Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Off Season Post 31: Conspiracies Abound


Hello, Readers.  Welcome to the 31st (can you believe that?) installment of my Off Season Posts.  It’s been an eventful weekend filled with activities on both ends of the imaginary life spectrum.  I spent a couple of nights down at the Austin Rodeo and Livestock Show swilling beer, watching bull riding, and devouring giant turkey legs, cotton candy, and various other examples of the wonderfully decadent items known as “festival food.”  I’m sure all of you have a version of this wherever you’re from. 




The latter part of the weekend involved an attempt to run off all of that delicious festival food with 23,000 of my closest friends in the 35th Annual Capitol 10,000 run through Downtown Austin.  It’s 6.2 miles through Austin and, while it didn’t feel like it, I actually did very well (I finished in 955th place out of 23,000).  A shout out goes to my friend Linnea who finished a mere 15 seconds or so behind me despite having considerably shorter legs.  I’m happy to call that a tie, but we all know who crossed the finish line first.  I’m just saying.  I’m a bit sore today, but happy with my results.  I doubt I burned off all of that carnival cuisine, but perhaps that giant turkey leg is a thing of the past.  Now, let’s get to this week’s post.




As busy as my weekend was, I still had time to contemplate my next post, but as is usually the case in the Off Season, I was a bit short on a cohesive idea.  As I left the race on Sunday the inevitable tightening of my legs began to occur on the ride home.  I decided that I needed to stop off at the local pharmacy for some Advil and a giant bottle of water.  As I gingerly limped in and made my way to the pharmacy I found myself standing behind two women in line, one of whom was extremely pregnant.  I realize that last characterization makes no sense.  Being a tad pregnant is like being a bit gay, but you get the picture.  She wasn’t as big and bloated as Mama Cass, but she looked ready to burst at any second.  I took a step back as an extra precaution. 


Ahead of them in line was an old woman I assumed to be Mary Todd Lincoln or perhaps one of her childhood friends.  Her prescription was probably delivered via Pony Express.  As the pharmacist struggled to explain the benefits and risks of the half dozen or so bottles of pills in front of her I zoned out in favor of the conversation taking place between the knocked up lady and her sidekick.  “Is Steve going to get you a push present?” I heard.  “I’m not sure,” she answered.  “You know she’s our second so we’re just having a ‘sprinkle’ instead of a shower so I don’t think Steve is going to do much this time,” was the response.



“Push Present?” “Sprinkle?” 


“Poor Steve,” I thought as I pulled out my iPhone and added a note to self.  “Google ‘push present’ and ‘sprinkle.’ Love, Yourself  P.S. You’re awesome.” 


As I sat there in my truck sipping my giant bottle of spring water I Googled the aforementioned foreign terms.  Here’s what I found.    


“Baby Sprinkle.  Simpler and often smaller than the original Shower, a Sprinkle is an often more intimate gathering for very close friends and family. The gifts tend to be new outfits, diapers, wipes, etc. instead of big gifts like cribs and bedding that can be recycled from the first child.  It also includes some gifts for the older sibling to make them feel special. The food and decorations are kept to a minimum, but are enough to still make sure that the party makes the mom-to-be feel special.”


Well, isn’t that “special,” I thought shaking my head in disbelief.  All I know is that every time I’m invited to a shower of some sort, I end up taking a bath on the gift.  Normally, I like to keep those things in check.  Somehow I always end up writing a check.


Attempting to gussy it up and downplay my financial obligation by renaming it and eliminating the big stuff that only grandma and grandpa would buy in the first place from the registry is not fooling anyone.  If anything, the “more intimate” nature of the thing arguably expands my financial obligation.  A rose by any other name is a rose.  So is theft for that matter.  What’s it called when the third kid comes along, a Mist?  By the time the fourth kid gets here we’ll be attending A Mild Perspiration.    


Next term.    


“Push Present.  (also known as a "push gift" or "baby bauble") is a present a new father gives a new mother when she gives birth to their child. In practice the present may be given before or after the birth, or even in the delivery room. The giving of push presents has supposedly grown in the United States in recent years.”


“Supposedly grown?”  Nice fact checking.  Look, I’ll be the first guy to admit that I will never be able to understand what it’s like to grow a human being inside of my body until it’s too big to be there and then push it out the wrong way down a canal 1/3 its size.  Just typing that makes the place where my uterus would be if I had one hurt. 


