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Archive for the ‘evidently not that kind of girl’ Category

NTKOG #117: The kind of brash Blanche Devereaux type who, when she catches eyes with a man, starts tossing out compliments like Mardi Gras beads.

I am: the girl who — stepping in front of the register at Dunkin’ — takes one look at the cashier and squeals: “I looooove your earrings!”

I am not: quite so keen on extending the same charm to men. God forbid they think I’m after something other than their brains.

The Scene: Bank of America, depositing a few checks for my office. The teller behind the counter is one of those good-looking guys with an almost feminine face that he tries to mask with designer stubble; judging by his gunmetal silver shirt and Kenneth Cole pocket square, I’d wager he’s one of those guys who falls on the side of uncool only because he’s convinced he’s so extremely cool. One of those people everyone loves at first sight then likes less and less. But even if I’m wrong about the personality, I can tell he’s not my type.

As he glances down at my deposit slips, his eyes flutter for a moment and, oh, he’s got the thickest, longest eyelashes I’ve ever seen outside of a Revlon commercial. If he were a woman, I would have immediately cooed, but because he is a man — and, worse, a man who might think I’m angling to sleep with him — my instinct is to check my tongue. But hey, I’m not that kind of girl, right?

TKOG: My god, you’ve got the most beautiful eyelashes! They’re spectacular!
Definitely Not Wearing Mascara: Women always say that. They’ve been saying that my whole life.
TKOG: That’s because they’re jealous. Hell, I’m jealous.
DNWM: That’s sweet of you.

For the rest of the day, I thought all was right with the world. I complimented a man! He didn’t take it awkwardly or give me a look dripping with letting-you-down-easy! We were able to interact completely platonically on a lady-dude-to-dudely-dude level of discussing physical aesthetics!

Then it all went downhill. Over the next few days, when I came in to make deposits, he escalated our chitchat to the degree that I had to take out both earbuds instead of only one. By Wednesday of the next week, he had complimented my dress. The unpleasant encounters came to a head when I dropped off a deposit after the 3:30 rush on Friday afternoon.

DNWM: So what’re you listening to all the time?
TKOG: Oh, y’know, everything. Gregorian chanting, commercial jingles. Right now I’m listening to Stevie Wonder.
DNWM: That’s cool. I go to lots of concerts around here. I’m going to one this weekend, actually.
TKOG: Sweet.
DNWM: Do you have any plans this weekend?
TKOG: Uh, I’ve got to clean my apartment and reread The Great Gatsby oh my god look at the time I’ve got to go bye.

The Verdict: This is why I don’t compliment men. Not because I’m the type of raving narcissist who imagines any guy would fall for her immediately (HA!), but because Murphy’s Law says that any guy I’m seriously not interested in will be the like one guy in five thousand who falls for my accidental charms. That way when I tell the universe, “Dude, seriously, can you not show me some damn love here?” the universe can be like “remember that guy at the bank? geez, all you ever do is complain” and it will be technically right.

I think I’m just going to stick to complimenting women. They’re lovely creatures who smell good and know that I don’t want to hook up with them. That’s as high-pressure as I can get.

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A couple more days to enter to win a friggin’ iPod Nano! It’s red! And gets radio reception, apparently! I wouldn’t know because my iPod is like a 64kb iPod Mini. (Also, dudes, sorry for being totally blog-world absent this week: the computer at my new office doesn’t. do. internet.)

NTKOG #107: The kind of ethanol-fueled writerly type who knocks back a snootful in the privacy of her own parlour then commences to Creating Literature.

I am: partial to: 1) the occasional snort of brandy; 2) my own company; 3) pretending, and often, to be F. Scott Fitzgerald.

I am not: an alcoholic.

The Scene: My apartment. Alone. I’d spent a Saturday night out celebrating Porn Star’s birthday with Anglophile and some of his friends — a rambunctious night, capped at a skeezy bar ’til the last train home — but maintained only a buzz due to some combination of the prohibitive cost of alcohol and the fact that Porn Star and Anglophile are non-drinkers. In fact, through some confluence of medication-mixing, religion and incomprehensible personal preference, all of my Boston friends are non-drinkers. Kind of hard on a girl, what? Still, I’ve seen Lifetime Movies, and I know that when the going gets tough, the tough crack open a jaunty little Bordeaux.

