Your prompt: White girl on her knees. Black guy getting serviced. Refreshing lemon-lime soft drink.
Since I like few things more than leaving a warm apartment in order to brave the elements in search of confections post 10 o’clock, I had occasion to do just that with Dancing Feather some hours ago. I did not desire said confections and would have been fine remaining sockless on the couch. But the lady wanted some sweets, so away we went. A few observations and revelations from this sojourn:
- I feel bad for dads-to-be. I mean, I’m not one and I still felt compelled to go, which means they HAVE to go and it’s likely they will be making the journey alone. I wonder if there’s a point at which they just go to bed fully dressed.
- I know part of me went so that this incident could not be grounds for bringing up old shit at a later date. It’s absolutely a tactical move. A guy has to insulate himself from reprisal because, I believe it’s 2nd Corinthians that says, “She of Adam’s rib is genetically predisposed to remembering and bringing up all old shit.” Amen.
- On the way back, I was plotting what the Friday piece would be. I decided on a lighter tone since too much of life is currently the wack juice and sometimes you have to force joy into your life. Of course, my thought train immediately took me to Force of Joy, my awesome name for a Christian Rock group (I’m never not playing Siiick Band Name). I bounced this off The Feath who thought it was OK. I mentioned that it’s certainly no Mighty Clouds of Joy, and then paused as we both wonder what, in fact, a Mighty Cloud of Joy was. Final Answer: Blunt smoke.
Like most of us, I am constantly in need of a good laugh and was rewarded by the gods of motion pictures who saw fit for me to see both Shooter and an episode of 30 Rock last night. As I watched, I couldn’t help but wonder who would win in a raspy voice-off, Alec Baldwin or Danny Glover. Danny hasn’t spoken up since Lethal Weapon and Baldwin Number One hasn’t gotten much above a smoky peep since Tina Fey picked his career off the cutting room floor.
Toys R Us is having a “Sale of the Century”. Isn’t that a little premature? I mean, when OJ was having his “Trial of the Century” not only was that an arguable claim, but it also took place with enough time to think about the statement. Maybe Toys R Us should consider laying claim to the decade, which really isn’t a terrible thing. I mean, Obama son. Speaking of Orenthal, one out of two ain’t bad, right?
iPhones are amazing. AMAZING. Still, I’m not sure why a grown ass person needs all those apps, which is adultese for “games to fuck around with without looking like an absolute tool.”
Kudos to Pedro Almodovar. Not only is Bad Education gripping storytelling, it left me sexually confused for a good thirty minutes after watching it.
The Feath had a scary dream the other night and woke me up to tell me about it and to gain comfort. While I can’t say for certain if she felt safer after telling her tale, I can tell you for certain that it scared the crap out of me, even prompting me at one point to turn the lights on while she moved a chair that was casting a creepy shadow on the wall.
To my good friends at Levi’s: I know putting on jeans is usually not interesting unless you’re a woman–and here you can replace “interesting” with “gut-wrenching”, “soul sapping” and or “spirit siphoning”–but are we so creatively bankrupt that we feel the need to make it a freestyle sport? And while we’re on the topic, why would anyone help their buddy backflip into his jeans? Word? I personally would like to see all the footage, which no doubt includes blooper-worthy knee blowouts and ruptured nut sacs.
I sometimes watch American Gangster and wonder if Denzel ever fucked up a take by accidentally doing the one-tear hard cry. In other news, I still get pissed watching the end of Glory.
I’m unemployed at a time when my buddy has vice presidents from Goldman calling him looking for work; the line of work I’m interested in takes an abundance of patience I may or may not possess. I see all too clearly where my money’s going and am in a fog as to where it will come from. Yet I feel chilly feet on my calves every morning and know my head’s still above the water.
So, seeing as I can’t travel without some disaster big or small befalling me, I had the good fortune to arrive in the Crabcake State without incident, only to exit the metro, look around and realize that I had left my bookbag with what I consider to be my earthly possessions, namely my notebooks, on the metro. Generally, I like to start off one of these clever little journals with an anecdote and let that segue into some greater overall discussion, but as I sit here having just experienced the mediocrity that was the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie, I can only really say that I wish I had my bookbag and hopefully those Buddhist monks that make those intricate sand portraits (I’m not even sure portrait is the right word, but fuck it, I’m using it) are on to something. I suppose it is only just stuff.
