“But you know what? Some guys are funny and supportive and caring but they still don’t love you the way you want to be loved. They might be perfectly wonderful to spend time with, but there’s a point where too much wishy-washy nothingness, too much going with the flow, too much “Let’s wait and see,” adds up to an empty feeling in the pit of your stomach. You don’t know what to do about it, so instead of throwing a fit or walking out the door, you become someone who exists in the margins, someone who can tuck herself into the background and make do with whatever leftovers come her way.”
My friend and Agony Aunt colleague Robin “Miss Conduct” Abrahams has written an excellent piece that combines two of my favorite things: Better Caul Saul and boundaries. Kim Wexler, a character on the show, is a master of boundaries and you don’t have to watch to appreciate the piece.
Piny linked me to this great piece from Heather Havrilesky, “Can I trust my judgment around men?” It’s very relevant to our discussions of the
Darth Vader partner and how they come on so strong and magically at the beginning (bolding mine):
When you meet someone who’s charming and very intense and he immediately starts talking about long-term goals for love and marriage and kids, that’s a seductive thing. In my experience, that kind of intense talk can actually be a sign of trouble, a sign that the guy is trying to quickly correct all the mistakes of the past and award himself a “happily ever after” without knowing much about the person in front of him. The one time I met someone who talked this way, it was hard not to get caught up in it. So this is how it feels to finally meet The One! I thought. You both just know, immediately, that you’re meant for each other! After years of encountering caution and hesitation from dates and even boyfriends, I was thrilled to find someone who could recognize in an instant HOW GREAT I WAS.
Even once I discovered that he was newly separated and still reeling from his wife’s sudden exit, I didn’t give up. I didn’t recognize that he was handling his sadness by escaping into something new, something that HAD to lead to marriage to make up for what he’d just lost. Looking back, I can’t believe I could be so dumb. But at that point, I had never experienced that kind of confident intensity from a man. He was also older than me. After years of dating one man-child after another, I thought I was meeting a mature adult male for the first time.
Hello, 31-year-old me staying up all night on the phone with some guy who talked really big. Hello younger versions some of you, too. Jedi Hugs to our younger selves, and to our older, wiser selves.
There is a Washington, D.C. Meetup in the works for April 26. Details:
Washington, DC Meetup
Rubymendez and Flightless have arranged an event in DC.
Time/place: Sunday, 5pm April 26th at Dupont Circle’s THE BOARD ROOM (http://boardroomdc.com/)
They serve happy-hour-priced drinks from 5-7pm on Sundays, with board games for rent — EVERY board game you can think of! They don’t serve food, but they allow you to bring in food, or get it delivered, so hopefully all dietary needs can be accommodated. For instance, you could grab empanadas from Julia’s down the street and bring them over (we will have some bites to share!)
To find us: rubymendez will be wearing a rainbow winter hat; flightless has blue hair and will be wearing a railway conductor’s hat. Feel free to rock your own hats, rainbows, or zany garb! We’ll also have stickers or blank nametags you can customize as desired.
You can post on our DC Meetup thread in the forums if you have questions.
FEELINGSNOTE: I MISS D.C. IN SPRINGTIME AND JULIA’S EMPANADAS. Have the best time. If you’re in Chicago and you did your taxes already stop by the Awkward Meet & Geek tomorrow at Geek Bar anytime between 6 and 10 pm and say hello. I’m also reading at That’s All She Wrote on Sunday night, April 19, Great Lakes Tattoo, 8 pm, BYOB/Free admission.
Finally, we have traced the creator of the Riding-The-Nopetepus gif if you wish to marvel at its glory:
Commenter Dizzy, aka SPC Snaptags, has compiled and elaborated upon the Dude Social/Sexism Fallacies we were generating in the comments the other day, and added her own:
1.3 It is acceptable for me to put a down payment on your vagina without telling you that’s what I’m doing. It’s unacceptable for you to accept my gifts but not pay the price, which I didn’t tell you about
This has happened to me, and it is not fun. There were a number of times, particularly in the Army, where a male I thought was my friend would offer to do or buy something from me. It was usually something inexpensive or unimportant. Often, it would be something like a cup of coffee. I assumed he wanted to do something nice for me as a friend; he thought I understood that, when I accepted the coffee, I owed him sex. (I wish someone would phrase it like that—I’d love to negotiate what $1.98 of sex is).
Then, at some point, when he believed he had put in enough time and money and wanted his return, he would be furious when I refused to pay. To me, there was nothing to pay; if we were entering some kind of financial relationship, I expect to be told the costs up front. Trust me, if I had realized I owed Specialist Creepbag $1.98 of my vagina, I would have bought my own goddamn coffee.
I really like what Jennifer Pastilof is doing over at The Manifest Station with her “Dear Life” series. People write advice letters, Jen matches the letter writers with authors she knows, stuff like this happens. Thoughts: 1) Letter Writer, your cold feet are trying to save you from a miserable life. Stay cold! 2) “Sometimes you have to just put yourself in motion: do the right thing until it changes you,” is a hell of a line.
Two Chicago Events are coming up:
1) April’s Awkward Meet & Geek is on April 15 at Geek Bar Beta.
2) I’m reading at That’s All She Wrote, April 19. Venue is Great Lakes Tattoo, 1148 W. Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL.
There’s an Awkward Meet & Geek this Thursday at Geek Bar Beta in Chicago. Games! New people!
