Monique Alice is a yoga teacher/graduate student/humorist hybrid. She is also what you get when you cross a Haitian guy with an Irish girl from the Bronx. She lives in beautiful downtown Poughkeepsie, New York. And no, Snooki's not really from here. This is her column. She can be reached at: email@example.com.
BY MONIQUE ALICE
1. "I am not ready for a relationship" = I have truly enjoyed sex with you, but not as much as I feel I might with several other people whom I have met recently.
2. "I don't think there's any chemistry between us" = While I don't necessarily think you are ugly or smell weird, when I think about having sex with you, I am filled with a sense of dread not unlike the one I get when I have to take a shit but I’ve already gotten in bed (alternately) I think you are attractive, but you bear an unsettling resemblance to my cousin/my eighth grade math teacher/A member of the Nazi party (alternately) I like you a lot but, on a deep cellular level, I feel strongly that our children would resemble minotaurs.
3. "I don't feel a romantic connection" = see # 2.
4. "I think of you as more of a friend" = see # 2.
5. "I need time to work on myself" = I like you okay but you are kind of a pain in the ass and you cut into my Walking Dead/internet kink/skin-picking/Pinterest/pot-growing time (alternately) See # 1 (alternately) I have a mildly inconvenient STD and I need 3-6 months to watch Walking Dead and eat ice cream until it clears up (alternately) I need to bang this other broad real quick but don't worry, I'll call you right before Christmas.
6. "I think we should see other people" = While I am flattered by your unbridled affection for me, I am slightly concerned about the whole shrine thing (alternately) You are acting like an asshole and I feel it's necessary to remind you that I can get sex from the eight ka-biillion other idiots on Earth (alternately) I don't want to be with you, but, conversely, I don't want to rule out the possibility of future sex with you...and/or other people (alternately) Get the hell away from me forever.
7. "It's not you, it's me" = I have a rare disorder that makes me only able to communicate in clichés (alternately) I've been kind of on the fence about you since I think you're cute and funny and all but you do roughly 5,000 things on a daily basis that annoy the living shit out of me (alternately) You are great in the sack but you dress like you're 15/you are a mouth-breather/my father will probably ask me in his serious voice if you're retarded/you hold your knife and fork like a viking with an errant chromosome (alternately) I like you but I hate your penis (alternately) I never really liked you but I need a girlfriend at all times because my parents never loved me and also I am a giant living, breathing vagina.
8. "I don't know what I want" = See #5 (alternately) I would like for us to have more sex and fewer conversations.
9. "You're too good for me" = I prefer that my relationship partners are underemployed, co-dependent malcontents who live with their parents and treat me like shit because I am profoundly insecure (alternately) If you correct my grammar one more time I will literally drown in a seething, acrid pool of my own bile and resentment (alternately) I think you are emotionally unstable and am desperately hoping that flattery will save me from your imminent crying/begging /tendency toward breaking my shit in fits of rage/sudden impulses to strangle me and angrily violate my fresh corpse whilst singing that song I hate.
10. "We have different lifestyles" = The internet has convinced me that cattle prods need to play a huge role in my sex life from here on out.
11. "We have different goals/value systems" = The thought of you raising my children makes me want to sterilize myself and commit harakiri.
12. "I am moving to Guyana for six months to help sick kids and shit" = Sex with you has helped me confirm that I'm actually gay/straight/asexual/strictly attracted to marine life/Japanese body pillows (alternately) I am a war criminal (alternately) I saw you on America's Most Wanted and I don’t want things to get awkward.
13. "We just don't seem to click physically" = I am ridiculously attracted to you but you have sex like you just discovered your penis yesterday and also you have clearly never seen the 200 HBO specials in which they explain how the clitoris works. Here's a Kama Sutra/sex-ed book from the '70s, call me in a week.
BY MONIQUE ALICE
Checkout Girl: Hi! Did you find everything all right? Oh my God, I love your earrings.
Me: Oh, thanks! And yeah, I found everything just fine.
Girl: Okay, great! Can you believe it's snowing like this? In March? I just can't stand it anymore.
Me: I know, I hear ya. It's painful.
Girl: This coffee table tray is such a nice color. I just redid my space in this color, too! Do you want it all in one bag? Okay, so I just need a phone number to get things started.
Me: Oooh, yeah, I'm sorry -- I actually don't give out phone numbers or email.
Girl: Oh, don't worry about it. The way it works is, we don't use the information for anything, we just need it on file.
(Awkward staring contest ensues.)
Me: So...if you don't use it for anything, then it's cool if I don't give it to you, right?
Girl: Well, it's really not a big deal. I mean, we don't sell your information or use it for promotional purposes or anything like that. So, 845 area code...?
Me: I'm sorry. I just don't give it out. It's more of a principle thing.
