LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY PENPALS
These are the thoughts and observations of me — a woman of a certain age. (Oh, my, God, I'm 65!) I'm single. I'm successful enough (independent, self supporting). I live just outside Chicago, the best city in the world. I'm an aunt and a friend. I feel that voices like mine are rather underrepresented online or in print. So here I am. If my musings resonate with you, please visit my blog again sometime.
Saturday, March 11, 2023
LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY PENPALS
Oh, the week she's had!
She was suffering from Stage 3 Periodontal Disease. There are only 4 stages. Deep cleaning and scaling were required to remove the plaque, a tooth was extracted, and cells from the site of the recurring oral sore were sent to the lab to rule out anything dire. This was complicated and expensive, and she understood none of it.
What she did understand was that she was Outside. Connie hates Outside. I could leave the front door wide open and she wouldn't even approach it. All she needs in the world is in this condo.
Worse than Outside, she was away from me and surrounded by strangers. Unfamiliar hands and voices! Her front leg was shaved for an IV.
There were dogs at the vet. Connie is never, ever around dogs.
When she awoke, she was stoned. Disoriented. In a cage. It was awful. What fresh hell is this?
They put her in her carrier and brought her to me. As soon as she heard my voice she started purring so loud I could hear her from a few feet away. The guilt was enormous. She didn't think of me as the monster who brought her to the vet. I was only the angel who rescued her.
When I got her home, she was happy to see Roy Hobbs but was unsteady on her feet and very confused. She wanted to be sure her water and her box were where they were supposed to be, though she didn't use them. Then she hid under my bed. Where she stayed for more than 12 hours.
I was worried because the anesthetic she was given in the hospital would be wearing off and I wanted to give her a pain pill. But I didn't want to reach under the bed and drag her out. That would be too cruel. She has a brain the size of a plum pit, and she's trying to process all that had happened to her. So I crushed her pain pill and mixed it into a few spoonfuls of Gerber baby meat. I slid the bowl under the bed and she lapped it up. The medication did the trick and when she started feeling better, she ventured back into her world.
Where she's been ever since.
I don't know if she's feeling better, now that the infected tooth is gone and her gum is healing. Or if she's just so relieved to be back in her familiar surrounding and her old routine. But all she does is rub up against me and purr. And purr. And purr.
Saturday 9: Pass Me By (1965)
9) Random question: What's the perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon? Eating pizza and watching a great movie, like Holiday with Katharine Hepburn and the estimable Mr. Cary Grant.
I haven't posted much about my trip to Florida because it was four complicated days. Because my relationship with my cousin is so complicated. When I was growing up, Rosie was my idol, my role model, and my champion within the family. I love her for that. My unhappy adolescence would have been damn near unendurable without her.
But now I'm 65 and she's 77. It's different now than it was when I was 15 and she was 27. I don't need her to show me the way anymore, and her incessant "nudging" makes me crazy. Everything I do is suspect or at the very least up for review. Everything is an argument. Why, after she said she'd pay for lunch, did I offer to leave the tip? What's the point of that? Why, after shopping for souvenirs, didn't I slip the shopping bag into my purse? Have I considered how much money I'd save if I didn't have cats? Even this: How can I prefer the original Magnum PI to the remake when "Tom Selleck has always been so annoying?" Most infuriating -- and, I suppose, amusing -- is that I "care too much" about my friends. I'm "too involved." I have to acknowledge that "they have a right to do as they choose." Um, Rose? Don't I have a right to do as I choose?
But there's this: she loves me very much. This whole trip, centered around the Yankees spring training, was because I love baseball. My first night there she hosted a pot luck in my honor with all the Florida cousins. ("Everybody wants to see you, Gal!") We visited the museum along the Tampa Riverwalk because she knows I love museums and the Chicago River Walk. We went to super-touristy John's Pass -- definitely not her thing -- because I like little shops.
She wanted this trip because she worries about me "worrying too much." She wanted to see for herself that I'm OK. How can that not melt me? Also, we experienced my visit very differently. I wanted to slip into her room and smother her with her pillow as she slept. When I was at the airport, waiting to board my plane home, she texted me dates when the Yankees play the Rays so I can come back for a regular season game. (Not gonna happen.)
And there's this: I'm 65 and she's 77. How much time do I think we have? As it is, right now she's one of two people left on earth who held me when I was a baby. She walks with a cane. I've already outlived my dad. I want to appreciate her when I can.
Now here's an overview of the trip (except for the Yankee-Tiger game, which I covered off on here.)
Riverwalk and Tampa Bay History Center. I admit I love this nerdy stuff, and so does Rose. We enjoyed different parts of the museum -- I loved the pirates and sports stuff and I learned she has a love of cartography.
|2008 with Tampa was Cub Manager Joe Maddon's first trip to the World Series|
We had a lovely lunch at the Museum, too. The Columbia Cafe has great food and a lovely view of the Riverwalk. While the Chicago River Walk has its charms and is still my favorite, I admit I'll never see this sign here.
|Part of why I'm happy to be a Lake Michigan girl!|
I learned that modern-day Tampa has cable cars between tourist attraction. Not buses painted to look like cable cars. ACTUAL CABLE CARS! I wish we'd taken one, but Rosie is very car-centric and public transportation just doesn't occur to her.
At John's Pass, we ate seafood and ice cream, shopped, and took a boat ride where I saw beautiful colors, big birds, and DOLPHINS!
|It's like he wanted me to take his picture|