I should have known that this NTKOG was turning against me when I realized I didn’t have a corkscrew. Apparently, in a fit of boozy benevolence, I left The Ex all of my corkscrews in the break-up. Still, have Merlot, will MacGyver. Spent ten minutes sitting on the edge of my bed with the upside-down wine bottle clamped between my knees, thwacking the bottom with the sole of one of my cowboy boots. This yielded nothing but a pissed-off neighbor. After a few more strange tricks, I ended up jabbing the rubberized cork with a pocket screwdriver and digging it out in a few large chunks.

Um, hope Delta Burke’s available to star in TKOG: The Movie.

After I filled up a coffee mug with the liberated rosé, learned three key lessons: 1) DO NOT PAY THREE DOLLARS FOR A BOTTLE OF WINE; 2) especially if you are drinking it by the bottle, and 3) have no sparkling conversation to distract you from the fact that you are drinking THREE DOLLAR ROSÉ.

What I hoped would happen: I’d engage in a witty inner monologue before loosening the muse and pounding out forty-five pages of wonderful and inexplicable fiction. (Not to brag, but Drunk TKOG is something of a wordsmith. You may know her from such literary masterpieces as: “What Grown-Ups Mean When They Say God Is Dead,” “Post-Prandial Depression And Other Erotica” and about sixty thousand regret texts peppered with esoteric interwar British naval slang.)

What actually happened: After a mug and a half of the godawful pink vinegar, I lost the will to continue swallowing, and ended up spending the next seven hours in a slowly sobering melancholy state, listening to The Weepies’ “Gotta Have You” on perma-repeat and obsessively google stalking myself.

Um, I thought booze was supposed to make you fun?

The Verdict: Oh lordy, this was a fail on so many levels. Turns out alcohol is, at best, a social performance enhancing drug and not in fact any sort of panacea. That much was old news. What I did learn, however: rock bottom isn’t just a figurative phrase. It is in fact a very literal term for the drop of wine you lick off a pocket screwdriver, alone, at 4:30am. Good lord. Never again.

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WIN AN iPOD NANO! It’s red! Like a commie!

NTKOG #106: The kind of well-intentioned busybody who can’t see a stranger let out a lovelorn sigh without immediately demanding all the details then attempting to caulk his broken heart.

I am: completely ill at ease when expected to comfort someone face-to-face.

I am not: interested in your woes, Lonelyheart. Get a blog, then we’ll talk.

The Scene: The Trader Joe’s by Sister’s house, Saturday night around 8:30, in a state of serious disarray. I’ve spent the past few hours in a blue mood — that particular “my first high school boyfriend is fucking engaged, and here I am, unemployed and wearing pajamas on a Saturday night” mood, if you happen to know it. Gathered my few purchases in the entirely empty store, then headed to the check-out.

Before I could take my earbuds out, the check-out guy asked how I was — I’m well, thanks. You? — and as I’m taking my headphones out, he says what looks like, “I’m doing well,” but is just one syllable too many. Surely he couldn’t have said — I mean, don’t he know there’s a protocol? — it’s inconceivable that he might have answered–

“I could be better,” he repeated, to my involuntary look of uptight honorary-New-Englander feelings-inspired mortification. “No, I guess I should keep it professional.”

Um, yeah. You should. But instead of smiling weakly and praying for him to speed up the process, I asked him what was wrong.

Trader Joe’s Clerk: No, don’t worry about it, it doesn’t have to be your problem. I should have kept it professional.
TKOG: I mean, life sucks enough without having to lie about who you are forty hours a week.
TJC: I cheated on my girlfriend.

Yikes. The clerk, incidentally, was cute in that over-expressive-faced European way. He looked like the drummer from Green Day with shorter hair. His eyes were red-rimmed. To my horror, they started watering.

He went on to tell me how his girlfriend had gone out of town and his ex had come to visit, asked to stay with him. He’d told her she had to sleep on the couch, but somehow….

“She tricked me! She manipulated me!”

“Yeah, we’re like that sometimes, women.”

After his tale of woe, I asked if he loved the girlfriend (yes) and said that, in my humble opinion, I didn’t see how he could do much better than making sure she could see he loved her and trying to earn her trust back. He thanked me and relinquished the bag of groceries he’d been holding hostage during the few minutes of our chat. Then put on my Garth and headed back out into my home-bound Saturday night, braless, pajama-clad, a guru.

The Verdict: Please don’t talk to me about your emotional woes in real life. I do not like it. I like to read about it, gchat about it, even sometimes talk on the phone about it, but in real life I do not know where to put my eyes when you want me to look into your soul.

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NTKOG #101: The kind of self-assured consumer who, when she feels she has been wronged, demands you go significantly out of your way in order to correct the perceived error — and stands there tapping her foot and not apologizing until you do so.

