Monthly Archives: November 2013

My Second Column Is Published!

Sometimes, instead of ranting here, I’ll be ranting on Gasm.org. You can see my latest article here:
The Too Young to be Old Conundrum

GOD DAMN IT! Another rant…

Argh. I’ve been super cranky and out of sorts lately. The fact that there are guys working RIGHT OUTSIDE MY WINDOW right now, like the one SAWING into the brick beneath my window mere FEET from my face doesn’t help. Neither does his singing. I mean, I’m glad he’s enjoying his job but he’s driving me crazy. The scaffolding they’re on has been there since the summer. Possibly before. I’m over it. The additional disturbance of the construction project that has started in the school yard right outside my BEDROOM window also has me on edge. Since it’s, you know, a school yard, they do their work during off hours. Like jackhammering at 9am on a Saturday. Or clanking around after dark. Ugh. That work is scheduled to go on for three years. THREE YEARS. I may lose my mind.

My general disgust with the human race has been exacerbated by the current “controversy” over Rubulad’s theme for next weekend. There’s even an article about it on Jezebel, muckracking for the millenials. Before Halloween this year, a bunch of youngsters made posters protesting the use of their “culture” as a costume. Never mind that anyone who’s been in America since they were born has, more or less, lost their “culture.” It’s just political correctness gone rampant. If I wear green on St. Patrick’s Day, am I ridiculing the Irish? Can I respectfully wear a garland of flowers in my hair and traditional Mexican/Scandinavian/Polynesian garb? Yes, plenty of people wear flowers in their hair. I’ve worn a dirndl. Is that okay? And is it okay only because the culture I’m co-opting is white? More or less okay if it’s actually MY culture? If we were to extrapolate this shit, no one would ever be able to dress as anything. Ever. I call bullshit. But people are outraged. OUTRAGED. Imagine anyone who isn’t of Asian descent putting chopsticks in their hair. Qu’el horreur! What about a fair isle sweater? Is that cool? Or do I need to be from a fucking fair isle? I suppose blue jeans are only okay for blue collar workers. EVERYTHING in this country was co-opted from someone. Including the fucking country. Deal with it. And preferably move forward.

Okay, enough about that shit. My other latest obsession is, no surprise, OKCupid. Since they were bought by Match.com the quality of the men on there has declined significantly. Not that there was a whole lotta quality to start with. Now, instead of a high percentage of quirky, cool-ish singles, I’m confronted by profile after profile of “God fearing” guys. “Easy going” and “laid back” men in search of their “soul mate” or “the one.” Listing God as one of the six things you can’t live without isn’t gonna work for me. And when I let these guys know that I’m not a God person, they seem baffled. Is the site now connected to Christian Mingle as well? Holy crap!

And while I’m on a tear, here’s a list of my top 10 deal-breakers. I know some of these are repeat complaints but I can’t help myself!
1. Photos of your motorcycle. Ditto on your sports car. I don’t give a shit how you get around town. And your mid-life crisis-mobile is embarrassing.
2. Photos of your kids. Let me get to know your offspring once I’ve gotten to know you, m’kay? Worse? A photo of you with your kids with their faces all blurred out. Creepy. Which leads me to…
3. Photos of you with someone blurred, blocked, scrawled over or cut out. Don’t post pix that are evidence of previous failures. Just don’t.
4. Photos of you in the bathroom. I don’t want to see your toilet. Blech.
5. Repeat pix. If you only have one photo, sure, that’s weak and perhaps you should get a few more. But posting the same photo four times doesn’t help much.
6. Nothin’ but selfies. Dude. Don’t you have ANY friends? Sure, one selfie. Six? No. No no no.
7. Lists of all the horrible qualities you don’t want. Nobody wants drama or baggage or anything else awful. But you’re over 40 and alone. So how about being a little more positive? Instead of proving to potential dates precisely why you’re still single. Ditto on divulging all the details on your divorce. That’s for, like, date #10. Or maybe #20.
8. Maybe take a few minutes to fill out the profile? No need to write a novel but more than a dozen words might give all us strangers just a tiny idea of who you are, what you’re looking for, what you enjoy, something? Anything? However, you can refrain from calling yourself “handsome,” “good looking” or “attractive.” I’ll be the judge of that, thankyouverymuch.
9. It’s pointless, I know, but PROOFREAD YOUR FUCKING PROFILE. Oh. And don’t use ALL CAPS. Ask a friend, “Are the commas in the right place?” DO YOU EVEN CARE? I suppose not… And lastly
10. No photo/photos of scenery/blurry photos/misleading photos/photos of you when you were 25. What the motherfuck? If we’re gonna meet in person, it will be immediately apparent that you’re bald. Or fat. Or not 6’2″. Or FUCKING 25! Just show your face. It’s not rocket science.

