Sunday, July 24, 2011

Musical Legends Make The Worst Boyfriends

Roy Orbison

Talent aside, it can't be ignored: Roy Orbison was never sexy. There was something irrefutably point-dextery about him, and he was probably the only person who made sunglasses look uncool. You'd assume, under such circumstances, that Roy Orbison would make the perfect nerdy obliging boyfriend. You'd be wrong.

Let's take one of his biggest hits, "I Drove All Night". The opening lines of which, go something like this:

"I had to escape, the city was sticky and cruel
Maybe I should have called you first
But I was dying to get to you"

You know what, Roy? Maybe you should have called first. In fact, you definitely should have called first, because that is what we call etiquette. Maybe I'm busy that night. Maybe me and my ladys have Zumba that night.

"I drove all night to get to you
Is that all right?
I drove all night, crept in your room
Woke you from your sleep to make to love you
Is that all right?"

Is that all right? Is that all right? Uh, no Roy. That is most certainly not alright. It is not alright to creep anywhere, much less likely into my room. Who gave you a key, anyway? I find it interesting that you seem to have a key to my room, yet don't know enough about me to know that it is never ok to wake me up for the purposes of a ride.  

And another thing: where have you even been?

Bruce Springsteen

"Then I got Mary pregnant
And man that was all she wrote
And for my nineteenth birthday, I got a union card and a wedding coat
We went down to the courthouse and the judge put it all to rest
No wedding day smiles, no walks down the aisle..."

From "The River"

Bruce, while admittedly it takes two to tango, you could try to sound a little less morbidly depressed about our situation. We're not the first teenagers to have a shotgun wedding, and we certainly won't be the last. Even Sarah Palin's kids are doing it.

In fact, the only time you sound vaguely perky in the whole song is for this bit:

"But I remember us riding in my brothers car
Her body tan and wet down at the reservoir"

Bruce, your initial intentions have now become quite clear. You're all fun and games when you're talking about tanned wet women at the river, but as soon as it's time to man up and accept some responsibility, all you can do is mope around and complain about the economy.

Elvis Presley

"So, if an old friend I know
Drops by to say hello
Would I still see suspicion in your eyes?

Here we go again
Asking where I've been..."

Ok, Elvis. I'll level with you. Maybe I am a little jealous. Maybe sometimes, occasionally, I worry. But maybe, also, you're Elvis friggin' Presley and every woman in the world wants to have sex with you. I realize that this is not your fault. But who are these "old friends"? You do not have any "old friends". Only skanks. Skanks with diseases.

Marvin Gaye

Ooh, I bet you're wond'rin' how I knew
'bout your plans to make me blue
With some other guy you knew before
Between the two of us guys you know I love you more
It took me by surprise I must say
When I found out yesterday
Dontcha know that I
heard it throught the grapevine

Oh. Well.

This is awkward.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Things I Still Don't Get About Dudes

I like to think I get most things about Dudes. I certainly have enough male friends and brothers to serve as testament to this. I don't make a point of toilet seat etiquette. I understand that the vast majority of men don't want to watch Hairspray with me until four in the morning. I realize that if my boyfriend looks like he is having a poetic thought, he probably isn't. See? I get things. I'm savvy. A modern woman.

Here are things I will never get.

Meat on Pizza

Everytime I order a pizza with a Dude, I discover very quickly that my Mediterranean cheese circle is being quickly hi-jacked by a host of dead animals. Now, don't get me wrong here: I love eating dead animals. But I also firmly believe that a perfect pizza is all about balance. There is, at all times, a very precise pizza feng-shui at work, in which meat and vegetable must life in perfect harmony.

Ham and pineapple is yin and yang. Ham and pepperoni and salami is taking the piss.

The guy taking your pizza order is not questioning your masculinity. There is no need for you to be  overcompensating this much.


I don't know if this is a universal feeling, but I seem to know a disproportionate amount of Dudes who get a euphoric amount of enjoyment from drinking massive amounts of milk. What is this about? Milk, for me, is good in coffee, great in cereal and that's about it. As an independent beverage, it's kind of yucky. What's going on here? Is it because it reminds you of boobs? Is that why you like it?

Chest Stroking

All the really dudey dudes I know - like, the ones who do sport and all that - seem to share a peculiar habit. They'll be sitting on the couch, having a perfectly normal conversation, and then, quite out of nowhere, they'll put their hand under their own t-shirt. At first you think it's to adjust clothing or something, but then they'll just leave it there. Their hand just sits, over their ribcage and under their clothes, doing nothing in particular. I used to think I was the only person who noticed this, until I mentioned it to another female friend. She immeaditly responded "Ugh, if I have to see Kev's belly button hair one more time while I'm trying to have a conversation with him, he is getting a slap."

