Very few things can be more traumatizing than getting caught in the act. I can only think of a few and I think most of them involve Gary Coleman. Entering the home stretch, the last thing you want is to be interrupted by anything. It’s like finishing a marathon. You’ve had Vaseline on your nipples and a diaper around your waist for over 26 miles and you know all you have to do is stay standing and follow the Kenyan, except in our case it’s remembering the other person’s name and setting the alarm clock.
When I was a senior in high school, I was caught in the act and it was one of the worst moments of my life. Passionately engaged in a moment of mutual self-exploration with my first, and only, girlfriend, the door to my room slowly began to creek open. Quickly my head snapped around and I saw a face staring at me. I looked into her dark, brown eyes and I knew I had disappointed her.
There were so many things I was supposed to be doing that day instead of netting this girl who only liked me because I could help her with her homework. I had promised her that I’d take her to the park. I had promised her we’d go running. I had promised her we’d take a bath. Instead of doing all those things, I ruined the innocence of my dog, Judy.
People say that there is nothing worse than getting caught by your parents. I disagree. Seeing the traumatized look in my dog’s eyes I knew that I had put down a part of our relationship. It was like I had given my dog emotional rabies and I then to take her out to pasture. Without thinking, I kicked the girl out of my room. I’m not sure she understood what was happening but it didn’t matter to me. I had a lot of explaining to do. Judy couldn’t tell me what she was thinking, but I knew in my heart what had happened. She heard me having fun in the other room and just wanted to join in — after all, she followed me around everywhere! I have never felt guiltier or dirtier in my life.
Maybe people who don’t have pets won’t understand, but there is a bond between you and your pet. I have a gay friend who came out to his dog after he came out to parents. Why? It was hard, but it was the right thing to do.
His dog left him. But it doesn’t matter.
These animals occupy a part of our childhood that can never be replaced. If you didn’t have a pet, you might have bought a Tamagotchi, thereby rescuing Japan from its economic malaise. Then maybe you would understand. Unlike your girlfriend, your electronic pet would come when you hit its button — no matter how hard.
However, there is an extreme to how much you can love your pet. I mean, my dog caught me filibustering a girl, but there are some people who “engage” their dogs. I’m not lying. See, some people think their pets are little people too. This is called anthropomorphizing. While I may talk to my dog and respect my dog, deep inside I have yet to envision my dog as a small midget on a leash.
People who do this do are weird. They are the people who dress their dogs up, not on Halloween, but to go get milk.
That’s the lady who lives across from me. She has five shiatsus. They all wear skirts. She gives those dogs more tongue action than a freaked=out adolescent boy during his first kiss. She has a baby monitor outside on their porch so she can hear them in case something goes wrong. She has a memorial to her sixth shiatsus that died last year in her garden. That plaque has more gold leafed on it than the ceiling of Woolsey Hall.
Behavior like this has led to an explosion of dog-loving consumers who will do anything for their pets. I saw an ad on TV last week during the “Ricki Lake Show” for Psychic Torolia. She would help you communicate with your pet for a nominal fee. That is ridiculous. That is not a job. She should call GESO. They could relate. There is no way the degree she had on her wall was real.
I’d like to think that while rocking Judy to sleep that night was abnormal, it was understandable. Your pet is your perfect friend. You only show them the good side of you, or at least you pretend that that is all they see. They are never around when you are looking at porn on your grandma’s computer, but they are always there when you are buying cookies from Girl Scouts.
My relationship ended shortly after that incident, but that’s ok with me. I knew that there was something far better than a girl waiting for me at the other end of my marathon — my brown, eyed girl.
Steve Abramowitz is group IV. He is also performing right now on Cross Campus.