Monday, March 23, 2009

On the 5th day of dating, some woman said to me...

I go on dates.

I know, that seems like a pretty lame opening for a blog post, but I think people sometimes forget that I go on dates. I go on dates nearly every week, whether it be with someone from a bar, someone from a show, a friend or a friend, or wherever else there are available ladies. Recently, for whatever reason, I have been trying (against my nature) to force myself to be interested in people who I normally would want nothing to do with for one reason or another. I don't know if I'm just getting desperate for new blood or what, but I have been trying to fit a square peg into a round hole (that's what she said) for months now.

I was speaking to a female friend of mine and she asked me point-blank: "you seem to find fault with so many people you date; are you just making up excuses? Do you actually have a list of attributes you can and cannot tolerate in a female companion?" Yes, she said "female companion"; can you tell she's older and married? And I thought to myself, well, I guess I've never made a list but I must know what I like and don't like, right? I can't be making up excuses in order to keep myself aloof, could I?

So now I'm making a list. This is a list of the things I cannot tolerate in a "female companion", as well as a list of things I need. These are the things that, at this current moment in my life, directly affect my desire to go on a second date or possibly beyond with a woman. So now you can call me out if you hear something come out of my mouth about a woman from a date that wasn't on this list, ok?

Things I CANNOT deal with if we're ever going to have a future together:

1) You smoke regularly or "just when you're drunk". - Smoking on a regular or even semi-regular basis drives me batshit insane for so many reasons. I'm not saying that I don't indulge in a cigar or two per year, but I've never had more than five in a calendar year for as long as I remember and always for an occasion: a golf outing, an outdoor summer party, etc. Not just because it's Tuesday morning and daddy needs his fix.

There's just something so much more vile about cigarettes and the women who smoke them for various reasons. For starters, they smell terrible; they're either reeking of smoke or they're doused in perfume meant to mask the smoke smell. Thanks for the consideration of my nostrils, but if I want to be knocked out by vapors I'll just huff the can of spray paint in my trunk from a ShamWow. Or I could suck down eight cans of computer duster and end up on TV.

And ladies, here's a tip about using the "only when I'm drunk" line for most situations: if you use it, I'll assume that you're drunk most of the time and that you're a skank. It's just been my experience, that's all. And that goes for smoking, drugs, eating a package of under-heated TGI Friday's Potato Skins, and anal...among other things. Or so I've heard. Drinking socially is fine; keeping your local establishment in business single-handedly is not.

2) You're asleep every night before 10:30pm because you'll be a wreck the next day. - Sorry, I don't date senior citizens. I'll be 28 years old in a month. On a typical day I work until 6pm, come home for dinner, and go to the gym. Lately I've also had to contend with rehearsals, performances, an abnormal volume of birthday parties, and helping plan a bachelor party in Vegas.

Here's a secret to how I contend with all that and still manage to keep a social life: I'm not sixty years old. Seriously, if our "relationship" consists of either seeing you or talking to you via the phone on weekdays for the thirty minutes between when I get home from the gym/rehearsal and when you head off to bed, we're not going to make it. I'll guarantee it. I did that for the last year or so of my last serious relationship, and the only reason I put up with it at all is because I spent way too much money to bind myself to her.

3) Your crippling insecurity. - We all get insecure. I'm not terribly happy with how I've let my body deteriorate since college; there's a reason I'm at the gym four nights a week minimum. Sometimes I don't feel as attractive as usual. We all feel that way. The difference is, for the most part I really do like myself. I've never been the type to lack much for confidence or ego because what I may lack in physical appearance I make up for in spades with charm, wit, humor, compassion, and modesty.

You, on the other hand, can barely look me in the eye when you speak to me. You are constantly putting yourself down, or, even worse, speaking ill of others just to make yourself look better or more important. In reality, the kind of person who does that on a constant basis is repulsive to me. I don't want to here how awful someone else is; I want to hear what's great about you and I want to feel like you believe it. Confidence is just so damn sexy. And fake confidence is just so damn transparent.

4) Your need to seem "mysterious" and "complicated". - If you feel the need to play the "you wouldn't understand" or "you wouldn't want to know; it's a long story" cards, then you're right; I no longer give a fuck what you're talking about. I'd rather just take you home.

I'm all about open dialogue (obviously). I want to know what you're feeling, what you're thinking, what make you tick. Tell me about you; you're the reason I'm on the date in the first place. Well, that and the whole "sex" thing, though I won't have sex with someone I wouldn't want to date. Seems a bit hypocritical and desperate otherwise, doesn't it?

The less I feel that you're telling me...I should say, the more I think you're hiding from me, the less chance I ever want to see you again. Being coy is one thing (and that can be quite hot); not being able to carry on a conversation without continuously and inexplicably changing the conversation every two minutes is a different beast entirely.

