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.

The Band Thing

Does your new band have a new album out?  Yes, I would love to listen to it!  In the previous century.

So if you happen to have a time machine along with your demo MP3 or CD or whatever you’ve got there, I’d be glad to hop into it with you and take a listen, otherwise, I’m fine to just sit in my car and continue listening to this Van Halen song, thanks.

I don’t want to be that old person who thinks your new band sucks or is boring.  If we’re being perfectly honest here, and I would hope after all this time we’ve been together that we should feel comfortable being honest, I can’t even muster up enough interest in your new band to form an opinion on whether it’s boring or it sucks.  The distance between my finger and the play button might as well be a mile.  I cannot make myself care enough to even listen to ten seconds of it.  I just can’t.  I overdosed on new bands years ago and I had to quit cold turkey.  Even if nine out of ten dentists recommend brushing with your new band, I’ll be on the side of that one, lone-holdout dentist who refuses to even weigh in on the matter.

(Please note that I am only on the lone-holdout dentist’s side for this particular scenario only.  Otherwise those guys can all go straight to hell.  I have to assume the lone-holdout dentist in any of those dental studies is just one of those contrarian-types by nature, and will argue the other side of anything with anybody, just for the sake of being difficult.  If you put them in a room with a bunch of round-earthers, they’d say the world is flat, and if you put them in a room with a bunch of flat-earthers, they’d say Kanye totally has a chance of making a comeback after all this shit he’s pulled.)

The problem isn’t the new bands.  It really isn’t.  The problem is the years I personally spent in a band and The Wizard of Oz takeaway I got from it.  I made the long journey down the yellow brick road, pulled back the curtain, and was like fuuuuuuuuuuuuck.  Related – I have no idea why I’m so into the Wizard of Oz lately.

I wanted to be in a band from the time I was four years old when I saw Joan Jett on television for the first time.  I was standing in the living room on the shag carpeting, holding my favorite stuffed animal (Lammy Pie, who I still sleep with in the bed), and was truly thunderstruck.  Joan Jett.  I’d never seen a woman like her before.  I knew right then that I wanted to be whatever she was.  She was, and still totally is, the actual. fucking. coolest.

Fast forward many years and I was finally in a band – for ten years.  It wasn’t anything like I thought it would be.

That’s mainly because most musicians aren’t “cool” so much as they are goddamned insufferable.  They’re all the perfect 50/50 combination of massive ego and eggshell ego, which has long been the recipe if you want to make a big ol’ bucket of Grade A “Asshole”.  They require constant attention, constant reassurance and ego-stroking and expect everyone to hang on their every word because oh, they’re such brilliant and sensitive geniuses!  Nobody’s more clever or damaged than they are!

They also win the award for thinking they’re the only people in the world who ever shed a fucking tear.  Just wait until someone they were friends with for two days at summer camp, someone they haven’t seen in 20 years, falls down an elevator shaft or something and they’ll write a 12 minute magnum opus about how their “best friend” died and then they’ll walk around wearing all black for three months.  Oh god, the drama.  I assume November Rain was written about one time it got cloudy for like five minutes and Axl Rose stared out a window and thought, “NOTHING LASTS FOREVER”.

Being in a band is also a lot of standing around listening to all the other musicians talk about how great they were or how sad they were or how much they didn’t give a fuck – and how much everybody else falls short by comparison.  Lots of arguing over who got to be the loudest onstage, lots of secret volume knob-turning up after the argument had been settled, and non-stop jockeying for the most prime space on the bill and on the stage.

Or was that just the way I acted when I was in the band?  Wait, I think that was just me.

Wait, no.  It was all of us.  Most of us?  Be honest with yourselves, musicians.  If you’ve ever uttered the words, “Can I get more vocal in the monitor?”, you’re probably insufferable.  Don’t worry – it’s part of your charm.  Much in the way a skunk’s stink is also part of its charm.  It’s the thing that makes them remarkable.  Stinky, something you should avoid like the plague, and remarkable.

You have actually interrupted someone’s wedding vows to explain your bass rig to someone.  You know you have.

You have handed out your CD at a funeral.

You have non-ironically quoted your own lyrics in casual conversation.  Gross.

You have told people, with a straight face, that you really need to get your signature song, your “message” out to the masses.  Also, your signature song was written using a Webster’s Rhyming Dictionary, which I know for a fact you have, because you left it on the back of your toilet that time when you had that party.

If given the option to give up ten IQ points or finally achieve that perfect tone you’ve been seeking with your new guitar setup, you’d ditch the IQ points.

