Posts Tagged ‘Relationships’

Fra-Gee-Lay. Must be Italian

Fra-Gee-Lay. Must be Italian

During one of my many whining sessions over the phone with my late mother, she once told me; “You know, I have noticed you are very easily slighted. I can be that way too, but it’s really not a great way to go through life.” She was right. Of course, (I never told her this. Rule number one in the Parent/Child instruction book is “Never admit when they are right.”) I am, and I have always been, hypersensitive and it’s not an endearing quality or a particularly pleasant way to live. Add to this my raging generalized anxiety disorder, my exceptional creativity and a newish technology (social media) for my insecurities to work out with, and we have a recipe for a fairly miserable online existence to couple my everyday fairly miserable existence. Trust me, my many insecurities and various neurosis’ don’t need to work out… they are already jacked like a Gold’s Gym Steroid Queen.

I’m not going to bash Facebook like I did cell phones in a recent post because I use Facebook on a daily basis. FB has been wonderful for reconnecting with old friends and staying in touch with others. It also allows for me to post clever, poignant and funny little one-liners, creating a facade of depth, decency, a soul and many other positive qualities that I pretend to possess.

“Butt-Hurt” is one of my favorite new expressions from the contemporary vernacular. According to another favorite website of mine; Urban Dictionary, Butt-hurt is defined as:

An inappropriately strong negative emotional response from a perceived personal insult. Characterized by strong feelings of shame. Frequently associated with a cessation of communication and overt hostility towards the “aggressor.”

Perfect. I think the reason I like this term is because I have spent so much of my life being butt-hurt. Like a pompous hipster asshat, I can honestly say I was into being butt-hurt before it became main stream. I’ve been butt-hurt regularly since 1975 when my grandmother told me I was sitting too close to the TV, watching my neighbor; Mr. Rogers, and that was why I had to wear glasses. (With the dorky strap that would insure that I wouldn’t lose them, but that I would be beaten up regularly at recess.) I was 5 at the time, so this was probably 2 or 3 years before I started using obscenities and threats of physical violence when addressing my grandmother…But I do remember not speaking to her, until she bribed me later that night with rhubarb pie and ice cream. I’m a big fan of using the silent treatment, which is interesting as I really suck at sticking with it. I fold after the second or third, “OK…what’s up?” As I said I capitulated quickly with the offer of the pie. I was cheap then, and come to think of it…. I’m cheap now too.

Facebook nuance and etiquette is a perfect breeding ground for butt-hurt-ed-ness or is it butt-hurtury?. I routinely pout and sulk over my FB friends not responding quickly enough (or at all) to my many inquiries, greetings and salutations. “I wished you a happy birthday 16 minutes ago and you haven’t thanked me….WTF?” What’s worse is that I know they saw what I wrote, because the little messenger thingy confirms with a little “Seen” followed by the time. “What’s the matter? Too busy to type or text “You too” after I wish you a “Happy St Patrick’s Day”? The time feature allows a truly anal retentive and delicate little flower like myself to determine exactly how long they have been ignoring me. Sometimes they respond just as I was settling into a nice juicy sulk, and I almost resent this. Nothing worse than having one’s butt-hurt interrupted or…um healed? Is that the opposite? Butt-healed? Well if it isn’t, it should be…that’s a great expression too. Remember, if it isn’t an expression yet, you read it here first.

"Yeah, I hath de-friended her this very morn. For she doth believeth that she is all of that."

“Yeah, I hath de-friended her this very morn. For she doth believeth that she is all of that.”

So there is that little nuance of FB. Sending messages on FB is communicating, but it’s a very different type of communication. One cannot just stop talking during a phone conversation. (Like I used to with certain exceptionally long winded family members. For example, If my grandmother started talking about how Aunt Miggie’s piles were giving her trouble lately, I knew I had a 20 minute lapse in our conversation window where I could quietly put down the phone, make a sandwich, trim my toenails or do a crossword puzzle before I had to pick the phone back up and say “Yeah, that must be terrible.” and pretend I had been listening the entire time. I just wonder if other people who are more well-adjusted than I (you know like, pretty much everyone) get upset by this. I hope so. I don’t like being the only neurotic on FB.

Another thing I wonder about in regards to FB is “de-friending” someone. To begin with “De-Friending” sounds frighteningly Orwellian.

“What’s wrong Scott? You look really down.”
“I was just de-friended.”
“Who was it?”
“Jimmy from high school?”
“No, we aren’t Facebook friends.”
“Jimmy from the Starbucks in Union Square?”
“No, Jimmy from the bar.”
“Do I know him?”
“I don’t know,”
“De-friended huh?”
“Yeah. (sigh)”
“Um, you want a hug or something?”

FB doesn’t tell you that you’ve been de-friended and I think most people aren’t aware of a de-friending right away, unless it is someone you correspond with regularly. I wonder if the executives and developers at FB ever had some kind of butt-hurt management seminar to avoid these kinds of situations. I mean it certainly wouldn’t do to have flashing lights and Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Good Bye by Steam playing when you sign on to FB after a de-friending. (Although in a warped way, that would be kind of cool) De-friending on FB is a little like de-friending in real life in that these people sometimes just phase out of our lives. I tried to find some friends who had suffered from a major de-friend fallout when researching this piece, but no one owned up to having had one. I’m sure it happens. Although the experience probably lacks a certain je ne sais quoi. When a friendship, FB or otherwise, ends, there should be some interesting and dramatic fallout…. some yelling followed by an “I want my Ken Burns Civil War DVDs and my ABBA CD’s back!!!” It’s just not the same, to hover your mouse over the “Friends” box and click them out of your life.

“Oh Screw you, ya creep!”
“Screw Me??? Screw Me?”
“Well, if that’s how you feel!”

“Let’s see…here it is…’friends’ … (CLICK) “Well, I certainly told her!”

At this rate, in the next 10 years we will all be breaking up, divorcing, getting fired and colonoscopy results via a swift click of the mouse

(RING) “Excuse me I need to take this….Hello? I see…OK Thanks. Bye.”
“Who was that?”
“My wife…she’s leaving me and running off with our pool-boy; CoCo.”

I admit I have gone on FB purges that would have made Wacky Joe Stalin proud. I have this weird notion that people with over 300 “friends” on any social media site are highly suspect. So occasionally I go through my FB friends and just drop the people I never speak to. What’s really strange about this is that I almost always find a “friend” or three whom I don’t even recall becoming FB buds with. I don’t worry about this too much. These things can happen when one has been known to drink to excess. To date, no one has reached out to appeal a de-friend ruling I have made. Maybe it’s a question of pride. Personally, I would be crushed upon discovering that I had become the victim of a de-friending. Even if it was one of the friends I don’t remember as we became friends while drinking to excess.

Oh, come on, Scott. You can tell me. Just whisper it.

Oh, come on, Scott. You can tell me. Just whisper it.

