EB: Giving ’em the business!

Brain dumps from the original Bonehead.

What it is and what it ain’t.

This morning there was a discussion on the radio about cheating in relationships.  My usual game of dodgeball became rather involved today so I wasn't able to really focus in on the conversation but it went more or less like this:

Guy DJ: My girlfriend is pissed off at me.
Girl DJ: Why is that?
Guy DJ: Because she says I cheated on her.
Girl DJ: Why would she say something like that??
Guy DJ: Because I slept with someone else.
Girl DJ: Then she's right!!  You did cheat on her!!
Guy DJ: No I didn't, she's only my girlfriend.  It's not cheating until you're married.

You have the right to remain silent.  Anything you say can and will be used against you…

Knock it off.  What are you so scared of anyway?

Ever hear of a can of worms?  Does the name Pandora mean anything to you?

Whatever… let's just run this one and see where it goes.  Ok – so this guy's point of argument is 'why is she getting all worked up if she's not my wife?', and his co-host's response to that is 'well duh! because you fucked somebody other than her!'. 

Now, typically, in a battle-of-the-sexes, it's easier for me to see his side than it is to see her's but I'd have to call this one of those rare exceptions.  Conceptually, 'cheating' is kinda like 'working'; it's definition is very much open to individual interpretation.  The line could be drawn at touching or kissing or anywhere else, really.  Depending on who you ask you'll hear answers ranging from 'emotional infidelity is committed by fantasizing about someone else'; whereas others will go so far as to say 'you can do what you want as long as you don't do it with anyone I know and I never have to hear about it', which is basically a variant of the 100-mile rule. 

To be fair, we should leave polyamory out of this because, although you can still cheat in a polyamorous relationship, we're just not comparing apples to apples anymore.  Besides that, the argument that sex is a natural act while marriage is just another invention is quite a compelling one that could take some time to sort out.  Anyway, if you want to be technical you can go you your dictionary and look up "cheating" but don't expect to find anything useful there.  With such a broad range of possible, yet valid, definitions it stands to reason that he has no way of knowing that his girlfriend would draw the line at penetration unless they'd discussed the topic first, right? 

Yeah, but it's not gonna go down like that.  If they haven't discussed it then the first time he cheats on her is kinda like a gimme because he didn't know better. 

Ah yes, that ages old quip: It's better to ask forgiveness than permission.  I love that line.  In a get-it-done-at-all-costs scenario there's no question it's the right way of thinking but how often do we really, really find ourselves in that kind of predicament?  This isn't about life or death, it's about getting your feels.  When the action is the single most important thing then you're clearly better off doing it than filing a request for permission; but when the consequences to the action, in this case hurting someone important to you, outweighs the action itself then I'd advise carefully considering the cost of admission.

Yeah but none of that applies unless you get caught.  And if 'the cost of admission' really is worth taking your chances then what?

Then do your thing.  Whatever your thing may be, do your thing…  'cause above all else, you gotta be you.

-E

May 15, 2006 Posted by | Relationships | 4 Comments

The Single Girl’s To-Do List

The other day while driving to work, two local lady DJs were discussing this article they saw in Cosmopolitan about a list of 20 things every single girl should do before getting into a serious relationship.  Interested?  Hell yeah!  It certainly wouldn't be the same as, say, planting a mic in the girls locker room but I still think of a discussion like this as a potentially educational opportunity. 

While trying to find the article online I came across another interesting looking article on Cosmo/iVillage called Why He Goes Psycho Before He Gets Serious. Remind me and I'll come back for that one later…  Anyway, I started looking for similar content elsewhere because, as we all know, very little magazine content is original.  Since the stuff gets recycled every few months I was pretty certain I'd be able to find similar content elsewhere and BAM – along comes handbag.com. Their article, get this, is called 10 Things To Do Before Saying 'I Do'.

Boy, you really lucked out on that one huh?

