January 17, 2011
Speaking truth to loser on May 25, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Help me, I want to get revenge at my ex-boyfriend, because he broke up with me and then he told everybody some stuff about me that’s totally untrue. Now I’m SO angry at him and want to do something that makes him feel really bad. Do you think I should ignore him (be cold) or should I tell him that I don’t accept that he’s running around telling lies? One thing he doesn’t know is that some of his friends are on my side. That feels really good, but it would’ve been better if he knew that, too. I don’t know how to get revenge so please help me!
January 14, 2011
Double dealing on May 25, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
This is kinda a horror story/survivor story. Last summer I was crushing on a guy friend so I sucked up my gut and told him. He e-mailed (how tacky) me back and took several pages to get across the meaning that he wasn’t interested. I then invoked the curse of e-mail breakups and sent it to all my friends with the subject heading “And I thought I liked this jerk!” Everyone (including him and I) swore to secrecy as no one wanted it all over our junior high. Then last fall I’m walking down the hall when some guy asks if I asked (we’ll call him Bob) Bob out over the summer. I later asked Bob if he told anyone, he swore up and down that he didn’t, and even suggested that my friends knew as well. So I asked the guy who’d asked me about it at school who had told him. His reply: “Bob, but don’t tell him because he’ll be really mad at me.” I told Bob that he lied to me. He e-mailed me back (again!) to say “Call it what you like.” So I dropped him like a bad habit and moved my attentions to someone more mature (and more likely to say things in person). He’s more cute, too. I’m having a blast flirting and not having to worry about having a boyfriend. Hence proving again that the good guys always (well, usually) win.
— Free From Lame E-Mailers
Hmmm. I really do like the ending, but I must say that Bob’s email did not necessarily warrant the Curse. I mean, it may not have been what you wanted to hear, but it wasn’t a breakup. Also, I’m not sure how your e-forwarding move is consistent with your professed dedication to “secrecy” — like, how you can bust Bob for blabbing when you totally did yourself. Call it what you like, but I’d say it’s a big NO on number 1, above. Sorry.
January 13, 2011
You know how when you break up with someone and then you tell your friends and they make the shocked Macaulay Culkin Home Alone face? Apparently, that’s pretty much what’s happening to Mila Kunis right now. As a “close chum” of hers told E!, “We all found out [she and Mac broke up] and were like, what?” Over at Jezebel, Anna North reacts to that reaction. “It’s nice that Mila’s doing well, and that her pal acknowledges that fact, but when a breakup leaves all your friends So Surprised, it’s even worse than the usual variety,” she argues. Why? To summarize:
1. It was, in fact, probably sudden. And if that gives your friends “emotional whiplash,” what about the actual exes?
2. “When you just broke up with someone, you don’t want to hear how great you were together.”
3. “You feel a sense of unease with the universe.” “…[W]hen your friends are “like, what?!,” as it were, you’re brought face to face with the terrifying unpredictability of life.”
So yes, as North suggests, if a friend’s breakup blows your mind, process with a different friend, mmmkay? To the breakup friend, show compassion, not surprise. Let her or him tell you how they feel, not the other way around. Let’s remember the immortal words of Bridget Jones‘s friend Magda, who said, “People’s relationships are quite mysterious. No one from the outside ever really understands what makes them work.” Or not work. But we do know what makes friendships work.
For more on our reactions to friends’ breakups, click here.
January 12, 2011
Until the apocalypse? Fortunately, no, though that’s pretty much the story of Buffy’s life. Actually, January 19 is evidently Buffy Summers’ birthday* — and KabaLounge is throwing a virtual party.
Here’s the parlor game: If you could give Buffy Summers one birthday gift, what would it be?
Send them your creative idea for the perfect birthday gift for Buffy. One (1) winner will receive a page of original art from Season 8 drawn by Georges Jeanty!
See KabaLounge for details and official rules. Me, I’m thinking some nice scented candles.
* Coincidence/conspiracy: it’s also the release date for Buffy issue #40!
January 11, 2011
You know that recent story about how “Women’s Tears Say ‘Not Tonight, Dear’?” Over at the Ms. blog, J Goodrich (Echidne of the Snakes) takes the boneheaded sexist headlines and media “analyses” of a recent Israel study and basically kicks them so hard they cry.
In a study published Thursday in the journal Science, the Weizmann Institute of Science researchers collected emotional tears from female volunteers by showing them sad movies. Then they had male test subjects sniff the actual tears and fake tears comprised of saline.
A whiff of the real deal caused testosterone levels in the men to drop significantly. They found pictures of women less sexually attractive. When the men were sent into brain scanners, and shown a sad film, the men who were exposed to the fake tears didn’t show much lower activity in a region associated with sexual desire, but the activity in the same region was greatly reduced in men who breathed real tears.
The brain scans, the big yawn over alluring pictures and the drop in the he-man hormone led the scientists to conclude that “women’s emotional tears contain a chemosignal that reduces sexual arousal in men.”
Bottom line, ladies? If you’re looking for arousal, don’t turn on the waterworks.
Basically, as she summarizes, most of the reporting on the study, rather than actually REPORTING ON THE STUDY, invokes a colorful array of half-baked stereotypes: tears as “weapon in the battle of the sexes” that women deploy on demand, men as morons who are deterred from their search for sex only by ladyweeping.
