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Top Ten Insults I Have Received from Women

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Top Ten Insults I Have Received from Women

So I was driving with Justine the other night, and she started complaining about how unromantic I am, how cynical, how jaded I've become in my ripe old age of 40, especially when it comes to the subject  How can you explain personal pain?  I tried.  I started talking about how I used to be a wide-eyed, optimistic rube, before delving into an long (and unadvised) rant about how my "trust" and "love" earned me her kind taking a collective dump on my heart.  Which went over about as well as you'd think.  She got that wrinkled brow, nose crunched like she'd just smelled a terrific fart, and said, "What are you talking about?  What is wrong with you?"

So how did I end up like this?  Let's break this fucker down, High Fidelity style.

The Top Ten Insults I Have Received from Women/Girls 

(Some names have been changed, some have not, and for the truly evil, they have been omitted outright)

10.  "I'm going to stand over here now."
Some girl dressed like Parker Posey from Dazed and Confused, Halloween Party, 2006

C-Love and I had thought it would be a great way to meet girls at the Halloween party if we dressed like the gay cowboys from Brokeback Mountain.  Reassessing shortly after arrival, not so much.  I'd been told I looked like Jake Gyllanhall (which I don't, and never have), C-Love like the recently dead Heath Ledger.  I don't know why we thought two grown-ass men going as matching homosexuals would be a good way to pick up girls.  Alcohol might've been involved.  Or maybe not.  In San Francisco, where I was from, this would have been ironical and well received.  In Miami?  Not so much.  My self-esteem was already reeling from my second divorce, and I've never been particular smooth picking up the ladies.  It was an ugly night. By the time I got up the courage to talk to Parker Posey (and if I am not mistaken, C-Love might've "brought her over" to talk to me, never a winning move), I was mumbling and staring at her shoes.  Resulting in long periods of silence and discomfort, until she eventually said what she said, the rejection made worse by the fact that I'd just spent $200 on a cowboy hat, boots, and buckle, to go to a Halloween party (at 36) dressed in matching gay cowboy costumes.

9.  "Yes, I am busy Friday night.  But even if I wasn't, I still wouldn't go out with you."
                                                                                        Katie Ross, CCSU, 1989

I can't be sure Katie Ross was the one who actually said this.  It might've been Sherri Gagliardi.  I was equally in love with both, but I am pretty sure it was Katie. If the name "Katie Ross" looks familiar it is because I used her in my short story "Chuckles" as the antagonist who calls me "fatso" and gets my puppy run over.  Not that I harbor any resentment.

8.  (8, 8, 8, I forget what 8 was for...)
    "And your little friend can come too."
                               Some girls at an amusement park, to my younger brother, 1984

My younger brother Josh has always been bigger than I am.  He's 6'5", pushing 300 lbs.  He played football, wrestled.  Like our father, he's a big dude.  Because of this, I have always been thought of as small.  But I am not small.  I am 6'1", 210 lbs. That is not fucking small!  You hear me?  I am a big fucking guy.  I can bench press a shit ton of weight.  I am fucking big!

7.  "You're fat and ugly."
                                  Anne Hodgson, McGee Middle School, 1982

I don't know if I should be using actual names, especially for those who might read this.  So let's do the ol' strike-through on this one (even though you'll see I still carry a torch a li'l fondly...)  Now when I was 12, I may've been a...little on the soft side (more skinny/fat than actually pudgy)--but I've never been ugly.  In Anne's defense, I sorta prompted her to say this.  I was desperately in love with her but nowhere near the bastion of self-confidence you see before you today.  If you can imagine, I was actually weirder and more insecure back then.  Anne was very cool and popular, and she was nice to me.  I mean, "nice" appropriate for a person of her station.  But I wanted her to be my girlfriend, and girls like Anne  couldn't date guys like me; it would've violated middle school decorum (time eating itself, black holes, the end of life as we know it, you know the drill).  We were in...Mrs. Black's class, if I recall, and Anne asked me a question, and because she didn't love me, I snapped back something rude.  To which she responded I was fat and ugly.  

*Update* I went to my high school reunion a couple years ago, and Anne was there.  She was as beautiful as ever.  She was a little tipsy, but she called me "handsome."  And it's funny, how even 20 years later, those girls can still make your heart melt...

6. "Call me when you get some self-esteem."
                                    Leslie, after a Something Like Paisley show, 1987

OK.  This one wasn't even said to me.  It was said to Chris Judd, our rhythm guitarist.  But since Leslie actually picked Chris over me, I take this one to heart. Not to pick on Chris, who was an amazing songwriter, but I was the Paul to his...Ringo's significantly less attractive cousin, Bart.  Boy, we were fucked up, even then.  I've always wondered what it must be like for regular dudes, the ones who can just go up and talk to girls and not start to sweat in strange places.  We were like that Areosmith song, a high school loser who never made it with the ladies, only no advice, no remedy ever came with a catchy chorus.  For us, the song ended there.

