A couple of weeks ago, my sister and I were talking, and I'm pretty sure one of the topics of conversation pertained to my sob story about meeting a woman who was cute and smart and whom I connected with on more than just a physical level only to have her take off for a residency up in Boston, and Ann told me to cheer up -- apparently I was at least advancing to a plane of enlightenment where I could appreciate women for their personalities and intelligence and wasn't just hunting for a pretty face and a nice tight ass anymore, and that was an important step. So now the key is to just find the right girl, and I'll be set.
The more we talked, though, the more I realized that the woman who most perfectly fits the description of what I'm looking for is Tina Fey -- or rather, since she's taken, her character Liz Lemon, whom I probably have more of a working acquaintance with anyway since I watch "30 Rock" religiously every week and have been shilling for it as the funniest show on TV to anyone who will listen.
Now, I freely admit that it kind of sucks when you come to the realization that your perfect mate is a fictional character, but this wasn't a realization I arrived at casually. There are plenty of reasons why me and Liz Lemon would make a perfect match:
LIZ: (on the phone) Hi, my name is Liz Lemon, and I received flowers from your shop tonight and I can't tell who they're from. (pause) No, no, I did read the card, but it's not signed . . . no, I'm not with so many men that it's impossible for me to guess . . . well, that is just -- oh, well, you know what, I found the card, actually, they're from your mom, so tell your gay mom I said thanks. (hangs up in disgust)
As someone who has been officially declared one of the funnier people in the world, I like to surround myself with funny people, either people who will laugh at my hilarious jokes or make me laugh at some of theirs, preferably both.
She's also smart.
LIZ: Now say five reasons I'm better than you.
JOSH: (doing the Worm) You're smarter than me!
JOSH: You beat me in armwrestling!
JOSH: You read the paper!
LIZ: Yeah, suck it, I do read the paper.
As I've said, I went through the same phase most men go through where my attitude was basically, "All I'm looking for is a hot piece of ass, and if I need intellectual stimulation I'll go crack a book." That phase ended about three years ago, when I dated a girl who was six years my junior and who turned 21 while we were going out. I know most guys in my position would be thrilled to date a 21-year-old, but gentlemen, if you must date a woman who's just turning 21, try to find one who went through rehab as a teenager and is now a little world-weary, maybe even jaded; otherwise you end up with someone who's so thrilled at being able to finally drink legally that she doesn't want to do anything but drink, and your typical Saturday night consists of her cranking her blood-alcohol level up to 0.30 before you've even finished your first beer, followed by her elbowing you in the side and repeatedly asking "Why aren't you having any fuuuunnnn?" until 4 in the morning. Son of a bitch, I'm getting old.
Where was I going with this again? Oh, right, you get to a point in your life where you really do start to realize that intelligence (or at least the ability to carry on a conversation about something other than how hammered you got the other night) matters, and I think I'm there. I mean, none of this is to say a hot piece of ass isn't great, but it does make all the difference when there's a brain attached.
In fact, she's kind of a dork.
LIZ: You know this is very, very, very bad for me, right?
TRACY: I need to protect my reputation. You take away my street cred and I am Wayne Brady.
LIZ: Nuh-uh. Wayne Brady has three Emmys. You have a People's Choice Award that you stole from Wayne Brady.
TRACY: I shouldn't expect a white woman from Whiteville to understand street cred.
LIZ: First of all, I'm not from Whiteville. I'm from White Haven. And it's not as nice as it sounds.
Amongst the group of people in the United States aged 18-35, I'm in maybe the 60th percentile, at best, in terms of coolness. So for the sake of my personal security, it's probably best if I don't date anyone higher then 80th, at least until I get these self-esteem issues worked out.
She's a liberal with a strong sense of outrage and proclivity toward social justice . . .
LIZ: Whoa, excuse me, there's a line, buddy.
MAN: There's two lines.
LIZ: No. No, there's one line; we're in it.
MAN: I'm just getting a hot dog.
LIZ: We're all getting hot dogs! What, you think there's two lines and we're all in this line? You're the only genius who got in the other line? Can you believe this guy? (half the people line up behind the man) Don't line up behind him! He cheated you!
