Wednesday, February 24, 2010
What do we do about Facebook? It's just so wrong, so creepy, so undeserving of our attention, so like a gigantic, hideous high school reunion that never, ever ends. How long can you hide your bad attitude and your gut from the world?
That said, Facebook is also the greatest thing ever, particularly when I'm feeling huge amounts of (caffeine-induced?) love for everyone I've ever met. Yeah, that doesn't sound like me, really, but it happens.
It's also nice when my creepy inner Aqualung wants to wander around fumbling through the lives of long lost acquaintances or friends of friends. You know, just like a loser would do. A lot like a loser might do. Exactly like a loser would do, a loser who plays a non-loser in her everyday life. Fine, I'm not a very good actor.
But how can my inner Aqualung resist? I sort of want to see if my exboyfriend's exwife is still with the man she dumped him for, and I'm thrilled for her for no good reason, really, when I see that she looks happy and has two little children, although I don't see any cute pictures of the nice dog we used to share custody of anywhere, so I'm led to believe that the dog is dead now. Sniff.
Again, creepy! I mean, creeeeepy creepy. Why should I care? Well, I don't really care, but as long as I'm procrastinating and not indulging past grudges or looking up exboyfriends to flirt with (I'm friends with most of them and don't find exes provocative anyway), then what the hell, right?
Or is it deeply corrupt to wander about, musing about people you don't know? Maybe I should hang out at the mall instead. Sitting on a park bench…
A word to those who ask to befriend me on Facebook: I only befriend people I've met, only because it seems really weird to show strangers pictures of my kids. I think you can understand that, if you care, which of course you don't. Plenty of writers befriend everyone and have 2,000 friends who are treated to pictures of them lounging about with their kids and babies, and that's great by me, since I really love to look at those pictures. I just feel a little private about my own photos because, as a seriously creepy loser myself, I recognize how many seriously creepy losers there are out there.
You can always join the "I love Heather Havrilesky" group on Facebook instead, but I do understand why the word "friend" is a little preferable to the word "love." Do you want to stand by such strong language, really?
Besides, after all of my squeamishness and distasteful self-seriousness around friending strangers, maybe you're more in the mood to join the "I Hate Heather Havrilesky" Facebook page. I can't find it right now, but it does exist somewhere, or it did a few weeks ago.
Then again, maybe it was toppled by the people behind the "I Hate Heather Havrilesky Haters" Facebook group, or the IHHHH. I admire their aggression, personally. And since I tend to struggle with declaring love for myself (just reading those words makes me picture Whitney Houston with a dildo) but really have no problem hating people who hate me, this group is my new favorite.
No, I didn't start either group, but I will try to mention anything pertinent relating to my writing in both places, when I don’t hate myself too much to do so.
In the meantime, you know what would be fun? You share with me your most voyeuristic, creepy Aqualung Facebook stories, and I publish them here! (send to rabbit at this url) Then we can all feel like big losers together! Win-win! (Or would it be lose-lose?)
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Is it really right that today's Olympic athlete should be so fit, so hardworking, so attractive, and also so charismatic? What kind of a message does that send to lazy, uncoordinated people who look like shit and have nothing interesting to say? More on this and other deeply offensive messages and climates of intolerance in today's Salon column. This is a good one. And yes, even if you don't care about television, you will enjoy it.
In other news, there's a contingent trying to make chocolate into a high-end gourmet buying experience like wine. Remember when they tried to do that with salt? Yeah, I guess they sort of succeeded at some level, but... salt. I think if I ever got a little too into salt there's no way I wouldn't feel like a gigantic jackass. But chocolate? That's a worthwhile obsession. Some network just sent me some "couture" (please) chocolate that had goji berries (trend!) and special delicious salt (trend!) in it And you know what? The whole thing was special and delicious. Go figure!
But was it an effective promotion? Well, um, since I can't remember which network it was or what TV show they were promoting, signs point to no.
Anyway, send me (rabbit at this blog's url) recommendations on your favorite new chocolate bar, and then go read my column, which fosters a climate of intolerance for climates of intolerance.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
I read your response to the woman who had just broken up with the detective who didn't know Bob Dylan. It was pretty great, and gave me a slightly different perspective about my feelings for my ex-boyfriend-- an insensitive, unkind, ungenerous person who only sometimes told me how smart/ funny/ good I was... who almost always made me feel bad or sad. It's true Rabbit... he didn't understand or appreciate my love for the Counting Crows or REM, or my basic disinterest in organizing or cooking. If I told you about why he made me crazy or unhappy over the year that we dated, you would think I was
insane for ever staying with him.