However, I’m not biologically capable of doing that either, so you’ll have to cut me some slack.  That shouldn’t add up to making me spend a ton of cash as a result of billions of years of evolution.  I didn’t invent the cycle of life so why in the hell should I have to get gouged by some greedy jeweler who invented the Push Present?  That’s like requiring me to give the pizza guy a month’s pay for delivering a pizza I called and ordered.  It all seems a bit unfair to me.    


And while I’m thinking about it, where’s my Push Present?  After all, if it wasn’t for me pushing it in nine months ago you wouldn’t be pushing it out now.  Gestation aside, it takes two to tango and I didn’t get to take 4 months off work and hang around in my pajamas when I was done pushing.  Where’s the justice?  Annnyyyhooo . . .     


Dumbfounded, I began contemplating other invented traditions invented in order to make women feel “special.”  In search of some material, I consulted three reliable sources with intimate knowledge about subjects of this nature: 


Lincee Ray at (www.ihategreenbeans.com)


Mary Pruitt at (www.putaruffleonit.blogspot.com), and


My Special Lady Friend who has no website but has plenty of fertile friends who end up knocked up on a regular basis.  She’s also from Dallas; a place where letter press invitations and save the date cards (two other ridiculous, money wasting requirements for any event these days) go out for weekly office happy hours and trips to the water cooler on break time.    


After all of my reliable sources confirmed knowing about Push Presents and Sprinkles I picked their female brains for more conspiracies invented for the sole purpose of coercing unsuspecting men and well meaning women who fear being judged to spend inordinate amounts of money in the name of keeping the Special Ladies in their lives happy.  Here’s what I learned.


Birth Photographer.  Most hospitals these days will not allow a birth to be filmed thanks to my day profession.  However, it is becoming more common for pregnant women to get portraits of themselves in various states of undress during the course of the pregnancy.   I’m guessing these aren’t cheap.  In addition to that, it’s now also common to get professional portraits made immediately after the birth. 


Look, pregnancy is a miracle.  It’s beautiful, magical, special, blah, blah, blah.  I understand that.  However, pregnant women are a lot like finger paintings made by small children.  They’re only beautiful if they’re your own.  Call me after your shower or sprinkle or whatever and I’ll come visit.  I’m not interested in a pictorial representation of your biological changes.  Just because Demi Moore does it doesn’t make it cool.  If that were true we’d all starve ourselves while killing 15 Red Bulls a day and marry a younger douchebag.    If I want to watch a woman gain a ton of weight over a short period of time, I’ll turn on Oprah reruns.  Oh, and for what it’s worth, I think I speak for all men when I say that I’d rather have some professional footage of the conception rather than the birth.   Next topic.   


Meet-A-Versary.  This is apparently a relatively new member to the conspiracy calendar.  It imposes an obligation upon the man to document the date when he met his special lady in addition to buying her a gift in order to commemorate it down the road.  Give. Me. A. Break.  Upon hearing about this one, I actually got excited until I was told that it was “Meet” and not “Meat.”


What most women don’t know is that every florist in the world is painfully aware of days like this in addition to being ready to gouge poor, defenseless men into paying exorbitant prices for dying flowers.  You can put them in your favorite vase with warm water and that white crystal stuff they come with, but eventually that water will turn to green slime and those flowers will die.  





Oh, and telling your boyfriend or husband, “I know roses are too expensive, just get me my favorite flower, the (insert name of rare, more expensive flower here).”  Unless your favorite flower happens to be the carnation, we’re still on the hook.  Dropping a hundred bucks on something we literally have to watch wilt away and die is not a happy event.  Come to think of it, that actually might be an accurate representation of most relationships.     


Action Stations.  This is apparently a new phenomenon at weddings, showers, and other fancy events.  Rather than a seated dinner or a buffet there are smaller stations in various parts of the room with different, albeit smaller, courses.  The idea is to spread the guests around the venue and make the lines shorter.  Well, that’s what they tell you anyway.  The idea is actually to up sell you 5 different courses at a higher price in addition to forcing your guests to stand around the room with a drink in one hand and a tiny plate loaded with crab cakes, deviled eggs, and prime rib in the other desperately trying to figure out how in the hell to eat it.   I actually got excited about this one too until I figured out what it was.  I was planning on having a couple of Action Stations at my Meat-a-versary, if you know what I mean.     


