Friday, June 15, 2007
AND FOR WHAT?
You know, even though I might've changed one or two things, even though I hate this idea that Tony was killed and we didn't see it, even though I vastly prefer to think that he simply continues to live his paranoid, depressed, over-indulgent life forever and ever, those are simply my preferences. I think my original thoughts - Hmm, was that pure genius, or just a big "Go fuck yourself, America?" - were more accurate than the tongue-in-cheek chaos that followed it. The last scene was inherently ambivalent and ambiguous, and expressed the anger and ambivalence of its author (and its subject, Tony, if you want to go that far), and our reaction to it mirrored that ambiguity and ambivalence.
Of course TV is art in some cases, and of course art doesn't owe us shit. I never wanted a plot-based pay-off, with Tony going down in flames for all to see. I just want to argue that moving your audience to burn things and fuck shit up is maybe a little more understandable if your total work of art can be experienced in a few minutes and not, say, over the course of 8 years.
That said,Chase should have the right to piss us off as much as he wants to. I'm "making a mole hill" as Tony would say, but this particular show is worth the extra (excessive, obsessive) words, in my opinion. I love that terrible shit Tony, and I'll miss him.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
EXILE IN FLINCHYVILLE
I know you're a wonderful doting mother these days and probably do not have time to listen to my rambling, but don't you ever wish that some poor single girl, lost in her dating and social life, could email you again and seek your advice? Well here goes.
Ever since the big Myspace change of "In a Relationship" to the ever-funny but stil vague as hell "Swinger" to the even more obvious "Single" status, I have... Well, what haven't I done, really?
This has, of course, resulted in a "been there, done that" mentality to the dating world, which has left me with little to hope for, much less expect.
And the kicker is that I'm not even dating to find this wonderfully bearded guy who wears black framed glasses and tight jeans and listens to Yo La Tengo and likes to spoon to eventually MARRY. I can hardly fathom the idea of a serious RELATIONSHIP right now. Come on!
What I want is for someone to want to see me on a weekday before 11 pm. I want someone to reply to my random text messages about the jokes I find on Laffy Taffy wrappers. I want someone who is okay with the fact that I will always want to order dessert with dinner, no matter how much or how little I ate of the previous courses. And I want someone who gets that I'm loud and snarky and I take way too many self-portrait myspace pictures, and yet still finds all of that utterly adorable.
What happened to just enjoying being with someone without the hassles of "where is this going" or the more obvious "where this is NOT going," which only leaves us with weekly hookups and the random, but somehow obligated, dinner? When did dating become such a toss up between fuck buddies or a long-term relationship?
I don't need to be anyone's girlfriend right now, and yet I also don't need to be just one of the girls to some guy.
I need a mutual crush, I think. Is it possible to just date a guy for the sake of dating, no more, no less? Not within the first few months, at least?
Looking for a break,
Dating for the sake of dating? That sounds about as fun as exercising for the sake of exercise. Most of us are way too lazy to lug our bodies around just for the hell of it, or to make small talk and nurse a warm beer while our palms sweat and our minds reel. Why bother?
And then there's speed dating, which is sort of like doing stadium sprints. Just thinking about it makes me want to crawl into bed with a massive platter of chili cheese fries.
I exercise in order to prevent sinking into a fog of blah. I don't date and never did, really, but if I did date it would be to trick someone attractive into spending the rest of his life in bed with me, eating chili cheese fries.
So, really, I don't believe you. I understand that you're not ready to get married - and look, more power to you. Marriage is awesome for old people like me. I would never recommend it for young folks, unless they're the sorts who spend their weekends weeding the flower beds and reconfiguring their retirement portfolios.
But you're saying you want to "just date"? Give me a break. That's like standing around at a cocktail party for hours, sipping on the same gin and tonic, engaging in the same stifling discourse about politics until your blisters swell and bulge and burst in a pussy mess all over your terrible, teetering torture shoes. Just as no one at a cocktail party wants to hear about your myspace page, no one you're "dating" will think your myspace self-portraits are utterly adorable, nor will they delight in the way you dance a jaunty dance to Dr. Dre in your soft pants while whipping up a late-night batch Mac 'n' cheese on the stove. Date all you want, it won't make you feel adorable. It will make you feel like you're trying out for the role of Relentlessly Cheery TV Spokesmodel for a second-rung cable reality show.
What you want is to be in a nice, regular-old relationship. Maybe it'll turn into a long-term thing, maybe it'll turn into a marriage, maybe it won't, but trust me, no one is going to want to pin you down on that front immediately, so you need not worry your pretty little head over it.
