A Necessary Pity Party

I’m feeling sad tonight. I need to walk Hugo and get myself ready for bed, but instead I just feel like crawling into bed fully dressed and crying myself to sleep. That probably wouldn’t make me feel better and I know Hugo wouldn’t appreciate it, but that’s how I feel.

I can hear the roar from the stadium of the Eagles-Giants game from my living room. The TV is on a five-second-delay, and I just heard a large cheer and looked up to see the Eagles score a touch down. That’s not why I’m sad though.

Tim and I have decided not to renew our membership at our dog park. Yes, we currently pay to be members at a dog park in West Philly. The park is on private property, so our yearly dues of $65 goes toward water, mowing, dog toys, up-keep of the fences etc… When we first adopted Hugo, the park was right around the corner from our house. Then, we moved to South Philly. The first year we lived in South Philly, we still made the drive to West Philly every few weeks because we knew Hugo liked being off leash in the wide open grassy space (it’s much larger than any public dog park we’ve found in the city). We liked the safety of a community dog park where everyone has to show their rabies vaccination and dog license in order to be a member. We felt Hugo was safe and happy there, and we felt part of a community. Over the last couple of years, we’ve made the drive less and less. The summer days are too hot and the winter days are too cold. Then, Adelaide was born. Although we’ve taken her into the dog park a handful of times, we haven’t gone since she’s been mobile. Having children at the dog park is a liability, and understandably she isn’t particularly welcome there. It’s for the best, but it just means that if we want to take Hugo, we can’t take Adelaide. So, we go even less often than we did before. Renewals are this week, and if we don’t renew by Thursday when the locks will be changed, we’ll have no more access to the park.

This is not a decision we’ve made lightly. Tim and I have talked it over for months We thought about not renewing last year, but did anyway. I know this is the right decision for our family. There is a waiting list to join the dog park and this just means that another family who will use the park more often will have the opportunity. I always love the Halloween dog parade the park does every year at the local nursing home. We dress up the dogs and march them through the halls to visit the residents. However, I think we can still participate in the dog parade this year even if we’re not members. I’ll just have to be proactive and email one of the park leaders to find out the details. It’s an end of an era and it makes me sad that we’ll no longer be able to go to the park. It makes me sad that we didn’t go back one last time. That we didn’t get to say good-bye.

I’m also sad that I’m going to miss my friends’ Matt and Cloie’s wedding next weekend. It’s in Boston, and we just can’t afford to make the trip. I waited until the very last minute to return our RSVP card because I was holding on to the small chance that something would change and we might be able to make it happen. I was in denial. I found out yesterday that other friends of ours from Philly will be going, and I’m just feeling sorry for myself because I know so many of my friends will be together having so much fun without me. My friend Chris is the best man, and I really wanted to see him and his wife and meet their son Felix who is just a few months older than Adelaide. They live in Austin, so it’s not often that we’re all in the same place at the same time. I’m sad that my friends at the wedding won’t be able to meet Adelaide.

So on this Sunday night, with the Eagles game on in the background, I’m having a pity party for myself. Adelaide is asleep. Tim is upstairs in the office, and I’m feeling tired and a bit overwhelmed by the looming work week ahead. I’m feeling sad that I’m ending ties to the dog community we haven’t even been active in for a few years. And, I’m sad that I won’t be able to celebrate a special day with friends, that we won’t get to see New England in autumn, and that Adelaide won’t get to go to her first wedding and wear a pretty dress.

I know we can’t always do everything we want to do in life. We can’t be everywhere and attend every event. We make choices. Writing it out, I could see how the tears now steaming my face could be seen as a little dramatic. I can’t promise that everything I feel is completely rational, but tonight the sadness is real. I wish I could do it all.

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