Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lazy dating.

Dating has become a lazy endeavor.

Seriously, consider how it's done today. The whole ordeal can be arranged largely in our sweats, in front of a computer. It is not uncommon for relationships to blossom after a casual, unspecific routine of hanging out. It has become acceptable to shoot someone a text or facebook message. This is followed by meeting up somewhere, sometimes with other people.
I'm not saying the old school system of chaperones and calling on a girl should be brought back, but at least then you knew who was truly into you. A guy had to make an effort! He had to come and visit you and speak to the appropriate people. He had to choose a time and location for a date, then come and pick you up. There was none of this "hanging out" nonsense.

And as if this all wasn't lazy enough, someone out there is catering to and encouraging further apathetic dating habits. During some recent research, I stumbled across a shameful website called "Text My GF." I just HAD to check it out. I now wish I hadn't. According to the common douchebags who run this site, women judge the quality of their relationships on how many text messages they receive from their boyfriends. This is simply too much work for the average man! Who has the kind of time and energy required to maintain a relationship??
If you're nodding in agreement, fear not. For a monthly subscription fee, you can have a third party send trivial, saccharine text messages to your girlfriend! Don't worry, they'll all look like they come from your phone, and you can schedule the times and how often. But after you fix your settings, you don't have to worry about silly things like feelings and what to say to your girlfriend. And for the gentleman courting several ladies? Well, just set up another account! Easy!

Seriously? This is what dating has come to? Why not just hire someone to hang out with your girlfriend, too? Think how much time you'd save there! Come on, America (this service is unavailable outside the US)--is this something we're comfortable with?

Let's bring our standards back up.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sentimental Drivel

An Open Letter to Recent College Grads, on the Occasion of my 5 Year Reunion:

I understand. I watch you standing uncomfortably in your cap and gown, unsure of the outfit and all that it means. I see the frenzied packing, having a million things you'd rather do instead of cram four years into boxes and suitcases. You're excitedly introducing your parents to a favorite professor, showing them all the places you had classes, met friends, found your way. And I remember it fondly. It was five years ago--long enough to merit a bit of nostalgia, but not so long that I've forgotten it all.
And then. The end. It's all different on Sunday afternoon, after you've flipped that tassel to the left. As I walk around my beloved campus, I witness countless goodbyes. They run the gamut--some are loud, laughing, spinning hugs full of excitement and proclamations about visiting. Others are still, quiet, tearful. They all break my heart because I understand. None of this will help, but trust me--I get it. I was you, remember? And I know you're sad for so many reasons--your whole life is changing. You're leaving this life you've created, only to create a new one. Scary. But you'll do it. You'll do it well, too. Because even though it's terrifying, that's the best part. I was scared shitless because I didn't even know where to start on that new journey.
I remember feeling like I was parceling out my heart, leaving a bit of it with each goodbye. My college friends were my family--the family I chose, who could easily (and probably should have) left me at any time. But they stayed. So to leave them, knowing that tomorrow they would be across the country and not across the hall? Was not ok.
But here's the dirty little secret, the part no one tells you: it's not over. No, you won't have dinner together every night and Sunday brunch. But you'll see each other. You'll travel. You'll meet up. You'll find the time. And if you're lucky, like me, every time you're together it'll feel like no time has passed. You'll pick right up where you left off. You'll remember what each other orders to eat, make fun of the same things, and go home with a plastic Spongebob Squarepants in your luggage.
You won't believe me now, because you're a Graduate now and you don't need the wisdom of an alum--and it all sounds crazy anyway. But trust me on this--the world is not ending.**

It's just starting.

**It's not ending because you graduated, anyway. It's ending because of the Rapture, but that would have happened no matter what. You shouldn't be blamed for that one, guys.

Saturday, May 07, 2011


I just read an article about the top baby names for 2010. Are you ready? Jacob and Isabella. Now, in case you don't know any preteens and never read People Magazine, it would seem that Twilight fans are having a lot of babies.

But this leaves me perplexed. I was under the impression that more people were on Team Edward than Team Jacob. (I won't lie to you, I'm Team Edward all the way. But that's partially because I think both of them would be pretty terrible boyfriends. My recent viewing of a few episodes of True Blood has led me to the opinion that any vampire, really, would be a terrible boyfriend. Hey, stop getting off track. I'm just saying, it's Pattinson over Lautner.)

If you trust Google (and I do) then Team Edward is more popular, with nearly twice as many results showing up than when you search for Team Jacob. I'm not planning on doing any more research into the popularity of Edward vs. Jacob, so we're trusting this data.

So. Edward is more popular and dreamy. Then why is Jacob a popular baby name? Why didn't Edward take the top spot?

I'm reminded of one of my standby arguments about men--they fall into two categories. Han Solo and Luke Skywalker. Han Solo is maybe not the best choice you could make, on the surface. He's a little too full of himself and definitely wouldn't call you when he promised he would. He likely won't notice your haircut and probably doesn't want to have dinner with your friends. But dammit if he doesn't somehow charm you with that smirk and make you consider all the bad choices you could make together. Now Luke Skywalker...he doesn't exactly make you consider bad choices. Luke does call when he says he will, he is totally down with escorting you to that family reunion where he'll sit with your aunts and charm them. He's devoted and loyal and, just like Han, charming, but in a very different way.

Not to make anyone cringe too much, but Edward and Jacob are a bit like this, in their own way.** Edward is moody and possessive, sulky and prone to temper tantrums. But he's got that sexy vampire staring thing going on and then you're all sucked up in Bad Decisions. Jacob is the nice guy and reliable and your parents would like him so much more and he also has non-human issues but whatever.

So back to baby stuff. (Sentences I never thought I'd construct.) Edward isn't a top baby name of the past year. (Or probably the past few decades? You think?) I can only think of one explanation--demographics. The baby-having group of Twilight fans must fall more into Team Jacob territory than Team Edward. I mean, think about it! If you're having a baby, you're (probably) more stable, settled. You're looking for Good Choices! You're looking for Dependable Jacob.

And then you're going to name your baby.
So, you prefer Han or Luke? Edward or Jacob?

**It should be noted that Han Solo and even Luke Skywalker will always be 100% more awesome than Edward and Jacob. Don't even worry about it.