Wednesday, March 9, 2011

blah blah blah.

i think i may have figured out part of what the fuck my stupid problem is. and what some of your problems might be, too. and this might not be hilarious, but draper just informed me that "sometimes you have to turn down the lights a bit and do a slow jam." so consider the lights dimmed. the other day i was on the gchats with my gorgeous girl ljb, and we were doing the color commentary play by play post-drinks deconstructive analysis of a date she'd been on the night before. he sounded like a pretty amazing dude: handsome + nice + not dumb. which almost = FICTIONAL nowadays. seriousballs, i read all that shit and was like CYBORG. or alien in need of a green card. so this is how our conversation went:
1:50 PM ljb: I went on ANOTHER date last night
1:52 PM me: how was it?
1:53 PM ljb: it was actually the first time it went how a date is supposed to goit was really nice and way fun
  i forgot what "normal" acts like
1:55 PM me: HOORAY.
 ljb: yeah!!
1:56 PM but now i have to wait around during that awful, "I think it went really well and we're supposed to hang out again but maybe he didn't feel the same and will he call?" part
1:57 PM cause it always seems to go downhill at that part. poo.
 me: i have no encouraging words.
 ljb: hahaha
 me: men are shit, i hope he calls. 

that makes me fucking sad, dude. but not for the reasons you might think. waiting around for someone to call you isn't really the tragedy we often make it out to be. SERIOUSLY. let's stop pretending that staring at your phone for four days straight, or worse, pulling it out of your bag every five minutes to check that it somehow hasn't stopped working due to lack of use, is the worst thing that could ever happen to you. it just isn't. what sucks about this exchange, and about humankind in general, is how comfortable people are with lying right to your pretty little face. okay, so how that relates is not readily apparent. i get that. so here's what i mean: ljb wouldn't have to wonder how dude felt about the evening if she hadn't already experienced the crushing disappointment that is "yeah, i had SUCH a good time and i can't WAIT to see you again" followed by a tumble off the face of the earth. or at least that's what you're left to assume must have happened, as it is IMPOSSIBLE that someone who claimed to like you that much could have just been saying that shit just to say it. or is it?

one of anna's FAVORITE stories of mine is the one in which i ran into a girl we went to high school with and refused to play along like we were actually going to hang out after our chance encounter and awkwardly avoided writing down her phone number. so this was before everyone walked around with her facebook in her pocket, way back in the stone age of land lines and portable cd players, and i ran into this girl i liked just fine but had never been super close to outside of the liquor store next door to my job. IMAGINE THAT. we made pleasant small talk for a few minutes because i'm not such a fucking asshole that i don't care about the baby you had or the degree you just got; i'm fucking happy for you, sister. tell me all about that shit. back then i was even nice enough to spare random reconnects from the tragedy of my dead parents and failed attempt at college. if your dog accidentally runs up and takes a shit on me or you back your car over my foot in the parking lot at whole foods or however we might run into one another after all these years ("oh my fucking god, bitch, you're still ALIVE?!" is my all-time favorite greeting in these situations), you can expect that i will smile and nod at all of the lies you string together about how great you're doing, then rewrite my own sorry history to afford you the chance to return the favor. but what i won't do, especially before the phrase "facebook me" became an action verb, is get my phone out and make imaginary plans that, let's face it, neither one of us is ever going to pursue.

what i said at the time was, "all that number-swapping isn't necessary, gurl. it was great to see you, i'm very happy you're doing so well, good luck with everything in the future." because shit got IMMEDIATELY uncomfortable i added, "maybe i'll see you around sometime," but deep down in my heart of hearts i knew that if i ever saw that bitch again i would immediately turn on my heel and walk in the other direction. or kill myself. anything to avoid another tricky interaction. and you don't have to be a fucking dickbag about it, just stop leading bitches on. the awkwardness of that moment would be eclipsed TEN FOLD if i'd run into her again after ignoring her messages for two weeks. and she doesn't have to feel the repercussions of this thing she said just to be nice coming back to bite her in the ass in the form of my incessant "hey, when are you free for dinner?!" texting. i understand why people say things they don't mean, for shiz. at least in theory. because more often than not the natural progression of most of these phony conversations we end up having every day is to seal it with a promise you have no intention of keeping. if i don't want to see a motherfucker ever again, i won't tell him that i do. in any capacity. no need to be a fucking jerkface, but if your response to "we should totally hang out again!" is "god, you know what? i am just SO SWAMPED and SO BUSY right now," i get your motherfucking point: YOU DON'T WANNA HANG OUT WITH ME. and my feelings might be a little bruised, but that hurt has a shelf life and an expiration date. causing that five minutes of "good lord, that was brutal" isn't illegal, nor is it a crime. as a matter of fact you, sir, deserve a medal for being so goddamned direct.

