Monday, March 23, 2009

Texting, Dating, and Confusion...

Just as technology in general has changed the world, texting has definitely “revolutionized” dating. The jury is still out on whether this has been a positive or negative revolution, but it has definitely been an interesting one. One of the most interesting aspects of texting and dating is the amount of confusion it causes. This can be a problem even when both people like each other, and it can reach truly awesome proportions when the two people are on the outs. Take the conversation below. The girl has completely written off the guy after several weeks of no contact. The guy, on the other hand, thinks that it’s a small problem and that he can "totally get back in there." Our team of relationship scientists has translated each message to standard English (see parts italicized in parenthesis) to highlight the confusion. Let the games begin:

Guy: Congrats on your contest (Hey, can we pretend nothing happened?)

Girl: oh thank you (Why are you talking to me now? Are you serious?!?)

Guy: how are you? Did work put up from the contest? (See, I’m being nice and thoughtful. You know you miss me. Especially how mysterious I am when I randomly string words together.)

Girl: good, busy
what do you mean? (Why are we even talking? I don’t like you anymore.)

Guy: I got hurt at work 3 weeks ago
Did the contest get your name out there? (This is why I stopped talking to you. Please forgive me. If you ask me, I have an inspirational story that goes with my “injury”.)

Girl: oh Im sorry to hear that. (Yeah, right! I don’t believe anything you say! Nothing!)

Guy: a little boy I knew passed from brain cancer
a shitty 3 weeks for me (Do you hear that?? Cancer! My life is deep and tragic. You’re a bitch if you don’t forgive me!)

Girl: oh i have had people come up to me for work but not through the contest. (I don’t give a crap about little boy or cancer! Did your phone have cancer too?!?)

Guy: good. I am happy for you babe. You deserve it (What the hell?!? I just said a little boy died from cancer! That’s my best material.)

Girl: thanks (That’s right! I’m tired of your shit!)

Guy: Isn’t Damian Maia amazing?
I just saw the last UFC (Ok, I see that you’ve accepted my story, let’s resume our normal relationship by talking about what we both like.)

Girl: what is that? (Haven’t you been listening? I’m not accepting your story.)

Guy: Damian Maia. BJJ fighter (No, no, you’re totally accepting the story. I know you are.)

Girl: oh you mean with sanchez vs stevenson
last Saturday (What the fuck!!!)

Guy: yes!
an amazing card.. I DVR it (See, I told you. Just relax. Remember how cool I am and how rock hard my abs are.)

Girl: yeah i watched that, i have the last round tivoed, BUT i think its safe to say diego won (I’m speechless…)

Guy: yes he did
it was a boxing match. (I’m glad we’re back together.)

Girl: yeah i figured (We’re not back together...)

Guy: That was the most boxing fight that night
still kicking ass at the gym?
I was doing 1 hour of cardio a day for 2 weeks and didn't lose (We totally are. Look how much we have in common. Remember the gym? That’s our thing!)

Girl: yeah i was talking with my friend about that all night, all wanna stand now no one wants to take it to the ground
yeah i still go to the gym (I was on a date with a hot guy watching the fight without you, jackass!!!)

Guy: I don't like UFC boxing,lol
You look amazing as usual (You whore! I knew it! It’s ok. I still love you. We can work this out.)

Girl: oh thx, yeah i love working out (No shit I look hot! You stupid, stupid person.)

Guy: sexy.. good for you
XOOXoX miss ya (I knew you would see things my way.)

Girl: Ummm
so to be honest, i don't really know what to say to you. i feel a lil weird. (WTF?! Who do you think you are?!? No, I do know what to say to you but you are not worth my time. You bore me!)

Guy: Thats ok I understand
when bad shit happens to me I tend to shut down
I am sorry. (Don’t you remember my story??? I was injured! There was a boy with cancer! CANCER!!!)

Girl: i assumed you were just like done with me so i moved on with my feelings. (I don’t give a crap about cancer!!!)

Guy: you didn't do anything wrong (I didn’t do anything wrong!)

Girl: oh i know i didn't (Oh, yes you did! You’re a fucking moron!)

Guy: I appoligize (Ok, fine, you want an apology? Here it is! I’m going to spell it wrong though…)

Girl: i'm not upset
things happen (I don’t want your stupid spelled wrong apology. Too little too late!)

Guy: ok
big hug! (Sweet! I’m glad you forgive me. It’s great to be back together… again.)

Girl: um no big hug though (We’re not back together!!! Stop saying that!!!)

Guy: lol
talk to you soon? (What?!? I’m so confused. Didn’t you listen to my story?!?! What’s wrong with you???)

