“I just do not understand,” Chuck said to me. “If there’s something I want, her time, her help with a project, sex, whatever, Diane [his wife] is always too tired, too busy, or just not interested. But if you saw her around a stray dog, you would think she was the most loving person in the world. She’d do anything for an animal, or for a charity project, but not for me. I sometimes wish I were a dog. I don’t get it.”
“It’s quite understandable, actually,” I said. “When she feeds a stray dog, she gets immediate and predictable gratification. The dog wags his tail, curls around her leg – you know, all that happy animal stuff. Same with a charity, where all the committee members fall all over themselves thanking her for the work she does to help them. It’s all just a great big celebration of trading in Imitation Love.”
I continued. “But it’s different with you, I’m afraid. You’ve both exchanged a lot of wounds. You’re not quite so predictably grateful and sunny when she does things for you, and sometimes you can be a bit demanding. Stray dogs aren’t demanding. They’re innocent and pleading, and she loves the role of saving them.”
If we could remember to be more grateful and far less demanding, we wouldn’t have to be dogs to get a pat on the head occasionally.
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