lot of conversation in the 
beginning, but after breakfast, over the dirty dishes, he’ll be remorseful 
and apologetic. Plenty of tears and hugs and “I love you’s”   Pretty typical 
fare.  Nothing to see here.  Sorry about dinner last night, sorry about the 
furniture.  Later in the day he might bring you flowers, or a small piece of
jewelry, or maybe have a new couch delivered.  Whatever.

Over the long haul, it’s very difficult to be seriously involved with a
werewolf. Not to say that there aren‘t women who won’t put up with this.  
Some of these relationships last a lifetime.  I say, “hurray for them“.  But 
for the most part, the werewolf/layperson combos just don’t have 
significant staying power.  The statistics back me up on this one.  
Google it and you’ll see for yourself.

Let’s face it, In the end, you will leave him or he will leave you, it 
really doesn’t matter either way.  And after an extended period of 
scratching around, you’ll end up happily ever after with a nice friendly 
beagle or a lab, just like your mother said you would.

Daphne Woll Shapiro