Monday, April 26, 2010

When I was a young, I used to sit in front of my mirror with a hairbrush for a microphone and a faux British accent and pretend I was an MTV VJ announcing the next Cindy Lauper or Boy George video. I was also ‘forward thinking’ in that I used to pretend that my ten-year-old life was so exciting that a camera crew would follow me around and tape me as I narrated in my head (an early reality TV show, if you will; “My So Called Brace Face Mullet Mania Life”). Man, if only I’d pitched that! And apparently, I’m not alone – although I eventually grew up and realized that nobody gives a flying rat’s ass about the mundane details of my life.

But, wait a second, I blog! Well, yes, I do! But I like to think that blogging, and writing in general, is more creative than say, tweeting about my gym or bathroom schedule. I don’t always talk about myself of course, and I put minimal personal details in my posts. In fact, my abhorrence for the lack of privacy and stalker facilitation in these Facebook Frenzy times led me to disconnect from all social media sites. I just don’t need people knowing that I recently made a move in Mob Wars or seeing a tagged photo of myself in pyjamas (complete with muffin top) that my mother couldn’t help posting.

So when I read in the New York Times about some new scary social media sites that are starting to creep up (AKA Blippy, which broadcasts news of your credit card purchases, and Foursquare, which publishes your precise location) all I could do was laugh at the pathetic need for people to literally publish everything they do. What’s next? (as in, I just took one)?

According to the article, Blippy, both a ridiculous name and concept, even went so far as to side step Amazon (who was blocking Blippy to keep customers' buying info secure) by asking customers to let them access their Gmail accounts in order to take the purchase data from the receipts Amazon had e-mailed them. Does this not scare anyone?

Anyway this got me thinking…if they start taking your purchasing info from your credit card, sites you use or your e-mail account, what if you accidently forget about the Meatloaf CD box set you bought in a moment of weakness, or the Jelly Pleasure your friends convinced you to buy at Ricky’s after a few too many cocktails? There is a whole slew of things people should not know you are buying (Depends undergarments, a recent boob job, Porno, Preparation H, lame work out videos like Tae-Bo, self-help books about being co-dependent, super plus tampons, half-baked desperado wrinkle cream purchases from late-night infomercial, a man bra…the possibility for embarrassment is endless!)

One man was quoted in the article saying he wasn’t worried about the lack of privacy with these new sites because: “I simply have nothing to hide.” FYI: Sure you do, Guy. Everyone does. Even if it’s only your midnight run to CVS for Ex-Lax (extra strength) or your recent online pharmacy Viagra purchase.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

An Unfortunate Sighting

The other day, as the train pulled into Grand Central Station, something happened that nobody should ever have to suffer. I saw My Worst Date Ever hovering in the aisle right next to me as he waited to exit. Immediately put on red alert, I sunk down in my seat, slid on a pair of sunglasses and lifted my collar like a high school preppy, hoping this makeshift “disguise” would let me be incognito. Sneaking a sideways glance, I checked to see if it was really him. It had been eons since I'd suffered through several dates with this joker. And oh yes, it was. He looked worse for wear, dishevelled and unkempt. Ha! I thought before the train doors opened and I bolted.

Man, Worst Dates Ever. We’ve all had them, and I hope you’ll share yours in the comments section! And FYI: my friends can forgo the “Amy has always had dubious taste” comments. That was a long time ago. And while there is obviously a complex, multilayered labelling system and varying levels of “WTF was I thinking?” for anyone who has ever had an awful date, I will admit that in this case, we could tag it as: I must have been smoking hectic crack and even then it’s no excuse.

While I could write a book about WDE, as we will affectionately name him, his many shortcomings and perplexing plethora of bad qualities, I will instead provide an outline. (You see, high school does come in useful!)

I. "Cheap" does not do justice to his level of stinginess.
a. While I’m a modern girl and like to pay my part, this guy took splitting the tab to new levels of nuclear fission. He once insisted I split a bill for two sodas (it was like 5 bucks). He also refused to pay for snacks at the movies even though I’d paid for the tickets, because they ‘work out as more expensive.’
b. Once bumped into him and his old school Italian fam in a pizza joint and they invited me to eat with them. At the end of the meal, I grabbed my wallet, as was the Custom of the County with WDE, and tried to pay. I was immediately accosted by shouts of disgust as to how I could even conceive of paying. I couldn’t help but say “Oh, don’t worry. With WDE, I’m used to paying.” I suddenly felt a sharp kick under the table while the family proceeded to rip him a new one for being so miserly. His defence: “I’m for Women’s Lib.” Paaa-lease.

