Archive for September, 2011

…Before Swine

September 22, 2011

Have you ever seen chicks feed? If you put out enough food, they’ll eat until their stomachs burst, literally. I learned that in fifth grade. We raised chickens from eggs until they weren’t cute anymore. I didn’t see the point in it, growing up in urban suburbia, but when I got older I realized: that’s how men are, only not with food.

I had a number of boyfriends growing up. I learned a lot from them, about how to get a man, but you can’t learn much about keeping one from a three month relationship. Most of that came from my mom. She’s been happily married for the last twenty-seven years.

At her core, my mom’s a romantic. Though, in practice, she’s a harsh pragmatist. When we read bedtime stories, she’d always quiz me on the moral before I fell asleep. I remember, after one of my summaries, she called me a pollyanna. I was nine.

I’ve been married five years. Five, amazing, difficult, years, to a sweet man whom always tries to make me happy. He’s still a man though, so I have to keep his stomach from bursting.

I work a lot, that helps. It’s easier for him to accept I’m not available if it’s for the family (we’re working on the family part). And Sunday is football in the man cave, so that’s a gimme. I always laugh when Sheila gets mad about the cave. She’ll berate her husband, endlessly, about the no girls allowed policy. Although, he usually compromises by giving her something she wants – everyone has their own way of doing things.

Keeping him hungry is a delicate balance. Every now and then I have to ring the dinner bell. If we’re overdue, or if I’m just in the mood, I’ll look at him that way, or I’ll use that voice. It’s not difficult at all. If I really want to rile him up, though, I’ll flirt a little with his friends. Not a lot, just enough to get the adrenalin pumping. The sex is usually amazing that night.

Some girls look down on playing games. I won’t do that to my husband, they’ll say. Or, I got married so I wouldn’t have to do this bullshit, they’ll admit. These women usually have unhappy marriages. I’m a feminist, through and through, don’t get me wrong. I DON’T think it’s my sole duty to please a man – but I do want him to stick around. As long as he does his part, I don’t mind rationing his food, until he isn’t hungry anymore.

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Twirling Pearls

September 9, 2011

She’s likes to wear this long, obviously fake, string of pearls to parties, and twirl it around her fingers. I don’t know if she thinks it’s sexy, or if it’s some kind of nervous tick, but she’s been doing it since the night we met, and I remember liking it, then.

I still remember what else she wore that night (and again the following morning). I remember the smile on her face, when I tried to cook her breakfast, and the way she squirmed away from my morning breath when I tried to kiss her, even though she had no problem kissing any other part of my body…

That was five years ago.

Five years isn’t that long, for a marriage, but I’ve been feeling it lately. Even the little things, like the excessively thorough way she brushes her teeth, are starting to get to me. They get to me most when it involves other men, like Sheila’s husband, Dom.

I don’t think she’s cheating, she’s never given me a reason to suspect that; and we haven’t fallen out of love – she just never has time for us anymore. I didn’t mind it at first, I got to catch up with my old friends and see a few more football games. The extra money was nice too, but, after a while, it all comes down to face time.

Before I gave up trying to make plans with her on weekends, I probably should have said something. When she had to work through New Years, I probably should have done something. And when she only had five minutes, on the phone, for our anniversary…

The thing is, I love her. More than anyone I ever have, more than I even thought I could, I love her.

So, I sip my drink and pretend to listen to Shelia, while I watch her twirl those fake pearls and laugh at Dom’s jokes – and I try not to hate her.

Girls are Dumb

September 1, 2011

If you’re reading this, I’ve already won. You clicked on the link, not to see my argument, but to berate me for my ignorance. No, girls aren’t dumb, I don’t know any rational person whom believes that, but they are easy to manipulate.

Say, for example, you’re a large retail outlet, with so-so sales and practically no word of mouth in a down economy. How are you going to grab attention for your back to school sale? You could throw money you don’t have into tv ads, which people will fast forward through; you could buy some net space, which people will ad-block; or you can create a stupid, sexist t-shirt that’s bound to create consumer backlash.

Ultimately, you will have to pull the t-shirt and release your pre-written apology, but that is not until after you’ve leaked the story to the press through a back-channel, and the collective anger button has been pushed. Sure you’ll lose some initial sales while the anger is still hot, but anger fades quickly, and name recognition remains.

Maybe you’ll get lucky and some esoteric blogger will write an article in favor of your stupid shirt, keeping the buzz alive an extra day. He (most likely a he) could argue for free speech. He could argue for ironic hipster fashion. He could argue it’s sexist to assume that a female is voicing the abjured line, which would ultimately fall apart if the shirt was found only in the girls section, and he’d have to shift focus to the Oedipal implications of the statement instead… Or, he could go all out and take the object d’art route, where he suggests that the debate itself elevates the shirt to the status of art, which too may be lost on target market (tweens).

How ever it plays out, rage based guerrilla marketing is a hell of a lot cheaper than proper advertising, and can be much more effective – proper ads have practically zero chance at going viral/trending, not when Harry is about to wet the bed.