Thursday, January 26, 2006

Surprise!

The rare double-post. I wonder if anyone actually goes back and reads past columns (entries?), and has no idea that I knocked two of these things out in one sitting. Actually, I wonder if anyone cares in the first place, let alone looking back.

There is nothing worse than the surprise gift. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the sentiment, the thought of someone seeing something and getting it for me, but something about it just always feels so wrong to me.

Throughout my life, especially as an only child, I've had a few surprise gifts sprung upon me. One that I remember vividly was School of Rock, a movie that I saw in theaters and might eventually pick up. Now, I'm a film snob, and demand that every DVD be Widescreen, as the director envisioned it. Full screen pan-and-scan is for pussies, and if you prefer that because you "don't like the black lines," go fuck yourself. I hope Scorsese shits in your mouth and breaks your "ready for TV" Goodfellas DVD and shoves the plastic into your pet's food bowl, so that they eat the shards and bleed internally, having a terribly slow and painful death as you hold your loved one in your arms and you can do NOTHING about it but cry. Once again, to reiterate, I have a thing for Widescreen.

My mom comes home one day and gives me School of Rock on DVD. As she hands it to me, all excited, I say, "oh, great, thanks," with the same enthusiasm you give your grandma when she gets you that youth large sweater that you've been getting since you became an adult extra-large. Then I saw the "FULLSCREEN" ebmlazened across the top, and I threw it down in disgust. "Fullscreen? Are you kidding me?" I know I'm being a dick here, but for the last 3 Christmases I have explicitly said Widescreen or bust. And that's not it.

Countless little trinkets have been purchased for me that I did not want, and I said so. "Why are you wasting your money," I would say. "It's not worth it. I appreciate the thought, but, stop." Then I got the, "you're an unappreciative little shit, you know that!" How am I a bad guy for not wanting something that I never wanted in the first place? I then learned to shut my mouth, keep the little trinkets, and then get darting comments about how my room was cluttered - full of all those worthless trinkets. I simply couldn't win.

The other awkward situation is when you get a gift from someone and you don't expect it, and have nothing to return the favor with. As I mentioned in a previous column, on my first (double) date, everyone went back to my house and pulled out gifts, without informing me of this gift exchange. I pulled out blank casette tapes and a wallet as my impromptu gifts, feeling like a scumbag from the sight of the first gift-wrapped product. Just recently, my friend Charlie got me a Christmas gift. It was a book, but more like a giant, Bible-thick tome, called Down and Dirty Pictures, about the 90s Indie film explosion.

He came to me saying it was a Christmas gift. My friends and I have never exchanged Christmas gifts. Hell, the only time we recognize birthdays is when our parents get us cards to give to our friends. It's veiled as if you bought it yourself, even when no one buys into that idea in the first place; we just like the money, who reads the byline? Now I'm in the unenviable position of oweing him something. He got something for another friend of mine, and we were discussing what we do now. Do we get him a gift? Is it too late? Should we both get him something? What do we get him?

The bottom line is this: just stop it. This is my gift to you.








I expect something in return, you cheap bastards.

Fear and Loathing at the Snowball

Before you read, a preface (meaning before the face): As you might have realized, and possibly given morsel of thought to, I have changed the look of my blog. That was an antempt to try and get rid of the extremely homosexual (or extremely "frat boy trying to hide his blatant homosexuality") pink colored text at the top. If you can see, I have actually changed the subtitle to fit my views on the matter. Hope you like it.

It all started off oh so innocently. My girlfriend, Haley, was talking about her Winter formal, the Snowball, and asking if I would mind if she went with one of her friends. I had no problem, since I really did not want to go back to a high school dance and be That Guy. You know that guy: way too old, completely sticks out, and sits at the table doing nothing but sulking that he got dragged there. While in high school, showing off my white boy skills on the dance floor, I would point to that guy and exclaim "HA! LOOK AT YOU! YOU'RE SO FUCKING THAT GUY! WHY THE HELL ARE YOU HERE? YOU LOSER!" Through dating Haley, I had eaten my words enough, and didn't want to taste them again.

And then that innocent start fell into a skanky place held only for people who live in Emerson, NJ. The person she was planning on going with drunkenly tried to make out with her. For me, there was no choice - I had to go. My pride had to be sucked up like a milkshake through a crazy straw, long and hard. We had to go together to support what I called "Operation Unified Front," to show all those little fuckers that the state of our union was strong...without having to bomb another country. There was another problem. The Snowball fell the weekend after I went back up to Boston, so I would have to return to Park Ridge after being there for 28 days. Wonderful. The trip had to be made...the Front had to be Unified.

Amtrak has a funny little site. You can easily book tickets for their trains online and pick them up at the train station with the credit card you purchased the tickets with, like Fandango at a movie theater. I have used this wonderful option every time I took a train, including my first trip up to Boston for orientation. There is a fundamental flaw, however, because whenever you hit "back" in your browser, the date goes back to the day when you're buying the tickets. This apparently happened because on the Friday when I was going home, my tickets wouldn't print. Finding this odd, I went up to the Amtrak desk at Boston's South Station.

I walked up to Maurice and told him my dilema about how my tickets wouldn't print. I hand him my license and give him my driver's license when prompted. Maurice swipes my backward-ass card (it was printed upside down on the back, and they still spelled my name "Micheal," which is incorrect if you couldn't figure it out) and comments how the magnetic strip is broken. "Well, there's your real problem," he says to me. I do a surprised "oh, well, I'm sorry, I didn't know." He then closely examines my card as he types in my account number. Two at a time. So it's, "DUNDUN...................DUNDUN............." Helen Keller could have typed it in faster if she wasn't, you know...dead.