Girl: to be really really honest - i don't trust you... and i know that sounds harsh bc you obviously had a rough patch there but i rather protect myself bc it did hurt a little at the time when i did not hear from you. (You are pathetic. Leave me alone.)

Guy: ok
we will see (Ok, so how long do you need? Two? Three weeks?)

Girl: what ya mean (What?!?)

Guy: keep in touch (Ok, three weeks it is.)

Girl: Okay (No, don’t talk to me anymore.)

Guy: ok
sorry again
have a great day at work babe (You just need time to let the awesomeness of my story sink in. I’ll talk to you in three weeks.)

Girl: Bye (You have a small penis!)

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Is the Food Network Peddling Food Porn???

We’ve all done it. We’ve stayed up way too late and “just happened” to start watching a cooking show on the Food Network. Before you realize it you’re hooked and you can’t stop watching. You’re seriously enjoying yourself and then you start to wonder, “Is this wrong? Should I be doing this?” We’ve all been there. It’s a disconcerting experience.

The last time this happened to me, I started to wonder, “Why does this feel so wrong?” And then it hit me: watching cooking shows on the Food Network feels just like watching porn (at least this is what I’ve been told by my more low-brow acquaintances). I started to run through all the similarities in my head and I came up with the list below. I hope it helps you as much as it helped me. Remember, admitting you have a problem is always the first step.

7 Ways Cooking Shows are Like Porn:

  1. You watch it late at night with the door locked.

  2. You get excited and secrete bodily fluids during the best parts.

  3. You feel ashamed after watching it and vow to seek help.

  4. You immediately look forward to the next opportunity to indulge in more.

  5. You seek out bizarre and exotic forms to maintain interest and excitement (e.g. Extreme Cuisine, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, Iron Chef America).

  6. No matter how much you watch, you always want the real thing.

  7. You try to reproduce what you see on the screen using whatever resources you have at home with varying levels of success.

At this point, you’re probably saying to yourself, “What do I do now? I can’t just give it up.” I concluded the same thing. That’s why I decided to just stop worrying about it and enjoy myself. If it starts to cause problems with my work, friends or family, I can always get new ones. Happy eating!

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Monday, March 9, 2009

Theory on Happiness #2: Givers and Takers

Much has been written about the differences between people, in particular, the differences between men and women. For example, some have theorized that men are from Mars and women are from Venus; a theory that I believe has gained in popularity because the word “Venus” sounds vaguely like “penis”. That having been said, things are not quite so complex as to require multiple alien origins to explain. When it comes down to it, there are two types of people: givers and takers. This framework is true in general, but it is particularly helpful when it comes to dating and relationships.

The principles of the givers and takers theory are quite simple. First of all, givers give. They give of themselves and of what they have freely and with little regard for how logical it may or may not be. Second of all, takers take. They take everything they can and they always want more. If we believe these two principles to be true, then it is easy to conclude that, in order for a relationship to be successful, you can’t have a giver and a taker. You need either two givers or two takers. This theory is illustrated by the following diagrams:

The first two diagrams show balanced conditions. In the first, the two givers cancel each other out so that they both get some of the box, which represents love, happiness, food, shelter, the remote, orgasms, etc. The second diagram shows a similar situation with two takers continually trying to take the “box” from each other. This might seem like a negative, but the two takers are so self-absorbed that they don't realize they're just taking the same stuff back and forth. This constant taking makes them happy even if it doesn't actually increase the amount of "box" that each of them has relative to the other. The final diagram shows what happens when you mix these two types of people. As would be expected, the taker ends up with the entire “box” and the giver ends up with the metaphorical puddle of tears (herpes).

Monday, March 2, 2009

Theory on Happiness #1: Sweet Sweet Irony

One of the most basic aspects of being a human being is the ability to learn from our experiences. This basic skill has allowed us to survive and thrive for thousands of years by helping us to avoid our past mistakes. Ironically, this same skill may also be the reason why it's so hard to find a successful relationship.

As we get older and learn from our mistakes, we get more selective because we weed out the types of people that have not worked out in the past, thus keeping us from getting hurt; however, this increase in our selectiveness also limits the chances that we'll find the person we're looking for because we're continually reducing the talent pool. On the other hand, our lack of selectiveness when we are young helps us to easily find relationships, but also increases the chances that the relationship will be inherently flawed in some way and that it will end spectacularly years later.

Therefore, a fine balance must be struck between being too selective and not selective enough in order to maximize the chances of finding the right person and, supposedly, being happy. This leads logically to the chart above and then, almost immediately, to tears.