Black Girl in a Big Dress is also beginning her festival run next month at The International Black Film Festival in Nashville, and the Urban Mediamakers Film Festival in Atlanta!
For those who were there, this might sound familiar. For those who weren’t, this is a story I shared at The Moth a few weeks back. The theme of the night was “Small World”
I hate to admit it, but there was a time when I totally let a guy’s height influence whether or not I would date him.
So when I get an actual email with actual words in it, I get very excited. And this one guy’s email had actual words and actual phrases, so I was very excited.
I clicked on over to his profile for a quick “any signs of crazy” check. And for the most part, things looked good.
I looked at his main picture–a headshot. He was no Ryan Reynolds, but I am also not Ryan Reynolds, so that was okay. He had a job and was pretty articulate and a little funny, so hooray. I wrote him back.
He wrote me back that same night and his email actually made me laugh out loud, so I was extra excited! But before I was going to invest the next 7 minutes writing him an email, I decided I should spend another hour or so over-analyzing his profile and potentially talking myself out of a perfectly nice thing, as you do.
Back on his profile, there were some flags. He was a smoker. Not a deal breaker per se, but not ideal for me. He had a job, but he didn’t seem to have many big aspirations. I’m a very ambitious person, so I kinda want to date someone who gets that part of me. He was a little cynical, which is fine, but I’m prone to feeling needlessly upset about things, so I’m kinda looking for someone a little naturally more positive.
But then one sentence caught my eye.
“The box is correct. I am that short.”
The “box” is a list of personal bullet points–sign, religion, pets, kids, height. For his height, it said “4 feet.”
I clicked on the picture tab to see all of his shots. He was correct. Dude was a dwarf. He wasn’t just a “smaller guy” or “someone with a slight frame.” He probably had paperwork somewhere about his height. And as I looked at his pictures, one thought kept running through my head. I realized…I don’t know any dwarves. Ohmygod, I DON’T KNOW ANY DWARVES!!!
(remember the part about me feeling needlessly bad about things)
And I started to panic about why I didn’t know any dwarves. Was I accidentally racist…or whatever…about dwarves? All of my friends are totally regular-bodied. I don’t have any friends in wheelchairs or who are deaf. I’ve got a couple of Crohn’s sufferers, but only one of them is missing any of her intestines, and I think she’s only missing like an inch or so. I had no idea I was so close-minded!
I also started so see this guy’s profile in a whole new light.
Of COURSE he’s a smoker, OreoExperience. It’s probably been very stressful being a dwarf, I’d probably be a smoker, too! And so he’s a little unambitious. So what? You know what’s probably insanely difficult, OreoExperience? Getting the leverage necessary to do brain surgery on a rocket ship when you’re only 48 inches tall! Oh, and he’s a little cynical. Give the guy a break, OreoExperience, how do you think you’d feel about the world if every day someone probably asked you if you knew Peter g-damn Dinklage! As much as you hate to admit it, you’re a minority, too! You know what it’s like to be judged on how you look. Why don’t you give the guy a break and go out with him?!?!?
So I happily wrote him back and I started to fantasize about the beautiful, progressive relationship we’d have. How we’d become UN Ambassadors for love and change the world through our tiny, cafe au lait colored children.
But then I got his response. And it was a little much. Like three pages a little much. And rambly. And spent maybe too many words describing how often he gets distracted at work because he’s too busy constructing fantasy lives for all his clients instead of just listening to them.
So I didn’t write him back.
But not because he was short. But because he was crazy.
Which might make me a jerk. But at least I’m not racist…or whatever.
Okay, I promise that the following post was motivated by the arrival of Spring, the effect of doing my taxes and by this post at GOOD.is about clearing out useless cellphone contacts and not at all by the fact that I got dumped this week.
Here’s how everything led to the post below.
Spring – As soon as it’s time to switch out the winter wardrobe for fun dresses and shirts that require an architectural model to figure how to make a bra work with them, I also feel like I should clean out things besides my closet. I toss months of useless paperwork because it’s just taking up space and even though it only pings my brain in tiny, tiny ways, it might be best to not have that distraction at all.
