Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Karma Chameleon

I don't do much charity work. In an effort to get me to meet more people, my mother suggested a few years ago that maybe I should volunteer; I considered it, but then remembered that I find the majority of people to be as irritating as raspy toilet paper, and rejected the idea out of hand. However, a few months ago, my friend Lisa came to me with another idea: the Cycle for Survival. Basically, she wanted to participate in a charity cycling event to raise money for cancer. I agreed to join the team, thinking that this would be a nice thing to do and a good way to earn some karma points for the next time I tell someone that they are a pointless waste of time and oxygen, and should do everyone a favor and have themselves gelded to be certain they produce no progeny. I sent out my fund-raising letter (by the way, thanks to everyone who contributed! And for those of you that didn't, don't worry, I'm sure they don't really mean it when they say every little bit helps; cancer's barely a problem anymore), I cleared my schedule and when the day arrived, I got up at the butt-crack of dawn and rode an indoor bicycle for two hours. The experience itself was fun, but the expected karmic reward has been wanting.

First of all, ABC went ahead and canceled Ugly Betty. I wasn't surprised...after basically holding the series' head underwater for the better part of a year, I couldn't really be shocked when the suits finally put a bullet right between the eyes. However, while I understand the business reasons for the move, I can't emotionally accept it. Ugly Betty is (was! sob!) one of the most consistently solid dramedies on the air, good for a few laughs and tears every Thursday. However, America decided they would rather watch CSI: Tulsa or NCIS: Helena than support an awesome, ground-breaking show. And this, after I went ahead and donated my time to find a cure for cancer. Here's a cure for a lot of cancer: stop smoking, you fucking morons. You know what might help you get through that tough time? A great, feel-good show that revels in it's own sunny outlook, and where the heroine always comes out on top. Too bad that all shows with a modicum of heart and originality will be canceled by the time America at large realizes what they're missing. I tell you, between Ugly Betty, Pushing Daisies, Eli Stone, Samantha Who and the more-than-probable fate of Better Off Ted, ABC can claim responsibility for the dwindling ember of my optimism being snuffed out like the token black guy in a horror movie. Oh, in case anyone's wondering what ABC has in development...they're producing a sit-com starring Nicole Richie. A sit-com. Starring. Nicole. Richie. The only thing funny about Nicole Richie is how skull-crushingly unattractive she is, and let's face it, that's only going to get you so far. Having a mirror spontaneously shatter when your star looks into it, or having characters turn to stone when they make eye contact with her is only funny maybe two or three times. Otherwise, Comedy Central would have produced Medusa! years ago.

Amidst the news about Ugly Betty, I also went on a few dates with a cop. "Oooooh, hot!" you might be thinking. Unfortunately, as it turns out, this particular cop was about as hot as a luge track with the dating skills of a head of iceberg lettuce. First of all, I absolutely despise it when people make assumptions about you after having had half a conversation.

Me: Well, my friends and I all have fairly bitchy senses of humor.
Cop: I don't think you're bitchy.
Me: No, I am. You just haven't seen me on a tear.
Cop: You're not bitchy. You're sweet. You're a real sweetheart.
Me: (silence)

Seriously? I think the last person that called me sweet and meant it was my second grade teacher. I don't have a self-confidence problem...I can see many wonderful qualities in myself; sweetness is not one of them. And, if you don't mind officer, I think I might have a better handle on myself than you do, since I've known me for 29 years and you've known me for two hours.

Secondly, there is nothing romantic about complimenting someone as if you're composing a sonnet. A simple, easy "Oh, you look nice" goes significantly farther than something that requires four minutes for you to work your way through.

Cop: You know how you go to the country and you can see, like, a million stars? Then you go to the city and you can see, like, ten? You're one of the stars I see.

Holy choking back projectile vomiting, Batman. This is not a Nicholas Sparks book, I am not a slutty cheerleader, and you sir, are not William Shakespeare. This kind of thing went on for the majority of the time we were together, and I really tried to appreciate it. After all, it isn't every day that someone is going to heap compliments on you...however, when they're that over-the-top it really just starts to read as the desperate over-compensation of a person who knows that they are dating way out of their league. And here's a hint: if you've managed to bag someone who's dating down to you, the LAST thing you want to do is call attention to it. Act as if you always date people like them, and it's the most natural thing in the world for them to be with you. If you're good enough at it, you might fool them into believing it too.

Finally, when I do call you up to cut things off, and we've only been on two dates, I am not the person to pour your heart out to about your disillusionment with relationships. No, I didn't mean to dump you while you were in the grocery store, but you know what? These things happen. Sack up. You're in the grocery store, go to the ice cream aisle, buy a tub, go home and phone a friend. Do not, under any circumstances, operate under the assumption that I owe you a shoulder to cry on because you've convinced yourself that the two abysmal dates we went on were the stuff legends are made of. I've already done my charity biking for the're not getting a ride as well.

After the cancellation of Ugly Betty and yet another date-for-the-record-books, I was fast losing hope in the promise of some kind of karmic reward for my good deeds. Then a real cascade of shots to the nuts occurred. I was up for a production of "Kimberly Akimbo," and lost out in the final call-back. Smack! The "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" hearings started and I was again forced to listen to politicians. Thunk! I perused a rash of online dating profiles in which hot guys claimed to be into "camping and the outdoors" (maybe you shouldn't live in New York CITY then, you stinking, indoor-plumbing-hating hippie). Whack! I've never in my life been so tempted to go into a sporting goods store and buy a cup.

Here's the thing, folks. I realize that in life, sometimes you take the elevator and sometimes you take the shaft. But I thought I might have been entitled to a little bit of good luck after swallowing my pride and trying to do something to help the world. But fine, universe. I get it. Good deeds are their own goddamn reward and that entire crock of shit. Now, since we've already beaten that dead horse into a bloody, unrecognizable mass, do you think maybe you could throw me a bone?


EB said...

Paul - Colin and I also did Cycle for Survival on the 31st. Were you at the Lex Ave. Equinox? If so, I can't believe we missed you.



ata08 said...

you slay me, you brilliant, bitter man you.

Anonymous said...

Haha! You certainly don't beat around the bush. Maybe the cop should have read your blog if he wanted bitchy proof. I will miss Ugly Betty too! *tears.