At first I thought it could just as well be advice for men, but coming from a website called HANDBAG I figured the odds were in my favor.  Ok, no more stalling here's the list:

  1. Travel alone: Nothing feels as incredible as completely losing yourself in another country. Whether you stay a day or a year, give yourself the opportunity to experience the freedom of being utterly alone…you'll never feel so self-reliant or in control of your own destiny. And while you're at it…
  2. Have a holiday fling with someone who speaks not a word of English. Surely every woman's fantasy. No need to explain why you need him out of your bed by 10am…and he wouldn't understand you anyway. A swift kick should dislodge him from under your duvet.
  3. Acquire a hobby: It's time to indulge your interests – whether they include paper mache or parachuting. So what if your passion for collecting novelty tea cosies means trekking several hours to Swansea for their annual cosy-swap? Once you're married, you'll treasure the 'me time' that your hobbies will bring you, even if what you love is something as simple as meeting girlfriends for a monthly book club meeting.
  4. Live on your own: No, not with Ma and Pa. Not with flatmates. And certainly not with your bloke. Spend at least one three-month stretch living completely alone. If you don't already, you'll learn to love your own company – an important lesson for every woman. And if you're planning on staying married and having children, you may never have this chance again!
  5. Devote time to charitable causes: Figure out what it is you truly believe in – whether it's animal rights or resettling refugees. Spending a couple of hours each week making a difference in the community can put into perspective the everyday issues we all tackle in our relationships.
  6. Meet someone online: Create a profile, attach a photo, and let the worldwide web work its magic. Once you're married, it's unlikely you'll be in the market for an internet hook-up so make hay while the sun shines.
  7. Cry yourself to sleep: Experience heartache. Wallow in its agony. Learn to get over it and how to move on.  Knowing what real pain feels like will make you a better partner.
  8. Learn useful things: Don't rely on the other people in your life to know how to change the tyre on your car, cook dinner for six, or back up your hard drive. Put your brain to good use.
  9. Live dangerously: Do things on a whim. While you don't have someone at home worrying about you, get wildly drunk, dance on tables, catch the train to Paris and stay up all night. Or learn scuba diving, start your own business…take risks!
  10. Spend lots of money on something foolish: There's plenty of time for being sensible when you're married. Providing you actually have the funds to cover it, go nuts in Harvey Nicks, throw an enormous cocktail party for your friends, buy those Jimmy Choos you love in EVERY colour, or treat yourself to a disgustingly expensive haircut. You have nobody to answer to but yourself.

And there you have it.  So, a few observations:

  • The column was written by a Brit, that much is obvious.  Not that it matters much but some flexibility for cultural differences should be accounted for when considering this article.
  • Travel alone, have a fling, live alone, test your hottie rating with online dating, learn useful stuff and live dangerously… well, the pattern there is pretty apparent but what makes that particularly good advice for single women?
  • While I appreciate the asswhippings I've endured because, in hindsight, I understand that they ultimately made me a stronger man, I have no idea why anyone would recommend having your heart broken.  Sure, crossing the finish line feels sweet but DAMN that's one shitty race to have to run.
  • And the last one about spending lots of money on something foolish – on the radio their variant of the article said you should "max out your credit cards" before getting married.  Uhm, if I started on that one it'd take all day and I've momentarily misplaced my 10-foot-pole…

So what's the verdict?  Is this really great advice and I'm just too testosterone-blind to realize it?  Help me out, folks.

 -E

April 23, 2006 Posted by | Relationships | 2 Comments

The Slut, Part 2 (Why it is?)

Ok, so for starters I was all ready to begin by disagreeing with the comments that my buddy Poca left when she equated the male slut to a “gigolo” but the more I think about the more I think that technically she’s right!  So back to the dictionary again: The listing for gigolo gives you “A man who has a continuing sexual relationship with and receives financial support from a woman.” 

Are you shitting me?

Nope!  Straight from the book.  Well, it’s not really a book… I’m using Dictionary.com, but whatever.  This double-standard I want to examine apparently runs deep.  Far beneath the surface even the way these terms are defined indicates some sort of latent resentment.  Typically when you look up synonymous words you’ll find some parallels. 

Check this out: whore is synonymous with prostitute; and slut is defined as a woman prostitute.  The definitions of those three words, associated with the feminine, include the following phrases:

  1. “compromised principles”
  2. “personal gain”
  3. “solicits”
  4. “accepts payment”
  5. “sells one’s abilities… for an unworthy purpose”

Gigolo, on the other hand, is associated with the masculine and includes the following:

  1. “continuing sexual relationship”
  2. “receives financial support”
  3. “escort”
  4. “dancing partner”

Hrm.  Relationship and Support versus Compromised Principles and Unworthy Purpose?  Well, there’s clearly no bias to be found in the dictionary huh?  So picking up from Part 1 – the double-standard regarding promiscuity is, after all these years, still alive and kicking.  Even today in the age of women having prominent positions as heads of state and household and everything in between, they still risk being labeled as the town whore if they dare hook up as freely as men do. 

