-“(They’ll) be there for (me)…”

Posted in Uncategorized on January 28, 2009 by evanjm02

My wife and I have decided that Friends is something we can’t even pretend to feel guilty about watching. Sure, when hobnobbing with other comics whose opinions I respect I chuckle and “admit” I watch it. But, I say it with a faux coy demeanor the way I “admit” to eating McDonalds more than twice a month. There’s nothing we find terribly guilty about it. Or at least we haven’t till recently.



Me and "the gang"

Me and "the gang"

Fanaticism for the show was something we were both delighted to find we had in common when we first met. In fact, the first real bonding experience between Amy and my sister and brother-in-law was gathering around the TV at their small Upper East Side apartment to watch the final episode and say goodbye to the gang at Central Perk.

This is a show people are a little embarrassed to have been into, like admitting you once went to Third Eye Blind concerts or wore Cavariccis. It’s a show that was fun for its time, but now watching it involves catching evening reruns on your local CW affiliate with your clandestine group of other twentysomethings hoping that at no point one of you jumps up and yells, “ha! I hate this show! You’re all losers!”


Let’s face it: the reputation for being an unrealistic portrayal of twentysomethings trying to make it in Manhattan has dogged it since its inception. Few can relate to being a struggling actor or chef living in a lavish and spacey apartment. The humor is often dry and the characters formulaic. Admittedly, I wouldn’t even watch the airing of the first season, as my 14-year-old cynical self refused to be insulted by a show resorting to the use of a monkey to amuse its viewers.

Once they got rid of Marcel, though…

By the end of high school, fellow nerd-friends and I had decided which character we were. I was Chandler, Ben was Ross, and Eric was Joey.

In college, my natural shyness and some unfortunate incidents prevented me from going out and getting a social life, so I spent my first three years watching Friends. Sadly, I was better friends with those guys than the people in my hall. Ask me a fact about my RA other than the fact that he is my RA and I wouldn’t know what to tell you. Ask me what TV character the manager of Central Perk, Gunther had once played and on what show and, without hesitation I’d tell you it was “Bryce” on “All My Children.”


Once Amy and I moved in together, Friends became our main TV staple during the evenings and on weekends. Reasons for watching the show began mimicking our reasons for buying bottles of wine. “I’ve had a bad day.” “I’ve had a great day!” “Hey, you know what I’m in the mood for?” Comfort became equated with wine and watching a lifestyle that temporarily took us out of our shoebox sized apartment, low paying day jobs, and mundane day to day activities. And that’s why I think we clung to it. Like alcohol, it offers a mind-numbing release even if we know it’s probably bad for us.

Gunther "Bryce"

Gunther "Bryce"


Just the other night we had popped in a DVD and something about the episode that we had watched a thousand times, like all the rest, had bothered Amy. The attitude of Chandler regarding Joey doing knitting and potpourri making with his female roommate was “heteronormative.” Wow! Had we watched one too many times? Maybe we couldn’t admit it to ourselves but perhaps we needed a break. Or maybe all the episodes are that insulting to our beliefs! Who knows? I guess we’ll find out when we pop in the next disc later on tonight.


-Adult store memories…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 28, 2009 by evanjm02
Below are a few of entries from my Live Journal I’ve picked out that I had written during my year and a half working at Fairvilla Megastore in Orlando. Fairvilla was an “adult megastore” as they called it, specializing in porn, er, sorry “adult” films, toys, books, devices, etc… This was no ordinary adult store, however. A megastore meant it was two stories with a big open loft interior. Moreover, this store was well lit, stuck to the “laws” of the community strictly, and was the kind of place where people who wouldn’t normally go to adult stores would feel comfortable going. We’d get busses of bachelorette parties, couples looking to spice up their sex life, and college kids wanting to look around and snark on what was there.

One of my main jobs was to stand on the door during my 5 p.m. till 2 a.m. shift and check IDs of people coming in. Not sure why I had what was essentially a bouncer’s job but I did it and for the most part did it well. I also developed a deep respect for bartenders and wait staff people who have to check IDs. People who fight about that are either underage or jerks who need to shut up and realize people have a job to do.

