I am now in the proper mindset for Valentine’s Day:
What? Oh, they’re not so bad. Martin Luther endured an entire Diet of Worms.
I am now in the proper mindset for Valentine’s Day:
What? Oh, they’re not so bad. Martin Luther endured an entire Diet of Worms.
It’s Valentine’s Day, after all, and Rebecca Black has advice for the lovelorn:
And hey, if she can put a short I in “driving,” she can put one in “unrequited.”
Being a person of the masculine persuasion, I’ve read a few magazines that are supposedly aimed at me, and generally, they’re about Things Guys Like To Do, supplemented with Things Guys Should Buy; see, for instance, Maxim, which once spun off its Stuff section into a separate magazine, only to discover that the readers realized that Stuff was basically Lucky with a neckbeard. And yes, there are babe pictures now and then, but they’re of secondary interest, unless you’ve gone twelve years without any feminine attention.
If this sounds uninspiring, consider what women are expected to read:
Women … are continually exposed to a single message: it’s time to have sex. Don’t women deserve adventures of their own, ones that have nothing to do with sex or sexuality? Shouldn’t their magazines celebrate that stuff first, put that stuff ahead of the bedroom agenda? Why does every magazine aimed at women in the supermarket have sex as its primary topic?
Don’t get me wrong: the day I can’t have sex with women I’m going to stare at the wall in the nursing home and cry. I’m all about it. But I don’t think it should be the primary focus of every woman’s life.
Then again, this is the culture that gave us Sandra Fluke, attorney and potential Congressional candidate, who will forever be remembered, not for any actual accomplishments which may be in her future, but for demanding that her contraception be subsidized. A culture in which a person like this is taken seriously is a culture that can’t help but serve up cover stories like “26 Ridiculously Hot Moves.”
A couple of members of the state House, noting the absurdly high divorce rate in these parts, have come up with schemes to make it harder to split up. Arthur Hulbert (R-Fort Gibson) has proposed a minimum six-month waiting period for a divorce — maybe, just maybe, you’ll change your mind — and Sean Roberts (R-Hominy) has called for “incompatibility” to be stricken from the list of legal grounds.
To Patrick of The Lost Ogle, who has at least as much legal background as any of these guys, these approaches are bass-ackwards:
Instead of spending so much time on draconian legislation that makes it harder for unhappy people to get a divorce, maybe our legislature should make it more difficult for people to get married. Crazy idea, huh? Maybe introduce a 6-month to 1-year probation period before a marriage becomes official, or raise the legal marriage age to 25? I bet that would lower the divorce rate.
Or, lacking that:
Another solution would be to make a couple pay a $1,000 marriage deposit. If a couple stays married for 7 years, they get the money back with interest. If they divorce prior to the 7 years, it goes into a marriage education fund. Who would be against that? It would make people seriously consider whether or not they should get married, and encourage them to make it work if they do. It’s an idea so logical and brilliant it will never see the light of day.
Make it $5,000, and this state will never have another budget deficit.
I don’t understand all the flapdoodle over Lena Dunham and her HBO series Girls, and I really don’t understand why it’s such a big deal that Dunham often appears on the show undressed.
There’s some sort of effort to paint Dunham’s efforts “revolutionary” because she’s fairly average in appearance, unlike, we are supposed to presume, every other woman who’s ever been unclothed on screen. If there’s anything “revolutionary” about this sort of thing, it’s that they didn’t hire an actual beauty and then downgrade her appearance with the tricks of the theatrical trade. See, for instance, Charlize Theron as serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster; Theron was lionized for her disappearance into the role, when they could have just hired someone who didn’t need the extensive makeup job.
Dunham, I think, could have sidestepped most of the drama had she basically told reporter Tim Molloy to stick it in his ear, instead of this:
“[The nude scenes are] a realistic expression of what it’s like to be alive … But I totally get it. If you’re not into me, that’s your problem and you’re going to have to work that out with professionals.”
But she was evidently anxious to make this a Teachable Moment, which gets the kind of response it deserves:
A man who isn’t “into” Lena Dunham has a “problem”? He needs “to work that out with professionals”? As in, reparative therapy?
Look, I don’t know if Tim Molloy is gay or not, but to say that a man who isn’t attracted to Lena Dunham needs professional help?
