Wednesday, May 16

Praying For The End Of Time.

Praying For The End Of Time.

CDP- "Honestly hun, I don't think this place actually exists."
MISSUS- "Please... don't be an idiot tonight."

Waukau, Wisconsin. According to my sister, she's driven through there on multiple occasions, seeing not a single person in the process. Her theory was that it was a long-abandoned Ghost Town; mine was that the place was just a fake front for an all-human, for-profit slaughterhouse. Although I spent my entire Saturday night within the confines of Waukau, I was unable to confirm or deny either speculation.

A friend of ours was graduating from college, so her family threw her a party at a Youth Center-style pavilion in Waukau, which was about 10 minutes outside of the Missus' hometown of Winneconne (and where I went to school for 12 years). The fact that I had never known of the existence of this place troubled and confused me; you'd think there would have been at least one night where I ended up there, perhaps a flat tire or through a friend-of-a-friend, but nope. After about a half-hour of hairpin, 5-mile-an-hour turns through thick brush and darkness, we arrived.

I put on my game face.

Me and the Missus showed up with Ben and Sherry, and I instantly got a serious headache just seconds after stepping under the fluorescent lights that had been set to 'Perma-Noon.' The Missus and Sherry started with mingling with all of their close acquaintances and the Guest of Honor, and I started wrangling up as much alcohol as I could find for myself and Ben. We eventually settled on a concoction of whiskey, Diet Sierra Mist and lime vodka that had the both of us reeling after about 20 minutes.

Add that to generous portions of cheese and potato salad we instantly consumed, and we were pretty much set for the evening. True to form, I was becoming more and more unapproachable as the night kicked into motion.

I don't know whether my ability to function properly in social settings is getting exponentially worse, or I'm just more in tune with the fact that I'm no longer good at it. Either way, it's gotten to the point where I honestly don't see any reason why people would want to sit next to me and mingle. Sure, I'm sexy enough and smell like freshly mown grass, but most of the time I just act surly and eventually offend someone until one of us walks away, never to return. I chalk it up to social anxiety, crippling nervousness coupled with alcohol, and a heaping helping of apathy to boot.

I'm on when I want to be on, kids. 'Life of the Party' CDP and 'Depressed Asshole' CDP have always been my standby party personas, but I've noticed that the more positive of the two is making fewer and fewer appearances. I could speculate as to why, but I think it's just resounding selfishness and laziness on the part of yours truly. I'm not proud of it; I'm just acknowledging that it's there.

Back at the party, a friend of the family was manning the karaoke machine, and he sounded almost exactly like Boomhauer from King Of The Hill when he spoke. On the positive side, his voice wasn't all that bad, and I didn't cringe or get uncomfortable whenever he sang a tune. He did, however, have a bag of props that he liberally dipped into from time to time (afro wig, oversized cowboy hat, etc.), and that was no good, Johnny Cash tune or otherwise.

"You know what this party needs?" I slurred over to Ben, who was just as tipsy on the other side of the table.


"A Wii!" I exclaimed, in reference to the latest unnecessary gadget adorning my living room. The two of us had spent the last day and a half mastering the mechanics of the latest Nintendo innovation, and I could hear it calling my name amongst the reverberations of 'Walking After Midnight' and 'Ocean Front Property.'

"Stop drinking. You have to drive us home." The Missus snapped from one chair over. She was right, so my night ended a little early; instead opting for ice water and chewing on stirring straws.

I dizzily made my way to the pavilion bathroom and spent a minute or so looking into the mirror. After accepting how God-awful I look under buzzing fluorescent lights and attempting to ignore my horrid headache, I started asking myself questions that shouldn't be contemplated in public restrooms. You know, the same ridiculous and inane questions I ask myself about every 4 months or so.

"What am I doing here?"

(Well, you're here with your wife and friends because one of them graduated from College, and that's a good thing. We're here to celebrate someone's achievements. You do know what achievements are, right?)

"Okay. Then why am I so unhappy?"

(Because you're uncomfortable and out-of-place. You probably know 6 other people there, and everyone else is wearing plaid shirts and NASCAR hats. You're worried that you don't fit in, which is why you've been making fun of everyone tonight, and deserve to be thrown out. Stop drinking, get your head on straight and don't make your wife's friends think that married a butthole.)

"I see.... So, what's my problem, anyway?"

