New Girl Jess Day (a.k.a. Zooey Deschanel) is my spirit animal

My lifelong dream is to be a screenwriter for television.

Marge Simpson: “But your lifelong dream was to run out onto the field during a baseball game and you did it last year, remember?”

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Oh how I forget.

Those who know me know I love to quote The Simpsons in my everyday conversation. Whether or not it makes sense to anyone else but me is irrelevant. Conan O’Brien wrote the teleplay for this aforementioned episode Marge Vs. The Monorail (Season 4). He is a hero of mine.
   Television writing has been a part of my life since I emerged into this thankless world on March 10, 1983. My aunt’s boyfriend was in the hospital with my family on the day of my royal birth (who is this George Alexander Louis? I don’t know him). My aunt’s boyfriend at the time was a prominent television screenwriter who has written for Dragnet, M*A*S*H, and more recently, Diagnosis Murder. While they didn’t end up together, his quick wit regarding a largish female baby who shared the room with me had my mom in stitches great enough to threaten the stitches fresh from her cesarean section. I always wondered how life turned out for “Mr. P.” I like to think he had something to do with my love of writing.
  When I was a teenager and in my twenties, I wrote short stories and poetry. I was a staff writer on my high school newspaper my senior year. Unless you count my blog and my high school newspaper, I have never been published. I am working on changing that now. Last summer, I got a position as a writing teacher for 7th and 8th grade GATE students at a private school. These students attended public middle schools in the Arcadia Unified School District during the year. This private academy was meant for enrichment during the summer and was therefore a temporary position for me. My job was to come up with my own curriculum to foster these gifted and talented students’ love of writing. They needed to be challenged by someone who truly loved to write and who could make writing fun for them. I planned my own essay topics, taught them how to write a strong essay, taught them how to write fiction, came up with my own creative writing prompts, and under my direction, we published a class newspaper. Their parents were college professors. My boss told me the parents called him up every day praising my program. Their positive feedback gave me the inspiration I needed to take my writing to a more public arena.
     I gave screenwriting some serious consideration when I  started watching Fox’s New Girl starring Zooey Deschanel. I tuned into this “Friends for the millenials” sitcom partially because I am a fan of She and Him, but mostly because I could relate to Deschanel’s T.V. character Jess Day in a variety of ways. First, we are both creative and quirky middle school teachers. Secondly, we both sing (only I’m not famous, but am working on that minor setback as well). Lastly, we are both the same age and look alike. I’d say my resemblance to Zooey Deschanel is only about 40%, but I’ve had enough people mention it to me over the past few years that I’m willing to believe it may have some merit, but I will let you be the judge:

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Miss “Look at me, I’m a lovable goof!” Deschanel.

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Miss “Look at me partying in my friend’s car! I totally have a reason for making this face!” Lewis.

After tuning into some recent episodes that appear to have been basted in the weakest recipe for weak sauce since Miracle Whip (Schmidt swallowing ALL of Jess’s birth control pills right in front of her? Beyond creepy and totes not funny), I decided it was time to add some of my real experiences/sydrocks flava that can take the plot ideas and writing of New Girl to soaring new heights. After all, there has to be some perspective that can be gained from a similar lovable goof/30ish female douchebag/hipster/singer/creative middle school teacher who wears “cool” glasses like Jess Day:

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I’m aware that my glasses could be bigger. I’m aware that my frames could look more 1950s in a way that’s ironically unflattering. Sorry I’ve let you down with this anticlimactic photo. (Sidebar: I think school is very cool).

Here are suggestions to enhance the plots of New Girl from someone who considers Jess Day to be her spirit animal:

1. Have Jess collect homework from a row of male students. In horror, she will see that they have drawn dictures on their assignments. Hilarious parent phone calls will ensue. This has happened to me with my 8th graders and I have a feeling that both Jess and I would react the same way: blushing, laughing nervously, and crying on the inside.

2. In New Girl, I have seen a storyline where Jess has trouble fitting in with her fellow teachers. They are older and more experienced, so naturally they exclude her. I would like to bring my experience to the table. How about instead of her fellow teachers being a decade older, why not have them be almost a decade younger? Why not have them be jealous and catty about the fact that she feels more comfortable being called “Miss Day” rather than by her first name like them? Why not have them be jealous about the fact that she has more experience and education and is therefore getting more pay than they are? Why not have them give her icy stares in the hall because she is getting paid more for creating her own curriculum rather than passing out reading packets for less pay like them? Why not have them pretend to be friendly but act in passive aggressive ways like not erasing the board for her when it’s her turn to teach in the classroom they share or coming by to shut the door to her room because they think her voice carries? (It does, but the civilized thing to do would be to discuss it with her first). And why not have all of her fellow teachers be no older than 22? I’m trying to decide whether this situation would be funny or just plain sad.

