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Long Time, No Light Saber

July 20, 2010

Yes, I know. I own calendars and clocks, too, and I know how long it’s been. Thing is, I’ve been actually dating, instead of writing about dates for you non-daters. There has been drama. There has been an awkward moment of two of realizing you know a lot of the same people and not in a good way, more like a biblical way. There have been so many fellas eager to pick up the check that I simply don’t have the energy to chew all that free food anymore. There have been some bad decisions that I’d rather not talk about, and there has been at least one very emotional Jerry Maguire-type speech, and potentially another to come. And guess what: that means I’ve got some sloppy messes left to clean up.

Understand, please, that this is what I have done: I’ve offered my own real life as a proving ground for blog fodder. I don’t use fake profiles or fake names and none of this is acting. This is my dating life, slightly altered for privacy, slightly exaggerated for comedic effect. Problem is, it’s hard to be funny when you get your heart broken. Harder still when you fall in love.

Dry your eyes, though, kids. More content’s a-coming. You’ll get some Grade A YANAJ insight, including how to shuffle your feet in a not-too-conspicuously uncomfortable way when the topic of circumcision comes up on the first date, not turning down the setup date (a little less chooser, a little more beggar, y’all), lifting AND scrubbing behind one’s balls (AKA, collision insurance on blowies) and why all the fat dudes should hate Family Guy instead of loving it so damn much.

Right now, though, I’m going to put my carcass in bed. Four dates, one “I love you” and one “we have to talk” in one weekend is too much for any girl, especially this one. Let me get my shit in a pile, y’all. And then I’m returning. Not unlike a Jedi. Except there’s no such damn thing.

In the mean time, please listen to what this man says.

Love,

NaJ

How To Suck At a First Date: The Clean and Jerk

June 7, 2010

"No homo."

I know you were evidently trying really hard to suck at this first date, but my standards for suckery are pretty high, and I hate to tell you, but you fell short. You’re going to have to try harder at sucking.

You definitely showed promise with the overhanded forking method of table manners. Truly. I mean, you attacked your food like it stole something, and shoveled it into your mouth with your fork like you were afraid it was going to bite you back, and for that I commend you, but you’re going to have to ramp up the efforts if you plan to make it past the amateur division of really, really sucking, so here’s some pro tips you might find useful.

Talk about your muscles a lot. Because even though you texted me four pictures of you doing squats and then showed up in tight jeans, an Affliction shirt (three sizes too small, good form) and cowboy boots, I hadn’t quite noticed your scary, rippling, shaved and tanned manflesh. So I need for you to bring it up. A lot. Tell me about your workouts, because I’m fascinated. Tell me about the supplements you’ve tried, because I don’t have anything to add to this conversation and I like feeling lost and stupid. Brag to me that you’ve seen Army Rangers cry at the sort of physical challenge your workouts present, because I really like it when people insult veterans and military personnel. And if I don’t take the bait, you’ve got to make it happen and tell me how many girls like to grope your muscles. Then actually show me how that 22-year-old was tweaking your nipples in the bar. Illustrate. As we said in English class, “show, don’t tell.” I mean, you went to English class, right? No? Of course. I should have known better.

That 22-year-old nipple-pincher provides the perfect segue to your next challenge: you need to tell me about how many girls you sleep with. Truly, I can’t help my reaction. I’m a simple girl, and my choices in men are made primarily on instinct. If you tell me how many other girls want you to fertilize their eggs, I’ll understand what a hot commodity you are, and you can fertilize mine, too. Don’t waste time trying to be charming when you can just tell me how every other woman finds you charming. I’ll take your word for it, and trust that their judgment is pretty solid. I’d like to hop right in bed with you and your muscles, so please give me the references I need to give you clearance. Let’s save time here.

Have I not crawled into your lap yet? Okay, then. Order another round (because I told you I’m done drinking but I don’t mean it, obviously) and tell me about your paychecks. Your job of testing the emissions of coal-fired power plants is absolutely fascinating, and I want to know more. But by “more,” I mean that I want to know what all girls want to know: how does this affect me? Namely, can you provide? Reassure me. Tell me how much you make. Really make it look legitimate by telling me exactly what your tax returns said last year, because really, I want to know. It’s the first date. I’m interviewing you for marriage, clearly, and if you pass, we’re going to be filing jointly, so this is important and relevant information. Look out the window and point to your car as proof. Then remind me that not everyone who drives a $75,000 car has a small penis. If you wink while you say it, I’ll know you’re not lying!

