Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Doggone Seattle

There are two kinds of people in Seattle. No, I'm not talking about the cold/warm classification that pits chilly people who are friendly on the surface against area transplants. That dichotomy is simplistic, because it fails to account for slow drivers. What I'm talking about is kid people and dog people.

As is the case with most realizations, you undergo a series of experiences that leads to an epiphany. My first experience with Seattle dog people occurred a few months after we moved in. Only one person from the neighborhood came over to welcome us (well, two if you count the woman who wanted to see inside the house), and that person sold his house to "a nice young couple." When the new couple moved in, Wendy and I took the boys over to greet the new people, even though such visits apparently violate Seattle neighborhood by-laws. The man and the woman stood behind the screen door holding back their braying hounds while the four of us stood on the other side. As Wendy exchanged one-sided pleasantries, something else bothered me about the scene. At first, I chalked it up to the people being assholes, and the fact that I saw a big Notre Dame flag go up in the window a few weeks later confirmed by suspicions. Now, it's all so clear to me. They're dog people.

I know what you're thinking: What about people who own both kids and pets? Breeders with dogs. Simple. In Seattle, they still pick a side. Here's an example. Earlier this year, a pre-school Mom convinced her husband to host a Seahawks football party. The idea was to get the pre-school Dads together. Wendy RSVP'd me and committed to 7-layer dip, so I woke up early, made the dip, and went to this fabricated male bonding experience even though my beloved Colts were playing at the same time. This couple has twin girls the same age as ours, and they have a one-year-old boy and another on the way. Kid people, right? Not so fast. They have a dog that's one-quarter lab, one-quarter pitbull, and one-half mongrel. This dog spent the whole football game trying to coax guests into playing catch with a slimy tennis ball. The dog let out a couple of farts that were nasty enough to force a couple guys to leave the room and clear their eyes. Here's the clincher: When I saw that the Colts had won a nail-biter, I pumped my fist.

"What happened?" said the host.

"The Colts won," I said.

He turned to his brother and friend and said, "Funny how I keep seeing a lot of Colts fans this year for some reason..."

Dog person.