A recent conversation:
ME. Okay. Try this: Say we’re dating.
HIM. How does The Boy feel about it?
ME. It’s a metaphor. Roll with it. So we’re dating, we’re living together, and you bring home a dog, and I’m pissed.
HIM. You like dogs.
ME. I like big dogs. This is a little terrier kind of dog, and he’s twitchy and yappy and clingy, and he chews on stuff, and he keeps peeing.
HIM. Is this about Skip?
ME. No, this isn’t about Skip. This is a metaphor. He’s a metaphorical dog. His name is Vehicle. So we break up, and you move out.
HIM. Why do we break up?
ME. Probably because you interrupt me all the time. You move into an apartment that doesn’t allow pets, so I’m stuck with Vehicle.
HIM. Why do–
ME. He’s chewing stuff up, he’s peeing everywhere, I can’t have friends over because the house is in such terrible shape, I have to be home with him all the time to keep an eye on him–it sucks. And I decide to take him to the Humane Society.
HIM. Why would you do that? I want him.
ME. I’m sure you do, but your apartment doesn’t take pets. And he can’t stay in mine.
HIM. Well, he’s half my dog.
ME. He sure is. But I don’t want him in my house. Can you keep him somewhere that isn’t my house?
HIM. And my apartment doesn’t take dogs?
HIM. Well, no, then, but I can still help take care of him.
ME. What, can you watch him for me 24 hours a day?
HIM. I can give you money.
ME. Money isn’t going to un-chew my baseboards. It’s not going to replace my grandmother’s sofa that he ruined. If this were just about money, it would be an entirely different story. This is about permanent changes to my life.
HIM. You don’t just get to give him away. I have half rights to that dog.
ME. But you don’t have any rights to my house. I’m the boss of my house. You don’t get to just keep your stuff there, tearing my stuff up, making irreversible changes to my house and my lifestyle, just because you don’t have anywhere else to keep it. You don’t have the right to tell me what to do with my house, whether your dog is staying there or not.
HIM. But it’s my dog.
ME. But it’s my uterus.
HIM. So… the Bulldogs, yeah?
ME. Pretty strong recruiting class this season.
HIM. Yeah. Pretty strong.