1. Spend a couple dinner nights in a row at Hardees. No one really goes to Hardees anymore. It’s sort of the Blockbuster Video of fast-food chains. I’m always shocked, thrilled, and kinda depressed when I see one. But, Hardees is like soul food for the broke and uninitiated. Their floppy burgers dipped in bowls of grease clog up your arteries and give you 15 minutes of misplaced anxiety about your health. And this will take your mind off the way her eyes do that little dip when she laughs, shape/mouth, or whatever anatomy part you’re trying to forget, etc…
2. Don’t sleep. It’s not a big tax on your body. Maybe reduce from 6 to 8 to a tidy 3-to 4-hour catnap. Not sleeping gives you more time to occupy your mind with old seasons ofBreaking Bad. Plus, there’s only one emotion more powerful than unsatisfied sexual desire: the want of a comfy pillow.
3. Tell your coworkers you’re going to get “blitzed” then spend a quiet evening in writing blog posts. Drinking to excess at a bar and speaking to women while referring to your member in the ostentatious third person (like President Nixon) is cliché and only going to double-down on your collapsing self-worth. Instead, lie, make a big stink about “disregard any text messages you get from me after midnight!!!”, and then go straight home to your laptop.
4. Visit a local pet store. Pet stores occupy the rung right below “nondescript urban electronics stores” on the Ladder of Places I’ll Never Visit Sober. They stink like warm piss. And you often have to “interact” with frazzly-haired women who speak seriously about taking family photos with their Burmese Mountain Dogs. But, when you’ve been rejected, these kinds of places serve utilitarian purposes: they allow you to build back confidence while temporarily considering becoming one of those freaks who owns a boa-constrictor.
5. Give your money away (in small amounts) to sorta-useless things. When I’ve gotten dumped or told I can’t keep sending pictures of my erect jean shorts, I often become very philanthropic. Last week I donated $15 to MPR. This week? Perhaps a zero-landfill pea coat manufacturer in the Northeast.
6. Listen to your CD collection. Like dinosaur fossils in the rock record, your CDs mark your social growth right up until the point—somewhere around the mid-2000s—when you realized this whole MP3 had staying power. So to listen to your CD collection now (Scissor Sisters, early-career Jamie Cullen, and something called Winter 2004 Mix featuring deep cuts from The Polyphonic Spree and ABBA) only reaffirms what it’s like to kiss with braces and jack off in your dorm room. Fortunately, old music collections also carry emotional familiarity. I imagine it’s the closest I’ll ever feel to “catching up” with the old gang after leaving prison. What you thought you were better than us?, says that-awful-Paul-McCartney-album-before-Chaos-and-Creation says to you. You see people misunderstand it all. Rejection can really be a good opportunity for you to reconnect with the habitual loser that you were before you thought you had a chance dating someone better/smarter/wealthier/, etc…
Photo courtesy bradleygee