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January 26, 2010
Over at YourTango.com’s Love Buzz, blogger Melissa Noble polled 50 men to find out how many of them know the actual date of Valentine’s Day, which is, I guess, a slightly bigger stumper than “Who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb?”. For the results, just read her post’s curiously-punctuated title: “20% of Men Don’t Know The Date of Valentine’s Day Which means 80 percent of men DO know the date of Valentine’s Day. Whew.”
Despite being taught the necessity of buying and exchanging Valentine’s Day cards (often in bulk) from pre-school on, I have to admit…I have at times, well, forgotten Valentine’s Day. Not very ladylike behavior, I suppose, as Noble writes: “Most women we know either relish or dread February 14th.” But…really? Women are that fixated on Valentine’s Day? And same-sex couples…well, never mind them, I guess? Or, beyond all that, is it really so black and white (and red all over)? Is there room to observe it our own way, because hey, why not, it’s here, it could be nice, without making such a giant cuckoo deal?
I mean, my college crush and I thought ourselves so evolved as to be post-Valentine’s Day. We decided no cards, presents or even candied hearts. Instead we sat in a smoky café with our friends, reading Kierkegaard out loud, dressed in black, sipping lattes. At the time, it was perfect. He loved it. I loved it. There were no false expectations. Now, the odds that I’ll observe the holiday that way today are about the same as that of Hallmark coming out with a card criticizing 19th-century Hegelianism and celebrating the priority of concrete human reality over abstract thinking, but still. It was fun.
So tell us: What are some ways you’ve observed, ignored, or something in between, Valentine’s Day? That is, assuming you even knew the date.
December 25, 2009
December 3, 2009
You’ve heard this comparison: dates are, for helpful or painful, like job interviews. (In this economy, let’s hope at least one or the other, depending, is plentiful.) But career counselor and author Nicole Williams sees it the other way around: when women (or “girls,” as she calls ‘em) apply the received dating wisdom of the post-Rules generation — basically, “don’t give the milk away for free” — to their workplace, they can create a new, strong, and female-friendly way of doing business.
Williams’s book, Girl on Top: Your Guide to Turning Dating Rules into Career Success, has been getting mostly positive coverage in magazines as disparate as Money and Cosmo, and is currently ranked at #32 on Amazon’s business books list. Whether you agree or disagree with the tenets of her philosophy, she has some interesting advice for women coping with some typical year-end job bugaboos. We caught up with Williams during her crazybusy book tour.
BG: The recession rages on, and it seems that about 10 percent of the US population has been “dumped.” What are the parallels between the post-breakup “Slanket and Zebra Cakes” period and the first few weeks or months of unemployment?
NW: It’s oh-so similar. Rejection — personal or professional — sucks. But the difference is at the end of the day, as much as you’d like to lay fetal and eat (or frankly drink) your way to delirium, a girl’s got to pay rent! Let yourself have a good cry and feel like shit for a week (or if desperate…two) but you know what they say about getting back up on the horse…Get back out there while your contacts are fresh, your skills are current, your confidence has a pulse and you haven’t convinced yourself all would be fine if you could just land yourself a spot on The Hills.
BG: Those of us still in the workforce will soon be facing the dreaded Holiday Office Party–any tips on how to survive?
I’m fine with the hookup as long as he’s not your boss, you do it after the party (where no one is going to see you), and with someone you actually have a hankerin’ for. I’m not big into one-night work stands–it’s way too hard to see him day-in and day-out if there’s no long term potential. The risk is too great and let’s be honest, there are lots of options out there.
On the drinking front: one is fine, three is not. This is a big occasion where you really can make an impact and it’s better not to do that drunk. Break free of your usual crowd and get to know the big-wigs, talk about something other than the latest financials, and wear something that isn’t your usual office attire. But be careful, it’s not New Year’s party-sexy–it’s still work.
BG: Another recession question: say you like your job OK, but you learn at the year-end company meeting that there will be no raises or bonuses this year. (Not unlike “I love you but I don’t foresee marriage anytime soon”?) Should you stay or should you go?
Such a great question. It’s not just about the cash (although if it’s been years, you’re a high producer and the company is flush…it is), it’s about the compensation package. Are you learning things and meeting people who you’ll be able to turn into money-making opportunities? Is your boss offering up extra vacation days, some other sort of hearty “thanks”? Is she or he giving you time and attention–offering you constructive feedback, introduction to important people? If your boss isn’t into you (and doing NONE of the above), I’m all about cutting and running. Just remember that in this economy, money isn’t the only indicator of love.
December 1, 2009
Male marrieds: When your wife shot you that “Perhaps no sevenths on the pumpkin pie, yo,” glance, or suggested lite mayo for your next-day turkey sammich, then was the time to give thanks. Science says her health-centric concerns could help keep you from a premature date with that big, fluffy bowl of mashed potatoes in the sky.
A recent study by the Swedes finds that the more educated and intelligent the wife, the longer-living the hubs — regardless of his I.Q. or schooling. Why? Hypothetically: (her) higher education leads to increased enlightenment about nutritious, healthful eating, which she passes along to him. Let’s just hope most wives, Ivy League or no, are educated as to this: candied yam casserole, once a year, totally won’t kill you. (Rather, it makes you happy to be alive.)
February 14, 2009
It’s not too late to send an e-card! Not specific enough? Try our customizable candy hearts. Not enough Rachel Maddow? Try these.
February 11, 2009
Catchphrase for V-Day ‘09: Frugal is the new flirty. (What Mia said!) Which is why we’re having a giggle over these custom candy hearts thought up by the folks at BusinessPundit.com, created online via the ACME Heart Maker site*. STMU L8ME!
*Make your own without leaving this site!
Today’s New York Post reports that — given the unhappy marriage of Valentine’s Day and economic downturn — the number of Internet searches for “cheap engagement rings” has gone through the roof. Perhaps would-be knee-benders should also consider recycling?
December 12, 2008
Naughty thoughts from December 22, 1997…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I have been planning to break up with my boyfriend (of two months) but would rather wait until after the first of the year. My decision (based on my desire to see other guys, coupled with his irresponsibility and general disorganization) has been delayed because of the holidays and, more importantly, the fact that we both have two weeks of difficult final exams. If I know that he bought me an expensive Christmas present, am I under any obligation to stay with him or to return the gift to him after we break up? Is the fact that the gift is something I lobbied for extensively in a previous relationship — but never got — material to this question at all?
– Merry Christmas
December 10, 2008
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A Christmas conundrum from December 16, 1997…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Thanks for being there at just the right time. My boyfriend of 5-1/2 years just broke up with me a week and a half ago. In Christmases past, I’ve been used to sending and receiving cards to/from “K & P.” Now I’m dreading the fact that I have to somehow tell all of these people that he and I are no longer together (when it was generally assumed that we would be together forever). It still hurts to talk about it…how can I tell people about us without making the whole card thing a big bummer?
– Just K
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