Miss(ed) Manners

June 28, 2007

More New York Than That?

Filed under: Humor — missedmanners @ 11:28 am

Last Monday night myself and some friends finagled our way to a spot in Bryant Park for the first of their Summer movie showings. If you live around here I highly suggest giving it a try. They’ve got this gigantic screen, and on every Monday the grass gets mauled by thousands of New Yorkers who’ve got a mind to sip wine, eat cheese and watch some classic cinema.

Last night the movie was Woody Allen’s seminal relationship comedy, “Annie Hall.” If you’ve never seen this movie, you’re missing out on one of the great love songs to New York City. Little comments, inside jokes, famous lines, it all comes together in a brilliant showing of real NYC chutzpah.

So I was thinking, what on earth could be more New York than sitting in Bryant Park and watching “Annie Hall?”

  • Possibly any of these things:
  • Giving a homeless person sushi instead of a dollar.
  • Dressing up as a bagel for the gay pride parade.
  • Living here for 20 years and never once having visited either the Met, the MOMA or the Statue of Liberty.
  • Being the original inspiration for a character on both Seinfeld AND Sex in the City.

I could use some more.

June 27, 2007

Shoosh!

Filed under: Humor,Random,Subway — missedmanners @ 12:38 pm

Yesterday I was riding home on J and came to an epiphany. My natural male urges have become directly effected by my finely honed sense of correct public etiquette.

Let me explain, and by explain I mean start off with a mildly erotic, almost film noir description of the scene that I found myself in.

The city was hot that day, my friends. Like the ass of a black mule grazing in Texas under a hole in the ozone. At each stop the waiting crowd would elbow their way into a forceful exhaust of freon laced air and breathe a sigh of no longer constipated relief. There were hard nipples all over the place. Hard, happy nipples.

I hadn’t seen nipples that happy since battery clamp day at Shea Stadium.

At Delancey and Essex they strolled into my car. Three little women decked out in bikini tops and lilliputian patches of denim that possibly could have been described as skirts. It was doubtful that their combined age would have qualified them for AARP benefits, but that fact didn’t seem to bother the rest of the formerly sweaty, now sticky and soon to be hot again male population of the subway car.

They had those kind of bodies that make you think of bizarre euphemisms for erections. Pitching a tent, raising the flag, passing the reflex test at the love doctor. Stomachs exposed and flatter than Iowa after Tornado season, though I doubt anyone spent much time staring there. Racks to match, pants-hams round like soccer balls and sun-kissed, freckled cheeks were accompanied by the train lurch enhanced jiggle factor. Added to that a pair of lower back tattoos and every guy was hoping for a filming of Brooklyn Girls Gone Wild to break out over the bridge.

But then they started TALKING.

Ugh.

Ew.

Good LORD were they fucking LOUD.

They were speaking in that rapid fire machine gun paced verbal diarrhea hose out the mouth style that only either the energy of being college aged and unburdened by the crippling weight of life or three massive lines of crystal meth can bring.

Even worse was that they spread out when they came into the train to maximize their overt volume abuse. One girl sat, one leaned against a door and the other wrapped herself around the hand-pole in such a way that it was impossible to think of anything BUT a stripper. But when she started blabbering on about the beach, some kid named Anthony and getting drunk on wine coolers all I could see was a 75 year old gossip hag (who was still in the skirt/bikini combo I might add, it was not cool).

They talked so haphazardly you could actually hear spelling errors.

Casual glances around the car might have, another quieter time, elicited the kind of knowing glance from another guy that symbolized that little male bond of checking out the same hot lady. This time the only thing being passed around were rolled eyes.

When they finally exited the train, no one followed them walking away as is the creepy male tradition. Instead, there was a collective sigh of relief. The moral of this story?

Wear headphones at all times and make sure your iPod is fully charged. At least then you can imagine that someone who’s loud and hot is singing back up to your favorite band.

