The Games Men Play

I’m playing in an all women contact football tournament this weekend, so if you don’t hear from me at all next week it’s because I’m dead. I’ve never played contact football but I’m pretty sure I’m gonna get my shit tossed around. Fun life updates ❤

Anyway. We all talk vaguely about how people play “games” when dating, but have we ever really got into the nitty gritty of what those games are? I thought to point of a game was to be mildly enjoyable. Let me tell you, I enjoy none of these games. I’d rather live in the 1500s where the “games” were as complicated as giving yourself a sponge bath, rubbing a bit of baking soda under your hairy armpits, and standing close to a potential mate to express interest.

So what “games” are us ladies ambiguously referring to when we say single dudes in their 20s play stupid games? See below:

The Inconsistent and Unclear Communication Game.

My favorite thing ever is when a guy texts me then I respond and he hits me with a “haha” or something else conversation ending that leaves me wondering if he even wanted to talk in the first place. I’m super down to shoot the shit over text, I sit at a desk for most of my workday and am really good at multitasking. But when you pull shit like this you’ve now sidetracked all of my productivity and I’m trying to figure out why the fuck you reached out to me.

What we also don’t understand is when you are gung-ho about texting us one week, keeping conversation every day… Then you fall off the face of the earth the next, only to reemerge at an arbitrary time (weeks or even months later) that correlates with exactly ZERO events in our lives. The best is when we send you a text or two that go completely unacknowledged. Why the fuck do YOU think we’re confused?

If you are pursuing someone, I don’t care if you’re a “shitty texter” you can figure your shittiness out enough to not be weirdly evasive and inconsistent.

Making Plans Chess Match.

If you want to meet up, rather than carry on pointless banter via text//Tinder//fuckall app… Ask us to hang out. If we aren’t available right at the precise moment that you ask, then let’s fucking find a time that works for both of us. The chance of you catching a self respecting woman available at a random moment on a Saturday afternoon is miniscule. Even if she is just laying in bed listening to the Spotify playlist “Move On and Don’t Look Back” on loop, she’ll pretend she’s doing something worthwhile. Here are a few lines to try out with a woman in order to ask her to hang out:

“Hey, what are you up to this weekend?”

“Hey, are you free any night this week to meet up?”

“What are your plans this week? Would love to hang out.”

“Let’s find a time to hang out!”

As you can see, you have some options. And if plans don’t work out and one of you has to cancel? Social etiquette requires the canceller to reach out to set up the new encounter. This is because cancelling plans could be a sign of disinterest, in order to refute that assumption you must be the one to reinitiate.

But before we even get to that point, we’d need to get to the baseline of you getting your dick out of your hand and making plans for once in your life. I don’t care if you’re “not a planner” be a considerate human being, because some of us enjoy having our shit together.

The End of Date Ultimatum Game

Sort of like Deal or No Deal but more awkward and less shiny bald Howie Mandel head. On the first date, you have to make a decision at the end of the date. Either you had fun and you’d like to see this person again, or you are pretty certain you’re better off not meeting up again. You should make this decision clear. Here are some ways to show you DO want to see this person again:

  • Say: “This was fun, we should do it again sometime!”
  • Mention a specific event you’d like to invite your date to, then see if they might be available to go to that event with you. (Bonus points if the event includes a shared hobby!) 
  • If you’re pretty damn sure the date went well, go for a kiss.
  • Send a little follow-up text saying you had fun once both of you have headed home for the night. (Bonus points if you bring up something the two of you talked about.)

If you don’t want to see the person again, just be as polite as possible and initiate NO PHYSICAL CONTACT. I repeat… ZERO PHYSICAL CONTACT. Unless you wanna be a dickhead and go for the handshake. (Nothing says “fuck me” quite like a good firm handshake at the end of a date.) Here are a few things you can do to confuse the shit out of your date and leave her wondering if she’ll ever hear from you again.

