A Different Kind of Love Story

As a recovering romantic comedy addict, I am obsessed with “meet cutes”. The meet cute is the way that your leading man and leading lady meet in the movie. It’s usually something adorable like bumping into each other in the hallway and dropping all their stuff. Or meeting at a party, hating each other and then falling in love. I love asking people how they met their significant other. It’s always such a great story.

Mine is not that great. It is one sentence. “We met online”. There are cute stories that go along with our relationship, but our meet cute is not so cute. That always really bugged me. Having seen some of the best meet cutes Hollywood has to offer (Sleepless in Seattle, While You Were Sleeping, Notting Hill…I could go on forever), I have always been disappointed that our story wasn’t Hollywood material. I always thought that when I met that special someone, that it would be cinema worthy. I tried and tried and failed and failed. I tried to make my romantic life like something Nora Ephron would have written so much that I wrote a show about it. Then I just went online.

But love is strange and comes in many forms. And your meet cute doesn’t always happen on the first date or the first moment. Sometimes you get a meet cute almost 4 years in.

About 2 weeks ago, I was in Memphis, visiting my family and running wedding related errands. Three days before my return to Los Angeles, I get a text from my fiance, “Call me ASAP”. He’s not an ASAP kind of person, he doesn’t throw that acronym around like most people do. This was serious. This was either a very good or a very bad thing. It could be “I’ve been given a raise and we need to move to Australia next week” or it could mean “The house burned down.” So, a little nervous, I call him back.

“What’s happening?!”

“Well, I was moving my car from the driveway….and there was a four-legged creature underneath and now he’s run into the garage.”

Now I knew there were raccoons around our house, I had recently had a hostile encounter with a very courageous and stubborn guy in our driveway. After he tells me this, I immediately think he’s been bitten and has rabies and the raccoon has decided that he lives in our house now. He says that it is not a raccoon. It’s a canine. And looks to be a puppy. With no collar or tags.

My campaign for a dog has been going on since before we moved to Los Angeles. I kicked it up to 11 when we moved into a house that not only had a backyard, but a neighbor with a friendly and loveable boxer who clearly needed a friend. We talked about possible dog names the way other couples discuss baby names. We decided that Carl was a distinguished and hilarious name and after watching that episode of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” with Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner, we decided that Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks should be our dogs’ names. As far as breed, I wanted a poodle, he wanted a lab…so a big labradoodle it was. I was ready to go to a breeder yesterday. But because my fiance is a practical person, he convinced me that we should get a puppy until after we got married and went on our honeymoon.

“Well, what are you going to do with him?”

“I’m going to take him to the vet to see if he’s chipped or has any diseases…don’t get excited. I’ll call you when I get back.”

I waited those hours with bated breathe and excitement. A puppy! In our house! I imagined all the fun we’d have and snuggling we would do! I thought about hours of fetch in the park and having puppy play dates at the beach! When he called back, he spoke with restrained joy.

“Well, no microchip. No parvo. But he has worms and fleas.”

“So that means….”

“He doesn’t officially belong to anyone. I will post some ads online, but….the vet thinks he was abandoned so…”

“So…..”

“So….we have a puppy.”

“What kind of puppy?”

I could hear my fiance wrinkle his nose a little. “He’s small…..probably a Chihuahua….”

But it didn’t matter to be because I have A PUPPY! I HAVE A PUPPY!!! The last three days in Memphis went by so slowly. And finally I arrived home, late at night ready to run into the arms of a joyful pup!

He barked and growled and ran from me terrified and hid behind the dryer. I was devastated. It was not the love at first sight situation I had imagined.

For the next two days, I was on the floor with treats begging, pleading, cooing, and at one point crying to get him to be my friend. I fed him and walked him. I had fleeting moments of his tenderness but nothing that trumped his undying love for my fiance. And my fiance was loving it. And the dog. He was obsessed with their little boys’ club and I could see how in love he was with the dog. It was very sweet and endearing to see him doting on this tiny dog. But I wanted my cuddle time. I was getting sad and irritated, and to be honest, I kind of hated the puppy. Why didn’t he love me?! One morning, after a particularly hard night full of whining and pooping, he woke up, saw me, and wagged his tail. I was in! After that, it’s been love. It’s classic Hollywood. Boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl. Boy meets dog, boy loves dog. Girl meets dog….they hate each other. Then fall in love.

carl1

Meet Carl.