“Hosted by.”  This is a big deal among women and it’s something that I, as a rational thinking male, can never comprehend.  However, because I care about all of you, I’ll try and elaborate.    Apparently, getting one’s name on the aforementioned letterpress invitation next to the words “hosted by” is a huge deal for some women and a prohibitively expensive, royal pain in the ass for others. 




It’s safe to say that the woman listed first on the invite as a co-hostess is hated with an unmatched passion by the women’s names following hers.  For the past few months she’s evolved like a gestating fetus (see what I did there?) from a smiley, friendly, helpful team player into a money grubbing, tax and spend, control freak with the disposition of Napoleon Bonaparte.  The women after her on the letterpress invite have been brow beaten with every detail of whatever party is set to occur from where it will occur, what they will be wearing, how their hair should look, and what to bring.  The pain each woman feels is directly proportionate to her rank from right to left on the “hosted by” list.  Trust me, the last girl on that list regrets ever befriending the guest of honor during rush at the Kappa house in college or whatever. 


Man, I’m glad I’m a man.  By way of example, I’m headed to Vegas next month with 5 of my closest friends.  I sent 1 email and got 4 back with flight information.  I sent another email after booking the hotel and got 4 back saying we’d even up on the cost when they arrived in Vegas.  Letterpress invites, my ass.     


Well, there it is.  This week’s off season rant.  I’m sure you’ll all chime in with your own conspiracies and I’d love to hear them.  Over the top engagements, destination bachelorette parties that cost a ton, upgrading the engagement and wedding ring, and ridiculous milestone birthday parties are others I didn’t get to.  I’m curious to hear what y’all have to say.  Until then, have a great week.  In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be working on the letterpress save the date invites to my Meat-a-versary.   DP 


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Off Season Post 30: Will Blog for Food


Hello, Readers and welcome to the latest Off Season.  For the next six weeks or so I’ll be scrambling for subject matter to fill the blank screen in front of me.  As exciting as that possibility is to me, it can also be a frustrating and daunting item on the Some Guy To Do List.  Truth be told, I find less inspiration at the bottom of Lone Star bottles of beer than I used to and my life has forced me to focus on a lot of new things lately.  Still, I enjoy this part of the year because it doesn’t involve me chaining myself to my television set for a couple hours at a time in order to force feed myself the likes of Ben Flanjik and what’s her name. 



As always, your suggestions, comments, and feedback are appreciated more than usual in the Off Season.  This is, after all, your blog too so feel free to communicate with its writer as often as you wish.  In the meantime, I’d like to point out that Spring has sprung here in Austin, Texas and because of all of the rainfall we got in January and February the wildflowers abundant this year.  Personally, bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes are my favorites, but there are literally dozens to look at simply by driving through town. 


Indian paintbrushes



March and April are my two favorite months in Austin.  It’s not uncommon to see families parked along the sides of the freeways just to the West of town taking their yearly pictures amongst the bluebonnets.  That’s the state flower, by the way.  It’s also the perfect time a year to take a drive West through the Texas Hill Country and look at the fields of flowers while hopping from winery to winery before stopping off for some bar-b-que.  But first, let’s get to this week’s post.  



Bluebonnets


As I made my usual walk down Congress Avenue during the lunch hour the other day my plan was to contemplate my next blog post while enjoying my lunch.  It’s difficult, if not impossible, to maintain a linear train of thought while in my office.  Phone calls, people entering and leaving, documents to sign, Internet to surf; they all add up to one big fat distraction.  I’m kind of a big deal, you know.  I’m often amazed at how little I get done when I’m getting a lot done. 



As I walked toward the Capitol, I noticed the usual array of deadbeats, derelicts, and drop outs congregating around the bus stop looking to bum cigarettes and God knows what else from each other.  Even Austin has an underbelly and, as is the case in a lot of cities, that underbelly catches the bus several times an hour during the work week.  I always wonder where they’re going and why they’re going there.  It’s difficult to suspend judgment at times, but I think I do a fair job of that.  Still, I think it’s safe to assume that  the majority of the people waiting on that particular street corner aren’t simply taking a vacation day to go and enjoy the Spring weather. 