Sometimes we need to ponder a de-friending. I recently cut my cousin off after serious consideration. He had been posting political rhetoric nonsense on an hourly basis. For the most part I laughed it off, or pointed out where he was wrong. The final straw was when he posted that we need to teach the bible, morality and handgun training in schools. Yeah. There’s a real “What would Jesus do” philosophy. Sorry Cuz. I love you, but I don’t want to get interviewed by Anderson Cooper after the FBI and ATF surround your compound.

“What can you tell me about your cousin Scott?”
“Well, he was my favorite cousin growing up. We played Star Wars and tormented his sister a great deal.”
“Were you Han Solo or Luke Skywalker?”
“I was always Luke Skywalker.”
“That sucks. We had a gay kid in my neighborhood growing up…a boy who didn’t mind being Princess Leia.”
“Hey, we had one of those…we also got a tall wino to play Chewbacca.”
“How did you feel about being Luke Skywalker?”
“Well, it kinda sucked, Anderson. But, I was the blond cousin and he owned a vest, so it seemed a logical conclusion. But, of course, Han is much cooler.”
“I see on his Facebook page he commented that “The Bible and Handguns should be taught in American grammar schools.”
“Yes, sadly that was when I defriended him.”
“Do you think he’s dressed up like Han Solo in his compound?”
“Good question.”

This raises another issue and kindles a small fire of insecurity. When you de-friend someone, and they don’t reach out for an explanation, do you begin to wonder if they really give a rat’s ass? How dare this person whom you have no further interest in interacting with not flip out when they discover your little social nugget of rejection. I have to say, upon further reflection, it must be rough being a junior or senior high school student during the Facebook era. Back when I was an adolescent (an actual adolescent and not the 42 year old I am today with an adolescent’s mentality) we had to go to the mall for rejection that was more up close and personal. It was the 80s and things were tougher back then. Speaking of junior and senior high school, I can’t begin to imagine what it must be like to be a young student during the Facebook era. Kids today are really proficient with computers and I shudder to think of the cyber bullying potential. It’s interesting that I have reconnected with lots of people from high school that I frankly never interacted with back then. As adults they say nice things to me “You always cracked me up.” No I didn’t. I wasn’t that funny. In fact, you never spoke to me in high school. Sadly, I can understand why adolescents are committing suicide as a result of cyber and Facebook bullying. Just thinking about what complete and utter bastards my friends and I were in high school. I could easily see us creating fictitious Facebook pages for classmates I didn’t care for. “Hey, 266 people like the “Jerome’s a Bum Boy Douchebag” page. I even had a kid I hated from high school try to invite me to his list of friends. I refused, and he tried again. Finally he wrote and asked why I had refused his friendship request and I mentioned that he had stolen my bike in 7th grade and that I am generally pretty enthusiastic in regards to cultivating grudges.


Hello, I must be going” Is a brilliant Marx Brothers song and routine. It’s also a wonderful description for another FB phenomena. I hope I’m not alone here, but I have at least 5 FB friends who can’t, don’t or wont interact with me for more than 5 minutes without typing “Well, I have to go now.”, “Dinners ready,” or ” I have to pee.” I understand that people need to pee sometimes, or that dinner is occasionally ready, but every time they are chatting with me? I’m dubious. Then it becomes even more awkward because there is no way to ask about your friend’s rate of urination without seeming needy and annoying. Interestingly, a former FB friend once called me those very words. At least she had the class and courage to say this in person to me, which I appreciated and which allowed me to retort using an expletive that women aren’t so crazy about. No, not that one…the other expletive. She asked for it.

In Japanese there is a word; Wa or Wah which is an expression for a collective social harmony. Japan is a relatively small country with a lot of mountainous terrain that isn’t so suitable for habitation and a large population. It can get quite crowded in Japan and ‘Wa’ is the way that people get along through a rather rigid code of behavior and manners. A friend of mine who taught for over a year in Japan told me of a gesture that the Japanese make when they are in a serious rush or find themselves in an urgent situation and simply don’t have the time to say 14,000 sumimasens which is an all-purpose Japanese Wa expression that means “Excuse Me.”, “Thank You.”, “Sorry.” and “Yes, I’m being a rude bastard, but this is an emergency.” This gesture is considered a little rude, yet is still socially acceptable. Probably similar to the charming western custom of farting during a dinner party and then blaming the dog. I must pause here and say, I am a gentleman in these instances and own up…proudly. “Yep, that was me…pass the beans please…Where were we? Oh yes… You were saying handguns, morality and the bible should be taught in grammar schools” So, when a Japanese businessman is in a rush to catch the 3:10 to Kyoto and is in a crowded train station, he will lower his head and place a flattened hand across his forehead (much like Curly from the Three Stooges avoiding a eye gouge from Moe) and plow on through. Everyone understands he’s in a rush.

So, perhaps in the interest of Facebook Wa, maybe we should find a slightly rude but socially acceptable way to get people to stop pestering us with every day minutia or to knock off the “Hello, I must be goings.”

Maybe we should start color coding our friends, or come up with an acronym like LOL when we aren’t in the mood to or can’t chat for long. How about BTD (Busy these days) or CRTN (Cant really talk now) or how about IFWTPBSAE (I’m finished with this piece but suck at endings)

The End. Oh, no, wait . . . it's not.

The End.
Oh, no, wait . . . it’s not.


I felt a need to revisit this piece as I have recently experienced some FB and former friend dramedy. I haven’t been able to make my faithful editor laugh in a couple months which is one of the reasons I haven’t posted anything lately.

I had a friend. I say friend in that we had been to each other’s homes, exchanged birthday and Christmas gifts, been to movies and other outings together and were familiar to a degree with each other’s lives. He ran a football pool I have been a member of for 15 plus years. I knew this friend from my former job. When I left the job we didn’t see each other much, but we were still friends via facebook. We got together once or twice after I left the job, but saw significantly less of each other.

He became a classic example of the “Hello, I must be going” type that I mentioned. He was on FB daily, several times a day posting news stories, photos and observations, just like I do. However, I found when I reached out to him he wasn’t particularly friendly or responsive. On several occasions I left our “conversations” feeling like he thought I was a pest. Now I have admitted I am hypersensitive, and certainly online/social media communications often lack context and tone. They’re easily misunderstood, and I’m sure I am guilty of coming across as cold, dismissive or whatever at times…hopefully not too often as I don’t want to be a hurtful or mean person. This friend, we’ll call him “Pete” for the sake of simplicity…Pete would write things like “You need to move on.” or “We’ve discussed this already.”…so yes, suffice to say I felt like a pest whenever I reached out to him. I was a little hurt, and I was a little pissed off too as I went through over a year of Pete’s nonstop lamenting about a love interest who was obviously and plainly not interested.

