I went to a party on Saturday and found two potential suitors. Let me tell you about our contestants.
BACHELOR NUMBER ONE
- We’d met once before.
- In an exotic twist for Yours Truly, he’s OLDER than me by SEVEN WHOLE YEARS.
- He hated the ending of LOST.
- We used our disagreement about the ending of LOST as a flirtation device. At one poinnt, a large portion of the party stared at us because I screamed “I CAN’T TALK ABOUT THIS ANYMORE!” and ran away from him.
- I must look very desirable in a baseball hat. During a conversation with some third party that I can’t remember, B#1 put his hat on my head, and while I was in the middle of a sentence, he grabbed me by the purse strap, pulled me into a back room and kissed me. This earned him MAJOR POINTS.
- The room we were making out in was full of empty boxes (the Host had just moved in) and we’d shut the door. The Host, evidently not wanting that door shut, opened the door but didn’t bother looking in. We stumbled out and I said “Hey! We were making out in there!” Best Exie was also standing right there and I’m sure he thought “Man, I can’t believe I broke up with this classy lady.”
- He thinks no television show will ever be as great as The Wire.
Karaoke songs of choice: Fuck Her Gently by Tenacious D; some song by The Postal Service.
- After the makeouts (which were pret-tay, pret-tay good), he held my hand and was generally affectionate with me throughout the night. He even kissed me goodbye.
- One of those kisses left me with a bruised lip.
- When the last of us finally left the party, somewhere around 6 a.m., he texted me shortly after to tell me I was cute and he hoped I got home okay.
- He works on films and stuff.
- He is mostly unemployed.
BACHELOR NUMBER TWO
- I’ve been acquainted with him for two years. When we first met, he asked me out but I was still getting over Best Exie and shot him down. He’s since been in two long-ish relationships.
- Shortly after I arrived I found out he was on the market again and decided to ask him out because I’ve always kind of regretted turning him down the first time.
- He accepted, and tried to make a plan with me right then and there but party and drunk and so many people.
- He is literally one of the funniest people I’ve ever met.
In fact, when I mentioned to my Bestie that I’d made out with someone she said “OMG was it B#2 because he is the funniest person I’ve ever met.”
- He reminds me a freakish amount of one of my Internet Friends but I don’t want that to be weird or anything. ::blinks::
- He can cook like a motherfucker.
- Karaoke song of choice: Ignition (The Remix) by R. Kelly.
- At some point well after my makeout with B#1, which very few people were aware of, and deep into B#2’s so-drunk-I’m-blacked-out portion of the night, B#2 and I had this exchange:
Him: Wanna make out?
Me: Now? Him: Yup. Me: Real talk someone already made out with me. I can’t go make out with you now. I’m only so trashy.
Him the rest of the night: You’re pretty.
- He plays professional poker.
- He is mostly unemployed.
Really? I found TWO unemployed guys? If you look at the crew of hooligans I’ve dated, it’s pretty apparent that money doesn’t matter to me, but, like, I don’t want to continue to be the Island of Directionless Slackers. On the plus side, since they’re BOTH directionless slackers, they have an equal playing field. If one was a directionless slacker and the other was a doctor, it just wouldn’t be fair.
No but seriously. A poker player and a film crew member.
At this point, B#2 has been in touch plenty but I haven’t heard a peep from B#1. Didn’t people used to casually date more than one person at a time until shit got serious? Is this possible? Can’t we all be (technically) adults about this?
Sidenote: What is with Barbie’s potential mates in that photo up there. Is that first one…a wigger? Wait, can I say that word?
So there are three things I don’t blog about at length: my mom in a nursing home, my fun auto-immune diseases (NON-CONTAGIOUS FOR THOSE JOINING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PROGRAM), and my time as an actor. But you have to pretend I just said “actor” with the vowels really drawn out while also doing jazz hands.
So about that acting thing.
I spent about 8-9 years of my life on the stage, from the time I was 13 (ish) to the ripe age of 22 when I officially announced my retirement. I know lots of teens dabbled in theater, whether it be for school or in the community, I don’t wish to come off as somehow special, but at the same time…I was fucking special. I couldn’t sing or dance (still can’t), so my passion was for straight theater, particularly for one Mr. William Shakespeare. Here we go.
