Wednesday, February 21, 2007

On The Phone

I have recently been experiencing a very peculiar phenomenon.

We all know that some people (most people?) behave very differently depending on whether they are on a one-on-one basis or part of a larger crowd. Of course, this is usually a very childish trait, and most intelligent, balanced adults at least try to be consistent in that regard. (I know, this whole paragraph does not make any sense. Forgive me.)

Well, I think I have just discovered a new kind of behavior. And it's big. Have you ever met someone who would be absolutely adorable whenever you spend some time with them, but who could become an absolute bitch/prick on the phone?

I'm not kidding. God knows I'm not kidding. I've been dating a girl, and it's been amazing. Really. She's fresh, she's pretty, she's smart, she's witty. Every minute spent with her is an endless source of happiness. Having met her through mutual friends, I actually never had to call her on the phone until last week. At this point, I guess I have to clarify a little bit: I hate cell phones so much, I don't even have one anymore. So I don't like to use the phone, be it my home phone or some friend's cell phone.

I called her last week to arrange a meeting. A meeting with my best friend and her best friend. I guess everybody knows about the specific stage of a relationship when each party's best friend comes into play. It's the stage where you try to assess whether your worlds are compatible. If they are, you can peacefully move on to the next step. But if they're not, it's the George Costanza situation. You have to make sure your relationship never collides with your normal life. That can be very, very perilous.

But this is not the point here. Here is the point: she was an absolute bitch on the phone! Not even the same voice! I mean, of course it was the same voice. That was her talking. But you know, it was like the evil her talking, saying stuff like "I don't know if we're gonna be able to make it tonight," or like "OK I don't know. Let me call you back." I totally agree in advance: you could also say those things in a very gentle way. Believe me, she wasn't being gentle.

I really thought I had done something wrong. Guys do the wrong thing all the time, and they don't realize they even did something. Especially me. So we met. And then my lovely date was here again. Just as pleasant as before. We had a great time. And yes, the best friends like each other. I could even feel some attraction between them, but my best friend isn't single anymore.

So I forgot about the phone episode... Until last night. I had to call to set up a new meeting, this time with more best friends on each side. I have to tell you, I was being very, very cautious and careful, and slow with this one, because she seemed like a very nice person, and also because it's the best way to handle a JAP, and it would make my mom sooooo happy. Anyways. On the phone again last night, the angry bitch from hell was back!

I couldn't handle it this time. I had to ask. So I asked. My question (something like, "Why are you being such a bitch on the phone," but maybe it wasn't that straightforward, but the substance was the same) was met with very little empathy. She didn't scream, but by now I know, she's not a screamer. She hung up.

I haven't called back... yet. Should I? And, more importantly, why does she have to be a bitch on the phone?

Friday, February 9, 2007

Need Intel.

I know it's been a long time -- I mean, three weeks in blogger years is probably close to a couple of centuries in the real world. In any event, I am back with a hot (albeit not very original) dilemma.

So here's what's going on. Imagine you'd been living a different, separate life for, say, the past three years. Now, imagine that, after three years, you kinda came back to your former life for a little while. In that former life you had many friends, whom you still like a lot, and you also had a girlfriend, whom you still like a lot too, even though you wouldn't call it love. So she became a friend.

Imagine, further, that the girlfriend were now dating one of those friends you like a lot -- or, more specifically, a friend of one of those. Someone you had always known because he was always around, even though you were never best friends at all. This is not the core of the problem, though: there was a breakup, and it wasn't contentious, and she did not start dating him right after the breakup.

As a matter of fact, imagine you even happened to think those two make a very nice couple. If you had to be pretentious, you'd say he's the second best thing that could have happened to her. But if you had to be honest, you'd admit they're just a great couple.

(Let's clarify, here: imagine those two had been dating for almost two years, and you knew all about it, so it didn't come as a surprise when you stepped back into your former life.)

Where's the trouble, you ask? I'll tell you where's the trouble. Imagine that although you were totally OK with the idea and all, she gave every sign that she isn't. Imagine she was extremely flirtatious with you, even more than she had ever been when you were dating. Imagine she even did it when her boyfriend was around. Imagine the guy now hated you because he thought you were the one trying to steal his girl. Furthermore, imagine you were convinced, for many reasons, that she still loves you.