3. Jess comes up with a creative writing prompt where she writes the beginning lyrics to several hip hop songs including “The Motto” by Drake (the clean parts, obvi) on the board and her 8th grade boys who are hip hop fans get to finish the lyrics by writing their own. She awkwardly raps the beginning lyrics to get them excited about the assignment. At first they stare at her, then to her total surprise, they laugh, nod their heads in approval, and call it a “bomb assignment.” Yep. This is how it went down for yours truly. Since the girls were not hip hop fans, I let them finish the lyrics for Justin Bieber and One Direction.

4. Jess’s students will ask her if she has a boyfriend. She will mistakenly answer, “Yes.” They will then ask her, “Do you do nasty stuff together?” She will react the same way I did: bewildered and crying on the inside.

Mind you, this is just a start. I think New Girl is great and that is why I have so much affection for Jess. I see a lot of myself in her. If I could, I would marry her. Oh wait. Now I can.

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Adventures in texting with my ex

Just an update: in my last blog titled “Friends with benefits benefits no one,” I mentioned that my ex and I were going to try being friends with no benefits. I wrote that I would give y’all an update on how it goes. Here’s the deets:

Starting August 1st, my ex texted me just to say hi for the first time after our breakup on March 30th. He asked if I was still mad at him. I said I wasn’t mad and that I would like to make a fresh start as friends. He agreed and said, “That sounds awesome.”

Our exchange went something like this:

Him:

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(This is the second Oprah picture I have used in a blog. Call me obsessed. Just don’t call me maybe)

Me:

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(Fun fact: I look nothing like this)

We continued texting just to say hi for the entire month. It seemed as if we were heading in a new, positive direction: friends with no benefits. We mutually agreed on it and it was written. On August 30th, a month after our new arrangement, I ask him how he was doing after his leg injury. He replies that he is feeling better. I tell him, “You need to rest up for all the adventures that may lie ahead.”
He answers, “I just need to find someone who’s willing to share those adventures with me.”
I said, “You’ll find someone you like.”
He rejoins, “That’s exactly what’s going to happen. You seem pretty upset about that.”
I tell him, “Not at all. I was just validating your feelings. I think we’re good as friends, but we’re not really a match when it comes to being in a relationship.”
Then he says, “Sweet. Glad we see eye to eye on that. I’m hanging out with my dad. I’ll text you later.”

End scene. It has been a week and I haven’t heard anything else from him.

This is what I get texting a 23 year old. This feels like a game, an emotional mindfuck if you will. At 30, I just don’t have time for this. I told him if there’s anything more he’d like to discuss, he can talk to me anytime. It’s unlikely he’ll jump on that offer. Dating younger men is like dealing with my students. I try to get them to be clear about what they are trying to tell me and they cannot quite put into words what they are trying to convey. I will forgive them, though. They are all between the ages of 3-10. This is a grown ass man (I think). Maybe I’m expecting too much. Some of my lady friends thought he was trying to propose the idea of us dating again and then got butthurt when I told him he would find someone he likes. Another school of thought was that he was trying to tell me he wanted to move on. Either way, it could have been more clear and done in a more direct, mature fashion. But the important lesson to be gained from this is I ain’t even mad, bro. Maybe you are. It is just a disappointment that a new beginning for us was ended abruptly by an immature text message exchange. The classic Blink 182 song “What’s my age again?” comes to mind. Chances are if you’re in your late twenties or early thirties, you’ll remember the famous chorus from jr. high or high school:  “Nobody likes you when you’re 23…”

(This is a live version without the nudity found in the original music video)

As you’re reading this and enjoying Blink 182’s blast from the past, feel free to share your thoughts on what you think my ex was trying to say or any similar stories you may have 🙂

Keeping an ex as a “friend” on facebook? Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That!

