Mr. X is smitten with someone else. He likes her smile, he tells me. He likes how she’s always happy. I think I can even say that he’s besotted. Who is the mystery girl? The baby we met yesterday. For the first time, I think, he has told me that he wants to have a child because of a baby that we have met.
I’ve had this feeling before: this is the feeling that because something looks good on someone else, it must look good on you. This is the feeling that because someone else has a great puppy, you should have one too. This is the feeling that because someone has an adorable, sweet, smiling baby, we must have one too. I have even created a name for this: the Daily Puppy Effect.
The Daily Puppy is an addictive website that features – you guessed it – pictures of puppies, every day. No surprises, for sure, but there is always an adorable picture (or two, or five) of an adorable puppy accompanied by glowing words written by their ‘mom’ or ‘dad’ about how this puppy has wormed its way in the person’s heart (in a matter of minutes!) and is the best thing that’s ever happened to them. Blah, blah, blah.
Here’s the thing. Before I started visiting the Daily Puppy, I really had no thoughts about getting a dog. They were nice, I liked them, but I had no desire, no urge to have barkus interruptus in my house. I was very happy with my kitties. But, every day I went to that website and I saw people talk about how much they loved having a dog and how this dog has changed their lives, I began to warm to the idea.
It percolated for about a year before it came to a head and I knew that I had to get a dog. And so, we got G. And, yes, I can say he’s changed my life. I have at least one moment a day when I look at him and my heart just melts. I also have at least one moment a day where my nose wrinkles at the smell of his unbelievably toxic gaseous emissions. I have at least one moment a day where I see him bring joy to the life of another. I also have at least moment a day where he drives me crazy barking at the neighbor’s truck.
The thing is that usually when I have the Daily Puppy feeling and I act on it, it never meets my (overinflated) expectations. Getting G has been an excellent example. I didn’t fall in love with him right away, nor was I unable to imagine life without him. But, I eventually did fall in love with him, and yes, now I cannot imagine life without him.
I hope that Mr. X is not disappointed or disillusioned once we have a child. If he only compares the experience with those that others have, he will likely be disappointed, at least temporarily, because our experience will inevitably be different. And, the readjustment period can be brutal. But, it may also be that our experience will be far more rich than we could have ever dreamed.