A Cup of Heartbreak in B-flat

Someday, as your musician boyfriend will no doubt promise you, he is going to be rich and famous and he will definitely, absolutely, without a doubt, pay you back for all the stuff you’ve had to buy for his sorry ass.

Okay, that was a little harsh, not to mention, inaccurate.  Let me re-phrase that.

Add “by dumping you to bang indie actresses” after “pay you back”, and then replace “sorry ass” with “career that will eventually end with a poorly-received experimental electronica album”.  Hang on – I have included the mark-up below:

Someday, as your musician boyfriend will no doubt promise you, he is going to be rich and famous and he will definitely, absolutely, without a doubt, pay you back by dumping you to bang indie actresses for all the stuff you’ve had to buy for his sorry ass career that will eventually end with a poorly-received experimental electronica album.

One of the most hilarious, yet oddly enduring, grifts with regard to dating musicians is that if you love and financially support your unemployed musician boyfriend, after he “makes it big” and his album sells its first few million copies and he wins a couple of Grammy awards, the two of you will get married and move into one of those mansions in the fancy outskirts of Nashville where guys like Jack White will pop by unannounced to ask if they can borrow a cup of heartbreak in B-flat.

(I assume all of the successful musicians who move to those neighborhoods have a dedicated cellar in their mansions where they store heartbreak in various musical keys, because it’s mandated by Nashville’s city charter just above “2. Get down, turn around, go to town, the Boot Scootin’ Boogie”.  Also, I chose B-flat because it was the key Whoopi Goldberg had to figure out in Jumpin’ Jack Flash after listening to the song on repeat over and over again so she could get on the secure computer line with that British spy who was trapped somewhere in Eastern Europe.  When’s somebody remaking that movie?)

Regardless, it’s certainly better than having a dedicated cigar cellar in your mansion, which automatically means you are the most insufferable person on the planet, not to mention the stinkiest.  For the record, I have never seen someone smoking a cigar and thought, “I bet that’s a cool person.”  The only people who think you look cool with a cigar are other guys who are standing nearby also smoking cigars, and you think they look cool, too, so all you’ve really done is created one of those human centipede scenarios.  Now I’m just picturing three cigars attached to each other ass-to-mouth.  Thanks.

You’ll move into this Nashville mansion that’s got one of those pools shaped like a music note, adopt a bunch of rescue dogs and start a foundation in your spare time between your personal yoga training appointments and lunches with Drea de Matteo and Shooter Jennings, who tell you that while they are no longer together as a couple, they remain on good terms for the sake of the kids.  You’ll eventually become tennis buddies with them and “totally razz” Shooter when he comes out of the clubhouse wearing white tennis shorts with a wallet chain and a tall boy of local craft beer bulging out of his pocket.

Drea will throw her arms up and say, “I know!  You can’t take this guy anywhere!” and then you’ll all laugh about it later on when you go check out that secret after-hours show at The Bluebird Cafe where Miranda Lambert is trying out new material for her next album.  You’ll tell regular people you forget “all the time” that Drea was on The Sopranos, but you know damn well it’s literally all you ever think about anytime you see her, and you have to stop yourself from calling her “Adriana” every time you talk to her.  Anytime you think about that scene where Steve Van Zandt tells her to get in the car, and you know she definitely won’t be coming back, it makes you start to tear up, because you’re NOT MADE OF STEEL, FOR GOD’S SAKE.

The bittersweet memories of the beginning years, the tough years, the years when you had to work two jobs and sell your blood plasma to pay all the bills and get your unemployed musician boyfriend the guitar he wanted for his birthday, the “Livin’ On a Prayer” years, will be but fading images in the rearview mirrors of your fleet of fully loaded luxury automobiles.

His newest number one song that has rocketed to the top of the charts will be about you and how your never-ending love and devotion were sometimes the only things that got him through another tour of the Pacific Northwest in a broken down, leaky 1989 Chevy Astro van that his drummer had to push-start half the time.  This earned his drummer the nickname “The Pusher”, even though he likes to make up a story that he actually got the nickname from being an “enforcer” for the IRA back when he still believed in “The Cause”.  The Pusher’s rosary beads, that used to dangle so proudly from the rearview mirror, now reside in the glove box next to his St. Christopher keychain, because even when Catholics decide they aren’t Catholics anymore, they still believe that jewelry and keychains will keep other cars from crashing into them on the highway.

Your successful musician husband will surprise you on your second wedding anniversary with a tattoo across his back that says “Angel of Montgomery”, and it’ll be a portrait of you done by Kat Von D, depicting you with angel wings and your bought-and-paid-for, brand new bitchin’ rack of boobies.  Also, you are from Montgomery, Alabama or that tattoo doesn’t make any sense.

Your eventual children, Gunnar and Patton (twins!), will go to one of those preschools where people like Zac Brown send their children, and they will weave you a wine glass-cozy for Mother’s Day out of sustainably-harvested felted wool that says “Mommy Juice” on the side, and you’ll laugh one of those hearty, belly-type laughs even though you have rock-fucking-hard abs from all the Pilates you did with Nicole Kidman’s trainer that morning, as you sit on the porch with a glass of Rose’ that was made at your friend Jon Bon Jovi’s new vineyard.

Overlooking the gorgeous, lush rolling Tennessee hills of your rustic, yet palatial estate, you’ll remember all the times, all those years ago, that you overdrafted your bank account to make your unemployed musician boyfriend’s car payment and buy his gas, all the times you cried when you got your paycheck because it was already gone from having to pay the rent and all the bills by yourself, all of the times you picked up the dinner check while he looked down and fiddled with a pointy charm from his many black leather cord necklaces, and you’ll smile a knowing smile and think, “I loved him when he was nobody, and look at what we built together with that love.  It was all worth it.”

Then you will wake up from this dream in the rags you now wear for clothes, shake off the street-scabies, and push your bag-lady shopping cart down the street to get a bowl of soup down at the mission.  You will pass a store window with a television showing the live red carpet arrivals at that year’s Grammy awards, and the unemployed musician boyfriend you loved and supported all those years will be on the screen in a Tom Ford tuxedo and ironic high-top sneakers from the 80s, with someone Hollywood refers to as “The Next Jennifer Lawrence” on his arm.  He’ll tell Ryan Seacrest that he couldn’t have made it this far without her, and that even though they’ve only been dating a month, she is his “soulmate”, and you will go to the library so you can use their computer and free internet to post a one-star rating for her latest movie and point out her cankles.

He used to make fun of people who used hokey terms like “soulmate”.

You will shuffle back from the library to your cardboard box only to be served with a subpoena from the credit department at Guitar Center for all of the shit you were manipulated into buying for Mr. Grammy Winner when he didn’t have a pot to piss in, and then you will proceed to lie down and die penniless in the gutter, still with your original boobs that he used to call “just okay”, and a credit score of 480.