The plates have been cleared, the tab’s been paid (thanks!), but now it’s time for you to close the sale. Here’s where the strategy comes into play: you’ve got to show me that, though you’re clearly a strong man with lots of money and plenty of popularity with the ladies, I’m different from most girls (and thanks for noticing that), and I need to know you’re sensitive, too. The best way for you to communicate that to me is this: Very carefully, slip into the conversation that you’ll do anything for your special lady, including agree to a threesome with another guy. I want to hear about how you loved her enough to help her get her doublestuff on, and I’m definitely impressed with that rock-solid masculinity which allows you to cross swords, so to speak, with another guy. Tell me about how you sucked him off then pegged him and what it felt like to get that off your bucket list. You sound erudite  and urbane when you tell me that “an ass feels like any other, male or female,” so say it a couple of times to be sure it sinks in. Remind me that you’re open-minded enough to try it again, in case I’m game. And just so I don’t misunderstand, follow it up with “no homo.” That way we’re clear that you’re not actually gay. You’re just sensitive.

And congratulations. You’ve now officially sucked at this first date.

When Jedis Grow Up

June 3, 2010

A while back, a Canadian kid did a silly thing and taped it and while that tape made it to the internet, he made his way to a children’s psychiatric facility and promptly sued the living shit out of a lot of people.

We all laughed, right? I mean, it’s funny. A chunky kid getting his swoosh swoosh light saber on, completely without guile or self-consciousness. We giggle not because he’s portly (he is, but fat kids are less funny now that there’s so damn many of them) and not because he’s bad at it (he’s better than lots of cheerleaders who twirl batons), but because he’s so completely serious. It’s uncomfortable. We watch because we know we’ve got no business watching. This is some inner sanctum, deep sixed internal monologue shit, and we have all done it. Do not for a second front like you wouldn’t be mortified if the same thing happened to you, and don’t pretend like it couldn’t. I have used my own answering machine to record myself singing Ani DiFranco songs a capella on a cassette. I was earnest and determined and, when warbling about abortion (Ani’s, not mine, because I was 15 and would be a loser virgin for another five years), I thought I was the total shit. If, when I was 15, that tape got out, I would have cried and begged my mom to let me stay home from school. If one billion people heard it and all laughed about how much I sucked, I would have been right there in the psych ward with our boy Star Wars Kid. And so would you. Know how I know? Because you got picked on as a kid, too.

So what makes Ghyslain Raza different from you? Well, you were both total dorks at that age, but you’re still a total dork and Ghyslain is about to finish law school. The interwebz are all twitchy with how good he looks, how much he’s grown up, how slim and handsome he’s become. The girls are all OH EM GEE he’s so hawt and you know what? They’re right. He is. Guess why.

No really. Think hard. Any clues?

He’s hot because he stopped acting like a Jedi and started dressing like a grown damn man. He bought a suit. He combed his hair. He took good care of his body. He affected a shit-eating smirk so bone-chilling and smug that it could only have come from a French Canadian, an attorney and someone with a huge giant hard-on for revenge. Ghyslain Raza is smart, has his shit together, and is about to be as frightening as Samuel L. Jackson. I would not mess with him.

Hey, know who else grew up, redistributed their body weight and went to law school? Chunk. Yes, that Chunk. Truffle Shuffle Chunk, from The Goonies. My most favorite overenthusiastic exaggerator in Hawaiian shirts and plaid pants is now an entertainment lawyer, and if you hadn’t paid close attention to Jeff Cohen in 1985, you might never recognize him. I recognize him, of course, because there is a mole on the left side of his upper lip that makes me swoony, because he was my favorite Goonie and my pretend boyfriend, and because I crushed on that kid Tiger Beat-style. (I have been kicking it with the geeks for a minute, y’all. I am not new at this.) I caught a lot of shit for my not-very-secret affection for Jeff Cohen but have a look at my man now and tell me I was wrong. Tell me, ladies (and gay men): What feat of strength or act of heroism would you perform for the privilege of being flat on your back on the hood of a Camaro with your legs wrapped around Chunk/Jeffrey Cohen, Esq? For me, I would strangle a goddamned panda.

There’s a lesson in here for the bullies, the haters and the mean girls: Your geeks may grow up to be hot. Be nice to them, so they’re nice to you. (In fact, how about we just be nice to everyone and call it a day, huh?)

