Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pity, party of one

I'm not sure why, but lately I've been feeling really down about things, and about myself in particular. I don't know if it's the winter, or the fact that I was in a really dark place this time last year and it's all rearing its ugly head again, or if it's just people being in town and stirring up old, not very pleasant memories for me, but lately I have felt pretty crummy.

There have been some personal life things, nasty arguments where things have been said that are pretty hurtful, and then a lot of things are just carry over from past things. And what's the worst is that every time I start to feel like this, I find myself thinking a lot about how I'm often not the person people choose in relationships. Typically, everyone picks Jason. He's likable, he's friendly, he's intelligent and he's kind. Me? I'm not really any of those things. 99% of the time, I hear "I was pretty sure you were a total bitch when I first met you". I'm guarded. I say what I think. I have high expectations and I don't really give people the option of not meeting them. I come with baggage, I guess, and as a result, people don't inherently like me. It's not new, it's happened my whole life. It just wasn't a problem before because I wasn't standing next to someone who everyone loves, so that by comparison I feel small and insignificant. I often feel like if he is around, I'm just...not. I stop mattering to people. I am an accessory, not a necessity. That's hard to know about yourself. I mean hell, even my "best friend" told me that she only tolerates me so that she can spend time with Jason. Stings, doesn't it? But that's how it is. I go to every school board meeting Jason goes to, but no one ever notices or remembers me, they always credit him with making the time to attend. I do as much work with the drama department as he does, but the kids act like he's the only one there working to help them. I did as much directing work in our show over the summer as he did, but everyone credits him as the director. So where do I fit? At what point do people appreciate me for me instead of something that tags along with Jason like a weight around his neck?

And honestly, I find myself angry at him and resenting him for the fact that everyone picks him over me. It's not his fault, I know that on an intellectual level, but at the same time.....I can't help getting angry because it sucks. Like.....really really sucks. It's pretty lonely, and it puts me into a position where I don't even really want to talk to people about it because I don't want to be accused, as I have been previously, of bringing "too much drama" and I also don't want to complain about things and have people think less of Jason due to what I might say, or think less of me for well....being me. And there's no solution to it anyway. I can't make him less likable. I can't make myself into him. I can't make people like me or enjoy my company. So that leaves me nowhere. But I'm lonely. And I'm sad. And I wish I was missed when I'm not around. And I wish people asked me to do things without Jason sometimes, that way I felt like it wasn't just him they wanted to be around all the time.

And I wish that he wasn't the only one who got apologies when people say hurtful things. I wish they offered me the same courtesies.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Adventures With an Elderly Dog, Part 2

For those of you who are new around here, this is Simon. Simon is old. Like, I'm not talking that whole "Oh, Fido is 9 this year. He's getting old". No. In dog years, Simon is like Moses old. He's a 15 year old lab, and for a breed that tends to crap out around 12, that makes him ancient. Over the past couple of years we've been experiencing life with an elderly pet for the first time. Simon is Jason's first dog, and all of my childhood pets tended to die fairly young due to an uncanny ability to Darwin Award themselves, typically related to an affinity for chasing cars on the 50 mph road in front of our house. We've had friends who have dealt with elderly animals, so we've witnessed their trials and difficulties, but I think that you can never fully know what it's like until you do it yourself. So, Simon is treating us to a variety of experiences with him as he ages. His hearing is gone, his eyesight isn't what it used to be, he has arthritis in his back hips, he barks constantly at nothing because he's lost the ability to run and play so this is his only form of entertainment. It's been an interesting road.

We are still dealing with the pee issue we had a year ago (more info on that here), and now sometimes he poops in his sleep because, hey, why not right? And now, because we're masochists, we've added a puppy into the mix. To be fair, the puppy was meant to be a friend for Sam in the event that Simon is no longer with us, but the puppy seems to have decided Sam is a waste of his time and he wants to play with Simon. Simon does not feel the same way. Right now we're at a point where Simon sleeps like 15 hours or more a day, and the annoying puppy interrupting his glorious napping is not welcome. Now he barks at the puppy. Whenever he sees him. No matter what the puppy is doing. Puppy is lying on the floor chewing a toy, Simon comes in from another room and barks. Puppy is running laps through the house, Simon barks every time he runs through the room Simon's in. It's kind of an ongoing thing. I'm not sure what the barking is supposed to do, because the puppy seems to think that it's a trigger to play, but Simon keeps doing it.

What's interesting is that I think that, while you get that your dog is old and that he's got different needs, it's doing the normal little things that make you realize just how old he is. It's taking a walk and seeing him only make it about half way before he wants to lie down and take a nap, or tossing a treat that would normally have been snapped out of mid-air just to have it land on the floor and get licked up carefully once it's sniffed out. Tonight, my realization came while giving Simon his bath. An event that used to take Jason and I a good 40 minutes to accomplish as one of us pinned him down while the other scrubbed, because he would fight us both off to leap out of the tub and go rub himself on every piece of furniture we owned, was done tonight by just me. Jason lifted him into the tub, but then he went back downstairs and I did the scrubbing. There wasn't a fight anymore. This time he stood there, trying not to slip because his back legs give him trouble, and he was shaking. That's new, because he has never been nervous in the tub. Part of me wondered if he was in there going "It's wet! I ordered a sponge bath! I want to talk to Nurse Nancy! I hate the wet!" because he's confused a lot these days. I stood there, as I scrubbed him and cursed his water resistant lab fur that takes more shampoo than any dog should ever require, and thought about how different he is as an old dog. I thought it was nice not to have to wrestle him into submission just to scrub his chest, but at the same time it was a little sad that he didn't have it in him to fight with me anymore. After a while he seemed to relax a bit and while I wouldn't say he enjoyed having a bath, he got a stupid puppy smile on his face and stood up to shake off and shower me with everything that stupid water resistant fur didn't want to hold onto anymore. I'm pretty sure the showering was intentional.

And just as I was thinking how happy I was to get through the bath without incident, since he hadn't slipped or fallen or hurt a hip, I reached down to drain the water and realized that yes....yes he definitely pooped in the tub. Thanks pal. I love you too.