Move Over, Tinder.

Just a few short years ago I remember thinking the concept of online dating was still totally taboo. To me, the people who took part in online dating were middle-aged homebodies who had to fight with their cats for the keyboard. But now, it’s everywhere. It’s considered entirely acceptable to meet your significant other on Tinder or match.com. In fact, I have a couple good girlfriends who met their wonderful boyfriends on Tinder. And no, they are not serial killer rapists. They’re normal, good dudes.

WILL YOU DATE ME!?! via reddit.com

PLEASE DATE ME!!!

Although my opinion of online dating has evolved, there is still the, frankly, ridiculous sites that make me cringe every time I see a commercial or hear an ad on the radio: Christian Mingle (wait, christians actively date?), Farmers Only (people want to live on farms?) or, my personal favorite, J Date. Ah, J Date, a desperate woman’s ‘land of milk and honey’ for finding a rich old Jew to spend forever with. Mazel Tov.

But if you think you’ve heard it all, you are so horribly wrong. Marie Claire published a list of dating websites that match you based on shared interests or characteristics. And let me be up front with you when I say that if you are on any of these sites we probably should no longer, or ever, interact together. I am ashamed of you and you deserve to spend eternity forever alone. Here they are:

alikewise.com – A site to find other people who loved Twilight as much as you. It matches you based on your literary tastes.

tastebuds.fm – ‘You like crying all alone to Sinead O’ Connor too? Let’s build on that.’ It matches you based on your music library.

creditscoredating.com – Exactly as it sounds.

singleswithfoodallergies.com – Again, exactly as it sounds. And no, I did NOT make this one up.

Wait-whatprescription4love.com – No, it’s not a site to watch old Ladies Man skits with Tim Meadows. This is the site that romantically matches you based on medical conditions you share! Because being in a relationship where one individual has crippling anxiety already isn’t bad enough. That’s fine, I didn’t want to leave the house ever again anyway.

datebytype.com – Matches you by blood type. Ugh.

genepartner.com – Legit CSI activity going on here. This site matches you based on your DNA compatibility which is ever-so-elegantly gathered by saliva samples.

NOPE!

NOPE!

And last, but certainly not least:  findyourfacemate.com – Because who wouldn’t want to date someone who looks similar to THEMSELVES. (Shudder.)

Just don’t. Please. I beg you.

Until next time…

Give the Dudes a Little Credit

For those of you who don’t already know, I simply adore my fiance. Aside from the obvious things (the required ability to memorize and quote an absurd amount of movie lines, having the patience of a saint while I rant on and on about how much better “The Bachelor/Bachelorette” is than any wrestling-related program that has ever aired on any television ever, etc.), he is independent. Now, some of you may read this and think, ‘Ok, so the grown 25-year-old man can take care of himself; and this makes him great because…..?’ But no, I mean, guys, the man is a genius. Yes, he can fully support himself, but he is also clean, organized, and can cook. Watching him maneuver a Swiffer around is like watching Picasso create a masterpiece. With children, he’s like a male Mary Poppins. He does more laundry in a week than I do in a month, no question. And when it comes to cooking, he can do more than simply push the button on the toaster down.

I realize that not all men rank in Lance’s bracket (for, I admit, I am a bit bias), but seriously, has anyone ever noticed how straight-up stupid the media makes men look? Turn the TV on right now and I guarantee that within the span of 10 minutes you will see a commercial where the big doofey-looking husband makes a huge mess and stands there like a big, dumb idiot, not knowing where the cleaning supplies are or what to even do with them, patiently waiting for his gorgeous wife (that in all reality he could never snatch up) to come in and save the day. In fact, it was so obvious to one Massachusetts professor that he conducted a study in which he monitored commercials that aired over the course of one week during prime time television. Of 477 characters shown completing chores, 305 were women and 159 were men. Of the male characters, 50% were portrayed as “comically inept”. (In other words, dumb.) On the other hand, more than 90% of the female characters were portrayed as competent. In another study, also discussed in Real Simple, it is because of this negative stereotype that women often do not trust their husband doing housework, and that 26% of women “give their partners chores” several times a week.

