We went to the anniversary party, which was really lovely. They had a small black cat who reminded me of Jimmy, our little black girl who squeaked instead of meowing. (I've realized lately I think about and miss Jimmy much more than the others. Don't know why, maybe because she was the most trouble.)
I didn't know anyone at the party, except one of the women in the couple whose party it was, so I befriended the cat. She found me, really. Cats do that. She sat with me on the couch and I petted her while various friends gave short testimonials in honor of the anniversary couple. There was one particularly moving speech which made me cry, but then I kept crying, and my eyes started to itch. Soon, they were burning, and I could feel them swelling up.
I ducked into the bathroom to take a look. They were bright red and very puffy. I washed my face and hands, and remembered the last time, the only time, anything like this happened was at my friend S.'s apartment years ago after I'd been playing with one of her cats. I'm not generally allergic to cats, but every once in a while, I'll react to a particular cat. I must have rubbed my eyes when I started crying and gotten dander in my eyes.
I walked out of the bathroom right into the middle of a silent prayer. Everyone was quiet for a few minutes, and then they all rose and headed out the front door and into the yard for some kind of ritual. I grabbed Jay and asked him to take me home. By this time I was a little panicky. My eyes were really swollen and burning. We stopped at CVS on the way home and Jay went in to get some Benadryl. I took some as soon as I got home, and I put ice on my eyes and lay down for a couple hours.
I got the first disc of Angels in America from Greencine.com yesterday, so Jay and I watched that and I sobbed practically through the whole thing. I'm sure I would have found it very moving regardless, but the fact that my tear ducts are primed helped.
Now it's after one, and my eyes still look a mess, but they don't burn as much now.