Before I get to how great this place is, I must take a little sojourn back into the land of mean-spirited snarking. Like any weblogger with an ounce of curiosity, I occasionally check the “referrals” page to see how people are getting here. Many times it’s through cool people like Ev or Alan or Diane, but occasionally it’s the sort of judgmental hoo-hah that attempts to belittle the political views expressed on here, or perhaps just tell me that I’m full of shit one way or another.
I had not, however, had to deal with people talking shit about what I look like and the perceived inequality of my marriage until I began getting referrals from The Perfect World message board, where a fairly mean thread was started about me and my wedding. Now, before I say anything else, let me add that the person who started it has very nicely apologized for the way it devolved. I won’t link to the actual page here, because it’ll bum Tessa out, but since it’s now a matter of public record, I’ll paraphrase it for you:
a) apparently my statement of a few days ago – “I am so happy to be free of the burden of finding other women attractive” – is so stupid as to “make one’s head explode”
b) that I am apparently so unattractive as to warrant serious sociological theory as to why someone as pretty as Tessa would deign to marry me
c) paradoxically, that I was also a “massive womanizer” and picked Tessa because she had cash
d) my blog is hopelessly, hopelessly narcissistic
e) AND MY WEDDING TUX WAS UGLY!
Now, the first four I can handle, but the last is below the belt. My tux rocked!
Seriously, though, why do people have a problem with someone’s blog being self-involved? It’s a DIARY, for fuck’s sake. It’s not about anyone else. It’s certainly not the way I talk in public, and it’s not even necessarily how I feel at any given moment, but it is necessarily about ME. Reading someone’s blog and complaining that it’s self-obsessed is like going to a whorehouse and complaining that you didn’t feel loved.
As for my comment about being “free of the burden of finding other women attractive,” maybe I should flesh out that thought a little more for public consumption. I simply mean that all of us, when we were in the dating world, were held captive by the tyranny of other people’s beauty. At least guys are – obviously, I can’t speak for women. When you’re at a social function, at school, talking to someone who is charming, attractive, sarcastic, funny – you long for them, you try to find ways of being with them, and it can haunt you. You walk around with this sensory application on overdrive, trying to parse through all the people you find alluring one way or another. I had a problem with it – as did a lot of us – hence my “massive womanizing.”
But time passes, you find you get older, your energy for this sort of tomcat bullshit wanes, and best of all, you find someone who utterly erases all these omnidirectional desires, and concentrates them, redirects them into something positive and constructive. Men are rotten; I think most women forget that, or are lulled into complacency by the great man they are with. Men have to be taught to be decent creatures, and it took some of us longer than others. I’m not being precious or gloating about the “burden of finding other women attractive” – I consider it desperate and pathetic that I was ever like that.
Now, about this thing about me being “goofy-looking.” All I have to say is “no fucking duh.” There are a trillion pictures of me all over this blog, but if you need it spelled out for you: I’m about 10-12 pounds over my target weight, I never had braces, I have acne scars from the Duran Duran years, and I have the neck of a bloated sea lion post-afternoon feeding. I get by on a certain Welsh ruddy charm, and the rest is conversation.
But there is one thing I have never done in my life: I have never talked disparagingly about another person’s looks. I may have used heavy descriptive phrases while describing unnamed groups of people in general, but having grown up feeling uglier than sin, I made a point to never refer to anyone’s unappealing physicality in particular, especially someone you know. It’s a rule. Another rule I’d suggest is that “you’re not allowed to say anything about the way someone looks on the internet unless you have a picture of yourself next to it.” As for me, I’ve anted up.
I gotta tellya, blogs are a really shitty way to get to know somebody. Don’t any of you understand that I get it? The blog, despite my valiant efforts, seems to exude the idea that I am a navel-gazing, latently misogynistic, whiny twit so lost in a prep-school, money-induced fever that I have no idea what a buffoon I look like. Don’t you know that I know? People on that message board seem to think I have no idea that I look like Philip Seymour Hoffman, or that Tessa and I first met at a Public Ivy, or that we’re both hopelessly white – I mean, what the fuck, do you think we possess ZERO self-awareness? I have half a mind to rename this blog I Know What This All Must Look Like To You But I’m Continuing To Write Anyway.
The only difference is that I DON’T CARE ANYMORE. Sure, I care enough to make it a blog topic, but that’s about it.
the Nova Scotia coast – never visible
But on to happier news: Canada rawks. Nova Scotia was a happy place, made even better by a visit to Lockeport, the summer getaway of our friend Jace – the place is windswept, socked-in and gorgeous, reminding me of what I thought Wuthering Heights might look like.
We got to Prince Edward Island last night, and stepped right into the four week-period when it truly springs to life. Men wearing heavy sideburns, 1847 morning jackets and top hats walk around giving tours in incredible Maritime accents, and the drawing rooms of local inns are bursting with merriment. According to Peter Rukavina, this sort of thing is short-lived, and soon the island will go back to hibernation.
Dinner with Peter and his partner Catherine was a blast, one of my first ventures into a face-to-face meeting with a longtime blog correspondent. He asked a lot of questions about the artistic side of the movie business, forcing us to exercise muscles that have been dormant since Bridezilla and GrotesqueGroom