Category Archives: Men Are Like This And Women Are Like This

One-paragraph heterosexual marriages

He studies geology. She has butt implants. When they go to the grocery store together, they try to fit everything into two baskets because they like to hold hands when they shop. If they need to buy a lot of heavy items like jumbo margarita mix and Thanksgiving turkeys, they reluctantly enlist a metal cart. She likes to stand on the cart and be pushed, but it’s awkward because her bottom is so big. In the produce aisle, many fruits remind him of her contours, especially the watermelons. One summer afternoon they start feeling frisky during checkout, then immediately have to go make love in the backseat of her car in the grocery store parking lot. All their ice cream melts, but the bananas are okay. Shortly thereafter the butt implants begin to sag, and with them the woman’s love. She files for divorce. The man now wanders alone through the grocery store, unable to find enough appealing food to fill his basket even halfway. “Why,” he asks himself as he squeezes a grapefruit in his forsaken hand, “didn’t I secure a more top-heavy bride?”

She runs an organic vegetable co-op. He works for a moving company, but would prefer to be a crocodile hunter. The woman’s gardening ventures yield very little income, then they start yielding dramatically less income when an objective party tests her soil and finds it to be full of lead. The man has been breaking his back all day moving someone’s entire wardrobe collection into a box truck. When he comes home to hear that his wife has been inadvertently poisoning middle-class urban children for years by selling their parents spinach grown on what amounts to a toxic landfill, he briskly loads a van with all his things and flees the townhouse. The wife declines to file for divorce on the grounds of desertion, and instead waits to hear that her husband has been killed by a crocodile, because then she can move on with her life. At night, alone in her marital bed, she dreams of harvesting freshwater prawns.

He has loved her since they were both eighteen. She grew to love him after an aggressive courtship on the space shuttle. Now they’re each 200 years old, napping in the twin beds that they, with some help from their robot, pushed together long ago. The woman wakes up first and is struck by the pattern of wrinkles on her husband’s forehead. They form a circuitboard while his age spots form a constellation. She rouses him with a freshly-baked cupcake smell, one of several thousand she’s formulated her skin to emit. He opens his eyes and says, “I love that you’re so old-fashioned.” They smooch on the lips. That night they die a natural death, meaning their souls are uploaded to a martian computer and their worn-out bods are shot into space.

Equal opportunity bullying on the mean streets of Charlottesville

Yesterday I was jogging past the parking lot of the auto body shop, imagining all the different car accidents responsible for the wreckage, when I was approached by a pair of nine-year-old girls carrying Fiddlesticks. I’m not usually intimidated by nine-year-olds, but these girls decided to pick on me because they perceived me – wrongly! – to be old and daydreamy and significantly out of shape. One of the girls – the ringleader – gave me a nefarious look and started pretending her mini lacrosse stick was an electric guitar. She shouted all the chords at the top of her lungs, bullying me with her stupid, made-up song while we passed on the sidewalk. It’s like she was mocking my musicianship, except I was wearing running shoes and she was carrying sports equipment and I couldn’t ascertain any connection between what the three of us were doing and the way in which I was being taunted. But I felt like I was under attack and I was frightened, so I quickly jogged away. But the two girls took a shortcut across a field and intercepted me on the next block where they resumed aggressively playing their lacrosse stick guitar at me and laughing and I was forced to flee and hide out in a nearby CVS until I was sure they were gone.

But as clearly disturbing as this incident was, I’m sort of proud that young female, and not just male, bullies are now picking on the weak and defenseless in Charlottesville. As a young girl I never would have had the balls to confront an elegant, athletic, mature woman on the street and try to take her down a notch in some inexplicable fashion. I feel like feminism has come a long way in America when delinquent girls can be loud and rude and intrepid and gang up on strangers who have wandered into their neighborhoods in the name of physical fitness and who then go home and cry from fear and confusion after accepting the girls’ weird abuse, when that used to be the exclusive purview of troubled young men.

Keep up the good work, my young sisters! I fully support you in your equal opportunity bullying. My only suggestion would be to develop a more coherent system of attack so you don’t leave your victims feeling like they missed the point. But maybe you’re waging psychological warfare, in which case, wow.

The bride’s ego

You never know where or when the bride’s enormous ego will surface. Case in point:

“I just want a low-key wedding, Mom. Laid-back, informal, no-pressure. I don’t want to cave to the wedding industry with all its check-lists and up-dos and monogrammed water bottles.”

“Sure. Fine. We’ll just do family, a few friends. I’ll arrange some flowers from my garden. . .”

“Do we really NEED flowers?”

