Damn, I thought to myself. There's one more guy I won't be fucking.
dating and romance
The majority of the men I've run across in England are one of a few types. There are the hooligans with giant, thick necks and shaved heads who have an affinity for darts and pinky rings, or the ones I more commonly come across--boarding school boys who are very sweet, studied Greek, and give the impression of custardy innocence. They make me feel like common people, if you will.
I've since found out that all of my English dream boyfriends were actually from Northern England. I am now considering the idea that I may have made a slight geographical mistake.
My ex-bf, known to many as the Swede, and known to others as that incredibly controlling maniac with no sense of humor, was certainly a thorn in my side. I can't deny that I was a terrible girlfriend, though. I was as far from being supportive as one can possibly be, and I still cringe when I think of the blank journal that he cut and pasted, ransom note style, letters rebelliously spelling out "Fuck you, it's art." It sends a shiver down my spine.
This was the man who famously--seriously--accused me of cheating on him. With my brother.
Anyway, as you might have guessed we had an acrimonious breakup. Within a month, he started dating another Lina. (Not, luckily, The other Lina). One of our main things we liked to argue about was his propensity for facial hair, and after taking up with the new Lina, he grew a full beard. I can't help but be pleased, as I'm convinced that this, and nearly everything else he does, is somehow in reaction to me.
He's also, apparently, gotten his first tattoo. As someone years into the tattoo removal process, I generally try and dissuade those that I'm sleeping with from getting tattoos, especially when those people are tattoo-less and in their thirties. So when he recently attempted to befriend me on Facebook, after years of silence and despite the fact that I thought we were mutually not on speaking terms, I was granted the limited opportunity to see his profile pictures and his new full sleeve tattoo. Getting your first tattoo in your thirties and going for a full-sleeve? Please. He is, as they would say in Ireland, a try hard.
I've written this in the hopes of keeping Brandy happy and of keeping all previously burned bridges burnt as my ex is also in London, with his new Lina, beard, and tattoo, and I don't want there to be any concern about small talk if I do happen to run into him.
Check out my Valentine's Day Compilation. The theme is sort of like, reciprocal love. I'm totally into that. It's so hot.
1. I Will Follow Him - Little Peggy March
2. Obsession (Special Dub Mix) - Animotion
3. Every Breath You Take - The Police
4. Give Me Your Love - Junior Murvin
5. You'll Be Needing Me - Nino Tempo
6. Following - The Bangles
7. Climbing Up the Walls - Radiohead
8. The Stalker - Green Velvet
9. Dust (Rocque Wun Remix) - Recloose Feat. Joe Dukie
10. I'm Gonna Make You Love Me - Diana Ross & The Supremes
11. Run For Your Life - Nancy Sinatra
12. Never Gonna Give You Up - Rick Astley
13. Infatuation - Rod Stewart
14. One Way or Another - Blondie
15. You Belong to Me - Carly Simon
16. Need Your Love (Live) - Cheap Trick
17. Private Eyes - Darly Hall & John Oates
18. I'm Your Puppet - Jimmy London
19. You Belong to Me - The Duprees
20. All Strung Out - Nino Tempo & April Stevens
21. The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get - Morrissey
22. Fate (Tynneterje Edit) - Chaka Khan
I'm never sure what to post about anymore, which is why I've been reduced to wry observations about the Irish and other untermenschen. The only things that I can think to post about are my family, love life, work and minorities.
Since my family and at least three ex-boyfriends read this site, and since I'd get fired if I wrote about my job, I'm reduced to spouting bigotry and gibberish.
I'd like to post more about boys, but every time I start, the fear takes over. I've been traumatized by boys, and now at the age of 28, think I'm completely incapable of having a real relationship ever again.
The most annoying one ended with me saying "go fuck yourself" over the phone and never speaking to the fellow again. During our relationship, he had accused me of cheating on him with my brother and any other male I may have come into contact with. We broke up four times before it finally stuck. At one point I had decided that playing Snood for five hours a night was preferable to his company, which understandably enraged him. During one of our last calls, I broke up with him while playing Snood. "Are you playing that fucking game?" he screamed into the phone. "No," I lied, and unable to resist, shot another snood onto the screen. The click was audible, and the relationship was clearly doomed.
I heard from him 18 months later when he wrote to me to ask for the record player back that he had given to me. I looked it up on ebay and found that it was going for, on average, $7, and decided to move the email to my spam folder.
Before the Polack, I hadn't titled with anyone in a year and a half. The last one absolutely destroyed me--at one point he admitted that he thought it was a game to get me to fall in love with him. "That's just what you do, isn't it?" he asked, confused as to why I was upset when he broke up with me after realizing that his plan had been successful. He left me, sitting on my bed bewildered and in tears, hopped in a cab and flew across the country. He's probably reading this right now.
Since then, I've only gone out with younger men. This has been my way of combating serious relationships and coming into contact with taut skin. I have an unfortunate habit of getting into relationships with men who are clearly unqualified for the task. I really don't mean to, I'm just bored and an emotional black hole. I have intense friendships, an intense job and intense feelings about everything from snack cakes to synthetic fabrics. It stands to reason that my relationships would be the same, but it's exhausting. I just don't know how to avoid falling into relationships that I know won't work. I took my record-player-demanding boyfriend to meet my parents after just three weeks of dating. I just wasn't sure how I felt about him, so I thought that maybe they could provide some insight. My dad (rightly) pointed out that he was the first reasonable date I had brought home--he had a college degree (albeit in physical education) and a real job. He didn't have tattoos on his neck or a drug habit. My mother worried that he didn't have enough "edge" for me. As it turned out, he didn't have enough of anything for me, really, and I was what could only be described as a shitty girlfriend. I wouldn't be surprised if he were reading this right now.