I always felt my awkward, nerdy ass was hired as a “nice guy” poster boy for the type of image they wanted to portray. My coworkers were mostly nice, and my manager was great. Beel, our manager (his actual name was Bill Billinger but no one called him Bill) was a high spirited gay man from Virginia whose effeminate southern accent made anything he said sound exciting. He was tall, large but not “fat” and mostly bald (he shaved it rather than do the comb-over) and was overly protective of us from obnoxious customers. He made particularly sure that we straight male employees didn’t get “harassed” by gay male shoppers.

I guess I applied there for a summer job in ’02 during college as a lark but wound up having a great time, getting material for future comedy use, and realized it was probably one of the highest paying retail jobs in Central Florida.

Please, as with all my boggy writings excuse my grammar and spelling as I write these out for fun and tend to neglect that stuff.


They also had a billboard on a road heading from the airport with two tigers snuggling.
June 1, 2002
Current Music: Ben Folds’ “Not the Same”
Subject: I guess McDonalds doesn’t have a lawsuit. They’re probably half the reason those videos exist…
Time: 02:46 pm
Current Mood: productive
Nice night at work. Not as crowded as I’d expected. Still kind of busy though
I met Nicole. A somewhat older woman who seems to be at the same level I am. I don’t know when she started but I think it was recently. It’s nice to have someone at the level I am at and we seem to get along well.
I think it’s “Gay Day” today at Disney so I’m expecting we’ll get some out of towners. Not that there’s anything specific to gay men and porn, but it seems when people are in town for a reason this is a “neat” place to visit.
On the sign outside the store it reads something about “Gay Day” and “We celebrate you all year round.”
I do find the store is welcoming and caters to all people -that is who are OK with or well into porn and “toys.”
Not too much in the way of weird customers. Except for one young couple asking where they kind find “mock rape” videos. I didn’t know what to tell them so I referred them too the “Fetish” section.
We got new name tags. Nice, magnetic ones as to not poke holes in our shirts I guess.
I hope my fellow employees aren’t resenting my leaving at 1 instead of 2 and when closing is. I should clean up a little before I go and do some stuff so I’m not leaving it all to them.
In Dana Carvey George Bush Senior voice: “Still gaining acceptance” with my coworkers.
Wacky title for last night: “Fat and Ugly” with the tag line: “Supersize your sex!!!”

June 2, 2002
Current Music: “Happy Days” theme
Subject: How weird do you have to be to be the “weird” one at a porn store?
Time: 12:30 pm
Current Mood: silly
Last night was a good night at the store. I hate to jinx it, and probably am, but I think things are getting better and more comfortable.
As I seem to have more interaction with the weekend crew anyway, it was nice and we did a lot more talking and joking around.
I even wound up with a nickname: “Slasher.” This comes from Jake asking me if, since I’m so quiet, the top of a list of hobbies for me would have “killing.”

The “Slasher” pics. Jake found a red company poncho, a spork, and with flagrant misuse of the office Polaroid camera, and a few other employees stepping in for poses you have what you see here, circa 2002. The camera was off limits after that.
I was able to be so much more helpful with the customers then usual since I’m finally knowing my way around better.
Vanessa even came to visit. That was very nice and pleasant diversion. We talked and walked around for a while. And everyone got to see that I do have a girlfriend (in case those who knew from my saying so thought I was making it up.) Then Jake reminded me Beel might see me not working and I should get back to work.
Later Dan, Carlos, and Jen S. came by. I’m just so freak’n popular! Jen bought an ice tray with penis shapes.
I didn’t have to mop which is always a good thing.
And I even got to do the “standing by one of the dressing rooms” while doing nothing while someone tried something thing on.
All in all things went well. I just hope they stay that way. I’m the eternal worrier and pessimist.
Wacky title for last night: “Seymore Butts’: A Christmas Orgy” with the tag line: “Everyone should end their year with this kind of bang!!!”
Wacky parody title for last night: “The 69th Sense”

