Hey, sometimes I’m not sure if I should be using this blog because it comes up when you google “Jessica Cabot” or if I should be posting on my Medium because it’s connected to some kind of network that might expose my illustrious posts into the mainstream.
Since I haven’t made up my mind yet, here’s a post that I posted on Medium initially that I think is pretty great and you should check it out to see how amazing I am at writing. Also delete your twitter!!!
I downloaded Bumble again, because it’s around that time. I use Bumble in brief cycles of optimism every three months, followed by a quick sensation that I was right, I hate Bumble (and all dating apps). Then I usually delete them quickly, relieved to not think about the matter for another three months when something (usually a horoscope, to be honest) comes up and makes me think if I ever want to not die alone then I’m going to have to change my efforts and get outside of my comfort zone and start swiping.
The thing is, the problem isn’t me. I’m super cute, first of all. One time a guy said, “you look like that girl from Girls” and I was like, “ugh, I know, Lena Dunham?” and then he said, “no, the British one.” And I was like, “wait, there’s a British one?” because despite how many times I’ve been compared to Lena Dunham, I’ve never seen the show. It turned out he meant Jemima Kirke. Woah, she’s pretty! That must mean I am too! Plus, what a relief to get a break from being compared to Lena Dunham!
In addition to my physical appearance which is great, I’m also smart. I went to Vassar College, that’s a fancy school where smart people go. Now sure, it’s no Harvard or Yale, and I know that normally you can’t know if someone is really smart unless they went to one of those, but I contend that Harvard and Yale are stuffy and boring and that Vassar is for people who are smart and weird, which makes me more well-rounded and interesting. I also know normally no one cares if women are smart, but I figure my perfect guy would probably want to hold a conversation with me. Anyway, I can string together a sentence, hold opposing ideas in my mind at the same time, and answer a lot of the questions on Jeopardy when it’s on except I always forget to shout it out in the form of a question.
I’ve been told I’m funny and sincere. Recently, I was watching BoJack Horseman, Season 4 and (SPOILERS!) BoJack said about his daughter who had just overdosed on weight loss pills, “She’s funny! But she isn’t mean, which is pretty remarkable, because a lot of [people] think you have to be mean to be funny, but Hollyhock is very sweet, even if she can be sarcastic.” I decided this could be about me, because I am currently single and so if no one else is going to be around to compliment me I might as well do it via my television programs.
Last but not least, the guy checking me out at Dick’s Sporting Goods the other day told me I had beautiful eyes. Woohoo! What a catch.
The point is, I’m incredible, and so the problem really couldn’t be me.
“What is it then?” I had to ask.
A few times I’ve used bumble, I’ve felt like I’m actually entering a hive of bees. For example, there was the hour long conversation on the phone with an Australian guy. We seemed to hit it off, mostly because I am charming and good at asking people questions. At the end of our getting to know each other session I said, “hey, well I really enjoyed this, would you like to get a coffee?” because I am a modern woman who isn’t afraid to ask a guy she just talked to for an hour and seemed to get along with if he’d like to drink a caffeinated beverage. He asked me to send more pictures, not convinced by my prettiness, apparently. Sting! Also, fuck off, asshole. I am pretty, and if your accent hadn’t been so hot I would have considered that an hour of my life wasted!
There’s something about meeting someone in the void of an app based on swiping through people’s appearances that seems to make genuine connection difficult.
This is why I like meeting people in the wild, as I like to call non-dating-app-related-introductions. There’s more there from the start, usually a mutual friend, or a mutual interest or cause. There’s no need to ask for more pictures to confirm whether someone is hotornot.com, because you can see them because you are in the same room as them. As a person who reads horoscopes, I also believe in the general concept of “vibes” and I appreciate being able to get to know a human being as a human being first rather than a digital image of what might be a human being.
Alas, no matter how full and complete my life is without a partner, and no matter how much I don’t want to want a boyfriend, it seems that being a woman also means being plagued by horomones that make me think I should surrender and download Bumble sometimes. Or maybe wanting companionship is normal and human. Ugh, fuck, who knows. Anyway I downloaded it again.
