Dear Aliens: Episode 3, Music and Men
By Jeffery Self
Dear Intergalactic Friends,
Let me preface this by saying I’ve had A LOT of coffee.
Oh right. What is coffee? You know those energy tablets you guys insert into your systems nine times a day? Coffee is sort of like that except it’s served as a beverage and can be consumed either hot or cold. I’m drinking mine over ice, through a straw, because it makes me feel like Nancy Botwin on Weeds, which is a character that a wonderful actress named Mary Louise Parker played before she returned to her home planet (this hasn’t happened as of this writing but I’m sure by the time you guys read this it will have).
Lately, I’ve been doing two things I haven’t done in a while. Getting into new music and dating. Both are a lot of fun and both are also super weird. Music of our modern world and the music of your fellow extra terrestrials isn’t all that different actually. In fact, your leader, Cher, just released her latest album. I’ve been extremely obsessed with two new albums, Lorde’s Pure Heroine and Haim’s Days Are Gone. Both of these albums feature fierce new lady singers that our world is falling in love with. Lorde is a 15-year-old from New Zealand who sings about her off-color teeth and being poor. Haim is a rock trio of sisters from Los Angeles who sing about broken hearts and lost love. Both these albums are incredible.
Dating is so strange. Oh right, do guys date? Or do you have chips inside of you that detect compatible beings to mate with? Dating is basically the active process of that. When earthlings date, we go out to drinks or dinner or a movie with somebody we think we might enjoy being around, and then if we do enjoy ourselves we attempt to hang out again and repeat this process, while hopefully getting to know one another better. It’s been three years since I’ve been on a first or second or third date and to be honest, I didn’t really date much before that either. I’m pretty terrible at dating because if I’m enjoying myself then I tend to reveal my cards too soon. And by cards I mean, my true colors. And by true colors I mean my insanity.
By the way, speaking of True Colors, thanks for sending Cyndi Lauper, space people, we’ve really enjoyed having her on our planet.
Dating is even weirder after you’ve been in a three-year relationship because you’re so used to showing yourself flaws and all 24-7. On a date you have to play a bit more of a game, reveal yourself slowly, little bits and flaws at a time. Same with the good parts of you too. On the flip side, you learn the good and bad sides of the person you’re dating just as slowly. Which is really exciting.
There’s nothing like getting into a new album. Slowly the album sinks into your mind and heart and you begin to look forward to revisiting parts of a song as you drive to work in the morning, and when that part comes on you get excited. Not to be too Carrie Bradshaw (TV alien, origin unknown) but I think there’s a very similar thing to dating here. Listening to new music and getting to know somebody. You constantly discover new things that excite you, that is, if you like the album or person. By the same token, I guess, you eventually wear a lot of albums out. Just as relationships hit a wall and can go no further. But this isn’t about that, this is about the “new” part.
There’s nothing quite like those first few weeks with an album you’re just discovering or a person you’re just beginning to date. Life, like great music, takes time to sink in. Discoveries happen but it isn’t until you’ve sat with them a bit that you realize how catchy and beautiful they are. And if you’re lucky, the right song or the right person comes into your life at just the right moment and you get a little sense of clarity, of being in the right place at the right time, for at least a moment or two.
I know that in your alien world you guys have advanced far from actual music or dating but do yourselves a favor, revisit both, even just for irony’s sake. If you listen to the right songs and you meet the right people, there’s simply nothing else like it.
Jeffery Self is performing a live comedy show, "The Jeffery Self Show" on Wednesday, October 23 at 8 pm at the Neon Venus Art Theater in Hollywood. Tickets are $10 at the door. You can view his blog at JefferySelf.tumblr.com and follow him on Twitter at @Jefferyself.