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Date archive for: April 2011

I’m Raising an Addict

It’s early Saturday morning in the back room of a community center. Clusters of sleepy-eyed children sip chocolate milk from cheap paper coffee cups before taking their seats. The meeting begins. A 1st grader with bed head shuffles to the podium and clears his throat.

“Hi, I’m Nathan,” he says, “and I’m an addict.”

“Hi, Nathan,” the group shouts back.

“It’s been 30 days since I played Sonic the Hedgehog.

This is the scenario I imagine every time I hear my son grunting and growling from the family room, where he’s playing Wii. See, the kid is strung out on video games. When he’s not playing them, he’s plotting to play them. When he is playing them, he’s praying to keep playing them. The particular monkeys on his back are Lego Star Wars, Death Star, and something called Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz. Don’t be fooled by the whimsical name; this thing’ll eat your kid’s brain.

My boy is in kindergarten (don’t judge me; you’re judging me), and he needs his gaming fix like Charlie Sheen needs … attention. He doesn’t crave video games the way children plead for a cookie, or a trip to Disneyland, or the rare opportunity to stay up late. It’s not harmless treat-seeking. “I’m addicted,” he tells me. And he’s right.

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Buy Yourself a Date

“Everyone has a price. What’s your price?” That’s the provocative question posed by a new dating site that allows users to bid on dates with good-looking people.

WhatsYourPrice.com is divided into two types of members: “generous” (people willing to pay for companionship) and “attractive” (people who want $20-$200 to go on a date). There’s an implied third category, of course: “possessed of appallingly low self-esteem.”

Members can browse each other’s photos and profiles, including their stated income and net worth. An introductory video has a woman purring, “If a guy is willing to pay me for a first date, he’s going to be much more serious than all the others who are just looking for a hook-up.”

Which leads me to believe the definition of “serious” has changed since I was boyfriend shopping. Also the word “generous” — as evidenced by a second intro video: “Instead of paying a dating Web site for the chance to go on a date,” argues a “generous” dude, “why not just pay for the date itself? When you find the person you like, just send them an offer.”

The offer isn’t, “I promise to make you laugh,” or, “I’ll open doors for you and refrain from belching in your presence.” It’s more, “I’ve got 100 bucks says you’ll show me your panties.”

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Text Offender

It was a powerful moment in a gripping live show, and the theater glowed with two lights: a spotlight on the stage’s lone singer, and a bright square beaming from an iPhone in the lap of the teenage girl sitting — and texting — beside me.

Really?

I glanced at the stranger disapprovingly. No reaction. I turned and glared at her. Nothing. When I finally leaned over and whispered, “You need to turn that off now,” she flipped her hair (no, really, she did), emitted an irritated “pssh” sound, and begrudgingly shut it off. Which meant that I could now focus on the show.

Only I didn’t. I spent the third act wondering, as the parent of a soon-to-be-texting tween, how cell phone etiquette is established. Surely there’s a way to teach kids how to use the things for good and not evil … right?

When it comes to setting rules about household chores and thank-you notes, parents have two handy sets of guidelines we can follow: 1) Do what our parents did, or 2) Do the opposite of what our parents did.

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Hot For Your Twin?

Remember when opposites attracted? There was a time when the sexiest thing about your lover was the way you utterly differed. He was the mystifying yin to your mundane yang. She was the fascinating fire to your familiar ice.

But no more. These days, it seems, sameness is in.

A new online dating site promises to match singles with people whose faces look the same as theirs. The somewhat creepy premise behind FindYourFaceMate.com is that we’re naturally, subconsciously attracted to partners that resemble us.

If the notion is true — and I’d like to go on record with a big, fat “eww” here — it seems like poor biological design. Aren’t people who resemble us usually family members, to whom we should really, truly not be sexually attracted?

Plus, there’s something repugnantly narcissistic about falling in love with your own face — even if it’s on someone else’s body. Worst pickup line imaginable: “Hey, there, gorgeous. You could be my twin.”

But after leaving her husband for a man who looks quite like her, FindYourFaceMate.com founder Christina Bloom became convinced that there’s chemistry in facial parity. And her site’s photos of Hollywood couples make a pretty compelling case: There’s square-jawed, crescent-eyed John Travolta and Kelly Preston; saucer-eyed, pouty-lipped Russell Brand and Katy Perry; and doe-eyed, heart-faced Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon … and Abbie Cornish … and Amanda Seyfried.

Continue reading Hot For Your Twin?

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My columns are collected in three lovely books, which make a SPLENDID gift for wives, friends, book clubs, hostesses, and anyone who likes to laugh!
Keep Your Skirt On
Wife on the Edge
Broad Assumptions
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