As I strolled past, my thoughts ceased wandering and began to focus on “the other half” and how different their lives are in spite of the fact that we cross paths several times a week near the corner of 6th and Congress.  Mid-ponder and about a block away I noticed a familiar homeless man standing in front of me, sign in hand, begging for a handout.  I watched as dozens of people sidestepped their way around him in order to spend their money in local restaurants and shops along the way.  I heard the sound of change hitting the bottom of the metal can he’d strategically placed on the ground near the corner as a couple of people emptied their front pockets into it. 


Incidentally, when did the terms “bum” and “hobo” migrate from innocuous, albeit unflattering, ways to describe that segment of the population in favor of the politically acceptable “homeless person?”  I always imagine Brando’s famous lines from On the Waterfront had that been the case when that movie came out.


“You don't understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a homeless person, which is what I am, let's face it.” 


Doesn’t really have the same effect, does it?  Annnyyyhooo . . .



Rather than mull over the conservative vs. liberal “causes of homelessness” argument, I decided to turn my focus inside out and asked myself, “what can I learn from that guy” instead of cursing him after holding my breath as I walked past.  After all, there exists a silver lining in every situation.  Besides, I was about to sit and eat lunch by myself and I needed something to think about.  Here’s what I figured out. 



Consistency and persistence pay off



It struck me that I’ve seen the same homeless person on the same street corner asking every person who walks by for money nearly every day I’ve walked to lunch over the past several years.  He subtly yet unapologetically asks every person within ear shot if they can spare some change.  His requests are met with responses spanning from indifference to open hostility.  Regardless, he keeps showing up, keeps asking, and keeps delivering the same message.  Occasionally, someone drops a few coins in the can.   



Granted, that’s not Tony Robbins on the corner and I doubt you’ll see him in a $5,000 suit with a microphone attached to his earpiece lecturing a group of wanna be entrepreneurs at the local convention hall about staying motivated, but the message is the same and he’s not charging me $3,500 and pretending to be someone he’s not.  (I can’t stand Tony Robbins, but that’s for another post). 


 
He’s learned that a consistent presence combined with a clear, simple message delivered in a persistent manner over an extended period of time equals results.  A lot of us paid quite a bit of tuition to learn that lesson in college and, lo and behold, there it is just blocks from the UT Campus being demonstrated for free. 



Giving up is not an option for him and I doubt there’s much further he can sink.  Still, we would all do well to apply his example to the empty spaces in our lives.  I’d be willing to bet that most of us have given up under less difficult circumstances. 



Exploit the resources you have



If you and I had a tin can, a cardboard box, and a Sharpie there’s not a lot that we’d do with it.  Notwithstanding Donna and Some Girls from Austin’s requests for me to sign certain areas of their anatomy with the aforementioned Sharpie, the other two items are likely trash to me.  However, to our homeless brethren, these are the tools of the trade.  Putting the items we possess and the gifts we’ve been given to their fullest and best use will often allow us to take a step forward from where we started.

For him, a can and a box make a sign and a receptacle.  The point is that if we can inventory what we have at our disposal and make a plan to use those resources we’re all likely to be in a better place than when we started.  Think about how much time we spend watching television, for instance. 

If we view “time” as a resource instead of dead space, it becomes apparent that all of us waste a good deal of it watching over-privileged housewives of (insert large city name here) yell at each other about nothing at inane cocktail parties and charity events.  Hell, we all just spent a combined 25 hours each watching The Bachelor last season.  I’m not advocating a Spartan existence in all things, but you get the point.  Unlike our homeless friend, we aren’t forced to act.  That often leads to complacency.    

It occurred to me that the reverse is also true.  If the fruits of those resources are misused, we may end up in a much worse position.  Bernie Madoff’s misuse of the status and influence he was given is the white collar equivalent to our homeless person taking the change at the end of the day and heading to the local liquor barn in search of strawberry wine and cigarettes.  The lesson here is to use what you’ve been given judiciously and constructively and to use the rewards it brings just as constructively and judiciously.  I wonder what Tony Robbins would charge me for sharing that?  



Don’t worry about being judged


I noticed that the sneers and look-aways often given in response to his requests for change did nothing to change his approach.  Even HE can’t be immune from that kind of overt, repeated rejection, I thought when I walked past him.  He is human, after all, and at one time in his life he was probably just someone else’s son on the playground or a child standing in right field contemplating the clouds and the bees as the crowd yelled in vain for him to notice the ball rolling past him while runners circled the bases. 



