Tag Archives: brain vs. mouth

Mr. Seventy-Two Thousand

I know, I know, “douche” is technically a french word.  I’ll not delve into the origins of the word, nor will I contest its anglophone “urban” connotation.  Long-time readers have surely read about my brushes with parisian douche-toolery, but I hope you didn’t expect my accounts of douchetards would cease now that I’m no longer an expat living amidst Paris’ unique form of douchery.

Au contraire.

Let’s face it.  Douchery is an international phenomenon that is hardly limited by national borders, by urban-rural divides, or by class lines.  Part of the anthropological analysis of any city’s dating scene must therefore include some treatment of The Douche Problem.

Before coming to D.C., I’d heard tales of high levels of douchery in the city, most likely due to the fact that it is, after all, the national capital and, therefore, contains high concentrations of people who live, work, breathe and bleed politics.  I can’t say that this surprised me at all, but I was still in that euphoric honeymoon phase of my relationship with America, and I was reluctant to come to terms with anything that could possibly shake my faith that my interactions with the opposite sex here must, by default, be better than my experiences in Paris.

But, my first night out in D.C., I came face to face with what I now call the D.C. Doucheoisie (shout-out to my buddy, Andrew Stillman, for coining this term).

At the time, my girlfriend and I were out and about in a part of town whose nightlife demographic was well-known for being… young.  Undergraduate and recent-grad age.

< Confession for the sake of context : I am NOT that age.  Not by a long shot. >

While we matronly damsels were awaiting our shining carriage to whisk us homeward, one young lad of such age approached me and stated very matter-of-factly:

“I like your jacket.”

I was not wearing a jacket.

It was the height of summer, and the city was the approximate temperature of some of the deeper bowels of hell.

He then proceeded to ask me to accompany him to his place for drinks and, apparently “a good time”.

There really was no transition between his comment on my non-existent jacket and his transparent proposition.

While I admired his ballsiness, I was very keen on going home to bed (it was far past my bedtime), so I gave him a very simple response:

“No, thank you.  I’m too old for you.”

But he was not to be deterred.

Mr. Seventy-Two Thousand : “No, you’re not!  How old are you?  What, 25 or something?  Listen, I am 23 years old, and I earn $72 000 per year!”

Man-shopper’s brain : “Oh merciful christ, I can’t believe this is happening.”

Man-shopper’s mouth : “Oh, honey, that’s not the issue here.”

Mr. Seventy-Two Thousand : “Well, what else could it possibly be?”

I was gobsmacked.

I walked away at this point, but instead of “Oh, honey, that’s not the issue here,” this is what my response SHOULD have been:

” How much of that seventy-two thousand

are you willing to part with tonight? “

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Mr. Geisha Fantasy

Even after all this time, the most popular post on my blog is still Mr. Asian Fetish.  Apparently, and perhaps for good reason, this is a hot button topic on the interwebs.  Frankly, I have been reluctant to write about it again because I don’t want to give the impression that being Asian or being fetishized is the sole or primary component of my identity.

However, sometimes I think that parisian men can’t seem to think otherwise.

I recently encountered somebody whose exotification of my slanty-eyes got me so riled that he left me no choice but to revisit the topic of the Asian fetish.

To sum up my previous post on it:

  1. I don’t think of it as a fetish.  I think of it as a personal preference that may sometimes manifest itself as broader stereotyping.
  2. I don’t mind if I’m your physical type for whatever reason, but come on, fool, don’t be an asstard about it.
  3. Parisian men are usually asstards about it.

After being waylaid by Mr. Geisha Fantasy on my way out of a cafe the other day  I still stand by all three points.  I cite the following excerpts from our conversation.

He commented on my accent:

  • Mr. Geisha Fantasy : “You speak French with a Japanese accent.”
  • Man-shopper’s brain : “Kill me now.”
  • Man-shopper’s mouth : “I’m American.  That’s like saying you speak English with a white person accent.”
  • Mr. Geisha Fantasy : “No.  You do.  I am telling you.  I know what I’m talking about.  I lived in Japan.”
  • Man-shopper’s brain : “I hate my life sometimes.”