Maurice then turns to me and says, "oh, wow, this is a double whammy. It says here you booked your tickets for four and two days ago! Man oh man, first your card won't scan, and then this? Wow." Thanks, Maurice. I want to be successful for a few reasons, but mostly to look back and find Maurice, old, maybe in a wheelchair, and go "you remember me? I CAN BUY YOU YOU CONDESCENDING OLD FUCK!" I then buy new tickets for the train that I was supposed to board in Boston, and an 11:30 AM train from Newark, NJ back to Boston on Sunday.

Train trip is fine, no problems, and I partake in Hitchcock's Rope and Shadow of a Doubt, enjoying both. Once I reach New York Penn, I call up my dad, as is the normal custom. He tells me to not venture outside until he calls me to say he's ready to pick me up just outside the station as it's "one of the few safety concerns I have" It's Newark, granted...but it's 7:30, I think I'll survive. By the time I get to Newark, the streets all around are filled with cars, and it is a standstill. I get a call from my dad saying, "well, I'll be there in then minutes, so wait outside for me." Color me confused. It takes us an hour and a half to get back on what is normally a half hour ride. Good times.

The next day, it was time to get festive, and by festive I mean, "get ready to see kids that I knew as sophmores and freshman in high school when I left and not to feel incredibly embarassed and out of place." If I could drink, I would've. I got dressed in my suit (complete with "arms too small" jacket), grabbed the corsage that was nearly forgotten about, and headed out to pick up Haley. Luckily, there was no one there, unlike my senior prom when nearly every person the Brewers knew was there waiting to take pictures and judge me (no one warned me, btw - I still think it was a test). I picked up my beautiful date and we went to Cara's house (she is a faithful reader as well, so bonus points). That was awkward, but it's pictures, so if you're a guy it's always awkward. You sit and wait until some female tells you what to do, and you do it, no thinking involved.

The dance itself wasn't really that bad. I figured it would have been a lot worse, but I knew a lot of the kids there and they treated me as an equal, and not the creepy old guy. Also, a kid that I knew who graduated a year before me was there. I shook his hand and thanked him for making me feel better about myself, before realizing that will probably be me next year. I also realized that being tall and dancing kind of sucks, because you make eye contact with EVERYONE. I can't tell you how many times I would look straight ahead and a couple across the way would look at me, then each other, then turn their heads, like I was fucking spying on their weird pseudo-dance-makeout thing. Don't worry, I wasn't gawking at you, uglies.

There was only one weird part, and that was trying my damndest to be reserved. It's hard sometimes, but I had to realize that this event was totally not about me, and was all about the kids all around me. At one point, Haley's friend (and one of my oldest friends' little brother) Tyler made a crack about how everyone there was invited or included in something "...but Mike." Some people took offense to it, calling Tyler out on it. I was perfectly fine with it - I knew I didn't belong, but I was there for Haley. And to show off the fact that she was mine, god dammit, AND NO ONE ELSE'S. Highlights included seeing Rob hover back and forth like a cloud, listening to Rhino's war stories, and talking to Donkey more than I have in my entire life. Also, this picture:



Bad ass (Rhino and I)


The next morning I woke up at 9:30 to leave at 10:30, working on an incredible four hours of sleep. After having my bagels and paking everything up, including a problematic book that I will get to next, I was ready to go. At 10:30, I promptly put on my coat, my backpack, and went to leave, as my dad is extremely anal when it comes to departure times. To my dismay, I see my dad, a 6'0" 240 pound landbeast, lumbering over in my pain. He can barely lift his head to talk to me. "Michael...I had a back spasm while turning...the wheel. If I drive you...*wince* I could pull the wheel...and we could get into an accident...and I'd kill us both. ...I can't drive you." He promptly laid face down on the living room floor.

One would think I would be scared, running about, trying to help my father out. This oaf has pulled this three other times in my existance. Although working in the "rough and tumble" world of construction, he mostly sits in an office and deals with highlighting blueprints and doing the work that others don't, because they're too dumb, or unmotivated, or whatever excuse he wants to say. He's a martyr, and will sometimes go out of his way to do things on his own, even taking the job out of someone else's hands, just to say he did it on his own and to complain about how no one helped. He also helps around my Grandma's every Wednesday, doing odd jobs and lots of manual labor.

My dad, who I refer to as Kenjamin, has pulled out his back on three seperate ocassions before this. The first time, I was around 7 years old, and I thought he was going to die. The second time, I realized it was just what happened before, handling it well. The third time, I walked over his writhing body, got cereal, and stepped right over him. When he hit the floor the fourth time, I got my mom up who already knew the drill. She only panicked to find me a ride to the train station, when it was almost impossible to get to my 11:15 train unless he had a rocket booster in the trunk. Meekly, I imed Haley and said "we're having some troubles." She offered her mom, and after all the car services rejected her, my mom said "take it."

Just before Mrs. Brewer was to pick me up for my patchwork 1:30 train to Boston, I got a text from Haley detailing a little medical emergency of her own. Now, I can vividly see the Brewers and the Antons hanging out in the waiting room, sharing war stories, as I sat looking out the window like a puppy. Who would take me out? Luckily, she gutted through, and sat in the back with me. Why? Because we're a Unified Front, that's why.

I prepared to fight to the death to get my ticket changed. After the tongue lashing Maurice gave me for no real reason, I knew getting my ticket changed to a later train would be hell. I approached the Amtrak window, stuck my ticket in the indented peice of metal, and forcefully asked to change my ticket for the 1:30 train. The woman behind the bullet-proof glass partition kindly said, "of course, and I'll print you out a new ticket for that train. The only problem is that there is an eleven dollar charge because the fare is higher."

Oh. Ok.

