affected. february 17th.

the first time i heard the word 'affected', nina's mom used it. i think it was probably sixth grade. i'll have to check. it had to do with style, looking affected.

today something happened. i was at work, plugging along. and kit texted me.

her friend's husband was found dead in his hotel room bed this morning, in chicago.

i know her friend, but not well at all. i'm sure i've talked to her at a few events where we were in the room together.

when kit's family was here at thanksgiving, the two of them joined us, and i sat at their table for just a few minutes while they sipped martinis and beer.

i was in the same place as him maybe twice.

so these are not people who are/were my friends, really.

but just hearing that this happened really affected me. it was on my mind all day at work.

part of it is the shock of the news, obviously. but another part of it is their age. i mean, he seemed a little bit older to me, but i'd only guess late 30s. i think she's a little bit older than me, mid 30s.

it's just so crazy. when it's not your close friend going through it, the things that go through your mind seem inappropriate and odd.

did he have life insurance? what the hell happened? was it drugs? was it his brain? were there warning signs? did he feel crappy and decide to lay down, only to never get up again? who found him? did they spend valentine's day together? how long were they married? is she pregnant? did she want to be? were they happy? they certainly seemed happy together. and honestly, poised for a rich life together. he looked like a classy businessman. she's a super smart, classy girl.

i don't know. it's so strange. especially because i worried that i would be an early widow when i was married, and i know that this came as a complete and totally unexpected shock.

and then i think about all the people that i know who are good friends with her. the first thing i asked kit was, is someone with her? and she said a lot of people are. and then i wondered, when something like this happens, what happens? i mean i only have my baby brother's death to relate it to. which is nothing like a husband. how long can a person stand having people around before they freak out and make everyone leave them alone? how long does it take to feel normal? to go back to work? to be happy again? to smile? to eat? to want to eat? for things to really sink in?

i just cannot fathom it.

like i said, a lot of inappropriate things that i'd never ask anyone who is her friend. but i think that death does interesting things to the living, particularly their brains.

and my heart goes out to her.

i remember one of the saddest things when my brother died was the breakdown of my father, the hardest i have ever seen him cry, when he windexed away my brother's handprints from the sliding glass door.

and hearing somewhere along the way that it took a long time to remember that the family needed one less place setting. as in, they kept setting the table for five, but one person no longer came to dinner. and how heartbreaking that is to experience, every day, until it sinks in.

seeing in movies that people don't wash clothes belonging to that person, because they want the smell of that person to linger.

and i wondered what will happen to her that feels like that. what will she do one day, when she is so exhausted and dazed, that will be that thing? it hurts to think about it.

not to mention that now, for the rest of her life, valentine's day will be forever ruined.

today was the most stellar day of the year so far.

sunny and 60. everyone was happy and smiling and in a good mood. and then that happened.

so, yeah. dark day today. morbid. sad. affected.

and another thing i couldn't help but to wonder was, last night when kit felt really awkward and awful when we were out together... was she sensing it? she felt completely out of sorts and unwell. was she somehow picking up on his death? i didn't even ask her today if she was feeling better, because i assume she's going to try to help her friend as soon as she is able, and i don't want to interfere.

today i worked. then came home. and i spent a little time on the dating site, anonymously rating boys.

last night out, kit said, 'that's not shallow at all,' sarcastically, when i said that i rate the majority based only on their pictures.

i can't help it. when you're not looking for a boyfriend, when you're not looking for mister perfect, when you're not looking for mister right, physical attraction is what it comes down to.

and as i was looking, i decided to make a little list for you guys. this is my asshole judgmental criteria for rating boys on dating site...