It would be nice if both sides of the gender aisle (and the straddlers thereupon) would simply acknowledge the fact that zeroes are zeroes and tens are tens and both are few and far between — and most of us are going to spend our lives with someone somewhere in between, or no one at all.
You — 5’8 scruffy, glasses, wearing a blue hoodie outside the Vid and I asked you for a lighter. You lit my cigarette and we talked about our wishes for the new year. We heard the countdown starting and decided to stay outside. I started to cry and you kissed me, and then we started to make out. After a minute I felt something warm and realised that you pissed yourself. I pushed you away and that’s when you ran but I wish you had stayed. You peed on me but it’s OK! I just want to know who you are! Please reply and when you do tell me why I started crying so I know it’s you — if you remember.
I shudder to imagine those two taking a shower together.
(Via Voodoo Princess Daintyhooves, aka Erin Palette.)
I was just about to type “Twenty-nine, of course” as an answer to this:
She (I assume it’s “she”) continues:
You know how they say that older men in their 40′s and 50′s, in general, prefere younger women for sex/relationships?
Well how much younger do they tend to prefere if they could have any?
If you were a man in your 40′s / 50′s and could have any age woman who was childless what age would be your ideal?
Or would it depend on whether you just wanted sex or a relationship?
Out of interes please state your age?
No longer being in my 40s/50s, I stopped typing. And despite being 60, I still have a memory, so I recalled once — actually, more than once — having pointed out before that someone 31 years my junior should not be on my romantic radar.
Someone did point out to the questioner the existence of the standard rule in such matters: “half your age plus seven.” I am not sure, however, if this applies equally to men and women; is a 50ish woman on solid social ground if she aims her sights on a chap of 32? At one level, I want to say “Of course she is, you moron,” but I have a feeling that she’d be skewered by society for so doing, while a guy robbing the cradle never comes close to getting probation.
I am actually a fan of universal contraception, not so much because I think Sandra Fluke deserves a ride now and then, but because some people simply don’t have any business reproducing, and this, assuming she actually exists, is definitely one of them:
Then again, I could be unnecessarily alarmist here: what the hell kind of self-respecting male would allow his seed in the same room as this person, let alone sow it there? I concede that there are males who lack self-respect and will consider themselves fortunate to be allowed on the premises, but this is the exact point where Ouroboros gets his first lick of tail.
(First seen here.)
If you want to make the argument that birth control should be absolutely universal, this ought to be one of your exhibits:
At the very least, we need to teach them to stop before Richmond.
Every now and then, Jack Baruth throws me a curve. In a piece with the seriously on-point title “Do You Have A Wound That Won’t Heal?” he cites a meme I might have missed:
You are now thinking of her. What is her name?
If there’s any difference between me eighteen years ago (almost) when I started this site and me now, it’s my ability to deal with that question without actually answering it. In fact, I got the core of a pony story out of it. Middle-aged stallion looking dejected on a bench, crisp social-worker mare investigating, and we pick it up here:
“If you’re looking for ponies who need a place to stay, there’s one who sleeps in the old Wheelwright warehouse.”
“Used to, anyway,” she said. “About a week ago he was found dead.”
He cringed. “Something got him?”
“Just exposure to the elements. He’d been hiding out there since before Hearth’s Warming Eve, and it eventually got too cold for him. Old earth ponies just don’t have the same resistance to the cold that the younger ones do. And sometimes they don’t realize that.”
“So your job,” he said, “involves telling me to beware of the cold?”
“If necessary, yes,” she replied. “That poor pony had no money, no family, and maybe if we’d found him earlier, we might have been able to save him.” She sighed. “And now he’s gone. I wouldn’t want that to happen to you. I wouldn’t want that to happen to anypony.”
He looked at her. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I didn’t mean to impugn your profession. I’m just not used to being worried about.”
“And your family?”
“Long gone. Both parents died; never had a brother or a sister. It’s just me out here.”
She persisted. “Do you at least have a Very Special Somepony?”
For a moment, he looked beyond her, away from the coast, toward a place he barely remembered.
Finally, he spoke. “For forty years,” he said, “I have loved only one mare. Well, she was a filly back then, but … but she was always the one.” He shook his head. “If only she knew…”
The rest of the story, of course, is about healing a wound.
At least some of this would seem perfectly obvious:
Men most often regret not having sex with more people while women frequently regret having sex with the wrong partner, according to a recently released study.
