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Full Disclosure: I’m a Hopeless Romantic

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via Pres10

Me: I think I’m actually going to post about being romantic.
She: Now that’s something I’d like to read…

People love to fit things, especially other people, into boxes. It makes sense. We understand the world through contrast and binary. If something’s not good, it’s: ______. If something’s not hot, it’s:______. If a penis isn’t big, it’s perfectly adequate and big penises are just damaging your cervix anyway, so really big dicks are horrible, SCIENCE SAYS SO. The reality is, venn diagrams are a much more suitable way to look at people than boxes, yet still we get confused if people don’t fit our molds of how we think they should be.

So when I tell people I’m a romantic, they frequently scoff at me. “My dear boy, you write about penises and vaginas, I daresay that’s the sort of vile filth that only riffraff, rapscallions, and rubes give heed to. Now fetch me my ascot, we’re off to the races and you know that incorrigible dame June just makes the finest lemonade to ever grace the tracks.”

Truth is, I’m a big sensitive fucking softy. You don’t stay up bawling till 1:00am about the frivolity of everything and the fleeting nature of life when you’re 7-years-old unless you’re terrible at sports pretty decently connected with your emotions. But for some reason, many people I meet think that because I’m sex-positive, or because I’m non-monogamous, or maybe just because I’m brash in my comedy, that I’m incapable of being quite sympathetic to and considerate of my partner, which is completely not the case.

Like anybody, the more time I spend with someone romantically, the more emotions I develop for them, and the more romantic I become. It’s like flexing a muscle; the more you workout, the more you can workout. So sure, I may not be suggesting horseback rides on the beach for our first date, but if you give me time, I’ll get there. And actually, it’d more likely be a bike ride through the city where we stop in Washington Square to watch Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon as performed by old Chinese ladies without swords.

I’ve had some great dates in SF. But I’ve also had some horrendously crappy ones. I went through my stupid, stupid phase as a 22-to-24-year-old where I thought a date meant spending upwards of $130 only to have the girl not even bother to thank me (who’s paying for whose dinner now? Food Stamps FTW!). So of course I’m going to take my time when it comes to really showing that side off. Dating is a huge investment, both emotionally and financially.

But once there is that trust – once I know we can hang out beyond a night of getting drunk and having sex, and I know that you’re someone I’m going to like in a really deep way, I fall pretty damn hard. I’ve made breakup CDs on four different occasions (I may be the only person in history to ever put an Einstein on the Beach track on a breakup CD).

For me, being romantic doesn’t mean opening a car door for someone. Is that really making such a huge difference to you? Why don’t I chew your food, too? To me, being romantic means knowing my partner so well that I can go out of my way to do the things that truly do matter to them because I naturally felt inclined to, not because Hallmark told me to.

I used to sneak early into the classroom of my high school girlfriend (meaning, when I was also in high school, not my current high school girlfriend), and leave her breakfast from the local diner on her desk. I helped another girl I was dating with legal issues after her employer unfairly fired her. Another girl I wrote a 157 page screenplay about. I mean, what’s the difference between romantic and creepy anyway? Have you actually TRIED standing outside a chick’s bedroom at 3:00am playing a Peter Gabriel song? 

While I like to consider myself a realist at heart, I absolutely have dreams of fairytale romance, and young, intrepid love. I want to get married, and have kids, and go skinny-dipping in some bioluminescent bay under the moon. But that shit is hard to do, and if you do it right away, sometimes you get burnt. I once dropped everything and travelled to the Caribbean Island to live with a girl I had literally gone on one date with. And it turns out that girl was a crazy alcoholic cunt. So you know, sometimes being gun-shy has its advantages.

My friend asked me how one can be romantic if they’re not monogamous. How do you have fairytale experiences with more than one person? I think the answer is that all of those experiences are unique and special and loved in their own way. No one asks parents how they can possibly love more than one of their children at a time. They love each of their children equally and uniquely. The love for one does not detract from the love for another.

