Greetings, Dear Reader. As I start this, my 789th post in A Certain Point of View, Too, it is late morning in Lithia, Florida, on Thursday, March 3, 2022. It is a warm Florida spring day in the Tampa Bay area. Currently, the temperature is 77˚F (25˚C) under sunny skies. With the wind blowing from the east-southeast at 5 MPH (9 KM/H) and humidity at 61%, the feels-like temperature is 76˚F (24˚C). Today’s forecast calls for partly sunny skies and a high of 85˚F (30˚C). Tonight, skies will be partly cloudy. The low will be 60˚F (16˚C).
Last night, The Caregiver asked me If I wanted to go to a theme park – Busch Gardens Tampa being one of the choices – for my 59th birthday, which (yow) will be on Saturday. “I wanted to take you to Disney Hollywood Studios this year, but the hotel I like is booked solid. But we can go to Busch Gardens or maybe Universal Studios. Which one would you like to go to?”
Now, if I had been asked this question last March, or perhaps even earlier this year, I might have jumped up with a loud “Whoop!” of delirious joy. After all, it’s been two years since I last did anything “fun,” much less left Lithia for even a couple of days.
And considering that on this blog I have expressed feeling like my 59th birthday would be a repeat of my 58th – a Mylar balloon tied to my seat at the kitchenette table, a Star Wars The Black Series collectible figure, and birthday cake served on a plate – you’d think that I would have said either “Let’s go to Busch Gardens!” or “Ooh! Ooh! Universal Studios! Let’s go there.”
Instead, I said something along the lines of, “As much as I appreciate the thought, I really don’t feel like going to a theme park. Thanks, but no thank you.”
The Caregiver looked crushed and tried to convince me to go. “A trip to a theme park will do you good, though.”
“Yeah, but I’m just not feeling it. Maybe next year.”
I understand full well that if this year my birthday will be the suckiest since 2015 – which was the last year that I “celebrated” the occasion with my late mother and my estranged older half-sister – it’s on me because I was offered a choice between two nearby theme parks, neither of which I have visited.
Still, I don’t feel like going anywhere this weekend. The Russian invasion of Ukraine weighs heavily on my mind; I don’t know anyone from Ukraine, and I don’t know any of the American citizens – many of whom are veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – who are reportedly traveling to the war zone to fight as volunteers, so I have no personal connection to the war. But even though I’m not an altruistic angel, I don’t feel like I’d enjoy myself at either Busch Gardens or Universal Studios while Vladimir Putin’s military marches against a neighboring country that was not attacking Russia in any way whatsoever.
As I write this, one million Ukrainians have fled their homes and are refugees in various NATO countries in Eastern Europe, including Poland. They’re not having the best of times or visiting a theme park. And people are being shelled and bombed by the Russian invaders. Again, I’m not a saint or a “martyr,” but I know that if I accept my friend’s invitation, I will not enjoy myself. I’ve watched too many World War II documentary films with footage of men, women, and children fleeing their homes and towns ahead of an invasion: I’m feeling sad and angry that we’re seeing a similar situation in 2022 Europe on our TV sets and other devices.
There’s also this personal factor – if I accept the invite, it would no longer be just The Caregiver and me going, as was the case when we went to Disney Hollywood Studios/Galaxy’s Edge in 2020, but we would also have to go with The Caregiver’s new boyfriend, too.
So, no, Dear Reader. I am not going to Busch Gardens or Universal Studios. I would not enjoy it, and since I’m not adept at hiding my feelings, I’d just make everyone else miserable. Accordingly I think it is best if I stick to my choice to not go.
I don’t have any other news to share, so I’ll just close for now. Until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.