Ugly, Sick, and Stupid

I’ve been dropping out lately. It could be staring at the monotonous white tile wall while in the shower or my keyboard prior to typing this or a green light at an intersection. Guess you could say I’ve been quite low – and never being one for asking help – so I mustered up the energy to draft this entry. Lord knows I’m not in the mood to change out of the clothes I’ve been wearing for the past four days, shower, or make food.

Depression

About half of my twenties have been filled with sickness, depression, and loneliness. Maybe that’s normal but according to what I see, it doesn’t appear that way.

I’m thoroughly convinced that without a vibrant social life or definitive purpose in life, one’s vitality is essential for well-being. Normally, I’m full of energy; run a few miles in the morning, yoga by lunchtime, work done by dinner, and a good book in the evening. It’s kept me in good shape most of my life and can be done without relying on anyone else, which is the best way to stay consistent, no? In my early twenties, I seldom considered what life would be like if I was no longer able to do any of these things. Which brings me here today.

Who knew that when I grew up I’d be a collector of incurable autoimmune diseases?

Eight months ago, I started flaring up again. It comes out of nowhere and I tend to be extremely reluctant to put my workouts on hold or drastically change my diet. I tell myself, “Who knows how long this one will last? No need to turn your world upside down. That’ll only stress you out and make matters worse!” But everything gets worse anyway.

I know the drill by now.

  • Chronic pain  Image result for check mark box
  • Fatigue  Image result for check mark box
  • Anemia  Image result for check mark box
  • Nausea  Image result for check mark box
  • Fever  Image result for check mark box
  • Depression  Image result for check mark box
  • Foggy head  Image result for check mark box
  • Anxiety  Image result for check mark box
  • Sleep loss  Image result for check mark box
  • Weight loss  Image result for check mark box
  • Mood swings Image result for check mark box

Besides rent, main expenditures switch from weekend events to pricey medical bills. (Gotta pay up for all the poking and prodding. Yay America.) It’s a sensible change since I never feel like going out anymore. Sure, some days are better than others but for the most part, socializing sucks up all my energy. In short, I become a diminutive shadow of my former self.

I feel ugly, sick, and stupid.

These are no easy feats to overcome. And it helps explain why I’ve been single for over 2 years now. And I should clarify what I mean by “single” because many people have adopted this word for other (more upbeat) means.

To me, it doesn’t mean serial dating. It doesn’t mean taking time to “find yourself.” It doesn’t mean that relationship you carry that’s not official or serious. It doesn’t mean a post-break up fling with a recent ex. And it doesn’t always mean a personal choice.

It does mean being in the market for a partner. It does mean crushing rejection. It does mean forgetting what holding someone’s hand feels like (let alone everything else). It does mean getting a look of unease from someone whenever they realize you seek love and intimacy like everyone else. It does mean feeling shame when you’re labelled as a cis white male who has supposedly benefited from the patriarchal subjugation of women. It does mean feeling a failure as a man for not being assertive enough. It does mean cursing yourself for wishing others would approach you for once. It does mean losing a sense of connection with others. It does mean forgetting how to communicate and deliver suave repartee that men are expected to know. And it can mean a lack of choice.

The way you navigate the world on a daily basis morphs as well. Stimuli that bring back memories of intimacy can be uplifting but they tend to be followed by a crippling crash. I don’t expect everyone to understand this but if our experiences were identical, I guarantee you would.

For example, on my morning subway commute, a woman’s scent may traverse the train car and get to me, causing a flood of feelings of how life was like when I had someone to call late at night, or someone to hold when the doctors found a tumor in my mom’s brain. Unintended touches from strangers yield similar effects. Maybe it’s the barista’s hand slightly grazing mine as she hands back my credit card, or someone brushing against my shoulder exiting the train. To be sure, I NEVER seek this out, as that would be a violation of personal space and vastly immoral. Regardless, I’m ashamed of these flooding memories and feelings from strangers, as it has nothing to do with them. Essentially, I’m triggered by these sensations since they are rare.

A note for all you happy-go-lucky extroverts that read this and think dude, you think waayyyyyyy too much. Live a little. 

