Posts Tagged ‘Love’

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Do You Like Capitalism? Then, You Should Love Gay Marriage.

08.24.10

Marriage is big business.

Sure, it’s about love and being together forever and all that jazz, too.  But, let’s be real: it’s a serious moneymaker.

I just went to a wedding of one of my best buddies out in Rochester, NY this past weekend and it was on the second leg of my cross-country flight that it really dawned on me just how much money I was spending on his wedding.

First, there’s the flight from LAX to ROC.  It’s the summer and while Rochester is no resort town, it’s still on the other side of the continent.  I brought my girlfriend along, so multiply that by two.

Then, there’s the hotel. We went cheap and stayed at a Microtel.  But, since I was in the wedding, I arrived a couple days early to make sure I was there for all the festivities and the rehearsal dinner and everything else.  So tack on a couple extra nights.

And there’s also the rental car, the gas for the rental car, eating out for several meals, bar tabs. You can see how it adds up.  And that’s just for one guest and a plus-one.

I can’t even begin to compute how much the actual wedding cost — renting out the event center for the reception, the dress, the suit, the transportation, the hotels, the flowers, the two huge meals, the entertainment, the booze.  And this wasn’t even an overly extravagant affair; it wasn’t tiny, but it wasn’t huge.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not complaining at all. I gladly would spend it all over again in an instant to be there with one of my best friends on his wedding day.  It’s a unique, joyous occasion to celebrate love and the expansion of friends and family.  It’s moving.  It’s hilarious.  It’s inappropriate.  It’s something you don’t forget.  You make all sorts of new memories while revisiting all of the old.

But, still.  It costs everyone involved a small fortune.  Receiving that welcomed honor of being in a wedding comes with its price tag.  And while you can’t put a dollar amount on being able to sing and dance and laugh with friends that you only get to see maybe once a year if you’re lucky, you kind of can.  The flight. The hotel.  The car.  The gas.

It all adds up.

And then it made me think about all of the different industries that I, along with my fellow weddingers, were helping sustain for this four-day excursion into upstate New York in August.  The flight attendants, the fast-food-joint workers, the caterers, the chefs, the gas station clerks, the airlines, the DJs, the waiters and waitresses, the photographers, the flower arrangers, the chauffeurs, the hotel staffs.  I’m sure I’m missing plenty more, but you get the idea.

Given the state of our economy, local businesses and big businesses alike could use the help.  And even though times might be tight for everyone, it’s a lot easier to swallow some big expenditures when its in the name of something as happy and joyous as a wedding.

Let’s forget the obvious reasons to support marriage equality on an emotional level for the moment.  Instead, think of it from the capitalist mentality. This is, after all, America, so might as well speak to the language of the land: the dollar.

If marriage is already reduced to being a thousand federal benefits anyway, what harm could it to do just talk about it like it is?  A cash cow for multiple industries.  What could be more American than that?

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D.C. Catholic Church Backs Down

12.18.09

The Washington, D.C. Archdiocese has its bluff called.

When will opponents to same sex marriage finally realize that it affects no one other than those couples who wish to bind their love just like some heterosexuals choose to do?  It doesn’t impede upon religion or cause some slippery slope into depraved pedophilia or other nonsense that some will have you believe.

It’s about love and equality.  That’s all.  Plain and simple.

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From eHarmony to Craigslist – An Internet Dating Hierarchy

03.05.09

The stigma of online dating keeps coming up in my conversations.  I don’t know what it is.  I personally have never gone on a date that I met through an Internet dating site, but I wouldn’t be opposed to the possibility if I were in the market.

The way I see it, meeting someone that you met online based on a thumbnail-sized picture is no more or less superficial than approaching someone you find hot while combing a dimly-lit bar with a bad case of beer goggles and an elevated libido.  The goal is simple: to meet someone.  The method you use to get to that end really has no value one way or another.  In fact, usually the unique or unconventional way you meet that special person ends up being a great story to tell friends, family… your kids, even.

That being said, there is a difference in what you’re looking for when you choose what type of bar to scope out the possible mate options.  This translates to the Internet as well.

Let’s break it down:

eHarmony is like that swanky nightclub hosting a singles night that – unless you know a guy who knows a guy – you have to grease the doorman to get into.  Some people don’t even get accepted into the website after filling out their notoriously in-depth personality test.  Talk about exclusive.  You’re not good enough to date online!  Of course, this just adds to the allure and the notion that only the best potential suitors are available through their service.  Ideally you’ll find Mr. or Ms. Right here, but when it all comes down to it, there will always be those dudebros with their gelled, spikey hair smelling like they bathed in cologne coming up to you with their lame pickup lines and those blondes with too much make-up acting unapproachable because they’re so proud that they got in.

Chemistry opened up across the street from eHarmony and promises a better time with it’s flashy entrance and sexier name.  You know the drill, though.  They’re more liberal with their admittance, which can be good or bad depending.