Fashion vs. Style: A Rant

[Okay, this post is gonna be a little out of character. A rant, yes, which is in character, but I feel compelled to write about fashion — on non-fashion. Mostly I’m avoiding posting a miserable rant about a bunch of personal shit that I’m processing. So…this. Until…that.]

I love thrift shops: Buffalo Exchange, Beacon’s Closet, or any of the fun stores on Haight Street in San Francisco. The fact that there aren’t two of the same things is one reason. Price, obviously, is another. But the idea that I’m not being subjected to the whims of an industry that only exists to keep us madly, mindlessly buying new shit is the main reason. However, even though there isn’t someone dictating what will and won’t be available — the “buyer” for department stores and the like — doesn’t mean that decisions aren’t being made. And that makes me mad. Because along with purchasing in these places, there’s selling. And I’d like to sell. But every time I take clothing in, I get turned away. “This isn’t in style,” the snotty 20-something says to me. “No one’s wearing these anymore,” the gay FIT student sniffs. Well isn’t that the point?

I’m sure what they’re thinking is, “This old broad couldn’t possibly own anything fashionable.” Which is, in fact, true. Because I don’t believe in fashion. I hate it. I refuse to even open a fashion magazine because they’re designed to make you feel like you’re not enough: not rich enough, young enough, thin enough, FASHIONABLE enough. They depress the hell out of me. It’s all such a scam. The fashion industry wants you to BUY BUY BUY! THIS season’s colors! THIS season’s handbags! THIS season’s skirt length or sleeve poof or fucking eyeshadow shade. It’s arbitrary, dreamt up CRAP!

The whole purpose of shopping at a thrift store — or second-hand store, or consignment store or any OTHER store that isn’t selling you brand new clothing Fashion Avenue is trying to sell you — is that you aren’t buying fashion. You’re buying style. A store opened up downstairs from me. They have a huge poster in their window: “Fashion is forever.” No, fashion is fleeting. STYLE is forever. What was in fashion last year is now, well, last year. You’re supposed to feel out of fashion, toss that shit in the trash and buy this year’s whateverthefuck. Or give it away. So that it winds up at Goodwill, where “vintage” clothing store people shop, buy and resell to you at a marked up price! 

So back to these damn re-sale shops. Since I don’t have a lot of money, they are my main resource for “new” clothes. Though even if I won the lottery, I’d still shop in them because I enjoy the hunt. I love finding some random, incredible piece. I’m not looking for a skirt length or “line” (read: shape) because I’m not even aware of what line I should be looking for. I’m just browsing for something that strikes my fancy. Something unusual. Something ME!

Once upon a time when you went shopping all you could BUY was what was in fashion. If the line didn’t look good on you, too bad. You were stuck with skinny jeans or pencil skirts. And don’t even get me started on sizes. If you weren’t a size 12 you were stuck in the mumu department. When thrift stores became “fashionable” that changed the whole dynamic. Everything was in fashion. Anything was cool to wear. Peasant skirts your thing? Groovy! Here’s a dozen! Striving to look like a 50’s housewife? Not just poofy dresses with crinolines to wear underneath but aprons! Who even wears aprons anymore? Beaded cardigans? Here ya go. Of course, now you can buy brand new beaded cardigans but in 1979, the only ones available were from the 50s. In thrift stores.

