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Everything is Awesome with Jeff and KC

Everything is Awesome is a weekly love letter to all things awesome. Brought to you by Jeff Richardson and KC KAOS, two great writers and hilarious friends, who love talking about cool artistic stuff with cool people.
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Apr 30, 2016
Mini Episode 1: Jeff Quits Drinking

I was gonna write a blog post about this but I'm really just feeling crappy so I made a mini-episode instead. I quit drinking today and it sucks. I feel like I'm dying. I'm going to my first alcoholism support group meeting tonight and boy howdy I'm scared. If you listen to the show you know I have two other support groups, so this is just one more friggin thing I have to deal with. But I want to. Because blacking out is scary. And I want to feel my feelings finally and face my freakin fears already.

I don't know what else to say. My heart hurts. If you like this thing feel free to email me at everythingisawesomepodcast@gmail.com - I will write you back, I promise.

Also, in advance, thanks for all the kind words. I'm gonna need em. 

 

Peace,

Richardson

Apr 24, 2016
Episode 51: Passin' the Panty ft. Miss Melissa Suther

In which Jeff and KC ride to the ancestral home of Everything is Awesome, sunny Olympia, WA and meet up with original founder and co-host Melissa Suther AKA Miss Melissa, to commiserate and reminisce about the early days of the show, including discussions as wide ranging as: Jeff's possible ex-ho ex-girlfriend; wondering why we put on blinders for love; crazy mom wisdom and the doneness of one's dharma; a man towing tires in his toyota from the 90s; the history of the phrase "passin the panty"; an awkward place for childrens underwear; KC's First Day of Derby; the tender words of one Carl Palmer (not the percussionist); the pointlessness of much of leftist culture pseudo-activism; the people who are figuratively taking the power back; Bernie!; "What is a Tacoma 10?"; Mel's Facebook feed; the sad reality of gentrification; cocaine found in Northwest salmon; and various and sundry other items of fact and fictitiousness to include these upcoming events:

JBLM Betty Brigade will play a derby bout on Saturday April 30th. Derby is on fire with lots of dates so get with us and share the scoop! Email is everythingisawesomepodcast@gmail.com Show twitter is: @EIAPodcast

Season 10 Championship game for Dockyard Derby Dames takes place May 14th at Pierce College in sunny Lakewood, Washington

Seattle songstress Beatrix Sky will be at Obsidian, in sunny Olympia, Washington  also on April 30th. She is rad so don't miss it.

Listen to Nerd Poker, Dungeons and Dragons with Brian Posehn and Friends. It's a hilarious game of D & D just for you the listener. Also, check out Stuff You Should Know. KC says its rad and hella informative

Culturize Yourself.

Apr 1, 2016
Episode 50: Flair and Flannel ft Tony Lewis

In which KC and Jeff interview the hilarious and complicated figure known as Tony Lewis; Tony explains a bit about his comedic approach; we learn about the reaction he and his mixed-race girlfriend face in the backwoods; a bunch of other stuff happened I don't have time to get into; and Tony is the bee's knees.

 

Songs in this episode:

"Pine Moon" - Feist

"The Plan" - Built To Spill

Mar 27, 2016
Episode 49: Honeyed Words and Unapologetic Bragging ft. Laila Tova

In which Jeff makes the acquaintance of one Ms. Laila Tova, spectacular poet and Tacoma resident; a great many fascinating topics are covered; the librarian ejects our heroes and they must retreat to the safety of the Red Rocket; Laila doesn't humblebrag, she straight up brags; Laila tells Tinder tales; a random loser calls Laila "harry with two r's"; the Lavender Sisterhood poetizes the internet; Ke$ha continues her fight against the rapist Dr Luke; Laila doesn't think humans were born bad; poems are read and commented upon; and great fun is had by all.

