I used to have a special gift for finding the biggest project in the room. The insufferable, destructive ass hat. The one that was equal parts narcissist, emotional trainwreck, unemployable, and leather pants.
Any time a guy would walk into a party backwards, still peeing on the front porch, zip up and drop a cigarette from his mouth onto the carpet, and grind it out with the heel of his boot while yelling, “It’s not my fault you were dumb enough to put white carpet in here!” my ass hat spidey-sense would go off and the little hairs on the back of my neck would stand at attention.
Then some random girl would walk up to him, throw her drink in his face for some unrelated reason and storm out the door, and I would think, “Well, this is obviously the guy for me.”
Had I known back then that I could cut out the middle-man known as “Misplaced Hope”, I would have just walked straight up to any of these types of guys and said, “So where do I fill out an application to worship you, pay all your bills, have you steal money from me and then cheat on me with one or more of my friends? I am accustomed to disappointment from every man I’ve ever known and, on a subconscious level that I won’t uncover for many years, your brand is as comfortable and familiar to me as a mother’s perfume is to her child. Maybe I can fix the past by fixing YOU!”
Like so many girls who sprang forth into adolescence headfirst down a hole of despair and emotional depravity, it all started with The Bad Corey.
This may come as a big surprise to you (except not at all because hello), but in the late 80s I was all the way into The Coreys.
That would be Corey Haim and Corey Feldman, in case you’re not familiar, and if you’re not familiar, I don’t even know where to start with you. Maybe somebody is offering Remedial Corey classes at your local night school. I highly suggest you bone up on this information, because it will be on the test.
Calculators are only permitted for the “Box Office” portion of The Coreys Test, where you will have to figure out how much money the “Meatballs” movie franchise lost when they cast Corey Feldman in “Meatballs 4″, a classic sequel to a sequel to a sequel, as the “hottest water-skiing instructor in town.”
I don’t know how that conversation went around the producers’ table, but I assume it started and ended with, “Let’s do this thing! Oh god kill me now please please kill me what has my life become.” <sound of Drano being chugged>
It’s not one of the better Corey movies. All Corey movies are graded on a curve, by the way. It’s not fair to grade them against “other movies”, or what some people refer to as “good movies”. It’s only fair to grade Corey movies against other Corey movies.
Were you your best Corey in this film today?
Could you have Corey-ed it up some more?
What did I learn about Corey in this movie that I didn’t already know?
I tell you what, though, and I seriously, seriously am not even remotely kidding here. Corey Feldman should have won the goddamned Oscar for his performance as “Teddy”, the abused kid with the burned-off ear in “Stand By Me”.
When he calmly informs the junk man, who’s insulting his father for being crazy, “My father stormed the beach at Normandy,” before eventually exploding into threats and tears as the boys drag him away from the junkyard, it GUTS me. Give it a re-watch and see if you can make it through the emotional complexity of that really terribly abused kid actually defending his abusive father without wanting to just die inside.
Yes, of course I read his autobiography, “Corey-ography”, so knowing how badly Corey Feldman was abused in real life as a kid, that scene makes me want to curl into a ball on his behalf. That may have just been a scene in a movie, but that abused kid in that scene was very, very real. That’s a hell of a big ask for a kid on a movie set, and I can only imagine how tapping into whatever he had to tap into to pull off that scene must have torn him to shreds. He was just a kid, for god’s sake. That would have hurled most adults into a 72-hour hold.
Hey dramatic departure! Let’s lighten it up a bit, huh?
You didn’t really have a choice in the matter when it came to loving Coreys in the 80s – they were everywhere. You would never ask a twelve year old girl if she was into The Coreys. You just asked her which one.
Now, you would think with all my gushing over Corey Feldman in “Stand By Me”, that would mean that my Corey of choice was Corey Feldman, but you’d be wrong. Despite being the long-haired Corey, the bad attitude Corey, and the damaged Corey, there was someone far, far, far more damaged.
Someone who seemed to be a shiny, jangly, pretty boy, who later turned out to be a bottomless pit of screaming, soul-ripping darkness.
Corey Haim, for his pretty boy face and the adorable smile that made America fall in love with him in movies like “Lucas” and “The Lost Boys”, would surprisingly end up becoming The Bad Corey.
