I am fucking DONE with dating. I’ve been saying how sucky I am at dating all year, and it’s been proven to be so insanely MEGA TRUE, but that’s not why I’m stopping. Truth is, I’m tired. TIRED. The whole thing is so exhausting! All the planning, thinking, guessing, trying…and for what? An awkward hug? Maybe a super hot make-out one time and then never hearing from them again? Or just a creepy silent ninja dance to get out of their apartment before they wake up and start needing something from you? I’ve been trying this shit out for 10 months and even with the relative calm that was my lovely summer ladyfriend it’s just getting stupid.
HOW DO YOU PEOPLE DO THIS FOR YEARS?!?!! Seriously, I want to give you a trophy. Or a hug. Or maybe just a pizza and an electric blanket and a copy of Duck Soup and a pillow fort (or maybe I’m just projecting, because I TOTALLY want all of that in my bed right now).
And Richmond. RICHMOND. YOU ARE KILLING ME. The combination of me being new here and this being such a drinking town is going to be the actual for real death of me. It usually goes like this:
I’m out at a bar or a show. Someone strikes up a conversation. YAY for talking to strangers! They ask where I’m from (yes, still have an accent even in this Southern town), and I say Alabama via New York. Then, and this just SLAYS me, they tell me how incestuous this place is, how small the town and everyone’s dated everyone, and THEN they ask if they can buy me a drink. So, after just saying how they’ve basically fucked through all the fuckable women here and warned me about it, they hit on me.
WHAT’RE YOU DOING, BUDDY.
Now I’m sure these people are super nice and awesome and great, but it’s just starting to wear a little thin, even though it’s only been a month. And even that nonwithstanding, it’s just getting to be too much. Case in point: literally a week ago I got hit on twice in the same night using THE SAME LINE, once from a 60-year-old (YES FUCKING SIXTY YEARS OF HUMAN AGE) and a 26-year-old who were both like “I remember you from the other night, lady I don’t know.”
But I did end up having two interesting conversations that night so that wasn’t a total wash, truthfully.
And, again, it’s like I already have a history here even though ONE MONTH ONLY. In the same stupid crappy week I had a text fight with Mean Ex, in which he called me a stupid bitch, I called him an immature asshole, and we both told the other to fuck off. FUN. This all happened as I was coming to the realization that The Boy I Liked was blowing me off, either because he’s busy (wrong) or there’s something about me he’s just not digging super hard (bingo). Either way, the verdict’s the same: that’s too bad.
Or maybe it’s kind of fortunate, because I really seriously am just WORE SLAP OUT. I mean, that is a lot of shit for just a few weeks, right? I was lying in bed with my pillow boyfriend Steve (who never lets a bitch down) and I just thought, you know, all this energy and time I spend thinking about this crap could be parlayed into something better, or at least something more productive. I could take up running, volunteer with kids or animals or old people, write a novel, stop smoking. I mean, I probably will just end up pacing on my porch more often, chain smoking and reading Bukowski (I’m in a mood, people), but I’m just saying I COULD be doing those other things. I do swear I’ll try to stop making stink eyes at couples holding hands and kissing on street corners, though. Maybe.
Call me insensitive, but one of the things I’ve noticed most about Richmond is how often people will hit you up for…something. Money, or cigarettes, or just that verbal noise of being all HEY BABY YEAH BABY YES YOU. I’ve been here about three weeks and two hobos (I’m using this to mean anyone who’s harassing me in this way) ((also I like calling people hobos)) have asked me to marry them.
They don’t seem to care about my long explanations of why I’ll never get married again and how it’s an institution and we’d have to find a good place for that shopping buggy in my house and what a mess THAT would be.
So when you want to just go about your business without talking much to people, this is what you do:
1. Never ever ever EVER smoke in public.
Because bitches will be hitting you up CONSTANTLY for cigarettes. Like, more often than money. No one seems to believe me when I say I’m at least as poor as they are right now (not kidding), but I don’t blame them. I still look pretty goddamn FIERCE, wearing all my clothes from when I had money and shit.
PS – Take all the cigarette butts you want. I know that sounds mean, but people ASK ME FOR THAT SHIT so, um, take them. Just don’t steal my porch chairs. Or sleep there.
2. Eye contact is frowned upon. Mostly that equals Cath frowning at me.
We were downtown waiting for the bus and this dude walked by wearing double jeans, which was one pair pulled up like normal around his waist and another pair worn slacker-style down under his butt. So of course I said “DOUBLE JEANS!” and he turned around and Cath started muttering at me under her breath because YES he asked us for a cigarette and YES HE DID tell us we were “so so pretty girl” and YES I WAS WRONG TO SAY ANYTHING. Sometimes it’s fun talking to people. Sometimes your roommate gives you lectures about how you’re going to straight up DIE IN THE CITY if you don’t start acting like YOU LIVE IN A CITY NOW FOOL.
3. If you’re pretty sure that dude shambling toward you at 3 AM is a zombie, pull out your knife.
So, two stories. Number one: I got a knife. I went into Pleasant’s Hardware and asked a woman to help me pick out a knife, a scary-looking cheap one so when I pull that shit out people are like LOOK AT THIS CRAZY ASSHOLE. She calls me Switchblade Annie when I see her now.
