Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the latest in flirting technology: THE DOUBLE WINK
And you thought a single wink wasn’t cheesy and gross enough!
In the War of the Sexes, people, this baby is a goddamn Weapon of Mass Seduction.
Get ready for me to use this allllllllllllllllll the time.
Ducky and I are co-best-men at Smacko’s wedding. Since I don’t know what that actually means, in any real sense – a speech of some sort?? is there anything we have to buy?? – I’ve mostly decided we are just going to act like an 80’s movie for the entire thing.
I want to rent a Camaro – specifically a Camaro, even though I literally had to go look up what one looked like a few minutes ago (Hint: Transformers penis) – and put “BEST MEN” on all the windows with glass chalk in good fonts. Then we’ll constantly peel rubber as we pull in and out of places, slide across the hood, and lean against the thing in our suits, looking over our Ray Bans with our arms crossed.
This is what being a best man is, correct?
Whether or not this is accurate, in my mind (and that’s really the place where these things count the most, right?), there is a finite, yet fairly indefinite deadline from the time I actually manage to ask somebody out (IS DRINKS A THING YOU LIKE? WITH ME? *barf* *cry*) to when we actually manage to go out – like, two weeks or so, it feels like? – and if we don’t hit it, then there is pretty much no chance of anything happening ever.
I don’t want to speculate, but this is, of course, entirely my fault.
See, I can only keep being charming and aloof for so long before we reach the point at which enough of my actual qualities seep through and override any of the good bits that may have been tricking the person up ‘til this point.
These aren’t inherently dealbreaker attributes necessarily, but it turns out it’s still pretty important, if not downright necessary, to re-up within a relatively short time frame and remind them of any non-terrible characteristics I might possess before they completely forget and leave me for dead.
No amount of email or texting will help in this endeavor – it has to be in person so they can experience my drunken charms or how good I am at making out firsthand; otherwise, the whole thing is pretty much destined to crumble into an unsalvageable wreck.
Oh, me? I’m doing just fine. Why do you ask?
Hey, so, I’m thinking of taking up painting?
There’s something very endearing about people who can’t paint still trying to paint anyway.
All slaving away over a thing that looks like a 9-year-old did it.
All giving your friends paintings as Christmas gifts, and the friends are horrified, but they have to act grateful and hang the thing up when you visit, or they’ll hurt your feelings.
I think I want to be that guy.
Back when I was in St. Louis, I had a ghost-themed bathroom, like those little cartoon sheet ghosts. But what I really wanted was a Ghost-themed bathroom, like the Patrick Swayze film – part of which was going to include crude paintings of various, non-pottery-based scenes from the movie (Oda Mae at the bank! Kicking that Mt. Dew can!) So, maybe that will be my first series.
What time does the art store open.
Also, now taking pre-orders from my various patrons.
Today I told a Lyft driver that I was going to die alone, and she spent the rest of the 20-minute drive trying to cheer me up.
I keep forgetting that like 99% of the world doesn’t know about my jokes.
Most people in my life are so used to dealing with the day-to-day realities of my bad self-esteem that there are certain things they don’t even bother with anymore. “Oh, that’s just how he is,” etc. This lady, though – “Stephanie” – it was all fresh to her, and she was out to save me from myself, which was sort of adorable.
"It’s OK, Stephanie. I was just making a joke."
“WHO WOULD JOKE ABOUT THAT”
"Handsome, funny guy like you, you must be beating the girls off!"
"You’re going to be alllllllll right, Nathan."
“Sure! But that doesn’t necessarily preclude me dying alone!”
Anyway, I forgot to get health insurance by the deadline, so I might just start using this lady as my therapist moving forward. #ThanksObamacare
For $300, I can meet Avril Lavigne live and in person.
I dunno, though – $300 seems like an awful lot of money just to yell “WHY DID YOU MARRY NICKLEBACK,” try and make out, and wind up in jail, though.
Uhh, so what do I do now?
"Oh, hey, let’s reverse my sleep cycle for no reason."
