By now I think it is clear that I am not doing a post-a-day October. I lied to you all. I didn’t even try.
This very fact, coupled with the rest of my life, has reminded me that I am sort of an asshole. I am not saying this to be adorable or self deprecating, like when I talk about how fat I am or my confusion about how anyone can love me. I’m being straight with you. Like Anderson Cooper. Until he wasn’t.
See, I have been struggling with my asshole tendencies for years. When I was in 4thgrade my family relocated to a new school. As I hugged my old friends goodbye, taking pictures on a disposable camera I would never develop, they gave me their phone numbers and cried and asked that we keep in touch, to which I enthusiastically agreed. But as we embraced, the thought quite distinctly crossed my mind, “I will never talk to you again. Have a nice life. I want my troll ring back.”
Now don’t get me wrong. I have made strides to cushion my assholeness. I have mastered the great first impression; smiling a lot, listening well, wearing clothing that deemphasizes my love handles. But therein lies the problem! I may seem like your regular socially gifted, well-endowed, appropriately humored (sometimes), master of all would-be awkward things were I not so fantastic at being alive, but in reality I am a socially-awkward fat kid, disguising my flaws as endearing qualities in order to make people like me, until I am certain they do and can officially stop talking to them. Again, not being self-deprecating. Just keeping it real. Like JLo. Until she wasn’t.
But it seems the older I get, the bigger asshole I become. For example. One day about 9 months ago I logged into Facebook to find that 10-15 people were celebrating their birthdays. Ridiculous. After mulling over each person’s name and determining that I just don’t care enough, I proceeded to incinerate that mental note with my red hot laziness and go back to cyber stalking the elementary school classmates I never put the effort into speaking to again. This was almost a year ago, but has now become a habit. A bad habit. Now I don’t even say Happy Birthday to people I actually want to say Happy Birthday to. It’s like, I’m afraid if I do, people will know I am capable of doing it and will therefore take it personally when I ultimately determine that they are not worth the time. So I instead choose to ignore everyone so no one can take it personally, but everyone can think I’m an asshole.
I wish this was only limited to empty Facebook interactions, but it’s not. I don’t email people back. I ignore text messages, tweets, voicemails, BLOG COMMENTS. I don’t deserve the attention. I don’t deserve the affection or the friendship. But I will continue to take it until you stop wanting to give it. Then I will ninja my way back into your life and make you love me, or miss me, or need me in some way, before vanishing once again into the abyss of social networking that ironically decreases my ability to be social or network.
So I just wanted to write this blog entry so every one of my blog readers, Facebook stalkers, and disappointed relatives can have some form of validation from me and know that despite my actions, I DO care about you. I DO appreciate when you take the time to contact me. My actions may not prove it, but my words verify it. And we all know that shit’s real.
The girl who calls her boyfriend “button”
In my family, giving thanks is a pressure-packed experience. No matter which side of the family I am visiting, I feel unreasonably burdened to announce some profound reason to be thankful, that will on one hand encapsulate my intelligence, wit, and probability of getting to heaven, and on the other, not come off as cliché, mind-numbing, or worst of all “hack.”
You may be asking yourself, why? Why, Lena, are you concerned with coming off as a holiday hack? The entire purpose of giving thanks on Thanksgiving is to make up for a full year of not appreciating anything or anyone in your life. No matter what you claim to be “thankful” for, it is going to sound original and unique, since nine times out of ten it’s the first time you acknowledged it this year. And to you I say, true.
But this year, I am visiting my Dad’s side of the family. They are thoughtful, they are insightful, they excel at games like Taboo and Scattegories. They aren’t going to be impressed if I say I am thankful for NBC’s hit show “Parenthood” airing Tuesdays 10/9 central, or the giant one pound container of Sabra hummus now being sold at Wal-Mart. They will scoff. They will throw strawberry jam in my face and ham loaf in my eyes as they laugh me out of my grandparents’ house and into the cold, icy, atmosphere of a world where people say thanks for stupid things and Mitt Romney is a Presidential frontrunner.
But I don’t want to be in that world. Not when there are other options, like gracious appreciation and Ron Paul. No. This year I am going to blow their minds with thanks that are so original, so poignant, so “non-hack,” they will have no response other than to weep tears of joy for the fact that I exuded such wisdom during the fifteen seconds of floor time I have when going around the table. Don’t believe me? Read on, suckers. Tell me this doesn’t make you cry:
Lena’s Thanksgiving Speech (to be read verbatim) at Thanksgiving Dinner
Family, friends, and relatives I only see once a year. We have all gathered here today, to show our appreciation and our thanks, on this loveliest of all fall holidays. I am sure you are all anxiously awaiting the unveiling of my reasons to be thankful on this Thanksgiving 2011. So please, kick back, take a load off and put the load right on me, as I regale you with unnecessary descriptive detail of the number one thing I am thankful for this year.
This year I am thankful for:
Yes, I said it. Assholes. Not physical assholes, but euphemistic assholes. The kinds who speed up to pass you and then proceed to drop 15 miles below the speed limit for 9 miles of one lane traffic just to be, you guessed it, an asshole. The kinds who you haven’t talked to for several months or years but email you at random just to tell you that you misspelled something in your Facebook profile just to be, you guessed it a condescending asshole. I think you grasp my meaning.
But the thing is I have come across a lot of assholes this year; and not just petty, douchebag types as described above. The assholes I know, don’t mess around when it comes to being an asshole. They are real, serious, no-nonsense, “I act like this year round, go swallow some lighter fluid if you don’t like it,” kinds of assholes. Assholes who give buckets of rotten fruit as gifts to people recovering from heart attacks. Assholes who get involved with you just to have their girlfriend text you a few weeks later. Assholes who leave their wife and screw around with someone else while their wife pays for the mortgage, debt, and marital costs on her own. Assholes who go to the doctor, just to ensure one more day of being an asshole. I think you grasp my meaning.
The only explanation I have for the abundance of assholes I know in my life, is that I too, am probably an asshole. But that is another issue, for another holiday. Probably Easter.
On this holiday, Thanksgiving, I say I am thankful for assholes. I am thankful because, if it were not for the assholes in our lives, we would not have any ability to appreciate all of the non-assholes we know. Because of them, we always have someone worse to compare our friends, family, spouses, and co-workers to, who will make those freeloading jackasses seem like a good deal.
So this Thanksgiving, don’t give thanks for your mediocre husband. Give thanks for your previous asshole boyfriends who messed you up so much you are willing to settle and even be thankful for some second-rate toolbag, instead of someone awesome. Don’t give thanks for your obnoxious but reliable friends. Give thanks for the asshole people you knew years ago who lowered your expectations so far that you are willing to tolerate some boisterous loser instead of someone fabulous. In short, give thanks that the people in your life, aren’t as bad as the assholes who aren’t.
So? Tears of joy? Tears of Rage? Tears of boredom? I don’t care! Because you know what? I have achieved the impossible. For the first time, in all of my years, my Thanksgiving thanks is NOT going to be hack! It is going to be interesting! Funny! Insightful! In desperate need of censorship! Regardless, I have fulfilled my duty, now it is time you fulfill yours.
“What are you, dear readers, thankful for this year?” I ask aloud in bemused wonderment. Could it be me? The girl with the blog? I doubt it. I’m the only one thankful for assholes. But share with me and share with the world. Or don’t share at all. I don’t care anyway.
The girl who is thankful she managed to cleverly make two references to The Band in one blog posting.
PS: Find both references and I will think life is a carnival.
PPS: I just made three.
PPPS: Happy Thanksgiving, Holla.