June 14, 2002
Current Music: The Rentals “Friends of P”
Subject: A dull, dull night…
Time: 12:20 pm
Current Mood: excited
How come my first night at Fairvilla couldn’t have been this dull? It was also a Thursday.
I did get the 5th and 6th of July off to go with Dan, Jen S., and Lauren to see the Dave Matthews Band in West Palm.
Very excited about tomorrow!
Weird genres for last night:
-Naked women smoking. No sex, just naked women smoking and putting the cigarettes in various places.
Series of videos that might be the reason people say porn is demeaning to women of the night:
-“Shut Up and Blow Me” (To be fair though I could very much see this being a series in the man-on-man section. Don’t think they don’t have their demeaning themes too.)

July 10, 2002
Current Music: Pink’s “Just Like a Pill” It’s kinda catchy…
Subject: OK, they’re flat and freakish!…
Time: 01:58 am
Current Mood: amused
Before I go to bed, I have to list the weird questions tonight at the store:
-During my “greeting duties” I was asked by a nice man who was ogling me earlier if I was gay or straight and when I said straight he said it’s “too bad cause you’re too cute.” Very nice for the self-esteem. (Jake and Randon insist some girls have gone in and commented to them on me being cute. However, with my insecurities and low self-esteem I have trouble accepting that to be true. So it *was* nice to have the first hand proof of an instance, even if it was a guy.)
-“Do you have a wall of videos of voluptuous women?” -A guy with his girlfriend. More power to him!
-“Are you a pervert? Is that why you’re working here? I’m a pervert!” -A guy coming in with his girlfriend.
And my personal favorite for the night from a guy who came in with another guy and as they were driving off stopped to ask if they could ask me a question which was, “Do you have nice feet?”
My off-guard reply was simply, “I don’t know.”

August 25, 2002
Current Music: They Might Be Giants’ “Ana Ng”
Subject: A good time to get fed up!…
Time: 03:43 pm
Current Mood: amused
It was the big night at Fairvilla. That once-in-a-couple-of-months night when we have one or a few “stars” come to the store for a signing (although just a few weeks ago we had local band “Overlord” at the store, but I’d hate to overshadow the porn stars with the mention of such a colossal super force. Nice guys though.)
Anywho we were having Peter North, Star E. Knight and Sondra Hall do a signing. Peter North, for those who don’t know (where have you been?!) is a pseudo-ambiguously gay porn star, who currently does straight films and a series called “North Pole” with some of the industry megastars, er, uh women megastars. He is also known to be well endowed, however fake the endowment. Sondra Hall and Star E. Knight are hot, brunette up and comers (ha, ha, insert “comer” jokes here.)
They had been there during the day, took a break and were to be back at 7. They arrived a little late and were dropped off in front of the store so I got to hold the door and let them in. They all shot me a smile and entered the store. Peter looks like he’s really getting up there in age.
This was immediately after someone had asked me if the stars were there yet and I said “yes, go on up.” But oh well.
The numbers of people were high that evening. And of course the big company people came to the store so we had to be on our best behavior.
Now, I’ve heard the name of our store’s owner, Bill Murphy but never seen or met him. Well, at one point a car parked in front of the store, not even in the handicapped spot (like people often make the mistake of doing) but the small, clearly not-a-spot area next to it where the ramp is. I told the woman driving that she could not park there and wondered how anyone could be so stupid. A couple of minutes later another car, a hot red Mercedes parked there. And I was not gonna take any shit from this guy. So he stepped out and I snapped, “You CAN’T park there! You’ll HAVE to move your car!”
To which he replied with a smile and a laugh, “Hi, Bill Murphy, the owner. Um, yes, I can park here.”
Well, I did feel kind of stupid and a bit nervous, but he continued smiling, shook my hand and said that he was glad I had told him he couldn’t park there.
He also told Beel later on about it, who told me he was glad because it showed Bill he was training his employees well.
Later I was holding the door for Dawn and Danielle and Dawn saw the car and said, “tell that bitch to move his car!” I told her whom the car belonged too, and thankfully he wasn’t around to here her, although I’m sure he would have laughed as well, as according to Beel he’s a nice guy. (Although Beel gets nervous around him anyway.)
Poor Dawn who had also, according to Keith, in the office complained that when she got her picture taken with the “stars” had been placed by Peter on his lap, and said she hadn’t wanted that. Of course walking up behind her was Peter during this rant.

