Lady, no.

Category: dribblings

At work the other day a lady patron come in without her husband, they usually come in together, but I didn’t ask where he was or anything. So she returns her books and kind of hangs out for a bit too long standing there, and I, in my awesomely friendly fashion ask her how she’s doing.

“Not well,” she responds. And says nothing else but also does not leave the desk. So everything is awkward, so I, in my awesomely awkward fashion say, “Well, it’s Tuesday. So at least we got Monday out of the way.”

Look, I get it, I’m an idiot. You don’t have to tell me how goofy what I said is.

She says, “Yeah, at least it’s not Monday.” and finishes with a big sigh, and still lingers at the desk.

“You all right?”

“No. I lost my best friend on Saturday.”

OH NO. WHAT HAVE I WALKED INTO? I JUST OPENED UP A CAN OF WORMS. GRIEF WORMS, AT THAT. I mean, I’ve been really blessed so far that none of my besties have died yet. And oh man! Does she mean her husband?! Cos sometimes people say their spouse is their best friend, right? Shit. What have I done? What do I say?

“Gee, that’s tough.” Wince.

Brilliant, Jaimie, you are damn brilliant. Gee? Tough? Such a wordsmith! This lady has lost her BEST FRIEND and all you can say is gee, that’s tough?! Why not just slap her in the face?

“I’m really sorry your friend died.”

“Yeah,” she sighs, “I’ve had that cat for forever.”

****

You know, I get it. I mean, look, when Roxie Wonderdog dies I’m going to be a mess…. for a long time. I will. So just bring me groceries and booze and leave them on the porch cos I’m not going to answer the door and let you into the unwashed hovel the house will become during my very important pet grief. HOWTHEFUCKEVER, when Roxie Wonderdog goes to that Great Big Squirrel Hunting Farm in the Sky, I would not EVER tell a stranger, “My best friend died today.” No! that’s… that’s… you can’t…

I could say, “My dog died today. She was my total pal, BFF, companion, soul mate, bestie, walkin’-snuggle-cuddle buddy, best friend.” But see how I led with “my dog” so the person who I’m speaking to does not immediately infer that I am talking about a human being? BECAUSE THERE IS A SOCIAL CONTRACT, THAT IS WHY.

Trust me. I know. Our pets are much better beings than human. My dog is better than you, probably. But when you lead with, “My best friend died.” and there’s the possibility that the other person thinks your best friend is a person OR SPOUSE, and then you follow with, “It’s a cat, BTDubs.” Then my empathy has been lessened to a degree that I may not even feel that bad that your cat, who was probs a dick cos most cats are even though we love our cats dearly. (I will admit that there are a handful of amazing cats out there. And when those cats are in our lives we love them unconditionally, and when we talk about them we usually say things like, “No, but this cat is awesome. He’s more like a dog than a cat.” This is because most cats are dicks.)

In conclusion, when a pet dies, feel as sad as you need to feel, you do you. Call me, I’ll bring you a casserole and vodka, whatever you need.

BUT DON’T BE TRICKY ABOUT IT, LADY.

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