Re: Rose-colored glasses

1

I have a pretty generous eye in general and tend to think people pretty. My friends discount my descriptions, but I think I've got the better end of the deal. I get to live in the world of handsome people.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 10:43 AM
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When you say "repulsive," are you talking physical appearance, or more broadly?

"Sure, Adolf Hitler was a genocidal monster, he did have very nice penmanship."


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 10:46 AM
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More broadly. Because for me, personally, physical appearance is not the height of repulsion. But in order to play this game with yourself, you should determine your own epitome of repulsion.

(When we were college freshmen, it was mostly physical appearance.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 10:48 AM
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I get to live in the world of handsome people.

And your friends get the excitement of all that uncertainty when you hook them up on blind dates.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 10:50 AM
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So romantic! A her lowest moment, her boyfriend proposed!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 10:50 AM
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*At*


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 10:50 AM
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you should determine your own epitome of repulsion.

But I can't search herpy.net from work.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 10:50 AM
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People who've known me a while have surely developed a calibration factor.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 10:55 AM
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Yes, Megan, we know you live in California. We get it.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 10:55 AM
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Thing is, the reverse of what your friend said is true as well. There is something hideous about every single person. You can, without much effort really, find some aspect of them that is completely repulsive, aesthetically and ethically.

Sing it with me: "Everyone is hideous, in their own way."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 11:05 AM
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But that's a much sadder game!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 11:05 AM
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No, when a woman isn't beautiful, people always say, "You have lovely eyes, you have lovely hair."


Posted by: OPINIONATED SONIA IN UNCLE VANYA | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 11:14 AM
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No, when a woman isn't beautiful skinny, people always say, "You have lovely eyes, you have lovely hair such a pretty face.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 11:17 AM
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True story: I was a homely child and I did well in school only because people, at a loss for something positive to say about me to my parents, would say that I was such a smart boy. I wasn't smart enough to realize what they were doing, so I tried hard in school.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 11:17 AM
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I have moments where it's all awfully romantic. Yesterday, one of those dense, urgent orchestral passages from Die Frau Ohne Schatten coursing through my headphones, running across the street in the dark, I pretended I was in a movie. Living in NYC is occasionally helpful for this. It's hard not to feel like you're in a movie crossing the bridge on the D train.

And then I go sit in an office all day. When you're a secretary in a brewery, it's pretty hard to make-believe you're anything else, as the saying is.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 11:18 AM
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13: Ha! I was about to say the same.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 11:22 AM
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The local newspaper has Facebook-enabled comments on news articles now. Most effective means of removing any rose-colored assumptions about human nature ever developed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 11:22 AM
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17: Ours did that about six months ago, which is why my mother created a facebook account so she can go whine at everyone about how evil abortion is and how great the Catholic church is and, since it's the internet, how much their grammar sucks. Ugh.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 11:32 AM
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I'm trying to view yesterday romantically but I keep getting hung up on the part where I almost stepped on a piece of a dude's brain (he went into his own backyard with a .45 and shot himself).


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 11:33 AM
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18: That last part can't hurt.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 11:36 AM
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19: Maybe it was because of unrequited love.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 11:36 AM
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My least romanticizable moment yesterday was calling a client who picked up the phone, said "hello, kiss my ass, bitch," and hung up.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 11:36 AM
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I tried for a minute to view my life as a romantic artist bio, but I'm insufficiently frenzied.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 11:40 AM
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Ever since the long hike I took this weekend, I've had stuck in my head a song that theoretically should romanticize my travails. However, there were accompanying graphics.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 11:42 AM
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As a side-game, can you see your own life romantically? That's a nice trick for when you're feeling blue, because it makes your sadness seem poignant.

Adding on to Smearcase's comment, it is awfully much easier to do this when you live in a place that is in some way picturesque. The way I used to most often walk home very late at night in Berlin took me through streets lined with chestnut trees and with a type of streetlamp with a particularly hazy/glowy light. (Being at least slightly tipsy probably adds to the 'I'm in a moooovie!' feeling.) Also, the year I spent in Hamburg I was probably the loneliest I've been in my life, and I spent a lot of time thinking, well, at least I'm lonely while walking along this picturesque canal in the rain.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 11:42 AM
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Maybe it was because of unrequited love.

It was! He got into a fight with his wife and she said she'd had enough and was going to move out.

