Friday, May 29, 2009

What's going on this weekend?

The sun is out -- for now -- so you have a perfect reason to hit up Friday's free outdoor concert on Broadway. Classic Addict and Deeper Shades of Soul entertain 7-11 p.m.

While you're downtown, check out Hells/Bells, a Nashville-based AC/DC tribute act. They perform at The Roadhouse, 1047 Broadway, beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10.

Beyond the nightlife scene, there's a book release party Saturday at The Coffee Beanery, 1204 First Ave. From 7 to 9:30 p.m., Felicia L. Hamilton will sign copies of "From High Heels to High Places." Expect music, food, free cocktails and free facials.

Here's the rest of your lineup:


Whisky Bent, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

Last Episode, 10 p.m. Scruffy Murphy’s, $5. 706-322-3460.

Hells/Bells, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, $10.

Claiborne & Friends, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, $5. 706-494-1584.

• Gone Country, 9 p.m. Saloon & Oyster Bar, free. 706-568-8400.

• Dueling pianos, 10 p.m. The Vault, $5. 706-653-8277.

• Peggy Jenkins and the Bizness, 9 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

Jaded Soul, 8 p.m. Daileys, $5. 706-320-3353.


Jaded Soul, 8 p.m. Daileys, $5. 706-320-3353.

Lee Holmes acoustic, 8 p.m. Saloon & Oyster Bar, free. 706-568-8400.

Claiborne & Friends, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, $5. 706-494-1584.

• Dueling pianos, 10 p.m. The Vault, $5. 706-653-8277.

Last Episode, 10 p.m. Scruffy Murphy’s, $5. 706-322-3460.

State of Man, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

• Codfish Quartet, 7:30 p.m. Ossahatchee Oyster Bar and Grill, free. 706-582-2629.

Jason Connelly, Christian Riddell, 9 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

Haywire, 9 p.m. The Dawghouse, free. 706-507-9374.

• DJ D’Rock, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free.

I wanna take you for granted

How often do you say "thank you" to your significant other?

I'm always amazed by girls who thank their boyfriends for things like showing up. Being nice to their friends. Staying mildly sober.

It's like, "Hello, you're supposed to do that stuff."

One male writer agrees. In a guest blog post for the NY Times, he asks readers, "Do you thank your spouse too much?" If the answer is "yes," you might be in trouble. Here's why:

When I’m thanked for doing only the things I don’t necessarily enjoy, I’m left with the feeling that my efforts are above and beyond expectations — not simply my responsibility as a partner in raising a family. It is as if it’s optional that I continue to participate at this level.

It's a nice analysis. Often, our "thank yous" reinforce a belief that common courtesy is optional.

Nonetheless, as many of the post's commenters point out, if thanking each other is the biggest problem in your relationship, you're in pretty good shape.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

They're just jealous

What do you do when everyone -- except you -- thinks you're in a bad relationship?

This blog post was inspired by "Hitched or Ditched." Yes, I am still thinking about that show. Things take on an added sense of permanence when when you only get five channels.

Anyway, there was one scene in the first episode when a couple came to the harsh realization that no one wanted them to get married. This was literally proven by a show of hands. Or more appropriately, a show of no hands.

Their first instinct was to dismiss the criticism, saying, "They don't know what goes on behind closed doors."

To some extent, that's a fine reaction. Many couples have a different dynamic in public, one that can taint others' opinions of their emotions.

But having a couple critical friends is one things. Finding absolutely no support for your relationship is another.

You can make up all the excuses you want, but in the end all those people can't be wrong.

Can they?

What's going on tonight?

Hey Thursday partiers: Don't forget about the weekly Thursday martini tasting at Belloo’s, 900 Front Ave. Cost is $20 for individuals, $35 for couples. The tasting is offered 8 p.m. until closing time. Steve McRay performs tonight. Call 706-494-1584.

Here are some other party options:

Mile Train, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5 (free for military). 706-568-3316.

Stereomonster, Unsung, Ethos, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free. $1.50 PBR.

Say cheese!

On the party scene, everyone has That Friend who always demands a photo do-over -- no matter how good the picture looks.

Today's nightlife column is about how we often hit the bars with one goal:

Take a new Facebook profile photo.

Everyone can relate to the sense of dread that comes with hearing one of your friends scream "Picture time!"

Even after entering the world of digital cameras, I've never been a huge photo person. I prefer to operate under an illusion of physical perfection. That's also why I avoid mirrors.

Some of my friends, however, are crazy about photos. I know people who will take nearly 100 on any given Saturday night.

How many photos do you take on an average weekend? And more importantly, what's your favorite kind of photo to make fun of on someone else's social networking page?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Rivertown Showdown results!

Hey everybody! It's nearly 1 a.m. Thursday and I just got back from the Rivertown Showdown at The Loft. Justin Belew, a worship pastor at Golden Acres Baptist Church in Phenix City, won the third installment of the singer-songwriter competition.

Belew (pictured above) was an all-around entertaining guy, getting an especially enthusiastic audience response from his song lamenting the loss of Pluto's official planet status.

Thirteen finalists performed Wednesday night. At stake? A prize package worth $1,500.