June 25, 2007

Ask Dave! Vol. 4

Filed under: Advice,Ask Dave,Ring — missedmanners @ 12:11 pm

Dear Dave,
A few days ago my ex-husband announced he was looking for a ring for his new girlfriend. I told him good luck and all the other nice things people are supposed to say when someone gets engaged. He followed up with the question “Do you still have the ring I gave you?” I told him yes, I am saving it in my jewelry box for our daughter if she wants it one day. The ring holds no sentimental value for me and I can’t hock it for more than $500. Then he asks for the ring back since I am the one who ended the relationship (after I found him in bed with another woman). He actually plans on giving the girlfriend the same ring that he gave me. I was amazed by the request and don’t know if I should give it back to him or hold onto it like originally planned. My friends are all biased and I would like a no-nonsense answer to this rather odd request from the ex.
Amazed

Oh good God.

Amazed, I’ve actually mentioned your story to a few friends if only for the intense comedy value that is contained in each carefully crafted word, like so much high pressurized Nitrous. I actually wondered if this might be a joke, written by one of the handful of women I’ve slighted by various means of douchebaggery that I was so prone to in my earlier years. Regardless, my reply to your story would be the same.

This guy is kidding right?

I mean, really?

Seriously?

He really wants the ring back?

Did he also shit on your lawn and then throw some of it at you?

Was this guy raised in a barn? If so, what model of barn? Was he with herd animals or horses?

I should stop for a second, because the actual issue really isn’t all that simple. Normally in a case like this wherein the relationship was ended due to infidelity you get “Hand” for the rest of time. “Hand” meaning that you get to build a castle on the moral high ground with a moat of subtle loathing and unicorns that shoot rays of dismissal out of their horns. Living in this castle, while not the most healthy place for a psyche to reside in, does give you the right to say anything this walking Choad does is idiotic, insipid and irrefutably dense. “Hand” is the single most valuable thing you can ever get out of a break up. I mean, half of a four acre plot upstate won’t get you pity sex or an invite to a dinner party.

Since you’ve got Hand you can write off this stupid request right off the bat in all cases but one. If the ring itself is some sort of family heirloom then you’ve got to take pause and possibly consider that he should have it back. Though, since you didn’t mention it, we’ll just assume that it was a store bought ring.

So, what do you do?

Simple answer is tell this disaster of a man to go fuck himself and that despite how hard he is trying to tarnish the memory of the good times that the ring possibly represents by taking it away from the daughter you had together to give to some floozy, you still want to be able to pass something of emotional value on to her as she begins her eventual married life; albeit hopefully not to someone with wanderlust of the penis.

Though on the flip side the more fun option would be to just give it back to him. Why you may ask? Well imagine new fiancee’s reaction when she finds out that the ring she’s sporting is actually a hand-me-down from a previously unsuccessful marriage. That’s the kind of rain cloud that follows a relationship around like Charlie Brown in hurricane season. Not knowing much about this other woman makes it rather hard to figure out the exact reaction, but I think we can all agree that’s a pretty safe assumption to make.

Also, if you needed any more consolation that you’re better off without this guy, I’d say this would be it.

There is of course the third option, which is never the fun one, as it involves zero schadenfreude and no tellings of “go fuck yourself.” In this option you’d remember that men are, as a rule, emotionally dense and lack the capability of dealing with anything more complex than air humping after a sports victory by their favorite team. You’d remind him of just how idiotically rude it would be to pass on a ring to a new wife, and how potentially hurtful it would be to your daughter. Then you could meet for coffee and bury the hatchet like on one of those incredibly unrealistic prime-time dramas they’ve got all over the place.

Then, if he still wants the ring, knowing all this. You should really just give it back, and throw in a little bit of option #1 saying, “go fuck yourself.” A few times, once in Spanish or something for added effect. Because, if he’s going to continue treating the situations, both past and future, surrounding the ring with such a lack of compassion, you’re probably better off without it.

Back!

Filed under: Humor — missedmanners @ 11:26 am

Ahhhh. Finally back to a regular schedule.

Sorry to be so absent as of late, but last week I was thoroughly engrossed in spending time with someone which left me at the end of the week a battered and tired old Daver. It’s amazing how much energy you can spend just being happy. Then on Friday I headed upstate for a wedding, some refresh time and some good old fashioned crossword madness with the Pappy. Just got back a few minutes ago, awake and ready to fight.

Though I’m not sure who or what I want to fight. It would definitely have to be a small animal or even smaller person, because I hate getting my ass whooped. Instead I’ll focus all my vitriol into today’s Ask Dave, because it’s really a doozy.

