Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Permission to cut freely

You savor the new carefree nature of the hair atop your head.

The pixie cut -- very Michelle Williams, in fact -- means no more detanglers, no more intensive conditioners, no more $100 monthly hairspray budget.

You're on top of the world -- until you realize you'll soon have to ask the dreaded question:

"What do you think?"

Insert uncomfortable silence here.

Do you ask your significant other's opinion before getting a dramatic haircut?

The question seems silly, and it brings to mind all sorts of cautionary tales about submissiveness.

Still, with articles suggesting short hair reduces sex drive in women, personal grooming is frequently prefaced with a request for permission.

That's not necessarily a bad thing. It's always nice to get a second opinion, right?

Tell me what you think.

(This post was inspired by an item on Double X's list of 40 reasons why single life is great. Read it, and then proudly yell, "I am single...hear me roar!")

Engagement rings

Over at The Frisky, there's an interesting discussion going on about the necessity of engagement rings.

It all started with a post from the NY Times Freakonomics Blog, where one guy suggested the whole engagement ring ritual is irrational. The economist's response? "I tend to agree with you."

I'm pretty much the stingiest person when it comes to traditional wedding rituals.

Since childhood, I've fantasized about a courthouse wedding and a fast-food catered reception.

When friends tell me about their over-the-top wedding expenses, I smile, but inside I'm thinking about how many trips to Vegas that same amount of money could buy.

So no, I don't really think engagement rings are necessary.

Then again, it's easy for me to say that when I'm not engaged.

If somebody I loved proposed to me sans ring, I'd still say yes. But things would definitely feel a little off. And honestly, I'd be mad.

Would you get engaged without a ring?

Tufts University sex policy

A central part of college is your first "oh my gosh, I'm so sorry" moment.

The line isn't uttered after a family death. Nor is it said within the context of academic dishonesty.

No, "oh my gosh, I'm so sorry" is a response to the sheer terror of walking in on your roommate mid-nookie.

It's a character-building experience.

Doors are never again opened nonchalantly. You turn each knob with a cautious suspicion you could be entering a danger zone.

You also learn a conventional bed is totally overrated.

Granted, that lesson comes somewhat forcibly. You stake out a comfortable spot on the study lounge's couch -- you know, to avoid a repeat brush with nighttime awkwardness.

At the very least, you first nookie walk-in is a necessary right of passage.

Which is why I wonder what will happen now that Tufts University has instituted a policy prohibiting couples from having sex when a roommate is in the room.

There are obvious questions about enforcement.

More importantly, the rule will dampen the entertainment value of stories from the dorm room war zone.

Because even amid midterms and research papers, one of college's best lessons comes in learning to ignore a set of bodies moving all too suspiciously in the bed beside you.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Relationship trend: Blogging together

The couple that blogs together...stays together?

I'm not convinced.

But tons of twosomes tackle the cyber world together -- and some even say it strengthens their relationship.

The concept crossed my mind when I recently spotted a link to My Married Life, a blog penned by lifestyle writer Holly and her "better half" Jack.

They share blogging duties, individually writing posts that cover topics ranging from household chores to male fashion.

I've seen a good share of newlyweds embark on a "we" blog project.

Unfortunately, the endeavor frequently results in the female half of the relationship writing the entire blog. Or penning entries under her husband's name. (Dead giveaway: A headline that reads "I have the best wife ever!")

Something else that annoys me in the couples blogging universe?

When people set up their posts with a byline that includes both of their names. You know, like "by Sarah and Matt."

That is also a giveaway that the woman wrote the entire thing.

But maybe I'm being too cynical.

Weigh in with your stories about couples blogging.

Kim Kardashian and Reggie Bush

You leave the wedding under a spell.

It's not caused by eating bland reception dinner chicken, or dancing to mid-'90s throwback tunes.

Nonetheless, you are disoriented. Your symptoms are clear.

They include calling your most recent ex, tearfully putting your differences aside and mumbling incoherently about the power of true love.

That's what happens when you witness marital bliss.

Even celebrities suffer from post-wedding stress syndrome.

Just ask Kim Kardashian. She reportedly got back together with ex Reggie Bush after seeing her sister Khloe tie the knot over the weekend.

It's an understandable condition.

When you're single, going to a wedding often brings a new sense of urgency to your own relationship status.

Hearing your formerly unattached comrade say "I do" might refresh your fears of being the only single person left -- IN THE WORLD.

What's more, the bright smiles and flowery adjectives that accompany weddings can simplify the real work that goes into a partnership.

So you enter a hazy mindset, convinced that you WILL make your failed relationship work. Because you want to dance the Macarena in a ball gown, dammit.

Fortunately, post-wedding stress syndrome often subsides once you leave the reception hall's color-coordinated bubble.

And if still can't shake your symptoms, pick up a gossip magazine -- a reminder that marriage is best defined as a two-week ordeal.

Free Tuesday shows!

Two cool -- and FREE -- options for Tuesday night partiers:

The Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road, hosts a performance by local party band Haywire. Music starts at 7 p.m. Call 706-507-3418.

Also, the local rockers from Poanna entertain at SoHo Bar & Grill, 5751 Milgen Road. Music starts at 9 p.m. Call 706-568-3316.

Both shows are open to guests 21 and older.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Secret meet markets

You've heard about bars. Restaurants. Even the local bowling alley.

But when it comes to local meet markets, what's Columbus' best kept secret?

The question hit me after reading this YourTango piece, which lists six secret places to meet men. Among the offerings: conventions, weddings and -- brace yourself -- recovery programs.

I always get e-mails from local singletons who expect me to know about some hidden grotto where all the eligible bachelors/bachelorettes hide.

Sorry, you're out of luck.

But if you're single and ready to mingle, you're hardly restricted to the bar scene.

Has anyone else noticed the meet market potential of Barnes & Noble in Columbus Park Crossing? It's remarkable.

Also, adult sports -- from kickball to soccer -- have grown in popularity recently. Most offer coed leagues.

Other recommendations?

Finances postpone marriage

I love you, but we can't get married until my credit card debt is gone.


I read/stalk a lot of dating blogs, and it seems like a lot of young women are glum because the rotten economy has made them postpone marriage.

