Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Boy with the Knuckle Tattoos

In case you're new here, let me just go ahead and tell you about my fear of men. I lack social skills on even the best of days, and when forced to interact without the use of such awesome mediums like booze or drugs, you can be sure as shit that I am going to act like one awkward mother fucker. I get the nervous stuttering chatter, hand sweats, and body temperatures typically associated with menopause. Take all that and times it by a trillion when I am talking to a guy that I find attractive. Here's the thing- I'm really fucking picky. I know this would seem contrary to my normal behavior, but let me explain. I'm usually drunk. Yeah, that's about it, actually. I use alcohol to lower my own standards. Oh, Jesus. That sounds pretty fucking pathetic when I write it down. Oh well, blogs are for the truth, am I right people?

Aaaanyway, so here's how our tumultuous romance began. A few months ago, after I had tried unsuccessfully at "No Drink January" (I know, right? It seemed failproof.) I started walking almost every day to the nearest booze-shop near my house to pick up cheap wine. It just so happens that it is a ten minute walk to the Plaid Pantry, where they sell this glorious semi-palatable wine for three fucking dollars. A nice surprise for my unending quest to chip away at my credit card bill (yes, at least $5,000 of which I can attribute to last summer's proximity to trendy bars). So after a few times swallowing my shame and purchasing the wine (and alright, sometimes pretzel M&Ms), (and yes, usually 2-3 bottles), I began to notice that the guy behind the counter was incredibly good looking. And he usually liked to small talk while in the throws of our 1.5 minute transaction. Aaah! Now I have to small talk with a hot guy AND fucking multitask??? The terror of doing so almost stopped my Plaid Pantry trips altogether, but alas, his knuckle tattoos called to me. "Stare at my sexiness," they would say to me, "Try and figure out what I say without looking too obvious..."

This banter went on for a couple months before I left for New Zealand. When I got back, a month later, I was excited to revisit where we had bashfully left off in our stupid back and forths. The first trip to the ol' PP was... a let down. But I went back anyway because my alcoholism and frugality forced me to. So about a month ago, I go in after a reeeeally long shift, and knuckle-tats looks a bit more terrified than usual. "So..." he begins, "Tomorrow is my last day..." Hmm. I'm never one to get blatantly obvious remarks. "Oh, really? Where are you going?" Blah blah blah something about train hopping and I miss most of it because the icy glares from the customers waiting behind me are too heavy to ignore. I'm done paying for mommy's brain bleach, and now we're just standing there sort of awkwardly staring at each other. So I did what any good high school girl would do- I said "have fun" and ran the fuck out.

I don't know what caused me to do this, because like I said, I'm scared of interaction... but I went in the next day. Call it the "mustering of courage" to end all "musterings of courage". So, knuckle tats is standing in front of me with like, really shaky hands and gives me some speech about "in the interest of not regretting anything before I leave" and FINALLY asked me out. I walked away, elated, and immediately called my Dad, sister, and bestfriend/exboyfriend (am I the only girl with this problem?) because this date was waaay overdue. I had already explained to most of my family members that yes, I was in love with a boy who had knuckle tattoos and they were just going to have to deal with our future tattoo'd babies.

Our first date went predictably how I ruin all future relationships. I get kind of drunk and then pretend to be the coy, shy, unassuming yet alluring and sexy version of who they want me to be. This is because my normal self- obnoxiously witty, loud, perverted, and at times crazy and abrasive (alright straightforwardly abusive) immediately scares off any and all potential suitors, from experience. I swear to God I am such a dude sometimes. My favorite move is to say, "Do you want to come back to my place for a beer?" And when they balk and say something about moving too fast, I reply with a version of "There will be no funny business, I promise." But men are men and inevitably we end up in bed where I have to coax them down from the 'are we moving to fast' ladder. The next week or so we spend at my house enjoying each other's company and drinking too much. He decides to delay his trip by a week so we can spend more time together. Aw, how fucking adorable.

