Monday, March 10, 2008

Paola, Come With Me And We Shall Crawl Inside An Abandoned Fried Chicken Bucket Left By The Side of The Road And Pray For Lesbianism.

Dudes, System Overload. I've already documented my intense hattitude towards Modern Love and its trademark brand of crusty upper-classers fulfilling patriarchal, Bradshaw-esque notions of love. I haven't spoken quite as much about my eyeball-barfing feelings towards Ben Karlin, the douche-baggy author of Things I Learned From Women Who Dumped Me (a.k.a. I Obviously Have Learned Nothing From Women Who Dumped Me, Evidence Being This Book, As I Am Still Treating Females I Have Dated As Archetypes To Try To Prove My Own Profundity On Life And Love In An Essay) Then on Sunday, right when I was gently coming down from a nice two-day high, the Times' decided to merge my two great hates-- Modern Love and self-centered men who don't give women the benefit of humanity-- into one shiny on the outside, vomitous on the inside, throw-up bucket.* It's enough to make a normally nice girl like me grow teeth on her vagina.

Ben starts us off with the perfect Modern Love setting right from the get-go: mild exoticism! The classic I-am-a-stuffy-white-person-who-needs-to-learn-about-love-from- other-cultures-syndrome. Always a solid base on which to build a relationship:

I met her at an Italian restaurant in my neighborhood in Brooklyn, where she was a devastatingly cute waitress and I a frequent customer — and not just because of the devastatingly cute waitress. The food was good, too.

The restaurant was owned and operated and even staffed by actual Italians. [ed note: OMGZ!!! Actual Italians!] One time, Paola let on that she gave Italian lessons on the side. I had studied in Florence in college and nurtured an abiding interest in Italian language, food and culture. So, not wanting to be the creepy guy who asks the waitress out, I signed up for Italian lessons. That way, I would just be the creepy guy who asks the tutor out. That was way better.

It's actually gross to think of Karlin here, already the executive producer of The Daily Show, quasi-stalking an "unbearably cute" waitress. It's even grosser that he acknowledges his creepy behavior. Note to men: admitting you're creepy does not humanize you, it just makes you an asshole. Also, doesn't he kind of imply it's less creepy to ask her out when she's not a blue-collar worker? Classy.

Of course Ben and his Italian waitress go on to have charming little "misunderstandings involving language, food and culture" eventually moving in together and cohabitating for two years. I've got to ask, SERIOUSLY, there had to be more to your relationship than her unbearable cuteness, and superficially endearing cultural clashes right? You were together for TWO YEARS. Why do you only describe her appearance and exoticism? I mean, did you guys talk about stuff? I honestly do not understand why men like you never care about finding an equal. Or if Paola was challenging and funny, why is that not what you choose to appreciate about her? JESUS. Smart men are the worst. I blame you for the LexaPro epidemic currently afflicting the intelligent and together female population of New York.

Obviously Ben leaves Paola midway through the essay. Because that's what men like Ben do. And because he didn't have a nice enough pen or something...?

A few years into the relationship, I jotted down these thoughts: “I need a better quality pen to write about Paola. What kind of person is she?"

Ahahahahhahaha. Dude actually jotted that down: "I need a better quality pen."

Paola, you know it's time to get out when your value to someone is predicated on them obtaining a high-quality commercial product. That means you're worth about $1,769 at most, and while that doesn't seem that bad at first take, remember he's a rich fuck! You should be worth at least ten designer pens on his TV writer salary! (Calculations based on price of Aurora's Europa LE pen--the finest in Italian writing utensils)

Of course the main reason Ben leaves Paola (in addition to the pen problem) is because he's all too aware of the flightly male stereotype and thus thinks it's okay to fuck people over as long as he comes to his senses by the end of the essay.

Was I hung up on Paola? Had I lost sight of what I really wanted out of a partner? Had I fallen into that New York City long con, the one where you think there is an infinite supply of potential mates, and the perfect one is forever around the corner?

(Please Paola, dump him. Divorce him. Dudes like this don't appreciate anyone but themselves. You are just an exotic waitress that he'll either choose to assign meaning to or not, but it has nothing to do with you, or who you are. For sers, get out now.)

Ben goes on an Outward Bound trip, spends like two seconds alone in the wilderness and writes about it like it's the stuff Into The Wild is made of. Then there is the sign, the sign telling him that Paola is the one. Only it doesn't actually really make sense at all, nor does he offer any reason why all of a sudden he realizes Paola is his soul mate, proving, once again, this has nothing to do with her, it's just a dude deciding that he's 33 and alone, and that he's going to throw all his romantic notions back on the ex-girlfriend whom he probably treated like crap:

There was a moment, a little before the sun rose, when a patch of clouds turned the most unusual, intense orange I had ever seen. I said, “Wow,” and then tears came to my eyes. It faded more quickly than it came, giving way to the duller colors of day. New Year’s Day. But my heart was stirred: I had come here for a moment like this.

I stood up and instantly knew I had to marry Paola.

They were married of course, this is an effing Modern Love column after all.

But Paola please: Let us go to some tropical destination, maybe where Lost is filmed or something, and you can go through deprogramming while we take turns boning Matthew Fox. It will be great! Then you can write a Modern Love column entitled "How My Husband's Portrayal of Me In A Modern Love Essay Prompted Me To Realize He Was An Emotional Fucktard, And Led Me To Bone Matthew Fox in Hawaii (As Well As Find Happiness)."

*The Throw-Up Bucket: A big shiny metal pot, used by the Perfect Ratio parents to catch the vomit of flu-ridden Ratio offspring, lending the bucket an enticing, clean outside appearance, and an atrophying, puke-stained interior. Will sell on Ebay for $50 bucks if you describe the vomit stains as bearing a resemblance to Jesus.


WendyB said...

Whew! I was actually okay with this column (why do I allow myself to read it though??) because he seemed to have some self-awareness and humor; at the same time, I see all your points!

Perfect Ratio said...

Ha. I can never tell if I come across as jokey or angry-- I think I was going for jokingly angry? I mean really I just want to go to Hawaii. And I think Ben Karlin is pretty retarded. He writes Dick Lit!

WendyB said...

Bwah! How about angrily joking? I think we should both go to Hawaii.

Perfect Ratio said...

um, YES pleases! No blogging in Hawaii, as the saying goes.

Axel Foley said...

I like turtles.

Perfect Ratio said...

That reminds me, I still owe you a chocgay chip cookie for deciphering my Pete Wentz choke sex video.

Axel Foley said...

I like chocgay chip cookies.