It was a rooftop party of sorts. The snobbish type where people cluster in little pockets and talk about “that summer in Milan.” The type where someone walks in carrying a dog dressed in a small ridiculous outfit and people pat her on the head and say nice things.
People pat the owner, I mean, not the dog. I didn’t belong, of course, not necessarily because I haven’t been to Milan (I’d love to) but because I was the only one who wanted to toss that dog over the ledge.
I found the dog’s presence unnecessary and annoying and I remember wondering why the owner wouldn’t put it down like the rest of the dogs.
At some point, the dog started exchanging hands at the party, as if it was some cute baby everybody was dying to carry. You should have heard the ladies at the party ooing and aahing and using generous words like “adorable,” or “cute” or “precious,” in reference to that furry little mutt. And the dog –obviously used to being the centre of attraction - glowed in this adoration. I felt nauseated.
Anyway, at some point, the dog finds herself in the arms of this lady who was excited (and honored) to be holding such a “divine” creature.
Then she rubbed the dog’s fur, petting it and paying these nice complements and then she suddenly burst out in tears! For a moment, I thought the dog was so cute it brought tears to her eyes.
The dog owner quickly came and politely took away the poodle, perhaps afraid that all that crying might destabilise her dog emotionally, that perhaps all that crying might just depress her dog which was a bad thing because it was the festive season and people were meant to be making merry. Even poodles.
I was curious to know what caused that outburst but my curiosity was sated not long after when the bawling lady said to her friend, “That dog reminds me of Remi so much.”
The friend, obviously aware of the history rubbed her back soothingly. I didn’t want to think there was a man with a name like Remi out there.
From their conversation (I was eavesdropping) I quickly learnt that Remi was indeed a cat (which says something about that poodle if it looked like a cat) and that it was a gift from her boyfriend who had left the country for further studies or work and how he had broken up with her on email because she kept saying how “mean” that was.
“Yes, that was so not cool sweetie,” The very supportive friend echoed. Then she said something that made me take a large sip of my drink, “He wasted two years of my life,” she hissed.
I wanted to ask her how he wasted her years. If her life stopped completely. I wanted to ask her if she stopped eating her favourite foods or listening to her favourite music.
How was her life wasted? Did she walk around feeling empty, aching for a semblance of normality? Was she imprisoned? Did she do things she hated when she was with the guy? Did she not have fun at all? Or did she sacrifice her life to that man? I thought Jesus already did that?
And this is the worst mentality women like her carry onto the New Year. It’s 2011, the year of emotional honesty (I made that up), it’s a year where ladies should take charge of their own happiness and stop blaming men when something goes wrong in their lives.
It’s a defeatist mentality. There isn’t a single thing a man can do to a woman if she doesn’t allow it. If, after three months of dating, the man decides it’s not working, take it in your stride; don’t make vile accusations on how you were “used.”
Bow out with class, be remembered as someone who chinned up and sucked it in. Not someone who bawled over a poodle on Christmas Eve!