Dearest Tumbling Tumbleweed,I have a good buddy whom I often like to hang out with on the weekends.
Name: Aspiring Art Stud
City: Corpus Christi, Tx
Dearest Tumbling Tumbleweed,
I have a good buddy whom I often like to hang out with on the weekends. He is my proverbial 'wingman' in my quest to find that special someone in our local dating pool. We are similar in terms of aesthetics. My only advantage is that I am a little more outgoing with the ladies than he is. I usually make the initial introductions and then I, being the good 'wingman' that I am, bring my friend into the conversations and away we go. Everything goes well for the first ten to fifteen minutes. Then inevitably the question comes up. "What do you guys do for a living?" My buddy has a successful career in the residential construction industry while I myself am an aspiring Artist. I like the guy. It's always nice to hang out with somebody who isn't into art or the art scene. It kinda keeps me balanced. But there's a problem. He works hard with his rough calloused hands and he has a permanent tan line on his face from wearing his tinted safety glasses all day.
However, women seem to practically undress for him as he explains the dangers and physical nature of his job. It doesn't hurt that he makes pretty decent money too. When it's my turn to talk the girls seem to be mildly amused, if they're listening at all. By this point they're usually absorbed in everything my friend has to say. I try to explain that I am an aspiring artist and that my work can also be physically demanding just like construction work. And danger? Danger is just a part of my everyday life. It doesn't even phase me anymore. On any given day I could have my knuckle shaved off by a grinder. Even more dangerous is the prospect of having cadmium paint rubbed into my bare skin. I could breathe in toxic fumes at any moment. Then there's always the possibility that I can offend someone with my artwork and receive a major ass-whooping. These are the kinds of dangers I face on a regular basis as an artist.
As for the money, well, you know. On a good month I can usually afford to buy dinner for two. The problem is that women will choose the construction guy with the raccoon mask over the "starving" artist any day. And it's not always about the money. Most girls don't respect what I do. A lot of women confuse fine arts with arts & crafts. They think I use play-dough and popsicle sticks and spend my day painting pretty pictures. What gives, Tumbleweed? Don't they see that I am a passionate and creative individual? Can't they see how that might transfer into bed?! Artists are sexy, right? Even the unsuccessful ones are sexy, right? Why is it that women always go for the blue collar tough guy with his Dallas Cowboys hard hat and his silver thermos filled with coffee and booze? Is it the false sense of stability and security they feel with him? Is it the money? Is it the uniform? Whatever it is, it makes me sick. What do I do Tumbleweed? Maybe you can help me. Do you know any hot single girls looking to hook up with an aspiring artist?
Let me know,
Aspiring Art Stud
P. S. Make sure you let them know that I'm hung like a tuna can….just kidding. or am I?
Dearest Aspiring Art Stud:
Ah, but your letter made Tumbleweed laugh, made Tumbleweed cry! You've no idea how many times yours truly has wept into the Wheaties on this one — or how many times my branches have been sodden with others' salty tears. Sir, the tales this ‘Weed could tell on the subject would fill many a virtual page — but I won't bore you with these. Every weed in the wasteland has his or her version of this account. And, as I'm sure you've suspected, Mr. Studly One, there are a few ways to approach your dilemma, but none that you might deem palatable.
As Carl Jung once said, Art is a kind of innate drive that seizes a human being and makes him its instrument. To perform this difficult office it is sometimes necessary for him to sacrifice happiness and everything that makes life worth living for the ordinary human being.
This means, Mr. Double-A Stud, that you have either chosen to perform this 'difficult office' voluntarily, or you have been unable to resist following your passion. Either way, you made your bed and you'll lie in it, even if it can be difficult to lure a lass into the sheets with you.
A bitter pill? Maybe. It does seem unfair that your pal, all rebar and Bud Light and red neck, can attract all the chickens when you, talented, sensitive, and 'hung like a tuna can' are forced to go home and choke one.
By the way — how can one be hung like a tuna can? Does this require an opener and resulting sharp edges? Does this mean that your package must be duly drained before consumption? Is the bearer of such baggage relegated to being a "mayo” or “miracle-whip” man? You might want to rethink that metaphor.
But back to your problem. Paul Fussell, in 1984, wrote the book, Class: A Painfully Accurate Guide Through the American Status System. In it is, as advertised, a description of every American type, from the red necked to the blue-blooded. While reading this book, your humble Tumble could not find a category — prole, middle, or upper — that seemed to suit it — until, that is, it found the final chapter called The X Way Out. As Fussell notes, "'X' people are better conceived as belonging to a category than a class because you are not born an "X" person, as you are born or reared a prole or a middle. You become an "X" person, or to put it more bluntly, you earn X-personhood by a strenuous effort of discovery in which curiosity and originality are indispensable."
Knowing this as you do, Mr. Stud, there are a number of ways to resolve the issue:
A) The "When in Rome" solution could come in handy. Next time you and Jed are hangin' at the Meat Bar, slap on a pair of Wranglers and a plastic mesh-cap with a trucking company logo on the front, bone up on your construction vocabulary. Pretend all your assets are in a real-estate venture. Have a ball.
B) Quit GOING to places like the Meat Bar! If you're as sensitive and talented as you think you are, why do you wanna score on some babe with fake boobs and a taste for Jell-O shots? And wouldn't your chances of scoring increase in some smoky hipster bar, where some pierced, tattooed, and equally talented lil' diva simply awaits to explore your nether can?
Unfortunately, our current societal clime does not favor the impoverished seeker of visual truth. Rather than glorify the high-mindedness of a contemporary Waholian Factory or Algonquin Round Table, our culture canonizes the Hummer and The Bling. It's tough proclaiming one's superior morals over the din of the cash register. That's just the way things go.
But as I hinted earlier, Mr. Stud, you might possibly be a man of virtue who is simply waiting to be truly appreciated and petted by a woman who will love you for what you are. You'll be poor as church-mice in your garret, and you will scoff at those babes your buddy attracts like so many diseased flies.
Or there's always the 'sugar-mama' angle. If your package, or can, is what you report, then company can't be that difficult to find.
Unfortunately, Mr. Aspiring Art Stud, The Tumbleweed is a font of true wisdom — you know, the whole burning bush angle? This isn't a dating service. You'll have to do your own trolling, I'm afraid. This Tumbleweed has complete faith in you, so here's to half-price Margaritas and tight fittin' jeans.
your pal Tumbles.
Ask the Tumbleweed yourself!
also by Glasstire
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- No More Free Parking at the MFAH - May 28th, 2017
- This and That: Sol Lewitt at Rice Gallery / a Wall at UH - May 27th, 2017
- Chad Dawkins Hired as Director of Exhibitions at Southwest School of Art - May 27th, 2017
- 300 Years of American Prints Opens This Sunday at the DMA - May 26th, 2017