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You’ve graduated, you’re on your own, and you’re sick and tired of coming home to an empty apartment. You’re not ready to walk down the aisle, but you’re tired of calling your mom. Instead of a significant other, you settle for a pet. After all, it’s more fun searching for puppies than swiping through pick up lines on Tinder.
The only downside of devoting your life to an animal? I can barely take care of myself, which means I don’t have it in me to be responsible for another living creature. Plus, I don’t know where I’ll be in a week, let alone 10 years, and getting a pet is a lifetime commitment I’m not ready to make.
For my postgrad compatriots who left loneliness behind by buying a playmate, here’s what your pet (or plant) of choice says about you.
You either live in New York or a suburban area where you’d never need a guard dog. You didn’t consider a rescue, because gross. Your Louis Vuitton pet carrier may be fake, but the designer pup is legit, right down to the paperwork that proves its ancestors were world class show dogs. You didn’t get your ring by spring, which means you’re hunting down a husband–preferably one 10 to 15 years older, but you’ll settle for 20. Your puppy is a stand-in boyfriend, as well as your favorite accessory (for now, you’ve always been a seasonal shopper). It’s probably a Chihuahua, realistically. If the whole dog thing doesn’t work out (it’s so much responsibility, and you didn’t realize it wouldn’t stay a puppy forever) you’ll leave it at your parent’s house while they aren’t looking.
You wanted some company on a simple postgrad salary or you watched the Sarah McLachlan commercial one too many times before you learned the hard way to mute it immediately. If you’re a dude, you’ll tell everyone in a five mile radius that it’s a rescue, hoping to score. (It works, and it increases your attractive levels tenfold.) If you’re a girl, you side eye all the purse puppies you see.
You’re calling it a day early. The party (your twenties) is over before it even started. Cats are like tattoos or Pringles–one is never enough. You tell people you didn’t want the responsibility of a dog, but the truth is, responsibility is your forte. You’ve hidden your plethora of wedding magazines, and your boards on Pinterest are all secret at this point. You’re probably a teacher with a strong love of sweater sets, ballet flats, and “The Bachelor.”
You’ve been ready to settle down for at least a decade. You believe in family and America. You’ve already looked at buying a house and you watch your less successful friends toil away in janky rentals. You sometimes dress your puppy up in a bow tie (preferably ‘Merica themed). The Instagram likes you receive are well worth the price of a purebred.
See also: tortoise, fish, pet rock, sea monkeys.
You’re not ready for any kind of commitment, long term or otherwise. You can’t believe people you know are having babies on purpose–it’s an enormous commitment for you to remember you own a plant and need to water it daily. You come back from vacation and find it dead, which makes you question everything.