(You're selfish. You don't know that you are, but trust me, you are. Every waking moment of your life should not be spent trying to make yourself happy, you know. Every now and again, you need to step back and just be for awhile. I don't care if there's something else you'd rather be doing; stop being a shallow jerk. Shake this lingering bad attitude and start telling jokes, monkey. Funny ones.)

Silly me.

I thought my social anxiety reached a fever pitch plateau a few weeks ago, when I had a near-meltdown at a bowling alley that almost resulted in my ass being kicked. A group of us hit the local lanes, when I was instantly reminded why I try my damnest to avoid bars, concerts or anywhere else that hoards of idiots congregate. I was instantly drowning in smoke, unbearable country music, hootin', hollerin' and various other activities that vapid losers partake in a feeble attempt to have 'fun.'

Never mind the fact the everyone should be allowed to enjoy themselves in any way they seem fit and I was just being an elitist jerk; I was being rubbed the wrong way, and my faith in humanity continued to drop through the floor.

You can only mock rednecks for so long until they start looking at you and wisen up. Of course, getting one of them to wisen up can take anywhere from several hours to days even, but it will happen eventually. They'll wipe the tobacco juice from their collective chins, take their 15 year old girlfriends off of their laps, adjust their Confederate flag belt buckles and start swinging. Luckily for me, it didn't get to that point, because my wife was smart enough to tell me to shut the hell up and pick up that 2-3-5 Spare. I swear to you, I bought Wii Sports just so I never have to go to an actual bowling alley again.

Long after everyone else forgot about it, that night at the alley stuck with me. Why was I so angered by the conflicting enjoyment of others? Why was it so easy for me to collapse based entirely on the conflicting behavior of others? Why did I hate people so much? Surely, this behavior can't be a normal reaction, could it?

I took my mom and sister out for ice cream on Mother's Day. After ordering our stuff, I refused to sit and eat in the store, as I felt there were far too many 'loud, obnoxious idiots' around (you should have seen the place; I was sort of right). Adhering to my wishes, we all ate our ice cream in my Mom's minivan. Does that sound like something you've ever done? I doubt it, yet the people around me are starting to treat this as acceptable behavior from myself. "Oh, that's just the CDP being the CDP. He's like that; it's fine."

It's not. Even I know that it's not. Let's continue.

As the graduation party moved along, my spirits were picked up by a stunning karaoke performance of 'Paradise By The Dashboard Light,' sung by Ben and Erin. Ben put on a performance for the ages, resulting in what was honestly one of the funniest things I've ever seen anyone do. Ben's a funny guy, but when he gets a microphone in front of him, he becomes a different man. I've seen it happen for 10 years now, going back to when he was the lead singer in our old punk band. They should have just shut off the lights and struck the set after that performance; there was simply nothing that was going to top it. I wanted to go home immediately afterwards; what was the point of not leaving on a high note?

For the remainder of the evening, many people were pressuring me into singing karaoke myself. Considering my physical condition at the time, coupled with my emotional state and the fact that there was going to be nothing cooler than Ben's performance short of dropping my pants and teabagging someone's Whiskey Sour, I refused until people kind of got snippy with me. Eventually, I stood on stage briefly for a rendition of 'Love Shack,' where I played the role of that one gay guy that's in the B-52's.

Then, mercifully, it was time to go home.

On the car ride back, I asked my wife if the guest of honor had a good time. She sort of snapped at me, saying something like, "How should I know? You were there too, you know." She was confused as to why I was asking her such a non-selfish question, which is exactly how she should have responded to me. I don't ask these questions because I don't care, but I was starting to realize that maybe I should. This revelation was met with anger and confusion from the Missus, who has long since grown accustomed to my selfish and egotistical ways.

I deserved it.

For the first time in a very long time, I'm really starting to be concerned about my attitude and personal outlook. I've always stated that you should be able to live whatever life you choose to live, provided it's not making anyone else's life miserable. Pretend as they may, I'm starting to think that I'm negatively affecting those around me with my Bipolar quirks and OCD-tendencies. It's nice of them to ignore the worst of me and focus on the good stuff, but if the roles were reversed, I would have thrown myself out of the Circle of Friends years ago. Something's gotta give.

So, what should I do about it? I hear there's all sorts of wonderful medication out there that destroys your creativity, strips you of any sort of emotional high and completely snuffs out your sex drive. What? You're saying that I can stop being a jerk around people, and all I have to do is give up writing and sex? Where do I sign? I should have done this years ago!