Frankly, the only reason I’m writing right now is because I have been taking a few days off to parlay with some illustrious Justice Leaguers in what the pretentious and elite call ‘The City.’ Even while we get older and begin to wear our baller training bras, it’s nice to know we can come back to the basics. Now, if you’re a dude and you’re lucky enough to have friends that are not the wack juice, then you’ll come to realize that a quality weekend should consist of the following. Feel free to print this out and put this in your wallet for future reference. OK, now for the necessities:
1. Discuss people you have had sex with: This doesn’t have to require names (though it can), but trips down mammary lane can be fantastic.
2. Discuss people you would like to have sex with: This does require names and an estimation of pumps before the dream is realized.
3. Discuss people you wish you had sex with but didn’t: This requires heckling and probably a stiff drink to boost morale.
4. Farting: It’s not important just to do it, you need to announce the fact and it’s probably better for you to cackle about the fact as you pump a fist.
5. Discuss your career paths and/or serious relationships with women (BRIEFLY): It’s not not all sex and farts, people.
6. Drink the booze you didn’t have the sense (read: money) to buy in school: But be careful, after too good a night with the grown-up juice, you might find yourself hailing a gypsy cab at 7 in the morning wearing a rusty wifebeater and wrinkled jeans.
7. Discuss the baddest celebrity white girls out: Jessica Biel doesn’t get the exposure she deserves.
8. Sit around all day after a rough night out and discuss the roughery: If your skin is ashy while doing so, that’s even better.
9. Rehash old jokes and classic one-liners: “ARE YOU LEGULLY MARRIED?” Yup. Still funny.
10. Watch a 90s Black film, discuss Nia Long and how she hasn’t changed: This might appeal to only a few of you, but really that’s only a matter of circumstance.
11. Ogle women like you have no sense: I mean, it’s not like you’re going to actually talk to them.
12. Rap along to songs you like while pre-gaming: It’s like white girls with Kelly Clarkson, but with more wave caps.
There you have it. A dirty little dozen to make your reunions full of heterosexual man appreciation and heathenry. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to be out of the office for a few days. Feel free to leave any pertinent messages with my secretary Janice. Peace to the Dalai Lama.
Penultimate Thought: I never mastered the figure-four leg lock.
Final Thought: I wish I had Scooter LIbby’s friends.
So, since I’m all about livejournal firsts to keep the people amazed and on their toes, I’ve elected to draft this journal after having had more than the lion’s share of the Goose and juice (trust). My night, which began with aspirations of going to a nightclub and drinking for free, has been reduced to getting burgers from a 24-hour diner while I watch Braveheart on AMC. Although watching Mel Gibson traipse about on horses stabbing people with various forms of sharp object is stellar, it wasn’t quite the evening I had lined up when I put the slacks and hard bottoms on (although watching Mel scream with blood and war paint on his face can still make me want to put on a kilt and strike people with blunt metal objects).
In an evening that was highlighted by the difficulties alcoholica of some pals, I still managed to find a lesson in it (besides the one that says don’t drink so much that you prevent other people from going to a club and drinking for free). Since I am beginning to develop my hangover right about now, I will resist the urge to stay loyal to my usually long-winded self. Indeed, the lesson learned had little to do with alcohol consumption and everything to do with a conversation I had with my teacher who gave me a ride to the train station that eventually brought me to the Big Apple and the drunkenness that would eventually make this revelation possible (which probably makes her an accomplice somehow whatever. I’m using an awful lot of parentheticals today by the by).
As I sit with plans that were accidentally diverted, I can only shrug at the circumstance. In the spirit of reunion and rediscovered irresponsible behavior among friends, this sort of thing happens from time to time. I can go to a club with females I can’t touch any time I want, but it is not often that I get to get with my people and talk about the people we would have sex with and the degree of difficulty of bar exams relative to the state. So if sometimes changes in plan arise, you can only stay up watching Braveheart, feeling weirdly blessed at having people to change plans for. To stop beating around the bush and get to the conversation I had with my teacher that ties into this post, we were discussing the changes of life all people go through, especially at this age, I said something about being willing to give up certain things to follow a dream. Without hesitation, my teacher countered with this: It’s not “what are you willing to give up?” but rather “how are you willing to adjust your grip?”