 

 

 

An Open Letter To Buy Buy Baby

Dear Buy Buy Baby,

My fiance and I registered for our wedding at Bed Bath and Beyond and within 36 hours of doing so, I began receiving emails from you for baby products. Now I’m no idiot, I understand how cross promotion works….but really? After registering for a wedding? What about a wedding in November makes you, Buy Buy Baby, think that I’m going to have a baby?! Immediately I felt violated and insulted.

Then I thought, maybe I’m crazy for feeling this way. I’m over-reacting, they’re just emails from a spambot in Denver somewhere. Then Shutterfly accidentally sent out thousands of marketing emails for new mothers and fathers….to people who are not new mothers and fathers. In fact, they aren’t mothers and fathers AT ALL. And people kind of lost it, as well they should. I didn’t feel so alone anymore in my outrage towards you, Buy Buy Baby.

First and foremost, what’s with the assumptions? You, like most of the world, are assuming that because I’m getting married I will be having children one day. Well you, and most of the world can chill the f**k out. Now I’m not saying that I don’t want kids….I might. But don’t rush me Buy Buy Baby. Maybe I just want to enjoy being married for a few years. Travel. Have a dog. Buy a house. Get further along in my career. Or maybe….just maybe, I don’t want kids at all. And that is okay. Would it be so terrible if it was just the two of us forever? And if you answered yes, then maybe you need to be questioning yourself Buy Buy Baby, not me.

And it isn’t just you, Buy Buy Baby. It’s everyone you meet. Strangers ask about babies when you tell them you are engaged. Friends, relatives, friends of relatives, they all ask “so are you going to have kids?”. Look, I know its a social nicety. They are making conversation and what do you ask a couple who you just found out is getting married? Why, you ask them an extremely personal and private question about a HUGE life decision, of course. But that sort of intrusiveness starts when you first start dating someone. You get people saying “when do you think you’ll get engaged?”. Then once that happens they want to know about kids, then they tell you how to raise those kids. It’s odd because when you get a new job, no one asks, “When do you think you’ll get promoted?”. Because that is rude and no one’s business. Yet somehow your reproductive plan is totally their business.

Second of all, getting baby registry emails from you Buy Buy Baby seems to be a comment on what society expects of women. It’s just not sending the right message, it’s saying  that we haven’t gotten any further than kindergarten: first comes love, then comes marriage, than comes someone in a baby carriage. What about revising this for the 21st century: first comes love, then comes a thoughtful cohabitation then comes marriage, then comes a period of learning more about each other as a couple and developing your career, getting a dog, then MAYBE a thoughtful and conscious decision to put someone in a baby carriage. Sure, it isn’t as catchy as the other, but it certainly makes more sense. I raise this point especially for ladies who know for sure that they don’t want kids.s. Lay off them Buy Buy Baby. Stop sending them passive aggressive emails about onesies and nipple guards. Women have plenty of other corporations trying to tell us how and when to make a baby. We really don’t need your ill-timed promotions for breast pumps and baby monitors.

Look Buy Buy Baby, I don’t want to come off harsh. You have a place in this world. People have babies every 2 seconds or something crazy like that and they need your 12-packs of adorable tiny socks and those cute towels that have hoods for after bath time. I have purchased items from you for many of my friends and I was overjoyed to do so. My friends are awesome and we need more awesome people in the world. All I’m asking Buy Buy Baby is for you to think before you send an email to a newly engaged woman. She is going to face loads of pressure in the time she’s engaged and then even more pressure once she’s a newlywed to have babies. Her mother, her grandmother, her coworkers and friends are all going to ask about her plans for the future, meanwhile she’s just trying to plan a wedding without killing her husband-to-be because he refuses to write a thank you note for an engagement present they got 6 months ago!

Just give me/her a minute! Let me get a plant first and see if I can keep it alive. Then a dog. Then maybe…MAYBE….we can talk about that stroller that is on sale for $99.99.

Best,

Becky