Wednesday, February 12, 2014

5 Ways to Have a Completely Miserable Valentine’s Day: Part 2, Couple’s Edition

1. The most important thing about Valentine’s Day is the hints.  Each February the average woman drops approximately 2,944 hints about what she wants.  Of these hints men pick up about 4.  On the other hand, men will drop 0 hints, and of these women will pick up about 3,997. Any hint that goes unfulfilled is a chance for a miserable February 14th. 

2. Establish the biggest expectations you can come up with, then insist that you have no expectations.  Then when your lover decides they want to stay in, watch Bond movies, eat frozen Snickers, and go to bed early, you can be really really upset.  But you said you had no expectations! Anything for Valentine’s Day is great! You’ll have to hold your hurt feeling inside where they can fester and make you completely miserable.

3. Talk about your plans until your single friends destroy you.  Whenever you are around your unattached friends, make frequent mention of all the lovely and romantic things you’re going to do with your SO. While your poor lonely friends might not physically harm you, the tension and hatred will make everyone in the room sufficiently miserable.

4. Comparison is key.  Use other couples as the standard to which you hold your own relationship.  Even if you’re both introverted agoraphobes, everyone else is going out to candlelight dinners under the Eifel Tower with violins and chocolates and a new car with a puppy inside!  You must match and escalate!  CANDLELIGHT DINNER UNDERWATER!!!  Chances are really good that you don’t have the imagination or the capital to achieve the evenings other couples are capable of, but comparisons will cement your misery.

5. Breakup.  Save up all of your grievances and hurt feelings until Valentine’s Day night.  Go to the most public place you can find and have an increasingly tearful and heatedly angry argument.  Be sure to end in screams and slammed car doors.  Next, find your most single friend (the one who’s been single for the most consecutive Valentine’s Days) and cry on their shoulder while you help yourself to their barbecue Pringles and Triple Brownie Carmel Hazelnut Ice Cream. If you’re lucky, you’ll end Valentine’s Day scrubbing chocolate sauce out of your shirt while holding an ice pack to your broken nose.

Monday, February 10, 2014

6 Ways to Have a Completely Miserable Valentine’s Day: Part 1, Single’s Edition

1. Everything around you is a reminder that you’re still single.  Don’t let any opportunity to wallow in your solitude pass you by.  Every engagement ring commercial, every buy-one-get-one-free special, every smiling simpering couple is a reminder that you are probably going to die alone.  Let each of these instances sink in and fill your soul with regret and despair.

2. Misery loves company, so drag as many people down with you as you can.  The best way to do this is when someone says the words “Valentine’s Day” you counter with “psshhh, you mean Single Awareness Day.”  If that doesn’t quite do the trick, add a “that spells SAD.”  If you need more misery munitions, whenever someone near you is acting affectionate, peer at them sadly and then look away as if it’s too painful to watch.

3. Eat as many simple carbohydrates as possible, preferably straight from the container.  If you can manage it without utensils, even better.  You want to eat as much as possible, but you don’t want to be physically ill, so pace yourself.  Vomiting is regular misery, which will distract from Valentine’s brand misery.

4. Belligerently spend the night alone.  For best results, watch movies until the wee hours of the morning whilst carefully observing step 3.  Be extremely selective in which movies you watch; nothing will spoil misery quite like distraction.  Avoid action, suspense, horror, sci-fi, and anything starring Bruce Willis.  Choose instead films detailing the perfect romances of fictional characters, especially romance stories centered around February 14th. 

5. If step 4 doesn’t fit your style, go out to dinner all by yourself.  Tell the host to sit you at a table for two, then spend an hour eating bread and glancing around with decreasing eagerness for your lover to show up.  Slowly descend into a deep depression until you are sobbing quietly into your lemon water.  You will accomplish step 2, and you might get a free dinner from a sympathetic manager. (If you want to break Valentine’s Day itself, as you’re leaving the restaurant walk past a table with a happy couple, stare at them in teary horror, say “how could you do this to me?” and throw a drink in one of their faces.  Either one with do.)

