dating, love, Uncategorized

Would You Eat A Human(and other topics I discuss on dates)

Rounding in to my fourth (or is it fifth? It at least feels like my hundredth) year of being single, I can safely say that I have gone on ~a lot~ of dates. And, as someone who has gone on ~a lot~ of dates, I can tell you I am becoming quite tired of the first date rigmarole. Mainly consisting of beverages of some sort (unless, god forbid, your special swipe wants to take you hiking or some such nonsense ), and the awkward “are we sleeping together on the first date?” dance. Now, I don’t know what qualifies one to be an advice columnist or dating guru, all I know is that no one has ever asked me to be one. But, I will tell you this, dear reader: The thing that bums me out more than anything is the first date survey.
You know what I mean—when you’re answering question after question about your life, your hopes, your dreams, etc etc until you’re so bored you’re  starting to wonder who you have to write to in congress to get a bill passed for pouring an 8 count to be the standard measurement on drink orders.

Now, I know you’re thinking “yea-duh. Nobody on the face of this planet enjoys that horribly awkward, but somehow necessary part of the date. You’re not making any kind of revelation here,” and, you’re not wrong. But, the thing is, the reason why I hate it (And boy Howdy do I) is because invariably there will come the time when my date will ask the dreaded question. After spewing my guts and trying to make cross stitching seem interesting for the past twenty minutes and thinking I’ve really made progress, staring deeply into his eyes and thinking that I am probably going to make it out of this one alive, he will pop the question :”What’s your favorite music?”

DUN DUN DUUUUUUNNNN
“Whaaaaat,” you screech(insert mental gif of spit take here). You can’t believe it. How can that possibly be the question that makes me quiver with unease when there are so many other, less easily answered topics a date could broach? I know, I know reader, you are just like my dates and I can already feel you slipping away. You see, I hate it because I genuinely do not give a fuck about music. And that is tough titties to deal with in the dating world.

Music is fine. I’m happy enough when its on, I don’t mind hearing the music other people enjoy. I appreciate it’s qualities in terms of ability to add to cinematic  moments. There are certainly songs and bands that I appreciate, tunes I find catchy, and so forth. But, frankly, I would prefer to watch a show or read a book than to listen to music and people Do. Not. Get. That. It’s like a personal affront. It’s like I have physically wounded them when I let loose that I can get down with Ke$ha, but I honestly don’t know who that obscure band is and god, no, I don’t really want you to play their five albums for me (but, fuck, okay fine you’ve already brought out your spotify playlist so yea, sure go on lets hear it).

The other day I spent a solid five minutes referring to Heuy Luis and the News as Heuy Lewis and the Band, until the nice gentleman I was talking to informed me of my mistake. I really don’t have much of a knack for it.

Sad though this may be, I’ve decided to get it over with as quickly as possible with the my new dynamic duo of questions. Instead of the boring back and forth of “tell me your passions” and another sad foray into “21 questions” I’ve added in an invigorating round of “what do you hate” ? An exciting river of emotions as the two contestants plow through things that are really obnoxious and off putting to them.  This game is helpful threefold.

  1. It spices up the mundane date with something I actually care about. That something being: are we going to be able to complain about the same crap. Or, even better, are you enough of a curmudgeon for me to begin with? Because, honestly, you can have your goals and aspirations, but if you aren’t going to rant about people walking two abreast down a sidewalk that barely fits one person and then those people won’t move over to let you through—thank, frankly, I’m not really sure we are going to be compatible. And, also, if you don’t mention a general distaste for cable/internet conglomerates right away then I will have to naturally assume you are the devil incarnate.
  2. It is the easiest way to find out if someone is a racist/sexist/classist/abelist/otherwise-ist kind of person. Nothing screams “run the other direction” than somebody telling me they hate when women talking about periods.
  3. But, most importantly, it gives me the opportunity right out of the gate to express that I do not care about music. It is not my life, it is not my drug, it is not the one thing that keeps me going. They will learn, very quickly, that concerts do not give me any kind of high, and if they see me at one its because I’m supporting a friend, or it’s the one band I care about.

