Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: men (page 1 of 3)

Which Levi’s Jeans Makes My Ass Look the Best?

youtube

For the last few months, there have been these YouTube advertisements plastered all over the subway platforms, in the subway cars, and even on the subways themselves. They showcase a group of girls who look no more than fifteen years old, and have six million followers each.  I’ve never heard of any of them. Bethany Mota? Michelle Phan? Clearly I’m not in the right demographic.  One aspect that I did notice is that they are “fashion and lifestyle” bloggers.

“I’m doing it wrong,” I tell myself each time I board it a train and see one of these ads. “Why didn’t I become a fashion and lifestyle blogger?”

One morning, not too long ago, as a mariachi band was playing in my subway car, I had a revelation.

“Why couldn’t I become a fashion and lifestyle blogger?” I asked the guitarist wearing the sombrero.  “There are so few middle-aged male fashion and lifestyle bloggers giving advice to other men! The field is completely wide open!”

And that’s how this this post came into existence.  Well, actually, there were two more steps before I get to the post.

First has to do with my dating life.  Or rather it’s lack of existence.  Last week, I was talking to a friend, a recently divorced woman who had already gone on a few dates and was pushing me to join an online service.

Seeking good advice, and trying to change the subject,   I said, “Tell me, and be honest, as a friend. What do women most look for in a man?  Is it his career achievements, his sense of humor, or his intelligence?”

She laughed, saying, “The number one attribute that women look for in a man is — how good his ass looks in a pair of jeans.”

This totally blew my mind.   And then I promptly forgot about the conversation.

This morning, around 10AM, my mother asked if I wanted to go shopping with her at the Macy’s on Queens Boulevard. She received a “Friends and Family 25% coupon” in the mail and she was always up for a bargain.  I hate shopping for clothes, but I agreed, mostly for selfish reasons. Near this Macy’s is a diner that makes a good Reuben sandwich, and there is also a Best Buy across the street, and I wanted to play with the new Samsung phone.

By noon, we were in the department store.

My mother said, “I want to check out some bras,” and I knew this was my cue to go check out the men’s department.

“You know what,” I said. “I could use a new pair of jeans. I’ll meet you back here in a half hour.”

So I went to the men’s department, which is always the crappiest section in every department store, located on the dark and dingy lower level next to the appliances.

I passed by the fancy designer jeans and went straight for the Levi’s against the far wall.   I’m a Levi’s guy.   I mean, other than two brief moments of weakness in my life where I bought other brands of jeans (one was Wrangler in fifth grade and the other was a pair of Gloria Vanderbilt men’s jeans that I would rather not discuss),  I have worn Levi’s all my life. More specifically, I have worn Levi’s 501 jeans since junior high school, never deviating, never changing.

But something changed when I accidentally bumped into this sign.

sign

I had a number of thoughts.

1) Therapy.   Why do I always wear the same style of 501 jeans?   Could my unwavering choice of jeans be symbolic of a lifelong rut,  the equivalent of only eating Cheerios your whole life, or never leaving your house?  Do I need to change up my style of Levi’s jeans in order to change up my life?

2) Dating.  If my ass in jeans was going to be the dealbreaker in any relationship with a woman, I needed as much help as possible.  I wasn’t born with the genes for jeans.   You see, that was clever.   Clever people never have good asses.

3) Commerce.   What if I tried every single style Levi’s jean, making note of which jeans made my ass look the best, and then wrote about it in my first “fashion and lifestyle” post for middle-aged men, inspiring a whole generation to look to me as their sartorial guru?Who knows — by next year, I could be in a YouTube advertisement on the E-train, next to the fifteen year old YouTube stars?

So, that’s how this post was born.  I went into the dressing room, sneaking in every different pair of numbered Levi’s jeans as I could find in the stacks of jeans, dressing and undressing and taking photos under the worst lighting ever known to man , and probably making the men in the others stalls wondering what the hell I was doing in there with all the shuffling and clicking of the camera.

OK, men — so here is what I learned about the various Levi’s Jeans.   Just be advised that your ass might be different than mine.

First up was my old favorite — a pair of 501 jeans.

501

It was important to first try on a new pair of 501 jeans as a “control” subject on which to compare and contrast the other styles.  Every since I entered my first science fair back in the day, I’ve always been very determined to follow the correct scientific approach.

The 501 has an “iconic straight fit,” but as you can see from the photo, it does very little for my ass, and the material by my thigh hangs like the drapes in a summer house.

501_2

I don’t want to badmouth the 501. It is a sturdy, honest choice. And it is the only style of Levi’s jeans with the “signature button fly.”  Sadly, what I once found very cool, hip, and special, I now just see as something that requires extra work when I need to pee.

No to 501. It’s time to move on. Sorry, old friend.

The 505 “Regular Fit” fit pretty good, and didn’t feel much different than the 501s.  Like twin brothers.   The boring twin brother who became the accountant.

505

Described as a “classic, stylish and comfortable straight leg for all occasions,” it felt as generic as the description.  No one ever gets laid wearing the 505s.

No to 505.

The 517 “Bootcut” was the only authentic boot cut that the Macy’s had in Queens, maybe because very few people in Queens ever ride their horses over the Queensborough Bridge to go to Manhattan for brunch.

517

Everything just felt wrong with these jeans. They were too long, and too high, and too much room in the seat. And do cowboys really need so much extra room in the groin area? Maybe now I understand why so many of my female friends have moved to Austin. Unless I was going to attend one of those “City Slickers” dude ranches over the summer, I would feel like a idiot walking around the city in these jeans.

No to 517.

