Your questions, my answers. This F.A.Q. features questions ranging from pets, to sports, to a possible first date:
QUESTION: I’ve always had a dog growing up. Now that I’m on my own, I want to get a dog. I live in an apartment that doesn’t allow pets, but it’s a really big complex and nobody comes around to check. I see other people walking dogs in and out of their doors. Do you think it’s worth the risk?
ANSWER: When you’re renting an apartment, there are many factors that come into play. First off, you’re living on someone else’s property, and you really have to abide by their rules. You say it’s a massive complex and that you see other people with pets. There are a few factors that could come into play here as well. First off, sure, they might all be breaking the rules. But do you know if there is one single leasing agency for your entire complex? Sometimes in larger complexes, there are several different agents that own blocks of apartments. Different agencies mean different rules. In certain areas of your complex, pets may be allowed. There’s a chance you’ve just happened to rent from a landlord that’s no-pets.
Another factor, the “no pets” rule might be a relatively new one. The people you see with pets could have signed their leases before the complex disallowed pets. If that’s the case, they would likely be grandfathered in, and be allowed to keep their pets.
Now, to directly answer your question. Ask yourself this. You want this dog for as long as it lives, right? I mean, you’re getting a dog for keeps, yeah? Now, ask yourself if you’re going to be renting that apartment “for keeps.” The answer is probably “yes” to the first one and “no” to the second. You should probably wait until you have a pet-friendly environment. If your landlord does catch you with a pet and hands you the it’s-you-or-the-dog ultimatum, then you’re indeed going to be in a sticky situation. I’m sure you heard this as a kid the first time you had a dog, but I’ll remind you that once you adopt that pet, you’re responsible for its well being. If you really want a dog, there are many pet-friendly apartments out there. Find one, move, and then bring home your new friend.
Until then, perhaps offer to pet-sit for a friend every now and then. As an owner of two dogs, I’d never wish either of them away. But there are times when weekend travel plans disrupt the dogs’ living patterns. Having a friend (or in my case, a sister-in-law) who offers to take the dogs every time lessens the stress the animals have when you uproot them for a day or two. They dig the familiarity. Sure, it won’t be your dog, but perhaps it’ll be enough to meet your canine fix until you can get one of your own.
QUESTION: I’ve just moved here from Norway. My friends like me to pull for their sports teams, in the NFL. They have different teams, and I don’t know what to pick?
ANSWER: The best advice I can give you here is to watch the games with your friends. They’ll be there to answer your questions and to point on the nuances of the sport to you. As you watch more games, you’ll become familiar enough to know what you like and don’t like about all the teams. Eventually, you’ll find that very often, a team picks you. It’ll probably happen over the span of one game, but maybe it’ll happen by just randomly getting the chance to see the same team several times. No matter who you choose, go ahead and hold off on your decision until you’re sure. There’s one thing sports fans hate, it’s people who change who they’re rooting for season by season.
QUESTION: Do you really have to wait three days before calling a girl?
ANSWER: No. They’re onto that. Women even joke about the three-day waiting period. But seriously, every situation is different. You’ve got to judge for yourself when to call. She gave you her number, so she wants you to call, right? So put the nervousness of rejection out of your head. And when you do call, if she doesn’t pick up, leave a message. There’s something quite passive about just hanging up on a voicemail when making the “first call.” Going ahead and leaving a message shows confidence.
QUESTION: I just started a new job, and it’s just like one of the Office Space-type places. Every Friday during football season, apparently everyone wears a shirt supporting their favorite team. That’s coming up — it starts in a few weeks. The thing is, I’m really not into sports. I could care less about football. What should I do? I don’t even have any sports T-shirts.
ANSWER: Well, I’m sure there’s no company rule that says you have to join in, right? So, you don’t have to if you really feel strongly about it. However, if you’re worried about it, there’s nothing saying you can’t take advantage of a free day without a shirt and tie. Do you have an old T-shirt from your Alma Mater? Rock your old college T-shirt. Take advantage of the casual Friday, but no one says you actually have to root for a team.
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