“Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives, and I decline.”
I had this incredible moment of content while I was kissing Sarah in the backseat of my car. “Heroin” was playing on the radio. She had asked me if her breasts were as big as I was expecting- that perhaps her nudes were deceptively angled, the old MySpace trick. She was so nervous I wouldn’t like her that she needed to hold her wine glass with both hands, to prevent spillage.
This worsened when I told her to cut the shit with the sterile, first date, getting to you know chit-chat- the last bold move I’d ever make. She had to put the glass down entirely.
Once in my car, she sat up straight, arched her back, and asked again- somewhere between seductive and genuinely worried. I told her that I’d need a closer look and took the straps of her dress off her shoulders.
And I had this moment, in the back seat, of true connection. I liked her- dark hair, large breasts, insecure. A kindred spirit left behind by the dating market, looking for something real. This felt different. This felt special.
The day after Christmas, 2016, was the last time any of this were possible.
When asked for writing advice, Delicious Tacos- who is certain to go down as one of the most important writers of the blogger-age- likes to keep things simple: get up early every morning and write. And there is something to that- the foundation of writing is interpreting the esoteric disorganization of the writer’s internal world through language and bringing those ideas to a place of external organization- quite literally, coming to terms with what is initially termless. This is why keeping a journal is often recommended as a form of therapy.
However, this only explains the process of writing- the easiest and most direct way to become a writer- rather than explaining what the job of a writer really is. This is something that warrants equal examination.
A good writer is tasked with splitting his veins open with a razor blade and covering his keyboard in hot blood- a prolonged and terrible ritual. You’ll know a piece is finished when your face is numb, eyes unfocused, and body trembling.
You’d think Delicious Tacos wouldn’t have left out the grizzly details- the horrible reality of being on the writing grind- considering I learned it from reading his work.
Christine went to great lengths to convince someone that she wasn’t like those other girls. Her experiences had greater depth, her thoughts were more developed, her interests were more artistic, and her feelings were more genuine. Christine had esoteric qualities that made her special and unique, while those other girls were basic and shallow. Christine also had a bigger waist and fatter thighs than those other girls.
She wasn’t fat, but Christine was conscious of her limitations and adjusted accordingly. If she couldn’t compete with those other girls, Christine would attempt to hijack and redefine what it meant to win and then try to convince men that what they thought they wanted was all wrong.
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.
She doesn’t love you. She loves her idea of you. This may be a close approximation of you, but it isn’t you and it never will be. She doesn’t want to see your humanity; it’s unsightly and weak. It will never match her idea of you. She loves the value you provide. She loves to believe in your leadership, and to rely on your conviction. This isn’t you, even if it’s a close approximation. You will never match the idea she has of you, and when this idea becomes damaged beyond repair, she will leave you if she has other options or resent you if she doesn’t.
Does nearly limitless choice translate to a greater degree of personal happiness?
Do you spend more time picking movies on Netflix… or it Hulu? YouTube or cable… maybe your own collection, than you do… wait, did you even pick a streaming service yet?
The Paradox of Choice is a theory stating that when there is a dramatic increase in options the more difficult it then becomes to make a choice, and the easier it is to regret the choice made. The greater availability of excessive choice leads to an increase in expectation of how satisfying the options will be- this ultimately produces a less satisfying result, even when the result would have otherwise been adequate.