Feb 18

Who among us doesn’t love a good credityes.com commercial? Sometimes you’re just in the mood for one. For example, have you ever had one of those days when you’re just starting to feel okay about your life, and then a credityes.com commercial comes on the radio and makes you want to drive your car over the closest cliff just to stop the bad noise? Now that’s good advertising!

I personally think radio commercials for online dating should follow suit. Close your eyes, and picture it….

“Hi, bad dater Steve! Why are you so down?”

“Hi Stacey! I want to buy a new date, but nobody will date me! What can I do?”

“Don’t fear, bad dater Steve! I just joined matchyes.com and now boys are competing for my business! Even though I have terrible dating history and I’m not asthetically pleasing to the naked eye in any way! You should join matchyes.com and girls will compete for your business, too!”

“Thanks Stacey! But isn’t that called prostitution??”

“Don’t be silly, bad dater Steve! With matchyes.com, everybody pays an equal amount to search for potentially pleasing partners! And you can search from the convenience of your own home computer! No more driving around wasting high-priced gas!”

“That sounds great, Stacey! Because I got into a lot of trouble the last time I was caught with a prostitute! I’ll join matchyes.com right away and start searching for the perfect legally available mate!”

It’s catchy right? I’m still fleshing out the details, but I think that then the deep-voiced announcer would close the commercial with: “Bad dates? No dates? No problem! Everybody gets a date at matchyes.com!”

I’m going to go market my idea right now before you steal it from me. 🙂

-Troi out

Feb 13

I’ve always boycotted Valentine’s Day in good fun. Coercing couples into spending unnecessary money on unnecessary gifts, commercializing what should be private and intimate, and presuming that a partner cannot be relied upon to choose his or her own day to shower a loved one with affection.

(Although some partners cannot. I won’t name names here. I would use a pseudonym but for the children in the audience.)

After a break-up, I find that while I still boycott Valentine’s Day, it’s not so much in good fun. I now contend not only all of the above, but also that Valentine’s Day discriminates against single people. That’s right. We live in a society where I could get shot dead for uttering “Merry Christmas” so I want to make it clear that if you so much as whisper “Happy Valentine’s Day” in my general direction I won’t think twice about piercing you through the heart with Cupid’s arrow.

(Being a nonviolent person, I will use a small plastic arrow that won’t actually break the skin and will probably just bounce off of you. But I think you’ll get the message loud and clear.)

At any rate, regardless of the reasons, I find the imminent threat of this exploitive day of pathetic romantic superfluousness encroaching on my calm. The extinction of my surface calm, revealing the anti-cupid icy interior, took only a second grade student. The brutal dialogue follows:

Student: “Ms. Troi, when are we making hearts for Valentine’s Day for your board?”

Me: “There are snowmen and gingerbread men on the board. I’d rather not take them down.”

Student: “But you need to take them down to make room for the pink and red hearts for Valentine’s Day!

Me: “No, we’ll just keep the gingerbread men and snowmen up. It’s still winter.”

Increasingly Annoying Student: “But why can’t we make hearts and put them up instead in honor of Valentine’s Day?”

Me: “Look, kid, if it’s pink, or if it’s in the shape of a heart, it ain’t going on that white board! If you absolutely insist on drawing and coloring a heart, then be my guest, but we’re not posting it on the white board, it’s either gotta leave the room when you do or it’s going straight to the recycling bin! This is my office, and I have to look at that damn* white board when you leave, and I’m not looking at any pink hearts! Now I absolutely will not think twice about giving you a referral if I hear you utter the word “Valentine’s,” the word “Day” or any combination thereof. And you will be expelled for saying pink heart! Do I make myself perfectly clear??”**

*Expletives added for dramatic effect.

**The preceding events, dialogue, characters, sentence structures, and past tense verbs may or may not have been changed to protect the anonymity of the offending parties, or in fact may have been entirely falsified for purposes of writing this blog. Any similarities between the preceding events, dialogue, characters, sentence structures, or past tense verbs are purely coincidental and do not reflect the beliefs of the author of this blog. However, the words “pink hearts” are completely truthful and were uttered, if not during this conversation, at some other point in the history of the world.

Whether or not the aforementioned event actually took place, the fact remains: Be watchful on Valentine’s Day because I will take every opportunity to poke you with my tiny plastic arrow.

-Troi out

Feb 10

Eternal Sunshine of the Relationship-Denying Mind

Stage 1 of the break-up process (see blog entitled The 12 (hundred) Step Recovery Program, dated February 4th, 2008) has just gotten a little easier. Denying not only your heart-crushing breakup, but also your very feelings for the Ex, is now only a synapse-regulating pill away. Researchers (see article) have found that taking this pill leads to symptoms much like those of autism, decreasing one’s desire for social friendships and numbing the messy emotions that distract us from maximizing our productiveness in the work environment.

According to this article, this pill “…..might also lead to recreational autism, where people who want to take a break from having messy emotions about other people decide to unplug and enter a state where human relationships are no more important than inanimate objects.”

Having myself been seen as little more than an inanimate object to The Ex, is it wrong that I find it enticing that I, too, could view the past from such an apathetic viewpoint? That rather than view The Ex as the OBJECT of my AFFECTION, I could view him as, quite literally, simply an OBJECT?

Conveniently, a simple pill reverses the effect, obliviating the emotionally detached state of the individual and re-igniting normal social functioning and desires.

There remain, however, two problems. One is that, unlike in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” this pill does not permanently remove the memories. Once back in a fully functioning state, a person has really only postponed the period of hurt he or she will inevitably endure while processing these memories. Second, even if somehow the memories significantly fade during the period of ‘recreational autism’, the feelings that drove the relationship will remain at the culmination of the autistic period. This was evidenced by the enduring feelings of the characters in “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” even after the elimination of the memories.