*sleeps 4 pm to midnight*
Like all true Americans, I am up at 1:26 am on April 15th, frantically combing through my finances, trying to figure out how I can not pay the government approx. 4 grand in taxes. (Naw, don’t worry, you guys – I already filed for an extension! SEE YOU IN OCTOBER SUCKERZ)
I am one of those people who says, “I don’t like to think about money.” But the people usually saying that are super rich and don’t have to think about money, whereas I definitely should be, I just don’t, because it gives me tummy knots, so instead I just pretend it doesn’t exist until I absolutely, absolutely have to. (See: 1:26 am, April 15th.) That said, now that I am finally digging through my finances, it’s actually this fun weird little Year in Review. For instance:
- I am way poorer than I realized. Like, I had no earthy idea what my income was until about 10 minutes ago, and whooooooa-ho-ho it is NUTS. I am making 10k less per year than I did in St. Louis, while paying 4x more in rent. I often use that one line from “30 Rock” – “Socioeconomically speaking, you’re more like an inner-city Latina.” – to refer to my poverty level, but haha YIKES there is way more truth to that than I thought.
- And YET. I’m surviving. In this stupid-ass expensive city. Which is pretty rad. Like, it’s definitely scratchin’ and survivin’ – I live in a “shack,” and I don’t really own “objects,” and the “credit card companies” are probably coming to “chop my hands off,” but still! I am here and alive and OK – better than OK, really! I have way more free time, and I throw way more parties, and I travel around way, way more than I ever did when I was gainfully employed (so-called!). I don’t really miss having money at all, it turns out. (I mean, OK yes, when Rent Day rolls around, and I have 6 pennies rattling around in a coffee can to my name, that’s a little terrifying, but on the whole, GREAT!)
- Going through my financial statements is still kind of depressing, though – but maybe not for the reasons you’d think. See, years of diary writing and Foursquare check-ins have given me a pretty scary, easily triggered episodic memory. So, running through my bank statements is kind of like the fastest, least comfortable walk down memory lane ever. Entire relationships blast by in like 4 pages – “Here’s when we met, here’s when we hooked up, here’s when we started dating, here’s the massive breakdown I had when we broke up!” Gyahhh. I know I’m a verbose, rambly motherfucker, but there are worse ways to measure time than this dumb blog – financial statements chief among them, I think.
- It turns out there was a bank error in my favor at one point, but it was only for $50. Still way better than second prize in that beauty content, however.
- If the government could somehow see it in their hearts to make visits to corner liquor stores tax deductible, I would be the richest man in America, just saying.
So, I was at the bookstore, buying 33 themed temporary tattoo booklets on a Saturday night – LIKE PEOPLE DO – and the cashier asked what I was doing with them. I explained that I wanted to put them all over my body as some sort of terrible costume for a thing, and this other nearby customer, a lady, jumped in like, “You’re gonna need someone to help you put all those on you.” So, of course, like someone with an autism spectrum disorder, I snarled, “NO I WON’T” and then bragged about how good I am at applying temporary tattoos, and then immediately ran out.
Kyle and Michelle told me after the fact that the lady (who was cute) was probably flirting with me, and at least theoretically into helping me stick things on my body, and that I totally blew it by shouting at her like an autistic person. That’s not great, obviously, but my true terror is that maybe this is happening all the time. Maybe women are constantly flirting with me, and I never notice, so I just shout aspie shit at them and run off to ponder why it is I’m so alone, etc.
Well, whatever. At least I’m doing some shit right:
Mo’ Tattoos, Mo’ Problems
As someone who has a lot of dumb crushes on people, I thought it might be a service to my readers if I shared some of my “tells” – the little signs and signals I send out that I somehow expect you to notice and read as indicators of my interest. Armed with this knowledge, it will be that much easier to pinpoint my horrible #intentions and either run away or tackle me in an alcove accordingly.
I do this for you.
P.S. I know none of these make any damn sense. I’m just documenting what happens; I have no more control over these than the sun or the damn tides.
TELL #1: Long H’d Greetings
When I see you, hypothetical crush, my eyes will not light up, nor will my defensive shield of aloofness falter, even ever so slightly (the benefits of Bitchy Resting Face). The only sign that I even remotely do not hate your guts, and am in fact dying of longing inside, is a.) that my greeting will start with the letter H and b.) that I will drag that H out longer than I would for anyone else. I’m not even saying it’s a lot longer – it might be hhi (or if you’re lucky, and I’m drunk, hhhi) instead of hi. That’s it. That’s all I have to offer up to you. A sluggish H. A little breathiness. Welcome to the deep wellspring of my emotions, you fuckers. Good fucking luck with me.