Long story short -- I dated him for a year, then broke up with him because he didn't love me. He started dating someone else, I found out in a classically humiliating way and didn't talk to him for eight months. Then, I got in touch with him again when I took a new job.The job (or I, in said job) turned out to be a spectacular failure, and it's at about that time that I reconnected with my ex, who was no longer dating his most recent girlfriend. In a brief moment of weakness, I spent the night with him. Then he ignored me for three straight weeks.
How could I have been so stupid? Will I ever get over this person who does not make me happy and does not want to? Am I a total idiot or just 50%?
Dear Hung Up,
If you're an idiot then most of us are idiots at one point or another, sadly. I think one thing that was always a little lost on me when I was younger was the basic fact that many men will stick with you longer than is really right or necessary simply because you're attractive and you're sleeping with them. Likewise, most exboyfriends, even the ones who really never liked you much to begin with, will happily sleep with you for a night if it looks like it'll be a relatively low-hassle affair. Because you have a history of torturing this or that exboyfriend with your neediness, they – bonus – don't have to feel all that guilty about not calling for three weeks. You know, they sort of hate your guts at some level, and don't mind making you feel like a loser – or they just don't know what the point is to calling and saying, "OK, well, just calling to let you know that was about it for me, thank you very much. Have a nice life!"
As indifferent as men can be, though, I think young women are often very blind to their own indifference. The first goal in any relationship is to make sure that he's madly in love with you. The second goal, after that, is to examine your own feelings and make some decision about whether or not you truly do want to be with him. If he never really makes it clear that you're wonderful, fully worth his time, etc. and you're never quite sure where you stand? Well, then, you might date him until the end of time. You never get to a point where you ask yourself if he's really your cup of tea.
Similarly, if you meet a guy and he seems to think you're fantastic straight out of the gate, you're pushed into this unfamiliar state – wondering whether or not you like him – at a very early stage in the game, for you. Simply posing the question "Do I really like him or not?" is so unfamiliar to you that you start to wonder, "If I'm asking the question, doesn't that mean I DON'T like him?"
Here's the answer: No, it fucking doesn't. It just means that you're not insane.
By "insane" of course I mean "the sort of person who feels more comfortable mooning over someone who doesn't care than actually being with someone who likes him or her." People who like you are easy to question, yes, because, what's their fucking problem anyway? Why would they like you?
You felt like a failure at your job, so you decided to sleep with your ex, with whom you also felt like a failure. You probably thought you were going to escape from a bad feeling (about the job) by seeking redemption with the ex, who now would see the error of his ways and treat you with love and respect.
Ladies? Never seek redemption with an ex. Never. Don't do that. He hasn't changed his mind about you, trust me, and the fact that he'll still sleep with you means exactly nothing. It doesn't even mean that you're still hot. I'm sure you ARE still hot, don't worry! But he's not your litmus test for that.
It's funny how these letters always have bad jobs and big career impasses attached to them. Have any of you rabbit readers noticed that before? The real reason for the stress and worry and longing is attached to bigger existential questions that are being squelched or pushed to the side in pursuit of some kind of ego salve.
Sorry to be so impersonal about your dilemma, though, Hung Up. The point is, you're young, you're trying to figure out your career path, and this loser has nothing to do with anything. You include him in your picture and he doesn't belong there, not remotely. His rejection, his opinion of you, what he's doing now: All utterly irrelevant. Even the fact that he's not nice. That's not proof that you're a fucking masochist. It's just proof that you're a youngish person who's figuring out what she wants, and you took a wrong turn for a while and now you're looking back and saying, "What the fuck?" We ALL have a few stories like that, if we're lucky there are just one or two, but they're there, oh yes.
The crucial thing, at this point, is to decide what you will and won't stand for moving forward. Decide who you want to be, and pursue that. If you want to find true love, fair enough, who doesn't? But lay out the whole picture of what you want, and when it comes to men, resolve right now not to settle for anyone who isn't sure about you. It's just stupid to dabble with men who are on the fence. Yes, it's sort of romantic and moony and it makes the sad music you love sound better. But otherwise, it fucks your whole damn life up flatter than hammered shit. Every single time you settle for someone who's wishy washy, it just FUCKS YOU. It really does. You can't get shit done, you can't maintain decent friendships, you feel like a crazy asshole all the time. It fucks your career. It's terrible. Don't do it.