I like to think of myself as a very scrupulous and ethical person. Really. So at the end of the day, the whole thing just makes me sick. I very sincerely resent her for doing this to me, to her boyfriend and, ultimately, to herself. But let's face it: I won't be able to resist the temptation much longer.

There are three alternatives, as far as I can see:

1. Write her off, very slowly so she can't fight it, and just forget about the whole situation and go on with my great, exciting life;
2. Stop resisting, and just do whatever the hell I'm supposed to do here, and then just deal with it to the best of my hypocritical ability;
3. Apply one of my favorite recipes: "There is no problem so complex that it cannot be solved through inaction."

Being scrupulous and ethical, I am not usually a very courageous person, so I don't think I'll go with option number one. As a result, the issue is: which is the easier, number two or number three?

Friday, January 19, 2007

(Almost) Defending the JAP

It's funny that I wanted to blog about Jewish American Princesses, because I just spent an evening with a bunch of total non-JAPs from Texas. Now my position on this issue is all the more radical.

Rednecks in disguise. No offense to the fine state of Texas, but those girls made me miss the good ole' JAPs from the Upper East Side, and even the ones from NJ or freakin' Connecticut.

JAPs are obnoxious and hardly tolerable, granted. But at least they don't hush you when you try to speak and they want to hear somebody else. After being hushed by one of those specimens, I had a very clear choice: fight her on the spot and just leave, or become totally disinterested in the situation, and in them as living creatures. I was with a couple of good friends, so I decided to take it on the chin and just check my e-mail until they were done.

It may not occur to most men, but most JAPs actually have manners.

"Snake it, take it, panther princess you must stay."
That is because manners are actually part of your education, and most JAPs are indeed educated. But those girls... God, I could have killed them.

Of course, it is highly probable that I would have had a terrible time with a group of JAPs as well. But at least I wouldn't have felt humiliated by a bunch of morons who don't understand why an avenue block is longer than a street block in Manhattan.

Maybe we've got the JAPs in New York, but:

1. If you can't stand them, just stay away from them --that's what I do;
2. Call me a snob, but I wouldn't trade a thousand JAPs for any one of those girls I just had a terrible time with.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Collaborative Blogging

I've been very busy in real life this week, and it's probably going to be the case until Monday, so I can't structure my wild neurotic imaginings as gently as I usually aspire to.

So I'm just going to give you the subjects I've been considering, and I would seriously appreciate it if you could turn them into draft posts for me. I will then edit them, publish them under my name and take full credit for them.

Thank you in advance,

P.S.: List of subjects:
- Defending the Jewish American Princess;
- Friendship between heterosexual men and women;
- Intolerably crappy amateur stand-up comedians;
- Adam Sandler's Click;
- Tired of hearing "Williamsburg is the new SoHo";
- Stomachache.

P.P.S.: Don't even try to steal those subjects from me.

Monday, January 15, 2007


I was discussing a serious matter with my roommate the other day. We were in disagreement at first, but she quickly surrendered. Now I won’t bore you to death with our small-time domestic issues, but on this very instance it was pretty clear that I was right. Still, she felt the need to minimize her defeat by calling me a manipulator. She said I constantly manipulated her, but that it was OK.

My first reaction was one of surprise, followed by a perfect sophism: “If I really manipulated you, I said, you wouldn’t notice it, by definition. So you can’t admit that I was right and at the same time make the argument that I’m manipulating you.” She’s not exceedingly bright, and most of all doesn’t like to think when it requires some effort, so she dropped the charges on this one: “Let’s order Thai.”

This is not the first time it happens (we’ve ordered Thai before, but I am referring to my roommate calling me a manipulator). Being a fully-licensed introspective procrastinator, I had to further investigate. Am I a manipulator? Is it possible to be one even though you’re not aware of it? I guess that would make you the worst kind of manipulator: the neurotic compulsive manipulator. In other words, the manipulator from hell.

If I take a serious, objective look at my roommate track record, I have to admit I’ve been pretty lucky so far. Of course, the fact that I’ve always refused to have a male roommate certainly helps. I can only share an apartment with women. When you live with a man - or worse, many men - there usually comes a time when he thinks he can just pretend you’re not here, and then even the best friend you ever had becomes an absolute monster and a full-fledged domestic dictator. He will call it comfort, but this is simply unacceptable.

Conversely, if your roommate is from the opposite sex, you can feel as comfortable as you want in his or her company, but you’ll never let loose so badly. Shame is the beginning of civilization. So women only.