There’s an even more important lesson in here for my geek brethren, though: You have to grow up. For real, you do. You cannot always be Chunk or the Star Wars Kid; you have to evolve into a well-adjusted adult who bears the experiences of Chunk or Star Wars Kid. You cannot let video games be your most important hobby. You have to talk to girls and go to work and pay your bills. You will probably need a post-graduate degree. You’re gonna have to buy a suit and get a good haircut and meet society on its terms before you can change the rules of how it works, but when you do– and I’m not kidding about this– the world lays itself at your feet. Girls will blog about how hot you are. Lookie, I’m doing it right now.

We’ve all Truffle Shuffled at the expense of our dignity. We’ve all been caught pole-dancing with a faux light saber with more intensity than make-believe warrants. We’ve all been humiliated. The best among us move on, learn from it, and maybe even pass the bar exam. Every childhood Jedi has got to grow up sometime.

(Props to Ghyslain Raza for being a badass, even if he is Québécois. And Jeff Cohen: Part of me never stopped crushing on you, and part of me is just getting started on it. Call me!)

How Japan Has Ruined Your Chances Of Getting Laid

June 2, 2010

Listen, I hate to do this to you, guys, but I need to tell you something important. I’ve been trying to find a way to tell you that wouldn’t break your heart but it’s become really clear that I just need to come on out and say it, no matter how painful: Japan is totally cockblocking you.

My friends like to joke that inside of my chest, in the dark part behind my sternum where my heart used to be, there’s a very small and very old man who smells like Old Spice and Copenhagen and sits at the bar at the VFW all day and still bitches about Pearl Harbor. My friends are probably right in that regard, and I’ll go ahead and admit right here that I really, really can’t stand post-imperial Japanese culture.

I did not say I hate Japanese people, so knock off the racist bullshit, y’all. I kind of just want tell them all to knock it off and behave like grownups. I haven’t the patience or the fortitude to hate anything consistently of effectively. I am tired of their exports, though. I enjoy about 10% of their foodstuffs and retch at the other 90%. I distrust their affection for karaoke, resent their affection for baseball and, as a big, loud, chunky white girl, I have been dumped for cute, smart Japanese girls by engineering students so many times that I can’t help the bitterness. But I don’t hate them.

What I said was that I have real and very big issues with Japanese culture, and that’s different. (Yes, you can generalize a thing like culture because it is, by its very nature, a big giant generalization of people.) My friend Sass laughs at the futility of my dislike. “I think it’s adorable that you expect people to take you seriously when you try to explain why you hate something as cute and wonderful as Japan.” Which, because I am American and serious and not at all charmed by the cute, it pisses me off even more.

It’s not cute. It’s not funny. It’s not clever. In fact, it’s not all that remarkable in any direction, and even though you’ve all been dick-riding on the shiny bright uniqueness of Japan, you are simply wrong. Know how I know? Because in 1899, Oscar Wilde said so, and he was a homo, and homos know what is and is not fabulous:  “The actual people who live in Japan are not unlike the general run of English people; that is to say, they are extremely commonplace, and have nothing curious or extraordinary about them.” That’s right. The actual people are as droll and ridiculous as everyone in line in front of you at Wal-Mart the night you lined up to buy a Wii. Dry your eyes.

And, full disclosure:  I was once in a not-very-healthy-or-satisfying relationship with a particularly virulent sadsack Wapanese manchild, and though it pains me to admit this, I almost married him. Almost. Until he asked me go to couples therapy with him to work out our shit (and by our shit, I mean his shit that was totally hitting a very large fan and spraying me) and then he promptly took off for a sexually ambiguous rumspringa in Tokyo in an effort to “find himself.” There are dealbreakers, and then there are things that break deals, and this is… well, you get it. At 35, there shouldn’t be a lot left of yourself that you feel you need to find. You’ve checked under the bed and behind the couch, right? Then you’ve probably found all of yourself that you’re going to find. Running off to the magical land of make believe with giant robots in the harbors and vending machines full of live kittens pretty much guarantees you that no matter how hard you beg, Peter Pan, there is no amount of American dollars that could ever convince me to let you clumsily hump me again.