I am: the friggin’ worst at asking for what I want in any relationship, cashier/consumer included.

I am not: often so confident of my perceptions that I’ll take my own word over someone else’s when it comes to questions of short-term memory.

The Scene: One of my favorite book stores in Harvard, Thursday night. I walked in with a Hamilton in my pocket, prepared to buy a $2 used paperback mystery before heading out for a slice and a beer — what amounts to a bit of a spree, in my world. After a pleasant chat about Wodehouse with a bookseller (love this fine city), another girl rang up my purchase, which came to $2.13. Handed her the tenner and dug through my pockets for a while to find exactly thirteen cents. Few minutes later, at the pizza parlor, reach in my pocket to pay and — nothing. Book-seller had forgotten to give me my $8 change.

Called the bookstore immediately and explained what had happened, and could he ask my cashier if she’d forgotten to hand my cash back? Put me on hold ’til my slice was lukewarm, then told me the cashier was 100% absolutely positive she had handed my change back. “…but if you like,” he sort of grated out, “you can come back and we’ll be more than happy to conduct an official drawer audit.”

Laughed it off and read part of my book. Can you imagine?! Making someone count through an entire drawer of cash, just to recover $8? Depending on how busy the store was, closing down a register would probably cost them more than $8 in lost revenue and pissed-off customers! It would be self-involved and humiliating and … oh god, I had to do it.

When I returned, I jumped to the back of the long line (hey, I was being self-interested, not totally assholic) and when I got up to the front, the cashier I’d had smiled at me for a moment, looked down at my empty hands and then realized why I was there. Her smile melted like cake frosting at a picnic.

“Hey Jim,” she called to another employee, “Can you handle the other register while I do an audit?” I wanted to apologize like a friggin’ drug, but stayed strong. As my cashier laboriously began counting twenties, I watched Jim, oozing charisma, chat and grin with a grizzled old customer. “Did you hear about Salinger?” the customer asked as he was walking out; Jim nodded.

I looked up at Jim and smiled. “Poor Howard Zinn, getting overshadowed by Salinger. It’s the literary equivalent of Farah Fawcett and Michael Jackson.” Jim swiveled on his heel and took two steps away from me, not acknowledging that I’d even spoken. A few minutes later (my cashier was by now hand-counting the teetering pile of ones crammed into the register), Jim asked my cashier when it had started snowing; I told him it had started about ten minutes ago, and he grimaced at me, then walked another few aimless steps away. FUCK. These people HATED ME.

As the time stretched on (seventeen minutes, to be exact) and my cashier counted all of the loose change in the register and went back to re-count the ones, then added the whole mess together with a thumbnail sized calculator, I grew increasingly upset. Surely eight dollars couldn’t be worth this: all the math, and the hatred, and clogged register. I’m being so super literal with you when I say that bile rose in my throat and my eyes were coated with a thin sheen of tears. I wanted to beg her: stop it! stop the counting! it’s okay! i’m not blaming you and maybe I was wrong! But I’d forced myself to do this and had to see it through. As she finished totaling the register, my stomach knotted with the possibility that she actually was right and that all this had been for nothing.

After she stared at the total for a minute, silently, and without making eye contact, she peeled a five and three ones from the register and shoved them toward me. “Wait, are there — so the money was there?”

“I guess I made a mistake,” she said, in a voice like cracking ice. I mumbled about sixteen apologies (sorry for all the math!); she kept her head bowed and said nothing. As I skulked, ashamed, out of the bookstore, I overheard Jim joking to another customer: “…kind of the literary equivalent of Farah Fawcett and Michael Jackson.”

Goddamnit. Goddamnit.

The Verdict: I will never do this again, never never never never. This is not only the most horrible thing I’ve done for the blog, but, I think, the most horrible thing I’ve ever done, period. I was visibly shaking for about five minutes after I left the store. For someone so high-strung and quick to be cut by others’ resentment or even just perceived resentment, doing this for ANY AMOUNT OF MONEY is not worth the eventual cost of sweet boozy PTSD therapy.

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NTKOG #100: The kind of self-appointed assistant deputy to public health who, when you sniffle within earshot, primly flicks you a tissue and lectures you on the dangers of backed-up nasal cavities.

I am: loath to reprimand strangers for sneezing on my neck, let alone snortin’ and snufflin’ in the privacy of their own noses.

I am not: like the total queen of hygiene, anyway. What?! Kleenex are good for a few uses if you’re desperate!

The Scene: The train, smack in the middle of cold season. All week the mellow music on my iPod has been accompanied by a sort of auditory slither — the juicy slurp of fifteen syncopated noses trying desperately to suck snot back out of view.

