Oh man. Technically I have only one offspring. But I’m going to start counting my wife as a second child. For starters, she has the culinary preferences of an eight year-old. Sarah’s favorite foods include Pop-Tarts, Cookie Crisp cereal, and Hostess Sno Balls.
Also consistent with eight year-olds, my wife cannot manage her anticipation of presents. Whenever her birthday looms, she presses me for hints. She’s like, “Have you bought it already? Do you know what you’re getting me? Is it in the house? Am I gonna like it?” She’ll happily participate in any inane game if it might yield a clue: hotter/colder, 20 questions, Ouija board.
Most tellingly, my wife cannot think beyond her immediate impulses. When we resolved to move to the suburbs, Sarah floated the idea of a horse. That’s right: a fucking horse. Who just goes and gets a horse? In the absence of adult supervision: my wife. That’s who.
Ignoring the obvious financial absurdites, I asked what she’d do with a horse in the winter. Sarah bit down on a finger and thoughtfully looked up towards the ceiling – like if she got the answer right, the horse was hers. She thought about it for a good 30 seconds, like it was Final Jeopardy. Spoiler: we are not getting a horse.
Her latest obsession is getting me to sign off on a dog. For our son. Sarah has this fantasy that a border collie will growl at bullies, herd our son away from downed power lines and, eventually, prep him for the SAT.
When I helpfully point out that we already have a dog, Sarah complains that PJ is snarly and uncooperative. She wants a more compliant dog that our son can poke, tweak and molest. She wants a puppy.
“But sweetheart,” I implore, “you don’t walk the dog you have. Who would take care of a second dog?” The answer is irrelevant, because Sarah will promise anything to get her wish. That’s how I ended up with a cat.
Exactly five years ago Sarah’s yoga teacher’s cat had kittens. Sarah made us visit the litter every weekend. Behold:
She begged to take one home. No. She’d hold up a mewing, helpless kitten and make a sad pouty face. No. I didn’t want to take care of a cat, so Sarah gave solemn assurances that I wouldn’t have to. She also made promises, took an oath, and I believe there is something in writing. So I relented. Guess who now takes care of the cat?
In her current pursuit of a dog, my wife points out our son’s blind love for all canines. She forgets that every weekend, some friend of ours is scrambling to line up a dog-sitter so they can go on vacation. Do you realize that a dog kennel costs the same as a car rental?
I’m holding my ground but the wife is relentless. I’d take it up with her this minute, but she’s asleep for the night, exhausted from horseback riding earlier. Looks like I’ll be walking her dog again tonight…