Month: October 2013

Corduroy

Happy Halloween and Day Four of The iPod Challenge!

I’m excited for today’s post, and I’ll tell you why. I chose one of my absolute favorite Pearl Jam–nay, songs in general for today: Corduroy.

Oh god, Corduroy. Corduroy, Corduroy, Corduroy.

This song is off 1994’s “Vitalogy” album and I’ll even go as far to say that is also my favorite Pearl Jam record to date. It was Pearl Jam’s, or PJ for those tragically hip among us, 3rd effort, and boy howdy, was it a good one. You couldn’t turn on the radio in the 90s without hearing a PJ song blaring forth. It all started, of course, with 1991’s “Ten” album and songs like “Jeremy,” “Even Flow,” and “Alive.” The Jam also helped paved the way for the grunge rock movement, along with Nirvana (hey man, nice shot), Soundgarden, and Alice In Chains. These four bands shaped the era. Some succeeded better than others, obviously. I have read that Kurt Cobain tried digging his dirty fingernails into  Eddie Vedder and Company by calling them sellouts and criticizing  the aforementioned album “Ten” by saying that it “was not a true alternative album because it had so many prominent guitar leads.”

Apparently, Mr. Cobain never actually listened to his own band’s first commercial success record. Your song “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Mr. Cobain, is four minutes and thirty-eight seconds of you jack-hammering your poor guitar and Lil’ Davey Grohl monkey pounding on the drums. So please, Mr. Cobain, please continue speaking ill of leading guitars. Please. We’ll all sit here quietly.

Same to you, bucko.
Same to you, bucko.

I’m attacking a dead man. This is my life now. This is where I’m at with things.

Back on track, let’s discuss this song further. Where was I? It’s super good…Vitalogy…ah, yes. I was about to explain why this song is so goddamned fucking tremendously brilliant.

Paint, if you will, a picture, you and I engaged in a kis–oopsies. Sorry. Wrong song.

But seriously, picture this as you read what I have to write: the first few seconds are soft, gentle pluckings of some chords. Slowly and deliberately, the guitar gets louder and there’s the faint sound of snare drum being tapped lightly, the occasional quiet kick of the bass drum, then, in a feverish crescendo, the tempo speeds up even more and in a sudden explosion, the words, the waiting drove me mad! Those five words perfectly describe my feelings waiting those thirty seconds for something to happen. The anticipation is brutal and the payoff is worth it. It’s also impossible when listening to this song to not slap my knees in time with the drums. Impossible. Even if I were on my death-bed, comatose and until then wholly unresponsive to any external stimuli, if this song were to be played while in my last moments, I’d still slap my knees and then pass quietly from this mortal coil.

That’s not the only “oh holy shit” moment for me in the song. The second comes during the bridge to the song, and it’s also a swirl of anticipation, and in my humble opinion, the reason bridges in music were created were for this very instance.

Everything has chains…absolutely nothing’s changed, take my hand, not my picture…

Eddie, you magnificent bastard.

More of the lyrics. Sweet Fancy Moses.

The waiting drove me mad… you’re finally here and I’m a mess
I take your entrance back… can’t let you roam inside my head
I don’t want to take what you can give…
I would rather starve than eat your bread…
I would rather run but I can’t walk…
Guess I’ll lie alone just like before…
I’ll take the vermin’s path… oh, and I must refuse your test
A-push me and I will resist… this behavior’s not unique
I don’t want to hear from those who know…
They can buy, but can’t put on my clothes…
I don’t want to limp for them to walk…
Never would have known of me before…
I don’t want to be held in your debt…
I’ll pay it off in blood, let I be wed…
I’m already cut up and half dead…
I’ll end up alone like I began…
Everything has chains… absolutely nothing’s changed
“Take my hand, not my picture,” spilled my tincture
I don’t want to take what you can give…
I would rather starve than eat your bread…
All the things that others want for me…
Can’t buy what I want because it’s free…
Can’t buy what I want because it’s free…
Can’t be what you want because I’m…
Why ain’t it supposed to be just fun
Oh, to live and die, let it be done
I figure I’ll be damned, all alone like I began…
It’s your move now…
I thought you were a friend, but I guess I, I guess I hate you…

As with any song, the words are open for some leeway with interpretation. Apparently, according to the believe it or not vibe of Wikipedia, it’s about a goddamn actual corduroy jacket Eddie had, hence the title. Or, as EdVed said in an interview, “It is about a relationship but not between two people. It’s more one person’s relationship with a million people. In fact, that song’s almost a little too obvious for me. That’s why instead of a lyric sheet we put in an X-ray of my teeth from last January and they are all in very bad shape, which was analogous to my head at the time.”I’ve never been good at symbolism or interpreting things. I hated that bit in English class where we were supposed to find the meaning behind certain authors’ writings. That’s just my issue of not thinking what I have to say is correct or relevant, but to me, this song is about…stuff.