Number two: The other night I had another one of those “I want to feel fucked up because my dad died” nights which basically consisted of me getting drunk enough to feel sad and walking home really late. I came up on this dude who was in some alley, like really slowly shuffling along, and I got IRRATIONALLY TERRIFIED AND CONVINCED HE WAS A ZOMBIE. So you can be damn sure I pulled out that fucking knife and powerwalked home, both completely aware that NO ZOMBIE but also completely sure that YES ZOMBIE.
REMOVE THE HEAD OR DESTROY THE BRAIN, FUCKERS!!!!
4. Make a Scarebo.
We haven’t done this – YET – but as it gets colder we’re worried about people sleeping on our porch OR IN OUR FOYER BECAUSE THE ACTUAL FRONT DOOR DOESN’T LOCK. That shit has already happened, babies. I KNOW. So we thought maybe we should make a decoy hobo and lay its ass on our porch at night so it looks like there’s no room at the inn. I don’t know.
5. Stop looking so goddamn nice all the time.
I’m kidding. I can’t do that. I have this kind of face that gets asked for directions all the time, or, you know, marriage/smokes/food/money/EVERYTHING UNDER THE FUCKING SUN but I don’t think that’s gonna change for me. Cath does a crazy good “go away” face, but she lived in Boston for three years. She got in a ton of practice.
This is obviously going to be a work in progress, as I get more used to being here and walking around and getting harassed. I do have to say that these people, being fairly Southern, are at least polite when they ask me for my shit.
There are the people you’re born with and the people you collect. My dad, my stepdad, was in my collection.
I was sitting behind the MFA last Friday, writing a postcard and smoking and just thinking about how lovely that day was, how much happier I am in Richmond, and my older brother called. He had died that morning. Bed. Asleep. Heart attack. Alone.
The first time I met him I was twenty. Amos and I met my mama and Danny at the Old Auburn Ale House, and over chilé rellenos he asked my permission to marry her. I was twenty, this asshole who’d grown up with a super shitty abusive dad that I’d FINALLY just gotten rid of, and I wasn’t too hot on racking up some other dad-like-dude, so I told him he was a grown ass man who could do whatever the fuck he wanted.
I wouldn’t have blamed him if he labeled me an asshole on the spot.
They got married and she moved three hours north to his house, and I was mad. I didn’t even live at home, hadn’t for a couple of years by that point, but it didn’t matter. I was just mad, thought they were moving too fast and his family was too big and probably sucked and everything was SHITSHITSHIT. I got drunk in the yard of my childhood home, empty now except for wedding food and chairs and this new family I couldn’t give a fuck about, and I left my wine bottles in the grass.
I never really lived around them much. Where they moved, up near Huntsville, AL, was pretty far from Auburn. Already I knew I didn’t want to live in Alabama anymore, so Amos and I left there for upstate NY. We visited, sure, but it always felt strange. There was SOME DUDE in MY MAMA’S HOUSE and I didn’t like it. Not for a long time. He was a nice man, always happy to have me stay and always good to her, but for years I kept having this feeling of him as being the weird one there instead of myself as the visitor. I would send him Father’s Day cards and make sure to write “step” in front of “father.” One time, early on, Mama and I had this epic fight and I was crying in his living room, just the two of us there, and he was telling me about how she is, how she does, what she needs, and I told him he didn’t fucking know her at all. Such a dick to this man who was trying, in his way, to help me understand a part of this woman I’ll never know BECAUSE she is my mother.
At some point that shit changed, though. Sometime after I had babies and could see him with them, see how he was just so goddamn grandfatherly with MY babies, I thought about how my real father was such a shitty person I never even wanted him to KNOW I had kids and that shit changed for me.
He was a good person. A good husband. A sweet, funny man who never pushed me too hard, maybe because he knew that I’m such a fucking stubborn asshole that shit wouldn’t work, would backfire and super suck for everyone. Or maybe that just wasn’t his way. It doesn’t matter, really. Somewhere in the last couple of years I realized I had stopped saying shit like “my mama and stepdad’s house” and would just say “I’m going to visit my parents” and that was the more accurate way to be.
It’s tricky, having that kind of knowledge inside you and not knowing what to say. How do you tell people? They say the look on your face…what’s wrong and you say my dad died and then it’s weird because I don’t know what to say after that. I don’t know what to do with that kind of feeling, so I dealt with it in the stupid way that I do: self-destruction. I went out last night and got insanely drunk. I let a man buy all my drinks and danced to shitty soul music and kissed a different man in the bar’s empty kitchen. I smashed some shit in an alleyway and slipped on the cobblestone, slamming my knee into the rock, and smiled because that pain cut through that other pain and it’s easier to handle. I held hands with my friend on our mile-long walk home and sobbed, telling her my dad died like she didn’t know because it finally had come to me, I finally understood and knew that fact to be a real true thing that is never going to change.
People have been saying oh, your stepdad, were you close? And the entire time he was alive I would say not really, or kind of, because we weren’t the kind of close that talks on the phone everyday or trades recipes or has little pet names that stretch back to some joke made decades earlier. But we were the kind of close that loves one another. Last night, something in me broke and I realized he was my dad, he was the man who was going to act the most like a father in my whole entire life. He was what I was going to get, and it was over and done and he is gone.
There was the one I was given (hate) and the one I took (love). And I fucking miss him.
Wednesday sucked. In about 10 minutes I read both the David Gilmour ABSURDITY and also the 300 Sandwiches clusterfuck and spent the rest of the day thinking about women and men and feminism and our culture and alllllll that noise. I was telling my roommate about these articles, and particularly about the 300 Sandwiches one because there are so many subtle issues at play there, and the Gilmour thing is more blatantly just stupid.