I got on the train without a problem. Something did strike me as strangely annoying, though. No one sat next to me on either train. Usually, these trains are packed, and I have to sit next to some middle aged mess who tries to flirt with me because she read the book I was reading or she went to a school near mine. It's awkward. I lucked out once with a girl who was in her mid-to-late twenties, who, upon nearing her NY Penn Station destination, began to hike up her calf-length skirt, and unzipper her boots. I have no idea what that means as a come on or what, but I took it as better than "I went to Northeastern! *blink blink*"

All in all, I learned that Amtrak's website sucks, going back home to your high school dance function ain't so bad (especially when you get 2 votes for Snowball Queen!), Percocets rock (thanks Kenjamin), and that I find having lots of space as a personal offense. Invaluable lessons, all.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Manton vs. Woman - Fin (VII)

As you have read, faithful readers, who read, you're readers that's what you do, I haven't really lucked out with the females. There are more times where I was rejected or aimlessly pined, knowing that nothing would ever come of it, but they aren't that funny. Just sad. Sad and pathetic. Well, sad and MORE pathetic. It's hard to think that after all of that I would end up in a two year relationship. I already wrote about 2 pages on how we met and blah blah, but even I found it boring, and I lived it. (Not saying it's boring, but the way I wrote it was terrible - see, that's what we call "saving face," kids.) Instead, I will address some questions posed to me by people, as I've gotten a lot over time.

How did you get such a great girl like Haley?
Her pimp's a family friend.

NO, SERIOUSLY FOLKS

This question was actually posed to me by someone who wanted to take that knowledge and steal my girlfriend from me. I'm totally serious. Luckily, my advice was kinda shitty and he didn't get anything so HA - just know that I'm better than you, you schmuck.

Anyway, it was by chance. After having a very bad experience with rejection, I decided to give up on girls. They had been nothing but trouble, and nothing good had come out of them except a few second bases and being called "can't get it up guy" for two different ocassions (one of which is not featured in this column). Going gay wasn't an option, as I had a run in at the ER that really turned me away from the joys of anything anal (I'll write about it next time). There was no other choice but to swear them off. I had been chasing for years and came up with nothing. The one time a girl liked me was in 8th grade, and I ran and hid from her at the dance (one of the things I'll always regret), so karma kinda killed those chances ever happening again, it seemed. Instead, I would walk this mortal plane alone, hoping to become asexual, if only for the press I would receive.

I met Haley after going to some volleyball games with my friend Stephen. We weaseled our way onto the JV team's bench as "assistant coaches" and would sit and joke around with the coach (one of our teachers) and whoever was on the bench. One of those girls just happened to be this really cute, smart, funny gal named Haley. She wasn't benched because of a lack of talent, but because she got an infection on her foot. Every day she would pathetically try and show the coach that she could play, throwing down her crutches and hobbling at a snail's pace - she never played. Instead, she got to listen to Stephen, Coach Kovacs (CoachVacs), and I joke around.

This game was old hat for me. Haley would start to have a thing for Stephen, like every female had at one point in their life. They would fall for the chicken pox but he would never bite, and they would pine away, sometimes lasting years. This sucked for the rest of the guys, as some of the prime pickups were being wasted. My role was to be funny and help them through this trying time before they got a boyfriend and I would have to feign happiness. This role sucked because Haley was a great person, and I didn't want to see her thrusted into the black hole.

It turns out, she had a thing for me long before I ever thought it would be possible (score!) and after a wacky serious of events involving two phones and an acronym, I figured out her affection. In all honesty, it was beaten over my head before I realized. I could decode a 7 letter fucking acronym, but didn't know the girl was jonesing for me. Christ I'm a retard. It was the first time I ever jumped right into dating, because I really didn't give a fuck about what would happen. She says no, it's ok, she was a freshman and I would never see her. After the whole "befriend for 10 months then date!" strategy bombed twice, and the "sure, I'll get raped" idea sucked too, I didn't have any new ideas. We started to go out, with an inkling that she could be compatible, and we're still together.

Whoa whoa whoa, hold the fuck on. Freshman? And you were a senior?! HA HA! Child molestor! Craddle robber! Skeevy...uh...older guy!

I know I know. Trust me, I've heard it all, and I genuinely mean that. It's been a nice chunk of time, and I get ripped on almost daily for it. In fact, I'm going back to her winter formal and I get cracks of "not even prom, jesus, you're whipped by a 12 year old." Luckily for me, I was given a thick skin by my friends who rode me for every little thing I said, and wouldn't let me forget the big fuck ups either. At this point, this is all gravy.

It is weird, though, since I never thought I'd be in this position. Seniors dating freshman was always tabboo with my group of friends, as we hated seeing her best girls taken by guys who were 17 and up. It was so pathetic, so sad; they couldn't even get girls their own age. That just masked the fact that we were pissed that we would never get with those girls. I mean, we wouldn't anyway, but the playing field was already unfair, why is it getting worse? Haley caught a lot of shit from the guys in her grade, and they have every right to. I would assume none of them read this (as they hate me) but please, go right on hating me. I stole one of your best, and I'm at college and I'm STILL with her, so you can all go screw. Ha!

Oh, and it's not statutory rape as the laws in New Jersey clearly state that the age of consent in 16, and that there could be no greater than a 3 year discrepancy in age, and we only have 2 years and 7 months. Ahem.

You're still going out...and you're in college? How...and why?

I'm going to really try and kill the cheese here, but, it's going to be hard. There is something that happens when you connect another person that you simply can't let go of, no matter the circumstances. Call it love, call it fate, call it herpes, I don't care what it is, it's amazing. I so clearly have that with Haley it's almost palpable. It's the same old love story, really. When we look into each other's eyes we know what we're thinking, a bond that lasts, etc. It's hard to imagine finding that with someone else, especially when it's so vivid and clear with the one you're with.