Not unsurprisingly, this particular Macy’s on Queens Boulevard sold every available type of  Levi’s”relaxed fit” style, which I think was a not so subtle way of Macy’s executives telling us that, “You are the Borough of Fat People.”

First up was the 550 “Relaxed,” which is described as “a classic laid-back fit” — and by “laid-back” I think they mean, “jeans for those who used to go to Grateful Dead concerts.”

550

These jeans didn’t enhance my ass AT ALL. In fact, it made it my rear end look even less impressive than it does in real life. This is a jeans for sitting — for an outdoor music festival, for smoking pot with your baby boomer friends, for watching an entire season of Orange is the New Black.

These are not the jeans to enhance your ass.

No to 550.

The 559 “Relaxed Straight” was even worse.

559

These were the worst possible jeans for my build, and the extra room in the rear made it look like I was wearing a pair of adult diapers under my jeans. Not sexy at all.

No to 559.

The 560 “Comfort Fit” continued the slide into denim atrociousness and I imagined old Levi Strauss himself turning in his grave at the thought of his name on these pants.

560

The 560 is roomy in the seat and thigh, but the waist is so high that I could have lifted these pants over my head WHILE still wearing them.

No to 560.

The 569 “Loose Straight Cut” is what I affectionately called “the gangster jeans.” The fact that these pants were the biggest seller in this Macy’s says a lot about the citizens in my neighborhood, and why no one in Manhattan ever wants to come visit me in Queens.

569

I always see young guys on the bus from Flushing wearing these jeans, halfway down their ass, and I never understood how they kept the pants from just falling down around their ankles. Now I know the truth. They don’t keep it up. After taking this photo, the pants fell around my ankles.

No to 569. I don’t want to show that much of my ass.

The 510 “Skinny” jeans gets a lot of press because all the young hipsters wear these in Brooklyn.  I was pretty skeptical about them until I put them on, and you know what – I thought they looked pretty good.

510

Hey, I’m not bragging or anything that I still have “the right stuff.” And sure, I suppose I was a little narcissistic when I climbed on top of the seat, took off my shirt and imagined myself as Mick Jagger singing “Brown Sugar” to the mirror.

And then I sat down.  And the jeans smashed my balls into what could only be described as a vise hold, in what seemed to be a punishment for that #NotAllMen joke I made on Twitter a few weeks ago.

No to 510.

One by one, I compared the jeans.   I was in the dressing room for so long that I forgot about the time. An hour had passed, and my poor mother was wandering around Macy’s looking for me, and freaking out. And then came the announcement, said to the entire Macy’s over the loudspeaker system interrupting the music, “Will customer Neil Kramer please come to the register in the men’s department. Customer Neil Kramer please come to the register in the men’s department. You mother is looking for you.”

So, I never did try all the styles.  I felt bad for mother, and I was hungry for that Reuben.

So, now is the big reveal.   Did I find my Holy Grail of Levi’s Jeans?

And the answer is yes.   The winner was clearly the 513.

The 513 is the “Slim Straight.”  It gives you a bit of the snugness of the skinny jeans, but lets you keep your testicles for future reference.  It is comfortable like the 501, just not as baggy.

513

Look at my ass.  Have you ever seen it looking any better?

I know this post was probably long-winded, something that Bethany Mota or Michelle Phan or any of those fifteen year old superstars would never do in any of their YouTube fashion videos, but remember — this is only my first lifestyle post, so I’m still learning.

Best Advice For Men EVER

Early to bed, early to rise,
Makes a man boring until he dies,
Eat the best food, f*ck all the night,
Wear comfortable shoes before a long flight.

The Recipe for a Happy and Successful Man

Editor’s Note: I know this post is rather odd.   Look at it as an experiment.

Every man instinctively knows the recipe for a successful and happy life. The recipe is as simple as the easiest homemade mac-n-cheese or a basic chicken soup.

The recipe for a man’s happiness contains three ingredients.  I call them Head, Heart, and Groin (or you can that last ingredient Dick, Cock, Johnson, or “the Big Fella,” whatever term you prefer).

If a man can satisfy the needs of each of these essential ingredients of his Life – Head, Heart, Groin – blending them artfully so they all work together reasonably well, he will be a happy man.

Let’s imagine your life as a soup. We are talking metaphor here, not a real soup, although I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there was an actual “Head, Heart, and Groin” oxtail soup  served at some food cart in the Chinese province of Guangdong.

The happy man is our final completed soup, ready to serve.

Sadly, few men are anywhere near Master Chefs when it comes to their own soups. 99% of men are completely amateur cooks.  They brazenly overpower their soups with one ingredient, act cocky and don’t follow the recipe at all, and get so distracted that they burn the pot, or in extreme cases, even burn down the entire kitchen.

Head, Heart, and Groin.  What does that mean?

We all want to —

1) satisfy our intellectual curiosity (Head)

2) love and be loved (Heart)

3) connect physically with another (a polite way of saying “get laid”) (Groin)

These ingredients are easy to find.   If these items were sold in a typical suburban supermarket, we would find them right on aisle 1, next to the other common kitchen staples, such as Heinz Ketchup, Diet Snapple, and Ring Dings.

If the ingredients are so easy to find, and the soup so easy to make, why do we fail to be happy?  If the answer is as simple as a recipe scribbled on the back of an index card, why are there a million self-help books giving us advice?

Most men have one basic problem.   They were never taught to use a measuring cup, so the soup never turns out right.

In my own case, my soup of Life always turns out over-salted, too spicy, or bland.

It’s not that I’m lazy or stupid. I’m working on perfecting my soup all the time, trying new methods and techniques, even adjusting the amounts depending on the life situation.  I just can’t seem to get my soup to taste right.