As I find myself at a fairly cliche yet terribly important crossroads, that question echoes in my mind. Curious as to what I’ll do next, what I’ll do in order to realize my dream , it has become clear that maybe I don’t have to chuck everything that I hold dear. Maybe sometimes it’s a matter of adjusting my grip on my friendships, cherishing our moments together as we begin to seek our destinies, even if that means watching Braveheart a friend sleeps it off. Peace to Jennifer B.
Penultimate Thought: The nicer the booze, the smoother it goes down.
Final Thought: Just because nice booze goes down smooth doesn’t mean you can’t get drunk.
So, one of the more odd things about yours truly is my peculiar interest in and ability to retain information pertaining to pop culture. Perhaps it’s a sad commentary on society in the post-modern era (whatever the fuck that means), but I would feel infinitely more confident entering a pop culture show than I would a history one. It’s not to say I can’t fucks with some Jeopardy!, but it is to say I remember a lot of worthless information.
What’s particularly weird is, though I semi-actively seek to stay hip to the game, unless a pop topic is brought up, I don’t really discuss it with other people. More often than not, it is unlikely I’ll open up a conversation with, “Did you see what so and so was wearing at the Emmy Awards?”, but I’ll absolutely know what so and so was wearing. I just generally keep the information to myself. Is it out of shame? I don’t think so. I suppose it’s just one of those quirks about your boy.
Anyway, I was perusing one of my favorite website, thesuperficial.com, and the most recent post on the site was devoted to pictures of Kim Kardashian living her life. To bring up to speed those of you who have better things to do with your lives than know who she is, Kardashian is the daughter of Robert–one of the lawyers who proved O.J. was innocent, friend to Paris Hilton (though I’m not sure they’repeoples anymore) and the vagina of Ray J’s sex tape. In these pictures on the website, Kardashian’s booty looks other-worldly. Literally, it just looks so good that it’s not to be believed. Now I don’t know how half-Armenians get down, but this was just absurd. I needed a consultation.
Talking to my home girl Ms. Thomas-Littleton, I sent the link to her for her perusal. I tend to believe girls have a better eye for certain things than dudes, mainly because the straight ones don’t want to have sex with what they’re looking at. Upon inspection, MTL thought her ass was a cosmetic fakery, noting that the thigh to butt ratio just didn’t add up. I’ve added the link below so you can take a look for yourself:
I’m no one’s doctor, so I can’t really tell you if you can fake a donkey butt. What I do know is happening across these photos piqued my curiosity about her sex tape with Raymond Norwood (which is something of a porny name when you think about it), brother of Brandy. After searching the world wide web for a bit (Sidebar 1: Sometimes, the internet is utterly unhelpful) I discovered the tape in full. Eager to see what the sex tape gods had wrought, I clicked on the link. My date with destiny had begun.
If I had to name the tape myself, I would call it ‘Destiny Unfulfilled.’ This tape was just not terribly compelling in any way. There was a lot of time spent with her in lingerie on the bed, weird splices to them doing regular vacation things in public, then cuts back to her either: Fellating Raymond, getting taken from behind by Raymond or her getting cunnilinged by Raymond. That’s it. As the footage faded to black, I came to an underwhelming conclusion: Celebrity sex tapes are overrated.
Before launching into the discussion, let’s backtrack a bit and get some things clear. People like to watch other people have sex. I don’t know if it’s the erotic element–seeing boobies and nipples and vaginas and mainly parts does a funny thing to the brain, or if it’s simply motivational–as in “Hey, I should go bang too!”–but people like watching other people get loose. The visual sex act appeals to the voyeur in all of us. Still, that voyeurism needs to be controlled because otherwise, it’s creepy. Watching people through their bedroom window? Not tight. There needs to be a liaision to keep it from seeming utterly perverse. That liaision is film (although certain print media does an admirable job as well). Watching people have sex through the eye of a third party just seems more acceptable.
If we accept the above–and we should because billion dollar industries speak some truths whether we like them or not–it’s much easier to understand why sex tapes don’t hold a candle to real, I-get-paid-to-do-this pornography.
A word on the latter: While I’m not exactly a porn enthusiast–for real, I’m not but if I was I’d say so–I can say I do appreciate an adult film every now and again and the type of porn that I’m comparing to the sex tape is particular.