This is quite genius...multi-tasking in all its glory.

This is quite genius…multi-tasking in all its glory.

Can I just go out on a limb here and say that perhaps this is a self-fulfilling prophecy? Perhaps we all dug our own grave on this one. We portray men as incompetent with housework and childcare, we then do not trust them to do it, they don’t do it, we complain that we have to do EVERYTHING around the house, and the men get off looking like idiots. Thus, the circle of life. God, that should’ve been the topic of my thesis…perhaps it would have been a more beneficial waste of my time than the snooze-worthy topic I ended up with. Ok, and one more thing…REAL SIMPLE legitimately said that women GIVE their partners chores?? GIVE? Could you make us look any more bitchy and men look any more incompetent? If a dude lays around and doesn’t help with the housework, it’s not because he’s waiting for you to GIVE him chores. He’s a lazy asshole.

Even worse, a multi-page article was written in GLAMOUR titled “How to Get Your Guy to Dress Like This Guy”. Next to the title was a picture of Jason Sudeikis dressed all dapper with an open collar and a glass of liquor in his hand. Now, part of this article was a spoof, it was in fact, written by Jason himself. However, it also was serious. The first tip was to have him wear three-piece suits when attending a wedding (I’ll be lucky if Lance wears one of those to our very own wedding). They also tell you to buy your partner four tailored shirts-two blue and two white. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! First of all, if I buy Lance clothes, it’s because he said in passing he liked that Sweatshirt or whatever article of clothing it may be. I’m not going to go buy him shirts that he himself can buy, let alone spend money getting them tailored and limiting the color selection to white and blue! Good grief. These men have been putting their legs through pants for years and years, I think they can find their own damn shirts to buy. Some other gems were: when buying a new pair of jeans for your sweetie, MAKE him wear them for one weekend. This will allow him to “break them in” and “give them a chance”. Another one? Buy him a tie clip. Ugh. I can’t even go on.

These are grown men we are talking about. They can change a tire, shingle a roof, and lay sod on an entire lawn. But yet we think they can’t load a dishwasher, make a bed, or properly clothe themselves. Come on. Get over yourself, for starters. Pick your battles. If you want to do the chores so they meet your impossible standards, then don’t bitch about having to do it. Don’t baby them. Don’t treat them like children. They are adults. They are your equals. Treat them as such. Good gravy. And if he does have a horrible fashion sense, tell him. Let’s face it-some men honestly think that wearing cut-off cargo pants looks totally appropriate for a wedding. Offer suggestions, be truly helpful, and go shopping together. It’s not rocket science, people.

Until next time…

A ring don’t mean jack.

While some of you know, I am engaged to a wonderful man. He seriously doesn’t get nearly enough credit for putting up with me for I know I can be terribly obnoxious and my behavior often borders on straight-up hysteria. (We won’t get into the dirty deets because quite frankly I come out on the other side in a negative light.) But through it all, he is always so level-headed and often has to talk me down from the proverbial ledge. As if that wasn’t enough, this crazy kid decided he wants to spend the rest of his life with me. Ha, I fooled him. I’m waiting for him to run the hell the other way like a recently freed man from Shawshank.

Anyway, we’ve been together for almost 6 years and we have encountered the endless barrage of questions regarding “our timeline.” For the longest time it was “Do you think he is the one?”. Then once a few years passed by and I finally decided that he wasn’t too shabby and I might want to keep him, I had to deal with, “When will you guys get engaged?”, “Have you looked at rings?”, “Have you talked about marriage?” etc, etc. Now that he’s put a ring on it, we have had to collectively fight off the obnoxious wedding, moving in together, having children probes. And can I just say at this current moment in my life I would rather be struck down by a garden hoe than bring forth a child into this world. KNOCK ON FRICKEN WOOD, PEOPLE!

