Monday, July 26, 2010

Oh, the Humanity

I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I’ll never be much of a humanitarian. I’ll throw myself in front of a bus to save a stray dog, but I won’t give a homeless guy a quarter. I’m a democrat. Isn’t that enough?

People are easily spoiled. Not dogs. Mine was rescued from the slums of a puppy mill in Ohio and now lives in a Manhattan apt with a doorman. Rags to riches. But she’s still totally down to earth.

Every once and a while you watch a documentary on Darfur orphans coming to America that temporarily renews your hope in humanity. But that passes. Give them enough time, and people will generally disappoint you. Anne Frank said people were all good at heart. I bet she took that one back.

Sometimes I think I’m wasting my time being a democrat. Because fuck ‘em, right? But then I remember the kind of people who need health care are the nice ladies who clean off my desk at night. And the people already covered are Sarah Palin.

I probably would have made my health care phone calls to congress if I knew she would have been excluded from the plan and burned at the stake.

I guess it’s sort of silly to limit my acts of kindness to only those who are nice themselves. But then again, no. It’s not.

Maybe it’s money to blame. Maybe those nice cleaning ladies are just assholes waiting for the right amount of cash to bring it out. I always thought the best part about socialism would be that I wouldn’t have to worry about what to wear or try that hard. But perhaps wealth redistribution would cause people to be less insufferable.

Of course there’s always the chance that those who actually profit from the new regime would experience their own level of spoilage. Government cheese is better than no cheese at all. Theoretically you can’t really gloat when you’re wearing the same potato sack as the next shit head, but these are people we’re talking about. I wouldn’t put it past them.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Risk Taking

Of the myriad of things wrong with the MTA, the chance you might board the subway and run into someone you know is probably the worst that could happen.  Because an unplanned meeting requires spontaneous conversation.  As the uncreative human race has yet to invent an improvement on small talk, this is the wrist slitting ennui that materializes before you, disguised as the face of an acquaintance.
 
I hate small talk. With a name that suggests such insignificance, you’d think evolution would have taken care of it long ago. Yes, I know it’s hot out, Tuesday sometimes feels like Wednesday, you’re still hoping a trust fund will kick in someday. And so am I. Because you’ll stop having to ride the train every morning and I can ride to work pleasantly ignored.
 
I suppose before the advent of readily available printed material, portable music etc, small talk served its purpose.  You could catch up on gossip. Confirm that it was hotter than Hades. Learn how that bitch who stole your man up in Salem was finally getting the stake treatment she deserved.
 
But as the in-ear earbuds plugged into the mini computer/phone/iPod might suggest, society has advanced. And the best revenge you can take on a woman is starting some rumors about her plastic surgery.
 
Here’s a tip: There’s a reason I stuffed Don Quixote into my bag.  Because you’re more boring than a thousand page translation of a 15th century novel.  And you don’t come with cliff’s notes.
 
Once I ran into my art director on the subway. This was a problem because we already saw each other daily. He informed me that last night the girl I’d left him with at the bar had defeated his interest in her, by revealing her employment at an S&M club. Her specialty? “Cock and ball torture.”  It was good to see him.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It Could Be Better

Spending one of many frustrated, disgruntled Saturdays stuck in a coffee shop working with my partner during a beautiful afternoon on a advertising brief we had questionable chance in selling, gave rise to considerable amount of complaining on my end. Finally my partner offered this tidbit of consolation.

“You know, once I watched this clip on Youtube. Horrible. This lion catches a guy and eats him alive.”

Figuring this was prelude to an idea, I begged her to go on.

“So when it gets bad, I always think, at least I’m not getting eaten by a lion.”

That's the alternative? Work weekends or spend the last moments of your life hearing the skin you so diligently SPFed every summer get shredded like a stack of junk mail? I think it could be better.

I blame lazy mothers. If a four year old refuses to eat dinner, mom shouts that there are starving children in China. Or in my case, my dad actually took regular trips to third world countries as a photographer and had pictorial proof that I had it better. But in my experience, Ethiopians eating tsetse flies in loincloths didn’t change the fact that mom’s cooking sucked.

And so from that malleable age we’re taught to settle for shitty because at least you’re still breathing. Yeah, it’s with the help of life support, but count your blessings. Maybe mom needs to go back to the drawing board and learn how to cook my fucking chicken. Maybe hearing another misfortune on top of my lament only makes me more depressed. You’re damn right it could be worse. You just turned a shitty meal into the hopelessness of mankind. I need a drink. And I'm only four.

Of course, I could get behind this ideology if I could use it for my benefit . For example, I get an assignment, only to turn in a couple crappy headlines and call it a day at 4pm. When my Creative Director shoots me a threatening, “WTF?” email, I could reply, “Well, at least it’s not a letter from your future self detailing your imminent death by carnivorous jaws.” I could lower his expectations *and* get home in time for 5pm high balls. What could be better?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Gender Differences

Let’s just get this out of the way right now. I hate my gender.

Like really.

You know that beer ad where a guy gets stuck on an elevator with two women gabbing about their eye shadows and night creams until his head literally explodes? If I were a better writer, I could have written that.

Last week I went to a Bastille Day wine tasting, where I imagined The Man and I could get drunk on Burgundy while watching a French singing Hipster Prohibition era jazz band from Brooklyn. What we got was a room full of chatty single women drowning out the music by comparing their idiotically high espadrilles to their pep-toe doilies instead of quietly enjoying their Côtes du Rôhne. You can’t swallow and compare shoes at the same time. If that were possible men and women would have worked out their differences long ago.

My husband-to-be leaned over and said, “You know, if I spent five minutes with each of these girls I could tell you exactly why they’re still single.”

Five minutes? I can tell you now. They’re girls.

I was once forced into the unfortunate situation of having to find a Craigslist roommate. Most fear typical horror stories of unpaid cable and stray fecal matter, but my anxieties reached their zenith when my roommate attempted congeniality by inviting me to a “Gossip Girl” party in our living room. I assumed she was describing her friends.

Judging from the oversized bottles of cheap pino grigio she'd set out for the vag fest, I sensed the imminent torture and politely declined. The girls arrived, and they were all, so….so bubbly! So OMIGAW! I closed my door, opting to be the weirdo in her bedroom.

I’m used to it. The hatred always goes both ways. On the rare occasion I find myself in pink a room filled with an Anthropologie sorority, I get rendered an instant outcast before you can say US Weekly. Maybe it’s because I don’t state everything as a question??? Or that I’m not up on the last episode, or any, of The Hills. Or perhaps it’s my plastered expression of horror.

And no, I’m not gay. If I don’t like someone, what makes you think I want to see them without pants?

And no, I don’t wish I had a penis. I can barely control my hair, let alone a couple of extra organs hanging from my crotch. That, and I’d have to date chicks.

I guess I could be a gay dude. Glitter! Fun! But it’s not the point. I don’t want to be a guy, because, I actually enjoy being a …oh you know how the song goes. Don’t make me admit it. I like dresses, they feel like pajamas. I’m down with soft skin. Smelling like mangoes is also fun. Granted I don’t want to read the same regurgitated In Style article about “Five hot tricks for fabulous summer elbows!” But I like things to look nice. Why wouldn’t I wish the same for myself?

Of course there are non-girl girls out there. Ones with tastes and personalities that would create instant mutual bonds, if we were guys. But if they’re like me, you can also bet they’ll be full of the same judgments and skepticism that causes my hate in the first place. And I’ll walk into a room and they look at me like, “Who’s the dumb bitch in the Anthropologie?” You can’t win.