My Thanksgiving: as told by a Muppet

I don’t know about your family but mine is filled with Swedish Chefs terrorizing a kitchen for 4 hours straight. To illustrate, I present you with the following:

“Aunt Edna, could you pass the yams?”

Yuou gut it. Cumeeng reet urp!”

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“Hey! Did you mix that bowl yet?”

Off cuourse. Bork bork!”

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“Grandma, how are we doing with the turkey?!?”

It’s ibuout tu be-a stuoffed!”

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“Grandpa…WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH A FLAME THROWER?!?!?

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Happy Thanksgiving all!

-Single Guy in NYC
@SingleGuyInNYC

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What Connects Us

To be perfectly honest, I don’t know. Is it my lurid sense of humor? After all, who wouldn’t embrace the gentle warmth of a stranger’s hand as you ascend to the gallows? Are you a vagrant and see that in me as well? I’m not the best looking but compared to old Boxcar Willy, I suppose I can hold my own. Maybe it’s a different flavor of independence; insolence and dissidence. Both kinds are easy to spot out – no need for smoke signals when there’s a fire of visible grandeur. On the contrary, perhaps you see something that isn’t there – a quality I’ve never possessed – and you’re unequivocally convinced it’s the answer to all your prayers. Who needs a God when there’s a temporal resource on speed dial? Number 4, to be exact.

Or, could it be that you’re attached to my illusive traits? Although mercurial and tacitly agreed upon, it feels like a blood pact. Meredith Brooks cashed in on being a “bitch,” so it’s been proven in theory and practice. Chaos can be, and often times is, majestic. That said, everyone has a threshold and, consequently, an end date. I just hope we can speak candidly when that time comes. To revise, and partially reverse, a pithy sentiment: Second chances should be given to everyone who deserves them.

-Single Guy in NYC
@SingleGuyInNYC

Throwback: My First Time (Girl Fail #20)

G FAILIt would be illogical to write – not to mention relive – my Girl Fails without telling you how it all started. I’m going back to high school for this story; back before I had a modus operandi, back before texting and when everyone was on AIM, back when I was battling unwarranted boners and jacking off every 15 minutes, and back when I was oblivious to anything sexually tacit (oh, the irony). Despite my mercurial nature, there was a sensational brunette in my 9th grade English class sitting beside me and I was smitten.

She was shy, allusively charming and, although the same age, blasé – as if she had been on more adventures than Amelia Earhart. But, I could make her laugh. The more I did, the more confidence I acquired and even I was surprised by this recycling of energy. Her best friend sat in front of us and pretty soon we all became close. After flirting for 2 months, I asked her out. She said yes and I got her email address and screen name (not many kids had cell phones at this point). I was ecstatic and eager to fill my friends in on my success, which is why I was surprised to find a rejection note in my locker the next day. She said her life was complicated, she liked a man in another state, and that I was a good guy. It was my first real rejection but I didn’t let it stop me from trying again.

FriendClass was awkward for a week but we got back into our old flirtatious habits and it was business as usual till the end of the year. We chatted online all the time and sent each other funny photos via email. End of the year finals were here and with Summer break quickly approaching, I was afraid I’d be immured in the friend zone for eternity unless I asked her for her number. I couldn’t bare the thought of not seeing her for an entire season.

My plan was to ask her after our English final. Well, guess who finished the test in half the time I did and was picked up by her parents? I was abject. Alas, all hope was lost!

Not quite. Her best friend was waiting for the buses like I was. Believing it was my only shot, I asked her if she’d give me our mutual friend’s number. Noting my candor, she smiled and gave it to me.

“She likes you, you know,” she said, surreptitiously glancing over her shoulder as if her friend would suddenly appear.

I called her that evening, explained how I got her number, how I was sorry I didn’t ask her personally but with the summer here and I didn’t want to lose touch. After speaking for 5 minutes, she said she had to go and I suggested that we hang out sometime.

She sent me an email that night strongly voicing the err of my ways. What I believed to be an innocuous phone call between friends turned out to be the most menacing, disgraceful act normally executed by heartless tyrants. She went on to say that we had absolutely nothing in common, I had no idea who she is or where she’d been, and I was thoughtless (there we go with the irony again). She closed by threatening violence (she had strong, “protective male friends”) if I ever dared to call her again.