During Gay Pride month I had posted “Happy Gay Pride To All My LGBT Friends!”. Almost immediately, one of my FB acquaintances took issue with this and corrected me that the correct term is “LGBT Pride”. We had an argument over semantics. I messaged Pete who is gay and whom both he and I had agreed that PC feel good speech has gone way too far and that we are constantly walking on eggshells with what we say. As usual, Pete was a little dismissive. Maybe he didn’t agree with me. Maybe he was busy…I don’t know. But he messaged “Have a good day Scott.” which I took as a dismissal. I responded “Sorry to have bothered you.” and took him off my friends list. It had been awhile in coming. I was tired of feeling like I was an annoyance. He wrote back to me and said “Why did you say that, I was just telling you to have a nice day” I wrote back an explanation that perhaps we’d been misunderstanding each other.

As I said, there are no bells and whistles when a friend is removed from your list. He found out a couple weeks later, and wrote a rather firm parting shot at me. After speaking to my best friend about it, we decided the best response was no response at all.

Still the whole episode was sad and disappointing, and its conclusion was decidedly unsatisfying.


Losing weight, exercising, quitting smoking, cutting back on alcohol, salt, or Romanian women, taking a class…these are the standard New Year’s resolutions. I avoid the gym for the first couple weeks in January. That’s about how long it takes most people’s resolve to start to subside. I’d be lying if I said I was any better. When God was handing out tenacity and self-control, I was in the Twinkie line…chain smoking and drinking a beer.

There is one thing I would like many of my fellow human beings to resolve to do in the new year, and to please, please, PLEASE in the name of everything holy, try to stick with it. I want people to strive to find a clue…to think…and to exercise and develop common sense! Intelligence and stupidity can come in many forms. Some people are just dumb. They have low IQs, their brain is a rickety old elevator powered by an elderly and underfed gerbil. I have written to my elected officials to ask if we could work out some kind of federal ID program for the double digit IQs folks out there…Nothing mean spirited or intrusive…maybe a forehead tattoo. Just so we know who were dealing with before we are ordering ice cream, choosing a window at the DMV or getting in line at Radio Shack.

I’m not talking about the intellectually stupid. Their brain power or lack thereof is not their fault. I’m talking about those of average or better intelligence who do mind bogglingly stupid things, regularly. These are college grads, with important pieces of paper and letters after their name, who still haven’t figured out the geometrical intricacies of parking their shopping cart across a grocery store aisle as opposed to to the side of it. I can’t for the life of me relate to this thought process…and I’ve tried. It made my head hurt. They don’t pull their cars into the opposite lane to avoid traffic do they? (Well, sometimes they actually do, which is sad) The reason they don’t is because there is an obvious risk involved. Maybe instead of stopping, heaving a loud sigh and glaring angrily at people who clog our shopping aisles up, we should back our cart up 10 or 20 feet, and then charge our cart at theirs going top speed and BASH. Organic range free eggs and Newman’s Diet Caesar dressing everywhere, and possibly (hopefully) the offending party gets a minor injury and has to pay for and clean up everything broken. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to silently hand these people a bill and a mop?

Today I asked my best friend what she thought might happen if I asked these people why they did such a clueless thing. We both agreed that no matter how politely I asked that it probably wouldn’t go over too well. “Excuse me miss, I’m a writer and I have been working on a piece about super markets and human behavior. I noticed you placed your cart across the aisle while you debate your tuna options. The Bumble Bee solid white is on sale, by the way, over by the register. I love that stuff. Ever put scallions in your tuna salad? No? Oh give it a try, it’s lovely. Anyhoo… getting back to your cart…my question, and I gather by the 4 or 5 other shoppers here waiting for you, theirs as well, is . . .um. . .Why?” My best friend and I agreed that there isn’t a polite enough preface to any question that points out someone’s cluelessness. We conversed a bit longer until she closed with our standard “Honey, I love you very, very much…but you exhaust me.” Awww.

I have a friend; Robert, who is not stupid. When there is something he wants or needs, he is incredibly intelligent, tenacious and resourceful. But there are far too many moments where he is maddeningly obtuse and certain things he does, repeatedly and chronically are simply unacceptable. Lateness, for example…he is regularly up to an hour or an hour and a half late…doesn’t care who he keeps waiting, how much he screws things up or what they miss out on…he is going to be late. What makes me, his other friends, family, employers etc. want to beat him about the head and face with large pieces of lumber are his explanations.

“The train was late.” or “There was traffic.” I have tried to question him in regards to these excuses slowly and methodically, so that maybe, just maybe he will see that his excuses are not only lame, but that they insult one’s intelligence.

“The train was late.”
“The train, huh?”
“How long does it take you to get here using the train?”
“I dunno…maybe 30 or 40 minutes.”
“Uh huh, and you’re 90 minutes late.”
“So, you left half an hour before you were supposed to meet me?”
“Uh, I left 15 minutes before I was supposed to meet you.”
“So, you were going to be late and you knew it?”
“I guess.”
“You guess.”

I pause here and put the beer bottle I am becoming very tempted to hit him with out of my immediate reach.

“You take the train every day, right? A couple times a day even?”
“And, does it seem like the train is usually sitting in the station awaiting your arrival? Has that ever happened, or do you find that usually you have to wait, 10, 15 or 20 minutes for the train to pull into the station?”
“Uh, what do you mean?”
“I mean that sane people, people who think make allowances for the inevitable bullshit that happens with public transportation.”
“How am I supposed to know if the train is going to be late or bypass stations?”
“By living in the city for over 35 years and figuring out the painfully obvious law of averages.” I say wondering exactly how quickly I can grab the bottle and hit him with it.
“What are you so pissed off about? I’m here aren’t I?”
“Yeah…an hour and a half late.”

Robert, a college educated man, a creative man with good taste capable of brilliant conversations about art, politics, history and current events has not been able, in his 45 years on earth to figure out that rush hour is between 7-10 am and 4-6 pm and that there will be traffic that slows things down. Would a severe beating help? I think of how dog owners when housebreaking a new pup shove their faces into their doggies flop and swat them on the bottom with a rolled up newspaper…and lo and behold…the dog makes the connection in a week or three. I guess the question is, what do I shove Robert’s face into? My watch? More importantly, what do I beat him with?

Doesn’t everyone have a Robert or two in their lives?

My inspiration for this piece has to do with my freelance catering business. I have a small business I am trying to get off the ground where I provide catering, bar staff, servers, party planning and DJs. Naturally nights like New Year’s Eve and Halloween are busy nights. Yet people feel the need to try to book with me 24-48 hours prior to the big night. People who work in the service/ hospitality business, contrary to what seems to be popular opinion; don’t sit staring at their phones and begging them to ring on Dec 29th.

Since this is business I refrain from making comments about being the sharpest crayon in the box.

I think what we need to do as a society is to develop a system for a polite indication of gross and willful derpitude. A gesture would work well here. No, not my favorite of my fingers…Something polite, remember? Maybe we could look into the eyes of the offending party and gently tap the side of our heads while smiling sympathetically and kindly.