One of my favorite blogs, This Fish Needs a Bicycle, sums up the feeling nicely:

Compared to my former, irresponsible life this new practical one is hard on the spirit. Even those big, romantic, swoony Let's Get Married! talks have all turned into, "one day when we're out of debt and out of school and blah blah" and I can't help but feel a little bit disappointed all the time.

These posts kind of surprise me because -- aside from the expenses of a wedding ceremony -- I always thought you save money by being married.

Tons of people complain about delaying marriage so they can fend off debt.

But amid a recession, I've seen just as many couples get hitched on a whim. Many say their love has actually grown in the face of financial uncertainty.

Tell me: To what extent did your personal finances impact your time frame for tying the knot?

Please forgive me

Our sensitivity detectors sometimes get a little skewed in a breakup's aftermath.

We become experts in character assault, penning reputation-damaging blog posts and cryptic Facebook status updates.

When you're blinded by heartbreak, certain thoughts don't cross your mind. Among those: "Hey, his mom might read this."

Most of us end up regarding our breakup rage as a mere misstep in the journey toward love.

But what if you were compelled to ask an ex for forgiveness?

In this Double X essay, one woman details the guilt she felt after writing a column badmouthing her ex. Ultimately, that guilt was strong enough to make her ask for forgiveness face-to-face.

Would you ever do the same?

Friday, September 25, 2009

What's going on this weekend?

Hey party people! I'll start your lineup with a few highlights:

Velcro Pygmies perform Friday at H2O, 6499 Veterans Parkway. Music starts at 10 p.m. Tickets are $20 at the door. Sample the band's music here.

Saturday, there's a disco party at Flip Flops, 1111 Broadway. Classic Addict entertains. Cover is $5 and there's a $100 prize for best costume.

Also on Saturday, The Oasis (1107 Broadway) hosts a going-away party for the 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team. Last Comes Gunfire, Double Barrel Democracy and Thrill of a Gunfight perform. Music starts at 9 p.m. Drink specials for military, no cover.

Here's your full schedule:


Peggy Jenkins and the Bizness with special guest Marshall Ruffin, 9:30 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

• The Last Rodeo Band, 9 p.m. VFW Post 665 (Victory Drive), $5. 706-687-6656.

Filthy Gamble, 8 p.m. Daileys, $5. 706-320-3353.

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

Attention System, The Drownout, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

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

Brannon Tharpe, 9 p.m. Fountain City Coffee, free. 706-494-6659.

• Jimi Jam and the Big Fun, 9 p.m. Del Ranch Bar & Grill, $5. 334-297-9177.

Chris Collins Band, 9 p.m. Saloon Oyster Bar & Steakhouse, free. 706-568-8400.


Oblio with Thieves and Pastors, 9 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

• The Last Rodeo Band, 9 p.m. VFW Post 665 (Victory Drive), $5. 706-687-6656.

Ophir Drive, 9 p.m. Fountain City Coffee, free. 706-494-6659.

• DNA, 10 p.m. Scruffy Murphy’s, $5. 706-322-3460.

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

Neal Lucas Band, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

• Jimi Jam and the Big Fun, 9 p.m. Del Ranch Bar & Grill, $5. 334-297-9177.

Filthy Gamble, 8 p.m. Daileys, $5. 706-320-3353.

You make me sick

I feel a little guilty for applying hand sanitizer after you pour my wine.

And I know it's not compassionate to calculate my odds of catching the flu mid-kiss.

But I can't help it. You're sick, and I'm selfish.

Sound familiar?

No matter how much you love somebody, it's not always pleasant to encounter his/her infirm alter ego for the first time.

You vow to be kind, but an unexpected deluge of patient requests -- everything from specialty soup to sinus-friendly lighting -- can be grating.

Not to mention the fact that your honey is contagious. And that's not really sexy.

The anecdote at the beginning of this post is an exaggeration. I love channeling my inner Florence Nightingale and doting on a sick boyfriend. Though I do plan an exit strategy for the moment when "sick" and "grumpy" coincide.

Meanwhile, when I'm sick, I prefer to be completely alone.

Unless my illness includes a phlegm-induced raspy voice. That totally turns guys on.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Baby pictures

He called it his awkward phase. I called it a relationship milestone.

Either way, there was a bowl cut involved.

You know you've fallen hard when you want to see your boyfriend's baby photos. Glamour describes the phenomenon here.

On the surface, the scene's appeal doesn't make sense.

You're on a crowded couch staring at faded images of people you don't know and parties you weren't invited to. Often, there are illegible captions involved.

Somehow, this becomes one of the most romantic moments of your life.


If nothing else, it marks a link between past and present -- confirmation that someone likes you enough to let you see his short-lived goth phase.

And, if you're really lucky, a bowl cut.

Get over it?

Your friend opens her mouth, and immediately you know how this discussion will play out.

You've heard it so many times, you could recite it backwards and blindfolded. With your hands tied behind your back.

She will take a bite of her sandwich, twirl her hair and wipe unprompted tears from her eyes.

"What's wrong?" you ask.

You feign confusion, but you know the answer. She misses her former flame, the one whose back was decorated with a tacky "rednecks rule" tattoo.

In just a minute, she will tell you that, and you will feed her insatiable appetite with the usual "you were too good for him" and "everything happens for a reason."

You know the script well. Because you've been performing it for 10 months.

Here, one woman writes about how she's still angry about being dumped -- one year after her relationship ended.

The tendency is understandable.

Now more than ever, I think we're taught to correlate our post-breakup emotions with a grieving process.

One day in bed is no longer enough. There's the self-help book phase. The personal wellness phase. The therapy phase.

It reaches a point where, when it comes to progress, you are your own worst enemy.

In the face of a breakup, what's a fair deadline for when you should be "over it"?

What's going on tonight?

Hey Columbus-area partiers! Here are your Thursday night entertainment options:

• Open mike, 8 p.m. Fountain City Coffee, free. 706-494-6659.

Wes Loper Band, 9 p.m. Shanty Shack, free. 706-507-3418.

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The more you know

Technology, I owe you an apology.

For years, I thought you were only good for pop-up ads, spam e-mail and expletive-inducing shutdowns.

But I recently learned your real purpose: You're here to help me date!

How else do you explain this new iPhone app, which includes a "Sleaze Detector" feature?

Then, there's Gelato, a new online dating service that shows users updates from your Facebook profile, Twitter, Nextflix queue, Pandora stations and Flickr photos.

