Tuesday, September 25, 2007


You know what I don't get? Childless people that get offended when you talk about children. Procreation is a fact of life people, whether you like it or not. You know what I also don't get? People that think of their dogs AS children. Before I get some pet advocates jumping down my throat let me elaborate my point. I TOTALLY get that pets are loved and cherished. They are always loyal and always there for you. But I've had pets and children - and I'm sorry to say it: my dog never held a candle to the love I felt for my babies. Not saying this means I didn't love my dog. Of course I did!!! He was most probably the best companion we could have ever asked for. But before I had kids (and just had the dog), I certainly never tried to compare my bond with the dog, as the same bond someone had with their newborn baby. And I certainly didn't get bent out of shape when people discussed their children in front of me.

Wonder where I am going with this. Wellllllll, you know it's coming!

I went to a birthday party for a friend of ours. She is currently pregnant with her third child, due next month. There were other acquaintances at this party, some we are also friends with, and some not so much. One person in particular, is a non-mutual friend, and would be the childless person in question. So of course, the hostess being pregnant and all, we were discussing birth and things she was starting to think about in terms of having the baby. Very logical topic I would say. Well every time we'd talk, all of a sudden this childless woman would interject with something about her dog. At first I just thought, ok, maybe she's feeling left out of the conversation. So we turned the topic to dog shows, breeds of dogs... and I might add she's also a vet. Anyways, we discussed dogs for a LONG time - long enough that I think that it's safe to return to the original baby discussion. You can tell she's getting annoyed by it. Rolling eyes, closing of eyes like she's being tortured with a potato peeler - seriously I was about to ask her if she was having a seizure.

So onto the dessert - I'm sitting there eating and the hostess's husband asks me about my epidurals I've had, since his wife has never had one. We're discussing it, and all of a sudden, I swear to God, childless woman shouts out, "I had to cut a cancerous toe off of a dog today. It was so gross!" I think every person in the room stopped their forks mid-mouth and just gaped at her. She's smiling away, because she has our attention (albeit by the grossest means necessary). I instantly get it - she's a major attention whore. Delighted in the fact she has everyone's undivided attention, she then goes on to tell us how she just snapped it off, lickity split. OK, well I don't really want to eat my dessert now. I'm totally disturbed by this mental image of some poor dogs diseased digits. I'm also wondering how she could think this was a good topic to discuss? I mean seriously, people are eating and you start to talk about rotten old dog toes. And for the rest of the night, this was how conversations went. Topic of interest - interjection about her dog - we talk about her dog. Any time I even brought up the kids, her eyes started to roll around her head like Cookie Monster. I'm assuming she'd prefer a dog biscuit though over an Oreo.

At the end of the night, we all gathered at the door, and politely said happy birthday, gave hugs, and looked outside at the pouring rain wondering if it would momentarily stop long enough to dash out. Jarrett said it was time to get home, because we had a babysitter. Childless woman states, "I'm so glad I never have to deal with that! I have my dogs!" OMG seriously!! You have your dogs! Does she realize that she sounds as ludicrous as some deranged cat-lady? Is she going to start wearing her housecoat every day? We get it - you don't want kids... you like to only have dogs! At this point, I'd rather be hit by lightening than sit in the foyer with this crazy person a moment longer!

Now my psychological theory will be presented shortly. Because let's face it, there is a reason for everything a person does. Things are never as simple as saying "I just like dogs". I'm pretty sure she's a little jealous over the fact that A) she's not in a relationship, B) she's not that young anymore, and C) all her friends are married with children now. It wouldn't be a stretch to assume that she wishes she was involved in A, B and C. However, she could just really hate kids and love being a dog owner.

My conclusion is this: not everyone wants the same things in life. Not everyone achieves the same goals in life. It has never been in my nature to sit there and condemn other people who have different interests than myself. I get that not everyone is maternal. Hell, not everyone is an animal lover. In these cases, it's probably best to not bring children into this world or own a chinchilla. But I will tell you this - you will never find me inappropriately talking about gross things about my children to sway the conversation in my favor. As for cancer dog toe lady, one thing can be said. She really likes her dog.


Anonymous said...

I conclude with your psychological evaluation. Maybe by convincing herself - over and over and over in as loud and obnoxious a way as possible - that all she needs is her dogs, that that's really the case. In any case, it doesn't seem she's really happy if she has to act like that. People like that make me very thankful.

CDPJ said...

Ew. I almost threw up in my mouth a little just reading about the cancerous dog toe. I can't imagine having heard it live and in person OVER DESSERT!! She reminds me of that new SNL character that's always interjecting into people's conversations and claiming to have done what they're talking about doing, only better. Have you seen that? It's classic!

Sunshine said...

I know a few childless people who think of their pets as their "kids". One woman I know, who has been a dog owner for 20-plus years even has a place in her house with urns full of the ashes of those fondly remembered pups.
We have a dog, and four kids, and I would not in a million years suggest the dog is on the same level as the kids, but that's just me. We love her, but she's not our "child".
I think your assessment that she really needed attention was right on...bizarre.

Slick said...

Get this woman's phone number for me!!

You did say WHORE, right?

I'll kick anything smaller than me anyhow...

Mommy's Getaway (TamP) said...

You mean you didn't love your dog like you love your child??? What is wrong with you????? Kidding, just kidding!

The only thing that I can think of that is worse than that lady - my in-laws. And the reason is because they have a kid (my husband) and they have (and had) dogs. I swear to you by everything that is holy, they love (and loved) those dogs more than they do my husband. His birthday rolled around, he got $29 bucks for his 29th birthday - first time they have EVER done that. The reason - the dog needed a back specialist, expensive surgery for a slipped disc, water therapy for 6+ months, acupunture, pain killers, etc etc etc.

Ok, that was a long comment.

The toe thing...ewh! I am glad I wasn't eating - I can't imagine what everyone else was going through.

Lainey-Paney said...

...or maybe she can't get pregnant, has been trying to conceive for years, and secretly longs to participate in the mommy talk...and is trying to join in as best she can.

...and, if she doesn't have kids...she truly can't fathom the depth of the love.
I know I couldn't really understand it or appreciate it until I had my own child. I mean, I THOUGHT I understood...but looking back--I didn't have a clue.

But you're right---we all want different things out of life. I have a very good friend who is childless by choice. She enjoys my child in small doses, and will listen to me go on & on about him...but children were never for her. She lacks the patience (she'll admit that)!

Maria said...

Oh, wow...Jill...I though the exact same thing...about that SNL character who always has to one up someone.