Hahaha!

Okay, let’s be serious here. To me, it’s about someone, waiting for someone, the excitement of it all, the driving yourself crazy waiting to see them, and when they finally get there (you’re finally here and I’m a mess), realizing the tizzy you worked yourself into is foolish (I take your entrance back, can’t let you roam inside my head). Being defiant in letting this person control you, goddamn it. Fuck you! You think you can waltz back into my life? Well, you have another thing comin’, pally. So says me, at least.

You guys, this song is amazing, you guys. I’m not kidding. Even if you’re not a Pearl Jam fan, you think Eddie wails incoherently and with a comical bravado to his voice, well, you need to listen to this song and trust me on it. Put all criticisms of Pearl Jam to rest and accept this song for the greatness it possesses, because brother, it’s a great goddamn song.

Take a listen for yourself.

This concludes Day Four. See you tomorrow.

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Nutshell

Well, hi there! Welcome back to Day Three of The iPod Challenge. It’s good to have you back.

I had a crisis today. I couldn’t decide if I should continue picking my own songs, or put caution to the wind and set my ol’ iPod on shuffle and let him decide my musical journey.

I have control issues, so I’m opting to continue picking my own songs. Give me a break; this is one thing in my life I have that I can decide the fate of! Oh sweet Jesus!

I mentioned Alice In Chains yesterday, so why shouldn’t I write about them today? There’s no reason not to.

After browsing my AIC library, which I am kind of impressed I have so many albums by them, I have selected “Nutshell” off 1994’s “Jar of Flies” album.

This song, I swear to Christ…this song, man. Alice In Chains has a knack for writing the most depressing, morose, make you want to sit in garage with a rag jammed up the tailpipe of your running vehicle songs ever, but also, some of the most easy to sing along to music. Former lead singer Layne Staley (may he rest in peace) and guitarist/songwriter Jerry Cantrell relied heavily on harmonizing their vocals and, for me at least, I love cranking up one of their tunes and deciding who I was going to sing–Jerry or Layne. Ultimately, I’d pick Jerry because he had the higher range and Layne’s voice was in an octave I can’t quite manage.

Take a look at these goddamn lyrics, man. And yes, I know them and understand them because when I get a case of the boo hoos, I reach for AIC to share in my melancholia.

We chase misprinted lies
We face the path of time
And yet I fight
And yet I fight
This battle all alone
No one to cry to
No place to call home

Oooh…Oooh…
Oooh…Oooh…

My gift of self is raped
My privacy is raked
And yet I find
And yet I find
Repeating in my head
If I can’t be my own
I’d feel better dead

See what I mean? The lines “…and yet I fight this battle all alone, no one to cry to, no place to call home,” and “I’d feel better dead” are the depressed person’s anthem and anyone suffering from depression has uttered these words to themselves at least a thousand times a day.

The lyrics, in conjunction with the beautiful acoustic guitar, the whisk on the snare drum, and Layne’s nasal but never annoying voice just meld this song into perfection for me. The world truly lost a great musician with Staley’s death in 2002.

I wish I had a funny anecdote or story to tell about this song, but I don’t. I’m sorry I don’t, but I picked this one purely because I love it and want to share the love with you all.

Without further adieu, Nutshell, by Alice In Chains.

And as always, thanks for reading.

E

I Only Want You

I need to make a confession.

I am a terrible person.

Not a total shock to some, but to those who do not know me so well, I’m sorry to shatter your illusion of me. I, with no sense of pride, admit that when listening to music, I get so wrapped up in the music itself that I don’t always necessarily pay attention to the lyrics. I’ll recite the lyrics, but it’s like a person learning English as their second language phonetically–I can say the words, just don’t really know what I’m saying.

Case in point, the song I’m writing about today, “I Only Want You” by Eagles of Death Metal.

I woke up feeling a little discouraged because I didn’t know what song to write about today, which is sucky because this is only day two of The iPod Challenge I’ve taken upon myself, and already I was all, “oh boo. I don’t know what I wanna write about. Boo.” Luckily and ironically, I send someone a song every morning because I’m kind of adorable like that and the first one I sent was a quintessentially morose Alice In Chains song (Love, Hate, Love) and in an “effort” to counteract that, I thought I’d search for an upbeat song. Sorry to make you want to slit your wrists with Alice In Chains, so here’s a happy song!