Now, I understand (some of) my family and friends asking this; they are simply curious and involved in my life enough to want to know and I’ll be the first to admit that I ask my friends these very same questions. But you INEVITABLY get the girl from high school- who was two years younger than you and is friends with your cousin’s best friend who you met once while at a 6th grade sleepover when prank calling fellow 6th grade dreamboats-who feels she is somehow privy to this information. So obnoxious. Seriously. Ok, enough ranting. I’m getting seriously sidetracked.

THE POINT I was trying to make was that everyone is always in such a rush with their significant other to get engaged, married, have kids, yada yada. But then what?! You become so busy you watch your life fly by without ever going to Disney World (yes, I still harbor some serious resentment for my parents never bringing me) or go to Santorini, Greece (cough, cough, Lance…honeymoon idea. Whaaat?). Which brings me to my little tidbit I found in Marie Claire regarding a recent study done at Cornell University which found that wedded couples aren’t necessarily happier than their cohabitating equals. So throw that in your Aunt Elma’s face next time she asks why you two are living in sin together and waiting for the bowels of hell to suck you up. I know I’ve talked about this before, but like the article says, “What really matters is the quality of the relationship, not whether [you’re married].”

Seems like common sense but so important to remember. Wow, this post started in one direction and ended up in outer space. My apologies. Until next time…

Thank you for being a friend…

The-golden-girlsDon’t even get me started…I start singing this song and before you know it I’m tucked in my bed with all the seasons of “Golden Girls”, in their neatly packaged DVD sets (yes, my sister owns every season, knows pretty much every word & has an unhealthy obsession with the show; she’s amazing and I’m jealous), busted out and am suddenly the 5th member of their Florida home, wearing the most atrocious jewelry and ensembles you can possibly imagine while still being cool.

Clearly, this post is about friends. I don’t mean to toot my own horn but BEEP-fricken-BEEP! I have some pretty spectacular friends and I’m quite certain that mine are better than yours. Neener neener neener. As I have gotten older, I have come to realize just how important each and every one of them are to me. There are those you see far too much and then there are those you rarely see but when you get together it’s like you were never apart and you’re suddenly sharing a humiliating sex story without even the slightest bit of shame. There are the friends who come to you for advice and there are those that you turn to for advice when you get dumped or when you need to know which sweater looks better with the black pair of skinny jeans you just bought (life or death problems here, folks). There are those that stand up for you and are your protectors, yelling at random drunks at the bar for you while others you feel like you have to take under your wing and risk all humiliation by buying them countless pregnancy tests from Walmart in the middle of the night. Whatever the case, each of them is your friend for their own special unique reason and you have been friends for as long as you have because those reasons are keeping them in your life. You need them.

So when I came across a Modern Manners section in yet another REAL SIMPLE magazine (you all know how much I adore this mag…sarcasm is underlying this statement, if you really didn’t know) titled “Is it ever appropriate to spill a friend’s secret?”, I immediately thought of my bizzos that I love and adore. I’ll be the first to admit that I have not always kept friends’ secrets. Am I proud of it? No. But as I have gotten older, that has changed. Sitting here now I can honestly say that no, I would never spill a friend’s secret UNLESS (and this is the mental health worker in me) that person was going to hurt themself or others. Aside from that, no, I wouldn’t. I swear.

Now when I think of my friends’ secrets that have tested my ability to keep my mouth shut, I think of them telling me they slept with so-and-so or they are pregnant or they are planning on ending their relationship. Stuff that REALLY matters, people. So what does REAL SIMPLE bring up as an example of spilling a friend’s secret? Hand to God, I couldn’t make this stuff up….the secret ingredient in a beef barley soup recipe. First of all, gross. Who wants a beef barley soup recipe?! Second of all, who the hell cares if you tell someone that your friend buys chicken stock instead of making their own? Ugh. Rich people.

