I was just walking the dog and a man – surely no less than six feet tall – jumped back in horror. “That’s a big dog!” he exclaimed, cowering a little behind some newspaper boxes. There are a lot of homeless on the streets and you never quite know how they’re going to interpret the presence of a 95-pound sled dog (albeit a huge marshmallow on the inside). I smiled and tried to look reassuring.
This is kind of a nice picture of newspaper boxes, no? The sunlight looks warm...
When we came out of the bagel shop a few minutes later, I noticed the same man on the corner, talking animatedly to…no one. As we crossed the street and came closer, he didn’t seem to notice us at all, smiling and laughing with whomever he thought he was conversing. As we passed, I heard him comment, “I know! It’s so big!” and I felt a little impressed: somehow in the delusional hallucination that is his life, that man had reached out and seen my dog…and included him in his world. Kind of amazing, really, when you consider the other party observing us doesn’t really exist (at least not in the terms that I’m inclined to consider “normal human existence.”)
Somehow this got me thinking about a conversation I overheard the other day, wherein some women were explaining the concept a friend of theirs apparently calls ‘proanoia.’ As they described ‘proanoia’ to someone in their group, the friend had told them, “You know how some people are paranoid: convinced that the everyone is trying to hurt or persecute them? I believe in proanoia – a unshakeable conviction that the world is conspiring to help you.”
I love that idea.
The ferocious beast in question. And by that, I mean me.
I don’t know exactly what it has to do with crazy people talking to my dog, but somehow I think there’s a vague link: maybe that focusing on things that are bigger than us or more positive than us or that just seem to be part of the ‘light’ can bring us closer to it? Or perhaps that what we see and acknowledge and allow into our individual experience of the world is ultimately what our entire life experience becomes? Something like that, I suspect.
The weather has been bitterly cold the last few weeks and my mood accordingly glacial. However, the bitter chill has allowed some time for reflection and reading and copious notes jotted across varying notebooks. This time last year, I was preparing to head to Mexico to write a book. Although that’s not the case this year for a variety of reasons (not the least of which is the prevalence of American heads in duffel bags), I can feel the little seedlings of new ideas and infant brainchildren taking form. With any luck, by the time the thaw hits, I’ll find myself in a full-blown state of inspiration, creation…and proanoia.
A million years ago, I had been dating someone for about eight months when my birthday rolled around. He gave me:
a) an answering machine
b) a down comforter (which I still have, if you can imagine anything sadder.)
I was VERY young at the time (it was my 21st birthday, in fact) and he was 33 and a lawyer and – let’s call a spade a spade here – kind of an asshole. Hindsight being what it is, I now know the answering machine was because I didn’t have one (dirty hippie) and that annoyed him, and the blanket was likely because he found himself waking up cold when he stayed over at my shitty apartment.
I wish they actually made these.
Needless to say, it didn’t take too much longer before I realized he actually didn’t give a rat’s ass about me and moved on, but the memory of the practical and rather self-serving gifts remains, although I pretty much never think about that birthday or the guy himself, well, ever. Nonetheless, I happened to notice a headline about “What His Gift Means” and…enter my trip down memory lane.
As for the article, I thought I would offer a point/counter-point perspective. They say potato, I say potahto or some such thing. Now don’t get me wrong: I’m not necessarily trying to rain on your parade. I just think it pays to consider things from all perspectives. Like the Boy Scouts say, “be prepared.”
1. The Gift: Perfume
What it means: I’d like you to be my girlfriend.
Hmmmm… Could be. I don’t know about that as a slam dunk, however. I imagine it could be a lot of things: perhaps he feels you stink (and if you’re using natural deodorant, odds are you do) and hopes that can be covered up. Maybe perfume was on sale. What if it’s Love’s Baby Soft or Jean Nate? Is that still “Me man: you my woman”-worthy, or only if your dream wedding occurs in a trailer park?
I REALLY wish they made these.
2. The Gift: Chocolates
What it means: Let’s be friends.
Wow. Really? Let’s be friends? Well, I don’t know about you, but food is a good way to make friends with me!
As for the other possible meanings; just off the top of my head, “Hey fatty, it looks like you enjoy sugar.”
“I have all the creativity of a tree stump.”
