Signs You’ve Finally Earned Your Emotional Support Animal Certification

Image from Michelle Maria via Pixabay

Being a human is hard. Being an emotionally intelligent, empathetic, and loving human who shows up at dysfunctional family dinners and pointless business meetings with open arms and ears is even harder. But fear not, if you keep working at it you can eventually become someone who everyone can count on for emotional support. When this happens, you will be eligible to earn the highest human honor of all — the Emotional Support Animal certification. How will you know when you’ve finally overcome your humanity?

For your birthday, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day you receive nothing but cute little red vests. Until now, you’ve always thought of yourself as more of a long-sleeve sweater guy. But, carpe diem.

At your annual check up, your doctor’s only concern is that you refuse to remove your vest. “But I can’t be in the doctor’s office without it,” you say. She smiles affectionately and hands you a bowl of water.

Suddenly, your female BFF wants you to accompany her everywhere — even binary bathrooms. You willingly acquiesce and follow her in. No one seems to care. Instead they just smile, say “Awwww” and give her a thumbs up.

That bar you got kicked out of last year for drunk and disorderly conduct now welcomes you with open arms. As you pass over the threshold, the adorable hostess (who does seem slightly anxious now that you think about it) grabs you by the vest and whispers in your ear: “Now that’s a good boy. I wish I could take you everywhere with me!

During a transatlantic flight, an elderly lady requests that you sit in her lap during a bout of turbulence. Without a second thought, you throw off your seat belt and cuddle up.

Midway through an evening run, you end up in a stranger’s house while they’re eating dinner. Instead of pulling out a shotgun or calling the local police, they invite you to the table (well, under it) and ask if you’ll stay for dessert — which “doesn’t contain a lick of chocolate!” Afterwards, the wife pats you on the head and says you are welcome anytime, her teenage son could really use a good influence in his life. You straighten your vest and nod. Then, you jog home.

When you pull out your photo I.D. at the bank, the teller takes one look, winks, and asks: “Do you have a brother who’s available? I could really use some company if you know what I mean.” You don’t have a brother, but don’t want to disappoint her or hurt her feelings (since she is opening up and everything), so you throw her a toothy grin and stick out your tongue. You aren’t 100% sure this is the right move, but you’re trying to stay in the moment.

When you run into your ex at a friend’s dinner party, she walks up to you and — like she’s been planning it for months — says: “I see you finally had your balls OFFICIALLY removed.” You bow your head slightly, then look up at her with your big brown eyes. This isn’t because you’re embarrassed that you don’t have any balls, but simply because you’re sorry. Very sorry. You don’t say a word, but she can read between the lines. She feels bad about her outburst, since you so clearly aren’t trying to defend yourself, and tries to soften the moment: “I always thought you looked good in vests.”

Nashville-based writer. Words in Inc, Forbes, Slackjaw, JAW, How Pants Work, LOL Comedy, Weekly Humorist, Points in Case, and countless “thank you” notes.

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