 

 

Now, as if it is not enough to simply know the things that can drive my new potential partner looney toons, I’ve decided to up the ante. If they have been willing to play along up until this point, they should have no trouble in the lightning round, “Would you eat a human?” Now, before you get all up in a tizzy, this is always qualified by letting everyone know the extreme Donner Party-esq circumstances. I’m not asking you to bite in to me during foreplay, I’m merely wondering if we are on the same page…survival wise. If we were stranded, for whatever reason, and someone that wasn’t the two of us died in a way that didn’t involve tainting their nourishing meatparts would you eat them to survive? Again, the question serves threefold.

  1. If you are too freaked out by this question to even answer, then we aren’t going to get along. I am as weird as I am morbid, and if you won’t even entertain my curiosity of this unseemly topic then you probably also hate Stephen King, and if that’s the case what use to do I have for you?
  2. If we were stranded and we did need to eat someone, don’t you think it’s important our values line up? Can you imagine what an awkward conversation that would be, like, ten years into a relationship when one of us is clinging to life and the other one is too disgusted and prefers to die? Isn’t that something you want to know before you have children? That if push comes to shove you’ll have help rearing the twins in the woods like savages because all of humanity has come crashing down? I’m just saying, it’s something people should be on the same page about.
  3. If they answer yes too quickly before I can qualify what kind of situation would require them to be eating the flesh of humans, I can boogie out of there right quick. I love Thomas Harris’ works, but I am in no mood to be reenacting scenes from Hannibal, thanks.

 

I’ve found this is the quickest and safest route for me to take to really streamline the process of letting everyone know where I’m at, music-wise. While I’m happy for everyone that has their passion, I’m not really trying to life a life where I need to know about all the best bands in the tri-state area. If you’re a musician and we end up dating, I will happily support you and talk about your inspiration, but until then, keep your info in your soundcloud.

 

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advice, dating, humor, lists, love

Do You Like Them More Than You Like Sleeping Diagonally In Your Bed? : Getting Over Your (almost/sorta/kinda/not really) Relationship

I spend a lot of time being in terrible relationships. And, sometimes, I reflect on these past relationships. Or, lack there-of. Or, what I would consider relationships because it involved multiple encounters of hanging out together and being intimate, but, where the other person is like “What? No, this is casssssuuuuuuaaaaalllll….thiis is so casual…why are you expecting me to treat you like a human person? You are so absurd and clingy!”

And, sure, I’ll take some of the blame because, holy moly, I have some terrible taste in partners. But, after the initial let down I get pretty bummed. I need a little pick me up, a little “how do I get over some jerk being a jerk to me?”

And, I’ve solicited advice. From google. And in the many, many articles I have combed through  I have found some okay advice. Mostly, however, I have found some very obnoxious advice (or what passes for advice now a-days). A consolidated version of the most annoying tidbits look like this–

  1. Immerse yourself in a new hobby:

Oh, yea, no…sure. Because…I work 8-5 with an hour commute tacked on to each end, and then I come home and walk my dog, and make dinner– but, I FOR SURE have enough time and energy to start taking up glass-blowing or para-gliding or whatever. Be real! I bearely had enough time to hang out with the jerk, now I’m supposed to be fitting in a whole new hobby regimen!? Did you think I didn’t have hobbies before? That my hobby was hanging out with losers and getting my heart beat up? That’s not a hobby for me. That’s an unfortunate event. I have hobbies, I don’t need new hobbies, I need some advice on how to not be so bummed out.

  1. Cut off all communication:

I get that in an ideal world where we all live in a fantasy land where we somehow didn’t meet people that we are having relationships with in intersecting spheres of our lives this makes perfect sense. Uh, yea, of course if I could never see or talk to that person again I wouldn’t.  But,it turns out, I live in the real world, where real people live, and I end up having to encounter people I’ve been intimate with for a multitude of reasons and I can’t just ignore them while we are sitting across from one another at some function. Like, I would like to ignore them, but, it’s so hard to do that at the one grocery store that is open at 2am when I desperately need the beer it takes to drown my sorrows and the checker that I was sleeping with wants to know if i want paper or plastic.

  1. Just move on:

Oh! Oh really? Should I just ~move on~? Is that why I am reading this article entitled “101 ways to move on”? Well, if I had only known all I had to do is move on I would have done that. I can’t even believe that’s actual advice. It’s actual advice that is referenced multiple times. Yes, I realize I need to move on, that’s why I am asking for advice. Maybe I will move on, to a different article that is actually helpful.