6. Whatever you do, don’t think about all the great things about being you.  Pointedly ignore all of your best qualities and focus on all the things that make you so unlovable, thus landing you alone for yet another Valentine’s Day.  Maybe list them aloud as you drive from you fake date to your house to assault a bucket of ice cream with your face.  If you follow these steps, you’ll be well on your way to the most miserable Single Awareness Day of your life!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

7 Reasons Why Women Love Villains

It’s no secret that girls go for the bad boys, and nice guys finish last.  We often attribute this magnetism to the most obvious thing these villains have in common: villainy.  But are women really drawn to evil doings and nefarious deeds?  Not usually.  As it turns out, everything women find attractive about bad boys can also be achieved by nice guys without losing any niceness.  

1. Women are attracted to power.  While you can inherit money, estate, and even position, true power is something you have to earn.  A man with true power is a man people follow, fear, and respect.  When the hero wins in the end, it’s not usually because he overpowers his opponent.  He usually wins by luck, strategy, with the help of his plucky underdog friends, or because the villain’s lack of human compassion caused him to forget something very important.  Until his demise, a proper villain holds the balance of power. 

2. Villains are unpredictable.  A plan laid by a villain is layered, twisted, with lots of surprises.  A hero’s plan is usually “this is something I have to do alone.”  Life with a villain might be unstable, but it’s always exciting. 

3. Villains are old fashioned woman-chasers.  While the protagonist is out there in the friendzone demurely wishing his lady love would notice what a great guy he is, the bad guy is out there making his intentions very clear.  There’s no beating around the bush or polite stand-offish childhood friends here! 

4. Villains are mysterious.  The hero of a story usually has a secret identity, but that’s the end of the mystery.  But someone who’s willing to destroy cities for revenge on a single person has a pretty dark past.  A hero will probably reveal all of his secrets if you wear him down with acceptance and understanding, but a villain will always keep you guessing.  It’s a paradox, really; as much as women want men to be honest, secrets are sexy.

5. Villains are often very rich.  Sometimes stupidly rich. You need a lot of capital to bring a large population to its knees.  Many of our most famous superheroes are pizza delivery boys and struggling newspaper reporters.  Of course there are a couple of wealthy superheroes, but name me one poverty-stricken super villain.  Go on, I dare ya! 

6. While men are out saving lives, women are out saving hearts.  Surely underneath that gruff exterior and those angry glances is a wounded soul that could be loved into redemption.  Women are nurturers who also love a challenge.  With occasional glimpses of the man beneath the mask, villains keep their ladies coming back for more. Of course, good guys often have past trauma and dark childhoods, but they’re often too noble to let their ladies in, often shunning their potential lovers in the name of “keeping them safe.” 

7. Villains know who they are and what they want.  You don’t ever see them acting conflicted over what to do, or how they should use their power, or if they’ll rise to their great responsibility.  They never go crying to their elderly manservant, or their elderly great aunt, or their elderly mentor, (don’t these people have any friends their own age?) they know what they want so they are not stopped until they obtain their desires.  Or they die.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

9 Bits of Parenting Advice From a Problem Kid Who Turned Out Okay

1. Your kid might just be having control issues.  Think about it: you control everything about that kid’s life.  Where he lives, which friends he can play with, what he eats, what dishes he uses, what carpet he can walk across in his muddy shoes . . . it’s so oppressive!  Give your poor kid control over as much of his life as possible.

2. Is there an imbalance of responsibility and privilege?  I’m the oldest of six kids, and growing up I had the most responsibility, but no extra privileges.  I had the most chores, I was the in-house babysitter, but I didn’t get to stay up any later or get any more sprinkles on my ice cream.  This might sound stupid, but just reward your @#$% kid for her hard work.  She’ll be more willing to help out and your other children might be motivated to good behaviors as well.

3. Let your introvert be an introvert.  If your little man hates crowds, don’t force him to go to birthday parties so he can “learn social skills.” That’s how sociopaths are made.  Let your little slugger spend time with friends in small numbers.

