Saturday, May 7, 2011

Internet Stalkers, Clown Faces and Dating in Reverse

A few days ago, Osama bin Laden was killed. I was told via  text message from a friend who said, “So this birthday is memorable. U.S. soldiers killed Bin Laden.”

My first thought was, “I thought he was already dead.”

My second thought was, “Why don’t I care all that much?”

I came home and everyone on television, radio and Facebook were talking about it. The patriotism was hoisted on high. I still didn’t feel a thing. Maybe because, though its still not popular opinion, I believe 9/11 was an inside job.

Also, maybe because I know that when a head is cut off, a new one grows back.

Am I happy a bad person was eliminated from power in some capacity? Of course. But I don’t have any illusions about it dramatically changing the world, either. Not for the Middle East, not for the United States and not for the world.

Now if our troops pulled out of Afghanistan and there was some kind of revolution  . . . maybe I would feel a little something more.

The next day at work, I saw an OKCupid message from my last date, Steve. Remember Steve?

  I was at my local restaurant, pouring hot sauce on my bean and rice burrito and read:

“So I’m a bit confused. While procrastinating from writing I thought I’d try to learn more about your doc. Instead I came across your blog.”

I stopped.

How the FUCK did he find this blog? I used my real name on Twitter at first, but changed it to my alias. I work very hard to keep this anonymous, and I can’t fathom how he found it. If he found it, could my parents? Has the Prophet?

Then, before taking a bite out of my burrito, I said to myself, “I’m an asshole.”

I went back to work, scratching dogs and mopping floors, when I confided in my co-worker (who is from Mississippi) that I got the email, and recited some passages from that blog for him to get the weight of it.

He said, “You’re mean.”

Now, let me tell you a little about Mississippi. We all tease each other at work. It is how we do things there. Mississippi is a young, tall, white boy with a thick accent who moved to LA with his rock band. He also happens to be incredibly good looking. When we first teased him, he would get quiet and flushed, so I would assert that he was on the rag . . . all the time.

His face would flush even more, and I said to Trent, “Look! His face is all red. Its like he is menstruating backwards.”

This lead to more jokes about bleeding, about being a girl, about his mother being fat and ugly. Whatever I could jab him with, I did.  I mean, I do.

Before I left work, I would say, “Missy, are you ok? Do you need me to bring you a bottle of Chardonnay and a heating pad?”

Or, "I am about to dump some dog shit in the trash, should I say hello to your mother while I am there?"
Or, "Why are you running away from me so fast? Don't break a heel."

So on. So forth.

Trent heard Missy had a big dick, so I throw in some honorable mentions to keep Missy from killing himself. We justify our relentless teasing with Mississippi as a means to inspire angsty rock n’ roll … and get him used to LA.

Rummy once said, “That must suck, to go to work and have everyone pick on you.”

I laughed and said, “He’s 24 . . . he’s in a rock band . . . he is dating a really cute girl.”

Rummy said, “And he has a big dick? Fuck that guy.”

Mississippi and I had our 10 minute break at the same time, so I asked him if I could read the OkCupid message out loud to gain the courage. Then I started:

“Now I found the writing throughout to be a good exhibit of your talent and intelligence, no doubt."
Wow. Thanks.

"But it’s also quite angry. And surprisingly even angry with me, although I can’t see what I could possibly have done to deserve such cruelty.

You did tell me you had a good time so you might simply be writing in the voice of a character, as the woman I met on Friday seemed sweet and kind (while not lacking in a very fun sarcasm) and that’s not the woman in the blog at all. Going for comedic effect I can appreciate, but you are writing about real people and not characters, and that makes it pretty nasty to read, especially if you’re not expecting it and you find yourself described with such venom.

It does sound like you’ve been through a very few tough months  . . .” I read ahead quietly.

Mississippi, "Well, go on! Don't ask me to listen and then trail off. Keep reading it."

I continued, “and finding a place to express yourself and your feelings -- good and bad -- in an artistic way is something I can appreciate. But your not being afraid to bare your soul for all to see is one thing. Doing it at the expense of others who have done nothing intentionally malicious to you is pretty awful.