Taxes – Going through old receipts is like creating a horrible timeline of the stupid decisions I made in the past year. Here’s the few hundred I spent flying across the country to see someone I *just* met. Here’s the ridiculous number of drinks I consumed at that work event. Here’s the extra tank of gas I spent trying to find a Downtown LA address because I refuse to just buy a GPS. Seeing them all enumerated and put into my accountant’s spreadsheet makes me think I should also see about adiosing the people who I let drive me to such decisions.
The post at GOOD.is – The writer did exactly what I’ve been thinking of and purged cell phone contacts that were no longer serving their purpose.
Getting dumped – Why would we even bring this up? Sure, I’ll delete that contact, but whatever! I was gonna delete a bunch of others anyway. So…yeah. No big deal. At all. Just coincidental timing.
So here we go!
Folks In My Phone I’m Deleting
- This whisky bar I sometimes go to. I never call it ever. No idea why I put this number in.
- This graphic designer I never worked with.
- This actor I directed in a play and haven’t spoken to since 2008.
- This guy I used to work with and I’m not even sure if he still lives in LA. Either way, neither of us work at the place where we met and haven’t spoken since 2009.
- This guy I used to improvise with and haven’t talked to since 2010. I think he has kids now.
- This girl I used to improvise with and haven’t talked to since 2009 when she stopped dating my friend.
- A director who let me play Cecily in The Importance of Being Earnest, but who I haven’t talked to since and I can’t even remember the name of the theater.
- This actress who’s got way too many TV credits for me to justify calling. Also, I’m pretty sure she has no idea who I am.
- This guy I used to work for in 2008 who invited me to a fancy party in Laguna Beach that was maybe the 2nd most intimidating party I’ve ever been to. We didn’t actually speak at that party and we haven’t spoken since.
- This girl who’s really good friends with the XH. Nothing against her, but not someone I wanna call on accident. Also she’s a kickass attorney, so I don’t wanna piss her off….though if you need a recommendation…
- This older guy at a church I used to go to… He got married at like 80 years old, which I thought was awesome. Honestly have no idea if he’s still with us.
- This guy who runs a bootcamp I used to take until I realized that I don’t do well at bootcamps.
- Some guy whose name I don’t recognize and doesn’t turn up in my Facebook friends. The name does match that of a famous athlete. But I don’t know any famous athletes.
- This woman who used to do my hair. Until she turned into a bitch and would make fun of my greys and secretly do things in the sink that she’d charge me for.
- My friend’s kid who I used to tutor, but is now in college. I don’t need to have an 18-year-old dude’s name in my phone.
- This older guy who used to hit on me, then issued the worst apology I’ve ever heard. This is how it went:
Him: Hey, I just wanted to apologize if I made you uncomfortable the other night.
Me: Thanks. I appreciate that.
Him: I mean, I know I’m too old for you, but you can’t blame me for trying, right?
Me: (uncomfortable) Hahaha, well….
Him: I mean, I get it and you’re totally right. We wouldn’t work as a couple.
Him: Not that I haven’t thought about how beautiful you are.
Me: What time is the last film starting?
Him: Not sure. I mean, you’re gorgeous. So it’s not like I’ve never imagined what it would be like, you know.
Me: I’m gonna go to the bathroom.
Him: I mean, if I had the chance, I would definitely show you a good time. A really good time…
- This kid who interned at a place I worked like three years ago.
- This place I worked like three years ago. The only job I’ve ever quit without another gig to go to.
- This couple who was friends of the XH and who I never really clicked with anyway.
- This girl I used to box with. I do have a few Philip K. Dick books of hers that I should return. But she lent them to me back in ’06 and I haven’t seen her since.
- Someone who appears to be an actor with whom I have a handful of mutual friends, but I don’t recognize.
- This guy who took me on a date to Denny’s then tried to get me to take him to my apartment.
- This actor who wouldn’t look me in the eye when we worked together.
- This actor who always smelled like cloves and leather and who was terribly toxic.
- This gymnast I used to date.
- This guy who I was in a play with and later he texted me a picture of his penis.
