I Fell In Love The Way You Fall Asleep: Slowly, and Then All At Once
- Humor, Lifestyle
I was about seven when my Mom got me a hamster. I named her Chrissy. Light brown, sorta fat, cute as a little talking chipmunk. Mind you - this is coming from a person that's terrified of rats, roaches, spiders, and everything creepy. At first, she used to snip at me. Nip my fingertips wildly. Then I got some hamster treats in psychedelic colors and all was well in the world. I know little animals aren't smart generally, but this one likely had a high IQ level. Seriously. Chrissy was brilliant and organized. Chrissy had bucky white teeth like she brushed them with Colgate. She didn't muck up her cage like other hamsters I'd seen, and she even twirled her tiny hands around her face to clean herself! [Later I realized all hamsters do this] When she got her hamster snacks, she separated them by kind. Sunflowers, random nuggets, etc. This thing was cute - ity bity and she'd curl up into a ball in the palm of my hand and fall asleep regularly. Like she gained trust in me. Sometimes she fell asleep on her back while I was petting her. I held her all the time. I put her in this clear little medicine ball with a small doorway, and let her run around my room while I studied. I'm sure we had many other good times, but that's what I can remember.It was a slow-growing affection. Then, I fell in love with the little thing.Then one day I loved her so much I gave her a raisin as a treat. (Hey, it looked just like the trail mix she was already eating.) I saw her stomach boil sideways unnaturally, then I saw her keel over. She still moved around a bit but I ran to get Mom. All I remember next was I started crying, then I took a short nap. When I got up Chrissy was running amuck in her cage and when I went to pick her up to apologize for possibly making her sick, she bit my finger - hard! I was bleeding.When I went to hold her she squiggled out of my hands - so determined. When I put her in her exercise ball she wouldn't move around and explore. She just sat there.All of the things that made this hamster adorable to me were gone. She wasn't cuddly. She wasn't the same little cute face I could play with. I kept trying to make her behave right again, but she just wouldn't. Then one day I looked at her teeth. They were yellow and big! Immediately I stomped in to my Mom exclaiming
"Where is Chrissy?! This is not my hamster!!!"
Mom explained to me that it was Chrissy and that all was ok, not to worry.I didn't like the New Chrissy, but it didn't matter because not too soon after New Chrissy escaped and was not ever found.A couple of years ago I was having wine with my Mother (as an adult) and I asked her what had happened to Chrissy. She looked at me big-eyed and bursty and said "Gyyyyrl, that hamster had died and I ain't know what to tell you!"
We laughed about it, but after, I realized how hard it is to tell the truth when you know what you will say will hurt someone you don't want to hurt. Mom had shot out to the store and grabbed a look-alike of Chrissy and plopped her in Chrissy's cage to avoid explaining death to me. If a person is prepared, it still hurts, it just hurts a lot less, making it worth it to communicate beforehand. What might have been better? Killing my fairytale. Getting me to accept the reality, the possibility early on of what is to come. Teaching me that the hamster wasn't going to last forever anyway, and, perhaps teaching me that she needn't have raisins. Communication is the key, the lock and the Dropbox.
Yes, perhaps some casual and comfortable conversation easing me into the reality that hamsters won't live forever. I was young, but the blatant lie and confusion? It sets me up to fall down.Slow and concentrated.This is the way we should talk to the people we care about. This is the way we should communicate with each other. Slowly, and then all at once. This is the way we prepare someone for what is to come. Slowly, and then all at once. This is the way we teach them how to grow with us. Slowly, and then all at once. This is how we avoid confusion and disappointment, 'we man up.' We become responsible for ourselves, our actions, and the presentations and perceptions we're exposing. Slowly, and then all at once. This is the way we learn how to trust, slowly, then all at once. This is the way we discuss things like adults. Slowly, and then all at once.
This is the way I want to fall in love. Slowly, and then all at once. - Fault in Our Stars
The more lessons I've learned the hard way, the more lessons I've kept. How do I like my information? Sugar-coated and straightforwardly oxymoronic. Yes. The truth doesn't set you free, but it helps you sleep and that's kindove the same thing. Photo by. - JoyHey
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