As I entered the pet store it reminded me eerily of my college days when I spent hours at bars hoping for some handsome stranger to materialize, buy me a drink and make me his forever.
Well, part of it came true. Handsome strangers did materialize and some even bought me drinks. But none made me theirs forever.
If you think that this is a sad thing then you’re wrong. This is just part of growing up and was sad once but not anymore. That’s probably partly because someone did ultimately make me his except it didn’t last for too long.
My boyfriend left me, not because we had a problem but because I didn’t get along with his dog. In the end, he chose the dog. Some might say that was humane. I drowned my opinions about it in tequila.
I felt an odd sense of power. As a millennial woman I haven’t had many moments of power so this became all-consuming for about two minutes. I felt like the fate of one of these animals depended on me much like my own did on men at various bars, job interviews and social events when I hoped to be chosen. Then I deflated. This was just a pet store. I wasn’t as powerful. I had a few bucks to find a pet that would help me feel less lonely and could be a nice alibi to run into men at the park while I pretended to walk them. The irony of this purchase wasn’t lost on me.
I had to get a dog, I knew. Manhattan has small apartments so it had to be smaller than the apartment. Only a dog needs regular walking. Cats wouldn’t do. I’m usually so emotional and hormonal between PMS and serial break-ups that another moody creature wouldn’t do.
And yet, those green eyes kept following me. A quiet meow that was sometimes husky and sometimes plain weak chased me. I wanted to examine it and give it a fair once-over before moving on but I knew that thing was too darn cute for me to resist so I moved on.
Dogs presented a better variety too. There were chihuahuas and Labradors and I wanted something cute and cuddly. Something that I could walk and not look lonely. Something that could understand my loneliness sometimes. Something that’d leave me alone if I so desired.
But the green eyes followed me. Its small head kept looking at me through rows and rows of cages. I tried to distract myself because my impulsive decisions have never served me right. But this wasn’t an impulsive decision! I reasoned with myself. This was a pet that was choosing me. For the first time someone wanted to be mine even though I was avoiding it.
Two hours later I brought home my little Chicago, with green eyes. I couldn’t walk her in the park, I mused. What the heck, I shrugged my shoulders. I wouldn’t have scored a boyfriend anyway.