April 30, 2009

10 Jobs Cooler Than Yours

My new co-worker.

Again, I love the CNN Living section. Today's goodness is "10 jobs cooler than yours." You know what's not on there? MY NEW JOB! My new job is way cooler than all the jobs in the article, and almost definitely cooler than your job.

My phone rang at 7:30 am this morning and I answered, doing an awesome job of sounding awake. The caller was from San Diego Wild Animal Park and wanted to offer me employment. Starting next week I will be driving the photo caravan safari for park guests! This basically means I will be paid to drive people around the designated "Africa" or "Asia" paths and get them up close and personal with rhinos, giraffes, possibly elephants (!!!), and hoofed creatures. My goal is to make friends with someone who can get me into the zoo. As much as I love the Wild Animal Park, the San Diego Zoo is just a ten-minute walk away from my apartment. 

Anyway, the article I mentioned says cruise directors, doll doctors, route setters and video game testers are cooler jobs than your 9-5. While they are unusual jobs, I don't necessarily think they're cooler. Cruise directors aren't home much (unless that's the point), doll doctors really can't get much work, and route setters set routes for climbing walls. And video game testers? Please. 

The "cool" jobs in the article were pet psychologist, storm chaser and food critic. But there are still more awesome jobs. Excluding my new job, of course, any list of totally awesome jobs would not be complete without wine/beer tasters, travel writers or sky diving instructors. If you think your job is just that cool, I'll be more than happy to include it in my own list of totally rad jobs.

April 29, 2009

Love and Money

I admit I love cnn.com for their living section; it never fails to entertain me. These articles are written for wives and parents (or the soon to be) about how to be happier, wealthier, better at parenting, yadda yadda. Today I found an article advising the engaged about finances. It would have been awesome if it were written for the unfortunate 60 or 70 year olds who suddenly find themselves back on the market in a new age of technology, but it was written for young twenty-somethings who've apparently been dating only six months.

  • Do you carry around a lot of cash? Who carries around a lot of cash? The old, the loaded, or the trying to appear loaded at a bar with hot chicks. The article suggests getting "into the habit of keeping an ATM card handy." Today, if a person prefers carrying cash to plastic he's either old and shunning technology, an illegal immigrant, or too young to have an individual account. 
  • Do you have a checking/savings account? If you do not have a checking account you should not be getting married. If you do not know if your fiancĂ© has a checking/savings account you should not be getting married. Seriously, this article was written for high school kids or old people.
  • Do you use credit cards for everyday expenses? Apparently this is a no-no because it implies you cannot pay off your everyday expenses (namely lunch) every month. Buying lunch on credit suggests you don't have the money to pay for lunch that day and are betting you'll have the money at the end of the month. I pay everything with my credit card and (until I was laid off) I paid it off in full every month. The problem with credit cards is people treat them like credit cards; if you only buy what you can afford it doesn't matter how you pay for it.
  • Have you ever maxed out your credit cards? If you honestly don't know your fiancĂ© has that much debt you're in more trouble that this article has advice for. It's like that freecreditreport.com commercial where the guy sang about his dream girl defaulting on some old credit card before they tied the knot and he wishes he could trade her in for a dog. (I would.) 
  • Do you own any mutual funds or stocks? I imagine a trophy wife in this situation: she marries the old dude because he's loaded, but has no idea in what condition his finances are in or where his wealth comes from or how it's stored. It's also a "leave the finances to the man" deal... 
Seeing as how money is the #1 problem in relationships and one of the biggest causes for divorce, isn't it one of those automatic conversations you have around the time you're choosing a date? Or better yet, isn't that something you learn about the person you want to marry before you get engaged? Common sense is endangered.

April 28, 2009

Hello America, Welcome To The 21st Century!

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Disclaimer: this post will be about gay rights. There will also be a history lesson.

History lesson: Not so long ago this great country of ours recognized how insightful the forefathers were in creating a constitution worthy of the world's envy, with a declaration that proudly proclaimed "all men are created equal" and all men have "certain unalienable rights" of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Now, we're pretty sure they meant "mankind" when they said "men" and women are included in this righteous goodness (see the 19th Amendment). In the 1960s America recognized the importance of civil liberties to the disadvantaged groups, like minority races and women. We have laws preventing discrimination against a person based on just about everything. Including sexual orientation. Gasp! [End history lesson.]

