“ohh scorpio! yum :)”—I seriously don’t understand what about my astrological sign could possibly be delicious, or how this person thought this message (which appears in its totality) would be the perfect way to win me over. “Um, yes, you’re right. My astrological sign is totally great. What is the emoticon for vomiting?”
“When I think about it, many of the things I love the most were created by people who embraced their delusions of grandeur as fervently as they did their contradictory feelings of self-doubt — from the imaginative perversions of David Foster Wallace, Charlie Kaufman and John Updike to the melancholic drama of Joan Didion, Terrence Malick and Sufjan Stevens. If I’m not willing to give my own flights of fancy the boot, it hardly seems fair that I expect as much from my stepson. After all, once he accepts his status as “Not the Hottest Guy in School,” he’ll have to give up on the hottest girl. Once he understands that smart kids are often too high-strung to be truly cool (in the flattened-affect, high-school sense of the word), he’ll be forced to feel like a small fish in an enormous pond. Once he realizes that his crush, who just flunked out of the class they shared, isn’t likely to appreciate his sense of humor, he’ll have to settle for someone a little more complicated and say goodbye to the enchantment of the deliciously dim.”—This is lovely.
I prefer to offer other, more public reasons for my antipathy, but I think one of my main rationales for not living in New York is the fact that I will never truly know the restaurants. In SF, a few years of regular reading, light research, and word of mouth have given me a fairly solid opinion on all the major restaurants in town, even if I haven’t dined at them myself. (If you know a San Franciscan with disposable income but a total lack of knowledge about where to make the most of it, please let me know, for the love of God.)
New York seems unfathomable— its inaccessible sprawl of districts; its obscenely, almost excruciatingly high prices; its frustrating religion of no reservations and disturbingly angry customer service. I don’t think you can truly be a food lover and still live comfortably in New York, unless you are obscenely wealthy, well connected, or work as a food critic. Barring those miracles, there wouldn’t be world and time for me to navigate all that food, and I’d hate myself for not being able to make a decent try.
I want to know where to eat when I get there, of course, but what I really want to know is what is delicious, inexpensive, and requires a minimum of suffering. In New York, that isn’t much.
I met [Redacted] through OKCupid; we went on, I think, seven dates, and then he stopped returning texts and e-mails. All of these e-mails are real.
Saturday, February 26, 2:42 am
I’m sorry I didn’t get your message until late tonight - my phone has been problematic to say the least. I’m basically free Saturday afternoon, I’ll give you a call!
Saturday, February 26, 2:16 pm
Hey, are we gonna hang out? Because if not, I need to go log a few hours at the laundromat instead, and fairly soon.
Saturday, February 26, 5:28 pm
I’m so sorry I didn’t see this until now! I hope you got to your laundry!
Saturday, February 26, 7:31 pm
I didn’t, sadly. I assume this note means I won’t be seeing you today. If you don’t want to hang out anymore, please just tell me that; I don’t like waiting around for people who say they’re going to call, then don’t.
Saturday, February 26, 8:19 pm
I’m really sorry I was a flake today. It’s really not how I am. I want to keep hanging out, work has just been overwhelming to a ridiculous degree.
Saturday, February 26, 8:34 pm
OK, that’s fine. I understand that you’re really busy, just please don’t say you’re going to phone and then don’t. I’m old enough now that I need to be able to take people at their word when they say they’ll be in touch.
I will let you make the next move as far as scheduling and picking an activity goes.
Three weeks pass with no calls or e-mails.
Sunday, March 20, 3:07 pm
Listen, it is cool if you want to break up with me. Maybe you think I am horrific, maybe you met someone else, maybe you’re thinking about joining a cult. There are lots of reasons to break up with someone! Choose your poison!
What is NOT COOL and NOT OKAY is to just cease contact with someone, especially after you have gone on six or seven dates and had horrible, abortive sex with them. That is a level of engagement that means you should send someone an e-mail, or better yet, give them a call, to let them know that while it was fun, it is over.
What is really NOT COOL? When someone gives you a friendly out, totally allowing you to break up with them, and THEN you say that no no no, they’re wrong, you totally want to see them again. And then not calling or writing for three weeks after saying that. Unless you are dead, in the hospital, or have just had someone very close to you die or go to the hospital, that is unacceptable. That is a new degree of idiotic. That makes the other person question your sanity.
To be clear, I have no interest in going out with you anymore; I just want to teach you some goddamn politesse and consideration, because obviously no one bothered before now. The correct response to this e-mail is “I would no longer like to go out with you. I am sorry for leading you on and being a total flake. Please forgive me for the fact that no one raised me to have an iota of manners. I have learned my lesson and I will take the three minutes to actually break up with the next girl I go out with, instead of just never writing or calling her again.”
Yours in common decency, Allie
Monday, March 21, 1:58 am
I’m sorry about the way everything happened, and the miscommunication. I’m sorry things didn’t work out, I hope good things happen for you.