I think the dude’s comment was a joke, honestly. I truly doubt he was planning all along to hold off marrying that broad until she proved she was “wife material” by finally cooking on demand. But the way she handled that shit, by getting all serious and making a blog and snarking back at people who questioned her (how she describes her single friend whose kitchen is used for shoe storage? MEOW) is terrifyingly REAL. Her dead serious reflection on “how would [she] finish 300 sandwiches in time for [them] to get engaged, married and have babies before [she] exited [her] childbearing years” ties in directly to that ridiculous trope about women’s underlying drive in life being marrying some dude and having this bucolic (fantasy) life.
If I were that guy, too, I’d be kind of terrified that she clung to this flip remark with the ferocity of a sociopath. Like, it was a JOKE. CALM DOWN.
That whole thing made me think about dating. Stephanie Smith is on a whole different track – she’s trying to land a HUSBAND, Y’ALL, AND BEFORE HER LADYPARTS GO ON BIOLOGICAL STRIKE, not just have some fun dating people – but at the root these things are similar: what’s attractive.
Sometimes I feel like a field researcher when it comes to dating. I continue to believe that I am a SUCKY SUCKY DATER because I’m either too nice (and let someone think I’m more interested than I am because they’re nice and let’s be friends and not that kind of friends and stop staring at my ass please) or too mean (like roll over after fucking them for 10 sad sad minutes and tell them right there I don’t think we should see each other anymore and yes it is because of what you just did).
I’m, like, trying. Mostly I just want to get a taco and a whiskey and maybe talk about what funny shit we should write on bathroom stalls.
As part of this obviously very deep and serious adult soul-searching shit, I’ve realized what I thought dudes think is hot is 80 kinds of NOPE. I grew up on a steady diet of Cosmopolitans and Glamours and Peoples and you know what those are about. Giant and perky tits, round but tiny asses, tan and long hair and smart but not smarter than him, with a desire to shoot two or three kids out of that baby box but NEVER LOOK LIKE some ravenous bladder-puncher was staging Occupy Uterus for 42 weeks.
Anyway I grew up and was like whoa, so turns out I’m a feminist, WHO KNEW THERE WAS A WORD FOR ME. I quit buying into all that Cosmo shit and started wearing what I wanted, not what Skirt is Right for a Curvy Gal, and shit was cool. When I was married I NEVER thought about whether I was doing “the right stuff” to turn on my husband. I walked around for all those years not giving a fuck what he thought about how I looked because he’d told me a bunch of times I was hot and I believed him.
And then I was single again.
And I still wanted to get laid.
And so that meant new people.
And all that shit I thought I’d gotten over came back.
I was like I’M ALL WRONG FOR DATING for about two weeks before I remembered that those lady rags (and articles like Smith’s) ARE FULL OF SHIT and dudes are individuals who think people are hot for all kinds of reasons, not just their potential “wifeliness.” DUH. So of course I just jumped in, as you do, but in the course of dating and flirty-talking to people I’ve noticed some trends THAT GIVE MY VAGINA HOPE FOR THE FUTURE.
Let’s go eat a lot of food and also talk about it constantly.
First: I’m not hating on sandwiches. I LOVE THEM. My OKCupid profile can be summed up like this: tacos, kimchi, BBQ BBQ BBQ, pizza, cheeseburgers, roasted chicken, more kimchi, avocados. About half the messages I get on there revolve around BBQ and going to get it and eat the shit out of it. Can one look all hot and sexy with coleslaw juice dripping from her chin and hands full of a smashed-up pulled pork sitting next to a giant mess of Wet Wipes smeared with sauce? YOU BET YR ASS.
Just don’t roll over with your morning breath and ask me why I haven’t made you a sandwich in the 15 minutes I’ve been awake or I’ll ask you why you haven’t gotten the fuck out of my house in the 2 minutes you’ve been awake.
Don’t shave or even shower everyday.
Example 1: One time I was in a bar with a dude friend and a bunch of lady friends, and we were somehow talking about shaving and all that crap. I rarely shave this (pointed to my armpits), NEVER shave this all off (pointed to my junk), and shave this when I feel like it (pointed to my legs). That dude was all yeah, I can get behind that, and when we ended up fucking a couple months later I was like THAT RIGHT THERE was the turning point. Armpit hair.
Side note: I cannot for the LIFE of me understand this whole naked junk thing. Shape it up, sure, but all gone? It’s fucking CREEPY.
Example 2: The last time I was in Richmond alone I went to the river. Walking across the bridge in the 200 degree heat, already sweaty and wearing some shitty t-shirt and cut-offs, I got asked out for a drink. Walking back, VERY VERY sweaty and stinky and sunburned and hair a mess and muddy feet I got asked out for a drink by someone else.
Works for me!
Speaking of not shaving or showering, dress kinda like a hobo.
My fashion choices swing pretty drastically from ladylike to completely dudely with not much in-between-ness. When I’m planning to go on a date, I don’t usually flip out and try on a hundred thousand outfits. I usually just wear what I’m in the mood for that day, regardless of what I’m doing.
A lot of what I like right now has holes in it.
This is apparently a good thing.
That whole thing about you not being skinny is, like, amazeking.