Anyway, that brings me to another friend-themed article I came across. This past fall, GLAMOUR did an article about friendship DO’s and DON’Ts written by the ever-so-wise Snooki and J-Woww. Now, if I hopped in a time machine and wrote this article a few months back I would have slammed this article left and right. I would have shamed you for watching “Jersey Shore” and for perpetuating this show’s popularity by buying into it all. Yada yada yada. However, after getting sucked into the entire series on Netflix I now adore it. So what, my writing is completely opinionated and subjective. Don’t like it? Don’t care. Anyway, as much as I cringe at some of the housemates’ decisions (hello, Seasons 1, 2, 3 & 4 of Ron and Sam!), I do have to say that Snooks and Jenni have a true friendship. They get mad at each other. They fight. They may tell each other things you don’t want to hear. Translation: they are best friends.

Snooks and J-Woww all glammed up.

Snooks and J-Woww all glammed up.

Here are their list of Do’s & Don’ts:

DON’T lie. Ever-not even about looks. (Ok, I think this specific situation depends on the friend. There are some friends where I wouldn’t even bat an eye telling them, “O my God, you look ridiculous, go change now.” And then there are some where if they were wearing the same exact outfit I would say, “Hmmm, I don’t think that top looks very good with those pants. Let’s find something different.” and then go help them. Feelings, people. Know your friends boundaries and what does and doesn’t cut a little.)

DO respect each other’s opinions about men. (Yes, you should respect their decisions, but it doesn’t mean you have to agree with them.)

DON’T try to make the friendship a democracy if a dictatorship works. (Translation: if you’re totally content with the other pal making plans all the time, then run with it. If it bothers you and you want a say, speak the hell up.)

DO cultivate a Culture of Two. (Do special things for each other. Build your OWN bond which can be hard when you have a large group of friends.)

DO give each other nicknames. (Anybody who spends 1 minute with my friends will know our nicknames. Some are sweet, some are very un-endearing. The popular ones? Tits, Boo, Love, and Bitch. It’s real, people.)

DO make a display of your affection. (No, you don’t have to pull a Snooki and Deena and literally make out together. But be there for each other. If you don’t like your boobs being grabbed, then do not, I repeat, do not, hang out with my friends. Ever. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

DON’T think short-term. Instead, plan [ahead]. (Totally acceptable to plan out where you will all live in a cul-de-sac together and how you will rotate carpool with your respective kids. Totally normal. Not weird in the least.)

Bottom line. Be a good friend. Even if it makes YOU uncomfortable, get over it. Work to create the friendships where you will be there for each other years from now. After the kids have left the house. After the husband has gone through his mid-life crisis and left you high and dry. After you both can’t live on your own anymore and need to check into a nursing home. And to all my loving, creative, beautiful, hilarious lady (and guy) friends out there…thank you for being a friend.

Until next time…

 

And a SNIP SNIP here, a SNIP SNIP there…

NC-17 rating people! Hide yo’ kids! This post is not for the squeamish of heart! That being said, when I came across this article it was simply too fantastic to just skim over and not write about! The article, titled “A Cut Below”, in Marie Claire discusses the relatively recent phenomena that is known as….brace for it, vaginal rejuvenation. Did you squirm a little bit? Such a lovely term for such an icky procedure. I admit it, at times I can be a bit immature. Simply saying the word “vagina” makes me utterly uncomfortable. You are much more likely to hear me refer to it elegantly as the vajay or vajeen (phonetic spelling, people).

Ewwwwww.

The article begins with the author attending a two-day presentation on gynocosmetology, aka plastic surgery for one’s lady parts. My first thought was, Dear Lord, this topic needs two WHOLE days to be discussed?!!? However, apparently, it does. The big head honcho of vaginal rejuvenation goes on to tell the crowd that women are willing to pay big bucks to have an “exuberant vagina”. Now, although I am a woman, I am by no means an expert in this field, however, an exuberant vagina? What does that even mean? Mine certainly doesn’t sing karaoke or bust out in an impromptu jig from time to time. It must be a…what is the opposite of exuberant?…shy?…it must be a shy one.