Even indicted attorney Mark Shelnutt, pictured here, appeared in the contest. He made no comment about the charges against him. His first original song, "The Song That Never Ends," was about the good times he had in college. His second, "Precious Child," was inspired by a friend going through a rough time.

The Rivertown Showdown is designed largely to draw attention to Columbus' prominence on the regional and national music scene. The competition attracts not only local artists, but also traveling musicians. Katie Pearlman, pictured here, flew from New York to compete in Wednesday's show.

Read more about the Rivertown Showdown here.

Cheating at its worst

I feel awkward telling the entire blogosphere about this, but there's somebody else in my boyfriend's life and I hate it.

He spends late nights with her, and sometimes full days on weekends. He puts money into making her feel better when she's hurt. He admits knowing how to turn her on, and has his hands all over her whenever they're together.

It's his computer.

This article about pet jealousy got me thinking that in relationships, sometimes the biggest jealousy doesn't involve another person at all.

It can be driven by a favorite TV show -- "I'll hang out right after Gossip Girl, honey" -- or a passion for sport. Or an inanimate object, like a computer or car, that somehow manages to always get more physical attention than you.

Which non-human force makes you most jealous?

Rivertown Showdown

Need Wednesday night party plans? Come hang out with me at the Rivertown Showdown.

The third installment of the singer-songwriter competition names its winner tonight at The Loft, 1032 Broadway.

Thirteen finalists perform in the final showcase, which starts at 8 p.m. Cover is $5.

Performers are Anthony Johnson, Ben Braswell, Justin Belew, Brent Lindley, Jason Connelly, Neal Lucas, John McGee, Brent Browning, Katie Pearlman, Mark Shelnutt, Gini Woolfolk, Griff Parrish and Doug Cox.

The competition included six weeks of preliminary rounds and attracted nearly 50 singers. Tonight's winner gets a prize package worth $1,500.

Hitched or ditched

Fortunately, a hot handyman installed my digital TV converter box just in time for the premiere of the CW's new reality series, "Hitched or Ditched."

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a new guilty pleasure.

Here's how the show works: Each week focuses on a couple who's at the stage where one partner is thinking, "What are we doing?" The producers surprise them by fully funding their dream wedding. With one catch: The wedding has to happen in one week.

Essentially the show should be called "Marry me...or else," but that probably sounded a little too cruel.

Monday's episode focused on a couple who had been dating for four years. When they got to the altar, the girl said "I do" and the guy said "I don't." Done. Broken up.

Ignore the discomfort that comes with being dumped on national TV and you might actually love this show.

Yes, it's cheesy reality television, but as the LA Times keenly observes here, it accurately reflects an unspoken question that clouds many partnerships:

Where is this relationship going?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The silver lining

Enter a long-distance relationship and you'll be treated to the pleasure that comes with a constant fear of infidelity.

If you're really lucky, you'll savor the financial burden of buying frequent cross-country plane tickets.

Forgive my sarcasm. There really is a good side to the infamous LDR. Twenty good sides, in fact.

At least that's what one writer for The Frisky argues. Here, she lists 20 reasons to date long-distance. Entries include reasons like "there's much less to fight about" and "you'll never feel suffocated by your SO."

The items are entertaining, but I can't get past the fact that those reasons also mark the LDR's biggest weakness: It blinds you to the necessary problems that affect traditional relationships.

Nonetheless, if you have a definite end point for the distance element of your relationship, you can learn a lot from an LDR.

A three-month cross-country separation, for instance, can remind you of the importance of independence and having friends outside of the person with whom you're romantically involved.

What's the biggest lesson you've learned from a long-distance relationship?

Men in aprons

I recently realized that in the majority of married couples I know, the man is responsible for making dinner most nights.

Weird, huh?

Sure, sometimes the setup is a result of scheduling constraints. But in most cases, the guy has made a conscious choice to be the cook in the relationship.

For men, food has become not only a vehicle for seduction, but a permanent -- and welcome -- relationship responsibility.

Last year, the term "gastrosexual" made waves on the dating scene. It refers to men who "consider cooking more a hobby than a household chore and use their kitchen prowess to impress friends and prospective partners," one article notes.

I love a man who can grill me a good steak. Add a savory plate of pasta to the mix and I'm yours forever.

But some women take issue with a man who wants to be the primary provider in the kitchen. Most of our mothers were raised to be a family's sole cook, and taught us to expect to inherit that role.

Having a man who wants to make us dinner can be a relief, but under the wrong circumstances it can also lead to a control struggle.

Give me your thoughts on a man who can cook -- you know, beyond the realm of frozen pizzas.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Watch out, bad boys

The intriguing image of a rule-breaking, rebellion-making Bad Boy has been overtaken by a sea of smiley faces.

At least that's what this NY Times piece says.

It argues that niceness is back with a vengeance, thanks largely to the "aw shucks" vibe of entertainers like actor Paul Rudd and "American Idol" Kris Allen. In summary:

That amiable guys and uncomplicated sweethearts could be today’s pop heroes is one sign of an outbreak of niceness across the cultural landscape — an attitude bubbling up in commercials, movies and even, to a degree, the normally not-nice blogosphere.

