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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.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Laurie M permalink
    May 27, 2010 8:04 pm

    Well, so long as the ground rules are established… let’s keep the blog rolling.

  2. JuliaA permalink
    May 29, 2010 9:42 pm

    not surprised that your blog is getting lots of hits. your writing is smart and funny and entertaining–what’s not to love?

    i have little to say about cute 24-year-olds (though, damn!), but i wanted to comment and recommend that you try greek yogurt. my australian friend is training me to dislike various american foods more than i already do. because i really need more elitism in my life.

    she claimed that american yogurt had the consistency of snot and bought me some greek yogurt, which is apparently closer in texture to what she’d been used to in aus. it’s lovely and creamy and, it turns out, healthier.

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