Today, we are engulfed in a civil liberties war. We've long recognized that it's wrong to discriminate against a person because of race or sex, but it's still socially acceptable to have a personal discrimination against gays and most states even prohibit gays from marrying and having children. What happened to all men created equal? Arguments against homosexuality center around the Bible saying it's wrong. For arguments sake, I'll ignore that Jesus said nothing about sex, marriage, or sexuality (didn't stop talking about love, though) and all but said the Old Testament is more or less defunct. Instead, I ask what happened to separation of church and state? Why are laws that deny a specific group their rights upheld in this day and age? 

Fifty years ago blacks could not associate with whites, much less marry them. Now we look back on those years with embarrassment. Have we not learned from our mistakes? Is history bound to repeat itself? Will it take fifty more years for us to look back on gay marriage bans with embarrassment? 

One cannot preach love and hate at the same time, but many do. These are convinced homosexuals are a blemish on society but listen to sermons on love and peace. If they would only hear with their ears or see with their eyes, like Jesus asks in the Bible, they would understand they can give people their rights and still have a strong Church. Gays never wanted to take away the faith of the religious; they just wanted the same freedoms.

*EDIT: New Hampshire came up with a great solution that can make everyone happy. Just hope the governor doesn't veto it...

April 25, 2009


I only drink Italian bottled water.

A couple of days ago a new tax on goodies from the European Union went into effect, including a 100% tariff on Italian bottled water. According to Italymag.co.uk, the US buys 40% of Italy's bottled water (Panna, San Pellegrino) so the tax, which will effectively double the cost of Italian bottled waters, is a big problem. Apparently this tax was one of the last ideas George W. Bush had before surrendering the office, as retaliation for the EU not importing hormone-laden American beef, and the EU is hoping Obama will make it all go away. 

American Italian restaurants are not happy about the new tax either. What used to be a $3 bottle of water will now be $6, and no doubt some patrons will switch to free tap and cost restaurants a good portion of their profits. I'm not a drinker of bottled water, much less bottled water from Italy, so I'm entirely unaffected. However, my former employer made the switch to exclusively Italian bottled waters right before firing me, and I was the one to make all the written changes. They'll probably have to switch back to Fiji and who's gonna make those changes now, hm? Fuck you, Sammy's!

For the record, the hormones in American beef are not proven to be a danger to people. It's safe to consume beef and milk products (including cheese) from cows treated with rBGH(rBST). However, the cows develop all sorts of terrible conditions when injected with these hormones. Remember that video a couple years back of the cow being fork-lifted to the slaughterhouse because it couldn't walk? Yeah, that's what happens. Buy naturally raise beef, people. The Europeans have a good point.

April 24, 2009

Fixed-Term Marriage

Ah, romance!

Australia is toying with the idea of fixed-term contract marriages, rather than the one-size-fits-all life contract. Looking at marriage and divorce trends, they might have a point. Rather than "till death do us part" a couple would be entering a 5 or 10 year contract with each other, much like buying a car or house. When the contract ends so does the union, unless they renew it for another 5 or 10 years. After a couple of 5 or 10 year contracts you have the option of renewing for life.

Though an interesting idea, it would need to have stipulations and exceptions. Kids still get screwed over when contracts end and they have to get used to a new mommy or daddy every 5 years or so. Thanks to Fark.com, here are some rules:
  • Couples must complete an initial 5 year contract before having kids.
  • Couples must renew their initial contract for 20 years to have kids.
  • Contracts include stipulations for mandatory marital counseling and prenups.
Only couples who want kids need to get married at all and the mandatory 5 year waiting period allows couples to get a real taste of life together, and the union could easily dissolve if it doesn't work out without screwing up unsuspecting kids. Contract renewals would spur the economy because couples could have a party and a second honeymoon. Also, knowing you have to stay with someone for 20 years can be a greater challenge than committing for life with the unsaid option of divorce at any time, and hopefully couples wouldn't enter into a 20 year contract lightly. If a couple doesn't renew their 20 year contract the kids will be adults and will understand that the contract is coming to an end. If it's mandatory to follow rules like these, have a prenup, and sign a fixed contract when entering a union, the stigma of divorce would be reduced and kids would be taken care of. Maybe, even, more people would decide to contract for life, and actually understand what that means. 