He has, I suspect, absolutely no idea what he is talking about:

  • Mr. Geisha Fantasy : “I like to work out too.  I lived in Japan, you know.”
  • Man-shopper’s brain : “What the hell is going on here??”

He clearly has some thrilling insights about pan-Asian uniformity:

  • Mr. Geisha Fantasy : “You Asians are all kind of the same, aren’t you?”
  • Man-shopper’s brain : “@$#%^~*!!”
  • Man-shopper’s mouth : “Yes.  Of course.  You’re right.  We are all the same.  You can switch me out with any other Asian.  We’d be having this same conversation.”
  • Man-shopper’s brain : “He MUST understand sarcasm, right??”
  • Mr. Geisha Fantasy : “Yes, that’s exactly what I mean!”
  • Man-shopper’s brain : “Oooor… not.

He likes an Asian in red:

  • Mr. Geisha Fantasy : “You obviously like brightly colored dresses.  You should wear bright red lipstick.  I know lots of Japanese women who wear red lipstick.”
  • Man-shopper’s brain : “Seriously?  SERIOUSLY??”

What a charmer.

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Ms. Drunk at a Club

Regular readers may recall previous posts about manifestations of a disease that I like to call Brain vs. Mouth.  This post is about its sister disease, which is essentially a three-way bitch-fight between Drunk Brain, Sober Brain and Mouth.

Before I continue, let me reiterate that all three parties employ a particular brand of logic that is perfectly sound in and of itself.  It’s just that each brand of logic is incomprehensible to the other parties and to most rational human beings.

  1. Drunk Brain is… well… Drunk Brain is just drunk.
  2. Sober Brain is the closest that I can get to conventional wisdom.
  3. Mouth just does whatever the hell it wants.  Picture all possible actions — ranging from the reasonable to the bat-shit mad — on a big spinning wheel.  Mouth spins the wheel and does whatever the hand lands on.

So, keeping these facts in mind, let me take you back to a crisp fall November night, where this story begins with a couple bottles of wine and a bag of pretzels…

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It was Friday night, and it was meant to be a classic girls’ night out.  My last man-shopping bender resulted in the loss of my pants, but that wasn’t on the agenda this time.  All we wanted to do was have some wine together, get a little silly and dance it out to crappy French music somewhere that didn’t charge us an entry fee.

My companions for the evening were two lovely ladies, hereafter known as Ms. Hair and Ms. Holland, the former having consistently fantastic hair and the latter being the embodiment of all things awesome about being Dutch.

Ms. Hair was the star of the evening and managed to have a sizable following of eager young bucks who waited on her hand and foot and who provided us, her swashbuckling companions, with constant refills of Grey Goose.

I was perfectly fine with this arrangement, as the vodka was seeping into my brain.

It was after an undetermined number of these free drinks that I encountered a young man who looked like a French Shia Laboeuf.  This was also about the time that Drunk Brain joined the party.

My conversation with Shia LaBoeuf went something like this (I must warn you, this is a rough reconstruction, as I was pretty much drunk off my face at this point):

Shia : Hi, what’s your name?

Drunk Brain : HAHAHAHAHAHA He looks like Shia Laboeuf!  Shia Laboeuf sounds like Shia LaBUTT.  HAHAHAHAHA.

Sober Brain : Shut up, Drunk Brain.  Let the girl work.  This guy isn’t a total train wreck, and she deserves to have some fun tonight.

Man-shopper’s Mouth : My name is Helene.  And your name is Shia.

Shia : What?

Drunk Brain : TEEHEEHEHEHE Man-shopper is sooooo smooth.

Sober Brain : Oh god.  I can’t watch.

Man-shopper’s Mouth : I’m American!

Shia : No you’re not, you’re Asian.

Drunk Brain : Touché!

Sober Brain : Next!  Next!  For the love of god, Man-shopper, NEXT!  You’ve met moss that is smarter than this guy…

Man-shopper’s Mouth : Why, yes I am.  What do you think of Asians, sir?

Shia : I love Asians.  They are so… Asian.