I’m not kidding about this one. I have NEVER been skinny, never will be, plus, bonus points, I HAVE HAD TWO CHILDREN. AND YOU CAN TELL. Even though I love my kids and am a feminist and can look down at my body and be all my body is fucking awesome, look what it did TWICE!!!!! I still have those crappy little thoughts that tell me some dude who’s 30 and never had kids will get me all naked and then be like Girl I have to go try and beat that really hard level in Candy Crush GOODBYE.
That’s not how it’s working out, though.
I’m split about this because I KNOW I shouldn’t even give a fuck, but I still do. I know I’d be upset and ragey and hate on myself for a while if that actually happened to me while also being very much FUCK THAT GUY. That obviously sucks.
But also, it’s kind of fucking awesome to realize I’m probably not going to run into this as much as I thought, because dudes seem to be veering more in the opposite direction AND THAT MAKES ME VERY VERY HAPPY FOR DUDES.
So, I guess what I’m saying is if you want to go on a date and eat a bunch of food wearing our holiest hobogear and run your hands up my spiky thigh, LET’S DO THIS THING. And if you want to make ME a sandwich, I’ll do something better than demand 299 more and slap a ring on that finger at the end – I’ll probably make out with you after I eat the goddamn thing.
Ok so somehow I clusterfucked last week with AWESOMENESS and managed to book myself in Richmond for four days, then like two days later I traintripped to Albany for even more fun with Amy!
I won last week.
First, I got to take the train there. The REAL train, not the shitty pissed-on plastic-seated BULLSHIT that takes you from Jersey into New York City. I was amazed at the wideness of the seats! The plushness of the seats! The non-urinated-on seats! Basically the seats were amazing. And I sat next to a really nervous cute undergrad who was all MATH MATH MATH and pretended my degrees in Writing Academic Shit were impressive.
And then I was in the station and there was Amy!!!! And then she took me home and there was Dumbcat!!! He loved me and I loved him and there were many purrs. Also Amy cooked the most amazing enchiladas, and I ate THE SHIT out of them.
Actually I could classify this whole trip by the food. I ate like a truck driver. We went to this kickass diner for breakfast on Saturday morning, and I ate eggs and pancakes and sausage, then had ice cream for lunch, then had this AMAZING dinner at New World Bistro that included duck potstickers, beet green and goat cheese ravioli, and a giant fucking dessert! By Sunday I was like I can eat no more everrrrrrrr.
NO REGRETS. It was delicious.
I have to backtrack to this weird thing, though. At the diner I was asking our waitress what kind of sausage came with the Not Fucking Around & Eating All The Things Breakfast Platter, and I ended up basically miming a two-handed blow job when asking her if they were link style (I don’t know how, it just happened and it was funny so I kept doing it). And then she said yep and asked if I was a teacher.
Mime a blow job.
Get asked if I’m a teacher.
Yeah I don’t know either.
Amy and I found some cool shit at the thrift stores, which were big and awesome, plus we heard a slightly crazy woman talk LOUDLY about how she used to study martial arts. I also got to see the Empire State Plaza, which had these gorgeous old buildings and The Egg AND two very weird weddings going on, or maybe one wedding and a pep rally (loud music and not many people? We could not figure it out). Amy was SO CUTE about her city; it was very much like a proud mama showing off her new cute little baby, and I couldn’t have had a better guide to Albany. It’s really gorgeous, with tons of history and cool old shit and generally happy-looking people and THIS WAS A SURPRISE TO ME. An awesome surprise. I’m so so happy I got to see a little bit of Amy’s city the way she does, because I always thought Albany was kind of a shithole and I’m not even sure why I thought that, but I DO NOT THINK THAT anymore. Because it’s not. GO THERE AND YOU WILL SEE.
And THEN it was time to get pretty and go to that amazing dinner (where EVERY WAITER WAS FUCKING HAWT and Amy and I picked out boyfriends there), and then the play!!! I got to meet some of Amy’s real life awesome people, who were all so nice and happy. I even met one dude from Opp, Alabama, and let me tell you THAT was a goddamn miracle, because there’s maybe 10 people there at any given time AND ONE OF THEM ESCAPED WAY FAR AWAY. Naturally some accent-talk happened and I got treated to this dude Nate doing a little swoony impression of a Georgia woman bargaining for more tea during a ration-war-time and it was HILARIOUS. And then the play! The play. It was amazing, so heartfelt and true and had this delicious dichotomy of sympathy & monstrosity going on for the title character. Everyone in the production was great, but Kathleen Carey as Maggie was just outstanding. And I got to meet her afterward! I felt so lucky and special.
And dudes, people KNEW Amy at this place, and not just her friends. She’s clearly a big deal in the theater world there, and I was so pleased to be her ladydate and get to see her in her element!
Sunday was quiet and coffee-getting and train-taking. I found out that I can curl up in two seats quite comfortably and sleep on the train (benefits of being short and tired all the time, yo). THE MORE YOU KNOW.
Can I just say one more time THANK YOU AMY AND DUMBCAT for letting me come and stay, shop and eat, watch a play and feel special and hot in my dress-up theater dress? You guys are the best. I can’t say this enough.
I’ve been talking up and planning this move escape from upstate New York for fucking MONTHS, and this past weekend it was finally time to drive down there and find a new address. Three of the BEST PEOPLE EVER are moving down there too, one to live with me and the one I live with now and her boyfriend to live near me, and so we loaded up in a car with a duct-taped bumper and a cooler full of we’re-too-poor-to-eat-out-80-fucking-times food and drove the 10 hours to Richmond, Virginia.