It's funny, though, when I look back on these relationships. It seems that the more reasonable the candidate is, the more I hate them once it's over. Interestingly, the ones that I still like are the Americans, a small subset of my sweethearts. The only exes I've really managed to stay friends with are the one that married the stripper while we were dating and the one that managed to leave heroin under my mattress and in my shoes on a regular basis while he was hanging out in gay nightclubs. These are the ones I love, and the others I just resent. And the more I resent them, the more likely they are to be shutitdown readers. Funny like that.
Lina: that's my new nickname for him
Lina: isn't that cute?
Lina: "The Nazi ideology considered the Polish to be eugenically inferior untermensch (sub-humans) worthy only of enslavement or extermination."
Spot: i think if you referred to him while spitting out "du bist der untermensch" that it would have a certain nigger - reclaiming aspect to it
Spot: the preposition really clarifies the term
Spot: der untermensch
Spot: or it could be das
Lina: untermenschen is also cute
Lina: sounds like a diminutive
Spot: i like it - he is only a part of the inferiour people - not even entitled to be labeled one of them himself. it's like being nigger-esque
Spot: or nigger-ish
Spot: you do know you will lose him if you keep up this approach ?
Spot: did you bring your self-help books with you ?
Lina: he sent me a text referring to my big jewish nose
Lina: this is a 2-sided street, my friend
Simon: drive on sister!
Airports are funny places--the normal rules that apply to one's life seem to be discarded the moment one enters the airport. 10 days ago, I found myself eating tempura udon at 8 am at SFO. I wasn't the only one, though. I was surrounded by seemingly normal looking people eating triple-decker burgers and refrigerated sushi platters at a time that most of us would be warily eyeing a coffee. A full meal before a flight, no matter what the length, seems perfectly justified. At any other time fast food tempura udon would not be acceptable, but in the airport, it's breakfast.
I've been spending a lot of time in airports lately. I know which ones I hate (Charles De Galle makes me want to tear my eyes out, Heathrow's 2 mile walks between terminals, shopping mall and depressing food choices have added it to the list) and which I like, (Zurich has got to have the cleanest airport I've ever seem in my life, and both Munich and Hamburg were so orderly! so effecient!).
I was looking through my passport today while filling out another customs form, and started to finally realize that I'm getting the life I had wanted for so long. In my early twenties, my inability to travel had me sobbing in fetal position more times than I could count. I resented my parents for getting to travel and live abroad without having to actually work to get there. I resented them for their refusal to give me the same opportunities that were handed to them on a silver platter. I'm not going to lie, I still resent the hell out of them for this. But I'm really freaking proud of myself for creating these opportunities for myself, without anyone's help. In the last two-and-a-half years, I've gotten 27 stamps in my passport.
In the last year or so, I've been to Spain, Italy, Mexico, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Turkey and the Czech Republic. And save for the trip to Rome that nearly destroyed my life and psyche, I did all of it on my own. I got to live in Ireland for nearly four months with an expense account, and my teeth are like gleaming Chickets lodged in my gums. I've been granted a work permit to the UK, and I have one for Ireland pending. If all goes well, I hope to move to Dublin permanently in March.
The Polack and I have titled, and I am now officially be introduced as "the girlfriend." This is terrifying, but at the same time I feel optimistic (the self-help books must be working!). At least, it gives me hope that I can successfully date men that are freaking hot even if this one doesn't work out. My last run-in with a real hottie was approximately six years ago--a male model who shouted "I'm married" during an intimate moment that quickly became a me-running-out-the-door moment.
I was at a party with the Polack on Friday night and two separate girls pulled me aside to tell me how hot he is, how lucky I am. One of them used the term 'gorgeous' which in Irish-speak can mean either incredibly attractive or just generally wonderful. Another also tried to physically molest him in my presence, which I was less thrilled about. The whole thing is just so weird, still. I'm so happy about it, about him, but that's usually how I feel just before some emotionally manipulative egomaniac stomps on my heart. So I'm trying to relax and think about all of the horrible things that may happen to me in the future as little as possible.
As part of my attempt to chill out, I'm currently flying from Dublin to New York where I will spend a week (and my birthday!) before going back to California. I plan to engage in any number of decadent activities, most of them food-related and all bound to be incredibly gratifying.
I'm running out of soul-crushing stories from Valentine's past, but I suppose I can share that last year on this fateful day I found myself in a Korean karaoke bar and ended up walking out in tears before midnight. This might be because my singing ability can only be described as heinous, or so I told myself on the two mile walk home.
This year, though, I decided to be proactive and sent the Polack a love poem. I was a little nervous--I've learned from my traumatic past relationships that one should never let a boy know that one likes him. There is nothing that can ruin a relationship like signs of affection. However, I decided to drop my guard and let him know how I truly feel. Although I'm too shy to post the entire text here, I will give you a one line sample:
'Why would I have ever let this Pole stick it in my Jewish hole?'
No one can say that I don't know how to bring the romance.
If you've never read my Valentine's posts from previous years, it's well worth it to check them out:
I'm excited about the possibility of moving to Dublin, though. I'd like to get as far away from my life as possible. Having been here three months now, I've started to create a new life--completely inadvertently of course. I wonder how long I will be able to stay before I have to run away from this life too.
I'm still happy, really. I still want to stay here. But I live my life perpetually in fear; I sit in bed most mornings and wait for something terrible to happen. And it inevitably does--but is that only because I was waiting for it?
The pseudo-relationship I am in right now scares me. I haven't dated anyone in a while because I'm terrified of having my self-esteem completely destroyed again. This boy that I am seeing, though, is so [redacted] that I can't see any other outcome. A very Seinfeldian question, but can a relationship with [redacted] disparity ever truly work? My impulse is to destroy things as quickly as possible to pre-emptively end things so I won't get hurt. Sabotaging myself seems so much neater than just waiting for someone else to crush you.
Usually I start smoking every time I get dumped. But I have an unusually severe case of bronchitis, and really need to recover before I can start smoking again. Hopefully, the hottie will understand this and hold off for a while, at least until the antibiotics kick in.
Lina: do you think that counts for Holland?