Like most of the important decisions I’ve made in my life, it started with a movie. I was 13 when Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet hit the screen and it’s one piece of pop culture that I can say, without question, changed my life. Baz’s films, and this one in particular, get a lot of shit but Christ this film opened up a whole world for me. Even as a (mostly) fully formed adult with (slightly) more discerning tastes, I can watch R+J for everything he intended it to be and feel satisfied. People complained that the actors didn’t seem to know what they were saying; I’ll counter with the fact that at 13 I’d barely heard a lick of Shakespeare and understood everything perfectly. Uncannily, almost. I’d never quite seen anything like Baz’s style, and at that point I’d already seen Pulp Fiction and Trainspotting, so I kept going back. At least 5 times, but possibly 6. Let me put it this way: I was a total goth girl in 8th grade. Black lipstick, ripped striped tights, LOTS of Marilyn Manson tee shirts, the whole nine. R+J got me dressing softer, in white flowing clothes, and wearing glittery nail polish. GLITTERY NAIL POLISH. In retrospect, I have to give 13 year old me some credit; I became obsessed with this movie but instead of thinking “I need a tragic romance” or “I need to kill myself” in order to achieve the heightened emotions I experienced watching R+J, I very logically thought “I need to become an actress”.
At this time, I had an acquaintance who was Assistant Directing a community production (for teens) of The Pushcart War. One of her actresses had a commitment problem for ONE night of the run, so after expressing interest she let me in. I know I was only on for one night, and I know I had to learn a ton of lines and play multiple characters (the only one I remember for certain was Harry the Hot Dog), but other than that it’s a total blur. But it gave me the itch.
Then I started high school. I’m not sure I believe in fate, but what happened in my freshman year is the closest I’ve come to proving its existence. My high school’s drama director at that point was a crusty, surly old man who did lame, crowd-pleasing plays that he either wrote himself or mined from his own generation of whodunnit’s. At the beginning of my freshman year, he stirred the pot and got himself fired for attempting to do a high school production of Sweet Charity. In case you don’t know, there’s a prostitute involved. ANYWAYS. His replacement was a real actor with Great Lakes Theater Festival, a somewhat younger dude who knew how to talk to kids. But most importantly, he taught us how to act. He didn’t give a shit about sets or costumes. I think he would have sent us up there in our street clothes as long as we could say the words William Shakespeare wrote with any meaning. At the age of 14 I landed the role of a lifetime as Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
How did I land this amazing role? By using, as my monologue, the lyrics to Ani DiFranco’s “Dilate”. I wore a pristine white, lacy, ruffled slip and dark red lipstick, and when Ani says, “When I need to wipe my face, I use the back of my hand” you can bet your ass I used the back of my hand and smeared that lipstick across my flawless teenage face, completing my recitation looking like a purposeful disaster.
After Puck came Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing followed by my personal favorite, Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible. I was the director’s muse, he was John Hughes to my Molly Ringwald, and for three years I felt like these parts were chosen for me, handed to me on a platter. And again, he taught me how to act. This wasn’t about delighting our parents or the community; this was about teaching teenagers how to interpret difficult text and take chances with experimentation. We bared our souls within the walls of our shitty high school auditorium during practices. We laughed and cried and fell into each others arms from high ladders (literally).
And this was my calling. From an introverted, anxious girl to a loud, fast talking near-adult in front of hundreds of people and not afraid, not even once. I could turn it on and off. I could be backstage dicking around with my friends and out on stage emoting at the drop of a hat; it was that easy.
But I lived in reality. I knew acting in college wouldn’t be the same. I chose to major in theater and my family was supportive. My dad wished I’d choose a double major, but never really tried to talk me out of acting. Acting on stage was the closest I’d come for him to being a star athlete and I could see him revel in it. And wouldn’t you know, even at the college level, at a VERY good school for theater, I was cast immediately and consistently. My first role, cast a week or so into my freshman year of college (shortly after 9/11, the ACTUAL 9/11), was Eunice Hubble in A Streetcar Named Desire. I got to be the person that responded to Stanley Kowalski’s famous “STELLLAAA!!!!!!!!”. What more could you even ask for?
