Last night, Paddy and I went for a walk.
Mostly it was because I had an extraordinarily sucky day.
I claim 100% responsibility for the suckiness, and I will only blame a tiny part of it on the hormones. It was day for wallowing. Wallowing in unreasonable, inaccurate, unproductive streams of thought that I don’t actually subscribe to but which seem to be unfairly validated over and over again in real life. (Is that cryptic enough?) I knew that wallowing would only make me feel worse, but I did it anyway. So I wallowed all day, and then went home and cried into the shell pasta my good husband had made for me. It's amazing the man loves me, really, while I'm busy wallowing and crying into my shell pasta in the dark because I don’t want anyone to peer through my bamboo blinds and see that I am wallowing and crying into my shell pasta wearing only an extra large t-shirt and my underwear because I'm bound to dribble marinara and tears onto myself and let's face it, extra large t-shirts are pretty much the only thing I fit into these days. But he insists that he does, and I believe him.
So anyway, I put on some of his basketball shorts and we went for a walk to clear my head and to get Paddy a Diet Dr. Pepper.
But first we had a 25 minute conversation on our front lawn with our elderly neighbors. One by one, they listed every doctor they knew and asked if I knew them, too, because, of course, "you work over there at that big hospital." I didn't have the heart to explain how many doctors actually have privileges at that big hospital, so I just smiled and said "golly, no, I don't know that particular doctor but I'm sure he/she is great!" and was grateful that it was dark so they couldn't tell I had been crying into my shell pasta.
And in the end, the sweet German escorted the lovely lady with the walker and the fake flowers on her porch back to her house on the other side of my house, and I actually did feel better.
And Paddy held my hand and we finally started our walk. We wandered and passed the place where Paddy got a sunburn last week helping put on a new roof. We passed our neighbor who promised to share with him her authentic Italian recipes, and the neighbor who feeds him chocolate chip cookies and stories of her former life as a real estate agent. As we wandered, I admired the lawn he mowed yesterday for our neighbor who can't walk, even though our own grass was longer and he had studying to do instead.
And the point of this entire story is that as we walked back down the busy road past the apartments with the cigarette smell--me with my Zingers and he with his Diet Dr. Pepper--he switched places with me on the sidewalk. Because there are cars on the other side, of course.
And I thought of all the people in the world who don't have a Paddy to switch places with them on the sidewalk. And instead of crying (again) into my Zingers, I just gave him the last bite.