Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Dating Tip From a Reader

"I heard a simple little expression that really changed my attitude toward men. I used to cry and get upset all the time over men who treated me poorly...[The expression] goes: 'No boy is worth crying over, and the one who is won't make you cry.' Enough said."



After the VH1 Debacle, He Gives Me Hope

Once upon a time when I was in college, I met a fine, well-built, and handsome fellow. We discovered that his mother and mine taught Religious Ed together years before. They'd remained friends. He and I also became friends and shared a fondness for going out for lunch, discussing politics, and goofing on various professors.

We took a fiction writing workshop together, and I could always count on him to give me an honest (sometimes blistering) opinion on one of my characters, or their behavior (let's put it this way, they didn't believe in the double standard. I learned later that my friend hadn't been sexist; he just didn't believe that people should carry on as if life was a giant episode of Grey's Anatomy).

Our fiction workshop included a man who once served as Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper and had publicly drawn and quartered me over a piece I'd written lampooning celebrity culture. As this former editor earnestly read his latest story to our class, my friend muttered, "I can see Scatman Crothers playing that role."

This resulted in shoulder-quaking hysteria. We could not stop cackling and snorting and hooting to save our lives, which earned us sharp looks from both the editor and our esteemed professor, William S. Wilson, III (recipient of a Best American Short Stories award in 1975 and the author of Why I Don't Write Like Franz Kafka).

Since then, my friend and I have kept in touch loosely. No romance ever existed between us, and we've since married other people. Yesterday, he responded to my email wishing him a happy birthday by saying he'd recently passed the bar. Fourteen months ago, he and his wife adopted not one--or two--but three girls ranging in age from eight to 10 from Russia.

He attached photos from their baptism, which took place last month.

When women tell me that decent men don't exist, I always think of this guy. He was funny, handsome, smart, and definitely decent. If he exists, surely others like him exist, as well.


Kill Your Television (Before It Kills You)

I happened to stay up the other night, really late, and I put down Searching for the Sound: My Life with the Grateful Dead and turned on the TV, hoping to catch a repeat of The Best Week Ever, which I'd missed on Friday. This turned out to be an unfortunate move.

Instead, I found The Fabulous Life Of: Celebrity Sex, which probably qualifies (after Grey's Anatomy) as the most depressing show in the world. In it, I learned that Penn of Penn & Teller fame once had an S&M room in his apartment, which was converted to a nursery after his daughter, Moxie CrimeFighter was born (yeah, "Moxie CrimeFighter" really is the poor kid's name; it must be great having morons for parents).

I also found out celebrities love vibrators (as long as they're platinum or 24K gold, that is), and that there are plenty of merchants who are willing to discuss with the media who digs what and why.

Check out this sad little detail from the show, which also appears on the VH1 website:

"...a mere plaything compared to the sexy gift David Beckham bestowed upon his posh wife, Victoria. Because nothing says, 'I love you' like a $2 million platinum vibrator with a 10-carat diamond encrusted base linked to a 16-carat diamond necklace-one of only 10 in existence in the entire world."


A smarter person would have snapped the TV off at that point, but like any good tragedy, I had a hard time turning away from it. After a 30 minutes (or 60; I really can't remember), I felt oddly bored (and maybe a bit scared, in the case the mental picture of Penn Jillette wearing nipple clamps) by the very idea of sex.

As for Grey's Anatomy, it's flown so far off the rails, it's at the bottom of the ocean. If real people slept around the way they do on that show, they'd be too busy nursing running sores to continue taking on new sex partners.

I, for one, may sue ABC for the murder of millions of my innocent brain cells during the season finale of Grey's Anatomy.