But something was different. The atmosphere was different. The focus was different. I was suddenly surrounded by kids who kept diaries as their characters and did all sorts of weird warm-ups and directors who were all business and no substance and…I didn’t understand it. I was suddenly forced to learn all sorts of acting theories by people like Meisner and Uta Hagen and OF COURSE the Stanislavski Method (who developed The Method that you hear about when you read about people like James Dean and Daniel Day-Lewis). I couldn’t comprehend why people spent so much time on this, why they couldn’t just waltz out on stage like I did and get shit done, and done well. But instead of making me feel superior and like A Natural (which I now know I am), it made me feel inferior and like I wasn’t doing enough and like I must be doing something wrong.
Combine that with the fact that I fell in love with a horribly damaged boy and we did drugs together all the time and you have one neurotic, damaged actress on your hands.
By my senior year I knew I was done. Meaning, I knew I wasn’t going to move to New York or L.A. and try and live the life. It wasn’t me. I never questioned my talent, but I questioned my ability to do the starving artist bit and work a bunch of jobs while going to cattle calls and be judged based on my headshot. I had passion and talent pouring out my bones, but I had no interest in playing the game. However, in my last semester of my senior year I got a lead. And not just any lead, a lead in a FOUR PERSON MAINSTAGE PLAY. I remember the audition, and feeling like I nailed it. I remember the day the cast list was being posted and walking from my philosophy class across campus to look at it. And I remember knowing I got it, knowing it in my bones, in my gut, but at that point I wasn’t excited, I was terrified. Because I was already past the point of caring.
And I got it. And I puked.
I was cast as Catherine in Proof. If you don’t know it, look it up, and not the shitty film version that was made. Catherine is on every page of the script. She carries the play around her neck like an albatross. She isthe damn play. It was the greatest, most fulfilling, most terrifying thing I’ve ever done. It was like losing your virginity, except multiple nights in a row and in public. It was like standing naked on a street corner in Manhattan in rush hour. It was the most raw, vulnerable part I’ve ever played, thing I’ve ever done.
But I did it.
I almost had a panic attack before every performance and this cute, long-haired stage hand, Adam, would give me a back rub before every performance. Literally, I’d be sitting on the back steps of my “house” before the house lights went dark and Adam would rub my back and I’d be near tears and hyperventilation and he’d then push me up the stairs for my first entrance and I’d think I CAN’T DO THIS and then the theater would go dark and I’d walk out and I’d just do it. Like breathing. It was second nature.
And then I quit. Proof closed and I’ve never walked out on a stage again. I’ve performed once, in a staged reading for a friend who wrote a play, since Proof closed in March of 2005.
And I don’t know. I have regrets but also solace. I miss my time on the stage but also dread the thought of it. I prickle with jealousy when I read about the amazing things my classmates have done, and they’ve done A LOT. And I work my day job and my night job and tend to my cats and get drunk and go to rock shows and write blogs while they continue to do the things I once did.
And some days I’m really happy about this. And some days I’m not.
I can be pretty bold when it comes to dating. I hate playing games and I’m way more likely to straight up ask a guy if he likes me (y/n) than sit around in confusion and anxiety. This comes from many years of sitting around in confusion and anxiety. And some of you may recall the incident where I called my oil change place to give one of the mechanics my phone number. Taking those types of chances aren’t my general rule, but they happen. Particularly if I’ve been drinking.
After a Friday night spent moping about how a boy from the internet was rude to me, I went out Saturday night guns blazing and feeling like I needed a W in my corner. A conquest! Any sort of conquest! Someone validate me somehow! I long to have someone bat their eyes at me or send me a PBR from across the bar! Unfortunately, my townie bar was mostly dead and filled with…uh…townies.
BUT THEN! Right near closing time (please sync up your Semisonic CD singles), I look up and see a Very Attractive Man. Besties #1 and #2, both in stable, serious relationships, of course encourage their drunk single friend to please go talk to the hot guy. After a bit of bumbling and stressing, and then thinking that maybe I was gawking at my Hot Married Neighbor before realizing, no, HMN doesn’t have that hairdo, I sack up and saunter over. Here is a rough reconstruction of the parts of our conversation I remember, not necessarily in the correct order and definitely including some gaps.