June 15, 2007

Ask Dave! Vol. 3

Filed under: Advice,Ask Dave,Humor — missedmanners @ 11:34 am

Dear Dave,

Where I work, there is this girl who is completely cold to me for no apparent reason. I can only assume her adopted attitude solely lies with the fact that she is now Formerly known as the Prettiest Girl in the Office.
Before I was hired she lost 40 pounds and wants to lose another 15, or at least maintain her current weight.

FPG (As I call her) is pointedly rude to me, which is earning notice from my coworkers.

Short of covering her desk in candybars to torture her, how can I handle this situation tactfully?

Thanks,
The Prettiest Girl in the Office

Oh, this is good.

Dear TPGitO,

Unfortunately, the answer to your query is incredibly easy and short, and not all that fun. So what I decided to do was first list three things that you should not, under any circumstances, do out of reprisal to your catty Kathy. For the purposes of this posting, I will present them in the affirmative form as negatives, double negatives, single positives and thingies of that nature really confuse me.

1) Cut that bitch, cut her right above her bitch eye. Then drag her around the office by her formerly chubby ankles while shouting that you caught yourself a rhino. If you wear a pith helmet it will add to the effect.

2) Steal her stapler and replace it with a rattlesnake.

3) Whenever she leaves food in the refrigerator with her name on it, change the name to yours. Then forge a memo that says she has to move her desk to somewhere isolated, after she moves, take her former desk. Start wearing similar clothing as she does and change your hair to match hers. It’s very important that you do this slowly as you don’t want to arouse any suspicion. Finally, try to steal her man and have a violent showdown on a roof somewhere in the rain, bonus points if you’re the one who survives.

But srsly…

First off, we don’t need to get into why she’s being rude. That much is obvious. We can ignore all the cliched stereotypes of newly lithe ladies and the territorial nature of being the sexiest person in a space (which I could talk for hours about *rubs knuckles on shirt*). This isn’t a case of one girl being rude to another, you’re locked in the epic struggle of Machiavellian office maneuvering.

Office politics are the only thing more lame and pathetic than real politics. However, instead of ruining entire residential areas because your senator got bribed into green-lighting a cement plant, in the office people most usually just call each other whores.

Also, the worst thing about office problems like these is that everyone will always say to you, “don’t sink to her level, it’s not worth it.” Which is the stupidest fucking advice that you could ever receive. Feeling high and mighty for not being equally snide back to someone who insists on making rude remarks to you isn’t going to stop her from being a bitch.

Unfortunately, while it’s the stupidest and most boring advice, when in the office context, it’s the only advice. We’re talking about securing the means to feed yourself here. When you take a step back and look at it from the perspective of not being able to eat, which would obviously be a problem for your friend, and having to deal with a post-porker’s dramatic self esteem issues, the disparity is immense.

The other problem with not turning the other cheek is that 99 times out of 100 the person who retaliates to office goading is the one who gets in trouble. Why? Because that old familiar mantra of “don’t sink to her level” is so ingrained into the collective mind that any boss will instantly blame you for not following it. The weaselly instigator is almost never blamed because they exist on that level that we’re all not supposed to sink to, we just assume that it is in their nature and it’s up to us to suffer them their affliction.

So what the hell can you do?

You said it right there in your letter, it’s earning notice from your coworkers. Make it earn more notice. If you can’t sink to her level, take a rocket and go orbitally higher than it. Go out of your way to be noticeably nice to her, and if she’s rude back to you, make it noticeable.

Passive aggression is what makes the world go round. Rome wasn’t built in a day, it was guilt tripped into existence over a period of several hundred years. Let the crushing weight of just how little you seem to care squash her petty rudeness. Once the entire office has noticed how rude she’s being to you, you won’t need to tell yourself not to do any level sinking, because they will do it for you.

Slightly nefarious, I know, but it’s way easier than trying to wrangle a rattlesnake.

June 14, 2007

Little Foil Balloon

Filed under: Humor — missedmanners @ 10:55 am

Just a few seconds ago, as I was having a smoke and staring out my window I saw a little foil balloon fly by. It was one of those tacky helium filled greeting card balloons you get when you just can’t summon up an original way to say, “I’m sorry you’re getting married to that hose beast, here’s to a short life.”