This guy who wrote into Carolyn Hax sounds FUN and definitely does not remind me at all of someone reading a consumer report trying to find the best smartphone. “What if I find something with great battery life and an intuitive interface, but the color I want is not available?” :flashes Bad Advisor signal in the sky:
And now a question:
Any thoughts about surviving St. Valentine’s for a single-and-never-ever-been-on-a-date-much-less-had-a-SO student?
Many thanks! And thank you for the whole site.
all the best,
Hi Oort Cloud!
Use the day to:
- Do something nice for yourself.
- Do something nice for a friend or family member. There are lots of kinds of love, and there are lots of people in your life who might like pancakes or a new book or a card or a mix tape.
- If you’re feeling down, ask your friends to be nice to you. “I’m feeling a bit blue about Valentine’s Day. Anyone feel like having Palentine’s Day?“
- Do something nice for a stranger – paying for the coffee of the person behind you in line, volunteering somewhere, shoveling sidewalks in your neighborhood.
- Do you have a crush on someone? Perform this outside their window.*
It’s a perfectly good Saturday, so:
- Don’t beat yourself up for not following a certain script in your life. If you read the site, you know that the “haven’t had a date or a significant other yet” club is large and adorable.
- Don’t buy the necklace made from 2 butts stuck together.
Sometimes it feels better to make cutting remarks about how it’s a stupid made-up holiday created by advertising executives and greeting card companies and nurse your fierce proud cynic’s heart. Do what you feel, but try to do it without pooping directly on someone else’s fun, ok?
*This is a joke. Do not play this, or any music, outside someone’s window.
When I meet people for the first time (for example, at a party) often the first thing they ask is “What do you do?” (meaning, what paid work do you do.)
I have very severe health problems that prevent me from working, but that’s a very painful, personal subject, and I really don’t want to mention that when I’ve just met someone.
I don’t look sick, and I don’t want to come out as invisibly ill/disabled to someone I’ve just met.
What’s a good response that doesn’t make me seem odd, or make the other person feel uncomfortable/awkward?
Ever since I saw the fake Skyler White from Breaking Bad letter to an advice columnist, I’ve been a wee bit jealous that no one has tried to troll me like that. So Indiewire and I are trying out a thing where we construct letters from television characters and then I answer them.
I know there are 10,000 fanfic lovers who read this site regularly, so consider this a call to you. Binge-watching Orange Is The New Black? Texting your friends with “Sestra!”/”Brother-sestra!” after every episode of Orphan Black? Wondering how the Lannisters are going to sort out their big pile of Family Stuff or how Sansa is going to handle her creepy Uncle Peter on Game of Thrones? (We’ll save the FITZ IS CREEPY AND NOT ACTUALLY GOOD AT ANYTHING stuff for the start of next season of Scandal if you don’t mind, but we will get to it). If you’ve got an idea for a letter related to a current (currently on, up-to-date with what is happening on the show) TV show? Send ’em with “for Indiewire” in the subject line and we may see more of these.
In other news, a while ago my friend and Wardrobe-producer Dimitri William Moore brought me a story by one of his friends about the thin illusion of privacy we have when online dating. Together with some friends, some talented former students on camera, lights, and sound, and two great Chicago actors, we adapted the story into a short film. We shot it in few hours one morning at Hamburger Mary’s (eat there!), and thanks to the kindness of their staff, the whole thing cost whatever you’d pay for a big assortment of bagels from the bagel place next store. Post-production moves slowly when everyone is working for free and doing awesome stuff like having adorable babies, but I’m pleased to say, that film is finally ready!
How long would YOU stay sitting at that table? Tell us in the comments.
Thanks (?) to the nice Twitter friends who clued me into this horrible WikiHow on How To Stop A Wedding, or, as @KristinMuH put it, “a manual to help stalkers ruin their target’s special occasions.”
While I once joked that I would like to see this happen someday, it was, in fact, a joke. And the instructions to basically kidnap the person make my hair stand on end:
Take charge if things go your way. If he or she decides not to go through with the wedding, it is your duty to immediately escort the bride/groom away from the pressure of their family and friends. There is no doubt that friends and family will be angry or furious and will demand answers if the bride or groom doesn’t immediately flee the scene…Have a get-away car prepared so that the bride or groom doesn’t have to face the embarrassment of his or her friends and family.
So, if you find yourself searching for instructions on how to stop a wedding, ask yourself:
Has the affianced person been kidnapped? Is it a child? Then stop the wedding by alerting the appropriate authorities.
Is this someone you think should marry you instead? And they know how you feel? And yet they are still obstinately not marrying you, to the point where they have planned an entire wedding with someone else? Okay, here’s what you do:
- Find out when & where the wedding will be.
- Book yourself a vacation to “anywhere but there.”
- Block this person in all social media spaces so you’re not seeing photos and updates.
- Try for someplace with very limited internet access so you reduce temptation to watch it unfold on real time at the wedding hashtag or whatever.
- If you can, get a trusted friend to go along with you so that you are not alone and there is someone who can comfort and distract you.
- Remind yourself that soulmates aren’t real, and that other people get to choose who they want to be with.
- Or, if it’s more comforting, say to yourself “They are making a mistake, but it’s their mistake to make.“
- Wait it the fuck out and move on with your life.
And if someone pulls this whole shebang on you at your wedding, here is a script:
“This is inappropriate and I’d like you to leave now.”
Hopefully your friends and family and security will form a nice barrier between you and this person and make sure they are escorted from the premises.
Now it’s time for the monthly(ish) feature where we find out what search terms bring people to this site! Except for adding punctuation, these are unchanged. Enjoy!