Peter North: the biggest star :rim shot: of our big day.
But Dawn is very nice and I’m glad nothing bad came of any of this.
Finally Keith told me, 20 minutes after they were supposed to be done signing that I’d be having dinner soon. I asked when the staff would get to have our pictures taken. Well, apparently everyone had already and he wasn’t sure the “stars” were even still there. Everyone had just forgotten to get me for this. So I just barely got a polaroid taken with Star E. and Sondra (Peter was not to be seen.) And they got to hear me referred to as “Slasher” and were curious about it.
I’ll try to scan the pic for posting later.
Edgar, who was working at the register near the signings said, I believe it was Star E., was “flirting” with him and while not wearing underwear was giving him a peak.
So, the night winded down and all went mostly well, and until the next “star(s)” come to visit…

October 14, 2002
Current Music: Still the rebroadcast of the game on Sunshine
Subject: No more “man-jail”…
Time: 02:31 pm
I only recently learned, from perusing the web site, Fairvilla
is opening a store in Key West. Yesterday Randon told me that they told Beel they were transferring him to the Key West store.
…So with that in mind, a little tribute to Beel:
He was the guy who interviewed and finally hired me. He’s so funny and gets along with everyone. He really tries hard to make sure everyone is comfortable and happy. And he makes sure we don’t have to take crap from the asshole customers. He’s been so accommodating about us taking days off.
And of course there’s “man-jail.” When (and I found out he did for sure do this to everyone, even the girls) I’d be standing against the wall, usually outside doing my greeting he’d put his arms against the wall on each side of me and ask, “Do you know where you are” and then say, “the ‘man-jail.'” Until of course I knew the answer myself. 🙂 It was weird but funny. That’s the kind of humor he had and the kind we thus had at the store.
Now I suppose Roy might be manager. Or I heard Danielle could move up. Either would be fine. In fact since Danielle was only so recently “one of us” bottom of the food chain people that’d be cool. Or maybe Keith who is back but working during the day. I did see him for the first time since he’s been back, yesterday and that was nice.
Beel is really cool.
I’ll miss Beel.

November 15, 2002
Current Music: “Cool it Now” by New Edition
Subject: “Would you like a bag with your fake vagina?”…
Time: 01:39 pm
Current Mood: determined
I was in a bad mood for much of Tuesday night. But something had to change that somewhat. When sweeping up the parking lot before I went to stand on the door I found an open box for something called “Star Snatch” (there are a bunch of fake “vaginas” and “anuses” at the store. This was one of them.) I thought, “who would open this in the parking lot?!”
I threw it in one of the trash cans inside like the rest of the stuff I sweep up.
A few hours later a goofy looking, older, short, fat, leathery-skinned guy with glasses that only had one arm came up and asked me if the trash had been taken out yet and who cleaned up the parking lot. I said I did and he asked if I came across a box for said item. I said it would be inside in the trash and he’d have to talk to Beel. He said he thought he saw a different price then what he paid and it hit him later on after he left the store. Beel, nicely not asking me to fish the box out of the garbage can I told him it was in got it out and it turns out the guy was looking at an inventory number and not the price. He was pleased with how nice Beel was about it and assured me he has plenty of money but didn’t want to be overcharged, and he left.
I’ll give him credit for coming back about it.