Also, I can think of approximately fifty trillion things that are more interesting to anyone in conversation than your guitar tone, so please, for the love of god, stop talking about it.  You are allowed to talk about your tone when you’re at the guitar store and the guitar store only.  That’s it.

And get this – nobody at the guitar store wants to hear about your tone, either.  They’re just waiting for their turn to talk about theirs.  Even if Eddie Van Halen did an in-store appearance and talked about his tone, you’d just be sitting there waiting for your turn to tell him about yours, like he gives a shit.

It’s like when you get a room full of new parents together, and each one is just waiting for their turn to talk about their baby and nodding politely until the other person stops talking.  They’re not listening to you and they don’t care about your baby.  They just want to talk about their own baby.  Then when they start talking about their baby, all you’re doing is waiting for your turn to talk about your baby again.

Bands ruined me for all subsequent bands.  I don’t want to hear about your new band, I don’t want to listen to your new band’s new song, I don’t want to know what the word “band” means anymore.

I thought people in bands were the coolest people in the world my whole life, until I made it into a band myself, pulled back the curtain, and instead of finding a wizard, I found a bunch of assholes preening and whining and pretending they didn’t go turn up their amp after everyone just agreed they needed to turn it down.

You’re allllllll stinky.  You’re stinky like a skunk.

Also, shut up.

How To Not Be a Relentless Dick in The Makeup Store

There is nothing more cringe-worthy than when someone says something that they believe to be funny, and then they didn’t think enough people heard it, so they say it again.  And again.  And again.  I think the main issue is that they think nobody laughed simply because they hadn’t heard the allegedly funny quip, when in reality nobody laughed because what they said wasn’t funny.

If you say something you think is hilarious and nobody laughs, let it go.  If you have to convince someone that something you said was funny, you’re not making yourself look any better.  It’s like trying to talk your way out of being dumped.  Not only does it not work, now the person who’s dumping you also thinks you’re pathetic.  It works the same for music.  If you play a song and nobody claps, it’s because your song is bad.  It just is.  Now, to be truthful, even though I’m a pissy little so-and-so, I clap for anyone and everyone when they finish a song, even if it was terrible, because I know that gross, sick feeling of finishing a song and receiving crickets back.  But generally speaking, if nobody claps, you need to let it go and go back to the drawing board.  Chastising the crowd for not clapping just makes it even worse.  The world doesn’t automatically owe you applause for your creative endeavors, you have to earn it.

Bobby and I were walking through the makeup store, Ulta, one day and there was a guy there with his wife and teenage daughter, trudging through the aisles like he was being dragged off to his own hanging.  They were on the same aisle as us, so I guess this guy saw Bobby and thought, “Oh thank heavens!  Another man!” and loudly proclaimed to the air, “I’ve got a million dollar idea!  They should put a gun store next to this place so men can get away from all this girly crap!  I’m serious!  Is that a million dollar idea or what?!  HA HA HA HA HA!”.  We ignored him.

Of course, what I wanted to say to him was, “I know, right? And maybe a titty bar and a wack shack and a movie theater that only shows the Die Hard franchise so that we all know you’re not into putting penises into your mouth! Good thing you’re working so hard at letting all of us know that’s not the reason you’re in the makeup store! HA HA HA HA HA HA!” And then I would pull out a shotgun, cock it with one arm Terminator 2/Linda Hamilton-style and yell, “Now let’s see if we can get these Clinique bitches to bust out some titties, cowpoke!  Woooooo hoo!  Dangle jangle!!!” And then have Bobby start playing a wicked banjo.

😐

We heard this relentless dick repeat his gun store quip over and over and over throughout the store.  Nobody laughed any of the numerous times that he said it, and pretty much everybody rolled their eyes with a labored sigh.  I can only figure that:

A.  He thought this was a hilarious quip and wanted to make sure everybody heard it, because who doesn’t like a lot of loose gun talk in the makeup store (especially these days!); and

B.  He wanted to make sure nobody in the store thought he was there to buy makeup, as if the Guy Harvey fishing shirt, camouflage cargo shorts, and cop sunglasses around his neck on Croakies weren’t enough proof that he wasn’t there because he had a personal interest in lip gloss.  His leathery turtle skin told me he was the kind of guy who would have called someone a pansy for even wearing sunblock because a well-weathered sunburn is the only thing that keeps “The Gay” from seeping into your skin.  I’m sure he thinks that if you touch your face with anything but a razor and Barbasol, you might as well just go ahead and draw a dick on your chin.

And I know, isn’t it the WORST when the women threaten your life to make you walk around the makeup store with them?

Oh, that’s not how you ended up in the store?  You’re not being held against your will?

Then either shut it or get the fuck out.