I was browsing my iPod and decided on Eagles of Death Metal because who doesn’t love a bit of rockabilly to raise your mood?

“I Only Want You” is on the 2004 album “Peace, Love, Death Metal” and it’s just terrific. EODM is co-fronted by Jesse Hughes and Queens of the Stone Age frontman, Josh Homme, so of course, I’m going to want to listen to what these cats have to sing about because I will fully support anything Josh Homme does as QOTSA is in my top 5 artists of all time (1. Nine Inch Nails, 2. Radiohead, 3. Queens of the Stone Age, 4. Sigur Ros, 5. Interpol).

The entire album isn’t exactly brilliant, but goddamn it, is it fun. Listening to it makes me want to drive through the desert in a ’67 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, top down, the hot sun beating down on my cheeks, the arid air blowing through my hair, and the radio cranked. Vivid imagery be thy name.

Here I am, thinking this song will be like a shot of Disney movie to help with the doldrums I evoked with Alice In Chains.

Wrong.

Erin, you have never been more wrong. I mean, I’ve been wrong before and totally cop to it, but this is a big bowl of wrong. Observe:

When I feel like you get too close I put you right down
I never really leave, I just slip away
And it’s not my purpose to break your spirit
I’m not really interested in what’s in your heart
I don’t want you to fall in love now, so please don’t start

I only want you
I only want you
I only want you
I only want you

I know that it’s terribly cruel but then I like it
Because you tried to love me I just can’t stay
And I’m not gonna lie just to spare you feelings
‘Cause watching you suffer feels much better to me
I’m about to lay destruction on you
I’m not the lover man that you want me to be
I said, “Well

I only want you”
I only want you
I only want you
I only want you

Now you see once you get too close I put you right down
I never really leave, I just slip away
But it’s not my purpose to break your spirit
I’m not really interested in what’s in your heart
But now I have to lay destruction on you
I’m not the lover man that you want me to be
I said, “Well

I only want you”
I only want you
I only want you
I only want you
I only want you

I only want you
I only want you
I only want you
I only want you

I only want you
I only want you
I only want you
I only want you

I only want you
I only want you
I only want you
I only want you
I only want you

Apparently, he only wants you.

But see what I mean? To someone new to Eagles (we fuckin’ hate the Eagles, man),  you’d assume from the title that oh hey! It’s a love song, kinda, or at least definitely not something that won’t rip your goddamn guts out through your belly button if you took a goddamn minute to pay attention to the goddamn lyrics. Goddamn.

I’m not really interested in what’s in your heart. 

Oh? Well, you can have it anyway, since you freaking ripped it out and are showing it to me, still beating, in your hand like that scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom where that crazy guy rips out the dude’s heart. 

Well, here's your problem right here. I have your heart. This should be in your chest, not in my hand.
Well, here’s your problem right here. I have your heart. This should be in your chest, not in my hand.

I feel foolish. I’ve had this album for almost ten years and this is the first time I’ve taken a moment to pay attention to words. I’m the absolute worst! I don’t deserve to call myself a music lover. I hereby turn in my music lover card and punish myself for my insolence by forever having to listen to dubstep and Justin Bieber, or even worse, Justin Bieber remixed to dubstep. What fresh hell is this?

This incident makes me want to listen to all the music on my iPod that I claim to know the lyrics to and understand but really don’t.

Thankfully, I’m not a total female bastard and do know and understand lyrics to many songs. None of those songs include Pearl Jam or Radiohead songs, though. Sorry Eddie and Thom, I adore you both, and you gentlemen are some of the finest artists throughout time, but y’all need to enunciate more.

There you have it. Here’s the video to watch and I give everyone permission to ridicule and mock me because it’s wholly deserved.

Humbly yours,

E

P.S. I don’t feel too terrible about this anymore, as the song has been used in a lot of commercials because of the deceiving line “I only want you”! See, I’m not the only dumbfuck out there. Ad agencies also do not listen to lyrics.

 

Last Goodbye

Good morning.

I don’t know why I haven’t ever done this before, but better late than never, as the old saying goes.

An internet friend clued me into a thing I’ve seen floating around for a long time, and every time I saw it, I’d think to myself, “gosh, Erin, you should do that,” but the thought was fleeting and I’d forget about it until I’d see it pop up again months later.

Well, this time, I’m going to do it, dagnab it.

I present to you The iPod Challenge. One hundred songs, one hundred posts. Seriously, I’m ticked at myself I haven’t done this before given my mutual love and adoration for both writing and music and now, by the power of Grayskull, I’m combining the two.