On a more inspirational note, in the morning I manned a post for traffic control for the marathon. My post was about mile 20, and I couldn't help but stare as an older guy trotted by with the most severe case of chafing on his right nipple I've ever seen. You've seen that episode of The Office where Andy runs the 5K and his nipples chafe so bad there's a bunch of blood visible through his shirt? Seriously, it looked just like that.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 11:42 AM
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The local newspaper has Facebook-enabled comments on news articles now. Most effective means of removing any rose-colored assumptions about human nature ever developed.

Has Facebook made the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory obsolete? Discuss.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 11:43 AM
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As per Smearcase, sometimes music or a place can make me feel like I'm cruising through a film. Late night in Prague, or walking through Rome, or whatever. Or sitting on a night bus/train in London with the right soundtrack. I can tell (true) stories about myself to other people that can make bits of my life and/or (a somewhat bullshitty version of) me have the right elements for an author bio: 'Poverty, blah, council estate, blah, Oxford, philosophy, musician, actor, martial arts instructor, etc.'

I'd guess like most people, I don't think of other people* much in terms of either romance or attractiveness, though. It wouldn't be the first thing that would come to mind about anyone unless they were freakishly attractive and/or had some absurd tragic backstory.

* people I know, that is. Obviously strangers strike me as attractive or not all the time.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 11:47 AM
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My sense of how attractive people are is completely controlled by how much I like them interpersonally. Barring real extremes (people with open sores on their faces, or really movie-star handsome people) I've got almost no objective sense of what people I know would actually look like to people who weren't fond of them or weren't terribly annoyed by them, whichever applies.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 11:50 AM
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his nipples chafe so bad there's a bunch of blood visible through his shirt

It's not very hard for that to happen if wearing a cotton shirt.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 11:53 AM
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My nipple-blood shirt is now permanently stained. I left it in the garage because it was bloody and sweaty. It sat for months and now it won't come out.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 11:56 AM
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Despite Hollywood's best efforts, no one has managed to make staring at a computer for hours typing things look cinematic. As a result, my life never feels like a movie.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 11:56 AM
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re: 32

The heroic kick-ass academic/teacher/mentor who drives the hero/heroine to a new level? Sean Connery in Finding Forrester, Michael Caine in Educating Rita, or Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting. Or maybe one of those former-bad-ass teacher tropes?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 12:01 PM
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34

Sometimes I have moments looking at a terminal window full of perl that make me think I'm in the Matrix.


Posted by: ursyne | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 12:02 PM
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35

Despite Hollywood's best efforts, no one has managed to make staring at a computer for hours typing things look cinematic.

Though you have to give credit to The Killing Fields for making developing a photograph cinematic.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 12:04 PM
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36

My sense of how attractive people are is completely controlled by how much I like them interpersonally.

Oh yeah, me too, except COMPLETELY NOT.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 12:06 PM
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35: There was also that episode of The Brady Bunch where Greg's photo was needed to say if the receiver's foot was inbounds at the time of the catch.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 12:10 PM
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I left it in the garage because it was bloody and sweaty. It sat for months and now it won't come out.

This is cracking me up. Please come out, won't you, grody bloody shirt? I'll be better, I promise.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 12:13 PM
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39

There are certainly moments when my life feels quite romantic, sitting in the screen room surrounded by oscilloscopes and calling out on the mike "Firing in 3,2,1..." It's something I'll miss the hell out of if I can't find a position that lets me do experimental work. Doing anything in the lab feels romantic to me. Heck, even bullshit machine shop work has a little whiff of romance to me. I'm almost more afraid of getting a straight desk job than I am of ending up unemployed. Maybe if I make enough money I can furnish a small shop at home and build hovercrafts and shit to keep myself sane.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 12:14 PM
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I'm working on a job right now transcribing all of Anton Webern's letters to Schoenberg. Like a lot of archival work, that occasionally feels romantic, but mostly not.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 12:20 PM
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When I try to see my life romantically, it all of a sudden feels like 1975, because I over-identify with my parents and their experience having small children. (And because of the standard-hipstamatic-amber-brainwash that I share with my twee kin.)

Anyway, what washes over me in the sense that having small children is physically draining but emotionally simple. That these are (emotionally) simple, carefree times. Adulterers in the recent threads may disagree, but it's my romantic vision, so there you have it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 12:24 PM
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Hey, Tweekin! Let's go daydream about tube socks and long straight hair parted in the middle.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 12:24 PM
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re: 35

Blow-up, too.

re: 36

Heh. Yeah. I tend to find people attractive in inverse proportion to how well I know them.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 12:25 PM
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My sense of how attractive people are is completely controlled bycompletely controls how much I like them interpersonally.