And that’s why I’m trying to help you now, Cosplaya-san.  Japan isn’t just overexposed and overrated. It’s also actively slaying your fanboy chances of getting laid. Cockblocking you! You could have two big handfuls of ass right now, boys, and that’s better than two scoops of raisins, except your otaku tendencies are getting in the way. I know you’re early adopters of new technology and Japan seems shiny and awesome, but when it comes to developing successful heteronormative relationships with women, Japan is seriously fucking up your stride. Do I think it’s on purpose like some big Yakuza/Illuminati conspiracy? Fuck, no. You’re just idiots and can’t help yourselves, so I’mma help you out and tell you why you should back up offa dem nutz. Dem small, hairless, inscrutable, almond-shaped nutz.

Here it is, boys, and I need you to listen up: Japan’s relationship with women is more fucked up even than yours. As though that was even possible.

Japanese culture has done bad things to women; specifically by oversexualizing girlhood. As distasteful as American society can be, there is no “MILF” or “Cougar” in Japanese society. They are the cult of cute. They took the Catholic schoolgirl fetish and institutionalized it, nationalized it and, in the case of the tourist traffic around Harajuku Station, made it a point of fucking patriotism. By fetishising cute as a culture, Japan has largely done (for real) what the feminists argue the West has done with pubic grooming: defined sexuality by the prepubescent. This has a lot of side effects, not the least of which is the resultant otaku society of men who  not just exemplify but revel in the worship of sexualized girls.

You’ve seen it. Don’t front like you haven’t. You’ve spend real American dollars on hentai  (“just to see what it’s all about,” you said), or you’ve borrowed someone else’s.  And it seemed totally okay because it’s a comic, right? A comic of 12-year-old schoolgirls being sexually brutalized by a robotic ManBearPig, but still, a comic. The fact that it’s completely fantastical and impossible (because everybody knows that ManbearPigs aren’t robotic!) makes it even more acceptable. So it’s okay, right?

No. It’s not. Imagine the little anime cartoony girl wasn’t drawn but photographed. Imagine that she really was 12 instead of trying hard to look 12. Now imagine she’s your own mother at 12 years old. See what I mean? That shit is not okay. In fact, it’s three train lines and two bus transfers past where the edge of okay might have been. The National Institutes of Health reports that fully 38% of American women are victims of sexual abuse before they’re 18 years old. Half of those get it before they’re 12.  I maintain that if 80% of Japanese otakus got busted here in the US with their hentai, they’d be required to register on a list of pervy creepers and couldn’t live near schools or playgrounds. Don’t be that guy.

The moral and ethical bankruptcy of tentacle-rape cartoons aside, it’s not actually doing you any favors with the real ladies, either. Constant reinforcement of hypersexualized children doesn’t help you develop the skill or capacity to talk to grown-ass women, and for all their wacky sex obsession, the Japanese are living with that exact fallout: Asocial, maladjusted manchildren either stunt their emotional development altogether or apply misplaced affection to nonthreatening inanimate objects, because actual real live women get older and talk and do other uncomfortable things that don’t play into the fantasy. And those real live women that have officially outgrown the cuteness of the office girl? They live at home with their parents and sleep with boyfriend pillows instead of boyfriends.

The stereotypes are shifting, guys. It’s not just salary man and office girl anymore. Now it’s hikikomori and the parasitic singles.

Please. For the love of everything decent, for the health and safety of girls, for your own sexual future: break up with Japan. She’s no good for you.

Achievement Unlocked: Instant Popularity

May 27, 2010

This shit has gotten SURREAL. Two things that seemed highly unlikely have come to pass: Willie Nelson got a haircut and I got popular.

Yes. Apparently I am now popular, and that’s new and different and a little bit scary to me because I was fat and dorky in school, and now there’s a Facebook fan group and this here blog gets more hits a day than there are people who live in Oliver Springs, Tennessee, and I have no idea what’s going on.

Last Sunday night, I left the gym and went to the grocery store and filled a little handbasket full of fat-free yogurt and Lean Cuisines and then went home and did a load of laundry and ironed a shirt for work and then watched The Tudors, because I’m a single girl in my early 30’s (very early 30’s, y’all), and that’s what we do. We don’t bother to wipe the lipstick off the orange juice carton because we don’t live with anyone who could possibly care. Today, a week later, there’s a Facebook fan page, filled with a bunch of people that I do not know. This is the most uneasy sort of notoriety and it makes me twitchy because this—and by this I mean me, you, the interwebz, dating, all of this—is really weird. I feel like Carrie after she won prom queen, so where is the bucket of pig blood, I ask you?