This is taken directly from my OKC profile, under the “You should message me if” section, and I think this sums up exactly what being romantic looks like in my world:

You enjoy happiness. You aren’t afraid to take risks.
You’re someone who believes in truth over facade, vulnerability over image.
You aren’t afraid to challenge and you want to be challenged.
You’re a 21st century woman, and sexuality doesn’t scare you.
You place a high value on intelligence.
You’re adventurous and want to soak up every moment of life.
After a long and enduring relationship, it’s possible that I could describe you as a “beautiful poem”. Who can laugh at fart jokes.

Finally, I’ll leave you guys with two poems I wrote for women I dated that hold a lot of meaning to me. Yes, it’s verse. If you think that’s cheap, fuck off. I like my women like I like my poems: rhythmic, lyrical, and coming together at the end.

The Kiss

You stole my heart, mangled and bruised/ it, to patch the holes in your shoes/ and, proceeded with a carefree swagger, into the sunset where nothing’s the matter.

Despite the stars and all their fate,
To spite the lies that words do make,
As spiders come and contemplate,
How best to dine with soul and mate

It came to me on starry night
When dreams were dreamt
And hopes were high
Don’t fall into forlorn reprise
I cast a wish, and closed my eyes

And was visited by the ghost of June
Where we danced in black and shades of blue
I told you about my tangled mess
Of lots of knots and innocence

Acceptance comes in foreign places
Where strangers don familiar faces
Whispers warm, creep into my ears
Open eyes, and now it’s clear

Surrounded in a rain of bliss
Confused amused, unsure of this
It’s not exactly what was planned
But expectations are built on sand

And washed away unto the sea
To recollect, undoubtedly
And form a foreign and glorious land,
Of lots of knots and bits of sand

Silently, through and through
Our breath conflates into a dew
Voices caught by knots and twine
Chasing after lip-soaked brine

As I reflect into the mirror,
Shapes and colors now unclear
Clarity begins to drip
Into the world built on your lips

With splashes of red and brilliance
And now I think it all makes sense
And with a blink I’m soaked with bliss
Every kiss should end like this

Against the Moon

I want to watch the moon with you because it’s something pure and true
And if it should ever fail to rise, I’ll wait with you and watch the skies

That first night we never knew, what would come and what would do
But naïve ways once held untrue, brought truth to youth and came unglued

Wishing stars, wish to give, all we take that we must live
I wish that I could burn so bright, granting wishes through the night

They say the sun will set, the moon will rise, to never challenge, nor surprise
Things are what they are, will be what they’ll be, to never expect differently

Things never change, things never move; set will the sun, rise will the moon.

I want to watch the moon with you and dance in black and shades of blue
I want to hold your face to mine, against the odds in spite of time

Rough and tumble, thick and thin, rich or poor, loss or win
I wonder if love is true, do people bet against the moon?

Across each other we start to smile, lips separate and reconcile
We come together fingers graze, celestial bodies set ablaze

Oceans apart or by my side, in my heart you will reside
All the feelings, all the sights, will be with us throughout the night

When there’s nothing left for us to see, I’ll show you more and you’ll show me
The lowest lows, the highest highs, until we settle in our eyes

Our lids will close, our hearts will sync, and then we’ll travel in our dreams
Your hand in mine, our breath now shared, we watch the skies, no longer scared

I want to watch the moon with you, because it’s something pure and true
But when the moon forgets what to do, I’ll be with you to watch that too

No free porn pick this week. Go make romance to your partner instead.

Full Disclosure podcast Episode 42: Tom Leykis (Leykis is a controversial radio personality who’s been called one of the most misogynistic voices in media)
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Eric Barry - Starving Fartist

Eric Barry - Starving Fartist

Eric Barry is a writer and comedy nerd, currently living in Brooklyn by way of San Francisco.

When he's not writing or podcasting, he can be found drinking beer, rubbing pesto on whatever will allow it, or doing improv/sketch/standup.