  • Give her a weird diagonal armed hug, bonus points if you pat her on the back. Slap her on the back if you want to also make her choke on her own spit while you’re at it.
  • Mention something the two of you could do together, then don’t follow up on it at any point in the next week.
  • Remain radio silent for several days after the date, even if she reaches out.
  • Add her on Facebook, but still don’t text her or communicate in any other way. (Same idea with following on Insta, SnapChat… etc.)

Both parties are responsible for dropping stink-bombs (not the cutest title for it but let me have this one plz) at the end of the date that clue the other person into whether or not they’d like to hang out again. I personally like it if the dude makes the first move, because I am so far stuck in my own head that the tiny people from Inside Out went on strike and a team of mice have taken over for them. Literally my brain is crawling with mice, someone send help.

Actions Not Matching Up With Words- A Riddle.

If you tell me that you had fun with me and want to hang out again, then are consistently flakey and weird about making plans… I’m gonna get confused. If you’re just swamped with work and need a few weeks to really focus… JUST TELL ME THAT. I won’t be personally offended if your work life is interfering with your social life, I just wanna be kept in the loop so I don’t reread our text conversation 500 times looking for something weird I said.

This riddle is especially relevant when clarifying a purely physical relationship versus an actual dating relationship. Don’t tell your parents about me, make “we” statements that are weirdly far into the calendar year, and exclaim to me that you “deleted all of your dating apps,” then be weirdly withdrawn and bitchy to me two days later. What the fuck am I supposed to make of that? Whether or not I shared the excitement in the first place is irrelevant, you’re sending MIXED SIGNALS.

Ghosts n Pussies (Same Thing, Different Game.)

If you can tell a girl is super into you but you’re not really moving in the same direction, just tell her. I know every woman says this but then reacts poorly when it happens, but honestly…I’d way rather just know that you’re not feelin it than guess for weeks why you suddenly dropped off conversation. There are several guys I have “dated” where I still have no idea what happened because communication just died after 4+ dates. If we’ve gotten past the 3 date mark, you should probably not ghost me if you are a decent human being in any capacity.

On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re super into a woman and she continues to say yes to (and show up for) dates, she hasn’t mercilessly friendzoned you, and she returns your attempts at affection… PROBABLY A SAFE BET THAT YOU CAN TELL HER HOW YOU FEEL WITHOUT DYING. I’m a forward person and I’m not afraid to admit when I like someone. I know it doesn’t come as naturally for guys to express feelings like that, but if you really want a woman to know you’re interested… Tell her.

Ladies get a bad rap for being overly analytical and hypersensitive, but men have to admit their part in our fucked up communication. At the end of the day all we want is to be told the truth and treated with respect. Dating is terrifying, it would be a hell of a lot easier if we could all get on the same page.  

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Requiem For a Dream: How Much Do You Hate Yourself?

In honor of the New Year I am going to make an effort this week to write every day. This week I actually have a good movie to write about and it’s available to stream FOR FREE on Netflix. So you can read my little summary and decide if you’d like to embark on this wild ride of emotions for yourself. (SPOILER ALERT: You won’t.)

Requiem For a Dream is that movie everyone says you should watch once then never, ever, ever, under any circumstances, watch again. I watched it when I was in high school with a few friends and had to miss a month of school due to paralyzing fear of the world. I figured almost 10 years later I was ready for my second go-around. Especially considering I’m a brooding intellectual with the potential to go places, hindered only by my vices which render me useless to the productive world… Just like the people in the movie. WOOOO! PARTY!

Talya came over for a chill movie night at my place and I ambushed her with this option. Since she works in film, Requiem was on her list of movies she needs to watch. But she didn’t know anything about it. I kept it that way, I didn’t give her any warning. I just worked as fast as I could to pull it up before she could change her mind.

Let’s talk about it:

THE SUMMER:

At the beginning of the movie you forget just how much it will mentally destroy you. I remember sitting there and thinking “Oh, this isn’t so bad… Why was I so dramatic about it?” I now laugh at past Katrina’s ignorance.