So with this shiny new popularity comes some responsibility. I mean, I guess there’s responsibility involved. Nobody actually gave me a list of rules because this is the internet and there aren’t any rules, but I like parameters and boundaries, so I’m going to give myself some rules to work by because I’m kind of grinding my heels into the backs of other single people who just want the same thing I want, and so by convincing myself that I treat them fairly, I’ll feel less morally bankrupt.

I mean, I’m still morally bankrupt, right? (I am. There is absolutely no reason why you should date me at all.) But I’ll feel better. Your feelings < my feelings.

So, as I pursue my life’s work of becoming the Dr. Phil of the geek world—critical, unqualified, devoid of compassion, entirely full of made-up shit and handing out advice that may or may not be illegal or dangerous—here are the rules I’ve given myself. They’re my rules and I can break them whenever I want. I can also add to them or suspend them at any time. It’s like living inside a closed handbag and calling yourself queen of infinite space. Totally rule-less rules!

1.  I’m not going to get personal. Seriously, as much as I’d like to completely emasculate a couple of ex-boyfriends and lay waste to their precious fragile egos (and yes, I’m looking at you, Nancy), the sad truth is that the Big Bad World of Meanies has already done a fine job of it without my help. I’m here for catharsis, not retribution. And as a sidebar, if they’re reading this: I hope you get your shit together. Cause DAMN.

2. I’m going to respect your privacy. I read a lot of personal ads (it’s like an Altoid-sized lozenge of refreshing schadenfreude) and I share them here, and everything in a personal ad was put there by the maker because that’s what they wanted the world to know about them. I’m going to take that for what it is. I’m not going to go digging for blogs and Facebook pages and cell phone numbers so that we can all stalk ‘em and tell them how totally horrible they are as people. Not awesome. However, public dating profiles? Fair game.

3. I’m going to protect my own privacy. This only works if I’m not a public figure. Can we all agree to abide by that rule? And if we can’t, I’m not going to be heartbroken because I quit blogging. I’ve been stalked before. I’ve had my life threatened (by a really unstable woman at that). As much as I like this, I don’t like it as much as I like not having stab wounds.

4.  I’m going to do my level best at being honest. For real, y’all. I am not at all perfect. I’m not an easy woman to know or like or date or love, a fact which my family, coworkers and ex-husband will all confirm for you. I have been the girl who talks too much, calls too much, drives past your house, boils a bunny like Glenn Close, presents you with immediate drama and expects you to drop everything and fix it right this instant, steals your favorite shirt and then sleeps with it because it smells like you, and I have written my name over and over again with your last name because I wanted to practice what it was like being your wife. Yes. I have been the Very Crazy Girl. It’s been a long time, though, and we all grow up. My tolerance for bullshit is waning, and that means my own bullshit as well as everyone else’s. When I misbehave and act like an asshole, I’m going to try to be very honest about it and ‘fess up. Because it’ll be funny.

5. I’m not going to hurt anyone’s feelings. I’ve done that and it’s the only thing that always makes me feel like a premium asshole. This means no leading people on, no breaking hearts, no lying or cheating, no fucking around with married men. I’ve done all of those things and amazingly, I’m still here because nobody has taken me into the woods and shot me yet. I’m not doing it anymore. That’s past the boundary for human decency, and I’m running low on that as it is.

And you know what? I think five rules are enough.

Sidebar: Last night I went on a quasi-date with a charming and smart young man who– wonders!– found me through this here electrodiary thing. (Definitely not going to make a habit of going out with the randoms, but as randoms go, this was the best I could have hoped for, and I had a fine time.) Without pre-planning it, we both brought Play-Doh on the date, because there should be a creative activity besides just eating cheesecake together. (He made a square of what appeared to be roller skating rink carpet. I made 22% of the solar system and then an anatomically correct human heart because I’m an overachiever like that.) At a table near us sat two fellas who I assumed (incorrectly) were on a date. We shared our Play-Doh with them and they made a Play-Dog and then, as they were leaving, the younger, smaller, prettier of the two asked us outright if we were on a date. I stammered a minute because god damn, that’s none of your business, and because we hadn’t really defined it. I was a little embarrassed. I kept tucking an errant stand of hair behind my ear. I stared at my coffee cup INTENSELY. I hedged. So did my date. There was definitely uncomfortable laughing.

