The Austin Chronicle

Luv Doc: Dog-Sitting

This gig could go south in a really ugly way

By The Luv Doc, December 21, 2018, Columns

Dear Luv Doc,

I have been with my boyfriend since August. We met through some mutual friends and really hit it off. We spend most nights together, have gone on a few short vacations together, and he spent Thanksgiving with me and my family here in Austin instead of flying to Boston to be with his parents. I was assuming he would invite me to Boston for Christmas to meet his parents, but instead he asked me if I would dog-sit for him. I feel totally crushed. Why would he not want me to meet his parents? I read all the time that if a guy doesn't introduce you to his parents, that's a bad sign. Am I being too sensitive? We haven't been together all that long, but I still feel hurt. Should I confront him about this?

– Dog-Sitting

First of all, let's not dismiss the high level of trust you must have earned to be asked to sit your boyfriend's dog. Depending on the temperament and breed of the canine in question, that gig could go south in a really ugly way. Nothing ruins a friendship like getting a late-night call on your cell phone from some random stranger across town saying he found your dog eating out of his trash can. I mean, I can understand the desire not to willfully divulge such fuckuppery, but at some point – ideally in the first 24 hours – you have to throw in the towel and make the awkward phone call. So, before we start soiling ourselves in the hog trough of conjecture, let's at least give a slight nod to the honor you have been accorded. Being trusted to dog-sit is a good sign, right?

As to your boyfriend not asking you to fly to Boston to meet his parents, your hurt is understandable. His motives, on the other hand, might have plenty of merit as well. Maybe his parents are complete assholes. That happens. Not everybody rolls sevens when it comes to parents – ask Tiffany Trump. You think she's inviting her boyfriend home for Christmas at Mar-a-Lago? I mean, I used to feel a little guilty asking my mom to drop me off a few blocks shy of school so my friends wouldn't see our beat-up old station wagon, but damn ... Tiffany ... I can't even imagine her mortification.

Also, I don't know how old your boyfriend is or how many girlfriends he may or may not have already brought home for Christmas, but if there is any history there, it might call for a more cautious approach. He might be from some huge Boston Irish-Catholic family like the Wahlbergs, only with nine kids instead of four. You might end up sharing a twin air mattress in the basement – which might sound romantic until you wake up in the middle of the night to find some Ron Weasley-looking kid standing over you in a pair of torn tighty whities holding a dirty dumpster cat over your head for no reason whatsoever. (Note: That may or may not be a true story I heard while playing quarters one night.)

Anyway, while I completely sympathize with how hurt you must feel to have been completely left out of your boyfriend's holiday plans – other than in a service capacity – I think your best course of action here is not to leap to conclusions before you actually suck it up and ask him why he didn't invite you to meet the 'rents. Maybe you just dodged a dirty dumpster cat.

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