MAN: Hey, shut up!
LIZ: (to hot dog vendor) Now, I want all the hot dogs, please. Yeah, I'm buying all the hot dogs. And I'm giving them to the good people.
I'm not saying I could never date a conservative -- in fact, I've dated plenty -- but maybe with the election coming up and everything, now would be the time to stay amongst my ideological brethren (sistren?) and not court any more throwdown arguments than I absolutely have to.
. . . Yet can laugh at herself about it.
PETE: So first you thought he was illiterate and now you think he’s lazy? Liz, you are racist.
LIZ: No, Tracy took advantage of my white guilt, which is supposed to be used only for good, like overtipping and supporting Barack Obama.
Everyone seems to think that liberals are all so humorlessly PC that we never laugh at anything, but the best among us can laugh at plenty of stuff, including ourselves. Really, anything short of starting a war with a foreign country on the pretense of disarming them of nuclear weapons and then laughing about it when you don't find any is pretty funny to us.
She has a cool job.
PETE: That cold open you guys wrote last night came out really good.
LIZ: Oh, thanks. It was like pulling teeth -- they're so lazy sometimes, especially Lutz.
PETE: Good job whipping 'em into shape, that thing is really smart. Now, when Dennis Hastert farts, should that be live or pre-recorded?
LIZ: Live, live. It has to be live for the timing.
PETE: Yeah, I thought so too.
I've always thought it would be awesome to be a writer for a "Saturday Night Live" or "Daily Show"-type show -- not just the excitement of working in television but getting to throw jokes around the room with some of the funniest people in the country, the fast pace, the camaraderie . . . any minute now some ex-writer is going to leave me a comment that says "Being a writer sucks, you're the lowest man on the totem pole and you're constantly miserable," but I still think it'd be pretty fun.
Like me, she's flawed and insecure.
HOWARD: I was a lot like you -- dressed poorly, bad posture, walked around with lettuce in my hair --
LIZ: (pulling it out) Son of a bitch!
HOWARD: -- and I cursed like a sailor, but Jack saw potential in me, and he changed my life.
JACK: Now Howard's earning seven figures and he's married to a swell Filipino gal.
This one's pretty self-explanatory. As with coolness, I need someone whose self-esteem "window" is at least in the vicinity of mine.
And yeah, she's actually kind of hot.
LIZ: Floyd and I are thinking of moving to Cleveland.
JACK: No you're not. Look, every great getaway has that moment when you want to pack it all in and stay; that's how I ended up with a time-share in Port Arthur, Texas.
LIZ: I don't think that's what this is! I mean, Floyd is pretty great, and look, in Cleveland, I'm a model! (holds up a newspaper ad for a department store with her in it)
JENNA: Yeah, we're all models west of the Allegheny.
My nerd-crush on Tina Fey has already been solidly established, so I guess the only thing left to do is pass along this segment from her Playboy Interview back in January:
PLAYBOY: What about Liz Lemon? Is she basically another version of you?
FEY: There are two big differences between Liz and me. One is that my character's jugs are a lot better.
PLAYBOY: Really? We hadn't noticed that.
FEY: Yeah, whatever. I think our costume designer is trying to draw the viewers' eyes up until I lose the rest of this baby weight. I was doing a movie with Dax Shepard, and we were talking about 30 Rock, and he said, "By the way, those things are blazing hot on your show."
I didn't want to say anything, but . . . yeah, I had kind of noticed that. So, uh, there you go. (Look, I never said I had achieved male-female enlightenment, only that I was getting there.)
So anyway, like I said, the knowledge that I'm a perfect match for a fictional sitcom character doesn't really help me out in any practical terms, but if this knowledge makes me a little wiser or more self-aware as I continue to fling myself into Birmingham's soul-crushing singles scene, so much the better, I guess. And if there are any real-life Liz Lemons out there who'd be willing to take a chance on a clod like myself, holler. I'll buy you mozzarella sticks, I won't make you move to Cleveland, and I won't honk your boobs on the Jumbotron. Even during the playoffs.