It flew right by my window, then it hit Rector Street and took a left. It zoomed down to Greenwich and headed south, past a building and out of my field of view. It definitely looked like it was in a rush.

I tried to have an American Beauty moment where I’d say something poignant to myself about trash from the street ascending to the heavens… but all I could think of was how awesome it would be if a pigeon flew right the fuck into it and got all tangled up in the tinsely carcass and then careened violently into a window and landed on an executive’s desk.

I mean, screw coffee, how would that be for a wake up call?

June 11, 2007

Sir.

Filed under: Humor,Party,Random — missedmanners @ 10:42 am

This past weekend a few friends of mine and I were “chaperones” at my friend Saisha’s little sister’s pool party out on Long Island. By little I mean 17-20 years old. It was an absolute blast. Here are some high/lowlights of the weekend:

  • High school kids actually know how to play volleyball, we had a great couple of games.
  • I still get reaaaaaaally sore from playing volleyball.
  • I’ve still got some marginal skill at Beirut, with myself and my similarly aged friend Leks going 3-1 against well practiced college aged boys. Considering that neither of us had played the game seriously for the better part of a decade, we were EXTREMELY pleased with the outcome.
  • I continue my High School trend of always losing that particular game if playing against females.
  • It was nice that simply by virtue of my age I got to be on security duty, which, if you remember High School at all, is ALWAYS needed. I got to say, “hey man, it’s not worth it, dude,” at least twelve times, even though there was only one minor broo-ha-ha.
  • Keg beer has always and will always taste like the pressurized nectar of the Gods.
  • Some little fucker called me “Sir.” He wasn’t being snarky.
  • Motherfucker.

June 8, 2007

Ask Dave! Vol. 2

Filed under: Advice,Ask Dave,Humor,Romance,Sex — missedmanners @ 10:22 am

So, I’m 4 months shy of turning 40 of which I’m rather looking forward to. how come every guy I’ve met lately who has an interest in me is YOUNGER than me? yeah, I’m a hottie for my age, but that’s beside the point. What’s a girl to do?

Sincerely,

Forty and Foxy

Okay, so I added that last part on.

This is my kind of question! What you’re talking about is the oft documented, but seldom pan-gender discussed phenomena of the… duh duh daaaaaa… “Cougar!”

If you don’t know what a Cougar is, you’ve probably been living under a rock for the last couple of years. The term has made a popular surge into the national limelight. Here’s a quick definition:

A Cougar is usually defined as a single woman in her late 30’s to early 50’s who craves the kind of man-love that only a young buck can provide. These ladies of the early evening hotel happy hour search high and low with a veracity usually associated with men. Any man who’s ever been courted, seduced or hit over the head with a crude wooden club by a Cougar can attest to the awesome sexperience that follows.

Now, I’m not saying that you ARE a Cougar. Most likely, you’re not out every night hunting for the young man essence that these creatures so desperately crave. What you’re experiencing is actually what I like to call the Cougar Resonance Effect. It’s a nationally altered mood about the feasibility of Fall-Spring relationships, primarily those involving an older woman.

Traditionally, older men have been the only group that have been culturally approved to grab a young trophy girlfriend. While some may look at it with disdain, there is not a man in the world who does not harbor a tiny bit of pride in their sex whenever they see that. Whenever a silver fox CEO saunters into a bar with what is most likely an exotic dancer of some sort on his arm, he gets a thousand invisible back pats from every dude around. That’s just the truth.

Now, with the advent, acceptance and popularity of the Cougar phenomenon, young men the world over have become open to the idea of dating older women. Why?

Because older women are about 50% less crazy than women in their 20’s. Ask any man who’s dated girls in their mid to late twenties, that’s a time that is RIFE with issues. You’ve got the internal battle with the biological clock, the whole career or kids decision, the search for self, etc. etc. It’s a turbulent time to say the least. One could say that all girls in their 20’s are ostensibly nuts, so why deal with it? Why not wait until they’ve got that shit figured out?

As young men the world over wrestled with that question, the Cougar made her ascent to national popularity. Here, now on the horizon, a generation of men adrift in a sea of eight year long engagements and flirting with people through ghastly means like Myspace or Match.com or whatever, have seen an alternative. And that alternative is stable, beautiful and probably makes more money than they do (which inspires the thought of perhaps… just maybe, a real dutch romance).

