Adjective

Underwary: (adj.)

The unease experienced while undressing in front of another person.

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It’s easy to be alluring when you’re wearing clothes.

You can be stylish, funny, urbane… anything you want, really.

But once you charm your way into someone’s bedroom, you’ve got to shed, layer by layer, the fiction been telling.

Everyone experiences it, regardless of what side of the mattress you’re on. That sudden, hideous panic.. the remembrance that our bodies often horrify us. How they have more folds and furrows than we’d like. A patch of hair… a nasty little mole or skin tag. Our bodies are a landscape of uglies… uglies we forget about while wooing. But all of which our partners are certain to discover the first time we drop trow.

Soon enough you’ll both be flopping atop one another… each of you making stupid noises and hopefully twisting your faces into grotesque displays of delight.

Sex is nothing if not ludicrous.

But in the moments that fall between the before and after, in the molting of one’s manicured persona into the doughy realities of our nakedness, one must silently confront this terrible moment of anxiety when we decide to just swallow our pride, give in to our yearning, and let ourselves be ugly.

Or… to put it another way:

It’s easier to look sexy while looking at your watch, than it is to tell a joke when you’re naked.

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Adjective

Blandsome (adj.)

  1. The quality of being generically, inoffensively, broadly, boringly attractive.
  2. When one looks good enough.

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Turning 30 meant a lot of things for me. It marked the end of my long (too-long) youth. The first shaky step on my path toward middle age. A growing waistline; a wasting hairline.

The crack of a starter’s pistol, marking the beginning of a long, tiresome race I’m absolutely certain to lose.

It’s grim shit. But there’s an upside. A remarkable upside.

Now, when I wake up and look at my face, one day pudgier… one or two more lines hiding around my eyes… I realize that this is the best I’m going to look.

I’m as handsome as I’m gonna get – every single day.

When you think about it that way… it’s kinda great.

So up yours, 30s.

I look alright.

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Adjective

Smörgåsbored: (adj.)

Existential angst brought on by an overabundance of options.

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My first job after college was at a book store. I worked at a Borders (RIP) as one of those drowsy book snots who stood behind the center kiosk and directed you to the authors you just mispronounced.

This was in a reasonably wealthy suburb of south jersey – developments, soccer fields, landscaping trucks always parked against the curb. There was money and safety and all the dreary trappings of ideal suburban life.

One day, while rooting around in my manager’s office (I would snoop when bored), I came across some sales figures.

The most popular section in the store? In that nice, air-conditioned store peopled with pretty moms whose shiny bracelets rattled as they browsed, and powerdads who’d pop by to flirt with the baristas before heading to their next meeting?

Self help.

By a country mile: self help.

So much wealth and opportunity… and nobody’s happy.

Blew my mind.

Makes sense, of course. Western Civilization has reached endgame. And now it’s run out of things to do. I mean, it could commit itself to the principles it espouses, and work toward a just and free society… it could actively try to end poverty, racism, misogyny and hate… commit itself to solving the immense climate crisis that’s going to bake us right off the goddamn planet. We could tinker and invent our way out of oblivion. But instead, I think we’re going to just eat and fuck and play until we die.

Prove me wrong, Humanity. Prove me wrong.

 

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Adjective

Aquard: (adj.)

When a former president, infamous for illegally imprisoning and waterboarding detainees, has a bucket of water dumped on his head for charity.

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Here’s the thing, George.

Your administration was a little while ago now. And I’m not going to start making a fuss over how, in eight measly years, you and your cohort of shitty devils managed to break the entire goddamn world.

Sure, we’re still cleaning up your mess… and will most likely be doing so for the next, oh, I dunno, fifty years or so. But that’s okay. That was then. This is now. And one shouldn’t dwell on the past. This is now.

This is now.

You can paint your paintings and hold art shows in your library. I’m actually quite a fan of your work, albeit in an infantile, elbow macaroni self portrait kinda way.

I’m cool sharing the present with you. Because that was then. And this is now. And yes, now is a terrible, violent and so so scary disaster. But we can all deal with that. So long as you don’t bring up the past and remind us what now could have been.

So please, George. Tread lightly. For once in your life, bub… be mindful.

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Adjective

Inspirrational: (adj.)

Displaying a cloying and incoherent positivity.

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Once, while in a conversation with some impending school chums, a woman told me in utter seriousness that, “… life isn’t measured by the amount of breaths you take. It’s measured by the number of moments that take your breath away.”

She said this without a touch of irony – she just sat there radiating with shallow, dopey optimism like a Thomas Kinkade painting.

“So, death then?” I joked, hoping to change the mood.

Half the table laughed. The woman smacked her teeth and told me I was gross. And I learned who my friends were going to be.

Look…

I’m not saying good things don’t happen. They do. Every day. All around the world. People exhibit acts of pure love, kindness, and selfless altruism. People are beautiful and good and warm and glorious to one another… probably with the same frequency that others shoot, stab, or strangle one another.

Good things are… well… good.

Our planet is a remarkable little pearl, stuffed to the gills with the awesome, the beautiful and majestic.

I get just as choked up at images of galaxies and nebulae as the next guy… maybe even moreso…

The world is not a cold, dead place. And in the face of hardship, sure – hope’s an essential tonic.

But for the love of Jeff, that doesn’t justify some of the bullshit people say when trying to be inspirational.

In fact, could there be anything less inspiring than someone trying to inspire you?

The half-knowing looks. The huckstery, broad smiles and honeyhallowed voices, and the awful, awful catchphrases.

Life is far too complicated… more rich, remarkable, nuanced, and complex a thing to be summed up in such a bland little chirp of philosophy.

And thank god for that.

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Adjective

Precarryous: (adj.)

The piled instability brought on by trying to lug everything all at once.

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You could just take two trips.

But you know this already.

You could even use the exercise, if you’re being honest with yourself.

But of course you know that, too.

You spent so much money on all of those groceries. Money you worked hard to earn. You took time out of your day and braved the throng and din of a grocery store on a Saturday afternoon… all so you could get everything you need to carefully prepare a meal for your partner.

If you were to add up every stitch of time that brought you to this moment… the work, the travel, the careful and conscious preparation… you’d have to measure it in hours.

But you wanted to save yourself the time of making that second trip.

And that’s the reason you dropped your fucking eggs.

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