Drunk Brain : Hmmm… I’m not sure, but why do I get this feeling that Shia is a little thick?  Oooo wait a minute, what do we have here?  Bouncy seat cushions!  Bouncy bouncy bouncy bouncy bounce bounce, I’m Tigger!

Sober Brain : < absent >

Man-shopper’s Mouth : ME TOO!  I LOVE ASIANS!

Shia : I know right!  Asians are so beautiful.  So exotic.

Drunk Brain : Okay, I’m drunk, but I’m not stupid.  I’m definitely getting a vibe of douche-toolery here, but how do we make him shut his stupid mouth??  Sober Brain, help a sister out here!

Sober Brain : < absent >

Man-shopper’s Mouth : Ummmmmm….

Shia : Blah blah blah blah Asian blah blah blah love blah blah blah you are beautiful blah blah blah what’s your number blah

Drunk Brain : I’ve got a brilliant idea!  He can’t say anything stupid if he can’t talk!  Just make out with him to shut him up!  Come on, Mouth, you and I both know that I have the best ideas.

Sober Brain : What the hell?  I step out for a coffee break and shit hits the fan…  Stop!  Wait!  WHAT IS HAPPENING?!

Man-shopper’s Mouth : < censored >

Drunk Brain : Hmmm… Sober Brain, were you saying something?  Oh, maybe you’re right, kissing this guy is not the greatest idea.  Poor guy.  He has no idea that he’s not getting a phone number out of this.

Sober Brain : Thank god, you’re listening.  Now, Mouth, repeat after me: “I’ve changed my mind.  I’m drunk, and I’m actually not interested.  Please leave me alone.  Also, my boyfriend is in the military and he will wipe the floor with you.”

Man-shopper’s Mouth : Oh, my roommate wants to go home.  Right now.  We communicate telepathically.  Bye!

Shia : WTF?

Drunk Brain : Nicely done, Mouth.  You are a genius.  He TOTALLY bought that.  You and I make such a great team.

Sober Brain : I don’t know why I even bother.

Of course, after implementing that brilliant exit strategy, I proceeded to stay at the club, wander around and dance indiscriminately to every horrible song that the DJ put on.  At some point, I’m pretty sure that I broke out my running man moves.  Maybe a little robot action.  I really don’t know.  It was kind of a shitshow.

At some point, I ran into Shia again.

And I vaguely remember saying, “NEXT!” and running away.

The next morning, after a 5am sandwich, a liter of orange juice, about three buckets of ibuprofen, and one of the most epic hangovers of my life, I vowed never to drink again…

… It was a vow that I broke shortly thereafter.

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Mr. Crew Team Captain

As some of you may recall from my previous posts about gym crushes (Ms. Gym Stalker and Ms. Boston Man-shopper), I’ve got a bit of a gym obsession.  And even though I am on holiday in the USA for a short period of time, that does not mean that I’ve dropped my fitness routine.

It does, however, mean that I still spend an (un?)healthy amount of time at the gym and that I inevitably encounter a plethora of attractive men there.

My current favorite: Mr. Crew Team Captain.

But one problem: we are both supremely awkward.

Even if I weren’t due to leave for Paris in a few days, this gym crush would still be doomed to go nowhere because we are both completely devoid of anything that could pass for flirting skills.

You’re probably thinking, “puh-lease, it can’t be that bad!” or “Man-shopper, you’re just using hyperbole to maintain reader interest in your self-deprecating blog drivel.”

But you’d be wrong.

Observe…

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Man-shopper’s mouth – “Hey.”

Man-shopper’s brain – “Good job, flash that alluring smile.  Hello, gorgeous man-thing.”

Mr. Crew Team Captain – “Hi.”

Man-shopper’s brain – “My alluring smile got ONE syllable?  I should work on that…  Crap, this silence is painful.  Okay, raise your eyebrows.  Then it should be clear that you’re waiting for him to be a man and make this conversation happen, right?”

Mr. Crew Team Captain – “So… have a good workout!”

Man-shopper’s mouth – “Um.  Thanks.  Ummm.  Bye?”

Man-shopper’s brain – “Imbeciles.  Both of you.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Mr. Crew Team Captain – “Sooooo… Looks like you’re heading out.”