i try to never say anything i don't absolutely mean. because i understand that eventually you are going to expect me to DO WHAT THE FUCK I SAID I WAS GOING TO DO, and that is a sticky trap to get out of. how come there are so many people who aren't like that? do you enjoy making people hate you? i've got a phone full of platonic numbers (like atomic numbers, sans the sexy electrons) belonging to well-meaning jerks who led my simple ass to believe that they actually wanted to spend some kick it time rather than find a seemingly harmless segue out of whatever conversation we were having. two things about that: 1 i'm not the person you have to do that to, because i want out of this wretched conversation worse than you do, and 2 99.9% of the time this happens to me it is 100% UNSOLICITED. universal example that everyone can relate to: you run into this bitch you used to LOVE at summer camp or boy scouts or first period detention or wherever the fuck. you smile and small talk it up, maybe even give each other a christian side hug. you pretend that you haven't forgotten this woman's name (what class did i have with her again?!) while she pretends not to notice all the weight you've put on since graduation. the conversation slowly dwindles down to nothing. you're all ready to walk to your car while tossing a "good to see you!" over your shoulder when she says, apropos of nothing, "you are so great! i rilly, rilly think we oughta hang out sometime!"

WELL. what a conundrum this poses. i mean, she was your bff in the children's choir at church, after all. and sometimes it really is hard to spit in the face of someone who sounds so caring and genuine. SO YOU CAVE, even though you sort of know it is likelier that an actual dog will text you before this bitch does. you get out your cell phone and your date book and start conference calling your secretary to try to find an empty spot in your agenda. you spend three weeks playing one-sided voicemail tag before realizing that fake-ass bitch just might have been lying. and now YOU FEEL LIKE AN ASSHOLE. over someone who doesn't mean anything anyway. and that's why life sucks.

i fall for all of this bullshit of best intentions hook, line, and sinker every time. first of all, you can't always tell when someone is blowing smoke up your goddamned ass. especially when that someone is a someone you already know. blame this crushing loneliness, i guess. maybe we all just need to exercise a little healthy disbelief anytime another human being opens his or her mouth. i mean, i wouldn't immediately believe some dude who told me he'd climbed mount everest, so why should i automatically believe him when he says he enjoyed the meal we just shared? i don't know how to do emotional things, like turn off my feelings so they don't get hurt, but i am VERY GOOD at repeating shit over and over again in my brain to make myself feel better. i am totally the fucking champion of self-help books, because i'm brilliant at lists, and those bad girls are FULL OF THEM. i sat down and wrote my own, of course, on the back of a piece of garbage, of course, under the heading: "shit bitches say and totally don't fucking mean." it could also be called, "no, i'm not coming to that thing you invited me to even though i promised i would and you're a fool for extending the offer."

so here's my handy guide (i really should've had pamphlets printed up, but no one reads shit printed on paper anymore) for those of us who are dumb enough to give people a fucking chance, also known as "things not to believe when said to you by another human being." or "why your heart is broken all the time, you goddamned idiot."

i'm willing to concede that the first one on the list probably happens to me waaaaaay more than it does to some of you, but i hear you're like a daughter to me more than is ever really necessary. i wasn't HATCHED, my parents are just DEAD. and as much as i appreciate that you want to boss me around or guilt me into hovering over your death bed, i only want fake parents who are going to GIVE ME SOMETHING. i mean, isn't that the killer shit about living parents?! sorry to break it to you, but i've done just about all the nursing home sitting i EVER have to do. you want a full-grown kid? WRITE THIS BITCH A CHECK. here's why that declaration is gross, before you castigate me for being an ungrateful piece of trash: BITCHES DON'T REALLY MEAN THAT SHIT. mel considers me his surrogate child, and mel has also bought me two cars, paid the insurance on those cars, put me on his cell phone plan, counseled me through a bunch of bullshit, visited me in the hospital, lent me money, lent my friends money, fixed my computers, employed me since i was 19, paid for me to go to design school, sat through countless cubs games and episodes of seinfeld with me, photographed me, moved me from one apartment to another, given me credit cards, taken me everywhere, and put me in his fucking will. you know, THE THINGS A FATHER WOULD DO. watch out for all your play brothers and sisters, too. i don't know why people get comfortable saying big things they don't really mean, but the rest of us have to stop being suckered by the WORDS and start looking at the ACTIONS.