“Oh Yeah?”: Dewd Quiz

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this life of glitz and glamour, it’s that dewdz have tremendously high standards to determine if you’re worthy of their respect.  Wait, I forgot to clarify.  To determine if they deem women worthy of their respect.  As far as other dewdz are concerned, a handshake and a “Sup, bro” pretty much punches that ticket. Dewdz love each other so much, unless they see a dewd actively dry-humping their mom, they will attest under oath that he’s a “good guy”.  There is so much instant warmth between two dewdz who have just met, I’m surprised their balls don’t erupt in flames.

Many, many, many times in my life, going back to my teenage years and as recently as last week, I’ll look around whatever room I’m in and realize that I’m the only woman in the room.  It’s probably because fifty percent of my life has been spent in band rehearsal spaces in warehouses and fifty percent has been spent in shitty dive bars.  These scenarios are breeding grounds for my least favorite game.

The worst fucking game.

The game I have named “Dewd Quiz”.

Let’s learn more about it!

Dewd Quiz is a game that dewdz like to play with women who they fear are trying to sneak into their Dewd Club, because chicks, obviously, are not cool enough to hang with them, and must be rooted out and shamed as quickly as possible. I guess because they’d rather only hang out with dewdz? Even though they’re attracted to women? I don’t get it.  Try applying logic to most things dewdz do and you’ll find it’s like trying to put pants on an octopus.

Related, these guys are never actually cool, and should thank the fucking stars that any woman would ever even want to be in the same room as them, even if it’s a lowly woman who doesn’t know how many cc’s the engine is on the motorcycle parked out front.  Oh, the shame.  The horror.

Dewd Quiz is designed to make you prove yourself to a dewd who apparently thinks so highly of himself that if you can prove you know as much as he does about trivial shit that doesn’t really fucking matter, only then you are worthy of his respect.  (You’ve gotta be some kind of special egomaniac if those are your standards for respecting someone, by the way.  I’m surprised these dewdz don’t glow like goddamned plutonium rods, they’re such nuclear dickwads.)

The first time I ever unknowingly played Dewd Quiz was in the eighth grade.  I was a huge fan of Skid Row, and was wearing my favorite Skid Row t-shirt at the skating rink.  I knew every Skid Row song by heart (still do!), everything about the band, and was a superfan.  I spent more time on Skid Row than I did on homework.

A dewd I had never met in my life skated up to me, gave me a stink-face, and said, “Name one Skid Row song that’s not “I Remember You”.  Then he folded his arms across his chest and stood there and waited.  You should have seen this smug 14 year old prick’s face.  I swear, if I could go back in time and beat him with my skate until his face looked like a waffle, I would.

He assumed that since I was a girl, I only knew the power ballad that was on regular radio rotation, and would therefore have no right to wear the t-shirt. And Skid Row is not even really a dewdz-dewd band. I can only imagine if I liked Testament or Helloween.

So, here’s the crux of the game.  Dewdz get very angry when they think you, as a woman, are representing yourself as a fan of something “dewdish” unless you know every teeny, tiny minutiae of detail about it.  For example:

If you don’t know what the B-side was on a 7-inch record put out by a metal band before they got signed to a major label thirty years ago, you are not permitted to claim that you are a fan of this band, because you are a poseur.

If you claim to like football but don’t know Jerry Rice’s rushing record, even though you’re not a 49ers fan, you are a poseur.

If you claim to like horror films, but don’t know who the director was of some Japanese horror film from 1975 that was only released as an import in Taiwan on 8mm film, you are a poseur.

If you fail to answer any of their questions accurately, they will deem you a poseur and unworthy of their respect.  It is the dumbest game ever.

I suspect Dewd Quiz is the reason there aren’t more women in baseball broadcasting, because if you don’t know who scored a run on an error in the 13th inning to win the 128th game of the 1956 season between the Mets and the Dodgers, you might as well not even know what a baseball looks like as far as dewdz are concerned.  My god, the stats in that game.

It’s especially bad now that I’m no longer in a band, because when any dewd finds out that I used to be in a band, the Dewd Quiz machine gets kickstarted like a dirt bike and they practically come out of their skin to start their inquisition.  “Oh yeah?  Well what kind of microphone did you use?”  “Oh yeah, well who wrote the songs?”  “Oh yeah?  Well did you even play an instrument?”  “Oh yeah, do you know the difference between major and minor chords?”

😐 <——- (This is my face right now.)

A couple months ago I was out at my favorite dive bar with Bobby on a Sunday afternoon, I was the only woman there, and I was wearing my favorite Jefferson Airplane t-shirt, that says “Jefferson” across the very top, near the collar band, and “Airplane” at the bottom, closer to my waist.  A guy who was sitting by himself about thirty feet away from us yelled across the bar, “Hey, what does the bottom of your shirt say?”

Now, were I a younger woman, I would have thought this was merely an innocent question, but given my old wiseness and stuff, I recognized this immediately as the beginning of a scorching round of Dewd Quiz, and I determined that I was in no mood to engage and was going to shut it down.  I smirked and said, “Don’t worry, it doesn’t say “Starship.”

Didn’t work.

Then he wanted to know old the shirt was, I assume, because if my t-shirt weren’t from 1968, you know, well before I was born, he was going to call my t-shirt a poseur.  I said, “It’s not old, got it on eBay.  I’d be drinking at a much less shitty bar right now if I could afford an original.”  He laughed.  (Pro-tip – making a dewd laugh is a decent shortcut through Dewd Quiz because dewdz don’t think women are capable of being funny.) Also, I left out the part where I mentally said, “So shut up”, because unlike dewdz, I didn’t want to end up in a barfight over a t-shirt.

Speaking of fighting, when I first joined the MMA-style dojo I was going to a couple years ago, I readily admitted to everyone that I had no idea what I was doing and that they were going to have to teach me everything from the ground up.  When I had learned enough fighting skill that I could talk about it and not sound like a total idiot, I was amazed at how many dewdz just couldn’t stand it.  It infuriated them.  I went to try a freebie class at another dojo, and when the guy at the counter asked me if I had any experience, I told him what I knew, and he said, “Oh yeah?  Where do you train?”

I answered him, “With Mike over at Prag.” He looked irritated that I actually had an answer.

Then he said, “Oh yeah, well which discipline?”

I answered, “Full mix. Western boxing, muay thai, kali, grappling, krav maga.”

“Oh yeah?  Well what brand of gloves do you wear?”

Le sigh.

These are the three questions every. single. dewd. will ask you if you ever tell them that you’ve fight-trained, because they desperately, desperately want to try to “catch you”, for what reasons I don’t know.  You can set your watch by that shit.  Same questions, same order. Next dojo I guested at, same drill.

Basketball?  Oh, that’s a fun one.  I am a huge basketball fan.  (LET’S GO HEAT!)  Dewdz will not accept this until I have presented them with a 500 page doctoral thesis on the subject that is graded for both content and margins, and even that won’t necessarily get the job done.  I could walk in wearing a Udonis Haslem jersey, carrying Udonis Haslem on my shoulders, he could say, “Hi, I’m Udonis Haslem, and Maggie here is a Heat fan”, and dewdz would still come at me with, “Oh yeah?  Well what’s Hassan Whiteside’s mother’s middle name?  Don’t know?  POSEUR.”

