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Hump Day

Ah yes, the middle of the week. The most boring day of the week except for when LOST is on. That’s not for about another six weeks I believe.

So last night was interesting. A friend came over and we hung out. She’s a nice girl but it’s kind of like the Senfield episode with the girl that is really attractive in one type of light and hideous in another. Except instead of looks, with this particular friend, it’s about personality.

When she’s on, she on. She’s a lot of fun and interesting and has some neat stories to tell and I really have fun with her. When she’s off…of god I want to poke sharp things into my eardrums. I don’t know how someone can be so interesting and yet so boring at the same time.

My problem is that it comes down to one simple difference between us. She cares way too much about being popular/trendy. Me? I don’t really think about that sort of thing. It either happens or doesn’t happen.

A good example comes from the end of the night was I was getting bored. She started getting touchy feely in my kitchen while Heather and Vlad are in their living room watching TV. I’m not cool with that, so it turns to her trying to wrestle me…which isn’t smart because a little 100 lb thing is not going to even begin to move me. Fuck, I’ve known 6′1″ girls that have height advantage over me that couldn’t budge me.

After she realizes her attempts to grapple me end with her nearly falling on her ass (I’m sorry. I’m not going to let someone win simply because it’s a second-rate flirting attempt), she starts teasing me. I tease back with a “Ha ha you let so and so fuck you.” So and So happens to be a guy in the goth subculture in DC that is generally considered a joke without redeeming qualities and sure it was 12 years ago when she was a freshmen in high school, but if you’re going to tease me about sex stuff, I’ll tease right back.

She took it as good natured ribbing which is was meant to be and we screwed around upstairs a bit longer and then we went downstairs where she avoided animal contact because she was in dry cleanable only pants. 2 rabbits = a lot of hair even with every other day cleaning. About 9:30 I’m amazingly bored as the conversation is going nowhere and she takes off.

After she leaves Vlad and Heather give me shit about hanging out with her because she tries too hard to impress me and her love of following fads. Then my cell phone rings. I don’t get there in time and when I check the voice mail there’s a message from this person. Please note she left only 5 minutes before.

So I call back thinking maybe she left a scarf or something and oh my does the insanity begin…

The conversation starts off cordial enough and then it goes into crazyland for the next hour.

“Alex, I need you to make sure Heather and Vlad don’t tell people that I fucked So and so.”

‘Umm…what?’

“I can’t have people finding that out. With you its good natured ribbing but they overheard when we were upstairs and I have to watch my image.”

‘Okay first off, Vlad and Heather have better things to do with their time than to listen to us taunting each other while you fail at taking me down on kitchen tile. Second, even if they did hear, I’m pretty sure they forgot it five minutes later because I can guarantee you they wouldn’t care.’

“Look, let me manage my image, okay? If this gets out, so and so will gain popularity points and I’ll lose popularity points.”

‘Did you just use the phrase popularity points in a serious conversation?’

And it just kept going. An hour of her worrying that people will somehow hear about a sexual tryst she had at 15 and her reputation will be ruined while I point out that

a) Everyone has had one partner they wish they hadn’t fucked. It’s life
b) No one really knows who she is, and if her friends are going to actually diss her for something that trivial, that they aren’t really her friends
c) No one will care even if Vlad and Heather somehow heard (they didn’t) somehow decided to care (they didn’t) and told everyone about a 12 year old fucking.
d) Even if something about her got out that was current and bad, reputations can be and often are easily repaired.

It just didn’t sink in. I also had to explain the differences between being well known and well liked and that often the two don’t coincide. She just didn’t get it. An hour of me having to listen to concepts like needing to be popular, following trends, and being considered cool by people who will be at best, casual acquaintances. It was just insane to me because I don’t have that mindset.

I mean, maybe it’s because I’ve spent the past decade in the public eye, but I don’t ever think I’ve been concerned with my reputation at large to that extent. I try to make sure I live a pretty clean life because I have a lot of kids who read my stuff, but I’d be living the same way even if I wasn’t Dr. Pokemon.

Is popularity really that important? Do people other than this friend actually actively think about their image and their needing to be high profile and use terms like popularity points in everyday life? If your job is entertainment, then yeah, I can see that. But only from a business perspective. I can’t imagine having a panic attack if someone brought up the polar bear video or the mario sex or any of that crap. Especially if I started the “ho ho ho - you did this embarassing sexual act” conversation myself. If you’re going to tease, you have to expect to be teased back.

I don’t know. Again, maybe its because I have an established group of friends I’m secure enough with. I can do just about anything at this point and I doubt it would surprise friends, family, or readers. I also realize that have hundreds of thousands of people that read me through my blog, IP, various publications I write for, Pokemon and all that, but that at the same time no one really gives a shit about the mundane details of my existence. I do the over the top ego “I am so great” stuff simply to show I don’t take any of my accomplishments seriously.

I’ve never cared about being cool or popular or even if any of my stuff is read by the general public. I’ve only cared about being as awesome as I can be. And the end result seems to be one that most people who encounter me thinks is fun to talk to or read articles by. I also realize their are nuts like Sean Manchester who think I’m Dracula or people I’ve pissed off along the way that don’t like me or think highly of me. I don’t lose sleep over that. I never even think about that crap.

So yeah, after an hour I just pointed out the entire conversation is sad and creepy because this is something that would matter in high school, not when we’re in out late 20’s/early 30’s and that this is why I worry about her and the drama that finds her. There is a total disconnect between us where she cares what complete strangers might think of her and I care about well…only what I think of me. She ends the call with “I’ll talk to you tomorrow right?” And I’m like “….yeah. sure baby.” And get off the phone.

Totally drained after that call and Vlad/Heather could hear most of it on my end and agreed that it was pretty fucked up/immature/insecure/sad. From their end it was basically “We didn’t hear the original comment at all, but we know now. We still don’t care though.” Sigh. Needless to say, just from hearing my end of the conversation she lost popularity points with the people living above me. And with me as well.

So I spent the rest of the night drained and wondering if I’m going to bother to continue the friendship. This sort of stupid shit might have mattered when I was 15, but I’m 30 now. I find the whole thing really pathetic and I realize this level of wackiness is going to continue the more time I spend with her. Yeah, there’s a ton of awesome in her, but more and more its getting overshadowed by the shallow superficial shit.

Honestly, do I just hang out with pretty self-assured people, or do a lot of people spend time worrying about their public image even if they’re Joe Schmoe?

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