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Monday, November 29, 2004


Thanksgiving was cool. Lots of time with the high school friends on Wednesday and Friday which was good. Mostly. It was a reminder once again that I’m not nearly as close to some as I once was, though I’m closer to others than ever. Putting childish things away, wheat from the chaff, thou shalt not worship golden calves, what have you…But I drank beer out of a boot. And there was a chocolate milkshake in there somewhere, “and you know that can’t be bad…”

The movie watching portion on Thursday was great. Full Metal Jacket, the Good Girl, the Graduate, and Rushmore. That was a grand old time. Ah, Bill Murray, you’re the brilliant uncle I never had. Saturday night I had a script meeting with frequent colleague Tom Schorsch on the first third of Activision, he made some top notch structural suggestions and I think it’s a terrific third of a play now. Then last night I saw the brilliant L3K alumna Ellie Kaufman perform in “Meshugga-Nuns” a wacky farce produced by Chicago Jewish Theatre about some nuns um, acting Jewish or something. It’s the sort of thing that’s designed to inoffensively amuse old people, and it was just one of those so dorky it was awesome things. It reminded me a bit of a show I did at a church a couple of years ago that pretty much left off at “so dorky…”. Overall it was adorable, but the best part was looking at the rest of the Chicago Jewish Theatre season: Next up, another wacky farce about being Jewish entitled “Oy”. followed by “The Diary of Anne Frank”. That’s one of those things you just can’t make up.

My mother announced her intention to go into my apartment and clean it today. My parents still kind of pamper me, though I’m a few weeks shy of 27. I’m okay with that really, they frankly have a lot to atone for. It fills me with apprehension though…A clean apartment is kind of unnatural.

And now I’m back at work…Hurm.

Every so often I encounter a work of pop culture/pop psychology that makes me want to hurl things across the room. Today on the Internet, and in the newspaper, I’ve been unable to escape references to this “advice” book He’s Just Not That Into You, about how if guys don’t call girls, they’re not interested in said girls. Seems commonsense enough, I don’t know (personally I don’t call girls I’m into very often because I’m terrified of them)…but women actually buy this book and they subject themselves to the same tired gender stereotypes…God I’m going to start tearing my hair out…Examples from the book include “The book also lays waste to some tried-and-true excuses women often let men get away with. Like, he's just too busy. ("The word 'busy' is the relationship Weapon of Mass Destruction. It seems like a good excuse. ...")” And sometimes an accurate one. Many people, particularly interesting people, really are very busy, people who don’t spend their time reading and writing stupid advice books. Or, he doesn't want to ruin the friendship. ("Unfortunately, in the entire history of mankind that excuse has never ever been used by someone who actually means it.") Yes, it bloody well HAS! Some men do in fact value friendships with women, even women they’re very attracted to, and in fact value those friendships more than they might value the potential of dating them…sometimes life is complicated…no, don’t you see, life is *never* complicated, because Guys Don’t Like to Talk About Their Feelings and Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend and White People Drive Like This…. I don’t like these bits of hackery because they’re infectious, I found myself slipping into them for an easy laugh just last night…But people like them because they’re a way to understand the world that takes no real effort. There are six billion stories on the Naked Planet but nobody wants to hear them all because that would take too much work, much better to reduce them to a series of easy punchlines. But I *do* want to hear the stories, and tell them. Which is why these jackasses should stick to their pithy newspaper columns and leave the book contracts to the Big Boys (and Girls)

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Replies: 4 comments

I mostly agree with you Twinters, but the big thing is that it's not a gender issue. Men pine over women who aren't into them just as much, despite the yuppie meathead attitude of the male co-author who seems to be of the "Men only care about getting laid" school of social commentary. And yes, women need to be aggressive...towards me, in particular.

We just talked about this in person on Monday, Rory, but I thought I'd pass along my two cents for your myriad of other readers:

While I agree 'He's Just Not That Into You' perpetrates outdated societal mores reminiscent of the 1950s--such as "don't call guys, they like to call you"--I must admit I think 'HJNTIY' (what a horrid acronym!) raises a valid point more women should be aware of. You can read excerpts here:

We girls need to stop wasting our time pining over guys who don't like us, and try to find someone who does. We've all been guilty of this: I have a friend still hung up over a guy she dated briefly (and badly) two years ago; another has been pining for over a year after a male friend she rarely sees and who likes someone else. Both friends need to have a male friend--in a book or otherwise--bluntly tell them "he's just not that into you." It's hard to see it yourself, and female friends worry too much over hurting their friends' feelings to be that bold.

I hope that women take away from this book the notion to stop pining over guys who aren't interested, instead of the old-fashioned advice to not pursue men. It's hard enough as a woman to get over society and what-not and approach a guy we find attractive. There should be more people asking each other out, not less.

Ah, Paulie, why didn't we go to your Thanksgiving party instead? Probably because we were fools. I'll be much more into your dating book I think. It'll have cartoons right? I like the title. I think I'd admire that other book a lot more if it had a title like "He's Just Not That Into You...THEREFORE DESPAIR!"

And a happy thanksgiving to ye.

I am writing a dating book, called Dating Don'ts and Don'ts. I had better do it soon before someone beats me to it.


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