It’s a no-win situation. They make fun of you for liking girly things, but they’re pissed if you like dewd things.  Lord knows they won’t respect you if you don’t know as much about a dewd subject as they do (even though it still seems to threaten them), but if you know more than them?  Holy shit.  You’ve just committed the high crime of emasculation. I would rather start an underfunded land war in Asia than go up against a dewd who thinks I’ve emasculated him. That’s how you get your head blown off in a bar parking lot over who had the most rebounds in a first round playoff series in the NBA Eastern Conference because, as I often preach, and am trying to spread throughout the land so please help me out if you can, dewdz are sensitive and emotional as shit.

I’ll tell you what’s the most fun, though. Watching a dewd fail the very Dewd Quiz he is hosting. Last year I was eavesdropping on a Dewd Quiz that was happening nearby, while the Marilyn Manson cover of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus” was playing on the jukebox. Dewd Quizzer says to woman playing pool nearby, “I bet you don’t know who did this song originally.”

She didn’t. He then, smug as fuck, smiled and said, “Oasis.”

I took a lot of petty pride just quietly knowing how wrong he was, even though I wasn’t involved in the conversation, because you have to savor all victories over Dewd Quiz, no matter how small.

Oasis. Seriously?

I Didn’t Get Murdered. The Next Girl Did.

I didn’t get my drivers license until I was 21.  I had been in a particularly bad accident when I was 15, and I was absolutely petrified at the notion of getting behind the wheel.  So I put it off, and put it off.  And put it off.  As much as my life had been turned upside down after my accident, and I was dealing with PTSD daily while trying to pass the tenth grade, my accident would turn out to be the thing that would eventually save my life.

The thing about not having a car or a license when you’re between the ages of 16 and 21 is that you have to depend on the kindness of others to give you a ride everywhere.  The problem with depending on the kindness of others to give you a ride is that you often find yourself stuck in situations that are boring at best and terrifying at worst, with no way to extract yourself from the situation.

Good example – the last time I witnessed someone shoot heroin in front of me was the night before I got my first car, twenty years ago.  Haven’t witnessed it since.  It’s not because I found Jesus, or even a better class of friends.  It was because from the moment I got that car, as soon as I could see the sleazy direction an evening was going, I would jump in my car and get the hell out of there.

There was no such thing as Uber or Lyft back in the 90s, and if you didn’t live in a big, metropolitan city, there were no cabs, either.  Sure, you could call a cab and wait over an hour for one to maybe show up – and that’s a big “maybe” – and even if one did show up, the driver was typically a large drunk man who wanted to know if you were “single, honey”.  As teenagers, we ended up hanging out at places we could walk to.  It was the only way to have a social life.

Anne and I were at the beach one night, hanging out where all the bad teenagers and young adults hung around and smoked weed, played guitar, and generally bothered passers-by.  She and I weren’t into drugs or mayhem, but it was the closest place for two teenage girls to hang out that was within walking distance of Anne’s parents’ house.

There was a deadhead bar across the street from the pavilion where everyone hung out, and a Grateful Dead tribute band played there every Saturday night, the music spilling out the patio doors and into the street.  Under-aged neo-hippie girls twirled their long skirts as they danced across the sidewalk, while over-aged guys who went by names like “Jester” and “Willow” tried to convince them to come down to the lifeguard stand on the beach to smoke out with them.

Several of the girls I knew from my high school art class had smoked out with Willow, a tall, skinny, blonde hippie guy who was apparently allergic to wearing shirts, but could always be found wearing a black hat.  Like an actual villain, if The Traveling Wilburys had allowed villains in the band.  He literally asked me, “What’s your sign?” when I first met him, that’s how hokey this guy was.  And when I told him, he then asked me what my “rising sign” was.  I swear, this guy was like a propaganda cartoon of a hippie pervert.

The girls he had smoked out with told me that he typically demanded a certain form of “payment” in exchange for sharing his Kind Bud with them, but that he wasn’t “like, pushy about it” or anything.  How hard do you have to push a teenage girl whose high out of her mind to blow you on the beach?  I know what you’re thinking.  While Willow was a real gem, he’s not the one.  He was just exactly the type of guy who hung around there on a Saturday night.

One Saturday night Anne and I walked down to the pavilion and there were two guys we hadn’t seen there before.  Not hippies!  They chatted with us while they passed a guitar back and forth, both claiming that they wished they’d had their 12-string guitars with them so they could play whatever songs guys play on 12-string guitars because they think it impresses girls.

(By the way, girls are not impressed by 12-string guitars.  In 1992, they’re impressed by how much you look like Nuno Bettencourt.  Do an image search on Google for “Nuno Bettencourt 1992” and you’ll see I have no ax to grind here.  You could play a triangle and girls in 1992 would swoon if you looked like Nuno Bettencourt because if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times, women are just as shallow as men.)

The guys introduced themselves as Tony and Steve.  I thought Tony was the most rock star thing I’d ever seen and he, in turn, seemed like he was mostly indifferent to the fact that I existed.  This fact made Tony fully, thoroughly, almost shamelessly, my type.  Anne and I flirted and chatted some more with them, mentioned that we’d be around the same place, same time, next Saturday and then walked home.

Over the next week, Anne and I made a plan for the next time we saw Tony and Steve.  The plan consisted of one element:

  1. Do not get in a car with Tony and Steve.

While we were as dumb as any teenagers, we had been taught that it was never okay to get into a car with men you didn’t know.  We determined that if Tony and Steve showed up at the beach and wanted us to get in a car with them to go somewhere else, we would say no, and that we would just keep hanging out at the beach.  Simple.  Easy.  We figured if we spent a couple of weekends getting to know them, then it would be okay to go somewhere else with them.

Our mothers would have been proud.  Okay, not really proud.  Relieved?  Nah, probably not relieved, either.  As it was, they had no idea that we got all dolled up every Saturday and snuck out until 2am to hang out with a bunch of delinquents and druggies at the beach.

Saturday night finally came around and Anne and I were sitting on a bench at the pavilion.  Tony and Steve pulled up in Steve’s old and beaten up four-door black sedan and parked in front.  Tony got out of the car and walked up to me and said, “Hey, wanna get out of here?  Steve’s still got the car running.”

I don’t think we said, “Okay!” fast enough as we hopped off the bench and bounded towards Steve’s car and climbed into the backseat.  So much for our plan.

It wasn’t my fault!  Why did Tony have to look so goddamned much like Nuno Bettencourt?

Steve backed out of the parking space, squealing the tires, and sped down the street about a hundred miles per hour like he was fleeing a crime scene.  Anne and I laughed nervously, exchanged terrified glances with each other, and pretended that we hadn’t just made the biggest mistake of our lives.

Steve was the only one who was over 21, so our first stop was at a nearby 7-11 to pick up a 12-pack of cheap beer.  He came out of the store and cracked open three beers and handed them out to everyone, then cracked open one for himself and started back down the road.  He ran every stop sign, and at one point we were actually driving full-speed on the wrong side of a divided highway.  I mouthed to Anne, “We are going to die tonight” and she nodded her head.