News Flash:  Women would LOVE IT if you would go find something else to do while they walk around the makeup store, especially if your plan is to whine like a shitpants toddler the entire time.  You’re not doing yourself any favors with that behavior, by the way.  No woman has ever sat around a brunch table with her girlfriends and naughtily whispered, “So when we got home, I surprised him with a BJ because he was so good at whining while we were at Ulta!”

Feel free to stay in the car, stay home from the shopping trip, walk over to Walgreens and read some magazines or something, see if the Radio Shack is still there because, yes, it does take us “that long” to compare red lipsticks. It’s a tricky color that, while it can be flattering on most skin tones, if you get the wrong one you can end up looking like Diane Ladd when she went crazy in Wild at Heart, which is a lose-lose for everyone.  Aside from all of your bathroom towels and bed sheets being ruined with lipstick stains, people will be like, “Hey, when did your wife become a GODDAMNED DEVIL GOBLIN?”

So either be cool or get out.

Powder Bad, Broadway Bad

Antiquing.  This can be either: (a) a thing you do when you visit quaint towns on vacation, or (b) what happens when you heavily apply pressed powder to your entire face after the age of 40.

After you hit 40, pressed powder is something that must be lightly dusted onto minimal areas of your face as sparingly as you might sprinkle uranium into your drinking water.  It should be like a tiny lady fruit fly accidentally inhaled some powder and then coughed it onto your face through a tiny fruit fly handkerchief and said in a tiny lady voice, “Oh, I’m ever so sorry, I just can’t seem to shake this fruit fly cold!  Can I trouble you for a tiny teacup of hot water and lemon?”, and then you give it to her despite the fact that she is vermin, because she’s so goddamned adorable.

I mean, don’t let me stop you if antiquing is something you’re into, or if you work part-time as a ghost tour guide in a southern city and it’s your intent to frighten tourists from Canada (like that’s hard).  Or even if you just want someone to mistake you for Paula Deen, then feel free to spackle it on.  It’s not like you can really see her face under the pointy white hood anyway.  Go ahead, give yourself a biscuit face.  What the hell do I care?  I’m not the police!  (Yet.)

Now, if you must know, I am the oiliest person who has ever lived, so this antiquing thing creates a real dilemma for me in the oil-slick-on-the-face department.  Noooobody needs powder more than I do.  As it is, I am probably single-handedly financing the CEO’s yearly bonus at the blotting tissue company.  My face gets so shiny, birds fly into it like it’s one of those all-glass buildings.  If I don’t put any powder on at all, I will be as reflective as C3-PO within 20 minutes of putting on my makeup.  People will look at me and make clever remarks to each other such as, “Shit!”, or “Is it just me or does that tin man have A-cups?”

I’m thinking you’re catching what I’m throwing here.  I’m shiny.

That being said, if I do put powder on, it will gravitate and collect in my fine lines within twenty minutes and look like I have drawn whiskers on my face with white chalk.  Not that I don’t ever draw whiskers on my face with white chalk, but not usually for work, or casual evenings out, or any activities where I’m not in the Broadway revival of Cats.

Semi-related – and just throwing this out here so that I can set the record straight once and for all – I do not enjoy Broadway musicals.  Like, at all.  I’m not sure where things went wrong with regard to my feelings on the subject though, because most people I know wrongly assume that I enjoy Broadway musicals.

I don’t think Broadway musicals are a crime against humanity or anything, they’re just not my scene.  As soon as someone walks out onto a stage and takes that big “theater voice” diaphragm-breath, arms outstretched, with their eyes and smile all wide to really belt out that first note, I mentally go, “NEXT!”  If I could hit a button to make a trap door open under them before they could get the first note out, that’d be ideal.

When my chorus teacher took us to see the traveling Broadway production of Les Miserables in middle school, while everyone else was oohing and ahhing, I was sitting there going, “WHEN IS THIS OVER??”.  Then I bought the Les Miserables t-shirt in the gift shop, because I always have to buy something from the gift shop, because I’ve been told by society that women be shoppin’.

People have really tried to get me to come around on this, too.

“I know you say you don’t like musicals, but wait until you see Avenue Q!”

Hated it.

“I get it, you don’t like musicals.  But this one is different!  You’ll love Wicked!”

Hated it.

I know that even right at this second you’re thinking, “Well, I bet Hamilton would change her mind!”  You would be wrong.  Not because I’ve seen Hamilton and hated it.  I haven’t seen it.  I have no plans to see it.  Because I do not like Broadway musicals.  Because I know that no matter what, there is no way someone doesn’t walk out onto a stage at some point and do that big “theater voice” diaphragm-breath, arms outstretched, with their eyes and smile all wide to really belt out that first note.

