I must have seen this commercial 1,000 times when I was a kid. For some reason, I found myself thinking about it this morning:
I’ve always thought of the commercial as being relatively harmless. But now that I’m older and crankier, I watch the commercial and think:
Hey, Laundry Lady! You just punked your husband’s ass out in front of some white lady! What’s up with that?
And you, Laundry Guy, what’s up with this “ancient Chinese secret” BS anyway? You really think that white lady is going to start doing her own laundry if she finds out you’ve been using Calgon? How about a little self-respect here?
And you, White Lady, get off your power trip — so what if Laundry Guy was playing you? If Laundry Guy really had such an amazing ”ancient Chinese secret,” do you honestly think he would be doing your stinky laundry for fifty cents a pound?
I mean, come on!
Hmm. Maybe this is why I don’t get invited to more parties…
Remember all those godawful things that women have said to you in the past when they just wanted to be friends? And remember how you said to yourself: Geez, I could deal with the rejection, but the thing that really hurt was how she couldn’t just come out and say it without getting all weird about it…
Well, now’s your chance.
Good luck. (And if nothing else, I hope this experience helps you to think more kindly towards those women in your past, who may genuinely have liked you and who may have been struggling to do the best they knew how in an excruciatingly awkward situation.)
Once again, you find yourself attracted to a really terrific woman who inexplicably chooses to go out with total losers. To add insult to injury, she keeps showing up at your place in the middle of the night to interrupt you in the middle of Guitar Hero to complain about her Jerk du Jour.
And you put up with her increasingly exasperating cataloging of JdJ’s flaws because you entertain the fond fantasy that one day the scales will fall from her eyes and you will be upgraded from friend to boyfriend.
Lightning has struck. You’ve got a girlfriend, and things are going great. You’re already holding hands — who knows what tomorrow will bring?
But then you find yourself at her folks’ place, sitting on a couch in the TV room next to her old man, who has his doubts about you, but who is willing to give you a chance. He asks you if you like to watch sports…
Don’t panic! Some tips to help you out:
Avoid saying something unbelievably stupid.
See No. 1.
See Nos. 1 and 2.
Towards that end, do your homework! For starters, you should know which team plays which sport. Questions like: ”That’s basketball, right?” will buy you a ticket on the express bus to Lonely Loserville.
You should have some idea what season goes with what sport. Just think back to junior high school and put together which team you got picked last for with what chapter you were on in math class.
You don’t need to know a lot, but what you know you should be able to express in colorful detail. “Man, I can’t believe the Giants recovered that onside kick!” sounds way more convincing than: “I’m very happy the Giants won.”
Avoid talking about statistics. Really. No one cares. Really.
Avoid talking about betting spreads, especially if you’ve got five large riding against the home team.
Every professional sports team has (1) a player that everyone loves and (2) a player that is paid way too much money. *Never* say anything bad about the player that everyone loves: “Jeter, you suck!” will just get you a raised eyebrow, if not a fat lip. On the other hand, feel free to dump on the player that is paid way too much money. Try yelling: “What the f*ck are they paying you for, A-Rod?”
Watching sports with another guy is like anonymous sex — after it’s over, go your separate ways without saying a word. It would be a *huge* mistake to say: “Wow, that was fun watching sports with you. Let’s do it again sometime. How about next weekend?”
Cash: Don’t give cash, unless you’re dating a prostitute.
Gift Cards: See Cash.
Jewelry: Dangerous. No matter what you get her, she’s going to imbue it with a significance that is going to scare the crap out of you.
Tech: Don’t give her anything requiring electricity.
Tech Exception: It would be okay to replace that MP3 player that you borrowed from her and forgot was in your pocket that time you jumped fully clothed into that fountain in that lame-ass attempt to show how spontaneous and un-Geeky you are.
Software: You’re kidding, right?
Books: Wow. Maybe you should stick with software.
Flowers: Only if (a) they are unbelievably expensive and (b) they *look* unbelievably expensive.
Perfume: Forget it — assuming you can find a fragrance that she likes, you’re going to look like a cheap bastard when she sees the tiny bottle that you can get for fifty bucks.
Lingerie: Either you don’t need my advice, or you’re beyond help.