January 7, 2003
Current Music: Radiohead’s “Karma Police”
Subject: “Anna, Anna, Anna, Anna….”
Time: 03:57 pm
Current Mood: amused
A scruffy guy drove up with a tall, well-dressed, young, blond guy and parked in a handicapped spot. So I told the driver he couldn’t park there and the tall blond guy, holding a drink in his hand (obviously alcoholic and from a club) began telling me that he’s in the military and showed me his dog tag he was wearing. I told him it’s a handicapped spot and we went back and forth. He said how he’s being shipped off to defend our country and I thanked him and said it’s still a damn handicapped spot! The driver was fine with moving the car and did while his friend stood out their, in my face, showing me his dog tag and going on about being in the military.
I said I was just doing my job and he went on how he was just doing his so I could do mine and he thinks there should be more respect from Americans. So I just nodded along till he shook my hand (well twice) and on the second time he kissed it. Yeah……
So he left his drink outside and quickly came back out after going in with his friend who bought something and Private Blondie had apparently shaken Randon’s hand (but not kissed it) and shouted pro U.S.A. stuff as he walked to his friends car.
Later that night, just as I was about to go on break, a ditsy, large, “Anna Nicole”-looking woman came in, drunk and made me follow her around while she looked for her old stripper friends among some of our “Up and Cummer” videos, and asked me the same questions over and over, and knocked stuff down while looking for something that would “please a man.” (She asked Danielle what would “please a man” and Danielle said “a woman,” Anna Nicole didn’t get it and just said, “no, something for a man, not a woman.”)
So it was a slow night with the exception of a couple of drunk blonds.
The powers that be are rearranging stuff in the store and it’s a pain now. Not all the videos are back out and all of us have to relearn where everything is.
Oh well…
Wacky parody title of the night: “The Poonies”

February 7, 2003
Current Music: Music I recognize by can’t name from Dan’s room…
Subject: New icon, the job, maybe this guy has seen the pics, etc…
Time: 03:13 am
Current Mood: dirty
The other night at work since Danielle and I didn’t know how to do conversions I skipped up to the counter with a DVD to convert for rent and said in a silly voice, “hello, I’m Schlomo Customer. Please convert this, blah, blah, blah.” Beel thought I was making fun of customers right near them so he got mad and told me that it could be grounds for being in man jail a really long time and asked if I watche “Oz.” He’s silly.

I also got hit on tonight by a man who told me I was cute, and shy, but figured I was probably straight. So I told him I was. And as he was leaving he told me *he* wasn’t shy, obviously and said that if I wanted a blow job he’d give me one. I told him thanks but no, and good night.

February 17, 2003
Current Music: “Friends”
Subject: Wicked pa’ties…
Time: 06:18 pm
Current Mood: giddy
Where’s my “I survived working at Fairvilla on Valentine’s Eve and Valentine’s Night -AND it was Friday!” shirt?…

Well, Friday night brought Fairvilla apparently the most business they’d ever seen. I won’t say how much they made but a night’s work for a nice luxury car is pretty good.

One woman had tried to walk in leaving her 10-month-old in her car. Kelvin, who was on the door stopped her and argued with her till she left. We didn’t call the cops but could’ve and maybe should’ve. The woman had actually wanted Kelvin to watch her kid for her. We don’t babysit, but I’m thinking “Fairvilla Playpen” for parents who can’t wait to shop to get someone to watch the kids is something to be put in motion.
A woman was also puking out of her car for quite a while and I believe it was Danielle who brought her water and napkins.
I noticed one empty package where someone had stolen a “bullet” in the store but otherwise not much thievery on my watch. I guess it was too crowded.