 

Closing song: "Surfing On a Rocket" - Air

 

Podcasts we recommend:

Smart Passive Income

Balancing Point

The Dollop with Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds

Historiography with Jim Stewart Allen

 

Find Laila's poems on instagram - laila.tova.writes

Mar 20, 2016
Episode 48b: Owen and Beru Had To Die ft. Kirk Honda

In which Kirk schools Amber and Jeff on various aspects of mental healthcare, including EMDR, Jungian analysis, psychodynamics, and CBT; we consider the value of confronting past abusers; we learn that inviting Mom to therapy is a VSS (Very Scary Situation); transference is explained; Kirk discusses autism and what it's really like; we learn that the media minimizes the truly awful aspects of mental illness; quacks and Crap Science are explained; Amber and Jeff critique the movie Frank; most psychopaths are not master criminals; Kirk laments our society's poor treatment of mental illness; Kirk's podcast is awesome; Jeff cries out "I'm a writer!"; Jeff says "You gotta get hard to make it in America"; and Luke Skywalker is pushed to heroism by family tragedy.

 

Songs in this episode: "Passing Time" and "Cozy" - Bread Knife Incident

 

Listen to Kirk's fantastic podcast Psychology in Seattle! psychologyinseattle.squarespace.com

 

Rate, review, and subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher! We need more listeners and local sponsors!

 

 

Mar 17, 2016
Episode 48: But There Will Be Pain ft. Dr Kirk Honda

In which Jeff and Amber make the acquaintance of one Dr Kirk Honda, Seattle psychotherapist, instructor, podcaster, and musician; Honda's Japanese crest features three blades and three special leaves to wipe off the blood; Amber is encouraged to watch Clockwork Orange, Watership Down, Brazil, and Mr Robot; Jeff should try playing it cool; Jeff's super douchery comes out; Amber asks the question "Who are you and why am I here?"; we discuss various treatment options for complex post traumatic stress; Kirk tells us "no pain no gain, but there will be pain"; and numerous plugs and podcast recommendations are considered.

 

Songs in this episode: "Halliburton Boardroom Massacre" -  David Rovics

                                 "Anything We Want" - Fiona Apple

 

Check out Kirk's podcast, Psychology in Seattle -

psychologyinseattle.squarespace.com

Mar 5, 2016
Episode 47: Problematic Comedy Heroes ft. Ezra Bonillas

This one is our 2nd most downloaded episode of all time!

 

In which we are introduced to the lovely tones of the supremely talented Ms. KC Kaos, independent businesswoman, writer, and roller derby queen extraordinaire; teenage comic Ezra Bonillas hops on the mic; we learn that he is the center on his high school football team; KC explains microeconomics in significant detail; Jeff saw The Witch [Editor's note: I give it a medium]; Mom and Dad are being a little too involved in Jeff's home purchase; Dave Chappelle better watch out, cuz Ezra comin; Ezra may or may not have been depressed; he would rather bomb than be one of the guys who just hangs out; and he admits to pulling a punk move when he and his crew ghosted at Vomity just before the feature.

Also, Trump is a fascist. Seriously what the fuck?

 

Closing song: "If U Stay Ready" - Suga Free

Mar 3, 2016
Episode 46: The Inimitable Sam Miller

In which Jeff and Amber make the acquaintance of Olympia uber-promoter and dope-ass comedian Sam Miller, host of Vomity and currently slaying audiences around the Puget Sound; we learn that a bunch of other stuff happens but I forgot to take notes, something about guns or cops or meth or whatever; and Jeff figures out what happens and updates this description.

 

Closing Song: "Retrovertigo" - Mr. Bungle

Feb 25, 2016
Episode 45: Different Oranges with hit me, Harold!

In which the boys of hit me, Harold! join Jeff and Amber at Mailman Studios to share their stories and regale us with song; a bunch of other stuff happens that I don't have time to think about because a hot girl is talking to me while I'm typing this.

Songs in this episode:

 

"Symbiosis" - hit me, Harold!

"Morning Naps" - hit me, Harold!

"Sans Smarts" - hit me, Harold!

 

Check out their new EP, very very very different perspectives, on their Bandcamp page: hitmeharold.bandcamp.com/album/very-very-very-different-perspectives

Feb 8, 2016
Episode 44: Meet the Future Mrs. Jeff Richardson

 In which Jeff and Erica connect long distance: Erica in Arlington, Washington, and Jeff in sunny Longbeach, California; President Obama unleashes a massive gun seizing campaign, dispatching heavily armored shock troops to VFW halls, WalMarts, Cabela's and other gun friendly zones across the nation (actually he just used an Executive order to track gun sales that hurts no one but whatever); Christmas is fun for everyone; Jeff discovers he is not one, but two great figures from the Bible - the answers may surprise you - and reacts appropriately; Jeff reveals his adoration for a lovely Danish maiden, and subsequently learns that she is underage; we hear a couple sweet modern jams; and the whole thing is capped off beautifully by a voicemail from one of our listeners and a world-class young poet, Ms. Laila Tova.

