Friday, January 06, 2012

One night at the vet…

Shipoopi got sick this week and, of course, getting her better cost way more money than you want to know about – it was way more than I wanted to know about, believe me. Right when we’re getting back on our feet – kapow!

Vicky’s attitude is always, “Pay whatever it takes,” and while mine is more like “I have to pay what?!” I know better than to say that. I just look at Vicky with a smile and sign, sign, sign.


While I was sitting here, thinking about what I should write, I realized just how trite it all sounds. I mean, everyone knows someone who has been through the sick pet/sick child/sick whatever experience. It happens. So, I decided not to dwell too much on that.

There’s something else I wanted to mention, though, and it happened the second morning when we were at the emergency room vet. We had to bring Shipoopi in on Sunday night, which was a holiday, and pick her up the next morning, which was also a holiday – and that made getting her to the regular vet pretty damned interesting, too.

We’re there on Monday morning to pick her up – we were told to get there around 6am and through a series of mishaps stayed until after 9am – and Vicky is telling me about how she has to finish payroll for her employees to get paid. I, having nothing else going on in my life (it’s not like I was going to do any writing that morning or, for that matter, at all that day), said to her, “Go home and do it. I can take care of things here.” After a bit of our usual back and forth, she finally went.

And I was alone.

Inside a crowded pet ER. After a while, after I’d run out of things to kill my boredom (even my phone had died so there went that!), I began actually paying attention to the other people there. And it occurred to me that this is the last thing we do. We’re so isolated from each other, we live our lives as if we’re perpetually inside an elevator; at least, that’s how it seems to me.

I witnessed a family lose their pet. I witnessed two women fear for the health of someone they loved. I shared a moment with another couple of women as we both found ourselves caught in the same process. And it slowly began to dawn on me just how wrong it is that we are all so separated in this experience. There were easily 30-35 people in there and so many of us were distanced.

I wish I could say the experience made me a better person or that I was the person I hope to be. No. Not really. I exchanged a little small talk with the two women whose dog was also sick but that was about it. It did remind me, though, that I need to work harder at that. I tend to instinctively isolate myself and live within my own bubble and, in those instances when I’m sharing an experience with others, I need to remember to step outside that bubble and connect.

That’s all I wanted to say.

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