If this is true, could the infamous Bad Boy finally lose his appeal on the dating scene?

(via Jezebel)

Friday, May 22, 2009

What's going on this weekend?

Hey everybody! Friday's Whisky Bent concert on Broadway was canceled, but you still have party options.

Here's your lineup:


• Boneheadz, 9:30 p.m. Del Ranch Bar and Grill, $5. 334-297-9177.

• Dueling pianos, 10 p.m. The Vault, $5. 706-653-8277.

• DJ D Rock, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free.

Spent, 9 p.m. Saloon & Oyster Bar, free. 706-568-8400.

Whisky Bent, 10 p.m. Scruffy Murphy’s, $5. 706-322-3460.

Bad Element, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

The Relics, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, $5. 706-494-1584.

Seven Zero Sixx, 8 p.m. Daileys, $5. 706-320-3353.

• Foreplay, 6 p.m. Shanty Shack, free. 706-507-3418.

• Peggy Jenkins and the Bizness, 9 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.


• Boneheadz, 9:30 p.m. Del Ranch Bar and Grill, $5. 334-297-9177.

WILX, 9 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

• DJ D Rock, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free.

• Keith Stewart (acoustic), 8 p.m. Saloon & Oyster Bar, free. 706-568-8400.

Neal Lucas Band, 10 p.m. Scruffy Murphy’s, $5. 706-322-3460.

Platinum Fuzz, 8 p.m. Daileys, $5. 706-320-3353.

• Dueling pianos, 10 p.m. The Vault, $5. 706-653-8277.

Spinfish, 7:30 p.m. Ossahatchee Oyster Bar and Grill, free. 706-582-2629.

The Relics, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, $5. 706-494-1584.

Starlume, Blue Flashing Light, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

Hot for teacher

I'll post the full roundup of weekend parties soon, but I want to remind you that tonight is Teacher Appreciation Night at the Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road.

Beginning around 4 p.m., local teachers will pack the Shack and enjoy games, drink specials and more. Foreplay plays at 6 p.m. No cover.

To anyone who's offended by the concept, I say lighten up. Things could be much worse.

Case in point: Mary Kay Letourneau, who served a prison sentence for having an affair with a sixth-grader, is hosting "Hot for Teacher" night at a Seattle bar.

Is this cheating?

Thanks to celebrities' recent infidelity epidemic, there's now all sorts of articles justifying the times we've snooped on a significant other's cell phone contact list.

Buzz about "emotional affairs" has also returned to women's magazines.

This article says even though emotional affairs lack physical intimacy, they involve a deeper breach of trust and are therefore most difficult to recover from.

There's something dangerous about relying on someone other than your spouse as your chief confidant. But as the term "emotional affair" takes a more prominent role in the relationship world, it also risks making distrust and paranoia more common.

Is there such thing as an emotional affair? And if it exists, is emotional cheating more or less severe than physical cheating?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The church date

Is church the new meet market?

A guest blogger tackles that question on the AJC's dating blog, describing the pros and cons of meeting a significant other at church. My favorite part: The "God told me you were my spouse" pickup line.

I've heard tons of stories from readers who met partners at church. The concept makes sense: In theory, you're in a pool of people with the same values and ideals.

And it's significantly less sleazy than the bar scene...assuming you leave room for the Holy Spirit.

But tread lightly. Much like the gym, some people view church as a sanctuary where you go to be "in the zone" for an hour. Uninvited pickup lines taint that process.

Finding romance at church is great -- if your relationship works.

If it doesn't, you're forced to associate a place traditionally rooted in love with, well, anything but.

What's going on tonight?

Hey everybody! The weekend's almost here. Get in the party mood with these Thursday night options:

Gary Parmer, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, free. 706-494-1584.

Whisky Bent, 10 p.m. Scruffy Murphy’s, free. 706-322-3460.

Magnolia Sons, Colorcast Veteran, Sequoyah Prep School, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5 (free for military). 706-568-3316.

Stereomonster, Unsung, Ethos, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free. $1.50 PBR.

You bore me

What's the meanest thing a significant other has ever said to you?

I started thinking about that question after reading this article from The Frisky. It's a list of mean things women say to men.

In the romance world, verbal spars aren't gender-specific. Probably the meanest line a guy's told me is, "I should be attracted to you, but I'm not." Kinda harsh, right?

But unfortunately, in relationships, the biggest emotional pain often comes from saying nothing at all.

The pain of NOT hearing "I love you" is sometimes far worse than hearing "I don't love you."

I've written before about my totally tactful MySpace breakup. In that situation, when I was dumped indirectly, I would have much rather heard a 30-minute tirade about my lack of romantic appeal.

Something -- even when it's mean -- is better than nothing.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Groom duties

Jezebel introduces us to, a new online community dedicated to helping guys plan their weddings.

You'll learn all about hard-hitting topics like what constitutes cheating at a bachelor party, as well as advice for what to do if the maid of honor is "a bit loose."

I can't imagine too many guys programming this one into their Internet favorite places. I predict it'll mainly serve as a link women constantly forward to the men in their lives.

