Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been keeping an eye on the senior member of the menagerie, who has seemed… not himself. I’ve been noticing that he’s lost weight, and he’s a little lethargic, and in an exhausting flurry over the last 24 hours, he got dramatically worse, such that he was really ill by the time I got him seen by my family vet. They think he has pancreatitis, maybe diabetes, and are keeping him for a few days to stabilize him and figure out a course going forward.
I’ve had him since he was small enough to fit in the palm of my hand, since he was 9 weeks old. He’s 16.5, now. I describe him as the part of my heart that walks around outside my body. I am completely devoid of chill about this animal being in any kind of danger. So it’s been a rough stretch.
He’s probably going to be hospitalized through the weekend, so I’m not cancelling my weekend plans. I know myself well enough to know that I’ll make myself crazy, given half the opportunity. I have done for him what I could do, which was bully my way into the vet’s office without an appointment, even though the vet tech on the phone clearly thought I was overreacting, and now I just need to keep busy so that I don’t torture myself.
One of the best calm down activities I know of is to take myself to the movies. But my mom and I were talking about seeing a movie tomorrow. So I reopened that conversation. We agreed that we were not going to see a movie where we had a special deal, so I said I might catch a movie tonight. She said “let me get this straight…” and essentially asked if I was ditching her to see a movie where I had just made a case that she would not want to see one.
I explained that the movie I wanted to see was not playing where we had the deal. I asked her if she wanted to see the movie. She said she’s planning to wash her hair tonight (it’s a long story— it precludes her leaving the house.) I wasn’t surprised— she often does wash it Friday. I said “right, but do you even want to see this movie?” She said “interesting for some other time.” I explained that it had been in theaters awhile, and if we wanted to see it in theaters, it should go onto our plans tomorrow. She said “There’s always Redbox.”
Here’s the thing: when I want to go to the movies, it’s more than “I want to watch a movie.” I want to be somewhere that no one can talk to me for two hours. Somewhere I can’t look at my phone and where I’ll have to interact only minimally with other sentient beings. It’s where I go when I’m exhausted and my heart is broken. It’s time out for Aunties M. And I feel like she strategically blocked me from it, which kind of pisses me off.
Now, the truth is that I’ve been up since 4:30 a.m. with my adored pet who I was pretty sure was dying (I was checking to be sure he was breathing for most of our time at the vet), which puts me at about 4.5 hours of sleep, which is less than the 6 I need to be even marginally functional. And I was out of chill before I went to bed. I probably don’t have enough to finish the workday, walk the dog, and attend to my necessary chores before I crash, let alone go pay to sit somewhere dark for two hours. But part of me wants to go see this movie on principle. If I want to put myself in time out, she doesn’t get to dictate otherwise. She doesn’t decide when I go to the movies, just because she feels differently about them than I do. Because I’m pretty sure her interest in this movie is pretty minimal. She pretty much hates going to the movies, and I think she’ll have nasty political things to say about this one. I think she mostly likes that she cornered me. And I don’t like that she’s trying to corner me when I’m demonstrably devoid of chill.