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Friday, March 29, 2013

Remedial Courses in Dating.

Okay, so I have 10,000 things to post about (and just about as many half finished posts), but this needs to jump to the top of the list. Here it is, for all of you that flunked Miss-Adventures' Dating 101 course. Don't worry, I've kept it brief, because I know your attention spans are short:

Remedial Courses in Dating
by The Nugget

1. Do not show up intoxicated.

Seriously, don't do it. I have had two dates show up intoxicated (that I knew of), and that was two too many. The first date was an hour late, intoxicated,  and ended up whispering, "I am the 1%" (for those of you that didn't follow the Occupy movement, this is like trying to impress me with his AmEx black card) while spitting popcorn in my hair. Intoxicated Date Number Two? Oh, you'll soon see how that went.

2. Take some pride in your appearance.

Listen, I'm not saying dates are like beauty pageants, where you're going to be judged based solely on evening wear and your bikini body, but let's get real. You have one chance to make an impression. Do you really want that impression to be, "I just rolled out of my bed in my mom's basement and grabbed whatever clothes didn't smell like cat urine off the bathroom floor because I really couldn't care less about you or this date (or my appearance)." Date Number Two? least he didn't smell like cat urine.

3. Engage in conversation.

This is hard. I know it, you know it, even your mom knows it. It's hard to talk to strangers. We've been socialized not to, and what do you really say to someone you don't know? Well, guess what, folks. This is the internet age, and you've probably met your date through an internet dating site. You have a wealth of information at your fingertips. Something in their profile made you laugh? Ask them more about it. You have a few shared interests? Tell them a story about the last time you engaged in those interests. Their profile was boring and basic? Well, what the hell are you doing there, then? If all else fails, always have a light-hearted emergency question or two (you know the kind: "If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you hope to have with you?" "If you were an animal, which would you be?" "Star Trek or Star Wars?" Actually, maybe keep that last one to yourself). Your date may be shy or nervous, too, and your asking questions could inspire her to relax and open up as well. If, however, you let her sit in awkward silence so long that she's making eyes at the person behind you, date's over, buddy.

4. Don't be a bigot.

Listen, I don't know you. I mean, I might, but I can't see through this screen, so you're totally anonymous. You could be of any gender, religion, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, creed, background, status, etc. I don't know. Even when I'm presented with someone live and in person, sharing my space, I don't know most of these things about you. I don't know your background, I don't know your identity, and I'm sure not going to make any assumptions. But even if I DID know these things, I've invited you to share my space. You're doing that. Why would I then going and say something offensive about you, or someone you know, or someone you might know, or someone you might identify with?
Date Number Two at least had the courtesy to wait an hour and two drinks to show he was a bigot. We were discussing his family, and he mentioned his sister was gay. "I'm totally fine with it, except when she pulls her [insert homophobic slur here] stuff." I sat in stunned silence for a second, then looked him in the eye and said, "I'm queer." He was quiet for a minute, and then said, "I guess I shouldn't use that word." I agreed with that. "But in the future, those words will be rendered meaningless, so people should just be okay with them." "Oh," I replied, "So I should be okay with you calling me a [insert anti-Semitic slur here]?" "Yes!" he said. "I should be able to say [homophobic slur], [anti-Semitic slur] and [racist slur] because in your lifetime, those won't mean anything." "But they mean something now," I said. "You're living in a future utopia that doesn't yet exist, and there's a huge chasm between you and where we are presently, with not even a solid foundation for a bridge yet." "Listen," he replied, sighing. "They're adjectives. Do you know what adjectives are? They're--" "I may be a 'dumb female,'" I interrupted, "but I know what an adjective is. Listen, let's just end this here, because neither of us are going to change our minds. You're going to continue thinking it's okay to use words that people have used for decades to oppress and humiliate and hurt people, and I'm going to continue to think you an asshole for it. It was nice meeting you." With that, I walked out.
Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. If those beliefs lead you to engage in language or actions that hurt other people, you're probably an asshole. If you're an asshole, you have four options. First, don't go on dates. This is an excellent choice if you really enjoy being an asshole. Second, go on dates, but pretend you're not an asshole until the person is lulled to a sense of security, and then BAM! Spring your asshole-iness on them. You'll probably get dumped, but hey, at least you probably got some action. Third, throw all of your asshole-iness into the ring right away, and see if your date doesn't flee the scene immediately. If they don't, congratulations! You may have found yourself another asshole. Fourth, and this is the best option, STOP BEING AN ASSHOLE.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

But What Do I Say?