A friend of mine has this smoking problem.  I call it a problem because she always says she wants to quit but never actually does it.  The persistence of this double standard, I think, is alot like her smoking problem…  it’s there because we still want it there. 

This boy’s done lost his damn mind.

I’m serious!  Think about it!  When we (the powers that be, in this country) didn’t want any more “ism’s”, we outlawed them.  Pick an ism and it’s probably illegal now.  When we wanted children to stop scraping their knees when they fall down we made them wear knee pads while they bike ride or roller skate.  When we didn’t want Saddam Hussein in power anymore…  well, you get the idea. 

So why do we want to keep it?  Somehow I think our insistence on deifying women as the infallible progenitors of our species has singularly caused this system to survive for as long as it has.  If sex is a filthy, dirty act and men are such creatures to begin with then no harm can come to us sewer monkeys, but for a woman to allow herself to be defiled there’s got to be a damn good reason for it, right? 

What if that’s not it at all?  What if it isn’t about filth but instead it is a life-giving act?  the ultimate gift a woman can give to a man?  If each of us could part the Red Sea with a mere snap of the fingers then it surely wouldn’t have gone in the books as an epic tale, would it?  And who in their right mind wouldn’t be jealous, hurt, or flat-out fired up at the thought of a gift of such magnitude being given carelessly to those any of us would deem undeserving?  Whichever philosophy you subscribe to, whether Puritan or Hedonist, this culture has some re-evaluating to do.

The ‘chicken and the egg’ debate is equally tempting here but it’s ultimately pointless because a) nobody really knows and b) assigning blame would solve nothing here.  If the concept of a slut is borne from disappointment then only by changing the expectation can we be healed.  We should come to grips with the fact that you’re not angels, you’re not sugar or spice or any of that other shit… your just filthy little sewer monkeys, just like us.

Let the flames begin! 

-E

 

February 24, 2006 Posted by | Observations, Relationships | 4 Comments

The Slut, Part 1 (What it is?)

I just watched this documentary on cable called Slut; it’s a 45-minute independent film exploring the meaning and usage of the word and if you get a chance to check it out I highly recommend it. 

How long does a ‘film’ have to be in order to qualify as a movie instead of a TV show?

Good question, but let’s stay on point here.  The movie was interesting and there were numerous interviews with authors who have tackled the subject, women who had been labeled at some point in their lives, and men who, for some reason or other, could be considered knowledgeable resources.  In the process of analyzing the impact of the word they also tracked it’s first recorded appearance in the English language (post-Shakespeare) and it’s evolution from a term to describe a poor housekeeper to the term we know today.  Not all of it was useful though; I’d estimate a good 25% of the movie was just interviews with angry women who felt that being labeled a slut had in some way ruined their lives. 

Fascinating.  What was that about staying on point?

I’m coming, dammit!  While watching this I asked myself how would I define a slut and I immediately began to wonder where the threshold would lay?  I remember a girl in my 7th grade class was annointed the class slut for commiting the unforgiveable offense of reaching puberty first – the poor kid got teased to the point of tears pretty regularly!  Kids tease simply because they can, I get that part, but seriously… is there some official number at which an otherwise respectable young lady can legitimately be labeled a slut?

Thirty-seven?!?!

Shaddap.  The answer, clearly, is no.  According to Dictionary.com if a Slut is a noun for “A woman considered sexually promiscuous”, but Promiscuous is an adjective loosely defined as “Having casual sexual relations frequently with different partners”, then we are dealing with a matter of opinion.  Society hasn’t given a number and what you or I might call promiscuous would likely be deemed pedestrian by Ron Jeremy. 

But did you notice that the definition clearly stated that Slut is a noun to describe the female and not the male?  It’s long been common knowledge that a double-standard existed regarding promiscuity but did you know it’s actually in the damn book?  How is it that for all the radical changes that have taken place in American society over the past sixty years, the concept of ‘the slut’ is still going strong?  What could possibly have preserved it for all this time? 

That’s where I want to go with Part 2 later this week.  Come with me.

 -E

February 21, 2006 Posted by | Observations, Relationships | 1 Comment