We had no idea where Tony and Steve were taking us, and when we asked, Steve said, “Don’t worry about it.”

The car slowed at the entrance to an industrial park.  It was close to midnight now, so there were no cars or people there.  Steve turned down a one lane road that ran behind the building.  Way behind the building.  As we passed trees that got more numerous and densely-packed, Anne and I looked at each other in horror.  It was like everything our mothers had warned us about was coming true.

Steve eventually turned off the road into a small clearing, surrounded by pine trees.  It was just big enough to fit around two cars.  The woods surrounding it were deep, and Anne and I had no idea where we were oriented from the main highway.  Steve stopped the car and turned off the engine.  We sat there in silence.

After the longest minute of my life, Tony said, “Let’s sit on the hood and have some more beers!”

We got out of the car and the guys handed us two more beers.  We started talking about mutual friends, bands we liked, that sort of thing.  The conversation lightened up, and I relaxed a little.  Maybe nothing bad would happen after all!  I was surprised that the guys weren’t even trying to put any moves on us, though.  You would typically expect two young guys who had been drinking to be pawing at us like fresh meat, but they kind of kept their distance, actually.  They seemed more interested in talking and drinking than doing anything else.

After another hour or so and a few more beers, Steve started to become the angry-variety of drunk, and any sense of relaxing that I had previously had was evaporating quickly.  He started making fun of my clothes, my hair, the way I talked.  He said, “Girls like you, you think you’re hot shit.  You’re just shit, though.  That’s all you are.  You’re shit.  You’re SHIT.”  It came out of nowhere, and it was particularly brutal.  I expected Tony to jump in at some point and tell Steve to knock it off, but much to my horror, he actually joined in.  It seemed like the two of them were feeding off each other’s meanness towards us, and Anne and I could see the situation was deteriorating quickly.

Steve managed to grab one of Anne’s shoes and threw it into the woods.  He dared her to go off alone to go get it.  She laughed it off and said, “No way!” and gave me a pleading look.  I gave her one back because I just didn’t know what to do.  We knew the worst thing we could do was to become separated from each other.  Anne stood there, wearing one shoe.  Steve continued taunting us.

Having spent so many years around scumbags in my neighborhood at that point, I had been able to talk my way out of plenty of scary situations in the past, so my mind raced to think of something, anything, that would change the course of events that were unfolding.  I had to find a way to change the subject.

I blurted out, “Did I tell you guys that I got hit by a car last year?  I broke my back, my pelvis, and my foot, and I had to learn how to walk again.  I was in the hospital for months.  It was really awful.”

Okay, so it was a slight fib.  While I had been hit by a car and broke my back, pelvis, and foot, I had been in the hospital for two weeks with physical therapy for a few months after.  I didn’t have to learn to walk again so much as I had to learn how to walk with crutches for three months.  They didn’t need to know that.

What I wanted from them, what I was counting on, was enough time to create a shift in their mindset so that they would feel sorry for me.  So that whatever they were planning to do to us that night, it would seem like I’d at least already been through enough in life, and Anne too, by association.  They were talking to us like we were less than human, and I wanted to humanize myself as much as possible.  I wanted them to realize that Anne and I were not merely “things”.

When I piped up and told them about my accident, Steve said, “So?  You want me to feel sorry for you?”

Uh oh.

Tony, on the other hand, softened.  He asked me how it happened.  He wanted to know details.  He stopped focusing on what Steve was saying.  A minute later, Tony said, “Hey, let’s get out of here.  The mosquitos are eating me alive out here.”

We got back in the car and Anne asked Steve to point the car’s headlights towards the woods where he had thrown her shoe.  She hopped out, grabbed her shoe, and got back into the car.  Steve and Tony drove us back to the beach and dropped us off.  There were no kisses goodnight and no phone numbers exchanged.

We saw them the next week at the pavilion, and Tony and I actually started seeing each other.  He was surprisingly pretty cool when Steve wasn’t around, plus he continued to look like Nuno Bettencourt.

One night a couple months later, Steve asked me to take a walk with him down the sidewalk.  It was in public, so I felt okay.  He told me he was sorry that he had been so mean to me that night in the woods, and that he was only mean to me because he couldn’t stand that I was obviously interested in Tony and not him.  He told me Tony was a real dirtbag and that he would ditch me the moment I slept with him (he did).  He asked me to give him a chance.  I told him I was sorry, but that I just liked him as a friend.  He said that was cool.

Steve murdered the next girl he dated, in the same woods he had taken us to that night.  He stabbed her and beat her to death with a baseball bat.  He made a plea bargain, and with time off for good behavior, he was out of prison before I even hit 30.

A Dumpster-Possum in Dick-Pants: We Revisit “Dirty Dancing”

I watched Dirty Dancing last week for, I don’t know, the 580th time in my life?  I’ve written many “hot takes” on it over the years, so I didn’t expect to have any new takes on it this time around, but what do you know?  A new one presented itself, and here it is:

Johnny Castle is the ultimate pick-up artist, and should be killed with a rock.

Now, if you know anything about modern pick-up artistry, it’s that you should be really mean to the girl and she will then go hog-wild for you.  It’s called “negging”, meaning that you say negative and mean things to the girl and bludgeon her self-esteem until she feels like such a lowly loser that she’s willing to lower her standards to sleep with a goddamned lowly loser like you.  It’s a really mature way to conduct your life, and Johnny Castle is apparently an expert at it.

I was nearly halfway through this movie when I realized that Johnny hadn’t said a single kind word to Baby since the moment they met.  Not one!  Also, within moments of their first meeting, he rubs his very adult wiener on her teenage body under the guise of “dancing”.  Without asking.  So there’s that.  Does she walk away from the experience thinking he’s a gross pervert?  Nope!  She stumbles away, drunk on his boundless, vagabond wiener and craving for more, further proving my theory that older men like young women because young women are so stupid.

Thereafter, things that Baby then does to impress Johnny (who is NEVER nice to her) include, but are not limited to:

(a) Lying to her own father so she can borrow an exorbitant amount of money in 1960s dollars to pay for Johnny’s friend Penny’s back-alley abortion.  For this favor, Johnny repays Baby by insulting her, acting like a passive-aggressive dick while swigging a beer and looking in the opposite direction, and then incredulously telling Penny that she should take the money anyway.  He’s a real king of the “no-win situation”, which is a classic narcissist move.  Oh, you wish there were some way to pay for this abortion, but there isn’t one.  Oh, there IS one?  Oh, it’s not in the form of payment I was hoping for, so fuck you, teenage girl who’s only trying to help!  Oh, Penny, why aren’t you taking this money that I just insulted the very notion of?  Bitches be crazy!  (Note, he is the only person who is acting crazy.)