Regardless of what road he traveled to get to begging for change on the corner of 7th Street and Congress Avenue, he wasn’t born to be there.  Indeed, we are all probably much closer to that fate than we’d be comfortable admitting.  I noticed that he did not fear being judged, nor did he revel in it.  He simply WAS.  His focus was on the small percentage of people he could convince in that brief interaction to reach in their pockets for the change that would likely end up in a wine jug in the wet bar or in the console compartments of their cars collecting dust indefinitely. 



I suppose when it’s that change that buys the next meal, pays for a night at the local shelter, or even supports a bad habit, it’s much easier to ignore that judgment.   However, I think there’s a bigger point to be made.  So often we allow the unsolicited judgment of those around us to dictate how we act and, much worse, major life decisions.  Nowhere is this more apparent than in the suburbs where the Keeping Up with the Joneses mentality substitutes for the Golden Rule. 



By virtue of his misfortune (intentional or accidental) our homeless person has learned a lesson that many of us may never appreciate:  His choices are his own to make and only he can define their worth.  Ultimately, it’s up to us as individuals to decide what direction we want to head.  Advice is helpful, but acting out of fear of being judged often leads to a large gap between what we know we need and what we ultimately settle for.  When failure means we won’t eat for a full day, that distinction becomes glaringly apparent.  It’s when we can’t put a price on that failure that the problems arise.        



Don’t be afraid to ask for help



“I’ve always depended on the kindness of strangers,” proclaimed Blanche DuBois right before she was taken away to the looney bin in A Streetcar Named Desire.  As with every Tennessee Williams play, there’s no happy ending but I was reminded of Blanche when I saw our homeless person on the corner.  I think the struggle those of us with jobs, a home, an income, and taxes to pay have with handing that money to someone on the corner is that the person asking for it, no matter how haggard or downtrodden, seemingly does not deserve something for nothing.  Fair or unfair, I think that’s what prevents most of us (including me) from simply pulling out a dollar, handing it to him, and wishing him well. 

Blanche


The fact remains that he is a human being simply asking for help and I, frankly, often struggle with the reconciliation of what I believe in my head and what I feel in my heart.  I refuse to give away half a handful of change that will ultimately make no difference in my daily existence, yet a few times a year, I load up my “junk” and donate it to Goodwill so they can sort it and sell it to people less needy than the guy on the corner---for a profit nonetheless.  Most of us are fearful of asking for help in our own lives and I think it shocks us that someone, arguably at least partially responsible for his own dilemma, has the audacity to ask for it literally thousands of times a day.  Setting that internal struggle aside and giving simply for the sake of giving is, I think, the nature of true charity.     



Chesterton took a much more robust stab at this point than I could ever take.  He wrote, “Charity is the power of defending that which we know to be indefensible. [C]harity to the deserving is not charity at all, but justice. It is the undeserving who require it, and the ideal either does not exist at all, or exists wholly for them. For practical purposes it is at the hopeless moment that we require the hopeful man, and the virtue either does not exist at all, or begins to exist at that moment. Exactly at the instant when hope ceases to be reasonable it begins to be useful.”

By realizing that we all have people in our lives who will unconditionally offer help, we may also realize that there is no shame in asking for it.  Just a thought.  The same reasoning applies when we’re asked for help.  “No one has ever become poor by giving” said Anne Frank.  If she could come to that realization then perhaps the guy on the corner does, in fact, deserve the benefit of the doubt.   



Well, there it is.  This Off Season is officially up and running.  I’ll try and lighten things up a bit next week and throw in that filthy sense of humor you all seem to revert to requesting when things get a bit heavy here in Some Guy’s cyberspace.  Have a wonderful week.  In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be thanking my lucky stars.  DP


Me. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Welcome to the Off Season!

Hello, Readers!  I'm excited to get to the off season posts.  The next post should be up on Wednesday, March 21 in the afternoon or at the latest on Thursday, March 22 in the morning.  Stay tuned! 

DP

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bachelor Ben Episode 11: Finally, the Freaking Finale!

Hello, Loyal Readers. I cannot thank all of you enough for sticking by me like a spurned model to her poorly coiffed, wine-making, pseudo-fiancee after a tumultuous “journey” to find ever-illusive love. It’s been a difficult season for many reasons but we made it through another round and I, for one, am thankful to be done. Sure, Ben turned out to be a giant putz and Courtney appears to have a small conscience beneath her shallow exterior, but this season left me very little desire to continue recapping this mess. Perhaps Emily (and her white shorts) can convince me to carry on. We shall see.