When I am alone in the house, I over-think every move and action.  My soup is mostly Brain.   It is like I have created a matzoh ball soup with a giant matzoh ball plopped right in the middle of the bowl, allowing no room for the broth.  The matzoh ball absorbs the liquid, and the dish can hardly be called a soup anymore.

This does not create happiness.  Too much Brain makes a bad soup.

One of the reasons I am writing this post right now is because I’m procrastinating from “real” work.  I cannot think today. My mind won’t rest.  I feel like one big brain, with my body irrelevant, and my body doesn’t like it at all.  I just want to take a nap.

When I leave my house, I tend to experiment with my recipe, hoping to adjust the balance of the three ingredients, striving for that perfect soup, and a happy Life.  I do this as a necessity, knowing that Brain soup will never make you friends.   But as an only child, I have always felt somewhat uncomfortable with others.  I think I also have some co-dependency issues, as you can from five years worth of posts about my relationship with Sophia.  When I connect with others, both in real life and online, my soup becomes heavy on the emotion and schmaltz — Heart.

At first, a Heart-heavy soup seems like a perfect recipe for relationships, but too much heart is like too much salt or chicken fat, or in the case of the matzoh ball soup, a matzoh ball that wasn’t molded correctly, so sits in the soup all soggy, crumbling like the New York Jets in this year’s championship game at the mere touch of the spoon.

A Heart-heavy soup is more edible than the Brain-heavy soup, but most people would pass on it the second time.  It gives you heart-burn.   Men who approach life with too much Heart frequently grow irrational, even crazy.  They are rarely happy.  When you see me on Twitter getting petty with you, you know what type of soup I am preparing in my kitchen.

The third ingredient for a man’s happiness is very important, although we sometimes keep this hidden from view, like MSG in a Chinese restaurant.   Without getting into too many of the details, there are specific personal reasons why I’ve been overcompensating my soup with Groin.    Have you noticed how many of my blog posts are all Groin, with little Head or Hearth?  I don’t intend this to be the case.  I just sometimes let the soup kettle boil and boil with too much Groin inside the pot until it is practically jumping off the stove

Some men enjoy being all-Groin.  In matzoh ball soup terms, their soup contains two round matzoh balls, and the matzoh balls can be quite tasty, but the soup is absolutely bland, as if the chef forgot to add anything else to the broth.

I frequently make this type of Groin-oriented soup online, especially in my blog posts, but rarely in real life.  I would be happier if I added more Groin to my real-life soup, and more Brain to my virtual version.

So, there you have it.  The three simple ingredients, the recipe to a man’s happiness.

Of course, I struggle, just like the rest of you, in creating the perfect soup.  My soup is always too much of this, or too little of that.

Being a Master Chef in Life is a difficult task.

A Proof of the Existence of God

Many of you ask me about my religion, wondering if I truly adhere to the belief in an all powerful, all-knowing God.

Here’s what I think: None of us can truly know if God exists, but anyone who admires nature, must see that there is a Grand Organizer serving as the CEO of the Universe. Season come and go, babies are born; life is a perfect cycle, the ultimate musical symphony. Even the parts of life that make no rational sense at first do HAVE MEANING, once we devote ourselves to examining the mysteries. All you need to do is OPEN YOUR EYES.

Let’s take the idea behind aging. We get old and die. It is rather dumb idea. If you were going to create a MAN in your image, would you really go out of the way to make him start out as young and strong, and then, as then as he gets older and wiser, have his body and mind fall apart until he is just plain dead, lying in a hospital bed.

Makes no sense, right? This God should be fired, or at sued, like Toyota is being sued with their faulty accelerators on the Prius.

But hold on. Let’s approach it from another angle — a philosophical method — one operating under the assumption that God carefully and methodically plans life out with an organizer on his heavenly iPad.

This morning I took a walk outside. Summer is approaching in Los Angeles. The flowers are blooming. Women are walking around in tight t-shirts and shorts. I found myself attracted to several of these women. Some were young, some were older.

And what type of thoughts were flying through my head? Yes, the existence of God.

Here’s why —

When you are a man in your early twenties, you spend most of your time trying to get into the pants of a woman your age. All other women seem too old, unless you are a Mrs. Robinson type perv.

As you move into your latter twenties, you notice that your female friends are ALSO in their late twenties. It shocks you to realize that they are actually SEXIER now than women in their early twenties. What happened? They have more confidence, more life experience. Of course, you wouldn’t refuse to hop in the sack with a twenty-two year old, but your age range has expanded, creating more opportunities.

I know every man remembers the moment he turned thirty and opened his eyes, and said, “Holy shit, women in their thirties are f**king hot!” Ten years ago, these would seem like old women. Now they are in their prime. These women have lose their shyness, and it is not uncommon to hear a thirty-five year old woman telling a man on a first date, “How about after dinner we go back to my place, watch the last episode of Lost, and I’ll give you a blowjob you will never forget.” No woman in her twenties would ever say that. Of course, as a man, you are still attracted to women in their twenties. But now, in most cases, you are attracted to women in their twenties AND THIRTIES.

You see where this is going. This natural selection continues as the man ages, so by the time a man is in his eighties, he is interested in fucking every woman from 21-89. Without God lower his libido, can you imagine how difficult it would be for a 90 year old man to go outside without tripping over his erection and breaking his hip?

Luckily, God is merciful. Even with the lessening of the libido, there is a point in a man’s life when he is attracted to women his own age, his daughter’s age, his granddaughter’s age, AND HIS great-granddaughter’s age. The pain is just too much for anyone, and God, in his wisdom, allows him to die.