“I’m hoping to eat at least half of this.”
“This is from last year/Christmas/stolen off my neighbor’s door step.”
3. The Gift: Lingerie
What it means: Let’s spice things up in the bedroom.
That I did not see coming. The writer compared it to giving a non-chef knives in the hopes they’ll start cooking. Through that interpretation, lingerie basically means, “You suck in bed, so I will try to distract myself from the yawnfest that is you by staring at this red satiny material and thinking about the Victoria’s Secret catalogue I picked it from.”
That or “let’s be friends”
Or “I’m a horn dog, and technically this is a gift for me…not you.”
4. The Gift: Diamond Earrings
What it means: We’re engaged to be engaged.
Is it me, or is there an overload of green ones? If anything, shouldn't there be excess pink ones???
I did not realize this. And I bet about 95% of men did not realize this. In fact, I bet a man is reading this right now and panicking, thinking that the earrings he gave were a good way to get out of giving a ring of ANY kind and now grappling with the sinking sensation that perhaps he’s ‘engaged to be engaged.’
Seriously though: really?
Is this sort of thing even real: “engaged to be engaged”? It sounds like a rumor swirling around a Texas sorority: you know, the kind of women who’ve never actually held a real conversation with a man and base all their interprations on Disney movies and romantic comedies staring Kate Hudson.
Where I stand, you’re engaged or you’re not. End of story.
At the same time, what do I know? It’s not exactly like I’m sitting upon a diamond mine-worth of earrings…
5. The Gift: A Frying Pan (or Any Other Way-Too-Practical Present)
What it means: Break up with me—I’m an idiot.
This makes me laugh.
Well, hell, that’s what I would have said.
Or “I’m a jerk. Make me breakfast.”
Or “I’m cheating on you, but my friends like you and my dad seems to remember your name, so I’m keeping you around…at least as a front…for now. Hit me over the head with this immediately.”
To be frank, I think there were five more gifts covered, but I’ve grown bored with this line of conversation and am moving on. Look it up yourself or use your imagination. In either case: Happy F*cking Valentine’s Day!
You cannot convince me this isn't a female. It's like a young Drew Barrymore.
With a passion.
I literally flinch at the mere sight or sound of the endless marketing, commercials, images, mash-ups, Valentine’s Day cards with their faces on them, and/or clips of a bunch of guys singing the already-terrible-in-the-first-place “Teenage Dream.” Then add the lunch boxes, opening the Super Bowl and advertising throughout, posters, faces on magazine covers: somebody make it stop!!!
Now, don’t get me wrong: I don’t necessarily wish any of them dead, but if they happened to die and that led to the end of all future episodes of ‘Glee’ and they decided never to syndicate ‘Glee’ as some kind of mournful tribute, I wouldn’t be terribly torn up about it.
Except Jane Lynch. I love her. Ever since I first laid eyes on her in my all-time favorite movie “Best in Show” and her deadpan monologue about how her mom provided the heart and the soul…until committing suicide in ’81, well, I was in cynical love.
But the thing of it is, in ‘Glee’ she’s a character so crass and hateful that she actually manages to undermine what makes Jane Lynch so awesome: disillusionment and irony…but with heart. Granted, I’ve only seen the show twice – and I couldn’t even make it through entire episodes – but I’m still think I’ve got the situation staked out. “So why do people love ‘Glee’ then?” you might be wondering. Well, because most people have the intelligence of turnips.
I have this jacket. For reals.
However, in the spirit of fairness and fighting back against unabashed root vegetable slander, and having now just been told via an unrelated channel (or osmosis. At this rate of over-saturation, they’re probably beaming Glee-related publicity straight into my brain every time I go out of the house) that Glee will be on tonight at 8pm, I will watch it and tell you what I think, real-time.
I’m not one for ‘live blogging’ nor do I really cover TV shows, but we’ll give it a try and see how it goes. Prepare for some complaining.
It is now 7:59pm, and I have settled in front of the TV, ready to watch the saccharine stereotype torture fest that is “Glee.” The only episode I ever watched for more than ten minutes involved a seriously ugly female (played by a man, and I honestly couldn’t figure out the entire time if it was supposed to be a transsexual or an homage to Susan Boyle) gym teacher that everyone made fun of and who (of course) had a heart of gold. And then the ridiculous Mr. Sunshine Goody Two-Shoes Teacher KISSED her at the end when he learned the shemale coach person had never been kissed. Pity kiss, but still: gag.
