theworldofdale

Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

the battle of the sexes

In Communication, News and Politics, Relationships, Science on April 28, 2011 at 9:32 pm

In the battle of the sexes, men are the superpower. They are the United States, or the USSR, or China. They have the resources. They have the inherent advantages of size and strength and speed. They get to go around doing pretty much whatever they want without regard to the collateral damage.

Women are Afghanistan. We seem like we’re weak. We seem to lack resources. We seem like we can’t fend for ourselves and we’re kind of bat-shit crazy. Everyone wants to take care of us. We are, in short, a mess.

But we can’t be beaten. Even Alexander the Great, who suppressed enough of his sexual urges to take over half the planet, still couldn’t conquer Afganistan. Do you think if he had a Josephine he wouldn’t have ended up with a Waterloo? Give me a break. Men have power, but the real super power belongs to women. And it’s in our pants.

My favorite comedian, Louis CK, has said that the most amazing thing about women is that we can decide to not have sex. Right in the middle, we can just decide not to do it anymore, and we can stop. Men don’t have this luxury, and therefore are required to do our bidding once the plateau has been crossed. I have no problem when a man thinks of me as a sex object. While he is thinking with his dick, I’m thinking with my brain and all of a sudden, he’s helping me move that weekend. There is a power in sexuality and to pretend there isn’t is as much a feminist manifesto as making sandwiches in the nude.

Men are awesome, women are awesome. Relationships are awesome. Love is a beautiful, genius thing. But like many things of beauty and genius, it’s fucking crazy.

parents just understand

In Communication, Home, Relationships on March 21, 2011 at 11:02 pm

If family-friendly comedies and cell phone commercials are any indication, teenagers suffer from near-fatal humiliation at the hands of their dim-witted parents on a daily basis. I’ve been lucky enough to be spared by this dreaded disease, as my parents are the two most awesome people I know.

This is not a recent epiphany. My parents. Are. Awesome. And always have been.

Some of my favorite childhood memories revolve around coming home on Saturday nights after my dad’s bowling league, having spent the past 3 hours sitting on the floor and eating grilled cheese, and my parents letting me stay up and watch stand-up comedy. That’s right. 8 years old and watching Evening at the Improv and Caroline’s Comedy Hour at 1:00 am on a Saturday night, and I think it made me a much better person. Or at least one with a more discerning taste in stand-up.

My parents didn’t just bring me to bowling alleys and bars (where I learned how to play pool from my godfather). They also brought me to volunteer on political campaigns. I still have t-shirts from the HOPE team (Hayden, Olmstead, and Patrick for board of Education). I went door to door passing out literature for Michael Dukakis, with my elderly French-Canadian neighbor/best friend standing behind me, as protection but in complete befuddlement. I remember at one point asking my mom the difference between Democrats and Republicans (I was maybe 6 at the time), and she paused for a moment and said, “Democrats care about people, and Republicans care about buildings.” First- please do not take that definition as a catalyst for a political argument in a series of TLDR comments. Second, my mom is awesome.

Both of my parents had been through some real crazy shit before I came along. I’m talking Lifetime movie shit, and one of the big budget ones with Tara Reid or Jennifer Love Hewitt. And yet, they have managed to be the most awesome parents ever.

They are still my favorite people to hang out with. I talk to my mom every day, and no decision is made without her advice (whether I take it or not). I visit them often and have more fun hanging out with them than pretty much any of my friends (sorry!). We share the same sense of humor and a lot of the same interests.

I never went through a stage of rebellion, really. Even in the brief pre-teen phase where parents shouldn’t exist, they stayed in the background, dropping me off at the mall and allowing private upstairs slumber parties.

I feel almost guilty at how awesome my parents are- kind of like that twinge of guilt a trust fund baby gets when he spends money he didn’t earn. But just like the trust fund kid, I get over it quick and revel in the fact that, let’s face it: I lucked out.

god and other unacceptable topics

In Communication, Health and Wellness, Home, News and Politics, Relationships, Science on March 10, 2011 at 11:46 pm

For the people who thought they knew what tonight’s post was about: Sorry. That’s for another day.

Religion is one of those things, along with sex, politics, and poop, that you aren’t supposed to talk about in mixed company. As you may guess, I enjoy talking about things that should not be discussed in mixed company.