That's not to say the site doesn't serve a purpose. The writing is actually pretty entertaining, especially this installment of live-blogging from the 2009 Great Bridal Expo in New York.

Maybe I'm not part of the intended audience, but I'll be back for more.

It's the perfect detox for when you've spent one too many afternoons with that friend who squeals every time she says "registry."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

First impressions

Monday, some of my friends were captivated by the premiere of the newest installment of "The Bachelorette."

I didn't watch, mainly because I just don't have the brain capacity to follow the show when 30 potential suitors are involved. Narrow the pool to four and I'll be hooked.

I'm always amazed at how reality TV dating contestants are forced to give so many of their prospects the boot after such a short period of time.

I realize producers must manipulate the process to some extent, but I wonder which factors go through a Bachelor or Bachelorette's mind during the first cut.

And just as often, I wonder what would go through my mind if I was in a similar scenario.

Some obvious factors feed early attraction: good smile, nice sense of humor, admirable grooming habits.

But there are also quirky things that hook people just as commonly. Say, a specific hairstyle or speech pattern.

When it comes to first impressions, which traits make you keep somebody around?

Muldoon's Tuesdays start tonight

Last week I wrote this article about how older partiers are looking for a new nightlife niche now that Muldoon's and Memory Lane have closed.

The Shanty Shack is trying to lure those "homeless" partiers with a new promotion that begins tonight.

From 7 to 11 p.m. Tuesdays, the Warm Springs Road hot spot will replicate the atmosphere of longtime hangout Muldoon's. H2O stands in the place of Muldoon's now.

Tonight, Muldoon's Tuesdays kick off at the Shanty Shack with a performance by local band Haywire. Arrive early and you'll have a shot at getting free food.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Love in a battlefield

Here's an interesting article about how more military members are using online dating sites to find love in the U.S. while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.

It notes:

The percentage of military members joining eHarmony online dating increased by 56% from 2006 to 2008, says Gian Gonzaga, an eHarmony research psychologist. The companies do not have statistics on how many of their military personnel are deployed overseas.

The life-altering experience of going to war often focuses the romantic mind, Gonzaga says. "When you are reminded of your own mortality, the theory kind of boils down to, you remember what's most important to you, which is relationships," he says.

But the online relationships can be straining, the article adds. It points to a fear that the servicemember is reaching out because of sheer loneliness, rather than an attraction to a specific partner.

While in Columbus, I've watched many couples deal with the stress that comes when a spouse returns from a deployment. Sometimes, even couples with the most solid marital foundations have a hard time weathering this stress.

I'd imagine things would be even harder for a couple meeting face-to-face for the first time. Then again, maybe love really does conquer all.


Bud Light Lime, anyone?

I have absolutely no shame in holding a bottle of beer displaying the phrase "pomegranate infusion."

But maybe that's just me.

Here, Jezebel is critical of the growing crop of "girlie beers." The piece talks about how increasingly, beers with ingredients like elderberry and elderflower are being marketed exclusively toward women.

I'm all for drinking in moderation -- and taking all measures possible to avoid the dreaded beer gut -- but you can't assume women will drink dainty cosmopolitans every time they're put in a social drinking environment.

This is especially true on the Columbus bar scene, where it's often safer to opt for a bottle of beer than put your faith in a bartender's shaky mixology skills.

The rise of "girlie beers" hasn't upped my drinking at all. If nothing else, I'm glad there's an option other the usual Bud Light.

Glad enough to even drink this strawberry-flavored brew in public.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Updated: What's going on this weekend?

Update: Just learned there's a whipped cream contest Saturday night at Big City Club, 1113 Broadway. Organizers promise a cash prize for "the sexiest lady that knows what to do when it's time to get down and dirty and down to business." Make of that what you like. No cover if you bring in a can of whipped cream.

Two more great outdoor concerts this weekend. Friday, catch Classic Addict 7-10 p.m. on Broadway. The show is free. Saturday, Clarence Carter of "Strokin'" fame entertains at the Phenix City Amphitheater. Show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $10.

Here's the rest of your lineup:


Classic Addict, 10 p.m. Flip Flops, $5.

Claiborne & Friends, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, $5. 706-494-1584.

Jury, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, $5.

Haywire, 9 p.m. Saloon & Oyster Bar, free. 706-568-8400.

Georgia Music Hall of Fame presents “Nashville Portraits Party” featuring T. Graham Brown, Jimmy Hall and Toni Price, 9 p.m. The Loft, $15. 706-596-8141.

• Dueling pianos, 10 p.m. The Vault, $5. 706-653-8277.

The Relics, 9:30 p.m. Del Ranch Bar and Grill, $5. 334-297-9177.

Misfortune 500, Debutante Massacre, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.


Sonia Leigh, 9 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

Jury, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, $5.

Lee Holmes (acoustic), 9 p.m. Saloon & Oyster Bar, free. 706-568-8400.

Claiborne & Friends, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, $5. 706-494-1584.

• Dueling pianos, 10 p.m. The Vault, $5. 706-653-8277.

