Congratulations to Me

Just found out about this today. Shame on Vita.mn for trying to undermine my credibility. “Best Male Socialite”? I know, I know, I should be delighted. Finally, I’m officially in the popular group, well, if you count the Robot Love dork, Matt “size zero” Schmidt, and the PiPress’s intrepid Fargo Transplant Ross Raihala as the popular group. Love those guys, and I know I should feel empowered by the fact that a guy like me, a shlub from White Bear Lake that wears old jeans and drives a vintage Schwinn can become a socialite. You think I’m pretty! You really think I’m pretty! Only in America! But there’s something more insidious going on here. Raise your hand if you’ve read Faludi’s Stiffed. It’s about how men are responding to the advertising/media messaging tractor beam that first subdued the weaker sex. Everybody aboard?

Sure, I’ve been to the parties at our fancy theaters and libraries in the last year. And yes, I’m guilty: I buy shit—-comic books and Nikes and even HBO. But I’m not just a consumer. I’m a journalist (and just because I make it look easy don’t mean it ain’t hard work). I’m not a socialite. Maybe it’s a epithet, maybe not. Probably, here in passive-aggressive, ashamed of overt class distinctions, so-I’ll-just-drive-a-Chevy-SUV-exactly-like-my-employees Minnesota. Usually, that kind of “sensitivity” is irritating, but—-and maybe it’s just because I’m just home from LA—-I’m thinking some of the shame that fuels our reluctance to participate in conspicuous consumption here might be a good thing. So just to be according to Hoyle (if not vita.mn), I have never organized a fund-raiser for my husband. I have never taken my miniature dog to lunch in Wayzata. If you do those things, fine, you’re a socialite. Own it. But I’m not. So who nominated me for this shit? And which 11 people voted for me? And were they all on The Post-Feminist Dumbing Down America Sub-Committee for Commodotizing the Male? Look, ladies, bringing us down to your level isn’t necessarily “equality.” Dudes with eating disorders. Dudes with 100 pairs of shoes and 100 pairs of jeans. Dudes who are considered to be socialites. Of all the things we can learn from women, I don’t know if “grab a Certs after going to the bathroom” should be high on the list.

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Redondoculous

Just got back from L.A. It wasn’t my usual rotate-between-three-bars-within-one-mile-radius-in-Hollywood trip. This time, I went with my girlfriend, and we stayed at our friends Ben and Anne’s place in Redondo Beach. Still got my three-bars-in-Hollywood thing in on a couple nights, but this time there was miles and miles of freeway between me and said bars. The South Bay vibe is completely different; you spend a lot more time on the beach, ogling MILFS, reading, getting sunburned, burning your feet on the sand, throwing your raw, bloody body into the icy Pacific breakers. Seriously, the South Bay is great. Not really a shopping, restaurant and bar Mecca, but you can definitely find okay Cal-Mex and decent sushi. And everybody is laid back or retired or high on sativa and the cars and condos and flowers are beautiful. More appropriate for a decent 31-year-old man like myself. It’s like a skinnier Maple Grove on the Pacific. So in order to incorporate the beach and the driving without cutting into my drinking in Hollywood time, I pretty much had to sacrifice shopping. So no new cool Nikes. And yes, we had to spend a ton of time at the beach because my girlfriend is from Brazil and she seems to physically need contact with the ocean. You should see how happy it makes her. It’s really unbelievable. Almost scary. She’s like a silkie or something, you know, the half-seal/half-woman from The Secret of Roan Inish. Her pale Irish husband finds her and they fall in love, and he keeps her by hiding her sealskin underneath the thatch roof of their hut in dreary as fuck Donegal. But one day she finds her skin and returns to the sea, leaving him and their children behind. My situation is not dissimilar.