There’s kind of a little dance that goes along with it too, on the T. The cold-sufferer will stand there, looking pained, ’til a tiny glisten appears under one or both nostrils. First, a long discretionary snort back. A moment later, the snot starts sliming back down and two more hard sniffles in quick succession. Finally, the human mucous factory glances around, reaches up with one hand to pretend to adjust their glasses or scratch their forehead, then quickly rubs their palm across their nose, smearing a snailtrail of snot on their glove. Elegant, right?

More distracted by the sound than anything else, this week I carried a travel pack of Kleenex with me, determined to be a tissue-toting guardian angel for these noses in need. The first guy I approached was a middle-aged business man, wearing a sharp grey suit and slightly snotted leather gloves.

“Hey,” I  turned around and told him, “You want a Kleenex?” Dude looked surprised and a bit mortified, but smiled warmly and thanked me when I handed it to him. I nodded and turned quickly so I’d be out of his splash zone when the snot went flying, but — nothing.

When I turned back to face him, he was gingerly patting the tips of his nostrils with the unsoiled Kleenex. He crumpled it and shoved it in his pocket. Three seconds later: sniff. snort. herk.

DUDE, YOU HAVE A FUCKING KLEENEX! You can blow it now! You can blow it all over town!

Next girl I approached was a chick around my age, who had just discreetly wiped a semi-solid chunk of green snot onto the cover of her US Weekly as she raised it to turn the page.

“Kleenex?” “Thank you so much!” I watched out of the corner of my eye as she crumple the Kleenex, dabbed her nose with exquisite gentleness, then shoved the Kleenex in her purse. By the next stop, her dripping snot had rendered her upper lip as glossy as the picture of Brangelina she was drooling over.

A few similar experiences (“Thanks!” for nothing, apparently), and I was down to the last two Kleenex in my pack, with nary a cleared sinus cavity to my name. This time, there could be no mistakes. A grungy looking college guy, wearing a Thrice beanie and a military surplus blazer, sucked back on his snot like he was pulling off a bong.

“Dude, want a Kleenex?” I asked, smiling encouragingly. Then, so he wouldn’t feel embarrassed or alone in his infliction, I put the last Kleenex to my own nose and blew it thunderously. Dude glanced at me with grim curiosity, before putting his own Kleenex to his nose — and slowly dribbling air AROUND HIS SNOT! Dude friggin’ pretended to use the Kleenex rather than blowing his dang nose in public!

Of the nine Kleenex I gave away — to people who were having serious and visible problems with, oh, I dunno, getting snot all over their faces?! — not a single friggin’ person could get over the bodily-fluid embarrassment and just blow their stupid noses in public! These are, presumably, people who shower in locker rooms, use public restrooms. Hell, they probably even spit on the street. And you’re telling me that nose-blowing is the one do-not-cross line?!

The Verdict: A bally waste of Kleenex, I’ll tell you that much. Next time I’ll be saving them for myself.

I was beyond shocked by these results. In fact, shocked twice-over. First, dude, if a total stranger offers you a Kleenex, clearly this implies that you’re either making a serious sinus-related ruckus or are unsightly to behold. It’s like a stranger offering you gum. It’s practically impolite not to put the offering to use!

Second, and more importantly, dude, blowing your nose is just about the best thing you can do with your clothes on. I friggin’ love blowing my nose — don’t even try to front like you don’t like it too. I mean, I’m not talking about a runny nose or a stuffy nose, but, y’know, the mid-cold feeling of a nose that’s fully packed with boiling-hot mucous, then blowing it so hard that it makes you dumber. Such release!  Such a sense of accomplishment! I can scarcely look at someone suffering from allergies without sighing wistfully! And the idea of having such a juicy nose and a Kleenex in front of you and DENYING THAT OPPORTUNITY?! It’s like masturbating in a brothel.

People on the T, you continue to disappoint me.

Whoa, it’s my 100th post! And in lieu of doing something badass or celebrating, I chose to … reveal my weird nose-blowing fetish. ’cause apparently I’m that kind of girl. Also the kind of girl who totally TMIs you on this glorious TMI Thursday.

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I am honored today to present a guest post by the inimitable Sarah Von of yes and yes. If you don’t already read her site, you absolutely must check it out: she’s one of those gutsy, inspiring total badasses who we all dream of being, and every time I read a post, I leave absolutely grinning (even on these blah rainy New England days). Check out Sarah’s NTKOG experiment in my hometown — it’ll leave you shooting your beverage (not rancid fruity vodka, I hope) out your nose.