Now, there is one huge problem with all this: unplanned pregnancies. However, if men are forced into a 20 year contract after an unplanned pregnancy maybe more men would wear condoms. Some men don't really see an unplanned pregnancy as that big of a deal: if she doesn't abort it and makes you pay to support it, the most you lose is a chunk of your paycheck. You can more or less go on with life since you're not the one giving birth or raising it. But if men see a pregnancy as the life-altering incident it is they (hopefully) will be more careful.

I don't see this happening anywhere any time soon, but it is an interesting thought.

April 23, 2009

Joel Osteen

This guy is one of the most famous televangelists today, banking on his toothy, lovestruck grin, sharp suit, and attributing everything positive to God. He sells millions of books to people like my dad, who believe he has the answers to life's questions. Joel Osteen "preaches" like The Secret preached, the only difference being Joel gets to thank God for all the good things that have happened to him, while The Secret says if you build it they will come

Joel's books are sold literally everywhere, even in airports, and as my boyfriend points out, "you know you've made it when your books are sold in airports." The interesting thing about Joel, from what I understand, is that he talks about general life, compares a few things to Bible verses, and thanks God for things like his ability to rent Yankee Stadium for $1.5M on a Saturday, where he charges people to hear him speak about how his books (all with the words "your best life" somewhere in the title) will turn their lives around. 

The thing that gets me most isn't really his fault, though. It's that people, like my dad, are so devoid of self worth, confidence and encouragement that they look for it anywhere they can; Joel has a face you can trust; he has a genuinely happy smile, wears a nice suit, has lots of hair and lots of teeth, has a nice wife and house and car, and tells people how life can be so much better than it is. Considering how much Joel talks about life versus how much he talks about God, Joel is more life coach than preacher. The flashy TV screens that project his face to concert-like audiences (from Texas to the world) every Sunday, the ability to rent Yankee Stadium, and what appears to be a pretty nice lifestyle are all big red flags to me. He sells books promising a better tomorrow, using his own life as an example, when God seems to have blessed him with a pretty sweet setup. If I had the ability to rent out Yankee Stadium for $1.5M a day I'd probably be talking about how much God helped me, too. But no one is going to get to that point from reading his books, and that's what I wish people (like my dad) would understand. Have faith in God, but rely on yourself a little bit, too. Don't swear off dating each time you get dumped because we all know you're full of it and as soon as the next thing in tight jeans or a velour set gives you half the time of day you'll be planning your next marriage all over again.

This may have been more personal than originally planned...

April 22, 2009

Jesus Christ Is Lord (Not A Swear Word)

Probably anyone in San Diego has seen this semi-truck tucked away in an unassuming parking lot at some point in time. I've wondered at the conviction of whoever owns this truck. Is parking a red and white semi-truck on public property going to convert or even slightly change anyone? Will people who see this truck think twice before shouting "Jesus Christ!" at any time other than in prayer? I doubt it.

Yesterday, in my ever present job search, I came across a craigslist.org ad for a "transportation customer service position" in Point Loma... 
Christian trucking company in need of a customer service representative to assist with answering phones, filing, data entry. Candidate will have a positive attitude, self motivated with high work ethic, PC literate in Word, Excel and Web navigation. Salary DOE. 
...which got me wondering, what makes a trucking company Christian? I checked out the website and boom: Jesus Christ is Lord (Not a Swear Word) trucking company. Their mission is to use their trucks, which they rent out, to spread the word to the whole country. I wonder if they get a lot of business... If some Christian guy is in need of a semi-truck and also wants to spread the word to the country, he's in luck. 

April 21, 2009

Ridiculous Laws That Can Be, And Are, Enforced

I seem to get the parking tickets for stupid things, most recently for parking in an unmarked crosswalk. That's an unmarked crosswalk. The invisible crosswalk was not even handicapped accessible, or elderly accessible, since the curb was probably 8 inches high.