But, from the horrors of my life, I have come away with a few things that have helped me get through the tough times. The sad times. The “why do I even care about this person who is so clearly awful. Maybe if I could stop thinking about them for ten seconds I could,” times.

1.Eat a lot of whatever it is you like:

You like ice cream? Good! Me too!  Eat it. Eat a lot of it. As much as you want, and then more. Don’t worry about the calories or the sugar or the gluten or whatever. Are you lactose intolerant? Fine. Eat some cookies. You have a gluten allergy? Whatever, get some kale chips or popcorn or something, I don’t know. Just don’t worry about it and start the damn healing process already. You know this works. You’ve seen literally one thousand movies where heart-broken people are drowning their sorrows in food. You think that they just pulled that off the top of their head? Noooooo.  This is Hollywood, man. When was the last time Hollywood had an original idea? They use it because it works! It’s a thing. Just do it already. If you’re really that worried about the weight do it at the gym while you’re on the treadmill. Get your gallon of ice cream and crank that baby up to a full run and go to town.

2. Realize they do not and are not going to miss you.

They aren’t. .I am so sorry. Like, I know there are a ton of songs that say dumb shit like “you’re going to miss me” and, “I’m gonna make you miss me” or, “you’re gonna be really bummed out that you didn’t want to keep banging me because I’m actually super cool” (I may have made that last one up), but they are  lies. Ain’t nobody missing you or going to be wanting you back. They should be missing you. But, it turns out, you have horrible taste. And you are hanging out with d-bags who are not going to miss you. And, it would be really cool if I could be like “But, no, sometimes they do miss you. And they want you  back,”. Gross. No. That’s a lie. Do NOT fall for it. If they are missing you and wanting you back it is because they are in some place where they wished someone else was missing them and they are trying to feel validated. Put some garlic around your neck and send that vampire home. They will suck all your happy life-blood that you just cultivated by eating the equivalent of a Ben and Jerry’s factory right out of you.

3.Be fucking awesome.

No, but, for real. Forget about finally figuring out how to paint and picking up tennis and learning French. Just, do the things you want to do. Love them. Recognize that you are really rad and not everyone will appreciate that. And recognize that a lot of time people are idiots (like,most of the time). That way the next time some shmuck comes around wanting some of your time, you can recognize how much your time is worth. And should you choose to give that person some of your time, that will be your choice and on your terms. And it may end up sucking again. And you might have to break out the ice cream/cookies/kalechips/whatever. But, in the end, you will know that you are the most bad ass person you can be because you are focusing your time and energy on you, and not worrying about how you are going to fit in your new cross-fit work out into your day now that you have to drive across town so you don’t run into the person you were seeing.

But most importantly–

  1. Ask yourself- :Do you actually like this person more than you like sleeping diagonally in your bed?

Oh my gosh, probably not. Do you know why? Because sleeping diagonally in your bed is AWESOME. Sleeping horizontally, vertically, in a ball, spread eagle…all the ways you can sleep in a bed when you are alone and some random isn’t in there with you taking up space. Seriously, if you are heart broken, or even just bummed out because your one-night stand didn’t turn into a two-night stand, just ask yourself if their company is really more awesome than being able to sleep however you want in your own bed.

And if you do find that special someone who is super worth sharing the space with then you should let them know exactly how much they mean to you. I suggest a card, or a placard.

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Look at that, I just solved your Valentine’s Day crisis—you’re welcome America.

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Uncategorized

I Would Rather Not Crave You, Love

I would rather not crave you, love

(though my heart screams in the face of that lie)

The shards of you that shiver down my spine

Yes, love, you know my weakness

And, yes, you know exactly how to get in

And there you go,

Seeping deliciously into my veins

The hope that lies just beyond

Where my stunted body is unable to reach

Yes, love, you know me well

You breathe my breath, exhale my faults

Oh, love, what you must think of me

Silly girl.

Silly girl.

This starlight was not for my eyes

This fire did not burn for me

My mind plays me the greatest of fools

More so than the lies from the lips of a thousand men

Would that I could catch you, love

Still, I would not, could not be, sated

This heart beats only for the sake of beating

It kindles and ebbs to pass the time

What is there now, love, that there is nothing?

What is the prey when it is not hunted?

Where do the dreams go when we wake?