This time I realized I am definitely going to die alone, but I think at this point since the problem isn’t me, it’s LA.
I’ve been in LA my whole life, but I’ve been in it in a dating capacity since 2007. That’s ten years of dating, subtracting about three of those years for long term relationships in which I didn’t date, and so still a full seven years of dating. Most of the people on Bumble are wearing beanies and have judgmental bios about girls who take pictures with those angel wings you see painted around LA, or look like wealthy serial killers in suits who spend time at douchey bars before going home to kill their girlfriends. The mere process of having to swipe through all of this is exhausting in and of itself.
Then I realize, after you get through the 95% of people on dating apps who are just like, “fuck no,” people who you would normally just walk past and not think twice about in real life, you start seeing the people you’d maybe actually want to date. This leaves about 5% of the eligible dating population in LA.
Of this 5%, I seem to already know most of them. Funnily enough, I didn’t meet any of them on Bumble, because as I’ve made clear I’m not an avid “dating app” girl. I met them in real life, through friends and mutual interests! But things didn’t work out with them, or we were never interested in the first place, so here we both are, on Bumble!
This leaves like three guys in the entire app left. I actually like these three guys, I’ve met them in person. We’re not close by any means, but we’re acquaintances due to things like mutual friends and interests that connected us without any swiping involved. This creates a sort of new crisis like, “do I swipe right on this guy that I actually would date if he wanted to date me?” Because he probably didn’t swipe right on me, but if he did then what would I say? “Hey uh… why haven’t you asked me out yet?”
I figure this is because, as the classic Drew Barrymore film “He’s Just Not That Into You” based on some book advises, they must not be that into me, otherwise they probably would have asked me out and we would already be dating and not swiping through Bumble. There’s no point in trying to figure out why they aren’t that in to me, because at the very least I know I’m great. All I do know is there’s no accounting for taste.
This leaves me with my question, “What is it then?”
I’m astonished to learn that I’ve pretty much already met every eligible single man in Los Angeles who would fit the profile of someone I might be compatible with. If anything, Bumble proves it. I feel impressed with how well I’ve gotten to know Los Angeles over the years. The entire city feels like my Cheers, where everyone knows my name, or at least I know theirs. The realization also makes me feel like I’m in one of those movies where Bill Murray keeps waking up to the tune of “I’ve got you babe” by Sonny and Cher, or Jim Carrey sails in a boat only to hit a plastered wall that only looks like sky.
I am going to die alone because I’m in LA, and there’s just something about LA that’s going to cause me to die alone. I’m not the first person to come to this conclusion, and I can barely explain the phenomenon of why this is so. I’m okay with this for the moment, because as I mentioned I have a full and complete life and enjoy the solo lifestyle. It’s comfortable to only have to do what I want all the time and not open up or be vulnerable. I prefer it, in fact. And that’s the only reason I signed up for Bumble in the first place, was feeling that maybe I was getting too comfortable with my aloneness.
I think though that whatever is out there for me is probably not waiting for me here. Leaving my comfort zone might instead entail leaving LA entirely, past the door in the wall that looks like sky. Or who knows, maybe I’ll get lucky on Bumble after all and find the relationship equivalent of a needle in a haystack, but I don’t count on it. The odds are always with the house, and my house is still LA.
After election 2016 I went to New York City to visit friends in an attempt to heal my wounds.
I was touring the city with Ilenia. Ilenia was, or I suppose still is, my “host sister”. When I was in high school I wanted to get away from Los Angeles to figure out if my burgeoning depression was just a result of my surroundings or something that was inherently wrong with me, so I did a study abroad program in Italy to find out. I was assigned a family in Sicily, and that’s how I came to live with Ilenia and her family for a month and a half of my life when I was 15.
I hadn’t seen Ilenia in over a decade, so when she told me she was going to New York City on vacation and asked if I would accompany her I agreed. I figured she might need an NYC tour guide, and I know NYC only second to LA.
One of the things we did together was visit the 9/11 memorial. I was internally against the idea, but she wanted to go and tickets were included in a tourist guide pack we had bought.
