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In the New Year, I Plan to Lose Friends and Alienate People

January 2, 2014

So here’s a nice little counteraction to all the affirming, inspirational New Year’s resolution treacle that’s doubtlessly clogging your Facebook and giving you cancer of the heart: my goal for this year is to be an even bigger jerk.

To backtrack into Auld Lang Syne territory for a minute here, this marks five years since the first time my now-ex-for-good-boyfriend and I broke up. Naturally, had I known then what I know now, it would also have been the last time, but life lessons and all that affirming nonsense.

This also marks five years since the last time I dated anyone not previously known to me. After a few false starts, I had yet another false start, only this time, I continued huffing and puffing for another three weeks out of the gate. This fellow was all wrong for me–quasi-religious, wanted kids, believed in traditional gender roles–but he got one thing right: He really pushed all my then-ex-but-soon-to-be-current-later-ex-again’s buttons to the point where the poor fellow (he of many hyphens, that is) had to dig deep down, find his inner alpha male, and win back the hand of yon faire maiden (i.e., Yours Truly, though I freely admit to the risibility of both the “faire” and the “maiden” parts. Also the “yon,” seeing as how this is America, goldurnit, and we say “that thur”).

However, those three weeks with Mr. Rebounded-Right-into-Hyphen-Boy’s-Arms got serious enough that we exchanged books. Or rather, he dropped a book on me that, let’s face it, I was never going to read, and I certainly wasn’t going to read after we were no longer an item. Rather than make the trek to his house to drop it off in person, I decided to ship it, and in doing so, I figured I’d give this smarmy charmer a little bonus since I’d be paying for postage and packaging anyway. Being the queen of generosity that I am, I wanted to make sure that he had an opportunity to finally find the lady love of his dreams, the woman who would cook his meals, bear his children, and laugh politely instead of pitching a fit when he played hide-and-seek with her glasses, so to help him achieve his goals, I gifted him this book:

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Whether he used it or not, I cannot say. I never heard back from him, perhaps because he was unsure how to address the thank-you card, as I thought I’d have a bit of fun by hyphenating my last name to Mr. Hyphen’s on the return address of the package.

The point of this tangent being that I now wish I hadn’t wasted such a marvelous find on such a loser. I really think I could have used the book myself.

Now, I’m sure, in light of all this take of changes and being a jerk, I might be conveying the message that I intend to be less of a jerk in 2014, but being the somewhat Aspergery sort that I am, I find it easier to learn how to interact with people by reading a book than by actually interacting with them.

But no. I want to learn people skills so that I can learn to better read people’s interest in me…and learn how to jerk it off at the pass.

See, due to this general social awkwardness, I found myself in quite a muddle a week ago. A guy I had met who was directing a short video I appeared in had my number so he could text me details of the shoot, and, presumably because he was bored, also happened to text me passing thoughts that crossed his mind. Since Jewish atheists rarely have much to do around Christmas when all their friends have parties to attend, I had little else to do but text back.

At one point, he mentioned how he’d found some nice Christmas lights south of Denver. I may be Scrooge reincarnated, but I do appreciate shiny things as well as the next person, so I texted something back about how neat they must be.

He then offered to take me to go look at them.

“Sure.” I replied.

Oh, for an un-send feature on iMessage. Because as I watched the agonizing white scroll bar work its way across the top of my phone, telling me that my message was toodling along unyieldingly toward its recipient, I naively wondered how we were going to work it out. Would I meet him somewhere, then follow him in my car?

Then it finally sank in. He probably meant for the two of us to look at the lights together. Like, in the same car and everything. And we all know what twentysomethings do when they’re alone in cars together, if they’re not rocking out to Queen.

He confirmed my suspicions by asking if I’d ever ridden in a Jag before, at which point I panicked and turned my phone off. The next day, when I turned it back, I was able to legitimately beg off due to having a particularly tubercular cough that could have made me the subject of my very own opera had I lived a century and change ago, a cough that just won’t die, but is at least giving me fabulous abs.

Alas, there was no way of rescheduling, as he was going on vacation the next day, so I had at least a short reprieve in which to pack all my personal belongings and move to Santa’s home in the North Pole, since I’m sure he’s renting that shit out on AirBnB and making for the Bahamas. But I couldn’t find enough boxes in time, which means at some point, push might very well come to shove. I have yet to decide if it will be easier to try and explain that I’m sort of asexual or if I should simply arrange a date and not shower for the days leading up to it, eat beans right beforehand, and order something with corn or another product that I can magically manage to spray in my eyelashes during. I’m leaning toward the latter.

And since it’s obvious I’m just not that into anyone, I need to figure out some strategies so I can avoid this sort of thing altogether in the future. Since I’m not fond enough of beans to eat them with every meal, I’ll need to find some other strategy of being anti-musical to guys’ ears.

Maybe I’ll try communicating only in opera. Contrary to what Verdi and Puccini would have you believe, those high notes don’t sound so good when you’re trying to get them around a thick coat of post-nasal drip.

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