Monday, September 5, 2011


When I was in high school my friend Nick got a new computer for his graduation gift. It was an Apple laptop, and this was before everyone had them. One summer day Nick, Laura, and myself were lounging around at his house, and he was demonstrating the fancy features of his new fancy laptop. It had this function in which you could say "tell me a joke" and this digital woman would pop up and tell you a joke. The jokes were usually bad, but the feature was novel and thus fascinating to us. On this particular day we hovered around the laptop and instructed it to tell us a joke, and the conversation went a little something like this:
Digital woman: "Knock, knock"
Us: "who's there?!"
DW: "Zombies."
Us: "zombies who??"
more silence. Apparently the fancy new laptop had frozen.
At this point Nick began screaming every expletive in his arsenal, which was a lot.
Nick: "ZOMBIES WHO YOU *&^&*&^&87#$$%@#$&*^(%^ YOU @#*&$#(*@(*&%#)"

And we never heard the end of the joke.

Several years later my friend Alex said that he had heard the joke elsewhere, and wondered if I would like to know how it ended. "It's pretty bad" he said. I decided I would just rather leave the joke unanswered, and imagine all the ways it could have ended, rather than be disappointed after all that time. So I still don't know how it ended.

As an adult, I have come to compare the 'zombies who' joke to relationships I have encountered that have ended before they had run the course that I would have thought. Had they not ended abruptly, what would have happened? Do I really want to know how it ends? More often than not, I think I would rather just be left guessing.

...because who answers the door for zombies? you're bound to get your heart ripped out. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

off the back of a truck

"If you have to ask, you can't afford it. This is the second most useful piece of romantic advice I have ever received...
If you have to ask someone to change, to tell you they love you, to bring wine to dinner, to call you when they land, you can't afford to be with them. It's not worth the price, even though, just like the Tiffany catalog, no one tells you what the price is. You set it yourself, and if you're lucky it's reasonable. You have a sense of when you're about to go bankrupt. Your own sense of self-worth takes the wheel and says, Enough of this shit. Stop making excuses. No one's that busy at work. No one's allergic to whipped cream. There are too cell phones in Sweden. But most people don't get luck. They get human. They get crushes. This means you irrationally mortgage what little logic you own to pay for this one thing. This relationship is an impulse buy, and you'll figure out if it's worth it later.
So, assuming you've gone ahead and purposefully ignored the first adage because it doesn't apply to you and you are in love the way no one in the history of spooning has ever been in love: now what? You've gotten what you want, but the state of mutual ownership has shifted. Like that piece of jewelry that you're never quite comfortable wearing, you become concerned with its whereabouts, who borrows it and for how long. You wonder if you'll lose it, if it might look better wrapped around someone else's neck. Admit it: wouldn't it be less stressful not having it touching your body at all?"

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

don't gotta work it out.

I recently rediscovered a horoscope that I had cut out of a newspaper towards the end of my stay in Sydney. It was winter, all my friends had moved away, and I was working as a waitress (which I hated). I had booked a 3 month trip and to follow that I was moving back home, and I just couldn't wait to leave. I don't usually invest a lot of faith in horoscopes, but this one was just perfect for that time in my life. Now that I think about it, it's pretty appropriate for my life right now, too. And has been for quite some time.

What happens if you walk daily through the same field? First, you tread a path. Then the path becomes a rut. Eventually your feet sink into the tramlines of habit. You do what you have always done, go where you've always gone. That's stability if you're enjoying it. It's prison, though, if you're not. Something soon has to lift you out of an ingrained pattern that is doing you no good. Be glad of your imminent release from a situation you've outgrown.