A true testament of being the hydrant came this week. I should mention that the demographics have started to shift slightly in my department. These changes make me the only one in several categories, especially with the women. At 32, I’m the oldest. I’m the only sistah. And I learned recently that I’m the only one lacking something that every woman in their twenties and thirties tends to desire.
That’s right. I’m the only one without a ‘Dog.’
It was cool for awhile, being without a Dog. A coworker and I, Gabby, would go to the movies and for the occasional drink, while the rest of the chicks would be home tending to their Dogs. We’d laugh at them for their life choices. Surely they’d rather be with us, than with some mangy old beast that does nothing but eat, poop, and watch Sports Center. Surely they envied our independence, the fact that we could go out on a moment’s notice without worrying about what the Dog would eat for dinner or if it would be upset with us. We didn’t have to worry about phone calls in the middle of the day that documented whatever crisis the Dog may have gotten into. Gabby and I knew we had the upper hand. We chatted about Dogs a lot. We had our fair share and for a variety of reasons, we'd been solo for quite awhile.
Well, things started to change. Gabby started dressing nicer. She began laughing more. And her giggle, which is already a bit loud, got about five screeches higher. Then I learned through the rumor mill that it was true – dear Gabby had gotten a Dog. I congratulated her, then I thought about how the tide had shifted. All around me, there are women with Dogs. Some of the Dogs are good, some of the Dogs are bad. Some of the Dogs have officially been made members of the family, some of them (very few) have yet to make that step. Gabby is in the latter category, but things look promising.
There have been times when someone has asked me why I don’t have a Dog and I’ve been able to laugh it off. But with me now being the oldest woman – and the only one without a Dog – it’ll be interesting to see how I cope.
This week was a true testament to that. Another coworker – Phoebe – had a big announcement. Her Dog popped the question, so they are on their way to happyhood. I congratulated her, but I knew this would only be the beginning. I should mention that Phoebe is already unbearable on her birthday, running around every five minutes literally shouting “did you celebrate meeee today???”, so I knew she’d be particularly insane when it came to this. And I was right. She answered the phone several times to talk about how wonderful her dog was, her plans, etc etc. Between that and some other work challenges, I pulled a Ferris Bueller. I told them I wasn’t feeling well and I rushed to the mall and the movies. What’d I see? The Proposal! (But it was very funny, I might add)
I don’t like to compare my life to other women’s lives because that’s an impossible battle. I know we all have our personal struggles, whether our names be Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Florida Evans or Miranda Bailey. But dang it, I can covet with the best of em! There are times when I want nothing more than a good looking, fun loving Dog. One that won’t run away. One that won’t be impregnating all the other bitches in the neighborhood. One that will lick my face and nobody else’s. Then again, I wonder if I’m so set in my ways that a Dog wouldn’t fit well with my lifestyle. Another thought occurred to me recently: do I really want a Dog, or is it just that everyone’s pressuring me to get one? Deep thoughts.
Either way, I am genuinely happy for Gabby and Phoebe and I’ve told them so. I’ve even gotten used to Phoebe’s constant recounting of her popping the question story. I managed to give kind words with a smile. I can only hope I’ll be able to do the same the next time someone asks me when I’ll get a Dog.