(b) Bails his ass out filling in for Penny by learning how to do a complicated mambo routine on a moment’s notice for the sole purpose of him being able to keep his standing gig at the Sheldrake Hotel performing the mambo once a year.  How much money could this possibly pay to make it worth the hassle?  It’s a 2 minute dance routine that happens once a year!  What is it?  Ten bucks?  While training for this dance routine, Johnny acts like a total dick 100% of the time to Baby.  A total dick.  He rolls his eyes, he huffs, he literally yells at her, day after day.  He only starts kinda-sorta being nice to her while she’s changing in the backseat of the car and he’s trying to spy on her nudeness with the rearview mirror.  And after completing her dance assignment, does he say, “You’re amazing” or “You’re the best”?  Nope!  He says, “You did real good.”  While being a peeping tom.  Oh, be still my heart!  Baby stands to gain zero from volunteering for this mambo assignment by the way, besides the possibility of gaining a super virulent form of herpes.  They should change the name of this movie to Unsanitary Dancing.

(c) Risking her relationship with her father in order to save Penny’s life after the abortion goes wrong (surprise plot device!).  While it appears that Johnny is grateful that Baby went and retrieved her father in the middle of the night to save Penny, he ultimately repays her for the favor by putting his very adult wiener into her teenage body.  Because nothing says, “Thanks for saving my friend’s life, teenage girl!” like making hot, sweet unprotected love to her on a dusty cot.  I don’t care if she made the first move.  She’s a teenager and he’s a grown man for god’s sake!  Later, he gives her a compliment by telling her that her real name “Frances” is a “real grown-up name”.  I know when I am lying in bed in a post-coital state, what I really want to hear are condescending observations about my birth name.  I also assume that by pointing out that her real name is “real grown-up”, this means she’s “aged out” for him.  Bring on the Tiffanys!

(d) Admits to everyone at the hotel that she let Johnny give her the hot beef injection, in order to provide him with an alibi for Mo Pressman’s wallet going missing, thereby wrecking everything for her and her family, but keeping Johnny out of jail (for the time being).  I’m pretty sure jail is an inevitability in life for Johnny, what with all of the uninvited wiener-rubbing on teenage girls combined with his sporadic-at-best employment. Baby has basically just hit the snooze button on his eventual incarceration, at the expense of her relationship with her family.

Then Johnny leaves like, “LATER!”

At the end of the movie, he comes back and says a couple of nice things about her – in public, even!  Then he immediately undoes this kindness by rubbing his wiener on her some more, but this time in front of her mother and father, because what girl doesn’t want her parents to see that?  And I tell you what, the folks LOVE it.  Because every parent wants to see the human equivalent of a dumpster-possum in dick-pants grind all over their intelligent, Seven Sisters college- and Peace Corps-bound teenage daughter.  You name one parent who doesn’t want that.  One!  Go ahead.  I’m waiting.

Dewd Night at The Mewvies

I remember the first time I saw Reservoir Dogs.  And The Boondock Saints.  And Fist of the The North Star.  And Perry Farrell’s “The Gift”.  And all those Grateful Dead VHS tapes.  It’s a little fuzzy as to exactly who I was with at the time I saw each of these cinematic masterpieces for the first time, but I can say for sure that I was in the company of a dewd when each of these viewings occurred.

How do I know that?  Because when you are a young woman traversing the stinky waters of dating dewdz, you are routinely subjected to the worst things that ever happened in cinema.  One of the benefits of being a “mature” woman, is that if anyone were to say, “Hey, let’s watch this dewd movie!” I would say no and then speed away in my car to the airport and leave the country immediately because I am not sitting through that shit anymore.

I remember the first dewd who made me sit through Reservoir Dogs (there were many, it was the 90s), and I asked if we could turn it off because the violence was so horrible that I literally thought I was going to throw up.  He told me I was wrong.  About my own feelings.  We finished the movie.  He spent the ensuing hours, days, and weeks telling me that this was the best movie he’d ever seen.  I didn’t argue.  If he thought it was the best movie he’d ever seen, what the hell did I care?

But that wasn’t enough.  He wanted me to admit that it was the best movie I’d ever seen.  He kept explaining various points over and over again, as if I “misunderstood” the movie, because my not understanding the movie was the only possible way he could explain the fact that I did not agree with his expert assessment of the film.  This is a common dewd behavior, by the way.  (All of the ladies reading this are nodding their heads right now.)  You must agree with dewdz at all times, or be accused of not “understanding” what they’re saying.  I don’t know how many times in my young life I uttered the words, “I understand what you are saying completely, I just happen to disagree with you.”  Saying that never worked, by the way.

If you’re a dewd reading this right now, guaranteed you’re thinking, “What’s wrong with Reservoir Dogs?  I love that movie!”  Exactly.  Dewdz love this movie.  I have yet to meet one woman who enjoys it.  Because it’s gross.

Regardless, over the years I sat through Reservoir Dogs again and again at the insistence of various dewdz, even after I said I didn’t like it, even after I openly said that I hated it, because they just could not believe that I didn’t like something that they themselves liked so much.  “Watch it with me, I’ll explain it to you!”  Thanks.  Because obviously I am an idiot who does not understand a basic-ass Tarantino movie.  They’re about as hard to follow as an episode of The Love Boat.  Maybe, juuust maybe, I don’t like the movie.

And don’t even get me started on The Boondock Saints, or as I prefer to call it, “Pasty Dewdz Ejaculating Bullets All Over Each Other In The Gun-Boner Parade”.  What a great time to be heavily-armed, angry young white men seeking “justice” by blowing off the heads of as many people as possible!  Who would have known it would only get better in the following years for heavily-armed, angry young white men seeking “justice” by blowing off the heads of as many people as possible?

And I know how much most women really like the one scene in particular where the “good guy” is antagonizing his new gay coworker who has a tattoo that says “Untouched by Man” by calling her a big, fat, angry lesbian, making a “joke” to her about feminists sucking his cock, and when she responds by rightfully kicking his ass, he punches her right in the face, knocks her out cold, and then delivers a one-liner about how she’ll be “needing to change her tattoo”.  For laughs!  Get it?  It’s funny that she’s a lesbian and he punches her in the face!  IT’S COMEDY.  Because, really, what could be funnier than punching one of those “man-hating lesbians” right in the face?!  Those lesbians have been having a pretty good run of the world for long enough, it’s time for straight white dewdz to finally give them their comeuppance!

Man, if you don’t like that, it’s because political correctness is ruining our country.

And in case that wasn’t enough gay-bashing for you, Willem DaFoe, who plays a gay man in the movie, then calls his gay lover a gay slur for what he perceives to be gay behavior.  For laughs!  I mean, don’t get me wrong, this is a movie that needs some comic relief after all the blood spattering everywhere as people get riddled with bullets, so why not get it at the expense of “the gays”?  OH MY GOD I HATE THIS MOVIE SO MUCH.

As far as the others, unless a woman specifically says, “I like anime, seriously!”, assume she doesn’t want to watch Fist of The North Star.  Same with The Grateful Dead videos.  Unless a woman signs an affidavit stating that she would enjoy watching hours of VHS tapes of live Grateful Dead performances, assume she doesn’t like it.  And unless she is a film student with a 1.2 GPA who also dabbles in horse tranquilizers, assume she will not enjoy Perry Farrell’s “The Gift”, because while junkies are capable of making some pretty decent music, they really tend to miss the mark in the film-making department, what with all the “boring”.