Women too young to remember the days before don’t know how lucky they are to shop for shoes and have, literally, hundreds of choices. Flats, wedges, platforms, point toes, Mary Janes, all of it. Pants come with and without pleats, boyfriend cut and boot cut and skinny tight. Hip-hugger or high-waisted. Stretchy and spandex and magical fabrics that weren’t even around in the 70s. There are so many choices that you can actually have a style all your very own.

Image Image

Which leads me back to, how can anyone in these stores say, “We aren’t buying that. It’s not in fashion.”? I was sent away with a pair of sequined “hostess” pants. It was around Thanksgiving. Hostess pants are flowy pants that women once wore to “hostess” in. They’re sold every holiday season to, yes, hostess in! They aren’t ever out of fashion because they’re perpetually in fashion. The fact that they were sequined makes them even more desirable. And that they’re long on me — probably about a 36″ inseam — would make them exponentially more desirable in fucking CHELSEA where drag queens might be more inclined to shop. Which was where I was turned away. Sheesh! I almost guffawed in the idiot’s face. But there’s no arguing with someone who’s no doubt sketching the next decade’s “fashion” in his Design Illustration class at FIT. Which will only be a recycling of shit I’ve already worn anyway. (See current styles. WHO would’ve imagined we’d be wearing shoulder pads again? Hammer pants? Holy shit! What next? Hostess pants?!)

A strict eye on what’s au courant makes more sense in the structured consignment shops like Knimble or the off-shoots of Goodwill like Georgi & Willow or GW, both higher end, more curated “boutiques,” where part of what they’re selling is the fashionable shopping experience. But in a place that prides itself on “different” why would they want their stock to be so “same?” An establishment touting itself as selling “vintage” shouldn’t be concerned about what’s in — or out — of fashion. If I want what’s current I can shop at Old Navy. And buy a new t-shirt for less than the pit-stained one in the thrift shop! 

The children who are working in these stores love to dismiss things they deem as “not in fashion.” I’ve had them say the most condescending things to me. So I decided to get specific. I recently asked a guy, “Why aren’t you interested in this [skirt]? Everyone loves this label.” (A label, by the way, that I’d bought in a tiny Brooklyn market stall long before the label became a crazy national brand.} “They do,” he replied, “but this line isn’t in style,” ARGH! EXACTLY! If it WERE you could go into any fucking store and buy it! THIS skirt is for people who don’t like — or look good in — what’s currently “fashionable!” Oy. I guess I’m destined to only buy at these stores and not sell. Email me if you’d like an awesome pair of sequined hostess pants…

New Moon on Monday

As of tomorrow I will have been home for three weeks. It’s been exhausting and action packed! I’ve been brunching and dinnering and partying and working and generally trying to keep myself busy.

Today I had my first paid article in ages “published” on a web site! My friend Jamye got me the gig. It’s supposed to become a recurring column and I’m hoping I didn’t screw it up by completely freaking out when I saw the image they’d run with the piece. The title is “Aging Gracelessly” and this is what they chose:

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Uh, yeah. No. Nothing about my first person musings relate to this particular scenario. Nor am I interested in making fun of old women. I mean, I can make fun of myself. (You’d better not, but I can!) I’m not trying to be cruel to my, ummm, peers. They changed it, thank goodness. Go read it and see!

Anyway, back to my insanity. I celebrated Halloween a full seven times: The Haunted Halloween Bus in New Jersey, working the door at Honk, an oddball costume party at Coworkrs work share space (with DJ Spooky and a bunch of Orthodox Jews), the Nobot Heart party (in protest of the overpriced Robot Heart rave), working the door at Rubulad, Burning Man Happy Hour (where Pinky and I shared second place in the costume contest before we lost our prize at Dorian Gray) and Halloween itself, which featured a mad dash through the parade to catch up with the Kostume Kult float, followed by a stressful taxi ride to the Gene Frankel Theatre to emcee Ghostlight 2: The Haunted East Village, and finally, after taking down the decor at the theatre, catching the final few hours of KK’s big bash. By the time I went to bed Friday morning I was done! And didn’t even leave the house all day Friday. Check out Pinky and me in our gray scale ensembles!

