Issue #185 – “Selectively Social” – March 28th, 2011

-I’ve been documenting my dating escapades for nearly fourteen years. I regularly travel the country and perform for thousands of people. If there’s a pub crawl, road trip, or bachelor party, I often claim the MVP award. Yet recently my friend Matt was talking to a girl in LA, and my name came up. The girl didn’t know me personally, but knew of my exploits, and asked Matt if I’d be joining him at the bar. When Matt said no, the girl asked why. To which Matt replied, “You see, Karo is kind of…antisocial.” The thing is, he’s right. But how on earth can someone so fun loving, so gregarious, so…well, social, also be antisocial? The answer is that I only like dealing with people on my terms and my schedule – at which point I’m the life of the party. Otherwise, I’m cranky and withdrawn. That might sound curmudgeonly, or even bipolar, but I prefer “selectively social.”

-A lot of people claim to live by the motto “Go hard or go home” but I follow it to the letter. If I start boozing, I go full throttle and spend the next day sending a raft of apology texts. But if I don’t go out, I literally don’t go out. I won’t leave my apartment. I don’t want to “have a drink,” “grab a bite,” or “play it by ear.” That’s too half-ass for me. I’m either hitting on everything at the bar that moves – or making sweet love to my DVR.

-Another friend describes me as “a people person who hates people.” That’s also true. People are interesting; I like to observe and analyze them. It’s what I do for a living. The problem is, people aren’t lab rats. They’re complex, sentient beings. And that’s annoying. Just because I like the idea of people doesn’t mean I actually want to talk to them. Rare is it that I run into someone and think, “Gee, I’m really glad that happened.” Instead, I’m usually wondering, “Who the fuck was that and how did he get off his hamster wheel?”

-The downside to being selectively social is that it doesn’t lend itself to spontaneity. If I’m gonna go out – and thus go hard – I need to prepare myself beforehand. In addition, not only am I self-employed, but everyone I know is getting married. So I’m sorry if I can’t drop everything on a whim for you. I’m committed to attending myriad bachelor parties and weddings across North America, and when I’m not, I’ll be home taking care of business. Last minute trips are for chumps with direct deposit and breadwinning spouses.

-Despite being aware of my reclusive ways, my buddies – bless their hearts – still try to lure me out of the house, even when I’m dead set on watching House instead. What’s amazing to me is that they still haven’t realized their continued pestering won’t work. The more you ask, the less likely I am to change my mind. I just don’t like being told that I “should” do something. I’ll be the judge of what I should or shouldn’t do. And right now what I should be doing is figuring out why Amber Tamblyn’s character on House is allowed to run riot in the hospital if she’s still in medical school.

-Although it often rubs people the wrong way, in the end I think being selectively social is the best approach for me. I’m by no means a hermit – I’ll probably party in more cities this year than most people visit in a lifetime. But, to quote The Fighter, I’m no MTV girl either. Another buddy of mine has raged at more rock concerts in the past year than I’ll ever attend in my lifetime. I don’t know how he does it. So I guess it all evens out. Society is probably better off without my presence seven days a week anyway. I know my bank account is. The way I drink I’m lucky it’s my DVR that’s getting cleaned out – and not my wallet.

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

-My current supply of underwear is the largest batch I’ve ever owned, and they all seem to be getting old and worn out at the same time. They’re like the baby boomers of boxer shorts.

-If I’m in a dry spell and want to energize my qi, sometimes I’ll rearrange my stockpile of condoms. The older ones always get rotated into the slots I’m least likely to need. Generally that means going from my wallet to my nightstand to my medicine cabinet to my car. Ladies, a guy’s glove compartment is a latex graveyard. Always check the expiration date before getting frisky in the backseat.

-I put my friends’ wedding invitations on my fridge, just like people hang their kids’ awful drawings. The sentiment is really the same: I love you but you’re a fucking moron.

-When I worked on Wall Street back in the early 2000s, they gave us golf umbrellas with the company logo on it. Amazingly, I still have the umbrella. I guess I look at it as the last remaining link to my previous career. Unfortunately, it’s been raining so much in LA lately that I’ve actually had to use it. Let me tell you, there’s nothing like clutching a symbol of your gloomy past during a torrential downpour to ruin a perfectly good day.

-My cousin has a mohawk, plays five sports, and just schooled me in something called “Call of Duty: Black Ops First Strike.” I’ve never been so intimidated by a nine-year-old.

-As my rapid descent into old age continues, I’ve begun to develop back problems. I went to a physical therapist for an evaluation, and after she recommended some stretches and other remedies, I asked her what exactly was wrong with me, so I could tell my mom. The therapist was like, “Oh, is your mom a doctor?” And I said, “No, she’s just a regular mom. But she’s definitely going to ask me that so I’m trying to stay ahead of the curve.”

-The “signature cocktails” page of the drinks menu should just be titled “women’s section.”

-For the sake of Packers fans everywhere, I hope the NFL work stoppage doesn’t cut into any actual games. I vividly recall when the Rangers won the Stanley Cup in 1994 and a lockout delayed the start of the next season. I remember it so clearly because it’s the last time I ever watched hockey again.

-And, finally, my antisocial behavior sometimes manifests itself in bizarre ways. For instance, if I’m on tour and my buddies want to trek from a nearby city to see me, I often discourage them. What they don’t understand is that I’m on a business trip. When I’m onstage, I’m making a presentation. When I’m hanging out after a show, I’m networking. When I’m trying to get laid, I’m, uh…creating synergy. The point is, no one loves their friends more than I do, but I need to separate work from play otherwise neither is fun for me. In that respect, being selectively social is simply a coping mechanism that allows me to both do my job and, if I’m lucky, clear out my glove compartment. Fuck me.