ThinkFrom that moment on, I began to over-think every single statement, action, or pass I made at the opposite sex. I feared that no matter how close I got to anyone, I could still be regarded as an evil threat. Every pact could be broken at any time. Every gallant gesture could be misinterpreted as malicious. Every compliment could be tainted by selfish and hidden intentions. As much as I challenged these thoughts, my subconscious seemed to open the door and graciously invite them inside to percolate.

After two years of silence, she instant messaged me randomly one day. (Interestingly enough, I was dating someone at the time.) She asked if I hated her. To be honest, I struggled to find the relevancy of her question since we remained strangers for the past few years. Then again, it was high school and we were all dramatic and peevish twerps expecting our world to end by means of a merciless calamity. Most of us aren’t like that anymore. Anyway, I replied saying that I didn’t hate her and asked if everything was okay. As if she was in a confessional, she wistfully explained what was bothering her and confided in me. She felt lonely all the time and pushed others away for no reason. She regretted the email she sent me and wished she could have taken it all back. Although it was a strange time for an apology, it was nice to hear it from her.

Regardless, the damage was done. She changed the way I pursued women all throughout college and, most likely, is the reason why I continue to contemplate my presence around women to such an unnecessary degree.

Now would you look at that? That’s some Class A psychologist babble right there, and it was all for the price of one large coffee at this quaint cafe on the corner. What a steal!

-Single Guy in NYC
@SingleGuyInNYC

I’m an idiot but let me explain…

Fool“It’s better to be silent and a fool than to open your mouth and to prove it.”  Hopefully this isn’t your point of view because I’d like to know who the fools are, just as long as there’s an equally vocal retort and opposition to unethical or unreasonable conceptions. Considering the human condition, we are all subject to reproach in our normal discourse. Here are a few facts about myself that seem nonsensical.

  1. I have trouble going outside. This isn’t to say I struggle with agoraphobia but it’s a combination between nerves, my lack of spontaneity, and desire for organized plans. There are times where I plan out an entire day of errands but when the day comes, I can’t bring myself to leave my apartment. Irrational thoughts flood my mind. I didn’t leave the apartment early enough and everyone will know how lazy I am. Why do I even have to do this today? The weather’s not great and I’ll feel under-dressed. What if I get to the store and they don’t have anything that I need? What if I make a fool out of myself when I’m out? How will I forgive myself if I do or say something stupid to stranger?  If my roommate says he’s going out to dinner in 5 minutes and asks me to join him, I’ll always hesitate, even if I have absolutely nothing to do. Dinner? I didn’t plan this! What if something happens when I’m away? The majority of the time, I’ll reject these spontaneous offers. However, I do my best to challenge and repudiate each and every one of my anxious thoughts. I overcome them most of the time but I’d rather not deal with it.
  2. CreeperI constantly make unnecessary accommodations in order to avoid looking like a creeper. A caustically humorous acquaintance once told me, “As a single guy, you know what you do when you feel as though you just can’t creep anymore? You creep harder.” Although this cracks me up, I could never follow this exaggerated, borderline sarcastic, advice. In reality, he’s really  implying is that it pays to be insolent, albeit not always. I’m arrested by anxious thoughts because I don’t want to be misunderstood. Here’s a couple examples: I do most of my reading on the subway and as every New Yorker knows, one is not always blessed with a seat. As I stand in the aisle, I’ll hold my book by my stomach and look down to read. However, if there’s a woman sitting down in front of me, in my line of vision (underneath my book) wearing a low cut skirt or a revealing top, I’ll raise my book to eye level so it doesn’t appear as though I’m looking at her. In all honesty, I’ll sneak a peak but 99% of my attention is on my book. Second example – yoga class. Having no knowledge about yoga, you can imagine how lost I was at times when I started attending a few  classes. Ignorant to the vernacular, my poses were an embarrassment and I had to rely on others in order to correct my stances. Yet, I felt like a jerk for looking at someone up and down for a second to assess what I was doing wrong. True, in most circumstances, I’d be smitten by a room full of gorgeous women – okay, I was a little overwhelmed – but in this case, I wanted to learn and my methodological glances felt abasing. So, I memorize everything I screw up on and research outside of class. Well, that is if I can remember.
  3. I’ve asked “Can you keep a secret?” Lying is probably not below those that can’t keep a secret, so it makes absolutely no sense to propose this question. The same goes for when someone asks you a question, and your first response after a moment of hesitation is, “Truth?” No, they want your fatuous lies. That’s why they asked you a question; in order to never hear an answer. This is just plain dumb.
  4. I procrastinate. Edward Young said it best, “Procrastination is the thief of time;Year after year it steals, till all are fled, And to the mercies of a moment leaves, The vast concerns of an eternal scene…At thirty, man suspects himself a fool;  Knows it at forty, and reforms his plan; At fifty, chides his infamous delay,  Pushes his prudent purpose to resolve;  In all the magnanimity of thought resolves; and re-resolves; then dies the same.  And why? Because he thinks himself immortal.  All men think all men mortal, but themselves.”   This should be a prescient warning so that one does not end up losing more than one can bear. Yet, I keep delaying and procrastinating. Such a funny thing.