I usually give the lust-meter about a week to fulfill it's purpose before realizing that really... I just like attention... and I'll take it from just about anyone in small doses. After the initial phase one wears off, I am typically feeling smothered to death and am in desperate need of about a weeks worth of candle-lit alone time and deep breathing. Does this happen to anyone else? You realize that after the first week you actually have to get to know one another? There had been a couple of times hanging out where he would say things and I would literally just force my good sense to ignore them, because if I thought about them hard enough it would ruin everything about our inevitable two-week time limit. However, most of that first week was spent talking about how we'd liked each other for so long, checked craigslist missed connections, told our respective friends about one another, watched each other from afar blah blah blah you are like so dreamy, no YOU are. After we ran out of things to flatter each other with... well we actually had to talk. And let me tell you... we had nothing in common. I mostly talk about soccer stats, my dreams of traveling the world, and nasty/politically incorrect jokes, while he wanted to talk about fighting for the working class, being gender neutral, and killing cops. You can see where conversation might be limited.

To his credit, he did let me take him to his first Timbers game... unlike the last fucking asshole prick douchebag cuntrocket (what? I'm not at all upset that he cheated on me with a stripper) I dated who refused because "he didn't like soccer." (Man, it was so black and white, why did I hang on for so long? Because I'm a fucking moron for dating anyone who doesn't at least appreciate the beautiful game. Unless you are a GODDAMN sounders fan. Then you can go ahead and cut your dick off while drowning yourself.) Knuckle Tats replied, "I'd love to see something that makes you so happy." See? There were redeemable qualities. While the last idiot couldn't bare one fucking 90 minute game to understand one of the most important and influencing factors in my life, K.T. actually chanted through and ultimately enjoyed his first game. He showered me with affection and compliments. He read some of my nastier and degrading stories and thought I was funny. He is a very sweet, well-meaning boy... we just happen to be perfectly wrong for one another.

Now that I've built him up a bit, let's take him down a peg or two. Knuckle Tats has a flair for the dramatic. Although this may have been obvious when he could literally quote to me thousands of songs about cop murder and anarchy. Ohhh my god. He has accidentally misspelled tattoos and the word "fuck" written on him. While waiting in line for the Timbers match, a camera went by shooting footage for ESPN or something, and K.T. immediately pulled a bandana out of nowhere and had it tied around his face in seconds, scared that somehow ESPN would give a flying fuck about who he was. Did I mention he is a vegan? Now, I have nothing bad to say about vegans, but it does make it a bit difficult when having to spend every meal with them... I like cheese. I have nothing morally wrong with how cheese is procured and made. So sue me.

We  talked a little about how I should write a story about our little 'meet-cute', and how adorable it was going to be. Anyway he left, and a couple of weeks ago when I was attempting pretentious sobriety, Knucks got real drunk and started texting me all this bullshit. Here's the thing- we dated for... maybe two weeks? It's not like we're getting married here, sunshine. Shit like about how he "doesn't know how to talk to me" (which I assumed was obvious) and also managed to somehow make it my fault. Alright, fucko, I'm sober, at work, and do not appreciate fucking texts that are clearly meant to spark up some sort of drama in my life. No fucking thank you. So I did the appropriate thing (for once), and did not text back. Around midnight, and past my bedtime, however I finally broke down and said, listen- stop texting me. I do not appreciate this unwelcome drama. To which he replied "Later, dude" and then promptly DEFRIENDED ME ON FACEBOOK. Are you fucking kidding me? Are. Youfuckingkiddingme. So here's how this little story came to be, with the twist I'm sure he won't appreciate, and to further prove that relationships are dramatic and men are children. Hooray!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Poor Decisons Made in Ireland: Part One, Day One

I like to think sometimes that my friend Sara has a magic vagina. She has this amazing superpower that snares just about any man she sets her eyes on. Not only that, but she can get them to do whatever the fuck she wants. I love this girl, but more often than not whenever we go out every man we meet showers her with attention and free drinks as I sip my expensive beer and take shots alone. The only logical explanation would be that she has a magic vagina (right?...).  Because of our two week vacation in Ireland, I would like to personally thank Sara's magic vagina, which gave us the gift of some of the most hilarious, lucky, and/or terrifying experiences of my life. To preface this series of adventure stories, I'm going to give you the tale of the first 24 hours, which I think gives a pretty good indication of how the rest of the trip went.