Classic Addict, 9 p.m. Flip Flops, $5.

The Pennies, Poanna, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

The Relics, 9:30 p.m. Del Ranch Bar and Grill, $5. 334-297-9177.

Love in a point and shoot world

Come, on people: Have we really not learned the hazards of risque photos?

Amid the newest set of "leaked" celebrity pictures, Esquire gives us this advice on how to photograph your scantily clad significant other.

Among the tidbits: "Be positive in your speech and sort of encouraging in your exclamations... much like you would to a child."

You know, making it even easier to save the photos for blackmail purposes once you guys break up.

When it comes to X-rated photos, is there any appropriate advice other than "don't do it"?

(via Jezebel)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Why are you still single?

If that question makes you cringe, you're not alone.

A male AJC blogger complains about it here. In his example, the inquiry didn't come from a prying relative or nosy hairdresser: It came from a potential girlfriend.

Whether you're single or married, pregnant or childless, it's impossible to escape unwelcome personal questions.

They surface frequently during family gatherings. Case in point: This woman's fear she'll spend her brother's wedding answering the dreaded "When are you going to get married?"

But it's not just Grandma. Our peers are just as prone to delve into our private lives with an awkward inquiry.

Are you seeing anyone? Why hasn't he proposed yet? When are you going to have kids?

Some of my friends approach these questions with a rehearsed answer. Others stammer incoherently every time.

What's your strategy? Have you perfected the art of responding to a too-personal question?

What's going on tonight?

Man, the weekend cannot come soon enough. Hopefully these Thursday night party options will ease the wait:

Stereomonster, Unsung, Ethos, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free. $1.50 PBR.

U.S, 9 p.m. Shanty Shack, free. 706-507-3418.

Steve McRay, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, free. 706-494-1584.

Halo Stereo, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5 (free for military). 706-568-3316.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The relationship 'break'

What do you think about couples who go on a "break"?

You know, a split that includes a possibility they will get back together.

This college student writes how she and her boyfriend agreed to go on a "break" while she studies abroad over the summer. During that time, they've agreed it's OK to hook up with other people. She concludes:

We have discussed getting back together after I get back, but nothing is set in stone. We know that we’re young and that we have a long way to go before either of us considers settling, so, to be a little cliche about it, whatever happens, happens.

I think this is a recipe for disaster.

These situations always end up the same way. At the start, both partners talk about how wonderful the setup is and how it's great they're not jealous people.

Then, a couple weeks in, one person is pining away for the old relationship while the other has completely moved on.

The term "break" is simply an attempt to lessen the emotional severity of a breakup. Its attempt at leaving doors open is nothing but a vehicle for false hope.


Why can't we be friends?

I'm talking about the possible friendship divide between married people and singletons.

As her wedding approaches, one writer for The Frisky laments the inevitable loss of her single friends.

She writes, "...The days of 'romancing' my friends — of luxuriating in their company all weekend long and most weekday evenings is over. Given the choice — which, thankfully, I have now that my relationship is not a long-distance one — I’d rather spend most of my free time with my fiance."

Few women keep all their female friendships intact once they get married.

It's just too easy to rely on your husband as your No. 1 companion. Then, when he goes out of town for a weekend and you ask your single friends to hang out, they can't help but feel like they're merely filling a temporary vacancy.

Just consider this reader comment from the aforementioned article:

We singles aren’t morons. We realize that your marriage will always come first, but throw us a bone and don’t treat us like an employee you call only when there’s a crisis to tend to.

Harsh, but all too often, totally true.

Can married people and singletons maintain healthy friendships?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Is skin always in?

I recently described my biggest nightlife fashion pet peeves to a guy: "Women should pick one asset to flaunt," I said. "If you're going to show a lot of cleavage, don't wear really short shorts. And if you're going to show a lot of leg, don't wear a low-cut shirt."

My male companion stared at me blankly. "You know what I mean?" I asked.

"I don't know why you can't show both," he said.

OK, guys...I get it. You like to see a lot of bare skin. But there has to be a cutoff somewhere, right?

Case in point: Last week I spotted a female partier downtown who not only skipped out on a bra, but also opted for a scoop neck that was, well, a little too scooped. She might as well have just been wearing strategically placed stickers up there.

Come on, that can't be attractive.

Tell me honestly, male readers: Do you ever look at a tube top wearing, short skirt flaunting woman and think, "that is just TOO much"?

Three's company?

There's a new marriage debate on the scene, and it hasn't yet been tainted by a controversy involving Miss California.

The partnership at stake? Threesomes.

There's a growing movement to legally recognize the threesome -- or its politically correct cousin, the triad. Read more in this piece from The Daily Beast.

I was skeptical at first, too. But then I realized the permanent addition of a third person in romantic relationships could really hold some benefits, including:

*Instant mediator/tie-breaker

*Much easier to divide a 9-slice pizza

*One more income to aid in bill-paying

*Tremendous potential for double engagement bling

Sold yet?

Monday, May 11, 2009

The toothbrush situation

Few accessories have so much potential to completely destroy a relationship.