What senseless habits or thoughts do you have?

-Single Guy in NYC
@SingleGuyInNYC

I’m A Recovering Hopeless Romantic

Aren’t you tempted to go into a paroxysm of rage when you think of how much you’ve had to unlearn through the years? Think of how credulous you once were – maybe you still are, I don’t know. Parents, religious leaders, teachers, police, presidents, etc. are not inerrant and never will be. Yet, this is a slow realization and quite a contentiously sour topic for those whom want to hold on to such fallacious beliefs. The reason why is a mystery to me but I suspect it’s for comfort. Embracing the human condition and the imperative significance of reproach, I learned how foolish I was by remaining a hopeless romantic.

What do the following have in common?

  • Paul Revere rode to Concord to warn that “The British are coming!”
  • Einstein failed math in school
  • Edison invented the light bulb
  • Napoleon was short
  • Vikings wore helmets
  • We only use 10% of our brains
  • Walt Disney was frozen after his death
  • Cleopatra was Egyptian
  • If it rhymes and sounds good, it must be true

They’re all absolutely false.

princessHere’s something else I’ve heard that requires rephrasing of some kind: “Every woman should be treated like a princess.” There are so many variations of quotes like these and they’re all generalized crap. To illustrate, let’s invert it: “Every man should be treated like a prince or king.” Can any adult actually believe this and not feel some sort of embarrassment? I mean, the royal life isn’t some Disney fairytale. Case in point, look up Tower Hill.

PepeI’ve met plenty of men and women who are hopeless romantics and let me tell you, it doesn’t make any sense; all those grandiose gestures on Valentine’s Day, giving 10x more than receiving (when it comes to literally everything), making nonsensical sacrifices where any normal thinking being would realize that they’re being taken advantage of, knowing that they have found their soul-mate (again), etc. These people are just in love with the idea of love, and I used to be one of them.

porchI daydreamed of creative romantic gestures as though it were a performance piece eagerly waiting to be acted out. You name it. Whether it’s poignant poems, love letters, dedicating songs, hiding notes for them to find, doing chores they hate, celebrating every little anniversary, breakfast in bed, or spontaneous massages or gifts or getaways. Part of my mindset was that if I did all these things, I’d be a great boyfriend. However, most of the time, you’re just playing second fiddle.

This post isn’t supposed to denounce and undermine romance. My point is that people are not infallible, and some behaviors or habits don’t deserve to be inured. Don’t be a pushover, think for yourself, and challenge those around you. Are they worthy of your benevolent deeds? Will you be recognized for your sacrifices? Are you burying your regrets? Unrequited love gestures are insidious recipes for disaster.

“Beware the irrational, however seductive…Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don’t be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you.”  -Christopher Hitchens

Blow_romantic

Not everyone is the romantic type and just because they don’t openly display their love every waking hour, doesn’t mean they don’t care. Yet, in spite of the message here, love will make you do stupid things. And I’m guilty of that too.

-Single Guy in NYC
@SingleGuyInNYC

Hickeys and Roaches

After a brief glance at my neck, my roommate exclaimed, “Hey, looks like you got yourself a hickey! I knew you’d eventually get on board. Who’s the lucky girl?” hick

“Oh, that?” I replied aridly. “That is not a hickey. I wanted to talk to you about this. In fact, I have a few of those and after doing some research, I realized that they’re actually bites.”

The exhorted expression on his face dwindled. My unfortunate vicissitudes have a way of straining my conversations, so I finished my thought.

“Don’t worry, we don’t have bedbugs. They’re actually cockroach bites. Since they can’t always find food in the kitchen, I guess they crawl on me in my sleep looking for something to eat and when I move, they bite me out of fear and draw blood.”

“You can’t be serious.”

“I am.” Pausing for a moment, I thought to elevate our spirits. “But hey, that doesn’t mean I can’t find someone and get a real hickey, right?”

Wishful thinking? Maybe.

New York City, you strike again at the single man. Why must you be so caustically callous?

