Miss(ed) Manners

July 24, 2007

Ask Dave! Vol. 6

Filed under: Advice,Ask Dave,Humor — missedmanners @ 4:24 pm

Dear Dave,

I don’t know what kind of advice you give, but I’ll give you a shot! I have a ‘friend’ that I’ve known for over 20 years. Throughout the years I’ve made it very easy for her to walk all over me. When we were young, I wanted nothing more than the life she led, so we did whatever she wanted. Now, her life is in shambles, she’s a mediocre mother at best, a volitile wife, and very self centered. I’ve helped her through the mourning of her brother and mother, just a few years apart, I’ve picked her delinquent child up from school when they ‘just couldn’t handle him any more’ and been her marriage therapist. All of her other friends stopped associating with her a couple of years ago because they refused to deal with her drama. I would never turn my back on what are genuinely times of need for her, but I don’t go out of my way to call her, or go out with her when she calls and wants to go hang out. When we do talk, it’s all about her, her life, her problems, her, her, her. I’ve
been her best friend, and she’s been my worst friend, how do I let her know this without a massive amount of drama? I’ve tried in the past to tell her that she couldn’t use me as a door mat and that she had very little if any respect for me, and she just laughed it off. Our families are extensively connected, and I could never just write her off completely. I miss sharing my life with her, but she only seems interested in imposing her life on me, how do I make her a better friend, or at least get her to shut up long enough to share some of my joys and troubles with her, without her taking a phone call, text message or just flat out running me over while I’m trying to share? I will add, that of all the friendships I have, this is the only one that is all give, and no take.
Regards,
Spineless in Seattle.

Oh Spineless! What a nice long letter. Believe that the reply is going to be crazy long and involved, out of respect. We’re talking Kierkegaard long and involved (I just patted myself on the back for a good five minutes for spelling that right the first try).

Let’s tackle that first question really quick. What kind of advice do I give? I give the right advice. In fact, I’m right about everything, all the time. You know how some people measure the passing of time with days, weeks, months and years? I measure mine in “I Told You So Moments.” I live for these.

Seriously though, I like to think that any stranger can give better advice than your friends and family if only because of their distance and objectivity to the issue at hand. Since I don’t know you at all, I’ll be making plenty of generalizations and possibly even some misogynistic comments (these are mostly for humorous effect). You should then take whatever positive information you can glean from my sarcastic ramblings and apply them to your situation. Shall we begin?

You’ve got a frienemy.

A frienemy is the type of person who’s become so involved your life that you cannot extricate them from it no matter how hard you try, no matter how much damage he/she is doing to you and you can’t help but constantly be there for them. Bravo to you for having the socially ingrained politeness that leaves you paralyzed from action.

Normally I’d take this time to say a little spiel about the difference between male and female best friends. How men bond for life and have these great relationships forged in steel and iron and shit like that and how girls habitually stab each other in the back just for the hell of it. Unfortunately, it’s just not applicable here. Frienemies are both male and female.

So we know what she is. She’s a self centered, self righteous, needy, greedy, whiny drama queen who’s become your responsibility. All of your mutual friends have jumped ship and headed to the sandy shores of emotional maturity. You’re her last hope, her only connection to the sane world that she’s long since departed to live in her psycho-centric  galaxy where everything revolves around the strenuous gravitational pull of her massive amount of crazy.

Short answer? Leave this walking baggage claim disaster and move on with your life and be happy. Never look back. Take the path of least resistance and just stop all contact, ignore her calls and slowly drift out of her field of view until she’s all alone more bitter than a Pirate’s fan in September.

But you can’t do that, can you?

At this point you get to make the obvious choice between continuing with the status quo of being doormat number one in front of the outhouse of her life… or taking a stand and saying “No. I will no longer dry the urine stained feet of your problems and issues.”

The choice is clear because urine smells. Especially if you like Vitamin Asparagus Protein shakes like I do.

Let’s make a stand together. First, before we make the figurative emotional stand to her, let’s do an actual stand. Slide the chair back away from the computer, so you don’t hit your knees, that could affect your ability to make stands of any kind for a while. Tense your leg muscles and pull yourself vertical. Feels good, doesn’t it?

Now that you’re standing, go get a drink.

Get me one too. Vodka, rocks. Thanks.

Have any cigarettes? I left mine at the office.