WTF, San Diego? You fined me $40 for blocking pedestrian access, when any pedestrian access would be classified as jay-walking due to lack of designated crosswalks? To make things better, you send my dad (the real owner of the car) a letter three months after issuing the bullshit citation informing him that the fine is now $90 due to delinquent payment. Oh, and that appeal I sent in the very day after the citation? 

"Oh, here it is. So you did send in an appeal. Well, it's gonna take us a couple weeks to read this so give us a call back then and we'll tell you our answer." 

Then you send a letter to an address I no longer live at (nice job, USPS, for forwarding that to me) (wait, shouldn't you, San Diego, have sent it to my dad, who actually owns the car?) informing me the citation was properly issued and I have 21 days to pay it. So I pay, grumbling, and call to schedule an appointment to appeal, again, in person. And it goes to voice mail. 

Fuck you, San Diego government, for deciding that you can ticket cars for parking in invisible crosswalks. I guess I'm lucky it wasn't an invisible handicapped parking space, or I would have been paying $380 instead of $40. 

Fuck you, USPS, for not forwarding some important pieces of mail, but getting the junk mail to me.

While I'm at it, and in a foul mood, fuck you economy for taking away my job and not giving me another (legit) job. Fuck you, Google, for denying me ads on this blog because it's "not fully launched, functioning, or easily navigable." And finally, fuck you miserable-three-day-old-headache. I've had just about enough and really don't feel like taking more pills.

April 20, 2009

It Must Be Hard To Be The Dad

Parenting: Who says it has to be difficult?

I love this quote, from Parenting.com's "12 ways to make your love life sizzle again" (written by a woman): 
"For about the same amount of money a fancy dinner would cost," says [psychologist Laurie] Mintz, "you can get a bargain hotel room, a cheap bottle of wine, and some bubble bath." Bonus: You won't have to make the bed afterward.
Mintz isn't talking about an affair or a one night stand. She's talking about your wife, the mother of your children, who just isn't as into sex as she was before passing a few footballs from her vagina. The article suggests mundane ways to make sex more fun now that you have three kids, two dogs and a mortgage, including standing naked in front of a mirror and willing yourself to feel good about what you see, scheduling sex into your Blackberry, and just do it anyway and maybe you'll like it by the time it's over. Nowhere in the article does she mention making your husband do the chores or watch the kids, which I hear is the #1 turn on for mothers.

That article led me to "What your husband wants you to know (but isn't telling you)," written by a male sex therapist. This guy starts his list off with "we like to cuddle" to make it sound like men have this sensitive side they're too manly to show their wives. How sweet. But the very next item is "we want you to take charge in bed." The last article was about just getting your wife into the mood for sex, and now you want her to be a domineering temptress after a day of runny noses, making dinner, and explaining to her boss why she was speaking with the school principal again? One step at a time, boys.
Sex may feel like a chore to you, but always having to be the one to initiate it starts to feel like a responsibility to us. And the last thing we need is more responsibility.
because "we can't look into our children's little eyes without seeing visions of college tuitions." Then he moves into "men want more guy time." Then "date night sucks." And ends with "you're hot and I dig that you've had my spawn." So husbands want to go out with the guys, return home to have hot sex with their wives, avoid all chores and nights of scheduled romance and hope it'll all work itself out in the end? 

I assume both of these articles were written for the women who married the most genetically pleasing man available in order to produce offspring, who now spend their married lives pleasing said offspring and collecting the paycheck said genetically pleasing man brings home for diapers, shoes and cereal bars. Do these men have no real interest in their offspring? No real interest in maintaining the household? Is it "I bring home the bucks, you make everything look pretty. And then we have sex"? In yet another article about surprise pregnancies, the husband was "too overwhelmed and scared to play the role of dad-to-be" so he "left the coaching up to his mom and walked the halls" of the hospital. While his wife was in agony, fearfully pushing out a baby she didn't know she had, he's too scared to hold her hand. That's pathetic.

