My name is Tracy Timm, and I am not an asshole.
But I have tried it on for size.
This is the story of how badly it fit.
Now, the way I see it, there are three possible thoughts you could be having right now.
Option 1: You have no idea who Tucker Max is, and thus, have no context for my abrupt use of the word “asshole” above.
You, my friend, are young Anakin Skywalker.
You have yet to be tainted by the Dark Side.
I almost don’t want to open up the can of worms that is Tucker Max for you, but without context, this story won’t make much sense. So, if you’re willing to take a dive into the deep end then put your floaties on and go Google him. If not, go read my story about Guinness, work up the liquid-word courage, and then go Google him.
If you get past the intro, I’d stick to the Sushi Pants story… it’s the most, err, tame.
Option 2: You have a vague idea of who Tucker Max is, understand the use of the word “asshole,” and are slightly intrigued.
You, my friend, are the Hayden Christensen version of Anakin Skywalker.
You are flirting with the Dark Side.
I was you, once. You’re interested, but probably only because you’ve heard about the movie they made from his best-selling book. You know he’s a bit raunchy, but you have no idea how deep the rabbit hole goes. This excites you… and sort of terrifies you…
Which is why I think you’ll keep reading.
Option 3: You know exactly who Tucker Max is, and not only do you understand the “asshole” reference, but you’ve read all of his stories, own the books, have the movie on Blu-ray, and are hopelessly and helplessly hooked.
You, my friend, are Darth Vader himself.
You and the Dark Side are best friends, and you have beers together… frequently.
I am now a member of your ranks, a veritable clone in your drone army. I understand—as disgusted as you may get, you keep scrolling down that awful black page. Because wow, just wow, did he really do that?! Or say that?! You justify your addiction by telling your friends you read it for the spot-on pop culture references or Tucker’s surprising literary prowess.
But really you just want to see what happens next.
I feel ya.
But this story isn’t about Tucker Max. This story is about the time I tried to pull a full-on, Tucker Max-style maneuver in my dating life. This story is about the one time a few years ago when I dated not one, not two, but three guys.
All at once.
Tracy tries being Tucker Max... hilarity does not ensue.
This story is about the night when all of these guys met each other, and the house of cards I had carefully crafted came crashing down around me.
Hilarity ensues… for you… not for me.
I’m sure if Tucker were to read this, he’d say something about how lame I am—how he’d only be impressed if there was a 4th, 5th, or even 6th guy and the story ended in an arrest of some kind. And sure, while this might not be the most egregious indiscretion a person can commit (trust me, it’s not), with a little context, you’ll soon understand why this particular incident worked out so badly. Not only was this outside of my generally monogamous dating experience, but I was completely and utterly unequipped to handle it.
Here are a couple things you need to know about me:
1. I cannot tell a convincing lie, even when it’s necessary.
2. I am not detail oriented, in the slightest.
3. I am a creature of habit, especially when it comes to bars.
Here’ s the scene:
That Saturday, I planned on going to an afternoon concert outside of Manhattan with Guy #1 and some other friends. Guy #2 was among this group of friends, but had conveniently decided to skip the concert. Guy #3 and I were supposed to meet up for drinks back in Connecticut that night after the concert was over.
This had been delicately planned in a moment of logistical inspiration earlier that week.
Talk about walkin’ the line.
So there I was…
Saturday comes. The concert happens. General merriment is enjoyed by all.
That’s when the wrenches started to be thrown and my lack of dodging capabilities started to be revealed.
Guy #1 wanted to extend the merriment, and come back to Connecticut with me. My suckiness at lying left me without an answer as to why this was not a good idea. So I agreed.
First major mistake.
Guy #2 wanted to let me know that he’d be out at the bars if I was coming back early. My lack of attention to detail did not find it important to note which bars. So I forgot.
Second major mistake.
Guy #3 wanted to know exactly where and when we were meeting up for drinks. My deeply ingrained habit of trafficking the same bars told me to say “the usual at 11.” So I did.
Third major mistake.
If you’re following along at home, you might already see where this is going…
Three different guys.
All at the same bar.
All at the same time.
Without realizing it, I had set myself up for failure.
Why I didn’t note all of the obvious holes in this plan is still beyond me.
Couldn’t see the forest OR the trees.
Blame it on the Goose.
Either way, in my inebriated state, I still thought I could handle it. The bar was big enough and crowded enough for me to (idiotically) believe that if I could possibly keep them separate. I thought if I held that up long enough to make everyone happy, this whole thing might just work out.
Oh to be young and naïve again…
Now, some of you will probably note that this is where my story diverges from true Tucker Max excellence. Because, if this was a Tucker Max story, he would have purposely planned for the girls to meet, introduced them to each other himself, and laughed hysterically while they attempted to fire insults at him about his misogyny.
But like I told you before, I am not an asshole.
I was just trying it on for size.
And at this point in the night, it was feeling a bit tight.
At first, it seemed as though I might succeed in my trickery and my deception denim jeans might actually fit. I was the conductor of the most beautiful symphony of human movement ever conceived. Conversations were the perfect length. Bathroom breaks were elegantly timed. I even managed to dance with one guy while he was back to back with another one.
I still don’t know how this worked.
But as all things in life, good or bad, this orchestral wonder of deceit and self-centeredness had to come to an end.
And an epic end it was.
One of my favorite things about great movies is the careful use of dramatic irony—delicately leaked information that allows the audience access to something that the characters have yet to figure out themselves. Had I been a fly on the wall or a member of the crowded bar audience, I would have been privy to one of the best scenes of dramatic irony of all time—in real life.
That’s because, slowly but surely and completely unbeknownst to me, the three guys…
That’s right folks—at one point in between bathroom breaks and beer runs, I returned to the bar to find all three guys…
…right next to each other.
Shoulder to shoulder.
Talking to each other.
Looking at me.
Not looking happy.
You know those moments in terrible comedies when the awkwardness is so palpable that find yourself gripping your face with your fingers and cringing at the screen? When you feel that subtle tinge of nausea in your stomach? And you keep saying things like, “ugh, this is so AWFUL, I just can’t watch it”?
Try living it.
In fact, I think this moment was so unbearable that someone in attendance must have seen it and sent it into Southwest Airlines.
How else would they have been inspired to write those “Wanna get away” commercials?
It was bad.
Suffice it to say, asshole fit me about as well as that nude latex bikini fit Miley Cyrus at the VMA’s.
I don’t know about you, but I’m still haunted by those memes that have a picture of her butt next to a picture of a raw chicken…
But I digress.
The real point here is that I was trying to be someone else—in this case, a total Tucker Max style asshole—as opposed to just being me. Instead of knowing what worked for me and owning it, I tried to play someone else’s game. I thought that putting on a different pair of personality pants, no matter how out of character or uncomfortable, would help me get what I wanted.
I thought that I could fit into nude latex bikini and it would actually look good.
And guess what, it didn’t.
That’s when I learned that character and behavior should fit you the same way that good clothes fit you. You shouldn’t have to change your body or yourself for them—they should already suit you. You should find and know what works for you, and then own it.
That’s when you’ll look like the best version of you.
You’ll feel like the best version of you.
You’ll be the best version of you.
Instead of an asshole.
What moment in your life taught you what size personality pants you wear? Who else was involved, and what did you learn from them?
I believe that every greatness we enjoy right now can be traced back to one person, conversation, or observation that provided a turning point in our lives. I’d love to hear if you believe this, too.
Did this story resonate with you? Or did it make you think of a story of your own? Share your story or your reaction in the comments below.
Because sharing stories is an instinctual, powerful way to touch the hearts of others and change the world around us.