The first thing we visited were the two black square fountains in the ground that outlined where the original buildings had stood. The energy in the place was eerie. There was a heaviness hanging over us, and it was palpable. It made the trauma more real.
9/11 happened when I was 13, in 8th grade. I remember feeling pretty numb and nearly indifferent the whole day. I certainly wasn’t sad or scared, more just uncertain how I was supposed to feel. I don’t remember exactly what was said about it but I remember my history teacher, Mr. Giambra, explaining the horror and significance of what had just happened. When I got home the TV, even Nickelodeon, was not showing normal programs. I wondered how long that would go on for. I went on “Neopets” instead but all anyone was talking about there on the chat boards was what had just happened so I got off the Internet. I didn’t think the adults were overreacting, but the events were also so far away and I was so young that I couldn’t really comprehend. All I knew was that we were safe in California.
When Ilenia and I went down the escalator into the actual memorial or “museum,” I felt like I was descending into one of the scariest places I had ever been in my life. When I was 13 everything had felt so surreal and far-away, but being in the actual location of the fallen towers in December 2016, only a month after another American tragedy that had effected me directly, the events of 9/11 no longer felt so impersonal. Instead I felt like I was there on the actual day, which I suppose is the point of the museum.
I did my best to look at the artifacts and to honor the memories of those who had lost their lives, but I started to have a panic attack instead. I was sobbing. I felt overwhelmed, and all the emotions I was unable to feel in 2001 when 9/11 happened came to the forefront. I was finally grieving what I had been unable to as a kid.
Ilenia saw me being a mess and I tried to explain to her. Ilenia speaks pretty good English, but somehow there still seemed to be a disconnect in our communication, which had less to do with the words themselves but more how different our life experiences had been. My unbearable sadness wasn’t just because of the museum, though it was that too. It was how real all this inescapable horror was. I wanted to leave. I just wanted to be above ground and get some air.
Ilenia tried to comfort me, but also attempted to explain that this was not just an “American” thing but rather the history of the world. Horrible things had always been happening in Italy and Europe, apparently. I felt like her message to me was essentially, “get over it, you aren’t so unique” though she never actually said this. What she did say was, “If Americans want to help make the world a better place then they don’t have to learn other languages. It’s fine for them to only know English. But they should know what’s happening in the rest of the world, and read other news, read other history.”
I thought her words were wise. She was asking me to put something in perspective. I kept thinking about the election of 2016, and how awful it had been. I felt like this was something Ilenia, and for that matter a lot of Americans, didn’t seem to understand. I felt like no one fully understood how traumatic, awful, and dangerous it was that Trump had won. Everything was at stake.
I saw this which only made me cry more. I felt like America was being tested again, and I hoped that the fabric of our democracy was indeed as strong as this wall and that it could withstand the Trump presidency, which still felt as surreal and unreal as 9/11 had to me when I was young.
Ilenia and I walked into a room of the museum that had images and worst of all audio phone calls from people who were trapped in the building and trying to connect with 9/11 victims on the actual day. The room itself was super crowded. I started to feel faint and overwhelmed, and so I left Ilenia alone in the room and sat on a bench for the rest of our visit. I just physically couldn’t take anymore in, even fifteen years later the place still felt like death.
I asked one of the volunteers who worked there how she did it. She was like a nurse to me, someone who deals with unspeakable pain and trauma on a daily basis but somehow manages for the greater purpose of healing others.
“It is sad,” she admitted. “I was fortunate enough to not have any family or friends effected, but I’m a life long New Yorker and I will always remember the day.”
It seemed she had some distance to bear her job but not enough to not feel like she should avoid the work she was doing.
When we finally left I was so grateful to breathe the cold air. Ilenia patted me on the back as I finished crying. I hugged her.