We begin again with promises of the most (insert provocative adjective here) season/finale ever amidst the unbelievably gorgeous vistas of the mountains in and around Zermatt, Switzerland. “Finally, a location where everyone won’t sweat like a bunch of diabetics,” I said to myself as I settled with a Lone Star in one hand and the remote in the other.

I’m sure Roberto felt a twinge of jealousy as he sat at home with a box fan blowing in his face in San Diego on top of the milk crates filled with what is left of his life after Ali packed all of her yellow curtains, yellow throw pillows, and yellow Daddy issues and hit the Yellow Brick Road in search of a desperately desired extension of her already egregiously extended 15 minutes of fame.

Harrison’s voice over reminds us that Ben faces his biggest decision ever; although I’m not sure I agreed considering the fact that the entire thing is essentially a free romp around the world with a dozen desperate Donna’s entailing nothing other than public relations commitments and paid appearances after the show airs. Whatever.

Ben tells us that he “just cant separate his feelings of love” for these two women. Again, I called bulls*it on that one. It was clear a couple of weeks ago who was going to get to temporarily enjoy the weight of Neil Lane’s latest design on her finger and her name is Courtney.

Incidentally, I once had to quit my job at the glue factory I worked at during college. It was awful. As hard as I tried I just became too attached to my work. I couldn’t seem to separate myself from my co-workers. There was a lot of horsing around and we often found ourselves in sticky situations. Sure, we enjoyed a permanent bond that couldn’t be broken, but it really put a hold on the rest of my life. I became stuck in place and just couldn’t seem to break free.

Glue jokes. You’re welcome. Back to Ben.

After more phallic symbolism we see Ben in a the Womack-esque vest looking like an extra from some Dickens’ book wandering the streets of Zermatt in search of a stack of newspapers to distribute to passers-by for a couple of bits and a tussle of the hair. Lindzi roams around in her gray jacket a la Michael Hutchence in the Never Tear Us Apart video circa 1987 and Courtney pets stray cats in doorways like homeless people circa now.



Ben tells us that his mother and sister are on the way as he simultaneously makes “incredible” the new “amazing” before crying a few tears when they arrive to judge the remaining two women. I found it interesting to note that when they sat on the couch it was clear that Ben’s hair is the perfect mix between his sister Julia’s Michael Hutchence circa 1987 hair and his mother’s playful, yet somehow age appropriate blond bob.



As if we needed more filler for this bloated mess, Ben again recaps the women to mom and sis and I couldn’t help but notice that his sister—as nice as she seemed—looked like Ben in a wig. The two of them reminded me of Adam Sandler’s latest attempt at a giant paycheck with zero substance, Jack and Jill. They should rename it Ben and Julia. In the comment of the show Female Ben observes that Ben should be “weary” of Courtney considering the number of red flags he’s seen. I believe she meant “leery;” however, I think her choice of word suffices too. I think we were all a bit “weary” at this point.



LINDZI

Mindful of Ben’s self-imposed color blindness and wearing less bronzer than usual, Lindzi arrives in brown and gray for the meet and judge with a box of chocolates for mom and some oats in a bucket for Female Ben. With the preponderance of brown, black, and gray dominating the screen, I actually felt like I was watching the first 15 minutes of The Wizard of Oz. Top that off with the off capes that Lindzi and Courtney wore to the rose ceremony in addition to the inordinately large quantity of Lone Star I threw down attempting to cope and I spent a lot time anticipating the arrival of of the Munchkins. Ben began to look like disheveled Judy Garland after awhile. Annnyyyhooo…

After a polite greeting and some fake conversation Female Ben drops "You're willing to get down and dirty a little bit," on a clearly nervous Lindzi. Touche, Female Ben. Touche. Lindzi has a similarly canned one-on-one with Older, Blonder, Female Ben who wonders through the ghost of her husband “what is the ingredient” that holds people together. It’s not often I get two opportunities for glue jokes, but I think I’ll pass this one up in favor of what I actually said to the television: “Cheese, Barbara. It’s cheese that holds these two together.” I’m surprised Lindzi didn’t answer, “a firm foundation and lot of concealer, ma’am.” Female Ben drops clues that she hates Courtney before asking for Lindzi to provide some dirt on her. Lindzi uses “different” and “I’m more of a people person,” and Female Ben is bright enough to get the gist. Christmas might be a bit awkward after that little bonding session airs.