I wonder what, if anything would work.

Circa 1984

I watch an inordinate amount of television. As I am currently on injured reserve, I am watching even more than ever. Recently as sort of a television solitaire game, I have tried to pay closer attention to commercials as I find them to be fascinating in a psychological and sociological sense. For example, today I noticed that Walmart is using AC/DC’s hit “Back in Black” for their new layaway program. I felt violated. I don’t blame AC/DC as they may not even own the rights to the song anymore. I blame Walmart. They have no business using cool classic rock in their commercials. Lame companies must stick to lame music, otherwise it’s false advertising. Walmart shall be limited to using music by Celine Dion, Paul McCartney’s solo work, Phil Collins and any other artist that universally sucks.

Later, I saw a commercial for a credit card featuring a man on a date. His date looks at him (I’m guessing after he paid for dinner) and says bluntly. “Jim, you’re boring.” She then continues to say “Boring” over and over. Now, I have been on some nightmare dates before. I once had a date with a woman I met online who neglected to tell me she had a metal hook type thing in lieu of a left hand. In fairness I suppose that’s a tough factoid to bring to the surface during initial small talk. “I’m a Libra, I like cooking, walks on the beach, travel, missing a hand, love the band KISS…”

I also once had a date where I decided to cook. I spent the day straightening up my apartment, shopping, cooking and picking out just the right wine to accompany the meal. I’m a pretty fair cook and a gracious and kind host. We had a lovely dinner. When she was done eating, she praised my cooking skills, thanked me for a pleasant evening, put on her coat and informed me she was late for another date…with a woman. I tried to think if I should ask her out again as I washed the dishes.

So, I’ve had some horrifying dates. However, I have never had a woman look at me during or after dinner and say “Scott, you’re boring.” I’m not boring. I’m an ass sometimes, silly, irritating, but decidedly not boring. I think if I were Jim from the commercial. I’d have calmly refilled my glass of Cabernet and thrown it at her. Then I’d stand up and say “That exciting enough for ya, toots?” And if the meal wasn’t paid for yet, I’d instruct the waiter to bring her the check after wrapping up some Crème Brule for me to go.

The premise of the commercial is that “Jim” reinvents himself as infinitely less boring because of his Chase Visa card. I suppose to some people a high credit limit does make a person more interesting.

I’m not a fan of the status quo. I hate insurance, banks and credit card companies. It’s all I can do to keep from puking when I see insurance companies advertising how helpful they are and how much they care. It is depressing to think what insurance companies pay investigators, politicians and lawyers in order to avoid paying their customers what they are generally entitled to. I am a fan of honest advertising, which may be the biggest oxymoron since “compassionate conservatism”.

At a young age, I began my road to constant cynicism when I looked up at the photographic displays of McDonald’s food and then at what I had been served. Only the fries had the slightest glint of honesty. And while we are at it, where were the dancing, singing cheerful teenagers doing cartwheels to fetch my Apple (caution filling is hot) pie? I was disappointed to say the least.

The coup de grace of recent commercial bovine scatology comes from my cable and phone company; RCN which I usually follow with something clever like “Really Crappy Network” but for today’s piece I have re dubbed them” Ridiculous Commercial Nonsense”. The commercial features a nice young woman who was waiting for a service tech to come out and jump start her cable. I’m guessing that her appointment time was “between noon and whenever the fuck we decide to show up”. As it turns out, the problem was not with the woman’s cable, but with her TV…and wouldn’t you know, Mr. Helpful RCN Tech stayed at the nice lady’s house while she went out and bought a new television set and then hooked it up for her…Um Yeah.

I have since been tempted to call RCN and ask if they can send the nice smiling technician with the spotless, pressed uniform and white capped teeth (That must be some dental plan RCN.. No wonder he’s so cheerful and helpful) from the commercial to adjust my cable. After viewing their commercial, I projectile vomited on my cable box and as a result I have experienced difficulty getting the Home Shopping Network. Then, for a goof, when the tech they do send shows up, the one with the beard, missing teeth and FTW knuckle tattoo, I’ll just ask him if he minds sticking around while I go to the electronics store to see what’s on sale.

I know that commercials are generally 30 seconds, so I am guessing that’s why RCN didn’t include footage of Mr. Technician looking through the nice lady’s underwear drawer while she was TV shopping.


Posted: October 11, 2012 by S. Trevor Swenson in Life, Me & Mine
Tags: , , , , , , ,

“From now on, I’m gonna call you “Skippy”.
“But, I don’t know how to skip.”

This morning (OK…OK… it was afternoon) I woke up to an e-mail from my best bud and faithful editor Gow. I mention Gow, or the Gow in many of my pieces. It is her small reward for being an unpaid editor, having to correct my atrocious spelling, grammar, punctuation and to gently telling me “This isn’t funny…yet”. It’s not easy to be critical of me. I sulk, I lash out, I bite my own arm and more often than not, all three. The Gow encourages me, tells me I don’t suck, gets me to stop biting my arm. (Somehow she can tell, even over the phone or via instant messenger. I suppose my typing speed slows dramatically with my teeth sunk deep into a forearm.) Gow pulls funny from me like an oral surgeon bobbing for wisdom teeth.

The e-mail she sent was in response to my whining that no one had commented on my last two blog entries. When I write anything I begin to have grandiose delusions about the scores of comments I’m sure to receive praising my wit. Usually I am quieted with a solitary positive comment. I also go trolling for commentary too. I respect my friend Ruprecht and routinely fish for compliments from him. He is living in a real writer’s freelance purgatory and doesn’t always have time to stroke my ego. Someone had left a comment and Gow wanted to tell me to brighten my day. She included a link and lo and behold there was a comment from Norma Desmond about my latest piece. It took me a moment to realize who “Norma Desmond” was, despite my having dubbed my friend with the moniker. It was my friend Silvia from Germany, who was now living in Spain with her husband Prince M. the nickname was born when I went to Berlin to visit Silvia and had brought along one of my favorite films; ”Sunset Blvd” to watch with her. One of the main characters in the film was an ex-silent movie actress who lived in an old mansion under the delusion that she was still a young star with thousands of adoring fans. The character, Norma Desmond, is played by real ex-silent movie queen and former mistress to Joseph Kennedy; Gloria Swanson. I immediately started calling Silvia “Norma” as she was haughty, high maintenance, beautiful in a vampish sort of way and a little crazy, much like Ms. Swanson’s classic role. Silvia took it in stride.

I was touched that she actually signed her comment with the nickname I had given her. I shall have to ask her what the word for “nickname” is in German.