“Thank you for being my friend all these years,” I said, and meant it. I tried to explain to her how cool I thought our friendship was, that we were helping each other to heal in ways, and that she had come back into my life at a very meaningful time. Ilenia had always been in love with America, and I had always wanted to be less American. She knew more about America than I did. She knew that we were the only country in the world to advocate for the “pursuit of happiness,” which was something I didn’t know. Not that we pursued happiness, because god knows I have, but that we were the only ones. She was helping me to know and understand my own country.
I didn’t leave the museum feeling better about anything, mostly more horrified, but I also felt more aware of the gift that life is, because that’s what death will do to you. I left the museum thinking about the great slurry wall, and the foundations that endured in the face of unspeakable trauma.
A few years ago, I embarked on an experiment of writing once a day in this blog. I kept it up for maybe 13 posts. Let’s see if I can’t break that record.
Today I was walking Rita and these people had their door open and this little white poodle looking dog ran out really fast. I wasn’t sure what its motivations were. Maybe it was just curious to check Rita out and sniff her butt. Instead, this little asshole started growling and nipping / possibly thinking about biting Rita.
I was like, “hello! We’re just passing by asshole. Leave us the fuck alone.” So I kind of shooed it with my foot.
Then this aggressive shit kept at us, still going in for a bite. So I stomped my feet and yelled, “HEY. SCRAM.” I was intense about it because I was pissed off at this dog. Leave us the fuck alone, we are just passing by.
I was also feeling tense about a lot of other things. My life feels like it’s in limbo. I’m on edge, so if a little white poodle dog tries to get into it with me I’m not gonna hold back. I’m going to make my message very clear: go back into your house fucker.
The dog does. Rita and I continue forward. Unfortunately, there are two cute little kids riding their scooters and they witnessed my whole dog fight.
“That little dog was just scared,” the little boy, about age 5, offers me with a smile.
“Yeah, you’re right.”
The little girl, probably 3, comes up to agree with the little boy.
“That dog lives close to us. It does that sometimes because it’s protecting its house.”
“Yeah. You guys have good points. I should have gone easier on that dog. I’m sorry I was like that.”
I feel embarrassed and also in awe of these children. They are so peaceful, happy, and non-judgmental. They aren’t offended by my transgressions, they just want to share their peace with me.
“I like your unicorn necklace,” I tell the little girl, because I do. She looks at it.
“It’s a unicorn necklace,” she tells me.
“Yes it is,” I say.
“We have a dog! Her name is Lola. She’s white and black,” the boy says conversationally.
They are being so nice to me. Their gentleness keeps putting my overreaction to a poodle in stark contrast. Yes that poodle was a little shit, but I probably didn’t need to act like it was a bear about to tear our heads off. I probably could have just kept walking or picked up Rita if need be.
“Oh Lola? That’s a pretty name,” I say, still ashamed of how I acted in front of kids.
We exchange a few more pleasantries, then it seems Rita and I should be on our way. The little girl scooters off.
“Have fun,” I say to her.
“I am,” she knows.
I don’t know how to have fun, or be as present as they are.
“They were nice,” I think as I walk off. “Ugh, I might want kids.”
I don’t want to want kids, but of the kids I’ve met in my life they always seem to help me more than I actually feel like I’m helping them. It seems like a good idea to have them around.
I walk home with Rita, feeling like I’m going to have to be nicer to snippy poodles if I want to cultivate more inner peace.
I apparently have a strange, emotionally charged relationship to holidays. This became most evident in my life when I wrote a little blog post about a succession of Valentine’s Days and lessons learned. The blog post inadvertently became “my big break” — a web-series executive produced by Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky for Refinery29. It seems that my tendency is to track my emotional development over the years according to the dates chosen by Hallmark to con the general populace into buying heart-warming greeting cards, and that this is my one marketable skill so far.
My birthday is no different from Valentine’s Day in that it has for some time seemed “cursed,” particularly as far as my relationships to the opposite sex are concerned.
My birthday curse started when I was turned five. I remember it vividly. I was a big “Barney the Dinosaur” fan at the time, and as such had requested a Barney themed birthday party in the park. I don’t remember much from that party except climbing a slide and meeting a gang of 8 or 9 year old boys who just so happened to also be at the park that day. They sang to me for my birthday along to the tune of the Barney theme song.