What reason should I leave, because college is the place where you get drunk all the time and bang mad bitches? Folks, that college life is a lie...except for my friend Randy. There is nothing really different...it's the same shit, just in a new location. It would be akin to winning the lottery, and then throwing away the ticket because there are millions of other tickets. She gets me like no one else can, and I doubt anyone else ever will. Not to get all youthfully idealistic, but Haley and I fit so well...it just seems like it has to be.

Who knows what the future holds, but I know that I won't regret this. The feeling that I have when I'm with her is worth every comment about the age difference, every "you should really let her go and move on," and anything else thrown in our way. It's hard being away from her, but we both want it to work, so it does. People marvel that we can last long distance and stay faithful (all the guys back home think I'm cheating on her...I'm not...but it's a nice way to try and get into my girlfriend's pants) but what I have with her I can't find anywhere in Boston. It's two years strong now, and it gets better as time goes on. If I were pretentious, I'd say like a fine wine, but I'm not. So there.

So what the hell was the point of this Manton vs. Woman shit anyway?

Fantastic question. My mom read the one with Josie and asked, "who cares?" It was the first time I annolytically looked back on all of the relationships with girls I've had in my life, and the similarities weave through. For example, I had no idea what the hell to do with dating until Haley, and had to learn all the way. It's weird to think that no one knows how to relate with the opposite sex intrinsically. We see TV shows and hear stories and that's how we go out. My first double date at the Diner happened because older kids, and couples, ate there. Sasha and I had our first kiss because that's what normal guys and girls would do. I told Josie I loved her because that's what you hear people say. It takes a while to understand what to do and what not to do...and it never stops.

I guess this was sharing my learning experiences with others, as we all share a common interest in getting ass. Here, I displayed how I never really achieved that goal. Well, not before a whole lot of pain (in the case of the 'lawnmower,' quite literally). Also, it's great to see other people get embarassed and hurt and to laugh at their misfortunes - why do you think American Idol loses a good number of its viewers after the tryouts are done? We're cruel bastards, and we love to see others fail, mostly because it didn't happen to us. To quote Homer Simpsons, "it's funny because it isn't me."

Mostly, though, it was a self-serving affair. This isn't really a new concept, as I love attention; hence this whole set up. It's also a great way for me to look back and see where I came from and how I got here, as well as to appreciate what I have going for me. I took a chance once, and with the help of a white thong poking out of a pair of jeans to show she was mature enough to go out with, it worked out, for the first time. It's just nice to know that sometimes good things happen to hapless, self-loathing pricks.




Here's what you're going to see in the coming weeks on this fucker:
-More embarassing personal stories of my youth
-Some of my earlier works, when I was angsty and angry and listening to Weezer's Pinkerton too much
-The stupid shit that pops into my head as I walk down the street or watch TV
-Hopefully a mailbag. I know some of the people that read this, and I know you have keyboards, so I will be asking for participation.
-Will properly spell the word "condom." Only two people caught that - you people aren't very good editors
-More terrible punctuation, grammar and spelling errors, as I don't edit any of this. Hell, I don't even write it in Word to auto spell check. I stink.
-Blowjobs.

A hearty thank you because for some reason the whole series got a large number of people reading. Thanks for reading my stupid, incessant bullshit. It brings a warm joy to my heart, and a wet spot in the front of my jeans.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Manton vs. Woman - The Showstopper

This is a disclaimer: The story you are about to read is entirely true, and is recounted to the best of the author's ability. Names have been changed to protect the identity of the person who I was acquainted with. This story will have to delve intimate details, so if the "hairy ass" post freaked you out, tread lightly.

As you have read in previous Manton vs. Woman (or Women, whatever) posts, the way in which I would get girls is befriend them, and then slowly chip away until they simply cannot resist me. Like a virus, I would take out their defenses and leave them susceptible to my lovin' - although I loved no one. Well, I would systematically eat away with them until they would date me. There, that works.

There was one occasion, however, where I threw caution into wind. Her name for this writing will be "Marsha," as suggested by my mom. Marsha was a friend of a friend of mine, and we met one night at the local Dunkin Donuts. She was a cute girl, with a nice face, bleach blonde hair, and a very busty upper section of chest. She hung out with friends of mine a few more times, but we never really spoke. One time, we were left alone, and we had a very brief, and very awkward, conversaion about nothing. I was just being friendly and she was just recipricating my nice gesture. Nothing more.

Well, that's what I thought, at least. We started talking online (I think she got my sn first, if that means anything), and after a while would have good conversations. A weird thing did happen, though. Usually when I'm conversing with people of the female persuasion, I will shamelessly flirt with them in a joking manner. I'm sure this has happened to most of the people reading this right now. I was doing this same tired act to Marsha, but she was retaliating. And it was nasty. I would giggle about it and keep writing back, thinking this was the coolest thing ever. She kept it up as well. It got to some points where I was just embarassed, frankly. I would look around and close her im box fearing that my mom would find out that someone wanted to do more than have a washdown in a shower.

One night, when my friends had ditched me, I asked Marsha if she wanted to see a movie. She hadn't seen Bad Boys II, and even though it was an excrutiating two and a half hours (and I'd already seen it before), I agreed. I picked her up at her house and we were off. The most we did that night was hold hands, and I certainly wasn't expecting even that. No, I was just going to see a movie with a friend...one who happened to have a vagina and was aggressively flriting with me. It would be impossible to get a girl interested in only a matter of weeks!

Summer moved on, and I was quite excited as I moved into my senior year of high school. I was right in the middle of my last band camp, and all of the seniors were feeling a bit...devilish. We devised a plot where the 19 of us would attack all the li'l kiddies with water guns on the Friday at the end of the first week of camp. Because I drove an Explorer, I had a lot of trunk space (and as I told the ladies, "the backseat folds down" as they giggled and walked away quickly) and was in charge of all of the water guns. Thursday, we would all secretly pack my trunk with water guns. Friday, as the band was taking pictures for the football booster, someone would drive my car to their house and fill up the guns. Then, wet hijinks would ensue.

