Snowflake has been gaslighting me, but unlike the evil character, Gregory, from the 1944 film, Gaslight, Snowflake used an electric light instead of gas one. The expression, “gaslighting,” comes from the old movie Gaslight. In this pscyological thriller, a young woman named Paula, played by Ingrid Bergman, is in the care of an aunt who is brutally murdered one night. Paula is sent off to Italy to study music. Ten years after the murder, a handsome and charming man named Gregory begins to court Paula and Paula, being young and naive and not the best judge of character, marries him. Gregory convinces Paula to move into the house she’s inherited from her aunt and to put all her aunt’s possessions in the attic. It turns out that Gregory is none other than the man who murdered Paula’s aunt while attempting to steal her jewels which he can’t find. He’s married Paula to find these jewels and at night, sneaks up to the attic to search through the inheritance for the jewels. This causes the gas powered lights to dim which Paula notices along with hearing footsteps overhead. Gregory tells her she is hearing and seeing things. He then does rotten sneaky things like stealing little objects and putting them in her purse. This makes her think she’s a very forgetful and out-of-control kleptomaniac. He tries to convince her to commit herself to a mental institution. This would enable him to search the town home without having to sneak around in the attic at night. He almost succeeds and just as she’s about to sign on the dotted line, a smart detective who has admired her from afar, comes to her rescue and the evil Gregory goes to jail. Paula and the nice detective find the jewels and live happily ever after.
Of course, I don’t think that Snowflake murdered my aunt or is search of any jewels, but she did gaslight me all the same. Here’s how. Every evening, I go down to the goat yard to put the chickens into their coop, sweep up poop, refill the hay manger, and change water. I turn on the goat shed lights to attend to these chores, and then turn them off when I head back up to the house. At least, I always mean to turn off the lights, but it seemed to me that I had a serious problem with forgetting to turn them off because in the morning I’d go down, and the lights in the goat shed would be on. I was feeling pretty darn forgetful and so I started to try to be more careful. But, even when I could swear I had remembered to turn the lights off in the evening, in the morning, they’d be on.
So, you can probably figure out where this story is going. One evening, I made absolutely certain that I had turned off the lights and in the morning, they were on! Something was clearly amiss. A few mornings later, I was tending to the chicken coop and poof, on went the light. Since then, I’ve actually seen Snowflake turn on the light with her nose. It’s no accident. Snowflake clearly likes to have her lights on. The good news is that I’m not as forgetful as I thought I might be AND I have one smart goat.
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