Lindzi leaves and Ben debriefs with Female Ben and Older, Blonder Ben before getting the thumbs up from both of them and letting them know that they’re about to meet GASP! a model.

COURTNEY

Sporting what I hoped would be the last of the LeQueer por Houmo collection of feminized sweaters that he obviously collects with fervor, Ben stresses on his patio below the Matterhorn about Courtney. Female Ben dons her Mary Tyler Moore cap and makes clear she doesn't like Courtney as she tries to subtly recruit Older, Blonder Ben onto her model-hating team.

After a fake greeting, Courtney launches into her preemptive “I tried but I’m just too beautiful” talk and is met with blank stares from the Bens—all three of them. F that, Courtney, Female Ben has a "long list" of questions. After trying to appear harsh, Female Ben succumbs to the same manipulation that roped her brother into ignoring the red flags all season. Come to think of it, in light of his penchant to brown and gray, perhaps Ben really IS color blind, thereby precluding him from actually identifying Red Flags. That might explain things.

Look, Courtney has been here before and we get a shot of the lion toying with the mouse. She cleverly falls on the sword enough to placate Female Ben but not enough to pierce her well toned bikini body. Female Ben decides to "trust her word." She bites her lip like Courtney. At least they have that in common.

She sits down with mom to play with an older, blonder mouse in her deceptively innocent yellow high waisted get up. "Special, smart, and funny," is how she thinks of Ben. "My cheeks hurt when I come home.” At first I was appalled that she’d share Fantasy Night information with mom, but then realized she was referring to the cheeks on her face. You know, the ones on either side of her fake upper lip.

Courtney drops a "Barb" on us letting us know that Neil Lane better take time out of the annual poker sweepstakes in Harrison’s room to size that big ring. Ben cuddles on the couch with the other Bens and they gush with compliments with both women before Female Ben takes Ben’s hints and gives Courtney a forced endorsement. Ben attempts to derail the inevitable bad PR and we all know for sure that Lindzi is headed home to the comfort of Harry Cox.

FINAL DATES

I’m not going to go over these in any detail. I believe it suffices to say that the mountains and scenery were the best part of both of these. Ben was as dull as the back side of the Matterhorn and I felt myself feeling sorry for Lindzi. She’s hot, yes, but she’s also a nice person who was nothing but consistently positive and stable the entire season. We all know that’s not easy to do on this show. Hell, just ask Courtney who ABC has been unsuccessfully trying to rehabilitate for the past 4 weeks when it became apparent that Ben was not only color blind but generally blind.

Lindzi and Ben ski while Courtney and Ben sled. Same date, different woman. They chat accordingly and each leaves hoping to walk away with a ring on her finger in less than 24 hours.

Ben gives a "thank you," to Lindzi. Translation: I'm not picking you.

John Tesh music resonates. Translation: I’m not picking her.

After sledding and picnicking with Courtney it becomes apparent which direction Ben is headed. I regretted that he didn’t drop, “what could make this evening better? How about the band Train?” on her like the ever-awkward Womack, but I suppose it was too cold out there for an impromptu concert.

Courtney violates a cardinal rule of the final 5 by making Ben a “special gift.” Normally, “special gifts” lead to “special limo rides home” but goes for it anyway. Hell, she’s broken enough rules this season. She might as well tempt fate by bowling over this one. Based upon Ben’s, “It's heavy,” when he picked up the gift I guessed it was her man-hating baggage. I was wrong. It was a scrapbook full of cliches.

Commence the wandering ‘round town in search of final closure or whatever. Lindzi "has this glow about her," Ben tells us. “THAT’s what I’VE been saying all season,” I said.

Lindzi wakes up in boxers and a tshirt and hits the balcony for reminiscing. Courtney wakes up in her teddy. I believe that sums up the difference between the two. Ben needs to keep in mind that the teddy will wear out with time but the boxers will always look good. How's that for a stupid metaphor?

Neil Lane arrives at 12:13 a.m. with his magic briefcase. He looks like Paul Anka. Ben picks out the ring Courtney told Neil Lane she wanted and Ben puts on his Transporter suit.

Everyone worries.

Both women looked stunning at the engagement party once they dropped those ridiculous Evil Witch from Snow White cape things off with Harrison. Man, that’s an expensive butler. Clearly aware of how much he’s getting paid to stand and await helicopters, Harrison gladly accepts the menial task of Coat Check B*tch and escorts both girls to the foot of the Matterhorn in hopes of getting the hardware.