5) No fat chicks. - I'm just kidding.

::shakes head no::

Things the must be present is we're going to have any future together:

1) You need to be funny. - Humor is the most important thing in a "female companion". If you don't laugh at observational, crude-at-times, deadpan-at-times, embarassing-at-times humor then you're not the one for me. Dead baby jokes died out long ago, funny stories about your pet or the kids you nanny for aren't funny unless one of them ends up on fire or I am personally acquainted with them, and "you had to be there" stories aren't amusing if I wasn't there. If I use a line from the Simpsons, Super Troopers, an Adam Sandler movie, Old School, a Jud Apatow movie, or Family Guy and you don't get it, you're walking home. I'm serious.

Also, Dane Cook is terrible. I suppose I can understand how he might be attractive to women, but let me throw at little S.A.T. action at you:

Dane Cook : Comedy :: AIDS : Africa

2) You need to be at least somewhat interested in sports. - If the Celtics are about to win a championship on your birthday, I'll forego it for you. I'll foresake watching the first Celtics championship win in seventeen years to take you out to dinner, whisk you off your feet, bring you home, and do to you whatever you want for as long as you want.

If you choose instead to head back to your place and then skip the sex to gossip with your roommate/co-worker about the people you work with while you both correct tests while I sit and stew in silent rage because I am trying to be a good boyfriend and not watch the game while you ignore me...we're going to have a serious problem. Ideally, I'd want you to want to watch the game with me but I'd settle for a little understanding that I'm foregoing something important to me to make your birthday something you'll remember years down the road.

And if we can't watch a Sox or Pats game without you turning and asking me what a strikeout or extra point is, you're leaving wherever we are at the time. End of discussion. You want to know what the infield fly rule is? A decent question and I'm happy to answer it. Not sure about the difference between a nickel and a dime defense? Hell, I'll draw you a diagram. If you ask me why so many people like "that Brady guy" so much, I will never respect you. Also, pink hats are BARELY acceptable as accessories; pink jerseys = trailer park. Don't forget that.

3) You will have to like my friends. - If you make me choose between them and you, especially over something petty, I'm choosing them. EVERY TIME. They were here before you and they will be here after you.

4) You need to know how to dress. - Women look HOT in jeans and a t-shirt. Men know this. But you can't wear pants everywhere you go. Skirts are not the enemy. Pantsuits are for lesbians and ugly people. Heels are always a turn-on. Sweatpants are great for around the house or a weekend breakfast jaunt. For a bar? Not so much.

I put time and energy into my appearance because I want to look good when I'm in public and because I want you to look at me and say "wow" once in a while. If I don't see your hair out of a ponytail for weeks on end then you're probably not going to hear "wow" come out of my mouth unless it's followed with "did you just wake up?"

5) You need to be open about what you're feeling and thinking, and be receptive to my thoughts and feelings. - Are you the kind of person that bottles up all of their anger and refuses to speak up when little things bother you until one day you snap and it comes out one day as a flood of emotion, hatred, and irrationality just because I ended a sentence with a preposition? Then to the back of the line with you, please.

If something bothers you, tell me. If I can fix something I'm doing wrong or be a shoulder to lean/cry on then I'm happy to do it. If something make you happy, tell me; I'll keep doing it or I'll find a way to keep it going somehow. If you don't want to talk about it at that precise moment then say so; don't lie to me and say "nothing" is bothering you. There's a huge difference the size of the Pacific Ocean between "nothing" and "I don't want to talk about it right now". I'll respect one but not the other, and


it's not the lie I'll respect.


So that's about it. That's who I want, in a nutshell. And until I find someone like that I'll keep dating and searching, searching and dating. For those of you who have found their someone, congrats; I'm happy for you. For those who haven't, relax; being picky isn't a bad thing, it's a smart thing. Saves you from the heartache later.

Good night, all.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

So say we all.

The last episode of Battlestar Galactica just aired a little while ago. I'm a little sad. I mean, I'm happy that I was able to get into this show even late in the game and I'm glad I was able to bear witness to a great show. It's probably the most well-written show I've ever watched. But, of course, once you have an emotional attachment to a character or show and suddenly "THE END" rolls around, it's bound to make a person sad. I am not exempt from this.

When something that I'm attached to comes to an end, I like to reflect on it. I'll mostly keep to myself and ruminate about what the event meant to me and how I can learn from it. I don't usually get to jostled or riled up during that time because it always seems too distracting and almost rude to the memory and happy thoughts involved with being a part of something, even something as passive as a television show (and by "passive" I mean that literally all I did is watch; I had no hand in the actual show).