My personal take on religion is that, like relationships, it’s a personal thing that is no one else’s business. In other words, I don’t give a shit what you think, and what I think is not your concern.

Still. Sometimes I feel like there is a dichotomy that religion boils down to, and it’s whether there is an omnimpotent being. God-ish, you may say.

I’m willing to admit that I’m in the fold of belief in God-ish. And I hesitate to narrow it further, as my beliefs are varied and broad and as far as I’m concerned, not mutually exclusive nor any of your business. What events result in that faith are pretty simple.

When I’m at the end of my rope, there’s a knot. I know that is totally 5th grade book fair poster involving a kitten philosophy. But it’s true. Yesterday was mad shitty. I mean, mad shitty. Think about the shittiest day, dial back someone dying, and that was my Wednesday. It really fucked up the whole week. I figured that life as Wednesday was barely worth it.

Then today happened. And it wasn’t perfect. There was still no sun. But I got a surprise gift from someone who thinks about me when I’m not around, which, let’s face it, is a pretty awesome compliment. Then a bit of good company sandwiched between the next slice of awesome: a childhood career dream come true. To settle the day, good conversation with good friends and a cuddle with my dog.

I suppose it could be a coincidence that a horrible day was followed by a day full of steady pick-me-ups. But it’s happened far too often to make me think that it’s not statistically significant. There’s too many times where I get to learn my lesson, but then get my scrapes bandaged and my lollipop received to think that someone isn’t looking out for me. Whether it’s the soul of my grandmother, a God, or magnetic energy from the sun in the form of Tom Cruise, I can’t help but feel like I’m not alone. Which is nice.

putting the period in periodical

In Communication, Health and Wellness, News and Politics, Relationships, Technology on February 9, 2011 at 7:30 pm

I have subscriptions to a lot of magazines. Like, 8. And that doesn’t include the 2 subscriptions I share with my mom, or the free subscription I have to Martha Stewart Living. Granted, I’m pretty good at getting deals on them- I pay about $5/year for 26 issues of ESPN Magazine. But still. For an environmentally-sensitive person like myself, it’s a bit extreme, but I can’t help it. I love magazines.

My periodical collection runs the gamut from girly (Cosmopolitan and Lucky) to issues that appeal to my more masculine sensibilities (Esquire). To illustrate what a frat boy I can be, I used to also subscribe to FHM and Maxim. I even had a letter to the editor published in FHM (PS – I got paid $50 for it!). Granted, they thought I was a dude (if they knew I was a chick, I would have only gotten $38.50).

There has always seemed to be something a bit off about women’s magazines- something that bugged me, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. Finally, when I was trying to come up with details about what I would do differently (besides just create a female’s version of Esquire), I realized that every magazine whose target demographic was female was comprised only of advice on how to overcome our innate deficiencies- of character, ability, worth, and beauty. As far as Glamour, Cosmo, and Marie Claire are concerned, there isn’t anything wrong with you that a 6-week exercise regimen, new beauty product, and personality transplant can’t fix. Cosmo gives explicit directions on how to shake hands with people (make eye contact, grasp firmly, slight smile- those explicit directions are generally repeated in another type of Cosmo feature).

Conversely, men’s magazines treat every man like he is perfectly fine the way he is, but just in case he was wondering how to find good scotch, fine suits, and loose women, they have some suggestions. Esquire does not have quizzes for their readers to determine if they are too much of an attention-seeker. GQ may recommend their readers use moisturizer, but they certainly won’t condemn you if you don’t. It has never occurred to an editor at Details to give step-by-step instructions on how to meet women (then again, I’m not sure Details‘ readers are all that keen on meeting women). Men’s magazines treat each reader as a whole person, who doesn’t need a mate, perfectly groomed eyebrows, or a home that is welcoming to the opposite sex in order to be happy.

Men’s magazines also tend to respect the intelligence of their reader more than their counterparts. There are stories that involved research and investigative journalism and aren’t just about women who are being repressed. Hey, I’m all for stories about repressed women, don’t get me wrong. But women need to read about men who are oppressed. They need to know what their government is doing, and to assume we only care about that affects our uterus is insulting. For the record, my uterus will remain under my jurisdiction no matter what the Republican Party says.