“I guess not. What about bridesmaids? Diamond rings? Crabcakes?”

“No way, Mom. I’m what’s called an enlightened, modern bride. I don’t need all the wedding foofaraw.”

“Okay. Well, you’ll need a dress.”

“Yes, and I want THE CHEAPEST WEDDING DRESS EVER. I want to be able to brag to my grandchildren about HOW CHEAP MY DRESS WAS. I want to flounce across the dance floor WITH THE PRICE TAG ON so everyone can see WHAT A GOOD SHOPPER I AM and how I didn’t BUY INTO THE SATIN PRICE JACKING that takes place at SNOOTY WEDDING BOUTIQUES. This December when I walk down the aisle carpeted in USED CHRISTMAS WRAPPING PAPER and CRACKED PISTACHIO NUTS, I want to hold a bouquet made of STORE RECEIPTS so my guests will be appropriately AWESTRUCK by my bridal bargain-hunting SKILLS. Suck on that, all you SPEND-HAPPY BRIDES trying on inflated GOWNS in your silky unmentionables. I DARE YOU to find a dress cheaper than mine. I DARE YOU. You will ALL FAIL because I am the THRIFTIEST PRINCESS and I will FLAUNT my ALUMINUM FOIL TIARA until all you BITCHES CRY.”

“I’m so proud of you, baby.”

Why elderly ladies in Georgia aren’t voting for Obama

Why elderly ladies in Georgia aren’t voting for Obama:

1. He’ll take all their money.

2. He’s a Muslim.

3. He’ll turn the nation Communist.

 

Why elderly ladies in Georgia send back their lunches:

1. Not enough sauerkraut on the reuben.

2. They ordered tomato parmesan soup, not French onion.

3. They’re confused by the small pile of lettuce on the sandwich plate. What is this green stuff? Am I supposed to eat this? What is this for? I have to go to the bathroom.

 

Why elderly ladies in Georgia get together for lunch every Saturday, even during Hurricane Fay:

1. A weekly ritual reminds them they’re still in the game. Also, they can show off their white bouffant hairdos after they take off their rain bonnets.

2. While dining they can pile all their purses, canes, walkers, and wet umbrellas in the corner of the restaurant, forming a sort of geriatric still-life that is only disturbed when someone demands a Kleenex or a cardigan sweater.

3. They can quiz me – the granddaughter guest – about Islam, existentialism, my upcoming nuptials, and the quality of my soup. Then they can send me to retrieve their friend who got lost on her way back from the bathroom. Then I can check their bills (split 12 ways) to ensure they left at least 5% for the waiter.

Funny hoo-ha

I realize that anybody who is anybody on the internet has already blogged today about the “Who Says Women Aren’t Funny?Vanity Fair article, itself a response to the VF article “Why Women Aren’t Funny” by Christopher Hitchens. [Full disclosure: Christopher Hitchens will always be a god to me because he devoted an entire book to putting down Mother Teresa. Who else would have the audacity to do that?] Nevertheless, I want to weigh in on this important debate contrived to sell magazines. Are women funny?

Let me start by saying that all those SNL hotties were ugly in high school. I lack the evidence to back up that statement, but I feel in my gut that it’s true. They were ugly and that’s why they cultivated their personalities. And I have to put that out there because a large portion of the latest Vanity Fair article, supposedly extolling the comedic talents of the fairer sex, is about how pretty these funny ladies are. Alessandra Stanley writes:

It used to be that women were not funny. Then they couldn’t be funny if they were pretty. Now a female comedian has to be pretty—even sexy—to get a laugh.

At least, that’s one way to view the trajectory from Phyllis Diller and Carol Burnett to Tina Fey. Some say it’s the natural evolution of the women’s movement; others argue it’s a devolution. But the funniest women on television are youthful, good-looking, and even, in a few cases, close to beautiful—the kind of women who in past decades might have been the butt of a stand-up comic’s jokes.

Of course female comedians are beautiful. Vanity Fair loves to take pictures of beautiful people. Vanity Fair gets to pick and choose who to put on its cover. Vanity Fair gets to slather the funny women in makeup and dress them in revealing “costumes” and Photoshop them into oblivion and then slap rubber chickens in their hands and pretend that their sexuality is not being exploited.

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Interesting people making love and dancing to Randy Newman

I like to read about unconventional marriages, especially if one of the principals is a writer. This couple – made up of novelist Jennifer Belle and entertainment lawyer Andrew Krents – spends more time apart than together because “familiarity breeds contempt.” For instance Belle went to Venice alone for her honeymoon because Krents couldn’t find his passport.