Ryan: I'd say so
Ryan: unless you absolutely have to sleep with them
Lina: hell no
Lina: I'm not a whore
Ryan: I don't know how your book works
Lina: 25 countries in the EU and new additions in January
Lina: what kind of girl do you think i am?
From the American gal's fear of foreskin to the Swedish superiority complex and the Englishman's love affair with alcoholism, Lina explains why she's left every accented man in her past, leaving us to wonder why she's seeking even more of them. Did she actually gain anything from the relationships? We don't know, as she comes across as having a heavy case of Battered Woman Syndrome that leads her through one bad relationship to another. That's not the type of writing with an ultimate positive or enlightening message I like to see in my reading material.
I just got back from New York where I stayed with my brother for a little while. I would patiently wait until 5 am, once he was exhausted, and then bully him into talking about his feelings. He did not like this, and tried to punch me.
He did weigh in on my (many) boy problems. About one he said, "You know that the only reason you like him is because he doesn't give a shit about you, right?" He took a bite of the EggMcMuffin he had just made from the EggMcMuffin machine in his kitchen and turned away from the computer to face me. "One person always likes the other one more. That's just how it is." He turned back to the computer and began typing, and said as an afterthought, "He's a sleaze, anyway."
When did my little brother become a relationship expert, I wondered? What he said had struck a cord. I've long thought that there are two types of men in this world. Men that I like, and men that like me. There's almost no overlap. I know, I know, this isn't news. This has been the content of my incessant bitching for the last decade or so.
Oddly, it's also the content of one of my favorite (and oft-quoted) books, 'Of Human Bondage.' There's always one who loves and one who lets himself be loved. If that's the case, how does anyone ever make a relationship work? I wish I could like the people that like me, but I keep dumping them.
The next night was worse, but due to confidentiality, I'm not able to repeat most of it. What happens in Miami stays in Miami, after all. Attendance at Gloria Estefan's club happened, partying in South Beach happened, dancing happened, and my targeting of the Latino market culminated on the dance floor when I met a cute Argentinian who works for my company's largest competitor. A hopeless case, of course--star crossed lovers and all of that. However, I'm starting to consider that I may be limiting myself with the 'Flags of Europe.' There are many other continents that I could potentially explore, it seems.
Miami is a strange place. Everything is really expensive, but in an underhanded, annoying sort of way. New York is expensive. London is expensive. They are upfront about their expensiveness. Don't bother, they suggest. Miami fools you though--the $14 drink seems do-able, until you realize there's a mandatory $2 gratuity charge tacked on to it. Everything has mandatory gratuity charges of 18%. Since I'm a pretty standard 20% tipper, I could actually save money on this city, except that they are banking on the probability that you won't noticed the gratuity charge, and tip on top of it. Which of course I've done at least half the time. The bagel I ordered via room service (a Jew to the very last) totaled nearly $30 when the delivery charge and gratuity fee were added. I could give a shit as I'm expensing it anyway, but I don't like the sneakiness of it all. Just say that the fucking bagel costs $30--I feel like less of a chump that way.
Tonight we had 'authentic' Cuban food for dinner; it was wonderful. While we were eating, a flash rainstorm poured down into the 90 degree heat, and I tried to imagine living here. I can't, of course, but I do like the tendency of men here to wear white fedoras.
Aimlessly wandering around the miles long parking lot in business attire and heels while being pounded by the blazing California sun makes one, even a grown woman, reflect. Being Lina, my mind drifts to the ghosts of boyfriends past. I'm not sure what it was about the situation, perhaps the large amounts of dust I was inhaling had some sort of psychotropic effect or maybe I was just so enraged with myself for losing the car that I had to take it out on someone, if only the men of the world.
So many of the boys I go out with read this site--I've often speculated that my only readers are family members and dating victims that aren't on speaking terms with me--that I often don't include what should, and would, be my best material. Of course this leaves me feeling oppressed and with a deep sense of frustration. Why shouldn't I write about the painfully awkward things these boys do? What, really, do I owe them?
I'm not talking about anything big. The things that bother me most about the men that I date are the tiny, painful instances of awkwardness that make me release a grimace of a smile, like a dog baring its teeth, in my attempts not to openly cringe. I usually close my eye for a second and try to compose myself. I open them again, stare blankly ahead, and adopt a fake smile as quickly as possible. I can't say anything, after all; I'm too critical. Seriously stupid behavior doesn't bother me as much as these small acts of pretension gone awry that make my skin prickle and my fists clench.
Recently, I went on a date to see the newest Lindsey Lohan movie. The movie is about how this girl has good luck and some dude has bad luck and when they make out, they trade and their luck switches. Typical teen fare. I hadn't yet formed any strong feelings about the fellow sitting next to me until he started making grunts of derision at the film. "That would so never happen," he declared in a loud whisper more than one. "That's not realistic," he claimed while Lindsay frantically tried to reclaim her good luck. It was so painful as to be unbearable. Of course it was unrealistic, it was an effing Lindsay Lohan movie for gods sake. Finally, I leaned over and hissed, "Suspend your fucking disbelief, could you?"
My tolerance for pretension of any kind is shockingly low. Art is often a catalyst. I've never been so embarrassed as to hear these boys that I generally (or at least sometimes) respect talk about art, especially their own. I used to have a boyfriend who was as pretentious as he was low-class. He bought an expensive camera and began taking pictures, mainly of his friends, which I approved of, and of his shoes, artfully formed rocks, and people's eyelashes, which I did not. He bought an expensive journal cum photo album and began pasting his more creative works in it. He then cut letters out of the metrosexual magazines he subscribed to and embossed the cover of his album, in the style of a ransom note, with the words, 'Fuck you it's art!'
My reaction was visceral. I vomited a small amount into my mouth, swallowed it again, and closed my eyes. A moment later I opened them, flashed some teeth and artificial smile and said, "Good idea. Can we go out to dinner now?"
