Slow down, don’t fuck with my high
I want to be left alone here with my monsters and
Say, now it’s time to ride
To see lovely girls and to not put the moves on them
He smiled understandingly — much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced — or seemed to face — the whole external world for an instant, and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just so far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself, and assured you that it had precisely the impression of you that, at your best, you hoped to convey.
That clip is Leonardo DiCaprio doing his best to do justice to that paragraph, and I can’t tell if he’s doing a horrifically terrible job or not, but it’s like I’m sort of proud of him for trying? It is impossible to do the smile Fitzgerald is asking for – you’d be a fool to try. And yet here we are.
Ah, it’s just so silly. I love it, and him, and the earth for allowing it to happen.
So, on the whole, I’m generally not too too into Buzzfeed-style lists and the like, where a bunch of animated GIFs and self-explanatory captions somehow pass for “content” or “humor.” (I know, I’m old, I’m lame, get off my lawn, etc.)
That said, for whatever reason, these galleries of super-legit totally not bootlegged toys (there are two of them) totally tickled me in completely the right way today. I mean, the toys themselves are inherently insane and ridiculous, of course, and that’s wonderful, but I think it’s kind of like that water bottle I freaked out a bit a while back: I think I’m more interested in what’s going on behind the scenes here.
Like, are the people who make these all sly, thinking they’re getting away with a big con job? Or are they kind of sullen and aloof and have given up on life. “Fuck it, who cares how close it is to the real thing. Entropy will claim us all anyway.” Or maybe they are just full-on schizophrenic and this is the result of that madness. “GOD CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN AND TOLD ME TO MAKE MR. T’S VAN LOOK LIKE THIS.”
And then, like, what are you feeling if you are the recipient of one of these toys? I mean, you’re a kid, and a toy’s a toy, so maybe you’re just happy to have anything to play around with. But, I remember when I was a little kid, I was extremely brand loyal and extremely specific.* I didn’t just want a Ninja Turtles action figure – I wanted the one where it could transform from a nondescript baby turtle into fucking Donatello. (That was so rad! I stand by this.) Are these kids just, like, so disappointed?
Well, whatever. None of this should detract from your enjoyment of a superhero team made up of a Power Ranger, Shrek, Spiderman, Green Batman, and The Incredibles.
* It should be said, I was also a little weirdo already obsessed with branding at a young age – I used to keep tallies of how many ads played for which products during Saturday morning cartoons – so maybe I am just an outlier.
I spent a solid minute staring at this woman fumbling under a blanket, trying to figure out what she was doing… before I realized she was breastfeeding.
OH MY GOD I AM SO SORRY
SO, SO SORRY
You can always tell how stressed I am by how much my shit is wrecked by life’s little inconveniences.
Like the other day, I dropped my toothbrush on the ground instead of putting it on its little shelf, and I was like, “GOD WHAT THE FUCK WHY IS EVERYTHING SO HARD AND WORTHLESS”
And then like last night, I get home, and the idiot dog had spread garbage all across the floor, and I was like, “Eh,” and peaceably went to grab the vacuum.
Loyal readers will recall an incident where I drunkenly stumbled upon an abandoned helium tank and ran off into the night with it.
Turns out this wasn’t a one-time thing, though, as I rode by another one on my bike last evening. (Sadly, it turned out to be empty.)
I’m not sure what this all means exactly. Is there some mysterious phenomenon that’s causing people to buy tiny helium tanks and leave them out in the streets at night?
For example: Are homeless people getting shitfaced on helium? Could I do that, also?
Or is it something more sinister? I don’t want to sound paranoid, you guys, but what if the helium tanks are following me? What is that they know, and how is this going to end??
Once you notice that Wes Anderson is totally obsessed with symmetry, it’s kind of all you can pay attention to in his stuff from there on out.
It’s like an extra character in each of his films – and not necessarily a good one, this OCD weirdo who demands every single shot is a mirror image of itself.
I had a little bit of coffee this morning, and now I am doing intense, elaborate couch dances to the first Sleigh Bells album.Drugs are so good, you guys.
I take it all back, humanity. If there are people out there hard at work on stuff like this, there’s hope for us yet.
"Super chill loan."
"Culturally sheltered mainstream consumer."
What are you even saying to me?
Is this the person I’ve convinced you I am, Facebook?
Oh god, I’ve fucked up.
I’ve fucked up so bad.