4. On the other hand, extroverts are cool, too.  If your little lady thrives on social butterflying, give her positive outlets like play groups or dance classes.  She’ll be less likely do crazy things to get attention.   Like streak through the Target when she’s seven or through the campus commons when she’s 18.

5. Children can be addicts, too.  If your kid throws an age-inappropriate tantrum when you turn off his Xbox, there’s a chance he’s addicted to the sensation of having his brain numb.  The same goes for sugar, television, monounsaturated fats, glue, etc.  Turn off the electronics, put away the candy, and toss that kid out into the fresh air.

6. Don’t let your kid be bullied.  Teach by example and stand up for your kid so he can learn to stand up for himself.  If your kid is the bully, respond to him the same way you’d respond to someone who was bullying your kid.

7. At the same time, don’t teach your kid to have a victim mentality.  If you rush to her rescue whenever someone calls her a Poopy Pants Jackson, she’ll grow up to be a pansy who merits the names people call her.  Teach kids to solve inter-personal problems.

8. Never ever ever let your kid believe that you didn’t want him.  Even if you’re joking, it’s crushing to a child to hear that he was a “mistake” or an “accident.”  Likewise, don’t joke about giving him away or sending him off.  Kids usually don’t understand the difference between jokes and reality.

9. Figure out your kid’s love language.  Every kid needs quality time and affection from their parents, but some need more than others to feel loved.  If your kid is a snuggler, snuggle her good!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

19 Myths about Humans and Relationships

1. Myth: The key to a successful relationship is communication.
Fact: Communication is great, but if what you’re communicating is negative, acerbic, or vicious, it’s not going to result in anything happy.  The key to a successful relationship is an absence of negativity from both parties.

2. Myth: Everyone wants to hear every detail about your new relationship.
Fact: They don’t. 

3. Myth: You should never go to bed angry.
Fact: Some people are at their very worst when they are tired.  Don’t keep them awake until 3 a.m. while you hash out your differences.  Sometimes a few hours of sleep will solve the problem.

4. Myth: You’ll find “The One” when you’re ready.
Fact: In 2012 in the United States alone over 4,000,000 people who weren’t ready got married.  Being “ready” for a relationship has no causation or correlation to finding someone you love.

5. Myth: Twins can read each other’s minds.
Fact: Any two people who spend that much time together will start to think the same.

6. Myth: Everybody lies.
Fact: Or do they?

7. Myth: You should marry your best friend.
Fact: Women need girlfriends, men need bros.  It’s good to have a spouse and a best friend.

8. Myth: Children should be seen, not heard.
Fact: If children are seen and not heard, they're probably playing too many video games.

9. Myth: You can’t help who you fall in love with.
Fact:  Of course you can!  Choosing not to fall in love with someone is part of how adultery doesn’t happen.

10. Myth: People don’t change.
Fact: A more accurate thing to say is “you can’t change people.”

11. Myth: The greatest love stories are heavily photo documented.
Fact: See myth #2.

12. Myth: There’s someone for everyone.
Fact: Some people will die alone.

13. Myth: “I don’t need anyone to make me happy.”
Fact: Your happiness should be your own responsibility, so surround yourself with people who are positive 
forces in your life.  But don’t expect them to be in charge of your bliss.

14. Myth: Long distance relationships never work.
Fact: We’re in the 21st century, long distance almost doesn’t exist anymore.

15. Myth: It doesn’t matter if your family doesn’t like your significant other.
Fact: If your family and your SO don’t get along, eventually you’ll have to choose between them.

16. Myth: Taylor Swift has lots of sound relationship advice.
Fact: If you believe this is true, perhaps now is a good time to take a step back and focus more on getting 
your driver’s license.

17. Myth: Opposites attract.
Fact: Balance attracts.  Outgoing and quiet, uptight and laid back, methodical and spontaneous.  These types of things balance two people out.  If opposites truly attract, then Prince William would have married Lady Gaga.

18. Myth: Your kids will grow out of their sibling rivalry.
Fact: Your kids will either work through their differences, or they will be competing and pranking for the rest of their lives.

19. Myth: All you need is love.
Fact: You can’t eat love.