He wrote me back, and claimed, among other things, to be a doctor, and from England. The perfect pedigree for me, right? So I replied, and expressed an interest in seeing him doing a singing, dancing chimney sweep impression. It could only be improved upon, I added, if he did it in blackface. Typical Lina banter.
Our repartee continued for a few emails, when we decided to exchange pictures. He sent me his, and I immediately realized the gaff I had made.
He was black.
His email said, "This is a picture of me and my friend. I'm the one in blackface."
But unable to stop myself, I wrote back that something seemed off about his blackface routine. Something just wasn't right.
"Oh," he wrote back. "I couldn't find any white lipstick that day."
Perfect. Absolutely perfect.
Micah and I stayed together after I left California to go to college in New York. We talked to each other on the phone every night, and I cried and carried on as if my heart would never heal from the separation. Micah had promised to move to New York to be with me, he was just taking a little bit of time to save some money before he came. Like the dutiful teenage girlfriend that I was, I had a large framed picture of him on my desk, and looked at it mournfully many times a day. Finally though, the lesbian influence at Sarah Lawrence affected me, and I allowed myself to be convinced that Micah would never, indeed, save the money he needed to move to New York, and therefore the relationship was doomed. I broke up with him, in a tearful long-distance call. It was only later that I discovered he had married a stripper three weeks earlier and neglected to mention it to me. A year later they had the marriage annulled, on the grounds that they had been under the influence of nitrous (in the form of whipped cream canister refills) at the time of the marriage.
Our relationship officially ended when I was still 17, but I've remained friends with him for the last decade of my life. The only thing more absurd than Micah is his awareness of his own absurdity--a rare trait. When you hear him tell the story of the time he was arrested for loitering with the intent to prostitute, you can't help but think he's got a great imagination. When I was a private investigator, though, I looked up his criminal record in San Francisco and there it was in black and white. The ridiculousness of him is overwhelming. Sometimes though, it's hard for me not to wonder what my life would be like if I had never gone to so many Fang shows and just kept shopping at J. Crew as I was meant to do. You can never really quantify how a relationship affects you, but I do know that my relationship with Micah shaped who I am, both in my teen years and to the present day, more than any I've had since.
And although I love him to this day, I can't help but think that perhaps he would be better served--not to mention the girls that he dates--if he dated women closer to his own age. When I walked in and saw him last weekend, he was with his band. A couple of eighteen year olds sitting around drinking cheap beer with spiked hair and sullen expressions. One of them was named Spaz. Seriously. Micah's new girlfriend was also there, and claimed to be 18. After a few beers though, it came out that she was not quite 18 yet, and I couldn't contain my horror. "I dated him when I was 17, and that was 10 years ago!" I squawked. He gets older and they stay the same age, as the joke goes. "Age is meaningless," the girl replied, snottily. "Yeah, call me in ten years and tell me how it works out," I said, sneering. Even while wearing pearl earrings, I can still make teenagers flinch with a well-aimed look.
Later, we all went to the show together. Mary and I stood and attempted to make conversation with the girl, who was clearly incapable of it. When she saw my new Converse, she said "Lucky!" unable to contain the wistfulness in her voice. I hadn't pined over a pair of $30 sneakers like that since I was, well, 17. Micah had only formed his band eight weeks ago, and had gotten a tattoo to commemorate each month of their survival. Onstage, they were better than I had anticipated, but still slightly horrifying. Besides Micah, I might have been the oldest person in the club, which was covered in graffiti and littered in Pabst Blue Ribbon cans. Underage drinking abounded. When Micah sang, he looked as if ha was going into convulsions and turned scarlet. I whooped when he started singing a Fang song and then caught myself. "Who am I?" I wondered. And then, watching the tattooed middle-aged man on stage screaming the word "fuck" over and over, I thought, "I can't believe I lost my virginity to this guy." I looked around at the crowd of 15-year-olds that had gathered to see the show, and snickered disdainfully. "I was going to punk shows when you were still in Pampers," I thought. And sadly, if any of them had some sort of delayed development--which, judging by the audience, seemed a distinct possibility--that might actually be true.
Mary told me that Micah said to her, "Sometimes Lina looks at me like I ruined her life." I can't help it though, I look at everyone that way.
Covering the entire span of my romantic life in just three songs:
Love to Hate You - Erasure
Loving You, Hating Me - Soft Cell
I Hate Myself for Loving You - Joan Jett
Right now I'm in the process of making a top ten list of things for us to do tonight. Currently, at the top of the list is calling/writing all of our exes and telling them we'll kill ourselves if they won't say "I love you." Sadly, this wasn't my idea, but was the genius of a friend who thought this would be a good group activity. Angry at him for having such a good idea, at 11:30 today I instant messaged him.
"Have lunch with me," I wrote.
I waited a second, then typed, "or I'll kill myself."
So far, other items on the list of possible activities include, in various combinations: glory holes, the Westminster Dog Show, rohypnol, Tijuana, Jewish porn, cigarettes, and crying softly. Nothing screams romance like suicide threats and dog shows.
My brother on V-Day:
Max: there was candy at the front desk
Max: and when i tried to grab one
Max: the secretary was like "YOU CANT HAVE ONE UNLESS YOU WRITE US A VALENTINE" and pointed to a box that had obviously been decorated for at least an hour
Max: i wrote "die in a fire" folded it in half and then took a hersheys
Per usual tradition, Valentines of the past:
Lina: lina gone wild
Fran: you really are
Fran: your life is like a chick lit novel
"Well," I said, "I guess it's time to go back the flags of Europe project."
"Does that mean what I think it does?" she asked, the twinge of concern in her voice overshadowed only by her curiosity.
"Yep," I replied.
"Well," she said, sighing, "At least you are being witty about it."
Since then, I've found myself in the position to finally be to use the expression "So that's why they call it French kissing!"
My brother couldn't resist commenting on the situation when he called me the next day.
"Why didn't you answer my call last night?" he asked me accusingly.
"I was on a date," I replied.