 

Songs in this episode:

 

"In the Aeroplane Over the Sea"  Neutral Milk Hotel

 

"Consequences of Sleeping"  Little Green Cars

 

"Belay"  Laila Tova - find her on Facebook or on Instagram as @laila.tova.writes 

Jan 16, 2016
Episode 43: Century Village Stories ft. Brad Upton

In which Jeff and Fred interview the legendary Northwest comedian, Brad Upton and discover many fascinating details about his life, including (but not limited to) teaching fourth grade; staying married for 28 years; having two kids; the best gigs and the weirdest; Fred takes holiday traffic to the woodshed; Jeff laments his existence as per uzhe; and good times are had by all.

 

Songs in this episode:

 

"Forest Green" Hannah Mendenhall

"The Last Time I Fell in Love" Johnny Mathis

Jan 11, 2016
Episode 42b: Shotgun Blasts of Words ft. Kayvin Da Clown

In which several deleted scenes are revealed; Kayvin embodies the ghosts of George Washington Carver, Sly Stone, and Morgan Freeman (not actually dead at the time of this recording); George Washington disagrees with torture; Amber celebrates the North Carolina mayor who swears on the Constitution instead of the bible; and more hijinks ensue.

 Songs in this episode:

"Effigy" Creedence Clearwater Revival

"Life in a Glasshouse" Radiohead

Dec 30, 2015
Episode 42:

In which Jeff and Amber return to The Apartment; Olympia standup comedian Kayvin Da Clown stops by; Amber describes the making of Starburst pizza; Kayvin explores the concept of breast physics in video games; Dueling Facebooks make its triumphant return; Kayvin muses on the nature of nachos and White Castle burgers; Bernie Sanders meets a letter carrier and the outcome will surprise you; Amber explains that she doesn't like feelings; we learn that cats tend to only meow at humans; Amber grows weary and lays head down near the bathroom door; and much, much more.

Songs in this episode:

"Beyond a Doubt" s/s/s

"Burning Pile" Mother Mother

Dec 19, 2015
Episode 41 Part Two: In Cold Pursuit

In which Jeff and Amber try in vain to reconnect with Maggie J Strong (@magdalinejane) of Pretty Misandry; the two leave an adorable voice mail; Amber points out Jeff's strange breathing patterns; Paris is rocked by assholes with guns; Amber posits that soldiers and terrorists are more or less the same thing; Jeff disagrees; spanking is linked to aggression in adults; Jeff discovers he is an Aries Rising (which is coincidentally the name of the next Bruce Willis film); the Ballard Boyz continue to kill it at their monthly variety show; Seahawks play sports; Jeff's element is fog; Veteran's Day is celebrated; Amber takes a ticket to Bonertown; Jeff and Amber discuss chip strategies at parties; Drake calls Amber on her cellphone; singing jogger tells fake story to point out the kindness of imaginary children; and much, much more!

Jeff's Poem: Live By Dying

Closing Song: "Why Try" by the Hollers

Dec 3, 2015
Episode 41: Pretty Misandry Chat with Maggie J Strong

In which Amber Sayman hops into cohosting duty to help interview the most amazing new podcaster; Ms. Maggie J Strong AKA Magdaline Jane skypes in and shares with us her many varied experiences as a woman, womens' rights advocate, and  sex-positive sexual assault survivor with a hilarious take on the issues of feminism and Mens' Rights Activists; tampons and Diva Cups make a repeat appearance; Maggie unloads a whole lot of stuff and the crew discuss it; Maggie drops off the line and Jeff and Amber face plugs and podcasts all alone, without a safety net.

 

Nov 30, 2015
Episode 40: Creativity and Compassion with Nick and Wes of Walking Hawk Records

In which Nicholas Jones and Wes Engelbach stop by the studio to bro down about the music business, tell how they met on a golf course (they weren't golfers), Jeff and Shakim bust out some poetic stylings, Jeff's Facebook Feed is long and rambling, and Shakim closes out the show with his newest jam.