For my first post, I have carefully selected the song “Last Goodbye” by the late Jeff Buckley, may he rest in peace.

I didn’t discover Jeff Buckley until late in the game, probably 2004 or so, a good seven years after his death. I remember the exact moment I heard his voice and was instantly stricken by it. I was working for the large retail store that rhymes with Bold Gravy and it was around Christmas time. I was working hard placing merchandise that had just come in on the shipment truck out on the sales floor for all the greedy consumers to snag up as gifts for the impending holiday. Fleece. Lots and lots and lots and lots of fleece. This was back in the day when employees were required to wear the walkie-talkies with headsets and I learned quickly to loathe wearing the contraption on my head as the static charge that would build from handling the stacks of fleece would discharge and I swear to Christ, I could hear myself getting shocked through the earpiece of the headset. And it was a pretty potent jolt, too.

I was in the stock room, climbing over stacks of boxes to find the right sizes to place out on the floor, and a fellow employee was still opening boxes. He was listening to the radio, saving himself from the music playing out on the floor. You know what I’m talking about–this corporation plays loud, obnoxious music on repeat over the sound system from open until close. In a given work day, I heard The Go Go’s “Our Lips Are Sealed” ten times. So to come back and find this guy was playing decent music was a much welcomed reprieve.

He had chosen the local college station because he is a meta hipster and was hipster even before anyone knew what the fuck a hipster was. The song playing was Buckley’s version of “Hallelujah,” and I don’t care what sort of controversy this ignites, I stand by my claim that his version is one of the best out there. Fuck Leonard Cohen and his droll, monotone version. Eff it in the A. I don’t care if it was the first. It sucks. I hate it.

I digress. That was my first taste of Buckley and like all things that I discover, I become obsessed with finding out more, and I did. I went out and bought the “Grace” album, and it remains one of my all-time favorite albums and I’m on my second–soon to be third copy of the disc because I play it often and with great fervor.

The entire album is liquid gold pouring into my ears. Each song is gorgeous, beautifully composed and sung with such passion that I feel that any person wanting to be a musician should be forced to listen to this album so they know how it’s supposed to be done. So you wanna be a rock star? Listen to this. If you can’t come close to singing even a fraction as well and with such conviction as Jeff Buckley, take your hot pants and guy eyeliner and hit the fuckin’ road, Jack. We don’t need your auto-tuned schlock here. 

It’s hard to pinpoint a favorite song, but for the sake of this post, I did and it’s “Last Goodbye.”

It’s about an ending love and it’s a goddamn tearjerker.

“This is our last goodbye
I hate to feel the love between us die
But it’s over
Just hear this and then I’ll go
You gave me more to live for
More than you’ll ever know

This is our last embrace
Must I dream and always see your face?
Why can’t we overcome this wall?
Baby, maybe its just because you didn’t know you at all

Kiss me, please kiss me
But kiss me out of desire, babe, not consolation
Oh, you know it makes me so angry
‘Cause I know that in time, I’ll only make you cry
This is our last goodbye

Did you say, “No, this can’t happen to me”
Did you rush to the phone to call
Was there a voice unkind in the back of your mind
Saying maybe you didn’t know him at all
You didn’t know him at all, oh oh, ya didn’t know
Ooo didn’t know”
Well, the bells out in the church tower chime
Burning clues into this heart of mine
Thinking so hard on her soft eyes
And the memories, offer signs that it’s over
Over.”

Oh god.

At the time, I was happily married, but because I’m sick and twisted, I remember thinking to myself, “man, if we ever get divorced, I’m so listening to this song on repeat forever because holy shit.”

Flash forward five years! D-i-v-o-r-c-e!

The line that has always resonated with me, even back when the marriage was hunky doory and there were stars in our eyes whenever we looked at each other is “kiss me out of desire, not consolation.” Oh god. 

And I stayed true to my word. I listened to this goddamn song constantly when at the thick of the separation. I didn’t know him, or rather, it had gotten to the point where I didn’t know my own husband. We had let ourselves become too independent of each other. I’d want to go out as a couple and do couple things, like mundane errand running or out to a movie or just anything so we could be together. It didn’t matter what we did, I just wanted to be with him. He, on the other hand, didn’t want to go. He was content where he was, thanks, but could you bring me back a pop, please? Maybe a bag of chips, too. Thanks. Love you.

Perhaps I should have put up more of a fight. I should have insisted he come along with me, but ever the confrontation avoider, I didn’t make a fuss. Besides, as time wore on, I didn’t want him to come along with me anymore. I liked being alone, doing things I wanted to do without him complaining about it, or acting like being with me was such a horrible disservice to him and he was doing me a favor by tagging along.