After a hilarious drive down during which we all gradually took off more and more clothes and listened to lots and lots of T-Rex and Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Rush we rolled up at this abandoned fucking hotel on the scariest street in Richmond.
Oh yeah. I have this thing about bad hotels. Somehow, if I’m there, the hotel is gonna be FUCKED. I’ve been in ones with bugs, a hippie weird B&B where the didgeridoo player’s baby son took a piss behind a curtain next to where I was eating breakfast, and another that was unexpectedly medieval-themed. I’ve got bad hotel juju. I AM SORRY, PEOPLE WHO WILL EVER TRAVEL WITH ME.
This time we ended up being, I fucking kid you not, one of about seven parties of guests at this huge ass Day’s Inn. Seven parties, four days. Could be taken as some kind of frat boy challenge, but not this time. From our window we saw: a very large dude who touched his belly TOO MUCH and swam in his boxers, a boy wandering around wearing only football pants and flip-flops, a family of like 19 who brought pots and pans of food and cardboard boxes, and cops. The cops were called. The pool guy told us to at least pour our beers into cups while the cops were standing by the pool where we were currently getting drunk.
Bizarre. Rundown. Possible shower fungus. HILARIOUS.
On the drive down, we were talking and I was like yeah, so we have to find two apartments that are near each other and don’t completely fucking look like squatters have been there for 40 years. And some of the places we saw were definitely filled with students disgusting squatters who don’t give a shit about shit. Place #1, shown to us by a super HOT and SUPER DUPER STUPID dude (who, thank god, I get to see again because he’s our fucking agent) featured, in order of appearance:
Open Vaseline on the bed
A lethargic cat beside the Vaseline who gave us shifty eyes
A scrabbly, terrified tiny Chihuahua we named Ghost Dog/Skeletor because we’re pretty sure he was already dead. HE CAME OUT OF NOWHERE.
Yeah. We could’ve dealt with no closets and a kitchen the size of a Port-A-Potty, but not a place haunted by a dog who rubs Vaseline on his dying cat-wife’s bedsores all the time.
But it got better! We went into places that were 150 degrees! Hallways that smelled like boiled tampons! Shitty carpet with questionable stain patterns! Confederate flags drawn on the walls! This one apartment came with a fucking PILE-UP of homeless vets right outside the stairs! I lit a woman’s cigar while we were waiting, and as Cath and I were walking away (because, just, NO) we heard her pick up a John. (Is that what you’re supposed to say? She made a business appointment. Just that her business was fucking a stranger for money.)
It was 10 AM.
I gotta give her credit for getting that kind of work that early, but then again I see the appeal of a midmorning fuck. (SIDE NOTE: If I were a madam I’d totally specialize in white collar clients and call my place Fuck ‘n’ Brunch, because who doesn’t like BOTH THOSE THINGS.)
The best was the last place Cath (future roommate, get used to hearing about her hilarious ass) and I looked at, though. The landlord warned us that this tenant was “pretty messy,” and apparently what THAT means in Richmond is that the girl scrapes her ramen noodle leftovers on the floor and never empties her cat’s litterbox and kicks holes in the wall for goddamn fun. We watched this cat screech, then twirl around and start viciously biting its own ass before WE GOT ITCHY and realized there were fleas all over our legs.
Truth: The best way to kill fleas is to blow cigarette smoke on your legs, scream obscenities at drivers on the highway, chlorinate said legs in a scary hotel pool, and drink really strong vodka tonics.
Still. That could’ve been a cool place.
We all ended up with awesome places, though, and we had SUCH A FUCKING FUN TIME. In between our tight schedule of appointments we met cool people, had biscuits and gravy, saw a 17-piece jazz band while sipping fancy cocktails at Balliceaux, renamed a bunch of businesses because we couldn’t remember the names, watched two Golden Girls marathons, saw a dude painting one of those city murals, and went to the art museum. I know, can you believe we did some classy shit in between all the hobo shit? Don’t worry, Cath and I mainly talked about how we’re going to splash in the fountains at night once we’re there, because our sweet ass HUGE apartment with A FUCKING GINORMOUS FRONT PORCH is only a few blocks away, so we can definitely get tipsy and run through the fountains with our skirts hiked up and still make it home for more Golden Girls.
Perfect mix between classy and hobo. That’s what we’re contributing to the city in just a few weeks. I’M SORRY/YOU’RE WELCOME RVA.
I know I said I’m fucking depressed, and I am sometimes, but MOSTLY I’m a pretty cheerful fuck. Bouncy, even. LOUD WITH HAPPY.
It’s a conscious decision. REALISTIC OPTIMIST.
So even though I get fucking sad and mopey and wah wah waaaaah, most of the time I’m a really happydancey person who truly LOVES to put on headphones and sing really loud and wash dishes or spackle walls. Also I got a ton of private messages ranging from “you sound down” to “PUT DOWN THE GUN IT GETS BETTER” after that last post and I just want y’all to know that, yeah, shit’s cool. And I love you.
TO THAT END: This is a Playlist of Shit to Make You Move Your Booty.
Crystal Castles: Magic Spells
Apparently I’ve listened to this song 213 times? Since June? Because I just found this band and I love them and this song is perfect for every mood ever? Yep. ALL THAT.
