The Underminer Strikes Again
Still single? On Valentine's Day? Someone as nice and standard as you?
Posted Friday, Feb. 11, 2005, at 8:08 PM
A brisk, bright Valentine's Day, on a street corner near Union Square.
Oh my God, hi! Hi. You look so different! Jesus Christ! This is insane. I can't believe how different you look! Did you get your hair straightened or just wash it? Well, it looks all fancy and different. …
Oh! That's right, it's Valentine's Day! You're all gussied up! I love how you are just out there on the market. You are such a trouper! Man I haven't been doing that in so long. What's it like now? How has it changed? I'm so curious!
Wait, help me out, when we first got to New York, in 1993: You were single. Then when I was dating that federal prosecutor, you were single. And then weren't you with that guy who directed karaoke videos and was a coke addict? Then single again. Then single. Then Celexa. And then that night you combined it with vodka 'n' Vioxx—oops. God, that was a bad night. And now: Single! Right? Come on, spill-spill.
No way. You're having your annual "V-Day Sucks" party? You and all your other "punk rock" single friends getting together and trying to ignore the holiday and drinking Diet Coke? People were wondering about that, if you had stuck with AA or not.
It's all good! I'm sort of not drinking too—like, just drinking one glass of red wine for the antioxidants. But then again I could never pound 'em down like you could. God—remember that Dinosaur Jr. concert in '93? So much has changed since then. Yet you stayed the same.
Like your Love Hater V-Day party! That's like an institution now! But who shows up these days? Sure, you do, uh huh, of course, duh. And that messy friend of yours, Liza. And that girl who is my friend Amy's assistant. How fun to hang out with people younger than you. Weird—it's kind of like, you're 35, with, like, all new younger people now, watching them deal with their first wave of disillusionments of love and hope in this crazy demanding city! Déjà vu for you!
But I have to say, I am so glad I am not single these days. It looks so hard! It's unfair for someone so nice and standard as you. With your new hairdo.
Yeah, of course it's a stupid holiday, but you know, if I can level with you as a friend from back in the day, you should drop the whole "I'm so tortured" act. Leave it for, like, Jack White. It's time for you to see how much we all need love. Because once you welcome it, it'll happen, but of course happen when you least expect it, so you shouldn't, like, beg for it. You should just be more relaxed about the whole thing. Huh, I remember during that fateful "combo" night, you were screaming "Fuck everyone, I hate love!" remember? It was right after you were on the floor saying "Goo goo, gah gah I'm a baby in a diaper" and right before you ran into the bathroom and puked all over Marc Jacobs.
Anyway, we're having a much more sedate party. Nothing groovy or edgy like yours. We're so busy. We are. We. Me and the person I am healthily involved with. Just a small dinner with some other people in unforced, completed relationships. We just want to celebrate romance, and being still able to open our hearts to it.
Mike Albo is a writer and performer who lives and loves in Brooklyn.
Virginia Heffernan is a television critic for The New York Times. Her book, The Underminer, which she wrote with Mike Albo, comes out in February.