 

Closing Track: "Forlornly" - Shakim "Luck" Leckie and producer Joey Braswell

Nov 23, 2015

I can't tell you how great it is to be out of the trough of depression. If you've never dealt with it, you probably can't understand how bad it really is.

The thing is, I'm not lazy. All that stuff my brother and ex-wife used to say to me was bullshit. I needed help, not criticism. And why did I even take the words of my abusers seriously anyway? 

That's the thing about trauma. Each new injury piles up on top of the ones that came before. Eventually your soul becomes like one of those hoarder houses, with abuses and scars piled up so high you can barely get around. If it's bad enough and goes on long enough, some of us develop debilitating personality disorders that are nearly impossible to treat, if we even try.

I've been trying to face my trauma and my bipolar disorder for two years now, and it's finally paying off. I'm not perfect; I still make decisions on which tasks to blow off, but I'm doing better.

It also doesn't hurt that I've made some really wonderful friends in the last year, who don't judge me or think less of me for the struggles I'm facing.

In addition, I've made friends with at least one woman that thinks I'm pretty cool. I've never been very good at accepting compliments, but after receiving a few I'm realizing why I needed them so badly from my last girlfriend. When they're missing from our lives, we feel the lack. That's exactly why I try to throw them around to my loved ones, even when I'm in the depths of my depression. Sometimes just honoring someone for being kind, or thoughtful, or for accomplishing something great, can build up positive energy that they might send your way when you need it most.

At our most primal level, we humans are selfish creatures. We take what we can get because biologically we never know when it will be gone. But what's so interesting is that when we give of ourselves with no expectation of reciprocity or gratitude, something shifts inside of us and gives us a good feeling. Which tends to make even our darkest days just a little bit brighter.

That's partly why I'm doing this. Because I want you to know someone loves you. Someone experiences the world with some of the same pain. You are not alone, and neither am I. And in that realization, we find we can keep on going one more day, one more hour, one more minute, and we stay alive.

So stay alive. Give love. Be a part of the love that surrounds you. There is hope. Go share it with someone, and see what happens. It could change your life, and theirs.

Nov 20, 2015

Bedbugs? Are you fucking kidding me?

Woke up two weeks ago with some gnarly bugbites all up in a sensitive area (no, not my junk). I figure theyve been hiding in the driver's seat of my car and latched on to me the first time I fell asleep in there since moving back in with my parents. Very few things make me as angry as these little products of God's evil sense of humor. Fuck.

And please don't send me a bunch of gd advice for getting rid of them. I'm well aware. 

Nov 19, 2015

It's been awhile. Originally when I started blogging I was committed to doing at least one thing per day before going to sleep. Then I fell into a pretty serious depression. Perhaps the first since I started on this new medication.

So I'm back, having slept over 9-10 hours the last two nights and getting down to the last two nicotine patches before I'm fully over smoking.

For those who don't know, depression doesn't make sense. Nothing about life the last two weeks has been any harder than before. I've treated myself well, kept stress down, and generally done what I can to stay on top of these feelings.

But I stopped making lists. I stopped walking the dog. I couldn't even think about exercise. And my thoughts about my ex girlfriend were overwhelming. You can say it's  about grief, withdrawal or just plain feelings that come and go like the wind. But on top of every other shitty struggle it was nearly unbearable.

But let's be real. It's been months since I've seen her. As beautiful and funny as she was, she was selfish, closed off, and hard to trust. Maybe the hardest part to accept is that someone I loved more than anything could be doing things with another man that she never did with me. That I am inadequate, or that the very thing I feared has come to pass, that once she began healing and treating her mental illness she would have a status, enabling her to date someone taller, stronger, richer and more handsome than me.

Now that I'm rising from the depths of depression, I'm beginning to realize just how sad my life is right now. It sucks. I project this image of a confident, happy-go-lucky artist, but really I'm a faker, still unable to finish things, still unable to convince others to take part in my projects, and lonely as fuck.

I know what to tell others: tell yourself "I do enough, I have enough, I am enough". And yet, I'm still hungry, still lost, still longing for something that cannot be. Maybe that's just my natural state. Maybe it can't be changed. And that's what's truly terrifying.