i'm the fucking worst at that, because i want to believe it when someone says something sweet to me. especially when that something sweet is i miss you. PFFFT. don't be fooled, friends. "i miss you" is really just code for "i finished whatever i was doing that made me stop calling you and i'm lonely now." i just went through this silly shit with a friend of mine who dropped out of my life for a goddamned DUDE. the minute she saw he'd taken her pictures down in his apartment i get a "hey, i haven't really talked to you in a year" phone call. you bitches can keep that shit. especially because i fell for it, only to have it happen AGAIN when his greener grass didn't work out for him. dudes always pull that shit, too, and we have to toughen the fuck UP. when he says, "i miss you," you should hear, "that girl i thought you didn't know about ended up being boring and wack." or "i'm broke and out of work and i remember how nice your apartment is." or "she won't let me put it in her butt like you do."

i read recently that the lie people tell the most is "i'm fine," but i'd like to submit a couple for consideration. what is it that you think will happen if you tell someone you didn't have a good time hanging with that you did not, in fact, have a good time? i had a good time is quite possibly the most counterproductive phrase you could ever use when you want to dismiss a person. maybe everyone is just a fucking sadist egomaniac who enjoys watching potential playmates wringing themselves out over them, but if you don't want to be bothered MAYBE YOU SHOULD SAY THAT. same goes for i'll call you, a statement that implies that not only did you enjoy yourself, but you'd like the opportunity to enjoy yourself in my company AGAIN. i'm not even talking specifically about romantic shit, either. EVERYBODY does this. that's why i never turn my goddamned ringer on and refuse to dial anyone's number, because bitches don't really want you to call them. they want you to think they want to talk to you, which means that deep down they're really not assholes, they've just been terribly busy. which will then give them the chance to MISS YOU.

excuses are MUCHO BORING, so we just have to learn to not invite anyone to anything ever. because i'm coming to your _______ is just too easy a lie for motherfuckers to tell, and we are going to save ourselves a world of hurt if we just stop believing it. i'm seriously at the point when i am going to stop planning anything and just make the most out of random occurences. unless you like making a game out of listening to whatever lame excuse some asshole is going to give you (what's he going to say this time? acute-onset brain cancer?!?!!), which i sometimes like to do, we should just start showing up at bars and restaurants and eating with whoever is there. chicago is small enough that your chances of running into someone you know at someplace you like to eat or drink are SUPER HIGH, even if you only know the person tangentially. so eat with that dude and save yourself the devastation of begging bitches to meet up. we should also stop throwing parties and doing shows, because bitches REALLY can't be bothered to holler at that shit. trust me, i know. so here's our new plan: make a party wherever you happen to be. sound good? awesome. now don't bother sending me an invitation, because i'll totally be busy doing something dumb.

ooh here's a killer: i never said that. now this one is tough because it can be translated a couple different ways. 1 i never made that promise or 2 i never said that nasty thing you heard. let's deal with the second one first. every time anyone tells me something fucked up a bitch has said about me, I ALWAYS BELIEVE IT. because bitches be talking shit, for reals, and it's usually true. and the tattletail might have changed the words up a little bit or left something too-mean or extra-salacious in an effort to protect your feelings (or maybe she made it sound worse to set off a fucking turf war), but 100% guaranteed that some version of what she's saying to you got said to HER. and instead of killing the messenger you oughta buy that bitch a drink then go confront old jabber jaws. and when he or she swears up and down that they didn't say that thing you know he or she said, COMMENCE THROAT-PUNCHING. these days we all need to start becoming better acquainted with whatever recording features our fancy telephones offer, because assholes think nothing of lying to your face about the things they mindlessly promise you. have you ever had someone try to rewrite history in your brain? it would be hilarious if it wasn't so goddamned insulting.

and finally, if no one ever told me that my next great romance is right around the corner or that old chestnut you'll find love the minute you stop looking for it i could die happy TODAY. no one wants condolences for not having someone to fuck on, number one, and the last time i ran into a bitch who tripped and fell over a hot dude in the middle of the pharmacy while trying to buy tampons, a copy of self magazine, and a handle of vodka on a random tuesday night was motherfucking NEVER. stop saying that shit, jerks. and the rest of us have to stop believing it. so keep trolling craigslist and trying to fuck all of the facebook friends you haven't yet, because there is no cupid aligning your romantical stars just waiting to shoot you in the ass with an arrow full of roofies. and you know what happens when you don't look for shit? YOU MISS IT. or it sees you at the gas station in your sweatpants with the crotch eaten out and your weave all fucked up.

the moral of the story, of course, is that everyone is a huge liar and you should never believe anything nice anyone ever says to you. by the way, you look SO CUTE in that shirt you're wearing.