Honorable Dewd Movie Mentions go to:

In the category of “Nerd Shit”:  Brazil, Cherry 2000, Earth Girls Are Easy

In the category of “Tim Roth”:  Four Rooms (or anything with Tim Roth in it for that matter).  What is it with dewdz and Tim Roth?  They LOVE him.  I don’t get it.

In the category of “This Filmmaker Hates Women”:  Sin City (yay – women are either domestic abuse victims, vulnerable kids who turn into hot strippers you eventually bang, or prostitutes who get hit in the mouth – but like it!).

In the category of 1970s White Dewd Wankery:  All Clint Eastwood movies, all Steve McQueen movies, all Charles Bronson movies, and A Clockwork Orange (because that rape scene is HILARIOUS, right?).

Don’t make girls watch these movies unless they, for some reason, are the ones who bring it up first.  Just don’t do it.  And even if they bring it up first, check in on them every five minutes to make sure they haven’t succumbed to a brain hemorrhage, because they are clearly not of sound mind.  If you are a woman being faced with watching one of these movies, just leave.  Walk away and don’t look back.  Run, if need be.

Nobody’s saying anyone has to go watch Steel Magnolias, but how about meeting in the middle?  Frost/Nixon?  Most Denzel Washington movies?  Oceans 11?  Guardians of The Galaxy?  The Constant Gardener?  So I Married An Ax Murderer?  Hell, I’ll even allow The Crow if you really need to get those angsty teenage feelings out.

Actually, no I won’t.  That movie is laughably terrible.  I am sorry if hearing that makes your 15-year old boy-boner cry.

Those Jason Bourne movies are actually kinda okay, despite Matt Damon being the human equivalent of shaved balls, in that while he’s not intrinsically awful as a general concept, you just keep looking at him and going, “Why?”

Raiders of The Lost Ark? National Treasure?  Tomb Raider?

You know what?  Forget it.  Either find someone who has good taste in movies, or just get separate televisions.

The Fish Boner: A Freeform Analysis

I recently watched that movie where the Quiet Lady totally gets it on with the Fish Man, and I have some thoughts on it.  I can only imagine how “on the edge of your seat” you must be right now.  It’ll be one of the smarter things you’ll read today.

So, Quiet Lady works at the secret government building place, and as a Quiet Lady with minimal dating opportunities, she apparently has a natural interest in fish men. Because all of the human men around are either gay or sadists (true dat!).

Fish Man, being a Fish Man, does the double-blinky thing at her sometimes and also eats hard-boiled eggs that she brings for him.  (As an aside, if you think a Fish Man has some stinky butt-smells already, imagine incorporating hard-boiled eggs into the equation.  I guess as the old saying goes, “Love for a Fish Man is nose-blind.”)

Anyway, Quiet Lady develops a romance with Fish Man by having silent lunch with him a few days a week.  Since he never tries to chew off her fingers, she falls in love with him. Because those are just the kind of standards a single lady has to have at her age.

Quiet Lady finds out Fish Man is going to be dissected, so she helps him escape the lab.  Later on in her apartment, she pulls off all her clothes and she and Fish Man totally do it.  Does Fish Man even know what sex is?  Does he??  How do we even know that Fish Man is a man?  What if he’s a child Fish Man?  What if this is Lolita, but with a fish teenage boy?  What if this is a crime?!  And at what point can a Fish Man even give enthusiastic consent?  Is a fish boner considered consent?

Thankfully we don’t have to wonder whether Fish Man actually gets a fish boner, because when Quiet Lady tells her coworker about it later, she mimes what the fish boner looked like because, thank god, the writer of this movie knows that’s all literally everybody wants to know.

Conversely, I also find it interesting that in the movie “Splash!” with Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah, he only does it with her when she’s in human form.  There aren’t even any double-entendre jokes about them doing it while she’s in fish form because people would be all EWW GROSS.  She probably used to just have one of those multi-purpose fish holes and was totally happy with it until she got a hold of last month’s Mermaid Cosmopolitan magazine where one of the headlines was, “Ditch That Multi-Purpose Fish Hole Thing – Drive Your Man Wild With a Human Vagina!

You know why?  Because this is yet another sexist bullshit double-standard, only this time women have to be totally cool with a fish boner from their fish men, while the men are like, “Human vagina or GTFO” to their fish women.

Anyway, back to the movie, it turns out Quiet Lady never realized she is actually part fish woman, so she and Fish Man swim off into the sunset together to keep doing it, but since she is still part human, she still has a human vagina, so win-win for Fish Man.

Which reminds me of this discussion we recently had about how the alien men on any Star Trek series are almost always fully alien (except for Spock, so don’t even start with me), and the women are almost always half alien (unless they’re a totally “hot” alien variety like Jadzia Dax on Deep Space Nine) , which I think is yet another sexist bullshit double standard.

Women are just supposed to be totally cool with getting it on with Neelix on Voyager, who is full Talaxian with actual whiskers and some kind of weird snake eyes and scrotum-head, but when faced with an amorous woman who happens to be full Klingon, dewdz are like, “Uhhhh, too scary?  How about half Klingon?”

And it’s never even half-Klingon and half something else weird for the women, like half-Ferengi.  It’s B’Elanna Torres from Star Trek Voyager:  Beautiful and exotic, half-Klingon and half-human.  The other half is always human.

And as if that’s not bad enough, they make her marry Tom Goddamned Paris.  Tom Paris!  Tom Paris is something you accidentally let fall into you during Spring Break and immediately regret, not something you marry.  Tom Paris?!  Who the hell marries Tom Paris?!!

I liked that fish boner movie, though.

Nobody Cares About Your Boner – Volume One

Thurston Moore is old and ugly.

Wow, that was really, super mean!  What the hell did Thurston Moore do to deserve that?

Oh, I don’t know, what did Kim Gordon do to make 99% of dewdz immediately tell me how old and ugly they think she is anytime the subject of Sonic Youth has ever come up in the past 25 years?

It’s not as if it’s served up like a casual observation, either.  It’s as if the words can’t escape their mouths fast enough.  Like if they don’t tell me their unsolicited opinion on the lack of their boner movement when looking at Kim Gordon, the world will die and fire will rain down on the universe.  I mean, I have to assume the stakes are that high, because it is literally the first thing they say about the band.  The first!

Any time this has ever happened to me in conversation, I like to take a few different approaches with my response to see what sticks, and for general fun-sies, because apparently I enjoy the feeling of my blood pressure shooting up like a bottle rocket.

First I try the mental “ignore” button, which never, ever works.  They just keep blathering on with “I mean, am I right?”, “I don’t think she’s hot”, “I think she’s old”, or “I think she looks like Iggy Pop” – which is deliciously ironic – because these are always the same men who fucking worship Iggy Pop.