“I hate you, you hate me, we’re a dumb stupid family…”
I don’t remember the rest of how they cleverly altered the lyrics, but I do remember crying hysterically and the rest of the day feeling completely ruined. Subsequent childhood birthdays were less traumatic and therefore more forgettable, but this particular party seemed to foreshadow birthdays to come.
At age 19 I began “dating” for the first time, and the first boy I was intimate with, so to speak, refused to show up to my birthday party to meet my friends. I was shocked and devastated.
At age 21, a different boyfriend promised grand plans of taking me out to a fancy dinner, then canceled at the last minute for pretty much no reason.
At age 23, ruffled from previous disappointments, I created high expectations of yet another boyfriend, explaining that I really wanted a gift, perhaps something we could do together — even something he would want to do like a baseball game (these were part of my specific instructions) and I felt let down by his gift of a note written on yellow legal pad paper and a mixed-CD.
At age 24 or 25, I was deliberately single, attempting to be smarter about dating, but also still dating. I had been unsuccessful on these dates and one of these boys decided to show up to my birthday party anyway in spite of the fact that we didn’t seem to get along and he pulled a really weird move (see said web-series). He brought another girl along to my birthday party. She seemed dead inside. I politely shook her hand and it was like a limp fish. Later a friend revealed to me that she was a prominent porn star.
At age 27 I was determined to break “the curse” that seemed to always happen on June 29th and decided to have “no expectations” of my then-boyfriend. We got in a big fight anyway because I wanted to listen to “Copacabana” in the car and he didn’t, and since it was my birthday I assumed I should be put on a pedestal for at least one day and allowed to listen to whatever the fuck I wanted without someone else being grumpy about it.
At age 28, last year, I was simply relieved to be alive. I had been through a lot in the previous years, and though I have never been a successful musician known for her drug habit, I was glad to not be in the 27 club. Previous big dreams (see, again, web-series) had not resulted in my imminent demand within the entertainment industry as I had anticipated. With raising rents, no new job prospects, etc. I had come to a crossroads where I decided to move in with my grandma to get back up on my feet. I spent June 29th packing and cleaning what was left in my old Silver Lake apartment. My grandma and I got lunch at California Pizza Kitchen. It was not my worst birthday by any means, but it still felt heavy and very symbolic of endings rather than new beginnings. I wished my birthday weren’t a thing that had to happen every year.
My birthday fast approaches once again, except this year the pressure is on more than ever. I am going to turn 29. And you see, this particular birthday is of special importance to me, I think more so than “30” will be. I’m going to be 29 on the 29th. It’s my golden birthday, an event that only happens in every person’s life once. Some people are born on the 2nd, and so they turn 2 without ever knowing it’s their golden birthday and it passes them by. Since I was born towards the very end of the month, my case is different. I’ve had lots and lots of time to anticipate my golden birthday.
I started planning for this particular birthday back in January of 2017. I knew this was going to be the year I broke “the curse.” I had a lot of shitty birthdays to make up for in this golden one. It had to be spectacular.
It had become a joke between me and a close friend that my life was like “La La Land” except it stops at the failure. I had indeed already fallen in love with and broken up with a pianist, not succeeded completely in my dreams of making it in showbiz despite, like Emma Stone, getting people coffee for a long time and not liking it anymore, and I was moving back in with my family after perceived failures in following my dreams.
I decided the solution to all of this was obviously simple. All I had to do was create a shitty one-woman show that no one wanted to go to, and even if no one did go or liked what I did, at least one person in the audience would conveniently just so happen to be a prominent casting director who “saw past” whatever other people didn’t like about my failed show, and then decide to create a movie script around me and my visits with my rich aunt in France.
Of course, I don’t have that last part going for me, but I did genuinely decide that for my birthday party this year I would create and plan a one woman show, the concept being, “for my birthday this year all I want is for all my friends to have to listen to me talk about myself for an hour. Tickets are free for powerful casting directors who want to create a featured roll for me.”