Thanks again, you’re a doll.

You can be seated for the rest of this, I don’t usually require calisthenics from my advice seekers.

Now let’s talk about this confrontation. How do you do it in such a way that she doesn’t go all Lord of Flies on you? This is the hardest question because I’m not so sure that it’s possible. Everything you’ve said in your description of her leads me to believe she’s a grade A psycho who flips off the handle like it’s a diving board and she’s an ornery Greg Louganis.

There will be drama. You cannot tell a self centered person to move the center to a spot equidistant between the two of you and expect for there not to be. What you need to do is take all the emotional distress, draining talks, long phone calls, trampled emotions and wasted days of just giving giving and giving until you have nothing left in one hand… and in the other put the possible drama that could ensue from you telling her that she’s been a selfish, horrible friend for over twenty years.

Betcha one hand seems lighter, doesn’t it?

Now, you want her to be a better friend? That’s easy. Tell her you want her to be a better friend. Tell her how much you value her presence in your life and how you used to look up to her. Tell her the truth, it’s just that simple. Tell her you want to continue being there for her whenever she needs you, just not like this. Not any more. You are not an outhouse doormat (do they even make those?).

She’ll either get loud, angry and upset and then walk off in a huff, or she’ll go completely silent, start laying on the guilt and then start texting an imaginary friend; depending on which type of crazy she is. Either way you should get out of there as soon as possible. Let her know again that you want to still be friends, but that she’s got to start pulling her weight. Then leave her alone to think about it.

That’s the key to this situation, your absence. Put the ball in her court. You make the first move and then let her decide. The most difficult thing for a self centered person to do is something that is expressly the request of someone else. If she takes the initiative to come to you, then she’s coming with intent to change, on behalf of your friendship.

If not, then you’re better off and you can safely say you did all you could.

If the friendship ends there, at least you can look at the situation and say you were honest with yourself and her, which is more than most people can say or do. Get this one right. Life’s too short and complicated to spend it figuring it out for someone who doesn’t appreciate all that brain power.

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July 23, 2007

Like a Goddamned Banana

Filed under: Humor — missedmanners @ 12:08 pm

Like the inevitable procession of the equinox over the countless eons of time is the undeniable truth that following a brutally severe sun burn, I will peel like an old snake in a too small cage at the zoo.

The whole peeling stage of the sunburn process is kind of a shamefully indulgent period. While I can’t go walking around without a shirt, like I love to do, especially in the financial district… I do get to while away the hours by satiating my deep seated need to just pick pick pick.

Is there nothing more satisfying than peeling a piece of skin off your chest the size of a dollar?

What’s that you say? Almost anything would be more satisfying than that? Lies.

Oh and thanks to everyone for the advice on how to handle my incredibly painful sunburn. I appreciate it.

Today I’m going to spend an hour in the steam room at my gym and try to boil the rest of this shit off, bisque style.

I hope you’re all thoroughly grossed out now.

PS: Now that I’ve dried out a little from my morning shower I’ve been pretending that I’m a leper and walking with a limp.

July 18, 2007

Holy Ink

Filed under: Humor — missedmanners @ 12:56 pm

While waiting in line to grab some breakfast this morning I took a brief break from staring at myself in the mirror (looking very good today, I might add) and perused the room. Various people were finishing packing in eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage, kittens, you name it. As is often the case a young woman caught my eye. She was hefting up a large shoulder bag and getting ready to leave. Her shirt was open in the front, not in an obscene sort of way, but enough to allow me to see a ginormous Christian cross tattooed in full color centered directly above her sternum.

It must have been at least a foot tall, judging from where I was standing. I was entranced, that takes some serious testes to get ink done of something like that, in that spot and of that size.

Chest tattoos are the most painful. I’ve heard of guys fresh out of prison going in to get something ridiculous like “Thug Life” put in from nipple to nipple and passing out from the pain.

The only thing that would cover this bad boy up would be a high necked crew tee or turtleneck. Talk about witnessing!

Let me also remind you that tattoos are, for the most part, very permanent. About as permanent as born-again devotion.

The whole image just unsettled me. I was raised religious and reasoned myself out of it by the time I was fifteen. Any time I see a religious tattoo it smacks of zealotry to me. If your faith is secure you shouldn’t need a permanent mark to remind yourself and others that you are a servant of God. It’s actually counter to many of the teachings of the Bible and Christ. Namely the story of the widow’s offering and the lesson of humility in faith and not needing to publicly showcase your faith.