i'm going to rate you as a 1 if:

your picture is taken in your bathroom mirror and your cameraphone is in the photo, along with any of the following:

a. your mirror is nasty
b. your toilet is in the background
c. your abs are on display
d. you're wearing sunglasses
e. your earbuds are in, and in the picture
f. you're flexing

aside from that, i'm going to rate you a 1 if:

a. your car is a profile pic
b. your jacked up truck is a profile pic
c. your motorcycle is a profile pic

it's going to take a lot to rate you higher than a 1 if:

a. there's a picture of a newborn or infant in your pic that leads me to believe it's yours
b. you have one picture, it's taken from a cameraphone and is pixelated/blurry
c. your profile picture is sideways
d. if all of your pictures are sideways
e. your profile name ends in ..._4u (what the site suggests when duplicate names exist)
f. your pictures show you surrounded by a bunch of women
g. your pictures are all taken in the same shirt at the same place at the same time
h. your self summary contains 'lol' or 'u'
i. there is a celebrity photo in your profile pictures
j. if you're wearing more than one necklace
k. if you're wearing sunglasses indoors
l. if it looks like you're at a frat party
m. if it looks like you're with your boys 'down the shore'
n. you're not smiling in any of your pictures
o. you say you're a photographer, and your pictures suck
p. you are drunk in every picture
q. you look like you smell
r. you are in church

and, finally, i'm not rating you higher than a 1 if your pictures are taken from your laptop or bedroom mirror and

a. your room is a hot mess
b. i can see your underwear hanging out of whatever bottoms you are wearing
c. you're wearing sunglasses (again)
d. you're wearing a basketball team jersey

you know, there was this one boy. and his picture was so adorable. he looked exactly like a boy i would like. he reminded me so much of dr sam. but he has three other pictures. and none of them look recognizable as being him also.

so one is just his face. thin, beardy, dark hair. one is his back, with some weird tribal tattoo in the center of it, bald head big muscles. one is his face, looking twice the width of the other, with a beanie cap, and pot smoke streaming out of his mouth.

i was trying to explain it to nina last night in my saison stupor, and couldn't get my point across.

i just kept thinking, 'wait. which one ARE you?'

i would seriously think every picture was a different guy. and it bummed me out, because the dark beardy one is adorable.

and it's totally commonplace. a lot of the guys have pictures with long hair and then pictures with shaved heads. pictures looking like mountainmen and pictures where they're cleanshaven. or pictures where there is a crazy difference in weight. did you get skinny, or were you skinny?

if you're going to do that, just put a circa note on the picture. this picture is circa 2000. this one was taken yesterday.

there's someone for everyone. some girls want mr right, and are nice/good people. and looks aren't everything. some girls just want to fuck anyone, and they don't care at all about any of it. and then different girls have different standards. some want tall guys, and eliminate all the short ones i prefer. some want gym rats with ripped bodies. give me the scrawny ones.

i have a type. and yeah, if the guy is hot (to me), but what he says is stupid, i won't rate him above a 2. but i'm going to say that 90% of the boys on this site get 1 star within the first two seconds. and except for a couple boys, anyone from jersey gets a 1.

god, i'm going to burn in hell.

and yeah, that makes me shallow.

last night, i was proud of myself for rating a boy a 4, who i wasn't attracted to, for the most part. because everything he wrote was funny and awesome, and because we like a lot of the same things. because there's also an aspect of this site that could spark friendships. and this guy would make an awesome friend.

at this point, i'd like to make another list. this is the 'i'm not responding to your message if...' list:

a. your message starts with, 'hey, beautiful.'
b. your message consists of the words, 'hey, beautiful.'
c. you misuse your/you're
d. it looks like you have copied and pasted the same lines a thousand times (it's generic)

that's my rant about that for tonight.

i found the most amazing guy. and got incredibly excited after reading his profile. and according to site, we're a 91% match.

i was excited until i read the very last line.

'sorry - i can't date a smoker.'


i was really feeling it until that. despite the two lines before that, explaining that he's in an open relationship with someone who is in an open marriage.

how's that for complicated? and? he's 26.


how is it that a stoner can't date a smoker?

pot breath is so much worse than cigarette breath. i wonder what aspect is the dealbreaker. i never understood people who smoke pot and don't want cigarettes afterward.

but i'm willing to bet that he took all of 1 second to give me 1 star when he saw that i'm a smoker.

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