TACTICS. If they pulled their dick out at the beginning of the movie do you really think you’d keep watching to see that dick shrivel up into a heroin needle infected prune? No, you wouldn’t. (Unless you’re into that sort of thing.)

Jared Leto is a disgusting human being (in real life) so this role is pretty perfect for him. Heroin, cocaine, pawning his mother’s shitty television for drugs… He’s an all around winner. His beautiful girlfriend Jennifer Connelly is somehow broken enough inside to not only date him but also to indulge in the same vices. They are SUPER addicted.

Let’s make this story even yummier by watching Jared Leto and Marlon Wayans decide it’s a great idea to become drug dealers. Has that idea ever gone poorly for anyone in the history of ever? Nah, it’s usually a good career move. I figured this would make the rest of the movie free of conflict.

On the other main plotline we have Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto’s mom. Holy fucking shit this woman can act. She’s a lonely and desperate mother who lacks purpose in her monotonous life. So she sits and watches infomercials on repeat and tries to Keep Up With the Wrinkly Jones’(my nickname for her equally decrepit female co-tenants whose idea of a good time is sitting in lawn chairs on the sidewalk wearing brightly colored sun hats and sipping moldy lemonade.)

THE FALL:

Now you start to remember why this movie made you seriously consider quitting alcohol and sleeping with the lights on for three weeks. Fun little film technique used here- The Fall refers to both the season AND the downfall of the main characters. HEHHEEHEH I BET YOU NEVER WOULD HAVE GUESSED THAT SINCE YOU DIDN’T SPEND A BILLION DOLLARS ON FILM SCHOOL.

Ellen Burstyn is taking diet pills because she wants to fit into the red dress she wore to Harry’s (Jared Leto’s) graduation. For what reason? She got a phone call saying she was set to appear on television (the same type of phone call you get informing you that you’ve won an all expense paid cruise.) She latches onto this promise and it becomes her only reason for living. She builds up a tolerance to these “diet pills” which are actually a series of amphetamines and sedatives. WHAT A FANTASTIC WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT MAYBE I’LL TRY IT? Well once you build up a tolerance to a drug, the best thing to do is double and triple the original dosage. So she does exactly that and goes batshit insane. We’re talking Knife Wielding Hollywood Homeless level nutso.

Drug Dealing goes GREAT for the aspiring Drug Dealers- there’s a massive shootout involving a deaf guy doing shady sign language in a limo. Then another massive shootout when they try to find new drug suppliers. The market runs dry, Jared Leto and Jennifer Connelly get desperate and she has to start selling her body. Jared Leto decides he’s going to Florida because that’s the best place to reinvigorate your drug drought apparently. Shit starts to get really cute right about now.

THE WINTER:

It is this season that gave me a feeling in my bones that I rarely experience. A feeling I sometimes experience when I’m getting my eyebrows/upper lip threaded by a particularly aggressive threader and the pain becomes too much to handle. A feeling that you can only address by squirming around in your seat, asking yourself if you might just need to pee, then releasing tears. You’re not really crying, but your entire body hates you and wants whatever is happening to end as soon as possible or it may unleash the contents of your bladder and bowels with a vengeance. Since this is the climax of the movie I don’t want to ruin it for you, but I will give you a little list to clue you into what you can expect:

  • “Ass to ass” (this is one of the most famous quotes of the movie.)
  • Decaying arm
  • Evil refrigerator
  • A mental breakdown in the subway
  • Prison mayhem
  • Liquid nutrition shoved down a throat + electric shock therapy.
  • An absolutely massive dildo

Maybe nothing on that list rattles you, and if that’s the case…  Still go watch this movie when you have a few spare hours. It’s free on Netflix and I promise you will leave the viewing feeling SOMETHING. (And if you’re dead inside like me, feeling ANY emotion is better than your constant state of numbness and stagnation.)

