In This Issue:
- Punk Pesach: How to have the most irreverent seder ever plus a downloadable haggadah ().
- Worst Date Ever: A short review of a completely repulsive evening. It’s relatable! Unfortunately.
- Eternal Flame: On “functional morbidity” and embracing the creep.
2017 has been a wild ride so far, and we’ve only wrapped Q1. With this in mind, when a friend and I started text-shouting OI OI OI back and forth one morning last month, somehow Punk Pesach seemed like a natural fit. Passover is my favorite holiday to host- something about insane standards and high stress dinners appeal to me- except this year I vowed we would ‘take it easy’ and make it into something fun. So in order to take it easy and go light on myself, I agreed to host 9 people in my studio apartment, make dinner and create an abbreviated haggadah for us to use.
For those of you not familiar with Passover, here’s a really quick run-down: It’s a roughly week-long festival, during the first 2 nights you celebrate by attending seders, which are typically super long (and sometimes kind of dull), before you can have dinner and be merry, you read the story of Passover from a haggadah, which is like a little guidebook for the seder. Seder just means order- so read this book, do it in order, et voila, you have pesach-ed.
This year I think was my favorite year ever for Pesach, I was delighted that everyone got into the round robin reading of our super short seder, especially those of my friends who created a character for their reading. To any concerned grandmas out there- we all went to a super respectable Social Justice seder the next night, so don’t worry to much about us. Worry a little bit- but not too much.
Below is the abbreviated Haggadah I created for the occasion, feel free to snag it for yourself! All content (hand lettering, illustrations, storytelling) was created by me, except for the prayers, because I’m not 1000 years old. It prints double sided and folds in half, and cost about 2 bucks at Fedex for 15 copies, so it’s economical too!
Worst Date Ever
Warning- this story is a bummmerrrrrr! I guarantee every woman you know has one of these.
Getting back into the dating scene can be kind of rough- it can also be super fun and entertaining. The above was not one of those dates. One common question I get on first dates is, “What is the worst date you’ve ever been on?”; I think part of it is simple curiosity, since most dudes don’t go on nightmare dates, and the other part may be a kind of gauging, like, what does this chick consider bad?
I used to have to think about it for a minute, I usually picked a disappointing date from my early 20’s in LA where I found out a guy I was really into wanted me to be his *second* girlfriend, is in, not second ever, but currently had one, wanted two. That was until I met Mr. Charmer above- who was *so* nice to me (as he kept assuring me).
This date was so alarming that I actually deleted my online dating profile for a few months and was a little afraid he might be lurking around my apartment building some dark and rainy night- this isn’t theatrics for the sake of a blog, the above is the ‘funny’ version of what happened. The truth is, all of those behaviors were highly alarming and scary in person, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to get away from him without things escalating. I’m writing about this because I think too many people still think that no one could be this bad, and that women are exaggerating how difficult it is just to exist as a single woman in a dating atmosphere (or any atmosphere, for that matter).
So here’s how this whole thing went down- I saw this guy on OKC (because of course it was OKC), and he looked like… cute lanky creepy goth dude- one of my favorite types. Not bad creepy, just, down with dark clothes and pea-coats creepy. So we start exchanging messages (I think he messaged me first), and we get along fine, he has a lot of interesting stories, and it turns out we have a friend in common from the LA goth scene. We talk on the phone a couple times, and decide to meet up. He plans a date at a trivia night at a bar close to my apartment.
The night arrives, and I’m waiting to meet him in my favorite coffeeshop- he’s almost an hour late and when he does arrive… he’s about 10 years older and 60 lbs heavier than his photos indicated- he’s also missing the majority of his hair, however, he has kept what must be his favorite coat from back in the day. It does not fit him. I don’t say any of this to be catty- if he had represented himself as he was, and we had talked, I still would have gone out with him on the strength of his personality over the phone and the fact that he was close with our mutual friend. However, he did not represent himself as he is, so I was a little shocked. However, as a woman, I’ve been trained to be polite above all else, so I do my best to act normal, because somehow this is my problem, not his.
Over the phone, we had been playful and easy in conversation.. in person, things were more difficult. He was self conscious to the point where he seemed confident in that- as if to say, “Aren’t I sweet for how nervous I am? I’m endearing myself to you, aren’t I?”. He was not.
I decided to proceed with him to the trivia night to see if maybe a little bit of time might ease him up and at worst it would be a bland date. I was very wrong- had I the night to do over again, or any advice to give, I would say the minute someone sleeves you out- just go. Go anywhere else, don’t give the heebie-jeebies a chance.
At the bar he made a big deal about paying for my drink, and telling me what a gentleman he was for doing that. He also said multiple times that I should lighten up, because he was being so nice to me. I was clearly tense and not into the constant touching that had now come into play- putting his arm around me, holding my hand (his palms were sweaty), taking my hand back when I would remove it, etc. As I got more and more uncomfortable all I could think was that I just had to get through this round of trivia, then I could make my excuses and go home. I took every chance to leave the table, and ended up answering for all of the white board rounds up with the host.
On the way back from one of these rounds, he stood to let me back to my seat, but instead of stepping aside, he grabbed me in a way that pinned my arms to my sides and pulled me into a kiss. In a room full of strangers, who, not knowing the context, cheered and ‘awed’ at the spectacle. I did nothing to indicate I wanted to be kissed, or to return the kiss- my entire body was stiff as a board. So that was… gross.
At the end of the night, he insisted on walking me home. When I didn’t invite him to stay the night, he ended up throwing a tantrum about how late it was, and that he had ridden the bus all the way across town to accommodate me (I never asked him to), and how dare I send him away? He told me that if I sent him away now, that would be it- we would be over, and I would never see him again. Which I sincerely hoped was true! So off he went, and I heard from him the very next day, I did not respond.
I have since reactivated my online dating profile, which he continues to check every few days. All of this is just. Gross.
One of the very best parts of the last year of my life has been embracing all the weird stuff that makes me, well, me. I’ve always heard that happens as you get older- I have to say, it’s certainly just less exhausting, and way more fun just to be myself. I’ve tried to fit into a lot of molds throughout my 20s that just weren’t for me. I think this week I’ve really reached peak ‘Grace’ though.
The first part of that was a routine trip to Powell’s last weekend, where I picked up “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes and Other Lessons From The Crematory”. If you’re into dark/funny memoirs, I highly recommend this book. In particular, I read a phrase that completely struck me- Caitlin Doughty describes her childhood as “functionally morbid”, and I thought, “Me too!”. She goes on to describe that term as being generally a normal, happy go lucky person who has some um.. darker interests. I started drawing my name in bones as soon as I could spell it, and by 4th grade I had read every scary story/paranormal book in the school library. My teachers were so concerned that they called a meeting with my dad about it. I couldn’t help it- the stories scared the heck out of my, but I was hooked.
In addition to this completely fascinating memoir, I was also introduced to the podcast “My Favorite Murder”, which is 2 comedians, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark discussing their favorite true crime stories. I’ve been completely immersed (and maybe sleeping with an extra light on). If you’ve got a slightly morbid sense of humor and a love of scary stories, you should definitely check it out.
One of the things I really appreciate about the book and the podcast is the frank and open discussion of anxiety. I guess when the main subject matter is as taboo as it is, anxiety is small potatoes, but I really appreciate that there are successful interesting women out there talking about dealing with anxiety in a high profile way.
So I guess I feel like it’s all coming full circle this year- it turns out more people are into my weird skeleton art than not, and there are more creeps like me out there in the world than I assumed. Functionally morbid kids unite!