Friday, May 29, 2009

Leisurely friday extended advice exravaganza

Good morning, happy Friday and happy Maifest, my dogs of war. It’s gonna be a hell of a weekend, right? Good. Um, let’s see here. I was rustling through the sock drawer and found a loooooooong query for advice from a guy who sounds like he’s truly bummed.
He’s one of us, though, right? So let’s listen.

Q
I have semi recently moved to a town away from home and long term friendships and all that. I moved here for a change of pace and for a better working opportunity and have been really succesful in work and it has definitely been a change of pace. I never got a free second when I was back home. There was always someone calling or someone stopping by or a million things to do and so on. After a while I began to feel really overwhelmed, thus the desire for the change of pace. Well (in reference to your many writings about confidence and Wednesdays post about coolness) back home I was brimming with confidence and cool. I would walk into a place and literally start fighting off ladies. It was weird, but whatever. Now that I'm in this new town and after I ended a relationship with a woman that was continually railroading my selfconfidence that I started dating about the time that I moved in to town (I won't ever date a girl in her early twenties again) I'm having a really hard time making friends and meeting new women. I get out in a place and start freaking out. I get around people that I've known for a while (not really friends but aquantices) and I don't have anything to say. I'm completely out of conversation material and I'm finding that I am having a hard time getting along with the people that I am meeting. I've been following your blog and the advice you've given for a while and I've tried switching up where I'm hanging out because the bars definitely weren't working. I've been going to shows, out to all different sorts of cool places to eat different cool food, going to art exhibits and spending alot of time in general in the greater downtown area of the town I'm living in. You know, all the normal things that you get involved with to find other people that are into subculture. I have been extremely let down by the people that I have met (the people that I have met I usually have some kind of dramatic confrontation with after knowing them only a short time and I hate confrontation now a days), and being even more let down by the fact that I'm not meeting any cool people, and that is what I feel is creating this whole social anxiety thing that is really starting to become an issue for me. I went from going out to places and having women offer me beej's in the bathroom (I never was down with accepting beej's from women I didn't know. I've always been a punk rocker and thought that your comment about punk rockers being prudes a couple of months back was right on with me regardless of if I wanted it to be that way or not.) and getting wrecked with the bands traveling through town to my phone not ringing ever. As a result, like I've said I went from being way confident and way cool to having zero confidence and a mounting social anxiety problem that I've never had before (I've been going out and hanging out for years and always felt ill at ease), and as a result of that I have zero friends in my new town and zero love interests.

A
Okay, you’re out of your element. That part is simple. Why do you lack the confidence you once had? Because you no longer have a girlfriend, and as your last one was long term, you haven’t been single for a while. AND you’re in a new town where you don’t know people and you’re having trouble meeting guys/chicks worth hanging out with. And to top it all off, those mysterious offers of bathroom head have dried up. And THAT, to put it mildly, is a definite bummer, which, combined with all that you’ve got going on, will drain your confidence quicker than a thai tranny will drain your wallet/balls. I feel like you already know this part though. AND I feel like you are taking some good steps to overcome this already (doing different shit besides just being a drunk mope) but you’re kind of missing the BIG picture, and that’s where, hopefully, I can help:
Most people are not cool, nor are they fun to be around, nor are they the types that engender feelings of inspired conversation or desire to kind of let shit roar. I notice that you didn’t say that you were having a hard time making conversation with friends or people you really like, you’re not interested in talking to uninteresting hothead dipshits who insist on bumming you out. Hey man, guess what? I don’t like talking to people like that either.
In your old town, you had worthwhile buddies because you’d been there long enough to sift through the assholes and have formative experiences with the ones that were just borderline assholes. Friends create confidence, familiarity breeds confidence. Now, you’re out there with no friends in an unfamiliar zone trying to distinguish the dildos from the good people (which is like a 30:1 ratio) and you’re getting frustrated. Sure. Who wouldn’t? It’s tough out there, man.
You need to own your situation a little bit. You’re not in your town where you know everyone and feel overwhelmed (sounds like you weren’t terribly happy there either), you’re a dude in a new town who’s wary about meeting people, and you don’t HAVE to have shit to say. Think about it this way: you’re putting pressure on yourself to act exactly like you did in a very different set of circumstances. I’d liken this to trying to get a boner. Easy in a room with someone you want to bang, not so much at the doctors office with your parents in the room. You don’t NEED to be conversational and get offers for blowjobs. That’s the combover, not the confidence. You need to own the person you are, quit being a pussy and quit putting undo pressure on yourself to meet people/get blowjobs/find an old lady. That shit takes time, and it tends to happen when it’s least expected, but for fucks sake, it sounds like you’re beating yourself up over having a very natural reaction to realizing that the world is full of assholes. That’s an unnerving discovery to make. I mean, as people travel and move they tend to realize that they and their friends back home are the exact same as the people you’re meeting now. Just some random group of uninteresting dipshits to someone passing through, you know? I don’t want any of this to sound harsh, because it’s not meant to be, and you’re in a rough spot for sure. I’d like to offer a few more pieces of advice though:
1. Don’t mourn the loss of the bathroom blowjob offers. If you were turning them down anyway, that’s really just some sort of shallow ego boost thing that’s not empirically important. Yeah, getting overtly hit on feels good, but if you’re not the kind of guy to act on it, then remember, it’s also terribly uncomfortable. Plus, overt acts like that usually come from desperation that only occurs when the chick KNOWS that you’re unlikely to fuck her and she wants to really go all-in. You’re not that dude in this new town. You WANT blowjobs. SO, you don’t exude that anymore, AND THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. See what I’m saying? You need to be confident in who you CURRENTLY ARE, not in competition with your past. I liken this to bands who listen to their own old records for inspiration. That’s like eating your poo to get nutrients. Don’t eat your poo, Danny. Don’t.
2. Since you’re out of your comfort zone to a ridiculous extreme already, why don’t you try some shit that really makes you nervous? What did you want to do back home but you had too much to lose? Go to a hooker? Skydive? Leave the church? Take ballet? Buy a trip to Headonism? I don’t know what it is, but you may (and you may not…this one’s difficult to think about practically) and this is the time to do that shit. When you next think “that would be cool, but nah…I can’t” Yup. You can. Nothing like just fucking doing it to help you feel vital. Don’t worry about THEM, worry about yourself. You just severed ties with all your friends/favorite spots and old lady for better or worse, your choice or not. Don’t be hard on yourself. You may be the only friend you’ve got in your new town, so hang out with yourself like the buddy you’d want to have there. Push yourself to try shit, don’t put pressure on yourself, enjoy your memories but realize that this is a new chapter, and encourage yourself to TAKE those bathroom BJ’s man. I can’t, in good conscience as a fully licensed and bonded advice columnist let that go unsaid.