This song resonates with me. Cliche? Sure it is. But the weird thing about this song is that whenever I hear it, I don’t find myself in a downward spiral of depression or guilt or shame or any other feelings I normally associate with my divorce. On the contrary. I, in a weird turn of optimism, remind myself to try like hell to not let a situation like this happen again. In reality, it will, it always will, but goddamn it, I’m going to try my goddamnedest to not even though I just said I will…but you get my drift. Or do you? This is probably one of those instances where it makes perfect sense to me and all y’all are just like, “what.”

There you have it. That’s my song for the day. Have a listen, won’t you? And join me again next time for my next post.

As always,

E

Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon.

I have never been a girly girl, much to my mother’s chagrin. She tried to dress me in pink and lace and all things quintessentially girly when I was a child, and she succeeded for five years, until the year at Easter I had picked out a very frilly dress. I vaguely remember it–it was white and pink and had a lacy skirt. I imagine I tried it on and twirled around and around, loving the way the skirt flared out as I did so.

But when it came time to actually wear the thing, I refused. Thus was my decline. I also remember opting to dress like my 12-year-old brother. It was the late 80s, so think Miami Vice-style dress. There’s a picture of me wearing white shorts and a Hawaiian print shirt. I wanted to be like Nathan and dress like him. Heck, I just wanted his attention. It’s hard having a sibling that’s 7 years older than you are. All you want them to do is pay attention to you and all they want you to do is go away. This will pave the path for why I seek male friendships as compared to female and why I also prefer dating older men, but that’s a whole bottle of crazy that I don’t want to tap into.

I’ve struggled with my femininity or lack thereof for the last year or so, I guess, if I were to really sit and think about it. Again, I’ve never been super girly, meaning, well, I don’t know what I mean, really. I prefer jeans and sneakers and t-shirts to making much of a style effort. I’ll wear dresses and skirts and like doing so, but I also have (gasp) body issues that makes me feel self-conscious wearing such things. Plus, I’m lazy and wearing these things means shaving my legs and even after almost 20 years of doing so, I still haven’t mastered the art of leg shaving. I also love doing my hair and makeup and painting my nails and wearing red lipstick and trying to dress as sexy as my body type allows. These things work to an extent, but I still feel something is amiss.

I’ve pinpointed two possible causes of my lack of feeling like a woman because when you’re unemployed for five months, you tend to find ways to entertain yourself when not job searching, and thinking about this kind of stuff is how I chose to fulfill my time.

The first reason is my body, namely my reproductive organ issues. My last annual exam and Pap smear two years ago identified problems, one being polycystic ovary syndrome. I’ve discussed this before in previous blogs, so to recap, my ovaries have cysts. This prevents proper hormone production.  I don’t make enough progesterone and produce more testosterone than normal, which when you have little black hairs sprouting on your chin, it’s really difficult to feel like a pretty lady. Now you’re all going to look extra close at my chin when you see me. While you’re looking, help a girl out and pluck ’em for me. Don’t just stare at them, get rid of them!

Reason number two is, for me at least, it’s difficult to feel like a woman when you’re taller, larger gal, which sounds like some bullshit considering some of the most successful models in the world are my height–5’11” and plus-sized models (gag to that term. Gag gag gag gag gag) are a thing (oh, big wow. Size 10 is hardly “plus sized” fashion industry). I was watching clips from Seinfeld the other night because I’m cool like that, and came across the Man Hands episode. I looked down at my own hands and then immediately began googling “hand transplants.” The technology is there, I know it is!

So, add my uncooperative hormones with my body frame and height and weight and the fact I take poops in the morning bigger than some men I know, my warped sense of self is made more warped.

Maybe it’s a confidence issue. Maybe when I see perfect, petite, well-dressed, put-together women, it makes me realize I’ve worn the same jeans for the third day in a row and my hair is a knotted up mess on top of my head and my fingernail polish is 3/4 of the way chipped off and I spotted a black arm hair near the inside of my elbow and what?! I have three hairs on the top of my right foot?! and where the fuck is my razor and why can’t I just look how I think I should look, which isn’t what I look like now.

Okay, it’s definitely a confidence issue.

There are days when I feel fine about myself. I like what I see in the mirror. I like my thick, luxurious hair and how I chose a wonderfully complimentary shade of eye shadow to make my grey eyes pop and how my lips are not chapped for once and the bra I’m wearing is holding my breasts up nicely and they look good under this shirt which flatters my figure.