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It only took us a year to finally realize these costumes! 

I’ve been making the tiniest bit of progress in cleaning out my storage space in an effort to return it to a functional costume closet. I brought up three boxes of…stuff…and unpacking them has been pretty damn depressing. Framed photos of my former life (my dad, standing, my husband, my cousin and her husband, my sister and her husband, all three of which are no longer husbands), more and more of the art nouveau boxes I collect — more and more all kinds of boxes, actually — which I’ve been cramming into my display case. I have plans to paint my walls. I want to hang the photos that don’t make me sad and all of the art that’s currently sitting on the floor. Moving back into my apartment has been a four-year-long process. I wish it could all just be finished already!

Oh, and I had another date tonight. It wasn’t…horrible. He was very aggressive about “booking” the date, even though I told him I was “skeptical.” Well, dinner was nice. He bought. But he’s a banker. A Republican. And 60. And he wore baggy khakis. Ack. When he said he’d like to see me again I told him it would be like taking money (or eating another dinner) under false pretenses. I did my best to talk him out of it, asking when he last stayed up all night on drugs or umm, partied at all. He told me that he was at Woodstock, which I’m guessing was to assure me he was, indeed, “cool.” I said I wasn’t talking about things he was interested in doing 30-plus years ago but, like, last weekend. He would not be dissuaded. In fact he practically insisted. Quite the salesman. However, I think I may have to tell him no. Is that awful of me? I mean, let’s be serious. A 60-yeard-old Republican banker? I just can’t. Not even for a free meal.

Okay, I gotta get some sleep.

Separating the Wheat from the…Bots

Sooooo, yeah. I’m back on OKCupid. Even though I swore I would NEVER do the online dating thing again.

I’ve gone on one date so far and have three — THREE! — lined up for this week. On the one hand, it’s like Lotto: Ya gotta be in it to win it. On the other hand, I feel compelled (obviously) to be proactive. I know from reading too many inane Facebook posts that “It’s ALL about intention!” And on the third hand, it’s really a peculiar sort of masochism; I’m sort of forcing myself to go on these dates. For example, my date tomorrow is dinner with a 56-year-old banker — A BANKER! — who looks more like 66 and prides himself on being “erudite.” His initial salvo included this: “Shall we see if we can make magic together, or at least get into some serious trouble?” I imagine “serious trouble” for this guy means a second martini, not sitting in a hot spring with 75 naked ne’er-do-wells on acid. But I’m forging on, common sense be damned!

In order to even reach the desired result of an actual in-the-flesh encounter, it’s necessary to wade through the bullshit. Come-ons from guys who’ll never leave the comfort of their couches. Flirtations from kids — KIDS! — who aren’t even old enough to drink. Or shave. Seriously? Then there are the bots. I’ve complained about them before and can’t believe these sites haven’t yet found a way to intercept them. Check out the eerie similarity between many of these messages.

Just went through your profile here and it really caught my attention that i can’t leave without saying hi. You are a very pretty woman with a charming look. I would like to learn more about you and be your good friend. Please get back to me here if you don’t mind. Have a sweet night rest! 
Donald…

When I pointed out to “Donald” that he was a little far away to date (Tennessee), he responded, I don’t want you to be bothered about the distance between us, the most important thing is understanding and the feelings we both share together. I think distance should not be a barrier when it comes to love and affection. I believe i can get my soul mate in any part of the world and i am open to relocate to wherever she lives. Please give me the chance to learn more about you.

