Damnit, Cupid, SO NOT OK: The OkCupid Trials, Date 1

I first joined OkCupid back in December of 2009. Back then, I was working full time, I had my own apartment, and I was more of a developed adult than I am now. The only thing that was missing from my grown-up life was a boyfriend – so one night, I created an online dating profile, and the hits started coming in. 

By ‘hits,’ I definitely mean ‘weird messages from dudes who were clearly single for a reason.’ Every girl on OkCupid attracts a different sort of unsavory suitor. Mine can be described only as ‘gym-rat muscle heads with disproportionately shrunken heads,’ and there were definitely a bunch of messages from them, but there were also lots of cute guys to meet, so I started booking dates. 

I went out with around 10 guys the first month I was on the site. The first one seemed like a laugh riot online, but when we met up in person, I was startled by the fact that he had an unnaturally shiny, red face and an incredibly high-pitched lady’s voice. Seeing how I have a deep voice for a woman, it was deeply unnerving to be on a date with a guy who spoke in a higher octave than me. We went to McSorley’s, where I was forced to squeeze into a seat right next to the wood-burning stove or whatever that thing is. Predictably, I managed to lean against said maybe-stove and give myself a third degree burn on my tender, fleshy bicep. Date foul, for sure. We said goodbye on the subway and I’m pretty sure he gave me a high-five to end the night, which suited me just fine, except for the fact that his hand was simultaneously clammy, cold and smaller than mine. 

Daily Aggravation 48: Theater Kids

Even though I’m in my mid-twenties now, I still have a strong aversion to people who were known as ‘theater kids’ in high school. Don’t get me wrong – I love creative people, and I have a lot of respect for anyone who can get on stage and perform in front of an audience. There’s a certain kind of creative person, though, that annoys me to no end. You know the type – they always have to be the center of attention, they wear Porkpie hats without any trace of irony or sense of humor, and they enjoy playing improv games at parties. They’re JUST the WORST. 

I had an encounter with a theater kid recently in a clothing store. An Etta James song started playing on the radio, and a girl with a Caesar cut, a nose piercing and vaguely orthopedic shoes on started singing along to it like she was auditioning for “A Chorus Line.” I wanted to turn to her and say, “Excuse me, bitch, but you’re making my eardrums bleed with your overly-confident, loud warbling. I don’t see Simon Cowell in the store with us, do you? No, right? Then SHUT your DAMN MOUTH and get the hell out of here! And PS: Linda Hunt called, and she wants her look back.” 

Daily Aggravation 47: Drunk People

I rarely go to bars. I don’t like the taste of alcohol, and resultantly, I have the tolerance of a flea. After two beers, I start to feel queasy and hot, and almost every time I “go out,” I end up doing that embarrassing thing where you order a pint of water at the bar and then excuse yourself to go home and take a nap on the bathroom floor (just me? Okay then). 

Moreover, I can’t stand drunk people. There are few things more tedious and irritating than having to listen to someone loudly theorize about dumb shit like how her version of the color blue could be my version of the color red. Drunk people spit on you and shout, and eventually they stagger out of the bar with a mint-green face and barf on the sidewalk while you’re trying to hail a cab. 

I know this from personal experience. When I lived in Scotland, there was a bar on the town’s main street called The Keys. This place was a SERIOUS “locals pub,” meaning that its clientele consisted exclusively of decrepit, cirrhotic old men who hated university students like me. Once I saw an 80-year-old gentleman in a tattered coat stagger out of The Keys at 2pm on a Monday and projectile vomit against a wall, and I still count that as one of the grossest and most depressing things I’ve ever seen. 

The question is, though, where do young people hang out if not in bars? I wish bookstores would replace bars as the places to go when you want to let loose on a Saturday night. Who’s with me? 

Café con Lechery

An old friend reminded me tonight of a rather disturbing thing that happened to me in a Starbucks when I was a teenager. I had been waiting innocently at the bar for my coffee, and I’d asked the barista for whipped cream on top of my drink. Overhearing my request, an older man who was also waiting for his drink leaned over to me and said, with a lecherous arch of his eyebrow and a twinkle in his eye, “So, you like your fat whipped?”

That’s right: he was trying to confirm whether or not I did, indeed, “like my fat whipped.” I’m pretty sure that the reason I had blocked this memory out until tonight was because WHAT WHO SAYS THAT. I mean, think about it. In one measly little sentence, this peculiar creep managed to be sexually inappropriate, socially inappropriate AND to make a reference to my FAT, for Christ’s sake! I’m pretty sure the words, “Well, I never!” came out of my mouth in response, mostly because I talk like an old-timey schoolmarm when I feel threatened.

Retrospectively, though? Thanks for the laugh, you greasy pervert, you. Thanks for the laugh.