Me: Hey. Hi. I’m Amanda. I think you’re really cute so I decided to come talk to you. I’m not usually this creepy. (Note: I’m often this creepy.)
Him: Well, I’m one of ten kids. (Note: I have no idea how we got on this subject.)
Him: I just moved up here, staying with my brother for the summer, but I go to Kent. (Note: This is where I wondered how old he is but never asked.)
Me: That guy is your brother?? You look like the opposite of each other. (Note: His brother is a giant with a beard that matches his size).
As if on cue, Large Bearded Brother walks up and immediately says “Hey! I know you! You live on my floor!” Now that he mentions it, I guess I have seen Large Bearded Brother around from time to time. LBB then goes on to say “Yeah, our other brother lives directly across the hall from you and I squatted there for awhile before an apartment opened up.” The apartment directly across from me is occupied by none other than HOT MARRIED NEIGHBOR. No wonder I almost mistook the hot guy for him.
Of course, now it dawns on me that I’ve drunkenly hit on a fellow that I can’t escape from, should things turn sour/embarrassing/ugly. But regardless, the brothers seemed jolly enough and I kept attempting to make conversation with the hot one.
Me: So what are you studying at Kent?
Him: Art. (Note: Of course.)
Me: Well what do you want to do?
Him: Paint. Well, teach eventually. But mostly I just want to paint. (Note: Please don’t be 19 and in here with a fake ID.)
After another round of shots, the brothers leave while we linger for a little bit longer. The besties are gushing, but I’m not convinced this guy had any interest in me whatsoever. First of all, I’m drunk. Not, like, super drunk, but drunk enough to perhaps come off as abrasive. Second, no one that attractive is single. It’s just not possible. I would have hoped that by opening with “I think you’re really cute” made my intentions clear and given him ample room to say “Thanks, but I’m involved”, but some dudes are just dumb and/or shady I guess.
After wandering home and drinking another beer, I felt bold. I certainly wasn’t about to knock on their door, but I also didn’t like the idea of just waiting around to see if I run into him again at some point, seeing as I’d never seen him around the building before. I compromised with myself by writing a note and taping it to their door. I managed to refrain from writing my first thought (“You’re a total babe. Call me”) but also wasted a really amazing opportunity to actually leave a note for someone that said “I just met you, this sounds crazy. But here’s my number. Call me maybe”. Hindsight is 20/20. I settled with a happy medium of just leaving my digits and a P.S. that let him know there would be zero awkwardness around the halls if he chose not to use them.
Even though I know I did a badass, bold thing, went for what I wanted and all that jazz, I woke up in the morning feeling mortified. It wasn’t the thought of him not being interested that bothered me, it was the thought that a chunk of his family are ALL my neighbors and maybe they’d laugh at me and mock me behind my back and call me “The Sad Drunk Girl In #408”. Yes, I realize we’re all adults but we all know adults can (and often do) still act like teens (myself included). I half expected to find my door egged, or perhaps “LOSER” written on it in lipstick.
The note is long gone from their door (assuming I got the right one!) but I haven’t heard a peep from the hot guy. Which is okay and, let’s face it, probably for the best. However, Hot Married Neighbor screamed “HEY NEIGHBOR!!” at me bright and early this morning while walking to my car for work.
He knows. They all know.
You know how sometimes after a breakup, sometimes LONG after a breakup, you feel like you’re in limbo until you or the other person actually starts dating someone else? It wasn’t until I found out that Best Exie was dating someone that we were able to begin our epic friendship, and while that moment had some sadness and regret to it, it also brought closure to the weird void.
That’s how I feel about your win yesterday, #23. It brought tears to my eyes, and I couldn’t be sure what I was even crying for, but once they dried I felt nothing but relief and even a faint glimmer of happiness for you.
