WHILE A SUCCESSION OF OMENS might signal the impending death of a relationship, most are either ignored or simply explained away with the desperate rationale that comes so easily to a person still grasping at an emotional illusion that was once a comforting reality. Regardless, there is one sign that can never be dismissed – the moment when you realize that you love your dog more than you are ever going to love your boyfriend.
You know it’s over when the questions begin looping through your mind like a carousel of guilt. And they’re all about ultimate choices. Who would you save first in a burning building? If you were all in a life boat, with whom would you share your last scrap of desiccated seagull? And when the zombies are only inches from nipping at your heels – who do you trip first?
The scales fell from my eyes when my ex-boyfriend (of course he’s now my ex – if not what’s the point?), accidentally cut himself shaving. He must have gashed himself rather badly because he let out an agonized cry that would have cheered the even the seediest of terrorists.
“Damn, I just cut the crap out of myself!” he bellowed.
I took another sip of my coffee and yawned.
“There are bandages in the hallway cabinet,” I offered. Though I may have sounded heartless, I was not indifferent to his injury. It’s just that if you search for “Drama Queen” on Google Images, his photo always pops up first.
On the way out of the bathroom, he stepped on my dog’s paw.
Out of respect for all the owners of the countless breeds and mutts in the Universe, I will not reveal the breed of my beloved because like all dog lovers, I know deep down inside that mine is the best. What I will tell you is that my dog yelped pathetically and I instantly popped out of my kitchen chair, involuntarily decorating my t-shirt with a piping hot stain the color of French Roast with extra cream.
It was as if all of my maternal instincts suddenly flashed into overdrive and I bolted. I became the 3rd Class mother in steerage, frantically exhorting the two ladies from First Class to shove their fat asses over when informed that the last lifeboat is full. I raced around the corner to find my dog quizzically looking up at me with my boyfriend standing behind him with his arms folded and a look of severe emotional distress I’d never seen on his face before – outside of Google Images.
“You love your dog more than me,” he muttered.
Fade to black.
Think you have a lot in common with your future breeding partner? Go on a trip. No, not that one. I mean the one where you take a bus, a train or a plane to some remote and hopefully romantic destination. If you really want to test the limits of your love, you’ve gotta make it a road trip—with no money or credit cards. And you’ve gotta live completely off the land, without stealing or trespassing. Even though this song was released in 1971, it completely embodies the free wheeling spirit of the 1960s. It’s a great, fun song, but how many people do you know who went on a long road trip with zero money, who then returned home absolutely thrilled by the experience? Exactly. But hey, at least she had Boo.
Note: Our bassist Mayrk absolutely loves this song, but please don’t tell anyone. He has a badass image he’d like to maintain and he’s already furious that we nicknamed him Panda.
2) “Mandy,” by Barry Manilow
Originally titled “Brandy,” people firmly believed for years that this song was written about the writer’s dog. Sadly, it’s just another urban myth. But who cares? People still believe it and in my book, that still makes it real. And don’t ever tell me that Zeus, Apollo or Venus were myths unless you’re curious to feel a Gibson Flying V upside your head. Myths are cool. Reality sucks.
3) “Diamond Dogs,” by David Bowie
This song rocks with all of the raw decadence that only 1974 Bowie could muster, and the first two songs on my list are so saccharine that it’s like starting dinner with a double scoop of dessert. I love all three of these songs and I actually listened to them shortly after my break-up with Drama Queen. My dog couldn’t understand the lyrics, but he saw that I was happy and he loved the cowbell beginning on “Diamond Dogs.”