Enter the toothbrush. It's a seemingly harmless token of personal hygiene. Leave it at a partner's apartment too quickly, though, and it can become a scary indicator of obsession.

This blogger tells guys to break up with any girl who leaves a personal item at your apartment after three months of dating. With that rule in mind, here's his advice for handling the toothbrush situation:

Buy an electric toothbrush with the replaceable heads. Have 1 extra head and tell each woman who spends the night that you have a "fresh" head that she can use. You don't actually have to replace it for each woman.. that would be expensive.

Yeah guys, you wonder why we don't want to stay at your place...

I know some girls who regard the toothbrush drop-off as a major milestone in a relationship. I'm not among them, but I love me some oral hygiene. And it gets to the point where you're just sick of having morning breath while making out in the morning.

Tell me, readers: When it comes to relationships, is a toothbrush ever "just" a toothbrush?

Promiscuous girls: MIA

The economy's in shambles, the job market's a wreck and just when you thought things couldn't get any worse, the loose women disappear.

At least that's the assessment from this Esquire reporter, who laments the loss of the skank with a piece that begins, "Brilliant, funny, and powerful women are retreating from sex as never before..."

He notes how TV characters like Liz Lemon ("30 Rock") and Whitney Port ("The City") take up the strong woman role, but don't pair it with the sex obsession that dominated "Sex and the City."

What fueled the loose woman's extinction? Here's an excerpt:

But the post-post-feminist maelstrom that is Danica Patrick and the Real Housewives of Wherever and Secretary Clinton versus Beauty Queen Palin means that women can wield real power, but it comes at the cost of confusion — professional, social, and sexual. Sex has become a minefield just too tricky to navigate as they build a career or a family or a reality-TV-show franchise. They go elsewhere.

I planned to argue against this piece from a pop culture standpoint, but it seems like hardly any remaining shows that include That Woman -- you know, the loose friend who treats men like physical conquests.

Samantha Jones ("SATC"), as we all know, has retired from the small screen. And Nicollette Sheridan's Edie Britt has left "Desperate Housewives."

Are there any loose women left on TV? And if not, is there any impact for the real world?

Friday, May 8, 2009

What's going on this weekend?

Hey everybody! Don't forget about this weekend's two outdoor concerts: Peggy Jenkins performs a free show 7-10 p.m. Friday on Broadway, then Keni Thomas takes the stage at the Phenix City Amphitheater 8 p.m. Saturday. Tickets for his show are $5, or free with military ID.

Here's the rest of your lineup:


Two Finger Jester, 8 p.m. Daileys, $5. 706-320-3353.

• The Drive, 9 p.m. Saloon & Oyster Bar, free. 706-568-8400.

• Dueling pianos, 10 p.m. The Vault, $5. 706-653-8277.

• Beach party with Heath Jackson Band, 9 p.m. Flip Flops, $5.

• Lauren Barnett, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, $5. 706-494-1584.

• DJ D Rock, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free.

• Peggy Jenkins and the Bizness, 9 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

• The Ranch Hands, 9:30 p.m. Del Ranch Bar and Grill, $5. 334-297-9177.

Spy for Hire, It's Elephant's, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.


Two Finger Jester, 8 p.m. Daileys, $5. 706-320-3353.

Filthy Wilma, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

• Protean Soul, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, $5.

Heath Jackson Band, 9 p.m. Flip Flops, $5.

Java Monkey, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, $5. 706-494-1584.

Classic Addict, 9 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

• Brad Smith (acoustic) 8 p.m. Saloon & Oyster Bar, free. 706-568-8400.

• Dueling pianos, 10 p.m. The Vault, $5. 706-653-8277.

• The Ranch Hands, 9:30 p.m. Del Ranch Bar and Grill, $5. 334-297-9177.

The breakup safety net

Nobody leaves a relationship without having another one in place.

That's the mentality of the Overlapper, a type of dater The Frisky criticizes here. It's someone who breaks up, and immediately enters a new relationship.

You know, that guy who tolerates a horrible girlfriend for a few extra months just so he has enough time to scout out another girl who's definitely into him.

Without a doubt, Overlappers are sleazy -- and extremely insecure in their singledom -- but you have to show them a little sympathy.

It's scary to leave a relationship, and specifically during your first couple days alone, you want the reassurance of knowing that somebody will give you a call just to say hi.

I've never been an Overlapper, but during my weaker moments of self-esteem I've agreed to be a breakup safety net, mistaking that role as genuine affection.

That scenario doesn't work for anybody. The Overlapper settles for a relationship with someone who's just "there," while his significant other spends too much time trying to convince herself she's something special.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Welcome to the divorce expo

For one afternoon, merchants crowd your mall's center, poised to discuss the intricacies of matrimony.

As in, like, how to end it.

The scene could become a common reality as divorce expos -- similar to the traditional wedding expos -- gain international momentum. The events include booths from professionals like therapists, financial counselors and travel agents, YourTango reports.

Marriage and divorce expos could exist on the same calendar. Divorce cakes might one day be ordered just as commonly as wedding cakes.

Is the public prominence of divorce erasing the discomfort of severed ties, or endorsing it?

What's going on tonight?