Second, I try logic, and tell them that nobody cares about whether someone personally gives them a boner, why is it only the women in bands who get subjected to their comments on physical appearance, and that Kim Gordon is a gorgeous example of humanity in every way, and that they need to shut up because nobody cares about your boner.  This is usually met with being called a “bitch” or some such other nonsense that men say to women when they realize they’re being rightly called out for their shitty behavior, because apparently a lot of men are sensitive and emotional as shit.

Then, finally, I try the “over the top” response, which is when I take it waaaay too far in the direction they’re going, and say that I couldn’t agree more with their assessment about Kim Gordon, and that she should be banned from music, have wood and rocks thrown at her every time she appears in public, get locked into a windowless room the rest of the time so men’s boners don’t have to ever look at her again, and eventually be frozen into carbonite like Han Solo for her inability to inspire shitty dewdz to wank it to her.  It’s only fair.  It’s the only solution that makes sense.  I find that one usually shuts them up, so feel free to use it anytime, btw.

For the record, and it really goes without saying, I think Kim Gordon is fucking awesome.  She is the real artist of that band.  She is the crown jewel of that band.  She is a pioneer for women in music, fashion, and art.  Without her, Sonic Youth would have been about as avant garde and groundbreaking as John Cafferty and the Beaver Fucking Brown Band.  (No offense, John Cafferty, as I am a lifelong fan of Eddie and The Cruisers, but your band ain’t breaking any boundaries there, and I think we both know it.)

And while we’re on the subject of women in bands, let’s shift to the other side of the coin, where dudes are actually okay with how a woman looks (prize!), but if they don’t think her technical skills are on par with some relentless, theory-driven blowbag like Dave Mustaine, she must quit music immediately and go start making sandwiches.

I mean, please, by all means, when I tell you that I like The White Stripes, please immediately volunteer your opinion to me about how shitty a drummer you think Meg White is.  There’s one I certainly haven’t heard before! (I have heard this no less than fifty times in my life.)  I assume your boner is at least okay with her appearance, or else that would be the first thing you would tell me about her, so I guess she dodged a bullet there!

Oh, by the way, you know who else is a shitty drummer?  Most garage band drummers, and no, I’m not providing you with a list of citations.  That’s kind of the appeal of a band that operates under a stripped-down format – the “not-fancy” drumming. Go ahead, drop some super technical player like the drummer from Rush onto any White Stripes album and tell me the songs are better off for it.  You know all that was missing that whole time was a double kick-drum and an extra thirty-five cymbals!  Who doesn’t want to hear rototoms on “The Hardest Button to Button”?!

And since we’re on the subject of musical skill, seeing as that’s your only criteria for kicking Meg White out of The White Stripes, Jack White has a unique voice that is well-suited to his genre, but it may not be the most traditionally skillful singing voice in the world, so he should be replaced with a much more skillful singer.  Don’t you think?  How about that opera guy, Andrea Bocelli?

Introducing Andrea Bocelli and the drummer from Rush!  Ladies and gentlemen – this is The White Stripes!

Now, look at that!  You have created the perfect band.  With that level of skill among the players, nobody’s talent can be called into question, that’s for sure!

You cannot win as a woman in music.  You can.  Not.  You can’t win because they don’t want you to win.  The game is specifically designed so that you do not get to win, no matter how hard you try to play the game.

The game where if you’re pretty enough, then they’re okay with you, but why aren’t you as skilled on your instrument as Yo Yo Ma is on the cello?

The same game where if you’re talented enough, then they’re okay with you, but why aren’t you hotter?

The same game where if you’re pretty enough and talented enough, they call you a whore who slept her way to the top, or a frigid bitch for not sleeping with them, or whatever else they call women who get too big for their britches.

She’s only famous because she’s hot.

She’s only famous because her parents are rich.

She’s only famous because she’s dating some famous guy.

She’s only famous because some producer guy writes all her songs.

She’s only famous because she writes her own songs, but OMG her songs are so shitty, right?!

She’s only famous because girls are never the drummer.

She’s only.

She’s only.

She’s only.

She’s only.

Every “only” is meant to reduce you, until you’ve shrunk so small that you disappear.

There are one million conditions we have to meet as women to “win” in the music business, but here’s a little secret: Even if we met all one million conditions, there would be a million more to meet that we were never even told about.  We’ve been led to believe that if we do exactly the right things in exactly the right order, then they’ll be cool with us, but that’s a lie.  It’s a goddamned lie.

The only way we can win is by not playing their game.  By not caring what they think.  By giving our dollars, our time, our attention, and our energy to women artists.  By lifting each other up.  By making our own game, and telling them to take their game and go shove it.

Rock of Love: The Hobo Gift That Keeps on Giving

Prior to finding the best husband in the world, I had the misfortune of dating a lot of other musicians who I now prefer to call “Ewwww!!!!”

In years past, I wrote often about the experiences, because I was light on time and those guys make for some easy comedy fodder.  As a person who is now older and wiser, I hesitate to share more stories because it just feels almost too easy.  It’s like pie-ing someone in the face for laughs, or trick-or-treating for herpes on the set of Saturday Night Fever.  There’s no challenge in it.  I mean, it’s practically slapstick.

But, alas, here we are.

Welcome to the jungle.  We’ve got hobo gifts.

I came home one day from work about 23 years ago, to find a “gift” left for me on my porch, leaned against my front door.  It was a bright blue, broken Cookie Monster bicycle baby-seat.  You know, the kind you attach to the back of your bicycle and strap a baby into it?  The fact that it was clearly pulled from someone’s trash, wasn’t functional, and that I had neither a baby nor a bicycle and therefore had no use for it, made me bite my lower lip, nod my head knowingly, and say, “Well my, my, my. Some musician must have a crush on little ol’ Maggie!”

Later on, as I received a call from my secret trash admirer from the payphone near the motel he was living in with his parents, I blushed.  I mean, it wasn’t even a collect call!  This guy cared. We made a date for him to “see me around sometime or whatever”, because he didn’t know what he was doing later.  With a commitment like that, I knew he was clearly smitten.

Musicians have a special kind of anti-knack for gift-giving, in that (a) they have no money because they refuse to get a real job, and (b) they are so self-absorbed that they could not care less what your likes and dislikes are.  You’re lucky they remember your name half the time and don’t just call you what you really are to them: “Car Payment”.  They set the bar so low for themselves that it’s a wonder that they don’t wake you up on Christmas morning with a turd in their hands whispering, “I made you a dook for Christmas!”

It reminds me of the time I was gifted with a toilet seat for Christmas.

While it was, in fact, a new toilet seat, which meant he actually walked into a store to purchase it instead of pulling it off a trash pile down the street, most ladies are expecting something a little more, I don’t know, romantic?  Than a toilet seat?  Pretty much any other item that can be found in a bathroom is more romantic than a toilet seat.  A toothbrush cup, a new rug, even a can of Lysol Scrubbing Bubbles – because those little cartoon guys on the label are kinda cute, right?