Nov 12, 2015
This Song is in Progress

Got a few weeks of support groups under my belt, and I'm feeling more connected and loved than ever before. It's pretty great.

So why do I still hurt whenever something reminds me of you?

Over You

cruisin down the street with the radio on
and maybe this will be my new favorite song
breakin old habits and makin new ones
i been breakin thru the sorrow
and havin fun
i can laugh just hard as i used to do
so why am i still thinkin
about you?

runnin down the alley with no plans to stop
i been chasin good feelins but my head stil drops
had to cut you from my life
cuz all you did was take
when I think about you baby
all i do is shake

its not enough 
its still so rough
i aint that tough
i bet youre over it
but i guess im not
wanna get beyond it
wanna make it
stop
but it aint no use
nothin i can do
i still aint over
you

 

So that's what I'm working with. Stay tuned to Everything is Awesome for our next episode. Bonus Episode: Ghosts and Speakers. Thanks for readin this stuff, gang. Can't do this without you. Tweet at us: @EIAPodcast

I'm Email: everythingisawesomepodcast@gmail.com

Nov 10, 2015

I wrote an entire blog and accidentally deleted the whole thing by hitting the back button on the browser.

It was all the things I'm grateful for.

One of those is not mobile websites that can't auto save documents in such a situation.

Fuck.

I am grateful for the ability to maintain serenity though.

And all of you. Much love, Jefé.

Nov 8, 2015
Two Snaps Up and a Tsū

Okay. I didn't do a post yesterday cuz I was on a date. Some cool stuff happened: Rusty came with, I smoked some doobage on the beach, had a donut and a frappychinomocha, ate some tackos in a corn tor tilla, and listened to great music with a cool lady.

Then it was over. But it was still early. So I went to a friend's place nearby (holla, Justin and Marika) and got legit blazed. Once good times were properly celebrated, I returned to the Southland. And promptly went to sleep in my car with Rusty in a Fife parking lot.

Breakfast at Denny's, followed by lunch at the Pup. The whole day gettin my soshe media on, and discovering something most excellent:

 

tsu.co

 

What the hell is tsu.co? It's only the sweetest new social media site and it is faster, cleaner, simpler, and cooler than facebook, instagram, and tumbler combined. So I joined the club of intelligent folk spreading the word. And the biggest reason I have for tellin y'all about it? Facebook has chosen to ban all mention or linkage to tsū so you can't enjoy their services in a convenient manner.

So here's what I say: everything we would have shared on Facebook, we share on tsū instead. And we blow this boycott right up in Jesse Eisenberg's face, or whatever that guy's name is. Boom. If you also have snapchat, join me in sharing this shit as quickly as possible. Make it Snappen.

 

tsu.co

Nov 6, 2015
Love and Laughter

Getting trashed in sunny Auburn, Washington. Still in my postal uniform. Living across the Narrows Bridge is a pain in the ass cause I don't wanna go home to avoid two tolls in one day. Thankfully my folks have been taking my dog out every night so I can stay on this side without too much guilt.

I'm excited to see my buddy Shelby's comedy show, but I must admit today's been a bit of a struggle. Not due to my mental state finally; that's actually been pretty good. Pain level is around a 2. No, this has largely centered around my grief over losing The Love of My Life.

I don't know how many of you have lost your soulmate but it's not great. I once thought my ex-wife was destined for me, but I realized pretty quickly that she was a terrible person. I just didn't have the strength to abort the mission. But this time I'd found someone worth fighting for. And believe me, I tried.

So I'm sitting in my mailtruck listening to the Mental Illness Happy Hour (a fantastic podcast) and lamenting my piss-poor behavior when it came to treating her with kid gloves. I'd never really understood how to deal with an extreme introvert and always bristled at being closed out from physical affection. So in the absence of my love, I was feelin the feels.

Luckily, the sunshine and a great new podcast, Pretty Misandry with Maggie Strong, brought me out of my funk and enabled me to reengage with the human world. Maggie Strong, the erstwhile host of Pretty Misandry, commiserated with me regarding the difficulty of maintaining relationships when mental illness is a factor, and it was awesome. There's nothing like relating with someone who understands your issues, especially in matters of the heart.