So yes, as Nerve's Scanner accurately observes, it's nice that technology is doing our stalking work for us.

At this rate, surprising disclosures mid-relationship should be rare.

But I'm not convinced.

Has technology -- rich in background checks and interest surveys -- really made today's daters better judges of character?

Honey, I'm moving to China

Here's another reason why the economy is ruining your love life:

A smaller pool of jobs means more people are applying for positions outside their geographical comfort zone. And that, my friends, translates into an influx in long-distance relationships.

Or, if you prefer, a higher likelihood you'll get stuck with this line:

"I love you, but this job was too hard to resist."

I think most of us in quasi-stable romantic relationships think we take priority over any career offer, no matter how lucrative it is.

Sometimes, we overestimate our coolness.

This Wall Street Journal article talks about couples whose job search results divided them geographically.

It points to married people who, because of lousy job options, ended up living in different cities.

Maybe it's a functioning setup in some cases, but I know many people who wouldn't stand it.

Some might say an essential part of marriage is living together, even amid a bad economy.

Weigh in: If you're married -- and want to stay that way -- is it weird to take a job five states away from your spouse?

Khloe Kardashian wedding

We've all dropped our jaws at reports that Khloe Kardashian is getting married Sunday -- after knowing beau Lamar Odom for about only six weeks.

The celebrity world is a universe of its own, but I've seen month-long relationships turn into marriage in "real life" as well.

In those situations, everyone's first tendency is to say you can't possibly really know somebody after only one month.

For me, that's certainly true. It takes me half a year just to remember a boyfriend's middle name.

We're critical of spur of the moment marriages.

But when a couple celebrates a 50th anniversary and tells a story of how they got hitched after three weeks, we "ooh," "aah" and point to a belief in love at first sight.

We like to think we're the ultimate authorities when it comes to relationship wisdom. Sometimes, we get satisfaction out of believing our advice is central to averting a love casualty.

But the truth is, when your friend has decided to value heart over head, your advice -- no matter how rational it sounds -- will go in one ear and out the other.

Because by then, your friend has entered a place where gooey emotions overrule pro and con lists. It's a place where "I love you" gets priority over "we should really talk about this."

And strangely, as much as outsiders hate to admit it, it's also a place where some of the best decisions are made.

Emphasis on the "some."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bad engagement photos

Please destroy this blog if I ever post a photo that includes an oak tree, a fiance and matching polo shirts.

Why? Because that means I've committed one of my biggest relationship sins: succumbing to the lure of engagement photos.

I don't have a ring on my finger.

But that doesn't preclude me from having nightmares about engaging in a faux game of peek-a-boo while a photographer offers an encouraging "smile!" in the background.

I first learned of engagement photos via Facebook, when there appeared to be a deluge of relationship bliss among my college friends.

Before I knew it, albums seemed to appear every day. There never was just one, either.

Users would post "Engagement Pics 1," followed by "Engagement Pics 2," followed by "Last Engagement Pics...I Swear!"

Then, just when you think it's over, the phantom finale appears: "Oops...I Forgot to Post These."

I don't oppose the concept behind engagement photos. They just always look so cheesy.

Honestly, how often does the average couple really coordinate outfits and link hands under a gazebo?


For answers to those questions, check out this gallery of awesomely bad engagement photos.

Remember: The instant I blog about buying matching sweaters for a Saturday photo shoot, just say "cheesy."

(via The Frisky)

Free Tuesday shows!

Hey Columbus-area partiers! Check out these free Tuesday party options:

The Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road, hosts a performance by local party act the M&M Band. Music starts at 7 p.m. Call 706-507-3418.

Also, the local rockers from Poanna perform at SoHo Bar & Grill, 5751 Milgen Road. Music starts at 9 p.m. Call 706-568-3316.

Both shows are open to guests 21 and older.

The Talk

Monday's season premiere of "How I Met Your Mother" focused on the importance of defining your relationship.

That definition usually comes via The Talk, an uncomfortable face-to-face conversation that usually begins, "So, where do you think this relationship is going?"

In many cases, the resolution is a decision to officially call each other "boyfriend" and "girlfriend."

Would you believe I've never had The Talk?

I've always just fallen into my relationships, and gotten to the point where it's like, "OK, I've bought you enough meals. I'd hope you'd consider me your girlfriend."

It's not a fail-safe strategy.

I'll never forget being heartbroken when a guy I'd been seeing for three months spontaneously went out with another girl. So much for a mutual understanding of "serious."

And yes, I've always been a little jealous of those girls whose significant others ask them to enter the realm of "boyfriend and girlfriend" with some grand romantic gesture.

Even among 20-somethings, some "will you be my girlfriend?" gestures rival marriage proposals.

Tell me: Does every successful romantic relationship require The Talk?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Reduce, reuse, recycle

The heat of your romantic passion is gone, and your former fling has acquired the coolness factor of newsprint and aluminum cans.

Wait, that's a good thing!

Well, maybe.

Here, Glamour asks if it's OK to recycle your ex.

In the context of relationships, recycling means setting an ex up with one of your friends.

On the surface, the concept makes sense: The fact that your relationship didn't work out hardly makes your former partner undesirable. Maybe you had a short romance that ended simply because of lifestyle differences.

You know your ex well. You know your friend well. This seems like it should work out.

But I say it's a recipe for desire.

As the aforementioned Glamour piece notes, there's an incredible potential for jealousy -- no matter how much you swear you're "totally over" the former relationship.

And I don't know about you, but if a good-intentioned friend tried to set me up with her ex, I'd throw back an angry line about sloppy seconds.

She'd call it recycling. I'd call it the "he wasn't good enough for me, but he's perfect for you" school of matchmaking.


You intimidate me

As we stood against the gymnasium wall during slow dances, my high school friends and I shrugged our shoulders and uttered the line that kept us out of the "dateless and desperate" realm:

"Oh well. They're just intimidated by our sexiness."

We said it half in jest, but half in a belief it was true.

It was comforting to believe that in romance, the problem wasn't us. It was them.

We reasoned our greatest problem was being too poised, too confident, too good looking.

A decade has passed since I endured the torture of high school dances. But the "he's intimidated by me" line still thrives in the dating world.

This video asks if men are intimidated by strong, independent women. (YourTango via The Frisky)

Intimidation might be a factor in the initial asking-out process, but I can't accept it as the sole justification for a breakup.