Tears for Fears: Head Over Heels
I’m not fucking kidding. I LOVE THIS SONG. Little Baby Laura loved that shit and Grown Ass Laura STILL DOES. I don’t question it.
Jens Lekman: Sippin’ on the Sweet Nectar
He is my Swedish music boyfriend who pronounces shit all weird and writes the goofiest lyrics. In one of his songs he sings “queen of hearts” like “queen of farts” and that’s enough right there for me to be his 4 LYFE.
Cibo Mato: Birthday Cake
Little barely intelligible teenagers from Brooklyn make the best shit ever, plus you get to holler MSG a bunch of times.
Sleater-Kinney: Words and Guitar
Seriously, I could’ve picked any of theirs. THEY ARE MY FAVORITE BAND OF ALL TIME AND I REGULARLY DREAM THAT CARRIE BROWNSTEIN AND I ARE BEST FRIENDS.
Bikini Kill: Anti-Pleasure Dissertation
Oh, babies, you get to scream sing about your pussy being wet. HOW COULD ANYONE PASS THAT SHIT UP. Truth: Kathleen Hanna screaming “SUCK MY LEFT ONE” from the song of the same name has been my ringtone for like eight years now.
Dan Deacon: True Thrush
I just fucking cannot stop listening to this song and making people watch the video and coming up with entire dance ROUTINES to the fucking thing.
Widespread Panic: Ain’t Life Grand
I don’t even LIKE WP, but my older brother does, and when I was in high school that dude would play this and we’d drive around with the windows down and I felt FUCKING COOL riding around with that badass.
Shirley Ellis: The Clapping Song
Ok so months ago my roommate and I were cleaning house with Pandora on the TV really loud and this song came on and I screamed and she screamed and we SPONTANEOUSLY BURST INTO SONG & DANCE LIKE A GODDAMN MUSICAL and it is our song now. We like to get drunk and dance with each other and her boyfriend watches us with bemusement.
I’m going to stop myself from going on, because there is ALL THE MUSIC and I have NONE OF THE SPACE to keep posting videos only two of you will watch (it’s ok, babies, it’s a lot of shit). Anyway I’m in the mood to sing and wash dishes and try on all my clothes now, because I’m headed off to Richmond for FOUR DAYS with some of THE BEST PEOPLE EVER and I gotta make sure I look good for that shit.
Seriously. I know. A writer who’s depressed? ALERT THE FUCKING MEDIA. Sometimes I look at my life and the shit I say and get annoyed with how many writer stereotypes I fit. I mean, I like whiskey, coffee, and elbow patches, and I’m a depressed fuck like half the time. I try NOT to be, but when I’m in it I AM FUCKING IN IT. The only memories I have of this past January and February are of my bedroom ceiling and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and beer. I was best best friends with all fucking three. And even though SO MUCH SHIT HAPPENED and I pulled myself mostly out of that hole, I still am just on the edge. I tiptoe around that fuck and sometimes I feel like I’m falling back in, and when that happens I give myself ONE DAY to be an asshole.
Just one day. I don’t want to have to claw my way back out, and I’m not falling back down there in just one day.
But on that day I’M A SAD BITCH. ABOUT EVERYTHING.
I’m a wallower. I like to WALLOW in my fucking sadness on that day. Like, I feel horrible? Thinking about how this one guy really hurt me or my growing stack of rejections or bills to pay or my weirdass feet? Awesome, I’m just going to read old love letters and think about how everyone else IN THE FUCKING UNIVERSE is happier and prettier and more loveable and a better writer and has amazing-looking feet AND I NEED A SOUNDTRACK FOR THAT.
So I made one. It’s my Sad Bastard playlist.
When I start playing this shit, my roommate inevitably looks over at me and is like WHY ARE WE LISTENING TO THIS SAD BASTARD SHIT AGAIN, MY EYES HURT FROM ALL THE EYEROLLING STOPITCHEERUPBITCH.
But. It’s good shit to listen to when you’re in bed with knee socks and 80 blankets wondering what that smell is (it’s you) and whether or not you brushed your teeth today (you didn’t).
Smog: Our Anniversary
OMG Bill Callahan. Sadvoiced Bill. Singing about anniversaries (totally great if you’re lovesick depressed) in the worst way (see how everyone’s relationships are fucked?). I have this memory of my hands resting on my 9-months-pregnant abdomen, listening to this with my husband while we were driving back from a short first anniversary road trip, and saying This should be our song, and he said That would be a horrible choice. That fuck was clearly right. I mean, I fucking love being single BUT it’s still fucking sad we didn’t work out.
Plus I just fucking love this song. It’s pretty damn brilliant.
The Bloody Valentines: Lose My Breath
Repetitive twangy guitar. Kevin Shields and Bilinda Butcher MOANING as the chorus. MOANING. I MEAN SERIOUSLY.
Sonic Youth: Diamond Sea
One time I was in a treatment facility for an eating disorder. I listened to this A LOT. But I think it still sounds sad, even if you don’t associate it with having to TALK ALL YOUR FEELINGS to ALL THE STRANGERS. FOR WEEKS. There’s a super fucking long version too that’s just perfect for never getting off the couch.
Cat Power: Say
She’s the shit, but that whole Moonpix album is fucking TRYING to make people sad. Her dreamy voice, singing slightly slower than she should be, talking about how you should “learn to say the same thing?” They should sell this album next to the St. John’s Wort at the drugstore. There’s goddamn THUNDER in this song because obviously IT’S POURING DOWN RAIN ON YOU CHARLIE BROWN.