TELL #2: Pained / Irritated Squinting
If you should happen to make eye contact with me, O Crush Of Mine, I will not look away, for that is Cowardly and Shameful. I will instead return the eye contact, but I will narrow my eyes and glare at you as though someone recently released a particularly heinous fart, and you are my prime suspect.
This is sending the very opposite message of what I feel in my heart – like the sight of you could ever be repugnant to me! – but the eyes are Windows To The Soul, you see (I know this shit – I used to work for a contact lens solution client), and I am positive that if you looked directly into my eyes, unobscured, you would see the desperate pining that is resonating through me at all times, and I am Just Not Ready For That. The better you should think I hate your filthy guts, apparently.
TELL #3: Increased Frequency of Chapstick Application
This mostly happens when I’m drunk, in what I believe is my brain making some sort of attempt at seduction?
LIPS MEAN KISSING YOU SEE
THIS SHALL REMIND THEM OF THAT
I literally know nothing about women.
TELL #4: Hey So’s
If you have reached this point in the proceedings, you are already too far gone. You are in Trouble Now.
If I have decided to ask you out on a date, I literally cannot do so without prefacing it with a “Hey So.” “Hey, so, I’m going to this happy hour tomorrow, if you want to come.” This is virtually indistinguishable from how I would ask a friend out to the same happy hour, except those 2 words in front, which I apparently feel are LOADED WITH SUBTEXT. “Hey.” As in, “Hey. Hard stop. Refresh. New conversation. Pay attention. What I am about to means a lot to me and deserves its own demarcation.” “So.” As in, “This is difficult for me, and I am quite nervous, but it is important I go ahead with it, sooooo this is me, psyching myself up.”
It is fucking crazy, that I would expect you to know all this.
I am trying to get better about what follows the Hey So, so that it maybe actually contains the words “go out,” and you can actually have some idea of what I am trying to ask you. But I simply cannot eke the words out without my little verbal security blanket. God help us both.
More of these to come, I am certain.
So, I asked someone out yesterday – via hungover email, because I am a doer – and she very tactfully shot me down, and guess what? I am still alive, and not dead, DESPITE the fact that I was rejected.
THIS IS REVELATORY NEWS PEOPLE
Like, sure, it sucked a little bit, and I dwelled on it for a little while – I mean, she did the best eye rolls I’ve ever seen in my LIFE; this is a LOSS – but I think I’m actually sort of happy it happened? It was kind of freeing in a way, just straight-up asking and straight-up getting rejected, instead of agonizing over the stupid thing for ages.
Crushes, as fond as I am of them, are kind of a slow death. Sure, you spare yourself the pain of rejection, but you also deny yourself the relief of resolution, and instead live out your days in this cruddy limbo, unable to move on, one way or another. It was nice having some certainty for a change, even if that certainty wasn’t necessarily good news.
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but fear of rejection drives a huuuuuge percentage of my anxiety / personality. I have long had it up on some insane pedestal as Seriously The Worst Thing. But you know, having really experienced it for the first time in a while, it wasn’t that that bad. As I believe I mentioned, I am in fact Still Alive, which I was not sure was actually going to be the case. She was pretty gracious about the thing, and it made me think that most people probably would be, as long as you weren’t a horrible asshole in the way you put yourself out there.
So, I maybe like rejection now? Well, OK, maybe not that, but I definitely don’t hate it as much as I thought I did? And I kind of want more of it, so I can slowly piece together that it isn’t the world-ender I’ve been building it up to be. And, accordingly, maybe I will become more brave, because I won’t be held back by that fear?
My point is, is there some way we could have some sort of Rejection Party, where we invite tons of attractive women and employers and publishers and they are all artfully not into me?
My 30th birthday is coming up, I should note.
There’s only one thing that could have made Smacko’s bachelor party even better, and that would have been if we each had come equipped with a different novelty cane!
(Of course, had we done so, Bill would be missing a few fingers, and Ducky would surely be murdered from like 200+ stungun shocks, and I would 100% be writing this to you from prison, so I guess it’s just as well.)