More than anything, I think the line is a way for the dumpee to make himself/herself feel better about a breakup.

Tell me: Have you ever ended a relationship because you were intimidated by a partner's success?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My Groundhog Day

If you're really lucky, you get three days that you wouldn't mind repeating.

Two of those are major life events -- say, your wedding. The birth of a child. A life-changing job promotion.

For your last relivable day, you get to pick a random calendar date that is spectacular in its ordinariness.

Mine came Saturday.

I was up by 8 a.m. to run a 5K. I ate a turkey sandwich. Went to Walmart. Drank a glass of wine that is banned in Alabama.

There was a nice dinner involved, but the steak alone didn't make the day wonderful. Trust me: When I'm upset, I can find a way to sulk through even the ritziest meal.

Saturday contained no elaborate surprises, no unprompted shopping sprees, no bold declarations of emotion.

But at the end of the night, the sensation hit:

"I want to do this day again.'"

Of course, I couldn't. The clocked ticked, the calendar flipped and that was that.

I guess I can't complain too much.

Most of us, myself included, navigate life under a cloud of fear urging us to stop once we realize or shortcomings.

Or fast forward when it's apparent that a challenge is on the way.

If you find yourself in the company of someone who makes you want to hit "replay" -- even just once -- you're doing pretty well.

Friday, September 18, 2009

What's going on this weekend?

Hey partiers! A quick highlight: Friday, the Budweiser Battle of the Bands wraps up at H2O. Final acts are Holdcell, Thousand Watt Halo, Therapy and Jasper Drive. Winner gets $2,000.

Doors at 8 p.m., music at 10 p.m. Cover is $5. Call 706-327-9700.

Also, if you're looking for a new party spot where you can watch Saturday's UFC Fight, try Scruffy Murphy's, 1037 Broadway. The downtown bar now shows the pay-per-view portion of the fight on its multiple HDTV flat screens.

Pre-show coverage begins at 9 p.m., and cover is $10, which includes free hot wings throughout the fight. Pipers Down performs after the fight (probably around 12:30 a.m.).

In addition to the usual hot spots, don't forget the Saloon Oyster Bar & Steakhouse (6005 Macon Road) also airs the fights. Call 706-568-8400.

Here's the rest of your lineup:


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

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

Boneheadz, 9 p.m. Del Ranch Bar & Grill, $5. 334-297-9177.

Pipers Down, 10 p.m. Scruffy Murphy’s, $5. 706-322-3460.

SubCam, A Vacant Soul, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

• Andres T, 9 p.m. Fountain City Coffee, free. 706-494-6659.

• The Last Rodeo Band, 9 p.m. VFW Post 665 (Victory Drive), $5. 706-687-6656.

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

Sum Ever After, 8 p.m. Daileys, $5. 706-320-3353.


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

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

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

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

Boneheadz, 9 p.m. Del Ranch Bar & Grill, $5. 334-297-9177.

Ty Izumi, 9 p.m. Fountain City Coffee, free. 706-494-6659.

• The Last Rodeo Band, 9 p.m. VFW Post 665 (Victory Drive), $5. 706-687-6656.

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

Unmarried Week

The entertainment world might be singing "Single Ladies," but acceptance of singledom still has a long way to go.

At least that's the belief behind Unmarried Week, which starts Sunday.

The event, organized by Unmarried America, promotes equality for singles -- a group that constitutes 43 percent of the American population, this article reports.

About a year ago, I did an article about what it's like to be single in Columbus.

Most of the partiers I interviewed said living in the South makes singledom especially difficult, since there's a tendency here to get married fairly early on.

Not only are you surrounded by married 20-something friends, you also sometimes have parents telling you stories about how they met at 15.

That feeds a belief that when you're single, declaring your relationship status has to come with a qualifier.

"Single and looking."

"Single and discouraged."

"Single and ready to mingle."

It makes you lose sight of the value gained by spending time alone.

So if Unmarried Week has a broader lesson, it's that all of us -- regardless of our relationship statuses -- need to stay cognizant of our single selves.

That person who can open a salsa jar, ignite a dance floor party and navigate a tricky set of directions without having to phone a friend.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I ain't no hollaback girl

A potential fling sends you an e-mail that begins with "holla." Are you intrigued?

Believe it or not, a sizable share of daters might say yes.

Check out this advice, courtesy of dating Web site OkCupid.

The site studied which words work when you're responding to an online personal ad -- and which words dampen your chances of getting a response.

Among the findings: Online daters are all about unusual greetings.

But wait: I'm referring to something as extreme as "attention future wife."

"Unusual" means phrases like "how's it going," "what's up" and "howdy."

"Holla" wasn't incredibly popular, but it did beat weaker options like "hi," "hey" and "hello."

I start 90 percent of my personal e-mails with "hey sexy." I realize that's a bit uncomfortable for some recipients.

What's your favorite e-mail salutation? And is "holla" really a turn on?

What's going on tonight?

Hey party people! Some of you probably noticed I'm compiling a list of local hot spots where you can watch Saturday's UFC fight. I'll post updates Friday.

In the meantime, here are your Thursday hot spots:

• Open mike, 8 p.m. Fountain City Coffee, free. 706-494-6659.

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

Pipers Down, 10 p.m. Scruffy Murphy’s, free. 706-322-3460.

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

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

So much for romance

Be warned, ladies: Admit you hate flowers, and your female friends will react like you just confessed to hurting babies. And hating Taylor Swift.

I love receiving flowers. It's one of the sure-fire ways to my heart.

But I can understand why other women don't like them.

Flowers can be a hassle to carry. You have to monitor the water. Then, of course, there are the disposal concerns when your roses die.

Which is why I simply nod in agreement when another woman tells me she doesn't want flowers from her boyfriend for Valentine's Day.

Others aren't as polite, accusing the flower hater of being anti-romance.

But as this Em & Lo contributor notes, traditionally romantic gestures are sometimes downright uncomfortable. And not as cool as they're cracked up to be.

She writes:

The truth is that I loathe stereotypical romantic gestures. They seem forced and sterile, full of awkward touching and unsure exploration of one another’s uncharted territories. In other words, my perception of romance puts it on par with my annual doctor’s appointment.

Now I might be a fan of flowers, but I'm anything but a hardcore romantic.

Cook me a candlelight dinner...but I will not let you spoon-feed me cheesecake. Also, I don't really enjoy holding hands.