If you're with someone who's not totally sure – and no, this isn't about marriage, it's about the difference between a guy who thinks he's lucky, lucky, lucky to have you and one who doesn't – you're inviting a big, gray wishy-washy cloud into your life that threatens to delay everything you want indefinitely. It sucks.
Don't do that to yourself. Just resolve to only go out with guys who seem truly, truly interested at the outset, and who remain interested over time. When they start seeming uninterested, don’t get mad or lecture them or throw shit or cry or pretend that you're busy for two months. (OK, you can pretend that you're busy, sure, and he'll probably get more interested after that, but what are you doing, really? You're making someone who's essentially NOT interested more interested. Is that really what you want? I've done that. It only delays the inevitable.) If he suddenly seems uninterested, simply ask, "Are you losing interest? Just be honest, ok? We can part ways, no harm no foul. Just tell me the truth."
Note: It is preferable that you do this before you get married, or have kids together.
You owe this much to yourself. And once you say to yourself, as I did at some point, "OK, finally, I know that I will not waste my time with anyone who isn't completely happy with and excited about and in love with me as I am right now. I'm not going to pretend to be cooler or better than I am, ever, I'm just going to be who I am, and if he/she doesn't like me, it's time to move on."
Once you do that, you know that from then on, you'll either be alone and true to yourself and loved (by friends and family and anyone who accepts you as you are) OR you'll be with someone who loves you for who you are, not for some false persona you presented back when the most important thing of all, more important than being true to yourself, was securing someone's love and avoiding rejection and abandonment.
And by the way, you really can just make this decision in one day. And you don't have to wonder "Will I lose myself or get needy again if I find love?" As long as you vow to cut bait when someone really isn't acting like you're important and special, then you don't have to worry about losing yourself. Because when you're with someone who loves you for who you are – I know this is a massive cliché, but it's true – you just don't get weird and needy and lose yourself.
So make a decision to never torture yourself with men who aren't that nice and/or just don't like you all that much. I guarantee that everything in your life will improve the second that you do. Fuck, I sound like a serious lunatic now, but it's true.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
MRS. POTATO HEAD
I hate it when there's anything in my life that I can't complain about. Since I've resolved to act a little bit more like a busy professional, i.e. someone who doesn't use the word cocksucker in every email, tweet and blog post, someone who doesn't whine about every fucking task that's put in front of her, someone who doesn't cringe visibly when she hears the words "vertical" and "app" and other words she tries to forget the second she hears them, I will refrain from bitching about the various restrictions and metaphorical scratchy pants of the modern workplace.
Instead, I will quote Al Swearengen: "In life you have to do a lot of things you don't fucking want to do. Many times, that's what the fuck life is... one vile fucking task after another."
I wrote more about this but... then I decided to erase it. When I start complaining about stupid things and it's not even funny, that means I should be a) drinking stronger coffee and b) writing something else.
Friday, February 12, 2010
YOU CAN READ MY BOOK BEFORE ANYONE ELSE DOES
Yes, the rumors you've heard are true. You can be the first human (besides my editor and my mother) to read my brand new book. Everyone else will have to wait at least 9 months to read it, but not you. Just think, while they're waiting, you can say things like, "It's not really as good as I thought it would be," at cocktail parties and the like. If you don't go to cocktail parties and the like, you can say these things to your friends, who won't care, and your cats, who will care as long as you're holding a can of whipped cream.
All you have to do is bid on a signed galley copy of my book here. Proceeds go to help pay for the expenses of two Salon writers, King Kaufman and Cary Tennis, who are recovering from major illnesses. (This galley copy is like an early, scrappy paperback version of the book that goes out to a tiny handful of reviewers and publishing people.)
I can just imagine you, saying things like, "That was weird when her mom wouldn't get back in the car with the family in Kansas," to which your companions will say things like, "I haven't read the fucking book yet, remember? It's not on sale until November or something." To which you'll say something like, "Oh yeah, I forgot. You have to wait to buy it with the rest of the huddled masses, because you're not as special as I am. It must suck to be so ordinary."
