Twitter therapists are in an uproar, insisting that a man pretending to think something said by a woman they are sexually or romantically interested in was funny is actually a tactic of emotional manipulation/abuse.
Now, men have rarely made me laugh and yet, I mete out “hahahahas” and “LMAOs” left and right, thinking I am the fuckin’ paradigm of congeniality when I have apparently been an abuser the entire time? Damn. I even recently suffered through approximately seven minutes of a Joe Rogan podcast sent to me by a man before my conscience kicked in.
My brief Joe Rogan Experience was redolent to when you don’t feel like walking all the way back to the refrigerator section at the grocery store to put back the fancy cheese you changed your mind on, but at the exact moment you shoved it in on top of some diapers, your guts began to uncomfortably tingle as if you knew that Santa Claus just watched you do something naughty and was crossing out your name on the gift tag for a brand new Vitamix.
A prisoner of your own goddamn rectitude (and how badly you really, really want that fucking blender), you groan, “Oh, God damnit,” and march yourself back over to put that expensive smoked gouda back, and not even shoved up besides the milk gallons, but in its exact spot.
(Meaning: I exited out of the video, washed my hands for 30 seconds in warm water, did an enema, went to rehab, got baptized, did 80 hours of community service, sighed, and texted him, “Look, baby. I don’t know who turned you on to this hot fucking garbage, but Mama Rose is gonna help you do some unlearning today.”)
I really just thought that responding kindly to something that another is passionate about, but might not be your cup of tea, was a polite behavioral standard. Have you ever sent someone a video or meme you found hilarious and received only an “I don’t get it” in response? It is one of the most awkward ways for them to tack a very harsh period of doom at the end of what may be the last sentence of your final conversation!
If you are handsome and I want to continue talking to you, and I can tell that some clip you just shared with me was stupid within ten seconds of watching it and quickly returned to whatever tasteful section of Youtube I was browsing prior to your interruption — probably the latest 15 BALL-BUSTING GRINDCORE BREAKDOWNS TO SHIT YOUR PANTS TO AS YOUR GRANDMA FUCKING BRUTALLY PERISHES compliation — and the video you sent me was six minutes long, I will still wait seven to send a polite “LMAOOOOO.”
Now you, the people of Twitter who started going to therapy a year ago and are now self-certified mental health virtuosos, are telling me that is not base-level common courtesy, but subterfuge? I must be an even bigger asshole than I thought!
I couldn’t mention anything that piqued my interests to my first long-term boyfriend without him immediately shooting the subject down until I was so hurt from constant invalidation that I kept a fucking list of things not to talk to him about. Do you know how sad it is to waste hours constantly updating and studying a list of things that you love but cannot mention around someone that you love because their response will invariably make you cry until you feel worthless enough to wish you could just stop fucking talking? I would deem that as a tactic of emotional manipulation/abuse, but maybe they’re just opposite but equally sharp ends of the same sword.
(He admitted later that he did this deliberately to diminish my spirits — “I don’t fuckin’ know why I did that, Rose. There is no excuse for it. I’m so sorry.” A decade too late.)
Not only have I half-listened to seven minutes of a four-hour-long Joe Rogan podcast, but I once sat on a boyfriend’s lap as we watched his ENTIRE FUCKING STAND-UP SPECIAL. I even let out one pity chuckle.
I exclaimed “Wow! I love that. Was that your idea? What made you want to go with that?” in response to the concept for a boy’s most recent music video knowing damn well that he wanted to do a performance shot in front of a neon background because 20 other more successful bands in his same genre did it first.
I smiled and nodded my head and pretended to be impressed by the “groovy beat” of my date’s favorite white rapper’s new song. (Groovy beat was his introductory description of the song, not mine, but that probably goes without saying.)
The scripted video where a bro starts a fight with a baby for staring at him got a Rose rating of “Oh my god, these dudes are wild!”
I did the dishes with my back turned to the first episode of Westworld playing in the background and gave my thoughts based on the Wikipedia plot synopsis later.
If I hadn’t blundered into a relationship with the one 16-year-old boy in existence who was angry at the world for bestowing him with a steady and willing source of pussy, I wouldn’t have to be so god damn nice all the time, just to be accused of having devious intentions a decade later by online relationship coaches, and I don’t care what you say: I am not a sociopath, just pitifully lonely. I was able to blissfully ignore the height of the depth in which I allowed myself to sink in exchange for slivers of intimacy until the evening of the Joe Rogan podcast, which spoiled the algorithm of my Youtube recommendations, just as I deserved. Thanks.