- This mechanic I loved but who I haven’t been to in years.
- This guy I knew from that job I quit.
- Some other guy who has the same name of an athlete and I don’t recognize either.
- Some girl from some play I was in.
- This church I don’t go to anymore.
- Some guy with one of the most generic names imaginable that it does no good to Google.
- Some guy who sounds like he’s a character in a play about the clash of cultures in 1912 New York tenement housing. No idea who he is.
- No idea who this girl is, though her name sounds like a character that might show up as one of the Sharks in West Side Story 2
- Same for this girl
- The XMIL. I did accidentally call her once and she got pissed.
- No idea who this woman is.
Holy shit, how am I only on the G’s!!!
- Some restaurant I like, but certainly never need to call.
- The XH’s old work number.
- This girl who invited me to hang with her on New Year’s Eve once and then was a total fucking bitch to me and literally pushed me out of the way any time a guy was talking to me and not to her.
- The number marked “home” that isn’t anymore.
- This couple I used to babysit for but haven’t talked to since 2007.
- Another actor from that play I was in back in the day.
- This guy who was friend with the XH. He introduced me to Nick Swardson and Nick Swardson kissed my hand that night. I probably owe him my first-born or something, but he can get in touch with me if he wants to cash in that debt.
- Janelle?? Janet??
- The guy who trained me at the worst job I’ve ever had.
- This woman who helped convince me to quit that job back in the day. She was my manager for a while. Then she disappeared. I think she’s in Africa somewhere.
- The pastor at this church I used to go to. He did my pre-marital counseling.
- This guy who after hiring me to write for him, tried to convince me to have an affair.
- This girl from this stupid play I was in.
- This woman I used to work for.
- This guy I didn’t hire to DP one of my shorts.
- This writer who pretended he was interested in helping me get published in a big time magazine that I would stab myself to get published in. He loved, praised and talked about my work until I turned down his 2 a.m. text to hang out. The next time I saw him, he told me my writing was crap and that I didn’t know what I was doing.
- This kid I used to tutor.
- The dude whose emails, texts and calls I haven’t responded to since an ill-fated trip we took together
- The director of this theater I’ve never performed at.
- This guy I had a huge crush on when I worked at that job I quit. He barely spoke to me then. Pretty sure he’s got no interest in speaking to me now. Also he likes rap, so that would have been a problem anyway.
- This guy who took me on the most amazing day of date I’ve ever been on…then didn’t speak to me for like a year. Then he turned up at a reading I was in, looked dreamily into my eyes and told me I was beautiful… Then never spoke to me again. He’s married now.
- My old boss at the worst job I’ve ever had.
- Juan?? Oh crap! Juan from work… Well, I just deleted your # bc I didn’t remember ever getting it from you. If you’re reading…if you could text me, that’d be dope.
- My old manager’s cell phone #
- My old boss from that job I quit.
- This woman I used to work with who now apparently lives in China
- Keshaun? I’m shocked that someone named Keshaun ended up in my phone in the first place.
- This restaurant I used to order from when I lived in the Valley.
- Someone else from that job I quit (nothing against these folks, btw, I just can’t imagine needing to call them)
- The crazy rich lady I used to work for who told me that “Final Draft writes the script for you!”
- Some actress
- My old nutritionist
- This guy I met outside of a club (when do I ever go to clubs??) who said “Let’s trade numbers. You can never have too many numbers!”
- Some comedian’s reps
- An old therapist
- This guy I dated who after a week and a half of knowing each other, every time we made out, would say “should I get a condom?” Then once he said it before we were even back in his apartment, he said the same thing. So the next day I said, “hey, just wanted to touch base about the sex thing. I don’t really want to go there unless I’m in a thing that’s a THING, you know. If that doesn’t work for you, that’s totally cool, no hard feelings, just let me know.” He said that was cool. Then immediately started flaking on all our plans. I called it off the next week. Not 24 hours after I did, he texted me and said: “Hey, is it cool if we do a booty call every once in a while?”
- This other woman who used to do my hair…and show up 2+ hours late to every appointment.
- A number marked “No.”