Thursday, February 11, 2010
I think my favorite painting might be the one called Doomcave Rations. Go here, then click on the thumbnail of the polar bear on the left. See the elf giving the polar bear some booze, or poison, presumably in the doomcave? If only my low moments were this whimsical and vivid, my dogs wouldn't spend their days plotting to kill me in my sleep.
Someone else wants to pretend to appreciate art along with me! Thank you, Satchel!
If you ever had a very depressed daughter, the sort to dye her hair dark purple and loom around the fringes of the room at Thanksgiving, composing morbid poetry in her head, you might like for her to paint like this, when she wasn't scratching down vengeful poetry. Or at least she could wallpaper her room with these paintings, by Camille Rose Garcia.
You might also want to name her Camille Rose Garcia, because that is a lovely, melancholy name. Just saying that name makes me wish I were a gorgeous, depressed artist with purple hair, instead of an old woman in a shoe, exhausted from coughing up a lung.
Thursday is Art Day. A day to look at art!
This painting by Eric White makes me feel old and anxious.
And here's a timely painting by Mr. Eric will make you nostalgic for your own nostalgia.
Come on, pathetic low-brow honkies! Send me some links to cool art. Let's pretend we care about art today!
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
SICK AND WRONG
A big heads-up for all you young folks out there: When you get older (like 39, not that fucking old, mind you, but crusty enough), you get sick A LOT MORE OFTEN. Now I say this as someone who eats reasonably well, still takes prenatal vitamins, and runs 3 miles at least twice a week. Not great, but not too shabby nonetheless.
I do have two small children. The bigger one picks her nose and the little one shoves everything in her mouth to figure out what it is. (Hmm, dog hair. Ah, sand. I see. Carpet lint, a texture I often savor.) So these little bastards go to daycare with other nose-pickers and really shoddy ass-wipers and carpet-lint-munchers, and then they come home and infect their weak, elderly parents with a wide variety of infectious diseases. You know, to see if they can kill us.
Last July I had pneumonia. Before that I had a really terrible flu (the pneumonia developed as a secondary infection, as far as I can tell.) In December, my head was filled with snot of the greenest hue. My head was like a snot-filled Emerald City, except no one was singing or getting their fucking nails done, and they can only dye your eyes to match your pink, swollen sore throat. (Jolly old town!)
But two weeks ago, things got really colorful. Eight hours after my youngest, still a baby, started crapping in the most explosive and glorious fashion, my husband followed suit (he kept it vague, which I appreciated). Eight hours after that, my stomach started to rumble ominously. (The house began to twitch!) A storm was approaching, but there was nothing to do but batten down the hatches and ride it out. Two hours later, everything in my digestive tract rushed to the nearest exit, not calmly, but pushing and shoving and panicking all the way. Fair enough. I went to sleep. At midnight, I woke up feeling like the world was about to end. I stumbled to the bathroom, thought I was about to throw up, screamed, and then passed out.
My husband walked in and found me there. Pity him.
Anyway, when I fell, I pulled a muscle in my back. Or so I thought, until this week, when I developed a terrible head cold (thank you, little nose picking bunkmates!) and it started to feel like someone was stabbing me in the side every time I coughed. Trip to urgent care, X-ray - and guess what? I fractured my fucking ribs, motherfuckers!
What am I, ninety fucking five years old? Should I install a little bar next to the tub so I can get in and out without breaking my fucking hip?
Getting old is horse shit, people! This is why your parents try to gently nudge you to have kids after you're no longer a drunk, but before you're no longer in full control of your bowel movements. You know how it's more difficult to be hungover when you're not in your twenties, more specifically, you feel like you're dying instead of just really hungry for pizza? Well, lately, I feel like I'm just progressively more and more feeble and ineffectual and sickly. Like I'm always hungover, in other words, except without the fun drinking too much and fucking strangers beforehand.
Should I give in and start eating sautéed kale and bulgar and tofu every night like my yoga instructor friend from high school who I'm quite sure hasn't coughed so hard she vomited all over her own shoes lately? She claims her children ARE NEVER SICK. (Now you hate her too, which makes me feel a little bit better.)
But not much better, because I can't cough without holding my side to keep my ribs from splintering into my lungs and killing me. Teehee! Life is sweet, isn't it, moonbeams?
