Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Pressure/Puppy Paradox

Getting a dog of my own was always something I threatened to do. It began the week after I left home and settled into the residence halls for undergrad. I remember telling my boyfriend (aka Dr. D) that I'd found a loophole in the university's pet policy, which only allowed pets that were fully submerged in water: "I'll just, you know... throw the dog in a bucket of water whenever the RA comes by." As you can see, my threats to get a dog were always fairly empty. My puppy lust usually correlated with my stress level, so I would typically go through a couple days of intense longing for puppy breath on my face, and then when my exam was over or my paper was finished, I could get back to living my normal, dog obsession-less life.

Fast forward five years. Past graduation, past the proposal, past Dr. D getting notified that he was accepted to med school, past the wedding aaaaaand... about half-way through our cross country move. Just Dr. D and me, together in our gas-guzzling (but oh-so-free) mom-mobile for three days straight with nothing to do but eat MSG-licious gas station snacks, listen to Order of the Phoenix on audiobook, and, oh yeah, talk about this thing we got ourselves in to called marriage.

At some point over those three days of conversation--which ranged from "what the heck is 85 octane?" to "yeah, 'Thor' is pretty awesome, but what about girl baby names?"--I felt compelled to casually bring up the possibility of getting a dog.

"Okay, so no kids for a while. How about a dog?"

"Yeah!"

Upon first reading, I know that looks like an emphatic heck-yes-let's-get-a-dog-right-NOW! kind of response from Dr. D. But here's what doesn't translate to writing: another thing I've learned that Dr. D does (which he will deny to the grave, I imagine) is when he doesn't really want to do something or agree with something but he also doesn't want the other person to know that he doesn't, his voice gets really high-pitched. Just shy of shrill, really. So read the above exchange again, keeping that in mind.

Hmm.

I don't remember exactly where the conversation turned from there, but I do remember mentally filing the dog issue into my "keep talking about it occasionally to warm him up to the idea" category (also in this category: buying shoes that aren't from Aldo, the tv show Weeds, Lilith Fair, and cheese).

But then something odd happened. We got settled in to our new place, I started my job, Dr. D started classes, and then
he started hounding (hah!) me about getting a dog. Apparently without making the conscious effort to do so, I had started talking so much about dog ownership and being on the fence about it that Dr. D practically had to wrestle me over the edge. I was so stressed about being in a new place in a new job with a new husband who had all this new pressure that my puppy lust came back in full force and I didn't even realize it! All the stress was making me crave a dog, but I was too stressed to fathom actually getting one. Thank goodness for my husband...

"Seriously! Let's just get a dog. I mean it." Normal pitch and everything, ladies and gents. That's love.

And so, we ended up with the ferociously fluffy, always awkward J-dog. But that's a story and a lesson for another time.

J-dog turned 2 today :]

1 comments:

daniellui said...

"Upon first reading, I know that looks like an emphatic heck-yes-let's-get-a-dog-right-NOW! kind of response from Dr. D. But here's what doesn't translate to writing: another thing I've learned that Dr. D does (which he will deny to the grave, I imagine) is when he doesn't really want to do something or agree with something but he also doesn't want the other person to know that he doesn't, his voice gets really high-pitched. Just shy of shrill, really. So read the above exchange again, keeping that in mind."

- YES! man i miss dr. d.

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