- A number marked “nope”
- This football player turned sound editor who was friends with the XH.
- A stalker
- The program coordinator for a Christian College in Texas
- Another therapist.
- A former student – again…don’t need teenagers’ #s in my cellie
- Another DP I didn’t hire to shoot my short
- The first woman who did my hair when I moved to LA.
- Some writer I went on two dates with and who has a big movie coming out next year
I can’t believe this is about to have taken two hours.
- This woman I used to work with. We gave it a good ol’ college try at being friends, but there were no sparks.
- My friend’s ex-boyfriend. We were all friends. They broke up. Had to pick a side.
- A third guy I didn’t hire to DP my short.
- Some vet I used to go to
- Some guy I met at a networking event and know nothing about
Folks In My Phone I Likely Should be Deleting But Just Can’t Yet
- The XFIL, XBIL and XSIL. Just in case something ever happens to the XH and one of them calls to let me know. I want to recognize the number.
- This agent I used to know. He was the first big-time Hollywood type to give me his phone number. Then he proceeded to break my heart.
- This kid I was totally into in college. He called me out of the blue in like 2004 and it was just like old times. He told me then that he hated that he didn’t kiss me that one time when we were back in school. I told him I agreed. That was the last we spoke.
- This guy I dated with whom I had pretty uninteresting sex. He’s hot though.
- The guy who just dumped me… What? It’s not like his number wasn’t in my phone. I was gonna have to come across it, so yeah, it was gonna come up. But this isn’t about that.
- This actress who’s currently on a TV show who unfriended me on facebook even though SHE was the one who asked me for my # and found me on fb in the first place.
- This director I didn’t like working with, but he’s famous now.
- The British guy I went on one date with. At the end of it he said “I’ll call you… I know it sounds like I’m not going to, but I mean it. I will.” Then we never spoke again. He does know people in London, though, so I might hit him up for a referral for my trip.*
- An executive who I’d love to work for again, but who stopped working with me after confessing that he thought about going on a date with me.
- The girl I’m pretty sure the XH was in love with. And if he was, I truly hope they work it out.
Folks In My Phone I’m Gonna Stop Being a Pussy About and Just
Call Already Send a Non-Invasive Facebook Message To
- This awesome woman I made friends with right before she and her perfect husband took their perfect relationship and their perfect baby to a perfect new job in a different state weeks before me and the X-H split up. Never had the guts to talk to her since my split since she clearly had everything worked out so well and I had only managed to work out making a pretty colossal mistake.
- The folks who run a preservation society dedicated to protecting what I think is one of the coolest pieces of Los Angeles architecture, The Dunbar Hotel. I want to write a film about this place. Not sure why I won’t start on it.
- This guy I went on two dates with and he was truly a nice guy, but I just wasn’t feeling it. But if anyone’s looking for a recommendation…
- The guy I was in love with all of high school. He had a rough few years. Not sure how he’s doing now.
Whose numbers are you hanging on to? Whycome? Let us know in the comments!
*Shameless Oreo Plug. 1) SmartyPig is a totally cool $-savings tool! I highly recommend it. b) So I have the opportunity to meet with an actor who I love love love in the UK this summer. Trying to make it a successful working holiday and take some other Brit talent out for a pint with the hope of writing for them one day. Should anyone feel inclined to help an Oreo purchase one of those pints, it would be totes appreciated. You can learn more about my trip, and SmartyPig at this link.
So it’s been almost two weeks since my last post. This is due in part to the fact that a pile of freelance (yay!) has fallen into my lap and is happily nibbling away at my writing time.
It’s also due in part to the fact that this has been the conversation between myself and my inner writer self over the last coupla weeks:
TheOreoExperience: Wow! This Kony video is nuts! It’s got White People to the Rescue written all over it! It would totally make a good Trailer Trashing post.
InnerWriterSelf: You’re right. Way to be on top of things. I can’t wait to see what we come up with!
TOE: Just let me finish this work. I’m sure I’ll get that post out by the end of the week
IWS: You’re amazing. I’m so glad we’re working together.