Evidently satisfied that my date was not actually my date, this pretty young man (who is 24 and has lovely teeth and is apparently a waiter at an Olive Garden 30 miles away in the suburbs) slipped me his number. Like he was passing a note in class. Like wink nod nudge, all clandestine-like. Weirdest part: Dude, there’s a man sitting RIGHT THERE who is 11 years older than you and light years smarter than you and is wearing a shirt with buttons and he just bought my drinks, and you just pushed your number into my hand in front of him? Son, how do you walk with balls that big? Most adorable part: The receipt he’d written it on had been folded, wadded up and flattened so many times that I could barely see his name on the paper. He sat there watching us for an hour and a half, working this piece of paper over in his hands, planning his strategy.

Thanks, entirely-too-young Olive Garden waiter. Your feeble attempt at slick game totally warmed my frosty old lady heart.

Odd Goods, Litigious Edition

May 26, 2010

I’ve been lucky enough to know, date, love and be friends with a lot of lawyers over the years. Seriously, I’m like the chicken soup for the litigious soul, and as I scroll through my list of Facebook friends and then do the simple math, I see that 13.2% of my friends are lawyers. Thirteen point two percent! That’s a lot of free legal advice, y’all, and considering that I run a blog that makes fun of people who are so obviously unstable, I’m gonna need those kinds of pals at some point. If you don’t have your own handy pocket lawyers, I suggest that you get some, STAT.

Over the years, I’ve learned how to date lawyers, and I actually kind of enjoy it. (Pro tip: don’t expect to be wealthy. I’ve known lawyers who lived in their cars. Hondas at that.) In honor of the lawyers I’ve dated, the lawyers who occasionally wrote strongly-worded correspondence on my behalf and the lawyers who, bless them, put a lot of effort into being very good, supportive, loyal and trustworthy friends to me, I give you this: the best singles the legal community has to offer. Go on and date them, but just make sure it doesn’t count as billable hours.

Wow. It’s like, instead of teaming up with Silent Bob, Jay went to law school on a hackey sack scholarship and somehow managed to read the middle third of a paperback thesaurus in the bathroom during his coke binge-induced shit sessions. So what’s he doing now that (we assume) he passed the bar? “Carving out moments of ecstasy and clarity from the incessant entropic ferocity of time.” Your honor, I rest my goddamned excellent case.

For two reasons we hope that English is not your first language. First off: nobody who claims to be an attorney has any business actually using words like “puppy” and “kitty” unironically. Second: that hat makes you look like you work at EPCOT, hoss.

So what is it you do again, toolbelt? Because I don’t think I noticed the first 150,000 times you mentioned it.

So hey, what do you do?  “I decided to become a criminal lawyer. I figure with Michigan basically becoming a Third World economy, if I can’t get a job as a prosecutor, I can always defend people and profit off their misery. Christ. No wonder people hate lawyers.” Okay. Well then. I’ll be here on the other side of the bar avoiding eye contact.

Homeschooled on an ostrich ranch? Reeeaaaaally. I can’t decide if I want to make fun of you, beat you up or sleep with you. (Okay, who am I kidding. We all know I’m game for all three.)

Happy Dying Alone Day.

May 25, 2010

So hey, know what? Today is Geek Pride Day. Rock out with your cocks out, nerdboys.

In the midst of your celebratory Mountain Dew (or mead, if you’re an overachieving Society for Creative Anachronism dork like that), try not to think too hard on the part where this is also the day where it becomes official that you will die alone.

(Don’t think I’m happy about this. I’m going to die alone, too, and it’s your fucking fault.)

Let’s make this very clear: I love that you’re embracing who you are. It shows that, somewhere under the cosplay makeup and ThinkGeek shirts, you have the tiniest little scrap of self-awareness, and I respect that. I also want you guys to get the respect that you deserve from a world that has no trouble asking you to set up its wireless network but doesn’t actually treat you like a provider of worthwhile services. You guys deserve some props, so go on with your bad selves. Fight for your right to… well, not party. But whatever it is you do instead of party. LARP, maybe.

