I’ve spent the last three years trying to convince my girlfriend that I’m cool. So far, no dice.
I haven’t even been dating her for three years, but that hash’t stopped me from turning every day into a desperate attempt at posturing and witty dialoguing in the hopes that, with her dying breath, she’ll whisper to me “Daniel…all this time…you were so, so rad…,” after which, I’ll shed a single tear, and then do a kick flip over her hospital bed, while “Blitzkrieg Bop” plays in the background. I don’t know how to skateboard outside of the opening step of looking at one, but I imagine that, when I finally hit cool, I’ll just suddenly understand how, like people who get brain injuries and suddenly know how to play piano or can remember their past lives.
I took her to a Chinese restaurant a few nights ago, one located in a parking lot that seems to have been the subject of a small scale nuclear attack, with all the radiated victims surviving long enough to open up a Dress Barn across the street. Chinese restaurants are great places to take girlfriends that you know you’re going to go the distance with, because asking her to participate in a buffet of cheap, vaguely Asian cuisine is practically an invitation for her to come, hand in hand with you, as you both walk into diabetes.
But if you’re in the early stages of trying to establish romance with someone, taking your lady to a Chinese buffet should only be on your list if you’re giving her a ride to her job at the Chinese buffet. That’s because fried, plentiful Chinese food does things to your stomach that even your stomach can’t comprehend, namely, it turns everything inside of you into gas that needs to be expelled constantly and powerfully. You can replicate the effects of a Chinese buffet by asking your friends to fart down a paper towel tube into your mouth, so that you can blow it back out, with them still in the car.
At seventeen, I made the mistake of inviting a girl to a Chinese place near my house, and then made the second mistake of shoving food in my mouth like I was trying quietly to win an eating contest that had been announced to only one of us. After the date, like it’s liable to do, the Chinese food began its quick decay in my digestive system and began to climb back out like the little girl in The Ring. I really wanted to kiss my date, and as I got near her, going for the sneakily platonic hug that would lead to my true intentions (MOUTH ON MOUTH ASPHYXIATION), I burped. I was a head taller than her, so I ended up burping on her forehead. Then, as if to say “Aw, baby got a boo boo?”, I kissed her directly where I’d burped. She called me back once, to borrow my Chemistry book.
My current girlfriend and I go into every restaurant with the unspoken rule that, whatever happens inside, our friends and family won’t find out. We take the phrase “live like you’ll die tomorrow” very seriously, because we eat as if someone will discover our bloated bodies the next morning, beside a half watched episode of Locked Up Abroad that we barely got through before passing onto that great Indian/Chinese/Thai buffet in the sky. We engorged ourselves, barely stopping to comment on the quality of the things we were engorging. “This is just average” we’d say about a piece of sweet and sour pork, as we shoved fifteen of them in our mouths. Eventually, after three plates of ass fuel, we made our way to the dessert plate, telling our stomachs “Fuck you, there has to be more room. Move some shit around if you have to, but make room.”
I, for this occasion, got jello, because I’m twenty-five, with the mind of a seven-year-old, and ice cream, because ice cream. As I ate the ice cream, I began to wonder how my girlfriend perceived me, this vacuuming mass in a Godzilla 1985 shirt, inhaling ice cream like I’d growl and snap at her fingers if she tried to even touch me. So, I did what I always did whenever I wanted to look cool to my girlfriend: I took what I was doing, and I made it awesome.
I held up the ice cream cup from its current position on the table, and turned it to this tilted position up closer to my face, ice cream now facing me, as if I was inspecting it, like the cookies and cream were little fossils that I’d only now began to discover. This would make me seem thoughtful and passionate about my hobbies. And yes, one of my hobbies is ice cream. It is one because I can’t think of a valid reason for it not to be.
To combine with the cup tilt for maximum cooling, I held the spoon between my thumb and forefinger, dangling it when I wasn’t using it to take a bite. This would make me seem aloof and endearingly detached. “See the way I’m holding this spoon? It’s like I don’t even give a fuck if I drop it. Please, please validate me.”
She didn’t notice at all. She, despite three years worth of intentions, didn’t and still, even after I told her about the stupid way I was just holding my ice cream, does not give a damn about how I hold my ice cream. She did tell me though that it objectively doesn’t make me any cooler. Oh well.
Tomorrow is new day.