God exists.

Can I Break My Promise?

We were on the couch, kissing and undressing, when I suggested we go into the bedroom.

“I don’t know.  I’m not sure I feel the same way about you anymore?” she said.

I pulled back, suddenly feeling very alone, like a lonely sailor on a clipper ship on a dark New England shore.

“I need you,” I said, as I reached out to her breasts, the two precious, flickering lighthouses that could save me from my solitude.  “And I thought everything was going so well?”

“It was.” she replied,” her blue eyes showing a restrained affection.   “I once found you so…manly…”

She nervously took out a cigarette from her purse.  I wanted to tell her to quit, just like Schmutzie had done recently, but I didn’t want to make waves.

“And now I’m not “manly” to you anymore?” I asked, my voice trembling.

“It all happened on September 17th.   In the beginning of the month, you promised to blog every day in September, and then, on that infamous day, you said you just couldn’t go on.  You couldn’t handle the pressure.  You broke your promise.”

“I hated blogging every day.  It made me feel so unfunny and self-absorbed and selfish and stupid.  There was even this blogger who sent me an email, complimenting me, saying she wished she could be as productive!  And instead of saying thank you, I sent her a sarcastic email back.  “You want to write every day?  It is easy.  You just ignore all the other bloggers out there, all your friends, and never read their posts, and never comment and act like you are the only voice important in the world, and then you will be able to post every day.”

“That was a bit assholely of you.”

“Yeah, I’ve been a jerk all week.  Sweetney wrote this interesting post that drove me crazy, where she shares her affection for Kanye West after the VMA awards.  She wrote that we must separate the art from the artist, and even said, “I’m a person who has long stated that I would rather be friends with an interesting asshole than a boring nice person.”

“So, do you disagree with that?”

“No, but it got me thinking a few days before the Jewish High Holidays about what is important to me in life.  It made me wonder if I should just be a jerk to the world and only care about myself, because when it comes down to it, people are judging you on your final product and not on how you act in the world.  Theoretically, if I push an old woman down a flight or stairs and then write a fantastic blog post about it, I might even get to win a award for it!”

“You really are losing it.   Just relax.   Blogging is just a silly hobby.  Worry about your REAL work, the stuff that PAYS YOU MONEY, not this shit.  You’re being manipulated by those who ARE making money through blogging to make you think that BLOGGING  is super-important.”

“This is what happens when you blog every day.”

“I still don’t see what the big deal is about blogging every day.  It isn’t nuclear science.  Just put up a video or a photo.”

“Don’t you get it.  No one wants to think about themselves all the time.  And by blogging every day, it is like going into therapy every day.   It is uncomfortable.  It drives you insane.  And then there are distractions all around you, all the time.  Mamatulip wrote a post two days ago where she complained about her inability to get any writing done when her family is around.  Just to cause her more grief, I wrote this nerdy comment on her blog —

I once read this book about being creative and writing — I think it was called The War of Art, but I am not certain, and the thesis was a bit scary — the ones who are going to most frustrate you and hold you back from any creative endeavor are going to be those closest to you – your spouse, your kids, and your best friends, and that you almost had to view them as “the enemy” to get anything done. It made sense because those are the ones who are dependent and love you, and the most fearful of you taking too much time for yourself. I think this author would probably tell you that during those afternoons alone, you need to throw the phone out the window.”

“So are you saying that if you really want to accomplish anything, you have to be an asshole to everyone and ignore your family?” asked the beautiful woman on my couch.

“Have you ever seen a movie about a brilliant musician, artist, or writer who hasn’t cheated on his spouse, ignored his children, chopped off his ear, or committed suicide?”

“No offense, but you are not writing a symphony here.  You are writing a stupid blog about your mother and your penis.  Get over yourself.  No one really cares about you.  No one knows you.”

“You mean Redneck Mommy doesn’t really want to do me?”

“No.”

“What about you?” I said, with a sly smile.  “I thought that’s why you came over and we were making out?”

“Yeah, I was going to f*ck you, but things changed when you decided to quit blogging every day in September.”

“What’s the difference?  I’m still the same person!”

“Don’t you get it?  For a woman, sexy is in the mind.  You were very sexy when you were blogging every day, like you were a Homeric hero on a journey, just like you described yourself in your first post this month.   But once you quit, eh.”

“I’m not quitting blogging.  Just blogging once a day…”

“I’m sorry.  It’s all in the mind.  It’s like now I visualize you kissing my special spot, and then suddenly getting all bored after you get a hair up your nose, and saying, “Can we move on already?”  I want someone who I know can go the extra mile, not a quitter.”

“Are you saying that if I quit blogging for the entire month of September I will be sending the message to others that I will be lousy in bed?”

“I’m not sure I can ever have an orgasm with a quitter.”

“WTF!”

“Yes.  Women are weird.  We think that way.”

“Can’t you just fake it?”

“Sure.  An once you quit blogging every day, all your female blogging friends are going to say, “Oh, Neil, it is fine if you want to quit.  We understand.”  We have a mothering instinct.  We want our sons to try their best, but if they strike out during little league, it doesn’t matter.”

“So, why not the same for me?”

“Because we’re not your mother, asshole.  You already have your mother IN Queens to coddle you.  If you want to be with a real woman, you better be prepared to finish the job!”

“But I will.  I promise I won’t give up!  I’ll never give up.”

She started to close her unbuttoned blouse.

“No!”

