I am not sure how anyone decides to have children. Now, I realize that some people don’t actually decide. (It just happened!) We’ll have to make fun of those people later. I also realize that for other people it’s really just a question of “when.” But for us, it was most definitely a question of “if.” And I am sad to report that I still don’t have the answer after more than ten years of intensive research, which probably explains why my credentials are often questioned and my funding has been yanked for this project. But I will continue the research. Because the world must know the truth.
And the truth is that this decision is extremely personal, which is why I’m blogging about it, of course. And why we are debating this question in Washington DC, constantly, because someone needs to be in charge of all this baby-making madness! We should also pass a law about which haircuts people can have and whether men should wear earrings. Because some things are just not appropriate in America and personal decisions should not be left up to actual people.
But I digress.
There is one thing that really helped me decide whether I was actually psychologically prepared to raise a whole, actual human and then cast them off into this wacky world when we were both ready — which would probably be never.
This thing was having dogs.
Before we had kids, we had four dogs: Raleigh, Kitty Butler, The Mouse and Frankie. At one point, we owned all of these animals at the same time. I would not recommend this approach, but shit happens. And that will be Friday’s post, maybe. Or next Wednesday depending on how long this Frankie story takes. But today’s post is about Frankie, who is really almost a technicality when it comes to dog ownership. But when you’re gay and having kids, everything, and I mean everything is about technicalities. But again, I digress.
I found Frankie on the sidewalk one day while walking down a busy street in our old neighborhood. She was a puppy miniature pinscher chihuahua mix with no collar. I freaked out, like I always do when I see a cute dog. But this was not a good freak out. It was a bad one. But you couldn’t tell, because I was trying to be calm for Frankie (that wasn’t her name, yet). If I panicked, she would panic, run into the street and I would have live the rest of my life knowing what it looked like when a chihuahua was crushed under a steel-belted radial tire. So this was life or death, people. And this was my moment. I couldn’t freak out.
So I approached her very slowly and bent down. She came to me and I picked her up. I was carrying a Lady Gaga purse made out of bacon, so that helped. And I am the chihuahua whisperer. One of my little-known, unpublished (until now) areas of expertise. Frankie started licking my neck. It must have had some bacon on it.
Then, I started knocking on peoples’ doors to see if I could find her owner. I was in luck. I found a house with a wooden gate with a hole chewed in the bottom and went to the door where a 20-ish guy with saggy pants and poor grammar answered the door.
Me: Is this your dog?
Me: She got out.
Him: I know it’s always doing that.
The guy looked really irritated and put out that I had brought his dog back to him. And he was not making any body movements that indicated I could hand Frankie to him, even though I was holding her squirming body out to him with strong, outstretched arms that were clearly reaching in his direction.
Me: Do you want her?
Him: (Taking the dog) It’s not mine. It’s my sister’s. It’s always getting out.
Me: Do you want her? I mean, really want to keep her? Because I’ll take her.
Him: No. Not really. It’s my sister’s.
Me: Are you sure? I will take her right now, if you say that I can have her.
Him: Go for it.
Me (thinking) I just won a cute, free dog that loves my neck. I need to get out of here before this guy changes his mind.
I practically ran down the sidewalk and around the corner. I was afraid to look back. He might be chasing me with all his friends and his nunchucks or his PS3 controller. But he wasn’t. Oh well. Now what? I owned a chihuahua.