"With another fucking foreigner, I hear," he said scornfully, confirming my suspicions about the familial grapevine.
"COME BACK TO AMERICA LINA," he shouted into the phone. "COME BACK TO AMERICA."
"Rousseau in the course of his Confessions narrates incidents that profoundly shocked the sensibility of mankind. By describing them so frankly he falsified his values and so gave them in his book a greater importance than they had in his life. They were events among a multitude of others, virtuous or at least neutral, that he omitted because they were too ordinary to seem worth recording. There is a sort of man who pays no attention to his good actions, but is tormented by his bad ones.This is the type that most often writes about himself. He leaves out his redeeming qualities, and so appears only weak, unprincipled, and vicious."
--W. Somerset Maugham
My mother has a certain whine that one expects only to hear out of the mouth of a teenage girl--the sort of girl that would end all conversations with the word 'whatever.' She uses this whine only rarely, but when she does, it is usually accompanied by a slight shake of her clenched fist or a stamp of her dainty hoof. "Lina," she cries, regretting whatever it was that she just said, "Don't put that on your web page."
"Oh Mother," I sigh, "I'm a journalist. I'm obligated to tell the truth," I say, sniggering behind my hand.
"But," she squeals, "you only post when I say something offensive. You don't mention all of the nice things that I do."
My thoughts are that since I mention that she's my mother, the clear implication is that she gave birth to me, which was a pretty nice thing to do. This, despite the fact that she continues to complain about the birthing process twenty-six years after it culminated in my glorious entrance into this universe.
And perhaps she's right. It is possible that I don't repeat every single thing my mother says to me because frankly, most of her popular topics don't appear to be as interesting to the general public as when she talks about anal sex.
It hasn't occurred to her that the easiest way to get me to stop posting every time she says pudendum is for her to stop saying pudendum--at least in the presence of her daughter. This however, is a pleasure that she cannot forsake. She appears to receive no greater joy than to say naughty things in front of an ever younger audience.
Just a few weeks ago, she was holding Holly and Rene's baby. He was only weeks old, and she was cooing softly to him while Holly and I talked about the issues of the day. "Just like the BBC!" I exclaimed.
Holly innocently asked,"What does BBC stand for anyway?"
"Big black cock!" my mother crowed, overjoyed. She cuddled the baby closer, satisfied with both her nurturing and acronym-deducing abilities.
She's not the only one that has had her values falisified on shutitdown, though.
"Your page isn't real," my ex-boyfriend used to claim spitefully, "That's not what you are really like."
I tried to explain that the main difference was that on my webpage I was clothed, whereas in real life I was occasionally disrobed, and therefore he should count himself lucky. He didn't see it that way however. He was enraged by my apparent glibness about the problems that he felt were serious, the jokes about gangbangs (which he also thought were serious). He didn't like the fact that I didn't mention my relationship with him until our break up.
I thought perhaps, in the face of these complaints, that he would prefer that I write about him, so finally one day, a year into our relationship, I offered to include him here. "I want to read the posts first, and I don't want you to mention what country I am from. And don't imply that I'm a homo." These were just a few of the rules that he initally set down, and in the face of this, I decided that he wasn't very good material anymore, and never wrote about him.
As a side note, it was me repeatedly using the term "big black cock" in his native tongue that led to one of our most embarrassing (and public) fights. Fran can verify both the embarrassment and the publicness. Like mother, like daughter, I suppose.
Apparently this fellow didn't want to get painted by my writer's brush, one which reduced him to a caricature with little more than a limp wrist and a questionable nationality. And although my mother complains, I know that she enjoys the fact that she's a popular, cartoonish character. It's hard to be honest on a web page, and it's even harder to be interesting. It's too easy to fall into the trap of detailing one's food consumption and cd-buying habits. Luckily, my family keeps me in enough material to avoid writing about anything (or anyone) too mundane. Even more fortuitously, most of them are weak, unprincipled, and vicious, so I'm not often forced to exaggerate.
dont be shy, send me a reply
Smoothtongue69: r u blond lina
Smoothtongue69: are you from overseas
Smoothtongue69: from czech
Smoothtongue69: please reply, you czech stunner
Smoothtongue69:: u want some english friendship Lina
While getting a mani/pedi the other day (that's a manicure and pedicure for you not in the know), the manicurist asked me in broken English if I had a boyfriend.
'Well,' I said, 'kind of. I mean, he's in New York,' I explained, slightly apologetically. I knew she would be disappointed in me.
'That's bad,' she replied.
'Yeah,' I said, nodding in agreement.
'He might have other girlfriend,' she said, shaking her head.
She looked knowingly at me and softly hissed, 'or boyfriend.'
At my friend Heather's wedding yesterday, I found myself followed by the bride into the bathroom. 'Brad was asking about you,' she said, ensconsed in her wedding whites.
'What?' I replied.
'He said that he made out with you ten years ago, but he doesn't know who you are."
I looked at her questioningly, not understanding.
"He recognized your name on the guest list," she said apologetically.
And perhaps he's right. Due to the fact that I signed about 38 non-disclosure agreements, I've chosen to not write about my work life. And since I'm wagering no one wants to hear about how he looks just like Christopher Robin, I'm left with a serious dearth of potential topics.
And really, what it comes down to, is that I hate writing. I once confessed this to my mother (a writer), and she said, "Oh honey, all real writers hate it." After reading a number of biographies and interviews, it turns out that in this case, like so many others, she was lying. Most writers don't appear to hate writing. Many of them seem to enjoy it. They make special rooms dedicated to doing it much like S&M aficionados, and they they spend time each day doing it and reveling in it. Whereas I sit around watching Friends, and dreading the time that I force myself to sit in front of the keyboard, pecking away about things that no one cares about, namely myself.
And I haven't quite figured out why I do it. I decided recently that I would actually submit something I wrote to someone that determines the worth of such things, i.e. an editor. I decided that it was high time I was rejected creatively as well as sexually. What would be only be better than this, was if I could meet an editor who could reject me sexually and creatively at the same time.