“I’m sorry.  Stop reading the phony crap in Cosmo and let me tell you what REAL-LIVE WOMEN talk about in the locker room.  Rule #1 —

If a Man succeeds, he gets a blowjob like no other
But a Man gets zilch if he quits before Rosh Hashana”

“That doesn’t really rhyme, and it is rather insulting to men… and Rosh Hashana.”

“Woman’s prerogative.”

“What kind of double standard is that?  Why do I have to perform like a solider in the Foreign Legion just to prove my worth, my manhood? Why can’t I quit, or fail, or give up — and still get laid?”

“Ooh, Project Runway is on!” she said, turning on the TV.

+++

I can’t quit doing this — blogging every day in September — can I?

+++

Editor’s note:  This was truly an anxiety-producing post.   I had to go to take a nap immediately after I published it.  I’m not sure why yet.   It’s probably about my own shame I would feel if I quit doing something as unimportant as a month of blog posts.  Why would I react so strongly over something so silly?

Even more troubling — do I feel I am not worthy enough to be in a normal relationship until I prove something?

Fall is a time of introspection.

Shana Tovah to my Jewish friends!   A happy, healthy, and joyous New Year.

Feminists Ruin Everything

clinton

It’s one thing to have a woman run for President, or become a CEO, but enough is enough.  It’s not fair.  You keep on infringing on our territory, without giving us anywhere to go.  You can wear a dress.  You can wear pants.  We can wear pants.  Can we wear a dress?   Of course not!   We would be mocked by you!   You don’t even like us to cry.

It used to be that our penis made us unique.  But like Delilah, you feminists will do anything to further your cause in destroying the men you hate so much, slowly pushing us towards the end of the cliff.   First you start using all these exotic vibrators, making us irrelevant in the bedroom.  Seriously, how can we compete with an electrical object made in Japan?  They are like a Sony TV or a Honda Civic — they never break!

vibrator1

And seriously, how many men do you know with a nine inch erect penis?    We see the disappointment on your face when we undress.  We do.

Next, you infiltrated one of our special male clubs — the “peeing” standing up club.   What evil feminist invented the P-Mate, Female Freedom?  God should strike you down.

pee

I’m sure some of you have sons.  Do you remember that look on your son’s face the first time he held his dick in his hand and pissed on your flowers in the backyard.  Pure glee.  Power!  The greatest day of his life.  I remember that day better than my bar mitzvah and wedding.  That’s when I really became a man.   Peeing standing up is for MEN!  Some things should not change.  I believe in equal rights.  I believe gay men should be married.  But c’mon, women, we STAND when we pee.  You don’t.

boypee1

Yesterday, events took a turn for the worse.  I was beginning to accept these new gender roles.  I am a liberal thinker, and secure in my manliness.  I can live in a world with a woman president who uses a vibrator at night and pees standing up.   But this —

bra

The Smart Memory Bra by Lisca lingerie senses a woman’s arousal through her body’s heat, then squeezes her boobs together accordingly.  The integrated memory foam bra reshapes under the influence of heat to enhance cleavage, so when she becomes excited, her larger breasts will indicate to others that she is horny.

What is this?  It is a publicly visible female hard-on!  Is this really necessary?   We enjoy your mystery.   We don’t want to see your breasts tell us that you are horny.   Stop it women.  This is the one male thing left to us that you should not steal — our overtly visual sign of arousal.

hard

Two Thoughts About Women

1.

Yesterday, I chatted with a guy on Facebook.  He was someone I didn’t know, but he seemed to know me.  He noticed that we had befriended many of the same bloggers.

“A lot of married women, right?!”  he joked.

“Yeah,” I said, not sure where his thought process was heading.

“Which of them do you think is the hottest?”

“The hottest?  I don’t know.  They’re all pretty nice.”

He gave me his opinion of someone’s “hotness.”  I wasn’t quite sure what this guy was comparing — the hotness of the profile photos, the writing, or their status updates?  I assumed he was talking about the photos, but hasn’t this guy ever heard of PHOTOSHOP?  I look better than George Clooney on my profile pic thanks to the fine folks at Adobe!

Is this how most normal guys talk to each other in private?  I didn’t even know this guy and we’re already rating women on their curves?

“Whooa… nice babe in the red!” he wrote to me.  He was looking at my blog.

I clicked onto my url because I wasn’t sure what he was talking about.

He was looking at the “poster” from the Blogger Arts and Crafts show.

“That’s Erin!” I scolded him.  “She’s a blogger I know.”

“She’s… hot…”

This annoyed the hell out of me, as if he was checking out the ass of my sister.

“Hey, she’s married and I don’t think she would appreciate us talking about her like a sex object.”

“OK, OK… whoa.   You call her a “hot babe” in your own post.”

“That’s different.” I replied.

“Why?”

Oooh, that was a good question.  The only thought that popped into my head was that if I am going to be sexist or inappropriate, I should do it to the person’s face, or at least read her blog first.

I remember once seeing a photo of a blogger friend in a tight t-shirt.   A few days later, we were chatting on IM.

“Susan, I have to tell you that you have great breasts!” I said.  “Your husband is so lucky!”

“Really?  Thanks!  LOL”

Was I wrong for saying that?  Of course I was.  Was I being honest in expressing myself to a friend?  Absolutely.   And notice how I mentioned HER HUSBAND, as if I was congratulating him as well.  My comment was not wrong or hateful.  In fact, it was all about beauty, family values and a celebration of their marriage!

But mark my words — if some guy took me aside at BlogHer and whispered, “Check out Susan’s tits!” I would punch him in the nose.  That is just rude.

2.

A relative died this weekend and my mother is going to Massachusetts on Monday to attend the funeral.  We had already bought tickets to a revival of “Pal Joey” tomorrow night at Studio 54, so now I had an extra ticket.

