loved my brief stint as a groupie because it served as validation for a younger version of myself that — despite feeling my fate was inevitable — I was not doomed to be ugly forever.
Ugliness as an adult makes for an easier life. If you were unlucky enough to have your appearance rapidly decline before finding the ”love of your life,” then you know what? Hectic work schedules leave little room for humoring dates; beauty products and stylish clothes are expensive luxuries when there are endless bills to pay; sex toys have become so technologically advanced that they perform better than a partner ever could.
This is one of the rare occasions where the hideous, lonely, sad, and pitifully derelict wins!
As an adolescent however, it sucks to be hideous. Children are mean and reap immense pleasure in pointing out your every flaw, which is why I scrapped my initial plan to become a teacher upon realizing the only job offerings were in middle schools, the hot heart of humiliation.
You are kept up at night wondering why every other girl is getting fingered in the stairwell by football players with swoopy haircuts while you are stuck experimenting with a Sharpie as you read erotic fanfiction that has no punctuation.
“What have I done to deserve to be hideous, God? I am not even old enough to cut old people off while driving. Have I littered and so carelessly forgotten?” You wonder as you place the Sharpie back in your family’s communal pen cup without even washing it off.
Have you seen the state of the world right now? I’m a little fucking busy. Quit your whining; find some real porn to watch; your acne will clear up in a few years like everyone else.
And that’s the last time you try asking him for shit. Is proving a point to your adolescent self really worth anything at all? No, but I do not have a son to force into sports until they starve themselves to fulfill physical standards and sacrifice any chance at academic achievement in order to adequately toss a ball around. I do not have a four year old daughter to plaster in more makeup than myself and hope that they do not pick their nose or vomit all over their $500 custom-made bikini during their dance routine to a radio edit of a Nicki Minaj song.
I have only myself to torture.
When I was 12, I fell in love with a band* I found while browsing through an “emo hair” forum. Someone was looking for suggestions as to what product could possibly render their locks as shiny and frizz-free as the lead singer’s, and I thought it was the most inventive, catchiest metalcore song ever. I eventually developed a music taste that was considerably more “respected” for aesthetic purposes and forgot about them, but they continued to prosper; I caught glimpses of tour flyers for them everywhere.
Fast forward ten years later, and they were one of the bigger bands in that scene. I stumbled upon their page and followed the only original member not in a relationship solely for nostalgic purposes: “nostalgic” “purposes.”
He quickly followed me back and he messaged me about fifteen minutes later. I did not necessarily feel pressured to impress this man; men have seldom impressed me and I try to give back what I have received, but I was on high alert.
What if I fucked him? Little Rose is still lingering in the bleakest corner of my memories, plowing the shit out of that Sharpie. Put that down, girl! Real bass player dick is vastly approaching!
We exchanged a few cordial, boring, small-talk messages; he said, “I’m finally enjoying a day off from touring in Ohio, thank God.”
“The gathering of the Juggalos is in Ohio so I am almost certain there's no God there,” I replied. My internal debate on whether it is better to feign that I am just like any other hot woman on the Internet is not a new subject for my writing, but it was as if my regularly broadcasted litany of anxieties suddenly fell silent.
There was no argument between myself and a higher power that could be mistaken for an imaginary manifestation of my depression or an angel on my shoulder; I never considered simply saying, “Haha, cool! It’s great to have a day off! How are you spending it?”
I said the first thought that came to mind, true to myself and my character. Really, I didn’t give a fuck about how he spent his day off: laundry, Netflix, brushing his hair? I had real problems and responsibilities. I did not stop for a second to think that there could be anything problematic about my statement. Not only was it funny, but it was true!
Who had seen God in Ohio without being on meth? The whole congregation just put their hands down.
First, he said, “hahahahaha.” I hate a “hahahahaha,” because then I feel pressured to one-up my own spectacular one-liner, but I was never given the chance: he blocked me! I couldn’t believe it. No way had I just let myself down...with the clown? Wouldn’t I be more deserving of being blocked had I said, “My whole family is from Ohio!”? Was he from Ohio?
Maybe he was a huge Insane Clown Posse fan? Then he should know that Juggalos are kind-hearted souls who can laugh at themselves! I was (under my makeup that I had spent years perfecting) still a bit ugly, abrasive, unhealthily skinny, and a college dropout, but I was not from Ohio. Unfollowed, sure, but I was not accustomed to being blocked by men until I started posting my essays about them on an online blog.
(If you were to base my success on actual reader count, a quick glance into a crystal ball would augur a future as a career server; the amount of men who blocked me after my first few posts should warrant a sponsorship from Glossier or one of those diarrhea-inducing diet teas.)
I was perplexed, stumped, and fresh out of excuses for the first time in my life. I considered waiting in line for his band’s meet-and-greet at Warped Tour to demand confirmation that ICP were to blame for the abrupt downfall of our blossoming relationship, but my best friend is more rational than I and her argument against it was convincing.
“You’re going to get us politely escorted the fuck out of here before we get the chance to see Hawthorne Heights.”
“Should we wait in their line so I can tell them that Ohio is apparently not for lovers, after all?”
We ate french fries and ended up leaving, on our own, before they came on. He was not in Hawthorne Heights, if you were curious; I don’t think any of them ever had shiny hair, and I know they’re from Ohio.
I’m an asshole, but I’m not stupid.
*protecting the (maybe) innocent