Match.com is like a bar and restaurant combo.  You can go to just hang out with friends but as the night goes on, more and more singles show up and so do your hopes.  Odds are more likely you’ll end up having a one night stand versus a serious relationship – if anything at all.  But sometimes that’s all your looking for.  And even then, you might be surprised that it turns out to be more.

Craigslist is the total dive with a curtain instead of a front door that you go to on a Wednesday when you’re feeling extra lonely (and thirsty) and usually walk away with more than just a lack of dignity.  It’s a cash only bar – sorry, no plastic accepted here – and anyone can come in.  Hell, they don’t even have a doorman and the lighting is so dingy that you don’t even need to be over 21 to get served.

There are more sites, I’m sure, that target even more specific demographics for your selective tastes.  The point I’m trying to make is that while all have pros and cons, so do all bars, and you never know who you’re going to meet or where you’ll meet them.  Odds are if you’re a well-to-do twenty-something heading into a dive bar for kicks, you’re not going to be the only one, so don’t assume that the quality of the patronage will match the caliber of the bar itself.

Keep your eyes open, people.  It’s hard enough to meet cool people so don’t limit yourself by judging the methods.  When it comes to dating, it’s cool to be Machiavellian.

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Overturning Prop 8: A Plea for Love and Tolerance

03.04.09

California’s Proposition 8 should never have even been a ballot upon which people could vote.  Ideally the majority of Americans would realize that discrimination should be eradicated wherever it rears its ugly head, but come on;  this is the same country where Rush Limbaugh is the figurehead of a political party.  The same country that didn’t allow blacks or women the right to vote less than 90 years ago.  Do you think women would’ve won the right to vote if it had been put to a majority vote?  Give me a break.  They didn’t win that right until the courts stepped in.

And that’s what will have to happen for gays to have the right to marry.

But this is about more than just being able to call each other legal spouses.  This about fairness and equality.  Call it what you want: partnership, civil union, marriage.  The end game is that someone’s love of his life can be with him on his deathbed without the hospitals stepping in and saying that only “family” is allowed.  So that a woman’s female partner can be included on her insurance policy.  That a child can still be with her parent after her gay father dies.

I really don’t understand how people can reconcile the bigotry that they’re supporting with their own beliefs that they’re being ethical and righteous.  It’s a sad state of affairs and showcases the need for a much smaller influence of religion in secular decision making.  Some religions may state that homosexuality is a sin.  But some also say that eating pork is, too, and you don’t see us outlawing bacon.  Others say that it’s customary to cut hands off thieves.  You don’t see us doing that, either.

If you live in California, please support the overturning of Proposition 8 on Thursday, March 5th.  If you can’t be there (like myself), do your part and spread the word of tolerance and love.  Life is too short to be denying people the right to be happy.  Let’s put aside 2000 year old doctrine and follow the real teachings of do unto others.   I’m holding out hope.

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Where’d you meet? I’d rather not say.

01.30.09

romance-7643831Last night while out with friends – all of whom were female – the topic of Internet dating somehow came up.  Naturally everyone starting whining and complaining about how awful their experiences were in the world of cyber courtship and how they only even signed up in the first place out of a sense of desperation, not really expecting anything, yet being very jaded when it didn’t end up producing a single relationship lasting longer than two hours.

I asked them, “So, what’s a better way to meet people?  Bars?”

No way.

“How about at work?”

Nope.  What if the relationship fails and you have to see the ex every day in the office?

How then?

“Through a friend.”

Sure.  That sounds like the best method.  Most likely the prospect is not a serial killer since your friends are his friends.  A group meet can be set up so as to alleviate the traditional first-date jitters.

But, the problem with this entire line of thinking is having the mindset that the method in which you meet someone actually has a value, and that value may even exceed the potential happiness associated with meeting someone good.

Some people have these lofty goals of meeting their future love-of-their-life at the supermarket over some cute and charmingly funny little exchange in the pasta aisle when they’re least expecting it.  How many of your friends in relationships have met in that manner?  I can safely answer NONE.

What does that mean?  That it’s not possible?  Of course not.  But again, it’s placing way too much importance on a meet-cute instead of just meeting someone cute.

Dating is dating.  You meet someone.  You’re both interested.  You go out.  If it works, you keep going out.  If not, you don’t.  Rinse and repeat.  Who cares how it starts?

This is why I don’t see a stigma at all with any situation in which you meet someone you happen to like.  Internet dating, sports bars, friend’s parties, strip clubs, department stores, traffic stops, dog parks, speed dating, gyms, at Blockbuster, on vacation.  It.  Doesn’t.  Matter.

Dating is Machiavellian: the ends justifies the means.

I hereby declare a moratorium on guilt and shame associated with meeting that special someone in a typical unsavory location, namely bars and the Internet.  Enough is enough.

So get out there.  Sign up for Match.com.  Go to the local bar.  Chat up that crush at work.  Stop a random person on the street.  All bets are off.  No location is better than another when it comes to love.

Except Craigslist.  That place is a cesspool.