The study from researchers at the University of Texas and University of California-Los Angeles aimed to show that the feeling of regret is part of the evolutionary process when it comes to reproduction, the University of Texas said on Monday.
“For men throughout evolutionary history, every missed opportunity to have sex with a new partner is potentially a missed reproduce opportunity — a costly loss from an evolutionary perspective,” said Martie Haselton, a UCLA social psychology professor who worked on the study.
Who knew the demand for wild oats was so persistent? How about, um, everyone?
But if men want numbers, women want something else:
The main regrets for women include losing their virginity to the wrong partner, cheating on a present or past partner and moving too fast sexually.
“The consequences of casual sex were so much higher for women than for men, and this is likely to have shaped emotional reactions to sexual liaisons even today,” Haselton said.
And, because something like this requires a punch line:
More women than men included “having sex with a physically unattractive partner” as a top regret.
I have done what I could to minimize the incidence of this particular tragedy.
(Via this Georganna Hancock tweet, in which I attempt to monopolize the thread.)
If I’ve learned anything in the incredibly long, yet pitifully short, period between Then and Now, it is this: Francis W. Porretto does not toss out throwaway lines for the purpose of being, well, thrown away.
Do other fiction writers dream about having an affair with a female protagonist? And when it happens, do they admit it to their wives?
My credentials as a fiction writer are the slenderest possible, but here’s my call:
Substitute gender references as needed.
And remember: that and $5.99 will get you a combo meal at participating locations only, for a limited time, local taxes not included.
It is said that you will be perceived as much more desirable if you are perceived as taken. I’ve never noticed any such thing, but then it’s been rather a long time — about half a lifetime — since I’ve been taken. And I don’t really see myself as a customer for this particular service:
A new app to change your relationship status. “Invisible girlfriend” will call you, leave you voicemails and even give you gifts. All for a price. Just $9.99 per month for “talking” and $49.99 for “almost engaged” status.
How much to leave me the hell alone?
Manti Te’o, call your service. Or this one.
I mean, I have been on the receiving end of something very much like this:
What you drive matters. Sorry. I’m sure you’re saving a ton of money for our first house payment by driving that rolling embarrassment from the decade in which I was born, but you’ll never get to spend it on me because you’ll never get me in the passenger seat. Feel free to call me shallow. Also, feel free to never call me at all.
Okay, it was technically the decade after that, but “rolling embarrassment” might do it justice. So this list of What We Think About Your Ride by Caroline Ellis, not yet thirty, persuades me of her credibility, especially with examples like this:
You think: I look sexy driving this thing.
We think: You’re at least ten years older than you’re telling me you are. Your ex-wife was right to tell you that you weren’t allowed to buy that thing. I’ll take some drinks from you but you’re getting a fake number at the end of the night.
Ouch. And there’s this:
Honda Civic/Toyota Corolla
You think: This is a really reliable car and … sorry, I really don’t have any idea what you’re thinking here.
We think: Great, you’re boring AND poor.
Finally, since I spent a good part of the week in one of these:
Infiniti G35/37/whatever they call it now
You think: It’s just as cool as a BMW.
We think: No, it isn’t.
Side note: Women to whom I have recommended this page — I plugged it briefly on Twitter — were generally delighted. Not one word from the men.
I understand this complaint better than I’d like to admit:
… sometimes I get a little tired of who I am: rule-bound, attentive to deadlines, fearful that without a Plan B things will go very wrong and I will be left stranded and no one will be able to help me. And, I don’t know, I’d like to be more spontaneous and “fun” but I don’t quite know how. (I don’t know how much of this is “brought to you by” the meme that men like the manic-pixie-dreamgirl type who is fun but a little flakey, but are mostly bored by the woman whose pumps are firmly planted on the ground and who gets her checkbook to balance every month)
I have long suspected — and it’s purely a suspicion, because I have no actual experience to support this premise — that no man can stand more than one MPDG, because the first one he meets will lay waste to his heart, and perhaps other parts as well.
Then again, I was married, for a while, to someone far more sensible than I. Which is perhaps one reason why it didn’t work out: all the maturity in the household was hers.
This hits me in the heart, though:
I’m not spontaneous and not good at being spontaneous.
I suppose I have it worse; I can be spontaneous, occasionally have been — but I’m not particularly good at being spontaneous. After a while, one learns to keep those jets cooled.