I have a few beliefs about you, in that way that we all have certain feelings about famous people and the choices they make. We like to think that we kind of know our idols in the public eye because their lives are out there in the open, asking to be read and interpreted. I believe that you’re one of the greatest basketball players of all time and I believe you deserve that ring and any others you’re sure to collect in your career. I also believe you care about where you came from and legitimately wanted to win a championship not just for yourself, but for the City of Cleveland as well. Maybe I’m wrong, but lastly, I choose to believe I’m right.
I spent a lot of time being angry at you and expended a lot of energy rooting against you, but those days are over. If you hadn’t won this year, or next year, or the year after, you and I would be stuck in a cycle of hatred and bitterness. I’d continually become a fan of teams I otherwise wouldn’t pay attention to and live in a state of anxiety about when the other shoe would drop. I’d constantly wonder if I helped curse you, or if maybe you cursed me. And I’d carry the burden of all that negativity out of loyalty to a city you dragged into a circus of your own making. But that’s not the case.
Today is different. Today I congratulate you. And today I apologize to you, #23, for not being able to help you reach your goal. I’m sorry we couldn’t be the team you needed us to be, for I wanted nothing in the world more than that. The truth is, we let each other down, both before and after your departure.
So what happens now? You continue doing what you do best. As for me, I’ll never actively root for you, because it’s not in my nature to root for a team like yours. Our city bred this in me, and I’ll always support the little guy. But I’m done fighting against you, too. I think a part of me can start smiling at the knowledge that one of our own, who was so close to us for so long, is a champion. And maybe I’ll think twice every time I put on my Buckeye Brewing Company shirt:
You and I are cool, #23. Let’s move on, shall we?
I have a better blog post idea but I’m on my fourth beer and don’t have the energy to write that one.
I think about changing my online dating profile to say “No fatties, no Bible thumpers, no questionable facial hair”, even though I know that I have so many flaws I shouldn’t be one to judge.
I’m wearing a tee shirt with a picture of a skeleton of conjoined twins on it that I mangled with scissors and ripped black boy shorts (not purposely ripped) and I actually feel sexy.
Sometimes I fear that I’ve let my teenage niece down by not being to her what her mother was to me.
I’ve never seen Evil Dead 2 or Army of Darkness.
When I pick my nose in front of the computer I momentarily panic because I forget I’m not on camera.
I have multiple sclerosis and I’ve had no idea how to tell all of you for fear you’d think of me differently.
I once carried on a two week relationship with a guy I met on chatroulette who ended up sending me hate texts and calling me a whore when he thought I was pulling away and cutting off contact. (I was.)
I’m the one who stole Steven S.’s dinosaur erasers in second grade.
There’s a really good chance I’ve talked about you behind your back.
I’ve barely spoken to my grandparents since Christmas when their dog died in the elevator/leash incident because I can’t stop thinking about it and I fear that we’ll have to talk about it and I don’t want to talk about it.
I have a lot of things to say about pop culture but I don’t think people take me seriously because I tend toward the “pop”.
I miss acting.
I once used cramps as an excuse to leave in the middle of 2001: A Space Odyssey because I couldn’t stand it.
10:37 a.m. - I woke up startled. My first thought was “Where am I what happened was I just dreaming about eating chicken wings?” Andre Agassi (cat, not person) was asleep on the back of my legs and Pete Sampras (cat, not person) was curled up next to me. We were practically spooning. I jostled the cats and threw the covers off, just then realizing I was fully clothed from the night before. It wasn’t until I sat up that I discovered the picture that hangs over the bed was in the bed next to me, the nails hanging out of the wall angled down. Clearly the work of a disgruntled Andre Agassi. The scary realization: I drunk slept through a large picture falling very near (possibly on?) my head. My first stop was the bathroom. The metal toilet paper roll hanger was hanging off the wall, one of the arms bent in at a weird angle. While this looks like more Andre business, I don’t think a cat has the body mass to bend metal inward like that. Did I fall into it? Unsure. When I go to splash my face with water, I noticed a very large blood blister on the ring finger of my right hand below the nail. The cause of this is still a complete mystery, but is, as far as I can tell, the only wound incurred. The living room: pint glass on the floor, water everywhere. The cats have no food or water in their bowls. I find my phone and see a text from a Boy that says “Jolly. Ha.” but I evidently deleted all previous texts so I have no idea what I said to him to garner that response. This also means I have no idea if I texted anyone else. The kitchen: dirty dish in the sink and hot sauce on the toaster oven tray. I opened the fridge to confirm that, yes, at some point I used the toaster oven to heat up leftover chicken wings. I’m lucky I didn’t burn myself, or the apartment building, down. I should also note that I feel worse than I’ve ever felt in my life.
