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It was 2004, Violeta and I were driving each other crazy, and I'd had enough. I told her it was time for us to break up, and she said, "I don't agree to that."
For the next few minutes I tried as gently as possible to say that wasn't how it worked. I danced around the concept of 'getting dumped' while avoiding those exact words.
I wasn't the slightest bit sad at this point because I'd been miserable for months, but it had come as a
to her, and if you can figure that out you'll win a prize.
About two days later she called and said she agreed with me. Two days after that we were back to being non-miserable good friends, and I guess it was around Christmas time, because about a week after
she sent me a box of cookies she'd baked herself.
I was hesitant to eat them because I'm a real piece of crap and I found it hard to believe she was just trying to get things back as close to 'normal' as possible, no, I could only believe she preferred to have me dead if she couldn't have me herself.
In addition to non-poisoned cookies, I got a small box from her in the mail. In it was a new digital watch. She said she was going to give it to me for Christmas, but now it was my "break-up present," so I'm one of the few people in the world who's ever received one of those.
This watch had a telephone directory, and she had input her initials and phone number before sending it. I found the watch a few days ago while cleaning my bedroom (I had been storing it in a mug for some reason.)
I've heard there's always one person who has more invested in a relationship. Violeta was way more into our relationship than I was, and after dating her I exclusively dated women who believed I was a sack of human garbage, and who openly expressed that belief.
So in the future if I complain that I am feeling isolated or lonely or anything like that, you'll see that it's not coming out of nowhere and I've created my own problem, with my fifteen different personality disorders fighting it out to see what kind of damage I'll cause at any given time.
In the past few years I've noticed more and more people using 'women' as a singular noun.
I see it so often that I can no longer believe it is a careless typo, and that many people have completely forgotten about the word 'woman'. I have never seen the same thing with 'man' and 'men'.
Is it really happening? Is this going to be a feature in the English language of the future? Do I have to accept it under the rule that our language is constantly evolving, bla bla bla? Does it make you feel like a natural women?
At work there's this woman who sometimes asks me for help, and I often give her slightly more information than is strictly necessary, just because I think it might help her to more fully understand her options.
So when I offer up these tidbits, her jaw drops, she squints her eyes, tilts her head, and sticks both hands out as if I've said the dumbest thing she's ever heard. She doesn't
anything, she just puts on this little production for me so that I'll know the extra information wasn't welcome, and then she walks away. She's not my favorite.
My apartment is on the third floor and in between two other apartments, and at any given time it's about 10 degrees warmer than any other place. When it gets above 90 degrees in here, I basically just pass out and sleep for three hours, and I don't know whether that's normal or whether I have some kind of overheating syndrome or what, but I don't really like it very much.
I don't like air conditioners because they make me sneeze, so passing out sometimes is just a normal part of summer for me,
this is in fact normal.
In the months I had not been writing at 100words I was not writing at all, but I did
about it a lot, and as you know thinking about doing something is a form of practice.
I didn't actually compose any sentences, but I imagined the ideas of some pretty good ones; they were exactly 100 words long, and they were generally well received.
The entries I've been writing, especially this one, have not been anywhere near as good as those others, but the idea is to close the gap between the two a bit, so it's all progress.
I am not brutally honest. "The Truth" makes me nervous, possibly because I don't believe in it. I only have my perceptions, and if I need to describe them to you, I can only do a kind of meandering bee dance around their outlines to give you a vague idea of where they start and end.
I don't have a blazing torch of Truth, I have a large room lit by a birthday candle, such that you can only see one thing at a time, dimly. To be brutally honest about
under these circumstances is to advertise your ignorance.
Once when I was very young my Mom took me to the store to get new sneakers because I'd outgrown my latest pair, and we settled on the "Puma" brand, which I'd never heard of, but I liked the cat.
As I wore them out of the store, I said "Mom, hey, look, I'm a fierce jungle cat, I'm a PUMA, look!" and I growled and stalked around the department store like the world's biggest asshole, but for some reason my Mom didn't ditch me and run off to travel and pursue her dreams, no, she said "Wow, a
Sugar madness. You only get it from the refined stuff, not fruit. Eating sugar just makes me want more sugar, and more and more until I can't move any more. This is why I rarely eat sugary things, like the ice cream sandwich I'm eating right now, which, by the way, is slowly opening my mind to the truth that we are here on earth to seek out and eat sugar, and if your grandma has any hard candies in her purse tell her to hand them over right now OR I'll FUCKING SHANK HER WITH THIS ICE CREAM SANDWICH.