Hearst, Conde Nast, Meredith, ACP, and all you other publishers: Women are smart and capable and just fine the way they are. Give them more credit.  For pete’s sake, even Playboy treats women like they are beautiful creatures instead of works-in-progress.

But if you do find any fat-melting foods, will you let me know?

damn girl

In Communication, Entertainment and Nightlife, Health and Wellness, Relationships on January 25, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Many moons ago, my cell phone ring tone was “Damn Girl” by Justin Timberlake (featuring Will.I.Am, but who cares). Every time someone called me, Justin would croon, “Dammmmmn, girl, you’re so fine!” Corny? For sure. But I loved it- a consistent reminder that I am hot shit.

Related to the last post, part of the whole knowing my body thing has another positive side effect: I think I’m hot shit. I’m cute and all. I’m not skinny; I’m not fat. I’m not ugly; I wouldn’t say I’m classically beautiful either. I’ve been told I have a great smile and a nice ass (both true) and I like my eyes and wrists (weird but still true). And I have tits to die for, but don’t we all?

But I respect my body. It’s doing a pretty decent job for me (especially given how I treat it). I respect it when I have PMS, and my body is punishing me for not using it for its intended purpose. I really respect it when I’m ovulating and am beyond convinced that I’m the sexiest woman in the world (and my body is giving me a second chance at fulfilling its goal).

That’s not all, though. I surround myself with people who reinforce a positive impression of me. My first encounter with this was in 1997. In high school, I was a nerdy girl with huge eyebrows. But senior year, my mom had plucked them, and I turned 18 and met boys at dance clubs who didn’t know that I was a nerdy girl with huge eyebrows. In college, I joined a sorority, and all of a sudden, I had all sorts of guys who wanted to know this cute girl with the big boobs and the well-shaped brows.

I have female friends who are sources of constant support. Who, on my occasional down day, will remind me that George Clooney would throw his vow of celibacy (the marriage kind) out of the window for the likes of me. Sometimes, when they have a bit too much to drink, they will dry-hump me on the dance floor, and I’ll feel irresistible.

It’s been more than a decade since my first fraternity party, and medicine and age have taken their toll on my metabolism. Gravity does not love boobs as much as everyone else does. I still have pretty awesome eyebrows, but I realized something important along the way. Chris Rock put it best: show me the most beautiful woman in the world, and I’ll show you a dude who is sick of fucking her. In the same way, every woman in the world has got someone who wants to fuck her. I have beautiful, smart, smoking-hot friends who find imaginary flaws in their body that they think will turn a man off once they get into bed. And I tell them: the only thing that will get a man to kick you out of bed is having a penis. And that won’t even stop all of them.

Confidence really is the #1 ingredient in sex appeal. There are men who don’t want to get this, and that’s fine. I’m not trying to get a man who doesn’t want this. There are plenty of smart, funny, grade-A hotness men who would love nothing more than to get all conjugal with me. I don’t concern myself with the men who don’t. Just as I don’t find all men attractive, I don’t expect all of them to find me attractive.

But maybe they should get their eyes checked just in case.

do a body good

In Health and Wellness, Relationships, Science on January 23, 2011 at 9:32 pm

I think I know my body pretty well. I don’t always treat it that well- the Dale family historically abuse our bodies. We smoke or drink or tan or eat unhealthy food or don’t exercise or sometimes all of those in a single day. But there’s no cancer in my bloodline, and we look young for our age and live a long time. We are addicted to things and pretty crazy and usually have bad knees, but overall, not a bad ROI.

I know I have some male readers (honestly, it still astounds me that I have readers at all), but bear with me here. I’m going to be quite frank about what happens to a lady’s body, but you’re all big boys and you can handle it.

I don’t take birth control. I stopped when I didn’t have health insurance, because there was no reason to spend money on non-essentials. I still practice safe sex (and you should too, because having STDs is such a mood-killer). But I realized that I kind of liked not being on the Pill.

Then a friend had a stroke- which her doctors attributed mainly to long-term use of the Pill.  I also read about this study, where researchers found that the Pill can skew to which kind of mate you are attracted. Basically, without the Pill, you naturally seek out someone who is going to be complementary to you in genetics. You’re going to produce viable young. When you are on the Pill, you find yourself attracted to someone with similar genetics. And how are you supposed to resist infection with that?