Good morning my Dear, 
How are you doing today…I hope you are doing okay with your family

I let this guy know that I was not, in fact, with my family. (Do men just assume that women involuntarily reproduce? As if out of sheer habit?) When I said it wasn’t really worth communicating since he lives so far away (California), he replied, I really dont care about Distance becos i do travel alot .. Well, I really don’t care to date you “becos” you can’t fucking spell!

Hello , How are you today…??? Your profile was interesting. You sound very sincere and special. If possible, I would love to get to know you. I decided to join confirio because of the loneliness time I experience last year until now; I pray things work out… More about me I am single never married, with a son, an civil engineering … I am the only child of my parent, mentally stable, physically fit, a bunch of laughs, warm, caring, honest, good listening, God Fearing, and a positive person. I am real easy person to talk to and a good listener. I enjoy chilling with my love once, I like going to the cinema or watching movies in my room, I like swimming, fishing, listening to music and dance to any kind of music, traveling, going bowling and also a good cook, I can make crepes, pasta, Italian, and anything from scrape and my favorite are chips with chicken, shrimp, crab and rice. I am a family oriented person and there is more, but it would be better for you to find some things out for yourself..

I let this guy know that anyone who included “God fearing” in his description of himself might not be the best match for me. And what the hell is “Confirio?” I’m assuming that’s some other dating site that sells its content to OKCupid (which is also Match.com). Though he does cook rice!

Hello Good Evening!! and how are you doing?I am new on here and also new to this online stuff.I would like to know more about you.Your smile is heart warming.Hope to hear from you soon.I am an open book and i am willing to answer honestly..Hope to hear from you soon

Tell me that one doesn’t sound almost exactly like this one:

Hello, How are you doing today and how was your day and life doing?I am fascinated about your profile.I am new to this online stuff and i have been here just a couple of minutes.Your smile is heart warming that put a smile on my face.I would like to know more about you and have a chat as well.hope to hear from you soon and take care “Thank you for your note!” I replied. “You live a little too far away to meet me for coffee. Do you visit NYC often?” And he came back with some of the same weird shit: Ooh really, but am also looking for a long distance relationship if only i meet my true love no matter the distance i will relocate or visit her anytime she wants me… so if you would give me the chance or accept what am saying please i promise you that you wont regret it if i comes into your way okay… hoping to hear from you again soon That doesn’t even make sense!

Nice profile you got, i am interested in knowing more about you.. please take a look at my profile and drop me a note if interested. 
I responded: “Your profile is quite nice, also, but you’re kind of far away to meet up for coffee. Do you visit NYC often? Ever?”
If we find each other interesting and get along perfectly, i don’t see distance as an issue. I have a very flexible work schedule and i am open to possible relocation to where ever i find my perfect match. I sometime do visit NYC, tell me about yourself And again, I reply: “How will we know if we get along perfectly if we can’t meet each other? If you find yourself in NYC, let me know!”
 
Because, ya know, I like to be polite! Well, not always:
 
Hello
Hi!
I only wish u live in new jersey your to far
I only glad I live to far.
HAR HAR HAR!
 
This one’s my favorite, though:
ow [sic] are you faring? Are you haven a good weekend so far? Mine was awesome. Well, I actually stop and drop this message into your box because I find your profile very interesting. Can we start making some friendship then to learn from each other likes and dislikes? I am hopping to hear from you soon.
I had to ask: It isn’t the weekend anymore. Are you a real person or a bot? (And I’m flattered that you’re “hopping” to hear from me! Bwahahahah!)
nice to here from you,i am a real person why did you ask me that
 
Most of these men no longer have profiles. Almost all of them incorporate the words “get to know you better” (or “more”) in some variation and are mysteriously unable to grasp punctuation. Many admit to being “new to this site,” perhaps so women will be more forgiving? These illiterate auto-generated idiots give me the creeps. Their messages remind me of the spam promising you millions if you contact the King of Ghana (or wherever) or pleas for marriage from hot young babes in Russia.
 
Oh well, it’s merely an amusing distraction among the teenagers, playas and, hopefully, real live guys who are, sincerely, in search of a relationship. Or at least some entertaining company!