I always liked cute Corey, sweet Corey, Corey who just wanted to take Heather Graham out on a nice date in “License to Drive”. I liked him just fine. But the moment The Bad Corey publicly emerged? Goodbye to Sandra Dee.
I remember the moment it went from a “like” of Corey Haim to a “love”. It was in the old movie theater down the street from my house, watching “Dream a Little Dream”, and my formerly sweet-faced, blonde highlighted Corey Haim, the one with the cute smile where his lip kinda curled up at the corner like Elvis (and don’t even get me started on Elvis), the Corey with the clean jeans and high-tops, appeared onscreen before me, looking like this:
Smoking cigarettes? Check. Hair dyed an unnatural color? Check. Ludicrous clothing and accesssories? Check. Foul-mouthed? Oh god. Check. The pasty, lifeless complexion of a person who is clearly on drugs? (angel harp music) Check.
My Corey had blossomed into The Bad Corey.
What was that? LET ME SAVE YOU FROM YOURSELF?
You know that’s the one, right? That line? That’s the one that leads so many women down that road. “Fixing the broken guy” road. “Giving him a reason to live” road. “Being the one who makes him see that the love and devotion of a woman will make him stop destroying himself” road.
The alternate name for this road is, “You will spend a lot of time and money in therapy after this guy has ruined your life. You cannot fix a broken past by breaking your future.”
I don’t know if I can adequately express to you just how much I do not recommend this road, especially when “Nice Guy Who Doesn’t Snort Prescription Diet Pills Because His Coke Dealer is in Lock-Up” roads are also nearby, and won’t cause the kind of wear-and-tear on you that will leave you stranded on the side of life’s highway with an empty wallet and a vaguely itchy crotch.
I’m not going to tell you these roads are always easy to find, sometimes you just have to get lucky, but as my therapist told me in not so many words many years ago, they’re much easier to find if you stop driving your car in circles around Sodom and Gomorrah with a bullhorn out the window shouting, “Free girlfriend, money, psychiatrist, and laundry service here! Standards nonexistent!”
And I won’t even charge you a co-pay for that bit of counseling, sister.
Who are we kidding? That dude’s not paying you back. If he were into things like paying people back, he’d have a job, not a band.
There are good musicians to date (accordion players) and there are bad musicians to date (all the rest of them) but, just like any other study in stereotypes, the bad ones generally stick out the most.
The one thing guy musicians have in common is that you will always, always, always come second in their lives. Get used to it. Your smile’s got nothing on bright lights and a roar of applause from strangers. Nothing.
If he were given the opportunity to play a show in front of 10,000 people, but it would require him to amputate one of your toes and then eat it in front of you, guess who’s about to have only nine toes? He will yell, “Thanks for the snack, babe!” as he runs down the hall from his dressing room to the stage. You will hobble on a tiny bloody stump. The next day he will be annoyed that you now walk so slowly, and will loudly sigh when you ask him to slow down.
A musician will refuse to call you his “girlfriend” unless you let him move in with you. If he hasn’t moved in yet (which would be surprising seeing as he’s homeless), you will instead be referred to as “I don’t like labels. Can’t we just hang out and have sex at my leisure?”
Him calling you his “girlfriend”, by the way, does not imply exclusivity. “Girlfriend” is more equivalent to “Benefactor”. He will absolutely still have sex with other women. He’ll have sex with you, too, but you’ll also have the good fortune of being the one he chooses to put gas in his car, food in his belly, and clothes on his back. Lucky you.
So he gets it on in the bathroom at the bar with some random skank? Big deal! Don’t you get it? His passionate soul can’t be tied down, baby! The heart (dong/ego) wants what it wants.
He will say, “Mmm-non-mon-pom-wall” and you will say, “What?” Then he will spit out another woman’s underwear from his mouth and say, “It’s nothing personal!” Then he will ask you to wash the underwear along with the rest of his laundry.
As the girlfriend, the only way to prevent such things from happening is to make sure you attend every single show his band plays. Because if you ain’t there when he walks off the stage, trust me, there will be plenty of girls who will be. Even if it’s on a Tuesday night at 1:00am, it’s a three hour drive away, and you have to be at work the next day at 7:00am. Even if your best friend is marrying a British royal and you’ve been invited to be in the wedding party. Doesn’t matter. Your ass better be there at whatever shitty bar he’s playing in Lakeland, Florida on a Tuesday night. Your devotion and paranoia will be rewarded by maybe not getting an STD.
