“Saving Love Lives The World Over!”
e-mail to a friend in need
October 31, 2008
Are you haunted by the ghost of relationships past? In honor of Halloween, we revive a classic comic featuring Breakup Girl Friday…
October 30, 2008
While we remain firm in the belief that men and women can be friends, we will dearly miss Estelle Reiner.
October 29, 2008
“In my day, if we wanted to commit adultery, we trudged 14 miles in the snow to the next farmhouse over, and we made love on a scratchy bale of hay. You’d get your rocks off, but you’d also get a low-grade infection from all the minor cuts and scrapes. And we liked it! We loved it!”
— My attempt at aping Dana Carvey’s Grumpy Old Man routine
Time to dust off all your antiquated notions of who’s cheating, why and how. A story published this week in the New York Times says that marital infidelity is markedly up among the young and the old — never mind such well-worn scenarios as the Seven Year Itch or the forty- or fiftysomething midlife crisis:
“The lifetime rate of infidelity for men over 60 increased to 28 percent in 2006, up from 20 percent in 1991. For women over 60, the increase is more striking: to 15 percent, up from 5 percent in 1991. The researchers also see big changes in relatively new marriages. About 20 percent of men and 15 percent of women under 35 say they have ever been unfaithful, up from about 15 and 12 percent respectively.”
And what are considered the culprits of all this out-of-wedlock canoodling? The more societal scourges change, the more they stay the same… drugs and porn! Researchers quoted in the article say that newfangled voodoo fixes like Viagra and hormone replacement therapies have allowed seniors to “express their sexuality into old age,” while the proliferation of Internet porn may be “affecting sexual attitudes and perceptions of ‘normal’ behavior” among the impressionable young.
Other modern trappings — such as cell phones, IMs, and that Holiday Inn Express you stayed in last night — may also be to blame for the significant rise in adultery among women: “…married women are more likely to spend late hours at the office and travel on business. And even for women who stay home, cellphones, e-mail and instant messaging appear to be allowing them to form more intimate relationships.”
If I were a sociology undergrad, I’d try to impress the bejeesus out of my prof by tying all this in to other examples of how modern society, with all its lifesaving/moneymaking innovations, seems geared towards isolation: Bowling Alone, dinner alone, etc. And that then, when an individual, even a married one, gets to a point where he/she feels isolated even from his/her own spouse, a more despearte lurch towards intimacy, such as an extramarital affair, is more likely to take plac.e
Then again, I never actually took any sociology courses, so you tell me what you think in the Comments section below.
Okay, it’s all a blur. Earlier this month, I reported that men — definitively! (at least according to SCIENCE) — were most drawn to brunettes. Then BG found even more current research that confirmed the old chestnut about blondes. And now there’s more breaking news on the hue front. According to ScienceDaily, a new study reveals that “the color red makes men feel more amorous toward women.” That’s red as in plumage — like Jessica Rabbit’s dress — not her hair. In other words, if you thought the world lacked enough pop songs, famously lipsticked kissers, other iconic red dresses and more pop songs to prove it, now we’ve got the scientific stats to back it up. Kinda the same way we figured out the sky is blue.
But speaking of woodland creatures: “Although this aphrodisiacal effect of red may be a product of societal conditioning alone, the authors argue that men’s response to red more likely stems from deeper biological roots. Research has shown that nonhuman male primates are particularly attracted to females displaying red. Female baboons and chimpanzees, for example, redden conspicuously when nearing ovulation, sending a clear sexual signal designed to attract males…findings confirm what many women have long suspected and claimed — that men act like animals in the sexual realm. As much as men might like to think that they respond to women in a thoughtful, sophisticated manner, it appears that at least to some degree, their preferences and predilections are, in a word, primitive.”
[OK, but you know what? Humans are animals. Just ONCE, I’d like to see a study like this that didn’t “conclude,” with great sciencey fanfare, “See? Men ARE animals!” — BG, seeing red.]
Here’s my logic problem. A guy has to choose between a brunette in a red sweater and a blonde in an ivory sweater. Uh oh! Now who’s the belle of the ball? Something tells me this isn’t so black and white. Jessicas and Rogers: what’s your take?
Rose Martelli and Maria Burnham also contributed to this post.
