This week: how to deal with gross, disgusting body parts of a potential partner (which are not enclosed by the pants).
The original Social Q, from the New York Times: “I recently started dating a guy who is smart, funny and successful. But he has longish fingernails, which completely gross me out. On our second date, he wanted to hold my hand, which I promptly refused. How can I tell someone I just met to please cut their nails, or it’s over? Anonymous”
Haha, why do I feel like “hold my hand” is just as much of a euphemism here as it was in the lyrics of the Beatles’ first #1 song? I mean, you do not have to be an especially smart hysterical teenager to figure that one out, right? “And when I touch you (on your … hand?) I feel happy, inside/it’s such a feeling that my love I can’t hide …” Ew, this song still creeps me out. “My ‘love’ (hint: boner) I can’t hide?”
Basically “I Want To Hold Your Hand” is more explicit than Ginuwine’s 1996 song “Pony” (which only went to #6 on the Billboard charts but still gets plenty of airplay on WEMI, the radio station in my mind that specializes in terrible mid-90s R&B, songs from musicals, and commercial jingles. By the way, the cover art for that Ginuwine single is shockingly understated and pretty, leading me to conclude for the 11,000th time that my teen years might as well have happened in a different CENTURY. Well, they technically did, but you know what I mean. 1996 was really its own thing. Also popular in 1996: Nine Inch Nails! Yes! You knew I would circle back around to the topic at hand eventually! Talk about songs that are way too obscene to potentially be playing on the radio when one is in the car with one’s mom: “I want to what you like an animal?” We were in the parking lot of the White Oak Library when this happened, I remember it very vividly. In that moment I wished that Tipper Gore had won, so that I wouldn’t have to defend the free speech rights of someone who thinks it’s ok/original to rhyme “penetrate” and “desecrate” (and “complicate”!). And why is it that even though I am, whoa, 13 years older now I am still in the position, sometimes, of defending the merits of music that I don’t even like to my mom? Like the other night-I was home for Passover/Easter-I put on Bon Iver during dinner because it was the most dinner-appropriate thing on my iPod, even though I am not a big fan of Bon Iver. I have this thing still where I cannot dig nonsense lyrics, so he lost me at “laughing legs like lily loons” or whatnot.
Anyway, my parents hated Bon Iver and I had to explain why it is good, even though I don’t even think it’s good! Why is it on my iPod? Are you following me here? Sexually explicit (“I want to feel you from the inside”)-or non-explicit in a way that’s even creepier than being explicit (“I feel happy inside”)-lyrics are not okay, and neither are nonsense lyrics. I’m so glad your question was “what kind of song lyrics do you like, Emily?”
Okay but really, about this guy’s long nails. The answer, like it almost always is, is just fucking talk to the person. Say, “I think you are really hot in all other respects but the reason I didn’t let you touch my vagina the other night was, your nails are too long. Please cut them.” The end!