March 6, 2003
Current Music: The Underline’s “Like I Wanted To” in my head…
Security: protected
Subject: Impotance makes you angry!…
Time: 02:05 pm
Current Mood: amused
So, it’s been a problem occasionally that people pull up to the store and park in the handicapped spot and put up an argument when I ask them to move. We don’t in fact have a sign, which I hate, but then it is our store and we can tell people to park wherever we want. Not to mention why are people *wanting* to take the spot in front of the ramp so that a person who is handicapped must park far away?
But eventually they do move. Usually it’s asshole middle-aged white guys, who think they’re hot shit in their fancy red sports cars such as the guy in the “classic car” convertible with his skanky “trophy” wife who parked across the handicapped spot and two other spots and would “only be 5 minutes.” Or the asshole last week, and his comment that handicapped people wouldn’t be out at that hour anyway.
But last night this guy parks there. A young guy trying to look all tough. I told him he was in a handicapped spot and asked if he had a permit. (Usually they hang from the rear view mirror, but sometimes they are engraved on the license plate.) So he said “yes” and started walking in and I check the back and nothing.
So I went inside and he looked at me, with a crazy look.
I said, “I didn’t see your handicapped pass.”
“I have one.”
“Well, I didn’t see it.”
“It’s up.”
“Well, I didn’t see it.”
“I put it up when I feel like it.”
“Well, I need to see it.”
(repeated 8 times, getting louder with an angry look on his face)
“Uh, sir, I’m gonna need you to move your-”
Danielle: “Evan, let it go.”
I walked back outside, pissed.
The guy, who was buying Stamina RX (the over the counter version of Viagra) btw, walked back out to his car all the while telling, er, informing me, “You better remember, your job ain’t worth yo’ life!” and “When you’re not here, yo’ job still will be.”
He actually kept repeating it and even after he got in his car, got back out to remind me, “Your job ain’t worth yo’ life!”
Yeah, I guess since he can’t get it up he’s probably got it rough. :sigh: What an ass. I feel for whoever he was going home to with the pills. I’m sure his erectile dysfunctions were offset by his manly threats over a handicapped spot. I know if I couldn’t get it up that threatening a sales associate at a porn store is probably the first thing I’d do to feel more like a man. 🙂

BTW, Mer, it’s “friends only” so our worrisome mom doesn’t read this, of course.

May 23, 2003
Current Music: Superdrag’s “Who Sucked Out the Feeling?”…
Subject: One Year!
Time: 12:41 pm
Current Mood: Reflective
Today marks my one year anniversary at Fairvilla.Woo hoo!
One year, in the night shift at this store of course makes me a seasoned vet.
And what better way to usher in the 23rd of May then to have Carlos and Meredith make a surprise visit last night.
I was walking to the parking lot for my break when I saw them getting out of Carlos’s car. They of course had planned to come in and shock me. Well, I was still kind of shocked.
I let them go in while I took my break outside and called Rachel and vented about the trauma.
Then I went in and found them upstairs. Luckily it was slow and I was on the floor so I talked to them and introduced them to Danielle and eventually, in the office, Beel. They seemed to get along with Beel well and talked for a while and picked on me. 🙂 And they met Clarence.
After we walked around for a while Logan showed up with friend. So I introduced them to Logan (although Carlos met him a while back.)
I was just Mr. Popular for the last couple of hours of the night.
Thankfully, I didn’t have to see my friend and sister buy anything. They just teased me about buying stuff.
I would have killed Carlos. 🙂
And in other news we have another new person, Robert who goes by the nickname “Bird.” It seems my responsibility for now on when I’m there to show the new guys the trash-taking-out rituals.
And Christy, an old newspaper buddy came in the other night with her bf. It was cool seeing her.

Still the number 1 “wacky title for the night” title: “Bust A Nut In Grandma’s Butt” “Grannies are back! These older sluts have a well seasoned taste for throbbing c**k, and an aching for some poop chute love makin’, Enjoy!”