Before we had even left Portland, Sara had already been sprinkling fairy dust from her magic vagina, and met a nice boy who just happened to be flying into Dublin the same day as us. Coincidence? No, it's the power of her magical undercarriage and the intoxicating smells it emanates. He overheard Sara telling a friend about the trip while she was hungover in line for coffee. Even racked with nausea and smelling like a dirty bar floor, she is still hotter than most of us will ever be. (S.M.V. 1 Universe 0). So they make vague plans to meet at the airport in a couple days. This 'plan' consisted of calling each other minutes before our take-offs from different cities, hurriedly deciding to meet outside each others respective gates. As it would turn out, Dublin airport does not have gates. It merely has a giant hallway that spits you out to customs before you walk through some doors to the awaiting paparazzi. If you have a fear of crowds like I do, having the opaque doors open to camera flashes, loud noises, and everyone staring expectantly at you was kind of like those dreams I have with a zombie/natural disaster apocalypse combo platter haunting me only to wake up terrified with someone in the room watching me.
I blindly meander to a quiet spot (typically the inside of a girls bathroom stall) breathe, and reassess my situation. I'm supposed to meet this guy "Chris" and have no idea what he looks like. So I stand, like a fucking American jackass, outside customs with my overstuffed, lesbian, tourist backpack on, scanning people's faces to see if I find anyone that looks about on par with my jackass meter. As luck would have it, me and this guy sort of stared at each other, smiled, looked away, then looked at each others backpacks, walked the 20 foot distance to each other while awkwardly avoiding all eye contact, said hello, and... We had beaten the odds! With two hours or so before Sara landed, the bar was the only option (I swear). Have I mentioned yet that it was 6am? It was 6am. Portland time, it would have been 10pm. The weathered bartender made us show our boarding passes to show that we are still on International Time, because in Dublin, it's still too early to drink. (I know, right? Come on, Ireland, live up to your stereotype.) I probably should have taken this as a sign that yes, it was too early to start drinking, but I like to think that I was "successful" enough to make my first poor decision in Ireland without even having to leave the airport.

Four beers deep, Sara finds the new best friends wasted at the bar, shouting about how much fun we were going to have while the bartenders looked on with blatant disdain. We head out to the rising sun suspended in a cloud of drunken stupidity. Navigating the city hammered was needless to say a biiiit difficult. Especially when the dreaded feeling of sobering up hits. Combining this with an impending sense of exhaustion, I took my leave to a dorm bed for a four hour power nap while Sara and Chris continued drinking.  To this day, I have no idea how they did it. It was the apocalypse of binges. I met up with the two surprisingly coherent bffs later for a pub crawl, ending in an attempt to find a bar empty enough for us to watch the Ireland soccer match. (It's quite a popular sport over there. Here is where I wish they made a separate font for sarcasm.)

There was no room at this gigantic bar blasting the match from 25 TVs for us to even stand. So, Sara and her magic vagina saunter up to a group of nice looking boys and ask if we can sit with them. Of course they say yes, the noxious fumes of her witchcraft dancing in their nostrils. All hail the magic vagina! We sit and cheer, and the boys are immediately surprised that I can actually converse intelligently about soccer, (as an American), and that I understand the offside rule, (because I have tits). Usually in foreign countries when those two facts are revealed it results in many rounds of drinks bought for me (sadly the only time this happens is when I'm impressing foreign boys with my soccer-knowledge) as they try to find some fault in it. There are none, however, and now I'm wasted.

I woke up like I was coming out of an exorcism. Covered in saliva (my own?), wearing most of my clothes (panties?), yelling incoherently (about kebabs?), and am in a strange place with no recollection of how I got there. Alright, first step: opening eyes against the throbbing protests of my poisoned brain. Step two: identify male asleep in chair next to me. Right. Now I've started my Ireland holiday with a god damn "who are you" morning. Greaaat work, McCombs.
As random hot Irish boy awakens in the same fashion I do, I sort of blurt/slur out, "I haaave a boyfrrriend," to which he responds, "I have a girlfriend." Phew. "So..." he starts.
My mouth pathetically whispered, "Where is Sara?" But the cunt inside me was screaming, "ASPIRIN! I need a fistful of fucking aspirin before you fucking speak to me again, leprechaun!!!"
"Yeah she went off with some guys." Plural. Fuck. Outside random apartment, the sunlight assaults and abuses my eyes and headache, and hot n' hungover Irish boy quickly directs me and my shame to the easiest way of getting back to where I'm staying, on some ball-sweat-hot streetcar type thing. He even gave me some Irish money to pay for it. I may not possess the ability to hang on to a guy, but at least I'm pretty good at getting them to pay me to leave. (Maggie's traits increasingly point to 'low self esteem hooker'. A little bit of pity goes a long way.)
I pull my favorite douchebag tourist move, and walk around with one of those tiny, often wrong Lonely Planet maps in hand and meander in circles around landmarks for a while. Hours later at the hostel, the guy at the front desk gives me one horrified, humiliating look before staring in any direction except my eyes. While I haven't yet found a mirror to assess the damage, I am positive that he was staring at a greasy, sour smelling train wreck. He informs me that neither of us assholes made it home in time to check out and our possessions were now located behind the front desk. (His words.)
Oh, crapballs.
I sit alone with my anxiety in our new and empty hostel room and wait for Sara. Around 3pm the terror of having to call the Irish police to search for my missing American sets in, Sara arrives hand in hand with a young, clean-cut Irish lad, who has given her the gift of a new cell phone, and now wants to take us to lunch. Are you fucking kidding me with that magic vagina? I get booted from somewhere miles away, sex-free and hungry on some horrible, child-infested torture-tube to find my way home, while Sara's magic vag gets to leisurely lounge through the morning alternating between sex, showers, breakfast, probably all the while in a temperature controlled environment. It is only then, after I see his eyes scan the situation in front of him, (namely me, in a state of the panic-sweats and smelling of cigarettes and vodka), that I realize a shower, maybe 3 bottles of febreeze for the clothes and some industrial-strength bleach for the mouth might be in order.  

