Wednesday, January 11, 2006

No Joke Wednesday

Most of the time I'm operating at about a doggy paddle in the lake of self-esteem. I aspire to backfloat, or better yet beach myself on one of those big rafts, but generally if I keep my head above water it's been a good day. Living in New York and working in SoHo hands me many an opportunity to choke on a mouthful of lake water and plummet to the slimy bottom--not to mention opportunities rehearse the art of melodrama, apparently. But, the point is if I stay at a solid doggy paddle I'm okay enough to keep from drinking the volume of my head in rum and Diet Cokes, going to sleep under my loft bed, and later throwing up all morning into an empty H&M bag.

In the right moods and at the right times of year, even smallest things can get me going on a spiral of feeling lousy. I think that's a universal, though. I'm far from the only person who feels small on long December nights or sad on short summer ones. Lately, for me at least, it's been particularly difficult to just keep my head above the surface. That's why coming across a vicious passage about myself on the internet today was twice as sinking as it might have been otherwise.

Without getting too far into a story that didn't seem very important at the time, a very gracious friend of mine recently had to remove his companion from my apartment. He was very drunk, being very loud, and saying extraordinarily creepy things to some of the other people at my house. When my friend realized his companion was making people uncomfortable, he decided it was time to leave. I let the two of them out. I wished both Sober and Drunk the best on the way home. I gave them magazines to read on the subway.

I felt I was pretty decent to the guy.

The next day that I received an apology e-mail from the Sober on behalf of Drunky's behavior. At the time I wasn't the least bit upset with either of them. I was relieved Sober steered Drunk toward the door when he did, but overall I was glad they came. The only thing I regretted was that Drunk's behavior (specifically his excessive drinking) had caused a rift between the friends on their walk to the subway.

It wasn't until today that I remembered Drunk keeps a blog. I found it shortly after I met him. I scrolled back a few days and found his account of the evening's events.

I thought about not reposting exactly what it was he said about me. The more I thought about it though, the more I began to wonder why taking the high road is equated to total vagueness. If someone takes a really stinging swipe at me, I don't see how it's more mature to simply allude to the situation rather than discuss its specifics. It's not like the actual words he used aren't scrolling through my head like a stock ticker anyway.

"But what of my dismal party-goers," he asks. "That's ok, I forgive them, I am like Jesus Christ in my newfound drunken stupor. Besides, the fat ugly bitch at that party knows what I'm going through, she's got the same problem with food that I got with drink."

That's the kind of thing I'm not equipped to handle when I'm at work on a rainy Wednesday, when the shitty new boss is moving into my favorite old boss's office, when it's January, when there are no windows, when Craigslist Missed Connections still aren't about me, when my hair looks bad, when I'm wearing a jacket that makes me feel like I look like a man, when I'm twenty-three and terminally single and lonely about that, when I forgot my eyeliner, when I can't feel accepted and safe anymore around platonic acquaintances.

I know what I look like. I'm not fishing for compliments; it's just that it's pointless to harbor any illusions that I'm one of those movie-makeovers waiting to happen, where you take off my glasses and hey! Supermodel. It's not the easiest job even doing everyday stuff while constantly repressing a tidal wave of self-consciousness. Knowing that there are people around who hate the same things about me I have trouble with, and who, when even slightly provoked, are willing to bare their claws and take aim at my soft spots is one of the most upsetting things I can think of. It's one thing to come to terms with the idea that I'm not what many heterosexual men find attractive and that I pay the price for that discrepancy by being perpetually dateless. It's another to realize that even friendly acquaintances are judging me on those same criteria.

I wanted to bring this back around to the fact that he was drunk, and the idea I started with that keeping my head above metaphorical water is what keeps me from literally drowning my sorrows. I had this idea that by the time I got to the end maybe I would see that he himself is insecure, that maybe he drinks to mask that, and that maybe we're the same.

We're not. He's a fucking asshole. He really hurt my motherfucking feelings. I hope he chokes on an olive. With a toothpick still in it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

UGH. Okay, I definitely had to respond to this. First of all, this guy was probably not that drunk, it's probably just his asshole personality (because if he was inexcusably drunk, he wouldn't remember jack shit about that night). Second, he doesn't deserve friends like you or Sober, and I hope you never invite him to your fly parties again. Third, it sucks that you live in such an image-conscious city, because I think the pressure would get to absolutely anyone. I don't really know where I'm going with this because I don't have good advice, except...try not to listen to that guy. Seriously. He is in desperate need of a good old fashioned Midwestern ass-kicking.

8:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I wanted to add that nobody calls someone fat or ugly unless they feel that way about themselves most of the time. Believe me, I know.

8:47 AM  
Blogger What'sHerFace said...

Thanks. I've got a little more perspective on it today. Yesterday I was really upset just to find that kind of thing written about me. Now that I've gotten used to what he said I'm more comfortable trying to just dismiss him as a congenital asshole and forget the whole thing.

9:45 AM  
Blogger katy said...

*ramble* Ironically reading your blog usually makes me as depressed and self-concious as you just described in your post.

There you are, 23 - young, fabulous, smart and living in this big city doing all the things that you think people in big cities do. AND you're SINGLE, you can flirt with whoever, oogle whenever, etc etc etc.

I'm am perpetually jealous of you.

Drunk is headed for a beer belly of the worst kind and an inability to perform...he has issues that have nothing to do with you, other than he wishes he could be as cool.

When I was living in New York and going through that "ahhhhh everyone here is beautiful and I have curly hair" phases my sister-in-law (who is beautiful and has straight hair) pointed out that the sexiest of women in New York are the ones who act like it. Who wants a boring model in a black dress with no boobs? Why not go for the girl skipping down the street with her ipod.

Anyway, he's an asshole and you should remember that when women stuck in hicksville-suburbs romanticize the fun, young, hipster, yet-down-to-earth New York life...we picture you. No pressure or anything, but you are a lot more fabulous and beautiful than you think you are.

9:46 AM  
Blogger What'sHerFace said...

Actually, also, the other thing that really pissed me off about it is that this was someone who I barely knew, who had been nice to me, and who was just the kind of person who had told me he liked my outfits or my hair or yada yada, you know? Now that I know that that's bullshit and he was waiting for a chance to pull the "fat and ugly" card, it makes you doubt what anyone ever says to you--how do I know the next time a friend says something nice about the way I look it's not completely insincere too?

I don't want to think that way. It just makes me mad that someone who means so little to me (and, really, the whole episode at the party was pretty minor. It wasn't until afteward that all this fallout happened) can fuck up the way I feel about everything else.

9:52 AM  
Blogger What'sHerFace said...

Thanks Katy, that was sweet.

Although my life here includes a LOT more frozen-dinner-and-watching-the-Golden-Girls than I might lead people to believe...

9:55 AM  
Blogger DMo said...

Where would any of us be without frozen dinners? Or, at least canned soup.

This dude is a jackass at best and--dare I say it--even more melodramatic than your lake-bottom analogy. The Jesus Christ of drunks? Silly.

And I'd have to agree with Katy. As a relative newcomer to this city (I rolled into my Brooklyn digs just as you did yours), the sexiness of all the pretense that strolls these streets in skirts and long boots has little effect on me. Frankly, I've grown bored at looking at most of those women.

Fuck them and fuck him. Perhaps you could marinade said olives in some laxative, or something.

11:21 AM  
Blogger What'sHerFace said...


[Swoon onto chaise. End scene.]

11:55 AM  
Blogger George said...

Dude, this kid sucks - Anytime you want him taken out, Washington Heights style (that is, with Raggeaton playing in the background) - you just let me know. Years of failed relationships and an obsession with Russian Lit have given me the stomach for bloodshed.

And besides, who cares? 2006 is your year. The next time you recognize this kid it'll only be to tell your fabulously wealthy uber-intellectual super hot hipster boyfriend to avoid stepping on his homeless ass in the street on your way to Nobu. Trust.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Buckley said...

George does some better telling-it-like-it-is than I could, so let me initially just say "here, here" to his comments.

Apart from that, I have to say I'm very glad you put this post up Kathy. Quite apart from the enormous entertainment value, your articulateness is the reason I keep coming back to this blog, and though the topic of this post is a painful one to you, you wrote about it so clearly and honestly that it really is a privilege and an education to read and I appreciate your sharing it.

I've never met you, but nonetheless, for what it's worth I'd like to offer you a pretty genuine e-hug, or hug-intent if you will - a real hug not being an option.

8:36 AM  
Blogger What'sHerFace said...

Hey, thanks George and Buckley. Hug intents and all forms of remote affection are always appreciated.

11:57 AM  
Anonymous anonymousmom said...

There is absolutely nothing at all wrong with the way you look. I think you're hot. Um, kind of sounds gross coming from an anonymous mom, but you know what I mean. I've heard somewhere that walls melt down around you. Anyone who thinks otherwise just doesn't matter. Seriously. Only listen to what sounds good. Listen to nothing else!

3:27 PM  

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