I haven't been following the news lately, and I've just heard about the new Supreme Court case where they're going decide the constitutionality of the new law that forces straight people to get divorced and then gay-married. Opponents of the bill say it's an untested idea with uncertain social ramifications.
They seem to be pretty worked up about it, which I guess makes sense when you consider they're going to be forcibly separated from their spouses at gunpoint and then made to watch
a thousand times. If I've understood the whole thing correctly, their anger is reasonable.
Sometimes real life provides lines you could never write in a million years. Ehab Al Shihabi is the former chief executive of Al Jazeera America. He was known for his dictatorial style and creation of a "culture of fear" at the network, and in a comment about his efforts to improve morale in the office he said,
"If people are not happy, we'll make them happy."
You wouldn't think something so simple would work, especially when you put a slight emphasis on the word 'make'. I love this line so much. I want to follow him around with a notebook.
At one point, I said exactly the right thing to her. I said it at exactly the right time, in exactly the right place, and I used exactly the right words. I was just lucky.
She was looking for more of the same, but saying exactly the right thing isn't something you can
to do; it just happens. After a while it's natural to ask "what have you done for me lately?" and the answer is that I was a guy who said a mixture of ordinary and wrong things in varying ratios, and that is not very good.
If I were a professional writer, I think I would spend 60% of my day on the 'relationships' subreddit. It is a goldmine of human craziness. Here's a 16-year-old guy asking whether the five-section relationship contract his 18-year-old girlfriend wrote up is strange. Here are many
(why so many?) people who have been told "oh guess what, we're in an open relationship now, and you're being unreasonable if you don't like it."
(I wouldn't know!) it is easy to be blinded by (fill in the blank) that you are in a bad situation.
I met a beautiful dog today, and he seemed concerned about something. I wish I could have said to him, "You are a dog and I am a guy. We travel in different circles and have different views, but none of this should prevent us from coming to an understanding. You want to sniff me, I want to give you a pet and a scratch behind the ear, and we don't need to play any complicated mind games to figure out who is the 'leader of the pack'."
I want to give this speech to other animals, too, including people.
Take line segment AB, which represents a friendship between you (A) and a lady (B). Neither of you is interested in the other as anything other than a friend. Then you might have another line segment, AC, where C represents a lady with whom you have an identical relationship. Angle A measures 60 degrees.
Question: What will result when you draw line segment BC by introducing B to C? Will a new and famous friendship blossom?
Answer: B and C, both kind and friendly people, will immediately despise one another, creating equilateral loathe triangle ABC.
Proof: My own stupid experience.
In an e-mail today I was advised to "
." I did not.
I was responding to what sounded like a concerned voicemail, and I wrote back to say "OK, everything is fine, I'll deal with it," but I guess my e-mail had an uptight tone.
I confess to being a boiling neurotic mess, but I'm generally able to keep it all suppressed behind a veneer of relaxed competence at work. Having your self-image shattered with a gimmicky slang word that reached its peak in the mid-'90s is not a good way to begin the working week.
ONLINE COMMENTS FROM A NEWS ARTICLE IN THE 'FOOD' SECTION ABOUT THE FLAVORS OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF SALT.
Why do we need so many different colors and flavors? When I grew up salt was just, well, salt, and we seemed to survive.
I didn't read the article, but if it's about how salt is bad for you, I want to say salt is provided to us by NATURE and no natural food should be considered off limits. If the food police have their way we will only be able to eat dirt and TWIGS as a sometime treat.
I once ate a salty pretzel before winning a soccer tournament, so if it said anything bad about salt you'll know it's bogus.
If you morons would understand the therapeutic benefits of salt, you wouldn't be complaining. I sleep buried up to my neck in a pyramid of salt each night, and have never had so much as a toothache. Salt is a
in case you hadn't noticed.
Is it just me or do all types of salt just taste salty? Am I missing something, or am I just not hoity-toity enough? OOH-LA-LA!
Leave the salt in the sea where it belongs. You're just jealous.
My husband built us a salt rack (he's so handy) so we can put the right type on each meal wherever we go. My organic heirloom tomatoes take on an extra dimension when I give them a dusting of Arctic Blue. Most restaurants don't seem to mind as long as you bring enough to share, which we are more than happy to do so long as people use them correctly. One person wanted the Tunisian Flaked on his socca and of course we drew the line.