To be continued...

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People

Social media is both a blessing and a curse. While it lets me reconnect with friends that I may otherwise not see on a day to day basis, say, people I've met in foreign countries... It also lets me reminisce about the good friends that I've had, and ultimately lost due to some flaw in my character that makes me unusually abrasive and irresponsible. Vain, with a dash of "I'm the only person in the world that matters" thrown into the melting pot of horrible idiosyncrasies, it emits a smell so unpleasant that no one could possibly stand the stench long enough to tough out being a friend of mine.

I think this is why I prefer travelling- brief, intense bonds form between people thrown into the in-betweens of the world. No one travelling really belongs to a certain culture at that point, but live together in a transitory period of unreality that forces the habitants to melt together in an unending and enduring friendship. Personal contact is limited, which is perfect for me since I seem to be better on paper than in person. Also because most of the time spent together is either drunk or committing some insane activity that for the rest of our lifetime interactions will most likely be spent reminiscing on said crazy activities.

My whole life I've been quiet, shy, totally introspective. My parents, worried that they may have some sort of serial killer on their hands, pushed me into anxiety-inducing social situations where they told me the key to making friends was to ask people about themselves. I still believe this to be true, I'm just not as good at it anymore. I blame my Mom for committing the horrendous act of abandoning me through death and therefore sent me into a tailspin of self pity and selfishness. It's hard to care about anyone else when you could give a shit less about your own self.

Anyway so back to social media- I was perusing Facebook, as I typically do for at least an hour upon waking up, and came upon a pocket of old college besties who I thought would be my friends for at least another ten years or so, long enough for us to drift apart. However, at some breaking point, and I'm not even positive how it happened, I was no longer welcome within the group. What causes a solid friendship with so many people to all of a sudden be shattered? We went through some tough fucking shit together, too. Like, death and shit. But despite all that, the bonds that I thought held us together were apparently unreciprocated.

The only thing I can blame it on would maybe be my alcohol abuse. (Thanks a fucking lot, Mom.) The mere thought that it could have been the cause of shattering friendships with these amazing people makes me so unbearably sad. I see pictures of them on Facebook now and they all look so happy and accomplished in pictures with each other. Traveling the world, holding good jobs, engaged to their college sweethearts, competing in Triathlons... when did these people completely eclipse me in the winning-at-life game? What the fuck have I done? Drank myself into debt and poor health, held a few service industry jobs, had a couple two week relationships... Fuck me. It's never fun to wake up and realize, no- it wasn't them being assholes, it was me and my stupid fucking addiction that drained my health, finances, and motivation to do anything positive in the world.

Good on them. In a way I'm glad they ditched me- they didn't need someone like me dragging them to Tryon Creek Bar & Grill every night so they could get wasted and fight with their boyfriends, like I did. In saying that- alcohol seems to be my over-21 crutch to essentially 'ask people about themselves'. Without alcohol, it is entirely possible that I may revert to being 12 years old without any friends. But at least maybe I'll gain some fucking self respect back. And maybe give these people that were once such a huge part of my life a little piece of mind. I don't know. I'm 24 years old. If not now, when?