Which stereotypical romantic gesture do you hate most?

Relationship lessons from TV

Trust me, I know all about romantic relationships: I watch Antonio Sabato Jr.'s reality dating show.

Is the line convincing? Depends who you ask.

With the influx in dating-centered TV shows, it's likely most of us have sculpted at least some of our attitudes toward love from prime-time programming.

The thought hit me while I watched Tuesday's finale of "More to Love," a plus-size reality TV show that concluded with the female winner assuring curvy girls that, yes, they really can find love.

The show occasionally fell into the trip of cheesy reality TV, but at rare times it really did offer a genuine glimpse into the way we navigate physical perception in relationships.

There's more.

Here, YourTango lists five life and love lessons from "The Office."

Cosmopolitan details love lessons from "Sex and the City."

Which TV show has most affected your view of relationships? Why?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I hate you!

Given the recent actions of Kanye West...and Serena Williams...and Joe seems like "outburst" is the new buzzword of choice.

Fortunately, few of us are televised during our most hot-tempered moments.

But that doesn't mean we aren't capable of hurting people when we overstep our emotional boundaries.

One of the most memorable relationship milestones is when you see your partner get angry for the first time.

Or, better yet, when you allow yourself to get angry in front of your partner for the first time.

I'm not talking about a simple exasperated sigh.

I'm talking full-on, four-letter word spewing, air punching, face reddening anger. You know, the kind you usually try to curb by taking a run on the treadmill.

Watching someone unleash a temper -- even if it's not done violently -- can be a rude awakening. The new vocal tone and erratic body language might enough to make you take a step back.

Then, assuming the circumstances aren't too extreme, you move forward.

And hope the unrecognizable monster stays in hibernation.

Free Tuesday shows!

You can catch free entertainment at two local hot spots tonight.

The Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road, hosts a performance by the Misty Harbor Band. Music starts at 7 p.m. Call 706-507-3418.

Also, the local rockers from Poanna perform at SoHo Bar & Grill, 5751 Milgen Road.

The band warns concert goers, "If you’re looking for Nickelback or Celine Dion inspired music, look elsewhere." Music starts at 9 p.m. Call 706-568-3316.

Both shows are open to partiers 21 and older.

Break up to make up

Here's a really nice personal essay from DoubleX: "I had to break up with my fiance in order to marry him."

The writer talks about being happy -- but complacent -- in her relationship with a guy she'd dated since her sophomore year of college.

She explains a nagging urge for something more:

I loved him more than anything, but when it came to marriage, I felt like a little kid. And when it came to the life we’d made for ourselves, I felt trapped.

I wanted more in a vague, inexplicable way, and until I could put my finger on it, the restlessness would continue. I had been planted, but I hadn’t bloomed yet.

So breaks up with her fiance, and on a whim takes a job in Chicago -- her dream city.

I knew I would feel regret no matter what I chose—but which form of regret was I willing to bear? The pain of hurting a loved one, or the endless dissatisfaction that comes with knowing there is a you that you never got to be?

However, the writer is reunited with her former fiance more than a year later when she suffers a death in her family. Their feelings are just as strong, and they get back together.

But the writer is quick to note that wouldn't have happened had she not taken her personal journey to Chicago.

Tell me: Have you ever had to temporarily set out on your own to be happy with someone you love?

Monday, September 14, 2009

How's this ultimatum?

In the relationship world, ultimatums are generally a "no."

The idea of "or else" has tremendous potential to force emotions, or heighten existing tension between a couple.

But I don't think ultimatums are always bad. At times, an ultimatum can be a wake-up call reminding someone of the severity of his/her partner's feelings.

That said, tell me what you think of this one:

Stop talking to your ex, or I'll break up with you.

I overheard it recently, and some outsiders interpreted the line as controlling. Irrational. Insecure.

But is it really that bad?

It's one thing when you HAVE to maintain contact with an ex -- say, you have kids together or you're in the middle of a divorce.

Outside those situations, is there really a good reason to maintain regular contact with an ex when you're in a new relationship?

My answer is an emphatic "no." In fact, talking to an ex is one of my biggest pet peeves in a relationship.

That's because no matter how much you claim to have moved on, the relationship between exes never seems to be equal. There's always one person with lingering feelings.

So I can't be too harsh on the "stop talking to your ex, or I'll break up with you" ultimatum.

Because if your partner can't choose you over a monthly conversation with a girl who cheated on him 10 years ago, it might be time to move on.

Facebook etiquette question

Have we gotten to a point where it's OK to post your condolences on somebody's Facebook wall?

Please say no.

In the past few months, some of my Facebook friends have lost people close to them. I didn't get this information directly.

Rather, I learned it by perusing their comment walls. Between the usual online pleasantries, I saw one or two condolence messages. Most said something like this:

"So sorry for your loss. Let me know if you need anything. Xoxo."

While well-intentioned, I think these comments are impersonal and insensitive.

It's one thing when somebody posts a status update publicly announcing the death of a family member. In that case, go ahead: Express as much sympathy as you'd like.

But if somebody hasn't decided to let the entire cyber world know they're grieving, have a little sense and express your condolences in a private message.

Better yet, do something really revolutionary: Make a phone call.

We sacrifice some privacy when we enter the social networking world.

However, I'd like to believe that in life's most trying moments -- say, the aftermath of death -- we're still human enough to remember how to relate on a face-to-face basis.

Because if I suffered a horrible loss, I most certainly wouldn't want my sympathy notes to sit beside an invitation to play FarmVille.


He hasn't changed at all since you two first kissed in elementary school.

Well, with the exception of his gnarly facial hair. And creepy emo glasses. And life-consuming obsession with Mafia Wars.

Either way, he's still (kinda) hot and you want a piece of that. Who cares if you last talked to him two decades ago?

Welcome to the mind of the retrosexual.

The term, coined by the Boston Phoenix and explained in this Time Magazine piece, refers to people who use social networking sites to reignite relationships with former crushes. An excerpt:

Most retrosexual experiences seem to spring from an intense, almost uncontrollable mixture of nostalgia and interest. "You get a thrill out of finding an old girlfriend just to see if she still likes you," says W. Keith Campbell, a University of Georgia psychology professor and co-author of The Narcissism Epidemic. "You're curious to see what she looks like, and it's easy to fantasize about alternative courses your life might have taken."