There are levels of porn and I find the mid-level to be best. Amateur, while determined and enthusiasitc, is just that and doesn’t really deserve consideration. Professional, high budget porn is often highly sanitized–in the realm of porn–with storylines that are distracting enough to just confuse the matter entirely. Not to mention the fact that a lot of pros, once they get to that level, just seem to lose the eye of the tiger. Mid-level porn, while often low-budget, is best because it combines the gritty heart and effort of amateur hour porn with the skill and dexterity of the pros. If I had to draw an analogy, I’d say it’s like college football. Everybody goes hard because losing one game could mean your season.
Getting back to the matter at hand, my disdain for the celebrity sex tape stems from the fact that they are, often, completely pedestrian. I mean, I’m glad you’re famous and I guess it’s cool to see you freakin’ off, but really if you’re going to “accidentally lose” or have your sex tape “leaked”, please bring something to the table (Sidebar 2: How the hell do these tapes get out? I mean, only so many people can use the excuse that someone who works for them stole it. Now call me crazy, but if I made a sex tape, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t tell anyone about it or even act like it existed, or maybe even keep a copy of the tape long enough for some shit to happen. Plausible deniability goes a long way).
I mean, there are really only two explanations for this. Either: the persons involved were too stupid to keep this to themselves or they wanted it to get out. If they’re the former, I don’t want to watch two dummies having mediocre sex. If they’re the latter, I don’t want to watch two idiots having mediocre sex thinking I’ll be impressed because they’re famous. That’s just not going to do it for me.
Frankly, filmed sex needs to be left to the professionals. Watch a real porno then watch a celebrity sex tape. The difference is almost laughable. First of all, the picture clarity is incomparable. Yeah, you can try to sell me that bill of goods about the tape being initially made for private use, but as we discussed above, that’s something of a stretch. And since it is, I’d appreciate not having to squint for 30 minutes trying to make out shapes and bodies like it’s the Zapruder film or something.
Secondly, the skill level just makes the situation separate and inherently unequal. While real porno isn’t quite a fantasy, it is comparable to watching a professional sport in that it requires a certain expertise regular people either don’t possess or have not before encountered. Some of you might try to argue that, unlike playing in a professional league, a regular person has the ability to enter the porn world or encounter an adult film practitioner in their lives. I would argue that I could hypothetically play a game of pick-up with Jordan, but I’d probably find the situation too overwhelming to enjoy and thus, would rather just watch him ply his craft. Porn girl? Same treatment.
On the technical level, the divide is extraordinary. I mean, in the fellatio department is not even close. If you know anything about head, you know porno chicks have that doctorate in the cranial arts. It’s just no contest. And while seeing fellatio on any level can always be appreciated, if a person wants to see regular head, they would go out, get some head and watch while it happened.
When it comes to actual sexual relations, I hate to break it to you dudes and dudettes, but all are not created equal. Be not fooled. Porno takes deftness. Those two (or three or four) people really know how to have porno sex. I think that’s why it causes problems with regular people sex. Guys watch a porno, think that’s how it works and then they get into a real-life encounter and find that they were sorely mistaken. It’s not to say that real-life sex is bad, it’s just that porn sex is different and the difference is what makes it great. That’s why sex tapes are problematic. There is no departure from the norm.
Pornos show moves that aren’t even worth attempting in real life, but they’re fun to watch. Sex tapes? They do two, maybe three of the moves we do, put them on a loop, maybe reverse the image to make it look like something different (Come on Raymond, you were right-handed a minute ago) and call that a skin flick. If, by some chance, they do use an interesting technique, it’s nullified by the fact that the camera angle is probably wrong for it, thus making it no better than low-rent Skinemax. I can’t stress this angle issue enough. The fact of the matter in filmed sex is this: You’re either the cameraman or you’re not. Watching you get situated while trying to juggle a Handycam is basically worthless. Not to mention the fact that it’s physically impossible to get the shots that make porno smutty and interesting. You want to watch a sex tape? Put a mirror next to your bed.
For my money, the only sex tape that stands the test of time was Pamela and Tommy Lee’s. It just works on multiple levels. Shit, it might not even work on multiple levels, but as far as being pioneering; it gets the veteran’s exemption clause. In general, the sex tape is oddly insulting yet how people get roped into them is compelling. Much like the Super Bowl, once you take away the name-glamour and perhaps the pleasing aesthetics–Kim Kim is bad as a mufucka, I have to admit–it’s kind of a crappy contest between two parties you probably don’t give a damn about. We don’t watch because it’s compelling or arousing, we watch simply for the fact that we’ve heard of these people and welcome the chance to peek through their bedroom window. God, we’re creepy. Peace to Booty Talk.