On Courtney Stodden and her Grey-Faced Husband

On Courtney Stodden and her Grey-Faced Husband

Courtney Stodden, the 18-year-old child bride of some old dude who was apparently on Lost or something, has become a fixture on the gossip blogs for her undeniably classy wardrobe of gold lame, 7″ lucite stripper heels, and a chest that Tori Spelling would kill a man for. She claims to be ‘the real deal,’ completely devoid of any surgical enhancement, but on a scale of ‘Normal Human to Amanda Lepore,’ Stoddard comes in at a solid ‘Jackie Stallone.’ Most recently, she attended some event for the King of Thailand (seriously WTF), and here in the above link are some photos of how subdued and subtly chic she looked that night. What I really can’t get over is the fact that her husband (HUSBAND!) is straight up GREY. His pigeon-colored teeth match his ash-colored face, and the overall effect is that he looks like a gargoyle in an ill-fitting satin shirt and Steve Madden platform shoes. Imagine having to get in bed next to that every night! Actually, he probably sleeps in a coffin, so I bet Courtney gets the whole bed to herself. It’s the little things, I guess.

Daily Aggravation 46: Aggressive, Darwinian Jaywalkers

It really goads me when I see some moron crossing the street against the light when there are cars hurtling in either direction and it’s clearly not safe to do so. What on earth is the point of acting like such a reckless ass clown? Will the extra ten seconds you’ll save by pretending you’re Frogger really make THAT much of a difference in your commute? Unless you have a bomb strapped to your chest and you need to cover twenty blocks in five minutes, stay the fuck on the sidewalk like a rational human being and wait until the light is green.

That Time I Wore a Winter Coat for 6 Years

I’ve always been pathologically self-conscious. I don’t really know why – it’s not like I was born without a nose or anything – but I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember. I think maybe the neurosis stems from having looked so much like a boy when I was a baby that I’d be in my carriage wearing a pink dress and pink hair clips and people would STILL come over and ask, “Aww, how old is he?!” (This might have had something to do with the fact that my ‘hair’ consisted of three wispy strands of nothing, but I digress.)

The self-consciousness wasn’t SO bad when I was a kid, though I do remember being six years old and so deeply ashamed of a tiny mole on my left hand that I would hold it to my body in a palsy-ish kind of way. It only really got bad when I hit twelve years old – that’s when I first put on a knee-length, black, puffy winter coat, and I pretty much didn’t take the fucking thing off for the next six years.

You may think I’m exaggerating. I wish that were the case, but you could ask any one of the 120 kids I went to school with back then, and every single person would tell you, “Yeah, Caroline definitely did spend 6th grade through 12th grade comfortably swaddled in a crazy person puffer coat.” I’d break out Old Faithful as soon as the temperature dipped below 65 degrees in October, and I wouldn’t take it off until it was so hot outside that other people were wearing sundresses and shorts to school.

It was pretty nutty behavior, retrospectively, and GOOD GOD was it BOILING HOT in there. Multiple times a week, some other student, most likely clad only in a thin, short-sleeved shirt, would turn to me and say, “Hey, Caroline, it’s super hot in here, aren’t you hot in that coat?” And even though my hair would be plastered to my red, sweaty face and I’d be feeling like I could slump over from heat stroke at virtually any moment, I’d reply, “Oh, man, I’m FREEZING! I can’t believe you’re hot! I’m so glad I have my coat to keep me toasty!” Then I’d spend the rest of the class simultaneously fuming at their nerve and envying them for the fact that they weren’t totally insane like me.

I even had a math teacher, Doc, who would literally beg me to take the coat off in front of the whole class. “Caroline, you’re beautiful,” he’d say, “and for the LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, could you take the goddamn coat OFF?” I’d just smile knowingly and say, “Oh, Doc. You know that’ll never happen.” And it didn’t – not until after I’d graduated from high school. I’m surprised my superlative in the yearbook wasn’t, “Most Likely To End Up Wearing a Tin Foil Hat to Match Her Paranoid Schizophrenic’s Outfit.”

Finally, I got to college and decided that there wasn’t much of a point to schvitzing like a pudding at a picnic all the time. Don’t get me wrong, though – I still wear a long, black, puffy coat every winter, and the first time each season that I get to put it on, I think to myself, “Hello, old friend. We meet again.”

Daily Aggravation 45: Clapping at the End of a Movie

Clapping at the end of any movie falls under the heading of what I like to call “Inappropriate Clapping That Should Be Punished by Stoning.” It is especially cringe-inducing when it happens at the end of a sad/thought-provoking movie like “The Central Park Five,” the Ken Burns documentary about the Central Park Jogger. This inappropriate clapping occurred tonight at the Lincoln Center theater (big surprise there), and it made me gnash my teeth in aggravation. WHY THE HELL are you CLAPPING at a DEPRESSING-ASS movie about rape and wrongful imprisonment? The other sixty people in this room feel like we just went to a funeral, and YOU’RE smiling rakishly and clapping. Unbelievable! How about you put your dinky little boiled-wool beret back on your bald fucking head and go home to your Classic 6 on the Upper West Side? Schmuck.