Apparently Facebook can now tell, or at least guesstimate, the object of your affections:
Though 27% of Facebook users don’t list their relationship status at all, only about half of those people are single, according to a Men’s Health article. If you’re one of these users committing the crime of omission, Facebook’s team of “in-house sociologists” has been researching ways to find you out…
If you’re “friends” with several of your other half’s co-workers, family members and friends, for example, Facebook may deduce that your only mutual link to these profiles is your assumed wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend. Researchers said they had a high success rate in correctly guessing someone’s romantic partner by this method.
This opens up a potentially crucial role for Facebook in the human social domain. You know what I always hated about relationships? I hated trying to nail down where exactly things stood. I’ll bet there is a lot of potential here for Facebook to tell you. Or they can at least give you a heads up. “In case you were unaware, statistically speaking, you are in a relationship with Suzie.” It would be a very helpful pointer for the unaware.
Of course, you could decide that you don’t want to be in a relationship with Suzie at all. And you can say “Facebook! You’re wrong!” But you ought to make sure that Suzie thinks that Facebook is wrong, too. It could have a real positive social impact of making us have the very important conversation that some are too good at avoiding.
There are several potential Suzies on my “friends” list, and I can tell you exactly where I stand with all of them: nowhere.
And while this situation may be disheartening, it bothers me less than the possibility that Facebook may select a Suzie for me and put her name on my wall — or worse, her wall — for the whole world to see.
Over the years, the maker of the number-two erectile-dysfunction product has changed its approach to television advertising somewhat, but, says Pejman Yousefzadeh, the new version is no improvement over the old one.
That was then:
You would expect them to walk upstairs, steal a few smoldering glances at one another, and then tastefully but suggestively close the door in order to pay homage to Aphrodite.
This never happened. Instead, the man and the woman would leave the house, fully dressed, and retrace the voyage of Vasco da Gama whilst entirely on foot. And then some. They would traverse large rocks, hills, valleys, deserts, snowy tundras, and climb K2 just for kicks. Needless to say, none of these activities are euphemisms for “they had sex.” Then, to top things off, they would lug two single bathtubs into the realm of Rivendell, place them next to each other, climb into each of them, and gaze at the horizon together while holding hands, apparently waiting for Frodo Baggins to return from Mordor and report that the One Ring had at last been destroyed.
This is now:
The new ones are a somewhat different kind of awful. Various couples are still shown engaging in quasi-let’s-find-the-Ark-of-the-Covenant-and-put-it-in-the-hands-of-top-men activities, but the Choose Your Own Adventure theme is not as pronounced as it used to be back when couples were supposed to pretend that they were the Justice League on galactic patrol duty. What’s bad is the writing for the voiceover.
The conceit for the new … commercials is that the man sees the lady doing something that only she does. Something that is unique to her personality and habits. Something incredibly cute and adorable. Something that would make any heterosexual male reach for a particular pharmaceutical product.
And then, the voiceover annihilates the kinda-sorta romantic moment with words very much like the following:
“You’ve always loved her for her childlike delight when in the presence of a truly terrific Jackson Pollock painting. But your erectile dysfunction could be the result of a loss of blood flow …”
On the other, um, hand, if you’re bleeding all over the place, you could probably produce your own mock-Pollock in, oh, four hours or so.
Truth be told, this reminds me a bit of a series of Hanes Silk Reflections print ads which invariably included three factoids about the wearer, the last being the superior appearance of her legs. I shall have to dig one of those out of the archives.
Point: Taylor Swift is the soul of innocence in this promotional picture she did for Keds, arguably the least-sexy shoes this side of your old worn-out Chucks.
Counterpoint: A bit of exposition from Man of Veal, the Superman parody in MAD #524 (December ’13), written by Desmond Devlin. Says Snor-El:
The MacGuffin carries the historical genetic record of every Kraptonian’s birth! It must be kept out of Generally Odd’s hands! That’s why I will steal it, dissolve it, and encode the data inside my son’s body. He’ll contain more different DNA samples than Taylor Swift’s bedsheets!
Steal before Odd!
We’ll give Taylor herself the last word. In her InStyle cover story (November ’13), the interviewer says in seeming disbelief: “You’ve never been in love?”
I don’t know. I think that you can love people without it being the great love. Ed [Sheeran, her tour mate] said something that really resonated with me. He says there are different kinds of love. There’s physical attraction, mental attraction, and emotional attraction; there’s also comfort and obsession. You need to have all of those things in one person. You have to mentally respect them, be physically attracted, and have a comfort level. You’re obsessed with them, yet you also know they’re going to stay. I’ve never had that in one person.