October 28, 2008
Jackie over at our Hair Desk recently reported the breaking news that gentlemen, in fact, prefer brunettes. Perhaps we spoke too soon.
We read (and write) gossip about celebrities because they’re celebrities, but we like and care about a much more select few because they’re, you know, real. Perhaps this leads, in certain grisly cases — even just terrible celebrity breakups — to overly frenzied TMI coverage of someone’s very real pain. But I think the instinct, somewhere, is sincere. All of which is to say that BG has been terribly saddened by the unfolding Hudson family tragedy, but just hasn’t known how to express it. Now, finally, Mark Caro at the Chicago Trib reminds us of exactly what, and all, there is to say.
Update: People Magazine on JH and her mom. Read/weep.
You may have heard that virtual gaming worlds can engender real-life economies. As it turns out, virtual breakups — and, more to the point, virtual revenge — may also have real-world consequences. As PC World/The Washington Post reports:
The line between virtual reality and its flesh-and-blood cousin blurred a little this week as a 43-year-old Tokyo woman was jailed for murdering her virtual ex-husband’s* avatar.
After she suddenly found herself divorced in “MapleStory,” a popular 2-D side scrolling MMORPG, the unidentified woman used her ex-husband’s ID and password [which, the AP notes, she had gotten from him when all was well in both worlds] to log into the game and kill him off. Call it Death by Deletion.
When the man discovered his beloved avatar was gone, he contacted authorities, which led to the woman’s arrest. “I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning,” the woman told investigators. “That made me so angry.” The AP reports that the woman had no intention to carry out violence in reality.
The charges are “illegally accessing a computer and manipulating electronic data,” which carries a sentence of up to five years in jail or a fine up to $5,000.
I’m not saying anyone’s justified in killing anyone, except perhaps a Pirate Octopus. But yeah, before you dump someone — anywhere — it wouldn’t hurt to at least have a talk. No man, after all, is a Maple Island.
*From Wikipedia: “Players may participate in in-game marriages at the town of Amoria. Guests may be invited to the wedding, and the marrying couple will receive wedding ring items. The wedding ‘ceremony’ requires the completion of various quests. If a premium wedding ticket from the Cash Shop was purchased, the player is entitled to have a party after the ceremony. In Amoria Dungeon, players can fight exclusive monsters. The KoreaMS version of Amoria has been altered to remove the training grounds and the Chapel area, leaving only the Cathedral. MapleStory currently does not allow same-sex marriage.”
October 27, 2008
My boyfriend is one of the most planet-friendly people I know — and I grew up in Berkeley, Calif. (i.e. Hippie Central), so that’s saying something. He refuses to own a car and rides everywhere on a bike — until the winter’s sleet and snow forces him to ride the bus. He recycles, uses canvas grocery bags and plants and harvests vegetables at a local farm. And, as [he is] an urban planner, one of his aims is to make cities less car-centric. There is but one contradiction to his eco-consciousness: I live in San Francisco, he lives in Alberta, Canada, and we fly to see each other every six weeks.
Neither of us likes the fact that we’ve emitted a total of 25.18 metric tons of CO2 (the result of 4,720 miles flown) in the past year. But what are we to do — end our relationship in the name of saving the planet?
Due to some too-boring-to-explain structural changes over at MSN.com, BG’s alter ego’s column, Ask Lynn (powered by Match.com) now appears…well, it’s complicated. But it does appear! Currently still available for your reading pleasure: our friend up in New Hampshire, and our friend down on her luck with weekend dates. Please check them out and come back here to comment. And, if you have questions of your own, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Update: Okay, the links & navigation have gotten a bit wacko with MSN’s redesign. Sorry about that. Here are new direct links to the above-mentioned Ms. New Hampshire and Ms. Weekday Date. (And here is the full MSN.com relationship article index.) Sorry about the confusion; comment on! (Speaking of which, each of those pages has, at bottom right, a “feedback” link if you have comments for MSN.com about the new look.) Thanks!
October 24, 2008
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Separation anxiety on January 12, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I have met a guy on (of all places) the Internet. I know what everyone says about things like this, but I am following my guts here. I think we could be awesome together. Only problem is that we live on opposite sides of the world. What should I do? Why is it that the person who is right for me now is so far away?
Of all places, indeed. If you all think it’s lame to wait by the phone, try waiting by the computer.