Witness by example, I was always told. Chest tattoos seem a bit much, am I right?

I thought about talking to her about it, but what if some of the things I said eventually led to her renouncing blind faith in favor of personal logic, introspection and objective thought?

Who’d pay the laser tattoo removal bill?

July 16, 2007

Toasted

Filed under: Humor — missedmanners @ 1:29 pm

lobster.jpg

That’s me right there.

Spent the weekend upstate relaxing again, with my terrific gal-pal Sunshine, who’s aptly named because we spent all day Saturday roasting next to a local pond. While I’m a huge fan of having a little color in my cheeks I overdid it quite a bit and I’m currently in pain in all of the following places:

  • Back
  • Chest
  • Arms
  • Face
  • Knees
  • Feet
  • Thighs (which are by far the worst).

I’m thinking of spending the next couple of days wearing satin pajamas and underwear made from aloe extract.

OW.

The worst is we came back to New York and went right to a party where of course there was much hugging and back slapping.

Double OW.

Then there was much merriment and laughter and knee slapping.

Triple OW.

Maybe I’ll go bare back riding or something today.

Quadruple ouchers.

July 12, 2007

Escalating Joy

Filed under: Humor — missedmanners @ 5:39 pm

23105684.jpg   

There’s this outdoor escalator near my office.

Something about being able to smoke while riding an escalator really makes me happy. Sometimes it’s the high point of my day. Which isn’t to say that some of my days are really fucking boring or sad, it’s just an expression of how much it pumps me up.

Disproportionate joy definitely makes my world go round.

Now if only I could find a movie theater where I could smoke, I’d be set. I bet they’d even have escalators in there too.

July 11, 2007

Ask Dave! Vol. 5

Filed under: Advice,Ask Dave,Humor — missedmanners @ 3:25 pm

Dave

I guide my medical care by the thoughtful and insightful commercials by pharmacutical companies. I figure if they didn’t care about my well-being, why would they invest billions of dollars in R&D and informative broadcasts, right?

So here I am, a guy of “a certain age” who is just perplexed by two new drugs.

One such drug (Avodart) is for a swollen prostate and they warn that women should not take this drug…Why are women considering taking this drug? I have to wonder who are these women with swollen prostates?

Another (Detrol) is for older guys who have frequent urges. I have frequent urges but evidently not the kind they are discussing. While it reduces the need to urinate, they mention that it has a risk of reduced semen. By my thinking, the last thing most “older” guys want is an unfortunate pregnancy so this is a good thing…right?

So – if I mix these drugs, will I find myself with less semen when I urinate or …. oy.

Any guidance?

Oh my.

Mr. Any Guidance, you’ve come to the right place!

I know absolutely nothing about following things: Prostates, Women and Pharmaceuticals.

I do however, know loads about semen.

*snicker*

First of all, you’re right to get all of your information on drugs from pharmaceutical company advertising. Due in no small part to their tireless research efforts, big pharma has over the past decade recognized close to a billion new syndromes and have named them with two or three letter acronyms. Thank God because I just wasn’t comfortable calling my erratically jerking legs “Jimmy Feet” anymore. Now it’s RLS, or “Restless Leg Syndrome.”

The best thing about these McSyndromes is that they’ve all got drugs specifically designed to combat them! I mean talk about kismet, right?

So, to the fleshy underside mound of your question. Sounds like you’re entering into that period of male life that we all assume will never happen because we all figured that by 2001 we’d be giant babies floating around in space. Well shit, here you are and your butt nugget is swelling to the size of a grapefruit and you need to choose which drug to take.

Sounds like you’re suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH in pharmobrandingese. I did a little research on Avodart and it doesn’t sound like there are many side effects, though they did mention the whole no women situation, without offering any reason as to why the women would want to take this drug in the first place.

Here’s why I think they might a la David Lynch: Gender confused mother of three sees a horrible murder take place one night and reinvents and alternate personality named Gary who’s a 65 year vigilante. Gary can go places she can’t, he can fight crime like she can’t and he can pee standing up. However, since she’s a woman, she’s got a bladder the size of a thimble and needs to urinate like every fifteen minutes. Now in Gary’s newly developed mind this is a symptom of the early onset of BPH and she gets some Avodart on the AARP grey market.

