As a natural response to having watched the excellent French Cyrano de Burgerac movie, I've decided to get a bird.
Back up. When I imagined myself in Austin, a new town, alone, friendless, newly indepenent, I always consoled myself with the fantasy of owning a gaudy parakeet named Bertie Wooster. I even emailed my future roommates to tell them of my intention. But then I arrived here and I had to buy a car, and my mom said, "focus on making human friends instead," and my sister said, "don't birds always stink?" and my roommate didn't say anything, but frowned a little (she had a French horn teacher who had a parrot that would always squawk if a student played the wrong note--she is unduly prejudiced.). In short, I got scared out of it.
But then I was watching this brave, gallant sort and I thought, "really? really, I'm scared about maybe I'll have to change some newspaper and find a pet sitter and maybe, just maybe, I'll have to give away my bird? How is it that a paperweight 5-minute/day pet is weighing so heavily on me?" So I'm going for it: I'm buying a bird. Don't even try to talk me out of it.
Now comes the worst part of it--what bird? I've spent several late nights researching online, and I don't know that I have any better idea. Some say parakeets live 5 years, some say twenty. Are finches ever happy alone? Do canaries hate people? How long are you expected to "play" with your bird each day? I'm wondering if I want a bird that will be more social, or quieter, or cheaper to care for, or tidier, or what. I had this same problem when I was deciding on a car--I researched enough to know pluses and minuses, but didn't know what pluses were really most important to me or what minuses were deal-breakers. I think I need to just go full ahead with a choice and remember that it doesn't really matter that much. It's just a bird.