Update: Don't forget about the fundraiser tonight at Flip Flops, 1111 Broadway. From 6 to 10 p.m., all proceeds benefit Jack Grugin, a local man battling brain cancer.

Hey Thursday night partiers! Join me tonight as I flaunt my scrunchie and jean skirt for '80s night at the Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road. The Breakfast Club, an '80s tribute band, entertains beginning at 9 p.m. No cover.

Here are some other standouts:

Stereomonster, Unsung, Ethos, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free. $1.50 PBR.

• Fixer, Veydan, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5 (free for military). 706-568-3316.

Gary Parmer, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, free. 706-494-1584.

Kiss and tell with mom?

With Mother's Day coming up, you're bound to remember the things you appreciate about Mom: home-cooked meals, freshly folded laundry, financial support.

What about makeout tips?

This piece from YourTango poses an interesting question: When, if ever, do you become comfortable enough to kiss and tell with your parents?

I'm always amazed by my 20-something friends who delve into the deepest details of their relationship lives during phone calls home. We're talking serious TMI with mom here.

Then, there are friends who tread a little more carefully, particularly because they fear that being completely open will tell mom it's OK to do the same.

And trust me, some people fear nothing more than hearing a parent start a sentence with, "So while Dad and I were making out last night..."

I'll never be comfortable fully disclosing the details of my love life to mom. Yes, part of the reason is selfish. I fear the kiss and tell will be mutual, and some extent I think all of us should be free to keep an idealized image of our parents' marriage.

But the greater, more important, reason I don't kiss and tell with mom is a compliment to our bond:

In leading by example, my mom provides unspoken guidance for the moments -- inside and outside romantic relationships -- when I'm afraid to ask for the advice I need most.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Male birth control

The man in your life assures you he's taken a shot that can function as the sole form of birth control in your relationship.


Think carefully -- that scenario could become a lot more common as the viability of a male birth control shot advances. A recent study of testosterone injections sheds light on the shot as a possible reality, ABC News reports.

If approved, the shot could change the relationship world dramatically, YourTango notes. Most of their predictions involve an underlying assumption of male sleaze.

Among the possible consequences? A rise in pregnant women muttering, "He said he was on the shot."

On a larger level, Feministing wonders how companies would market male contraception. You can't exactly use the "fewer periods" line that drives TV commercials about female birth control.

How will the male shot would affect relationships? Will men feel comfortable bearing the sole responsibility of birth control?

tainted love

Would you be leery of someone who has a broken engagement on his or her dating resume?

The Frisky asks that question in this post, where one writer suggests guys might think a girl who's had a broken engagement is on a desperate quest to find a husband NOW.

If a guy told me he'd been engaged before, my biggest concern would be that he was still caught up on his ex. As in, like, emotional baggage claim alert.

But failed engagements have become so common -- I can immediately think of at least 10 friends -- that a canceled wedding is hardly a dating stigma. There are worse revelations, believe me.

Has a partner ever disclosed a broken engagement to you? How did you react?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

cinco de mayo!

Here's your official roundup of tonight's parties. I'll update if I get additional events.

*Downtown bars have a block party where one $5 cover gets you into the majority of Broadway hot spots.

*B. Merrell’s, 7600 Veterans Parkway, has specials that include $2 margaritas, $1 off Mexican beers, $1 off nachos and complimentary chips and dip. Carson Hand performs 6-9 p.m.

*The Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road, has prizes, drink specials and live entertainment beginning at 9 p.m.

*Mickey’s Pub, 4105 Buena Vista Road, has DJ music and drink specials beginning at 8 p.m.

*CC Entertainment and Younitee Apparel host a fundraiser at El Carrizo, 6575 Whittlesey Blvd. All proceeds benefit Columbus Parks and Recreation Therapeutic Recreation Special Olympic Athletes. Admission is free. Expect $5 raffle tickets, food and drink specials and more. Action starts at 7 p.m.

*The Vallarta restaurant at 6060 Veterans Parkway will have a DJ, while the location at 2151 Fort Benning Road will have a mariachi band.

At both locations, you can get a free T-shirt 5-8 p.m. Margarita specials start at $2.50 and beer specials start at $1.25.

*Guests at Viva El Toro, 3443 Macon Road, and Mi Casa, 4553 Woodruff Road, will also have a chance to get a free T-shirt.

Drink specials at both restaurants include $5 Patron shots, $5 mixed drinks, $3 house draft beer, $3 bottle beer and half-price margaritas starting at $2.

*At Locos Amigos Cantina, 1030 Broadway, all imported beer is $3.25.

*El Vaquero, 2926 North Lake Parkway, has beer and margarita specials starting at $2.25.

*Los Amigos Mexican Restaurant, 5592 Whitesville Road, also has drink specials.

textually incompatible

Can a Twitterer date a texter? Can a MySpace addict date a Facebook fiend?

Those hard-hitting questions are addressed in this Washington Post article, which addresses the rise of technological incompatibility in dating.

You think you need to schedule a date via cell phone. He thinks a Facebook comment is sufficient.