Penultimate Thought: Transformers might change my life.
Final Thought: I don’t remember the last time I crank called someone.
So, since getting back into the saddle has been good, I thought it’d be fun to do a hit parade of all my favorite Penultimate and Final Thoughts of 2005, the year this journal came into being. Below are the things I quipped about with some updated comments. Enjoy.
8-3-05 Final thought: In the Ghostbusters theme song, Ray Parker Jr. screams, “Bustin’ makes me feel good” And until now, I thought nothing of it.
The very first FT from the very first post. And, yup, it’s still funny to me. Just try it out. Stop what you’re doing and yell “Bustin’ makes me feel good!” If you don’t laugh, there’s something wrong with you.
8-7-05 Final Thought: I’m too big to be a hipster.
Not that I have an interest in being a skinny, quasi-racist moonlighting as someone ironic with my finger on the pulse of all things hip, but knowing that I couldn’t sort of stinks.
8-9-05 Final thought: No clothing item has had a greater fall from grace than the crewneck sweatshirt.
In the almost two years since I posted this, I noticed crewneck sweatershirts make a come back, mostly among thugs and hipsters, which is amusing for multiple reasons.
8-11-05 Penultimate Thought: ’09 is on suspension until mid-October. And some of you are going to have your faces skeeted in. I’m putting even money on that.
As you might recall, this was the first class that took to the Facebook in droves, friending people before they’d even taken so much as one college class. Needless to say they were out of control and deserved some salt thrown on their fries. Interestingly, I now date one of their ilk, so perhaps the skeet is on my face (Nullus. That was completely unacceptable to write, but even my own rep isn’t exempt if it means seeing a metaphor to completion).
8-30-05 Final Thought: Miller High Life is meant to be had one way: In the bottle.
I see people drink it otherwise and it’s just disgraceful. And don’t get me started on High Life Light. Wow.
8-31-05 Penultimate Thought: ‘Say My Name’ was the heartbreak song of my sophomore spring in high school. Man, songs can bring ya back.
Straight up, any time I hear this song, I go back to that fateful day I finally got my girl on the phone–we hadn’t spoken all week–and she ended it. I was in the dorm computer lab, feeling like my life had basically ended. How little did I know of love then.
9-3-05 Penultimate Thought: Kanye West has won my Usher Raymond “Asshole who makes albums I don’t want to like but do anyway” Memorial Trophy.
I hate both of these idiots, but dammit if I don’t listen to their music. Although, Kanye is starting to be on some other shit rap-wise and is in danger of losing his title.
9-9-05 Penultimate Thought: My junior prom was the first time I had my breath taken away by a young lady. Her name was Celia Coll and she is unfortunately no longer with us. It would be self-serving to say I miss her all the time, for we indeed weren’t terribly close, but I can say she will always have a special place in my heart for giving me that moment.
This will always be an important one because people need to know about individuals and moments like that. Strangely, I got a letter from a buddy today randomly speaking to Celia’s gulliver. She was a good one.
9-11-05 Penultimate Thought: If I’m a few drinks in, and I’m peeing in a restaurant bathroom, and a drunk girl sat down on a toilet I was already peeing into, I’m fairly sure I would just pee on her.
Yeah, I feel the same way. I mean, if I’m peeing, either go in the sink or piss your pants. You can’t just take the right of way like that. Full R. Kelly on this one.
9-14-05 Final Thought: If you were a freshman last year, you CAN NOT say “freshman year” with regard to something that happened the previous school year.
This one really chaps my ass. Seriously, if you’re a sophomore, and you say “last year,” the people listening to you will, more often than not, get what you mean. This eagerness to divest themselves from 13th grade is just awful. And yes, I intenttionally left a space between ‘can’ and ‘not’ for emphasis.
9-15-05 Final Thought: Girls should never run out of underwear. it’s a known fact, along with the fact that girls don’t go number two, that girls have enough underwear to last a few nuclear winters.
Girls underwear shop. They have drawers devoted to draws. There’s just no reason this should happen. And when it does, they should be ashamed.
