My roommate and I were chatting the other day about how dangerous it can be to indulge in destructive cuteness. We were, of course, speaking directly in relation to our cat-baby and how she may have allowed her to do something kind of less than safe because it was cute without realizing the potential consequences. Don't worry, no maiming or death occurred, just the ingestion of a foreign object that will eventually make for a very uncomfortable litter box experience.
I likened this to when I got my first cat-baby, Percy. We got him as a 7-week old little nugget of golden cuteness, so he could do no wrong. He would attack, bite, scratch, and claw at us and it was just so dang adorable we would coo and reinforce the behaviour with lots of snuggles (because cats love snuggles, right?) Then all of a sudden he was big and strong and his teeth and claws were sharp and he attacked my Dad's face and trying to kill us in our sleep and there was little to be done about it because we had reinforced the behaviour so much in his adorable infancy. It was made worse by the fact that he went through a really ugly teenager phase, and so was not cute at all.
Now, because I like to compare relationships with felines to those with humans, I "couldn't help but wonder" (as Carrie Bradshaw used to say) if all dysfunctional relationships start with bad behaviour disguised as cuteness. I'm thinking specifically about the stalker vs. romantic situation here. When you're super into another person and they seem all sexy and awesome, then things like them calling and texting you to see where you are, showing up at your house late at night because they just want to see you, coming by your workplace around when you usually get off shift, or commenting on everything you've ever posted online might seem kind of adorable and make you feel like cooing and snuggling. That is because this person is in the baby kitten phase where their teeth and claws are weak and tickly and you can easily tell yourself that they are giving you a "love bite" and not practicing for when they grow large enough to eat you alive. BEWARE! If/when your relationship grows into an ugly teenager phase, this person could lapse very easily into stalking, maybe without realizing it at all, because you have coo- and snuggle-reinforced them into such behaviour.
So the only reasonable thing to do, the next time someone goes out of their way to be romantic for you, is to yell at them to BACK OFF! and GET THEIR OWN SANDWICH! and then run away while they are confused. Then call them in a couple of days to hang out again, because you don't want to break up with them, you just want to train them to be ambivalent.
There, aren't you glad you read my blog? Now I've saved your relationship.
Post a Comment