No, I don’t want to be the third wheel.

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I am all for people falling in love and spending time with each other but not when I have to be there.  Nowhere did I sign up to be a third wheel, especially not during a romantic 24-hour date made for two. Yes, I want to meet your new love interest and have a meal with her but that doesn’t mean lunch, tea, dinner and breakfast the next day. You can do that on your own time.  I don’t want to date her so why do I need to spend more than 2 hours with her the first time I meet her?  I am happy to learn about her slowly, over the next few months or years.

Don’t worry, I am not jealous.  This isn’t a bizarre love triangle or an unrequited crush.  This is a sibling (we will call him Andy) who is going through a divorce and was with his ex for 12 years.  This new addition is such an improvement to the last one that I totally get the infatuation.  He deserves to find someone who isn’t a total headcase/manipulative psychopath.  However, I am still processing the new state of the world and while I am totally in favor of it, I need a minute to wrap my head around someone else.  I am still coasting on the joy of his ex being a not so fond memory.  Hopefully she gets hit by a bus.  Of course I mean that in the nicest way possible.  The other red flag is that the last time Andy dated, he was 19 so to say he is out of practice is an understatement.  I know I am not one to talk but I am one to observe and judge.  I don’t want him to get hurt and things are moving so fast that I am worried a U-haul will pull up any minute.

Andy is one of my favorite people in the world but he doesn’t always think things through.  He sent me a text yesterday asking if I could postpone my three hour drive for a few days so he could spend his upcoming days off with his new soulmate before she leaves for a long trip.  Under any other circumstances, that would be fine but I am leaving for Asia for three weeks.  I will be on a plane in less than three days.  The plan, put into place months ago, was for me to drop my cat off with him.  I also found out that she isn’t leaving for another two weeks.  Me irritated?  No, not a bit.  I love changing my plans when I have a finite amount of time and a packed schedule.

As you all know, I am a cat lady and I worry about leaving my furry little monster when I travel. I want to know that the person looking after her is fully committed and equally crazy.  I need focus and eye contact when I am explaining her needs.  She is 17 and doesn’t like change.  We are kindred spirits and like to be waited on hand and foot with minimal amounts of effort.  Peel me some grapes, stat!

Once I was up there, in the midst of the love fest, I considered packing us both up and driving 3 hours back home to find a cat sitting alternative. Can I get a service cat vest in three days? How would Penny do in Bali or Singapore? Hong Kong and Kathmandu might be a little harder. I can get one of those cat backpacks with the porthole so she can watch the world go by.  Can you bring cat litter on a 17 hour flight?  Would that be weird?

Eventually I told him that he had his head up his ass and that I never wanted to feel that uncomfortable again.  It certainly wasn’t my Sunday Funday, more like the most irritating and awkward day ever.  He took my dressing down like a champ and promised that he wouldn’t be that much of an idiot again.  Guys, tough love works.  I might write a self-help book about it.

Now Penny is ensconced at his place, getting tons of cuddles and I am feeling less anxious about the whole situation.  All that remains is to get his cat on board with less hissing and growling and we will all be fine.

Oh to be young and in love.

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