II. He was a Shit Stirrer – Literally.
a. On the few WDEs we had, his conversation moved around his bowel movements like food through an intestine. The first time he brought me to dinner he said “I didn’t eat all day cause I was worried I’d let one rip in front of you.” FYI Guy: you might as well have.
b. On another occasion he left in the middle of a movie with no explanation. He later said “Sorry, I had to leave. I was shitting in my pants.”

III. Freakfest
a. A horror buff, he took me with a group of friends (think Big Bang Theory cast) to a Halloween haunted hayride, where he a) forbade me from hiding behind him in the haunted house, pushing me out in front of the abundance of scary ghouls lurking behind every corner; and b) spent the night with his hobbit-like best friend acting out scenes from superfreaky sci fi movies that I’d never even heard of .

IV. A Christmas Story
a. This gets a category of its own. For Christmas he gave me a fairy night light (from Hallmark cards or the like). At first I thought it was thoughtful (I’m scared of the dark) until he a) told me he picked a fairy because I have pointy ears; b) insisted several times that it was real porcelain and very expensive; c) I later found the price tag: $19.99.

Now comes the part where I tell you how I dumped his cheap, bad date ass! Except…erm…he dumped ME! I knew something was wrong when, on something like our fourth and final date, he took me to lunch and PAID. He then tried to “let me down gently” by saying that while I was awesome, gorgeous and unbelievably fun (hey, I'm for Ad-Lib), he needed to focus on his career and move to California to pursue it. I later discovered he never moved, so it was just an excuse! If only he knew what a favor he did me, and how much my friends and I laughed when I told them that he opted out! Oh WDE! May you find your equally WDE soulmate! And thank you for giving me something to write (and laugh) about!

Now come on, come on! Tell me yours!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

National Filter Free Day

One of my favorite comic moments is when Ben Stiller, playing the seemingly friendly old age home orderly turns into a geriatric's worst nightmare after Adam Sandler leaves his grandmother’s room in Happy Gilmore. The poor old granny asks for a cup of milk, to which Stiller replies: “You can trouble me for a warm glass of shut-the-hell-up!”

Man, sometimes I wish I could throw my inner filter to the wind and say what I really want. Like when I was hired in a family-owned company in Spain as an editor but was treated like a secretary by my superiors. The boss’s son, with his permascowl that we coworkers dubbed his ‘constipation face,’ constantly called me into the office so that I could “put him through” to some bigwig on the phone and make him look important. Instead of a pathetic “Si, claro!” and nervous giggle when he leaned forward with that irritating frown and asked, “Can you do that for me?” I could have said: “Actually, I can’t do that for you Jose. What I can do is ask you to bend over so I can manually insert this phone into your rectum…loosen things up a bit.” I spent many an office daydream imagining this scenario and laughing out loud at the thought of his shocked face and mouth agape.

Or yesterday, it happened twice in the elevator, which I pray each day will get me to or from the 19th floor in anything fewer than ten minutes. When one girl got in and hit floor two, I wanted to say: “Are you FN kidding me? You can’t walk up one flight of stairs ya lazy piece o'...?” And again when we hit floor 15 and two wide loads insisted on squeezing themselves into the already crammed space…how I longed to say: “get the hell outta hea!” Instead, both times I said a meek hello.

And oh, how I would love to cut the Office Tidbitter off at the chase when, after telling him I can’t talk due to my workload, he insists on giving me vital information such as “I drank a beer last night.” If I had no filter, I could interrupt and say “upupupupup…I said I’m busy. Zip. It.”

I won’t even bother opening the can of worms of what I’d say to my fellow commuters…

Anyway this train of thought came about because one of my BFFs in Barcelona is moving flats, partly because of her inconsiderate noisy upstairs neighbors, who, although having been asked diplomatically to keep it down, continue to drag furniture around and stomp with shoes on well past midnight. We recently came up with lame revenge techniques for when she moves…putting a bag of steaming crap on their doorstep, breaking a toothpick off in their lock, ripping their name off their mailbox and replacing it with something nasty. But wouldn’t it be great if instead she could just run upstairs, knock and yell “I’m moving. Lata muthhhhaaa F**CKAASSS" in the style of Ken Jeong in The Hangover?

I’m proposing that we make these fantasies a reality and declare a National Filter Free Day. Why not? It’s not any sillier than April Fool’s Day or Valentine’s Day. So in the words of “Seven Minute Abs” guy from Something About Mary...You in?