Woman takes the Pill. She marries a guy with a similar genetic makeup (like marrying a cousin, basically). They decide to have a kid, and the woman stops taking the Pill. And all of a sudden, her husband smells different. Stinky. And then, she’s thinking… this was a mistake. I smelled the wrong man.

I know my body now. I know that when I’m ovulating, I’m glowing and eating healthy and attracting all sorts of male attention because they can sense some baby-making possibilities. Then I hit PMS, and my body hates me for passing up an opportunity to use that egg, so I eat pizza and take naps and become very sensitive to people being so crass as to not read my mind and do my bidding.

I’m not opposed to birth control. I just feel like I do better by my body (which, to be honest, is still not very good) when I’m in tune with what these hormones are trying to tell me.

By the way, they’re telling me: “Hey! We’re trying to make a baby in here! What the fuck?!”

take two

In Communication, Health and Wellness, Home, Relationships on January 6, 2011 at 8:18 am

If you read this, you might also read my Twitter.  If you read my twitter, you know that one of my favorite topics is poop.  Not just in the realm of humor but in a philosophical sense as well.  I have favorite poops (floaty ones) and least favorite poops (sticky ones).  As Dr. Oz enjoys pointing out, poop is an excellent indicator of your health.  I think poop is hilarious and will bring it up as a topic of conversation in all sorts of mixed company.

There’s a good reason I feel comfortable discussing poop in mixed company.  Because those are exactly the folks who poop.  That is where the philosophy comes in.

One million years ago, I taught teaching public speaking at a few of the local universities.  All three required every student to take public speaking, regardless of major.  Public speaking is often reported as the number one fear, even over death.  Basically, if I was teaching death class, I’d have more comfortable students.  I understood- when I took public speaking as an undergrad, I had an asthma attack during a speech and they found me lying on the bathroom floor.

As a result, I could relate to their fear.  There were a couple of strategies I employed for making students more comfortable, and one of them involves poop.  People often recommend to picture your audience naked when giving a speech.  While I guess that makes sense, I would be distracted, interested, and repulsed if that was the case.  I recommended my students picture their audience pooping.

Everyone poops, and it could be the most vulnerable position.  Your pants are around your ankles.  You can’t really go anywhere.  And you are stinking the joint up.  It’s the great equalizer, because no matter your job, your income, your looks, your popularity… all y’all poop.  Whenever I have the chance of being intimidated, I picture the person taking a big ol’ dump.  And it humanizes them.  No one is scary when they are pooping.

The reason poop jokes are funny is because humor relies on shared experience.  You have to be able to relate to find it funny.  And everyone knows poop.  You might not be black.  You might not be gay.  You might not be a blonde.  You might not have a penis.  But you poop.  So you get it.

Some people find poop to be embarrassing.  Even I have been known to make a man I’m dating not just leave the apartment but the building if I need some freedom to let loose, so to speak.  I’m not saying you have to (or should) talk about it as much as I do.  But if you are looking to feel more comfortable, just remind yourself: everybody poops.

i’m just a girl

In Communication, Entertainment and Nightlife, Home, Relationships, Sports on January 1, 2011 at 1:18 pm

I am not a girly girl.  There are some aspects to my personality that are decidedly feminine.  I love makeup and fashion.  I watch HGTV all the time.  I still get giggly and play with my hair when I’m flirting with some dude.

But then, I’m a sports fanatic.  I know more about baseball than most men – not just trivia but strategy.  I was 4th overall in points in my fantasy football league this season.  One of the top 3 moments in my life is being on the 18th green when Tiger Woods came back to win the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio.  My dream job is General Manager of a baseball or football team.  (Mike Brown, did you hear that?). 

I hate chick flicks.  I would rather poke myself in the eye for 90 minutes than watch The Notebook.  If I can sit still long enough to watch a movie, it better have sophomoric humor, car chases, and/or guns.  Pineapple Express, thy name is Trifecta of Awesome. 

