Five Things I Liked This Week

I’m back from maybe the longest break – two weeks! – I’ve ever taken from this blog. I don’t know how refreshed I’m feeling writing-wise, but I can at least put together a list of a few of my favorite things I saw on the internet this week.

1. “Angelina Jolie’s Perfect Game” by Anne Helen Petersen (Buzzfeed)

I loved reading this, especially as a former employee of a certain celebrity weekly.

2. Beverly’s “Honey Do” Video

I’m still obsessed with this song and now am obsessed with the video.

3. “The Case for Reparations” by Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Atlantic)

It took me almost a week to get through this, but I did it and I think everyone else should read it too.

4. “The Food Politics of Pokémon” by Monica Kim (Modern Farmer)

I’m a pretty big Pokémon fan, but this was maybe the weirdest(/best) thing I read all week.

5. “Tiny Islands” by Emma Straub (Medium)

This is an excerpt from Straub’s latest novel, The Vacationers, which I’m very excited to read.

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Video Games

This morning, I dreamed that I created – or maybe was just playing – a video game. Basically the game works like this: you, the player, receive a randomly generated woman who is somewhere between the ages of 50 and 100 and then you have to care for her and try to keep her alive. Kind of like The Sims, but everything seemed a lot more dire and way less whimsical. Anyway, your woman can live to be up to 1000 years old, which is very old but totally possible in the realm of this game. HOWEVER, you actually have no control over when your woman dies. It just happens. So, that was a cool dream.

Then I had another dream that involved a video game. This one featured me as a character and was based on an adventure that I had in the “real life” of the dream world. The me of the game wore a sort of Ash Ketchum outfit with a backwards hat and a long ponytail. The actual story of that dream is boring. I just thought it was worth noting that I had two dreams about video games.

Five Things I Liked This Week

This work week is bookended by two weddings. I returned from a wedding in Palm Beach on Sunday and leave for another in Boston tomorrow morning. The time in between has been…not uneventful. I caught up with an old friend from grammar school on Monday. I signed up for Weight Watchers for the third time in my life on Tuesday. Since then, most of my time has been occupied by navigating the points system again and scheduling everything around going to the gym. Oh, and work. I’ve been going to work every day and working.

I’m  utterly exhausted, but am certain-ish that I’ll be energized once I get up to Boston tomorrow and see a bunch of my old pals. Anyway, here’s some stuff I liked this week.

1. Jacques Dutronc, “Hippie Hippie Hourrah”

I saw this song on a mix – embedded in Evan Minsker’s “How to DJ Your Own Wedding” on Pitchfork – and it made me nostalgic for some of the old ‘60s French music mixes I’ve made. This is one of my favorites.

 

 

2. “The Hunt for El Chapo” by Patrick Radden Keefe (The New Yorker)

In my neverending quest to catch up with The New Yorker, I finally got around to reading this article – from the May 5, 2014 issue – about the capture of one of Mexico’s most notorious drug lords last night.

 

3. The response I received from friends and readers after I posted about being broken up with via silence this week. Thank you to everyone for your positive feedback and positive vibes. Seriously, it makes me really happy when I get any response at all, so hearing from so many of you was incredible.

If you didn’t read it, you can check out “Maybe in Defense of Ghosting” here.

 

4. White Lung, “Face Down”

 

 

5. I got into Silicon Valleythis week. The reactions I’d heard were definitely mixed, but I really like it. So, yeah. Give it a shot!

 

Maybe in Defense of Ghosting

I read this thing on Buzzfeed last week called “The 10 Worst Things To Say During A Breakup.” I found a lot of the commentary to be valid. Particularly, #3 (“I’m not looking for a relationship.”), #6 (“I’m just really busy right now.”), and #7 (“I’m just bad at this stuff.”) reminded me of past experiences I’d much rather forget. But #10 (“[Nothing]” / Ghosting) hit the closest to home because…that just happened to me.

The very specific details are irrelevant – or, rather, I don’t think this is the best place to share them – but I will tell you that I had gone on several dates with a guy over the course of many weeks. Like, I would describe what we were doing as “dating.” But then, he just disappeared. No communication whatsoever. And I really had no indication that he would stop talking to me altogether except for this feeling the whole time we were seeing each other that it would end like this. But I had chalked that up to early relationship anxiety. Nothing more.

In the first days when I began to suspect that I wouldn’t hear from him again, I drove myself crazy wondering if I should contact him. I decided to hold back, not because I didn’t want to, but because my therapist encouraged me to wait it out until he contacted me. I believe or see the value in most of what she says, but this advice – which she had given me many times before and which I’d never heeded – had always seemed crazy to me. I didn’t see the point in not trying to communicate with him. It seemed anti-feminist to me. Why did I have to sit back and wait? Why couldn’t I take matters into my own hands? And besides, maybe there had been some kind of misunderstanding. Maybe he was just so busy that he’d lost track of time. Maybe he had been trying to get in touch with me and his messages just got lost in the ether.

I thought wishfully for a time, during which I showed extreme will power in not even attempting to text or call him. But when it started to dawn on me that I wasn’t going to hear from him and this was the end, I started to see my therapist’s point in not making contact. It was hard not to try to find out why he had disappeared. (I want to know everything! Like, everything in the world. Especially things that have a direct effect on my life.) But I realized that I would never really know. Because what was he going to say to me when I did manage to track him down? That he’s afraid of intimacy? That he was too much of a coward to tell me that he wasn’t serious about me or that he wasn’t looking for anything more than casual dating? Not a chance. I imagine he would have, like so many others, said one of the “worst things.” Which I don’t really need to hear.

“Isn’t it better to know?” my friend asked me. “Don’t you want closure?” another said. No and yes. For me, it’s better to not know. It’s better to let go and not have a “reason” to fixate on, something that could heighten my insecurities and make me feel helpless. I don’t want to know anything that I could possibly turn against myself. And in terms of closure, I don’t think any of us experience that until we die.

I’ve had some shitty breakups and letdowns before. (Interestingly, the really shitty ones were when the dudes told me they were “seeing someone else,” which I don’t even think was true in a few cases.) This one…is not shitty. It’s disappointing. As a wise person once said to me, “If a dude wants to hang out with you, he’ll call you.” So, this dude didn’t call. He doesn’t want to hang out with me. And maybe this is weird but…I don’t want to spend time and brain space trying to figure out what’s going on with someone who so clearly doesn’t want to spend time with me.

I still think I deserved the courtesy of some form of goodbye. If that had happened in a timely manner, I could have also said goodbye and moved on. But, in general, people suck and we can’t expect anything from anyone and if someone can’t do something simple and decent, then paying any more thought or attention to them is worthless except to acknowledge and learn from the experience of them being terrible.

 

Five Things I Liked This Week

1. “Trial by Fire” by David Grann (The New Yorker)

This piece is from 2009, but I just read it this week after Grann tweeted it. Grann explores whether or not Texas executed an innocent man.

 

2. Thee Oh Sees, Drop

This album got me through more than one workday this week.

 

3. HHhH by Laurent Binet

I’m in the middle of reading this right now and it has me thinking a lot about experimenting more in my writing.

 

4. Rediscovering some stuff about myself via The Golden Notebook

I don’t necessarily like what I wrote here, but I’m interested in how weird this experience was.

 

5. Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea, “Problem”

I mean, not her best – I’m not that into goofy rap verses – but I listened to this more than a few times this week.