my okcupid screen name was fartthrob. i can't remember exactly what i wrote in my ~extremely earnest~ profile, but i know that it was probably full of awkward attempts at humor while also apologizing in advance to anyone who dared to meet me in real life. my shit had paragraphs, okay? i was really trying to distill the best parts of myself into an appealing internet soundbite that was impressive yet also sincere. i never pledged allegiance to obscure bands i couldn't quote off the top of my head, never pretended to be really into coffee or sushi or anything that could be disproven within five minutes of making my acquaintance. there's always some wiseguy who'll show up at the restaurant like "oh hey aren't you really into albino caviar?" and then you gotta smile and choke that slimy shit down or admit that you're a lying asshole. i can't deal with that kind of pressure. honestly my headline should have been: LIKES MCDONALDS, ON MEDS.
two of my actual friends who live in totally different parts of the country have recently found themselves scrolling through tinder and/or okcupid, presumably looking for handsome and wildly successful strangers to save them from the doldrums of dating and transport them to their amazing new futures as women who use hashtags like #lovehim and #heputaringonit, and within the last few weeks both of these jerks texted me screenshots of profiles either featuring pictures of my book's cover or featuring quotes like "just started reading samantha irby's book" and LOLWAT. first of all, does that actually work?! living is a mistake! fuck i couldn't get fucking laid fucking being samantha irby so is my perimenopausal book that is 70% about shitting in the street really getting brian in new york city some unenthusiastic sex?!
first of all, i'm not humblebragging. i'm genuinely mystified! THAT BOOK IS ABOUT A HOUSECAT AND MY DEAD DAD WHAT THE FUCK. if i picked any of those essays and read it to you you'd put me in therapy, not offer to finger me! what have i been doing wrong?! i'm fucking salty. anyhow, gentlemen: thank you i guess. i (ahem, the multi-tentacled publishing conglomerate that allowed me to write at length about my asshole on a national stage) appreciate your sixteen dollars. writing a book is hard! i mean, not ~brain surgery~ hard? but harder than, say, crying alone in a dark room while listening to foreign fields, which is what i would much rather have spent a whole year doing rather than entertaining men with dogs as their profile picture with my pain. and i'm married to your mom's crafty sister, so it's not like i could run out and expose myself to a bunch of people's pheromones to celebrate my crowning achievement; the day my fucking book came out i had a sensible, nutritionally balanced meal at three in the afternoon and fell asleep with my clothes on and modern family reruns muted on the tv. i'm not a jealous person but i do hate a lot of things, and knowing that quoting me is more lucrative than actually being me? i hate that a lot!
so this is how your courtship gotta go if you use my stupid cat book to try to fuck people on the internet, because fuck you:
1 you gotta pay. no matter where you fall on the gender spectrum, if you pretend that you read what i write then you have to know that i want the inviter to foot the bill, not only because i have a deep and abiding respect for manners but also because nothing is more excruciating than that awkward moment the bill comes and everyone at the table does the herky-jerky wallet dance. and that bill can't be for a date that involves "chilling at my place" or "a coffee at that spot down the street from my job." i'm not so out of it and naive that i think you're on bumble to buy a stranger a five course meal but i also don't think you should get your salad tossed for the price of a latte.
2 you gotta have a sex playlist full of the saddest songs ever recorded. I DON'T BELIEVE IN ROMANTIC MUSIC. music is for weeping softly into a pilled sweater with holes in it that the cat barfed on that you haven't sufficiently cleaned, not for sex! but if you insist, let's bang to radiohead b-sides or some shit then lie next to each other and have nightmares. don't embarrass me by making me take my shirt off to whatever you think
how long does sex take? thirteen minutes? anyway, here's five songs that have made me cry in the last seven days to dry hump to:
"after slice" ivory waves
"silver soul" beach house
"death of a star" james tillman
"la lune" king krule
"live well" palace
i would not ~make love~ to these songs, i would read a little life by candlelight to these songs, but you do you.
3 you gotta have a three towels minimum and two-ply toilet paper. i'm not even sure how often i have had to use a towel in someone else's house but i want the fucking option, okay? i just want to know that if i suddenly get a nosebleed or accidentally find that spongy spot buried deep within my vaginal wall that i've read about dozens of times in cosmo that unlocks my secret squirting powers that i won't have to mop up the wreckage with a bunch of ketchup-sticky burger king napkins. those are for when company comes over. ugh and they even manufacture one-ply toilet paper for home use is beyond me, but if you are a human person who can find people six blocks away to fuck on your handy pocket computer, you can reach on past that scott's megaroll (it balls up in your ass hairs, come on fam!) and grab that cushy charmin extra strong.
4 you gotta have a stack of books somewhere. i don't even feel like this is that much of a stretch if the bait you used to lure some unsuspecting catfish was a picture of my goddamn book. but maybe you borrowed it for instagram purposes, which i understand believe me, but i hope you at least skimmed the first couple of pages. even if you didn't, grab some books it looks like you might convincingly sit down to read, and display them in clear view from the bed. don't be like me that time this dude i was IN LOVE WITH asked what i thought of the stranger, a copy of which i had casually tossed on the coffee table he would have to walk past after learning of its existence a mere two weeks prior on his black planet profile. it was the "excuse me, what?" heard round the world. learn from my mistakes, children. leave out a book you read junior year.
5 you gotta have a tv. i know i'm showing every single one of my 137 years here but listen: i hate watching shit on the goddamn computer. i do it sometimes, because of airport layovers and writing procrastination, but i don't like it. i think this might be a holdover fear from my impoverished youth, but i'm terrified of falling asleep with my computer on the bed and shorting the fucking keyboard out because i drooled on it or whatever. and this shit cost over a thousand motherfucking dollars, which is more than i paid for an actual car once and yes i was too embarrassed to valet it and once parked it six blocks away from the club so no one i was eventually gonna hit on would see me getting out of that raggedy shit but that is beside the point. THESE MACHINES ARE EXPENSIVE. also, it's literally impossible for two people to comfortably watch a laptop and both enjoy the show don't @ me.
apparently amanda swiped right on the most recent self-proclaimed fan of my work, and i told her that if they hang she has to facetime me during the sex so i can tell him whether or not i'm a big fan of his, too.
if you're in the market for romance and need some bait, get my old book: here
and you can pre-order my new-ish book: here for after you guys break up!