Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Romance: A Dictionary

Schistosoma mansoni worms, the most romantic of all parasites. These worms cause schistosomiasis, otherwise known as "snail fever." According to the Carter Center, snail fever is "second only to malaria as the most devastating parasitic disease in tropical countries." Male and female schistosoma mansoni worms mate for life, causing the production and release of hundreds of eggs that lodge into the host's organs. Like any other romantic encounter, theirs is followed by swelling and an enlarged belly. Sometimes you get lucky and bleed profusely from your urethra. It's like watching The Notebook. [Photo credit: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences]

It's difficult to witness the commercial spectacle of Valentine's Day and not turn one's thoughts towards the subject of love, especially if, like me, you carve out a solitary existence within the shadows of others' affection. The common lament of the perpetually single is that we want to find someone to love us, so I gave it the best shot I could. In one year, I went on 21 first dates. I can't say for sure if it's harder to believe you are unloveable or to have it confirmed for you on a weekly basis by the only single women within 50 miles of you who will begrudgingly accept your invitation for coffee, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's the latter.

However, it was not all for naught! In addition to a large credit card balance, I also produced this very short dictionary of romance that documents the wisdom that I went so far into debt to obtain:

af – fec – tion. n. Costs about $100 at a strip club but $15 in some alleys.

court – ship. n.

  1. The process of wooing someone with a view towards a long-term commitment, usually marriage.
  2. The process that a woman initiates in order to woo me away from my thoughts of a romantic connection, towards a long- term commitment to friendship, unrequited affection, and most significantly, no touching, except for those unsatisfying friend-hugs a woman gives you when she wants to make sure you understand that there will be no other touching and certainly no touching when either one of you is in even the most insignificant state of undress, e.g. missing a sandal or not wearing a watch that day.

dat – ing. n. A series of events with two possible outcomes. The first: she decides that she doesn’t enjoy my company. In these cases, I never see her again. The second: she decides that she does enjoy my company. In these cases, I never see her again, because how long could that possibly last? I don't know how or why it happened in the first place and I strongly doubt I could make it happen again.

love. n.

  1. What naïve people claim everyone is entitled to, regardless of their appearance, age, or character.
  2. An exchange of sex for security between two young, attractive, financially secure people.
  3. An exchange of credit card information for virtual affection between me and CCBill, typically on a monthly basis.

third date. n. An asymptotic boundary which my romantic relationships approach but never touch.

un – date – a – ble. adj.

  1. How to tell a guy that it’s not him, it’s you, before you’ve been out on an actual date.
  2. An evolutionary change undergone by well-adapted females upon hearing I was dating again.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

What's old is new again

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Mobile Support

Just a quick note to those of you out there who actually read my blog: I've updated the template for the blog so that it supports reading on mobile devices. There isn't much I can do to adjust it through Blogger but let me know if it isn't working.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Death Be Not Proud

It's very upsetting when you realize that there are no more of those little melon balls wrapped with prosciutto. [Photo credit: Alaina Abplanalp Photography]

When I go places, sometimes I worry that I'm going to die.

Not die in the abstract “someday we’re all going to die,” but in the concrete oh my god I think I am about to die right here in this buffet line.

And when I have these thoughts I get very anxious, because buffet lines are awkward places to die in. You have to worry about falling into the food which will make everyone upset because they kinda maybe wanted to try some of that and then come back later to get more if they liked it but who’s kidding who even if it’s not very good you can eat an unlimited quantity of it so you’ll eat it anyway even if it’s only okay.

And then if you manage to miss the food with your corpse you’re still on the floor and then people have to step over you or around you and you know this will mean restricted access to the omelette bar or the carving station or the chocolate fountain or whatever part of the buffet was the part that people actually came for. You ate all that other food to make the caterers feel good about themselves.

So now the line’s backed up while the janitor tries to roll your body under a table until the paramedics can get there, which is only going to make the situation worse. Pretty soon, one person dying in the middle of a buffet becomes this whole big thing. It’s at this point that I think about how frustrated people are going to be and how they’ll complain later about the guy who had the indecency to drop dead just as they were about to get seconds on the roast beef.

It’s almost enough to make you not want to leave the house. Or hide under a blanket with a tissue. In black and white. As a woman.

So when I’m in public thinking that I’m about to die, I feel tremendous pressure to just hurry up and get home so that I can die someplace out of everyone's way because lord knows I don't want to be that guy who ruined a perfectly good outing with his untimely death.

(Incidentally, the last time I had thoughts like this, I was in spin class. Spin class is designed to make you feel like your death is imminent. If not from the intensity of the workout, then from the feeling of the bike seat, which I liken to receiving a prostate exam from an Audi.)

(Also, none of this is true. I have long wanted to be exactly that guy who ruins a perfectly good outing for lots and lots of people with my untimely death. Since I'm a writing teacher, dying in public may be the only thing people remember me for.)