JUST DRINK YOUR TOMATO JUICE AND VODKA YOU SAD FUCKERS
WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE A THING WITH STUFF IN IT
WHY YOU CAN’T YOU JUST ENJOY A SINGLE DAMN THING IN YOUR LIFE WITHOUT DUMPING MORE CRAP ON TOP OF IT
ARE YOU SO DESENSITIZED
HAVE YOU BURNED AWAY ALL THE NEURONS THAT MAKE IT POSSIBLE TO ENJOY SIMPLE PLEASURES LIKE A NICE LITTLE HUNGOVER B.M.
IS YOUR LIFE REALLY SO SAD
IS THIS REALLY ALL YOU HAVE TO LOOK FORWARD TO
IF YOU ATE A REALLY GREAT, FRESH STRAWBERRY WOULD YOU BE LIKE, “MAN THIS WOULD BE BETTER WITH A PHILLY CHEESESTEAK ON IT, THOUGH”
WHY IS EVERYTHING YOU DO A WASTE
HAVE SOME DIGNITY
OK, so I had absolutely no interest in watching Lifetime’s “Saved By The Bell: The Unauthorized Story” until they released the following clip, which has, like, 18 great things about it, including:
- The fact that Bel Biv DeVoe’s “Poison” plays throughout. I hope it’s just on a loop, the entire movie.
- The fact that no one looks remotely like the actor they are supposed to be playing.
- PUSHUP CONTESTS. PHOTO SHOVING. “WHY DOES SHE HAVE TO BE SO FLOATY!” THIS IS HOW TEENAGE ANGST WORKS, OK??
- The fact that Elizabeth Berkley was apparently the calming voice of reason among the other actors. Yeah, that Elizabeth Berkley.
- "You wanna say that to my face?" HE LITERALLY JUST DID SAY IT TO YOUR FACE
OK, to cleanse my palate of all that sincerity, I have decided to release one of the “statute of limitations” entries I have been sitting on for a while.
Loyal readers will recall that I had a semi-adamant NO DATING policy there for a while. And while the reasons I gave at the time were all certainly contributing factors, the actual impetus for the thing was a pretty bad date I had right around then – a date which I shall now share with you in full.
I am totally positive that this is a good idea. Here we go.
This is from December.
I feel like, when you’re out on a date, one of the small-talky questions that comes up pretty often is, “What’s the worst date you’ve ever been on?” My temptation is always to yell, “THIS ONE,” and then just bolt the hell out of the place, but no, I usually say that I’ve never really had a bad date before. There have been some where we didn’t connect, some that were maybe a little boring, and plenty of dates that have led to bad relationships, but I’ve never really had a flat-out life-destroying miserable shitshow of a date before.
But then, I thought about it a little more today, and I realized that, because of my impressive levels of masochism, and my obsessive need for stories to tell, I actually have a pretty high tolerance for badness, and that there have actually been a number of dates that would totally qualify as terrible – I just have a tough time recognizing them myself. The time I was stranded in the middle of nowhere and had to hang out for hours, alone and hungover, with my date’s 7-year-old daughter? Hey, turns out that was pretty uncomfortable! It was funny and weird, so I was okay with it, but there was also a lot of shame I had to deal with. “Hi, who are you?” “Um, it’s probably better you didn’t know. Continue watching cartoons, please.”
The reason I bring this up is that last night was the first time I knew I was having a bad date in the middle of the bad date. I was out with this lawyer, and things were going reasonably well. She was smart and interesting, and we were getting along pretty well. Except, as the night went on, she started to get increasingly bombed and, as she did, increasingly sexually aggressive. Like, “actively grabbing my dick at the bar” aggressive.
THIS IS NOT TO SAY THERE IS ANYTHING INHERENTLY WRONG WITH THIS SCENARIO. I’m no prude (although I guess only prudes ever say that sort of shit); I am sure there are lots of dudes who would be completely on-board with such things, and I might even be one of them, in the right circumstances. I have done my fair share of making out in trees, cars, alleys, alcoves, etc. Just – a) she was very, very drunk and b) she was doing this, like, right in front of our poor bartender, in an otherwise completely dead bar.
And so, LIKE I DO, I started to get kind of uncomfortable and embarrassed and basically transformed into Hugh Grant in every romantic comedy he did in the 90’s: All stuttery and polite and overly apologetic.
Once it became clear that nonverbal cues were out of the question (I tried slightly shifting away, and she’d just shift in closer), I asked, as graciously as I could manage, if she could maaaaaybe tone it down, just a little, at the very least until we were out of this poor bartender’s presence. ”Terribly sorry, a thousand pardons, but would it be a horrible bother if you could possibly remove your hand from my penis??”