“Who should I ask?” I wondered.

A couple of weeks ago, I met a friend of a friend, a single woman.  I thought she might enjoy going to the show instead of my mother.  But just as I was about to contact her (I chose email rather than the phone, of course), the same fears and insecurities that have been plaguing me since junior high, when I had a secret love for Jane Goldfarb, came to surface.  This was a disappointment.  I was confident that years of marriage would have given me the inner strength to combat that age-old fear of the opposite sex, but it was exactly the same feeling that I remember — that fear of rejection, now mixed in with a new more-adult anxiety — the equally debilitating fear of success.  What if it goes WELL?!   What then?!

My intention is NOT to date this woman.  I just have an extra ticket.  But won’t she assume that I am asking her out on a date?  And what’s so wrong about that?  Should I remind her in the email that I am still married, and that I know she knows that I am still married?  Will she think I am a two-timing cheat?  What if she says no?  Will she feel uncomfortable with me if I meet her again at some party?  Should I just write in the email “Oh, I just happen to have an extra ticket…” to make it seem less than a date?  Or does that sound rude, like I really don’t give a crap and just asked her because she’s available?  How can I make this sound like it isn’t a date, but still give her the hint that I am asking her for a nice reason, and that I think she is smart and funny, yet I still looked at her ass that night, even though I shouldn’t have done that?  And you know what — I’m not even sure she’s doesn’t have a boyfriend.  Should that matter?  If we aren’t dating, what’s the big deal?  If some guy you just met called you up and asked you if you wanted to go to the theater, would you think it was a date?

I am now at McDonald’s writing this post.  I was going to title it something like “Wimping Out,” because I am deciding to call a male friend to go with me instead of driving myself crazy.

But you know what, I’m tired of portraying myself as wimpy in this blog.  I am not that wimpy.  I just have trouble making decisions sometimes because there are too many different scenarios playing out in my mind at once.  Maybe that is why I am good at Hollywood pitch meetings.  If a producer doesn’t like the guys driving a Corvette, — hey, they can drive a tractor instead!  But this type of creative thinking is BAD in real life.  It makes me too passive.  And what is the worst that can happen if I ask her?  She can say no.  I can French kiss her in the taxi cab on the way home?  She can fall madly in love with me and I tell her that I am still married and break her heart?    I can find her BORING and can’t wait to get home and go on Twitter?

F*ck you all.  Why am I always presenting myself as more fearful of life than I really am on this blog?  Am I doing it for your amusement?  Am I afraid that I would have a boring blog post if I actually enjoyed myself and only had positive stuff to write about.  And what do I care what you think?   This blog is not making me one cent, you social-climbing, self-absorbed…

OK, OK, calm down.  Don’t transfer your anger and frustration onto your readers.  They mean you no harm.  They like you.  Or at least they like “you” on the page — the one they think they know.  In reality, they are as weak as you, despite their bravado and their shiny happy blog headers.

And what about Sophia?  Is she going to mind if I invite this woman to the theater?  Why would she care?  F*ck it.  What’s it to her?  I’m doing anything wrong.  I’m asking one woman to go to one musical with me on a Monday night because my mother is going to a funeral in Massachusetts! What’s the f*cking big deal?!

OK, I’m leaving McDonald’s and going upstairs to email her.

I don’t want to ever hear anyone ever call me a wimp again.

Update:  She can’t make it tomorrow, so I am going with a gay male friend.

More Angst: A Question for Married Female Bloggers

I’m a crazy guy with marital issues who currently lives with his mother and talks about his penis all the time. You’re an attractive, intelligent married woman with two children. We both blog.

Can we ever really become friends?

Was I “safer” as a male blogger when I was living with Sophia? Should I steer away from commenting on your cleavage in every Flickr photo, even after ten other women did the exact same thing? Should I even try to say hello to you on IM or does it seem like I am on the prowl, especially after I admited to my one night wild online sex email night? Do you think it bothers the Palinode that I am better friends with his wife, the better-looking Schmutzie? If I were travelling in your town, would your family put me up for the night? Would your husband care if he caught us in bed together during the afternoon, even though we were only eating malomars and watching “All My Children” (but in the nude, since it is the best way to watch soaps). Is there a way to be a buddy with you, respecting you wit and intelligence, while at the same time, acknowleging that I am a man and you are a woman, and that I am not your gay sidekick from Sex in the City?

Imaginary IM Conversation:

Me: “.. so anyway, you just click on that WordPress plugin, and that should take care of you blog backups..”

She: “That was so easy. Thanks, Neilochka. You Rawk!”

Me: “Oh, and I saw that new photo of you on Facebook. Wow, your breasts are amazing! Your husband is one lucky man.”

She: “Thanks, I’ll tell Jim you said so. You coming to the BlogHer pajama party on Saturday?”

Me: “Absolutely. I’m already working on the Swedish meatballs for the pot luck.”

She: “Mmmm. All the girls can’t wait to see you. We loved how you felt us all up — one by one — during the night. You have such big… hands! Jim thought that was so funny and… typical of you. Are you going to be doing it again this time?”

Me: “If it is OK with Jim and the other husbands…”

She: “Sure, sure. They love it when we have a good time with you. I mean, we work so hard during the week with the kids. Why shouldn’t we have some fun?”

Me: “Jim’s a great husband.”

She: “He’s the best, and a good provider. And despite whatever problems you have with Sophia, it’s wonderful that she is understanding, too. It really isn’t such a big deal that your female blog friends enjoy giving you oral sex so much. She knows that it isn’t serious — only a form of affection for our “Neilochka.” We consider it more “social media” and “community building.””