Conclusion: Can I be a bit of a bitch? Sure. Does this guy have an allergy to taking responsibility for his actions? Hell yeah.
Did the pub quiz date last night, but ended up pulling most of the weight on the questions, and we got absolutely slaughtered. I figured a guy with music notes tatted up and down his arm would help in the music round, but we went one for ten (at least I can still recognize “Xanadu.”) My greatest score of the night was picking out Molly Ivins from a photo, but it was a minor victory. All trivia nerds are humbled before Carl.
As for the dude: he claims never to read social-media sites, so we’ll see if that’s true, because I’m sure he would not like me posting some of the more interesting details of our conversation.
He’s super-involved in Burning Man, and is apparently about to become an investor in a pot farm. My understanding of the pot industry here was that most of the farms are up farther north in NorCal, particularly Humboldt County, but he disabused me of all of those notions. Apparently there’s a serious network of grow houses in SF, and in Oakland, he claims, “every third house is a grow operation.” This makes sense, given the depressed property values and the cops’ interest in more serious activities like solving murders, but I’m still surprised anyone can afford to pay Bay Area rates for a house to grow pot in. Is that why the recession hasn’t affected our home prices in the least?
He also says that he believes that Prop 19 didn’t pass because everyone in the pot industry voted against it (himself included). They want to maintain their insane margins and avoid regulation. He was surprised it still almost passed without the entire base voting for it.
"All those hipster kids you see living hand to mouth?" he notes. "They can afford to do that here, even though it’s so expensive in SF, because they go harvest pot for three months from September to December." Apparently this work is totally word-of-mouth and someone has to vouch for you, and until recently, they’ve preferred to get European tourists to do it because they have a real risk involved in snitching— they could get deported. It’s sort of like crab-fishing in Alaska: make a bunch of money in three months, then live off it for the rest of the year.
He’s also involved in Burning Man, and goes before and after the festival to set up and clean up. According to him, the hardcore Burners basically go into isolation mode during the actual event, hiding out from the charlatans who attend. Before and after, the federal agency that leases them the land has no jurisdiction, so that’s when all the fun shit goes down. They have their own men that they burn both before and after the official event, and they run around naked and blow shit up and do a bunch of drugs and generally have a grand old time.
So, in conclusion, Mindy Kaling is right.
All the cool kids are hanging out without me, and they are blowing shit up in the desert and harvesting weed from their secret SF house farms. Meanwhile, I’m 24 and already getting boring and corporate. I think I’m totally missing out on having my “fun twenties.”
I’m going on a first date tonight to pub quiz at Edinburgh Castle, which I’m not so sure is a good idea. In case you have never played a trivia game with me, I am the kind of person who will yell at you when you talk over the announcer during a question, and will be sore for days afterward because you INSISTED that the capital of Vermont was Burlington when I know perfectly well it is Montpelier. But I didn’t want to seem like an asshole for insisting, so I let you write down Burlington, secretly fuming over your stupidity and stunned at the sacrifices I make for the sake of the social contract. AND WHY COULDN’T I FUCKING REMEMBER WHAT THE NUMBER-ONE MOVIE AT THE BOX OFFICE WAS THIS WEEK. THAT IS ELEMENTARY-LEVEL SHIT AND I AM CLEARLY SLIPPING.
“hey wsup! so a lil bout me im 22, asian, about 5’8. i guess ppl would say im handsome looking i could show u a pic if u want. i juss didnt wanna put a picture up. and if u like what u see maybe we could get some coffee or hang out =). heres a link to my pic. hit me back up if your interested. http://img585.imageshack.us/i/hjkhkhkhj.jpg/”—
My OKCupid inbox is a source of constant insight into humanity’s deep and enduring stupidity.
This guy’s apparent thought process: “I don’t want to post a photo on this social-networking site that is based almost entirely on photos, but I could send you a photo if you want. Actually, I’ll send you a photo anyway. I don’t want strangers to see my photo, but I send them my photo.”
Chris got laid off again yesterday. We went drinking and I have a really bad hangover this morning.
I literally wept a tear of gratitude when the other person in the office bathroom washed their hands, then walked out without using the “Excelerator Excel Dryer.”
They don’t put paper towels in the restrooms, so to the lady in the office with wet hands, let me recommend my method: go across the street to Grocery Outlet, buy a dishtowel for 99 cents, and keep it at your desk to dry your hands.
Making the world a safer place for headaches, one step at a time!
“Hello my name is Patrick how was ur day today and by the way u are beautiful. Also I am not hear looking to spend 2 hours with a girl and have a 1 night stand with her. I am hear looking for a girl to talk to and to get to know her and to see what happiness between us.”—A typical OKCupid message. His profile is also a gem, though he appears to be a native English speaker, which is seriously concerning.