I don't know what comes next. Comedy is on the agenda for the evening, which is always great. But love and happiness are elusive targets. I have a few new female friendships, which are always welcome, and I'm involved in a couple codependency support groups, so I expect some quality healing, but my heart still aches for the one woman who moves my soul.

I don't know how to end this post, so I'll just say this: if you're struggling with loneliness, depression, or any other mental confusion, know that you're not alone. We're all in this together. Love rules the world. Embrace it, and each other.

 

Nov 5, 2015
The Shadowed Path

It's weird. I actually had a good day today. Woke up feeling actually okay, got to the kitchen where Pops had made me a cup of coffee, let the dog out, and got ready to go to work. The sunrise was magnificent, skies more or less clear all day, not too cold. 

I know I'm feeling better because for the first time in at least two weeks I didn't have to nap on my first break. I finished up Dune Messiah (there's a weird book) and cleared up some mail I'd been putting off. I even got my ballot filled out and sent in. Maybe voting day is what pulled me out of my funk, lol. I do love democracy.

After work I got my oil changed (only 4000 miles too late) and discovered that I'd let the oil run below the point the dipstick could even measure. Depression is such a cunt (sorry, Mom). Seriously, how many things have to pile up before the fog lifts? I can't even imagine what people with constant depression go through. Being bipolar 2 I at least get to dip in and out. Thankfully my medication keeps me from getting too high or too low. But even two months of low-grade depression has made a deep impact on my ability to get things done or to enjoy the things I normally take pleasure in.

God damn I have a lot of problems. It would take too long to list them out, but suffice to say I'm amazed I'm able to hold down a job, produce a podcast every week (or month, whatevz), take my dog out, and pay my bills "on time". I can't even imagine how difficult it must be to date me. Or be married to me. 

Which brings me to the subject that's most pressing on my mind: my relationship, or lack of it, with the Love of My Life.

I miss her daily. I know she wasn't perfect, but she was mine. She was always there when I needed someone to talk to. She nearly always laughed at my jokes. She went with me to most social events. She invited me to family gatherings. She rarely inquired about my feelings, wasn't very good at being comforting or affectionate, but I know without a doubt that she loved me. And now she's gone.

She's not dead, at least not last I checked. She's out there somewhere, still using the phone I bought for her, still on my plan, still going to work and probably still complaining to anyone who will listen about her problems and how she can't do anything about them, and yet, I miss her.

Why is it so hard to let someone go who isn't good for you? Near the end of our time together she wasn't spending the night, she was cagey and weird, she was hiding her feelings from me and generally behaving like someone would if they were seeing someone else. Over the last few months her responses to my emails have gotten less and less sincere. I'm pretty sure she's moved on and it kills me. We were supposed to be on a trial separation while we both worked on our mental health, but I don't think she's really doing much at all. She started massage school but now it seems like she might quit that as well.

So why do I want her back? Why would I willingly invite that drama back into my life? Am I just hopelessly addicted to being taken for granted? Do I have any self-respect whatsoever?

That's what love addiction is all about. It's the reason why I let my wife mistreat me for so many years. It's why I would lie to my family when she didn't want to see them. It's why I would be intimate with her even if I didn't want to. It's why I stayed with her, fighting and clawing until the bitter end even though she was clearly cheating on me.

Addiction is a killer. It doesn't matter what the addiction is. Anything that takes you away from your values and your safety threatens your life and the lives of the people around you. Seeking recovery is the best thing you can do, both for your mental health, but for those you love as well. Putting aside problem behaviors and truly facing up to the issues that lead you to avoid your troubles in the first place is the only way to ever life a healthy and productive life.

Writing these things down has helped. Sharing my struggles with you is helping me face my fears and stay focused on my plan of healing. I can't do it alone. None of us can.

I still miss her every day. I may for a good long time. And maybe, if my recovery goes well, and she receives effective treatment for her conditions, perhaps then we can start over. But for now I have to grieve, to make sense of this loss, and move forward along the winding path of recovery.

If you are struggling with the pain of heartbreak or loss, if you're facing serious mental challenges, if you have an addiction and you've been afraid to face it, please talk to someone you trust. Talk to a close friend or professional counselor. Or hell, talk to me. Send a fully confidential email to us here at everythingisawesomepodcast@gmail.com and let's talk about you and your issues. Everybody can use a good listener sometimes. Hang in there, and know that you are not alone.