“Ruprecht” is also a nickname, of course. And, it also comes from a film. “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”. Ruprecht is the mildly retarded, and socially disastrous fictitious brother of an international gigolo used to persuade wealthy, snotty women to disappear after having given the gigolo money with the promise of marriage. “Where Ruprecht goes, I go.” he’d explain. It was always the snotty upper crust women would end up going. I honestly don’t recall where and when I originally started calling my friend Ruprecht. We have one of those old, fraternal sorts of friendships that seem to inspire a fair amount of tongue in cheek abuse. He, in turn has called me “Bubba” affectionately, which I suspect is a sub-conscious dig at the Ugly American. Fair enough.

I am kind of a big nicknamer. I also have nicknames of my own. Here are a few of note in addition to the previously mentioned.

My friend Tiffany – “Poopie Pants” or “Tippany”

(She was called the latter by one of her young students who couldn’t pronounce her name. the former is just one of the many childish expressions I have become fond of, which most women have no patience for. Another favorite among these is Bossy Boots. Although Tippany is a quiet and demure young lady, and hardly a Bossy Boots.)

My friend Arkiem – “Keemy” or “Light and Keemy” when he is dieting

My ex-girlfriend Beverly – “Pokey”

(I used to poke her in the side just to watch her jump. She hated it.)

My Boss Dave – “The Leprechaun”

(He is rather short and Irish.)

My roommate Niki – “Slut”

(She has an active social life and wears tight pants.)

My co-worker Priscilla – “Blondie”

(She has dark hair, yet acts blond.)

My friend Jamaican John and my step-brother John – Both dubbed “Zah”

(“Zah” is an evolution from “John”…to “Little John”, to “Lil John” and eventually to “Lil Zah”.)

My late mother – ”Crazy Lady”

My friend Brendan – “Beef” or “BJ”

(He gets really angry when I call him BJ.)

My former Employer – “Leona Helmsley”

(A fussy ingrate, control freak, little queen.)

My former employer’s partner – “Darth Vader”

(For his evil side.) “Cuddles” (Because he was so morose and miserable.) or “Brainiac” (Becasue he was cerebrally challenged.) and finally “Diamond Jim” (Because although he was quite well off financially, he was unbelievably cheap and miserly.)

My friend Karen – “Special K”

(Originally my step brother called my father ( Kenny ) “Special K” because of his beer belly. He is quite svelte now.)

My friend Pamela – “Pamela J”

(“J” is the first letter of her middle name and she delighted in not telling me what it stood for. “Jezebel” she’d tease.)

When I was 16, my friend “Hippy Jane” started calling me “Swampthing” after we watched a movie trailer. There are perhaps 3 or 4 people in the world who still call me this, and although I never cared for the nickname, it does, in this case remind me of old friends. Jane’s friend who wasn’t crazy about me started calling me “Fubsy” which is a real word meaning short and pudgy. I have always been sensitive about my weight and build, and I’ve noticed many tall women generally like to crack on men of average height. “Hey toots, I’m not short, you’re a WNBA reject.” After the third or fourth time she called me “Fubsy” I countered with “I wouldn’t talk about other people’s weight if I were you.” she practically cried and stormed off. Everyone got mad at me. Hey, she started it.

If anyone would like a nickname, please contact me, divulge ugly and embarrassing personal data, and I will see what I can come up with.

“Of course, my good man, everyone knows that Facebook IS the new standard for “Published Author”

I have started a regular “column” on Facebook. I call it a “column” because I am prone to many delusional moments. I want a regular column, so if that is how I label it… to my way of thinking, voila, instant column. My “column” in reality it is a status update that I have decided to call “Fun at Other People’s Expense” followed by a number. I started the numbers in the four hundred’s to create the illusion that I have written hundreds of these gems of witty yet hateful wisdom. It is also a bait and switch literary marketing tool. Maybe if I write something clever and funny, it will nudge a reader to dig deeper into my many ramblings. It’s an important phase in my plan to write and have published the Great American Bathroom Read.

One of the cool things about “Fun At Other People’s Expense” or FAOPE (Fay-Ope or Fay-Oh-Pee) is that I find I’m pretty good at it. Whenever I am at a loss with what to inflict upon my Facebook friends, because God forbid people aren’t paying attention to what I am saying or writing for more than 30 minutes, I’ll bang out a quick FAOPE. I suppose it’s not one of the world’s greatest talents. It ranks up there somewhere around “really exceptional toenail care”.

Yesterday, my best friend; The Gow came to visit me in my nicotine stained chamber of self pity. She came up for the weekend to visit and to help out with the domestic aspects of daily life that I am having temporary difficulties with after injuring myself. Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho was on TV, and for a goof I decided to explain the plot of the cinematic classic to The Gow.

Looks interesting. What’s it about?

“Oh, hey Gow, you’ll like this. It’s a film is called “Psycho”, it was made by this English director named Alfred Hitch-cock…it’s about a woman who steals some money from her boss and skips town to be with her boyfriend in another city. On the way she stops at an off-the-beaten-track motel and is murdered by the young man who owns the place. His name is Norman Bates and he is insane. That’s why it’s called “Psycho” He lives with his mother’s corpse, and…”

The Gow, who is accustomed to my shenanigans, stopped me short and deadpanned ” Shhh honey, you’ll ruin the ending for me.” She is well versed in my M.O. She knows that if she ignores me, I will redouble my efforts. She also knows that if she gets angry or annoyed, then I have accomplished my mission. The response was incredibly well played by The Gow as it silenced me…for about 30 seconds, which is the best anyone can hope for where I’m concerned.

It dawns on me that this tactic can go well beyond my silly “column”.  (No, I’m not going to stop calling it that) Getting rid of people with tact and grace is a useful skill. It is one many of us have yet to master. It seems to me that we often find ourselves wanting to be rid of people, but without hurting their feelings, being mean spirited or anything that may result in them hating (or hitting) us. We all can relate to the romantic interest that we are no longer romantically interested in. “I think we should just be friends” might be true, often it is, but anyone it has been directed towards leaves unsatisfied and frequently with little to no interest in actually remaining friends.

Have you ever stopped and thought about the many instances in life where you wish you could get someone to go away without bruising their pride or being rude?

Relatives, people we are dating but the spark is just missing, especially tenacious pick up artists. Jehovah’s Witnesses, sales people.

There are also people in life who simply…will…not…go…away. There is a regular at the pub where I work named Liam. Liam was born missing the subsection of the mind responsible for determining personal space or if anyone would like him to stop talking now. He’s not a mean person, or a bad guy, he’s just irritating…unbelievably so. He will ramble on and on (and on) 5 inches from your face, and he can not or will not be dissuaded by anything short of screaming “GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME LIAM!” followed by a 30 second, direct blast of chemical mace. His breath has a “just ate a dog shit burrito” quality to it, and he’s a close talker, which doesn’t help either.

Please. Stop. Talking. Now.

I think I may have inadvertently discovered a tactful way to get rid of people via my little tee-hee with The Gow. Just engage the mark in very direct conversation and keep pointing out the painfully obvious to them in the most pedantic manner possible. Continue to do so until you have turned the tables and that they will be trying to get you to go away.

