Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Groundhog Day" on Dating

The movie "Groundhog Day" doesn't seem like it would have a lot to really teach about dating, but think about it. It's one of HP's favorite movies, so we watch it every year on February 2nd. This year I've been thinking about it ever since.

At the beginning of the movie, Phil is the worst date ever. And he goes through several incarnations of bad date throughout the movie. He:

  • Thinks only of himself

  • Considers getting a date a conquest

  • Thinks only of what he can get out of a date

  • Uses manipulative techniques to "trick" women into thinking he likes them, which he found out by basically stalking them (although in this movie it comes across differently because he flat out asks them things on successive days)

  • Tries too hard to create "spontaneous" romantic moments. It's almost painful to watch the second night they build the snowman and see how hard he tries.

Now, granted, by the time he gets there he is starting to get better at the dating thing. A lot of times it's real cute when a guy tries that hard, to be romantic, but it's a fine line between cute and creepy. Trying to be spontaneous never goes well.

Of course he gets the girl in the end. And how does he do that? He stops thinking not just about himself, but also about how he can win the object of his affection. Instead he starts thinking about EVERYONE else around him. There's the tear jerking sequence where he tries to help the old man. He helps the kid who falls out of the tree, the old ladies with their tire, the man who chokes, all of that. He also works on improving himself. He expands his reading (which starts, admittedly, as a way to manipulate women). He learns new talents (piano playing).

He lives for someone other than himself. And it is that which makes him such a wonderful date. Which makes anyone, male or female, a good date.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Give Me SOME Credit

I have a certain very sweet coworker. She's always bringing me advice or ideas for my job hunt or why can't her son meet a girl like me instead of the girl he's dating or that if I walk to work she's going to drive me home because she doesn't think its safe and so on.

Today, we ran into each other in the hall and were exchanging our usual pleasantries. We discussed how I can't meet anyone at work and I told her a funny story about a time when I had to pretend my best guy friend was my boyfriend so that this other guy would stop hitting on me. Then I said, "On the other hand, I kind of met someone last week."

"Oh? At that [our field] event?"

"Actually, yes."

"So he's a [what we are]?"


"He'll never make any money."

"So? Neither will I. Doesn't matter to me. I'm not in it for the money."

"You say that now . . ."

ACK! Really? Just be happy for me, mmmkay?

And everything else? I appreciate your concern, but I have a mother, thanks.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Pink Princess Palooza

Because there's enough talk about Valentine's going on everywhere else but we should probably say something. Here's something.

Do you know where the word "pink" comes from? I did not. however wrote a post about the history of the word: Pink. I found it very interesting that pink started out as a verb, and it meant to create small cuts or perforations. Think pinking shears. I always wondered why they were called that because mine are black, not pink. It's also the same shape on the edge of carnations and other flowers of that family, which the word is also associated with. And from that it started to mean the color of the flower as well as perfection, because it is such the perfect flower (despite the line in The Wedding Planner - "I love you but if you use another carnation in my bouquet I *will* deport you, mk? Muah.") And then it became a very popular color and men started wearing pink hose (which HP can't get his head around and is very glad that's no longer the fashion).

The most interesting part to me though was that prior to WWII, baby boys wore pink and baby girls wore pale blue. Interesting, because our culture has done such a 180 on that that small girls are almost coated in Pepto pink from the moment they are expected, before they are born even. Pink, and princesses.

A week and a half ago NPR ran a story about the invasion of pink princesses that I found real interesting - Saving Our Daughters from an Army of Princesses. It is an interview with Peggy Orenstein, the author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter. And it is definitely something to think about. What kind of effect does shoving pink princesses down young girls' throats have on their expectations for real life?

Pink has never been my favorite color. I did have a pair of pink overalls when I was three that I loved, but I loved them because they had pockets everywhere that I could put things, not because they were pink. I had a roommate in college who decided in kindergarten that her favorite color was orange because nobody was picking orange when they were talking about favorite colors. From that decision she actually grew up loving orange and had a beautiful orange autumn themed wedding as a result even. I'm not saying pink is a bad color, one of the three of us here absolutely loves it and I think that's great. But assuming a girl likes pink because she's a girl is not a good place to go.

And what of the princess mentality? I read elsewhere of the marketing genius that was Disney putting all of their princesses together in one package. You can't escape it anymore, they're everywhere. And Tinkerbell, while not an actual princess, also has her whole posse running around now too.

I'm not sure what kind of effect it will have on girls, but what if they grow up thinking that a prince is going to come rescue them only to actually grow up and realize they have to do a lot of their own rescuing? Do they realize that true love's first kiss can often come after years of relationship building and not after just a single glance? If I've ever had a fairy godmother it was my own mom and I who made those types of things happen.

The recent Disney movie Tangled had quite the character for its princess, however none of the merchandise I've seen for it show her with her brown hair after she's grown up, made sacrifices, and possibly lost it all, only with her innocent blonde locks. I think someone who has grown up, made sacrifices and possibly lost it all is a much better model then someone who's only dreamed of life and not actually lived it.

Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day! ;)

Monday, February 7, 2011

See Jane Run

Story time!

Girl goes dancing.

Girl meets boy.

Girl and boy hit it off and eventually spend the last hour of the event only dancing with each other.

Girl and boy promise to look each other up on Facebook, because he lives in a different state.

Girl realizes this is lame, but sends boy a message within a couple of days.

Girl never hears from boy, but finds out from mutual friends that he had broken up with his girlfriend the same night she had met boy so decided she should probably write boy off.

Two months pass.

Girl goes dancing.

Girl runs into same boy, who is apparently visiting again.

Girl and boy don't pair off again, but they still get along rather well and finally exchange phone numbers.

Girl and boy spend almost the entirety of MLK Day together, with and without other friends.

Boy updates girl on flight status.

Girl adds boy on Facebook.

Girl never hears from boy again.

Boy is lame.

Girl is bummed.

Girl moves on.