There is no easy way to get around this.

I might try it anyway. 🙂

-Troi out

Feb 9

Dear Blog Reader,
The responses I received regarding my Superbowl post were overwhelming. In particular, I would like to share with you the letter of response I received from the coach of the New York Giants:

Attn: Ingenious Blog Writer
From: Me, the Coach of the New York Giants, the winning Superbowl team
Thank you for your suggestion that rather than engage in physical contact through the practice of “tackling,” we compromise and let each team take the ball a certain number of yards down the field. It sounds like you are just the blog writer to head our football revolution in which we draw up new, nonviolent rules so that we can minimize costs by cutting out the need for protective gear. We also find that simply too many people watch the Superbowl, and I believe your suggestions will also minimize our audience members. I would like to hear your other ideas.
Gratefully yours,
Coach of the New York Giants

Well, coach of the New York Giants, you have come to the right place. As a person who works with young children (even though I was strongly advised against it), there are certain teaching techniques one uses with children that would come in handy if employed in your little game. Listed here are the top five suggestions:

5. Prepare your players for the consequences of bad sportsmanship (“If you can’t share the football, nobody gets it!”). If they don’t share, follow through by taking away the football for at least one full quarter and making them play with something else instead. I suggest a tennis ball.

4. When two teams are greedy, one football just isn’t enough. I suggest using two footballs to accommodate the needs of both teams.

3. Distract the players from their purpose. When children are upset, they are easily distracted from their tantrum when the right food is dangled in front of their faces. Distract the players by telling them Jessica Simpson is in the audience. I hear that works.

2. Change the object of the game. Perhaps the new object can be to see who can throw the ball the farthest. Without the need for touchdowns, the players will not become so preoccupied with securing the football.

1. Teach the players about conscientious objection. They have the right to decline to tackle based on their desire to preserve the physical and emotional well-being of their opponents (who we will now refer to simply as “members of an equal yet insignificantly different yet no less valuable team”).

I hope that these suggestions benefit the integrity of football and football watchers worldwide.

-Troi out

Feb 4

Dearest Blog Reader,

Before I delve into my twelve hundred step foolproof break-up recovery program here (found in my book entitled “Twelve Hundred Steps: The Prequel to Twelve Hundred More Steps), I’d like to begin by lecturing from the first chapter of my book, “The Six Stages of Breakup.” Here you will find outlined the six classic stages of break-up. At the culmination of this chapter, which happens somewhere after the middle of the chapter and prior to the beginning of the second chapter, you will be able to identify a) the five stages of breakup, and b) your current break-up stage (if you have not gone through a break-up objective b) does not apply to you and you can go to Hello look at the time we must move on).

Stage 1: Denial (Days 5-7 post-breakup)
This first stage is particularly blissful. This is where you deny the break-up and continue to contact The Ex as if nothing has happened. Activities may include phoning, emailing, and/or kissing The Ex, while denying that the love underlying the kissing is no longer reciprocated by The Ex.

Stage 2: Grieving (Day 8 post-breakup)
This is the stage where you give yourself exactly one day to cry and mourn the loss of The Ex. At this stage, you may find yourself reading old emails while eating Ben and Jerry’s cookie dough ice cream while watching a sappy movie where one or both lovers dies a tragic and hopefully excruciating death (Titanic and Romeo and Juliet are acceptable choices) while drinking copious amounts of beer while reading a Jane Austen novel while calling and bawling to each and every friend on your cell phone contact list who is brave enough to pick up. You know you’re in the grieving stage when you are engaging in all of the above activities simultaneously.

Stage 3: Date Everyone on Planet Earth (Weeks 2-4 post-breakup)
You may be in this stage if a) you’re dating everyone on planet earth or b) you plan on it. This is where you attempt to find a suitable mate to distract from your loss of the old mate. In this stage, you may even feel the need to look beyond planet earth to find other mates in the galaxy who are available for dating purposes. You may focus your search on androids; that is, robots made by humans and for humans who look human but whom you can program to be successful mates.

Stage 4: Hide the Evidence (Day 31 post-beakup)
This is the stage where you see fit to burn and/or shred the reminders of The Ex. If your only reminders are emails, this is the stage where you burn your computer and buy a new one. This is an expensive stage.

Stage 5: Illusion of Happiness (Week 6 post-breakup)
This is the stage where it is no longer acceptable to live in a state of utter despondence (and your friends have all changed their numbers and/or entered the witness protection program to conceal themselves from your tears). This is where you tell yourself and others that you are completely over it, and deny any behaviors to the contrary. If you inadvertently begin to cry, you convince yourself that your tears are completely unrelated to The Ex, and are actually a manifestation of your sadness over world hunger or the war in Iraq.

Stage 6: Acceptance (Week 7 post-breakup)
At this stage you may find yourself feeling happy. Do not be alarmed by this foreign feeling. If you need to ease your transition into happiness, try smashing your finger in a door so that some amount of physical pain replaces the emotional pain to which you had become accustomed. Accept that you no longer need Ben or Jerry to provide you with happiness.

And so, Loyal Blog Reader, please refer to the pop quiz on the following page to assess your understanding of the above information before proceeding to Chapter 2. Since this is a blog and there is no Chapter 2, please send me your check or money order to pre-order an advance copy of my exclusive breakup book. If you order now you will receive a free copy of “Titanic” and your very own pint of Ben and Jerry (or whomever is available to be eaten). Operators are standing by to take your call. You will be unable to order by email, as it is most unfortunate that my computer was recently burned and I cannot currently receive emails.

-Troi out

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