The Weather

An Open Letter to Sweatpants Wedding Playwright Stephan McCormick

Sweatpants Wedding is an unfinished musical. It’s about a bride, a groom, their comfort, and, possibly, some other things. Tom Dibblee started working on the idea many years ago, after contracting a nagging fear of an unproductive and unpresentable future. Stephan McCormick became Sweatpants Wedding’s new author while drinking Tom’s chocolate milk in Milledgeville, Georgia. Jake de Grazia, a long-time sweatpants enthusiast and short-time amateur investigator, developed an interest in the musical this fall. And Patrick Benjamin, for reasons you’ll soon begin to understand, hates Sweatpants Wedding.

Tom, Stephan, and Jake have been writing about all this for quite a few weeks now, and, if you’re curious, we suggest you follow this link to the Sweatpants Wedding tag page, where you’ll find every Sweatpants Wedding-related word that has ever been written, except, of course, for most of Sweatpants Wedding itself, which Stephan is still working on.

Patrick, however, only recently revealed the extent of his opposition to the project, and, though we would have preferred for him to express himself through a Bob Costas-style sit-down interview with Jake, he has been attending to personal matters in Bhutan and the Galapagos, so he has instead delivered the letter below, which we hope that you, dear readers, will help us decode.

Dear Stephan,

I wasn’t going to write this letter, but recently I’ve been dodging phone calls and emails from Tom and Jake, both of whom wished me to remark upon my having said in an email to Jake that I didn’t want to discuss Sweatpants Wedding… So this is what I need to say… And it is said in the spirit of grief and with malice and without contractions and with run-on sentences.

I am extremely concerned for myself that those around me have led me to believe, or encouraged me in my own belief, that it is in any way “cool” to be involved with SW. It is in fact the case that I will obscure my societal reintegration from my recent travels in Croatia by allowing myself to be pimped, whether it’s the music business, Trop, or myself doing the pimping. And maybe I will use contractions. You are not the boss of me. I mean: You’re not the boss of me.

Nothing but harm will come from allowing myself to become further embroiled in SW, and it is absolutely NOT in ANY way an empowerment of myself or any other broken-hearted man-beauty for me to send across the message that I am to be valued (even by me) more for my emotional transparency than my obvious good looks.

But I need to set the record straight.

She doesn’t give a shit about you, Stephan. Either of us. She will prostitute us for all we are worth, and cleverly make us think it’s what WE wanted. And, and, and when you end up in Sausalito as a result of being prostituted, she will be sunning herself on a yacht in Cape Cod, which she bought by selling my heartache to you and you will find yourself very alone. Like I did.

I mistook lust for love. But, look at me. Who wouldn’t lust after this?

If they want me sexually (like she did) that doesn’t mean they give a fuck about me. All the more true when I unwittingly give the impression I don’t give much of a fuck about myself.

Yes, I’m suggesting I don’t care for myself. That has to change. I ought to be protected as a precious young man by everyone. This is a dangerous world. We shouldn’t, as precious young men, encourage ourselves to walk around naked in it because doing that makes us prey for animals and less-than-animals, a distressing majority of whom work in the music industry and its associated media.

Don’t be under any illusions. ALL of them want us because they’re making money off SW and my beauty… which they could not do except for the fact our genius and my natural sex appeal make us blind to the evils of show business. If you have an innocent heart you can’t recognize those who do not.

I repeat, you have enough talent that you don’t need to let her or the music business make a prostitute of you. You shouldn’t let any of them make a fool of you either. Don’t think for a moment that any of them give a flying fuck about you. They’re there for the money and for the sex… we’re there for the music. Also, we’re there, with her anyway, for the sex. It has always been that way and it will always be that way. The sooner you understand that, the sooner she can REALLY be relieved of her control.

You avoided saying in your interview with Jake what SW is really based on. The dumb choice I chose, I chose on purpose at a time when my parents were encouraging me to. I felt I would rather be judged on my looks and not my talent. I am unhappy that I made that choice, not least because I find myself on the proverbial rag heap now that I am over forty-seven years of age… which unfortunately many precious man-beauties who have based their image around their sexuality end up on when they reach middle age.

Real empowerment of yourself as a precious talent would be to, in future, refuse to exploit your talent or your musical ability in order for women or the music business to make money from you. I needn’t even ask the question… I’ve been in the having-sex-business long enough to know that the music industry is making more money than you are from you making SW. It’s really not at all cool. And it’s sending dangerous signals to other young precious, beautiful, young men. Please in future say no when you are asked to prostitute yourself. Your talent is for you and your piano. It isn’t for every spunk-spewing dirtbag on the net, or every greedy record company executive to buy their mistresses sweatpants with.

As for the shedding of all mention of her in SW… whoever is telling you writing a love-letter musical to her is the way to do that does absolutely NOT respect your talent, or, you. SW is good enough for you to shed all allusion to and mention of her. She’s waaaaaaay gone by now. If not in body then in mind… Not because you got naked with her—and you couldn’t possibly (physique-wise) rival me—but because you make great musicals and she doesn’t truly care about great musicals.

Whether we like it or not, us precious beauties in the industry are role models and as such we have to be extremely careful what messages we send to other precious man-beauties. The message you keep sending is that it’s somehow cool to be prostituted… it’s so not cool Stephan… it’s dangerous. Precious man-beauties are to be valued for so much more than their sexuality, or in your case, called out in public for your anti-bro-code lady-theft. We aren’t merely objects of desire. I would be encouraging you to send healthier messages to our peers… that they and you and I are worth more than what is currently going on in your career. Kindly fire any motherfucker who hasn’t expressed alarm, like Tom and Jake, because they don’t care about you.

Please stop dating her and writing musicals about her, for both of our sakes.

With love,

Patrick

Patrick Benjamin is a writer living near Los Angeles. He lives with his sister and grandmother.