Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tuesday Nights with Daisy

I think I'll post over at Psychology Today about the photo question. For anyone who didn't see my response within reader responses here, I'm not sure why they chose that photo except that recent photos of me have been pretty terrible. I'm not referring to my weight in saying that, but to my camo rabbbit fur flap hat & wind-scoured face, the Wattle from an angle, very low light.

As I'm sure you can identify, it's a little weird to be obese & ask people to take your picture. Right now I don't have anyone I trust that much and have access to. I recently lost a friend I hugely enjoyed but found in the end to be mercurial & one-sided. She decided a friendly offer was either poaching on her territory or showed up her work style & hasn't really spoken to me since.

I'm going to pause here to say, briefly, she took the winter photos of me. The sorer point is that I sincerely apologized, although it had to be one of those apologies backed up by a silent "you feel that way," had no intention of taking her client, haven't had any inquiries from the client despite frequent meetings on the street. On my side of the equation, I'd been noticing for a while now that she had me looking up phone numbers and making calls for her from home, felt free to stop by during my work times to use my computer, borrowed a favorite shirt she hasn't returned, called at least once a week & begged me to cover her at work, & owes me a tiny amount of money.

Have I been used?

I didn't mind it because I love her company -- she's one of the few people who can make me roar with laughter. But with all the leaning on me came a false intimacy. She never asked me to have supper with her or took me up on my offers to bring dinner to her house. She called other people to see how they're doing but she called me for favors. It wasn't a friendship & I absolutely cannot see that I did something so bad that she should end it.

The worst of it is that I know her well. I know that she is her own revenge. Her wild quests for happiness are dramas she plays out to distract her from what's really going on in her life -- going on or going wrong. I knew this & I listened to it. I was a fair friend. It hurts to see her around once or twice a day & know she's heaping blame on me for something that was innocent &, if I were the devil incarnate, fruitless.

So I digress. I'll have to find someone to take a decent photo of me for PT. You've seen all the recent ones & have to agree they don't show me in a professional light.

I'd post a photo of my own over there except all the site does is insert the name of the photo, making it gobbledy-gook.

I'm waiting for my Klonpin to kick in so I can sleep. I'm slightly afraid to have idle hands until I'm sleepy -- dinner was good (chopped broccoli, salsa & 4 oz. of chicken) but I'd love something sweet. Better to be busy.

Daisy is fast asleep in the pillows after an unproductive walk. Tuesdays are the horror of dog owners' lives. New York takes recycling pretty seriously & Wednesday is recycling day. Paper in clear bags, plastic & metal in clear bags, garbage cans & bags. At 2 o'clock in the afternoon things get pretty Dickensian on the streets as people with grocery carts, billowing bags or shopping carts park themselves across from the big apartment buildings and wait for the maintenance men to bring out the plastic/metal bags. They then go through them for deposit-back cans & bottles. Each has their territory. A wizened Chinese lady sits on the stoop next door to my building & Daisy goes berserkers when she sees her, partly because the first time she saw her it was raining & the woman was standing under the small awning of my front door. She speaks no English so it was this big deal to convince her move away long enough for me to haul my bucking, barking dog inside.

It reminds me of the bone & rag pickers of Victorian London.

Nights are the dogs' glory, however, because there are so many bags out, all of them smelling of other dogs' pee, lo mein containers, milk cartons & rotting chicken. Daisy has to lift her leg at least two times on Tuesday night & is so distracted by the bags that she forgets to take a dump.

I've consulted with Lee Charles Kelley about some of Daisy's more violent & unminding tendencies. The first thing he has me doing is a change of diet, which was too yang. It sounds a little weird but apparently the stool hardener in lots of kibble brands encourages aggression. I like seeing what she eats -- a scant half cup of kibble & a half cup of chicken, carrots, broccoli, apples -- always the chicken with a changing roster of yin foods. She's obsessed with her new diet. I mean, she always licked the pan, but now she skootches it all over the room. I should be feeding this to her by hand, outside amid the distractions of wizened Chinese ladies & jolly but intimidating mastifs, but the weather has not been kind to me so far.

I think she's been a little more tractable. I'm talking to her more, trying to chatter the focus on to me instead of her enemies (which include blown-over garbage cans &, famously, snowmen). But Tuesday nights are another challenge altogether & I feel sorry that she's going to be uncomfortable tonight. I'll kill her if she wakes me up to go out for a poop.

Life... It's happening, even when it's small.


Bea said...

Interesting info about diet and agression. Mol Dogs eats carrots and apples like they are going out of style. I felt the fiber was making her a happier doggy but Mark told me I was "anthropomorphizing." He would say that. I will feed her more carrots in the future.

If you have any answers about little dog aggression let me know. Mollie only attacks little dogs. She is fine with big dogs if she is off leash. But on or off leash she is scary awful if a little dog comes around.

"Four coats and no where to go." Very funny. You are getting better. Cheers

Anonymous said...

Patt J.
Do find someone you trust who will spend the time it takes to take good photos of you. I dreaded having my photo taken for years, and then a friend offered to take some in her apartment. They were gorgeous. I never knew I could look so good!
The other part of this is that good or bad, people in your family will want photos of us after we've gone. They may as well be good ones. And PS: I've seen some great photos of you, like when you were dressed up for a friend's wedding. In fact, I thought you were the bride!

Unknown said...

That was a quick digression from the photo issue to the dissolved friendship. The latter sounds painful. One of my therapists once pointed out that a friend I loved and talked about incessantly, but also had a very problematic relationship with, might have a "histrionic personality." I looked that up, and boy did it fit. Maybe it would fit your former friend, too? It's kind of a no-win situation, even though the histrionic folks can be wildly entertaining and exciting to be around, and thus very attractive... until their switch gets flipped the wrong way.

I didn't know you had a blog on Psych. Today, and now have bookmarked it. Cool.

Laura N said...

I like your picture on the P.T. blog. I don't think there's anything wrong with having it represent you. It IS you, afterall. Okay, it's not the you of today, but it's the you that your abstinence will bring about again.

The friendship sounds way too one sided & I sincerely hope you aren't feeling like you did anything wrong or like you deserve to be in this one-sided relationship. You enjoyed her company, so yes, you got something out of the friendship. But clearly it's not healthy, because it's hurting you. I had several of those friendships in my early 20s & 30s, & they are painful.

Kindred spirits are the best kind of friends. & those are the friendships to nuture.

Glad you are writing about these things.

Fascinating about Daisy's diet. Lucy (our Border Terrier) ate 4 mini muffins out of Luke's backpack last night. I foolishly left it on the floor, unzipped. I found the wrapper outside on the deck (I left the patio door open for her to go in & out while I was putting the kids to bed, b/c it was warm enough outside at last). It was dark & the outside light is broken so I coudn't see how much wrapper she ate & if she got all the muffins. I hope she doesn't get sick at home today.

Gallis said...

I completely related to your friend situation. I had the same thing happen with a friend of mine of 11 + years. Suddently the communication fell away, and we saw each other less, he was short tempered on the phone and in person, acted like I bored him. After six months of this, I asked if anything was wrong with him or if we were ok, and I was told everything was fine. The coup de gras was when he found all of half an hour to spend with me in a weekend of events to celebrate his birthday weekend. It's a difficult thing to go through, but I think you'll be amazed at how much lighter you're going to feel as time moves on. I want to miss him more, but frankly, I've had to reconcile myself to the fact that I don't.

Gallis said...

P.S. Your link to Psych Today appears to be broken. FYI.