Keeping a Parrot

The real question is who's keeping who?

Keeping a Parrot

Did you ever notice that living life is rather defensive? We tend to defend our positions. We defend our family and their best interests. We defend our money. We wake up in the morning and go to work to defend our position in that company through performance which requires defending our position and work while we are in a meeting defending against the competitor. We shop defensively with coupons. We eat defensively by price point and location. We choose friends and amicable relationships defensively. It's kind of a human thing, this defensive living. 

We certainly can't just go walking down the street randomly asking others if they need help, or money or a ride somewhere right? We can't just walk into a hospital and sit down and open ourselves to conversations with people in the waiting rooms. We can't just NOT balance our checkbooks precisely. We certainly can't just loan books, clothes, furniture, cellphones and the like to someone. We can't just randomly laugh with someone we don't know, or ask a perfect stranger if they want to do lunch. We certainly can't just sit down and wait for others to show up and share a laugh with us randomly. We will be sitting a long time waiting for a random offer of lunch as well. Operating inside the human sphere requires full on defensive mode.

I'm working on a tattoo design for my shoulder, it's a quote from a book. “She was not quite what you would call refined. She was not quite what you would call unrefined. She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot.” It's long in word, and I don't care. It fits a parrot person, like me. That quote is from Mark Twain's "Following the Equator" or "More Tramps Abroad" depending on the publisher. It's his non-fiction travelogue from 1897. (in case you are a bibliophile like myself) You can't write something that intuitive and true without a little travel and meeting a few parrot people. It's too simple and clear in intent, and I agree.

You can't live defensively with parrots. You can't live offensively either. Much like Twain said, and unlike life as a human, you can only live with and keep a relationship with a parrot kindly. And to do that, well you won't be refined or unrefined you will be seen by most as "the kind of person that keeps a parrot".  If you have a parrot and non parrot friends, you know what that means.

The reason why most companion parrot relationships fail and the parrot finds them self abandoned or ignored or worse, is that the human was either too refined, or not refined enough. There's a sweet spot in the human psyche that makes "keeping a parrot" possible for both human and parrot. It's not easy. In fact it is VERY difficult on the whole. Talk to any parrot rescue operator or director to get a general head count of failures.

So how does one walk that sweet spot? How does one keep a parrot and create a relationship successfully? It starts with a simple truth. It's basic, it's simple, it's the cornerstone of it all. It delivers the gold standard of happy and a bonus of success in your Companion Parrot Lifestyle. You have to stop believing the hype that is the human side of life. You do, and you'll be better for it. Ladies, you can have your hair styled at $100 a pop, and look like it, or you can have a parrot sit on your head for a while and do it for free. Gentlemen, you can be the guy in charge or the guy who loves a parrot and stays in charge while that parrot dictates to you. You can have a perfectly decorated, lovely home that is always ready for a photo session for HGTV, or you can have parrots. You can be refined. You can not be refined. Or you can keep a parrot.

Parrots offer lunch, time, play, toys, voice, laughter and challenges and they do not do it defensively. They do it instinctively. They are not quite what you would call refined. Nor are they not quite what you would call unrefined. They are the kind that keeps a human. Parrots have become companions because of their very nature. We in turn, by our very nature have a hard time accepting them in their raw state. We defensively approach them, when all they require is an honest, empathetic approach.

I'm getting that tattoo soon. More than likely I'll have bird poop in my hair while getting it, and most likely I left the house a bit of a birdy mess when I drove off. And the whole time I'm getting that tattoo I'll be wishing I was home with my birds.

Such is the price of the refined unrefined parrot person. 

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