Her response was, like, full-on 80’s sexual harassment video style: “OH, I KNOW WHAT YOU LIKE.”
I am pretty bad at rejecting people, so mostly I continued in Hugh Grant Mode while she continued to paw at me, and started working on minimizing collateral damage by getting us out of the bar as soon as humanly possible. Mostly, I just wanted to run home and hide under my covers for a while, but she was WRECKED, so it seemed like the only polite thing to do was to offer to walk her home. Except, of course, she obviously hears it as, “I’ll walk you home, WINK.”
So, on the walk back to her place, my cunning strategy was to talk as much as humanly possible, so that she would have no opening for makeouts. I do not think of myself as a very good conversationalist – I feel like I’m constantly grasping at straws to make even the most basic small talk – but apparently, if I am panicked and drunk enough, I can ramble on endlessly. I think I started sharing my opinions on Obamacare at one point?
Anyway, we got back to her place, and I tried to exit gracefully, but obviously that was entirely out of the question at this point. She literally seals me in her room, slams the door shut, locks it, and then – you know how basketball players have those, like, tear-away pants? Well, I think she had the dress version of that, because somehow it was off in one move, at which point she essentially tackled me.
Again, THERE IS NOTHING INHERENTLY WRONG WITH THIS. I am horrible at making the first move, so I would generally welcome the enthusiasm. That said, I’ve been reading some stuff about consent lately – always good for getting yourself pumped about the dating scene! – and I was like, “OK, there is no way she is cognizant enough to give consent right now, even if I weren’t slightly terrified of what’s happening around me.” But, I had no idea how to extricate myself from this situation, except saying no, which I am patently terrible at.
Fortunately, after not too too long of her aggressively making out with me while I kind of half-heartedly played along (pour one out for Emily Post), she took a break to come up for air, and instantly passed out in the interim.
Smart money would have been on just bolting then and there before she resurfaced, but I needed a minute. So, while she dozed on her bed, I took a seat on the floor and thought for a bit.
I think I had what alcoholics call a Moment of Clarity. This wasn’t fun. This wasn’t sexy. This was miserable. I decided then and there that it was probably time to take a break from dating – starting immediately.
I’m no monster, though! I wasn’t just going to leave the poor woman lying there like that. Before I left, I tried to do as right by her as I could in her current condition. Tiptoeing carefully around, so as to wake the sleeping dragon, I tried to set her up for what was to no doubt be a pretty unpleasant morning. I found her a bottle of water. I strategically placed a garbage can near her head for easy access vomiting. I wrapped a blanket up and around her, like some sort of drunken naked burrito. Then, I got the fuck out of dodge.
Before I left, though, her room was right across the hall from her roommate’s room. Her roommate, who was sitting at his desk, door open, facing me, as I burst out, wild-eyed and panicked.
Our eyes met.
You guys. I would pay so much money to know what my facial expression looked like as I stumbled out of that room. I can only imagine it was pure, cold, unadulterated terror.
And then, I bolted. She lived at like 6th and Folsom, I think, so that’s like 2 miles back to my place (assuming I didn’t get lost), and I sprinted / skipped the whole way back, a complete manic nightmare shitshow the entire way. Alternately roaring with laughter and sobbing my heart out, singing random songs at the top of my lungs and shouting to the heavens, “NEVER, EVER, EVER AGAIN!” (I was pretty drunk myself, it should be said.) So relieved to have escaped, so worried for the future, so terrified to be alone. The Nate Walsh Experience.
There was a time when this would have been just another wacky story to tell my friends. I might have even stayed there with her for the night, against my better judgment. But, I am the teensiest, tiniest bit wiser now, I think, and I am slowly, ever-so-slowly getting an inkling of what I want out of life, and this just isn’t it. So yeah, I guess it’s time for a break.
Thank God she didn’t text, though. We’d probably be out on Date #2 as we speak.
God, I need to learn how to reject people. Jesus.
UPDATE: Several months later, I was on Tinder for a bit (because I learn NOTHING), and my lawyer date came up as a potential match. She was right in my first few matches when I logged in, which means she had probably swiped right on me, which meant she was putting the ball in my court. I hovered over her picture for like 5 solid minutes, deciding whether I should swipe left or right. It might be good to have some closure, I thought, or laugh about the chaos of that evening together, but oh god oh man I didn’t want anything like that evening to ever, ever happen again. Swipe right. Phew.
