Healing is easier if you have a plastic lampshade
How do you know when it’s time to forgive someone and just let dead dogs lie?I was thinking about dead dogs the other day when Psycho Paws came home with this big gash in his leg after he took himself for a walk in the ABC. Oh, relax. Of course I know there is a leash law and gave him a big fat lecture about not obeying it, but he’s really rebellious like that. I wrapped the cut as tight and thick as I could with like 600 feet of gauze and tape, but he just pulled the bandages off and licked the thing until the small cut became a gaping wound so deep I could see the veins in his pink flesh. So now it looks like a mummy exploded in my living room with all these used bandages strewn everywhere.I took him to the vet and they tried to bandage it, but the cut is in a tricky spot above his front leg and so their elaborate little $130 Band-Aid job just slid right off. I took him back in again, and the doc sort of shrugged and threw a lampshade on his head so he’ll just leave it alone and let the wound heal. (Well maybe it wasn’t quite that easy, but I don’t really want to go into the whole muzzle episode.)Instead of charging around barking, growling, terrorizing the neighborhood and looking for things to kill like he normally does, he looks all helpless and pathetic and keeps bumping into things. It’s pretty cute.I started thinking they should make those cone things for people, too. Lord knows I could have used a big plastic lampshade strapped around my head to keep me from licking a few of my wounds. Sure, maybe I’d feel a little silly for a few days and might be an even worse driver than I already am, but at least I could heal and let dead dogs lie, so to speak.I’m usually pretty good about letting things go and just moving on. Like, I forgave the facial lady for burning my skin off and leaving me looking like I’d been sunbathing at a nuclear plant. I was big enough about it to accept the free facial. I’m like best friends with the Twig Betty at the clothing store who assumed I was shopping for maternity clothes. I mean, she didn’t have to give 20 percent off for life and I really appreciate that. I was even a good sport when the Aspen Daily News wrote all those stories about me getting fired from the Skico (talk about not letting things go) with headlines like, “Petulant Princess Given Walking Papers” and “SkiCo Bids Good Riddance to Princess.” I only cried once. I get it that not holding grudges is sort of essential when you live in a small town. Chances are half your friends are going to end up in bed with your enemies in some form or another. That means you’re guaranteed to run into them while trapped in one of those painfully slow lines (I’m thinking Zélé, City Market, Wells Fargo, gondola on a powder day, and the post office). You know whatever you say about them or they say about you is going to be relayed through that intricate grapevine of dinner conversation, e-mails, and phone calls. It might even end up on the front page of one of our friendly local newspapers, or worse, as the subject of some yahoo’s column. I feel like I did in eighth grade when life was constant drama, a revolving door through which best friends, enemies, boyfriends, and ex-boyfriends cycled on a weekly, or even daily basis. It’s hardly worth it.Plus, hating someone is a pain in the ass. You have to go out of your way to avoid them and end up feeling slightly psychotic when you go to extremes, like keeping your eyes peeled on oncoming traffic to see if they’re coming or going. Then you end up looking psychotic when you ask people who invite you to parties if so-and-so is going. Then you end up feeling psychotic on account of missing out on all the free booze at those parties by not going when you find out they are.But what confuses me is how and when do you forgive someone who really hurt you without opening the door for them to hurt you all over again? It reminds me of those bad movies on Lifetime when the wife who is being abused by her alcoholic husband is always making up all these excuses for him, talking about how she fell down the stairs and her face accidentally landed on his fist or whatever. I can just picture myself going, “He’s changed. Really, he has,” in a Southern accent while tears drip into the cut on my bruised face. (I know it’s not funny. That’s the whole point.)When it comes to matters of heart, I don’t heal so fast. I’m like Psycho Paws, licking the wound for no other reason than because I simply can’t help myself. Unfortunately, I don’t have an owner who can throw a lampshade on my head until it goes away. I have to wait until it gets infected, poisons my whole system, and nearly kills me before I build some kind of immunity to it. OK, so I’m being a little melodramatic. Maybe I’ve been wrong all these years about those three little words I thought every girl needed to hear. Really, it’s as simple as “Get over it!”The Princess really should go back on her medication. Send e-mail to email@example.com
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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused untold amounts of suffering and disruption, and we’ll probably tell those stories for the rest of our lives.