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One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. -Nietzsche

  September 29, 2016

Choosing a Dog

Since it was the weekend and I had no thoughts, I went to the local pub to pass away the burden of time with others who had nothing to do. My friend Ivan was there, a retired gentleman I enjoy talking to. His disarming approach conveys information warmly, and happily abandons resisters to their earned folly rather than arguing with fools.

A young couple in a corner booth were having a heated argument about the usual relationship drama, which is rarely anything more than a proxy for fundamental unresolvable incompatibilities, and Ivan casually commented that choosing a good woman is like choosing a dog.

I looked at him curiously and he smiled and took a deep sip from his mug of Belgian ale before be began.

"Many men have been lost in their prime when a sickly woman latches onto them, fully aware of her poor health. Despite her persisting problems, she disguises them as sporadic while feigning desire so she can use his labor to pay her hospital bills, get a free place to live, and secure reluctant companionship. His life is sacrificed to provide for her, just as she planned it.

Nor would you want a drunk or addict. Many are functional, with more good days than bad ones, but the bad ones are definitive. They crave substances for feeling and escape, so unhappy are they at their core. Some are experts at hiding their problems. You don't want that burden either.

The sexually promiscuous who freely give themselves over to anyone paying attention to them at the moment aren't relationship material either. They're long past feeling that love is special.

Those who respond with outbursts are not just unpleasant, but unstable. How long can you last in a house with a crazy person? You could live a 100 years with a kind person, but a year with a bitter soul is spiritual torture.

Then there are those with bad habits, like the compulsive of all sorts who suffer from having no goals. Can you imagine what it be would like to spend a life with someone who has no purpose and just bounces between distractions?

So obviously you avoid the disasters, but you also need to select what is positive. That's easier than fishing out the defects that the defective cleverly try to hide -- and they usually can for a while, until they become too comfortable and inadvertently expose their craft.

What you choose in a good woman is the same thing you choose in a dog that you want to make a part of your family. I don't mean that flippantly, though I'm happy to say it that way. You don't let just any descendant of wolves into your house to live among your wife and kids, to be well fed, exercised, and taken care of as a wild beast promising to be on good behavior.

You select a dog that is healthy, attractive, cheerful, loving, loyal, pleasant, and energetic. Anyone can pick a random mutt wandering by, and some prefer relationships of pity, advantage, convenience, or random circumstances. But the happiest people are those that have dogs with these good qualities, just as the most satisfied relationships are among people with mutually good traits."

You know it when you come to a house for the first time and see a wonderful dog announcing your arrival, sizing you up, and making sure you aren't a threat to the household. You know the joy that harmoniously couples enjoy. The well constituted want to build upward and need each other, while the disastrous will accept whatever they can ensnare."

The couple in the corner were still bickering about her shopping and his video game playing, seemingly unaware that was just a bunch of socializing about defects no one could correct.


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