I think it's lust. Isn't that that uncontrollable desire that can't be sated until you act? And the act has consequences. And you know it has consequences — and you just can't help yourself because, well — it's lust. And around and around you go, trying to be rational about the whole thing — but your body's just aching, almost quaking with this desire you can't shake off. I know, that's way too many ache/quake/shakes for one sentence, but that's the trouble, see? Complete loss of one's senses.
It's the adorable factor.
Michael Pollan wrote The Botany of Desire reminding us of what flowers can do to us. Don't worry, this post is not about flowers. I'm just using this as an example. This post is about much worse than flowers, actually. But it's not as bad as babies.
I guess there's a continuum of lusts. Maybe put flowers (or hot cars) at one end of the continuum, and put babies at the other. And sex, right smack between the two. This lust is probably on the dial halfway between sex and babies. And it's fucking killing me right now.
So. Michael Pollan.
Said that flowers are there to seduce us. Their aroma, their look — they just go way overboard even in photographs to hook us and make us do their bidding. Even in a bulb catalog, those gorgeous combinations of wild colors and design just nail us. And we take out the old piece of plastic, make a phone call, or click our 'shopping cart' and a week later: bulbs to plant in the fall, and flowers that are not so picture perfect in the springtime. But we do it. And then next year we do it again.
Puppies are more serious than flowers, in the lust department. And I've been looking at puppy pictures now for two years, thinking it's time again. Puppy love. Not random pictures. Not random puppies. Only Becky Bouchard's Best Shepherd puppies. Puppies who are relatives of our gorgeous long-haired German shepherd, Roshi.
Okay, stop. I know it's vomit factor lust. The too adorable for words lust. Might as well be babies kind of lust. I swore up and down that I wouldn't 'do' another puppy until one of two things happened — neither of which have — and therefore I suppose I'm bound to that agreement. But hell, sex and babies and puppies just don't happen by making rational well-timed decisions, do they? They just happen.
They happen exactly because we're quaking with desire. Because we're in the throes of lust that cannot be denied.
And then you live with the consequences. Michael Pollan's beautiful bulbs have it easy. If that's 'desire' — it's desire lite. The commitment to our springtime flowers is nothing compared to the commitment to those babies —
She says, "thank you for letting me be the voice of reason..."
I hate the voice of reason. Unless it's mine. Talking someone else down from their irrational desire. Telling someone else just how much this is going to cost. Reminding someone else that this is a major long term commitment they're engaging in. Think. Think about this. It's not the right time... blablabla...
But that's the thing with lust. It is not amused by rationality.
All rationality does is piss us off.
"Substitute sex for puppy lust..." she recommends. But no, it just won't work. Or. Maybe it will work. Okay, I'll have to try it. Can you really substitute one lust for another just to come down off this terrible ache?
Drug lust. That's what it feels like. Insatiable. Undeniable. Irrational. Intense — and immediate. That's why God gave us evolution, right? We've evolved both rationality and irrationality — and it's the latter that drives us to action.
Think of the long-term consequences, the voice of reason says. But that takes all the fun out of it.
For the first time in my life I am not making a unilateral decision. The new girlfriend's "NOT NOW" is rational and reasonable, and right. And somehow I'm going to try to manage to try to consider being considerate and somehow (maybe) get over this puppy ache. And that's despite the fact that I've already started negotiating this pup. I could list all the reasons why she (the pup) is exactly right, and why the timing (which is all wrong) is exactly right. More blabla. I do good bla.
Fact is, I'm still completely out of control.
So. This is me on the other side of my rationality. On the side that actually takes unilateral action. The side that brought home every stray or designer critter of my life so far. The side that ran off to Europe for three years with my boyfriend. That headed off overland to Afghanistan and ended up at the Nepalese border. The side that got married on the spur of the moment (rationality side says: okay, I needed a visa). The side that made each (glorious) child. The side that got divorced, that bought every house, painted every color. The side that starts blogs, has sex, falls in love. The side I don't want to control at all.
I'm (somehow) letting the new girlfriend have veto power here. Knowing how much the rest of the time I actually am in control, and can be the rational being I respect. Why is it that my lust-side gets to have all the fun — and my rational side has to pay the vet bills for the following 18 years? Some 'intelligent designer' somehow designed that one all wrong.
This is me, calming down. Just a little. Puppy lust is one of the most uncontrollable desires on planet earth. The heart's still thumping, the extremities still quivering — Those goddamned photos of the super-cute! If this weren't happening to me, I'd be close to throwing up. The vomit factor of gooey cute. I don't know how long I can hold out ... Rational side is saying: next summer. Wait until those variables are all lined up. Lust side, says — well, lust side is beyond words...
If it's not sex, I'm just hoping it's not Bud's French vanilla ice cream or designer dark dark chocolate.