Just imagine how long you could stay and listen to such gems as:

“You know they call baseball the National Pastime. That’s because it’s a popular game here in America. You know the term ‘pastime’ comes from the words “pass” and “time”, because it’s an activity that passes the time. Pass-Time get it? Paaassss Tiimmee”. Politically speaking I have to say that, Mitt Romney is a Republican, where as President Obama is a Democrat…there are two major political parties in the United States…The Dem-o-crats and the Re-pub-li-cans…”

Continue this simplistic monologue with an occasional “Oh, you already knew that?” thrown in. For this to work properly, it is very important to keep the tone innocent and magnanimous.

If any of my readers try this technique, I’d love feedback on how it worked (or didn’t work) for you. Just leave a comment at the end of my “column”.

I’d like to apologize in advance if someone decides to hit you.

Fun for everyone!

Fun for everyone!

This is dedicated to my best friend Gow, who manages to put up with me, in spite of everything. (Har!)

I am not a fan of Valentine’s Day, and if you’re expecting some original reason for this…well, you’re going to be disappointed. I actually have a few reasons for hating Valentine’s Day, but none are terribly unique.

1. I’m single, with very few romantic prospects at the moment. (With the possible exception of my incarcerated lady pen pals that I have been corresponding with, and that tree wont bear fruit for at least another 16-24 months with good behavior.) Valentine’s Day serves as a reminder to every single person who is taking part in the dating nightmare that they’re alone. It’s not automatically sunnier when you are romantically involved or dating. It can serve as a reminder if things aren’t going well. Plus it’s easy to get into a fight on Valentine’s Day. Hallmark and various confectionary companies have set some kind of bar that most people can’t agree upon. If you do too much, it’s awkward. If you do too little, you look like an ass.

2. Valentine’s Day is quite literally a bad luck day for me. One year I was fired from a job. Another year I was arrested. On one Valentine’s Day I awoke to a note from my mother saying that she had taken herself to the hospital with blood poisoning, which was quite scary for both of us, not to mention how horrible she must have felt. Three horrid experiences on this joyous “holiday” of love? I’ll stay in bed and hide, thanks.

3. Then, of course, there is the tried and true belief that Valentine’s Day is a bullshit holiday made up by greeting card companies, candy makers and florists to boost business.

Yeah, that about sums it up right there.

Yeah, that about sums it up right there.

What one does to celebrate Valentine’s Day is a bit of a social tightrope. If you buy a card for your partner, then surely someone that they or you both know will go balls out in a Valentine’s Day frenzy and make you look cheap or uncaring. Most of the standard Valentine’s Day gifts are useless, expensive or unhealthy, and often a combination of all three. Stuffed animals, candy, flowers. Sure they’re all nice, but the flowers die, the candy isn’t healthy and the stuffed animal is about as useful as …well… a stuffed animal. Speaking of candy… I hate those “assortments” that include about 50 disgusting mystery chocolates to every one halfway decent one. Let’s cut the crap. Give me a heart shaped box full of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and you can skip the box too.

Getting back to the cards for a moment. Who writes this cornball crap? I get nauseous just reading them. Surely Hallmark or American Greetings can come up with something better. Maybe a checklist type of card, where the sender can check off the things they want to “say” to their love interest. Maybe it’s not terribly romantic, but it’s clear and concise and beats those maudlin poems and messages that Hallmark is obviously paying lonely, unattractive people to write.

Wow. . . just . . . ummm . . yeah.

Wow. . . just . . . ummm . . yeah.

Years ago I was living with my girlfriend we were very much in love. I was making decent money at the time and thought it would be nice to send a dozen long stemmed roses to her at her office. She adored the roses, and that made me feel good. However, later I came to realize that part of the reason she had enjoyed the roses delivered to her at work, was because it gave her a chance to stick it to the girls she worked with, but didn’t care for much. Now that’s fine too. I’m a big fan of any, every and all petty torments to those who make our work life a little harder every day. Hell, if I thought it would piss my least favorite co-workers off, I’d be sending myself roses or Godiva chocolates all the time. I understand and enjoy being occasionally spiteful as much as the next guy, but let’s call it what it is then, and not disguise it as a celebration of love.

So this year I have decided to forgo Valentine’s Day in favor of Petty Spite and Bitterness Day. Instead of sending expressions of affection to those we love, like or are interested in, let’s send them to our friends to make their catty co-workers green with envy. Valentine’s Day was named after St. Valentine who, after extensive research I found, had little to nothing to do with chocolates, roses, love letters, or romantic dinners…then again, what do marshmallow peeps and jellybeans have to do with the execution and re-birth of Tim Tebow’s personal lord and savior? (See what happens when advertisers get their claws on a concept? They warp it completely out of recognition.) Since “Petty Spite and Bitterness Day” doesn’t really roll off the tongue or fit in most calendar slots I shall have to think of a more marketable name for this new holiday.

In the UK, Valentine’s Day is celebrated by sending anonymous cards, flowers or trinkets to whomever one has a secret crush on. That’s kind of cool, although I want to take it a step further and send anonymous messages of paranoia and depression to people I dislike. Mail someone some deodorant, soap or mouthwash anonymously. Spend an evening cutting out words from a magazine and paste together a poem with a ransom note panache.

A year ago I wrote a piece called “Really Bad Valentine’s Day Ideas” and it was probably the best received piece I have ever written and one that I felt really good about. I have had a few more really bad Valentine’s Day ideas that I wanted to add to the list.

Oh, the humanity!

Oh, the humanity!

1. Mail yourself 20 or 30 Valentine’s Day cards. Wait by the mailbox for them to be delivered and the inevitable comment from your postal worker about how popular you are. Smile and agree with them, then go back indoors and cry.

2. Make a reservation for two at a popular and expensive restaurant on Valentine’s Day. (Do this well in advance as many places fill up quickly.) Buy a nice new suit or dress for the occasion and sit pretending to wait for a date. Have a bunch of flowers with you. Glance at your watch often while looking forlorn. Fill up on breadsticks and rest assured that all the happy couples in the restaurant are discussing the poor loser who has been stood up. If you’re a true pro with a vivid imagination who has watched and believed too many romantic comedies…try to get into a conversation with the waiter or waitress, certain that they will have some brilliant insights into your situation, or will hook up with you.

Only thing missing is the shirt, right?

Only thing missing is the shirt, right?

3. Buy a “Free Hugs” t-shirt 5 sizes too small and stand on a busy sidewalk or at the exit of a subway station. Have a video camera set up behind you to catch the reactions of disgusted, annoyed or frightened people you encounter after smiling and extending your arms open wide to them. Then go home, make popcorn, play “Air Supply’s” All Out of Love over and over again while watching the tape of the general public’s rejection of you.

4. Call one of your parents and ask if they will be your Valentine. Go out to dinner and a movie with them and tell everyone who will listen that “My mom is my valentine today!”