I love that you’re embracing who you are, and frankly, I do so love the geeks. You’re my first choice, my home team, my tribe, and you have my allegiance. Though you may consider the critical tone of this entire blog to be evidence to the contrary, I actually really like you guys. A lot. Because you were the fat kid in school, you had to learn quickly how to also be the funny kids, and so you’re sarcastic, and that caustic wit melts the icy parts of me every time. You are smart—there’s no arguing that. I have crushed on your intellect since we were building robots together on the Odyssey of the Mind team. Now as an adult, I’ve learned a dirty secret about myself: there’s a very thin margin between the point where I feel like you are my intellectual superior and therefore white-hot sexy, and the point where you make me feel stupid just because you had to push for complete dominance and PWNAGE in a conversation. If you can straddle that line and be smart but not a dickhead, you’ll have to scrape me off you and wash the sheets. You won’t be able to keep me out of your bed. THAT’s how much I like you guys.

I like you guys thiiiiiiiiis much. And I think you should get the respect that you deserve. Which is exactly why I’m so pissed off at you right now. We’re all going to die alone because you’re a complete social retard. How about you dwell on that while you celebrate Geek Pride Day. I bet you’re just so fucking proud of yourselves, huh?

Yes, in fact. You are. You have a manifesto, outlining your rights as a geek. It’s pretty swell. It’s not as swell as, say, this manifesto, because you’ll never be that cool. And it’s not as totally geeky as this manifesto either, because apparently even total weirdo asocial YOU knows that this is a bridge too far, but whatever. A manifesto is what you’ve got. Perhaps this was drafted on a first generation iPhone, but I like to imagine that it was written in Sharpie on the back of a Fry’s catalog. It lends some totally analog street cred to the whole manifesto thing, like it was your Declaration of Independence From Decent Society or something. Shall we examine?

1. The right to be even geekier.

Geekier than what? Than you are right now? Right this very moment? Geekier than Mr. T as the Night Elf Mohawk in the Warcraft commercials? Geekier than that kid in my 9th grade science lab who smelled like pee and always had Cheeto dust on his shorts? By saying this, you’re already willing to accept that there’s a standard for what is and is not geeky, which means you’re willing to make a judgment on it, even as you get all assbroken about being judged for being geeky.

2. The right to not leave your house.

Umm. Okay. Didn’t know this was THAT big of a deal. I mean, I’m pretty sure you’re covered with the 3rd, 4th and 5th amendments to the Constitution, but hey, if you felt like you needed to restate it in your totally legit 4chan manifesto thingie, that’s cool. Again, though. Everyone has the right not to leave their house. So long as it is actually their house. So long as they are not hoarding massive amounts of worthless shit and endangering those around them (and stop lying; you know you’re doing exactly that, and don’t get me started on your action figures). There does, however, come a point when the fire department has to cut the wall off the side of the house you had the right not to leave and hoist your big ass out with a forklift because you have now become one with your Barcalounger. And while that happens, your mom and sister stand in the yard and are fucking mortified for you because all the neighbors are staring, and they will now need therapy for this.

Yes. You had the right not to leave your house. You did not, however, have the right to cut off those who love you because the fantasy world you’ve created was more palatable than the one where bills need paying and baths need taking.

3. The right to not like football or any other sport.

Sure. No argument here. Bear in mind, though. The rest of us? We’re all pretty sure that Magic: The Gathering is as fucking ridiculously stupid as NASCAR.

4. The right to associate with other nerds.

BWAAAAHahahaha. Like you associate with anything else.

But no, really. Did this need saying? I mean, do you feel like the Big Bad Social World is trying to keep you guys apart? You invented the interwebs. Not like we could stop you if we wanted to. And furthermore, geeks en masse (unlike, say, Harajuku girls) are better than geeks in the singular. We want for you to be together with your own kind where you can run free and play in the fields and have fun. We want you to interact. No, really. Which is why this next one is so important…

5. The right to have few friends (or none at all).

Hmm. Now see here’s where it gets troublesome. Yeah, you’ve got the right, because goddammit this is ‘Merica. But having no friends is kind of like having no life. And I don’t mean no social life. I don’t mean no going out and drinking life. I mean no interaction, no conversation, no exchange of ideas. I’m talking about stagnation here, and yes, you have the right to be as friendless and insufferable as you like, at least concede that social stagnation is no better than intellectual or technological stagnation, and you wouldn’t tolerate either of those, would you?

6. The right to have as many geeky friends as you want.

Seriously? Didn’t we just establish this in #4? Fuck’s sake, guys. You’re so bad about repeating yourselves.