Moving on.  . . .”

Mississippi, (laughing) "So what? Does he want to go out again?"

I read on, “When I said you should date older men it was clearly done so in a joking matter as it was blatantly self-serving. I thought that was clear. Apparently not. Or maybe it was, but for the blog you need to express it differently.

I do think you’re both cute and charming. These compliments were not meant in a condescending way. I really didn’t think about them that much as they came naturally. A bummer you took them poorly. Like you said, you don’t take compliments well.

Then again, maybe your critiques were just for the sake of writing an interesting blog and I’m reading too much into it. Maybe it’s just a small part of your personality that gets exaggerated for the sake of a good read. Given how different I found you in person to what I read, I do hope so.

But you could also see how I’m confused.”

Mississippi, "You are mean. Even the way you are to me. Just mean."

Me, "But I am helping you, Missy."


Mississippi, "You are twisted. And not in a good way either."

That night, I wrote Steve back:

“I am sorry you found the blog. I write it anonymously to avoid hurting feelings and clearly I know very little about you so the anger I feel isn't directed at you but my current emotional turmoil and men in general.

I can't articulate totally why I am frustrated but I am.

I think your email is very balanced and intelligent. I am impressed. I would be pissed and hurt and, though it's hard to believe from my narrative voice, the last thing I want to do is hurt someone's feelings.

Publishing your diary is tacky but it helps me. Hard to explain why.

Can I send you some money for the drinks you bought? You were gracious and did nothing to deserve my inner rant.”

I received another response from him later that night, but waited til the next day to read it aloud to Em and her husband as a bouncing board.

I explained the situation to Em’s Hubby.

He said, "I would not want to date you. Just . . . would not want to."

Then I read Steve’s next email:

“I'm sorry I found it [the blog], too. There were hurt feelings and anger too (that one takes me longer to get to) but really confusion more than anything.”

Em's Hubby, "You owe him. That's what he is trying to say."

I continued, “The timing was especially not great as I'm a bit emotionally raw at the moment. Not sure what it might mean to non-New Yorkers but having been born a mile from Ground Zero and having grown up in a suburb that lost many people on September 11th, the Bin Laden news has been a big deal for me. Last night I found myself crying tears of joy at the death of another human being for the first time in my life, and that's left me a little confused and not necessarily proud. But not at all sad about my reaction either.”

Em's Hubby, "Run! Run far away."

I continued, “And it sounds like you've got stuff, no doubt much longer lasting, that you're emotionally raw about these days too.

So if the mocking was just a reaction to things going on in your life and had nothing to do with me (at least for the most part. I'm not saying it was the date of your life) and you did indeed have a good time maybe we could go out again. I don't know.

On a random note, an old friend I was having happy hour drinks with tonight had to leave to go pick up her dogs from a spot on [my work address]. I wonder if that's your spot?”

Em's Husband, "I was going to say you should email and ask him about how he got all this information on you, but I think that you should just not respond. You don't want this kind of (finger against head) you don't want to encourage it."

So yeah . . . if I disappear in little pieces left along the 5 freeway, check the Comic THEN check with this guy.

On-line, a friend and I Googled my name and keywords, the blog does not come up. My friend went 5 pages deep into Google. Its just . . . bizarre. Lana thinks he did a background check on me. These dudes are so intense.

As Mr. Sunshine said, “People don’t know boundaries.” Just because you have access to someone’s information doesn’t mean a) you should access it and b) you should tell them you accessed it.  I am bothered by it.

I haven't responded.

The next day, I had an audition for a new Reality Dating show. The spot was either for one girl and a group of guys, or one guy and a group of girls.

Turning in my application, there were three large wine stains on the lower third of the page. I said, "Those are wine stains, I thought it was apropos to my social life."

Highlights from the application were:

Q: What three things are you the best at?

My Answer: Writing/Dogs/Facebook

Q: What do you insist on in the opposite sex?

My Answer: Common decency

Q: What is your dating strategy? How do you win someone over?

My Answer: I don't need a strategy. They come to me.

Q: Which illegal drugs do you use, and when was the last time you did?