I read an article very recently by Chiara Atik called "The Five Worst Things to Say to Someone Who Just Went Through a Break-Up" (Article here).  Honestly, it was so on-point that I wish that I had written it myself.  So, I'm going to do my good deed by imparting this wisdom upon you.  This is for you friends out there struggling with the 'What Do I Say's' and for those of you who, like myself, have been through a break-up and find yourself listening to the five things you shouldn't (and don't want to) hear from your friends.  To summarize, the five no-no points are these:
1. “I never liked him anyway.”
2. Ultimately, this is going to be a good thing for you.”
3. “You can do so much better.”
4. “Now you can concentrate on your career.”
5. “What you need is a girls/boys night out!”
I'd like to add a few of my own.  Here's what not to say (and here's what the broken hearted is thinking):
1. “You dodged a bullet.”
While it may seem that way to you, this actually feels like taking a fucking bullet. 
2. How could you still love her?  She was fake.”
It wasn't fake to me, asshole.  I loved.  Truly.  Deeply.  Passionately.  I'm still struggling with what was real and what was not, but I know this for sure: MY love wasn't fake and MY loss feels very real.
3. “She sucks.  I hate her.”
So, not only am I suffering a broken heart but now I have to worry about YOUR feelings about her too?  Also, you're making me feel like an idiot for loving someone YOU hate.  Thanks.
4. “Yeah, while you guys were together, I heard that she…”
And this is helpful to me after the fact, HOW?  This only reinforces what I'm already feeling: a deaf, dumb and blind fool.
5. “Let's go out and get drunk/lap dances!”
First, I don't enjoy that kind of "entertainment" and you, as my friend, should know that about me.  Second, all I'm capable of right now is crying on the kitchen floor, so mustering up the energy to put on my make-up, get dressed and face a bar full of strangers or a club full of nasty-stripper-snatch is more than I can possibly bear.  And third, can I just please have a kind word and a hug??
To summarize, Ms. Atik recommends you stick to these helpful words instead:
1. I’m here whenever you want to talk.
2. Break ups are the worst thing in the world. The worst thing. I am so sorry you are going through this.
3. I know you want to be alone right now, so I’m sending you a care package of cool/distracting stuff and I’m on standby for whenever you want to hang out.
Here were some helpful words that I got from friends during the worst of it all:
1. "I'm rounding up some friends and we're going to cook you dinner and have a movie night.  Don't worry about anything, I'm taking care of it all."  And a group of my friends along with my sister all showed up with love, encouragement, "Priscilla Queen of the Desert" and home-cooked food.
2. "You deserve to be taken out on a date."  And three of my closest did just that: they rallied around me, showered me with attention and light-hearted humor and took me to a blues club where we listened to BB King covers and ate fried chicken.
3. "You are not a burden.  I don't care how long you need to talk about your break-up.  I love you and I'm here to listen, even if it's all you can talk about for the next year."  The truth is that it takes a long time to get over your heartache; AND it takes a lot of talking to process through all of your feelings; AND after a few weeks, you may feel like you are a burden to your friends.  Your best friends will remind you that no matter how long you need or how much you can't stop talking about your heartbreak, you are not a burden, that you can take as long as you need to heal properly, and they'll love you and listen anyway.

Thanks to all of my friends for their solidarity, support and listening ears, even those of you who have occasionally broken the no-no rules.  Extra special thanks to my friends who NEVER broke the no-no rules.  You know who you are and I am eternally grateful.