April 19, 2009

Only You Can Prevent The Next Osama bin Laden

Finally someone has come up with the idea that, "hey, maybe all unborn babies aren't the next Einsteins; maybe you're preventing someone evil!" Pro-lifers insist that every sperm is most likely going to be God's next gift to mankind. Now, most parents believe their precious snowflakes are God's gift to mankind, or at least to themselves (heaven forbid I ever have children and have to be a parent), but the pro-lifers believe each blocked sperm literally would have most likely been the next Beethoven, which I don't really understand. Planned babies are normal, hopefully productive people but all blocked sperm and aborted fetuses would have been the next Martin Luther King, Jr.?

Maybe that blocked sperm would have been the next Hitler. How do you KNOW that sperm was going to do good? Maybe it would have been the next Charles Manson. These ads use the infamous faces of the worlds' recent/current evil leaders, while there isn't much to draw from this century in the way of exceptionally good people. Since there's more famous evil than famous good, maybe blocking those sperm is for the best? And while I'm at it, why isn't each egg the next Virgin Mary? Why do we only care about sperm?

Of course the Chinese have to get their panties in a bunch over this last one. They compare Mao Zedong to Hitler and Osama bin Laden. The nerve! Relax, China. These ads are coming from Germany. They're making fun of themselves and taking you with them, so be a good sport.

April 15, 2009

The Death of a Saleswoman

After a month and a half I got a job. As I lay in bed the night before my first day (which started at 8:30am), dreading the morning, I wondered what I had accepted. My job would entail standing outside various grocery stores, Kmarts and Walmarts attracting people with candy to sell them spa, golf, vacation and restaurant packages. The company supports the local food bank, Breast Cancer Foundation, and the Humane Society, has some legitimately awesome deals, and seriously wants salesmen to move up as fast as possible. 

The catch: 

You work 11 hour days and are paid for 8 hours. You're paid a percentage of each package you sell, so your 8-hour day begins once you get to the selling location and set up. You are not compensated for meeting time, prep time, "practice" time, travel time, travel expenses, or the candy you use to lure little children (and their mothers and fathers' pocketbooks) to the table.

You are technically self employed. You are an independent contractor and are not employed by the company. You do not get taxed. You must pay your own taxes at the end of the year.

You get sent to places like Chula Vista. You can't speak to half of the people you see, therefore drastically, and unfairly, reducing your success with the Law of Averages. You approach potential customers with the spa and golf packages and they look at you as if you're crazy and contemplate reminding you what city you're in.

You show up to the office in professional dress. You then remove your jacket and tie to appear more approachable. You cannot wear jeans, sneakers or anything that actually makes you more approachable. Your feet hurt from standing and doing essentially nothing all day.

You learn about the packages you're selling on Day 2. You do not know much about the packages you're selling on Day 1, making any real sales on Day 1 more fantasy than reality. Especially when no one can understand the words that are coming out of your mouth.

Needless to say, I quit my job before the first day was over. Back to unemployment for me.

April 14, 2009

Smile: Make It A Great Day

Saw this written on a license plate frame this weekend. The idea that just a smile can make someone's day has always bugged me. Smiling, or a stranger smiling at you, is not going to make your day any better if someone died or you lost your job and have been unemployed for a month and a half with no real prospects...*

Killer Smile: I has it.

I was endlessly annoyed while working as a cashier and middle aged men would ask me to smile as I rang up their purchases. Would smiling on command make my day better? Would it make standing in a booth for four hours scanning vitamins and pens and shampoo as fast as possible any better? Or would my smiling on command simply make these men happier?

A simple smile (though undoubtedly uplifting from that special someone or a hot guy at a coffee shop) is not going to make or break your day. Who has gone home at the end of the day and sobbed, wondering why no one smiled? Does this happen and I'm too caught up in, oh, living my life, to keep tabs on who is or isn't smiling? I was not trained "service with a smile" or "the customer is always right" where I cashiered. I did not offer a service to my customers, and no, ringing you up is not considered a "service." A waiters' smile is going to make your dining out experience better, and you'll tip him better for being friendly, but a cashier's smile is not going to affect your happiness with the product you purchased.

This being said, I'm not knocking people who try to live by those feel-good cutsie sayings if it makes them happier. To each his own and whatever rocks your socks and all that.

*I has a job now.