Also, if you’re craving a little TKOG, today I’m posting at Secret Society of List Addicts (another of Sarah’s projects!) about how to put down the wine spritzer and shake up cocktails like a big boy or girl.

NTKOG: who enjoys a) fruit flavored liquor b) attracting the attention of everyone in the bar

I am: the girl who frequents tiny, hole-in-the-wall bars where I can be ignored while I nurse my vodka gimlet, thankyouverymuch.

I am not: a fan of theme bars, sports bars, watching alcohol-related spectacles or being a spectacle myself.

The Scene: The BFF and I were in Las Vegas, escaping the icy clutches of winter for a three-day weekend, eating our weight in buffets and attending ridiculous, vampire-themed Vegas shows.  We had grand plans to meet up with an old friend from our hometown who’d been living in Vegas for nearly ten years. “Where would you like to meet, old friend?  What sort of awesome, locals-only watering hole would you suggest?”  “Why, how about this quaint little place called Kahunaville?” he responded.

Now, it is not a stretch to say that Kahunaville?  It was probably my arch-nemesis bar.  I could not have created, from scratch, a bar that appalled me more.  It was as though someone had reached into my brain and read my list of Things That I Never, Ever Want to See in a Bar.  Things like:
1) Flat screen TVs broadcasting a football game
2) Waitresses wearing skimpy Hawaiian outfits, handing out flower necklaces, asking if you want to get ‘lei-d’
3) Incredibly loud techno music
4) Drinks that stream/explode/are served with fifteen toys/flowers/straws in them.

Yes, I am actually 65 years old on the inside, in case you were wondering.  If you want me, I’ll just be over here muttering about those damn kids having too much fun with their skinny jeans and flavored beers.

While we waited for our friend to join us, the BFF  and I tried to yell a conversation at each other over the sounds of Akon and she picked an umbrella, two test tubes, a fake starfish and a skewer of fruit out of her drink.  But then?  Things got interesting.

In an attempt to make Kahunaville even more entertaining, apparently the management employs trick bartenders.  And apparently the half-time of the football game was performance time.  Just as we were settling into our $15 cocktails, an announcer came striding through the bar, with a microphone instructing us to “Get the F*ck up!  I want to hear you scream!”

With that statement sir,  you have now just guaranteed that I will sit here silently glaring.

As we watched, each of the bartenders on the three sides of the bar put a whistle in their mouths and began one of those Cocktail-caliber drink mixing routines.  Juggling mixers!  Catching the mixer on top of the vodka bottle!  Throwing cherries into the air and catching them on toothpick in their mouths!  All of this was accompanied by a promotional video about each other bartenders tauting their wins at various ‘flair competitions’ and previous occupations (Our guy was a former Chip n Dale’s dancer)

To be totally honest, it was pretty impressive, but once the announcer encouraged us stand on the tables and scream for free shots, I decided to clap sedately in my seat.  Because I’m an a-hole like that.

But as luck would have it, our side of the bar apparently won the hollering contest because, before you could say “pink favored vodka,” Steve “Big Show” Shrearer was standing on the bar handing out shots.  By this time, I had approached the bar out of pure curiosity.  I backed away from the bar as the free shots were coming around and was internally grateful when he ran out.

But as I turned around to head back to the table, the BFF shook her head at me, grinning and pointing back at the bar.  I spun around, with what I’m sure was a look of total horror on my face to see Mr. Big Show, astride the bar.  He was staring me down and doing his best former-stripper finger-curling, come-hither gesture, and pointing at his mix bottle and then at me.

I would be lying if I did not say that I wanted to immediately turn on my heal, walk to the bathroom and hide out there for the next twenty minutes.  But I honestly channeled a bit of our girl NTKOG and thought “Von Bargen, you get outside your comfort zone.  You go up there and let that man pour fruit flavored alcohol down your throat while everyone cheers.”

So I did.  I stood next to the bar while a man nicknamed ‘Big Show’ stood five feet above me and poured pink alcohol down my gullet. All the people standing on their tables whooped, I successfully avoided coughing, choking or melting into the floor with embarrassment.  Then I walked back to our table, licked off that tiny umbrella and drank two test tubes full of vodka.

The Verdict: I didn’t die – of embarrassment or alcohol poisoning. I’m glad I bucked up and tried something new, but at the end of the day, I’m just more of a corner-booth, nurse-my-whiskey Kind of Girl.  I think this is a situation where what happens in Vegas, truly stays in Vegas.  Unless you write about it on the internet, I guess.

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