Sunday, May 30, 2010

My Little Green Man Repellent

Some girls get pet dogs because it helps them meet men. They have to go to the park to walk the dog, and there they meet men who are also walking their dogs; plus, guys (some guys, anyway) think it's a turn-on when a girl has a dog. Dogs are man magnets.

My pet, Green Bean the lovebird, is the opposite: a man repellent. He doesn't help me meet men. In fact, I think if he had his druthers it would be just the two of us cuddling in my bedroom for the rest of his life. He hates it when I go out; heck, he doesn't even like it when I leave my bedroom to go take a shower. He's happiest when he's snuggled inside my shirt or in the crook of my neck, and if he's anywhere else he is trying to get to one of those places. The other night I went to opening night of Sex and the City and didn't get home until after 10, and he was so upset that he bit me, hard. He had to have a time out in his cage to calm down.

I've only invited one man to my house since moving to Boston: the Brazilian. I was excited for him to meet Green Bean. Bean, however, was not excited to meet him, and immediately attacked him. It was amazing to watch – he looked like a tiny, green bundle of fury, lashing out with his sharp little beak at the Brazilian's outstretched fingers. I've gotten used to leaving his cage door open most of the time when I'm home, and when the Brazilian was here, in order to get some “alone” time, I closed him in his cage. Unused to this treatment, Bean protested with sharp squawks, and spent his time racing back and forth in front of the cage door like a little prisoner trying to get out. It was not exactly romantic.

Another downside to Green Bean is that he poops constantly, every 15 minutes or so. As long as I'm paying attention, it's not a big deal; I scoop it up with a tissue and it doesn't leave a trace. But Bean and I spend a lot of time together, and embarrassing as it is, sometimes I lose track of some fecal matter and end up leaving my house adorned with it. This happened a couple of weeks ago, when I was going on a date with a man who is a closeted homosexual (that's my theory, anyway). Midway through our date he reached out and plucked what he probably thought was a bit of green lint off my sleeve. He looked mildly surprised to discover that it was hard and crumbly, but hopefully he didn't realize what it was.

Sometimes I feel resentful that I ended up with Green Bean. I never would have gotten him if I had thought I'd be taking care of him on my own. La Moustache did offer to take him, but it seemed a bit ridiculous – if I'd let that happen he would now be in Tanzania, in a cage inside a Land Cruiser. Not a good life for a bird.

However. Bean is the most utterly adorable pet I have ever met, and most of the time he more than compensates for his downsides. He is like a teeny tiny dog in how completely faithful and adoring he is. I finally watched the new(ish) Pixar film recently, Up, starring Kevin the gigantic female bird. She reminded me of Green Bean: I'm pretty sure that if he were twice my size he would pick me up and cuddle me exactly the way Kevin cuddles the boy in the film. Plus Bean is a huge fan of chocolate, just like Kevin, and they share the same goofy enthusiasm.

Despite being a man repellent, he is awfully adorable. And hopefully he won't repel the right man.

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