April 7, 2009

A Vasectomy for Women

At last!
Do not want to spend my hard earned cash on diapers.

The male birth control pill is still a few years away, but it seems researchers and doctors have found a procedure for women that is comparable to a vasectomy. It's called Adiana, and it's a form of permanent, hormone-less birth control for women.
"...Adiana is a minimally-invasive, non-incisional alternative. This procedure uses hysteroscopy, generally requires only local anesthesia, and can be performed in a physician's office. Patients are typically able to return to work or resume their everyday activities within a day." From Medical News Today
The procedure takes about 15 minutes, doesn't require any knife cuts, doesn't mess with hormones, and is currently estimated to be 98.9% effective.
It's not foolproof yet, though. Something like 11 pregnancies out of 600 patients in the first year. Since it was only approved in 2007 I'll wait to see how it improves. Maybe that could be a nice 30th birthday present to myself! I'm endlessly annoyed at doctors who refuse to sterilize a woman under the age of 40 because he's convinced she'll want kids as soon as she can't have them and sue. Is it that hard to get a lawyer to write up a fire proof contract for women to sign promising to not sue if they do want kids later? Is it that hard for the women who do change their minds to just adopt?

My Dreams While Sick

I had disturbing dreams today. I'll blame it on being sick.

Dream #1: Just before I woke up this morning.
My family was at some sort of government holding facility. (Think Tijuana border meets work camp meets Biblical consensus.) My immediate family is at this holding pen thing that has a line resembling the wait for X at Magic Mountain. 

Not worth a 30 minute wait... Definitely not worth the 3 hours I waited.

The ground is mud and there are hundreds of people just standing about. For some reason (as is common for my dreams) I have an aerial view of things. I see my littlest sister running for dear life around the perimeter of the compound and some men chasing her. It's obvious they want to hurt her and are trying to chase her out of the compound so they can take action. She gets to the border fence barely ahead of the men, but at the last second makes a sweeping u-turn and heads back into the thick of the crowd, where the men won't be able to touch her. At this point I'm back on the ground and she comes running right into my arms. We're both sobbing at the thought of what very nearly happened.

We return to our family, who knows what happened and are shaken up. We continue to wait in the line, which is apparently a line for sandwiches. We pay the mandatory $5 per person, receive a tuna sandwich (with lettuce), and they watch us eat it. 

I don't know where the tuna sandwich comes from.

My mom takes a bite and says, "Well, I'm making a peanut butter sandwich when we get home."

Dream #2: Nap time.
I go to the grocery store with my boyfriend and someone who resembles a devil in motorcycle gear and a cape. I do not like this devil person, but something has happened that makes me feel sorry for him, and he seems injured. At the store I come upon some shifty guys hiding themselves and toying with something. Being suspicious, I try to get a good view of the group and see they have a butter knife and are practicing voodoo with some garlic.

Not just for vampires anymore.

The devil person screams out in pain and has a visible stab wound on his shoulder. Though I'm not a fan of this devil person, I also don't feel he should die at the hands of some voodoo shoppers, so I grab the knife, which is now bloody. The devil person runs screaming from the store, jumps on his motorcycle, and drives off into the night. The voodoo shoppers shout victoriously, saying, "He's weak and driving a motorcycle at night. It will be easy to finish him off!" They pull another butter knife and I run out the store trying to find the devil person, but he's gone. I felt determined to put a stop to the voodoo shopper shenanigans.

But then I woke up.

April 2, 2009

To the Religious and the Non Religious: Live and Let Live

Found this after an hour or two of searching for images. I LOL'd.

I've been in a bit of an internal struggle. The more I read articles written by the devout the more I think they're irrational and self righteous. The more I read articles written by atheists the more I think they're rational and logical (if still preachy).

Let me clarify my struggle: I believe in God and feel God's presence in my life; coincidence would be too coincidental. I struggle with the Bible supposedly being the absolute word. This notion is hard for me and rational people everywhere to accept because it was written by several people, edited into books and chapters generations later, then translated dozens and dozens of times over 2000 years (Peter dictated to a writer; he didn't even write his books himself). The work of man is not infallible (that the Pope is infallible is the most hypocritical idea I've ever heard of), and the Bible is a work of man. God may have inspired it, but he did not beam it down on a cloud or chisel it into stone Himself.