Beyoncé Hating

I used to think that no-one could possibly hate Beyoncé Knowles. How could you? Aside from being one-half of the second most powerful African-American couple in the world, she is beautiful and talented, classy and sassy. You couldn't not fancy her. At the very least, you have to admire her as a performer.
However, I seem to know an astounding amount of guys who not only don't love Beyoncé, but actively dislike her as a public figure. What in the hell is this about? What is the excuse for this?

I actually did a poll with all the men I work with, all of whom maintained that Beyoncé is a wreck-head. Well, all of whom except for Barry, who doesn't seem to hate anything. Even more depressingly, when asked follow-up questions all of the dudes claimed that while they didn't like Beyoncé, they had plenty of time for Rihanna. Like, what? What is this?

I maintain that men are frightened of Beyoncé. While Rihanna is happy to cast herself as an occasionally fetishized sexual plaything, with Beyoncé you really don't know what you're getting. I mean, you could get her on a day when Beyoncé is just Beyoncé, a proud, classy lady who will only tolerate being made exquisite love to. Or you could get her when she's being Sasha Fierce, in which case SHUT THE FUCK UP and SIT THE FUCK DOWN.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Times I Have Considered Giving Up Blogging

I have a theory that bloggers are the internet's version of the stereotypical New York self-hating Jew. Obviously, I can't speak for all bloggers everywhere, but rest assured that my internal monologue is voiced by a cartoon Woody Allen drunk on wine coolers.

Although I'm no great expert on his work, Woody Allen is my blogger spirit animal. While in real life I can be a normal, functioning human being for up to fifteen minutes at a time, when someone mentions my blog or the act of blogging in general, I get Wood(y). I become highly neurotic, intensely self-critical and paranoid, yet am simultaneously arrogant and completely egotistical. For this reason, I try not to bring up my blog in conversation with people who don't know me all that well. This saves them from the inevitable five minutes I spend apologising for myself while also trying to subtly infer that I'm the best person on the planet.

It's no secret that people who spend an arseload of time on the internet tend to flounder socially, and the downside to creating a weblog that you want people to read, is that sometimes people actually read it. Sometimes they might even talk to you about it. For the sake of propriety, here are some of the times in my everyday life where I think about dousing this whole page in kerosene and setting it on fire.

The De-Railed Compliment

It usually starts like this:

"Hey, I finally got around to reading your blog."

Obviously, this is a very nice thing to say. People are busy, and the internet is vast. Naturally I don't expect everyone who has ever met me to read my every passing whim.

"Y'know, I don't usually like blogs..."

This is where I usually get geared up for a compliment. I'm the first to admit that I'm an absolute junkie for praise: let's face it, nobody writes anything unpaid unless they're looking for some validation. It sounds like the person in question is about to let out a "BUT", immeaditly followed by "...your blog is wonderful! I LOVE it! My cat loves it! I read it to my cat sometimes!"

Sadly, the person often doesn't get this far, because they've gotten distracted by how much they don't usually like blogs.

"I just find them so.. trite, you know? Like, why would I want to read someone's online diary? It's just so.. so self-absorbed. Do we really need to live in a world where that facility is available?"

At this point, the person will catch a look in the fading happy feelings in my face.

"..of course, YOUR blog isn't like that. You actually, like, try?"

Thank you. I do try.

"UGH, you're not on Twitter, are you?"

The Accidental Referance

This is probably the most awkward I ever get in real life. I'll be with a friend, and suddenly they'll start talking about, for example, the way cupcakes seem to be everywhere these days.  Which is a subject that I have written a blog about, and they seem to be making all the points I made. I have no way of telling if they're referencing my blog for my benefit, or they're just speaking off-hand about cupcakes. This doesn't sound like it should be a big issue, but it's enormous. What do I do? If I say something like "Oh, I see you've read my blog." or "Pardon me, but is that my blog you're talking about?" I sound like a perfect asshole. I might aswel say "Is that me you're referencing? Are you a fan of me?"

The Word "Blog"

I'm someone who has always enjoyed the lyrical harmony of words. "Synapse", for example, is a great sounding word. "Ambivert" is another great one I learned recently.

"Blog" is not a nice word.