I have no major objections to the rise of retrosexuals, aside from the fact that the mindset can inflate your perception of somebody who might not necessarily be your best match.

You get so caught up in the excitement of reconnecting that concepts like fate and destiny reenter your mind.

Maybe the stars really are aligning. Or maybe you're just two people who know how to use a computer.

I once found a decades-old elementary school crush online. My heart fluttered.

Until I read his hobbies, which included watching people get hurt.

Just a word of caution, folks.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

MTV Video Music Awards 2009

Wow...did anyone else think Sunday's 2009 MTV Video Music Awards was especially entertaining?

Tell me if you're convinced the whole Kanye West/Taylor Swift feud was staged.

Don't know what I'm talking about? Watch the video here.

And here's my full recap of the show, complete with some very astute observations about Lady Gaga's fashion sense.

Grandparents Day 2009

Understanding your grandparents comes in stages.

There is the initial perception: a time when you view their cozy home only in the context of fresh-baked cookies and toy store shopping sprees.

With age, your awareness grows. You notice the scratchy plastic that covers the living room couches. The fact that Grandpa's bathroom stops really interfere with your family's road trips.

Then, you understand.

You understand Grandma and Grandpa are real people, not just holiday vacation hosts. And you realize you've shown up near the end of a life story they've already written.

Today is National Grandparents Day.

I'll think about my paternal grandparents, the tough Chicogoans who masked our Christmas presents as dirty laundry.

I'll think about my maternal grandmother, whose stern exterior crumbled whenever I mentioned George Clooney.

But most of all, I'll remember my maternal grandfather.

He had Alzheimer's. I can't recall when he died.

But I haven't forgotten being a child and kneeling beside the man I was warned wouldn't know me.

As young as I was, the moment marked a harsh understanding of the limits of our minds. I realized that without warning this scene's snapshot could dim over time.

That's why, two decades later, I make a conscious effort to seize the memories I've amassed.

Even if those memories can't remember me.

Friday, September 11, 2009

What's going on this weekend?

Hey everybody! Don't forget: Bikes on Broadway roars into downtown Columbus Friday and Saturday. The free festival runs 6-11 p.m Friday and 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday on Broadway in downtown Columbus. Headlining act Confederate Railroad performs 9 p.m. Friday.

Also, Belloo's has expanded its Little Black Dress Night to include Fridays and Saturdays. Hit the bar in a little black dress on either of those nights, and you'll get in for free -- and score a free gift card for the bar.

Here's the rest of your lineup:


• Easy Way Out, 9 p.m. Saloon Oyster Bar and Steakhouse, free. 706-568-8400.

• The Last Rodeo Band, 9 p.m. VFW Post 665 (Victory Drive), $5. 706-687-6656.

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

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

Peggy Jenkins and the Bizness, 9:30 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

B.J. Holland, 9 p.m. Fountain City Coffee, free. 706-494-6659.

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

Forced Entry, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

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


• Rocket 88, 9 p.m. Saloon Oyster Bar and Steakhouse, free. 706-568-8400.

Pandemic and guests, 8 p.m. Daileys, $5. 706-320-3353.

• DNA, 10 p.m. Scruffy Murphy’s, $5. 706-322-3460.

Griff Parrish, 9 p.m. Fountain City Coffee, free. 706-494-6659.

Tim Brantley with Brandon Whyde, 9 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

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

Ultradrive, Ordain, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.

• The Last Rodeo Band, 9 p.m. VFW Post 665 (Victory Drive), $5. 706-687-6656.

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

Just so you know...

A couple years ago, I went on a few dates with a guy and things didn't really work out.

Since I couldn't pinpoint what was wrong, I opted for the "I'll just stop calling him" method of halting a potential relationship. A week or two into the process, he finally got the clue.

We lost contact -- until he sent me a text message about two months later.

He offered the usual pleasantries...and then told me he had a girlfriend. You know, just in case I'd spent the past eight weeks contemplating his romantic well-being.

It was one of the most bizarre relationship experiences ever.

We'd gone out all of three times and stopped talking...but he still felt the need to tell me he was off the market.

Was it an attempt to make me jealous? To get back at me for not directly ending things? Or did he honestly think I cared?

I've never understood the "just so you know, I'm dating someone else now" phone call.

Maybe there are exceptions. Maybe things are different if you're dealing with an ex of 10 years, or somebody you still see on a daily basis.

But if your relationship was short-term, and there's no chance you and your ex will reconcile, what's the point of calling him/her with an update on your romantic status?

(Here, The Frisky extends that question, asking if you should tell your ex that you've gotten engaged.)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Amish Paradise

Nothing screams "foreplay" like a good butter churning session.

Don't believe me? Check out this Wall Street Journal article, which describes the hottest trend in the literary world: Amish romance novels.

(Or "bonnet porn," if you prefer this Gawker piece.)

The WSJ explains what the books deliver:

Most bonnet books are G-rated romances, often involving an Amish character who falls for an outsider. Publishers attribute the books' popularity to their pastoral settings and forbidden love scenarios à la Romeo and Juliet. Lately, the genre has expanded to include Amish thrillers and murder mysteries. Most of the authors are women.

Would I read an Amish romance? Sure.

Outsiders are intrigued by Amish communities. Pair that intrigue with paragraphs that could include the word "bodice" and I'm hooked.

What's next: sexy Amish girl getups at Night Moves for Halloween?

What's going on tonight?

Hey Thursday partiers! Don't forget about the new Ladies Night menu at Belloo's that offers tasty $5 martinis Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Here's tonight's entertainment lineup:

• Battle of the Bands (round three), 9 p.m. H2O, $5 (free for women). 706-327-9700.

• Open mike, 8 p.m. Fountain City Coffee, free. 706-494-6659.

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

No problem, honey

Consider it a sweet dream or a real-life nightmare:

Here, one man details what happened when he did everything his wife said for a month.

It's a daunting premise, especially when I consider all the suggestions I'd concoct if I was on the wife's end of the deal.

(Hint: Many home-cooked meals and reality TV reruns would be involved.)

But I think the experiment touches on a valuable lesson:

Sure, an occasional fight can be healthy, but we tend to devote too much energy to tiny relationship battles. You don't have to win all the time.

Sometimes it's best to just sit back, say "OK" and vow to genuinely consider your significant other's perspective at the end of the day.