I have zero desire to get in touch with my feelings.  In fact, the further I can push them to the back of my brain, the better.  I’m a commitment-phobe to what is probably a disturbing degree.  I have had essentially one boyfriend, and it lasted about 4 months, tops.  My only long-term relationship has been with Verizon Wireless (12 years, going strong!).  While I expect to eventually get married, I imagine it will be more of a “hey, let’s get married.”  “Okay, is the courthouse open?”  And, we’re married.  And maybe I’ll tell people at some point.  But I don’t want a diamond and I don’t want a dress.  A honeymoon would be nice, though.  And I ain’t gonna tell you about that, either.

It’s not easy being such a dude of a girl.  For some reason, guys are not always excited about girls who win arguments about sports.  Girls don’t trust me – I guess they see me as enemy territory.  Like I will lure away their men with my arguments for changing NCAA football to a playoff system.  I don’t dislike girly girls.  I just don’t get them.  I don’t get being mad at a guy who doesn’t like me.  I don’t get caring what someone says about my body.  I don’t get wanting to watch a movie knowing it will make me cry for 6 hours.  I don’t get how a vampire and a brat makes for a fairy tale.  I don’t get giving a shit over Valentine’s Day.

But still.  I enjoy being a girl.

thank you for being a friend

In Communication, Relationships on December 29, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Some of you may recognize that as the opening line from the Golden Girls theme song.  The original Sex in the City, those gals were.  Candace Bushnell, you didn’t create shit.  You just turned back the clock.

This is not about the Golden Girls, however (sorry, maybe another time).  This is about friends.  I wrote a post about friendship on the old blog, but allow me to further elucidate.

My best friends have a nasty habit of moving away.  And I’m not talking move across town, I’m talking across the country or sometimes across the world.  I’m hoping it has more to do with their adventurous lives and less to do with my company, but who knows.  My best female friend currently lives in Japan, with her Navy husband.  We’ve been friends since we were 14, but for most of our adult best-friendship, she has lived in Alaska, Florida, and Japan.  It does give us someone perfect to drunk dial (she’s 14 hours ahead of my time), but I’d still rather her be here.

My best male friend recently moved back to his hometown of New York City (you may have heard of it).  I miss him even more than I expected, and what really sucks is there’s nothing you can do when your friend moves.  A significant other is considering moving to another city, and you can make a commitment.  Stay here, and I’ll will nuptial you up.  But a friend- what am I supposed to say?  Stay here, and I will get us best-friend necklaces!  I will sign a document stating I’ll be your Best Friend Forever, and even have it notarized!

Friendship is the rare relationship that is maintained and ensured via communication alone.  Your parents, spouse, children, and business associates all get paperwork to back their ass up.  But friendship is created and dissolved only by the willingness of its participants.

I make a huge deal about my birthday most years.  I guess because it’s halfway between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and if I don’t make a big deal, no one will.  I invite basically everyone I know, because I consider them all friends.  When the evite goes out, and people see 250+ on the list, I’m sure they are surprised.  But once a friend, always a friend as far as I’m concerned, and if someone showed up even though I hadn’t seen them in 3 years, I’m just as happy to see them as the people I see every week.

What this rambling boils down to is that friendship is unlike anything else out there.  It takes effort and is the standard for unconditional love.  I have the best friends in the world, and that, my dear, is Golden.

a real lifetime movie

In Communication, Entertainment and Nightlife, Relationships on December 21, 2010 at 11:21 am

I’m not much of a movie person.  I realize that this puts me in the minority, but I’m just far too restless.  I also don’t like getting all worked up and emotional about people who don’t actually exist.  Worrying about whether Jennifer Aniston and her mildly gay co-star will be able to work it out just seems really silly.  I don’t even care if Jennifer Aniston and her real-life mildly gay boyfriends work it out.
 
I do love to watch human interaction though.  I just prefer the real-life variety.  Instead of going to watch a movie, I’ll go to a crowded bar and sit in a corner and observe.  Watching real people do the dance of interpersonal attraction is infinitely more interesting than watching actors do it.  The power dynamics, the intimacy transactions, and what happens at the end of the night?  Now that’s cinema.
 
I have an MA in Communication, and even though I no longer am an active Communication scholar, I still do studies all the time.  If being able to tell how people feel about each other ever becomes a marketable skill, I’m going to be a very successful woman. I know when someone loves someone.  I know when someone wants to have sex with someone.  I know when someone is repulsed.  There are stories all around us.  Why pay $10 to watch one on a screen?