As I sit to write this, I almost spit my coffee all over the screen of my computer. I intended to start this post by talking about how there's currently a Kickstarter campaign for a guy to make potato salad that has raised $35,000. There isn't anymore.
There's now a Kickstarter campaign for a guy to make potato salad that has earned nearly $60,000.
In the 24 hours since I thought of the idea for this post, a guy who created a Kickstarter project as a joke has earned $25,000. His responsibility when the campaign is successfully funded? Send people bites of the potato salad. Carve people's names into potatoes he uses in it. Pictures of potato salad.
This is what people are getting for their money.
And this is what it has to do with love.
Looking back, I believe that the effort I put into my last relationship, or fragment of one, is part of what caused it to end. There may be other factors, ones I will probably never know, but I think that by believing that if I just put a little more try into it, that if I could just convince her that things with me could be good, I probably scared her away.
I didn't see it then. What it looked like, to me, was earnestness. Honesty. Interest. Sincerity.
(And frustration and loneliness and confusion and pain.)
So let's get back to this potato salad.
There are hundreds or maybe thousands of worthwhile campaigns on Kickstarter that will never see funding. There are albums and comics and movies that will never get made because the very sincere artists attempting to make them just can't find the money to get them done.
And then a guy gets this much money on a joke. Did you know the poverty line in America is about $11,000? This guy's gonna get six times that because we live in a generation that values irony.
We value irony. It turns my stomach a bit to write that, but it's true. Liking something insincerely, or liking something insincere, is something that we've found to be worthwhile.
I've been thinking a lot about that. My approach to relationships, where I'm actually interested in a person and express that, hasn't seemed to be working.
It might be the women, it might be how I express interest, or it might just be bad luck extrapolated into "how it's always going to be", but it almost makes me want to give it up and live a little ironically.
I could get a trucker hat. Watch movies just because they're bad but not because I enjoy experiencing a bad movie, but because I enjoy saying I watched a bad movie. I'll pick my music based on Pitchfork reviews.
And I'll donate all the free money I can spare to a Kickstarter campaign for a guy to get rich off of a joke.
Maybe it'll work for a while. I could end up in a relationship of feigned disinterest, or better yet, actual disgust. I could get a ton of attention on the internet for capturing that perfect zeitgeist of our generation.
I'd be happy for a while. Or whatever is the ironic comparison to it.
But what when it all comes crashing down? Where will I be? I spent some good years of my life being something I wasn't. I think it's called "being a teenager." It didn't fulfill me then.
It wouldn't fulfill me now.
Slowly, I learn who I am. Irony is good for joking; it's good good for drama. It isn't good for being a functioning, loving person.
So I'm going to continue caring about the things and people I care about. Stuff that interests me are going to be because they spark something within me that I can't explain or snuff out.
And I'm going to keep expressing my feelings, as sincerely as I can muster, to people, even if sometimes their reactions will show me why we'd never work out in the long run.
I'd rather dive deep and risk hitting the floor of the deep end.
That's where you find someone else who likes to swim.