The Six Hundred Dollar Orange

As a young lass, I was thoroughly under the impression that men had very, very high dating standards when it came to women.  You often hear men describe the kind of woman they’re looking for as “5’ 10”, 105 pounds, model-type, no baggage, no high maintenance”.

Women hear that description and laugh so hard it makes their heads hurt, and then, unfortunately, on a deeper level, they immediately feel inadequate, like there’s something wrong with them for not meeting those requirements, even though they know they’re ridiculous.

For starters, if you see a thin woman who is 5’ 10”?  She probably weighs at least 160 pounds.  Women can’t tell you that, because men hear “160 pounds” and immediately close their eyes and picture the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.  I once heard a guy describe a woman as “pretty freaking chunky”, and when his friend asked how much he thought she weighed, he said, “Oh man, she probably weighed like 120.”

Sorry, I just guffawed so hard that I choked on this Weight Watchers ice cream bar, not to mention a bucket of hopes and dreams.

Also, when I was 13 years old, I was 5’ 1” and weighed 105 pounds, and people accused me of being anorexic or having some kind of terminal disease.  My head looked like a lollipop with my body as the stick.  You could play xylophones on my ribcage, front and back, and I couldn’t lie flat on my back because my spine dug into the mattress so hard that it would leave a bruise on me.  So, no, barring some weird supermodel whose bones are made of paper, nobody is 5’ 10” and weighs 105 pounds.

And “Model-type”?  Really?  Unless you, yourself, are the equivalent of a male model, then no.  Juuuuuuuust no.

“No baggage” means you should have no problems of any kind.  You know, like all those scores of people in the world who have no problems?  I’m sure the person who’s requiring you to have no baggage certainly has no baggage himself!

That sound you just heard, was me rolling my eyes until they fell out of my head and onto the floor.  I know you may live 5,000 miles from here, but I’m sure you still heard it.

Related, anyone who tells you that they are “drama-free” will always, without fail, every time, be the most dramatic motherfucker you’ve ever met in your entire life.  Count on it.

“No high maintenance” means you should wake up in the morning and look flawless.  Fuck you.  I’m not even going to dignify that one with a response.

It’s funny, because you would think that since men’s standards are so very high, that only one out of like every 100,000 women would have a boyfriend or husband and the rest of us would be toiling the nights away alone, crying in a house full of cats and collecting cobwebs in our hoo-hahs.  Look around and, obviously, you’ll see that’s not the case.  Not even close.

As I have become a dusty old hag, I have realized that these men are not highly discerning at all.  They’re just attempting to be shrewd negotiators. These types of men, the ones who state this ridiculous laundry list of standards, are usually the same ones who will turn around and stick it in anything that moves.  They’re just starting off the negotiation from what they think is the highest asking price, which is for some reason, a supermodel with the body of a praying mantis who also has no problems and wakes up looking flawless.  They know that woman’s not showing up.  They figure there’s no harm in throwing that asking price out there.  It’s a first offer.

So what do you do?  You do what you do with any first offer.  Reject it and counter.

If he says, “5′ 10″, 105 pounds”, you counter with “5′ 3″, 220 pounds”.

If he says, “Model-type”, you counter with “I am good at my accounts receivables job.”

If he says, “No baggage”, you counter with, “You first, asshole.”

If he says, “No high maintenance”, you counter with, “I don’t often leave skidmarks.”

Then tell them to take it or leave it.

It reminds me of this episode of Designing Women where MaryJo is complaining about how when she lived in Mexico, there was no such thing as a price tag, and when she would ask a shopkeeper, “How much is this orange?” they would size her up and say, “Six hundred dollars”.  Then she would put the orange down and walk away, and the shopkeeper would chase after her and yell “Thirty cents!”

All this fretting over whether some guy doesn’t want to date you because your eyebrows aren’t perfectly waxed, or because you have cellulite or weigh more than 105 pounds.  And OMG what if he finds out you have problems?!!  All the emotional strife because you’re not the kind of woman who can roll out of bed looking perfect.  I’m here to tell you it’s all for naught.  I’ve never encountered any man whose standards are actually that high.  And if they are?  They can go jump into a dick-shaped volcano.  You don’t want to be with someone like that anyway.  Those are the guys who will never, ever stop looking for the bigger, better deal.

Slow your roll, women.  Take a deep breath.  You don’t need to meet somebody’s ludicrous requirements, because their requirements are exactly that:  Ludicrous.  They are as ludicrous as asking someone to pay $600 for an orange.

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?