Now, I will spare everyone the details of how and what is done to give one a perky “area”, but let’s get some numbers out there. According to this article, there were 53,332 vaginal rejuvenation performed by US doctors in 2009! Can I just jump on my soapbox for a minute here while I rant and rave about how utterly preposterous this is to me? For starters, some women literally do need surgery after suffering traumatic situations, pregnancies (wait, pregnancy wasn’t categorized under traumatic situations?), or diseases, such as cancer, and I would never judge someone for that. However, think of what that money could have been used for instead in these other vain circumstances! Think about the plastic surgery that some children NEED for cleft palettes or the surgery that some people NEED simply to survive…and instead, there are women out there to spend their money on such a thing. The frivolity of it all infuriates me. All for something that only a few people (ok, maybe crowds depending on who you are and what your profession is) will see anyway. Ok, whew, I feel somewhat better. Onto stat #2: more than 60% of these procedures are done on women 20-39. Um, jigga whaaaaaa?! How does the term “rejuvenation” fit in there when someone is under 40?! They still haven’t even officially gone over the hill yet to need reinvention on the other side. Unless you’re Michelle Duggar, I don’t want to hear it.

The article even goes on to discuss how in many cultures women must present themselves on their wedding night as a virgin (Wait, I mean, every women does that. In all cultures. All the time. No question about it., Mom.) However, many may “fall off the wagon” before their big night. So what can we do? Should we be brave and tell our future husband? Should we do the right thing; tell the truth and build a relationship based on honesty? OR should we get a quick nip and tuck in there, also known as hymenoplasty, to physically become a virgin again? The last one…DING DING DING! One very wise professional in the field even went on to say “These surgeries save relationships. Breasts catch a man, but a tight vagina keeps him.” Don’t even get me started on the never-ending arguments to attack these ever-so-philosophical statements!

If any women out there are still pondering whether to go under the knife, I’ll conclude with the following. These surgeries can result in infection, bleeding, painful intercourse (for the rest of your life, not just in the few weeks that follow the procedure), lifelong scarring, etc. However, even more important to me, if one is thinking of doing this to “save their relationship”; STOP. Seriously, call me and I will fly to where you are to slap you across the face. You are truly delusional to think that a) this will fix anything in your relationship and b) your relationship is based on love and appreciation for one another. If it has come to this, it is not. Find someone who will love your lady parts just the way they are. Exuberant or not.

Maybe it’s just me but I always thought that all heterosexual men were happy as clams  to be anywhere in the vicinity of any aforementioned clam.

Until next time…

 

I am woman, hear me roar!…But you’re gonna pay that bill, right?

First of all, yes, I am indeed alive. I apologize to those few individuals out there who have unsuccessfully been harassing me to write a new post for weeks now. I know that your lives have been utterly meaningless while you have been ever-so-patiently waiting for my return. I have no excuses. I suck at life. Moving on…

A while back I was reading an article in Marie Claire about “the rich-guy mystique”. Now, I adore my fiance, but God, and even Lance himself, knows I’m not with him because of his wealth…or lack thereof. True, he makes good money, but he is also incredibly hardworking and, in truth, I find his work ethic and responsibility far more endearing than the money he makes. Swear to God, that’s the truth. So all you naysayers out there can just bite me. Ok, whoa…I got a wee bit carried away. The point I was attempting to make was that I am not now, nor have I ever, dated someone who is extremely wealthy. I, frankly, believe I would find it obnoxious to have someone flaunting their cash all over the place. A lot can be said for modesty, people.

Anyway, the author of this article (who does not sound like someone I would want to be friends with) goes on to talk about how she went on a date with a guy she didn’t have feelings for, nor did she find attractive. What intrigued her about him? His money. (Um, ew.) She writes that not only did she not have to worry about paying the bill, but she also didn’t feel guilty or feel the need to insist she pay for her half, and that this was a nice change of pace for her. Ok, can I digress for a moment here? First of all, what kind of losers was this chick dating before? Secondly, I realize that Lance usually always pays for our meals, etc (and I hope he knows how thankful and appreciate I am), but even when we started dating I never felt uncomfortable waiting for the bill after dinner. It wasn’t like I sat there strategically thinking, “Ok, how are we gonna do this? Be cool, Amanda, be cool. Do I slowly reach for the bill to give him the perception I’m paying, when in all reality I have no intention of paying, to prevent me from looking bad, but not move fast enough so that he can tear it from my grasp just in time? Do I let him pay so he feels manly? O God, I’m so confused. This was a bad idea. Why did I ever agree to go on this date. I need to leave. I just want to go home. Now.”