A FEW DAYS LATER
TOE: Holy crap, that dude just had a nervous breakdown!
IWS: Wellllll…. true. But you make fun of people all the time. And the Kony 2012 video is still weird.
TOE: Yeah, but dude is messed up. Even if I did have a post up, I’d probably want to take it down. Poor thing.
TOE: I mean, child soldiers are pretty much 100% a bad thing…even if the guy bringing them to our attention is oddly narcissistic…he meant well.
IWS: Don’t worry, we’ll find something else to write about!
TOE: Is it weird that I talk to myself this way?
IWS: Of course not!
TOE: Woah! I can’t believe that woman said that to me after class. Ugh! I just want to come in here, Zumba a bit and leave without someone saying something like “So jealous of you sisters! You’ve got such great hips!”
IWS: Doesn’t she know how long it took us to be okay with those hips?!?
TOE: Ugh. She has no idea. I’m exhausted tonight, though, and have like 3 scripts to get through. I’ll bang that post out in a few days.
IWS: Haha. You said “bang.”
TOE: Haha! Oh, get this…I totally made my coworker blush. He asked me if I had any food at my desk…
IWS: And you said “no, but I do have something you can eat!”
TOE: You know me so well!
A FEW DAYS LATER
IWS: Did you see this Trayvon Martin story?!?!
TOE: I can’t even think about it!!
IWS: C’mon, you HAVE to write about this. I mean, this is like your whole thing.
TOE: I can’t even read a story about it without bursting into tears. And I’m pretty sure there’s nothing funny about it.
IWS: The Daily Show managed to make it funny.
TOE: The Daily Show also has a staff of like two-dozen writers who out-earn me by a factor of probably 20!
IWS: Are we fighting right now?
TOE: No, it’s fine. Everything’s fine.
IWS: I don’t believe you. You seem upset.
TOE: I just feel like sometimes you aren’t hearing what I’m saying. I DO want to write about this story, but it’s fucking sad as balls.
IWS: Haha, you said–
TOE: Not the time.
IWS: You’re right.
TOE: Let’s just move on. What are you doing this weekend?
IWS: I dunno. Wanna check out Hunger games?
TOE: You know what, I still have a ton of work to get through, maybe next week?
IWS: I liked the book!
TOE: Me, too! Kinda bummed that even with so much going on in the book and such a great story, they still felt the need to inject some semblance of a love story into the end.
IWS: Yeah, I hear that. So…we’re cool?
TOE: Yeah, totally. Talk tomorrow.
IWS: Wake up! Wake up! Did you see this?? Racist Hunger Games tweets, we HAVE to get on that!
TOE: Holy god, it’s so early! Don’t you sleep.
IWS: I’m a disembodied manifestation of your sense of self, of course I don’t sleep.
TOE: Fair enough. Oh geez! These tweets are nuts! And what the eff? Rue is totally described as being black in the book. Did they just miss that?
IWS: Dude! Why are you not writing like crazy right now?
TOE: I don’t even know what to say!
IWS: C’mooooooon! Do it!!
TOE: Wait, let me get this straight… You want me to make an hilarious observation about how teens can’t read and how they don’t seem to know how the Internet works and that we’ve lost the basic sense of etiquette that we’re taught when we’re kids to not say horrible mean things out loud…and maybe draw an equally knee-slapping parallel between the fact that people didn’t like Rue because she was black and the fact that a good chunk of the country is totally unsympathetic to the needless death of an unarmed kid? That’s what you want me to pull out of my ass right now?? I’m a writer, not a magician!
IWS: It was just a suggestion.
TOE: Oooh, there might be something in this Geraldo non-pology, though. Yeah, between that and the Belvedere ad and Lee Arohnson… I think I might have something.
IWS: I knew you could do it.
TOE: Also, I’m kinda getting tired of the “let me tell annoying politicians about my vagina” meme. Does that make me a bad feminist?
IWS: That’s a whole other part of your subconscious you’ve got to deal with for that one.
TOE’sInnerFeminist: Did someone call?
TOE: Coffee first, then self-analysis.
TOEIF: That’s fair. Btw… I have a story that would make a GREAT screenplay! Can I tell you about it??
