Issue #163 – “Heartless” – February 8th, 2010

-Valentine’s Day is nothing more than an over-commercialized sham of a holiday exploited by restaurants, jewelers, and greeting card companies that just want to make an extra buck. Couples don’t deserve their own day, and those not in relationships certainly don’t deserve to be subjected to an endless barrage of hand-holding and heart-shaped confectionary. Those who ignore Valentine’s Day and flout its conventions are the ones who should be celebrated. Some call us heartless. I call us single.

-Besides a wedding band or the presence of a significant other, there are more subtle ways to ascertain if someone is in a relationship. An acquaintance of mine recently asked to show me something on Facebook, but I noticed he was having trouble accessing his account. “I forgot my password,” he remarked, “I haven’t logged on in like two months.” “Oh, so you’re not single?” I asked. “How did you know?” he replied. Dude, I just do.

-The background image on my BlackBerry is the logo from “Lost.” If I pull my phone out to get a girl’s number in a bar and she either doesn’t recognize the picture or doesn’t notice it, I let it slide. But if she snickers or cracks wise at my choice of wallpaper I will delete her number and disappear like the Island.

-I silently praise advancements in technology every time I send a perfectly worded, flirtatious text message. But if she doesn’t reply within the hour I’m immediately stricken with the desire to travel back in time Terminator-style to kill the mother of the inventor of the cell phone.

-Ladies, if I ask you out to drinks for our first date, don’t ask me if I’m hungry halfway through the night. No, I’m not hungry. I wolfed down three slices of pizza before I picked you up because I explicitly said we were going for drinks. I specifically avoid dinner on the first date because I don’t want to embarrass myself by eating in front of you and don’t want to break the bank when I’m not sure you’ll put out. Please plan accordingly.

-My latest fetish is that I really want to date a chick with lots of tattoos. I’m talking full sleeves, shoulders, neck, the whole nine yards. So sexy. Plus, girls like that just don’t run in the same circles that I do. I could take her to trendy lounges that play Jay-Z and Ke$ha on repeat, and she could take me to hipster bars that play bands I’ve never heard of. It’d be a totally hot, opposites-attract situation…until my parents met her and disowned me.

-There seems to be a lot of confusion about proper post-first-date protocol. To me, it’s very simple. Ladies, if a guy takes you out, common courtesy calls for you to email, text, or Facebook message within 48 hours to say thank you. You can’t believe the amount of courage it took me to ask you out. So even if there is no connection and you never want to see me again, at least thank me for trying. It’s like the participation trophy of dating.

-Another crucial dating convention is the art of the blow-off. I have friends of both sexes who can neither execute this maneuver nor recognize when it is being done to them. Blowing someone off politely is not rocket science; just send a vague message about a benign topic (work or the weather are popular), and then don’t ask any questions that require follow-up. If the other person replies anyway, just stop responding. Eventually, they will get the hint that this is another Valentine’s Day you’d much rather spend alone.

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

-I hate when I unlock my car doors in anticipation of picking a friend up, only to have some guy walk by at that very moment, hear the click, and assume I was actually locking the doors in fear.

-My life will never be complete until I am issued a STAFF t-shirt.

-The side of the cereal box in my kitchen has a message for kids: “Learn how to live a healthy lifestyle! How many sit-ups or push-ups can you do during commercials of your favorite shows?” Is that really the best advice? So basically what you’re saying is, don’t go outside, and definitely don’t stop watching television, but while you’re at it, maybe throw in a crunch or two, fatass.

-You know you went to the bar too early when the bathroom attendant is still setting up.

-I have trouble empathizing with friends who lose weight when stressed instead of gaining weight. I’m really sorry you got laid off, bro, but you look fabulous so I fucking hate you.

-I’m much more civil to people on my return flight home. If you try to jack my armrest on the flight out, I will engage you in a vicious elbow war. But if you step on my seat in order to reach the overheard bin on the flight back, I will bite my tongue. Just in case you turn out to be my next-door neighbor or my agent’s grandma.

-You know it’s a shitty hotel when you actually recognize the bathroom fixtures. I hate checking in, washing my hands, and realizing the hot/cold knobs on the sink are the same ones my parents had when I was growing up.

-Each month, I compare my American Express statement against all the receipts I’ve collected. On my last bill, I noticed that a couple of the bars here in West Hollywood added a few dollars to the tip I signed on the receipt. Now I’m a very good tipper, and sometimes even tip too much when I’m wasted, so this is absolute bullshit. The individual amounts are too little to bother disputing – which I’m sure was done on purpose – but it’s the principle that matters. Karma is a bitch, bartenders, so don’t be surprised if your wannabe acting careers never get off the fucking ground.

-And, finally, it turns out that the only thing more unstable than a single girl is her mother. Last week, a woman in Long Island read an article about me in her local paper and decided I’d be perfect for her daughter. So like any sane parent, she called every listing for Karo in the phone book until she somehow reached my dad, and then asked him if I was available and might want to be set up. Seriously. The incident left me with so many questions. What did this woman actually think was going to happen? Which one is more desperate, the mom or her daughter? And who the fuck still uses a phone book? Ultimately, I guess everyone treats single people differently. Some pity them and others try to help them. This Valentine’s Day, though, I wish single people would simply be left alone – which is just the way we like it. Fuck me.