I know you're reading this and thinking that this info is superfluous, but dear god is it crucial. Stay with me, folks.

That Thursday night my friends all went out and ditched me. Needless to say, I was a bit perturbed. I was whining to Marsha about how my friends suck and I had nothing to do. She offered a solution, suggesting that I come over to her place. I innocently asked her, "what would we do if I were at your house?" Her response? "I'd rape you." In light speed I tried to figure out the fastest route to losing my virginity. This is the sort of stuff that you see in movies and go "holy shit I wish that would happen to me!" And now it is, to ole' Mikey Anton!!

There were some problems, however. Marsha had just moved out, and her mom was home, so there was no way we could have sex there. She suggested that we go to her old place, as she still had the key, and that there'd be no one there. I went into my junk draw and pulled out the sole condom I had in my possession, given to me at my doomed Luau birthday party as a goof. Well, I also had a 25 cent "chocolate tasting" condom I got in 8th grade at Lake George with my friends, but I think using a CVS bag is safer than that thing. I ran out of my run and hastily yelled at my parents "I'MGOINGTOAFRIENDSHOUSEBYE" and closed the door behind me. "This was it," I thought. "Those fuckers [my friends] won't ever fucking believe that I'm gonna fuck before all of those fuckers do!!!!"

I have never been more nervous in my life. As I drove to Marsha's old house, the one I drove to once before, my body was shaking uncontrollably in the bamly August night. At no point in my life had I done ANYTHING like this; be it sexually or "hooking up." I almost always had a longterm girlfriend and certainly didn't get any from them. I felt like Lewis...or Clark - which ever one had sex first, I guess. I also wondered whether or not it would matter that I would be leapfrogging 3rd base, running directly over the pitcher's mound and directly into home.

Marsha was waiting for me as I pulled in. She was wearing jeans and a tight t-shirt, with her hair just sort of falling onto her shoulders. I got out and tried my best to be a cool smoothtalker. I'm sure I was an abominable failure. After five minutes of talking about what we're going to do, she showed me the way inside. Here in lies a problem about a house that you put on the market: there's nothing in it, and nothing works. There was no power, no furniture, no water, and no possibility of the shower fantasy. She was sort of against going to town on the old rug, and I agreed that we shouldn't do it. "We could get burned, ya know, doin' it like that."

It looked almost like the passionate trist would end right there. Luckily, I dropped the line that I had used a thousand times to only a forced laugh. "Well, my backseat folds down." She lit up, remembering that I drove with a traveling bed in the back. She was very excited and said we could totally do that as I turned red and tried to find a way around it. As excited as I was to lose my virginity, I was so sure I would suck and it would be terrible that I completely lost my nerve. I finally gave in, and walked over to the car, shaking.

She opens the trunk after I unlock the car and looks at me with a strange expression. "What are all of these things?" Marsha saked. And then I remembered the water guns. It seems my walking Fuckmobile was just as unprepared for this night as I was. Marsha and I started to take out all of the water pistols, super soakers, and pre-hydrated water balloons and placed them just outside the back bumper next to a tree just off of her drive way. When every water gun was taken away, and the black bags meant to keep my backseat dry was leaning against the foilage, I pulled the back two seats down as my hand shook like I had Parkinson's.

Then, as if punching a card, she climbs in and starts to kiss me. Soon, we're making out, and I'm sure she can feel me bouncing up and down off the floor. After a while, she starts to say that she's hot. I reply, "well, it's pretty cold act-" as she takes her shirt off. "Oh. Oh I see. Yeah, yeah I'm kinda heated, too" comes a-stumblin' through my mouth. I curious thing happens as we're both shirtless. One, I had never made out with a girl without a shirt, as I stayed fully clothed with Sasha so as to not "ruin the mood," and two, she seems to be a bit larger than I remember. Her breasts are heaving in her bra, which she takes off, because I'm convinced you can only take those fucking things off if you have a vagina. As her large breasts spill out, I start to figure out why they are so incredibly large in the first place. When my hands move from her chest down to her stomach, my fears are realized. Uh oh.

She then takes off her pants, and I take off mine, as she attacks my neck like a rabid animal. Never before, and hopefully never again, will I feel so much like a defenseless animal being attacked by its predator. I couldn't move, and didn't know how to stop it, so I panicked and acted like I just saw a bear: I acted like I was dead. The thoughts started moving at lightspeed through my head. Is this what everyone does? Am I just not getting how great this is? Is there something wrong with me? Holy shit...is she a vampire? Did my take out my emergency stake?!? She starts to take off my pants, and there were are in our boxers. Now, I realize, she's seen more of me than close relatives when I was a baby and my doctor.

Marsha is on top of me in only a thong, but then that's quickly taken off. Immediately after, there go my boxers. At this point, I realize, no girl has ever seen my penis before...and this is definitely not the situation I want that to happen in. I went to reach for what would be my first real hands-on feel of the female sexular anatomy and found something like sand paper right before I went in. Scared, I immediately pulled it away as it left the wedge between our bodies. Finding nothing else to grab, I get to hands of her rather unsavory ass. At this point it goes foggy. Either I grabbed her ass and the loose skin felt strange, or something with the consistantcy of bris came off of her ass. Regardless, whatever was resembling an erection quickly retreaded inwards to my stomach. It was at this exact moment where she said, "get the condom."

There is an obvious series of predicaments here. I had never used a condom before, especially not in a pressure situation like this. I was already shaking before getting in the car TO DRIVE THERE, so obviously I wasn't in "Michael Jordan taking the last shot in the Finals" mode here. Instead, I was in OJ in the Bronco going "holy shit, there's no good way out of this" mode. Unforunately, his story ended better than mine. Having no concept of "rolling the condom onto one's member" I had trouble, and then finally unfurled the whole thing on my incredibly limp self. This obviously did not work.

