• Fri, Sep 10 2010

Allie Brosh Presents: Vortex of Meaninglessness

During the first few weeks of every one of my relationships, I’ve gone through a weird little transition period of panic and questioning.  It doesn’t matter how much I like the person.  It always happens.

In the beginning, there is nothing but merriment.

The other person seems to walk around against a backdrop of rainbows and fantasies.
But then one day, you’ll be standing there talking to them about something inane and harmless, and suddenly something shifts and the person suddenly seems unfamiliar.  It might be the way they say a particular word, or maybe it’s the way their mouth moves.  Whatever it is, it launches you into a spiral of increasingly weird feelings.
The person’s face just doesn’t look right anymore.  You can’t put your finger on why, but their features and words become all distorted and strange.
At this point, you’ll most likely try to find something familiar about them to latch onto.  But this only makes things worse.  It’s like when you think about the word “pumpkin” too many times and it loses all meaning and you can’t figure out if you’re even spelling it right or if it had ever even been a word in the first place.  The harder you try to see it normally, the weirder it gets.
You can’t even focus on what the person is saying anymore because you’re too busy trying to force your brain to make their face make sense.
At this stage, it is extremely important to just stop thinking.  Because if you keep thinking this will happen:
And then pretty soon, this:
And before you know it, you’re trapped in an endlessly repeating spiral of terror and chaos and vortexes and nothing about the person will ever make sense again.
And then you have to break up because you can’t love something that you can’t even attach meaning to.
But the good news is that once you become aware of the impending vortex of meaninglessness, it’s easier to avoid being completely consumed by it.

Share This Post:
  • Adriana

    Yup, that has happened so many times! I always thought I was a weirdo, guess it’s normal! Thanks Allie :)

    • Travis

      Wait. You think that because Allie says it, it’s ‘normal?’ Oh dear…. ;)

  • Stephanie

    This definitely has happened to me. After two years of dating a guy, I somehow got myself all mixed up as to whether his name was *really* Derek. I managed to also get my best friend to wonder if she had forgotten his name too! Imagine being a guy in a two-year-long relationship and having your girlfriend verify your name a few times.

    • ARoy

      I am no doctor, but I believe your problem is called alzheimer.

  • porkchop

    <3 I always think that if people knew what was going on in my head, they would start chasing me with flaming torches and pitchforks, but now I see those thoughts have the potential to be relatable and hilarious! Yay!

  • Ken

    hahahahah! Reminds me of Seth Godin’s “The Dip”. LOL

  • Kate!

    Oh man, I actually just get SUPER DUPER AWKWARD and ludicrously stupid whenever I enter the “just dating” phase. There’s no vortex of disgust or disillusion — I’m just an IDIOT and I stand there, staring. Just staring.

    http://arguingwithadoughnut.blogspot.com

    • Charlie

      No you’re not alone! That happens to me every time, in fact it’s happening right now… I bet his mouth will be totally in proportion to his face when I see him haha

  • Heather Anne

    GET OUT MY HEAD ALLIE BROSH!!!! :-)

  • Tempest O’Mouthy

    There was a girl dressed as you at Dragon*Con last weekend that sort of made my life. She was blonde with a pink dress, a mop and a sign that said CLEAN ALL THE THINGS!! :D

    • Bob Roberts

      I hope that she got an award for being such a responsible adult.

    • Kara

      Oh dear lord I hope you took a picture! I wish I’d spotted her!

  • Katie

    @Tempest O’Mouthy Please say you got pictures!

  • BAB

    I love that you embrace, acknowledge and champion all those awkward moments that make up LIFE.

  • Sarah

    I don’t think I get it….

  • Maria

    This totally happens! Another thing I do at the beginning of relationships is forget what they look like when we’re apart and then the image of their face will get all distorted and weird. I’ll decide that the dude is ugly and maybe I didn’t really like him as much as I thought I did but still agree to hang out again and then I am soooo relieved when I realized that he is normal looking and not the toad-person I turned him into in my head. I’m probably alone on this one…

    http://www.MariaTheAwesome.blogspot.com

    • Gia

      Maria–you’re not alone … same thing happens to me!

      http://www.chicagonow.com/JaneOfAllTrades

    • Hannah

      NOT AT ALL, FRIEND!!! I have been with my boyfriend for three years and I STILL do this sometimes!!! I bet I’m alone on THAT though.

    • Puddingpie

      Yeah, totally happens! Except when I see him again he *does* look like a weird toad person, and then within 15 minutes he looks normal again. Weird.

    • Suzanne

      You’re not alone. That totally happens to me too.

  • Jen

    hahaha i totally used to date a guy who was OBSESSED with trains! so this made me laugh twice as hard! :)

  • Reggie

    wow, this is dead on. hahaha

  • blargh

    yes i think that happened to me, sort of.

  • Imogen

    HAHAHAHA, my friend does this EVERY time she dates someone new, lol

  • RAINIER

    THIS ALWAYS HAPPENS TO MEEEEEEE

  • BL

    This happens to me ALL the time. One day something about his chewing just set me off and I was sucked into the Vertex of Meaninglessness.

    Keep up the great work! Your blog makes me laugh like no other!

  • Misty

    Backdrop of rainbows and fantasies. Hee.

    Also, looks like you had lots of fun with those crazy pictures, and they just got crazier and crazier and probably more fun to paint. Well done!

  • Annie

    This happened with me and a boyfriend’s laugh. I broke up with him.

    • ARoy

      Really?! That happened to me too. We were just dating, and the guy was great, but his laugh was such a turn off! I didn’t know this kind could happen lol.

  • Pirate Jeff

    I kind of love when this happens, as long as I still feel in control of regaining my mind at some point.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semantic_satiation

  • maddy

    That happened to me all the time, but i got over it by getting too old to worry about it any more.

  • luvfunnystuff

    OMG! I know exactly what you’re talking about! { I was unsuccessful at stopping my thinking in my past relationship :-/ } Thank you so much! This made me laugh Alot :-) I will be more careful next time lol

  • Catrina

    This has totally happened to me in relationships! Totally freaks me out. I thought I was so weird for having this happen to me, and maybe I am, but it is really good to know I’m not the only one!

    Allie, I love your work. You’re the only reason I started reading The Gloss.

  • Missy

    Oh boy do I ever know this one. I remember going through it with the guy who’s now my husband. Worst part is that juuuuuust past that “WHAT….*ARE*..YOU” point is the one where you don’t know what the heck YOU are either. *Shudders*

  • Thank You…

    And you wonder why you’re all still single.

    It might be because you take a decent man and reduce him to one simple idea and then chastise him for it (his hobby, his laugh, the way he chews, etc.).

    I’m glad NONE of you women have ANY idiosynchrasies of your own. Oh, wait…

    • Allison

      Funny, Allie Brosh (the author of this comic – and many other hilarious ones on her blog) is soon to be – or perhaps already is – married.

      Way to take everything too seriously!