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A writer for CLM Magazine and CLM Social Pages, Achelle is also an independent blogger, giving her two cents on personal and social issues from an educated Filipina's point of view, especially those relating to love and relationships. She has a knack for tackling issues from unique angles that are often left unexplored, posing questions that move and challenge readers to view a certain issue from a wholly different perspective. Achelle is happily engaged to her childhood sweetheart and is currently based in the Philippines. Achelle's writing is a delight to read and highly enlightening, entertaining and thought provoking. You're going to see lots of her on our Emagazine, Blogs, Social Pages and Hubs. Enjoy
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L.T.’s Theory of Pets – How Pets Can Ruin a Relationship    

By Achelle Vinzon
4255 Views | 5 Comments | 7/27/2014 1:56:50 PM

I read this interesting short story, L.T.’S Theory of Pets by Stephen King, about a marriage that ended because the couple favored different pets.  Here’s the plot summary (from Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L._T.'s_Theory_of_Pets):



“The story is told from a first-person perspective about a working-class husband who recalls a story told by L. T., a chatty co-worker who recalls the brewing trouble behind his marriage, attributed to pets purchased by L. T. and his wife. His wife purchased a dog for L. T. which in turn, disliked him instantly and sided with the wife, while L. T. purchased a cat for his wife, who immediately took to L. T. Despite the fact that the dog and the cat get along fine, L. T. and his wife continuously argue, adding some irony. His wife then leaves L.T. and says she has gone to her mother's, but she never arrives. King reveals she has taken the dog with her, and her car has been found on the roadside in Nevada. The only thing found was her dog, axed to death. It is then revealed that there has been a killer out in that area who kills women by axe, known as The Axe Man. L.T. still has hopes she is alive, although it is unlikely.”



In his story intro, Stephen King (who, by the way, is one of my favorite authors) explained that this particular short story was inspired by a “Dear Abby” column ‘where Abby opined that a pet is just about the worst sort of present one can give anyone.  It makes the assumption that the pet and the recipient will hit it off, for one thing; it assumes that feeding an animal twice a day and cleaning up its messes (both indoors and out) was the very thing that you had been pining to do.  So far as I can remember, she called the giving of pets “an exercise in arrogance.”’



In the story, the character L.T. shared his thoughts about how he believed that the “biggest division in the world isn’t men and women but folks who like cats and folks who like dogs.” 



The wife bought the dog, Frank, for L.T. for their first wedding anniversary.  But the dog never liked L.T.; Frank often growled at him, chewed and peed on his underwear, and puked in his slippers.  L.T. bought Lucy, the cat, as a second wedding anniversary present for his wife.  Lucy (or Screwlucy, as L.T.’s wife nicknamed it) also never took to L.T.’s wife; she wouldn’t go near her, even during feeding time.  Ultimately, their pets caused their marriage to fall apart, with L.T. and his wife arguing more and more often about them, until she finally decided to leave him.         



There is some ring of truth to that Dear Abby observation that pets may be the worst gifts you could give a person.  In some cases, though, when you really know the person, they can also be the best gifts.  But when it comes to relationships, the compatibility of two people and even the feelings they have for one another can be considerably altered if one or both of them have a problem with the other’s pet. 



It may seem like a very trivial issue – one that can be easily overcome, especially if two people truly love and respect each other.  So perhaps if pets can affect a relationship to the point that it changes in a bad way how one sees and feels for one’s partner, then it could be a sign that they were not really right for each other. 



Here on CLM, members’ profile descriptions include a detailed description of their ideal mate, i.e. minimum and maximum age; whether he/she has children; education level; home ownership; if he/she is prepared to relocate; and whether or not he/she likes pets, among many others.



This last detail could be the deal-breaker or deal-maker for some.  One cannot underestimate a person’s relationship and love for his/her pet.  If you find out that a CLM member that you’re interested in has a pet, it would only be prudent to learn more about the depth of feeling he/she has about pets in general and his/her own pet in particular.  You should also figure out how you feel about pets and what compromises you will be willing to make.  Cross-cultural relationships here almost always involve one person relocating to his/her partner’s home country, and the presence of pets can actually become a complication when a relationship finally reaches this point. 



On a side note with regards to gift-giving, which is a very meaningful practice in China, foreign men should be very mindful when choosing a gift for that special Chinese lady in their lives.  Always take into consideration their beliefs, as well as their personal preferences.  Personally, I have always believed that a gift should be more of a reflection of the receiver, rather than the giver.  It should not be about showing off what you can afford or how refined your tastes are!  It should be about what the receiver would sincerely appreciate! 



Back to the topic at hand, take this particular detail – the one about pet ownership – about one’s ideal mate’s description very seriously!  And I highly recommend Mr. King’s short story!  It is part of his short story collection titled “Everything’s Eventual.”          


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(Showing 1 to 5 of 5) 1
#2014-07-27 13:56:25 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Great blog Achelle and very on point with several newly joined couples here on CLM, as they face the issue of moving a pet halfway around the world so they can be together.

The other side of the coin from Mr. King's story, though, is that a mutual love of pets can bring a couple together in a huge way, and can cement their relationship forever. My wife and I love pets and our 2 cats and a dog really help us keep our love alive.

Your article reminded me of just how much we owe to those three guys. Thanks for that.

#2014-07-27 15:43:16 by zqy2014 @zqy2014

Good article and be with meaningful reminders.

Marry someone, means you will marry with all of his/her owning including her/his personalities, hobbies, family or social relationship, pets, children, addiction... Before make a decision to marry someone, you had to maximum well understand and assess all aspects related to that person.Knowing "who he/she is" is very important and critical for us to make the decision on going on or giving up, marrying or not.You can't intend to change the other side (after marriage) but positively influence and completely understand, face and accept who he/she is. If you do have that intention, you maybe in a wrong relationship or going to make the wrong decision.

In addition, it says "Love someone through his/her favorite way instead of yours". Love someone, you would do everything that is good to him/her and could make him/her happy... I did not see any of the two (in the article) have properly showed their love to the other side or there is no true love existed between them.

Thanks for sharing..

#2014-07-27 17:51:27 by Barry1 @Barry1

@achellevinzons

Over my life, I've had occasion to live with several people in different relationships and pairings.

Sadly though, after a while - sometimes extending to several years - it's been time for me to move on, for one reason or another. In nearly every instance where this has occurred, it's been the animals that I've left, especially the dogs - that have torn hardest on me. That have caused the most sadness.

I can forget more easily the people that I've left. They can take care of themselves. But not so easy are the beloved animals. :S

#2014-07-28 22:54:35 by anonymous11240 @anonymous11240

great article, once again showing why you are the best writer here...always look forward to your next article!

#2014-07-30 09:24:10 by AchelleVinzons @AchelleVinzons

It's true! Pets can also make a relationship stronger. In many ways, they're like children. And as Barry said, they can also make ending a relationship more painful when they have become a big part of one's life.

While this Paul McCartney quote does not apply to everyone, it still rings true most of the time, especially for those who have pets or love animals: “You can judge a man's true character by the way he treats his fellow animals.” This can be a good way to find out if a man/woman is somebody worth pursuing a long-term relationship with.

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