I fully understand the power of getting out of one’s head. Believe you me. Granted, that’s all I need to do but what I’m expressing is a long-term, formless feeling of self-doubt, insecurity, and dejection stemming from physical ailments and other circumstances that are only partially in my control. Therefore, it’s less about therapy, improv classes, meditation, support groups, etc. and more about riding this shitty wave out, welcoming that bewildering shock that comes from crashing on the shore, dusting myself off, and beginning again.

In the interim, I occasionally write to remind myself I’ve been here before, will be here again (hopefully, not too soon), and survival is most probable. Rinse and repeat; just add water; set it and forget it.

Such is life.

-Single Guy in NYC
@SingleGuyInNYC

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The Female Dick Pic and the Fucked Economy of Heterosexuality

“The economy of heterosexuality is fucked. We can’t all find good men. There aren’t that many.”

Soooooo, I got into a little twitter war with a group of misandrists (not an accusation). Which got me thinking, as per usual.

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Dick pics, unsolicited DMs, forceful and crude advances, etc. are all an abomination. It’s the low hanging fruit (more like overgrown weeds) that most women have to deal with as they navigate the minefield of dating. Yet, men, too, get equally as frustrated with the dating process. Which begs the question:  from a guy’s perspective, what’s the female equivalent of a dick pic?

If you read about the psychology of gender communication, you already know men and women communicate differently; crudely speaking, men are more overt yet less emotionally expressive and women are more covert yet more emotionally expressive (lending itself to active and passsive gender roles in society). And so, the female dick pic is much, much more nuanced and backed by emotional convinction.

After my twitter war, I mulled it over with a few other males and here’s what we found…

The Female “Dick Pic”

In short, one’s personal experience, while totally valid in its own right, is just that –> one’s experience. Baggage originating from a small sample size need not apply to the entire population, especially if the makeup of that sample size are strangers.

In terms of attitude, it’s the sense of deserving jadedness towards the opposite sex based upon the worst subset of said sex (e.g., sexual harassers), combined with a lack of self-reproach and a feeling that one may be settling because deep down one believes they can do better. This may take on the form of animosity (dare I say sexism) or excess baggage that gets lobbed over to the next partner; à la mode de “my ex did such and such, therefore, I’m afraid you’ll do the same thing, so I’ll treat you differently because I’m not falling for that shit again.” Instead of flashing a reproductive organ, one flashes a blasé outlook regardless of the here and now. In a utopia, everyone would be fresh and accepting to all strangers. Am I advocating that? Hell no, that’s naive, I’m advocating reasonable maturity so as not to disenfranchise good people who don’t deserve vicarious exploitation stemming from past experience. 

While dick pics and (let’s say) my argument of emotional baggage are clearly not the same thing, what I wanted to bring up was how they share a common categorical root; i.e., unsolicited abuse rarely recognized by the culprit. I selected the “dick pic” instead of violent harassment because dick pics tend to be less of a personal vendetta and more of an indirect and perverted attack. Typically an attack from a stranger.

My comparison aims at measuring this up against personal emotional abuse directed towards an intimate party. Note, both are unsolicited attacks that shape how one gender views the opposite gender. Harking back to the other point —> they’re rarely recognized by the culprit because dick pics are (presumably) sent by careless scum and emotional abuse is an intangible, formidable force that festers for years. The visceral and devious nature of emotional abuse can be extremely difficult for men because (traditionally) they’re less emotionally literate, which may lead to resentment towards women just like dick pics may lead to resentment towards men.

So, my argument is against caustic and fatalistic language as I see no benefit to that form of speech for anyone. While pessimistic, I suppose I’d agree that a good friend (or partner) is hard to find…..and perhaps that’s the overarching issue here.

Let’s say, for example, my ex-girlfriend cheated on me and now I have a jealously complex with my current girlfriend. This is unfair and would put an unnecessary strain on my current relationship. Another example is the belief that most men/women are trash or sexist pigs or, more commonly, that good men are practically non-existent. You may have seen the myriad of news headlines like “Sorry, ladies, there really is a man shortage” or “It’s Not Your Imagination, Single Women: There Literally Aren’t Enough Men Out There” broadcasting somber statistics from Jon Birger’s shocking book, “Date-Onomics“.