Thing is, though, that having geeky friends is all well and good, but you’re not entitled to get all high and whitey about how other people judge you unfairly when you make a conscious decision to avoid those who aren’t just like you. Yes, human relationships can be complicated, and they can make you not want to leave your house, and you can feel threatened or overwhelmed at the prospect of trusting other people and sharing your geeky pursuits with them. It’s what we do, though. It’s called human interaction for a reason. You are a social pack animal and it’s in your umwelt to behave as such. Stop fighting it and make friends, huh?

7. The right to be out of style.

Alright. I’ll give you this one. So long as you recognize that being out of fashion is, in reality, a fashion of its own. Even by subscribing to a subset of rights, you’ve outlined rules of geek behavior that make you a subculture designed to be exclusive. Just because it’s counterculture (of a sort) doesn’t make it any less of a clique. Your clique is no better than the clique of football jocks and motorcycle gangs, and you have adopted as your uniform the uniform that sets you apart from them. You are no better. You are also no worse. And in truth, you’re not that different. I know that’s hard to hear. Dry your eyes, special snowflakes. I know you’re one in a million, but that just means that there’s 6,800 other assholes just like you.

8. The right to be overweight and short-sighted.

Yep. And Flying Spaghetti Monster knows that there’s no bigger fan of fat acceptance than me, so I’m not about to give you shit for that, and really, what am I going to say about your eyesight? (While I’m at it, why are we bitching about the fat and short-sighted? What about the tall, the skinny, the hair-lipped? What about everyone in general who doesn’t conform to conventional beauty? hasn’t there been a complete push back against the standards for years? You’re not the only self-acceptance standard bearers, geeks. Get off the fucking cross because we need the wood.) I will, however, note here that though you have the right to be as fat and out of fashion as you like, you don’t actually have right to get laid, and that’s a problem. We want you to get laid. Listen to me when I tell you that I want to sleep with you. But I want you to take some basic measures regarding your own body before you share it with me. I need for you to recognize that this is the vessel that carries your geeky intellect around and you kind of need to take care of it.

9. The right to show off your geekiness.

Mmmm, yes please. Often. And I will watch. But remember that real guitar makes you a bigger hero than Guitar Hero ever will.

10. The right to take over the world.

Ah HAH. See, that’s what I’m getting at. All of these other inalienable rights you’ve outlined are all well and good, except they are completely counterintuitive and actually obstruct this one. Helloooo, McFly? You can’t actually take over the world if you’re not getting laid.

No, really. It’s THAT important. It’s how we reproduce as mammals. We make a friction and then a sea monkey blastocyst thingie is produced when your genes mix with a (presumably smart) girl’s genes and the cycle continues. And the cycle needs to continue, y’all. Not leaving your house, not making friends and not taking care of your body is not helping your cause for getting laid. There are basic standards for grooming and socialization that even geek girls require (ask me how I know, and yes I’m looking at you, dude who should be reminded that you have to brush your teeth more than “now and again”).

This is how you take over the world: You make babies. Very smart ones. You raise them well. You encourage their creativity. You eschew superstition in favor of the scientific method. You absolutely do not allow them to apologize for who they are, and you don’t condemn them if they’re not as geeky as you are, or even if they love football. You need to actively apply Moore’s Law to human intellect and help to raise a generation of people who are smarter and more adaptable than you are. It’s in your balls, boys. (Or, the balls of roughly 90% of you, because I’m not asking the homos to reproduce sexually. Let’s make that clear.)

Did you hear me? The future, the coming singularity, the cusp of human progress—it is in your balls.

Except it’s never going to see the light of day unless it’s fap fap fapped into a dishcloth, because you are not putting the effort into this that I need for you to. You can stay home and live in Gary Gygax’s world, or you can put on some sunglasses and come outside from time to time and live in the world where regular, normal, not-always-as-exciting-as-Ren-Faire stuff happens. You can choose to make yourself a pair of myopic steampunk airship captain’s goggles or you can buy a girl a drink. I know that stretching the bounds of what’s comfortable is terrifying, and guess what—that’s true for everyone. But if you want to take over the world—and I sincerely hope that you do—I need for you to dare to dream.

Remember that, as you’re celebrating your rights to be a complete asocial, maladjusted weirdo. Remember that though you have these rights, you also have the responsibility to try a little harder to learn some more about yourself. And remember that if you don’t, you’re going to die alone.

Which means I’m going to die alone. And that really pisses me off.