Tag Archives: love

Nine Ways To Hit On Your Starbucks Barista

9 Mar
  1. Give her your business card. In this modern age networking is quickly becoming flirting and if she can’t get behind that then she shouldn’t be working at a coffee shop.
  2. “I love you. Will you marry me? No? OK I’ll have a grande, non-fat, latte with a pump of caramel … It’s a man’s drink, but you wouldn’t know, would you?”
  3. Take forever to order while saying “um” and “uh” for long periods of time. Then finally order a medium, hot coffee with nothing in it. Don’t make eye contact but when you hand her your cash, gracefully touch her hand, look up, and begin crying. This will work if you’re Ryan Gosling.
  4. Be Ryan Gosling.
  5.  “Hi. I’m ___. I feel like I’m being too forward but you seem kinda cool and I really want to get to know you more. Want to grab a cup of coffee when your shift is over? I have a nine inch penis.”
  6. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed but all my lattes are fat-free. I’m fat-free. Want some fat-free DNA?”
  7. Use ordering vocabulary as a way to make remarks about love, dating, and existentialism, such as…
    1. Can I get a latte … a latte love from you?
    2. I would like a venti, non-fat, mocha, whip, frappucinno and the key to getting into your chinos. Hi, I’m ____.
    3. I would love to eat your protein box, if you know what I mean (then wink several times so you know that they know what you mean).
  8. “… And that’s the story of the time that I saved a puppy, a kitty, and a small African boy from a burning building. What am I here for? Coffee? Oh no, that’s right … your heart. “
  9.  “Sometimes, when I wake up in the morning, I like to gaze out on this beautiful world through my bedroom window and just let the early morning rays fall gently upon my genitals, as if they’re being held in the warm palm of God himself. Do you like it when God cups your genitals? I’ll have a grande iced coffee.”

It Amazes Me

3 Aug

It amazes me that, at some point, Mark Twain put a string of words together and thought they got the job done, that they accomplished his goal, communicated his message. Yet these words did none of those things. That at a point in his life, he didn’t know how to use the right words at the right time.

It amazes me that he had to learn something, to work on his craft, and wasn’t just born with his ability. He probably tried to write a love letter to a woman, someone beautiful, but could never get it to be as lyrical, delicate, affectionate as those of the writers that he admired. So he gave up. Crumpled up the inked paper and threw it in a trash can. Maybe, if he had, they would have fallen in love, gotten married, had kids, and Mark Twain would have never been Mark Twain.

It amazes me that the man struggled – with anything.

It amazes me that every comedian that’s ever been on television, sold out stadiums, packed thousand-seat theaters with beautiful, gilded, festoons and frescoes, that they, at one point, stood in front of a microphone at a coffee shop or bar during an open mic, told some jokes for five minutes, and made no one laugh. Not a single person. That this event happened over, and over, and over again. That they, too – the Louis CKs, Marc Marons, Dane Cooks, George Carlins – they worked, failed, struggled, and strived to become who they are now.

It amazes me that they started somewhere. That they came from one thing and ended up another. That their past isn’t  glamorous or successful like their present or future, but absolutely critical to how they got there.

It’s like when you meet a girl and you feel that tug of attraction, that magnetic pulse between the two of you, and it’s downright remarkable just to learn that she existed before this very moment.

That ten years ago she may have been a completely different person. That she was once in love and then fell out of it and lived to tell the tale. That she evolved into the human she is today. It amazes me to watch as this individual who was just filling up space slowly becomes a human. A human with a past, a timeline, a series of changes that have brought them to their inevitable conclusion which is their current state of being. The day that we are able to see the forest from the tree is the day that we see the human from the individual.

The same applies for parents. It amazes me to learn that they had dreams, goals, and desires before I came into this world – kicking and screaming and taking up space. It amazes me that they were once teenagers, dreaming of big things, wondering big questions, and feeling so very little in a very big world.

It amazes me that they became young adults, feeling just a little bigger and seeing the world as even larger. It amazes me that they felt fear or regret. It amazes me that before I became a central point in their ecosystem, they still had a meaning. That they were complete individuals and I simply changed it, repurposed it all around me.

And they went with it.

It amazes me that we all carry a trajectory with us – either folded up in our back pockets or proudly on display in an intricate frame – and that, for the most part, no one really knows where it will lead.

Someone once told me that the hardest thing anyone can do is admit their faults and actively work on fixing them.

Well, we’re all working on something. And it’s pretty damn hard.

We’re all going from one thing to another, finishing a process,  a journey, or maybe just starting one. Regardless, everyone is learning, and – just as much as it amazes me that Mark Twain had to learn how to structure a sentence, that Robin Williams had struggled with delivering punchlines, and that my parents may have been completely terrified – it amazes me even more that they are continuing to combat these things. That we never stop learning, improving, finishing, and re-doing.

The best we can do is consider everyone as humans. As people with a past, a present, and a future where they will always be learning something, fixing something, finding something that even they may not have known that they needed. That they came from something and ended up here, with you, in this tiny sliver of time. That we’re all struggling in some little way or another, to work on the hardest thing we can work on – fixing ourselves.

You’re a Great Puzzle Piece: Woody Allen and The Impossibility of Dating

2 Mar
This is Woody Allen's happy face.

This is Woody Allen’s happy face.

A girl once told me that I was a “great puzzle piece.” She was my former roommate’s stepsister and lived in Florida. She would visit Boston, where I was living, in the summers and we hit it off during one of them.