My Answer: Marijuana . . . now

I waited with my iPhone on a couch with three other girls and overheard the casting directors talking over a video audition.

Casting Director, “I don't like her. Her skull structure looks like an animal. Her jaw is too wide, her cheekbones too high, her eyes are too close together."
A Casting Assistant, "You don't notice he is fat until he sits down, and it all kind of spills out at you. When he stands up, you can't tell if its muscle or fat. So maybe if we keep him standing up . . ."
Looking over the contract I was signing, I smiley faced initialed the segment stating that all participants would be tested for STDS, including but not limited to HIV.  I think that’s interesting. There must be an opportunity to have intercourse on the show.

I went to the bathroom, labeled the Glamour’s Restrooms. There was apricot skin lotion, hand soap in an olive oil bottle, spray on deodorant and mini floss encased in white, plastic crescents.  I used everything I could, then got called into the audition.

There was a room with one camera, an assistant behind a computer screen and an Interviewer in a tall, folding chair who reminded me a lot of Chelsea Handler. Initially, she didn’t really waste time and perceived her to be an Over 40/No Nonsense/Diet Coke/Nicotine Patch type of a woman.
Casting Interviewer, "I see you aren’t wearing much make-up. Are you a natural girl?"

Me, "Yeah."

She motioned to a plastic bag along the side of the wall. Casting Interviewer, "Go into that bag and pull out some make-up. Pick a color lipstick you like and put it on."

Her assistant came up with a toilet seat cover and mirror then instructed me to blot my face where my skin might be shiny.

Assistant, “Talk with your hands if you can, just to make it interesting. We are looking for animated people.”

Now, I would never have trouble being animated, but what was distracting was the Interviewer’s face when the camera went on. She was off screen but made these dramatic smiles, dramatic confused looks, big head nods with wide eyes . . . it was like staring at a clown and explaining my love life.

Casting Interviewer (reading over my application), "Ok, explain to me what a Hippie Hybrid is."

It’s a phrase I made up. I like the lifestyle of a hippie, but I am not stupid.

Casting Interviewer, "So you are an STD phobe, how does that work with you being such a clutter bug?"

My body is my temple. My car is just my car. And you never know when you need more El Pollo Loco Jalapeno Hot Sauce.

Casting Interviewer, "If you could say one thing to get inside a mansion full of hot guys, what would it be?"

Me, "I like body hair and I'm a cheap date."

The cameras turned off, and her clown face disappeared.

Casting Interviewer, "Do you need someone quirky like you to be interested?"

I am quirky? I thought I toned it down. Me, "No, I like a more conservative male to give me balance. A foundation to play off of."

Casting Interviewer, "Which celebrities are you attracted to?"

Me, "Leonardo DiCaprio, Vince Vaughn, Michael Cera, Eminem . . . and Obama."

Casting Interviewer, "You like black men?"

Me, "I like all men. Except for the Asian ones ... you know why."

As I left, she said, “Thank you and . . . good job.” I believed her. 

Comedy and entertainment is an ever-changing world. I love stand-up comedy, but most comedy this day of age occurs through reality television. The comedy act is still relatively the same; your exaggerated personality and experiences performed for an audience to laugh at.

I have no shame going on Reality TV and using my personality for entertainment. Its a platform. Not to mention some of the best television airing right now.

Joel texted me, “When can I see you next? But you cant only use me for sex this time. I mean u can, just not only.”

Next text, “Actually . . . use me 4 whatever u want. I dig being around u.”

I texted, “You want more, you buy me dinner.”

There was some more banter over dinner at Taco Bell, I will spare you.

I texted, “Don’t want something just cause you can’t get it. I am emotionally unavailable.”

He wrote back, “No one is emotionally unavailable. And right now all I want to ‘get’ is a little more time with a real cool chick I met. And maybe a favorable blog post.”

I wrote, “Ask me out on a date.”

20 minutes later . . .

Joel wrote, “Would you do me the honor of joining me for dinner, drinks, smoke, movies, and, if the kind lady allows, fornication this Thurs evening?”

A little excitement was sparked.

To be continued . . .

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