Then, there are days when I want to have a total freak out moment and smash the mirror because my hair is just a heavy, limp rag on my head–like, are you going to be straight today, hair, or do that weird be half wavy/half straight/half fuzzy bullcrap that I just loathe and I can’t seem to apply eye makeup to save my life and really, Erin, pink eye shadow and where did you even buy pink eye shadow and hey there, chapped lips way to be all chappy and I was too lazy to find and put on a bra, so my sassy tits are saggy under this t-shirt that I got for donating blood and while I’m proud to “be the type that gives,” perhaps I should give a little more of a care about myself and not look like this flaming mess of a woman. Oh, and hi there, chin hair, you cunt.

I wish I knew how to “fix” myself in this regard. I wish I had the fortitude to realize I’m okay as-is, that I’m me and that’s a good thing and I shouldn’t compare myself to people, but it’s hard to do. Maybe there are women out there that wish they looked like me…that’s laughable, but a possibility. I also wish I had health insurance so I could take care of my health issues because once I get these goddamned hormones ironed out, I’m sure I’ll feel a little better.

But until then, I’ll keep being me and keep realizing it’s fine to do so, chin hairs and all.

Well, maybe without the chin hairs.

 

 

Gary Glitter

“I didn’t know I loved you until I met you.”

“Oh, puh-leeze! What kind of Hallmark flowery Nicholas Sparks bullshit is that, Jules?”

“What? It’s kinda sweet!”

“That’s a song, you know. Gary Glitter. ‘I didn’t know I loved you until I saw you rock n’ roll.'”

My friend Jules and I sit in slightly uncomfortable mass-produced easy chairs in the corner of the coffee shop. She sips from a comically over-sized mug, the steam from the liquid inside fogging up her glasses as she drinks. I pick up my mug of hot chocolate and cautiously dip the very tip-top of my tongue inside the liquid to check the temperature before I take a drink. I half expect the sweet chocolate to shock me with a small jolt of electricity, but it doesn’t. It’s still too hot to drink, so I blow into the mug, watching the fluid ripple into tiny waves. I imagine a minuscule surfer catching one of those waves and I smile. Cowabunga, dude.

“Well, now what am I going to do!” Jules whines. “Writing is hard. I hate it.” She sticks her bottom lip out in a pout and huffs.

“What are you trying to write, anyway? Nothing very good if you’re using lines like that.” Jules tosses a balled-up napkin at me and it bounces off my knee.

“For your information, Beatrice, I’m trying to write Stig a love letter. A very contrived, full of shit love letter.”

“Your first problem is dating a guy named “Stig,” honey. I still can’t believe you let that guy stick his hippie penis into your vagina.”

“Beatrice Elaine Porter! Stig is not a hippie! He’s Swedish! There’s a marginal difference.”

“The only reason you’re dating him is because he looks like Thor, Juliana, and you know it! Oh, Thor! Pound me with your hammer!”

Jules stares at me hard, then busts out into raucous laughter, the sound echoing off the walls. I see a few people pick up their heads from their laptops and iPads and turn to stare at us. I make eye contact with one guy, make the “she’s cuckoo” sign with my index finger pointed at my temple and cross my eyes. Jules sees me do this and slaps my arm down.

“Here’s your love letter, Jules. Ahem. ‘Roses are red, they have thorns that prick, I love your blonde hair, and wanna suck your dick.’ There.”

The two of us are laughing harder now and more people are looking at us, which makes us laugh even harder. Tears are streaming down my face and I get up to excuse myself to use the restroom, as I’m certain I’m going to pee my pants. I get up, still laughing to myself, and head to the bathrooms. I get to the women’s room door and start to go in just as He comes out of the men’s room.

He is the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen. Tall, but not too tall as to be intimidating. Broad shoulders that fill out the t-shirt he’s wearing so well it’s a crime. Light wash denim jeans rolled into a cuff at the bottom, but not in a pretentious hipster way, but in a “these jeans are a bit too long for me and I don’t want to ruin the hem at the bottom, so I rolled my jeans” kind of way. His light brown hair is perfectly coiffed. I’ve never seen such perfect hair on a man before and my compulsion to reach up and touch it, to run my fingers through it is so strong, I have to hold my own hand down with the other to keep me from doing so. And then there’s his eyes. Words cannot describe the color, so I’ll use onomatopoeia to describe his eyes: uuuunnnnggggghhhhh. They are that good, the only proper way to describe them is to make a weird, guttural sound in the back of the throat.

I stop in my tracks and stare. He also stops. We stare at each other for a brief second and he offers me a half-smile that I’m certain just exploded my vagina into a million pieces.