Yeah, that's not going to happen. If you know me well, you'll know that I like to combat stress and depression with harder and harder work. To me, stagnation and standing still make you as good as dead, and maybe it's this current complacency that's put my mind in this emo funk. What I need is a big project to work on, and come this Summer, I'll probably get my wish. Hell, I was supposed to finish my book a year ago; when's that coming out?

This, like all things, will soon pass. I'll get my head back on straight, my close friends will feel more comfortable around me, and vice-versa. I just need to make sure it happens before I lose everything.

Sound off in the comments section, and hook a brother up with some positivity.


I'll tell you what friends of mine have told me numerous times;

"Put a stitch in your gash, man."

You sound a lot like me, except for almost getting in fights. I don't care enough to talk to other people to let it get to that point. So, most of the time I just sit there, quietly stewing in my own apathy. It's attractive, let me tell you!

Until you become a cutter listening to The Cure, you'll be fine. =]
Yeah, that sounds about right. Over the years, I've realized that there are tens of millions of people out there with the same exact issues; not so much social anxiety, but just a disgust for the moron majority. It's pithy and more than a little immature, but it's what separates us smart people from the remaining 90%. I've always stated that if you are mostly content, you're not paying close enough attention.

Sitting and stewing is fine, and it's what I'm skilled at. I just need to keep it under wraps, and not let it ruin a party. This isn't about not disliking people anymore (that'll never stop), it's about not having it spill over to the people that I do like.

I'm not emo. I promise.

/Listened to My Chemical Romance on the way to work this morning.
//Sang out loud.
///Not proud of it.
"Stop drinking. You have to drive us home."

I believe my exact words were "Stop drinking...NOW. You need to drive us home, and this is not cute or clever."
I omitted that so you wouldn't look like too much of a raging turd. Gee, I can't imagine why I feel so defeated all the time.

You know I'm kidding. I deserved it.
I AM a raging turd, but only when you deserve it.
Too Much Coffee Man ( once again sums it all up with this week's cartoon.
I meant last week's cartoon. Sorry.
Yep...that's pretty much it.
I have to tell you, one of the best things about my Southern drawl, is that it confuses the white trash people when I make fun of them. I sound like one of them, but my words have multiple syllables.
That was one of the best parts about watching you eat the cinnamon was listening to your accent! :)
Seriously, it was.

Historically, stereotypes have not been kind to people with southern drawls, so it's pretty funny to hear an intellectual one. I mean, come on, you're never going to see a brain surgeon or top-notch lawyer on television with a southern accent. They just don't do it.
Yes, my accent is dead sexy.

Also, being in sales, I have developed the ability to drop it almost entirely when talking to anyone who is not Southern (i.e. a Yankee). I also can really lay it on thick to play stupid, which sometimes works to my advantage.
You mean this behaviour is not normal? Crap, I'm in a lot of trouble.

Once, a few years ago I fell into a black hole [four months]. It was miserable, I wanted to end my life [drink Coke]. But somehow [Walker] I found someone to give me a swift kick [roundhouse] in the rear [ass]. I have never been the same [four surgeries later and my ass is still deformed]. I will always be grateful for this help [all hail the Beard] in enabling be to climb out of that black hole [apparently I now have AIDS].

JT, I've got the same talent you do. I can turn my accent on and off at will (unless I've been drinking, then i'm stuck with it). But mine comes from moving around so much.
It's funny that this got brought up today, because I'm in the process of hearing the voice recording I did for the Wisconsin State IVR Line. Hopefully, I'll have some sound files up next week.

I'll show you what a real Yankee sounds like....if he were a robot.

And drunk.
GODOT- I know, my behavior isn't too abnormal in the grand scheme of intelligent people, I just want to make sure I don't become 100% butthole with nothing interesting behind the madness.

I would be crushed if 5 years down the line, I was just known as an uncreative jerk with no redeeming qualities, telling kids to get off my lawn in my boxers (you know, more so than right now).

Once again, great job with the BLAM! thing. Norris Saves!
I love the Blam! satire. That was excellent!

Despite the fact that I'm a Unitarian, can everyone please pray that I don't have anthrax?
Hathery, since Metal is my new religion, may I offer the following:

Oh Unholy Metal:
May Hathery not have anthrax (the poisoning, not the band. I'm sure she and CDP would be delighted if the band came to their house). Also, may this hangover go away soon. Also, save me from Yankee robots.

