Fifty Shades of Dog - What Women Really Want in a Man
Fifty Shades of Grey is, no doubt, a polarizing book. Count me among the women who simply did not get how anyone could be so obsessed with Christian Grey.
I had a few problems with him, such as his stalking and his weird fits of anger, but I really knew the second we entered his apartment that Mr. Grey could never be the man of my dreams. After all, he didn’t have any pets, and that, out of all the other transgressions of character — that will never do. I tried to imagine how a person like him would react to my Golden aggressively drooling on his assorted designer ties, and it all went downhill from there.
I admit it: I’m a sucker for dogs. When I’m walking down the street and a really cute Boston is heading in the other direction, my head swivels around like one of those shampoo commercials where the guy on the sidewalk walks into a telephone pole when the female object of his admiration prances by. I can’t help it. I’ve been this way since I was about five.
I’m oblivious to the person on the other end of the leash most of the time, dropping to my knees and cooing in appreciation before looking up and striking up a conversation with the owner.
Most people understand my motivations are pure, though there have been a few tense moments when a nervous looking man stares at me in horror a second or two before his significant other swoops in to give him a dirty look. They are faultless, of course. The dogs run to me of their own volition, sensing a person who very possibly has some meat residue in her pockets.
I understand why people mistake my genuine interest in pets as a covert attempt to meet the person; after all, the "dog as wingman" trope has been around as long as Budweiser’s been making commercials, perhaps longer. Which is why I read an article revealing that Young women find dogs sexier than smartphones, according to a Retrevo.com study, with such bemused interest.
Was anyone surprised by this?
My husband works in the cell phone industry, and I will tell you with complete conviction that not once in our seventeen year history have I once had any interest in the myriad of gadgets he’s pulled out of his briefcase. If anything, they drive me more and more nuts. The flip phone led to the smart phone and now the fitbits, the wifi enabled lightbulbs, and a bunch of other devices I am completely ambivalent about.
I love him despite his gadget obsession, not because of it. Let me put it to you this way: On Valentine’s Day, while we were waiting to be seated at a cozy Italian restaurant, he asked his wrist watch to record The Walking Dead on our home TiVo. Yes, his watch. I was not nearly as impressed as he thought I was going to be.
When I first met him, he lived in a house with two other guys and a really funny cat. The cat wasn’t his, but he got a roommate bump in my estimation for liking the cat. His other roommate had a pufferfish who would jump up and down out of the tank every time it saw one of the guys head into the kitchen, where they would grab a piece of frozen shrimp and toss it to the appreciative creature.
To this day he thinks he won me over with tickets to David Copperfield, but in reality, I was his the moment he stopped what he was doing to go feed a happy fish. When we bought our first house and I finally had room for pets of my own, I brought home three animals before we had a dining room set. Then it became a home.
Last week, well-known writer and director Kevin Smith lost his Labrador Mulder. The often wry and subversive Smith posted a heartfelt picture on Facebook, showing him cradling the dog while he looked off to the side with a tear streaked face. The post had something like 52,000 comments.
“That dog made me a better human being,” he said, and that about sums it up. Perhaps on some base level we know this intuitively, and this is why so many of us automatically gravitate towards people who seek out the joy and love pets bring to our lives. Tell me the last time anyone said that about a laptop.
There aren’t a lot of deal breakers in my life when it comes to relationships. Root for whatever sport team you want. I don’t care if you’re Apple or Android. The toilet paper can go over or under and I will manage. But if you don’t like dogs, well, you won’t like me. Anyone else out there feel the same?
Dr. Jessica Vogelsang