A big part of BSG is the will of man wrestling with the path of destiny; the whim of a higher being, if you will. Are we pulled toward our final destination? Are our choices already pre-ordained even when we think we're being clever and unpredictable? Or is the destiny of each and every person directed solely by their actions, their choices? Is it a mix of both, like a Choose Your Own Adventure book?

The show dealt a great deal with angels and gods. I like the idea of angels; spiritual beings meant to provide guidance in times of great upheaval and peril. I'd like to think that when I'm at my lowest an angel might come and lighten the load off of my shoulders and nudge me toward my destiny, toward the right decision, toward God's path. That's the kind of thing that I wish I could put my faith in to make me sleep a little easier at night and clear my head.

But religion's a steaming pile of lies.


I firmly believe that these days, religion is more responsible for the decaying status of this planet than a lot of other ills. Religion is outdated; it may have been necessary back when people didn't have the tools to predict tornadoes, or when there was no real justification for peasants NOT rising up and killing their lords. But now religion does more harm than good, and that is across the board.

There's this constant struggle among human beings to show superiority over one another; religion is just one of the oldest tools of that alpha-male bullshit. This faith hates that faith; one claims their holy land on another's soil; one believes in aliens from millions of years ago, claiming that you can be cleansed of their long as you pay for it.

The rules may be different but the results are the same: do as we tell you and you'll be fine; disobey and you'll end up living the worst existence possible forever and ever. Killing yourself is either a mortal sin or the work of a martyr. Eating pork is either verboten or a key ingredient to the perfect hamburger. Cows are either sacred...or yet another key ingredient to the perfect hamburger.

There are so many religions and so many rules, it's impossible to keep them all straight. Not only that, but most religions feel it's their duty to spread their dogmas into the realms of science, medicine, and politics, further polluting our ability as a society to explore, discover, and grow.

Did you know a Texas state representative introduced a bill allowing the Institute for Creation Research to be able to grant Masters of Science degrees? No, I'm not fucking kidding. The group that believes that Earth was created only 6,000 years ago and that carbon dating is "misunderstood by scientists" wants to give out fucking GRADUATE degrees for science. Of course, those who don't believe in creationism are simply out to "get" religion and those who believe in it. It couldn't be that 99% of the evidence out there completely craps on creationism's enormous gaps in logic. Nope, it's all about revenge, obviously.

You see, that's how religion pulls you in, by always making it an "us vs. them" issue. THEY'RE doing the work of God/Allah/Xenu so therefore those who AREN'T doing God/Allah/Xenu's work are obviously hellbent on stamping the true believers out. So rise to the occasion, take up arms, and fight for what you believe in! Or just send us money and go around convincing people that they're wrong and you're right!

Religion naturally calls to the more unstable among us in society. People are looking for an escape from their problems. They aren't sure where to turn for guidance. Suddenly, a group comes along that says "all of your answers are in this easy-to-carry book! Just follow the teachings of people we've designated as experts and they'll lead you to peace of mind!" OF COURSE THAT WORKS; there are a ton of people out there who would love to hand over control of their conflicted beliefs to a group promising all of the answers. Those people aren't necessarily stupid, they're just unable to cope with their problems. Some turn to drugs, others turn to religion.

Recently, the Pope made some comments that perpetuated the Catholic church's stance on birth control and in the process made himself look like a backward-thinking buffoon who simply regurgitates doctrine without forethought. He not only opposed the spread of contraception in Africa (where in some places 50% of a given region's population has AIDS) but actually said (and I shit you not) that condoms may actually make the AIDS problem worse.

Digest that for a minute. The Pope, the spiritual leader of hundreds of millions of people across the world, shits on EVERY. SINGLE. TRUTH. that people know about contraception and the spread of AIDS by suggesting that using a condom to protect oneself or someone else from getting AIDS might actually make the problem WORSE. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?

Listen, I understand why Christians frown on contraception. As stupid as the reason is, as idiotic an idea as "life begins at conception" is, I understand that they feel that way. And maybe, maybe, you could make the argument that contraception makes people more susceptible to the temptation of sex (you know, if that made any sense to use that logic for a continent where women are already being raped left and right). LEAVE IT AT THAT, YOU SENILE FUCKING IDIOT. There was no need to expound on that idea by inferring that the LAST thing the African people need on a continent that is simply being ravaged by AIDS is PROTECTION FROM AIDS. FUCK.


Here's what kills me the most about religion: people who follow it pick and choose what they want to believe. You either believe that Jonah was swallowed by a whale or you don't. You either believe that being a martyr is a worthy achievement or you don't. But here's the thing: you can't believe in your book of choice as the written testament and "proof" that your religion is valid and then cherry pick which parts of it you want to believe.