WOMEN WHO WRITE NONFICTION
It's stating the obvious hour here in rainy Los Angeles: I love to read smart, funny nonfiction by women, and I'm sure that if you're here, searching my long-winded drivel for something remotely amusing (my apologies in advance for your fruitless quest), you do, too. So which female authors of essays and memoirs are worth reading? And look, don't go tell me to read one of those books that everyone SAYS is hysterical but it just isn't. You know the ones. You open the first page and read a few quips about a birthday party gone wrong, a bad date, a mishap at the hair salon, and five minutes later you're either asleep or slightly queasy.
The author needs to have a strong voice. Personally, I like women writers who seem ever so slightly aggressive and unhinged. Not just sweet and silly and self-deprecating, but a little desperate and harsh and bitter and confused. Examples: Joan Didion, Cynthia Heimel, Anne Lamott, Sandra Tsing Loh. Honesty is crucial. I also need a little bit of anger. A sense that the author truly doesn't mind if you find her vaguely distasteful.
No, Joan Didion's not funny. But how do you discuss women who write nonfiction without her, honkies? You can't do that.
Right now I'm reading a book by Julie Klam that is really funny so far, called "Please Excuse My Daughter." Very unapologetic look at her indescribably absurd upbringing. Also recently read Beth Lisick's "Everybody Into The Pool" (Lisick is awesome; her family is normal, she's the weirdo) and Sloane Crosley's "I Was Told There'd Be Cake" (smart, weird look at 20something years, see also: the slutty wonder years).
Who am I missing? Write to rabbit at this blog and tell me, royal honkwinders.
Bonus points for anyone who can point me to books that are both funny and a little depressing and sad or at least a little bit heavy. Some of my favorite David Sedaris essays, where he talks about his mom's death, for example, are like this. Or where he loses his boyfriend in a crowd, hates the motherfucker for wandering off, then codependently clings to him when he's found. That Sedaris, he's the master.
Funny and sad go together like... Dayquil and cracked ribs. Dayquil is funny, cracking your ribs is sad. There, now I have something to write about in my next post. Four down, three to go!
Congratulations on your new life and book creating year! I hope you are still giving advice, because I have a non-problem problem.
I have a really great boyfriend. We were friends for a year before we started dating and before I thought we could date I thought he was one of the best guys I'd ever met. Funny, loyal, nurturing, a good friend, really cute and just a lot of fun to be around. When I met him I was in the middle of a furious, rageful man-hating period of my life, and he was part of a wonderful wave of good men who entered my life last fall.
The problem is I am not over my man hatred. My only long-term relationship was a 4-year one where I got taken for a ride. Maybe it was a classic first relationship; he ran the show, I tried to insist on my needs and wants being part of the equation, and always failed, and always looked like a crazy person in the process. After he found another lady and disappeared suddenly I found myself adrift and miserable. I made a lot of promises to myself never to let a relationship become the centerpiece of my life, and also to never live with a man and do his laundry and dishes again.
I spent three years looking askance at couples and their codependent ways, vowed never to be monogamous again, dated ladies, and burned with rage at what lazy, entitled dumb pricks men are. I worked in law offices, so I always had lots of material for my hatred. In those years I made a lot of friends and went out dancing a lot and made a lot of career u-turns, and it's been alternately joyful or terrifying.
Now we're 6 months in and a real couple. When he is in front of me we have a great time, but as soon as he's not in front of my face I plot to end it. He is not a radical polyamorous queer lady, he is a dude, who does dude things like watch football and play video games and reside in filth with other dude roommates. Right around the time we started dating I did another one of my career u-turns, so I'm pretty broke and I've had to move a lot in the past 6 months. Due to those changes, I don't see my friends as much, and my daily life has changed a lot since the beginning of our relationship, but his has not. I see my lesbian dance party friends a lot less, he sees his video game and fantasy sports friends quite a lot. I get so scared. I get scared I'm doing the same thing I did in that other relationship and I'm going to sink into some dull miserable life only to be woken up out of it by his disappearance. I get scared that I scared that other boyfriend off with my crazy person rages and I'm going to do the same with this boyfriend.I already have flown into freakouts and tried to end it, over some uncharacteristic inconsiderateness from him, but he won't take the breakup bait. I get scared I'm going to have to mother him for our whole lives, because he was raised a dude and can't see dirty dishes. I get scared a nice guy is still at heart a guy, and thus untrustworthy and entitled and willfully stupid.