Me: “My community is building right now thinking about it… if you know what I mean.”

She: “LOL (spits diet Coke onto monitor) You are so… funny!”

Are Mojitos Gay?

I am writing a screenplay with another writer back in Los Angeles.  We get along well, but waste a lot of time getting into ridiculous arguments on the phone about the direction of the scenes.  The problem is that we have different word views about men, women, and relationships.  I am married.  He is not.  I have interests that could be considered “metrosexual” — like enjoying Broadway musicals.  He is more of a guy’s guy who watches sports every night.  I find many of his ideas sexist and filled with stereotypes.  What bothers me the most, is that I have a nagging feeling that his views better match that of the average American movie-goer, who is usually an idiot.

We are working on a comic scene where our two lead characters go to a bar, try to talk to two hot babes, and then get rejected for some funny reason.  He calls me with an idea:

“The two guys are talking to the hot girls, both with great tits, and everything is going well, and then the bartender brings the guys over their drinks — and it is two mojitos — and the girls look at them funny, as if they are gay, and then split.”

“What?  I don’t understand.” I ask.  “The girls with the tits LEAVE because the guys ordered mojitos?”

“Yeah, they think the drink is gay.”

“That is ridiculous.  I like mojitos.  I thought they were supposed to be trendy.  And no girl is going to leave because a guy ordered a mojito.”

“You haven’t been to the bar where I go.”

“That’s because you go to some stupid redneck bar.  Which is a little weird, considering that you are Japanese.  But our characters live in Hollywood.  They’re cool guys, like the guys in Swingers.  They would have no problem ordering mojitos in a hip bar.  And no girl would have a problem with a mojito, or think they are gay.  I’m not putting that into any script with my name on it.”

“Ok, so let’s make it like they order two of those fruity drinks with the umbrellas?”

“Like Mai Tais?”

“Exactly.”

“I like Mai Tais, too.”

“They’re pretty gay.”

“What is the matter with you?    Are you saying that if I go into a bar and order a Mai Tai, everyone around me will think I am as gay as Clay Aiken.”

“Yes.”

“That’s bullshit.”

“What do you know?  You never go to bars.”

“Well, make believe it was a Tiki bar, like Trader Vics.”

“Our scene is not in a Tiki Bar.”

“Still bullshit.  And I don’t appreciate these lame gay stereotypes.”

“Why, are you gay?”

“No, I’m not gay.”

“So, what do you care?”

“Because it is stupid.  You know, the next time I am in a bar, I’m going to order a Mai Tai just to f*ck with your mind.”

“Not with me there.”

“Are you homophobic or something?”

“No, but if I am in a bar wanting to get laid, I’m not going to give off the message “I am gay” to the girls by ordering a mai-tai.”

“So, what are you saying — that if you order a scotch, you’re sending the message, “I have a big dick.”

“Even gay guys will say a mai-tai is gay.   Ask one.”

“You want me to ask some gay guy if he thinks a mai tai is gay?  That’s insulting.   There is no such thing as a “gay” drink.  There are gays who like lemonade and gays who like Diet Coke.”

“Ask around.  Ask all the women on your blog.  I guarantee that they’re all going to say that if they went out on a date with a guy and he ordered a fruity drink with an umbrella — that something is different about this guy.”

“What if I was Hawaiian, a manly Hawaiian, but this drink reminded me of home.”

“Even Hawaiian guys don’t drink those fruity drinks with umbrellas.”

“What if I just came back from Hawaii, where I f*cked seven different girls, and I am drinking this Mai-Tai because it reminds me of how manly I was while I was there, and how I f*cked a different girl every night, and I tell this story to one of the girls, and she gets totally turned on by me drinking a fruity drink with an umbrella, because she knows it means I am a total stud.”

“Sorry.  She will still think it is gay.”

“What if after I finish the drink, I take the umbrella and stick it in my arm without showing any pain, to reveal how manly I am.”

“OK, you got me there.  Then she would f*ck you.”

“Great.  Let’s write that scene.”

Three Years Ago on Citizen of the Month:   The Funeral

What I Can Teach Neil About Making a Women Really Really Happy!

Today’s guest poster is Linsey from Uncouth Heathen.  I knew she was special from the minute I read her About page:  “I began with a major in Biochemistry, switched to History, then Political Science, Philosophy, Psychology, English and finally settled on Humanities, graduating after eleven (11) years of haphazard learning. I now possess a degree that qualifies me to do exactly nothing at all.”  Now that’s my kind of blogger.  When I noticed that she was gay, I decided to get personal — and make her write an entire post for my benefit:  “What I Can Teach Neil abut Making a Women Really Really Happy! ” After all,  most of my male blogging comrades seem to be clueless.  “If you want to impress a woman online, send her a photo of dick!” said one guy.   “The way to make a woman happy is to jump on her the first thing in the morning and three minutes later ask “What’s for breakfast?”  Oh, and driving her around in a sports car.” said some male blogger who went to BlogHer this year to pick up women.  Linsey ended up writing a wonderful post that completely gets to the point.  It also taught me something important.  Linsey, why aren’t you a therapist?

What I Can Teach Neil abut Making a Women Really Really Happy! (or “For The Record, Asking If She’d Have Sex With A Mannequin Will Only Make Her Really, Really Uncomfortable”) by Linsey

Before I started to write this on Sunday night, I asked my wife, Janie, if she was happy. I didn’t tell her why I was asking because I wanted an honest answer. Perhaps I wanted to feel like I had something to say here and her happiness was some sort of special credential I needed to carry on. I was certain she’d tell me she has never been happier in all her life; that she would go on about how every day with me is like nothing else in the world that matters and nothing can dampen her joy, not even the asshole who keeps cooking hamburgers in the bathroom at her work. As it turns out, my wife is not happy, generally speaking. Ain’t love a bitch. Thank you, Mr. Citizen of the Month!