Girl: A principle thing?
Me: Yeah, like I just don't think I should have to give you my contact information. You know, since I'm already giving money and everything. I just feel like that's enough.
Girl: Oh. Okay, no problem. How 'bout your email, then?
(Awkward staring contest resumes.)
Lady Behind Me: Jesus Christ.
Me: Like I said, I don't give that out either. I'm sorry.
Girl: Well, I can see you're hesitant but really, I promise you, it's not a big deal. We really don't use the information for anything.
Me: You keep saying that. Yet, your insistence kind of makes me feel like you must use it for something, 'cuz, like, if you didn't use it for anything, I feel like your manager probably wouldn't beat you with a tire iron when you don't get enough people's contact information, which, like, judging from your intensity here, I have to assume he does. It is a he, right? Hahaha, what am I saying? Of course it is.
Girl: Umm...well, I mean, we do use it to make sure you get coupons and everything. And yes, his name is Steve.
Me: But-but-but, do you see how that actually does constitute using it for promotional purposes?
Lady Behind Me: Can we move this along?
Girl: Well, it's more for your benefit, like to make sure you get the savings you deserve on all the stuff you would buy anyway.
Me: The savings...I deserve? Do you hear yourself? Listen, I know they make you do this shit. I know you do not want to be harassing me right now, but I have to tell you a couple things that I'm not sure whether you know yet, since you're a young'n and all...
Lady: Yeah, Frank. I know, I'll be home as soon as I can.
Me: ...but the truth is, a corporation will never, and I do mean never, do anything out of the goodness of its heart for me, or you, or anyone. That would be like a timberwolf baking you a goddamned cherry pie. He cannot fucking do it and even if he could, he would rather just rip out your goddamned jugular and call it a day. You seem like a nice girl and I'm sure you have a lot going for you...
Lady: Jesus fucking Christ, I know, Frank! It's a goddamned roast, all you have to do is make sure it doesn't catch on fire!
Me: ...and I'm sure you are telling yourself that this is what you have to do to get yourself through nursing school or whatever...
Girl: I'm actually getting a B.S. in Marketing at Marist.
Me: ...but I am here to tell you that you do not have to do this! I bet you think Steve likes you, right? Like as a human being? You're still telling yourself all that brushing up against your boobs he does is accidental, aren'tcha? I bet he makes you feel guilty when you don't collect enough phone numbers because if he doesn't meet his sales goals, he can't get his dog the chemo she needs and his kid won't get to be a ballerina, am I right? But let me ask you something, here: is it your fault Steve is a middle-aged tool bag with a crap job? At least Steve has health insurance! What the hell do you have? A discount on napkin holders that look like owls?! These people are sucking the sweet nectar of your lifeblood from you, draining it out as though it were so much useless pus from the lanced boil that was your self-respect! Go work for a small business or something! Get a goddamned paper route...
Lady: If you two don't shut the hell up I am going to kill myself.
Me: ...or wait tables or something! And I know what you're thinking, it's my fault too -- and you're right! I shouldn't be here, I shouldn't be shopping here, I can get a motherfucking teal coffee table tray and matching candles and a birthday card with a french bulldog wearing bunny ears on it at any number of locally-owned, sustainably-sourced businesses! I was just next door getting coffee and I was thinking to myself that I deserve a reward because I spent all day working at my non-profit job that pays nothing and then studying for my fiftieth semester of graduate school...
Lady: STEEEEVE! Somebody get Steve!
Me: ...which may or may not be the only thing standing between me and a job at a soul-raping, mind-sucking, self-image-crushing corporation like this fucking one right here that I am now pissing all my money into! Wait a minute, did you say MARKETING?! You know what? That's it. I don't need your crap (drops teal coffee table tray with a flourish). I tried to help you. But you wouldn't see sense. I'm out. (Yells over shoulder) Good luck in soul-rape school, asshole! I hope you're still human by the time you finish it! (Crashes into oversized display of teal things and old lady on way out door).
Girl (to Lady Behind Me): Wow. What was her problem?
Lady Behind Me: I don't know. She probably went to Vassar. But here's what I do know, chickadee: if you ask me for my damn phone number, I am going to shove this throw pillow down your throat.
Girl: Oh...okay. No problem. How 'bout an email address then?
