Thursday, January 17, 2013

An Imaginary Significant Other. Genius

image from

It's been a long time since I've had an imaginary friend - at least 2 years - and I know from experience that they can be nice to have around.  For one, they never argue with you and always want to do what you want to do.  If one of your pesky "real" friends comes up with a plan you don't want to do, you can always back out saying that you have plans with Jarvis, your imaginary friend.  And then, when you're a child, there's the obvious - "I didn't make that mess.  Jarvis did it."

But in all of my wild imagining, I never thought to create an imaginary significant other.  And now I feel like I've really missed out on something.

As the whole world knows, Manti Te'o of the Notre Dame football team made news this morning because of his girlfriend.  Or his lack thereof.

After meeting in 2009, the two apparently hit it off as friends and carried on a long-term, long-distance relationship until her untimely death in the Fall of 2012.  His heart broken, Te'o continued to play the season in her memory and was covered by the national media as a remarkable man going through unimaginable loss.

Ah HA!  But was it, in fact, imagined?

The holes in his story began to emerge just before Christmas, apparently, and reached a climax this week.  And all I can say about that is that Lance Armstrong must be breathing a sigh of relief that that silly little doping debacle he's gotten himself into seems to have slipped to story #2.

And while the rest of the country is wondering why he did this - theories ranging from a possible publicity stunt to he's gay and trying to hide it - all I've been wondering why didn't I think of this???

I mean, it's got to be cheaper, having a fake significant other because you won't ever find yourself at the end of dinner with some guy sheepishly saying, "I forgot my wallet.  Can you get it this time?"  You don't have to share your popcorn at the movies.  And they don't snore.

An imaginary significant other will never disappoint you and will always listen when you talk.  They won't argue with you about that foreign film you want to go see.  If it doesn't work out, you don't have to worry about them posting unflattering things about you on Facebook.  And you never have to explain when you just want time alone.

So while the world is speculating as to why and how this could have possibly happened, I say "way to go Manti Te'o."

And so does my new boyfriend Jarvis.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The EX-it Interview

It's no secret that people come in and out of our lives, some without notice and some with a flourish.  If there's anything that's a sure thing in life it's that it's constantly changing, mainly because each of us as individuals are constantly evolving.  Sometimes these changes are positive and sometimes they grate on our nerves to the point when it's time to call it quits.

That hasn't happened to me often, but it has happened - sometimes I've been the person who instigates it and sometimes I've been on the receiving end of the "it's not you, it's me."  But in all cases, I've often found myself wishing that some sort of closure could take place.  Just a few minutes to say what I want to say, knowing that I will probably not have to interact with this person ever again.  Where both parties know that it's not worth getting mad at each other because they no longer have to take the time to prove anything to the other person and can choose to take what has been said as constructive criticism...or the opinion of someone they really don't give a shit about.

I am talking about The EX-it Interview.

In business, an exit interview "provides an opportunity to 'make peace' with disgruntled employees, who might otherwise leave with vengeful intentions" and it is wise to "listen rather than talk"during the discussion.

Replace "disgruntled employee" with "bitter ex-significant other" and you have the EX-it Interview.

I'm trying to picture how this might go down.  It would have to be on neutral ground like a Starbucks or a T.G.I.Fridays.  Each party would sit on opposite sides of the table and a timer would be in front of them.  The person who is unhappy to see the relationship end would start because they think that by going first they have the upper hand. 

But later they would realize that that means the other person gets the last word.

"Now," starts Person One, settling into their chair.  "What is your main reason for leaving?"

"Well," says Person Two.  "I've tried to discuss with you how I dislike the way you load a dishwasher.  But you seem unwilling to listen to my suggestions."

"I see," says Person One, making a note on a yellow legal pad.  "Why is this important, or so significant for you?"

"Because I think it speaks volumes for your stupidity as a person in general that you don't know the correct way to optimize space."

"Uh huh.  What suggestion would you make to improve conditions, hours, shifts, amenities, etc?"

"I would say that I hated walking on your clipped toenails that were stuck in the carpet all of the time, I was tired of having sex only on Tuesday nights, and you need to stop buying generic toilet paper."


