Hmm. Wow. This is weird. I never thought I’d actually be writing to you–I mean, like, ever, in a million years. It’s nothing personal–I think it’s just one of those male ego/”of course I know where I’m going, that farmhouse over there looks just like all the others we keep passing at regular 10 minute intervals because we’re in Nebraska–or is it Kansas?–for God’s sake”/”I don’t need your help, I can quit anytime” kinda things. Plus, it’s been quite a long time since I’ve needed any chick-type advice because . . . well, it’s been too long since I’ve, um, been in any kind of position to need any chick-type advice (which, of course, I will elaborate upon further when I’m done with my really long greeting-paragraph-type-thing). So, anyway, commencing with long-formulaic-breakup-girl- “help-me-help-me-I’m-in-such- utter-despair-and-inner-turmoil” letter version 1.0 . . . or .01 . . . or something like that. . . .
You rock. Your column rocks. Your Mom rocks, your dog rocks, your car rocks, etc. etc. (I mean it all sincerely, but I know you get that stuff all the time, and hearing it from me probably won’t send you up to cloud nine or anything–if, on the other hand, it *does*, then, well, I went ahead and said it).
Allow me to quickly tell you about myself (trust me, it’s all relevant–really, it is). I’m a 19 and a half (yes, I count “and-a-half”s) (okay, I’m going to stop it with these parentheses thingies or I’ll never get this letter written) year-old college student. And I’m a transfer student–I’m from down South, went way up North for a year, enjoyed myself, money and stuff like that didn’t quite work out, came back down South to an in-state school and am doing fine. I’m also–okay, prepare yourself–shy. But unlike a lot of shy people, including those among my friends and most of those who have written letters to you, I’m not really embarrassed about my shyness. In fact, I’ve kind of learned to accept it and to be comfortable with it. Maybe this is a little difficult to explain, or maybe I’m just deluding myself or something, but I figure that the world needs shy people just as much as, if not more than, it needs those who are outgoing; were it not for reclusive, creative people, we’d still be living in caves, wearing fig leaves, and competing with the sabertooth tiger next door for our dinner–nothing would ever get done and we’d all be fighting each other and confused all the time. And to me, shyness isn’t a form of “social phobia”; it’s just another way to be, not something that I need to change, something I need to overcome, or something of which I need to be cured. Besides, as Ralph Ellison so succinctly put it, “I yam what I yam.”
But, that said–how, then, does an introvert get along in such an indelibly extroverted society, especially in matters of the heart, without waning completely Invisible?
Next time you’re on a first date and you’re getting to know eachother, pay close attention when the discussion of music likes and dislikes comes up. Tastebuds.fm asked their users how far they would be likely to go on a first date. 408 readers responded and the tastebuds team cross referenced this with their pop music preferences. The result?
Coldplay fans came out as the segment of our users least inclined to jump into bed after a first date. Why is this you ask? Beats us. But next time you’re having inappropriate thoughts it may be wise to save on your water bill and instead of taking a cold shower put on X&Y. Just sayin’.
At the other end of the spectrum fans of grunge-rockers Nirvana were the most likely to end up doing the walk of shame the morning after the night before. Now don’t get us wrong – we’re not saying all Nirvana fans are nymphomaniacs, oh no. But on average you’re more likely to get lucky on a first date with someone who’s a big fan of Kurt and co, if that’s what you’re after…
I seem to be riding the breakup wave — mildly okay with the whole thing one minute, wanting to do damage to myself the rest of the time. In an effort to try and feel better, I’ve been listening to all the music that might not make me feel better, but that makes me feel like someone else “knows my pain.” My dilemma is this: do I send my ex a mix tape of all the songs that express what I was never able to say? I think that 90 minutes of Ani, Jim Croce, Mary J. Blige, etc. would be a nice little purging. What do you think?
— Scab Picker, or Mix Master Mama?
Dear, well, Scab Picker,
Here’s the problem. 90 minutes of Ani, Jim, and Mary means at least three weeks of SP/MMM waiting by the phone/mailbox/computer for His Response. Which is not guaranteed to be satisfying, or, in fact, to come. And where does that get you? The term “loop” — as opposed to “fast forward” — springs to mind.