I conceived of these ideas in March. Quickly afterward I began working for a local political campaign. I learned things on the campaign, and then once it was over the pressure was on to really plan this one woman show that had for so long just been kind of a funny idea in my head. I looked at theaters to book the show, but felt overwhelmed by the cost of booking said theaters compared to my lack of discernible income and my desire to become a “real adult” and not live with my grandma well into my 30s, even though I love her.
Another factor was, though I intended the one woman show as something of a joke, I felt that talking about myself for an hour, even in a self-aware, sardonic manner felt kind of exhausting and narcissistic. Even if I am somewhat of a narcissist, I do my best to not be a total self-involved piece of shit. Thus, I evolved the idea to being a “storytelling show” about birthdays in general, and decided that including my friends in the actual show would be a great display of me being a magnanimous, giving person who realizes that it’s lonely at the top without your friends by your side. If that powerful casting director was going to come to my shitty box-theater birthday party she’d have to cast all of us in some kind of ensemble piece. I reached out to a few friends, and found that since I had waited until the last minute to make these plans it was not coming together very easily.
And then I just felt tired, and depressed. I felt that I had spent a lot of time creating high expectations once again and I felt anxious about feeling let down again by my own demands for perfection and excellence, thus perpetuating “the curse”.
I would like to break “the curse” of feeling constantly disappointed and let down by my birthday, and so I figure there is something to learn from all this, which is what I will attempt to do now.
If I could go back to my 5 year old self, I’d first of all give her a hug because she’s just a little girl who ran into some asshole boys, but I’d also want to point out to her that a lot of good things probably happened that day too. She probably got great presents, probably had friends who were there, and I wish she now remembered those things about that day. I don’t know if at age 5 (or even age 28) if she could totally comprehend the power she has to choose what aspects of life she looks at, but those stupid boys never deserved such a prominent place in the memory bank.
If I could go back to myself, ages 19-25 or so, I’d want to tell her that she’s doing a terrific job of equating happiness with partnership, but that it’s a trap. I still assume its possible to be happy in a relationship, but after a year of detoxing and consciously not dating I think that at least at this point I feel more aware of how putting demands on people who haven’t fully earned my trust to live up to an ideal is a recipe for disaster. I seem to have a pattern of giving the power and responsibility of my happiness to others.
And in more recent years, I have just felt kind of depressed about the whole thing. My 20s were full of lots of ups and downs, as it seems most people’s 20s go. It’s somewhat hard for me to consciously understand why my birthday even matters to me to the extent that it apparently does. Is it just that I want to feel beloved, and is it also that until I learn to be-love myself no amount of validation or celebration will feel like enough to fill the void? Is it that each passing year feels like a milestone of past failures accumulated and “time running out”? Perhaps I just want to feel special, and if I don’t feel ecstatic on “my special day” then it’s somehow symbolic of my whole existence being shit?
I decided not to do the storytelling show, at least not on my birthday. Perhaps I will yet perform in a half-serious one woman show, or put together a group of my friends in a theater to tell stories. I felt like I had to let go of something this time around, namely the pressure and expectations.
My 28th year was simultaneously eventful and transformative without necessarily showing outwards signs of progress for it. Inside I know I am a different person than I was a year ago, though on the surface I am still living with my grandma and not succeeding in traditional “adulting” sort of ways. I assume that will come. I hope.
I want my life to be different moving forward, and I desperately want my 29th year — the golden one — to mark that change.
First, like my 5 year old and early 20s self, I need to remember to focus on the good and the love in my life, not the stray assholes. Assholes will be assholes, apparently. I think its crazy that I’ve let them define my happiness for so long. I have purposefully kept my upcoming birthday asshole-free by deciding to just hang out with a few best friends, doing things we love together (like working on the passion project we’ve been developing for the past few years). I’ll also celebrate with my family eating my favorite spaghetti sauce with them and keeping it low-key.