After some tinkering, I realized it would be easer to nail Jell-o to a wall. Seeing no way to end this with my head held high, I threw the condom somewhere in the truck and exclaimed in a very unconvincing tone, "oh shit I broke it!" I feigned disappointment, while really being incredibly relieved. Marsha was confused, and upon inspection of my vital sexual orgran, she became almost livid. She saw the flaccid concoction of tissue and skin as a reflection on herself (which, in part, it was) and simply wouldn't have it. If this were a war, she's on Omaha Beach right now and refuses to die at the hands of the Nazis like everyone around her.

Marsha's final charge was impressive, from an S&M stand point. Either because of her inability to understand the male anatomy, or probably out of sure desperation, she decided she was going to make an erection happen. Using her knowledge of how to start a lawn mower, she grabbed my sack and started to violently tug back and forth, trying to start that motor again. Unlike the neck assault from earlier, I refused to pull a Zebra again, and told her to please stop making my scrotum feel like it's on a roll of paper towels.

She finally stopped and rolled over, lying now on her back. She said, "this has never happened to me before." I actually pulled out the "it's not you, it's me" line, because fuck, if the "the backseats fold down" like worked, anything would. To try and make her feel good, I commenced making out again as I tried to manipulate her into some sort of pleasure. Once again, bring out the Jell-o and a wall analogy. Soon after, we both put on our clothes and walked outside.

There we were, two kids who were completely unsatisfied with what just occurred, packing water guns into a car's trunk. For her, it was the double whammy of not getting laid when they thought they would be and then having the partner find them unattractive. For me, it was...pretty much the whole fucking experience as a whole. I apologized prefusely, and said we would do it again sometime. That sometime never happened, and we didn't really talk much afterwards.

I went home dejected, coming back from my unnamed friend's house after only an hour and a half. My mom asked how it was, and as I turned my head to the right, I just shook my head. I turned back and walked into the bathroom when I saw the giant mass of bruises on the upper half of the left side of my neck. The girl had given me two giant hickeys. Wooonderful. This lead to me having to partly explain to almost the entire band the next day my exploits from the night before, without giving away that I was a bust. Also, the hickeys sat just above the collar of my marching band uniform, giving the solo close-up shot in the throwaway booster magazine an extra little bonus.

After I thought the whole situation was over, I get a text from Marsha: Holy shit what did you do with the condom, because my mom just found one in the driveway. It was then that I realized I really wanted, and needed, a girlfriend.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

A Culture Against Protection

In anticipation of the massive (and almost final) Manton Vs. Women column, I have decided to vent on this. Also, it gives more of a punch for the next story, which is the greatest story told since Moses did something with some water or something.

Why is it that any time I want to buy condems I always feel like a scumbag? Condoms are wonderful things, (almost always) saving people from unwanted things like herpes, HIV, and babies (which is worse?). Although priced a bit steep at one dollar per wonderful piece of "I can't feel shit through this fucking thing" latex, it is a great product. So why is everyone ashamed of having them?

The first time I went to buy condems was a uniquely terrible experience. First off, I went in and made a b-line toward feminine products. I then stopped and looked to the left for what is described as "incontinence products," saw adult diapers, and let out a "teehee!" as I pointed. I know karma is going to have me in those things from 30 years on. God damn you karma. Anyway, just as I get to the condems I realize they are smack dab in the middle of pharmacy desk. I think to myself, "man, this makes it so the person behind the desk blatantly knows that you're buying condems." Looking up, I see a parent I know, who also happens to be a minister.

I quickly panic and turn to the left, checking out sweet tampons and pads. When he says "hello Michael" I turned, obviously pulled away from my deep probing of the different brands and kinds of stop-things-from-bleeding items and engaged in a short, awkward conversation. He asked how I was doing, I replied and asked in kind, and he replied. His phone rang, and in the half second it took him to pick it up, I grabbed a pack of trojans and ran to the front.

I thought I was clear in the nearly empty store until a mother and a child of nine years old walked up to me to stand in line. Without giving a thought to the fact that the kid wouldn't know what a condom was before he was 15 (hopefully before it's too late, kids are fucking like rabbits nowadays), I tucked it away in my upper arm. Also while on line, I figured it might be strange for me to just buy condems, so I picked up a candy bar, too. After paying for both items, I'm sure I looked like a bigger creep, especially when the candy in question was a Butterfinger.

Recently while purchasing more condems (ooohhh yeeeeaaaahhh) I ran into an interesting development - there were people everywhere. When I went to pay, the person behind the desk double wrapped the condems (bought alone...although the Milky Way was tempting) as if to say "you're a terrible person and I will help you hide from the harsh and critical view of society." At another CVS in New York (in a mall, no less), they are locked up. Apparently that is to ensure that they aren't stolen, but that line of reasoning does not help my argument. Therefore, they are locked up for extra embarassment. Bastards.

My thought? Make condems free, and end HIV, herpes, and the furthering of the human race ! Hurrah!

Well, except for those 5% whose condems are defective. HA HA! Enjoy procreating, you fucking losers!!!!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Manton vs. Woman - Like Rocky V, the one that shouldn't have been

After the Sasha situation, I was in a weird place at school. After the terrible way things went with Sasha (or, the terrible way I treated her) not many people were really willing to talk to me, let alone date. Sasha barely talked to me, and would shoot looks to any of her friends who talked to me. I some how managed to alienate about then people through only one. Oh, and Sasha's sister would come up to me daily either in the hallway or in the band room and call me an asshole/dick/jerk/piece of shit. It was a good few months, really.

