Even if the dire unavailability of parking in Jeanette’s neighborhood had made the task of meeting her at her apartment for sex seem daunting, only minimally rewarding, I always had a thing for girls who looked like the nerdy Chipette and this fact added a feeling of urgency to a situation marred with inevitable difficulty.
Parking matters; inadequate parking is as off-putting as a bridge or a toll, and I distinctly remember cursing the wind on an early August morning in 2006, drunk out of my skull, taking the parkway home because I was forced by law to relinquish my hard-fought spot, as per alternate side rules, and couldn’t find a new one anywhere.
How would I have explained this to a dutiful officer of the law? Would he have been kind enough to understand the inadequacies of parking in that god forsaken, asshole neighborhood?
I first joined OKCupid in 2006. While I had met girls in the past from local chat rooms on AOL, this felt archaic and pre-Socratic; OKCupid was the true monolith. After creating my profile, I browsed the site carefully, thoroughly reading profiles and perusing responses to the site’s very important questions about flag burning and eugenics. That’s when I came across Nikki and decided, what the heck, why not cobble together a message? She was pretty, she lived in my town, we had mutual interests, and we both seemed to think that “kissing in a tent in the woods” was idyllic.
There was a kind of charming innocence to Sally Rapehoax and her wild tales of repeated violation. It was the mid-1990s, a decade defined by the supposedly deep and emotionally esoteric secret lives of women. Tori Amos and the Lilith Fair exemplified this tone; the female identity needed to be something markedly different and incomprehensible to men.
Sally’s claims of rape were inoffensive because there was no perpetrator named; the claim was entirely about Sally and her own identity. To believe Sally meant that she was a victim saddled with a sexuality so strong that it engendered an overwhelming animalistic lust in men who were willing to risk their lives to have her by any means necessary; to believe Sally was a liar meant she was a deeply troubled girl with a wild imagination. Either way, you’re going to feel sympathetic to Sally, so mission accomplished. This kind of rape accusation carried with it the wistful innocence of Jack Horner shooting naughty movies on film- you know it’s wrong, but it’s not really hurting anyone either.
We were somewhere around our second bottle of wine when I made the startling realization that Fake Winehouse’s unexpected British accent had faded into something typical and American. When I had picked her up that night for drinks at The Reptile Zoo, I told her I wasn’t expecting a British accent. She asked what I was expecting, and I didn’t have a good answer. You exchange a few messages with a girl on OKCupid and agree to meet for drinks; what is there to expect?
But it was when the accent disappeared entirely that I realized the true depth of the situation. I had cut right to the heart of it and was sitting on the main nerve; Fake Winehouse was a fucking lunatic. And I’m a stupid motherfucker who likes that kind of thing. Yeah… that’s me, the normal girls are boring type; I want the curve ball. I want the crazy girl; I want the hyper-emotional; I want the bizarre.
So of course the unexpected accent disappearing entirely from a girl who wonders why I think it’s funny that she’s “never been to Europe” is right up my alley. When the bill comes, I ask Winehouse how much she’s gonna throw in and she tells me that she didn’t bring any money. This was very funny to her. The accent was back. Son of a bitch. Who is this girl?
Casey Anthony epitomized something that I couldn’t quite put my finger on as I sat on my couch, eating Cocoa Puffs and smoking a bong, watching the coverage of her trial during a comfortably warm evening in the Summer of 2011.
There was something missing from my life at the time… I wasn’t conscious of it, but felt its weight all the same. It wasn’t that I was unhappy, I was certainly comfortable; I had a passionless career with the faux-achievement of a master’s degree, I had a fat girlfriend who was acrazy bitch but Iloved her anyway, and I spent my free time feeling good… after all, life was about maximizing consumption while sleep-walking through minimal responsibility. The idea of ambition beyond this baseline, or the contribution of value to a community, were equally foreign and laughable to me.
But even still… alternating between video games, television, pornography, processed food, whimpering oxytocin, and marijuana left a fuzzy feeling on my brain that something wasn’t quite right, but I wasn’t quite ready to see it yet…
It was third period lunch- a bit early in the day, yes, but if that’s when you were given a lunch period, you were kind of fucked. So it’s 10:15am and I’m dipping french fries in mayonnaise, because that was “so European,” sitting with my friend Sally Rapehoax.
Sally was a boring and plain kind of girl, but in High School sometimes you’re stuck with the people you befriend in ninth grade. Fine, whatever, but my jaw dropped when Sally casually mentioned, “yeah, I’ve been raped before,” almost as if she’s telling me about her homework, or her favorite Nirvana song, or how profoundly connected she felt to “The Craft.” It all seemed the same to Sally, but my world slowed down just a bit…
The heart of masculinity is a man’s relationship with power; his efficiency in acquiring power, his comfort in holding power, and his ability to maintain power. This is the core of masculinity; the Form of masculinity. There may be markers or signifiers that point toward this, usually these signifiers are mistakenly understood as masculinity itself, but they only aid in coming to understand an individual’s relationship with power.
Masculinity is amoral. It is up to the individual to decide what they do with power once they acquire it.
Men are universally able to separate all female acquaintances into two categories: women we want to fuck, and the rest.
The more of a beta-doofus you are the more likely it is that you want to fuck everyone you know, but for any man with a shred of dignity there will typically be a line drawn between potential fucks and “the rest.”
A female not being on our literal “to do” list doesn’t mean we want them to fall off the face of the planet or die in a fire, and it certainly doesn’t mean we wouldn’t lend a hand if they were falling off a cliff- it quite literally means that we don’t want to have sex with them. And it is this distinguishing detail that opens up the rather new, from a generational standpoint, possibility of becoming just friends with a woman.
“None of these girls want to be your girlfriend…”
It’s twenty years later and I still remember the uncomfortable feeling my Dad’s blunt assessment produced.