So, I survived. My first Christmas in 15 years, sans puppy. I was surprisingly okay. The hardest part was when I remembered saying last year that I just needed one more Christmas with my dog, and how I got that. Maybe I should have needed two.
But I've been lucky this year. It may have been a shitty start, but 2004 has been a great year. Not an easy year, but still great. I'm even getting used to not having Tripper under foot all the time. The not getting up at 7 to feed him and put him out was pretty easy to adjust to, as was being able to leave the house for more than 4 hours at a stretch. But the important parts of having a dog have been awful to get past. I still look at the top of the stairs as soon as I open the door. I can't count the number of times that I'm positive I saw a little dog curled up in the kitchen. And for whatever reason, I was reduced to tears the night of the US presidential election because he wasn't with me.
I have surrogate dogs in Lucas and Jesse, but it's not enough. I'm still thinking of a time when I'll have my own dog again. My parents don't want another dog because they don't feel they want the responsibility again, so I know I have a long wait ahead of me. But having survived Christmas, I think I can be patient.
I'm more worried by the past two days of baby-immersion. Our friends brought their 20 month-old to our Christmas Eve shindig, and then to Christmas dinner yesterday. I had mild "I want a baby" cravings. Mostly I was having fun playing with her. She's mobile enough that I don't feel like a pram, but dependent enough that I got to be her world for a while. Maybe it was just the fact of being adored. Luckily, it didn't last. I got over it promptly when she got fussy and cranky and started screaming. That's when I remembered, "Oh, right. They're only cute when they're smiling. The rest of the time you have to feed them and change diapers and listen to them whine and cry." Hmmm. Maybe not.
Still, it was rather frightening to discover that I have a biological clock. I always thought of it as a social construct, ingrained by years of brainwashing à la fairy tales, Harlequin, and Hollywood romantic comedies. But BOOM, out of the blue, there it was. I plan on surpressing it long enough to acheive maximum selfishness and independence.
Then I'll get my dog.