“Hi,” he offers politely.

My eyes widen and I shove the bathroom door in so hard it slams against the inside wall and I practically burst inside, whip around and try to slam the swinging door shut, but it resists my force. Here I am, pushing all my weight against the obstinate door, shoulder digging into it, my arms pressed hard against me, like I’m Sisyphus trying to push the boulder up the hill. Finally the door closes and I stand behind the door as it does, leaning over to catch one last glimpse of him through the last inch gap in the door.

I back up against a stall and mutter, “oh holy shit he was perfect,” under my breath. I can feel my heart beating a thousand miles a minute. I’m so taken aback by this man, I don’t notice there’s a knocking from behind the door I’m pressed against.

“Uh…excuse me? You’re blocking me in,” a slightly amused voice says from inside the stall.

“Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry!” I apologize as I step to the side. I can feel my face burn red.

“It’s okay,” the woman chuckles as she walks to the sink to wash her hands. I go into an empty stall and sit down on the toilet. I fumble for my phone in my pocket and immediately text Jules.

“JULES. I MET THE MAN I’M GOING TO MARRY JUST NOW. TALL DRINK OF WATER WITH CUFFED JEANS. HOLY. SHIT.”

Jules replies a few seconds later, “OH EM GEE. I SEE HIM.” Immediately after that text, this one: “He’s with a woman. She just put her hand on his ass. I’LL CUT HER FOR YOU.”

My heart drops into my feet. Of course he’s with someone. Why wouldn’t such a perfect man be with someone? Thanks for reminding me my life sucks, Life. I feel like crying. I compose myself, wash my hands and splash cold water on my face, and prepare myself to walk back out. I hope he and the bitch he’s with are gone, so I don’t have to face my rejection.

I turn the corner from the restroom and see Jules at our chairs and we make eye contact. She tips her head to the table beside us. Of course The Most Perfect Man Alive and The Horrible Wench are sitting next to us, and better yet, it’s the same woman I barricaded in the bathroom. Of course that gorgeous brunette with huge, pouty lips is his girlfriend. Of course, of course, of course.

I want to turn the opposite direction and leave the coffee shop, but Jules is my ride and all my things are on the floor next to the chair I am sitting at and I pray to whatever god will listen to me to create a giant chasm in the floor and swallow me up whole, but it doesn’t happen and I make my way to the chairs and I sit down and Gorgeous Man sees me and smiles and again, my vagina erupts. Jules witnesses it all and snorts, trying to hold back laughter. I kick her and she lets out a yelp.

“Hey! Ouch, Rice! That hurt!” I cringe that she calls me her pet name for me, “Rice.” The World’s Most Amazing Man and The SheBeast hear Jules’ whimper and look over at us again and I offer a polite smile. I kick Jules again.  Incredible Beautiful Man laughs softly, then turns back to Harpy McHarperson.

After a few minutes, Brilliant Charming And Incredible Man and The Town Bicycle get up and prepare to leave. My heart sinks again as I realize I’ll never see him again and the amazing wedding I’ve spent the last five minutes planning in my head will never happen and I want to jump up, grab him by his perfect head and kiss his equally perfect lips and he’ll pick me up in his arms and carry me away to our forever.

Instead, he lets Garbage Can Face get ahead of him and he turns to our table. I stare at Jules. She stares back. He clears his throat and we both look up at him.

“It was nice to meet you, Rice,” he says through two rows of impossibly straight and white teeth. His eyes shine like Santa Claus’s eyes. I swear to you, his eyes literally sparkle like Santa Claus’s eyes. He needs to leave before I completely lose my mind even more than I have already. And he called me by my nickname that I used to hate, but hearing his silky smooth voice utter it made it my most favorite nickname in the history of all nicknames. I make a mental note to legally change my name to Rice and to monogram every single towel I own with it, as well.

I think I reply to him. I want to say I replied with the most witty thing ever said, but in actuality, I made that same gurgling sound in my throat again. You know, the one I used to describe his eyes? Smooth. He smiles again and walks out of my life forever.

I didn’t know I loved you until I met you.

October 25, 2013

I don’t want to write this, but I am going to anyway.

I’m going to write about a few things bugging me, as I’m often want to do, but when I realized what the date was, I am adding a topic.