Are they really though?

If you’re unfamiliar with the book, here’s the basic breakdown. With males comprising 59% of high school dropouts and women statistically becoming the more educated gender –> if you assume that all women want a monogamous relationship with a male in or above their educational class –> data shows this to be extremely difficult. Further, if you define a “good man” as one that matches or exceeds your educational merits, then there’s a shortage of good men.

As far as the arguments stemming from “Date-Onomics” (which are super interesting), stats are one thing, behavior is another. Not every woman wants this and not every person acts as rationally as a statistician hopes they would. I’m not denying a shortage of educated men on the market — I’m denying how a lack of good persons is uniquely a male phenomenon. In particular, I’ve seen this argument used to express how easy dating must be for men, which is flat out wrong.

Further, if reading history and learning from personal experience has taught me anything, it’s this: good people (male and female) tend to be treated like a pinball in an arcade machine. If inner demons are conquered, there’s something about a rough history that allows one to truly empathize with people and thus, treat them better than others may have.

Therefore, the notion that the rarity of being a “good man” is akin to a collector’s item or that it deeply improves and greatly adds to one’s share in the modern dating marketplace, which is evolving to become more personalized and narrow for every category other than “moral judgment,” sounds like pure casuistry to me.

And so, I present to you, dear reader, Exhibit A. A little twitter war.

The thread is a little lengthy but I promise it demonstrates my argument plus it has a twist ending! (It’s like if the Cohen Bros. and M. Night Shyamalan had a baby.)

While reading, keep in mind that suicide rates are 3-4 times more common among males than females in the western world (source: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health). The point of bringing up suicide rates is to once again highlight how men tend to be more overt due to lack of emotional literacy (do > say). If it’s evident to you that men should work to better themselves because it would also benefit other men (and decrease harassment), then clearly derisive language directed toward an entire gender (“men are trash”) is NOT going to help. Nor is the desire for all men to recognize that they’re nothing but abject menaces and society’s trash. This is exactly what’s recommended below by proud misandrists and one prime example of the female dick pic.

Enjoy!

Exhibit A Twitter link

Exhibit A

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Q.E.D.

Remember, if you hate me and my blog, don’t forget to subscribe and come @ me.  🙂

-Single Guy in NYC
@SingleGuyInNYC

“I Have My Moments”: Being Single, True, and Happy

No one’s ever been interested in me solely for my looks.

I’ll make you laugh and think but ultimately, I’m forgetable; I’m optimistic but will drown you in caveats; I’ll hold the door and pay the bill but I’ll pick the wrong restaurant; I’ll promise to take care of you, as I become extremely ill; I’ll always remember your birthday and our anniversaries but forget to compliment your new dress; I’ll kiss you first but probably wait too long; I’ll start a conversation but never know how to end it, not to mention that I have a million stories, half of which you won’t care for.

Essentially, I’m the lyrics to “One Hand In My Pocket” but without the chorus hook.a.jpg

That’s who I am. No fluff. I’m a guy who’s not ideal for many but I have my moments. Most of my ex-girlfriends said they loved me to the moon and back but, to be honest, I don’t know what that means anymore.

These are my musings as a single guy in New York City, underscored by the fact that I love NYC women more than they love me.

bSo, does this fatalistic attitude damn me to another 800 dateless days and unintended celibacy? Or will it paradoxically lead to a greater sense of belonging and wellness?

Many wise thinkers, such as Aristotle and Maslow, believed the key to optimal wellness was self-actualization. In short, your happiness depends on your ability to take an honest look at yourself — the flaws, wrinkles, downsides, upsides, etc. — in order to fully understand your potential so that you may live a creative, true, and fulfilling life.

Gee, when I put it that way, it sounds sort of simple, don’t it?

Problem is –> we’re not wired that way, both socially and neurologically.