May Metal be your Savior,

I think JT's going to have a new feature on his page pretty soon.
Thank you for that fine prayer to your fine, fine God.
Hey Buddy, c'mon there guy. Hang in there champ. Life has a rose for everyone friend. *brrp* *bup* *blaaaaaaahh*

As a fellow Sox fan, I cannot let another day go by without mentioning a fellow EBloggers site.

*Warning: Red Sox fans only. NSFW, seriously. Enjoy.
I feel for you, CDP. Again, I know I'm gate-crashing, but toward the end of your once-again well-written entry you asked for input. Here's mine.

I was a like like you, it seems. I'm still a lot like you, but I hide it much better. For me (maybe not for you) I have always been embarrassed about my own inability to enjoy myself, and anyone else enjoying him- or herself was a reminder that joy in the mundane was never to be mine.

Now I find myself at the ripening age of 38 (I know, I look more youthful in blog posts) with two handy weapons in my armamentarium: Xanax and children.

Wait! Hear me out on the kids thing! It's not the normal "kids are gifts from blah blah blah" bullshit.

But first, drugs. If booze and pot are sledgehammers, Xanax is a cool laser. It hasn't dampened my creativity or reduced my sex drive, but, when taken occasionally, it has reduced my overall self-conscious weirdness. And unlike the drink and the weed, it hasn't caused me to vomit out the window of a moving car or try to sync up side one of Dark Side of the Moon with the Wizard of Oz. That's two excellent reasons for taking it right there.

Now kids. I have two, and what I realized quickly is that I don't want them to grow up like me. I want them to grow up believing that they have the right to be who they are, a right others should have as well, and that they have the right to not experience the asshole behavior of someone like me who might think they are stupid for liking what they like and being who they are.

That meant I had to change the way I acted, rid my speech of condescending and sarcastic remarks about the morons who walk the earth, and at least pretend that I cared if others were even a tiny bit insulted by my obviously insulting behavior. After a while, my play-acting has disappeared and I find myslef near believing that people might actually enjoy listening to Big & Rick and watching NASCAR as much as I love listening to Artic Monkeys and not watching NASCAR. What I think of of other people should matter as little to them as what they think of me.

Then again, maybe I'm just another tamed suburban wanker.

By the way, where did you find those Falwell quotes? I'm going to do a large Falwell-inspired post on my pitiful blog
Lott---LOVE the post. Thanks for sharing your story, and dispelling the myth that medication zaps you of your ability to think independently. If kids are good for one thing, it's making you realize that you might have some faults after all :)
If booze and pot are sledgehammers, Xanax is a cool laser

Best. Sentence. Ever.
LOTT- That's great input, sir. I understand your stance 100% and appreciate you taking the time to write it all out for us. If anything, it's a projected glimpse into my future, which doesn't seem too bad at all.

I think you might have nailed it with "I have always been embarrassed about my own inability to enjoy myself, and anyone else enjoying him- or herself was a reminder that joy in the mundane was never to be mine." It's almost as if I'm jealous that idiots are having a good time while I'm sulking with all of my depressing knowledge and out-of-control ego. What's up with that?

I start taking hard looks into the mirror every 6 months or so, and this sharing of like-minded ideas and experiences is always my cure. My tolerance and acceptance for everyone tends to feud with my attention span and short fuse at times, and it takes a swift kick in the ass to get everything back on the rails.

Thanks for that. Really. There are tons of people out there just like this (most of them are CDP readers), and I think that's amazingly cool.
The Dark Side/Wizard of Oz thing is still cool in my book, weed or not. I have Synchronicity links in my sidebar.
One more thing; I got the Falwell quotes on Wikipedia. They were all sourced, so there was no funny business.
Falwell is a mega-douche.
Speaking of the Dark Side of the Moon/Wizard of Oz thing, one of my old college roommates was always talking about it. We all hated him, because he never paid his portion of the bills. On night, when he decided to make us watch this "phenomenon" for the 917,456,212 time, I decided I had had enough. I put in Santana's Abraxas and everytime Black Magic Woman came on while the witch was on screen, I would start screaming.

He didn't think it was as funny as I did.
Some people just don't understand and appreciate fringe humor. Too highbrow. It's their loss, really.
No one ever thinks my jokes are as funny as I do, either.
If someone can find an article on the internets about the "mysterious substance" (anthrax scare) sent to the Dane County Courthouse (Clerk of Courts) yesterday, I will be eternally grateful. For whatever reason, I simply cannot find any reference to it online! It was on the evening news, so I don't see why there wouldn't be a darn article...

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