Monday, June 09, 2008

Screwing around with the Gray Lady

To many spouses, “married sex” may sound like an oxymoron. And “married-with-children sex” may sound like that elusive antimatter.
Probably every couple with children, particularly those with small children that saw this article about two couples that knocked boots every night for over 100 nights read it. That is, of course, if they had time between diaper change, breakfast, playground, snack, diaper change, lunch, nap time, dog walk, diaper change, story time, playground, get the idea.

What cracks me up in this Indiana Jones vs. Sex and the City era, in which we're unmoored from our traditional gender identities and yet as essentialized as ever, is that it was the guy who bailed. Then again, I would too, if shagging was going to make me barf. 'Cause really, who wants to have their stomach doing flip-flops when it's business time?
Annie even forced her husband to have sex during a bout of vertigo. “I’m not a quitter,’ she said. “The night he had vertigo, I said, ‘I’m sorry, guy, but you’ve got to keep going.’ ”

Doug said in an interview that on their 101st day, he felt “sort of like you had some long-forgotten appointment to hear some tax attorney talk about estate planning.”

This reminds me of an old joke about a woman going on a cruise who buys birth control pills and Dramamine at the same time. Ask me about it some time.

Full disclosure before I get into this one: Ben Stein is to me as squirrels are to Barky. I want to chase that fuzzy little rat up a tree, and maybe even take a piece out of his ass when I do, and every time I see him, I end up barking and complaining.

Yet, for some reason, I read his column. I suppose that's because I believe that anyone who only listens to like-minded people becomes dull and boorishly brash, believing eventually that the world does work the way they believe it to, up to the point that they believe they control the sun, moon and stars, or at the very least, the truth. Yes, Fox News, I'm looking at you.

And so it's no surprise that even Stein's Father's Day column rankled me.

I guess it was his attempt to be all, like, cat's in the cradle, I know why the caged boy sings, and all that crap. However, his belief that kids should take a break from all their self-righteous, self-absorbed pursuits and recognize the sacrifices of their parents strikes me as a bit self-righteous and self-absorbed.

Trust me when I say I know what it's like to wish I could say a few last words to a lost parent, but I would never want to jerk 3B out of that time in his life when he's supposed to be self-righteous, self-absorbed and, yes, a little grating at times (or, if he's like me, downright galling), snap his head around and force him to face adulthood.

Let them be kids, Stein. And if you can't stand it, leave them alone. Sure, I teach 3B to say, "thank you" and "I'm sorry," but I don't expect him to understand what he's saying and really mean it until he's much older. I just want him to have the vocabulary for his feelings when they come along. If he doesn't say that he's sorry now, he's being honest. He's either not sorry or doesn't know what the word is and doesn't want to blow smoke up anyone's diaper.

However, Stein, you tell kids to
Get it in your heads that if you throw away your moral duties to your parents, you are thieves. You were born on third base and your parents put you there, and you think you hit a triple. It’s not true. It’s time to give back.
We all get religion when we need it, and I expect that 3B will get this thought in his head when its time has come. To every thing there is a season, and the timing of that season is dictated not by when the Hallmark holiday falls in the calendar, but the cycles of life, which are beyond our control.

I know it's the Business section, not the front page. I know that Woodward and Bernstein wrote for the WaPo, not the Gray Lady. I know that this isn't meant to be investigative journalism, this is meant to be a puff piece.

All the same, are you fucking kidding me?

This article
profiles the rocketship rise of America's Best Value Inn without detailing how the rocketship is nothing but a worn, stained, bacteria-laden vessel that's full of cigarette burns and smells that remind you that sour milk triggers your gag reflex, covered in a carpet that reminds you that certain parasites enter through the soles of your feet, so it's better to just wear your shoes to bed because in the middle of the night, when you break out in a prickly heat rash and jump out of bed, you don't want some worm burrowing into your toes.

Nonetheless, when you write about a business that's suddenly growing by leaps and bounds, like say, the junk bonds market, or the booming real estate market, or a horrifying hotel chain, you might want to check your facts. Or maybe even spend a few nights in a few of the places...that is, unless you're scared to.

And if that's the case, maybe you should write about that instead.

OK, gotta go now. I'm sure you want to hear more of my opinions...I'm not surprised...but I'm quite sleepy.

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  1. Was it Shaw's "Don Juan in Hell" where the punishment for his sins is that Don Juan must knock boots every night for eternity or have his soul whisked off to the Devil? Might not have been Shaw's story; I don't remember. But whoever told it made the point that even for Don Juan it got old fast.

    A lighter, later reading on the legend of endless or at least frequent love would come from Johnny Depp and Marlon Brando's (and Faye Dunaway's) brilliant turns in Don Juan DeMarco.

  2. Anonymous9:37 PM

    That article is even more hilarious with some judicious editing: “What we can’t tell you is ... whether people who are happy in their marriage have sex more, or whether people who have sex more become happy in their marriages, or a combination of those two.... Nonetheless, sex every day seems to have worked for the Mullers and Browns.”

    And the award for the most made-up-sounding name: Shoshana Bulow, the Manhattan psychotherapist and certified sex therapist.

    As for Ben Stein: sure, you're supposed to realize how hard your parents worked and how lucky you are to have had them supporting and guiding you. WHEN YOU'RE MIDDLE AGED. When you're a kid, you are supposed to be blissfully ignorant.