You dog, you

Lately my wife's been talking about getting a puppy. She looks through the online animal shelter listings and researches the personalities of various breeds—then she disregards all that and then chooses the one she finds most appealing.

She doesn't seem to realize she's already got a puppy—Me. I can do everything a dog can do—and more. Of course, maybe the "and more" is the problem.

I think the reason she doesn't get this is because most of the time I don't act like a puppy. Why not? Because she doesn't treat me like one.

No, she mistakenly treats me like an adult, which is, of course, always a mistake. If she insists on treating me like an adult, then what choice do I have but to try to act like one (notice I said "try to"). And what fun is that going to be for her?

I have tried, over our many years of marriage, to explain this to her. But her response is always something like, "I'm not going to be the only adult around here." Well, since she probably already is, why not just face the fact and get on with it? Then maybe she'll see the puppy in me.

I explain that if she'll only treat me like a puppy, instead of a man or Pit Bull, then I'd be a friendly little loveable cuddly puppy for her. I would even promise never to eat the sofa leg, or have an accident on the carpet.

But no, she just comes back with, "why do I have to be the one to change?" and then whole question becomes moot. She could be getting impressive results using nothing more than a dog training manual. Instead, she's falling into the whole "adult" quagmire.

When I was younger I used to think that people just turned into adults and never knew what hit them. Now that I've lived a few more years I'm fully aware that most people are fully aware of what's hit them, they just can't find people who'll treat them like they aren't adults so they feel compelled to act like adults—and there you have the root cause of most of the problems in the world.

Because (and this is the big "adult secret" that we're not supposed to tell anyone under 21, so if you're under 21 and reading this, make sure to pay special attention because this may be the only time you'll hear it) most people really are only acting like adults. Inside we're all like 5 year olds—immature and needy and doing really stupid things because of it. But we can't let "the children" know this, so they grow up and go through the same stupid cycle.

The solution, in this case, is in the hands of women. Yes, it really is. Women have to take the initiative because they are the smarter sex. It's kind of like noblesse oblige. I just read that the Y chromosome that makes men has only 1% of the genes X chromosomes have. Dr. David Page of the International Human Genome project called the "Y" "A rotted out version of the X." Well, that explains a lot, doesn't it? I personally find that a tremendous relief, not to mention a darn good excuse.

Maybe it's also our genes and prehistoric need to hunt that makes us appear active, while we're really just reacting—waiting for something to move so we can spear it and good look in front of the ladies.

The truth is that men are really more about REACTION than action. It starts when we're babies. If our mother smiles, we smile. If our mother looks worried, we're worried. I saw it on PBS, so it has to be true.

Now, I know there are a few macho men out there (especially those too young to know better) who are thinking, "Hey, I'm the top dog. I don't need no b*tch telling me what to do." To those guys I say, "You're young. You'll learn. And don't use that kind of language when talking about a lady." If you're not young and you still think that, I say "maybe this explains why you're alone." To the gays out there, I say, "One of you has to be the girl."

Besides, that tough Alpha Male posturing is all fine and good among other males, but it simply doesn't work with the females. They may think it's cute at first, but then they find it tiresome.

Our idiot Y chromosome may be making us act as if we're the dominant alpha-dogs, but in reality we know we're just looking for someone to pat our heads and say "What a good boy! What a good boy!" I know it. You know it. Admit it, and let your inner puppy out.

So, ladies, when you look at a man, just see us as the animals we are. At our best we're beloved pets. At our worst, we're vermin. But we can't help it. We were born that way.


Daniel Will-Harris


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