I know the feeling. And if her next album contains a song titled “Bite me, Ed” — well, no explanation required.
A scrub, TLC explained, is “a guy that can’t get no love from me / Hanging out the passenger side / Of his best friend’s ride / Trying to holler at me.” Photographer Hannah Price seems to have encountered a few:
The Morning News: How did the series begin?
Hannah Price: I grew up in Fort Collins, Colo., and never experienced men publicly expressing their sexual interest in me till I moved to Philadelphia. At the time it was an unusual experience and threw me off guard.
TMN: Describe the moment when you turn your camera on the guy.
HP: Once a guy catcalls me, depending on the situation, I would either candidly take their photograph or walk up to them and ask if I can take their photograph. They usually agree and we talk about our lives as I make their portrait.
So no hard feelings, evidently. And this sounds downright benign:
HP: I always make sure the lighting and composition is as beautiful as possible and try and capture what is interesting about the person.
Artist first, irritated person second. Not everyone can pull off something like that.
(Via this Rob Boone tweet.)
There is now, for some inscrutable reason, an online-dating site for pony fans:
BronyMate is a dating site and social network for the Brony community who are fans of the cartoon show My Little Pony (MLP).
Now the last time anypony collected statistics on the matter, the fandom was about 80 percent male and 75 percent unattached — and about 25 percent INTJ. To me, this looks like a catastrophe waiting to happen. (Then again, almost anything involving dating looks to me like a catastrophe waiting to happen.)
Interestingly, at least to me, their blog link, for the moment, redirects to the blog of FurFling, an existing dating site for furries. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I probably should have looked over their questionnaire, just to see if they asked “Do you even yiff?”
I don’t know whether to chortle in my Schadenfreude or cry in my beer [warning: autostart video]:
[A] study conducted by Siemens Festival Nights found that as many as 73 percent of people surveyed say they are “making do” in their relationship because their true love got away.
“The ‘making do’ part is sad, in the sense of, we’re not really tapped into, ‘Why are we in this, what are we looking for long term, and what do I really desire?’” said relationship expert Kavita Patel.
Patel said people settle for many reasons from fear of being alone to wanting security and comfort with another person — anyone.
“Well, it’s better to be with somebody than nobody — I think that comes up for people,” Patel said.
What’s worse, 17 percent of respondents said they met their soul mates when it was too late — after they were already paired off or married.
That any-port-in-a-storm business holds true, I think, only if there’s an actual storm; turning a certain age [nsfw audio], for instance, is not necessarily sufficiently scary.
And besides, this is buried at the bottom of the story:
The study, of 2,000 people in London, also found that 75 percent of adults say their definition of love changes as they get older.
Well, no flipping wonder you’re dissatisfied.
There’s almost enough material on this site to enable me to begin four out of five posts with a quote from the archives, as I’m doing here:
Everybody plays the fool sometimes, as Cuba Gooding, Sr. used to say, but it was Woody Allen who played the Fool in Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex, and who, faced with a directive from his father’s ghost to seek sexual favors from Her Majesty the Queen, sputtered, “I can’t screw above my station!”
This is one of the few times in my existence I’ve actually empathized with a Woody Allen character; I assume by default that anyone who appears on my radar is out of my league, or at least in the wrong conference.
You know, if you were half as clever as you think you are, you’d realize that it’s just plain rude to flaunt your perceived superiority and belittle your date. They aren’t dumping you because of your mind, they are dumping you because of your caustic personality. I promise you, you are not smarter than every man out there. It’s just that those men are smart enough not to date a self-important, narcissistic bitch. You see, intelligent, confident women don’t need to wear their superiority like some kind of show-girl’s headdress. Nor do they need to tear people down to feel better about themselves.
Cue Lehrer’s Masochism Tango: clearly they’re getting some dates.