You left me here, love, at the edge of the galaxy

And, I waited here, blindly, for you

And, as the circles of my eyes become dimmer still

And, the already stale air refuses to replenish

I realize how foolish I have been

You never said you were coming back

My heart tells lies only my eyes can see

I will float among these old sparks of light

Always empty of you

I would rather not crave you, love

But, in the end, I always do.

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Uncategorized

If It Has the Word Love In It, It Must Be A Romantic Novel–Three Books That Should Never Be Classified As Romantic.

So, I was thinking a lot about romantic novels–not to be confused with romance novels, which a are a completely different, wonderful thing–and became increasingly horrified when I realized what novels were considered to be romantic. Like, I’m a big Pride and Prejudice fan. There’s that dollop of sexism in there that can’t be ignored, but as far as romance goes it’s pretty great. You’ve got your strong independent female lead, and nobody is getting raped in there(close calls!), and the hero of the story doesn’t have a secret wife or revenge plot, great love story! But after doing a little google search, I found some horrifying news in the form of three novels that are decidedly not romantic. They are definitely about human condition and interaction, they might be about the idea of love and how fragile and delusional that really is, but they are certainly not romantic–or not romantic in anyway I, or anyone I know, would want to be romanced.

Let’s start with my pick of least romantic novel of all time:

Wuthering Heights

I don’t know why everyone keeps acting like this is the greatest love story of all time, when it is really the story of two bratty petulant children who grew up to be bratty petulant adults. If I wanted to think of a love as two over indulged children growing up and being pissy about not getting what they want I would watch a lot more reality TV.

The only romantic part of this book is when Catherine II falls in love with the stable boy because she is being forced to be an indentured servant and he is her only friend that she is teaching how to read. Let’s let that sink in. The most romantic part of the book is about a girl who gets kidnapped and basically falls in love by proximity. But far be it from me to discredit Heathcliff’s surly passions.

I really blame Heathcliff for hipsters. Heathcliff was the originally broody man-child that haunts my twentieth century dating dreams. This dude was an orphan who gets taken in by a semi-rich man and lives with his two kids as their brother. So it is creepy enough that he falls in love with Catherine the First to begin with, but creepier still that when she is like “no thanks Heath, I’m actually kind of a spoiled brat and I am going to marry rich Edgar so I can be a real lady,” that he doesn’t just get over it and move on. Like, I get it dude, we have all been in love and all had our first rejection and it’s crazy painful–but all us non-crazies get over it. We move on with our lives and do not spend 20+ years sulking around plotting revenge.

I mean, his revenge literally spans generations. He marries Edgar’s sister and is such a D that she has to move away. He tricks his foster brother into leaving him the house they grew up in, and then tricks Catherine II into marrying his little whiny beast of an offspring so he can get Edgar’s house too and keep Catherine II as, basically, a slave. That. Is. Insane.

But, I guess if you throw in one sobbing speech about how you wish Catherine the First could still walk the earth even as a ghost because you can’t bear to be without her in this world, suddenly it’s the most romantic novel of all time.

One creepy stalker speech does not a romantic novel make.

Equally disturbing in it’s ability to incite the passions:

Jane Eyre

Now, you all know that he kept his first wife in the attic, right? Like, I just want to make sure that we are all on the same page and we just didn’t forget that about the fact that he knew his wife was in the attic and then lied about it and tried to marry another person.

I mean, I know dude is super smoldery with passionate dark eyes, but I don’t think we can just pretend like he didn’t just do a super horrendous thing.

I mean, I can’t.

Let’s all just take a minute to read Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys and we can meet back here and talk about how romantic Mr. Rochester is.

There is nothing, I repeat, nothing romantic about being tricked into polygamy, people.

Just because Jane is a sad little orphan girl desperate for affection does not mean we get to use her desperation to erase our current wife. Not cool Rochester. Lying is not cool. Sequestering people into attics to live out the rest of their lives is not cool . Driving them to crazy town so they keep burning buildings is Not. Cool.

This book is not romantic, it simply has elements of romance, and shows how badly things can go wrong and how easily people are duped. I suppose, in the end, Jane comes into herself and makes her own decisions, but the fact that she returns to Rochester, even after everything that has happened, makes me more sad for her than happy for love.