That is, oftentimes our well-being appears to be dependent upon our self-perceptions (particularly false one), pride, self-esteem, social circles, and, in many cases, even our careers and livelihood. (“Dating ______” or “eating _______” or “working for _______” will certainly cheer you up.) Many of these concepts rely on our “ideal self” — you know, the one that orders salad instead of fries, or doesn’t squander money on things your don’t need, or tells the funniest jokes, or deserves that promotion — rather than your “actual self” and it requires one to be tirelessly exigent and truthful.

Reconciling the two “selfs” can be emotionally painful.

Meaning, your ego will be tarred and feathered, flogged, deprived, and pilloried in the public square with its scars flagrantly on display for insatiable assailants to deride.

And yes, many believe this to be the path to happiness, as well as other positive attributes, such as humility. (Which I happen to find sexy AF.)

What else do you get for being an ego-masochist? A truer, more objective, experience of the world. And if you’ve ever been around those with mental disturbances, you’ll know how much of a gift that is.

Harking back to the beginning of the post, what examples of your true self are hard to admit? What are the downsides of being your friend, partner, lover, customer/client, bartender, etc.?

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-Single Guy in NYC
@SingleGuyInNYC

Dating Tip: Apple Pie and Romance

If you’re concerned about building romantic chemistry with someone, here’s a tip: FIGHT. A more poetic phrasing would be to say that light only comes from heat. (Perhaps you’re familiar with Heracleitus’ criticism of Homer’s pacifism.) Every conversation is performance art; think of it like composing music. Most memorable pieces underscore the fine line between tension and release; pain and pleasure; suspense and idyll. Harmless disputation charges adrenaline glands and endorphin levels, augmenting your appeal. To be sure, I’m not advising you to go all Donald Trump 2016 on them but if your conversation has been nothing but agreeable and innocent, you’ve only proven one thing and one measly thing only; that you’re safe. No one wants “safe” on the first few dates. “Safe” pays the bills and picks up the kids from soccer practice, sure, but are you there yet? Hopefully not. Instead, everyone wants to ride the bull before they let it graze their pasture. So, how do you instigate a little dissonance?

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Say you’re at a diner and they order apple pie to go with their afternoon coffee. Now, sweet apple pie may be your favorite dessert in all existence. In fact, your Aunt Edna (bless her heart) may have expounded to you the delicacies of picking the freshest apples from the lush orchards of upstate New York, constructing the perfect crust, and sharing with you her secret weapon that sets her recipe apart (lemon zest?). You may, at first, want to unleash, as if in dissertation form, all these warm memories of loving apple pie as a kid. Or how your Aunt Edna (bless her heart, again) was the best pie maker in all the world and how your date would have savored every bite of her pie and how you would love to show her the recipe yourself one day so that Aunt Edna’s memory could live on through her perfected palate.

But no, not today.

apple2.gifToday, you fucking hate that vile shit. In fact, how could they even order such a ghastly dish to ruin their coffee on such a sunny day? You were actually having a pleasant date until THEY had to invidiously bankrupt it. Can you believe their insolvency? This is their response to your comportment? Jesus! Have they no common decency to themselves or – at the very least – human courtesy to YOU?!?!?

No, today you will disgrace that apple pie in front of the very makers whom labored tirelessly over it, hoping to serve it to an abject customer until your dying breath. Then, and only then, will your date engulf their overpriced pie. But even in that seemingly “safe” moment, they will think of your mortified self. Oh yes, yes they will.

And that is why they’ll text you back the next day. And that is why you’ll get another date.

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-Single Guy in NYC
@SingleGuyInNYC

13 Reasons Why Men Suck (Part 1)

Excuse the sleazy title but I’d like to offer some counterweight to the common tone of my narrative and provide a list of male shortcomings. There will be “basket of deplorables” level generalizations but I trust you’ve come prepared with a grain of salt and an internal laugh track waiting to be cued.

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In reverse order:

13)  Female orgasm is superior. Depending on whom you ask and how they classify their O moments, there are anywhere between 3 and 11 different types of female orgasms. Not only that but – on average – men have shorter orgasms (5-22 seconds) compared to their female counterparts (~20 seconds). And while I’ve been the cause of many, the aftereffects never cease to amaze me. The first time I heard “Holy shit, I can’t even move right now” after a long session, I asked her if I should call an ambulance. And I was serious.