We once spent a good hour of a house party sitting in the corner of the room – our corner of the room – watching videos on her phone. We exchanged numbers. She left. We texted. Developed inside jokes. Told stories. Posted funny videos on each other’s Facebook pages.

We connected, in a sense.

She came back. We went to another party. Once again, we ignored the rest of the world.

After this particular party, everyone went back to my house. She was supposed to grab a spot on the couch but ended up in my bed – probably not as discreetly as any of us would have wanted. We cuddled. We were innocent. We talked for hours and kept each other warm during a remarkably chilly, summer night in New England.

The entire time we were both very much aware that she was in a relationship.

It was during this night that she confessed my “greatness” as a missing piece to her puzzle, whatever one she may be constructing, one where her main squeeze apparently didn’t fit into a particularly tricky corner.

The greatness being, mostly, that simple fact that I actually fit into her puzzle.

This is a picture of a puzzle.

Paul Thomas Anderson once quoted Woody Allen, saying that making a movie is a miracle. With all the moving parts that go into the production of a film, the money required to market it, put it together and get it distributed; the brain power and time needed to lock down a tight script and the organizational tactics required to get the cast to play the right roles, and getting a crew that is capable of turning a director’s vision into a reality – like a team of magical, blue-collar, camera-lovers – makes the bottom half of the movie-making iceberg titanic in proportion.

The daunting task of making something that requires so many things to go right but allows so much wiggle room for all of them to go wrong is symmetrical to dating in this digital age. The near-impossibility of finding love in our culture has risen by a paralyzing abundance of hoops we need to jump through and stars that must bear the wishes of millions of singles everywhere.

The amount of gears that need to come into alignment to date someone in a world where access to each other is at an unparalleled level is staggering. Not only do you both need to be single – the critical connection I was missing earlier – but also in the market to date someone. And even then, a good mate, as Flannery O’Connor would attest, can be hard to find.

We need someone we can talk to without feeling too dumb, smart, bored or uncomfortable, too much or too little. We need someone who likes the things we like but is just different enough to make up for what we lack – as if, within our own puzzle of puzzles, the piece we choose to be most important needs to be the one that aligns with our own individual piece.

We want to find someone who makes us feel as though we’re the only person in the world, yet be someone we want to be that alone with.

As a new dating app or website hits the internet everyday, and more people are finding themselves working jobs or leading lives that make it increasingly hard to meet new people and socialize, we are beginning to use these tools as a way to gain access to something that we are, at the same time, eliminating.

But, because of this, we’ve created so many options that have helped us develop an unprecedented level of pickiness. The complication of dating – the miracle-ness of finding someone just for you in a sea of thousands of people – has been reduced to a catalog of thousands of headshots and matching interests online. A giant swatch of brown hair, blue eyes, hiking and sports teams.

The notions of fate and chance have been taken out of the equation. Dating has become a proactive task, something you must take advantage of, an opportunity you must create, make room for, clear a space to lay out this puzzle where all the pieces are online and available to order at anytime as they strive to find a puzzle to fit into, to complete, to be a part of.

The term “love the one you’re with” doesn’t apply anymore because it’s now too easy to find another one to be with.

In addition, because we have so many choices, there’s been a collective roadblock at the sentence that can stop most people from doing many things:

I don’t know.

Indecision is running rampant with technologically savvy, single, Americans and with too many options come too many decisions and, with that, too many questions.

Do people want to date? Get married? Just hangout? What do these labels mean? Do I have time for this? Does this fit my priorities? What’s more important? Do I like this person?

The paralysis created by indecisive individuals makes it impossible for dating to work, like it’s a car or a computer– some machine that’s supposed to perform an automated task, yet one of the gears isn’t quite matching up with its counterpart.

The culture of dating has changed, as well, with technology and its options. “Getting to know someone” has become a steady stream of text messages, miscommunications and rain checks that never get relinquished. As we begin to saturate our lives with an insurmountable pile of unromantic options – people reduced to ones and zeroes on a computer screen, words of love and connection creating hope and disappointment simplified into data on a cell phone bill – we’re beginning to produce another Woody Allen quote, that unrequited love is the only romantic love.

The pickiness and the complications, the misunderstood Facebook posts and counting the minutes between texts – these may all just be complications we’ve created to make the unbeautiful, automated world of dating in the 21st Century into something at least somewhat romantic. As if by making it so hard for the candle to burn in the first place, we get the same romantic heartache we would get if the candle burned out too quickly.

We used to walk into bars and coffee shops without knowing whom we were going to run into. Access to other humans was much more rare than it is now and, because of this, individuals were more open to creating relationships, to igniting these sparks. We were willing to connect with people because the chance of meeting The One was more mysterious and unexpected. Life was more spontaneous; less planned and left more to the capricious whims of Fate. We didn’t get our rocks off on digital connections – our largest degree of separation was a missed call and an unheard voicemail. Now, the only people who leave voicemails are just parents and bosses.

Between an increasing lack of time and a growing need for human connection, our own advances in making dating easier have actually stacked the obstacles for dating against us.

Woody may have found the technicalities of making an actual movie to be miraculous, but all of his films were built on the bricks of romantic complications and missed connections. The greatest puzzle piece he’s been able to put together has been the seamless fit of his content to the medium in which it gets produced, both of which rely on intense human connection and outstanding communication, both of which have become increasingly rare in the texture of dating in our culture.