Ok, so that might be a bit of exaggeration but my point is: if you are on a date with someone you know you probably aren’t going to mesh with, and are preoccupied with these thoughts then I’m gonna go out on a limb and say the conversation and the connection ain’t too great to begin with. Next suitor please!

Holy cow, back to the subject of this post. She then goes on to write about how she is a feminist and values her career but there is still a part of her that wants to be taken care of-in the very least to have dinner paid for. Oh, the inner turmoil she must be experiencing! How can someone possibly have both? How she must lay awake at night tossing and turning over this conundrum! How can we be worried about the unrest in Syria and Israel when there are much more important problems such as this happening?! Can someone say FIRST-WORLD PROBLEMS?!? Ugh, I’m disgusted.

Anyway, I turned to my most valuable and informed feminist source to ask her firsthand opinion on the topic: my equal-rights-for-all-fight-til-the-death twin sister, Andrea. Her words? Simply put: “Just because you, as a woman, believe in equality doesn’t mean you don’t appreciate a gentlemen being chivalrous.” BOOM. I couldn’t agree more. I’m pretty sure this lady is making Mt. Kilimanjaro out of a molehill and is, in the process, looking like the antithesis of a feminist. Richie Rich deserves better than her anyway.

I Do…in 5 Years

So folks, I have some big news…I got engaged this week to my ever-so-wonderful boyfriend of almost six years! Although I knew this was our eventual next step, it didn’t take away any meaning from the special moment or the importance of the commitment it represents to each other. That being said, the first question we have already had to dodge is the inevitable, “So when is the big day?” Quite frankly, we have no idea. In fact, the night of our engagement as we were getting ready for bed, Lance said, “So I have to ask…do we want to set a date right away?” I quickly responded with, “No”.

In fact, I have friends and family who run the whole gamut of engagement durations. I recently had a friend get engaged who had her whole wedding planned in 7 days. On the opposite end, my dear older brother and his fiance have been engaged for almost 7 years with no wedding plans in sight. Perhaps surprisingly, my bro is becoming the norm. In an article in Marie Claire titled “Happily Ever Engaged”, the topic of more couples enjoying long-term-engagement-prenuptial-bliss was discussed.

Did you know that back in the 60’s, engagements often lasted only three to six months?! Now, I super love Lance, but there is no way that I’m gonna whip out a wedding that fast. To me, what’s the rush? On average in today’s world, it is normal and perfectly acceptable for women to be engaged in terms of years; which coincides with recent data suggesting that young adults are becoming more and more indifferent about marriage. No longer does a woman have to be married to avoid being called the “cat lady” or the “spinster next door”. No longer do women need to be married, or even in a relationship, to be financially comfortable.

Most have their reasons for delaying the big day: busy raising kids, paying a mortgage, paying off student loans, not wanting to marry until everyone has a right to marry, saving for the shindig (on average, weddings cost 30,000-70,000 buckaroos…o Daaaaaaddy) etc. To each their own! All that truly matters is that you are committed to one another. Long engagements don’t mean that a relationship is having troubles, and vice versa (Hello, Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries). I look at my brother and his fiance and they are the picture of a great relationship. They are madly in love raising a 10-year-old together, paying off a house together, taking family trips together, and are more focused on making happy memories than feeling the need to put a ring on it ASAP.

Now, I don’t plan on staying engaged for as long as aforementioned sibling. BUT, I do know that I love my fiance (that still feels fantastic to say), I am committed to our future together and that is enough for me, quite frankly. A ring is simply a piece of jewelry. A wedding is simply a big party. A marriage license is simply a piece of paper. The relationship is what truly matters. So for those fretting over wedding planning or thinking that you are not on the path of what you should be doing…relax. Enjoy each other and this time in your lives for, hopefully, it will be the only time you are engaged and planning a wedding in your lifetime. Take it all in and don’t give a single thought to all those naysayers out there who keep putting pressure on you.