At the very least, she’s upfront about what she has to offer, and it’s up to you to decide whether she matches your particular priorities; rather a lot of folks hide their light under a bushel. (Ask me about my grain elevator.) She doesn’t happen to hit mine especially well, as it happens, but that’s hardly a reason to criticize someone. And while I tend to be wary of an elevated sense of self — rather a lot of people have defined themselves as Good while doing their best to hide from the advance of Evil — I suspect she’s closer to the Ayn Rand side of the spectrum, where love and romance are transactions like any other, and hey, it’s a tough market out there. Besides, I’m older than her target age group, and I suspect that the clash of dissimilar libidos would result in either heartbreak or heart attack, neither of which is on my list of Desired Outcomes. Still, I am a firm believer in holding out for what you want, and I can’t fault her for doing the same. Bottom line: I think I’d like her; I have no reason to think we ought to be dating.
But hey, that’s just me. Your mileage may vary. And my interest in these matters is, I remind you, purely academic.
Socially crippled SWM geek, early 20′s to 30′s, living in tech bubble, seeking SWF or SWA (fetish) willing to work in tech startup only so long as they can stroke my ego, reinforce my sense of superiority (to make up for my high school emasculation) and stay in the background, except to be sexually harassed at my discretion for the amusement of my brogrammers. Must be potentially available for sex 24/7 even if that will never, ever happen, be fired without cause when you’ve outlived your usefulness and/or rejected all my sexual advances and/or get too bitchy/put me in my place (NDA includes clause not to sue for sexual harassment). My interests include long sessions coding (you will not see me at home, ever, unless it’s for sex—Do you want to have sex?), wearing Google Glasses in public, Magic, the Gathering, video games, and actually (not ironically) commenting on Google+. Nothing else. (What else is there?) I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a real sunset or taken a walk on the beach (that is what Google is for), so I’m a little pale. I’m deeply concerned with your looks (must be at least a 5, as someday I’ll be rich (really) and need a girlfriend but not more than a 7, as I want to at least think that you’re sexually accessible even if you’re not) and your personality (independent, smart, strong women need not apply) must be sufficiently submissive to take the backseat behind me during any work or social related functions. Love libertarians, so long as it echoes my vaguely thought out philosophy to get rich quick at any cost.
Interested? Drop me a line on IRC (you know how to use that, right?). Send me your (full body) pics.
And I thought I was “difficult.”
After thirty-five years in some form or other of IT, I am persuaded that this perhaps-composite chap lacks the one characteristic most desperately needed in the field: the ability to tell when you’re full of crap, and to adjust accordingly.
He will die alone and unhappy — but probably not quickly.
Usually I screen-print Y!A stuff, but this is a bit long and I’d prefer the text to be searchable, Just In Case.
The question: “Is it weird to like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic?”
Short answer: Maybe. But here’s the rest of it:
I would prefer a woman to answer this.
I am a 21 year old male, but I am not overweight or jobless. I am worried however that it is weird for me to like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I don’t own toys or merchandise from the show. I take it as it is: an entertaining cartoon much like Bugs Bunny or Sponge-bob (before it started to suck). Will women think it’s weird if they find out? I try to hide that part of my life.
Let me make it perfectly clear that I do not obsess about the show or anything. If it is on, I watch it. But I don’t go out looking for a DVD collection.
Not being a woman, I’m not going to answer this poor fellow directly, but I’ll say this much:
(1) I can cite no instance where a woman who might have been interested in me suddenly lost interest after discovering my own involvement with pony — which, in most cases, takes about 45 seconds to a minute.
(2) Buy a plushie. It’s not a guaranteed key to her heart, but you might be able to wedge the door open.
Incidentally, one of the Office Babes (Senior Division) showed up yesterday in a pony T-shirt, and a Generation Three — MLP:FiM is Generation Four — pony T-shirt, at that. There’s always the possibility that the object of your affections has already been assimilated into the herd.
Which means, I suppose, that this is here primarily for my benefit:
Romance requires an obstacle, eroticism requires a trespass. Don’t bother looking that up, I came up with it. A story about two people hooking up at a bar has no romance in it, not because of the trashy aspects, but because there’s nothing for the lovers to overcome.
Which may be why, as Lisa Simpson insists, “romance is dead: it was acquired in a hostile takeover by Hallmark and Disney, homogenized, and sold off piece by piece.”
So what we need would be more obstacles, right?
One time I hit the complete jackpot in that regard when I met a married woman who lived four hundred miles away and who hated my guts so much already she’d created fake accounts on a popular car forum for the sole purpose of slandering me. Oh yeah, plus she was a decade younger than I was and so medically depressed I continually worried she was going to jump out of her condo window. Talk about obstacles stacked on top of obstacles. The stage was definitely set for romance, although the resulting relationship was basically an Amtrak off the side of a mountain. Doesn’t matter. The journey, not the destination, and all that.