Granted, I had only spent $300 on a custom gift for him that he later sold for gas money, but that’s neither here nor there.

I think the best part, though, was that along with the toilet seat came a solid promise to install it.  Many years later, as I pitched the toilet seat into the trash after our breakup, still in its original, unopened clamshell packaging, I wondered if he was still planning on getting around to that.

Now, this is all fine and good, and I’m sure you’re probably thinking it doesn’t get worse than an old Cookie Monster bicycle baby-seat or a new toilet seat, but that’s where you’d be dead wrong, Hoss.

The best-worst hobo gift I ever received from a musician was a rock.

I can assure you that is not a euphemism for a diamond, by the way.  It was an actual rock.  And not a pretty rock from the desert, or one of those smooth river stones that someone painted to look like a sea turtle.  It was a strictly utilitarian rock.  Like the kind of rock I would have later thrown through his window when I found out he was routinely stealing money from my purse, that is, if he had actually had a home.

And it wasn’t like he had forgotten it was Christmas and just picked a rock up off the ground and handed it directly to me on Christmas morning, thinking I’d be none the wiser.  He had wrapped this rock up and taped the package shut – so it was a totally planned gift.

Now, for my gift to him, I had commissioned from a silversmith a large, custom-designed sterling silver charm for his black leather cord necklace (because 1990s) that took me weeks of planning and about half my paycheck but, again, that’s neither here nor there.

He, on the other hand, gave me a rock, wrapped in newspaper from my own recycling bin.  Now, I know you’re thinking that there’s nothing worse than receiving a rock wrapped in your own garbage newspaper as a gift, but that’s where you’d be dead wrong again, Hoss.

As he gave me the rock and I unwrapped it, he told me, in complete earnest, that it was a rock that had been given to him by his favorite ex-girlfriend, and now he was “entrusting” it to me to take care of it.

That’s right.  This was no ordinary rock.

This motherfucker gave me a secondhand rock.

He re-gifted me a rock.

He re-gifted me a rock from his ex-girlfriend and then said, out loud, to my face, “This is a rock my favorite ex-girlfriend gave to me and now I’m entrusting its care to you.” As a gift!

I’ve gotta say, though, whoever this ex-girlfriend was? She was waaaaay more experienced at dating musicians than I was, because by giving him this rock, she had clearly been aiming to give him a taste of his own medicine.  I assume it was her response to previously being given one of his other ex-girlfriend’s used maxi pads as a gift for Valentine’s Day.

I mean, she gave him a rock?  That’s some seriously next-level shit right there.  That’s the kind of shit Grace Slick or Stevie Nicks would pull.

Truth be told, I wish I actually could have met this ex-girlfriend, because I would have side-eyed her as I shook her hand and said, “Well played, ex-girlfriend. Well played.”  Then I would have sang “Wind Beneath My Wings” to her, because how else could she know she was my hero?

Seriously, she gave him a rock?  That woman should be goddamned President.

“I don’t give a shit what you think.  You can either start being nice to me, or you can leave.”

Dewd = Guy who sucks

Man = Guy who doesn’t

Now that we’ve got that out of the way…

I do not enjoy Pantera.

For most of my life, were I to admit this type of opinion out loud, it would have meant that I would be relentlessly ridiculed by any dewdz in the room.  In order to avoid the ridicule, I would have to pretend that I liked Pantera.  Even though I can’t stand Pantera.

The closest thing I like to Pantera is Panera.  The “You Pick 2” Turkey Chili and Classic Half Grilled Cheese is my jam, and I’m not afraid to admit it.  You wanted to see me be brave, Sara Bareilles, so there you go.

Plus Panera has an online ordering app.  If you have an app that allows me to order food and pay for it without interacting with a live human, you are my friend for life.

I’ve gotten off-topic here.

So!  Not liking Pantera isn’t about getting older and not liking loud music or guitar wankery.  I adore guitar wankery, despite my opinion that guitar players are the worst kind of scum.  I will listen to Van Halen on 10 any day of the week, and I consider that particular environment to be my natural habitat, actually.

It’s that I’m old enough to stop pretending to like things that dewdz like in order to be accepted by dewdz.

Back when CDs were a thing, that was always the worst part about having a dewd come over to your house for the first time:  the scathing review of your CD collection.  That’s where the dewd sits in front of your CD tower, scans all of the titles from top to bottom, and makes fun of you for anything in there that they find unacceptable – and by “unacceptable”, I mean anything that is even remotely feminine.  Even if you did a preemptive scan and removed anything he might find to make fun of, there’s always something in there that he’ll zero in on and take you to task over.  “What is this?  A Hole record?  Hole sucks!”

Yeah, that’s true.  Girl bands are terrible.  Luckily there have been so many really great dewd bands out there, you know, like Limp Bizkit and Creed, and Godsmack and Staind, to make up for how terrible girl bands are.

What galls me the most when I look back on all the times these situations that happened to me, is not just that these dewdz thought it was their business to inform me of what my own opinions should be about music, but that I never felt I had the agency to say to them, “I don’t give a shit what you think.  You can either start being nice to me, or you can leave.”  But there was no way I was going to do that.

I didn’t want to hurt their feelings.

For insulting me.

I didn’t want to hurt their feelings for insulting me. 

Women are shown from a very young age that it’s our lot in life to be accommodating and agreeable.  To go along.  To not make a scene.  That is someone is being a total jerk to you, you should just stand there and take it rather than risk hurting their feelings by pointing out what a jerk they are.  After all, maybe you’re being over-sensitive, you woman-person?  Boooooooooooooo.

Now, I don’t have children (and I never will because I don’t have the temperament for it, and believe me, that’s doing a kid a favor), but if there is one thing I wish my friends with kids will someday do, it’s to teach their daughters that it doesn’t fucking matter what dewdz think.  Like, it could not matter LESS.

Go ahead – like Sarah MacLachlan.  Like The Notebook.  Like stuffed animals that are cartoon cats dressed as mermaids.  Like “traditionally” girly things with reckless abandon.  If you want to drink pink wine with ice in it, wear a Twilight t-shirt, listen to Destiny’s Child, and watch a Julia Roberts marathon, then do it.  If a dewd has a problem with it, tell him you don’t fucking care what he thinks, and that he can either be nice to you or he can fucking leave.

Under no circumstances should you apologize for liking the things you like.

Because I can assure you he is not even remotely apologetic about all the dewd things he likes, like drinking cheap shit beer and building a fart collage on the couch cushions, wearing a stained Stone Cold Steve Austin t-shirt and crusty-crotched basketball shorts in public and pretending it’s not their dirty pajamas, listening to the aforementioned Pantera, and watching a stupid Fast and Furious Part 12 movie for the tenth time with his asshole friends who spend more money on their personal sword collections than they do on paying their grandma the rent they’ve owed her for the past ten years*.

And if you’re a woman who just happens to like Pantera, that’s cool, too.  Like what you like, and never apologize.

 

*This is a hypothetical dewd.  It’s certainly not about twenty dewds I used to know.**

**Yes, it is.  It is not actually hypothetical.