9-16-05 Penultimate Thought: Parents of kids that play soccer just can’t be that interested in the game.
Even at high levels, soccer can be a very boring sport to watch save for…10-15 second bursts. Think about it at the rec level where most of the people suck. You can’t tell me parents sit there, actually invested. You can’t.
9-22-05 Final Thought: On August 11th, 2005, I challenged anyone to find a better slow rap jam than ‘Space Age Pimpin’. It didn’t happen; therefore, ‘Space Age Pimpin’ is, without equivocation, the greatest slow rap song of all time. Praise Allah.
Still hasn’t happened.
9-26-05 Final Thought: When I’m going out, I wear proper underwear for the occasion. I prefer the Hilfigers or the red Fruit of the Looms. A little confidence goes a long way.
Well, these days, that matters a lot less than it used to, but I imagine the sentiment still holds water.
9-27-05 Penultimate Thought: It’s been a few months and I still don’t know what a predicate felon is.
Did anyone ever ask Mr. Yayo what this is?
10-18-05 Penultimate Thought: Adidas swishy pants were so ill in 1998. Think about it.
Yo, Adidas swishies were the truth. They were the athletic pants to have. Black with the white stripes? Stop playin’.
10-24-05 Final Thought: If you’re chilling with a member of the opposite sex (or whoever you like “knowing”), and ‘This Woman’s Work’ comes on, your chances of hooking up are 99.713 %. In fact, if you don’t, you’re an out and out disgrace.
Attempt to dispute this. And, if you are in that .287, guess what that makes you?
10-26-05 Penultimate Thought: The ‘rap remix’ has single-handedly destroyed R&B since about 1997.
I don’t wanna hear this shit about “hip hop is dead.” If that’s the case, is there a word worse than ‘dead’ to describe the current state of R&B? This deserves it’s own post and may get one in short order.
10-26-05 Final Thought: How I wasn’t aware of George Michaels’ gayness astounds me to this day.
I just didn’t know.
11-30-05 Penultimate Thought: Ladies: Sometimes, if you’re naked with a guy and about to do the grown-up, and he can’t get it up, it’s absolutely your fault.
I didn’t want to be the one to break it to you. The vagina can’t work miracles. That’s actually a lie. Not all vaginas can walk on water.
12-5-05 Penultimate Thought: I discovered recently that it’s not “stomp on your fingers”, but rather, “stop pointing fingers, the blame is on me” in Boyz II Men’s ‘On Bended Knee’. The former made perfect sense to me. If you can stomp on your own fingers and another person will accept the blame, you do that shit.
I spent close to a decade having no idea about this. But I still stand by the above explanation.
12-5-05 Final Thought: When you have sex with someone regularly, the amount you get head plummets.
Consider yourself warned.
12-11-05 Penultimate Thought: Apparently, on ‘Burning Heart’ (Rocky IV) it’s, “in the darkest night, rising like a spire” not “rising like a spider”, which was unknown to me until I was riding through the desert in a red Ford Fiesta hatchback with my brother on the way to Vegas two summers ago. Again, made perfect sense to me. Spider are gully and I sort of fear them.
Maybe I’m just going deaf.
12-13-05 Penultimate Thought: I cannot go to sleep if my feet are sticking out from under my covers.
I’m a grown ass man who is fairly sure that a monster won’t come out and grab his shit, but why take a chance?
12-30-05 Penultimate Thought: I like fronts. I could lie about that, but I’m not going to.
I don’t like ‘em as much as I used to, but don’t give me no kind of money to fuck around with, ’cause my shit might be sparklin’.
There you have it. Part Deux (2006/2007) will occur at some point that isn’t right now. Peace to the love of the game.
Penultimate Thought: Tide is, far and away, the best laundry detergent on the market.
Final Thought: In order to be self-centered, you gotta know what your self centers around.
So, seeing as it’s this section of planet Earth’s turn to tilt toward the sun, people are celebrating that fact by shedding more clothes and showing everyone if they took the time to hit the gym during the chillier months. Some do, some don’t, but all contribute to the public tapestry in which we walk around and, consciously of subconsciously, see which people look better and worse than we do. Of course, these comparisons happen all year round, but the degree to which that happens is greatly bolstered by the females of the race because…girls hate girls. Still, it is particularly prevalent in the summer months because it’s easier to see saddle bags, love handles, paunch and flesh of the more jiggly variety when not covered by sweatpants and seven long-sleeved shirts.