If no one wants to meet you before 11 p.m., you'd better not go out at 11 p.m. looking for them. You go out at 11 p.m., and all you're going to get is some sloppy half-assed fucking, replete with glassy eyes and beer breath. Whether or not that sounds good to you really depends on how old you are and how much of a slut you've been up until this point. I don't want to completely disparage this practice, it has its charms. But if you want to be considered adorable, you can't be a guy's favorite speed-dialed booty call. It pains me to say that, because I've always felt that women should do whatever they want whenever they want, sexually. But let's be practical about this: Booty calls evolve into half-assed, flinchy relationships at best. Maybe most of the relationships you've had have evolved from a booty call. Fine. But were they so great? No. I'm betting the one or two pairings that crept out of sweet flirtations or flirtatious friendships were way better.
Now I have to plunge into some advice that most people will consider demented: You want someone to think you're great? Stop trying to seem so fucking great all the time. Lead with your flaws. Admit that you're loud and snarky, without making that sound cute. Be honest. At some point, I noticed that certain types of men dug me at first, because they thought I was a guy's girl, nothing but good times and pizza delivery and noogies and Sportscenter and haw haw haw. When I said something emotionally substantive or serious, they would look at me like my head just twisted full circle on my neck. They would beg me not to get "all weird." After a few years of this, any urging not to "get weird" would either plunge me into a funk, or make me burst into tears, whether I liked the fuckwiener in question or not. Voila! Party over, and man goes home to man-friends complaining of how I "seemed cool" but then "went all psycho-chick" on him.
Eventually, the words "Don't get all weird on me" or "You think too much" or "What's your story?" alerted me to the fact that I was talking to a guy who didn't like weird women with long stories who think too much. This saved me a great deal of time, and I quite miraculously never got dumped or beat my head against the wall over Mr. Flinchy again.
Ah, yeah, I know what you're thinking, guys. You're thinking about all of the scary, desperate, teary-eyed, angry women you've ever had the misfortune of dating. And look, I'm not going to claim to be better than any of them. I'm not going to sort through that pile and try to tell you where you draw the line between oversensitive and scary, between slightly emotional and nutso. All I know is, lots of smart, funny, great women I know get smashed into the needy nutbag category with very little analysis or fanfare, until, after a while, they're referring to themselves as needy nutbags. It's so sad.
I bring all of this up, M, because I want to make sure that you're not sleeping with guys, then proclaiming loudly that you're "not into a relationship" that you "just want to hang out" and that you "totally don't need to deal with a boyfriend right now." You may know what you mean, but no one else does. What they hear is either a) "I really, really want a boyfriend badly" or they hear b) "I'm good for a late-night fuck, no strings attached."
You do want a boyfriend. You want someone who thinks you're adorable. That's a boyfriend. (Realistically, you can't date two people at once for more than about a month, and sleeping with two people at once might be fun when you're 21, but it's pretty dumb and insupportable after that.) There's nothing wrong with wanting to go out with someone cool, who digs you, who wants to make breakfast and hang out and call you. No one is going to force a ring on you overnight. You're a woman. You're lucky that way.
If I were you, I would stop fucking people, and stop saying you don't want a relationship. I would stop pointing out what's adorable about you. Tell people you're bossy and moody and you're probably not their type. When you're attracted to someone, be alert for reasons why they might be wrong for you. Pretend like you're buying a car - decide that you're not going to seal the deal without walking out the door and sleeping on it (ahem, alone) first.
Just be friends with as many men as you can, and try to remain ambivalent about all of them until you can tell what they're all about. Keep an open mind about the nice guys, keep a wary eye on the smooth ones. You want to be called adorable? Girls who don't sleep with men immediately get called adorable. In fact, I think the fifth or sixth definition under "adorable" says something like "an intoxicating, provocative, utterly breathtaking creature who's never slept with me."
You protest too much. Just relax, be honest and open your eyes to the people around you, let them in, see them for who they are, and let them see you for who you are. Remember, you're not trying to appeal to a mass audience here, and if you're doing things right, then 4 out of 5 men will decide, straight off the bat, that you're all wrong for them. Rejection isn't personal, it's a very helpful way that other people keep you from wasting your precious time. Eventually -- and without the frustrating ambivalent flinchyfest or the fawning spoony factor -- you'll narrow it down to one or two interesting, interested parties who have a taste for your particular flavor of loud, snarky weirdo.