This article fails to mention the important research done by Dr. Anthony Laserbeam, which is a serious omission. Dr. Laserbeam's research may be utterly irrelevant to this discussion, but I want it added to the record that I read research papers in my free time because magazines are a bore.
If Republicans have their way we'll have to salt our food with our own tears when every cherished institution is torn down and auctioned to mega-corporations.
This publication should be ashamed -- isn't there any REAL news to publish? Salt?! People are
and you don't care?
I have never heard of different types of salt, and I vehemently reject the idea. Please retract this article as new things do frighten me so.
I want to pick an Internet fight in the comments section of an online newspaper with ALL of you, I feel like I'm at a salty lavish buffet and I don't know where to start.
Can we still get salt from the sea, or did the environmentalists shut that idea down as well? Does the salt plant kill the cute fishies? What about all the JOBS you've killed, you horrible monsters?
I got carried away -- I was having fun. Did I get them all? I'm sure I've missed some of the comment tropes. I didn't have any that started with "Yawn, this is old news," for example, so I might have to revisit this later.
I am semi-pro at reading online comments (mostly in the NYT) for the entertainment value and for the help in reminding me that I need to get off the Internet if I don't want to end up a drooling crazy person. Most of my vacations from the online world begin with reading hateful online comments.
I've been watching
episodes on Netflix. Don't ask me why, I don't know why... I guess I might miss the '80s. I was born in 1979, so the world depicted in those shows and movies is the world I aspired to as a kid. I wanted to have a cool haircut and drink cocktails in bars with lots of neon and dance with sparkly big-haired ladies, but I wasn't allowed to because I was six.
Then time, that perfidious traitor, moved forward and everything changed and I'm starting to think I'll never do coke on a yacht.
For both of my parents, a tattoo is definitive proof of active membership in a criminal organization.
While on vacation in Connecticut this week, a group of people were heading out to a wedding -- my Dad spotted a small butterfly tattoo on the calf of a young lady.
"There are some rough customers in this hotel," he said, clutching for his wallet. After he pointed it out to me I tried to engage him on the topic. I limited myself to walking him down to the notion that the lady might merely be a loose woman, but to no avail.
I never under any circumstances take the elevator. I take the stairs every time, even when injured. It is my policy.
Sometimes I see someone I know waiting for the elevator and I say "hi" and head for the staircase. I always wonder if they think I'm snubbing them, like I'm afraid the elevator ride will be awkward. It's not a snub, but the fault is mine for not publicizing my policy more.
I need something to drone on about endlessly at work anyway, so I might as well tell everyone the benefits of taking the stairs during every interaction.
After I got my degree in English I was determined to get into a good grad program, get my PhD, and get directly on the fast track to a tenured faculty position. Reading and writing a lot and talking about books!
Then that didn't happen, and every time I think about it I'm grateful I didn't go in that direction. I would probably still be a starving adjunct, scared out of my mind for fear of 'triggering' someone with an offhand remark. If you have access to
The Chronicle of Higher Education
, read it to scare yourself away from academia.
I was sharing a hotel room with Preston, Greg, and Dan, and Preston decided he wanted to call Emily. Emily was a junior (and gorgeous), Preston was a freshman, and the rest of us were sophomores.
Preston was small and scrappy and we all immediately liked him. He said he was going to sing "Brown-Eyed Girl" to Emily and we were welcome to join in if we wanted, so of course we did. I don't think he told her who he was. After the song he just hung up and smiled for the rest of the night.
In the year 2-0-1-5
100words is still alive
The website can survive
Invite your friends so it may thrive
Wow-wow-wowwww, I don't want to do a whole song thing, I'm just glad we're all still here. I'ma pour one out for the pig banner, though. How much do I have to pay to get it back? I think I smell a revenue opportunity for the administrators here. Maybe an auction every year to determine whether or not there's a big smiling pig on the front page. (I'm just filling space now, please nod and smile.)
The administration office has beautiful carpet and a
. Everyone who enters and leaves is wearing a suit. I walk by every day, but I have never so much as considered poking my head in there because it seems to be a forbidden zone to the likes of me.
I mention this to a coworker and she grabs my wrist and drags me down there.
"Oh!" I say, "I shouldn't come in, they're going to think I've come to steal the silver..."
any silver, come on..."
We got free coffee and several firm handshakes (also free).
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