A slight exaggeration, but more true than I care to admit. The effect wears off quickly (usually), but it's there at first.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 12:27 PM
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45

I get that too, but then it flips when I know them. Annoying people become hideous -- there's a partner at a firm I used to work for whose teeth still give me the creeps when I think about them. Nothing I'd notice on a person I liked, but his canines were protuberant and crooked in a non-human looking kind of way. And he had pop-eyes and a baggy neck.

And people I'm fond of (or am personally impressed by in the right way. There is a category of people who I don't like, but who I react to in a way that makes me think they're physically appealing. Not many of them, but they're out there), I fixate on whatever's appealing about them, and flaws become unimportant.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 12:39 PM
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33: I can't stand any movies about teachers. It may be because the very idea of making my life look exciting is already so implausible that I can't buy into them.

43: I think you are understating things. All those other scenes are rip-offs of Blow-up and Blow-up made developing a photograph look like the most thrilling thing ever.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 12:42 PM
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47

This thread should really separate into the self-dramatizing thread and the physiognomy thread.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 12:49 PM
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48

Did Webern write really terse letters? I guess that would be too cute.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 12:50 PM
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49

I have a terrible habit of aestheticizing my life. Sometimes this makes my life seem a lot more beautiful and interesting; sometimes it makes it deeply sad and terrible. Thank God I quit writing poetry a decade ago.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 12:50 PM
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When I first started commuting, I used to find something romantic about the daily announcement at my station, "Westbound train." How did my ancestors escape from pogroms and the shtetl to come to America? They started on the Westbound train! How did the homesteaders settle the prairies? They took the Westbound train! How would I make my own professional life? I would answer the call for the Westbound train!

hte beginnig of a grand adventure, somewhat erased every night, when I had to answer the clal for the Eastbound train.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 12:52 PM
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I rarely if ever think of myself in a camera's eye or as a dramatic/romantic character.

It is possible to make a dramatic montage of someone working at a computer, I think. Perhaps this could be replicated with a few cameras at various dramatic angles (face closeup, keyboard closeup, etc.) and an application that cycles through them, zooming in and out and adding appropriate music. And keep the result playing all day in a corner of the screen.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 12:56 PM
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52

I wonder what the friend in the OP would say about Harvey Pekar.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 1:01 PM
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An old writing instructor of mine does an exercise called Logline for Your Life. Mine was "A thirtysomething civil servant, reeling from a divorce, starts a rock band that spends as much time advising each other on their romantic lives as practicing." Could be a decent sitcom.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 1:04 PM
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54

The "developing a photograph" scene in Blow-Up is surprisingly exciting.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 1:08 PM
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I used to find something romantic about the daily announcement at my station, "Westbound train."

Sing it to the tune of that Precious Bryant song from Ogged's Smile mix.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 1:09 PM
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I remember reading an interview with Parker Posey in like 1993 in some tiny Austin periodical where she described riding her bike around and "feeling very 'welcome to my video.'" I have always liked this description a lot.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 1:09 PM
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The "developing a photograph" scene in Blow-Up is surprisingly exciting.

I admit, I haven't seen Blow Up. But, seriously, have you seen The Killing Fields (and, of course, Swimming to Cambodia)? The scene I am thinking of definitely counts as "surprisingly exciting."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 1:11 PM
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58

My life in recounting sounds way more awesome than it really actually was. All the parts where I was doing nothing and was sort of a fuck-up get edited out.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 1:20 PM
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59

It's really a shame that Blow Up had other scenes.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 1:21 PM
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59: You are not into way-groovy threesomes?


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 1:23 PM
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re: 57

I don't recall any naked Jane Birkin in The Killing Fields. [Kidding, I have seen it, the K.F. but a very long time ago. My main memory is of the Dith Pran character's time under the Khmer Rouge.]


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 1:23 PM
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Pwned by AWB.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 1:24 PM
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I rarely if ever think of myself in a camera's eye or as a dramatic/romantic character.

An old writing instructor of mine does an exercise called Logline for Your Life.

Heh, whenever I imagine myself in a movie I'm always in a supporting role. "I'm the best friend who's on screen for 6 minutes early on to establish backstory."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 1:25 PM
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58: All the parts where I was doing nothing and was sort of a fuck-up

All the part of my life like that are the parts that tend to sound really interesting. The parts where I was really on-task and effective are sound pretty boring.

