One of my favorite games to play is “I Like My Women Like I Like My Nouns.” It’s a game I came up with in high school wherein the participant starts off by saying “I like my women like I like my (fill in the blank with a noun)” and then continues to explain by offering one to three adjectives that are funny. If it makes too much sense with both women and the noun then your joke is obvious and boring, and probably a little sexist. If it makes too little sense, you are an attention whore. It’s a beautiful game of understanding expectations and their relation to comedy.
Summer after graduating high school I was hanging out with some of the other teachers at the arts camp I taught at. We were at one of the richer kid’s summer house on the water. I felt uncomfortable because while I was “friends” with all these people, everybody else was closer friends than I was with anybody. Except Jon. Jon and I were friends. We both felt uncomfortable because we assumed no one wanted us there. My problem (as if there is only one) is that I get indignant when I wrongfully assume I am unwanted. I decide if I’m not wanted for no reason, I’ll make sure there is a reason. I started playing “I Like My Women Like I Like My Noun” by announcing that “I like my women like I like my sailboats.” I chose sailboats because the bathroom that we had all gathered in as Alex showed us her house as though we were real adults who needed real house tours, because the bathroom had a wallpaper full of sailboats. I hadn’t been listening to whatever story was being told by the New York transplant leading our tour under the assumption that it wasn’t interesting, but now I wanted my voice to be heard and I had no transition into focusing attention on me. I then needed to finish my game.
“I like my women like I like my sailboats. … With low self-esteem.”
At the time this was vaguely true. Not that sailboats could have esteem, but rather that I was interested in women as depressed with how their lives turned out as me. I just thought it seemed relatable. It was very funny. Jon laughed. I think I won the game.
Yesterday I played again for the first time in a long time. “I like my women like I like my rice pudding. … Chunky, wet, and full of grains.” This is a different approach to the game, but I think still very funny. Mostly because I like to imagine a woman pooping barley out of sheer pressure on her internal organs. This is why this joke is funny. It allows you the opportunity to believe that there may be a connection between my desires when it comes to women and snack-desserts, then it fucks with those expectations, then you have to go back and realize what if there had been a connection – do I really like my women chunky and wet? Probably. But that’s still weird.
There is still another way to play this game. Earnestly. “I like my women like I like my shoes. … Nostalgically.” I recently switched back to a pair of shoes I hadn’t worn in a while because they don’t breath very well, and I hate sweaty feet. Before that I had been running through a string of barely formed sandals and sneakers whose heels I could typically see through and whose souls were in multiple pieces. I liked those shoes though, because they fit. I saw it was wrong, but I was lazy. I didn’t want to have to find a new shoe. I didn’t want to have to spend another $10 on footwear, so I dealt with it. I pretended that I really liked when my toe touched the sidewalk even though I was supposedly wearing protective gear on my feet. I called them “worn in” when a rock would come in through the hole in the back heel. Now I have on new shoes. They aren’t new shoes, but they are new in that I haven’t worn them in over a year and a half. They are new in that the heel is fully intact.
They are also a little annoying. I have to tie them and untie them to get them on and off because I haven’t worn them enough to be able to make them into makeshift slippers. They slide around, which is fun, but because they are vaguely platform shoes, I sometimes trip – assuming my heel is further away from the ground then it is. But I like ‘em. I’ve been enjoying my new height, ability to make loud clomping noises as I walk, and the way my feet look like a a clown’s feet fucked a gogo dancer’s feet. I have had this pair of shoes, or the exact same pair but older since I was a Junior in High School. They remind me of times when I was a cheaper attention whore. When I didn’t quite analyze each of my comedic instincts and rather just wore a funny hat or jacket, knowing it would get me a laugh. They remind me of high school dances, where Jon and I were the only ones dancing because we thought funk music could save the world if everybody just truly felt the groove. They remind me of icy winters in Minnesota when I would pretend I was on cross country skis, gliding to class on my tractionless boot-shoes. They remind me of all of the wonderful free suits I’ve worn with these shoes.
I like my women like I like my shoes. Sometimes I get stuck pretending I enjoy them when their “comfort” is really just my laziness and inability to see what would truly be best for me, and sometimes I jump into something new and exciting and it feels like it’s taking a while to really get, but even that’s exciting, but if I really analyze it – they are just the same as something I had before. I like my women like I like my shoes. Nostalgically.
I think I need new shoes.