How can you tell when a fear of commitment should be listened to or when you should power through it? Also, how can I date one of the very best men I've met, when he also is in that extended adolescence thing, which I totally resent? He's 24, so I think for a guy the incessant video games and filth may be right on schedule, but I'm 27 and even when I was 24 I had the housekeeping routine and hobbies of an adult.
It's not nice or fair to threaten a breakup every time he lets me down a little, when he does try hard to be a good boyfriend. But when he lets me down a little I think, 'Of course! Because you're a guy! And I can look forward to this our whole lives unless we cut if off here!" And then the only solution is to end it.
And third, since I'm scared of losing my identity in a relationship because I actually love to blow off everything I care about to cuddle and go to brunch and gaze at each other, what do healthy people do to keep their identities in a relationship? How can I make sure if this relationship goes away I will still recognize myself? Or especially how do I do that if it never goes away?
Thanks for reading, and thanks for all your writing!
Well, it sounds to me like your big problem is that you're 27 years old and a woman.
I'm sure that sounds fucking obnoxious. I don't mean that you're immature at all. I don't mean that your feelings aren't justified. They are entirely justified. You're just now noticing that 1) men are simple animals and 2) you want one anyway and 3) no amount of lesbian dance partying will change that but 4) can't you at least stop blaming your 24-year-old man for being a 24-year-old man? Also 5) why are you such a bitch all of the time? And 6) are you ready to be bored out of your skull for the rest of your life with a really nice guy, or should you ditch a really nice guy and regret it forever and ever and ever and ever?
Little known fact: Smart women in the 25-29 age range go through a Man Loathing Stage. We wake up one day and realize that we've spent most of our energy over the past decade obsessing about a herd of dimwitted ballscratchers who spent the same decade trying to decide which they like better, cashews or pistachios. Unfortunately, you're in that stage where you haven't come to terms with the fact that men are simply different from women in a number of disappointing ways.
Note that I said disappointing ways, not enraging, teeth-gritting, plate-hurling ways. Your rage comes from the fact that you haven't yet accepted that men are different, and that you haven't yet accepted – this is very important, so pay attention – the fact that you are not a man. You're not a man, so you can't pretend not to have a raging, swirling river of emotions every now and then over stupid, trivial shit. You're not a man, so you have on board a miraculous set of instruments that can be used to create another human being. Compare a man's simple pollen and stamen to what have you, and suddenly, you realize: You are a great, glorious, glowing she-God! I mean this in the very real, concrete sense, not in the lesbian dance party sense. You are, by nature, awe-inspiring and special. You have the biological equivalent of a nuclear reactor on board. It is simply natural that you occasionally experience enormous toxic meltdowns. Yes, that sounds very sexist. Most of us prefer not to say this out loud, for that reason. But all smart women have enormous toxic meltdowns occasionally. Every last one of us. We try to be nice. We try not to blame. We try to maintain control. We look on the bright side, all the time. We do yoga, for fuck's sake. But it still happens to the best of us.
Now, that doesn’t mean that you want to spend the rest of your life blaming your slow-moving animal of a boyfriend for all of your crappy moods or emotional breakdowns. But I'm here to tell you: These meltdowns are a byproduct of your inability to accept that you're a woman, you're vulnerable, and that's perfectly ok and appropriate. Just because the men you know are prone to mumbling incoherently in response to your wordy treatises on a wide range of deeply emotional subjects, that doesn't mean that you're a freak, or that you're as impossible to comprehend or empathize with as they pretend you are. When your boyfriend says, "Uh, well," and changes the subject, inspiring you to hurl wineglasses, he only says that because he knows that no matter what he says, it'll be wrong (and he's right about that). He knows (and accepts) that you're a little nuts better than you do.
Now, naturally, your lesbian friends and your empowered feminist friends and your own soul should now be crying out, rightly pointing out that defining the uterus as the source of hysteria is absurdly fucked and patriarchal and Freudian and deeply wrong. Your guy friends will also resent being likened to big dumb animals. But let's cast such understandable inconveniences aside for now, shall we?
Because you're at a crossroads. You wish you were gay, but you're not. Men are stinky and lame and all they care about and/or talk about are fucking trivia, tasty food and round asses. Your boyfriend in particular is three whopping years younger than you, and even if you were the same age he'd be 5 maturity years younger than you, so right now for all intents and purposes, it's as if he's 19. (A 19-year-old girl, at any rate. 19-year-old boys are actually 14.)
So he's annoying and young, but he loves you, so there's that. And he's nice, and cool, and if you were to dump him, you might really regret it.