Tonight’s Episode is called ‘Silly Love Songs’ (and I also cannot stand Paul McCartney – sorry Heather – and am hoping against hope I don’t have to hear that atrocity in any form in the next hour) and apparently the plot is that the “Kids set up a kissing booth.” Yippy skippy: sounds like a good way to get a cold sore.
Not to gay bash, but the first three minutes here are exceedingly, painfully, gay. The one who looks like a real tool wants to know if it’s “too much to sing to someone on Valentine’s day” to tell them you’re in love with them, and the one who looks like Shirley Temple is melting from the inside out. A part of me has died.
One of many bullshit cards you can buy for Valentine's Day
Now the teacher is telling the group en masse that they’re supposed to sing what they personally feel is the world’s greatest love song. I’m not sure I can make it through an entire hour of this.
Now children are being shrill with one another.
A super homely big girl just went off on what I suppose is the ‘bad boy’ about, “I spell woman Z-I-Z-E-S and I need to be wooed. WOOED.” WTF? Zizes? Did I catch that right? What does that mean?
Maybe if I start drinking this will make more sense…
The prep school tool dude (I honestly have that same exact jacket they’re all wearing, BTW) is proposing to the other boys at Hogwarts that they meet up after class and sing love songs or something equally gay. The one who’s clearly a girl pretending to be a boy is making a speech on his behalf. VERY OBVIOUS UPCOMING PLOT TWIST: the girl posing as a guy thinks prep school guy is in love with him, but it’s going to be someone else.
And whoop: there it is.
The greasy (but handsome) ‘bad boy’ guy is serenading the homely porker with “Fat Bottom Girls” while giving her smoldering looks. WHAT IS THIS? I’m sorry kids: the world does not work this way. Sexy boys do not go for these girls. I’m not saying they shouldn’t or it wouldn’t be nice or what’s on the inside blah blah blah, but attraction is about mating and mating is about getting your genes to mix with the best genes on the block (a.k.a. the hot ones) and that boy + that girl = never.
This is truly unbearable.
***I have to go get something to drink***
The inside of said nonsense. If you have these same sentiments, I imagine you probably did flunk out of school.
Sorry, I spaced out for a few minutes Googling pictures of these idiots to post for you. A temporary, but sweet, alcohol bliss…
But now I’m snapped out of it by the spectacle of some kid in a wheelchair singing Michael Jackson’s PYT to a bunch of over-sexed looking girls. The erotic looks he keeps shooting at the camera are really uncomfortable for me.
A small glass of wine is not cutting it: I NEED MORE TO DRINK.
The mean Hispanic girl has offended Big Whitey and called her (mwahaha) Poppin’ Fresh and they’re throwing down. I think the Hispanic bit her leg. I was briefly amused by this, until all too briefly it was over and the hot guy was begging Poppin’ Fresh to go out with him and she said that he needed to make a formal presentation and she’d consider it. What’s he looking for? A body guard? Someone to take backpacking and leave to the bears? Skin for a suit he’s sewing?
“What are you? About a size 24?”
Ah, blessed commercials. They’re like a vacation.
God help me, it’s back. I’m really working up a frothy lather of hate for that arrogant prep school asshole. He’s essentially stalking some poor dude at his job at Gap and singing some oversexed thing about “When I get you alone.” And AGAIN with the smoldering looks and hip gyration. ENOUGH already, Elvis.
Poppin’ Fresh and hot dumbass are at the library. He doesn’t recognize it. She’s pissed because he hasn’t brought cash or a muffin basket. And she just talked about what she needs to get her ‘juices flowing.’ I think I’m going to be sick.
It’s only 38 minutes into this shit, but I’m sorry: I surrender. I cannot take any more.
So there you have it: I’m a joyless Scrooge. And I hate Glee. I don’t care what the rest of you think. I’m proud of it: keep that insipid, saccharine singing and those jazz hands and Poppin’ Fresh and her lubrication talk away from me, and we’ll get along just fine.
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