I am not sure what to call myself. I believe in God. I don't go to church. I pray sometimes. I read the Bible every now and then (both because it's something interesting to read and to learn). I believe people are born good and learn evil. And if I read the words in red in the Bible (Jesus' quotes) to be the only thing close to absolute truth then I believe Jesus is part of the holy trinity, not simply a prophet. I believe God may have created the universe in seven days, but each day might have been a billion years, not 24 hours.

Better than the Queen's face!

Been reading The Atheist Missionary lately. History has shown us that religion divides people; I don't recall one of the arguments for religion being it creates good in the world. I'm glad to see anyone doing good in the world. Just like religious zealots trying to convert everyone, atheist zealots trying to destroy religion are annoying. For the average non-crazy person, faith can provide a means to deal with hardships. Why take away someone's hope?

April 1, 2009

Boy Meets Girl, Trouble

I had a fight with my boyfriend this weekend. A friend is having problems with her boyfriend. Another friend can't meet boys. My mom broke up with her boyfriend. Again. My sister is pro-boy but anti-boyfriend. A friend isn't kissing her boyfriend until they're at the altar. Another friend is taking a break from boys altogether.

My understanding is there are two schools of thought on relationships: one is the right relationship is easy to be in, and the other is any relationship worth being in is going to be difficult. This is why I don't like black and white. Life is made of gray.

The happy couple.

Relationships take a lot of work to function properly. Relationships are the basis upon which the vast, vast majority of songs, movies, novels, self-help books, and TV shows are built, making money for the people who can capitalize on them. Unfortunately, it's from these songs, movies, books, and shows that we get the wrong impressions about what a relationship is. In Scrubs, an agitated Turk consults with a patient:
Turk: So you're my gastric bypass. You got any questions?
Patient: Nope. See you in the O.R. tomorrow.
Turk: I'll be the one with the mask on. (To J.D.) That's how easy marriage should be.

Turk was upset that Carla wanted to send Rowdy to a farm.
Some people believe that if you're truly right for each other you won't fight, you won't need to compromise and you won't ever have a problem. These people are more likely to get married while still in the honeymoon stage of the relationship. They're also more likely to get divorced, believing the first partner "wasn't meant to be" and it was a mistake that delayed them from finding their true love. 

Sure there are plenty of other fish in the sea; but you're not anywhere near the sea. You're in the desert. Alone.

I remember the first year with my boyfriend and being so proud that we hadn't fought. When the first fight came, it was a little devastating. "We don't fight," I thought. "We aren't like other couples." It's been five years now, and it hasn't been perfect. We had a pretty nasty year of trying to make long distance work when I moved to San Diego and we gave up twice, but eventually we did get through it (after he finally moved here). We've seen several friends in long term relationships go through nasty break ups and have seen our parents go through bad divorces. 

A British article suggests unmarried adults will soon be more common than married adults. The article discusses how the number of marriages are declining and more adults are either cohabiting or living alone, and never marrying. What I don't understand is the choice of photo for the article:

The only way to happiness is marriage. Duh.
The article details the benefits of a single or cohabiting life, and then springs this line:
"The fall of marriage will go alongside a continuing large increase in numbers of people who do not have a live-in partnership - a forecast that means millions of young people are heading for a life of middle-aged loneliness."
Because, obviously, once you've hit 40 you're basically dead and no one wants you. The people who choose to remain single won't be lonely if there will be so many other single people around. Single people are lonely when they lose their single friends to marriages, but if, like the article says, there will be more single people than married people, who's gonna be lonely? I bet a bunch of 40+ bars will spring up to cater to this new bunch.

On a more or less related note, in Germany there was a story of a man who was sterile and could not start a family with his wife. He paid his neighbor (a married father of two) to have sex with his wife. After six months and no baby the neighbor was found to be sterile, forcing his wife to admit his two children weren't really his. Oops. The story centered around the first man suing for his money back, but I want to know how the neighbor responded to his wife sleeping with someone else! It sounds like the neighbor needs that money, so the first man might just want to let it go. Not like the neighbor agreed knowing he was sterile.