Personal Lessons I learned From Requiem For a Dream:  

  • Damn, that theme music is cool. It sounds kind of like the Saw theme.
  • While I may be a complete piece of shit on many occasions, thank fucking god I’m not a heroin addict.
  • Selling your body is as alien and terrifying as it sounds, and is also quite a reflection on the buyer.
  • Never take your relationship with your parents for granted. Holy hell, Mom, I promise I’ll never steal your TV for drug money, especially if we’re at the point where you chain it to the wall. And I’m going to try to call more often, please just don’t get eaten by the refrigerator.
  • Don’t let your mother take diet pills, especially if they’re meth.
  • The second your arm starts turning a strange color… see a doctor for the love of god. I don’t care if you’re gonna get nailed for whatever made your arm turn that color, would you rather have your flesh fall off in MASSIVE BLACK PIECES?
  • You and your friends should all have something in common, but please don’t let it be your shared love for illicit and highly addictive drugs.
  • Same goes for your romantic relationship ^^^
  • New Jersey is scary.
  • If you want to drive to Florida from New Jersey make sure both of your arms are in liveable condition. (Same goes for all other extremities tbh.)
  • If your ticket to fame and fortune involves selling drugs, you’ll probably fit in nicely in Los Angeles with all the other failed actors,writers, directors, models… etc.
  • Don’t do drugs.
  • Drugs are bad, if you do them you will die an early death.
  • Everything they taught you in D.A.R.E was true.
  • If I could go back to 4th grade and rewrite my D.A.R.E speech I would just cite Requiem For a Dream in every other paragraph and if I didn’t get selected to read my speech at the special presentation night, that shit’s rigged. Although, even if I had been chosen my face would have turned really red, I would have cried, and everyone would have felt sorry for me. So let’s just leave history as it lay and let my shitty speech rest in peace.

Safe travels ya band of misfits! I just added a bunch of fun stuff to my Netflix list and I am still going to sit for an hour or so deciding what to watch. But once I do pick something to watch, you can bet I’ll write it up on here.

I’m open to suggestions, if there is something that looks intriguing but probably too shitty to actually sit down and watch… Pass it along to me. I’ve got nothing better to do with my life than stay awake into the early hours of the morning watching television with a blanket pulled over my head, taking a pint of ice cream straight to the face. 

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(You may think it’s just a normal refrigerator, but you’d be wrong if you thought that. It’s not a normal refrigerator… Trust me, it’s very far from it. Don’t let it deceive you.)

I Was Wrong About My Career Path

It has been a few weeks and naturally, it’s Wednesday, so I am mustering up just enough little travel-sized fucks to give in order to write something arbitrary. As much as I’d love to write something heartfelt about my triumphs and tribulations in 2016, I know for a fact that none of you want to read that. How do I know? Because literally every time I see one of those manifestos on my Facebook feed and I have the option to click “See More” I click it just to see how unbearably long it REALLY could be, then when I’m met with the wall of text that follows I start inevitably hating the person who wrote it. I don’t need to read any of it, I just hate you for sitting down writing it out and thinking that it’s important or relevant to another human being that you got super “woke” in 2016 and then you also went apple picking with your grandma for the last time before she died. 

My only valuable information to bestow upon the minute demographic who consistently reads this blog is that 2016 was the year I finally admitted I was wrong about a lot of things. (Everyone loves to read about another person’s failure, right?) In fact, I was so wrong that I lost sight of who I was and fell into what some wonderful people in my life will refer to as “a downward spiral.” Call it what you want, it wasn’t fun and if I can help you avoid it by writing this post you’ll thank me later. Or maybe you won’t because you’ll never have to find out what happens when you eat too much of your friend’s edibles in Vegas.

I tell people all the time that I’ve known I wanted to be a writer since I was around 7 years old. That sounds absurd because let’s be honest, can seven year olds even write coherently? (No they cannot) I actually kept some of my embarrassing kitten covered “cat-lady-in-the-making” journals from first grade so that I can go back and read them. Granted, most of it looks and sounds like something I’d write while blackout drunk in current times. (AKA talking about my cat’s fluffy tail and being really really mean to boys I have a crush on.) I still remember my second grade teacher Mrs. Schwebach pulling me aside in class, intensely staring at me (a la Billy Madison) and telling me that I should never stop writing. She didn’t have to tell me that, I knew I never would.

