Sometimes its difficult for me to express clear expectations. I don’t want to offend anyone. But then, something happens and I’m angry when what I thought were clear boundaries are breached.

For example, just recently I was coming out of my backyard with my dog only to encounter a man letting his dog pee on my plants. Dogs pee, you say. I know that! But I haven’t mentioned that the dog was peeing right near a sign in my yard that very politely and cutely says “No Poop and Pee Zone” with a cartoon picture of a dog crossed out in red. I installed the small,professionally-made sign a while ago along with a short border fence after dog pee killed an expensive succulent in our front yard.

Now, I know, that man’s dog was most likely not the first to mark that particular plant. Dogs pee on top of other dog pee. I know. I have a dog! So, I constructed a bigger, homemade sign and installed it. But let me tell you, I was nervous about offending someone with my new sign that says in bold “DOG PEE KILLS PLANTS!!” Clear expectations, but I worried.

The new sign is constructed of cardboard, paper and duct tape that I used to hold the sign to the wooden stake. I asked my husband what he thought of the sign. He said he liked it except the duct tape.

I wonder: did I make my sign temporary because I’m scared to let my expectations be known? What if someone is offended that I don’t want to constantly buy new plants? Ridiculous, I know, but still….

It’s been a week since I put up the sign. The duct tape was showing signs of wear; the sign was sagging. I wondered if I should take the sign down. “You should get rid of the tape and nail the sign to the post,” my husband said. Yikes! That sounds more permanent. I swallowed hard. Got a hammer and nailed the sign to the post.

P.S. I’m sorry if I offended you by using the word pee.