This is surely confusing for you given my publicly-proclaimed love of Grease 2, but the only reasons I love that movie are because (a) it was never a Broadway musical, (b) it was a movie starring a movie star, and (c) Michelle Pfeiffer does not have an even passable singing voice, which is a quality I love in a singer more than anything.  Also, if we’re being perfectly honest here, Adrian Zmed makes me uncomfortable in an entirely satisfying way, like when you press your knuckle into your gums just a little too hard and you’re thinking, “Why am I doing this thing that kind of hurts?  Because I can’t not do it, that’s why!”

And, my god, that jacket on Michelle Pfeiffer.  The first time I saw that movie, on that part during my favorite number “Cool Rider”, when she flips that pink satin Pink Ladies jacket inside out and we get to see that it’s black leather on the inside, I thought my 6-year old heart was going to explode out of my chest.  I knew right at that moment, that jacket was a perfect representation of everything I wanted to be in life.

It’s like that episode of Sex and The City where Harry shows Charlotte the photo of the baby they’re adopting from China and she looks at the photo and starts crying and says, “That’s her.  That’s our baby.”  But way more important.  Hello, people?  There are billions of babies in the world!  How many reversible jackets are there out there with pink satin on the outside and black leather on the inside?!

It almost makes a tin man with A-cups believe in miracles.

“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?

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.

Vacation All I Never Wanted

Of the approximately one million things I am too old for, agreeing to stay with you at your place when I’m on vacation is pretty near the top of the list.  Near.  I don’t foresee it overtaking “having to endure long conversations with junkies about Jim Morrison” anytime soon.

It’s not just that I’ve become particular in my old age, I have just never enjoyed crashing at someone’s house.  It was different in my 20s when I was so full of hope and optimism, I was willing to give it a chance. Now I’m just too old to hold out any hope that it’s not going to be a living nightmare.  I’ve learned my lesson.

The main problem, as it turns out, is that I am an asshole, or rather, I have asshole expectations.

Expectations that you would mention to me, prior to my agreeing to stay with you, that you don’t actually have any room for me, but that’s okay, because you’re “sure I won’t mind just sleeping on the floor” (although this also falls under a general category of “You forgot to mention that you have no furniture”).

Expectations that include things like having a guest towel.  I don’t mean a towel that is fancy, embroidered, or professionally laundered – far from it.  I’ll take an old beach towel, no problem.  I mean a towel to use on my own body that isn’t the same one that you just used on your own body five minutes ago, and that isn’t covered in mold and poop spores from being stored on the wet bathroom floor curled up against the toilet.

While I am absolutely an animal-lover, I would generally expect that you would have mentioned to me that you had recently taken in a large, vicious, stray dog, and that it will growl and snap and bite at me and try to shred me and my belongings into dead meat the entire time I’m there, oh, and that you will do absolutely nothing to stop it.  You will sit there and pretend it’s not happening. That’s something I would have liked a heads-up on.  What can I say?  I’m an asshole like that.

Aside from expectations, I am also an asshole because I do not enjoy sleeping on someone’s couch only to have them come into the kitchen at 5am and start using an electric coffee grinder five feet away from my head and then when I wake up, look at me quizzically and say, “Wow – you must be a light sleeper!”

I do not enjoy the fact that you never mentioned to me that you were a drug dealer in your spare time, and that you deal out of the living room which is, coincidentally, the same room I am trying to not get shot in.

And even though we’ve known each other for years, I had no idea that you couldn’t sleep unless you had the local classic rock station blasting throughout the entire house all night.

Or that you are some kind of cocaine monster who only exists on two hours of sleep a night, and will never let me actually go to bed.

I also had no idea that your entire family was in town and were also staying with you, but that’s okay because your pervy dad only feels me up when he’s drunk, which is every night.

I realize all of this may sound like “Hey Maggie – take a hint!” and that people just desperately wanted me to NOT stay at their houses and were just trying to blast me out old school style like Noriega, but that’s not the case.  I have never, ever enjoyed staying at people’s places when I’m on vacation, and have only ever done it after the person has literally begged and pleaded with me to stay with them and eventually psychologically wore me down into saying yes.  By the time I very begrudgingly say yes, I have already said no so many times that I should have “No, really, I am much more comfortable in a hotel” tattooed on my forehead just to save my strength.

Yes, my own personal discomfort is the biggest factor in my not staying with you, but besides that, I think I’ve just reached an age where, as friends, I don’t really want to know how fucking weird you are.  The way you conduct yourselves inside your respective homes is weird.  So weird that there’s a reason you never show this side of yourself in public.  I enjoy the mystique of thinking you might not be so fucking weird because, seriously, you are so fucking weird.