When you love something so much and derive so much pleasure from it, you want to make it your career. I landed on writing for television because the stars aligned and my dream school (Boston University) offered a highly competitive program. Given my unhealthy obsession with Family Guy from age 12 onward I felt like it was a no-brainer. Writing for animated comedy, bam. Done deal.

I moved out to LA right after I graduated and busted my ass to try to get into a writers room. I got so close I could taste it on so many occasions but if it came down to me and one other person it would somehow always end up being the other person. It was hard not to take all of the rejection personally and keep putting myself out there through the highly uncomfortable interview process. But I did, and I desperately settled for job after job in the unscripted world. For those not in Entertainment, that means Reality TV. Yeah, I know, I shudder at the thought as well. 

I’d go to lectures and hear people I admire discuss what it took for them to succeed. Everyone’s path was different and so much of the journey depended on luck, chance and sacrifice. For many writers their work was their life, and that life was filled with uncertainty and emotional volatility. I identified with these people and I saw so many similarities in our personalities, I wanted so badly to be them. I remember sitting at a panel where Dan Harmon spoke and I drooled over every single word he said. He is still my idol and someone whose career I dreamed of replicating. 

I’m not sure when the doubt first started creeping in, but when it did I desperately tried to suppress it. I never doubted whether or not I was capable of handling the pressure, workload, and dedication it would take if I did get my chance. I just started to doubt if it was really what I wanted.

Over the course of my multiple job changes, I formed a mental list of what I wanted in my ideal job. The list formed as follows:

  • A degree of work/life balance
  • Stability
  • Livable income
  • At a large company with protection for employees
  • Potential for upward mobility
  • Identifiable and healthy culture (not necessarily healthy-living based, but one I can get behind)
  • Respectful bosses and coworkers

This list seems a bit basic, and when I shared it with some friends from home they actually laughed at me.

Well if you’re in the Entertainment Industry you might find yourself reading the list and unable to check off a single one of those items. I know I have worked at multiple companies where none of those things were present. It’s easy to fall into jobs like that because they have a high turnover rate because, shocker: no one wants them.

Bottom line, I wanted to stop hating my job. I wanted to feel like there were opportunities for me that weren’t based on luck. I wanted to stop leaving the office counting down the days until I could finally get the job I wanted. I wanted to find a job where I could actually push myself and challenge myself until I earned the next job in line. While this is entirely possible in Entertainment, it wasn’t lining up for me and the companies I landed at.

It’s still too soon for me to say whether my new career path will work out, but I feel immensely better every day when I come into this office. I feel like I have a shot, and like I can work my ass off and feel good about what I produce. I look around and see people who are happy to be here and who are talented at what they do. I am part of a culture that makes me feel proud, rather than ashamed.

It was hard as hell admitting that I was wrong. But when I finally accepted it and moved forward, some other major things fell into place. (I finally figured out how to carve my own Costco rotisserie chicken without help!) 2016 was a piece of shit year for a lot of reasons, and who’s to say 2017 won’t also blow up massively in my face? As dumb as it sounds, I find that I have a renewed purpose in my life. I am motivated more than I ever have been before. I am beginning to feel like MAYBE, just maybe, I can sort my shit out.

So if you’ve read this far, all I’m saying to you is not to be too proud to admit when you’re wrong. Especially when the desire to be “right” is making you miserable. It’s not worth it. You deserve to be happy, you deserve to feel fulfilled. It’s easy to get comfortable in something you know isn’t right for you because it’s… easy. You’re really fucking good at something and the right company will offer you a chance to prove that to them. Go find that company.

As for writing… I’ll never stop writing. Duh, I have this stupid website. Also, there are a million different jobs that need good writers. I’ll land on my feet, probably. And if I don’t, I’ll sell my soul to Donald Trump.

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