In reality, they were all pretty dull and depressing.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 1:45 PM
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Not really in that movie, no.

I would come up with a "because I'm a feminist"-style joke here, except all inspiration seems to have left me. By the end of the movie, though, I will have regained my humor with the help of love.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 1:47 PM
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66

As a parent and teacher, I'm pretty much a blocking character in almost everyone else's story.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 1:48 PM
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67

Did Webern write really terse letters? I guess that would be too cute.

No, they're cute in other ways. He's very enthusiastic about tobacco, and scared of the telephone, and goes into great detail about his students, including Eisler. He is snide about Puccini and Ravel.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 1:57 PM
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68

I'm not romantic, I just happen to be surrounded by objectively pretty people. The truly ugly are freakishly rare. That is what living in a movie would be like. And boarding down the river . . .


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 2:58 PM
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We should combine the rose-colored glasses thing with the student recommendation theme from earlier in the week.

"Of all the students I have ever taught, he was the most ready to admire the accomplishments of white people."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 3:18 PM
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It occurs to me that it wouldn't take any embellishment at all to make my life sound romantic - pretty much right up until the moment I had kids.

I have absolutely no mixed feelings about this. I took some crazy risks based on romantic principles - and got burned for them - and survived and am proud of that part of my life. And I'm happy now, even though it's been more than a decade since the last genuinely exceptional romantic moment in my life.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 3:42 PM
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71

70: Have you told stories here? I don't remember any.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 3:45 PM
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72

I sometimes try to picture my life as the brave, single mom fighting heroic battles of coparenting and billable hours and basic household maintenance. Then our heroine is rescued by the handsome hero who whisks her off to a life of leisure. Then I hold the heroine in disdain for needing rescue by some man, or even really for needing rescue at all. And then it just seems more pathetic than romantic and I go back to abstracting depositions.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 3:46 PM
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73

Deposing abstractions not an option?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 3:49 PM
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74

I've got absolutely nothing to conceptualize as romantic about my life. I'm contentedly married with kids and working as a mid-level civil servant, and my big hobby is knitting. You could get duller, I suppose, but it's hard to picture how.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 3:50 PM
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Anyway, what washes over me in the sense that having small children is physically draining but emotionally simple.

Yes, I often think that. I have found adolescents to be the reverse. Although I am thinking romantically about my children at the moment because one has just returned after being away for 12 days, and the other 3 aren't here.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 3:50 PM
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As parent and teacher, I'm pretty much a blocking character in almost everyone else's story.

This I'm more okay with. That movie shows the charismatic young protagonist rallying an eclectic group of variously artistic and witty and beautiful, but all somewhat awkward and reserved, friends to become a wildly successful rock band. And then that scene at the end, the first song performed at the band's first truly huge show (after they overcome assorted obstacles) and the lead-singer/multi-instrumentalist looks out into the crowd until she finds a ruffled, middle-aged woman, and their eyes connect in a moving moment of pride and gratitude and affection.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 3:55 PM
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71: Presidentially.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 3:55 PM
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70 - tell us some stories! I think the most romantic thing that ever happened to me was many years ago, when I was in Portugal, and after about a month (with a couple more planned), my boyfriend (quite recent) turned up without any prior notice very early one morning. I was rather excited to see him. And it was a Sunday and a public holiday and nowhere was open to buy condoms* so that was a little less romantic.

*and he had loads and loads of condoms due to a malfunctioning condom machine, but had decided not to bring any!


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 3:59 PM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xwmcz1BY89g

Closing credit soundtrack.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 4:05 PM
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If I can find a way to adequately conceptualize "deposing abstractions" into a coherent narrative, my life will be complete. And the narrative thereof completely romantic. Somewhere, there's a Modern Love waiting to be written featuring the following: "Day after day, I sat in my dark little office abstracting depositions. But my soul yearned to depose the abstractions, to put love and faith and commitment on the record and extract from them some evidence for the case I was trying to make. No evasive failures to recall, or speculation. I would make them reveal their secrets to me and I would hold tight to that transcript."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 4:05 PM
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If I can find a way to adequately conceptualize "deposing abstractions" into a coherent narrative, my life will be complete.

Short of that, you can at least make it the band name for the movie in 76.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 4:09 PM
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It occurs to me, reading 72, that I think of many of you as romantic figures, including Di and for exactly the reasons she describes in the first sentence. And for other reasons, too.

