Monday, August 31, 2009

What does it mean to love yourself?

Is it holding yourself accountable to your dreams every day? Is it working out, eating healthy, and letting yourself go to bed early? Is it forgiving yourself for for falling short of both those things most days? Been trying to figure this one out, so consider your advice solicited.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Really, I love spending time with my boyfriend. Yesterday, we went to lunch together on a whim and enjoyed each other's company so much that we barely realized when our lunch hour was up. How could I not love being with this man, so sexy in his victory glow after catching the garter at a friend's wedding?

I'll miss him terribly as he goes off to Burning Man in the desert with no cell phone reception for 10 days. It's hard to imagine any future without him, of course, but, after much agony, I've manage to plan how I'll...cope:
  • Going to see Julie and Julia!
  • Sleeping in the middle of the bed
  • Cooking experimental vegetarian meals with some girlfriends (My Beloved prefers meat.)
  • Sushi dinners. That's PLURAL, people!
  • Wine tasting in Watkinsville
  • Possible America's Next Top Model viewing party, details TBD
  • Dates with Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Bernhard Schlink, and Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Being a bridesmaid in a two-day wedding
  • Shopping for a fall face palette
  • Hopefully, fielding calls from concerned friends checking up on me to make sure I'm not too lonely. ;)
UPDATE: I totally meant Project Runway, not ANTM. What an upset last week, eh? Can't believe Melvin got the auf wiedersehen so soon.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Love Poem

I've been a delinquent blogger, I know. Between work, moving, and adopting a new workout regiment (heart disease is not a good look for me), I've been bursting with ideas to bounce off y'all. I promise I've got some good stuff planned: how jerks get hot girls to date them, what happens when you get to the long part of a long-term relationship, and of course the results to the Where Did You Find Love Survey (please take it and share it if you haven't!) - just to name a few. As a good faith gesture, here's a love poem I wrote:

I gasp a clarifying clause from your throat
to come after your comma tongue.
The thought is complete.
The climax is post facto etymology;
we put the revel in revelation.
We’re writing the resolution, the dénouement of love --
that is, the falling action.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

One Way to Meet Women

Thanks to everyone who has participated or will participate in the 2-question survey about where you found love! Please keep passing the survey along! I know many readers have not participated in the survey, because you are not in a relationship. For you, I offer this alternative technique to meeting women:

(Courtesy of Dave and Thomas Daily Timekillers. Thanks @chrisilluminati.)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pain is not Suffering

Pain is unavoidable, but suffering is optional. -Not2wo blog post "The Dharma of Rooster Sauce"

I posted the one of the recent best Modern Love columns on the Shut Up and Love Facebook Fan Page last week, but I didn't know what I could possibly add to it. The writer's husband tries to leave her, but she realizes that he's working through issues that have nothing to do with her and so gets out of the way until he could figure out what she'd already knew:
"When life’s knocked us around. And our childhood myths reveal themselves to be just that. The truth feels like the biggest sucker-punch of them all: it’s not a spouse or land or a job or money that brings us happiness. Those achievements, those relationships, can enhance our happiness, yes, but happiness has to start from within." -Laura A. Munson
In the end, the writer's enlightened handling of her husband's issues and understanding of the nature of peace kept her family together, but it would have served her well, too, even if they had decided to divorce. A friend once asked, "What are you supposed to do with emotions you want to express to an ex that you can't?" This sensation of suppressed emotions is a common post-break-up problem, and the answer is to do just what the wife in this article did:
"I’d recently committed to a non-negotiable understanding with myself. I’d committed to 'The End of Suffering.' I’d finally managed to exile the voices in my head that told me my personal happiness was only as good as my outward success, rooted in things that were often outside my control."
Accept that your happiness has nothing to do with what your ex knows (i.e. your anger) or feels (i.e. remorse) or gets served (i.e. revenge, cold), because your ex is external from you. Then, you can work through the natural pain of mourning the end of a relationship even as you practice personal peace. Surely, the pain will hurt, some days worse than other, but not expecting things outside of your control (or waiting for something outside the realm of possibility) protects the heart from too much suffering.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cultural Differences: The Return of Mixed Sunni-Shiite Marriages in Iraq

Just had to share this AP article with you about a local policy to encourage the return of mixed marriages after years of intersect violence. (And we thought OUR intercultural relationships could be hard!) Here are some highlights:

In 2006, the Sunni vice president started a program doling out $2,000 to any Sunni-Shiite couple that tied the knot, "in the hope that love would help overcome war." ..."Iraq witnessed the marriage between Sunnis and Shiites for hundreds of years," said Karim. "We have to resume our Iraqi traditions even though terrorists are trying to erase them."

Congrats to Muhanad Talib and Samma Nasir (photos of the couple in the article) on their marriage!

Also, we still need more responses to the "Where did you find love" survey! Click Here to take the survey or copy and please share this link: Extra points if you send the survey link to someone who actually met their Beloved "not in temple, because we're from different sects" in Iraq.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Where are all the good men/women?

Forbes magazine has published its annual ranking of Best Cities for Singles, and I'm sorry to say that Atlanta, so close to my heart, has fallen from No. 1 to 6th place. New York City tops this year's list. Atlanta can take solace in the fact that, despite all the opportunities Forbes says NYC offers, it is full of lonely people sitting in their closet-apartments wondering, "Where are all the good men/women?" (I know, because there was a TV show about it, and everything I see on TV is true.)

Seriously, single people all over the world are wondering the exact same thing - not that we lack magazines and ads and well-meaning parents telling us where to look. Often, their suggestions sound pretty plausible; someone's met their love that way, after all.
"Hmm, maybe I if move to a bigger city, it'll just rain men" or "Perhaps filling out this free personality assessment will, in fact, lead me precisely to my dreamgirl," or even
"Maybe my parents are right, and I should go with them to Vietnam to meet someone who will fall in love with me, because I'm a swaggering Viet Kieu...or something."

Though I love love, the cynic in me is reminded of a quote by Helmuth von Moltke the Elder, the well-read Prussian military officer: "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy." After trying speed-dating and the bar scene and matchmaking, one can be fed up with anecdotal evidence and unsolicited advice. What we need is data, cold, hard aggregation about where people really do find love.

Shut Up and Love is conducting a survey about where folks in loving relationships found their partners. If you are not in a relationship, a healthy relationship that ended well could be useful count, but please don't tell us where you met your psycho ex. We're not interested in finding those. Click Here to take the survey or copy and paste this link:

We'll need at least several hundred responses to come up with truly useful information, so please please help spread the survey link these first two weeks in August, by email, on Twitter, or inviting people to the Facebook event, to name a few ways. I'll post the results up by the end of the month. Thanks for sharing your experiences! We are smarter together than we are alone!


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