I doubt it has the potential to entirely make or break a relationship, but technology makes it easier for men to avoid the personal contact they dread -- while at the same time opening more avenues for women to demand that contact.

Now, thanks to text messages, a guy can bow out of a date without being coerced into a telephone discussion that begins with an innocent, "Let's talk about our feelings."

But it's both a blessing and a curse. When he finds a girl he really loves, the same guy could be expected not only to voice his affection over the phone, but also through daily digital PDAs via Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and text message.

In relationships, have you ever encountered technological incompatibility?

Monday, May 4, 2009

going dutch

Whenever Alan suggests we split a dinner check, I respond with the same line, "No. That makes me feel like a fifth-grader."

You can't blame me. At least among women, there's often a certain social stigma attached to going dutch. It seems to imply that your relationship isn't as serious, that you're existing in separate spheres.

That was my mentality upon entering the $20/person cocktail tasting at Flip Flops last week. As Alan and I stepped inside the bar, I prepared for one of us to cover both tasting fees. But when the bartender asked for our money, we each handed him a $20.

Without any bells, whistles or screaming, we went dutch for the first time. And I kind of loved it.

The debate over splitting checks is making headlines, thanks to the lagging economy. Here, the NY Times says dating hasn't disappeared because of the recession, but people are looking for more affordable ways to date, including going dutch.

The Frisky recently blogged about splitting checks and the post saw more than 100 comments.

Is going dutch a dating "do" or "don't"?

drinking while pregnant

The author of this memoir writes about how she'd suck on Jolly Ranchers as a substitute for alcohol when she was pregnant.

I'd imagine the hard candies don't exactly rival Flip Flops' frozen concoctions, but hey, whatever works.

Here, Jezebel details the debate over whether women should be served alcohol while pregnant. It suggests a "zero-tolerance" policy is too strict, pointing to the fact that European pregnant women "are generally allowed a glass or two a week with no foreseeable damage to the fetus."

Knowledge of those findings is pretty widespread, but the majority of my friends have still skipped alcohol entirely during the duration of their pregnancies.

Which adds a weird dynamic to the social scene. When you're not pregnant and your friend is, you feel kind of guilty about downing six cosmos in her presence.

Innocently expressing your enthusiasm over a martini tasting becomes a source of awkwardness, rather than shared conversation.

Do you drink alcohol when you're hanging out with pregnant friends? What about husbands: Should they subscribe to "shared experience" mentality and skip out on alcohol for nine months, too?

Friday, May 1, 2009

what's going on this weekend?

Spend Friday night in downtown Columbus. The outdoor concerts resume on Broadway with a 7 p.m. performance by Pipers Down.

Then, continue the party with the First Friday Block Party. One $10 cover gets you into the majority of downtown hot spots. Make sure to stop by The Roadhouse, 1047 Broadway, for a performance by tribute band Motley Crude.

Here's the rest of your lineup:


Motley Crude, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, block party cover.

• Dueling pianos, 10 p.m. The Vault, block party cover. 706-653-8277.

Claiborne & Friends, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, $5. 706-494-1584.

• Hot Boxx, Holy Liars, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

• The Ranch Hands, 9:30 p.m. Del Ranch Bar and Grill, $5. 334-297-9177.

• Gone Country, 9 p.m. Saloon & Oyster Bar, free. 706-568-8400.

• Peggy Jenkins and the Bizness with special guest Michelle Malone, 8 p.m. The Loft, block party cover. 706-596-8141.


• Kevin and Todd from Spent (acoustic show), 9 p.m. Saloon & Oyster Bar, free. 706-568-8400.

• DJ D Rock, 8 p.m. The Roadhouse, free.

Sub Cam, Leader Dog, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

Claiborne & Friends, 9 p.m. Belloo’s, $5. 706-494-1584.

• Dueling pianos, 10 p.m. The Vault, $5. 706-653-8277.

• The Ranch Hands, 9:30 p.m. Del Ranch Bar and Grill, $5. 334-297-9177.

Tyler Reeve, 9 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

skinny bastard

Imagine how your guy would react if you surprised him with a diet book this weekend.

Something tells me the response doesn't quite reach the enthusiasm that comes with a video game or, better yet, one of those cute mini Heineken kegs.

Which could be a problem for the authors of "Skinny Bastard," an eating-right guide aimed at men. It follows the phenomenal success of the same duo's "Skinny Bitch," a pro-vegan, attitude-driven wake-up call for women.

Some endorsements for the new book say men read "Skinny Bitch" over their girlfriends' shoulders.

Even if that's true, are they brave enough to buy their own copy of "Skinny Bastard"? And would would they be insulted to receive it for a gift?

In this NY Times article about "Skinny Bastard," one source says of the book, "I think the guys will enjoy it once they have it. But I think it’s going to be the wives and girlfriends and sisters buying these books."

But seriously...would anybody really buy a diet book as a gift for their significant other? I would be insulted if a boyfriend gave me a copy of "Skinny Bitch," and I think guys are just as sensitive when it comes to implied criticism of their physical attractiveness.

Is it ever appropriate to discuss weight with the person you're dating?

(If you're brave enough, you can order a copy of "Skinny Bastard" here.)