3:00 a.m.-ish - Eat chicken wings (????), puke. Not necessarily in that order.
2:24 a.m. - L and her New Boyfriend walk me home. I tell him he’s cute for the 1,000 time during the night. Maybe we all hugged?
2:10 a.m. - Somehow remember to pay my tab.
1:56 a.m. - Sing “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” with L. I’m Meatloaf, as usual. I know the song like the back of my hand yet the first few lines come out as “I remmear er thing hpn onydyapcoueday”.
1:47 a.m. - Shot #4: Pineapple Upside Down Cake. I tell everyone how some dude spilled beer all over me. Best Exie then spits beer on me. (This is hearsay.)
1:25 a.m. - Tell L’s New Boyfriend how I tried to have sex with his ex-roomate once but was turned down. Ask multiple times how anyone can turn this down. Then share how another mutual friend gave me a really good orgasm.
1:05 a.m. - Best Exie and Girlfriend arrive. She’s wearing a giant sombrero.
12:45 a.m. - E and I play a game called “Quick Poke”.
12:30 a.m. - I suggest to L that her and New Boyfriend and I have a threesome.
12:15 a.m - L and her New Boyfriend show up. I meet him for the first time and immediately tell him how cute he is 42 times, then explain that I’m one of L’s Top Three Besties.
11:37 p.m. - Shot #3: Pineapple Upside Down Cake, with E and ???? A fourth shot was bought for someone else but I spilled it.
11:31 p.m. - Sing “25 or 6 to 4”, E dances.
11:20 p.m. - E shows up, is even drunker and louder than I am.
??? p.m. - I see M get in her car and creepy ghetto white dude talking to her through her window. Am too drunk to tell her she’s probably too drunk to drive. (She made it home safely, guys.)
11:10 p.m. - Creepy ghetto white dudes talk to us. One reads my tattoos, another stumbles and spills his entire beer on me.
10:45 p.m. - Sing “Cherry Bomb”.
10:10 p.m. - Arrive at karaoke bar.
9:15 p.m. - M comes to meet me at the bar.
8:36 p.m. - Shot #2: Dirty Girlscout.
8:25 p.m. - Shot #1: Pickleback, bought for me and Best Exie by the Nice Couple.
8:10 p.m. - Best Exie starts talking to the Nice Couple sitting next to me. They’re the only other two people at the bar besides the group of dudes playing pinball.
8:06 p.m. - Attempt to chat up the dudes playing pinball, find out none of them are from Cleveland, move on with my life.
7:10 p.m. - Arrive at the bar where Best Exie works. He buys me my first beer of the night.
6:45 p.m. - Decide to put on clothes and go keep Best Exie company.
5:30 p.m. - Start receiving texts from Best Exie about the Kentucky Derby and how the bar is dead and the derby coverage is making him want to die.
4:30 p.m. - Arrive home after a very long and frustrating day at work, immediately put on pajamas. Actual thought I had: Bah, I think if L and B hit me up for karaoke later, I’ll have to pass. I just wanna couch and blog and watch movies tonight.
(Time frames are not accurate)
I’m sorry I’m two years behind on some TV shows, but earlier this week I watched an episode of Supernatural called “After School Special” and saw this:
Then just last night I was watching Community and saw THIS:
This day must be timestamped for posterity, for this is the day of my gym-short sexual awakening. I wonder how many guys I can get to wear the Joel McHale outfit in bed. I considered asking for picture submissions from ya’ll but decided against it. I suppose if you’re feeling really, really daring you can shoot one my way, but I guarantee you it’ll end up on the blog. Upload at your own risk.
OH GOD what if Ryan Gosling wore gym shorts?
I gotta go.