Nov 4, 2015

Have you ever unintentionally said the worst possible thing you could say to someone? I did that this week. It happened on Facebook (as these things do). I decided to comment on a lady's Facebook post with what I thought was a fairly witty riposte, but which turned out be hurtful, embarrassing and rude. Whoops!

This sort of thing happened all the time when I was married. I don't want to say she was oversensitive, but if you brushed by her in the hallway she'd very likely wake you up in the middle of the night raging like some sort of Japanese folk-demon.

Anyhoo, through that experience I learned how to temper my thoughts and direct myself toward the positive, even if a joke that came to me was too funny to stifle. God help you if you got caught stifling, though, because then she'd demand to know what you were thinking. Which, for a guy with ADD is a very hard question to answer. "Twelve different things, at least" is not an acceptable answer to give a woman looking for a fight. Anyways, after that marriage exploded I more or less learned to curb my most offensive thoughts before they came out of my mouth. 

I know now how to be positive, and truly feel it. To file away potentially hurtful phrases quickly and without hesitation. Unless I'm in a horrible verbal confrontation, in which case I'm probably totally screwed. But in an ordinary back and forth between me and a lady, I more or less behave myself.

Which brings me to this week's controversy. An attractive lady comic messaged me the night of Halloween, for what purpose I can't quite figure. I try to keep it light, but as you may know from reading my previous posts, this is new for me. The old Jeff might have thrown a bunch of innuendo her way, trying craftily to work out some future sexy time scenario.

I didn't do that. I was cool on the text and bid adieu. The next day, however, Facebook opened the door to madness.

Said comic posted a cute picture of herself and two friends. Jeff, being the charming gentleman he is, said something nice about the picture and went along with his day. Later, checking in on his notifications, Jeff discovered someone had complimented this comic on her looks. She responded, saying something about not wearing makeup.

This is where Jeff made the critical error. Instead of walking gingerly away and letting these friends lightly banter, Jeff decided to make a joke. (insert scary organ sounds)

The joke essentially suggested that the comic was fishing for compliments. Something along the lines of "we all know you're pretty. Calm down."

You ever see that black and white video of the nuclear blast at Alamagordo blasting through buildings? That was the impact of this joke upon this situation. Here was a nice little thread involving friends and cute Halloween costumes, and suddenly the entire world was on fire.

I knew immediately what I had done. I'd suggested in a public forum that this woman was fishing for compliments. An accusation of that magnitude could not be ignored. I tried quickly to smooth things over but it was too late. I was in the shit.

I talked to a mutual friend later that day and learned that what I'd said was essentially a backhanded compliment. I hate those and so I genuinely felt sorry. What had begun as a simple joke lampooning a beautiful woman's insecurity had morphed into something much much darker.

I'm filing this fracas under the file heading "Nuclear Option", words or suggestions that will drive a woman into a semi-violent rage. The phrase "calm down" definitely belongs in that category. Any answer to the question "does this make me look fat?" that doesn't involve the words "no", "of course not" or "have you seen the remote?" And for the love of god, any suggestion that a woman is insecure or vain is definitely bad for your health.

I saw this attractive lady comic earlier tonight, ducked my head like a turtle, and slipped out the back door of the bar. I had planned to go up to her and apologize in person, but part of me was terrified to deal with it at all.

Honestly, I think being rejected and mistreated by so many women in the last few years has made it hard to face up to their anger and disappointment with me. I've had some seriously messed up things thrown my way and I think I'm a little shellshocked. Also, I want to be involved in this here comedy scene and the last thing I want is to look like a jackass in front of everyone.

Sometimes I just want to be able to speak up and point out when people are being ridiculous. But most people, it seems, don't want you to do that. Especially people who are used to adulation instead of lampooning. As a chronic receiver of lampoonage, sometimes I forget that other people aren't used to it. And therein lies the lesson: don't fuck with people who you don't know well. Because their response may surprise you.

To the attractive lady comic, I hope you can forgive my thoughtless words. And to all of you who may be tempted to sling your silly barbs whilly-nilly, take heed lest ye unleash the dogs of war. Maintaining a peaceful society demands politeness, or at the very least, caution.

You have been warned.

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