Man-shopper’s brain – “SWEET.  We are going to parlay!  Don’t fuck it up.  Don’t fuck it up.  Don’t fuck it up, dammit.”

Man-shopper’s mouth – “Yup.”

Man-shopper’s brain – “‘Yup?!’  God, I weep for humanity.”

Mr. Crew Team Captain – “Cool.”

Man-shopper’s brain – “Great.  HE’S a dumbass too.  But so pretty…”

Man-shopper’s mouth – “I really like this music better than the music that is played in the evenings here.”

Man-shopper’s brain – “Seriously??  THAT’S the best that you can do?”

Mr. Crew Team Captain – “Me too.”

Man-shopper’s brain – “Everyone in this conversation needs to be put out of their misery.”

Man-shopper’s mouth – “So… I’ll see you later!”

Man-shopper’s brain – “Oh.  Good.  God.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I swear, people who know me can attest to the fact that I’m perfectly capable of having (somewhat) normal conversation.  It could very well be that the weird combination of chemicals, hormones, pheromones, sweat and disinfectant at the gym muddles my brain.

Yes… let’s just chalk it up to that.

In the meantime, I’m no longer allowed to speak to men at the gym.

My already bruised and maimed pride simply can’t take any further humiliation.

Comics from http://www.nataliedee.com

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Ms. Mac Lover

This story begins with the untimely demise of my iPod Touch.  It was an apocalyptic day.

But once I’d calmed down, I dragged myself out of my “deep depression” (aka chocolate-covered waffles) and booked myself an appointment at the Genius Bar.

For quite some time, my buddy, Andrew, has been encouraging me to go to the Apple Store to prowl for men and telling me that these fellow Mac-users would likely be great potential dates for me.

Andrew has a point.  Guy loves Macs.  I love Macs.  And we’d probably love each other!  Why?  Simple mathematics:

Let X = a saucy dame

Let Y = cute, bashful guy

Let ∑ = undying love for Apple products

Let Ω = a healthy dash of nerdiness

X + Y + ∑ + Ω = high potential for beautiful love story

The day of my appointment, I awoke with a spring in my step.  I put on my pretty face, put on some freshly laundered clothes, and made my way to the Apple Store.

As I approached the Genius Bar, I was overwhelmed by the collective nerdy hotness that was emanating from the Genii in their matching blue t-shirts.

I had found nerdvana.

When I was summoned to the counter — my heart fluttering with excitement — the greeter waved someone over and said, “Hey, I know you’re a computer guy, and she’s here for an iPod problem, but…”

As I was pulling my dead iPod out of my bag, I heard a deep voice say, “Oh, it’s no problem.  It’s all the same really.  I’ll take care of her.”

Thank god.  I couldn’t wait any longer to have my iPod fixed.  When I looked up, my eyes settled on the sexiest man-thing that I’d seen in a while.

It was as if the ultimate broad-shouldered fireman fantasy dressed himself up in nerd-chic glasses and an Apple Genius t-shirt…

Nerd-chic is so hot right now.

In other words, I placed my order with the universe, and the universe finally delivered it.

The glorious piece of nerd-candy reached his hand across the counter and said, “Hi, I’m Alexandre.”

Man-shopper’s brain – “Hubba hubba.”

Man-shopper’s mouth – “Euh…”

Man-shopper’s brain: “Say something witty!  Say something seductive!  Fuck it.  Say ANYTHING, dammit!”

Man-shopper’s mouth – “Hi.  I’m Helene.”

Man-shopper’s brain: “Nice going, nimrod.  Real Pulitzer material.”

Man-shopper’s mouth – (silently: Shut up, brain.)  “Thanks for seeing me even though you’re a technically a computer guy.  My iPod is very ill.”

Alexandre – “No, it’s my pleasure!”

Then he smiled.

And I swooned.

Thankfully, I managed to aim the swoon onto a stool.  It wasn’t graceful, but it was effective.

Apple Store, Paris

I took a couple of seconds to recover, and then proceeded to explain my iPod’s condition.  Alexandre verified that it was still under warranty, put his hand over mine (could he have felt my racing pulse, do you think??), and said, “No problem.  We’ve got you covered.  I’ll have a new iPod for you in a few minutes.”