So...I get the remote control tonight. Right, honey?

(via YourTango)

Just say yes

For the second day in a row, I'm posting a discussion question inspired by a CW show. Expect only the greatest sources of inspiration here, folks.

So I caught Tuesday's series premiere of the revamped "Melrose Place." Read my review of the show here.

In one scene, a guy proposed to a girl he'd been dating for five years. Instead of the traditional ecstatic response, she said she needed time to think. In her defense, the "Melrose" crew discovered a dead body shortly after the proposal.

At the end of the show, crisis was averted. She finally said "yes."

Still, the scene got me thinking: Could you marry someone who didn't accept your proposal immediately?

Yes, I know everyone hesitates under pressure. Everyone messes up.

But if I proposed to someone, and it took him a full day to accept, I'd forever worry he'd change his mind later in the relationship.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dare to bare?

Watch out, ladies: Your locker room behavior is causing Internet debate, thanks to this recent Marie Claire piece.

In it, writer Lea Goldman criticizes "public displays of undress" common in gym locker rooms. An excerpt:

I am baffled, even horrified, by women who treat the locker room like their own sandalwood-scented boudoir. I've seen gals, still flushed from a workout, slather lotion on their haunches like they were being filmed for the Spice Channel.

The essay has attracted an overwhelmingly negative response from online commenters, many of whom criticize Marie Claire for including Goldman's essay in a publication that's supposed to exude a "you're beautiful the way you are" vibe.

Here's a sample of the backlash:

It's creeps like you who want to keep women wallowing in self-hatred, stupid with body-obsession and compulsively consuming worthless products to ward off the pathetic neuroses that you feed.

In her defense, I don't think Goldman wrote the piece to criticize or endorse a specific body type.

I think it was more of an etiquette thing.

Yes, you can be nude and linger in the locker room, but do you really have to do it in front of the mirror everyone wants to use? Do you really have to obstruct the only major walkway while you're slathering your body in lotion?

Maybe I should feel ashamed -- or insensitive -- for asking those questions.

But I hope we haven't gotten to the point where any discussion of body-related etiquette is immediately interpreted as an attack on female empowerment.

Jonathan Taylor Thomas

Imagine my elation when I saw former teen heartthrob Jonathan Taylor Thomas reach No. 59 on Google Trends today.

His reemergence into popular culture left me hopeful. Was it a new movie? A shocking personal revelation. Submission to the lure of celeb reality TV?

Turns out it's just his birthday.

In fact, a quick Google search of JTT's -- yeah, I'm not afraid to use Tiger Beat slang -- recent accomplishments yields, well, not too much. (Although "Jonathan Taylor Thomas dead" produces 344,000 results.)

But that doesn't take away from the good times we shared in his acting prime.

Hands down, I considered him the hottest character on "Home Improvement" -- second only to Pamela Anderson, who's not exactly a crush a seventh grade girl should reveal in public. Trust me.

JTT was especially near and dear to my heart because his family reportedly lived near my home base of Sacramento, Calif. In junior high, one of my friends swore she had enough local connections to get him to visit our school.

Yeah, that never happened.

But I did spend almost an entire year prepping myself for his impromptu visit.

So thanks, JTT, for teaching me the importance of always keeping a flavored tube of lip gloss in my purse.

And happy birthday. Wherever you are.

Free Tuesday show!

The Tuscaloosa, Ala.-based Whiskey River Band performs a free show tonight at the Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road.

The show is part of the bar's Muldoon's Tuesdays promotion, which attempts to re-create the atmosphere of longtime Veterans Parkway hangout Muldoon's. The Columbus bar was replaced by dance club H2O a year ago.

Call 706-507-3418.

I love you, too

Hope everybody had a great Labor Day weekend. I capped off the holiday by eating dinner at Cheddar's and watching a "Gossip Girl" rerun. Yes, I am living the high life.

Anyway, I'm glad I caught the "Gossip Girl" episode because it was last season's finale.

The show closed with an especially anticipated moment: Chuck Bass finally reciprocated Blair's feelings and said "I love you, too."

I thought the scene was pretty sweet. I would have been bawling had I not been in the company of a certain viewing partner.

But Chuck's attempt at romantic prowess didn't wow everyone.

The Frisky argues Chuck misses the mark by including a "too" in his first "I love you." Here's why:

Adding the “too” is fine every once in a while, but it’s definitely not cool the first time someone says it. The “too” takes the emphasis off how they feel about you, and it reinforces how you feel about them.

Agree or disagree?

Friday, September 4, 2009

What's going on this weekend?

Hey everybody! Phew, what a stressful week. I'm looking forward to hitting the town...and setting off a bug bomb in my house. Life doesn't get much more exciting.

As far as the weekend lineup, don't forget about the First Friday Block Party downtown. One $10 cover gets you into the majority of Broadway bars.

Need Saturday plans? I recommend Ben Deignan's show at The Loft, 1032 Broadway. He's made Internet waves with his acoustic covers of unlikely this one.

Here's your full lineup:


• The Last Rodeo Band, 9 p.m. VFW Post 665 (Victory Drive), $5. 706-687-6656.

• Brian Mallard and Renegade, 9 p.m. Fountain City Coffee, free. 706-494-6659.

Pop Evil, 10:30 p.m. H2O, $20. 706-327-9700.

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

Last Episode, 10 p.m. Scruffy Murphy’s, block party cover. 706-322-3460.

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

Peggy Jenkins and the Bizness, 9 p.m. The Loft, block party cover. 706-596-8141.

• Subjects of Change, 9 p.m. Saloon Oyster Bar and Steakhouse, free. 706-568-8400.

Ty Reynolds, 8 p.m. Daileys, block party cover. 706-320-3353.

End Rezult, Within Reason, 10 p.m. SoHo Bar & Grill, $5. 706-568-3316.


• The Last Rodeo Band, 9 p.m. VFW Post 665 (Victory Drive), $5. 706-687-6656.

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

Chingy and the White Boys, 8 p.m. Daileys, $5. 706-320-3353.

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

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

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

Ben Deignan with Ty Izumi, 9 p.m. The Loft, $5. 706-596-8141.

• Matt Austin, 9 p.m. Fountain City Coffee, free. 706-494-6659.

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

Happy anniversary!

You've seen the Facebook status updates:

"Happy anniversary, baby! I'm so glad I found the love of my life. I can't wait to see you tonight!"

