'That Guy' looks at me from mirror


Yeah, it finally happened. I’m now “That Guy.”

Don’t act like you don’t know That Guy. We all have That Guy somewhere in our lives. You know, the guy who calls his wife at home to tell her that he had a pretty waitress serve him lunch, but she has nothing to worry about because all he can think about is her. Or the guy who buys that shirt from the magazine because it looked good on that 145-pound Italian model, even though he has the figure of a boa constrictor that just ate a llama on steroids.

Well, I’m now That Guy — but I’m the one who walks down the street with a 5-pound pug at the end of a bright pink leash.

I didn’t really want to become That Guy. There is a great sense of freedom when one isn’t completely depended on to take care of another life. Selfish outlook? Probably. But it’s one that’s served me well, and one I wasn’t quite ready to relinquish anytime soon.

And then that pug came into my life.

I realized the first time I picked her up that I didn’t really want to let go of her anytime soon. She was sweet, and gentle and half asleep. In fact, pretty much all she did the first day she was in my house was sleep, eat and relieve herself — for the most part, outside. It was a lot like when I lived with Shaun Lambert. Of course, she plays less video games and doesn’t spend most of her time trying to build a super computer out of spare parts and ...

But I digress.

The point is, she was as perfect as can be for me. Low maintenance, nice to have sitting on my lap for a little bit and didn’t really make any noise. She ate when I put food down, fell asleep for the night at about 9 p.m. and didn’t try to eat my furniture.

Let’s fast forward one day. That peaceful, resting beautiful pug? Gone. As morning broke, so apparently did her soul. She bounced from one room to the next, made meals of anything she could get her razor-like fangs into and proceeded to unleash noxious fluid streams of Bailey into every corner of my home.

Again, I’m reminded of my time living with Shaun.

What once was sweet, was bordering on pure evil. That low maintenance pug with the big brown eyes had become a Tasmanian Devil on caffeine pills. I tried rubber toys ... and soft toys ... and toys I was making out of human hair. Anything. But nothing held her attention for very long, as she would simply pick up the toy, take a glance at me and spit it on the ground.

Then she would happily return to her business at hand of sprinting into another room at full speed, seemingly willing her bladder to be full even though she had two quick sips of water 20 minutes earlier and embarking on a mission of making my home smell like a late-night subway terminal.

See what I mean? I’ve become That Guy.

My entire life has been consumed by this creature of mayhem and destruction. My blood began to boil and my infamous impatience was starting to shine through as I contemplated punching holes in a box and mailing Miss Bailey off to a religious cult in Bora Bora. But this is where her true genius lies.

See, I’ve realized that this powderkeg pug is far more intelligent than her habit of walking face-first into glass doors over and over again would at first suggest. She can sense when I get upset and instantly morph back into that cute little puppy that settles against my leg and softly turns her head to lick my hand.

She’s a slick one, this Bailey.

It’s rather clever, actually. Bailey has taken control over my mind by putting me on this emotional roller coaster. It’s just like Parris Island in the Marine Corps. They tear you down, they build you up. They tear you down, they build you up. They repeat this little brain-twisting cycle until you feel like you’re completely dependent on them — and Bailey is using the same brain games on me now.

She has taken me over, and relegated me to being That Guy in the process.

Well, she is a female dog, so I guess there is one word I could use to describe her ... but, nah. That would be too simple. What I’ve realized is that I’ve probably become more dependent on her, than she has on me. I live for that welcome when I come home, and my heart breaks when her emphysema kicks in and her little body struggles for air. She brightens my day with a disgusting little lick to my face, and I find myself acting like a cheerleader when she conducts her business on the lawn instead of my carpet. Now, I just need to find a new leash ...