"I'm sorry, but your breasts sag and your work is crap," he might growl while ignoring me in favor of a vodka tonic. This fantasy of mine, which grows much more intense over time, is similar to one once expressed by my pal Iris.
"My ideal man would copyedit my love notes and send them back to me," she sighed wistfully once, over dinner. Just thinking about her round cursive hand, nearly eclipsed by his marks correcting her grammatical and semantic errors makes her shudder with delight.
Perhaps overhearing this conversation, my latest fling replied to a pages-long essay I sent him by saying merely, "It's an infidel, not a infidel, Lina." I've since suggested that although this form of foreplay may suffice with Iris, it's not the quickest route into my pants. I guess I should be grateful though, for any minor insult thrown my way which I can use as "material" on my website or in my latest craigslist post about how mean boys are.
First, my mother deposited her two cents. "You really shouldn't sleep with him on the first date, you know."
Keep in mind, this wasn't actually in response to anything that I had said or done; I hadn't even indicated that this was possibly on the agenda. Then, my mother proceeded to summarize the plot of "A Round Heeled Woman" (a book written by a woman in her late 60's who sleeps around) while applying the life lessons of this senior with loose morals to my life.
Without a break in the conversation, she went on to tell me about an article she read in Marie Claire about "dogging." "They just pull up in rest stops, Lina, and take on anyone that comes by! And their husbands like to watch!"
Exhausted, I left the room after vocally declaring eternal celibacy and continued my pre-date preparations.
I was scheduled to meet my date at 8 pm downtown. At 8:03 I was still on the way there when I received a text message on my phone from my ever-protective younger brother.
Has he raped you yet? it read. As a way to break the first date ice, I greeted my date with a hug and then showed him the text message. Luckily, I was asked out for a second date.
My next date was a mere 48 hours later, due to both the limited time I had in New York and my inability to escape my family in any other way. I walked downstairs, prepared to leave when I was confronted by my grandmother's sister. "You would look nice, except for the fact that I can see your brassiere."
"Oh Mary Louise, I'm just wearing a tank top under my shirt," I explained. "All you can see is the tank top."
"Still," she said, resolutely shaking her head, "I can see your undergarments." My tales of wearing a camisole, and attempting what the kids call 'layering' clearly hadn't swayed her.
"Well," my grandmother said, emerging from the kitchen wearing her 'I prefer the company of dogs' shirt, "I think you look nice even if I can see your bra." She paused for a second to let me digest this. "And don't you go sleeping with this fellow on the second date!"
Since I had by now realized that protestations of my virtue appeared to have no effect, I decided to try a different tack. "But Cosmo says it's okay on the third date," I whined, appealingly.
My grandmother harrumphed loudly and didn't grace me with a response.
The next day, when I logged onto my computer to check my email, I immediately got an instant message from my brother.
Max: are you wearing the same clothes you were yesterday?
Max: you weren't home when i came in at 5:30
Lina: that's odd
Lina: must have been a trick of the light
After my mother suggested to me once again that girls shouldn't have sex with boys too soon, I confronted her. I questioned whether it was appropriate to be giving such lectures to me at the wizened age of twenty-six, when it would have been much more valuable to me as a young and impressionable teenager. The only response I received was a shrug, and the claim that it had taken her all these years to read enough women's magazines to have such advice to give.
On the night of my third date, my grandmother patted my shoulder and told me that I looked pretty. Upon hearing that my date would be taking me to yet another nice restaurant for dinner, she began to worry. "I just don't want you to feel obligated. He seems very nice, and certainly better than that last one," she turned and whispered an aside to her sister "He was a dud." She turned back to me. "Just because he takes you out to dinner doesn't mean you should sleep with him on the third date."
"But Grammy!" I protested, "Why can't I give him the milk for free?" My great-aunt shook her head disapprovingly as I tottered out the door in one of my many pairs of painful pink heels.
The next day, sitting around the dinner table, my aunt looked at me and said, "Where have you been? You look so freckled, so sun-kissed!" She looked at me knowingly, and then around the table to make sure that each and every family member was listening and said, "It must be this new boy who has put roses in your cheeks!"
I was re-reading one of my favorite books this week'Of Human Bondage--and I was struck by the plight of the main character. After being left by the woman he passionately loved, he found that curiously, he did not miss her. 'He did not think of her with wrath,' Maugham wrote, 'but with an overwhelming sense of boredom.'
I too, feel overwhelmed by boredom when contemplating most of my exes. For fun, sometimes, I try to determine what, if anything, I have gotten out of these particular relationships. The psychic scars are clear; the emotional damage is decided and diagnosable.
I have gained something from these failed relationships besides psychological disorders, however. Each boyfriend that passes through my life leaves a definite impression on one vital part of me'my music collection.
My first boyfriend insisted on wooing me to the strains of The Ramones and The Circle Jerks. When he was feeling particularly amorous, he would slip in a cassette of G.G. Allin, lyricist of such thoughtful songs as 'Scars on My Body, Scabs on My Dick' and 'Needle Up My Cock.'
Boyfriend #1 had been in a punk band of his own, a fact that never failed to impress me. One of his few releases, titled 'Hell Bent For Rehab' featured lyrics about older men seducing teenage girls for kicks. 'Dude, that's not, like, autobiographical,' he would claim, as he told me to wait in the car so he could buy us the cigarettes and lottery tickets that I was not legally allowed to purchase.
And much as my mother expected and my father prayed for, Boyfriend #1 left my life, into the arms of a waiting stripper. The stain of his musical taste, however, was not so easily lifted. Listening to Iggy Pop still makes me quiver with delight, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't think some of Fang's lyrics didn't affect in a way that no one else has since been able to replicate'the song 'Everybody Makes Me Want to Barf' really speaks to me.