For a couple that craves and fights for time alone and apart, how do they stay together? One way, they said, is by pretty much ignoring their relationship in the same way a writer ignores a blank page.

“I try not to think about marriage,” Ms. Belle said. “It just seems impossible to me. It’s wondrous. It’s like trying to understand the meaning of the universe.”

Good for you, kids. Keep knocking the boots.

Cracking nuts

I’ve decided to take the GRE, so there. What are you doing with your life that’s so great? I’m studying basic algebra.

Originally this post was going to be about ballet. This afternoon I introduced a three-year-old girl to The Nutcracker with 1977 vintage Mikhail Baryshnikov (swoon!). Everything was going awesome until she asked me about the bump in the crotch region of his tights. I was honest with her, and she quickly moved on with her life, but for the rest of the ballet I watched Mikhail exclusively from the waist down and worried that I was actually showing her pornography instead of a nostalgic piece of my childhood.

DSM aka Tickle personality quiz

When I was a little girl reading Seventeen Magazine, YM, Cosmopolitan, and Penthouse Letters, I quickly realized that their relationship quizzes were for chumps. The answers were always so obvious. “Are you a jealous girlfriend? When you see your boyfriend flirting with the pretty Gap salesgirl at the mall, do you: a) punch him in the balls; b) slink away to Sbarro’s because he obviously found someone better than you to go out with; or c) approach him amiably and put your arm around him, asking him if he has seen the Gap’s holiday collection of flannel boxers? If you chose a, you need to keep the green-eyed monster in check. If you chose b, you need to stand up for yourself more. If you chose c, you are really good at passing these quizzes.” The girls that were the greatest friends, girlfriends, and lovers when judged by the women’s magazine criteria were always the bitchiest, loneliest, most virginal girls when judged by my own criteria. That’s why I started subscribing to Playgirl at thirteen. Playgirl wasn’t constantly testing me, trying to find out what kind of person I was. Playgirl just said, “Hey, here are some fanciful pictures of penises for you, from me.” I was like a) I love you; b) You’re handsome; c) Let’s go steady. That was gross and not true at all.

Anyway the other day Noelle sent me a link to this Tickle personality test called Is He “the One”? I think there’s also a version for men. I still don’t know if Darren’s the one because the test didn’t ask about whether or not he was willing to give me the fifteen children I desire. The Tickle site features emotionally relevant quizzes like “Could You Be Seduced By a Celeb Babe?”, inexplicable quizzes like “What Kind of Swashbuckling Pirate Are You?”, and essential quizzes for clueless women like “Are You Having Enough Sex?” I learned a lot about myself, and about how I spend my time. If I was more active on MySpace I would publish my test results for all my friends, but then everyone on the internet would know that I’m a sex-crazed buccaneer who could easily be seduced into a six-way with the Spice Girls. Did you guys know that the Spice Girls are back? Well it’s true. They are back.

An incident in the women’s bathroom

Tonight I had my fiction class at UVA. It was great, as usual, but I was drinking a forty of Hurricane during workshop and consequently had to take frequent trips to the restroom. It was actually a twenty of Diet Doctor Pepper. I was alone in the restroom when I heard a very loud pair of shoes barge in and loiter in front of my stall door, where I was actively urinating. The hinges on the door allowed for a lot of peeping space, and I nervously ducked down because the intruder was obviously checking me out through the cracks. Then the person went into the stall next to mine. I saw white tennis shoes and socks facing the toilet under the division. I heard a male voice murmuring to the bowl, but no liquid or flush, and then suddenly the person stomped out without washing his hands. The whole incident took less than half a minute. I tried to finish up quickly so I could catch the culprit, but DDP creates a long stream. A female classmate entered the bathroom as I was exiting the stall, feeling very violated.

“Did you see someone leaving?” I said. “I think a man was just in here.”

“Oh yeah,” she said. “I think it was___(another classmate). He was in here last week too.”

I furiously washed my hands and returned to the classroom, where __’s complacent white tennis shoes confirmed my suspicions. Not wanting to embarrass the guy, but also really wanting to embarrass him, I said, “Hey __. Were you just in the women’s bathroom?”

“Oh, was I?” he said, unapologetically. “Yeah maybe. I get them mixed up all the time.” Evidently the little skirt on the bathroom door says nothing to this guy except “Lift me up.”

Rose Petal Cottage

Am I the only one who would kill to live in a house like this? Think of all the pretend chores you could get done. I would probably be a creative genius today if I had grown up with a little fake washing machine to stimulate my imagination.

I want to put a Rose Petal Cottage in the living room so I can teach a certain someone how to do the dishes properly.