Today would be Part 2 of 10 year wedding anniversary. I say “Part 2” because if some of you recall, and for the benefit of those that don’t know, when the former spouse and I married in March 2003, our ceremony was for immediate family only and in the chapel of my grandmother’s nursing home. She had a stroke and her prognosis wasn’t good and we were unsure if she’d live to October for the wedding, so we decided to get married in March so she could be present. The gift of foresight is helpful sometimes, as she passed away about a month later. So, in addition to that wedding, we decided to keep our original wedding date of October 25th and turn that into a vow renewal/reception. Jason and I celebrated both days as anniversaries. Plus, he emailed me extremely randomly earlier this week, which shocked the hell out of me. I’ve been back in Nebraska for almost 5 months and haven’t heard boo from him until then. Makes me wonder if he remembered, as well. Anyway, there’s that, so I’ve got that going for me, which is nice. Even over three years later, stuff like this still gets to me at times. The feelings aren’t as intense as they once were, thank gosh, but it still kind of stings a bit. Hey Erin! Remember that time you were married for seven and a half years and then got divorced? Hahahaha!

Now, on to what I wanted to discuss.

I should explain what I mean about my opening statement. It’s not that I didn’t want to write this, because I do. I will always want to write. What I meant was I had another one of those “Eureka!” moments a while ago. I have intimacy issues. That’s not the shocker. My old dog Blue has intimacy issues. It’s common. I hide behind my writing. Again, nothing new and ground-breaking here. I prefer to write about stuff than talk about it. The Keanu Reeves Whoa Moment is realizing I hide behind my writing because I have intimacy issues. All together now: whoa. 

Explanation: I can write and divulge personal, intimate details to the internet with zero qualms, but get me to talk about the same details face-to-face in a conversation? Oh no. Nonononononononononono. No. Nuh uh. Nope. Pass. I was having a text-versation with a friend earlier this week about that. I told her I wanted to write, but was talking myself out of it because I want to make a more conscious effort to actually talk about stuff instead of cowering behind my laptop, the glow of the screen reflecting off my glasses lenses. She tried to make me feel better about instinctually going to writing by saying, “we all have our own ways.” While this is true, but I countered with “I prefer writing to ever talking. The thing is, once I write about it, it’s done for me, but people who read what I write then want to talk to me about it and I poopoo the conversation because to me, I’ve already ‘talked’ about it.” And then we started psychologizing each other and doors were blown down. Anyway, that’s why I’m hesitant to write about personal matters anymore because I really do want to vocalize my concerns/worries/etc to an real person now, but oh god, it burns me. But I’ll try. This old gal needs a new trick to learn. So why am I writing this? Because…? Everyone is busy and I needed to get this out and I get a freebie every now and again. Like the diet I should go on, “I’ll start tomorrow.”

Next topic. This one hurts and makes me feel like eight kinds of shit, which is a shitload of shit.

I applied for and have been granted unemployment benefits. Insert feeling like an absolute loser here.

And here’s why! WHY THE FUCK CAN’T I GET A GODDAMN JOB?!?! GOD-FUCKING-DAMMIT THIS IS SO MUCH BULLSHIT. LIKE, TAKE ALL THE BULLSHIT IN THE WORLD AND APPLY IT TO THIS SITUATION AND THAT’S A SMALL REPRESENTATION OF HOW MUCH BULLSHIT THIS IS. 

I don’t know if many of you know how claiming unemployment works, but here’s a brief lowdown–you apply and have to submit weekly claims. By doing so, you must also submit proof that you applied for at least two jobs during the week and give this information to the Nebraska Department of Labor. They check this shit out, yo. Anyway, I applied the second week of this month and surprise, surprise, I fucked it up and got a phone call from the office telling me I did as such, so my weekly benefits were denied. It’s so bonkers. It’s kind of backwards because you apply this week for last week. Plus, the website is less than friendly to use and I was under the impression I did it properly, but oh, ha ha ha, Erin, you stupid twat, you sure didn’t, so as punishment, I haven’t gotten any benefits yet, so those of you who bitch about having to support people on unemployment from your own paychecks can please shut the fuck up about me for at least another week. Enter having to ask my mom to help me which compounds my extremely worthless feeling tenfold and I’m 32 years old and I have to ask my mommy to help her incompetent daughter and hooray! Hooray and hooray and hooray!

Yes, I’m being hard on myself. Yes, I know I’ll get a job. Yes, I know all this. But please try to understand why I feel like such shit. I feel like I’m taking advantage of so many people and I fucking hate that so much. I’m beyond grateful for the help, of course. I still feel like the pond scum that lives on the asshole of pond scum, though.

So, there you have it. That’s my weekly self-deprecating post. As I’m fond of saying, “some day, I’ll get my shit together. Today is not that day.”

Also, how many times have I said “shit” and variations of “shit” in this post? A special prize to anyone who gets the correct number.

Love you all. Mean it.

E