In fact, my stretch of stagnant relations with females lasted almost a year. It was a very lonely year that included my crush on a girl named Sara. By crush, it could probably be better understood as "stalking," since it involved me looking at her during class and barely ever talking to her. Our torrid stare-affair ended on the last day of school our sophomore year when I ran up to her said something akin to "have a good summer" and handed her a letter I wrote. Yes, I was so terribly unconfident that I had to type up a note. She later said she wasn't interested, which I assumed, since she probably only saw me uncomfortably staring at her while the pronounciation of "Carribean" was debated in my US History class.

My junior year I started to be taken by a girl named Josie. She was a fresh-faced bubbly girl who came to our town freshman year. Usually people stand out physically, especially when you're new, but she stood out theologically; she was quite Christian. So Christian, in fact, that she and I would get into debates in Biology over evolution, then the bible, then organized religion as a whole. She would politely defend her idea of a God in her Blue's Clues sweatshirt (with the li'l dog ears coming up from the top of the hood) while I would rant and rave and start cursing because I didn't have many facts to back it up. Thank God, cause I'd be going to hell.

Josie was involved in the theater program, something I was told to join. At first I thought theater was gay because, well, a lot of theater people ARE gay (shocking fact, I know). Josie came in one day in a sweater with her shoulders exposed and was extremely comfortable with snuggling up to me, givng a full view down her shirt. This was pretty sweet, but she is put on the curve because she was very much into Jesus (I'll explain the curve in a later column), so this was incredibly awesome. When she asked me to fill one of the final roles in the First Annual (and only) Holiday Play "It's A Wonderful Life," I gladly excepted it. The highlights were I had about 5 lines, half of which occur while I'm drunk, and I get to punch the lead. Now that the embargo from Sasha on her friends was lifted, this was my to Josie. I had a pretty cool part, too.

And so started what could only be described as an excrutiatingly long and painful excursion to make a relationship with Josie. A day or so after I signed up for the play, she decided we should be snuggle buddies - all cuddle and nothing else - which is pretty much saying, "how about I give you blue balls every day and you be ok with that." After using my wily charm, I got to kiss her backstage. She then reminded me that she didn't want a boyfriend, after getting out of a long relationship a few mnoths before hand, and that kiss was a mistake. I thought this was just her playing hard to get. It lasted about 5 months.

Instead of kissing, we became good friends, which was just me biding my time until she was mine. Josie seemed to understand this, and played with me and my emotions oh so subtlely that it really bugged me, but kept driving me forward. She had to be mine. Once the spring musical came around, and therefore more time together, it seemed like it was going to be a victory soon. Strangely, this whole time, I would flirt harmlessly with Josie's friend Lizzie. One rehersal, after saying that Josie had no feelings for me, she suggested that Lizzie and I go backstage and make out. We did, and I still don't know why or how it happened, but I was told that it would be better if she didn't have her retainer in.

Strangely, this just bolstered Josie and I becoming an item (after Josie pulled Lizzie out of her science class the next day to scream at her for 15 minutes in a stairway). Soon we were...together, as she refused to be use "the terms boyfriend and girlfriend," even though we were clearly dating. Also, while she was very into kissing, she was not into touching. Of anything. Having your tongue move while your handles are idle is a very strange combination. We would constantly fight, keeping the original reason why we talked essential to our new, title-less relationship-like-thing. Then we would get back together, which meant more kissing, and thumb twiddling.

After some time, I learned that this was not going to work out. We would talk on the phone for an hour because she wanted to watch some movie on tv 'with' me, and the movie stunk. Another activity was going to her house and watching her sleep. It got to the point where she realized how nice it was to make (out?) up after a fight and would instigate them. The final straw came when this conversation happened over the phone:
Josie: hey miguel antonio
Me: hey josie
Josie: so what did you do today?
Me: oh nothing
Josie: what do you mean nothing? That's crap, Mike. You love me, I deserve to know what you did.
Me: ....uuuhhh, I played Madden?
Josie: was that so friggin hard? God!

The nice, sweet Josie was starting to take over, and that was about it. I forget how it ended, but I do know that it did. Oh, and you read that right: we said we loved each other. It's funny how you can mistake physical attraction or infatuation for love. Now that I'm actually in love, it's clear that we were in nothing of the sort. She enjoyed the idea of having no connection, no emotional link, and tried to distance herself by controlling the situation. When she realized that she was really starting to get attached, she started to dictate how things were going to go, repeating her mantra of "we're not dating" as if she could convince herself. Me? I hadn't touched a girl for a year, and I gladly took being bossed around for a while.

We both realized that we weren't right for each other. It's like God always said, if he were real. Actually, I have no idea what God says. All I know is that Adam and Eve were monkeys, and that's fucking that.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Manton vs. Woman: The hard one - Number 4

Some firsts will always stick out in your head. First movie in theaters (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turles), first kiss (Rachel LoCurto during a game of spin the bottle at Michelle's house on Halloween), first time you figured out masterbation (thank you Chloe Jones) and of course, first relationship.

After a few awkward starts, it was strange to try and jump right into having a girlfriend. Naturally, it took me the summer to self-loathe to be ready for something as momentous as trying to get ass. The summer going into high school was a strange one, mostly because I stopped gaining weight and started having difficulty bitching about it. Also, young love was to start between my friend Stephen and a girl named Sasha, who I knew through the band. We would talk during classes, but nothing concrete.

This was also the summer where I was to officially join the marching band, obviously looking to be the coolest kid in school. While I dreaded band camp (OMG ONE TIME AT BAND CAMP LOL shut up) I also watched the Sasha/Stephen saga start to bloom, and then burn up in a firey wreck - the kind that people in the south enjoy. Apparently, during one of the movies on Colony field (I spoke about it when barely seeing Carly's bra-ed breasts...there is a giant screen put on the baseball field and kids sit around on the hill and watch a movie - exciting) Stephen was going to be asked out. And then some drama happened and Sasha ended up crying. I noticed, while watching her cry, that she was getting kind of hot. It was at that point that I started to swoop.