LB was in the Peace Corps, lives in Manhattan, and forsook a lucrative career for reasons that could easily be characterized as romantic.

I regard Natilo as a romantic more than most, for reasons that I think are obvious, and it makes me sad that he doesn't seem to be getting any satisfaction out of it lately.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 4:09 PM
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I fainted at a concert once and my boyfriend caught me, swept me into his arms and fought through the crowd to get further away from the stage, which struck my woozy, mega-stoned brain as super romantic.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 4:10 PM
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82 is exactly right. You all are easily cast romantically.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 4:11 PM
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74: I've got absolutely nothing to conceptualize as romantic about my life. I'm contentedly married with kids and working as a mid-level civil servant, and my big hobby is knitting. You could get duller, I suppose, but it's hard to picture how.

Aside from the fact that I have no hobbies, that's me. I would say that the fact that my wife and I were in middle and high school together (and got together when I was starting graduate school) is a good bit of plotting.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 4:12 PM
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79 to 80: Sometimes you have to dream deep to find your real life at all.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 4:16 PM
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87

You could get duller, I suppose, but it's hard to picture how.

I don't have kids.

The funny thing is that I don't find my life dull -- I don't have much of a yen for excitement, but from the outside there really isn't much exciting in my life.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 4:18 PM
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(68(a) is wrong -- unless restricted to the issue mentioned in 68(b) -- I'm probably as romantic about my own life and many of the people in it as anyone you'll meet.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 4:19 PM
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87: Indeed. I have a yen for boredom like you wouldn't believe.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 4:24 PM
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You all are easily cast romantically

Except for the part where we spend all our time procrastinating on the Internet, surely?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 4:29 PM
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90: Except for the part where we spend all our time procrastinating on the Internet, surely?

The musical montage of this would be awesome.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 4:46 PM
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Except for the part where we spend all our time procrastinating on the Internet, surely?

It's building up to something awesome.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 4:52 PM
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Completely unromantic: sitting in this hotel lobby hoping some people I'm vaguely acquainted with will pass through and I can join them for dinner. This is the problem with conferences without people I know well.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 4:53 PM
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I would like to think my movie character is a younger, male Thelma Ritter role.

A friend and I in grad school referred to Before Sunrise as "the movie that ruined our lives" because shit like that doesn't happen. In fact, I'm probably content with the subtler romantic happenings of my adult life. The relationship in my 20s with more cinematic stuff (we had a Meet Cute and everything) was a fiery train-wreck.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 5:16 PM
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(Ok, my movie role is apparently the invisible man.)


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 5:17 PM
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96

A friend and I in grad school referred to Before Sunrise as "the movie that ruined our lives" because shit like that doesn't happen.

I actually had almost all of that movie (down to visiting a graveyard) happen to me right around the time it came out. Well, except she wasn't interested in me romantically. Everything else, though, totally happened.

(We even ended up spending all night wandering through Vienna 'cause we didn't have a hotel. One crucial difference: Before Sunrise was set in summer. We were there the first week in March.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 5:22 PM
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97

I've got absolutely nothing to conceptualize as romantic about my life.

Despite the obvious reply (things like 90), being a frontpage Unfogged blogger who is also fairly well-known on the related corners of the interwebs is pretty glam. From a certain angle, at least. Maybe not quite as much as it was a few years ago, but not bad material to work with. Let's say: you've got a type.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 5:44 PM
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98

I fantasize myself as single-handedly reducing the readership of this site by 75%.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:03 PM
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99

Except for the part where we spend all our time procrastinating on the Internet, surely?

I've never seen You've Got Mail but I think it involves romantic procrastination on the Internet.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:04 PM
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98: Harsh. I think you should ease up on yourself and realize that Stanley's responsible for at least 30% of it.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:05 PM
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101

"Yes, he was a thief... and a terrorist. On the other hand, he had a tremendous singing voice."

I never try to conceive of my life romantically, because that seems to me like a surefire way to drive oneself insane when the inevitable unromantic minutiae of life come crowding in. However, I have been blessed with many romantic and pictaresque moments in life and I certainly try to appreciate them as such when they're happening, or in retrospect.

I cannot necessarily ferret out the attractive in everybody, but I can usually ferret out some positive trait or other in most people. I think I've only ever met one or two people, even among the worst of them, who I couldn't find at least one positive thing about.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:07 PM
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100: Damn straight. It could be even be a hilarious buddy movie, starring heebie with me as her bumbling sidekick.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:14 PM
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103

93: Being part of an Ego/Alter Ego team, I could tell you all that one of us is a mysterious figure who fights crime. But the truth is that it's more like Clark Kent disappearing into the internet phone booth and emerging as Kent Clark. Not quite so romantic.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:15 PM
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104

(103 was not really directed at 93. I had an entirely different comment in mind when I started typing. Having two egos predisposes one to ADD.)