Good luck. The rest of you Dogs Of War enjoy the wonderful weekend. Prost! See you in the sock drawer.

28 comments:

afalker said...

I think you nailed it on the head there....

When I moved back home after graduating college, I started hanging out with old friends who never left town or didn't go to school. I quickly noticed tension and started distancing myself from them without really meaning to.

It sucked for awhile, as I only really hung out with one friend from college. But I knew that I couldn't compromise who I had became in order to appease the mouth-breathers some of my friends had become.

I finally started making new friends and things are looking up. I'm still comfortable with me, and didn't have to compromise myself.

In short, fuck 'em all.

Manny Los Gatos said...

You should make yourself a Bad Sandwich T shirt and start wearing it around your new digs. People will flock to you and the bathroom bjs will come back for sure.

planespotting said...

I have a question for the advice seeker. How do women approach someone if they're interested in submitting a bathroom beej? As I've apparently never been asked.

I can't imagine they just come around asking "Are you interested in a bathroom blowjob?" like the girl who brings around the plate of jello shots.

Is it more subtle? Like some kind of groin grabbing followed by head tilting toward the can? Or perhaps a note written on the back of a business card "BJ - 10 mins, ladies room stalls. be there."

Anyone else familiar with this concept? Most I've ever done in a bar has been your typical grinding makeout.

christa! said...

I recently came out of a similar situation and I know how much it completely blows. I moved to Boston about a year and a half ago. At first I was really miserable because I didn’t know anyone. I stated dating this guy and everything was awesome, until we broke up. I thought I was just as fucked (or rather not fucked..heh)as I was before we met. I still really didn't have that many friends of my own and everyone I knew was either boring people from work or really wrapped up with their significant other. I decided there was no way I was going back to being a loser with no friends. I really had to push myself but it's working. I ended up going to a lot of shows alone, which sort of sucks at first but eventually you meet people. Still, it's really hard to sift through the assholes...especially being a girl alone at a show, I tend to get hit on a lot...which is pretty cool, but my desire for respect/not wanting to be that chick who’s screwed the entire scene, is sort of an impediment to getting laid...Anyway, I ended up meeting a lot of people I would have never had otherwise and I started designing merch/flyers/whatever for some bands. So yeah, in sort sifting through the assholes defiantly isn't fun and it takes some time, but you just sort of have to keep at it. It defiantly gets tiring after awhile, but it's totally worth it in the end...Now I just need to find someone who is both nailable and datable and I'm all set…

kylewagoner said...