It’s been a weird-ass year to say the least. So many people coming and going at the store. One thing I will say: The people I’ve worked with that I haven’t liked have been few and far in between. More it’s just a few people rubbing me the wrong way, and no one I’ve hated.
I’ve even made friends in Jake, Danielle, Amber, Randon, Kelvin, Jason, Melanie, Leanne, Danny etc…
I had joked a couple of years back with Ben about working at a porn store, then began thinking, “What if?” I mean, it’s gotta be weird, funny, and good writing material work.
Then I joked about it last spring with Dave and Kris when we’d put the Fairvilla ad in during layout on “The Independent.” And they’d just laugh.
Then I needed a job, after finding out kind of well into the summer about my internship. Well, I applied to Fairvilla.
Didn’t get the job right away. I was told by Beel “if anything opens up in a week or two, I’ll call and see if you’re still interested.”
For any other job that would mean I’d never hear from him again. So I was bummed. Even applied at “Premier.” But that would have been like the Yale to Fairvilla’s Harvard. 🙂 And if I was gonna work at a porn store I wanted it to be classy, first rate. (Well, for a porn store.)
But a week later I heard back from Beel, to my delight and came in on a, what I remember to be, busy Thursday.
I was shy and awkward of course. But a week into my being there, on what turned out to be my first fun night, a Saturday, Jake came up with “Slasher.” Nothing like a cool work nickname to gain acceptance.
And my roomies, and Vanessa, and inadvertently someone I knew from my journalism classes all came in.
Retail jobs could pay better, but could be worse. It’s decent pay, great people to work with, funny stories, and dammit, working there is just a great conversation starter. Hell, my Public Affairs professor in my last semester would always bring up ways I could incorporate my working there into story assignments.
I’m still there. For now.

July 7, 2003
Current Music: Tori Amos’ “The Happy Worker” from “Toys”…
Subject: Fireworks, yay!!!
Time: 12:31 pm
Current Mood: errandy…
First off, did I mention last week, at work, when I wasn’t there, Roy was apparently going to stack some tapes and felt something itchy on his arm all of the sudden.
…It was crabs!

-We are not spoken for by disrespectful jerks…

Posted in Makes me angry with tags , , on January 26, 2009 by evanjm02
First off, Selma, America, and Mandy are all on my celeb “list.” You know, the hypothetical list ala “Friends” that couples make for fun.
Nick Coles can suck it. Sounds like someone has his own self-esteem issues.

Below is a Live Journal entry I wrote when I was working at VMS in 2005 and scanned through hours of daytime TV which is the time of day the most painfully condescending commercials air for women, the recently injured, and the unemployed. I would definitely change some wording and phrasing around but you get the point. (and please remember the bad spelling and grammar should be ignored)

p.s. I tagged some women I know and because I thought they might be interested in reading this and not necessarily because the content is related to them one way or another. Also, Sara, this is the entry I was telling you about when you posted about Amanda Palmer and the music video.

October 21, 2005

OK, let me begin this by saying that clearly this doesn’t affect me directly but I have had people close to me affected and that does make it mean something to me.

What has begun bothering me for a long time now is society’s rampant abuse of woman by way of image. Having had close relationships with women with eating disorders, combined with a job dealing with commercials all day, and the Hollywood “trend” that has been around for a while and doesn’t go away, it’s been building as an issue to me.
This is an issue that often gets talked about and complained about but not much to help gets done. Kudos to Dove on taking the first steps with “real” women models. No one is asking companies to hire 300 lbs women, but real would be nice. I don’t know many men who like sticks. Most men like curves. It’s in our genetic make up to go for women who can survive and rear children. Somehow, society has gotten it into some men’s heads that waif is what is attractive and men have gotten easily brainwashed. (Not to say naturally skinny women are all unattractive either.)

The thing of it is, modeling seems to have started the thin image, and who runs modeling companies? A lot of women and gay men do, who don’t look for women who are necessarily sexually appealing but women who are “attractive” on paper. I’m not blaming gay men, but sexy and pretty can be two different things. There is a bad standard set now that all fashion moguls seem to go by.

Now actresses think the only good career move is to get super thin and so everyday women thinks this is what they should strive for.
But, it’s a common misconception that ED’s are really just women being stupid and vain. Like many neurological issues, OCD, ADD, etc… it, much of the time comes from chemical imbalances and is simply triggered by things like society, teasing, mean parenting, etc… Part of the reason it gets deadly is because it comes with such a stigma that women don’t want to be labeled by it so they keep it to themselves.

Throughout the day, when I’m scanning daytime TV there are a ridiculous amount of Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, LA Weight Loss, and other commercials directed at stay-at-home moms. They talk about what a better life you have when you lose weight and how much your husband will be thrilled. Less often shown are the companies that actually advertise for the sake of your own health.