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:16 PM
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105

98: You don't need to copy Tina Brown.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:17 PM
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Yeah, I don't know. Viewing your life as romantic seems or feels delicious in the moments.

This is to say that there have been times at which I've found life as a bookdealer pretty romantic; at those times I confess I was in the throes of romance with another bookdealer who was terribly romantic (in my view), but once you return to the trenches, the everyday of the thing, it comes to schlepping boxes around.

On the other hand. Viewing one's life as romantic might be the thing that dreams are made of, and all that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 6:31 PM
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I had started this job six months, maybe a year earlier. One night, after sealing a rather impressive deal, my boss and I went out for a celebratory drink. This was, perhaps, the best job I had ever had -- both because I was making more than twice what I'd made before but also because I felt more comfortable with the people I was working with than I ever feel with groups of people.

We were having a lovely evening, when without warning he announced that he was attracted to me. I was a beautiful woman, there was no question about that. But it wasn't my soft blush and awkward smile when embarrassed by a compliment, nor the sharp cut of my calf punctuating the long line of my legs. He found me all-but-irresistible intellectually. He had never met anyone who challenged him mentally the way I do, who saw things with such clarity and from such unexpected angles. We were both married. There were children to consider. It was something that could never be. But he felt it needed to be said and acknowledged, just for this moment.

I loved my husband. I had no intention of straying. But he was right. I was drawn to him. My husband was sweet, and adored me, and I would never hurt him. But my boss had that mental whateverness I had only in the past few months really begun to realize I was missing.

"Why? Why would you tell me this?" I demanded angrily. He felt the tension had been hanging there between us so long, he wanted to be honest with me. He wanted us to know. "And then what? We walk away tonight with this bittersweet knowledge of something powerful, but unrequited, like some poignant ending to some Hollywood film?" Well, yeah, sort of, he sheepishly admitted. But the thing is, they never show what happens after the credits roll. That poignant moment of mutually acknowledged impossibility has a certain beauty for that fleeting, delicate moment. But then there is a lifetime to live with this uncomfortable knowledge that ultimately changes everything. Everything.

Bastard.


Posted by: Gennifer Flowers | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:15 PM
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108

So how long ago was this?


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:21 PM
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109

One marriage, two promotions, four raises and two graduations ago.


Posted by: Gennifer Flowers | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:26 PM
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110

This line of discussion makes me feel very old. Every week that I keep going frankly feels like a victory. Any human reaction to my existence distinct from an interest in professional output or the incredibly sweet affection of my kid, who will soon lose interest, is remarkable. I like to read, I have a hobby and stay fit mostly for the emotional benefit. but that's it. Considering how I look or even might look from the outside is no longer a consolation. Count yourselves lucky.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:34 PM
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111

But then there is a lifetime to live with this uncomfortable knowledge that ultimately changes everything. Everything.

That kind of thing is why I'm so glad I was raised to never communicate any feelings.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:35 PM
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112

If only all boys were raised that way.


Posted by: Gennifer Flowers | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:37 PM
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113

Considering how I look or even might look from the outside is no longer a consolation.

From the inside, it's too dark to look.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:38 PM
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there is a lifetime to live with this uncomfortable knowledge that ultimately changes everything

For me, this is the kind of thing I just won't or can't romanticize in my own life. Unrequited love, requited but impossible love--I think these might just be the two kinds there are. I've gotten a not-insignificant number of "It's time I finally told you I'm madly in love with you" confessions from people I also thought I might be in love with, but never from someone who actually intended to do anything about it. I hope YMMV. In the meanwhile, 111.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:41 PM
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115

Arg. 114 is me.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:44 PM
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116

50: I liked to think of my life after college as a journey westward. (I went to college on the east coast, and didn't like it much.) Then I got a job on the east coast. Narrative FAIL.