Poor Jane is just an orphan who wants affection. She thinks she finds it with with Rochester, who is pretty much just a giant con man willing to take advantage of a sad girl desperate for love. When she finds out he is a super liar, she runs away and encounters some modicum of luck. You think learning your beloved trapped a woman in an attic and lied about her existence and ultimately didn’t care about you enough to tell you the truth would be enough to keep her from hanging out with crazies for the rest of her life, but Jane just can’t help herself. When Rochester’s first wife does in fact succeed in burning down the house and almost taking Rochester with her to death, you think Jane would be like “ sucks to be you fool, you got what you deserved”, but instead she’s like “rad, now we can get married”, and they do and have a kid to top it all off. So, I’d say the depth of Jane’s delusion is pretty frightening. All Jane seems to learn is that you need to make sure your soon-to-be husband’s first wife isn’t alive and kicking. Jane seems to be cool with it, however, maybe she will enjoy lording that over him for the rest of her life.

I’m going to go ahead and mark this novel down as the opposite of a love story. I’m 90-100% sure that great romances are not based in lies and the knowledge that at any given moment your S.O. will be perfectly content to lock you in an attic for the rest of your life.

This leads me to the most surprising find in my search of the romantic novel

Tess of the D’Ubervilles

I just want to put this down to ignorance of the plot. Like, maybe people just read the book and, you know, forgot what it was about because they were bored or something. Seriously, if this book is romantic to you, let me direct you to the works of V.C. Andrews.

Let’s just do a synopsis, shall we.

So, Tess goes to work at her cousin’s house and they are super rich. She’s pretty hot and her cousin, Alec, wants to get up in that. She refuses and he rapes her because, you know, he can.

Tess gets pregnant and has to peace out because whore-dom from being raped out of wedlock.

She raises the kid for like a year or something on this far where she meets a pretty nice dude named Angel or something equally ridiculous (it is, in fact, Angel)_) and they fall in “love”. This will be the only part of the book I can even begin to consider romantic, and it’s really more of a plot point.

So at some point before or after Angel and Tess falling in love Tess’ kid dies and that is pretty sad, but Angel is like “I’m super amazing and my name is Angel which kind of means i must be the most pure and wonderful person ever, so lets get married” so they are going to get married

Tess is super distraught because Angel is, you know, amazing, and she is like the worst ever for getting raped under the trees by her rich cousin, so she writes a confession to him. Angel, being the most observant person in the world, does not find her note and she marries him thinking he knows her dark secret, and he marries her thinking she didn’t get raped.

Fast forward to the wedding night where Angel, the pious and good, tells Tess how he had a fling with some lady prior to their marriage. Tess is like “it’s cool bae, remember how I got raped? That is somehow the same as you having consenting sex, so you shouldn’t feel bad because I am also unclean. Even though the sex you had was consensual and I was raped while I was sleeping and then got pregnant and had a baby that died, it’s totally the same situation so you don’t need to feel bad”. Which, is pretty cool of Tess to be so understanding.

So, like, you would expect good sweet Angel–hello Angel!– would be this super rad dude and be really upset over the fact that the love of his life got raped. You would expect Angel would be all like “what I am going to destroy that guy, I can’t believe he’d do that to you!” Right? Oh-ho, turns out no. Angel is like “What!? You’re a whore and I can’t believe you tricked me into marrying you and thinking you were a good person,” and then he peaces out and Tess is really, understandably, upset and ends up killing Alec (good for her).

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE

So eventually Angel is like ”Oh, they should have named me Big Richard in this book because I am being a huge dick” and goes to tell Tess he is sorry. Turns out even though nobody gets in trouble for rape, killing people is still a big no-no and Tess is about to get hanged. Tess, in all her wisdom, tells Angel that it’s cool that he was such a d-bag to her, and he should just marry her sister instead.

So, yeah, I guess if you think incest cousin rape, baby death, and murder, and sleeps with my sister is romantic–then that is a romantic novel.

These are stories of people who are stunted in their abilities to be complete people. They are desperate for love and find it in the wrong places, at the wrong time, and they are unable to move on from that. Heathcliff can’t move on from Catherine, Jane from Rochester, and Tess from Angel. They are all wrapped up in their warped ideals of love and those people who had said they loved them were false in their declarations. Sadly, none of these characters were ever able to find the true love they may or may not have deserved. Just because some of it turns out as a happy ending does not make it a love story, and the tragic ending doesn’t make it a tragic love story. These are stories about love, but they are not romantic. I think it’s time we learned the difference.

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