Last year, I went to see Up in 3-D with my best friend Kathryn. The release date, according to IMDB, was May 29, 2009, which was days before Dr. Tiller was assassinated. (On Monday, the anniversary, I’m going to cry and go go Dairy Queen for a Blizzard, his favorite.) We packed into the megaplex theater the second weekend it was out, after a long day at the clinic, ready to watch something lighthearted. I even suspended my feminist disbelief and didn’t gripe once about the lack of female lead characters. Kathryn and I hadn’t been doing so well that week.

No spoilers here, but dude, thank goodness for 3-D glasses because neither of us needed the whole theater witnessing our tears that were pretty much constant for the duration of the “lighthearted” movie. Yeah, there was some critical acclaim, but I will never watch that movie again because I can’t handle it. My dear friend JJ was seeing a movie at the same time in New York, and because we kinda like live texting in lieu of hanging out or talking on the phone, I texted her with anticipation pre-movie, and post-movie, I texted, “SADDEST MOVIE EVER.” “Was it the old peopleness?” she texted back. And oh my goodness, yes, it was the old peopleness. Clearly, working where I do, I can handle some sad stories, but I have my limits, and those limits are old people and animals. I leave the room if someone is telling a story that even verges on a sad animal tale (or even a sweet animal tale), and I inexplicably feel a surge of affection for the elderly man at Publix buying strawberry ice cream, just because he’s an elderly man at Publix buying strawberry ice cream.

So last week, Kathryn and I were on our way to our weekly Wednesday night dinner (at Watershed–You should absolutely go.) and the neighborhood assisted living facility had a sign out featuring a purse dog with bows on his ears, looking extraordinarily happy, advertising their “Canine Cotillion” event. “We need to go to there,” we said simultaneously. And then realized that it would be going on at the same time as our friends’ wedding. And then, Kathryn realized, “Wait. We can’t go. It’ll be animals. And old people.” “Oh, no,” I caught on. “And the old people will be so happy. And the animals will be so cute,” she continued. “We really can’t go. That would be awful,” I agreed. “It would be terrible. It’s a good thing we have to go to the wedding,” she proclaimed.

And the wedding ended up having some old people (to be expected) and some animals (chickens! And a cat.), but at least the old people (the more I say this, the more it sounds like a pejorative, which is not at all what I intend) didn’t do anything heart wrenching like coo at the chickens or nuzzle the cat, because I would have just been done for.

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