This interview process would go on for 15 minutes at which point the timer would go off and it would be time for the offended party to answer some questions.

"What can you say about the way you were managed?... On a day to day basis?....... And on a month to month basis?"

"You're a bitch."

"Uh huh.  And what are some things I can improve on to ensure a more quality relationship the next time around?"

"You're a bitch."

"I see.  And is there any more information you'd like to share before we part?"

"You're a bitch."

The timer would sound once again and each person would pay for their portion of the check.  They would stand up, shake hands, wish each other well (even though they don't mean it), and part ways, both a little annoyed at what the other had said, but feeling better that they had gotten certain grudges off their chest.  Person Two would be forever paranoid that the way he loads a dishwasher could make or break any future relationships and Person One would wonder every once in a while if she was actually being a bitch.

And they both might be a little better for it.

But then again...maybe not.

Friday, January 4, 2013

If I Had a Million Dollars

Okay, so the things I would like, should I hit the BIG TIME would cost more than a million dollars.  But I have that Barenaked Ladies song stuck in my head.  And now, after reading that title, you will too.

I'm going to be upfront and just tell you that should I hit said BIG TIME, I will not be a nice rich person.  I have many fantasies about buying the people I love copious gifts - none of which they want.  This is because I love to go junk shopping for the simple reason that I believe ugly is more entertaining than pretty.  Sure, I get excited when I find a cute lamp or a fun piece of furniture.  But what I'm really looking for are ugly things so that, should I hit the BIG TIME, I can run out and buy them for my family and friends.

It was as I was junk shopping one day with my sister that she discovered this about me, my dream of winning the lottery and bestowing upon everyone things I know they will hate.  Her dislike of horses, after being bucked off on a camp trail ride when she was in middle school, is something that we all know about her.  (Incidentally, the bucking event was then topped off by a summer where she worked at a dude ranch in high school.  I'm still not sure how someone who hates anything that smells bad or has a "western" feel ended up with that job.)

We were standing in an antique store where I spied an enormous horse harness that had been made into a mirror.

"I'm going to get that for you someday," I said, pointing to the item.  "When I win the lottery, I'm going to buy you a mirror just like that."

She paused, looking at the dusty, dirty mirror and said, "I never thought I would say this to anyone I know...but I hope you never win the lottery."

However, when I think about the BIG TIME I don't usually fantasize about buying "things"...I think about buying services.  I don't think about having a live-in maid because that just seems too invasive and would cut down on my privacy.  I've seen Gosford Park and I know those people talk.  My need is much simpler than that.  Sure, a once a week cleaning would be nice, but what I would really like is to hire someone to come in twice a week and just put my laundry away.  I don't mind putting in the washer.  I don't mind putting it into the dryer.  I don't even mind folding it so much as I catch up on DVRed episodes of The View.  

I just don't want to put it away.

I would also like a back-scratcher to be at my beck and call.  I don't need a professional masseuse because they scare me with their pressure points and working of the knots.  No, what I need is someone who can be at my house within 5 minutes of my call to scratch that place on my back that I just can't reach.  He would have to have his nails perfectly trimmed so that they scratched (not rubbed) without drawing blood.  For this, I would pay for weekly manicures.

A professional bucket-holder would be nice to have on retainer when my kids get the stomach flu.  I can be motherly and loving when they're sick, but the moment I hear the gag reflex working, I want to run the other way.  I would like to be able to say, "Sven!  Get in here and hold this bucket!"  He would then come in, catch what's flying, clean it, and then wait to be called again.

A knot-detangler (so my girls won't hate me so much), a car-refueler (because getting gas is my least favorite activity aside from putting laundry away and holding the bucket), and a video-game-bad-guy (who will time my son and his friends and then boot them off and not give a second thought about dirty looks after they've been playing for 8 hours straight) would also be nice.

I would lend these services to all of my friends when they need them, especially my sister to make up for the harness mirror.  I will be generous with my employees, tipping liberally should the stomach flu hit the entire house or the dry season make my back extra itchy.

My needs are simple and not over-the-top.  I just hope the lottery gods are paying attention.