So, yesterday was Esther Day, which is this holiday where you are supposed to tell the people that you love that you love them even (and especially) if it is pretty hard for you to do so. I missed it, of course, because I was off exploding zombies’ heads with Kyle for like 10 hours straight, but it still times out pretty well, because I am feeling oddly fond of the universe and everyone in it today, yet remain pretty abjectly terrible at saying such things, and need things like fake internet holidays as an excuse to express basic emotion, so here we go, I guess.
These are not in descending order, you fuckers.
- I love you, Mom and Dad. Your love for me is kind of terrifying, honestly, because it is so big, and I don’t always know what to do with it, so sometimes I run from it, but it is always secretly welcomed, and I know how lucky I am to have it.
- I love you, extended family I don’t really talk to ever – Grandpa George and Aunt Christie and Aunt Debbie and Luke and Mike and Joe and my like 10 other cousins and aunts and uncles with all their spouses and babies and stuff. I am pretty scared of you, too, because you can’t choose your family, and I worry that you probably wouldn’t have picked me if you had the option, because I do everything all strange and I’m surly and vulgar and odd and don’t really want to get married or have babies and you probably think I’m just the absolute worst. But you’ve still got my back anyway, and that’s kind of magical.
- I love you, Kyle and Michelle, for letting me be a part of your lives and your home and your company, and for being so caring and patient and supportive and challenging and fun and open, and for giving me like 6,000 chances even though I am so often moody and isolated and possessive and lost and messy.
- I love you, Dank and Spritz and Ducky and Kevin and Andy and Billy C and Justin, the dudes I’ve known the longest, if not always the deepest, for all the simple, stupid pleasures of partying and bad movies and dumb jokes and marathon video games, as well as the weird security of knowing that there’s always a crew out there somewhere who has my back. (I also love the people who make them happy, for making them happy – Kathy and Ceanne and Bridget and Kitty and Lisa, and I should get better at bonding, damn it, sorry!)
- I love you, Julie and Rachel and Liz, my Jewesses now and forever, because you are brilliant messes who know me better than just about anyone and who can call me on my shit while still being there for me when I need it. It is entirely my fault we do not talk more, and I damn well sure should do something about it.
- I love you, Elli, because you are so dot cool. Also because you are like the kindest, most giving, caring person I know, and the only one who knows more about Harry Potter than I do. You’re so awesome, and you don’t even know, it’s kind of crazy.
- I love you, new SF friends – Liz and Sherah and Janardan, Becky and Josh and Peter and Dustin and Justin, and all the Keenies I’m still getting to know. You’re all such crazy-talented psycho party messes, that you’re slowly changing my mind about this city. I honestly can’t imagine a better train to be on-board with.
- I love you, random Burning Man people I pretty much only run into at parties: Lou and Christine and Jevon and Daryl and Ricky and Anne and Cassio and Marnie and Dusty. I feel like you only ever see me at my absolute worst, all sullen and terrified of social situations and awkward about dancing, but you are all wonderful, radiant astronauts, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the efforts you take to try and draw me out of my shell sometimes.
- I love my STL friends, from work and not work, Dom and Peel and Bridget and Amy and Leah and Jeggings and Billy Sukoski and Julie and Noel and Ian and Matt and Matt and Jamie and Sudon and Ross. You’re the reason I keep returning to that crazy fucked-up city. Well, that and Talayna’s.
- I love you, pretty much everyone I have ever loved or nearly loved or really just liked a lot. CNN, Inez, Lisa Yung, Maren, Samantha, Lori, Jill, Sarah, Missy, Lee, Ariana, and if I keep going I am gonna sound totally slutty and/or crazy. We may still talk, or you may hate my filthy guts, but I’m flattered that you ever took a chance on me, and I’m super grateful for the things I learned and the time we had. And sorry I have generally been such a fuck-up overall.
- I love you, pretty much everyone else, too – and not just out of weird guilt for not listing you above. Allison Helm, Brenna, Austin and Cara, Kira, Eoin, mstan, Will, Katie Heart, Savannah, Chad, pretty much everyone I have ever met or talked to or had any sort of connection with ever, or who maintains some interest in my life or my thoughts, or who ever takes the time to reach out to me (because I am so godawful at it), or anyone anywhere ever, really.
I LOVE THIS NUTTY OLD PLANET!
DO YOU HEEEAR MEEEEEEE PLAAAAAAAAAANET
That is a quote. It still applies.
Now please allow me to collapse into a puddle of anxiety and mortification over expressing basic fondness for other humans.