That guy's question was bumming me out. You gave me hope. You must be like jesus. Like you said about being more like Angels and Airwaves than +44. I agree.

Jayzilla said...

this is really good advice, i believe in this whole heartedly ... def works

i took sailing lessons and did a bunch of other dumb/awesome stuff i wouldnt have done if i wasnt new to a city

Katie said...

I was the new kid in town here about 2 and a half years ago. I'm glad I got away from the culturally barren wasteland of Central Florida but I still miss it sometimes. Then I remember that about 90% of my good friends from back home have also moved on so when I go back to visit it's not the same and I have to realize I'm moving on with my life and developing a new "home". Also what it comes down to when you move somewhere and are still developing friendships/dating around, you have to be comfortable just being with yourself. Going out and getting wasted with your buddies is awesome, but you can't rely on that for entertainment. I have a good group of friends here now but not many into the music I like so I end up going to shows alone and it sucks but if I wanna go I'm not going to wait around for a buddy. On that note, anyone going to Chuck Ragan next week? haha

bert said...

way to nail that shit brendan! is there any chance of bsc shirts dude? i'd wear that every fucking day. so long as its monday.

danny,
listen to the man. i totally know your situation. it's fucked, but that's kinda how life is. i was in a similar boat for the last 3 years until i decided worrying wasn't fucking worth it. one day i just woke up and decided "fuck it. if this is how life's gonna be, then it doesn't matter." it's all about just trying to do what's right for you. seriously. fuck everyone else. you are the only one who has to live in your head...

http://thesockdrawer.proboards.com/

jsin1981 said...

Look at Brenden helpin' people out acting like Maury Povich of the punk scene or someone. Good on you Bren,good on you!

Kasey said...

On a side note, the Menzingers came through my town(Eugene, Or) a few days ago and they are a pretty radical band. I was shitty drunk and talked to them for quite awhile and they are fine young gentlemen. The lame part was there was probably around 100 people there but as soon as the local shitty band was done playing, more then half of them peaced out. I never understand why people do that. Although it was an all ages show so maybe they had a curfew.

You guys(the larry arms) should tour with them, I think that would kick ass. They all thought it was funny that I had heard of them from your blog, and they were pretty stoked about it. What is weird is I saw gaslight in eugene about 2 years ago(if my memory is correct) and there were about 20 people at the show, same with the time I saw you guys here(which was fuck probably at least 5 years ago). Makes me realize that the music scene in eugene is fucked.

Danny said...

Holy shit Brendan that gives me great perspective on my situation. Sometimes its hard to see the forrest for the trees you know? (I especially appreciated what you were talking about with me not being that same person anymore and not forcing that shit, and that I'm being hard on myself.) I have been coming to alot of things on my own after spending all this time on my own, but sometimes it gets really lonely when you feel like you don't have anybody involved in your every day life. It's great to hear this especially when you're asking yourself 'Is this me? Am I doing something wrong?'
Thanks alot for responding to my query and thanks to all of you here in the sock drawer with your kind words. I feel like everything is going to work out a whole lot more today than I felt yesterday.
Oh and to planespottings question, it's never anything smooth. There usually is some kind of groping, some kind of body grinding, a whispered suggestion in the ear, a giggle. Pretty slutty. Pretty funny though, and if you've ever had it happen it's like Brendan says, when it stops happening you wonder are you doing something wrong.
Awesome, guys. Thanks again.
Danny

Robb said...

You're gonna be fine, Danny. I can see it in your eyes.

And high-five, Katie. I'm also a florida child in the midst of trying to put together a move to the windy city. Except you took a swipe at central FL--hey, that's preferable to here in northwest FL.

"Hey--let's converge thousands of prideful, quick-tempered, prejudiced rednecks in the shallow waters of the emerald coast, feed them 10 metric tons of booze, and let them simmer in the sweltering FL sun to a perfect lobster red--which will only exacerbate these natural inclinations! We'll call it the 'Annual Billy Bowlegs Pirate Festival!'
(cries; wets pants)

Tony said...

The Disaster March kept going through my head as I read this - which, for what it's worth, is possibly the greatest song ever.

There's almost a pun in that.

Kev said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bert said...

i gotta say, these anonymous bathroom beej's are quite intriguing. i feel a little more insecure knowing that these things are happening but i've never been asked to partake in said festivities... not that i would, that just seems super dirty. one of those things where you go to the clinic the next day saying "what did i catch?" instead of "did i catch anything?"

Sylvester Trombone said...