I’m not having a party, because in the past parties have felt like a gamble for my popularity. How loved am I? How many people are showing up? Who cares enough to bother for me? I mean, even in this piece I haven’t focused on some more positive birthday moments. I have had really great, wonderful parties too — like when I was 27 and I combined my friends and family for a night in my favorite pub and felt over the moon to have the people I love the most in my presence. My point here though is every year shouldn’t feel like I’m testing my loved ones to show up for me, and while it might not feel that way to others, when that’s the mindset I’m already operating in I think I need to take a step back.
I want this to be the year I learn to be the person who shows up for my own happiness, rather than expecting it from others. Instead of counting failures or perceived lack of progress in the past year, I want to give myself credit for how far I have come, and to trust that I have indeed evolved in ways I am still unveiling to myself. Instead of putting pressure on myself to conjure that magic casting director from La La Land who gives Emma Stone everything she ever wanted, I want to relax into appreciating the joys that exist in the life I’ve already created for myself. I want to give myself the gift of trust and faith in myself. My birthday isn’t cursed. It’s just a day. If there has been a curse, it was created in my own mind, and that’s something I can decide to let go of.
My birthday will be golden not because anything in particular happened, but because I decided to love and celebrate myself with compassion and patience for who I’ve been and who I’m becoming.
And if you do want to celebrate me with me, please know that I am doing my best to let go of my expectations but I still love praise and validation. If anything I want my birthday to be a day in my life where I get to see all the nice things people would say about me if I died (that maybe they don’t even totally mean), without having to do the dying part because I hope I have many, many, many more birthdays to come and that each one is a blessing.
Due to varying changing life circumstances – my original plans to see “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” had fallen through. I was originally supposed to see “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” with fellow fans, in 3D, on “pre-opening night” (12/17), at the Arclight in Hollywood, which is like, the place to go see movies, I’m told.
These fallen through plans had left me depressed. Tickets were probably already sold out, at this point, and it seemed I’d have to wait like one of those losers who say they’ll go see it when “the crowds die down”. I won’t call those people complete morons, but I also won’t not call them that. Yeah, yeah, I get you. It’s just a major pop-cultural event that doesn’t come around very often (like every ~20 years?!) that brings people together and creates a unique energy of anticipation and shared experience with fellow humans and it doesn’t even seem like we’re going to be disappointed this time, so, sure, you’re going to WAIT FOR THE CROWDS TO DIE DOWN?!
Well, maybe I’m the complete moron, because it seems I would have been just as well off waiting for the crowds to die down. Which is depressing as fuck.
At the last minute I was surprised when a good friend invited me to come along to the Arclight on 12/17 to see Star Wars. Granted it wasn’t going to be in 3D like my original plans, but I don’t really give too much of a shit about 3D to be honest. That’s fine. At least I’d be with the crowds of true fans, the people who make such an experience as a rare Star Wars trilogy opening extra magical because they know when to clap and laugh and applaud at the right times so that the movie comes to life. I mean when I was 9 my uncle dressed up as Han Solo and we waited in line for at least four hours at the Grumman’s Chinese theater for the Phantom Menace, and everyone made a big deal over that shitty movie AS IT SHOULD BE. And again, we all knew this movie wasn’t even going to be bad this time.
I give the audience I saw “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” with one star. Light smatterings of applause upon the opening credits. No “whoops”, “hollers”, or “general cheers”. Important, devastating moments happened in the film, AND NO ONE REACTED AT ALL EXCEPT FOR ME. The entire movie going experience felt like an echo – in which the only noise other than the movie were my own claps and laughs being reverberated back to me in what was otherwise a vacuous silence. Important characters returned – ie. Han Solo, and the audience acted like they couldn’t give two shits. It’s fucking Han Solo it’s not like it’s his character in the Age of Adaline. Have some GODDAMN RESPECT AND CHEER. Also, several times I laughed out loud – loudly – and immediately realized I was the only one. I wasn’t even laughing at inappropriate moments like I sometimes normally do. This time it was just goddamn funny. Fucking laugh, assholes.