Goodrich: “Let’s take a step backwards and look at the actual study and its possible meanings:
For practical reasons, Sobel and his colleagues have studied only women’s tears. But they suspect that men’s tears, and possibly children’s, also contain chemical signals and are eager to find out what messages they may convey.
That snippet suggests a completely different interpretation of the study findings. They may not ultimately be about the effects of women’s tears on men’s hormone and arousal levels but about the effects of human tears on other human’s hormones and emotions. This is not hidden in all the popularizations but it certainly has been pushed behind that “sex sells” curtain, and you have to work down the articles to find it. /snip/
Here are my further conjectures: It seems like a very useful and common-sense conclusion that another person’s tears will reduce your sexual arousal. Something tear-worthy is happening and perhaps it’s an important survival cue to pay attention to.
I’ve got one word to say about the state of journalism and gender stereotyping: *Sob.*
January 10, 2011
MSN.com, Match.com, HappenMagazine.com: they’re in a healthy and satisfying 3-way relationship. This Ask Lynn column is being promoted at Match on Yahoo this week…
This week Lynn answers What Should I Do in L.A. who’s stymied by a boyfriend who portrays himself as single online. But since he’s never met the women he chats with IRL, it’s not so much the cybercrime, it’s the coverup:
The first time I caught him, he said it was because he needed someone to talk to. The second time, he said he was trying to catch me cheating.
Yes, this one is more about trust issues than cheating. Read the full letter at Yahoo, then add your two cents in the comments below.
January 7, 2011
Seeking closure on May 25, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Any good revenge suggestions? I have been in and out of a not-so-emotionally-fulfilling but really-good-sex relationship for a few (four!?!?) years, and although I always knew it wouldn’t develop into anything good, I went ahead and fell for the whole spiel of how much he loved me … blah blah blah . Well, I’m happy to say that I finally came to my senses after a long crying jag and have vowed to move on to better, healthier relationships, but it’s hard since this has been going on for so long, and I admittedly harbor some bitter feelings and would love to pull off some great final revenge to solidify my intentions of never having him in my life or on my doorstep again … so I was wondering if you had any good suggestions? Nothing too mean, just sneaky enough to be satisfying — maybe this should be a theme for one month, how to get revenge without being too vengeful. Thanx.
January 6, 2011
Via Colin/Whedonesque: GREAT casting move: Dichen joins Captain Jack (at least in the premiere of)… TorchDollWood!
Be still both my hearts!
Aside, from Chris: “I had read that Enver Gjokaj was going to be on this, but I guess it was just a rumor. He now has his own pilot for USA where he plays a con-man working at his brother’s hotel as a concierge servicing rich clients. Sounds like the perfect computer-generated mix of White Collar and Royal Pains.”
January 5, 2011
No wonder Colin always sounds so tired.
More back story here.
January 4, 2011
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Even superheroes take like three weeks to get through the Sunday paper. So in case you missed it, or are still stuck on Automotive, here’s a nod to an interesting piece in the Times by Tara Parker-Pope. At a time of “sustainable”-chic, what — Parker-Pope asks, makes a relationship (in this case, marriage) last? It’s not just a toolbox containing “communication skills,” say. Actually, those things do help relationships endure, but they don’t — necessarily — make them “meaningful and satisfying.” As it turns out, “the best marriages are those that bring satisfaction to the individual.” (Emphasis added.) In other words, it is all about you.
Well, sort of. Let’s put it this way: it’s about finding someone who makes your life interesting — who inspires you to try new things, to shift and change in ways that please you.
Caryl Rusbult, a researcher at Vrije University in Amsterdam who died last January, called it the “Michelangelo effect,” referring to the manner in which close partners “sculpt” each other in ways that help each of them attain valued goals.
Dr. Aron and Gary W. Lewandowski Jr., a professor at Monmouth University in New Jersey, have studied how individuals use a relationship to accumulate knowledge and experiences, a process called “self-expansion.” Research shows that the more self-expansion people experience from their partner, the more committed and satisfied they are in the relationship.
While the notion of self-expansion may sound inherently self-serving, it can lead to stronger, more sustainable relationships, Dr. Lewandowski says.
“If you’re seeking self-growth and obtain it from your partner, then that puts your partner in a pretty important position,” he explains. “And being able to help your partner’s self-expansion would be pretty pleasing to yourself.”
Over time, the personal gains from lasting relationships are often subtle. Having a partner who is funny or creative adds something new to someone who isn’t. A partner who is an active community volunteer creates new social opportunities for a spouse who spends long hours at work.
I mean, even relationships that end, if they had some good to them — and come on, most do — you still get something, leave with something, carry something forward that enriches your life. Hobbies, interests, new perspectives, learning experiences. Like, from that one boyfriend, I got skiing, and art history. From another, bread-baking, and rage. I KID. (Just about the rage.)
What this also says to me: no one — no one! — should be made to feel bad or needy or girly or “desperate” or whatever for wanting to find love. We are social, seeking beings. We don’t want someone just to make us complete. We want someone to help make us, and our worlds, even bigger. And to do the same for that someone.
Bonus: Take Parker-Pope’s quiz to find out how much your relationship, past or present, “expands[/ed] your knowledge and makes[/made] you feel good about yourself.”
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