IWS: Yikes!… Um… coffee first.
Talking to yourself doesn’t make you crazy, right? Right?? I blame the habit on the fact that I was an only child.
Fingers crossed, I’ll get to this Geraldo/Belvedere/2.5 Men thing this week
What internal struggles do you find yourself chatting with you about on the regular? Let us know in the comments.
…when it’s around 60 degrees in Los Angeles, gyms are crowded full of people trying to earn their upcoming holiday dinner, credit cards are getting maxed out and families everywhere are coming up with coping tactics for awkward, yet obligatory meals.
Time to plan that caroling party to sing some old favorites…or learn new ones (Like this one!)
What are your favorite holiday songs and traditions? Let us know in the comments!
Pretty much every year, a group of college students decides it’ll be a swell idea to host a party where people dress up like minorities by, among other things, donning some good ol’ fashioned blackface and sometimes a grill or two.
Just today, we learned that sorority sisters at The University of Southern Mississippi were put on probation after they decided to dress up like the Huxtables. (Argyle and wigs were not enough, natch, they had to go whole hog).
Earlier this year, students at Université de Montréal donned blackface for a presentation in their business class.
Last year, students at the University of California, San Diego hosted a “Compton Cookout.” The invitation to that party went a little something like this:
“February marks a very important month in American society. No, i’m not referring to Valentines day or Presidents day. I’m talking about Black History month. As a time to celebrate and in hopes of showing respect, the Regents community cordially invites you to its very first Compton Cookout.
For guys: I expect all males to be rockin Jersey’s, stuntin’ up in ya White T (XXXL smallest size acceptable), anything FUBU, Ecko, Rockawear, High/low top Jordans or Dunks, Chains, Jorts, stunner shades, 59 50 hats, Tats, etc.
For girls: For those of you who are unfamiliar with ghetto chicks-Ghetto chicks usually have gold teeth, start fights and drama, and wear cheap clothes – they consider Baby Phat to be high class and expensive couture. They also have short, nappy hair, and usually wear cheap weave, usually in bad colors, such as purple or bright red. They look and act similar to Shenaynay, and speak very loudly, while rolling their neck, and waving their finger in your face. Ghetto chicks have a very limited vocabulary, and attempt to make up for it, by forming new words, such as “constipulated”, or simply cursing persistently, or using other types of vulgarities, and making noises, such as “hmmg!”, or smacking their lips, and making other angry noises,grunts, and faces. The objective is for all you lovely ladies to look, act, and essentially take on these “respectable” qualities throughout the day.
A few years ago, word got out that students at Tarleton State University, University of Connecticut School of Law, Clemson University and the University of Arizona all threw ghetto parties on Martin Luther King Day.
It seems that like prostitution and casual drug use, these peccadilloes are here to stay. So instead of trying to legislate morality into students, maybe we should take a cue from the Libertarians and give everyone some guidelines on how to party like it’s 1849 without risk of disciplinary action. It’s like learning how to have safe sex…assuming that by “sex,” we mean “really terrible party ideas that the future leaders of our country maybe shouldn’t be coming up with.”
So here are some Dos and Don’ts for your next ghettotastic shindig.
- DON’T: have a blackface party at a school with a black dean. I’m looking at you Mississippi!
- DO: Keep a tight grip on the invite list. Some people are really sensitive and will report your party to school officials because they’re too busy not taking that stick out of their ass. So don’t let word get around that you’re hosting.
- DON’T: Post pictures on facebook, Twitter, tumblr…actually, don’t take any pictures at all. Remember that person with the stick where the sun don’t shine? Well those same humorless aholes will likely send those pictures to someone who has the ability to make your life more difficult. So take the higher road and don’t give them the ammunition they need.
- DO: not ask yourself why this is the theme you chose for your party in the first place. You have way too much to do to spend time thinking about your decisions may affect other people. Besides, don’t they see how ridiculously clever and ironic you are! Ugh! They’ve probably never heard of Middling Banana Sunshine Patrol either and MDSP is like the best thing to happen to house music since…you know what, never mind, you have to be really in the scene to even get what they’re doing.