Now this second drug. The sperm killing one. Funny that they’d name it “Detrol” right? Steer clear of this one. Pardon me while I get graphic: It’s bad enough you’re starting to reach that age where you’ve got to get a camera stuck up your ass every now and then, don’t let them take away the unmitigated joy of propelling ropey jets of man juice all over the place. In fact, don’t take that drug and start doing kegels. Right now.

In a world where the emasculation of the Male sex is happening all the time all you’ve got left is your spunk rocket. We’ve got ED, BPH and the Bravo network. The Greatest Generation is so drugged up you could take one of them, shake them over a Phish concert and get the entire place high. The last thing you need is for your bladder control drug to start working against your manliness. Look into every other kind of therapy possible.

So go get a prescription for Avodart, a target, some magazines, and get to work. All us 20-somethings are pulling for you.

*This installment of Ask Dave has been made possible due to a grant from the GlaxoSmithKline Company

July 9, 2007

Get Experienced

Filed under: Sweaty — missedmanners @ 1:19 pm

I was talking with a friend the other day about doing things.

Nebulous, I know.

A more specific explanation of the discussion would be that we were talking about the reasons we do things. And an even more specific explanation would be that we were talking about why I do some of the weird shit that I do.

I’m a big proponent of just doing things to do them so that you can at least say that you did them. The less actual meaning and palpable learning you can garner from said activity the better. If the story you get from having done what you did will be at least humorous, I’m much more inclined to do said thing.

The best example of this type of motivation would be taken from our actual conversation. She mentioned that she’d heard of a pill that was created some time ago that combatted over-perspiration. As a sweaty type of guy I can appreciate this type of medication. However, this drug takes all the sweat that you’d normally be pouring out of your chest and armpits and instead sends it out your balls.

Interesting trade-off, right? Instead of sporting pit-stains all day, you get permanent swamp crotch to the nth degree.

Then I was asked if this is something that I would try, and the answer was of course, yes. Sweaty balls be damned, imagine how funny it would be telling that story!

Am I alone in this?

July 5, 2007

Best Taco Ever

Filed under: Tacos,Yummy — missedmanners @ 12:20 pm

So this is completely useless to anyone who doesn’t live in New York but I had to share.

Snack Dragon Taco Shack makes the best tacos I’ve ever had. Hands down, bar none, the best.

Go there.

Now.

Just look at that thing! Holy jumping Jesus on a pogo stick, I’m seriously considering splitting from work and going to go get one right nao.

Address: 199 E 3rd St.

July 2, 2007

Proof of Evolution

Filed under: Scuzz,Shit — missedmanners @ 4:18 pm

Filth.

Let’s start from the assumption that back in the day all filth was equally filthy and equally a pain in the ass to clean up. Ancient peoples would spend hours scrubbing their linoleum flooring trying to get out wingtip scuff marks and chewing tobacco spit stains.

However, I am positing, that after having spent a part of my weekend thoroughly cleansing my apartment, I can distinctly see a branch in the evolutionary tree for filth of all species. I came across the two following points:

1) Wood floors that have been partied on far too often will never truly be clean. Even if I take a brillo pad to them and mop with a combination of bleach, hydrochloric acid and my tears from not ventilating the apartment well enough.

2) Bathroom funk is amazingly easy to clean. No stain, blemish or mark that unexplicably resembles blood in a really weird and scary way takes more than a swipe or two to clean away completely.

These facts have led me to this conclusion: Over the past century Water Closet Crud has evolved to fit its chosen ecological niche.

The primary environmental factor that played into the evolution of this particular strain of dreck is of course human laziness and squeamishness. After mentally cataloging all the horribly dirty bathrooms I’ve both inhabited, cared for, spent brief periods of time in with friends, canoodlers and dealers, the empirical evidence would actually suggest that lavatory loam would be significantly harder to clean. However, as we all know, this is not the case.

These findings then suggest that not only has shitter scuzz drastically evolved during the porcelain era, it has also done so intelligently as it has been affected by the overwhelming absence of human intervention. This not only proves the theory of evolution in an ironclad suit of truth and perfect logic, it also incontrovertibly proves that filth is at least smarter than those girls on that tanning salon reality show.

Which isn’t saying much, I know, but those bitches have drivers licenses!

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