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12)  Suck at staying in touch. Some men don’t buy into the whole “brotherly love” culture and unless you’re sharing some activity with your boys (e.g., baseball league), you’ll inadvertently lose touch with those once close to you. In short, we often disservice ourselves and our relationships.

imm.jpg11)  Stupid immaturity. Often disguised as boyish and endearing, our silliness can get us into trouble as an adult. My cryptic password at work used to be BigTittedBJs69. (I was in one of my sarcastic moods.) It wasn’t a problem until I got locked out of my desktop and had to forward ISD my access credentials so they could unlock my account. “I’m sorry, was that Big Titted Bee Jays Seventy-nine? Oh, I see. It’s sixty-nine. Gotcha.” #LessonLearned

10)  Moreover, we squander our time. Whether it was Wilde or Shaw that came up with “Youth is wasted on the young,” it comes as no surprise that this tidbit was uttered by a male. Sometimes it’s the unwillingness to advance to the next step in a relationship, other times it’s becoming complacent with regular sex, or perhaps it’s overstaying your welcome at a job where you enter blowjob-related passwords everyday. Some of us aren’t future-oriented and we’re the worse for it.

9)  Misunderstanding people; women in particular. Although not everyone is easy to read, most sensible humans exhibit repetitive patterns. Patterns can be elucidated and used to predict tones of behavior. It’s with this that I hope we can extirpate idiotic gibes like “What are you, on your period?” Or “You should lose some weight” and so on. This goes further than uttering dumb shit; it’s the injustice of not bothering to understand those around you.

Click here for Part 2!

-Single Guy in NYC
@SingleGuyInNYC

Image Of Beauty

We spend innumerable hours fixated on lofty ideas that it comes as a great relief – not to mention surprise – to relish in moments of ineffable and tangible beauty. Why is it that we can’t simply frame these mental photographs? The mere attempt to do so would make us all abject, like an actor misplacing his lines on opening night. To truly sink into these ephemeral periods, without the aid of psilocybin, one requires another person to uphold and testify to this feeling of ecstasy. After all, love is a doing word.

I have this image in my head that I can’t shake; something that would soften even the most broad-backed misanthropic pessimist – a role I’m no stranger to. The context of the image can be summed up by a quote from the Metta Sutta. (If you’ve never experienced this objective sentiment, give it time.)

“Radiate boundless love towards the entire world — above, below, and across — unhindered, without ill will, without enmity.” – The Buddha

What I see in this image is nothing but the geographical curvature of a lover’s hip. An intoxicating instrument for lust, no doubt, but in this state, I’m only studying the arc and bow of someone I love, as if I were sketching it down to print. How do the shadows cast depth? Can I smell the oils on her skin? Am I able to mold this image in my mind before grazing my fingers gently over her body? Part of dining out at an upscale restaurant is feasting your eyes on your meal before you actually feast. This is that moment and I intend to seize it to the best of my ability.

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-Single Guy in NYC
@SingleGuyInNYC

Have You Got A Light?

Lying naked and winded, fresh out of cigarettes – kicking the habit anyway – on your bed as you begged for another story with your ear pressed to my chest to feel every vocal vibration, we came to appreciate how affectedly we loved previous lovers. It was another narrative woven into our garbs but it was a best-seller. Doesn’t that count for anything?

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The stories I told on days like those could fill volumes, although it was difficult to pinpoint the reason for your curious penchant. Maybe you simply enjoyed the sound of my voice or wanted to damn the silence in the room. Surely you wouldn’t request the same from a hubristic drunkard.

Although our rich companionship is often aggrandized in my head, the intensity and pathos still feels real. I now realize why you asked for a tall tale or factoid; you wanted all of me. After giving myself to you physically, you only wished to couple these ephemeral moments with something to take away. I’ll never have a chance to say it outside of this frivolous blog but I miss that and I’ll find it again. Only this time, I’ll be sure to reciprocate the offer.

-Single Guy in NYC
@SingleGuyInNYC