My sister called me yesterday, very excited about a purchase she and her husband made: a pheromone diffuser. The theory behind these things is that mother dogs emit calming pheromones. If a dog is stressed, you can help relax it by purchasing a device that emits the same chemical. My sister said that, within minutes of plugging the diffuser in, her dogs stopped barking and became very peaceful.
Listening to her, it occurred to me that, for my family, I am a walking, talking pheromone.
“Mom, sit with me while I do my homework.”
“Honey, I can’t help you with chemistry.”
“No, I just want you to sit with me. It makes it go better.”
“Bookie,” says my husband, “come watch TV with me.”
“I’m not really interested in any thing we have on the TV.”
“You’re really going to abandon me to [clean the kitchen/read a book/write on your blog]? Stop what you’re doing and just come down and watch TV.”
“Bookie,” says my mother, “you need to take me to the doctor.”
“Can the retirement home’s driver take you today? It’s a routine visit and I’m really squeezed for time.”
“No, you have to take me. I only feel good when I’m with you.”
“Rrrrff. Yap, yap, yap, grrrr.”
“Yes, foolish doggy, you can sit on my lap.”
“Bookie,” says my sister, “can I just whine for a few minutes?”
“Yes, absolutely,” I reply, because she is the only person in my life who returns the favor.
I often wonder whether, if I were suddenly to disappear, my children, husband, and mom would instantly become more self-sufficient or whether, in a matter of days, they would completely decompensate.
The reason for my limited blogging of late is that my human puppies have been around a lot. They haven’t just been around on the weekends, they’ve also been around on the weekdays — and they have been starved for my pheromones.
I have high hopes, though, that this coming week will bring me genuine moments of uninterrupted free time. I have to take my mom for a routine eye check on Monday (“I need you there”), but my calendar otherwise shows long peaceful stretches of nothing. As long as everyone stays healthy, I’m free!
Today has a few opportunities too. Despite a long drive to a faraway soccer game this afternoon (call me Mrs. Carpool as well as Mrs. Pheromone), I might be able to write late this morning and this evening. We can live in hope, right?
Whatever else happens, please feel free to use this as an open thread. I so value the stories you bring to my attention and the opinions and insights that you offer.