After a long discussion into the wee hours of Monday morning about how Janie can be happier, I decided to attack it at another angle. I thought I’d get better feedback (feedback that didn’t involve my crying wife asking me how she could have wasted her best years) from my sister and her husband who have been married for over ten years. On our ride into work Monday morning, I asked them what they thought it took to make a woman really, really happy. My brother-in-law said that asking a question like that was akin to asking who God was. My sister shot him a look the likes of which I hope never to see again, there was some cursing, a few hurtful things were said at high volumes and then they stopped talking for the last 15 minutes of the ride.

On Tuesday night, I asked my dad how he has managed to keep my mom happy for the 41 years they’ve been married. He couldn’t hear me. His eardrums are damaged from 41 years of my mother’s screaming and I suspect that his refusal to get a hearing aid has something to do with that, too. I can’t ask my brother because we don’t talk anymore. Besides, his current girlfriend has broken up with him no less than 30 times in the last year and, well, that doesn’t sound like happiness, to me.

If you’re looking for an answer from me or anyone in my family, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. I’m with comedian Wanda Sykes on this one: “You can’t make a woman happy. That’s like trying to cure a fatal disease. The goal is to treat the symptoms so you can comfortably live with the illness.”

What I think she means is that I am not responsible for the happiness of any woman other than myself. That’s the same thing my therapist has been telling me for five solid years. What I guess I’m trying to say to you, Neil, is that you can’t be responsible for the happiness of any other woman than yourself, either.

In the absence of any personal or familial wisdom on the matter, I did some serious Internet research and found this article dating back to the summer of 2006. If you don’t want to bother reading it, let me just skip to the part I think you may want to know. The article quotes a gentleman who heads up something called the Happiness Project wherein he states that “the major cause of unhappiness for women in the 21st century is a lack of meaning: What’s the point?” Maybe if you want to make a woman really, really happy you have to help her find meaning. But you know what? You can’t always help someone find meaning in their life. Like my wife, for example. She’s a librarian. She has a degree in motherfucking Information Science and she hates that god damn library. That doesn’t have anything to do with this, I just wanted to say that because what the hell is that about? I want my $20,000 in graduate school payments back, with that attitude.

Next, I came across this BBC article from 2002, wherein so-called scientists “discovered” that semen makes women happy because “the mood-altering hormones in semen absorbed through the vagina help to boost women’s mood.” What this looks like to me is that some guy got tired of wearing a rubber and wanted to prove to his girlfriend that really, in the end, it was going to benefit her. Sure, there’s the off-chance there might be unwanted children or a burning itch in her genitalia, but she’ll be so happy on account of that semen that nothing else will matter! Well, let me just tell you something to prove this bullshit wrong, and it isn’t about me and how happy I am without semen in my life because, you know, if I had some of that I’d impregnate my wife and save us a few thousand dollars in fertility treatments. I’d be able to spend that fertility money on better things like booze and Ikea furniture. Let me share a story about my friend. We’ll call her Karen. You see, Karen and her husband are trying to have a baby. Trying really hard. They’ve each had fertility tests, she’s had surgeries and, apparently, a lot of the sexual relations, but she’s not happy. A neighbor recently offered her husband a “#1 Dad” Mariners t-shirt and she started to cry because she thought he was mocking their misfortune, their inability to have the child they so desperately want. A child they’ve been having so much sex in an attempt to conceive that she should be shitting rainbows and unicorns and mountains of whatever mythical creature signifies happiness to you, on account of all that sperm being showered into her vagina. But she’s not. In fact, she’s now refusing to allow semen into her body more than once per week because, in her words, “please, who needs that much spunk in their hoo-ha?” It doesn’t seem like semen is the answer to me, or to Karen.

The search for meaning seems like a good starting point to finding happiness. I know that I’m constantly searching for meaning. Why am I here? What is this life all about? Why is Living Lohan still on the air? There are so many questions and, I believe, we are all asking them, conscious or not. If you want to make a woman happy, you need to work on two separate things: First, search for your own answers, and then help her along, supporting her as you travel that path together. The reward of relationships is the journey, in discovering together what it means to be alive, to have a purpose. It’s like they always say in those episodes of (NERD ALERT!) Janie’s favorite show, Xena: Warrior Princess, especially the ones where I’m certain that during the commercial breaks Xena and Gabrielle are enjoying relating to one another, if you know what I mean. And what I mean is that they’re sweaty and naked and having dirty homosexual lesbian lady gay sex. I’m sorry, I got distracted. Lucy Lawless has the nicest teeth. Anyhow, relationships are about what you can learn from one another, how each can make the other a better person. It’s like how Xena is less murdery because Gabrielle is such a pussy and how Gabrielle finally learned how to kick a guy in the balls because Xena told her where they were. Lesbians don’t always know that sort of thing.

The truth is that I don’t know how you or anyone else can make a woman really, really happy. I know that I’m happiest when I find a purpose to my existence, however small it may be. Tonight I brought my beautiful wife some M&Ms because she was having a bad day. When I gave them to her, she looked at me with joy in her eyes and said that I always knew just what she needed at any given time. For that brief moment I knew my purpose was to bring bags of candy-coated chocolate pellets to the woman I love. Then she took her shirt off to reward me and I had a whole new purpose that I can’t talk about here.

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