Funny Wedding Ecard: Pressure? Get married when you want. Your wedding's just one more day in my life I can't wear sweat pants.

Until next time…

You Talkin’ Smack?!

Bambi is unquestionably not my favorite Disney movie. Although it is pretty adorable- Bambi as a little deer learning to walk and flailing around on the ice, how Thumper as a baby bunny talks, Flower the little skunk…the cuteness factor is off the charts. Let’s just conveniently, for the sake of my point, forget about the mean hunters who leave poor Bambi an orphan and start a forest fire. However, I digress, for this post was not intended to be about animated children’s movies. Back to my point. Bambi offers one valuable life lesson said from little Thumper himself: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.”

Now I will be the first to admit that I gossip. There I said it. Thumper would be so disappointed. I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I don’t talk about hot topics that are currently spreading like wildfire throughout my group of friends or family. What…someone is preggers? What…someone cheated on so and so? What…someone bitch slapped so and so? Before I go much further though, let me be clear: my friends are fantastic They each bring something unique into my world and I am blessed to call them mine. But when somebody does something that causes me to scratch my head and think “whaaaaaaat?”, I’m gonna unapologetically talk about it.

So as I was reading a monthly advice column in Glamour written by Bethany Frankel (yes, Bethany Frankel has an advice column. Why? I have no idea.) about this exact topic it got me thinking why we gossip. She claims it’s because it’s in our nature as women and we use it to bond. She also says we use it as a way to make ourselves feel better. Her exact words “What you say negatively about others is what you don’t like about yourself.” Now, to some degree, I believe this has some truth to it. I realize that my gossiping ability is probably not my most favorable trait. But I don’t agree with all of her comment. Let’s role-play.

Example: Joan (made up friend; I don’t even know a Joan) has a wonderful boyfriend, Ned (again, made up friend, although I wish I did have a friend named Ned). Ned and Joan live together. Ned is at home sleeping soundly in the bed they share while Joan is off sleeping (aka not sleeping) with someone who is NOT Ned. This causes me to say something along the lines of, “She’s an idiot (among other less mild derogatory terms)…yada yada…poor Ned…yada yada….do we tell Ned?”…yada yada…Joan needs to get her shiz together”…etc, etc. Now, me saying this is not because I don’t like something within myself. I say it because my homegirl Joan is a bizzo and isn’t treating good old Ned how he deserves. Poor, poor Ned.

Now, ever wise Bethany then goes on to give this advice when it comes to gossiping:

  1. Gossip only about things that are harmless and funny and offer you some release.
  2. If you must do the snarky gossip, vent to the one friend you can truly trust. No one else.
  3. When someone goes negative, button up. Be one of those people you admire who bow out when the bashing begins.

Is it helpful advice? Sure. Is it going to change people’s behavior? Probably not. I’m not gonna lie, I’m still going to gossip, but it did make me think about the ever true fact that if someone is gossiping to you, she’ll probably gossip about you. That being said, I’ll try to watch my mouth more from now on, but when Joan acts up again I can’t promise anything.

Until next time…

Excuse Me While I Go to the Bathroom…and Get Divorced.

In a recent Marie Claire I discovered that women in Japan are flocking to an ancient Buddhist temple, known as “the divorce temple” to recover their relationship karma. Do they go there to seek counsel from a wise Buddhist monk on their marriage woes? No. Do they go to meditate in search of answers or revelations to help their marriage? No.

Instead, they flush a piece of paper down a toilet. Yeah, you can go back and read that sentence over again, it’s ok. I wouldnt’ make this stuff up, guys. The women write down their wish to sever their marriage on a piece of paper and then flush it down the john to have their prayers answered.