There is, I am assured, a thin line between love and hate. I figure I’m far too clumsy to be trusted anywhere in its vicinity.
For the last several days I have been deluged in bogus come-on messages, ostensibly from women with remarkably uncommon first names and no last names, all claiming addresses at Rocketmail, and all demanding highest priority. A sample subject line, from “Barbara”:
Fwd: Fwd:This place is overrun by bots. Let’s move to reddit.
As though these things would actually be forwarded twice. (And Reddit? Um, no.)
In the body of the message:
I’m still here waiting for you to verify so we can meet up.
Please dont take it personal I have to be careful these days.
click here to verify yourself now
This will work out if your not a creep like that other guy I met. I really hope your legit and I am sorry to be so paranoid but I’m being careful this time.
Prove to me your safe I’m waiting here. I attached a recent pic of myself as well. :)
The “click here” goes to something called ulust.com, which, if it’s anything like uhaul.com, implies that I don’t even need a companion in these matters. (See also “Weird Al” Yankovic’s “One More Minute”: “I’m stranded all alone in the gas station of love, and I have to use the self service pump.”)
The “recent pic” is named “mis_fotos_666.jpg”. Oh, yeah, I’m gonna click on that.
Says a real-estate agent of my acquaintance:
Story goes … everyone who has lived in this home has moved in single and moved out married. These two trees have intertwined as they have grown and are known collectively as the #lovetree.
I don’t know about you, but were I in the market right about now, and had I the wherewithal, that might almost be enough to get me to buy, all by itself. But that’s just the kind of doofus I am.
Besides, I know the houses in this neck of the woods, it’s a style I revere, and it’s an open house tomorrow (25 August).
Libby Gelman-Waxner, inventor of contemporary feminism — she says so in “Hooked on Heroines” in Entertainment Weekly‘s double Fall Movie issue — definitely is an advocate for female strength:
In Sheryl [Sandberg]‘s book, she tells women to stop being so wishy-washy, and to demand leadership equality. I agree, and I once told my dear friend Stacy Schiff to march right into her boss’ office and say, “I may not be the best marketing analyst on the planet, but I’m still a whole bunch better than all of those drippy guys who work here.” I also suggested that whenever Stacy met a handsome, successful single man, she should tell him, “Look, buster, you’re obviously going to be threatened by the fact that I’m smarter and more capable than you, so unless you enjoy feeling emotionally castrated, get lost.” If a man is visibly aroused by this, he’s a keeper.
I admit to being amused, if not aroused, by this. Then again, I’ve been a Libby fan since — well, it’s been a long time:
Let’s face it, Jesus would have been the best husband of all time. He was gorgeous, he was incredibly compassionate, and he was a carpenter, so none of your cabinets would ever stick.
There are somewhere around five million words on this site, and I suspect somewhere around a quarter of a million were expended on the tedious task of bewailing my Permanent Singleness. Then again, I am sufficiently self-aware to know why I’m in this state — should I need to identify the culprit, I need only pop open my wallet and look at my driver’s license — which perhaps makes me at least slightly better off than these characters described by Robert Stacy McCain:
[S]ome guys never quite figure this out, because they have never really evaluated themselves or women objectively. These guys psychologically separate women into two categories:
- Super-attractive women they really want to hump;
- Normal women they might actually have a chance with.
Unrealistic expectations — and particularly the Barbie-doll fixation — inevitably produce disappointment, and guys who fall into that pattern tend to end up pathetically alone.
Before proceeding to our example of this phenomenon, let me explain something basic: By the time you are 25 or so, you have probably already dated the best-looking person you’ll ever date. True, there are late bloomers, people who were high-school losers who get their act together by the time they graduate college and suddenly discover that they are more attractive than they were as teenagers, but this late-bloomer effect is very unlikely to occur after age 25. So by the time a guy is in his mid-20s, if he has never dated an 8+, he’s a damned fool to keep dreaming that Cinderella/Barbie/Playboy model will stumble into his life.
Ain’t gonna happen, Jack. Get over it. Life is not fair.
You really should read the whole thing, which includes a grade-A (or at least Type A) object lesson. I note for record that my own selection criteria are at least as implausible; the difference, of course, is that I know it.