But come on now, is this really about him? I guess it could be about him, if you knew whether you'd rather settle down with a great guy and have kids, or just go out a lot and date a few more disappointing guys until you do or don't find one that seems to make sense. It's tough to say what the right choice for you is on that front. Sometimes when you start torturing someone with angry outbursts, it's because you want to leave and you can't bring yourself to be alone. Other times, you want them to man up and clean their toilets and be normal, which is doable for most. But other times, it's because you don't feel understood, seen, met, heard, etc. for some weird reason, either because he's not a big talker (important to many smart women) or because something about his company is unsatisfying (this is a tricky one, because lots of men are supremely dissatisfying as partners a lot of the time, but they're very, very satisfying as close, intimate friends in conversation often enough that you feel relaxed and you don’t lash out at them for no reason all the time – so you don't want to get tripped up by those dissatisfying moments that are just, you know, him contemplating "cashews or pistachios?" like any similar one-celled organism might).
But screw that question altogether, because the picture you paint here makes it clear that this is all about you, what you want, where you're headed. I'm going to guess that you're not entirely sure what you want, or who you should be, and you're sort of taking that out on your boyfriend, who puts up with it, which makes you feel guilty and makes you hate yourself, which in turn makes you hate him. Remember how your crappy boyfriend let you do the dishes and all that shit and it was proof that he was an asshole? He may well have been an asshole, but the truth is that until you're mature, you're naturally going to take advantage of weaker people who subordinate themselves in your presence. It's human nature. Sucks, but it's true. Maybe you're disrespecting him because you don't respect yourself enough to do the things you need to do with your life at this point.
My best guess is that you're just not ready to settle down right now. Although you make appear very needy at times, you are, in fact, the one who's being commitmentphobic, mostly because you aren't sure yet what most men are like (another reason you claim to hate all men – once you actually have a good subject pool that you've sampled, there's not much reason for hatred. Hatred is a product of ignorance.) (Yes, I do have a lot in common with Ghandi, I'm glad you mentioned that.)
If you're wondering whether or not you'll crumble and become codependent, then you probably will. That's not because it's a bad relationship, necessarily, it's just the result of your current level of confusion about yourself and what you want.
What do you want, really? Sounds to me like you're over going out all the time, you're working on your career, and you wouldn't mind settling down with someone who's sort of a homebody but also has a good job and doesn't spend all of his free time with his dude friends. Someone, say, 5 years older than you who might want to get married and have kids eventually, but who's also a good friend, smart, thoughtful, talkative, and – this is rare among 24-year-olds – truly engaged and interested in vaguely volatile, funny, mercurial women with a lot (A LOT!) to say.
So I guess what I'm saying is that you're commitmentphobic because you're worried you're going to waste half of your youth waiting for your boyfriend to grow up and turn into someone else, someone who's a little less goofy and boyish. Aww. I was dating a great guy who was goofy and boyish when I was 27, too. He was so awesome, and breaking up with him was just agonizing. I felt (tellingly) like I was kicking my own kid out on his ass, to fend for himself in a cruel and hostile world.
Then I dated a real adult who was very serious and ready to settle down, but I didn't like him enough. Then I dated another goofy, boyish guy. (He hasn't changed since then, either.) In all of these cases, I was the one who was needier, and I was the one who had to do the dumping. I tortured them because they weren't right for me and I knew it.
I was also very pissed off and confused, to be fair, and they were mostly nice and put up with my bullshit for longer than they probably should have.
Man. I said this wasn't about your boyfriend, and this most definitely isn't about my fucking honky exboyfriends, and yet here I am prattling on and on about them. (Another very Ghandi-like habit of mine.)
The real point is that you're just at that age where you've outgrown your circumstances, but you're not sure how to handle it. If I were you, I would get a therapist and discuss how to put your entire life on the right track. When you're 27 and you're a woman, that's a very crucial time to make good decisions, about your career, about your friends, about how you want to live. Because when you're in your mid-30s you feel a little pressured to figure it all out and fast – it's far better to have a clear understanding of what your goals are and make some goals and be honest about your needs (not just lash out about them, then go out drinking) when you're a little younger.
If you can't find a therapist, then write it all down (you're a good writer, by the way) and sort it out and present it to yourself (not your boyfriend, btw) and decide for yourself how to shake up your picture.
