Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Separation Anxiety

ReadyIt's no secret I'm a homebody. It might be a secret that I love to travel.

I know, right? You can hardly tell! I actually love to see new places and check off new experiences (no snakes, no bananas, and no math, please, also no large ships on the open sea if possible). Somehow this doesn't mean, though, that I like to leave home.

I'm a paradox, get used to it.

Many years ago Chili visited me on what turned out to be her first trip away from her kids. I assume that was was because it was far enough away that it would seem like a trip but close enough that, should an emergency occur, she would be able to get home in good time. I assume this because that's how I feel when I go back to the home country. It was her first day in something like three years without changing a diaper. We didn't do anything wildly exciting but we ate good food and saw Patrick Stewart live on Broadway and sipped the occasional adult beverage.

Now would be a good time to mention that I do not think that there is a one to one equivalency between pets and children. I do, however, believe that there are certain undeniable similarities between having those two species of dependents. I have found that it is only the parents most insecure in their roles that bristle at the comparison.

Untitled The first time I left Eddie the Entertaining Terrier behind when I traveled I went halfway across the world for two whole weeks. Apparently I'd learned nothing from Chili's example. Not true, I'd learned but the opportunity for this trip came along and there was no denying it, it wasn't going to wait for me to take a series of short trips away from a dog who is clearly brimming with confidence just so I could convince my heart he'd be OK.

Tomorrow I leave for ten days and Eddie will stay with a series of folks who all said, when I mentioned I'd be going to Italy and just had to work out details for the dog, "Oh, we'll manage it, whenever, it'll all work out." Luckily I don't hang out with a bunch of dirty liars. Pony Express will take care of the cats, who I also worry about. Those furry bastards will turn 12 while I'm away and they're starting, if only a little, to show their age. I have lined up their vitamins and minerals and medications with two full pages of instruction so add to my luck list that my friends not only tolerate but seem to enjoy my personal brand of crazy.

Like I said, my head knows that everything will be fine. My animals are smart, they like who they're staying with, and the caretakers are competent and plentiful. My heart, however, tears a little when I go. I keep thinking of that time years ago when Dooce and Blurb were in Amsterdam and their dog, Chuck, went missing for two days and no one told them because there wouldn't have been anything they could do about it. It makes my peristalsis reverse into my mouth.

Squoze Shut Last night I had what is, quite possibly, the strangest anxiety dream I've ever conjured. I was sitting in a minivan proofreading my suicide note (already sent so I guess I was just making sure I hadn't missed anyone on the distribution list?) and when everything seemed in order it was time for me do the deed. A quick inventory of the vehicle determined that I hadn't brought any sort of implement, device, or substance. It became apparent that I was supposed to asphyxiate myself but all I had was the car and I didn't own a garage. I was in an open air parking lot with nary a rubber hose to be found (thank you Mad Men Season 5). I kept thinking I ought to get up and do something about that but I didn't. Finally someone got in the passenger side and asked quite calmly and kindly if I really thought this was what I wanted to do. I said no and we drove off.

Did I also mention I was a man in this dream?

Anyway, I'm choosing to interpret this in a death-as-journey kind of way but not in a this-journey-will-kill-me kind of way. I'm nervous about setting off and I think I might have forgotten something important but I'm actually anticipating a departure without drama. Tonight I pack in earnest, tomorrow I go fill out my absentee ballot and deposit some cash in the bank. In 24 hours I will be 25 minutes away from sitting my butt down in a town car and allowing some nice person to drive us to the airport. Once I'm in that car everything gets easier. There's nothing I can do to change it and I'm fully pointed in the direction of this glorious adventure. I can't wait!

Someone remind me to pack my passport.


  1. have a fabulous time. oh, and pack your passport!

  2. sail away and know that the kiddos are in as good hands as they possibly can be, all any parent can do ... and have a ball!!

  3. I totally understand this. Go, breathe, and know that the people you trust with your babies will live up to that trust.