5. Buy 6 huge bags of those little candy hearts that taste like saccharine flavored chalk. Go to a wine bar and buy and overpriced bottle of red and consume it quickly. Order another bottle and while sitting at the bar, pour the bags of candy out on to the bar in front of you. Between large gulps of wine, read the little hearts messages aloud, then sob or make sarcastic commentary and throw them over your shoulder one at a time. “Be mine….pfffft” “Real Love…doesn’t exist”….”My Baby….My ass” “Let’s Kiss…Let’s not…” You will be asked to leave after a short time. Promise to stop, and then start again until the police are called or a burly doorman escorts you out.

6. Spend the day watching depressing love stories on DVD. My Left Foot, 1984, Leaving Las Vegas, La Strada.

I don't think that's the look of love in his eyes, do you?

I don't think that's the look of love in his eyes, do you?

Happy Valentines Day Everyone.


Posted: November 12, 2011 by S. Trevor Swenson in Life, Observations
Tags: , , , , , , ,
I lost so much of my early writing.  I started writing regularly and seriously about 5 or 6 years back. Most of the early stuff was posted on MySpace which dropped my blogs after a certain amount of time. It’s a pity as some of it, in my opinion, was funny and strong stuff. I’d like to think, and I have been told, that I have improved as a writer over the years. One former friend even wrote that I was “really funny, like drag queen funny.”  Anyone who has seen a New York drag queen worth their salt knows that this is very high praise. Still, I’d like to have access to the old stuff so I could revisit the ideas and punch up the pieces.
It’s my own fault that I never made copies, and Gow is busy as my editor, fact checker and archivist. Gow got me to sign up for a blogging site, gets me to read other peoples work so I am brought back down to earth, and makes me revise my writing. Gow read the old stuff and liked it. In fact the moniker “Gow” comes from a tale of a visit to the eye doctor that

It's for sceince, damnit!

especially tickled her. My youthful experimentation with ecstasy, LSD and other substances may have been consciousness expanding, but it hasn’t done wonders for my memory. Ah well, these are the exchanges we make in life. I assure everyone that these really were experiments, and that I wore a lab coat, carried a clip board and took notes whenever possible. Unfortunately most of my LSD “lab notes” were done in finger paint and are lacking in a certain scientifically disciplined format.

I remember years ago writing about dating sites and companies and I wanted to revisit my thoughts and findings. What had originally inspired me was that my mother tried to sign up for e-harmony and after filling out an extensive questionnaire, she was informed that she didn’t match any of the criteria their members were looking for. It was a bittersweet realization. I want my mom to meet someone special and she has a great deal to offer as a mate/partner/wife or girlfriend. She has a big heart, she is well read, educated, smart, cooks well, in addition to nagging and disapproving better than anyone else I know. I also thought it was a slimy move on the part of e-harmony. Sure you can post great rates of success if you’re going to screen and eliminate the especially neurotic people.

Google "eharmony rejection" - wow!


I can only assume, based on their commercials that e-harmony, Jdate, ChristianSingleMingle and KKK/ base and make their matches on compatibility. We’ve all seen the success story commercials. 
“I was tired of the bar scene and I talk too much. In addition to my annoying voice, I have nothing of interest to say or I am simply offensive and stupid…  Then I met Diane on e-harmony… a deaf woman…  we’ve been inseparable ever since”  Then Diane would “say” in sign language  “Thank you e-Harmony.”
To my way of thinking, compatibility is vastly overrated. I think incompatibility is where the best long term relationships can be found. My favorite case in point would be my grandparents; unhappily married for over 50 years. In terms of sticking it out through thick and thin with a level of contempt, disdain and sheer spite they were poetry in motion.  Even at the tender age of 9 I was in awe observing my grandparents watch the same television program on separate TV’s in separate rooms. Perhaps it was a generational thing, as I noticed after my grandfather’s retirement they would take trips to Myrtle Beach and Orlando with other couples who loathed each other and have a grand old time pairing off by gender and complaining about their spouses while looking for embarrassing t-shirts for their grandchildren. Yes, my grandma and grandpa went to Disneyland, and all I got was the lousy t-shirt which my mother made me wear with the Mickey Mouse ears to school to show my appreciation and assure myself a severe beating from other children at recess, whose grandparents bought them stereos and motorbikes.
Incompatibility is where it’s at. Love does not conquer all…spite does. Being a creative person with an interest in the sociological aspect of marketing and advertising; I can just picture the commercials for my concept. I’d start off with the clichéd testimonials.
Man: “I used to be happy. I went out with friends and enjoyed life.”  His facial expression darkens “Then I met Connie.”
Woman: “My mother was right. He’s a bum.”
Cut to a shot of the couple side by side scowling with their arms folded.
Man: “Oh her mother …what did I do in a past life to deserve being married to the offspring of that woman…was I a concentration camp guard or something…?”
Woman: “If it wasn’t for my mother’s support we’d be on the street.”
Man: “Yeah, it has been a whopping 20 minutes since you last brought that up”
Woman:  “It’s true, he’s always broke…maybe if he’d stop drinking beer and get a decent job we wouldn’t have to depend on my mother to help us make ends meet.”
Man: “Look in a mirror, if you were married to that, you’d drink too.”
The couple begins to yell at one another as the emblem for “Incompatible USA” comes across the screen. The emblem is the silhouette of a couple fighting. The man’s silhouette is strangling the woman, who in turn is brandishing a rolling pin menacingly.
Announcer: “Incompatible USA: Because hatred can keep you warm at night too.” or “You’ll always have something to argue about.”
I can just imagine the questionnaire involved and the rigorous screening process. Incompatible USA will painstakingly search for someone who is exactly and completely wrong for you. “Success” stories would include a sex pot wife and a closeted homosexual husband, a liberal wife married to an avid Rush Limbaugh conservative. A strict vegan and a McDonalds manager…
The matches made on will have greater rates of success that e-harmony.  Sure, they may have more matches, but we’ll have more in the way of years of misery.

What is a “Gow”?

Posted: July 9, 2011 by Gow in Editor's Notes
Tags: ,

Remember the guy on the left? "Cockroach" from the Cosby Show

“Gow” (or “Little Gow”) is a nickname I acquired a while back and it comes from one of my favorite pieces written by our intrepid author over there. It was maybe the third or fourth thing that I had ever read of his and I was laughing to myself for hours over his effective use of the word “gow” as an exclamation. Sadly, it’s a bit of a long story and the writing in question has since been lost. Before he had an “editor” Mr. Swenson didn’t keep or organize his work. In the days immediately following my giggles and gushing over how funny it was, he started answering the phone when I called with an excited “GOW!!”, or maybe he always answered the phone that way no matter who was calling. I guess I’ll never know for sure. But either way, it was obvious that this moniker was firmly entrenched as his nickname for me. As nicknames go, it’s a pretty good one. I choose to take it as a term of endearment and special connection and it’s certainly better than “Stinky” or something, right?