Now, I must admit, I am not the most religious person that ever walked the Earth. Not surprisingly, I am also certainly not a Buddhist. However, I simply could not understand how these women think this is going to help them. (Granted, if I was in a horrible marriage with a skeezeball, I might resort to doing some pretty wacky stunts out of utter desperation as well. Certainly, if I was married to Tom Cruise. Katie, my girl, you are set free!). So this got my mind a-thinkin’ of what other not so typical divorce practices occur around the world. The findings, though divorce is often sad, are rather comical:

  • For Arab Muslim men, they simply have to gather two witnesses to hear them say, “I divorce thee.” Simple as that. On a disgusting side note, the men are given the children because they are “the man’s property”, the man may remarry as soon as his newly single heart desires while the woman must wait three months to determine if she is pregnant. If so, she must wait until she has delivered the child to remarry. Ugh. Don’t even get me started.
  • Eskimos simply begin to live separately when they decide they can no longer stand one another and desire a divorce. They might be on to something here…
  • Australian Aborigine women simply have to elope to divorce their husband. I prefer to call this the “Fly to Vegas and Leave Your Old News Behind” method. Totally classy and respectful.
  • In Germany, a bishop called for churches to hold “Masses of Lament” in which family and friends gather in a church to hear the divorcing couple explain their reasons for ending their union. Ummmm, can you say awkward? “Kids, we are gathered here today to tell you why mommy and daddy no longer can stand being in the same room together and want to claw each other’s eyes out.” Yikes.
  • And right under our nose in the US, more and more couples are having divorce ceremonies. Much like a wedding except they renounce their vows. Ok, so the exact opposite of a wedding. Some couples are even resorting to divorce parties. This is just bizarre to me. I’m trying to picture my parents having a divorce party when I was 12 and they separated. “Hi! Welcome to the party! Presents go over there; Dad’s pile is on the left, Mom’s is on the right. My dad is a pig. Thanks for coming!”

Until next time…

One is Never Enough

Recently, I was reading an article written by a single woman who edited sex diaries-personal accounts of everything that happened in a week of an anonymous New Yorker’s private life (aka: a nosy person’s dream job; aka: MY dream job). She was fascinated by some people’s exploits and preferences, especially those who had a close friend with whom to occasionally have sexy times, and occasionally have friend times. (No, it gets weirder…) These people were also in committed relationships. They weren’t cheating, or pulling a Kristen Stewart (too soon?). The other mate was well aware of the arrangement and was accepting of it.

The article continues as this woman decides she wants to try “playdates” (original term, I know) with people she was attracted to, yet not at risk of developing an emotional involvement with. I interpreted this as a single girl sleeping around in fancier terms, but I digress. Yada yada yada, the article goes on to tell of her first experiences, until…

This lady meets her soon to become boyfriend. In what I believe is the smartest idea this young woman has ever had, they decide to date nonexclusively since they lived across the US from each other. Then, this fellow decides to move in and she writes, “Given that we’d successfully had other partners through our first year of dating, I couldn’t see a compelling reason to give up my playmates, and neither could he.” (…and weirder.) My favorite part of the article? “We enjoy and nurture our relationship and fill our lives with a select group of deeply trusted friends/lovers to dabble with when one of us traveling or needs attention.”

Um….what? Did I read that right? I read it again and again. I couldn’t wrap my head around this. And on a side note, the fact that she uses the word “dabble” when discussing this topic was, for some reason, also disturbing to me. Now I realize that everybody’s needs and preferences are different; I appreciate that. For this couple, it allowed them to successfully stay together for three years and counting. But to me, this simply seems like someone who is unwilling to make a committment to another person and trying to rationalize it. And even more bizzaro is the fact that the people they have “happy time” with are THEIR FRIENDS. As I read this I sat there trying to think of even one male friend I have who I could do this with (as I am in a happy, committed relationship) and every face that entered my mind made me burst out laughing. I love my male friends, and no, they are not all disgusting pigs, but I simply cannot think of them like that. Having to interact with them following a potential sexy time was something I literally could not fathom.

All joking aside, though, I really want to know some of your opinions about this topic. Could you do this if you were in a committed relationship? Would you be willing to dabble?

Until next time…