Issue #61 – “Bleeding Hearts” – February 14th, 2005

-To me, Valentine’s Day is like that scene from “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” where the villain rips out a guy’s still-beating heart and shows it to the frenzied throng.  For Valentine’s Day is a day when men are forced to publicly demonstrate their feelings for the gratuitous pleasure of overzealous women.  And given the opportunity to celebrate Valentine’s Day or be eviscerated and thrown into a flaming trench, most men would surely choose the latter.  I mean, hey, at least evisceration doesn’t require a reservation two months in advance.

-My girlfriend says this Valentine’s Day is special because our one-year anniversary is only three weeks away.  Of course, as she’s talking, I’m more preoccupied with my plan to merge both occasions into one gift.  Hell, her birthday is only six months from now.  Maybe I can combine all three presents into some sort of relationship extra-value meal.

-But, after almost a year of dating, I still don’t quite get Girlfriend.  For instance, for the past six weeks I’ve been living in my parent’s house and spending the weekends with her in the city.  Last Wednesday, I had a meeting in the city, so I told Girlfriend I’d take her out afterward.  She got upset.  Why?  Because I was coming in to the city partly because I had a meeting and not solely because I wanted to see her.  In other words, just hanging out is not sufficient.  There has to be pure male sacrifice involved.  Why doesn’t she just have a flaming trench installed in her apartment and get it over with already?

-I have a new strategy, though, when it comes to navigating Girlfriend’s treacherous queries.  I call it “WWJBD?”  or “What Would Joe Bloggs Do?”  Those of you who took Princeton Review SAT prep remember that Joe Bloggs is the average American student who always picks the obvious answer, thus getting all the hard questions wrong.  Therefore, when you get a hard question, you’re supposed to first eliminate the most obvious answer – the Joe Bloggs answer.  The same theory works in relationships.  When Girlfriend tells me she hates her new hairstyle and asks if I agree, I think to myself, WWJBD?, and I’m halfway there.  It works much better than my previous strategy: “SSRFDTBF” – Say Something Really Fucking Dumb Then Buy Flowers.

-Besides guys with girlfriends, Valentine’s Day is also especially hard on single girls.  Because on this day, single girls have to actually admit they’re single, something they loathe doing.  If I ever ask a girl if she’s single, she always kind of smirks and looks at her friends and then mentions some guy in Chicago, then giggles and avoids the question.  But if you’re a chick in a bar on Valentine’s Day, there’s no getting around it.  You might as well wear a scarlet letter ‘S’ on your lame-ass Uggs.

-I don’t blame girls for not wanting to be single, though.  Guys can be dicks.  A few weeks ago I was at a bar when I saw a chick I knew back in the day but hadn’t seen in a while.  I said to a mutual friend, “Hey, is that Laura?  She looks amazing.”  And my buddy was like, “Yeah, she was actually sick for a while, she had like really bad mono, like she almost died.”  I was like, “Damn, that’s the best thing that ever happened to her!”

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-The general consensus was that Super Bowl ads sucked this year.  And I thought that really took away from the whole experience.  A Super Bowl without cool commercials is sort of like the Black Eyed Peas without that hot blonde chick – still kinda interesting but you’re really not paying much attention anymore.

-So I spent most of the Super Bowl obsessing over the scoring combinations that would allow me to win my friend’s box pool.   This involved me looking at my boxes and then shouting, “OK, all the Eagles need to do is kick two field goals and give up a safety in the next 13 seconds and I win this quarter!  Come on Donovan, twenty bucks are at stake here!”

-Girlfriend likes to read US Weekly.  Of course, I make fun of her for it.  Last weekend, I was taking a lengthy crap in her bathroom when I absentmindedly grabbed an US to read.  Little did I know what I was in for.  That magazine is like crack – it just sucks you in and you’re instantly addicted.  I know more inane minutia about Jennifer Garner and Orlando Bloom than I ever thought I would.  I have to rank US right up there with chapstick and white cheddar popcorn as the most addictive products of all time.

-I want to send out a quick apology for using the term “MILF” in my last issue.   I was deluged with emails from older fans and those overseas who had no idea what the hell I was talking about.  Also, to all those who complained that your parents read my column and asked you to explain what a MILF is, I’m sorry, too.  It was never my intention to cause you severe psychological harm that will surely take years of therapy to remedy.

-Living at home with my parents is traumatic enough without being constantly reminded of the possible longevity of the situation.  The other day I got the mail and saw one of those charity solicitations where they give you custom return-address labels.  I looked closer and saw the labels had my name printed on them…with my parents’ address!  Damn you March of Dimes.  Damn you!

-A few weeks ago I went skiing in Vermont with a bunch of friends.  It was a great time, especially since I bore witness to one of the most memorable athletic achievements I’ve ever seen.  I was skiing with my erstwhile roommate Brian, both of us beginners who’d only skied once before.  I got the hang of it pretty quickly.  Brian did not.  He’d ski two feet, then fall, then ski another two feet, then fall again.  He made it all of about fifty yards before he gave up and – get this – had to ask to be taken DOWN on the ski lift.  That’s right, even the severely injured go down the actual slope on a stretcher.  But not Brian.  He took the lift down while those passing him on the way up taunted him and laughed.  And you thought I’d run out of Brian material when he moved out!

-And, finally, you know what I saw in the gym the other day that really bothered me?  A guy working out with gel in his hair.  And it wasn’t like this guy came straight from the office, I saw him walk in the door in the morning wearing gym clothes.  So this guy actually consciously put gel in his hair and then went to go work out.  I mean, come on dude, that’s so lame.  Then again, maybe I shouldn’t talk, since at the time I was running on the treadmill while reading the latest issue of US Weekly.  Fuck me.