That's a little wishy washy, but that's what I'd do next. When you've sorted it out, write to me again and we'll go from there! I really love those taxing late 20s years when everything starts to fall apart and the vast majority of 20-something drunks stop drinking heavily and start freaking out. It's a good time, really, it is.
Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid!
That's my dad covered in sand in the short-shorts, and me in the red crochet bathing suit. Yes, that's a red crochet bathing suit, hand-crafted by my Russian grandmother. That thing would look really good on Borat, wouldn't it? Or, sure, Jessica Biel.
Whenever we went to the beach, my dad would cover himself in sand, then scare the shit out of me. Typical honky vacation fun. For a while I was convinced that this should be the cover of my memoir, which is about having the shit scared out of you constantly as a child (sounds funny, I know, but it's sort of sad and also a little pathetic, too). My editor was very polite about my suggestion, and she wisely waited for me to get distracted with the actual writing of the book instead of saying, no, we won't be marketing the book so that it looks like an incest survivor memoir.
See, that's the difference between book publishing professionals and magazine publishing professionals. Book publishing professionals hold their tongues and bide their time. Magazine publishing professionals say things like "We gotta get on this Snooki thing, pronto!" and "Heidi Montag shat herself in Barney's. Is there a piece there?" Book publishing professionals tell you, "That's an interesting thought, let's revisit this in a few weeks when we're considering the overall narrative arc of the book." Magazine publishing professionals say things like "I don't know, write it and post it and I'll backread it when I get out of my meeting in an hour."
Magazine publishing professionals aren't afraid to say, "No, that's stupid. Shut up." And also "Stick your head in doo-doo." When book publishing professionals want you to stick your head in doo-doo, they just don't return any of your emails for a few months.
I love my editor and publisher, of course, but I have to take the piss because it's the only way I can cope with gearing up to anticipate the start of waiting to fire up my engines to begin waiting for the initial waiting period before the big wait before my book is published. The book is written, edited, copyedited, legally vetted, and it has a cover, but it doesn't hit the shelves until about a year from now. That's just the way book publishing works. But when you're used to bloviating directly onto the internets, book publishing can feel like missing the slow boat to China, and the next boat doesn't leave until Sarah Palin is in the White House. (No, God, don't do that to my daughters, who will only conclude that aggressive, reckless idiotic women's dreams really do come true.) (They already have ample proof of that under their own roof.)
Anyway, I still think those short-shorts could sell a lot of copies.
BE THE FIRST!
Be the first human on the planet to read my new book! Yes, you could hold my brand new memoir in your hot little hands, before anyone else does. By bidding on a galley copy of my book, you'll not only be the very first honky to read it (outside of my editor and my mother, who were forced to), but every cent of your bid will go toward helping King Kaufman and Cary Tennis, two Salon longtime writers, recover from recent serious illnesses.
Find out all about the bakesale for King and Cary here. My favorite item: Joan Walsh will spend 30 minutes debating the relative who reminds you most of Pat Buchanan. There are also pretty books by Dave Eggers, art by Elizabeth Kairys, and all kinds of other great stuff.
But you don't give a flying fuck about that. I know you, honky! All you care about is BIDDING ON MY NEW BOOK. Aww. I can't really blame you. I am stupidly alluring, let's face it, in my own vaguely disgusting way. Plus, everyone else will wait forever to see that goddamn book (thanks to the fact that book publishing is a slow, slow, slow, slow, slow boat to China populated by smart, friendly intellectuals who smile and hold your hand as you sit on your ass and wait to get to China, wait and wait and wait) but you? YOU will have a copy in just a week or two, as soon as they're ready! Yes, hot off the goddamn presses, honkies and honky-fearing non-honkies!
And best of all, in honor of today's bakesale, I'm going to post to my pathetic, neglected blog SEVEN TIMES. "Seven times in one day?" you ask? Yes, yes, I say. Seven times. I don't know what I'm going to write, but I'll come up with something. I have a few advice letters in the hopper. This is a special day, a day of celebratory fundraising madness. So join me in the fun, honkies! Along the way we'll monitor the top items in the auction, and check in on how much money has been raised thus far for King and Cary.
AND if you have anything important to tell the rabbit blog readership, or need some advice? Today is your day to shine! Write to me now, rabbit at rabbit blog.
Let the bakesale auctioning and advice giving and general-purpose pointless Tuesday blog-centered festivities begin!