It all makes sense now.
by hayley frank
The other day I accidentally locked myself out of Barton’s house when he was at work. I began to panic and started rummaging around in my purse to find some sort of tool (a bobbie pin? hairbrush? hammer? ice pick? Not quite sure what I was expecting to find in there) to help me finagle my way into the house. All I could come up with was my credit card, which I absurdly thought that I could use to pull off some sort of expert burglar door-opening execution. “This is never going to work,” I said as I effortlessly slid the card into the door crease by the lock and watched as THE DOOR QUICKLY AND EASILY POPPED OPEN and OMG I’M SO PROUD OF MYSELF BECAUSE I’M A SAVVY GENIUS and OMG THIS IS ACTUALLY THE MOST TERRIFYING THING EVER. So many conflicting emotions were being experienced at that moment.
I could only bask in my resourcefulness for a full 3 seconds before realizing that this lock was completely useless and arbitrary and ANY random psychopath on their afternoon psychopathic stroll could effortlessly breeze into the house at any moment using only the contents of whatever is in their pocket at the time*. I immediately went into full on basketcase mode and called Barton, the self-proclaimed “Voice of Reason,” who expressed the exact response I thought he would: complete indifference.
Nothing phases this man. Your door glides open with a little piece of plastic and a little flick of the wrist? No big deal, at least you got inside. You were two hours late picking up your girlfriend for a planned Saturday outing with his family, AND you forgot to bring the pasta salad? It’s fine, relax, no one died and you got there eventually, didn’t you? Your entire HOUSE IS ON FIRE, going up in violent, fiery flames right before your eyes??? It’s only a house, we can get another one.
I used to get so upset when he wouldn’t show what I deemed were the proper reactions to certain scenarios. Whereas literally EVERYTHING phases me, nothing phases him, and I would be outraged at his lack of impassioned response.
There is a story about Barton from his college days where he inadvertantly discovered that a homeless man had been living in his basement for an unspecified amount of time. He had set up hidden cameras in the house as a prank to spy on his roommates (creep) and while watching the footage back one night (huge creep), he watched on film as a homeless man mosied out of the basement and just strolled out of his house one afternoon while he had been in class. Whereas I would’ve instantaneously blacked out upon setting eyes on this scene, promptly packed up my things while screaming at the top of my lungs the entire time, moved out of the house and then signed up for approximately 2 to 4 months of post-traumatic stress therapy to deal with the latent fears of a crazy homeless intruder sleeping under my same roof, Barton simply shrugged it off and went back to eating his dinner. THIS IS WHAT I’M DEALING WITH HERE, EVERYONE.
It’s exhausting trying to provoke some sort of emotion out of him all the time. If you’re with the two of us, you will usually hear me saying things like, “But, doesn’t this worry you?” or “Aren’t you freaked out by this?” or some other variation of the phrase. But then THIS gem of a video surfaced … and it ALL makes sense now.
(KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE GUY IN THE BLUE SHIRT, STANDING BY THE FIELD IN THE BACKGROUND. RECOGNIZE HIM?): http://deadspin.com/reporter-gets-run-over-by-football-player-while-conduct-733218927
Not an “OMG,” not a step in the direction of the injured girl, not a bat of an eyelash, not even the slight widening of an eye. Yes, it all makes perfect sense now: If this man doesn’t react to an ususpecting, delicate little lady getting ferociously pummeled by a huge beefcake running at full speed– I mean, doesn’t even FLINCH– then how can I expect him to react to ANYTHING? After watching this video, I know I should probably feel sympathy and compassion for this poor girl, but oddly the only emotions I’m really feeling are relief and validation. This is just how he is! I don’t have to be mad at him anymore! This would free up my schedule significantly and give me a lot more free time.
*Disclaimer to all the robbers out there: The door has since been fixed since that fateful day, so don’t try any funny business over here. A few years ago, one of Barton’s meathead friends had savagely busted through the back door one day and broken the deadbolt (because, heaven forbid you simply twist the handle and OPEN IT like a decent human being. You know, those damn doors. Always getting in the way.)