The next 'boyfriend' was the only one with any actual musical taste. An actual DJ, his taste ranged from Kiss to Olivia Newton-John, but new wave and 80's classics were his true calling. The floor of our apartment buckled under the weight of his records, and he would often stay hours after closing at his record store job, looking for disco classics or ultra-rare Sigue Sigue Sputnik remixes. #2 shaped my musical taste beyond compare'each time he infuriated me, which was many times daily, he brought me reconciliation gifts of records and cds. 'You like Tiffany?' he'd ask, and reappear with all of her b-sides and five other teenage girl artists that I was sure to like as much or more. He still sends me packages of cds occasionally, and is my lifeline into the world of pop music.
Boyfriend #3, despite being a self-proclaimed music aficionado, took much more from me musically than he gave, which was representative of much of the relationship. Notwithstanding his refusal to meet or acknowledge the existence of #2, he was content copying all of #2's music from my collection, and adopting it as his own. He would DJ entire parties with songs that were, essentially, sloppy seconds from my previous love.
I came out of that relationship with less positive additions to my musical collection, but a definitive idea of what I didn't want. Namely, emo-core bands with limited talent and a decided focus on their hairstyles, much like their dedicated fans. And sometimes, learning what you don't want, emotionally or musically, is all you can expect to get out of a relationship.
And now, working in an office with dozens of handsome young men with the 'Sharing' box on their ITunes checked, I've found that rather than deal with their personalities or problems, I'm content to scroll through their playlists, and imagine how my life could change if I downloaded them to my collection.
When I was at the tender age of eleven, I had what could be described as a slight crush on a rotund young man in my class, Josh Frank. In addition to being the proud possessor of two first names and a full head of bushy hair, Josh managed to be chubby and yet still stay on the fringes of the 'cool' crowd in our class. Since there were only twenty-five youths in our grade, we were all quite aware of each other's social rank in the elementary school hierarchy.
The night before Valentine's Day, I carefully signed a valentine for each of my classmates, and chose which conversation heart I would include for them. I certainly would not be giving Gabe one that read 'U R A CUTIE,' for he was not. Josh, however, received one that read, 'LIKE U.'
We had our nametags out on our desk, and we all walked around, distributing our valentines to our classmates. This was a process that could take upwards of half an hour, and our teacher sat at her desk, visibly bored, as we each gave her our largest and most colorful cards.
As I was passing my valentines out, I stopped at my desk occasionally to peruse the cards that had been left for me. I saw one with Josh's telltale scrawl on it, and plucked it from the bunch. I opened in quickly, glancing around the room to make sure that he wasn't watching me, and pulled the card out of the envelope.
It was a Michael Jordan card, with a picture of the athlete dribbling a basketball down the court. 'You're Nothing But Net to Me!' the card read. I turned it over and Josh had written,
WILL YOU GO OUT WITH ME????
My heart racing, I put the card back on my desk and went back to passing out valentines. I realized that finally, I would be a woman, I too would have a boyfriend like so many of my classmates. The rest of the class party passed as if in a dream, and I planned how I would slip the valentine back to Josh with 'YES' emphatically circled. I saw Josh standing next to my desk, and I coyly ignored him.
When I finally returned to my desk, I sat down to read Josh's valentine again. I opened the card, and saw Michael Jordon staring back at me. Only this time, when I turned it over, there was nothing there save some eraser marks and a faint penciled reminder of what could have been.
* * *
After looking mournfully at the pile of gifts sitting in a corner of my apartment gathering dust, I realized that perhaps I should treat myself by unwrapping them. As I tore through the paper, I started to grasp why Peter took the approach that he did, and I saw that I had inadvertently done the same. Here, finally was the Seinfeld box set that I had been hoping (to no avail) that Santa might bring me. And a pair of socks with glow in the dark skulls on them that would look smashing on my gorgeous gams. With each present that I opened, I realized that luckily, I had only gotten gifts that I wanted myself, and I was intoxicated by the fact that they were mine, all mine. A glimmer of hope flickered in my mind, and my future gleamed with the shiny glow of consumeristic bliss.
During this painful, yet exhilarating, recovery phase, I've also found that buying expensive jeans and polka dot sheets have brought me some solace. I've tried to spend time attempting to understand the real me and have posed such philosophical questions to my mother as, 'Is it possible to be attracted to someone's language usage?' and 'Why do I find the use of the word 'hyperbole' when pronounced with an English accent so incredibly titillating?' I've tried to understand these things about myself, and barring that, accept them, and spend more time in hot tubs. I'm not sure if that will help, but it certainly can't hurt. I've been searching for answers during these long days of introspection, but thus far I've reached few conclusions. I have, however, vowed to clean my apartment more frequently, and I can't honestly ask more of myself than that.
The other day I was in the process of trying to persuade one of my new co-workers to be my friend. "Once I got mugged twice in the same month," I boasted, sure that this was the ticket to get me in to the ever elusive cool-work-crowd. He raised his eyebrows slightly, unmoved.
"Well," he said, "once I stepped in the same shit twice."
This, I have decided, is the analogy for my entire life, much like the aim emoticon--as shown above--that represents my complete spectrum of feelings.
He went on to tell me that on his way to the Paris metro he stepped in a pile of feces, and then later the same day on the way home from the metro, he stepped in it again, albeit with the other foot.
This slightly disgusting story is representative of not only my romantic life, but my entire life as a whole. Benjamin Franklin once said, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." This explains why I continue to eat Ho-hos (even though I feel sick every time), buy shoes that look cute but don't fit, close my eyes when making left-hand turns, and find myself completely unable to make a clean break from a relationship. I like to get my shoes dirty, I suppose.
The thing is, I'm not crazy per se, I'm just hopeful. Some of the greatest discoveries by mankind has involved doing the same things over and over and finally getting a different result. So really, my life is more like a science experiment than anything else.
When I look at it from a scientific point of view, stepping in the same shit twice doesn't seem quite as bad. It's still better than getting mugged by a drag queen (I promise to write about that next time) or at least it's not quite as scary.