- DON’T: make friends with RBP..like ever. They will straight leave your ass (and maybe cut you) when they see the one picture you couldn’t help but take. They may also report you to the dean. Oreos are probably pretty safe as they won’t bother showing you the silent tears they’re crying on the inside.
- DO: remember to wash off the shoe polish before class in the morning! Showing up with those streaks on your face will be as awkward as it was waking up to that person in your bed who was soooo not cute now that you’re sober. Ick!!
- DON’T: bother maybe doing a quick Google search to see why blackface is so fucking offensive, it’ll just bring down the mood of the room – total party foul!
What other tips do have for getting away with pretty offensive behavior? What do you think of these parties? Have you ever been? When’s your next one? Can I come? Let us know in the comments!
So my video Why I Don’t Date Black Guys hit 100K views this week. And if you haven’t taken a tour around youtube comments in a while, you totally should. The youtube comment section is a very special place.
In honor of my 100K Day, I present this follow-up video….
…and these follow-up posts:
What do you think? Do people who share genetic traits have an obligation to reproduce with each other? Let us know in the comments! And thanks for watching and reading and helping us get to 100K!
Apparently, some sports season is winding down and/or another one is winding up. Something about brackets? I’m not sure. I just know that there’s been more talk of teams around the office and the group emails from my college alumni group are starting to be full of lots of ticket swap talk.
I really wish I got the sports thing. I think this is the one only-child trait that I hang on to. I’m not overly selfish. I can play well with others. I don’t mind sharing. But I just don’t understand team sports. I remember standing on the volleyball court in school and thinking “So…did you want to handle this or do you want me to? There’s like 6 of us. Are we really all needed, because I have some arpeggios to practice if you’re good.”
You’d think I would have absorbed something useful about sports by now. I am, after all, from Texas, where football is a very big deal. And because I was extra cool, I was in marching band in both high school and college. So I went to a LOT of football games.
But the things I most looked forward to had nothing to do with the game. In high school, we were allowed to take the boxes our hats came in into the stands with us to store our bright, white feathered plumes before and after the half-time performance. But you know what else those boxes could hold? Calculus and French text books!!! I was always so happy to have an extra four hours to work on homework, that I generally forgot to watch the field.
In college, my favorite part of the game was right after the half-time show when we would get applause and apples. They’d pass around this box of fruit and it was just delicious!! I mean, I think I was supposed to be happy that one of our players won a Heisman or something and that I got to see him play every week. But those apples were like the best apples ever.
There are a few general reasons why I can’t get on board with team sports:
I hate seeing men cry. I mean, I love it when men are emotionally avail, but it just breaks my heart to see them cry.
And guys often cry after losing a game. They’d try not to, but through their clenched lips and stern looks, you could see tears just welling up and them doing that not-blinking thing so that the tears wouldn’t actually fall. I’m misting up now just thinking about it.
I put things in perspective. A friend was lamenting the fact that the Buffalo Bills have lost four Superbowls and thus people make fun of them. And I’m like “But they WENT to the Superbowl!! They made it there!! I can’t get to the Superbowl. That’s a serious accomplishment.” Apparently, just making it to the SB isn’t quite good enough. I’m a giant perfectionist and I still don’t get that.
I can’t stand to see people get hurt. I’m a huge baby when it comes to other people’s pain. My roommate once broke his toe in front of me and I had to call a doctor because I was the one who passed out.
And when it comes to specific sports, there’s just too many things that don’t make sense.
Baseball: You get in trouble for doing the right things. In the spirit of “okay, maybe I can learn to like this,” I played softball once a couple of years ago. I was up to bat. The pitch came toward me and I steeled myself for the contact. Dug my toe into the dirt, rotated back and CRACK!!! I hit the ball really high and really far. It was super impressive flying into the sun like that. Like a bird. A round, wingless birdie.
And then I got OUT!!! Excuse me?? I just did something GOOD. I just demonstrated a serious piece of timing, strength and coordination and you PUNISH me for it??
I haven’t played since.
