I know you are frequently bombarded with long letters, so I hope you’ll have patience for another one.
Fifteen years ago, this young country boy, born in a small plantation village somewhere in Southeast Asia, was catapulted across the Pacific to Southern California for his university education. Imagine being thrust into a big city like Los Angeles armed with nothing more than a sense of wonder and determination. Needless to say, he survived adventure, and along the way he picked up vocabulary like “dude” and “awesome” as well as a degree from UCLA. He also fell for, BIG TIME, a beautiful blonde in his class. He was her mystical oriental boy, and she was his amazing green-eye beauty. They could communicate with each other through their eyes. They toured together. However they were both young and there was much to do in each of their lives. They couldn’t stay together anymore for the intensity will burn them both. They said their good byes. They said each one of them remains in a special place in their respective soul for eternity even if they didn’t see each other anymore.
This may sound absolutely ridiculous to you. In fact, it sounds that way to me as I type it. You see, BG, I’ve been reading this site for a while, and it irks me to no end when people wire about how lonely they are, and how some of them feel as though they need another person to be complete. I’ve always been content with my life and myself, and I never thought I needed a man. Lately, though, I’ve started to feel very lonely (I’m ashamed to admit it, but I even shed a few tears a few hours ago). Why, you ask? Well, I have been without a man (a date, even!) for over a year. It’s starting to get to me. I mean, I’m even starting to wonder what’s wrong with me that no one is interested (or the only people that are, are the guy friends that you just want to keep as that … friends!) I guess some motivational words about hanging in there and having fun on my own are truly needed right now. Thanks for listening, BG!
You rule… I discovered the site lo these many months ago, and can’t start the week without checking in. But now it’s time for me to receive the royal scepter bonk on the head, if you will, or perhaps the superheroine firm but kindly lasso round my constricted brain. Briefly (I swear!): Years of relationships lasting eight months or less. Frankly, I’m tired of it. It’s not that I want to get married per se, but I would like to find someone to, in a way, share the driving duties with me on the road of life. I’m very independent, sassy and all that, and I’m generally happy with my life and most everything is swell or at least manageable–except for this itty bitty absense of a partner. It doesn’t help that I’m in my mid-thirties and most of my friends have already hooked up with long-term squeezes, husbands, and all that, so there are increasingly fewer babes to play with out on the town.
Anyhow, I met this man in a band I was in…it was supposed to be a one- or two-shot deal, a couple of gigs and then b’bye but the music scene here is such that we kept running into each other after *ha* the gig was up. Then, we’re in another short-term band! Hoorah! So, more music, more hanging out. After one of these practices, we go to a party together, and I end up spending the night, and I’m happy, it all seems passionate and mutual and all manners of goodness.
The goodness continues for weeks, until he returns from a trip to the west coast, and is distant. (more…)
I liked this guy for a long time, and we ended up becoming pretty close friends… but just friends. The problem was, I still liked him, and I had the feeling that he liked my best friend. So he and my best friend hooked up recently, and at first I was really upset. But after a long crying-hugging-talking session with my best friend, I felt much better, and now I can honestly say I don’t like the guy as anything more than a great friend. So everything’s just peachy, except for when the three of us get together. I don’t feel jealous or anything, I just feel lonely. It’s like, my two best friends in the whole world are totally happy together, and I’m just alone. I don’t know what to do about this. We did a lot of stuff together as a group before they got together, and had a blast, and they still want me to come along, and most of the time, it’s fine. But then there are those moments– the kind of moments that are not meant for three people. I don’t have a boyfriend, so it looks like we’re just stuck being a threesome (not that kind of threesome!). What should I do?
— Third Wheel
Dear Third Wheel,
Yep, it’s totally easier to deal with Wheels 1 and 2 when they’re not rolling right in your face. So go out with them often enough to maintain the friendship, but don’t feel like a total square if sometimes you feel like just saying no.
We enjoyed this ruefully sweet essay by Sofi Papamarko in today’s Salon.com, in which she gets sucked into The Sims as an alternative to her — she felt — stalled single universe, which appeared to be late in delivering her standard coupled-up fantasies:
It is impossible to overstate how astonishingly easily my dream life came to me, how addictively its rewards added up. At the beginning of the game, for instance, I was given a charming little house in a nice neighborhood. Given! It was handed to me! I didn’t have to scrimp or save or deal with real estate agents or even apply for a mortgage! Landing a terrific job was as easy as showing up to the town hall in a pair of tight leather pants. I told my boss a couple of jokes and was instantly rewarded with a promotion and a healthy raise. In real life, my neglected tomatoes wither on the vine, despite my best intentions. In the game, I harvested huge, succulent crops after watering them no more than twice. I became a master angler and a gourmet cook, whipping up red snapper and catfish gumbo as if I were the secret love child of Nigella Lawson and Bobby Flay. Everything was easy.
And then I met Walter.
Ooh! Read the rest to find out how virtual Walter — and Bernie, and Jack — help Sofi discover that her reality is pretty fantastic, after all.
During the most unwieldy parts of my pregnancies, the only way I could sleep was by spooning a huge plaid pregnancy pillow called something embarrassing like a Snoozle, or a Froogle, or a Foshizzle, or something or other. With me in my comfy flannel PJs, my pillow and I looked like a huge plaid G-clef, and my husband looked left out. Which is simply to say that yes, I know and embrace the wonder of a well-placed body pillow.
But now there is the Funktiontide — or at least there might be, says its designer Stefan Ulrich — and now, remarkably, we may behold something perhaps even more unsettling than the Real Doll. Ulrich says his pillow prototype, which would use advanced robotics and artificial muscle technology to move and change shape depending on how you hold it, is but a polymer harbinger of the day when bleak, alienated humans will turn to “robots” for emotional satisfaction. (Yeah, like I didn’t already do that with my second husband. Folks!) That, or as we see in this technically G-rated, but somehow NSFW video, maybe the Funktiontide is nothing more than a Shmoo with benefits.
While the video’s human co-star appears rather satisfied with his lot, Ulrich is not unaware that his Pillbury Dough-bot raises some juicy issues. “…[T]he the work’s intention is to create a provocative picture for discussion, which enables us to question how much we want technological products to satisfy our emotional needs,” goes his commentary. “The ambiguity of this scenario is, that it could be understood as a solution to a wide range of different kinds of loneliness. But it might as well be understood as a scenario which should be avoided by all means possible.” Speaking as someone who practically sleeps with her iPhone, I’m sure I have no idea what he’s talking about.