Posted by: YK | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:47 PM
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117

114,5: You were raised on plains also, no?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 7:51 PM
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118

I would be so incredibly happy to find out that someone has had a secret and unfeasible crush on me that I have frequently had to resist the temptation to tell other people that I feel that way about them, with no expectation of anything following. Just because I don't see any reason why it wouldn't brighten their day. I then talk myself out of it by figuring they probably get these revelations made to them all the time, these special people.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:08 PM
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119

Maybe "frequently" is the wrong word. Every year or two.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:08 PM
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120

I am not currently pleased that a recent graduate has a crush on me. I am ignoring him until his emails become less frequent and more content neutral.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:12 PM
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gennifer, that is a sad story and I am sorry for the heartache. it sounds intractable. I'm sorry you didn't get a memorable kiss out of it, but maybe that would have been too much.

as long as we are going to let other people be in the movie, the rest of my family can be in it, and then it can be a three part action drama something. because a lot of it happens in the south we will get over the "oh come the fuck on reaction that the audience will otherwise have. they'll say, "oh sure, southern gothic, right. I heard south carolina was the craziest of all the states." "really though? is mississippi going to come up in here and get mad?" "no, they have the highest violent death rate and everything. everybody knows they're crazy over in south carolina. did you hear about that guy that cut up all them people in that double wide and then smoked them in a smoker?" "no shit, that guy? damn."

I'm inclined to think all of you have romantic stories, LB's protestations of boredom aside. I want natilo to catch a break and find things easier for a while too. even the blog has a romantic story, in its way.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:14 PM
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122

Maybe "frequently" is the wrong word.

Love hertz?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:14 PM
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123

Oh, it is thrilling for a moment. Deliciously agonizing for some time after that. But then life goes on and you find yourselves happy with other non-impossible partners, and you mourn just a little the beautiful, kindred friendship that got away because confessions of all-but-irresistible attraction have a way of making beautiful, kindred friendships feel weird and uncomfortable. Maybe that's just me.


Posted by: Gennifer Flowers | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:16 PM
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(I had not, in fact, given this much thought in ages. But all this talk of romanticizing reminded me of how romatically he framed the whole thing. Sigh.)


Posted by: Gennifer Flowers | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:21 PM
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"requited but impossible love"

This is the worst kind. My life is quite a bit less dramatic these days than it was during the past decade, and I am grateful. A little bored, sure, somewhat missing the excitement and romance, but gods spare me any more impossible love.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:23 PM
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One of my best friends is essentially always carrying around an unrequited or impossible crush, which she (almost) never acts on. Having served in that role a few times, I can definitely understand the appeal of a little exciting dramatic romance.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:26 PM
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127

Oh, impossible is fine--that's me and Matt Damo/n. It's the requited and impossible that should be avoided.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:28 PM
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128

Sad but true.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:29 PM
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118: cryptic ned: if the person is a woman, she almost certainly knows already unless you only see her rarely and from afar. even then, she knows. I can't say as much about gay guys because I don't know what it's like to be the male object of a male crush. I feel a man would know also.

if it's someone you have to have a work or other ongoing relationship with, she is likely to find it very awkward, even though you don't have any expectations. you have hopes, surely, wild hopes, fantastic hopes. and your crush won't go away because it's out in the open. she will be suddenly afraid that any ordinary courtesy will be interpreted as a "yes" to that crush, feeding it. she will want to withdraw from you to the extent possible, and it will become an issue when she needs to arrange things, to be part of ordinary scheduling, projects, meeting with other groups of friends. you will become a problem instead of a living compliment.

is the person unavailable because she's married, is that what you mean by unfeasible? the thing to do is not to confess your ardent admiration (which she sees written on your face) but ask her out for coffee. this is a low-committment non-date. maybe she likes you back! she could even say yes in all innocence, assuming her marriage ring is proof against any improper implications of having coffee. so ask her another time. ask her to lunch. at some point you're going to run into a wall of "I'm busy/maybe next week/no time/cryptic ned I like you but I'm married and I just don't feel comfortable having lunch so much, people will talk." now you just shut up. alternatively, she falls for you, the bonds of matrimony are cast off, etc.

don't just waltz in and say the eastern star sets in your eyes. please don't. it's so awkward. it seems like it should be amazing to think that someone you don't know well is madly in love with you, and sure it's ego-feeding, but if it's someone you need to see often it is very difficult to deal with and an unreasonable thing to have done to you. and yes it does happen to her a lot probably. well, not so much with the confessing, because people are shy.

god, I don't know. maybe we should put it up for a vote and actually everyone would love to have this happen to them and I am the grinch who stole christmas. love is wonderful! and maybe honesty is better than just letting her collect a group of admirers to feed her ego, none of them daring to speak his love aloud. I have done this, and I was being a manipulative asshole. maybe she loves you back and is waiting for you to break the poignant silence. what the fuck do I know.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:46 PM
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127: Good think you google-proofed that. You wouldn't want Matt Damo/n showing up here and suddenly turning your love into requited but still impossible.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 8:47 PM
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131

maybe we should put it up for a vote

I vote for sending her a hand-made card using the "Love Hertz" pun.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 9:13 PM
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132

I'd been in the quiet desperation stretch of the road for quite some time and then had magic happen for close to twenty years so I know it's possible. It's not likely to happen again but it wasn't likely to happen the first time.