A while ago, I wrote about the nature of vanity and how it plays into our desire to be physically fit. Many of us feel that actual health is an ancillary benefit to looking swoll up. A six pack and bad cholestrol? Most people would take it. In that same post, I’d mentioned that I was working on getting back into the swing of things for the reasons stated a second ago. Why not be swoll if you can be? Why not be healthy if you can be?
Now, I wish I could sit here and give you a testimonial as to how I got shredded and currently spend my free time crushing brazil nuts in my bare hands, but the reality is that I basically did nothing, ate everything and conducted my life as a tall person who carries their weight well the entire year. I could always convince myself I looked good enough. No one’s Adonis, I also wasn’t the worst thing walking the streets, and the “good enough to get by” carried me through. In public at least.
In private, I pinch and prod and wince and frown, wrinkling my nose in disgust when I twist my torso and see I’ve developed back fat and love handles. Am I being too hard on myself? Maybe, but I’m certainly not being hard on myself in the weight room or on the bike (Sidebar 1: Before we confuse this with the ramblings of another victim of our image-obsessed culture, understand that I’m talking about being in shape. Forget being a physical specimen, I’m not even fit.) Really, I’m performing self-sabotage on my entire life because, outside of living in a physically unhealthy manner that is beginning to catch up with me, I know that the consequence of not taking care of myself and feeling good about my appearance affects other aspects of my life. But this situation is bigger than me.
I have a confession to make: I don’t like how I look naked and I now have a better understanding of why some women will deny themselves physical pleasure if they feel the same way. Now, it’s crazy to think that I would deny myself such a thing because of a little sogginess, but it is accurate to say that your feelings on said sogginess can be projected into intimatecircumstances. I mean, you’re there, naked, and sometimes, you catch a glimpse of yourself and let’s just say it’s not good for morale.
And while it’s true that I could take the Christopher Wallace approach and just say eff it, I have to remember that I can’t rap. Besides, I’m not living the life I used to. When I was single and trying to “knock a hole in everything” as one of the Last Real Niggas Alive might say, a little pudge was something to took a weird pride in. I figured, “Shit, I’m far from Action Jackson’s stunt double and I still pull.” I used it as an excuse not to get my exercise act together.
But the stakes are different now. Not only does the weird pride of my former life not fit, intimate encounters are about more than busting nuts, and coming into that sort of dynamic and not feeling your best is sort of a terrible feeling. The logic may seem counterintuitive, but it plays like this: When you’re with a person who takes you as you are, you want to be a great, or at least a very good, version of yourself, particularly with regard to things that matter to you. When you’re not, it can be disappointing and there is really no one to blame but yourself.
Being in good shape is like having money. It can’t solve all of your problems, but there are some problems that it takes very good care of. Like money, it can help you live longer. In fact, it probably helps you live longer than money can. So, I’m left with only two choices: Get off my ass or watch my stomach pregnify. At this point in life when decisions big and small are being made daily, I owe it to myself to give a damn about myself, to give myself a fighting chance. I also owe it to someone to be, at least, a very good version of myself. Peace to Ms. LaVonne.
Penultimate Thought: Lost tweezers are a terrible thing.
Final Thought: There are fewer things more crushing than seeing the Blue Screen of Death on your computer.
So, the other day while lounging on my air mattress, I decided to give my buddy Pocahontas a call and say hey. I hadn’t spoken to her in a while and figured it was about time to check in and make sure things were cool in her world. OK, the truth of the matter is that I had posted what I thought was a witty half a quip on her facebook wall and her non-response coupled with my nothing better to do prompted me to give her a buzz and get to the bottom of this travesty.
When she answered the phone, I took little time peppering her with questions (actually, there was really only one question–where ya been?–and once she answered that, the conversation sort of moved along). Going through the rolodex of standard summer questions, I soon got to the “So where you at?” Much to my surprise, she told me she was in the Elm City. I shrieked and when it became clear to her that I too was among the New Haven City byke g’s, we began to prattle on like two sixth grade girls planning a slumber party. Desperately, I asked her to set a play-date for that same evening. Though she had a midterm to work on–summer session be like that–she agreed for around ten that evening.