Filed under: Treats — posted by Breakup Girl @ 11:08 am
I hesitate a bit here, because I do not relish mocking other people’s misfortune. But ultimately, this song is really about finding new appreciation for what’s great about your partner. (RIGHT?) And anyway, it’s almost as catchy as Matisyahu’s “Miracle.” Speaking of which, happy lights-fest, if applicable! Now, where were we…
Rick Springfield, sigh, was my second love. And now he’s written his first memoir, with nary a mention of me. This, I venture gingerly to say, is perhaps not a bad thing. Perhaps, much like a General Hospital subplot, we — the female eighth-graders of the world — collectively faked blindness to be with him? Then again, we don’t read celebrity memoirs for the articles, as it were, and yes, this one includes some very handsome photographs. Plus, as BG blogger Amy notes, “I sorta love him for a VH1 thing I saw, like 10 years ago, where these girls had a little dance they did JUST IN CASE they ever met Rick Springfield and he had them doing on stage with them as adult ladies. Come on, how can a guy like that be all bad?” He can’t. Let’s just put it this way: I wanna tell him I could ghost-write, but the point is prob’ly moot.
Anyway! Giveaway! I’ve got a copy of Late, Late at Night right here, with your name on it, unless your name is Jesse, courtesy of Simon & Schuster. And we’re gonna make this wicked easy for you. It’ll go to the first person who e-mails me with:
1) the best-ever quote from, title of, or sheer existence of a celebrity memoir
2) the best-ever brief anecdote about the death-by-disillusionment of a celebrity crush
3) a photograph of her or himself, preferably from the actual 1980s, that constitutes a homage to Rick Springfield
4) wild card: any other Rick Springfield-related awesomeness.
You may know him from “How I Met Your Mother” or “School of Rock,” from his popular YouTube channel, or from his critically acclaimed, extended-run show at Hollywood’s Celebration Theater. Or you may know his sidekick, Lucas Coatney, from season 3 of Idol! He’s Ryan O’Connor, a self-described “big fat gay singing Kathy Griffin, and his big fat gay singing show, “Ryan O’Connor Eats His Feelings,” is coming soon — very soon — to a cabaret near you.
The show tells O’Connor’s life story through song and gab, covering his childhood and adolescence in conservative Arizona, his relationship with a Mormon ex-college-football star from Salt Lake City, and his lusts for everything from food to theater.
Our own Amy K. caught up with Ryan as he was preparing for his national tour’s June 7 launch in San Francisco (that’s Monday night!):
AK: Are gay breakups different from straight breakups?
RO: The truth is, gay breakups just tend to be more dramatic. But I’ve also noticed that the transition from boyfriend to friend is more prevalent in the gay community than the straight community. My boyfriend and I are always going out with exes of mine or exes of his. Truth be told, they’re usually his — I’m not as good at it. My breakups tend to be more abrupt. Besides, it’s not my favorite thing, if I’m going to be completely honest. I feel like if you’ve cut it out, really cut it out. That’s part of the magic of crossing that line — knowing that once you cross it, you can’t go back. If I’ve been naked with you, I can’t un-see you naked. And with my boyfriend’s partners? I try to be the bigger person, but I can’t help but be like, “you slept with it?”
AK: I know what you mean! I have my husband’s ex-wife to contend with!
RO: Oh, that’s even worse! Not only did you sleep with it or live with it — you married it! That’s one of the blessings of not having gay marriage — not having ex-husbands to deal with.
AK: Well, speaking of — what did you think of the Prop 8 experience here in California?
RO: It was so surprising, when the Supreme Court even made that ruling in the first place, and it came as a total shock to most of us. I was single at the time, and suddenly there was this right we didn’t know what to do with. We were all aware there was this tiny window of time when we could get married and have it be legal, and it felt like there was tremendous pressure to partner up — now! It was like a giant game of emotional dodgeball.