I dunno what the moral of the story is. Nebbermind.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 9:43 PM
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127: You never know! We must think of the children (well, his, anyway).

And 129 is right about everything.


Posted by: J Robot | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 9:49 PM
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134

You know, back a decade or so ago, I used to be told I strongly resembled Matt Damo/n... laydeez. (Alas, it's not true anymore, if it ever was.)

I do need to work on accepting compliments gracefully. Not that I get them very often, but having someone tell me that in a throaty voice that I was very pretty, and how much she loved my hair, while running her fingers through it, had me just sort of blushing and spluttering something unintelligible.

I suppose the last few days could be given a romantic gloss, but it really just seems pathetically juvenile--hours upon hours of "oh but we mustn't! oh but we want to!"--ugh.

I agree with the other commenters about the ease of imagining the Unfoggedtariat as romantic protagonists.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 10:25 PM
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... and then today, one of my housemates poked me in the belly, saying "how's that ice cream tasting, buddy?" Asshole.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 10:26 PM
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129.1 -- I'm not sure most women always know: though, obviously, IIRTFAC, the answer to 'which of the men has a secret crush on Al?' is 'all of them.' I am sure that a man often doesn't. There are pretty strong incentives to writing off what looks like it might be interest as simple self-delusion. The alternative is basically the choice between being a silly old fool and a complete idiot.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 10:53 PM
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I tend to think men have crushes on me when really it's that they imagine I have a crush on them and like fucking with me.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 11:04 PM
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Everyone seems to generalize from themselves on this issue. For every well-meaning-advice-giving-straight-woman who says "Trust me, she can tell if you're interested", there's one who says "You silly billy, how is she supposed to know what you think unless you tell her? Telepathy?"


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 11:10 PM
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134/135: wait, aren't you my planned roommate (along with Thorn) for Unfoggededecacon's yarn bomb sex grotto? Or was that someone else? At any rate, your situation sounds tantalizing, crazy-making, and sexy as all hell. Still glad* that part of my life is over, though.

*Mostly. I'd definitely skip the aftermath.


Posted by: J Robot | Link to this comment | 07-25-12 11:45 PM
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There's a bit of a selection bias. Obvious crushes are obvious.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-26-12 12:15 AM
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141

|| Hypothesis: In that Fun. song Stanley linked to recently, the godawful autotune vocal theme that is picked up later by the electric guitar is patterned after a fife.
|>


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-26-12 6:12 AM
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142

"Sure, Adolf Hitler was a genocidal monster, he did have very nice penmanship." but he did build the Autobahnen.


Posted by: OPINIONATED 90-YEAR-OLD GERMAN | Link to this comment | 07-26-12 6:40 AM
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J, Robot: Impossible love, indeed: Matt Damo/n is MY imaginary google-proofed boyfriend! Let us now have a very romantic rivalry!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-26-12 7:05 AM
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144

Pistols at dawn, Smearcase!


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 07-26-12 8:15 AM
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A friend and I in grad school referred to Before Sunrise as "the movie that ruined our lives" because shit like that doesn't happen

Sometimes it seems like it might, and then you find five dollars.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-26-12 1:49 PM
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I posted 145.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-26-12 1:49 PM
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Pistols at dawn, Smearcase!

Unfoggedecadecon is going to be awesome.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07-26-12 2:00 PM
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I see this thread has petered out.

129: god, I don't know. maybe we should put it up for a vote and actually everyone would love to have this happen to them and I am the grinch who stole christmas.

It's not great to have it happen to you if you're currently in a long-term, happy relationship, or if the other person is. It's possible that when I was younger I felt otherwise, but now, no.

It's also not unlikely that such a confessed love is actually just a crush, an infatuation, which is to say, a passing thing, fed by fantasizing about what it would be like to act on it, but not based in the reality of the matter. That's well and good -- great! -- when you're single.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-26-12 5:02 PM
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