Saturday, December 1, 2007

bad reasons to buy a dog

Last night we were planning to go work out after CPY, but we got boba instead. Boba was a reasonable substitute for working out because the place we went to, Westsubs, is right next to the gym. As you may have guessed from the establishment's name, Westsubs is not specifically a boba joint in the way that Teastation or Lollicup are. But they have an elaborate menu of boba-full and boba-less drinks, from smoothies and slushes to your standard thai and milk teas. Alex had a thai tea with boba, and I had a hot milk tea with boba. The boba did not seem particularly sweetened, which was fine with me, because I tend to like my drinks slightly less sweet.

Westsubs has a collection of board games and magazines for your enjoyment while you sit and eat or drink. We played The Allowance Game, a simple die rolling, piece-moving game in which certain squares you may land on indicate gains or losses of money. You get $3 allowance each time you round the corner at Home, and can earn money on squares such as "Mow the Lawn" or "Recycle Cans." You spend money buying bubble gum or "Give to charity." We tried to make the game more exciting by adding extra rules, but finally we ended the game before either of us had managed to save up the winning $20.

After the game playing we decided to browse magazines -- Glamour for me, Men's Health for him. I was curious about Glamour's cover story on 25 ways to immediately boost your mood. If I were to write such a feature, it would include items like: 1. Have a caffeinated beverage, or 2. Visit cute overload or check out some lolcatz. Although some of the suggestions by Glamour were quite reasonable (I think take a bubble bath was one), I was appalled to see that "Buy a dog" was also included on their list. That is, Buy a dog. Do it! You know you want to.

WHAT ARE THESE PEOPLE THINKING? How on earth does taking a bubble bath compare to purchasing a live, furry, animal with a lifespan of ten or fifteen years?? Sure, playing with an adorable new puppy will probably boost your mood, but a quick pick-me-up is the wrong reason to get a dog!

On a related note, people should not buy dogs as surprise gifts. Like deciding to have children, it's the sort of thing that people should talk about and plan in advance. I was administering a final exam in a large lecture hall last year, when an occasional whimpering sound could be heard. None of us knew where it was coming from. Later I left the lecture hall and saw a student playing with a puppy outside. She explained to me that since she had finished taking the exam, she was watching the puppy for the girl who had sat next to her during the text. The girl had just been given the puppy as a surprise birthday gift from her boyfriend. GEEZ.