So Wendy and I have been dating for almost three months now. Things are going really well. Wendy has met my mom and I have met her parents. Many respective friend introductions and the pilgrimage to eachother's hometown are long past. I feel great and well- my heart is all a flutter. Life is good and law school seems a lot less bleak. Accoding to my mom I've stopped saying "like" quite as much as well and I'd like to think my room is less messy. To the point- I'm crazy about Wendy, thus- time to take it to "the Next Level."
So how does one take it to the Next Level? I've considered several options. We could move in together, but we live nearly an hour apart and both have leases, roommates, and other respective commitments. Plus, logistically I would lose the always essential element of surprise with this one. I would either have to tell Wendy ahead of time about my plan, or I would have to move out all of her stuff while she was at work probably resulting in her thinking apartment had been robbed and although that result would likely result in surprise and sobbing-- that really is not the variety of tears and surpise I am aiming for with this scheme.
Since I don't think we can make the grand gesture of co-habitation at this point, I think the next best thing is joint ownership. Yes, from a legal perspective, what could be more intimate than the joint ownership of some type of property. Wendy can't drive and I already have a car, plus I am broke- so that is straight out. A condo is once again ruled out because of the aforementioned barriers to co-habitation. I considered a vacation condo at Aspen, but I figure my student loan money would be better spent on my tuition. Finally it occurred to me- what could we both own but also nurture and imprint with out respective personalities? That's right: a jointly own pet.
Once I had settled on the pet category, next came the considerations of what sub-genus of pet we should own together.
Cats. I don't really like cats to be honest with you. First of all they break my cardinal rule that only humans should deficate indoors. On top of that- cats have crappy personalities. Maybe I have had bad experiences, but I am pretty much limited to my grandmother's cat Squat and Sam, the cat that Matt had that lived with us for about a month or so. Squat was possibly the worst cat ever and lived under my Grandmother's porch outside of Memphis, TN and let me tell you, I can't blame the cat for being pissed off about that- but nonetheless he was not a pleasant pet. Sam was cool, but in the short time he damaged an enormous amount of Matt's stuff including a full length mirror he shattered, along with numerous glasses, and the our former shower curtain. Sam also constantly tried to kill my short lived goldfish and scratched at my door whenever I would close it, only to scratch at it again to be let out of my room. Don't get me wrong- Sam was cool, as far as cats go. The thing about cat-people is that they always tell you how cats are so smart and how they are like people. These people are idiots. The absolute last thing I would want as a pet is another person, in fact I can barely stand most people, so the last thing I need is a small furry person that craps in a sandbox inside my apartment. Moving on...
Dogs. I love dogs. Growing up I had (each at different times) two weimaramers and a dalmation, Patch, who recently passed away. I suppose I will always share some of my father's anti-pet tendancies, a man who wanted to name our dog patch "damned dog" in order to, "just simplify things." No matter what a pet is an animal that you are letting into your house and you need to recognize that and the fact it will likely crap on your carpet and eat your new sneakers and the five dollar bill you left on the counter, but that being said- there is no animal I genuinely have affection for like dogs. I honestly will never feel like a house I live in is really a home unless there is a dog there, which is especially tough since the death of Patch this spring. That being said- Wendy had a dog with her ex-boyfriend. I want to be original. I don't want this relationship to follow past bad patterns. I don't want to live in the past or relive failed or tragic moments. I will not live in the past. I am not trying to measure up to anyone else or be someone else. Getting a dog would just make it seem like I am attempting to be the new version of the ex, and frankly, that's a thought that not only didn't cross my mind, but now that it does- it revolts me-- thus: dogs are off the list for the moment.