Still this bright policy cannot account for everything. My current roommate cooks for me, does my bed (yes, I swear), and even occasionally cleans my room. The girl I was living with before that used to take care of my laundry. She even shaved my beard once (I was out of blades, so she cleaned her own shaver and lent it to me, but I didn’t know how to use it). And the one before that used to make sure I was wearing a scarf during the winter time. Of course, I never asked for such favors. To the best of my self-knowledge, I never even wished for them.

So basically I have no idea what’s going on, but it does seems that the women I live with like to take care of me. Maybe something in my deeply damaged personality awakes their maternal instincts, or maybe all women do those things when you live with them and I naively think I’m the only man benefiting from it.

The worst thing is, if you return the favor too often, you may start a vicious circle of attentions and treats that will eventually tear your relationship apart or worse, entice you into sleeping together.

Or maybe I am indeed the manipulator from hell.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Aftermath: Cold Sweats

This is just unbelievable.

I was already very pleased with not having had any sex on the Ferris Bueller night, as I took the time to explain yesterday. Turns out there’s more to it. I think the shitty DVD player virtually saved my life!

Seriously. I was procrastinating pretty late last night (which is what insomniacs usually do) and chatting with the amazing Sabrina_C (which is what righteous bloggers usually do), when I took a look at one of the three condoms I had purchased for the occasion on Thursday night.
Having nothing better to do between two witty replies from Sabrina, I auscultated the packaging in detail. And here is what it reads:

“This product is intended to help prevent pregnancy. It does not protect against HIV infection (AIDS) and other sexually transmitted diseases. In order to help reduce the risk of transmission of many STDs, including HIV infection (AIDS), use a latex condom.”

Can you believe this? What the f*** is going on here? Who would design and sell a condom that doesn’t protect against STDs? It’s like selling an umbrella that doesn’t protect against downpours, only showers! Who are these people?

The name of the brand is Naturalamb. It is distributed by Church & Dwight Co., Inc., in New Jersey.

DO NOT BUY THOSE CONDOMS. They sit on the condom aisle at Duane Reade, along with the other brands, without any warning of any kind. The box says they feel great, and they’re even a bit more expensive than the others, so you’re actually paying a premium for a chance to catch a nasty STD! How fucked-up is that?

And if this merely aims at avoiding litigation, why would you scare the shit out of people like that?

OK, let the anger come back down. Breathe in, breathe out. There’s a minimal chance she had AIDS alright, but still… I could have caught a minor, pain-in-the-ass disease! Those condoms should be prohibited from sale.

In any event, I’m so glad I didn’t get laid!

I Win

I knew it! It was her DVD player, not the disc!

So tonight I watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on my beloved BlackBook. I don’t know how or why, but I had to wait for more than 20 years to see this classic. Seriously, I enjoyed it so much, I wound up thinking, you know, it’s a good thing I didn’t get laid last night.

Two questions arise.

Number one: what would have happened if we had been able to watch the whole movie yesterday night? Well, two possibilities here.

- Maybe it wouldn’t have disturbed my master plan, and we would have had sex like animals on her couch. Don’t blame me, but I liked this movie so much, I honestly think it would have been a waste to have sex instead of watching it.

- Which leads me to the second possibility: in any event, I would have liked it to the same extent last night, and it would have captivated me to the point where I would totally have forgotten about the original master plan.

See? That’s the first reason why it’s a good thing I didn’t get laid.

Number two now: whose master plan was really at work, mine or hers? I mean, now that it’s clear that the fault was on her DVD player, not my disc (I hate myself for having doubted Netflix), the thought crossed my mind: maybe that was just the way she operates.

She’s got it all covered, you see: “Why go out and have drink? Just come over, let’s watch a movie!” So you get there, and bam! No movie! Now that I mention it, I do remember her saying: “Oh, maybe it’s the machine…”

The conclusion is absolutely unavoidable. She knew. From the start. Again, two possibilities:

- She is a psychotic. She likes to have men come over to her apartment thinking they’re going to get laid, and leave completely puzzled and insecure about their most elementary power of seduction.

- I am a neurotic. I was relying so heavily on my so-called master plan that the very trick that was supposed to get me laid -- the damaged DVD player -- actually made me fail.

Consequently, conclusion of the conclusion: she’s either deeply troubled as a psychotic, or deeply troubled by the failing of her own master plan.

Bottom line: I win.