Sometimes I consider giving up blogging just so I never have to say the word "blog" ever again. It's not just "blog" either; all of it's associates are shit, too. Blogging, blogger, blogosphere. I blog, you blog, he/she/it blogs. It sounds horrible. Just looking at the word infers how derivative the whole thing is. I could be writing a blog about cancer research, and still no-one would take it seriously, because it would be a cancer research blog.

Unsolicited Manuscripts

I'm a cranky bitch at the best of times, and I welcome creative suggestions with the same warmth I offer back-fat.

Let me specify:

Situation: Me and a friend are having a fun conversation about something funny.

"Haha, you should do a blog on that."
"Ha, maybe I will!"

This, obviously is fine. Loving. Supportive. There is nobody at fault in this conversation.

However, I seem to occasionally get people coming to me with post ideas that they've planned in entirety, but are just too lazy to write themselves, or are too insecure to set up a blog of their own. So they just want me to do it for them. What in the hell? It's not like these ideas are always necessarily bad, either: they're just something I would never do. I'm not saying my blogs are great - some of them are a bit crap, really- but at least I know I did them myself. This is a big issue of pride for me. I don't know why. My analyst* tells me it stems from me never finishing anything when we did knitting in primary school. I'm giving him another year and then I'm goin' to Lourdes.

*I don't really have an analyst. But that thing about the knitting is true.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Romancing the Irish: What Not to Do

As anyone who has ever worked in any job longer then two days will tell you, some people are just batshit. The public are a rag-tag bunch of dithering weirdos, and serving them requires a level of patience and rationale that is reminiscent of the early work of Jesus Christ. This is something I went into detail with as early as last week, where we learned about the character quirks of Other Michael Keaton. As easy as it is to identify weirdos, sometimes it can be incredibly challenging to separate the crazy people from say, the casually eccentric, or in this case, the die-hard romantic.

Almost everyone who has worked in retail or service has been in a situation in which a customer has a crush on them. I'm not saying this is a weird thing: I, for one, have gone through several heady phases of borderline stalking moody looking boys in book shops. It's not that the worker in question is particularly attractive, it's more to do with the fact that they're paid to be nice to you so you'll buy more stuff. In capitalist terms, I believe this phenomenon is called Sexy Economics, or "Sexonomics".

Sexonomics is not something that has escaped the attention of American Apparel

For every ten people that understand the joys of having a casual crush, there is one person who is more then willing to cross the casual/creepy crush line. A lot of people have stories about this. My friend Eduardo, for example, was once given a mixed cd from an elderly gay gentleman. My friend Ashling was approached by a man who excitedly told her how good she looked in pants, and then asked her to sneak away with him while her boyfriend was at work.

The other day, I was serving a customer who tends to come in around the same time every week. I'd always understood him to be a relatively normal dude: the kind of nervous 20-something that perpetually carries a backpack and tentatively asks about Battlestar Galactica boxsets. The frequency of his visits have led to us building something of a rapport, mostly made up of short conversations about whatever CD I'm playing that day. This time however, he seems significantly more nervous then usual. As our transaction ends, and I hand him back his change, he takes a package out of his ever-present backpack and hands it to me.

"This.. this is for you." he starts in broken English "There is a CD of my friends band, that I had when I was living in Brazil. I'm Brazilian.. and well, I thought you would be interested. In case you don't like this, there's also a DVD in here. It is of one of our great singers. I think you'll like her."

"He obviously wants to murder you." says Ashling, who is immediately on the scene.
"You don't think this is even remotely sweet?"
"No. It's weird. People don't just do this kind of thing."

What she means is Irish people just don't do this kind of thing. And she's perfectly correct. Irish romances are spawned in a very precise way, and invariably begin with two drunk people running headlong into one another. This sounds like I'm bowing to the worlds limited view of Ireland, but let's face it: Irish people like getting drunk. So why not start a relationship at that exact point?

After this initial sloppy encounter, a typical Irish romance will invariably go through a quick courtship process. This will consist of a series of semi-organised encounters where the two lovebirds in question will show up at the same place at the same time and act like the whole thing is a total accident. Some other stuff will happen, and they'll eventually get married.

And eventually turn into this

Romance isn't something we do very well, or are able to react to appropriately. What might seem like a sweet gesture in Brazil seems psychopathic in Ireland, and there's something a little sad about that. It makes me think how women can complain about the lack of romance in modern men, yet be fundamentally freaked out when some well-meaning stranger makes a nice gesture. I feel guilty that, despite this dudes best intentions, I am more overwhelmed with terror then I am with gushing sentimentality.

Unless he is actually trying to murder me, in which case I don't feel guilty at all.

Courtesy of American Hell