The rules have changed. You don’t need to date within your graduating high school year anymore. I’m terribly loathe to use a celebrity example, but hell, that whole Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher thing did wonders for this newly acceptable means of romance.

So there, that’s the reason why you’re meeting so many younger men. What are you supposed to do about it?

Keep an open mind to the possibility. Age is only as important as you make it and everyone loves a little trophy here and there, right? It’s certainly not something that you have to do, but just the fact that it’s accepted now is at least some social progress.

Take part if you like, but at the very least, revel in this little bit of sexual equality that has become all the vogue.

June 7, 2007

154

Filed under: Humor,Wrinkles — missedmanners @ 10:02 am

So I turned 27 the other day. Just saying in case you missed the four billion times I mentioned it in the past couple of weeks. All in all I’m excited for this upcoming year. If you can’t call yourself an adult at 27, shit, when can you? 26 has some sort of immaturity to it, at least for me. 27 was the age my parents got married, so for me it’s the bench mark. I’m not living in a country house lacking plumbing and making pottery, so as far as they’re concerned, I’m successful.

27 is also the year that all my friends tell me that my body is supposed to fall apart. Granted, they told me this at 25 and 26 as well. Like there’s a cholesterol boogey man around the corner just waiting for me to hit a certain age. I get a yearly check up, a thorough physical, mainly as an evidential procedure to merit continuing to live life in the semi Bukowski manner that I wish to emulate. Fortunately for me, this happened right before my birthday and all was, of course, very well. Hence the bacchanalian multi week celebration.

Aging has never really scared me. Besides the fact that I’ve got a family history of dry old man skin to look forward to, most of the family has done it gracefully. In fact, it’s always been something I’ve looked forward to. Mostly in the hope that one of these days my nose is going wither down to a manageable size. So what’s the big deal with 27? Why the hoopla?

Quater life crisis time? A good friend of mine hit 27 a while ago and crumbled under the pressure of not being married and in a dead end job. He went absolutely bonkers, it’s been kind of fun to watch, albeit a little sad. Like a chicken without a head but with a proclivity for late night parties, he’s been all over town, hiding from the original reason he flipped out in the first place.

I never got quarter life crises. If you have one, you’re basically saying that you only examine your life once every twenty five years. Way to succumb and show everyone how mentally lazy you are. But I digress.

Nah. Nothing has changed. My hangovers last an extra hour or so, I still get sore if I try to play a sport. In fact, the only thing that made me take notice of my new age was the elliptical machine at my gym. During my warm up, my target heart rate has always been 155. However, now that I’ve just turned the corner and busted through the border of late twenties land, I only need to make it to 154 to be officially “warmed up.”

Thanks gym machine. And here I was so steadfast in my belief that age ain’t nothin’ but a number. Get offa my lawn.

June 6, 2007

And So it Goes

Filed under: Humor — missedmanners @ 12:31 pm

So the magnanimous birthday season of Dave is finally at an end. We wrapped up the thing with a blow out at our apartment this past Saturday night. Eesh, I put myself through the wringer, party-wise. Definitely was feeling the effects of age on Monday morning.

Annnnnnnnyway, so now we begin the summer. We’ve been grilling every week on the roof, playing mini-putt and just relaxing. I’ve got one hell of a road trip planned at the end of the summer which is sandwiched between the weddings of four of my very dear friends. September is going to be an expensive month, eesh.

I’ve recently come into contact with someone that’s really changed me in a very distinct way, and in a short period of time. Have you ever met someone that’s so put together that they make you take a look at the way you’re running yourself and just laugh at the ineptitude you’ve got going on? All of a sudden all those projects you’d started and dropped look fresh again, those unfinished entries come together. I’ve been spending hours at the keyboard every day, thank god we’ve finally got our air conditioning installed. I’m not sure if it’s motivation or just a desire to impress, but either way the effect has been magnificent.

Oh, and I finally got to shave off my mustache, jeez was that silly couple of weeks. I like going from Diego (as my coworker calls me) to a mild mannered help desk employee or something. Complete with dorky glasses, very Clark Kent.

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