To this audience – DO YOU NOT HAVE SOULS!? Why did you even bother getting tickets for “pre-opening night”!? So you could sit judgmentally in your cool Hollywood seats and find criticism in everything and refuse to just let yourself enjoy a goddamn good traditional American blockbuster film?! WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? Do you even like Star Wars? What are you doing here? Why did you insist on ruining the experience by not participating in the experience? Were you just a bunch of people who were going to wait for the “crowds to die down” who at the last second decided “what the hell” and bought tickets? For what? To personally spite me? That must be it, because you kind of blew it for me. I can’t imagine I’m going to have another chance like that. I mean I do plan on seeing the movie again – certainly – but by then it’s like, I’ve already lost my “The Force Awakens” virginity. I can’t get that back. Man, fuck you.
Actually, forget the one star. No stars!!
Dear Pitbull and Ne-Yo,
I’ve listened to your newest song, “Time of Our Lives” numerous times and as such feel compelled to address some of your concerns.
First, I completely relate to the troubles that you describe. I too, have worked my ass off and yet still fall short of rent each month. It is a difficult economy, and especially for those of us, like yourselves, pursuing a creative field, it is common to work very hard but to fail to receive financial gains for our efforts. It’s a shame that we live in a world that doesn’t necessarily value monetary compensation for our art. In this sense I find your strife highly relatable.
However, I am concerned by the manner in which you’ve been dealing with your (again, understandable) stress. You have just enough to get up in this club? Are you sure this is the best manner in which to spend the limited income you have? I personally, am not. While I fully endorse living a well-rounded life that includes time for extracurricular activities, I am not sure that “the club” is the best use of your time and money, especially since – again – you are falling short on your rent.
To start, while I again agree in the notion of “having the time of our lives” have you considered that there are numerous free activities that are not only highly enjoyable but also spiritually and physically rejuvenating? Examples that come to the top of my head are, the beach, hiking, volunteering at a local animal shelter, etc. This is a great way to get out in the world and even give back to the community.
I also feel, that if you do have a little extra cash which you are currently spending on “the club”, that perhaps you would be wise and better off to financially invest in your own future. You seem interested in a music career, from what I can tell. You are obviously talented, so perhaps you would be better off to use your “last $20” on producing music tracks which you could upload to SoundCloud? This way you’ll have material to show people who might be interested in developing your career further, at which point you will hopefully then have enough money to “get up in da club” AND pay your rent!
I am also a little unnerved by what I might consider to be a bit of an alcohol problem. While I am certainly no prude or square myself, I have seen how drugs and alcohol can distract, interfere, and otherwise destroy the lives of young creative artists who otherwise would have a very bright future indeed. I think you’ll find that, while difficult, it is possible to overcome these addiction demons, and that the efforts are well worth the promise of your future. It might be a simple matter of drinking less, in which case you’d both save money to pay for your rent and open up some creative space in your head to really go for your true dreams. This club business honestly seems like it is a cause of the problems you are having – in which you can’t pay your rent and are struggling to make ends meet. Life doesn’t have to be such a struggle if you just channel your energy and efforts into more productive means.
Last, I am also a little concerned about your attitudes towards women. Certainly, it is no business of mine whether you are seeking a long term relationship or not. That is a personal journey and something you are of course entitled to decide for yourself. However, I am not sure that you need “da club” to meet women, and you might find a free app like Tinder helpful in connecting you with like-minded women who are not interested in pursuing love, as you say, but instead “lust”. Additionally, if a woman has just broken up with her boyfriend, I might suggest you be a little more cautious and considerate of her feelings. She is probably in a vulnerable and emotional state and so when you describe yourself as “like Rodman, ready on deck” I can’t help but express apprehension that you might be taking advantage of a troubled and lost soul. She probably needs support and compassion in this time, and so I just want to make sure you are being delicate in the manner in which you are proceeding with the situation. Of course two consenting adults have every right to “ride out”, but please consider the emotional consequences.
Otherwise, a very catchy song and you obviously show promise. I just hope this letter reaches you in time to hopefully make a positive impact and direct you towards achieving your full potential. I truly believe that one day you might be able to pay rent AND get up in da club occasionally, but all of this again probably requires balance and a reevaluation of your priorities.
Wishing you all the best,