Soccer: Thought I was gonna like this one because they don’t stop the clock. Yay! A night, tight 90-minute game with nice, tight bodies running up and down the field. Low scoring, but that’s okay… until they do that bullshit kick off at the end!
I don’t remember what the score was, but at this match I went to in Australia, apparently, the judge or ref or officials or whatever didn’t care what it was. These players had just exhausted themselves and instead of going with what was on the scoreboard, they had a kick off where the first one to make a goal won the whole effing game! What?? Why not just do that at the beginning if you don’t care about the effort that went into it? Sheesh!
Basketball: Too many points. If it’s that easy to get points, it’s just doesn’t seem challenging. I would like it better though, I think if the guys went back to wearing those shorty shorts that they used to.
No surprise that the sports I do like are individual events. And super white.
Tennis: I played when I was in school. Classy, simple, elegant. And if you’re a girl, you get to have fun making the audience feel like pervs when you vocalize your impacts and efforts.
Equestrian Things: Who doesn’t want to have something and powerful between their legs? Seriously, though, horses are wonderful and they can fly!
Lindy Hop: If you think swing dancing isn’t an athletic pursuit, you clearly haven’t seen this video.
Tissu: Just getting into this now. First class is this weekend. Went to Cirque a couple of weeks ago. Squealed like a little kid throughout. Signed up for a class. Have clearly overestimated my hand and shoulder strength, flexibility, stamina and comfort with heights, but looking forward to it!
Click here for an Oreo guide to regular sports.
And here to choose the right NCAA team for Oreos.
And if you’re of color and you’re going to play a sport, be sure no one else looks like you, or you’re going to confuse reporters.
If you’re a sports fan, what is it that draws you into a game? Did you play yourself? Do you have friends who play? Let us know in the comments!
Politicians have this way of saying things that to the untrained ear sound “mean” or “racist” or “really really dumb.”
But I don’t think it’s that sinister. What do you think? Check out the video and then let us know in the comments!
Next on my list of ways to procrastinate instead of just writing the pages that I’m supposed to hand over to people tomorrow (sorry, M and J!) is to make a playlist of songs that I love…but that also make me cry a little bit.
I’ve already exhausted watching episodes of the BBC hit “How Clean is Your House,” making my own bathroom cleanser from scratch, annoying my cats and convincing myself not to go to the Cicada Club tonight (is anyone going to the Cicada Club tonight?). So this iTunes journey seems like the next best thing.
Here’s what I have so far! These are some of the songs that will cause me to show up for 8:30 a.m. production meetings with smudged mascara because I couldn’t just had to listen to them as I pulled into the parking lot at work.
Tom Waits – San Diego Serenade. This song gets five out of five tear stains. Just so lovely and evocative and simply lyriced.
Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah. All of the versions of this song make me just want to slit my wrists they’re so gorgeous. But this one is the first one I heard. That’s not true. The first one I heard was done by a men’s a capella group from an Ivy League College. This is the second one I heard. And it is glorious!
Tim Minchin – If I Didn’t Have You. This is one of my favorite pieces of art ever. It sounds flippant at first, but then is just wow. Poignant and lovely and true. Also, he’s an Ozzie, so he pronounces the word “drama” as “dramer” which is equally as awesome as the song.
This Song from Next to Normal – Maybe. If you haven’t seen this play. See it, but be prepared to develop a drinking problem immediately afterwards. It’s beautiful, but depressing as eff.
Elaborate Lives from Aida. I know, there’s a black person in this video. But she’s dating a white dude, so it’s all good. Also, she’s Heather Headley who is hands down amazing. And she GETS TO KISS ADAM PASCAL. I would probably give every thing that I’ve ever owned or will to re-make this video with Adam. He did touch my shoulder once. I know he thought it was as special as I did. There are 46,000 views of this video. I’m pretty sure that 45,900 are mine .
Part of Your World. Yup. A song about a girl dreaming to be something she’s not. How could that not move this Oreo to tears?
Also, the lyric “…How many wonders can one cavern hold…” Am I the only one who thinks that’s secretly dirty?
What songs make you tear up? Let us know in the comments!