Fish: The next thing that occurred to me was a fish. Wendy tells me that Koi fish can live to be as long as 100 years and are a symbol of longevity. In addition, apparently a lot of punk rock fans get tatoos of koi fish and Wendy is a huge fan of punk rock. Unforunately, the fish idea runs into a few snags. First of all it appears both Wendy and I are both tremendously skilled at killing fish. The only fish I have ever had were when I was very young and those fish were kept by the bar sink and essentially kept alive by my mom. Almost all these fish died in the same fashion- jumping out of the tank and into the bar sink, to be found flopping around by one of my two parents making coffee. I also had a fish I won at the pub earlier this year and although I managed to fight off Sam (the cat)'s attempt to kill him, the fish eventually died when I went skiing or something (I don't really remember). Wendy also told me in college a boyfriend got her two goldfish as a present which dies within 24 hours-- again-- I have no desire to follow in someone else's footsteps, plus I don't want whatever I get to die a premature death. Another snag in the fish situation is the transportability problem. As Wendy and I live a small distance from each other, I am not sure how the whole fish co-ownership thing would work out. The only thing I can picture is something like a mason jar on a string around my neck when I took the bonanza bus to Boston ala What About Bob? (classic Bill Murray film), but I am pretty sure Wendy would not be very keen on this situation.
Bird. I know it's wrong. I know it's sort of sick. I just can't help looking at every bird and thinking of chicken. Therein lies the essential problem, I cannot own something I know is edible and likely pretty tasty. I know you probably see priceless $3000 macaw, but I see something not too far from a cornish game hen. In addition, birds have to be in a cage with newspaper-- again breaking my cardinal rule about crapping inside. On top of all that I remember my sister having some parakeet or something that was wicked annoying. Birds are off the list- next.
Guinea Pig. I feel bad, Wendy mentioned a recent news article about how a town near where she lived where guinea pigs were breeded was shut down by the FDA, but I can't remember or find the site. The bottom line though is even without the involvement of a major government administrative agency, I can't stand rodents. I am pretty sure God only put rodents on earth to annoy people and keep us in line. The threat of plague and infestation by disease carrying rodent has served as motivation throughout the ages for humans to clean up after themselves; thus it mystifies me why anyone would want to WELCOME one of these pests into there homes.
Pot Belly Pig. Mostly I am throwing this in here for the obligatory American Psycho reference (Christmas party scene). I am not sure where you would actually find one of these things. Also, Wendy is half Vietnamese and I am almost positive pot belly pigs come from Vietnam so that might be sort of cool in some kind of extremely strained coincidence kind of way. I am not convinced this is really for us though. Again, the fact is I will always look at any pig and thing of bacon and that my friend is far too powerful a thought to keep any living creature alive.
Hamster. Again, I don't get why people have these things in the first place. IT'S A RAT YOU IDIOT! I never had one of these things as a kid and I never wanted one. All I can think of when I see these things is college psychology, an absolute joke of a course that my friend Garrett and I took in order to fulfill our lab requirement, an unfortunate by product of our liberal arts education. We would have to drive out to the Psychology lab building which was the only off campus building at our extremely small college. We had to administer a series of test to a small white rat that involved some kind of sugar tabet reward situation that smacked of a Department of Labor violation. The class was filled with freshmen and was an absolute nightmare except for the fact that our rat was apparently utterly brilliant and finished every test in record time and we had a pledge in the lecture section of our class with a girlfriend majoring in psychology. In the end Garrett and I got the notes to lecture before every test from the pledge's girlfriend and our rat got killed regardless of his brilliance. The whole thing is a sad commentary on elitism in our society. In conclusion, I refuse to own anything rat like.
The Solution. I know what you are thinking dear reader. You are despondant. Worried. On edge. Anxious that the fair Wendy will leave your faithful correspondant due to his inability to settle on an appropriate pet. Fear not.
It was last week. I was sitting at my cube at my summer internship. Just another mindless drone in corporate American- sticking it to the Man by slacking off for a few moments and reading my dear roommate Matt's webpage. It hit me. I know it may seem a bit odd to all you non computer literate using troglodytes, but Wendy and I initially started talking with the aid of the now wildly popular website www.myspace.com that was purchased by Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp (a company I was once a share holder in) for an estimated 600 million dollars. Matt compared the invention of MySpace to the invention of the pet rock a wildly popular fad during one of those decades before I was born. The thing is-- the pet rock is referred to in the epic movie Office Space (and by Matt in his post) as a way in which an average man invented something that delivered an average man from his tedium as an average office employee into a level of financial stability that allowed him to escape the nonesensical situation of most professions. Given my recent comments about careers and wanting to spend time with my family, friends, and girlfriend-- what better representation of my feelings than the Pet Rock, a pet that represents the dream of independance from the bullshit of office life and meaningless designations and oppression.
I love you Wendy. I'd like to name him Murry if that's ok with you.