If you want to tell me that the Bible says it's wrong to be gay in Leviticus and therefore being gay is wrong, PERIOD, then fine. Just know that the punishment according to the same passage is death. And while we're doing the Lord's bidding with the killing and the smiting, let's not forget all of the other grave sins that are punishable by death in Leviticus:

Cursing at your mother or father!
Cheating on a spouse!
Having sex with your wife while she's on her period!

Wow, I'm sure that no one who believes in the Bible has ever done any of those things or else they'd be lining up at churches all over the world to be killed. Right? Hey, at least the Bible doesn't say you can beat your wife if you see fit! Nope, that's reserved for the Koran!

You either believe in the tenets of your religion or you don't. If you use birth control, you're not Christian. If you eat pork, you're not Jewish. If you don't wear long underwear, you're not Mormon. That's it; being a selective member of a religion makes you a non-member of that religion. Well, unless you want to use the handy reset button known as confession. Over and over and over again. Another phenomenal cop-out to keep people coming back and donating money.

The idea of unseen forces looking out for you seems nice, it really does. But it's bullshit, all of it, and all religion does is hold people back from learning things about themselves and the world. Religion is making the world dumber: curbing vital stem-cell research, teaching children creationism, spreading hatred toward people of different sexual orientation (or in some cases, race...hi Mormons!), and stifling the desire to explore the world because of the belief that if God wanted us to know it we'd know it already.

Think for yourselves. Explore for yourselves. Understand that the fairytale was put in place to keep you from having to think too hard. And remember kids, only you can prevent ethnic and religious cleansing.

And forest fires.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

In like a lion, indeed.

It's been a hell of a ride these past twelve months. It was a year ago this month that I finally manned-up and asked someone to marry me. At the time, it was the most wonderful thing I could think of. Imagine the most "in love" you've ever been and multiply it by 100. I mean, I asked someone if they wanted to spend the rest of their life with me, have children and raise them with me, be with me through the good and bad, and to sit by my bedside with my children and hold my hand when I eventually shuffle off this mortal coil.

I mean, that's really what it's all about: finding someone who will live with you and all your faults and be happy to do it because to them, you are as much their world as they are yours.

But it's not always like that and the world isn't always fair. If you'd just said no I could have gotten on with my life but you said yes and THEN no, and you tore my heart out. I just want to hurl insults and curse words at you but it would really do nothing but rile me up and I'd just be throwing those words at the equivilant of a brick wall.

So now my life is filled with not-so-childlike wonder; what do I do now, where do I go from here, am I ever going to find someone like you again, etc. Then again, maybe I shouldn't be looking for someone like know, since you were pretty much the lousiest significant other EVER toward the end.

It's so funny; I sit here every night, checking out Facebook, reading my email, clicking on box scores...and staring at the red box on my desk. The red box that has settled quietly as a fixture next to my monitor in a Ziploc bag with the GIA booklet included, collecting dust and waiting for someone to buy you off of Craigslist. It's not that I haven't tried to sell it but it seems to be happy just sitting there, reminding me of the daughters we won't raise, the house we won't buy, the life we won't have together. It's your last scornful hurrah, I guess.

That's what I miss most you know, the promise of raising children together. Someday, I hope to be able to measure the success of my life someday by looking at my kids and bursting with pride. But they won't be the same kids you and I would have raised.

I still get angry and argue with you in my head. I always win. I'm pretty sure the real arguments would have gone the same way.

Am I better off now than I was a year ago? What's a good measuring stick for that? I'm single, my hair's a little thinner, children are a long way away, and I'm not sure that anyone else is ever going to fall in love with this huddled mass typing away in his room. On the other hand, I'm not living a lie, rushing into marriage with someone who doesn't want to be married to me. I've made new friends and reconnected with old ones, and I'm learning more about myself than I ever could have under the dark cloud that is you.

I go on dates, although I seem to find big faults with all of them. Maybe I'm being too picky. I don't believe it's too much to ask for a non-smoker with a decent grasp of good grammar and a healthy dose of humor. Women who are easily offended aren't for me either; anyone who knows me knows at least that. I guess I haven't hit the Desperation Zone yet, which is also why I won't join a dating site. For me, the best way to meet someone is to, well, meet them. In person. The day I join one of those sites is the day I give up on a lot of who I am.

I also want to be sure that the people I date are people I'd easily be friends with if I weren't dating them. My wife will have to be someone I share common interests with, someone I can laugh with and share stories with who gets me; not just because she's trying to make me feel good but because doing those things makes her feel good, too.

Someday I'm going to find someone who will help me raise little Lorelai, Rosalin, and the others who are unnamed but will be just as cherished. It hurts a little knowing that it won't be you; it makes me sad in the places I don't want to admit exist anymore.

I just hope that someday, they don't.