Oh yes, the big debate. Whether or not to keep your ex as a “friend” on facebook. One of my boyfriends said deleting your ex from facebook makes you seem “bitter.” I wouldn’t call it “bitter” as much as I would call it “practical.” Let’s get practical for a minute: Do you really care that your ex thinks you’re bitter for deleting him off facebook? In all likelihood, he’s not thinking about you at all. I know. That stings, but it’s true. He’s thinking about how he’s going to find his next lady friend. And you don’t want to have him as a friend on facebook so you can witness his journey. In a word:

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(Meme created by sydrocks)

Let’s face it: Guys have an unfair advantage over women. They are able to move on a lot faster. They can meet women a lot faster than women can meet men because men have all the control. They can approach women, ask them out, and be in control of the calling while women have to get all gussied up and wait to be approached. We women often keep waiting because as Liz Tucillo so eloquently put it in her book He’s Just Not That Into You:“There are many more good women out there than there are good guys to date.” It may seem sexist to some of you that a girl should have to wait til a guy approaches her first, but I can tell you from my experience that I have never had a guy be seriously interested in me that I’ve had to approach first. Seriously interested in sleeping with me? Yes. Seriously interested in dating me? Ain’t no homeboy got time for that. (Unless he approaches you first). The purpose of this blog entry and my blog in general is to share some of the dating mistakes I’ve made in my twenties and why I’ll never do them again now that I’m in my thirties. I would like to settle into my mama bear role and help all my twentysomething female blog follower “cubs” out. You’re welcome, my pretties. Now let’s get back to my original point (adult ADD is very real. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s made up like Kim Kardashian’s talent). If you are friends with your ex on facebook, you are eventually going to witness him posting a profile pic of the new girl he’s dating. And no, she will not be as pretty or prettier than you, but that’s not the point. The point is he’s moved on and he doesn’t give a shit about you anymore. Nothing hurts more than that very real and very devastating realization. And meanwhile because you have a little thing called “standards,” you can’t post a retaliatory pic of your new guy because he’s from the future. However, if you feel so inclined, it’s not a bad idea to get a bit drunk and ask a cute guy to take a picture with you at a bar that you can post until the right one comes along. This does take courage, though. Another reason why you should not keep an ex as a friend on facebook is if he made a conscious decision NOT to have your amazing self be a part of his life by deciding not to date you anymore, then why the hell should he get a sneak peek into your life via facebook? He didn’t earn the privilege of getting to know about your new job, new niece, new haircut, new froyo, I could go on but I think you catch my drift. Only real friends should know those awesome details. Not someone who broke your heart but is pretending everything’s still “cool” by keeping you at arm’s length as a friend on facebook so everyone can see what a standup guy he is by being able to “still be cool with his exes.” Meanwhile if you try to talk to him, he will ignore you. If y’all could indulge me as I take a quick trip to Sad Island, I would like to share my experience with my ex. He dumped me but kept me as a friend on facebook. One time I was logged on, I noticed that he was available to chat. I asked him how he was doing. As soon as I typed that question, boom! He magically logged off (Yay internet! A new way to get rejected by guys! It’s not just the phone anymore!) Coincidence? I think not. The only valid excuse would be if he was practicing his role as Stonewall Jackson for an upcoming college play. And we know that’s not true because that fool didn’t go to college. That hurt the ‘ol ego just a little bit. In a separate incident, I typed him a quick “hello” on his wall. He then again stonewalled me. Funny because he made a big deal about staying friends after we broke up. He said, “If you ever need anything or want to talk anytime, you can count on me.” I guess he meant only on Thaturdays which is a made up day, much like his empty promise. Shortly thereafter, he posted a pic of his new girl which made my heart feel like someone dropped an anvil covered in bird shit on it. I had no choice but to delete him right then and there. Why didn’t I just do it right away? Even though I feel great now, I just wanted to share my story so you ladies will think twice about keeping an ex as a friend on facebook. I know some of you may be thinking, “But what if I dumped him instead of the other way around?” It doesn’t matter. Is it really nice to put him through the same emotional mindfuck of thinking he still has your friendship but you’re really keeping this poor fella at arm’s length? Since my experience with this particular ex three years ago, I decided to immediately delete all my subsequent exes off facebook because practically speaking, why would you want to be an emotional masochist (credit: Alexandra Lewis, my brillant sister who coined the term) and prolong the pain when you both should just really move on? Remember that’s what you both wanted, wasn’t it?

The 12 Commandments of Online Dating

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I am adding an 11th Commandment: Thou shalt not make ducklips in your profile picture no matter if thou is male or female.

My 12th Commandment: Thou shalt not take shirtless douchebag profile pics in front of thine bathroom mirror.

Do you guys have any online dating commandments to share? Comment below! I’d like to hear them. Let’s share our experiences and have a laugh 🙂