-Single Guy in NYC
@SingleGuyInNYC

10 Tips For Dating Someone With Depression

This will be one of my most important posts and it’s something I’ve wanted to get out of my system for a while now. I’ve dated three people with depression; one relationship became quite serious. I ruefully admit that it took too long for me to channel my compounded confusion into some sense for the organized chaos I experienced. Here’s 10 things I wish someone had told me back then:

  1. Do your research. This point is difficult to overemphasis and, unfortunately, is often undermined. If your girlfriend or boyfriend discloses that they have depression, the first thing you should realize is how generalized that word is. There’s many types, a myriad of symptoms that can overlap into other medical illnesses, different causes (physiological, environmental, etc.) and treatment is different for everyone. Don’t be pedantic – not all knowledge comes from learning books. If possible, try to understand your partner’s personal history and pick up on anything that might be a trigger for them.
  2. Their illness is not to blame for everything. Everyone on this planet has good and bad days regardless of non-functional neurotransmitters, hormones, and other biological processes. Be mindful but don’t rush to conclusions.
  3. Man-built-of-PillsTherapy and medication is their choice. It’s true that these can help to abate symptoms but they are certainly not the only modes of treatment. In particular, therapy works best when the patient sees the need for it. Not everyone wants to open up to some stranger or down a handful of pills packed with side effects every morning. That being said, encourage other means of treatment that are good for everyone, e.g., exercising, challenging bad thoughts, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep.
  4. They cannot simply just “snap out of it.” Sure, not all forms of depression are chronic but if your partner is having an episode, it restricts their perspective of the world. Becoming confined to narrow walls where one’s life doesn’t seem to matter, or where one loses interest in everything around them, is petrifying and having the mindset that they will simply snap out of it is wrong. If your partner battles this one day at a time, you might have to as well.
  5. It can be misdiagnosed. Like many conditions, one can be misdiagnosed. Not to say that this is your particular circumstances, but doctors make mistakes and, as one can see, symptoms of one illness may be similar to symptoms of another.
  6. Know how to improv. This is an invaluable skill to have. Plans will change. You will get angry. There will be unpredictable, tumultuous fights. And there will be forlorn sadness. It doesn’t matter if it’s your wedding day or someone’s funeral. In either case, it’s best to know how to improvise for your loved one. Don’t expect a “thank you” for each selfless act you do. Sometimes, you just need faith that it’s helping them.
  7. Be empathetic but know when to put your foot down. It’s unhealthy for you to let someone else rule your life. Understand where they are coming from but remember to make your own decisions. Many people, including myself, may go through depressive episodes from caring for someone with depression. This is not fair for either of you.
  8. From my experience, expect one hell of an entertaining relationship but brace for a horrendous breakup. Sometimes, in hindsight, your relationship will feel like you strapped yourself into a brand new sports car loaded with mind-blowing sex and unparalleled adventure. As you gain speed, you naturally recline back into the comfy seats but as reality sits in, you realize that there are caveats all around you and, in some cases, no brakes. The law of inertia (Newton’s 1st law of motion) becomes a scary thought when there’s no metaphorical way to slow down. If this is the case, your sports car will crash and it’s going to hurt like hell for everyone on board.
  9. Don’t expect apologies for everything. Don’t expect an apology each time your partner is overly sensitive to your words or actions, or has mood swings,  or each time there’s an unresolved fight, or when something malicious is uttered. There should be reproach and apologies from time to time but bottom line, not always. Besides, it’s not like you apologize for every wrong you make.
  10. Talk to someone else about your relationship and give serious thought about what you want/need. If after research and extensive consideration, you feel as though this is something you can’t handle, you may not be right for one another. That’s the harsh truth. Everyone has a slightly different representation of what love entails and for this reason alone, I discredit Lennon when he sings, “all you need is love.” Relationships like these are a special breed. Your partner may say something that will rip your heart out and the next day say something that will bring you to a state of glorious euphoria you never imagined. Remember, you’re not here to save someone else. You help those who help themselves, period. You need to assess whether or not they are worth it, and if you are strong enough to sacrifice and support them when they need it.

I’ll close with another sobering thought. You know how in the movies, when the romantically involved protagonists have an insufferable altercation followed by some time apart, and then one person says something to the other person that acts as a relationship-elixir and they live happily ever after? Well, that’s nothing but a big crock of bull schnitzel. Be open-minded, yet realistic, and be well my friends.

-Single Guy in NYC
@SingleGuyInNYC