# of pages written: 10
# of days left to write 1st draft: 99
Back in June, when I was still in DC, I got an okcupid message from a guy who said, “that picture of you strangling the kid is hilarious!” He also mentioned a few things about dyslexia and math – two of my areas of interest.
So I wrote back. “Thanks so much! Too bad I’m getting ready to move to Massachusetts or we could have talked dyslexia and math. Have a great summer.” That was it. I never met him in person or spoke to him. There was only this brief exchange between us.
This morning, I had a message from the guy that said, “can we be okcupid penpal friends or something?” He said that he had read this article and it had reminded him of me. He hoped I would enjoy it.
So I clicked on the article.
It is about a comic book superhero from the early nineties named Codpiece who has a gigantic robot penis. This penis is also sort of like a really fancy Swiss army knife. It can morph into a pair of scissors, a power drill, a cannon. There’s also a punching fist that can erupt from its head, and, of course, he can use it as a laser beam. With this super penis he is able to defeat evil, which mostly comes in the form of prostitutes. Comic books are strange.
Even stranger… why did this guy send me the article?
Let’s be clear. In my okcupid profile I in no way mention any of the following: comic books, penises (robotic or otherwise), prostitutes, codpieces, or the early nineties.
The way I figure it, there’s one of two things going on:
1. This guy is some sort of weirdo with an interest in comic book/robotic penis porn, and he sends articles about Codpiece to various girls, gauging their reactions to see if any of them might share in his kinky fetishes.
2. There is something about my personality (even coming across in my okcupid profile) that makes people think, “hey, this girl seems really random, so I’m going to send her this random thing.”
I’m thinking that it is the second option, and I guess it’s sort of true. I like being strange and random. In addition to the picture of me pretending to strangle a child (which is, by the way, hilarious), there is also a picture of me with a zebra and one of me on the flying trapeze. I used to have a picture of me wearing a mullet wig on my profile, by my old roommate, Kristin, made me take it off because she said it might attract “the wrong sorts of people.”
I guess the thing is, I don’t mind that this dude emailed me randomly with a link to an article about a robotic penis man. In fact, I kind of like it. (And not in a dirty way.) I just like when random, weird things happen to me. It makes life more interesting. It also makes my life more ridiculous. I guess the question is, am I getting to old for random ridiculousness? Is it time for me to settle down and stop seeking out the random and the weird?
For example, let’s talk about the first year I lived in DC. I was dating the nicest, kindest, most reliable guy in the whole world, and I would ask him things like, “so, what’s the weirdest or most f—ed up thing you’ve ever done?”
I was disappointed when he didn’t have a satisfactory answer. All he could come up with was, “I smoked pot sometimes in college.” So I started digging deeper. “Have you done any other drugs? Gotten arrested? Do you have any bizarre family secrets? Strange fetishes?” No, he didn’t have any of that. I broke up with him and then dated the following people:
1. A boy who, on our third date, randomly suggested that we go to the Korean Spa at one o’clock in the morning, which we did. This involved me sitting naked in a hot bath with some overweight Korean women and then meeting up with my date later (now the both of us wearing orange spa outfits) so that we could lie on some hot clay balls and then briefly brave the “ice room.” We tried to actually sleep at the Korean spa, but there were no more sleeping mats, the floor was cold, and old Korean men snore really loudly, so we left.
2. A guy who was playing the ukulele at a bar and randomly asked if he could sit with me and my friend, Laura. He then proceeded to tell us his life story which involved a lot of bouts of homelessness, and he was currently living in someone’s living room. I was interested in him specifically because he was playing the ukulele and wearing a funny hat. Turned out (surprise, surprise) that he was pretty crazy, and when I stopped seeing him (after our second date) Kristin was sort of afraid that he was going to steal our dog and hold it ransom until I agreed to go out with him again.
3. A boy who, on our first and only date, wore those horrible toe sneakers and offered to give me a hand massage while we waited for the clown show to start. Yes, we were going to see a clown show, and yes, I let him massage my hand. I think that’s all I need to say about that.
My point is, I gravitate towards weirdos, and/or weirdos gravitate towards me. Why? As always, I think it comes back, at least in part, to writing. Random, weird things are fun to write about. Random, weird people make great characters.
But Korean Spa boy actually ended up hurting my feelings pretty badly. And I ended up hurting Ukulele Boy’s feelings pretty badly. And the toe-sneaker man was just plain freaky. Random weirdness has its perks, but it’s not all I’m looking for in life. And although amusing anecdotes are fun to write about, they don’t keep you company at night or fix you soup when you’re sick or comfort you when you’re feeling confused.
When you’re writing a story, it’s can be a great idea to make the characters weird or have them do crazy things. The thing is, I can make that happen on paper without making it happen in my life. Slowly, slowly I’m starting to realize that I need to stop dating random weirdos. I need to date someone kind-hearted and thoughtful. Someone who encourages my writing without becoming my newest crazy character.
Of course, I don’t want to totally give up on random weirdness. So this stable guy of mine better be able to join me in the occasional random adventure.
P.S. I’m not opposed to getting random messages about random things, so please feel free to send me links or comments about robots, prostitutes, the early nineties, or anything else you can think of.