5.  "We're doomed.  You're just too...old."
                                           Tina*, following Ricky Smith's wake, 2006

I've done a lot of creepy things.  Walking out of my dead friend's wake to try and pick up a 19-year-old still living in the dorms might just be the creepiest.  I was 36 at the time.  My friend, Ricky, had died, and we were having his wake at the local cafe, because Ricky, like me and most attending the wake, were associated with Florida International University's graduate writing program.  The cafe, Luna Star, was where we frequently held poetry readings, so that night Tina and some friends walked in thinking there was a poetry reading, only to find a wake, and walk out the back door.  When I followed her out, I didn't know she was 19.  But when I persistently tried to get her to go out with me for the next three weeks, I did.  And there's the whole "wake" thing.  Overall, a 10 out of 10 on the creepy scale (rivaled only by, perhaps, a desperation jackoff to a picture of Ellen Degeneres).

4.  "Joe, make a muscle.  If you have any (snicker, snicker)."

                                          Lisa Blake, Mr. Brittingham's English class, 1986

Nah, this one didn't stick with me, has nothing to do with why I lift weights six days a week, eat nothing but protein shakes and steak, can bench over 300 lbs., but still see a skinny little boy every time I look in the mirror, causing me to weep soundlessly inside.  No.  Nothing at all.

3.  "I watched my cousin waste her life with a [deadbeat] artist.  I'm not going to make the same mistake, living broke and hungry.  You have no work ethic, and you'll never be able to get me the things I want out of life."
                                   Marla*, over the phone when she broke up with me, 2007

I think about this one a lot.  Like when I am moving around mutual funds between my various accounts, at my computer, where I make my own schedule, every day, at my house, high in the hills, with the splendid panoramic view of San Francisco, its shimmering bay and Golden Gate Bridge, with my hot wife-to-be and adorable son on one of the three floors, as I do exactly what the fuck I want to do, every day, and I'll wonder, Maybe she was right?  

2. "I do."
         My second ex-wife, our sham of a wedding ceremony, 2005

Some resentments soften with age.  And some fucking don't.

1. "Joe, you need to get yourself a hobby."
                                   Amy Kross, at lunch, 1990

Does it get any better than that?  I'd been chasing Amy around for the two years since I'd been at Central, sending roses and writing her poems and spending $4,957 on her lunch (seriously.  That was my American Express bill for all the lunches I took her to).  Hailing from blue blood in Greenwich, Amy was my Jane Gallagher. To date, I have written 17 songs about her (included the thrice studio recorded "So It Goes").  I was fifteen seconds from a restraining order.  


But you, Justine, for some reason, still love me.  I feel a little like Groucho Marx, wondering about the company you keep.  But, baby, I am still about to make you "the 3rd luckiest girl in the world"... Thanks for sticking around with a damaged man.


At April 25, 2011 at 9:02 AM , Blogger DSobczak said...

You are doing one better than me. At least Anne accepted your FB friend request.

At April 25, 2011 at 9:24 AM , Blogger Joe Clifford said...

Ouch, Duane.

At April 25, 2011 at 9:51 AM , Blogger B Lee said...

At least you don't have to categorize your 10 ten insults received by the season.

At April 25, 2011 at 10:10 AM , Blogger Joe Clifford said...

You guys are starting to put things in perspective ;)

At April 25, 2011 at 11:06 AM , Blogger jack rabbit said...

At least you had the balls to get rejected 10 time. That is more than I can say.

I personally like the "kiss off" by violent femmes lyrics, reference.

At April 25, 2011 at 7:19 PM , Blogger JCase said...

the lines mess up the names, I'm really confused now...

At April 25, 2011 at 8:55 PM , Blogger troubledwaters said...

Two things:

I believe you should add rejections from men, e.g. various Sushi lunches.

I also believe you meant Groucho Marx, of the Marx brothers.

I still love ya, though, in my own evil, heatless way.

At April 25, 2011 at 9:05 PM , Blogger troubledwaters said...

heartless, that is...

At April 26, 2011 at 10:55 AM , Blogger Greg Kim said...

The Elled D. incident deserves its own post. Do tell.

At April 26, 2011 at 11:38 AM , Blogger Joe Clifford said...

I'd rather not, Greg. Let's just say, speed and lonely late nights can do strange things to a man.

At April 26, 2011 at 12:31 PM , Blogger Soybean said...

Joe's top ten insults from women? I'm guessing that's about 0.00000000000000000001% of the total?


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