Freshman year, I talked to her constantly. During the long days of marching band, I'd be over with my bass drum talking to the color guard, of which Sasha was a member. On the bus rides to the football games all the seats were conveniently taken up so she had to sit next to me. Distinctly I remember her wearing these awful 1982 knit shorts and stockings, thinking it was the hottest thing ever, while I told her what a creep Steve was for not going out with her. I smothered her with so many compliments I'm shocked she didn't suffocate.

I chipped away for months afterward, deciding that I wasn't going to simply throw myself into another relationship. Sasha said she didn't want to go out with anyone, let alone me, for some time, so I would become her friend first. Then, after I lured her into a false sense of friendship security, would pounce...and ask her out. Maybe "pounce" isn't truly indative of the action. Regardless, by the winter parade, I would make my move. After talking to all of her friends not only for acceptance but for inside information, I was ready to ask her out. She responded saying she needed time.

Sasha needed a month to think about it. I walked back to my drum confused, but pleased that it wasn't a no...or a long line of reasons that I'm unattractive - a partial victory. A few days later I got an e-mail from her stating that she could not go out with me. Now, I was pre-emptively dumped 10 days later through the internet. That sort of killed the relationship possibilities, but gave birth to a whole new form of communication with Sasha; scathing criticism. I was a supreme asshole to her, making her cry a lot, but she kept coming back, almost like one of those inflatable punching bags that just keep coming back for more. She was getting emotionally jabbed, and kept popping back up for more punishment.

Towards the end of Freshman year, a strange thing happened. We started going out. But here's the tricky thing with our relationship...we never really WENT OUT. In the 11 months or so that we were seeing each other, at no point did we go see a movie, or eat out somewhere. All we did was go to each other's houses (usually hers) and screw around. We talked on the phone a mere 4 times, and that was only because of problems. To say we were in a relationship was sort of incorrect. We would make out, and then part ways, and possibly talk on the internet. Were permenantly playing dress up; I was the boyfriend and she was the boyfriend.

It gets healthier. As time went on, I realized that I didn't really like Sasha, and she wasn't a fit for me. She was loud, in your face, and immature. To sum it up, she was stil very much a kid in a teenager's body. This is that transition time where everyone thinks they are older and wiser than they really are, and here is a girl who doesn't even want to think about it. Hell, she would cry sometimes when you brought up college and growing up. Sasha had a point to do cheers and dances that frankly left me feeling embarassed, as I was obviously older and wiser than her, and pretty much everyone else (please get the joke people). But I stayed on with her, not out of some sense of loyalty, or that we connected on some deeper level, but because she was hot, she was the best I could get, and we were having fun in her bed.

This carried on for quite some time, into the next summer when she went on vacation. While in her native Croatia, Sasha cheated on me. Here was ample oppurtunity for me to end things, make her look like the bad guy, and move on. It was absolutely perfect. What did I do? I took one morning during band camp to think about it, and answered her with a Weezer song, No Other One off of Pinkerton. "My girl's a liar, but I'll stand beside her. She's all I got, and I don't want to be alone." She heard these lyrics, and with tears in her eyes, said, "I'm not a liar!" I basically told her that I'm sticking with her out of convenience and she said okie doke, relieved that I didn't leave her on her mistake.

I strung her along, about three months after this event and about six months after starting with her. Eventually the bubble burst one night when she was on top of me, barely covered by panties. Like usual, I was fully clothed because I assumed if I took of my shirt and my gut made an appearence, there would be an abrupt end to her being in nothing by panties. She started to shake as she buried her face in my chest. All the while I thought I was a mack, making this girl shake all over. Sasha pulled up from my chest, her face in the strangest contortion of emotions. Without looking, I felt the two puddles that soaked through my shirt on to my skin, and realized I was an asshole.

She started to say how she loved me, that even though I didn't think it was possible to love at that age, she did love me. My focus turned to the two candles by her bed with my name etched in the wax. It's easy now to know that it was infatuation, and not love, that drove her. In the meantime, I held her and tried to calm her down as she went into hysterics, trying to explain to me all of her feelings. On the inside, I fell apart knowing that I could claim nothing was recripricated. Soon after I heard the honk of my dad's Explorer, and I left her still in shambles.

What do you do when you're so far over your head you can't right the situation? What happens when you've done such wrong that nothing will make up for it? I panicked, and simply stopped talking to her. I didn't know how to tell her I didn't love her, that in fact I almost didn't like her, and was using her and her emotions because I was weak. How could I let someone know that they were in my life at that point because I was a selfish asshole who wanted to get himself off? Instead, I assumed that saying nothing to her would be better than the truth.

Well, that was wrong, too. There was no easy way around it, no correct way to cut the ties. Eventually, Sasha came up to me in the band room and thought we should break up. Word spread that Sasha had dumped me, and people asked if I was ok with the whole thing. She might have said it, but I broke her heart long before that conversation. I told them that I was over her, and they took it like I was just trying to be proud. If only that were true...it would have been easier to get along for the months afterwards.

Eventually, we hooked up again senior year, in the band bus. It was a short stint of action, mostly brought about by the fact that I knew she still wanted me, and I wanted to prove it. Once again, not the best way to set this course of action, but that was pretty much the end of Sasha and I. I learned a few things about relationships from Sasha. If you get into an emotional link with someone, give it due gravity, because there is a lot behind it. Also, bailing out early is a lot better than bailing out late. Finally, know that there is another person that you're dealing with, another person fully equipped with feelings and emotions, and that's far more important in the long run then making out.

Next, I try and tweak the "friend then boyfriend" technique and end up subservient like a battered wife to a Christian gal. And don't worry, it gets even more complicated.