There are few people in the world that will truly understand what I am saying, but I am confident that one of them is my friend Iris from New Yizzy. In the late 90's, we made equations that represented our life and times, and they generally went something like, drinking divided by celebrity appearances times shame squared equals karaoke. Anyway, you should read her stuff because she's probably better than you, and the one that coined the term, "bright lights, big dick in my ass." Also, my homeboy Duncan is writing his stuff over here. The link I made for him on my sidebar doesn't work, but you should read his page because he is definitely smarter than you and me put together. For real. Peace out.
So in this "Teen Q&A" the first totally bogus thing that this guy says is "the baseball analogy is a pretty immature way to talk about some very mature stuff and aren't you better than that?"
I'd like to take a moment to answer that rhetorical question and say "FUCK NO FUCK NO FUCK NO FUCK NO."
Last weekend I went to a cocktail party with the other Lina. (Who I will post flattering pictures of very soon, I promise) Much talk of the bases went on. First, I got felt up in front of witnesses by a homosexual and he denied that we had just gotten to Second Base*, which we clearly did. His argument was that because he did not actually go under my shirt, this did not constitute a technical trip to Second Base. Then, as the other Lina is wont to do, she started introducing me to people as the "Lina with the adorable cervix." Of course I try to explain this so people don't think I am some kind of tramp, and tell the story of how I totally scored with my gynocologist and got to Second Base with her.
What you may ask? An over-the-shirt feel-up and a gynocological exam both fit into the Second Base catagory? YES I say! Much argument ensued. To break it down, in the reality I have created for myself and which I intend to live in for a good long time, the bases are as such (for the hets):
First Base: making out
Second Base: anything beyond First Base that does not yet stray into the catagory of Third Base. A very fun base. I've heard.
Third Base: oral sex
Home Run: DUH.
Now the disagreement seems to arise in the grey area found between 2nd and 3rd Base. Many of the cocktail party guests seem to believe that a classic "fingerbang" should be in the 3rd Base catagory. I felt very strongly that this was clearly a 2nd Base activity, but now I'm not so sure. They also believed that the classic "blowjob" should count as a Home Run. What were you, dear reader, taught about the Bases? Share with us your wisdom.
Please check out the brilliant Heathy Lee Roth's take on the Bases. EATING PUSSY: The NEW First Base.
* please note that the Bases are capitalized because said Bases are sacred.
I love the other Lina.
To be honest, I think he was a little bit scared by my penetrating glance. I had already thought of a great pick up line,
"Hey, you want to go make clone babies?"
But before I got a chance to try it out, he dashed out the door in his checkerboard vans. Depressed.
Saturday, I had my picture on the front page of the Onion, Salon, Nerve, FuckedCompany and Bust. Actually, I got a few letters from people I hadn't heard from in ages telling me that my grinning mug was prominently featured. No, I hadn't become famous, I was The Catch of the Day, from the Nerve personals. Like a piece of poached salmon, I was not particularly happy to be labeled thus, as I thought it made me look like a sex-hungry wanton slut.
I got my retaliation when I realized that Nerve didn't have staff in until Monday, so I changed my ad to prominently feature a link to my website. This resulted in $40 profit from porn sign-ups, ostensibly from potential suitors who quickly realized that they would never see me naked. Since Nerve took down my URL first thing this morning, I promptly took down my profile in retaliation. In case you missed it, here are some of the highlights:
Last great book I read:
19th Century Lit makes me tingle.
Most humbling moment:
In 6th grade a boy named Josh gave me a Michael Jordan valentine with 'Will you go out with me? Circle one Yes No' written on. I read it and went to finish passing out my valentines. When I came back to my desk he had taken the valentine and erased it.
Favorite on-screen sex scene:
Perry Farrell doing it with his dead wife in The Gift.
So other than all this, there isn't too much exciting going on here. I got the cutest sweater at dickiesgirl.com, which was the first thing I have bought that cost more than $20 in like, a year. I wore it for 2 hours, and then it got stolen at my job. I am so bitter about it, and it makes me sad everytime I think about some retard wandering the streets of San Francisco wearing MY sweater!
On another note, here are some pictures that I meant to put up a few weeks ago when I went to that children's park with my all those little kids.
No wonder kids are so messed up nowadays. ;)
I just wanted to mention again how much I love Tony Danza. Every goddamned week I watch Family Law, and it makes me cry like a little girl with a skinned knee. If you didn't already know, Tony is an accomplished tap dancer; one time when hosted Saturday Night Live he started doing his soft shoe act and I nearly wet my pants. Not only is he handsome and charming, Tony is a fount of knowledge. Move over Estelle Getty!
"I take a bunch of vitamins. I am a vitamin guy. Cod liver oil really helps your joints. I also take antixidants, becuase I have cancer in my family, unfortunately." --Tony Danza
I think I am in love with you. I know that I've written to you before, and you,ve never writtten back, but I've never felt this way about any of the boys in school. The way you used to say "Ay-Oh" on Who's the Boss makes my heartrate triple! I would like to have your babies.
Here is one of the famed valentines that Fran and I made when we were roommates in college. We made a large number of black valentines with Smiths lyrics on them, and distributed them to our disillusioned and alienated peers. Here are some sample lyrics that I can recall:
I know I'm unloveable
You don't have to tell me
Loud and clear
Two lovers entwined passed me by
and heavens knows I'm miserable now
But I don't want a lover
I just want to be tied to the back of your car.
I know I need hardly say
how much I love your casual way
but please put your tongue away
I am Human and I need to be loved
Just like everybody else does
In my life
why do I smile
at people who I'd much rather kick in the eye
and if a ten ton truck
kills the both of us
to die by your side
well the pleasure and the privilege is mine
Because if it's not Love
Then it's the Bomb
That will bring us together
I still love you
but only slightly
less than I used to
Last night I dreamt
that somebody loved me
no hope-but no harm
just another false alarm
Clearly, we were very charming young ladies. Odd that neither one of us can sustain a long-term relationship. Here's a really funny random Smiths lyrics generator.