Calling to confirm as she said she would–I was actually nervous she was going to cancel, like legit Prom letdown nervous–Pocahontas informed me that she’d be downstairs from the crib at 9:45. Being the ethnic that I am, I didn’t get in the shower until about 9:33. Being the ethnic that I am and yet, not, she called from down the street, at 9:45 sharp. Still in my towel and feeling panicked, I dressed quickly, making the executive decision to lotion only the most crucial areas, slap on some deodorant and hustle out the door.
Being the supporters of NAFTA that we are, we decided to go to Viva’s and eat nachos and sip from the copa de paz (I wish there was an equivalent to “smoking the peace pipe” in drinking parlance that I knew about, because it woulda been dynamite right here). Anyway, as we sat and fired upon the shit, she made a remark concerning her boyfriend and how he appreciated how I treated him.
When she mentioned this, she, perhaps embellishing a bit (but I hope not), talked about how after leaving my company, he’d be very pumped about being remembered. (Back sentence: Pocahontas dates a younger fellow) I was touched that dude felt that way and admitted to her that the respect was intentional. I had been him once and knew what it meant for an older cat to acknowledge your existence while to their friend/your girlfriend.
The conversation got me to thinking that, though the glory of the wingman is generally found in the ranks of the single, the obligation to give your buddy a fighting chance with someone they’re feeling doesn’t end with the Newsfeed letting everyone know he or she is now in a relationship. The role changes, but the idea is the same: Help your buddy’s cause.
By himself, Pocahontas’s fella is a good kid and, outside of when I first saw them out and about and gave her the “who the fuck is this?”? eyeball from across the dancefloor, I’ve never had reason to dislike him. But that’s not why I go out of my way to greet him if I see him in the streets. I mean, there are all kinds of people who I think are OK who I don’t say a word to. That’s just me (I’m only now getting the hang of introducing people who may not know each other). The real clincher is that homegirl seems to really like this dude, just really has genuine good feelings toward him. And it’s those feelings that prompt me to say, “How can I help this?”
Here’s where the wingman status comes into play. Scenario: I see the two of them coming up the street. Once we’re within earshot, I say the general group hey. Once we’re in arm shot, the formal greetings commence. He gets the first. I probably go with… a firm handshake and a question, possibly two, regarding something or other. Then I turn to her, we banter a bit, but not so much that he left out of the loop. Yes, there are times when it’s his job to just sit there and be quiet, but I make an honest effort to keep him in the game even if the conversation doesn’t actually include him. It’s like a Jordan, Pippen, Kerr. Kerr may sit out on the wing waiting, but when he gets that rock from Pippen or MJ, he knows what to do. The encounter ends with daps, most likely to him first, and we go on our merry way.
Now you might find yourself asking, “How the eff does that help her?” Let me tell you how. Because the pleasant encounter smacks of respect and approval and people like to feel respected and approved of. When thats not a factor to worry about, love comes more easily and selflessly. And who is the beneficiary of that love? Pocahontas. I mean, if dude feels good about the situation, he’s not about to stare into my eyes and feel overcome by the desire to take me in his arms and wisk me down the road to ecstacy (though I would understand if he did).
Before you scoff, just consider the fact that poor interactions between a significant other and a friend can throw monkey wrenches into otherwise nice relationships. And I’m not talking about the instances where people straight up don’t like the other person–that’s something else entirely–I’m talking about interactions that make a person feel isolated and unwelcome. Suddenly, rather than dating and figuring out if they’re worth each other’s time, discussions revolve around the discord and the disrespect and the strain until *POOF* these are people that used to date.
Being a relationship wingman is not nearly as glamorous as it’s single version. There aren’t really tragic tales of hilarious misadventure in which you bite the bullet (and sadly, little else) so your buddy can close some ass. Being a relationship wingman entails more endearing tasks like making those little efforts that help your friend go closer to another person. While nice, it’s not exactly something you recount while you and your boys get to the bottom of a bottle of Henn. Still, unless you just don’t like your friend’s boyfriend or girlfriend, you should keep your wings. No, you may not fly into the danger zone any longer, but you can always help a friend get their breath taken away. Peace to Kenny Loggins.
Penultimate Thought: I find it outrageous that stamps are 41 cents.
Final Thought: If I played hockey, I would never want to wear the assistant captain’s “A.”