Tom Waits: Picture in a Frame
When I feel like shit it’s REAL FUN to hear about how fucking Tom Waits (who is in that moment every person I’ve ever fucking cared about) is so totes IN LOVE with some broad who ISN’T ME.
The Arcade Fire: The Woodlands National Anthem
The lonely guitars, the occasional heavy drumming, the way they’re singing like it’s REALLY FUCKING HARD TO MAKE WORDS, plus the damn lyrics – all a ball of sad.
Fleet Foxes: Lorelai
He’s old news to her then.
THAT SUMS UP EVERY OLD RELATIONSHIP EVER.
Dirty Projectors: Two Doves
One time it was winter and I was seeing a dude, and he asked me what song I’d been singing when I made coffee that morning, so I played this and then we ended up fucking in a really sweet way.
But still, this really is a sad song. So yeah it’s on here.
The National: I Should Live in Salt
They should know each other better : (
And he left her behind : (
And he regrets it : (
And I hope everyone who’s ever left me feels the same : )
The Smiths (covered by Noel Gallagher in the super sad bastard version I prefer): There is a Light that Never Goes Out
Oh man. He’s got no home? Wants to die beside his ladylove?
FUCK. SIGN ME UP.
Elliott Smith: Between the Bars
OHMAHGAWD I WENT THERE. Of course I listen to Elliot Smith when I’m fucking depressed. EVERYONE DOES.
Ok I’m gonna fucking stop. When you feel like shit and want to feel MORE LIKE SHIT for a while you can thank me after you get up and finally brush your fucking teeth.
Have you ever been seeing some dude who’s all awesome and hot and totally into you, and he comes up to you and is like YO GIRL MY DICK’S BROKE, SO IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU FOR THE NEXT FOUR DAYS. We’re just gonna eat ice cream and watch movies and then I’m going to fuck you every night until you’re just like OMG PLEASE STOP MY VAGINA HAS NO FEELING.
Yeah, me neither. To none of that.
But this weekend that TOTALLY HAPPENED except it was with my sweetnice lady friend. Her vagina wasn’t broke, it was just doing its biological PEROGATIVE, so for once it was like this is all about you, Laura. All the sex, all for you, whatever you want!
This is what I thought it would be like:
Her: I got some shit going on down there, Laura.
Me: Thank Beezus Christ for IUDs because I NEVER DO NO MORE. But sorry.
Her: Let’s toss back some Motrin with a whiskey and cuddle up in sweatpants with a heating pad.
Me: *snapping the elastic on mine* Way ahead of you girl.
This is what it was like:
Her: I got some shit going on down there, Laura.
Me: Thank Beezus Christ for IUDs because I NEVER DO NO MORE. But sorry.
Her: I’m still going to fuck you.
Me: STANDING OVATION!!! (So to speak. Hahaha dick jokes.)
And then THIS IS HOW IT WAS ACTUALLY LIKE:
Her: I’m not finished with you, you hot sexy motherfucker (might not be verbatim)
Me: I can’t take this pressure. Here’s some Motrin and whiskey and a heating pad and sweatpants and OMG CAN YOU BELIEVE DUCK SOUP IS ON NETFLIX LET’S WATCH IT.
Dudes it was scary. Like, really. Like being shoved out on a stage in my oldest fadedest panties and a stained nursing bra all stretched out that I STILL wear sometimes at night because that shit is comfortable and having the whole audience be like WELL ARE YOU GONNA COME 70 TIMES OR NOT? WE HAVE ALL NIGHT.
What the fuck is THAT about? I seriously had this deer-in-headlights-freshman-public-speaking STAGE FRIGHT about being the center of attention for days. It’s okay if you only halfass believe me because I can barely believe it myself. She didn’t either, not really, but I had to seriously be like ok ok tonight I just want to do this like twice. For real. I KNOW IT’S CRAZY BUT SERIOUSLY.
I was talking to my friend the Lezbrarian because I’m just a BABY when it comes to dating-a-woman shit. Remember, TWO DUDES, FOURTEEN YEARS? So anyway I was like do women feel this way, IS THIS A THING I DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT and she said maybe women are just used to being all give give give in the sack and when that’s suspended maybe we’re just like WELL SHIT, I feel guilty now.
Whoa. SHIT GOT DEEP.
Don’t get me wrong – I’ve had some super fun sex where all I did was blow a guy for what felt like 3 hours or had someone be like this is your night, IMMA TIE YOU UP SO YOU CAN’T GET AT ME. Cool. It works. But I’ve never been in this situation where the POSSIBILITY of fucking the other person was totally off the table, and it was a MIND FUCK. PUN INTENDED.
I wish I had some brilliant feminist insight to insert right here, but honestly I just felt kinda sad. Like, really? Someone who’s smart and kind and fucking gorgeous wants to just fuck me for three days straight and I’m like TV TIMEOUT YO? I already said this but I just couldn’t believe myself. It’s such a FUCKING STRANGE thing to realize – for once, since I was very young and figuring out how to even DO the sex, I was shy. Bashful. WHAT?!?!?! In the absence of that back & forth, you fuck me I fuck you, I found this NEW WAY to be awkward as a woman, hooray! It gave me a sad.
Oh, also? TOTALLY felt like a dude. I don’t really know if dudes feel that way when they’re in that situation, but. It was weird.
I am only going to say this once, so fucking listen.