I think the worst thing was the commercial where Kirstie Alley is angrily slamming down cardboard cut-out photos of her when she was overweight.
Yes, Kristie, boooo!!! You should hate your overweight self! All overweight women should, yes?
It’s not unheard of for men to have EDs. Unfortunately it’s more acceptable to be an overweight man than an overweight woman, however. Women are given such different standards of what is attractive, and how much to prepare themselves, i.e.: make-up, hair, etc…

(Definitely where I’d change how a paragraph from when I first wrote it sounds.)
I’ll be the first to admit that it would have to take a very special woman to win me over who is morbidly overweight to an unhealthy degree. However, real, somewhat overweight, I’m fine with. I don’t often go for waifs, and to me good looking ones are few and far in between, and I’ve crossed many a woman off my celebrity crush list in recent years.

My girlfriends, despite what they have thought, have been normal sized. But, I realize it’s all how you see it, in a distorted way. I liken it to the way if I’m walking on the sidewalk and someone passes me and sneezes near me, I feel like my hand was just pulled in front of their face when they sneezed.

It has helped to understand EDs on some level by having the OCD. I think they, and ADD all sort of come from the same place. But, no one can ever understand EDs entirely but the people who have to deal with them.

It’s not going to end soon though. Actresses have to be just as thin as the next one or they feel they will be perceived as fat. And, while I am reluctant to reference her, as Lindsey Lohan put it after she lost a lot of weight, if she puts any weight back on now, getting back to normal, she’ll be perceived as fat, having set her own unfortunate standard for how people see her. And, the magazines that every now and then have cover stories, “Is Hollywood Too Thin?” will the next week have stories, “So and So is Spiraling Out of Control!” because they put on weight.

What is the solution? I don’t know for sure. I really would like to see more companies follow Dove and a decline in weight loss company marketing. But, that will not likely happen. Hey, it’s natural to want to lose weight and it’s not always from an ED. Just so much of it has gotten out of control. I also wish there would be more education for girls growing up to counter some of society’s messages, and lessen the stigma on EDs as something stupid girls who don’t know better have, but something that is a problem to be dealt with on all levels.

“It’s Not About Food” is a very good way to get insight into the roots of EDs.
There’s a book I recommend called “It’s Not About Food” which describes how it is about self-image, possible trauma, and other factors women need to deal with. The 2 people I know who I thought might benefit from borrowing it declined to read it because they didn’t want to find out any new methods of carrying out their EDs. Sadly that makes perfect sense. There have got to be better ways.

And, this says it all:
From the LA Weight Loss site
LA Weight Loss Success Story
Kristina Drift

“My husband thinks I look beautiful – just like I did in my wedding dress.”

Wow. Time for a divorce!
“After having four children in three years, I put on a lot of weight. With the L A Weight Loss Program, it was easy to take off all my baby weight. Now when we go to the park, playing soccer, running around, I definitely have a lot more energy.”
Ah, whew! Much better. Now your husband won’t have to bang his skinnier coworkers!
“L A Weight Loss was very flexible to my schedule. I never needed an appointment. I could walk in with my children, get weighed, and walk out of there, feeling happy because I always lost my weight. I was able to make a healthy dinner for my family that we all enjoyed. L A Weight Loss taught me how to eat the right foods, so I know I’ll never be overweight again.”

“I’m having a Christmas party this year and I have the perfect outfit in mind. I’m going to wear a little black, slinky, sleeveless dress, and I’m hoping that everyone will see the new me and say, ‘Wow!'”

“I’ve recommended L A Weight Loss to my two sisters and we have all lost weight. Anybody can lose weight on L A Weight Loss – it’s easy, it’s fast and it’s convenient.”

-My first post…

Posted in Brand new! with tags , on January 26, 2009 by evanjm02

Don’t tell Live Journal I’m cheating on it. My page that I started in 2002 and I have not spoken a lot lately. I guess the spark is gone. And, Facebook takes up more of my wasted time. It seems the kids at the “cool” table are blogging here, and, if I want to be a respected, self-promoting comic Live Journal will only hold me  back. I’ll keep it, but more as a fuck buddy I visit on occasion.