If you have a problem with any of the above, you are “uptight” and you “don’t understand” him. If you actually break up with him over it, he will tell everyone that you “went psycho” on him.
Here’s a handy tip sheet to help you make an informed decision the next time you’re thinking, “Oh my god – he was totally staring at me through that whole last song! Damn he’s hot! Should I give him my phone number?”
Narcissistic Personality Disorder I mean, Singer: The worst, worst, worst. Master of the Gaslight, Keeper of The Ego. No one can convince you they’re madly in love you, then have sex with your sister, then make YOU apologize for it, then convince you to give them $300 for their car payment better than those guys can. I’ve known many smart, level-headed people who have been reduced to insecure, suicidal wrecks at the hands of the singer. Stay away! These guys propose to you within a week, and fall desperately in love with you – for about two months. Then it’s onto the next one. Do a Google search for “love bombing”. Expect to find a large cache of John Mayer photos. Then he’ll be like, “I really consider myself a guitar player…” Shut up. We all know that you can actually play. We get it.
And, yes, I was a singer. And an asshole. I get the irony.
Lead Guitar Player: Requires an incredible amount of patience. Your relationship will consist of listening to him play scales, pretending not to notice that he’s stealing all your skinny jeans, and riding on his bike handlebars to buy him McDonald’s. He uses the words “LITERALLY!” to describe anything that is not literal, to the point that you will eventually start to involuntarily cringe when he says it. Also, he is approximately as smart as a potato chip, but he will tell you that he’s “street smart”. Also, he is not street smart.
Rhythm Guitar Player: Generally easy-going, but is pretty sure he’d rather be the lead guitar player, and needs constant reassurance that he’s as good/needed as the lead guitar player. You will come to recognize the sound of skateboard wheels on your driveway as him arriving for dinner, and gentle sobbing as the sound of him falling asleep on your futon, clutching a photo of Stone Gossard from Pearl Jam. He owns either a ferret or a snake, but never both. He gets haircuts regularly, which is good, but only because his mother still pays for it. He is 35.
Bass Player: Do you do drugs? Would you like to? Date a bass player. He’ll only charge you for your half, oh, and his half. The sound of a car door slamming and “Later, Grandma!” is your cue that he’s already eaten dinner before he arrived at your house, so now it’s time to smoke a bowl and watch some Adult Swim in his “crazy” boxer shorts. Do not let this man bring pewter figurines into your house or you will never get rid of him. He will pull out his Wizard Pocket Constitution and tell you that, legally speaking, a pewter wizard can’t be evicted until thirty days’ notice has been properly served. He will ruin your clothes dryer with the 24-sided dice that he forgot to take out of his wide-legged jeans.
Drummer: You have to question anyone’s motives for wanting to lug all that crap around and beat on it for hours at a time. Perhaps he’s angry? But he also wants to sit? Sitting and being angry? What a coincidence! That’s exactly what you’ll be doing the whole time you’re dating him. His ass smells terrible. Like really, gut-punchingly terrible. So bad that you store a dead buzzard in the laundry hamper to kill the smell. He has a car, but he also lives in it, so at least you can kill rent money and gas money with one never-paid-back-loan-stone if you’re hesitant to let him (and his piles of crap) move in.
This is what happens when you let that happen:
Keyboard Player: Only if you can handle hours of stories about how he totally pwn3d all the noobz at computer camp when he was a teenager with his savant-like knowledge with regard to the more obscure works of Philip Glass. If you’re into that scene, then please go forth and propagate with this man, and spare the rest of the world from his wiener. You’d be taking one for the team, really, and someday your eventual spawn will probably be smart enough to crack enemy computer codes or something, or at least come up with wireless ear buds that don’t look like Ben Stiller’s ear in that scene from “There’s Something About Mary”. You know which scene. Don’t make me spell it out.
Any Musician Who Takes Off His Shirt Onstage: Gross. Just gross. Nobody wants to see your weird spoon-chest, Topher.
Guys Named Christopher Who Call Themselves “Topher”: Musician or not – just say no.