No, you know, I’m probably gonna say this over and over. But listen anyway.
YOU SHOULD NEVER EVER EVER DATE A WRITER, BABIES.
My writer friends are split on this, and it’s surprisingly NOT along the lines of who wants to awkward make-out across the front seats of a car while trying to remember if they have any chips and salsa in the kitchen because YOU KNOW they didn’t eat enough at dinner, trying to be all impressive and attentive and shit (AKA DATING) and who doesn’t. One dude I call The Poet for obvious fucking reasons is all about that shit. But, I point out to him, what if one of y’all got REALLY FUCKING FAMOUS? How bad would that suck? Does she have to read all yours and you read all hers because that is DISGUSTINGLY PRECIOUS. But that fool loves it. I posted on Facebook about this and this other writer/comedian/grump who’s awesome was like DON’T DO IT and I was like I WON’T and he was like GOOD and we didn’t even need to go INTO WHY because yeah. OBVIOUSLY.
Shitty Things I Have Actually Done as a Writer/Date:
Be a Moody Fucker.
This doesn’t sound like a big deal, maybe. But imagine this shit! We are having coffee, being all morning chitchatty, and I’ll check my email and suddenly MY KNEES LOOK WEIRD and IT’S GONNA FUCKING RAIN and THE DISHES ARE PILING UP FUCK because I got a rejection. You are not talking me down for a while.
Actually it might be better if you left. Because
I’m Going to Want to be Alone. A Lot. So Leave.
I’m dead fucking serious, puppies. LEAVE! I need to commune with nature or clean house or TAKE A SHIT AND THINK ABOUT THIS THING I’M WRITING and your gorgeous ass/mouth breathing is turning me on/making me want to punch you right in the dick.
Once I was staying at a dude’s house far, far away from mine, and I woke up at 5 in the morning NEEDING to write this thing I’d been thinking about. I was pinned between that fucker and the wall, so I gracefully fell over the footboard, told him to shut up when he started sleepmumbling, and spent the next THREE HOURS until he woke up writing and chainsmoking on his back porch in his pajama pants and was LIKE TOTALLY MAD when he came out.
It was his house. DIDN’T FUCKING MATTER.
When I’m at MY HOUSE, I’ve been known to
Kick People Out of Bed at 7:00 in the Morning.
One time I was seeing this dude named The Boy Down the Street, it was the dead of New York winter and there was like 80 feet of snow on the ground, and it was all cozy and happy and amazing in my bed. We’d been up till like 2? 3? braiding each other’s hair (kidding, that fucker couldn’t braid FOR SHIT) and I woke up at seven THINKING ABOUT SHIT. So I rolled over, whispered hey you into his ear, he smiles all nice and grabs my ass in a cute cuddlemorning way, and I was like I’LL MAKE YOU SOME COFFEE BEFORE YOU GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE.
It could have been worse, Boy Down the Street. I could have
Actually NOT FUCKED YOU Because I Wanted to Write.
Here’s some math: Writing > Fucking.
IKNOWRIGHT. Not, like ALL the time, but yeah. My ladybusiness doesn’t rule EVERY SINGLE THOUGHT or course of action I take, so…I know. Ok maybe a quick one but girl this can NOT be one of those longass amazing lesbian marathons because if you fuck all the storythoughts out of my head I’ll revert back to Being Moody and Kicking You Out.
Boys, this applies less to you, for, um, obvious reasons (TIME YOU TAKE TO FINISH, cough cough).
But this is the worst one. For the both of us. SERIOUSLY,
I WILL WRITE ABOUT YOU.
If things are fucking great and amazing and you are my SOULTWINSPIRITANIMAL the writing is going to SUCK ASS. I can’t do that shit. I don’t even really like to READ that kind of shit. Like the Barrett Brownings? I’ll take some Palahniuk, pleasethanks.
No problem, I’ll toss that shit and no one will ever read it ever.
The problem comes if YOU FUCK UP and we don’t work. I’ll do all that OTHER shit to the next person I’m fucking PLUS stay up at night crying and listening to Neil Diamond and drinking whiskey in THE SAD WAY thinking about the shit I liked about you, the shit you said, the shit that’s probably wrong with me, the shit I hated about you. ALL THE SHIT. And then I’ll start writing a story that will make my writer friends wish you were dead because IT’S TAKING ME FOREVER and KILLING ME and THEY HAVE TO READ DRAFTS.
I mean, that shit might be good writing. I’ve got this story that I’m getting ready to submit all over the place, and my people were like THE CHICKEN SCENE IS FUCKING BRILLIANT. There’s a scene in it with this chicken (ugh I know, I can’t even explain this in a way that makes any goddamn sense unless you’ve read it) and all the women who’ve read it were like FUCK, LAURA, THE DUDE IN THIS STORY IS A FUCKING ASSHOLE and I was like yep, a dude really said those things to me IN MY REAL ACTUAL LIFE. The story isn’t even ABOUT chicken, but seven pages came from this one little paragraph that came pretty much STRAIGHT FROM this dude’s mouth.
Writers write about what they know (thanks, Jo March!) so if I know about being fucking sad then, yeah, that’s happening. Along with all that other shit. And that’s kind of enough to make me, at least, shy away from fucking with writers. And maybe even photographers and painters and anyone who does anything creative because I sure as shit don’t want to see myself all in their stuff.
So don’t date a writer, lovelies. And if you just can’t help it come over and we’ll hug it out.