I was head over heels.  Any man who gives me free Apple products is marriage material in my book.

I watched him as he searched around for my new iPod Touch.  The blue t-shirt was a snug fit on him, so I could admire the way his muscles as moved as he rummaged through drawers and opened boxes.  A few minutes later, he was handing me a new iPod and my receipt.

Man-shopper’s brain – “Oh no!  This means that our interaction is ending!  Quick, do something to prolong it!  FLIRT.”

Man-shopper’s mouth – “So that’s it?”

Man-shopper’s brain – “AAAAARGH.  You are such a dumbass.”

Alexandre – “Yes, it’s that easy!”  He smiled again.

Man-shopper’s brain – “Go on.  Ask him out, goddammit!  This is your chance!”

Man-shopper’s mouth – “Cool!  Thanks so much for your help, Alexandre.  Bye!”

Man-shopper’s brain: “You’re hopeless.”

Brain was absolutely right.  I let another dream-boat slip through my fingers because… well… I’m incompetent.  Right now, this is what my brain is saying:

“This Man-shopper fool is a waste of my good sense.  I need to find another body with a mouth that will actually listen to me.

Next!

I made another Genius Bar appointment for this week.  This time, Brain and I are going to have a serious strategy meeting before I go in there.

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Mr. Prep-tard

Do you all remember when Smirnoff put out that awesome music video to advertise their raw teas?  If you haven’t, it contains vital information to appreciate this post, so click here or on the screen shot below.

And we keeps it real, the old-money way...

I would like to share my recent encounter with that stereotypical prep-tard that we all love to hate…

The quintessential prep-tard.

Earlier this week, I attended an alumni happy hour event.  Even though many of you are picturing a lame gathering of socially inept Ivy-leaguers sporting popped collars, v-neck cashmere jumpers and snotty attitudes, I generally meet some great people at these functions.  In fact, I was telling someone the other day how I was so surprised to have gone so long without meeting a bona fide douchetard at one of these things.

I spoke too soon.

On Thursday night, I found myself attempting to dialogue with exactly such a douche.

Crimson polo shirt, popped collar, soppy side-part.  Basically, this guy here.

When I first saw him, I really did want to give him the benefit of the doubt.  I’m trying to be less judgmental, dammit.

But then he started speaking.

Mr. Prep-tard – “So, were you at Harvard?”

Man-shopper – “Yup.”

Mr. Prep-tard – “So which school were you at?  The Business School?”

Man-shopper – “No, undergraduate.”

Mr. Prep-tard – “Well, we can’t all be perfect.”

Man-shopper’s brain – “Douche.”

Man-shopper’s mouth – “Ha. Ha.”

Mr. Prep-tard – “So what do you do in Paris?”

Man-shopper’s brain – “OK, maybe he just had a brain fart.  Maybe he’s perfectly nice after all.”

Man-shopper’s mouth – “I work for a foundation for the social sciences.”

Mr. Prep-tard – “Wow, that’s a whole load of bullshit.”

Man-shopper’s brain – “I guess it wasn’t a brain fart…”

Man-shopper’s mouth – “Ha. Ha.”

Mr. Prep-tard – “So tell me, what are your accomplishments?”

Man-shopper’s brain – “What.  The.  Fuck.”

Man-shopper’s mouth – “Uhhhh…  So shall I start reciting my CV for you?”

Mr. Prep-tard – “I’m serious.”

Man-shopper’s brain – “I’m too sober for this shit.”

Man-shopper’s mouth – “Well, the highlight of my life… I was Johnson & Johnson Baby of the Year back in the day.  It was all downhill from there.”

We sail yachts, and we ride on horses...

Mr. Prep-tard – “…”

But here’s the kicker… Prep-tard wasn’t from Connecticut.

Prep-tard was FRENCH.

He was a full-fledged, fully-accented prepster-wannabe POSER.

Or poseur, if you will.

Thank god Mr. Prep-tard wasn’t trying to hit on me or anything.  But if my encounter with him was any indication of his courtship skills, I truly hope that his future lady-targets know enough to say it with me…

…Next!

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