Is Your Man Ready for the Next Step? Take Him to a Pet Shop…

I first spied Tonya and Garrett at the pet shop in the nicer part of town.  They were in their mid-late 20‘s and had the typical yuppie look: Garrett in a light autumn sweater and American Eagle jeans and Tonya in capris and a cute boat neck shirt.  What caught my eye was the look on both of their faces.  Tonya pushed the cart through the aisle with a look of witless wonderment and Garrett looked marginally appeasing.  He was only going along to insure that they did not end up owners of a pet for which he had no use.  Garrett was nothing if not efficient, I surmised.  They made their way from puppy to puppy, Tonya chittering in a high baby voice and cooing and Garrett only producing a grimaced smile whenever Tonya looked back at him for approval.

He had probably been acquainted with far too many little yippie dogs that produced too much noise and commanded too little intelligence.  It was likely that he could not stand the vacuous expression that was bred into those punting-size dogs.  Then again, I could just be projecting my own dislike of small dogs upon him.  If he was like me, he’d want a dog that was big enough to kill a man, but intelligent enough not to.

Or perhaps it was commitment issues.  Was Tonya wearing a ring?  Nope.  Ah, that’s what his look meant.  Garrett wasn’t ready for the dog step.  That would mean long-term, and closer to a no-back-out plan.  He didn’t look like a man who readily jumped into responsibility; he was after all, still sporting the high school tin-tin hairdo.

After a brief chat, in which Garrett seemed to be thoroughly unsatisfied with all of the dog choices (coward), he directed Tonya to the fish aisle.  She pretended to be happy about the fact that Garrett was finally showing some real interest in a pet, but a fish?  That’s not a pet, that’s a meat type–probably the only meat she ate–she was thin and pale, so I assumed she was a vegetarian.  As Garrett pantomimed excitement and Tonya mirrored him, they sped their way through to the section I thought they should have gone to in the first place:  the small rodent section.  I thought this because, you know how some people look like their pets?  Well, what about before the pets are their pets?  Tonya looked like a hamster: long teeth, vacant but excited eyes, and I swear her nose even twitched at least once.  Garrett stopped fake raving about the fish and realized that this, this was doable.  He relaxed his face into something resembling a look of relief and Tonya looked excited–for real this time.  She and Garrett bonded over a little teddy bear hamster that she wanted to call Bobsy but Garrett said that sounded to much like a name from the 40’s.

“What about Ted?” he said.  Tonya, giggled and agreed that it was kind of ironic but probably a “fitting name for a hamster.”  And so, they gathered up all of the supplies needed to make Ted the Teddy Bear hamster happy and spent a little extra to get the cedar shaving instead of pine because Garrett said the cedar probably covered up the urine smell better than pine.

Off they went, Hamster holding hamster and Garrett getting off easy.  Nope, this wouldn’t last long.