It seems like a sweet testimony of conquering love's ups and downs. Until you realize this:

They've been together one week.

Am I the only unmarried person who's never formally celebrated a relationship anniversary?

Make no mistake: I've marked anniversaries on my calendar -- with glitter pens. When the day hits, I've casually mentioned its significance: "You know, we've officially been together six months now."

Without fail, the statement is met with a noncommittal shrug.

To feel better, I convince myself a relationship's real milestones -- say, 10 years together -- lose their significance when you mark an anniversary every other week...even every other month.

Yes, it's nice to step back and appreciate your significant other, but is one month together really worthy of a status update? Maybe not.

In the end, I guess we all really just want to celebrate.

We want our partners to acknowledge the dinners we bought, the cards we made and relationship uncertainty we weathered.

And then remind us we're good for another year.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

What you wear

Let me introduce you my former best friend: a pink velour tracksuit from Bebe.

I was convinced it made me look like Eva Longoria.

The getup hugged my body in all the right places, and it seemed to perfectly illustrate an elusive combination: sexy meets sporty.

That is, until my boyfriend dubbed it a "Wal-Mart outfit."

Maybe he meant to suggest I was destined for Internet fame. But the comment hurt, and my tracksuit was laid to rest.

No matter how much you love someone, can you ever really criticize his/her choice in clothing without repercussions?

Here, The Frisky/CNN tell us how to deal with a badly dressed boyfriend.

Then, there's this Glamour blog post, where one woman asks how long you have to wait before repeating an outfit in a relationship.

And finally, this article states the obvious: For women, high couture doesn't always equal high romantic appeal. ("Very roughly, you could say that fashion falls into clothes to get you laid, and clothes that you wear for other women.")

Clothes may be mere accessories, but they still have potential to ignite bitter fights.

Unless you're Heidi Klum, or your significant other has an incurable affinity for Crocs, keep your mouth shut.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to bond with a certain velour tracksuit.

What's going on tonight?

Man, I am ready for a good Thursday night party. Even if that just means watching "Real Housewives of Atlanta" with my dog.

But who knows? I might hit the town, especially since there's a good assortment of options tonight.

Of note: Belloo's, 900 Front Ave., recently introduced a new Ladies Night menu available Wednesdays and Thursdays beginning at 7 p.m. It includes $5 martinis. No cover.

Also, this week's Battle of the Bands at H2O includes performances by Thousand Watt Halo, Broken Rail, The Grayhill Conspiracy, Poanna and Downshift.

Here's the rest of your lineup:

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

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

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

• Battle of the Bands (round two), 9 p.m. H2O, $5 (free for women). 706-327-9700.

• Foreplay, 9 p.m. Shanty Shack, free. 706-507-3418.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

People of Walmart

A midnight trip to buy dog food turns into a valuable lesson in social observation.

This could only happen in one place: Wal-Mart.

I know people who vehemently oppose the store. I once even watched a Wal-Mart hater pay somebody NOT to visit the retail giant.

But for me, someone living alone on a pretty limited income, the store is a necessary evil. It's where I bought the $7 bathing suit that lasted an entire summer.

It's also where I found $5 generic anti-cellulite cream once my budget no longer allowed for the Nivea brand.

Sure, nobody wants to cruise shopping aisles in the company of carny wannabes. But you just suck it up.

And now, take photos.

That's right: Three friends have created the wonderful Internet world of People of Walmart, a online photo gallery of the store's eclectic mix of shoppers.

The site's intro notes:

Let’s face it; we all have seen the people who obviously don’t have mirrors and/or family and friends to lock them in a basement, and they all seem to congregate at Walmart. It’s not everywhere that you can shop for milk at 10 a.m. next to a 400lb mother of 6 wearing a pink tube top, leopard tights, and hooker heels.

So true, so true.

You move me

But would you move for me?

Ah, the perils of relocating for love. Some people think it's the ultimate romantic gesture; others think it's a recipe for disaster.

Of course, it all depends on where you are in your relationship and where you're moving.

Following a significant other across the country is always a daunting prospect, but the discomfort is eased a bit if you're moving to a big city like Los Angeles as opposed to, say, some isolated town in South Dakota.

With a big city, you have an increased shot at job opportunities and social outlets. Plus, if you break up, you know you probably won't run into your ex every other day.

Check out this list of 5 questions to ask before relocating for love, courtesy of YourTango.

It's always difficult when you're in a relationship where one person's job constantly makes him/her susceptible to geographic change. That's certainly true of the military, as well as volatile professions like mine.

In those situations, if you're set on keeping your relationship intact, it's important to savor daily reminders of why your love transcends time zones, temperatures and access to good shopping.

(But as a word of caution, check out this "Relationship Whoa" on Lemondrop -- one woman's story about how a guy moved across the country for her...and then left after three days.)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Social suicide...on Facebook?

I recently modeled in a local bridal expo. The second I signed up, I knew what my favorite part would be.

Not wearing a really expensive gown from Formal Elegance. Not getting a free hair and makeup session, either.

What I looked forward to most: Confusing people on Facebook by posting pics of me dressed as a bride.

So after I graced the runway, I created a Facebook photo album innocently titled "I'm a bride!"

Believe it or not, my trickery kind of worked. I got my share of congratulatory messages and inquiries about the lucky fella.

But even though I didn't really get hitched, the experience made me feel the eerie discomfort of overstepping your limits of Facebook disclosure.

Did my closest acquaintances really believe I'd inform them of such a major life change through a social networking site?

In my 2 years as a Facebook user, I have yet to even post a relationship status.

That might mean I'm destined for a life as a social outcast -- at least if you believe this researcher. He says failing to disclose details about your private life on Facebook is like social suicide.

Not everyone's buying the argument. Honestly, I think responsible Facebook use errs on the side of too little information, not too much.

Then again, maybe digitally reminding us of your romantic perils has social value.

You know, the kind you can't find in FarmVille.

Free Tuesday show!

The local rockers from Foreplay perform a free show tonight at the Shanty Shack, 4475 Warm Springs Road. Music starts at 7 p.m.

The show is part of the Columbus hot spot's Muldoon's Tuesdays promotion, which attempts to re-create the atmosphere of longtime Veterans Parkway hangout Muldoon's. That venue was replaced by dance club H2O a year ago.

Call 706-507-3418.