How about this guy? "Boner" from Growing Pains

Soon I had him convinced to let me proof read his work before posting it and to save it for posterity. Eventually, “we” decided to start a blog. He would do the writing and I would do all of the grunt work since he’s rather incapable in that area. (Did you read “Technophobe“?) I’m not sure how much of an editor I am. Really, I’m more of a friend, a fan and maybe a bit of of nudge. I often wonder if he ever regrets telling me to push him, to write with more frequency and maybe more discipline. I try to push him without being pushy, but that’s a balancing act I doubt I’m managing to pull off. I had a scathingly funny addition to a piece of his writing once and he had the good graces to laugh heartily when I told him my idea. Then he said “That’s really good! But, it’s not mine.” and he wouldn’t let me add those bits in. Can you imagine?




P.S.    Sometimes I hide little Easter Eggs in the pictures.

Bad Valentine’s Day Ideas

Posted: February 14, 2011 by S. Trevor Swenson in Advice
Tags: , ,

Let’s face it, for most of us Valentine’s Day pretty much sucks. Certain holidays are just precursors to depression. Here are a few helpful hints to insure your Valentine’s Day lives up to its suckitude.

Drink 2 bottles of wine and call all of your ex’s. Cry, accuse them of ruining your life, then ask if they have any plans for tonight.

Pay a bag lady or homeless man to sing “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life” to you.

Buy yourself 6 huge overpriced  heart shaped boxes of low quality candy. Eat all of it while listening to Nine Inch Nails “The Downward Spiral”, then place a mirror across from you, take off all of your clothes and sit amidst all of the chocolate wrappers and stare at yourself.

In lieu of a date take a cousin of the opposite sex to an expensive dinner.  Drink too much and then confess that you always “thought they were kinda hot.”  This will also insure a miserable and uncomfortable Thanksgiving. Actually this would also work with a cousin of the same sex.

Hire a prostitute and pay them to pretend to be your Valentine. Make them write a “love poem” for you.

Spend the day at Wal-Mart, reading all the cards until you are asked to leave the store.

Call your parents and ask them if you’re ugly.

Buy a dermatology textbook. Drink 4 double espressos and look at the skin disorder photos while listening to Johnny Cash’s “Hurt”

Go to a karaoke bar alone and sing “Feelings”.  Repeat until people throw things at you

Beesh’s Presumptions

Posted: February 22, 2010 by S. Trevor Swenson in Me & Mine
Tags: ,

While visiting my moms, my friend Mary aka Beesh came by to visit and make use of the pool at my mother’s condo complex.  The first time she had her young daughters in tow, the following day Beesh returned solo to spend the day poolside with me and enjoy a pool party sponsored by the condo association.

I suppose the “Beesh” nickname deserves some small explanation.  I have known Mary/Beesh for over twenty years.  We were friends and even shared a squat briefly with her boyfriend at the time and some other young punks.  One day Mary was whining to her boyfriend about this or that.  Her boyfriend; without even looking up responded “Shut up Beesh”.  Mary was angry and her rage was redoubled when I started laughing and calling her Beesh as well.

Since the little ones weren’t with us, we didn’t have to edit what we said so much and didn’t have to spell out all the no-no words like “Slut” “Bitch” and “Fuck”. We hadn’t seen each other for a long time and had a lot of catching up to do.  We discussed what a nightmare dating was and tried to compare war stories on the dating front and figure out which sex had the most to contend with.  I shared with her a couple dating horror stories.  One date last year, I bought a gift for a young lady, paid for tickets to a film, dinner and then drinks afterwards.  I wasn’t tacky enough to mention the actual monetary amount, but the girl never even thanked me afterwards.  I got an email a few days later saying that she’d had a nice time, yet still, never were the words “Thank” and “You” forthcoming.  Another date I had the girl I was with answered literally ten cell phone calls over dinner.  I vowed to walk out on the next woman that pulled that crap, after taking my meal to go and having the bill delivered to her during her cell phone conversation.
Mary listened and told war stories of her own.  My favorite of Mary’s was her tale of dating and screwing a Jamaican fellow with many missing teeth.  After laughing at her, I was suddenly upset with her.  “You mean to tell me, that you have dropped your pants and spread ‘em for every single man in western Massachusetts, the roadies of Biohazard, the better part of Crown Heights Brooklyn AND toothless fifty year old Jamaican guys, and yet you’ve never been quite drunk enough to test drive a Scotty?”  I said.  “I suppose it’s nice to learn where I stand in the grand scheme of things.”  “He wasn’t TOOTHLESS”, Mary protested ” He was just missing a bunch of teeth”.  I rolled my eyes.  “And besides” Mary continued” I made out with you that one time at my house when you me and Lynn were hanging out. I can’t believe you don’t remember that”

The subject changed to the paying for dates and drinks.  I told her I was an old fashioned guy and that I enjoyed taking women out.  I’d just liked to be thanked for it.  If the girl would reach for her purse and OFFER to help pay for the meal, that would be a sign of a good upbringing as well.   I wouldn’t accept the money, but in this case, the thought really does count. I also mentioned as a bartender that I didn’t much care for women that came into the bar, nursed one drink until some guy (or guys) started buying drinks for them.  Then they would proceed to drink like sailors on payday.   Mary just shrugged at that. “You mean you think it’s OK to go to a bar without any money and just wait for guys to buy you drinks?” I asked.   “I’ve gone to bars without any money plenty of times, and guys buy me drinks, it’s just how it is” said Mary.  “Just because ‘that’s the way it is’ doesn’t make it right” I countered.  Then the conversation REALLY began to take off.

Beesh: ” If guys buy me drinks, what’s the problem”
Me: “It’s the presumption that’s disgusting”
Beesh: ” I’m not presuming anything”
Me: “Yes you are, you’re presuming that guys will buy you drinks, hence showing up to a bar without any money”
Beesh:”They’re just being nice”
Me: “No Mary, that is a misconception, men are never nice, they want to fuck you, and they feel the odds of achieving this goal will be made easier by plying the woman first with sixty or seventy Jager shots.  I can’t believe you’re a drink whore”
Beesh: “I’m not a drink whore, I’m not going to have sex with them”
Me: “OK, my mistake, you’re a drink tease”
Beesh: “I’m not a drink tease either. They buy me drinks and I just talk to them”
Me:” Would you accept drinks from guys that you KNOW are interested in you, and you KNOW you have no interest in them whatsoever?”
Beesh: “I’m just talking to them”
Me: “So what is the amount of time a man can expect per drink?”
Beesh: “Oh shut up”
Me: “So if a gay guy is eye fucking me and buys me a drink, should I accept it? Is there some kind of motive involved”
Beesh:” It’s not like THAT”
Me: “Yes it is, it’s totally like that.”
Me: “Fuckin drink whore”
Beesh: “Oh fuck off”

It’s so wonderful to reconnect with old friends.