Let me just start by saying that bathroom blowjobs are a matter of being at the right place at the right time. Confidence helps infinitely to get you in that situation to begin with, yes. But when there is a cornucopia of skanks around, that improves your odds more than anything. There is this disgusting after hours bar in Chicago called Big City Tap (Big City Blackout). I've been there way too many times and don't ever plan on going back but one night we rolled in there 12 people deep like 3 years ago and just started dancing like retards. Next thing we know, my roommate is getting a blowjob...not IN the bathroom, but OUTSIDE of the bathroom right next to the dance floor. Not sure how that all went down but we all saw it. We saw at least 3 people hi-five him while this was all going on. Is that bad? She got kicked out and he got to stay. Ha! Still one of my favorite stories of all time. Chew on that one, kids.

bert said...

wow... thats really all i can say... fucking wow...

http://thesockdrawer.proboards.com/

Dan said...

Hey Brendan, I'm fairly new to your blog and have only been reading it for a few weeks. I've noticed that you tend to give a lot of advice and I was wondering if you could help me out with some of my problems too.
About two and a half years ago I met a girl who drastically changed my life for the worse. I was an innocent 17 year old when I met her(I had never smoked, drank, had sex, or anything else). In my relationship with her we dated on and off literally about ten times in those two and a half years. We have ended our relationships because of cheating, drug abuse, etc. All of these breakups came because of things she did wrong. She did truly love me and I completely loved her. I sacrificed thousands of dollars, my guitar, my ipod, my gas, my car, my life for her. I even bailed her out of jail and was planning on dropping out of school to help support her because she had nowhere to live. I found that I lost who I was before I met her. I now find that I have had a drug addiction, I had sex with her, I now smoke and drink very frequently. She has hurt me so badly and this pain just never seems to go away. Since I have known her four of her exboyfriends have attempted to commit suicide because of her dumping them for me. Nowadays I havent talked to her since new years and I doubt I will again, but these memories and this pain still hurts as bad as it ever did. I hate that I have given her everything and got nothing but a new version of myself that I dont like. So my question is...How do I rid of this pain and these scars that seem to haunt me everyday and can I ever be as proud of myself as I used to be?

Mike said...

Brendan will you please help me?
My girlfriend who i love doesn't want me to drink anymore but i love drinking. i wouldnt break up with her over it but is there anything you would suggest? i already gave up weed and would not like to stop drinking. i feel like this is something you've encountered before. other than that this girl is perfect and gives a great blowjob.
Thank you,
Mike
ps i love your music. i think the falcon is one of my new favorite bands. i wanna see you in boston sometime...anyway i ramble thank you

Katie said...

Rob,

Nice work planning a escape from the bible belt! Chicago is the place to be

ethan said...

hey brendan, so I've been really good friends with this girl for about 2 years, and we dated for one of those years, and it ended pretty badly. She did a lot of shit behind my back. I forgave her because I knew she loved me and cared about me as a friend, she just made a few stupid mistakes. Anyway we've been good friends ever since then, and we would talk every day. Eventually she started dating this other guy, but she continued to talk to me everyday, and her boyfriend knew about it, and didn't care that we talked. Just recently she pretty much stopped talking to me... and I'm wondering if I should try talking to her and ask her what's up and if there's a reason she's stopped talking to me... or should I just wait until she finally talks to me? Thanks Brendan.

Mark said...

I had a dream last night, and I saw someone wearing a BSC shirt. It was pretty cool.

patrickhateman said...

I'm chomping at the bit for some bitching about killing the abortionist.

planespotting said...

No shit. Let's hear it for the real pro-death crowd.

Also - to patrickhateman - try not to call the dead doctor an 'abortionist.' He was hardly that - from all accounts, he was a gynecologist willing to perform late-term abortions for mothers carrying babies who were either not likely to survive delivery, or likely to hurt/kill the mother in childbirth.

"Abortionist" plays right into the pro-death crowd's rhetoric.

Mikey said...

ok i need some advice here.

i've been emailing around looking for my band's first gig. I got an email back from a guy who owns a restaurant, that doubles as a small venue, saying to come in tomorrow evening to talk.

feeeels like a scam. why wouldn't he just arrange it over e-mail or phone or something right? what do you think?

i remember you doing an entry a while ago wher eyou talked about one common scam used to get the bands to sell tickets themselves and stuff. what other scams should i be looking out for?

thanks.

Jon said...

Kasey, i totally agree with you on the eugene scene. I didn't even see any promotion for the menzingers show, and that sucks, because i haven't been to a single good show here all year. it especially sucks to be a band that's not full on elementary-level street punk or folk/bluegrass and try to book shows. seriously though, larry arms in eugene would be the greatest.

HeLLaDaNTe said...

Kasey, when/where did the Menzingers play in Eugene?? I can't believe I missed that show!

Andrew said...

nice use of the word "cornucopia"
i like it.