BY MONIQUE ALICE
You probably don't know this about me, but I am kind of a morbid sort. I wasn't quite a goth kid in school, although for Halloween in seventh grade I did wear a floor-length black cape with a cowl (that I sewed on by hand!) and carry a plastic scythe. Which made it sort of awkward when I got to school and all the other girls were dressed as Scary Spice. Anywho, I figure now's as good a time as any to talk about some fun death facts. Naturally, these tidbits are all garnered from various pages on The Wikipedia, since I do enough actual research for graduate school and, frankly, I am only sort of trying to impress you. Here we go:
10. In case this point needs clarification, Wikipedia describes death as "the logical end of physical existence of a person, i.e. when all biological symptoms of a human being cease to operate." This is confusing on several points, as it implies that there is some illogical way in which a person's physical existence can end. It really made me rack my brain for what would constitute an illogical death. The only thing I could come up with was, say, if Gary Busey suddenly got a PhD in Rocket Science and figured out how to shrink himself, crawl into a person's brain, and then launch a rocket out of said person's pineal gland while reciting Walt Whitman's "Out of the rolling ocean the crowd." This would be pretty illogical for many reasons, not the least of which being that Gary Busey cannot read. Also, I took pause at the phrase "biological symptoms of a human being." This sounds like what you might find yourself experiencing if, say, a human being crawled inside of you. For example, mini-rocket-scientist Gary Busey.
9. Signs of death include:
1. Cessation of breathing
2. Pallor mortis: a condition in which the subject begins to look like Anne Hathaway and be equally interesting
3. Cardiac arrest
4. Rigor mortis: a condition in which the subject's limbs become stiff and difficult to manipulate, not unlike Maggie Smith's character in Downton Abbey (...or Martha Stewart's character in...real life)
8. One method of corpse disposal is known as "sky burial." Popular in Tibet, this method involves leaving a corpse on high ground and waiting for birds to "dispose of it." I feel this is sort of misleading, as it conjures images of Disney helper-birds fluttering around and singing a song whilst smartly outfitted with HazMat suits and industrial-strength Pine Sol. When really, a bunch of scary falcon-buzzard-looking bastards are just gonna swoop on by and peck the shit out of your loved one, probably starting with his eyeballs. I get the feeling Tibetans actually only use this method with people they don't like, but they pretend it's some kind of honor on account of their being Tibetan and super-nice and whatnot. Can't picture the Dalai Lama gettin' sky buried, now can you?
7. Wikipedia describes cryonics as "process of cryopreservating of a body to liquid nitrogen temperature to stop the natural decay processes that occur after death." The obvious problem here (other than that Wikipedia has used a term to define itself and thusly revealed its utter lack of good breeding and self-respect), is Wikipedia's failure to mention that having one's body cryogenically frozen is a sign of both narcissistic personality disorder and batshit craziness.
6. "Space burial uses a rocket to launch the cremated remains of a body into orbit." And Richard Branson uses space burial to drive his point home whenever one of his servants fails to curtsy to either Nelson Mandela or Morgan Freeman.
5. According to Wikipedia, "a martyr is a person who is put to death or endures suffering for their beliefs, principles or ideology...In different belief systems, the criteria for being considered a martyr are different." Side note: in modern Irish Catholicism, a martyr is any woman with children. Also, a saint is any woman whose husband is an asshole.
4. "Euthanasia is the practice of terminating the life of a person or animal in a painless or minimally painful way in order to prevent suffering or other undesired conditions in life." I once dated a guy who tried to appear to me like he was invested in world issues by saying, "Hey, what's the big deal with the kids in Asia? Why are they all off-ing themselves?" True story. I dated him for like a year. While we're on the subject, someone kill me.
3. Wikipedia 'Death' Page: "The concept of death is a key to human understanding of the phenomenon" (yes...go on) "There are many scientific approaches to the concept." (well, that sentence was necessary) "For example, brain death, as practiced in medical science, defines death as a point in time at which brain activity ceases." (Wikipedia, did you go to college? I'm beginning to have doubts.) "One of the challenges in defining death is in distinguishing it from life." (I take it back. I know a B.A. in Philosophy when I see one.)
2. If you want to irreparably damage your psyche forever, search Wikipedia for the following terms: Cadaveric Spasm, Lazarus Sign, Angel Lust, and (wait for it) Coffin Birth. Once you feel a respectable amount of time has elapsed, search kittens, puppies, or Bob Ross to return yourself to homeostasis.
1. Thanatophobia is an irrational fear of dying. Those with this condition are considered by all around them to be paranoid pains-in-the-ass up until the very moment when a loosely bracketed ceiling fan decapitates them, at which point they are remembered as pretty cool people. Thanatophobia is not to be confused with Necrophobia, which is an irrational fear of dead things and John Boehner.
Now, I know what you're thinking: "My ceiling fan death is imminent, and this broad has just caused me to lose 15 minutes of my life searching Wikipedia for Gary Busey trivia and corpse erections." But, look on the bright side: it will probably be a while before you die (disclaimer: I have no basis for saying this as I have no idea how old you are or whether you enjoy mainlining heroin). In any case, you should go live it up, you crazy Gary Busey-lovin' bastard. With any luck, we'll all be slathering ourselves in stem-cells in a few years and wondering what all the fuss was about.