Then when Prop 8 went through, it was such a letdown. It all happened at once. I was at Obama’s headquarters in Century City here in LA, and it was this huge ballroom where all these giant TVs were showing the announcement that an African-American had been elected president. And on this tiny TV in the corner with about 15 gay and lesbian men and women huddled around it, and that’s where I found out Prop 8 had gone through. So there was all this hope on one side, and disappointment on the other. But never fear. A lot of people have had their consciousness raised by this. I think California will have gay marriage by 2011.
AK: I’ll take that bet. You talk a lot in your act about being a compulsive overeater. What’s that like on a date?
I’ll tell you, I’m so fortunate because my boyfriend is what you might call a chubby-chaser. Though that has its own complications: if someone loves me for the thing I hate most about myself, could I lose the man I love just by getting skinny? I’ve learned to love myself in a whole new way because he loves my body the way it is. And I have to, too: because if I can love myself at any weight, dropping pounds is just icing on the cake — no pun intended!
AK: What’s the show like?
It’s called cabaret, but I’m going out of my way to make it accessible to people who’ve never been to cabaret in their life. Even though it’s very specific, it’s completely relatable — it’s called Ryan O’Connor Eats his Feelings, but it could just as easily be called John Doe Drinks his Feelings or Tiger Woods Fucks his Feelings. Because it’s about learning to feel your feelings through music and laughter rather than whatever addiction you have.
To me, it doesn’t make sense that cabaret is not as popular as standup. They’re both storytelling. Cabaret should be as mainstream as Kathy Griffin or Dane Cook. It just takes a few people getting out there and starting it.
Click here for Ryan O’Connor’s full tour schedule!
This Valentine’s Day, TOMORROW, PEOPLE, February 14th, at 7:30pm, HBO 2 will premier Debra J. Solomon’s animated short film Getting Over Him in 8 Songs or Less. The film chronicles the period in Solomon’s life just after her husband of 17 years — 17 years! — leaves her. Nearly paralyzed with loss and loneliness, she found herself writing songs. That process became this film: directed, written, sung, narrated, and generally made wonderful by Debra J. Solomon, of whom I am now a huge fan.
While I’m not going currently going through a rough breakup, I’ve been through some so cataclysmic and life-altering I probably still need therapy, and that’s just what Debra’s film gave me. Her songs aren’t so much steps to recovery as earnest expressions of all the painful questions, doubts, and disappointments that one experiences when someone they’ve built their life around suddenly walks away. Solomon doesn’t dwell on her own details, but we certainly feel like we get to know her — and root for her. Her songs are personal and poignant, but their universal themes will speak to any aching heart.
A panel discussion with four creators who explore the bittersweet nature of romantic love.
Join us when poet/author/playwright Mo Beasley, musician/singer-songwriter Trevor Exter, author/journalist/advice columnist/BG alter ego Lynn Harris, and musician/composer Tamar-kali discuss the ideas and experiences behind their work, and the prickly thorns that can bloom with desire. Moderated by musician/transformational counselor K. Neycha Herford.
C to Lafayette Ave; G to Fulton;
2/3, 4/5, D, Q to Atlantic Ave;
D, M, N, R to Pacific St
About Full Spectrum: Conversations Among Artists, Activists, Explorers & Thinkers
Held at cultural venues throughout New York City, Full Spectrum explores complex social issues through a prism of arts and culture. Each event features four creators in a one-hour discussion on a topic that links their work, followed by an audience Q&A. Panelists are drawn from the worlds of dance, fashion, film, literature, music, theater, visual art, and more. The forums are free to the public, and their impact lasts long after the conversations have ended.
Brian Tate & Danny Simmons
Co-Directors: Lacy Austin, Vanessa Chakour, K. Neycha Herford
Advisors: LaRonda Davis, Malissa/Masala
Our 2010 Season is presented by Con Edison, with generous support from Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, The BRMC Group, Inc., and Bill de Blasio. Our venue partners are Danny Simmons’ Corridor Gallery, Greenlight Bookstore, and powerHouse Arena.