Lindzi gets summarily dumped. She blames herself and drops an "If things don't work out, call me." I began to worry that she was going to slide downhill (no pun intended) into “What the F*ck Happened-ville,” but she manages to keep it together enough to appear upset but more than enough to lose with more dignity than any runner up in recent memory.

In retrospect, that's the best thing she could have said to Ben. It clearly made him think and don’t think for one second that little gem won’t be ringing around the inside of his head when he’s dealing with the mess he’s created by picking Courtney.

Lindzi will be over it by the time his relationship with Courtney implodes and Ben will be left with a look of bewilderment and a hole in the pit of his stomach as he watches the season when it airs. I think that was apparent in the After the Final Rose discussion.

Ben gets down on one knee and proposes to Ashley . . . I mean Courtney. She accepts and he slaps the Neil Lane ring on the finger. Courtney and her Catwoman gloves get the ring. Congratulations, Courtney. You “won.” What now?

Here is the part where I normally say something positive about love, honesty, feelings, and commitment in general. It’s the part of the blog where I subtly hint at the modicum of envy I felt as I watch two people—no matter how odd the circumstances—clearly in full belief that each is completely in love with the other. I comment seriously and sentimentally and wish the new couple luck despite taking cheap (and some deserved) shots at them over the past 10 weeks. I’m afraid that’s not going to happen here.

I assume that most of you agree when I say that I just don’t see this one panning out. I don’t “hate” Courtney or even think she’s a horrible person. Shallow and self involved, yes, but not bad. I like Ben a lot less than I did at the beginning of this season, but he’s not guilty of anything other than being miserable with regret while filming the entire season. He got in over his head and, as we’d soon learn in the ATFR, he couldn’t handle the pressure.

Still, there’s a side of me that wants them to work it out. After all that, they both deserve a shot at a normal relationship regardless of what they signed up to do. With the Amazing Count at 76 and the Journey Count at 40 we conclude another season of the show we can’t explain why we watch. I won’t be recapping the ATFR portion of the show as two hours was sufficient for me tonight. I’ll continue to post at least once a week in the off season and I’m more than open to suggestions for posts. Funny stories and my random thoughts will have to take the place of Ben and his hair for a while. Word on the street is that Emily’s season will start in late May. Take care of yourselves. In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll free on Monday nights. DP 

YO, ADRIAN!  I DID IT! 


Friday, March 9, 2012

DP Tells All Part 4


Hello, Readers.  Welcome to the first Off Season post of 2012.  It’s hard to believe it’s March already.  After celebrating Texas Independence Day (March 2) last week and traveling (again) for work this month is already flying quickly away.  Thanks to all of you for sticking with me through the late posts and somewhat shoddy craftsmanship of my analysis this season.  With the transition to the new job and schedule, it’s been difficult to keep up my usual Tuesday timing.  I really appreciate the emails and messages supporting me.  It’s difficult to strike a balance in my life lately and your positive reinforcement helps. 


Speaking of reinforcement, an idea donned on me for a new post in the off season. I’ve been meandering through my emails and comments searching for the comparatively few but incredibly vitriolic hate mails that I get from time to time.  I’m going to gather the best of the worst and respond to them for all to see.  That should be fun. 


In the interim, it’s time for DP Tells All again.  Thank you for your questions this week.  As always, I’ve taken all of the similarly themed questions and boiled them down into the questions below with careful attention to trying to answer all of what I was asked.  If you don’t see your specific question, please keep reading as I probably lumped it in with one of the ones below.  Also, if you don’t get your question answered, feel free to email me and I’ll send you a personalized answer so you can print it and put it on your refrigerator in the name of daily inspiration---or simply delete it.  That’s up to you.  Let’s get to it.    


Disclaimer:  It’s always my contention that DP Tells All is the least funny post of the season.  If you’re reading this blog for the first time and don’t “get me” yet, you might want to peruse some of the other off season stuff.  I’m simply answering reader questions here.  If I happen to entertain, that’s great.  Now, let’s really get to it. 


I’m from the Chicago and I really want to buy a pair of cowboy boots.  What should I look for when buying a pair and how much should I spend? 

A Midwesterner in “cowboy boots;” I love it.  I’ll answer as best I can.  “Cowboy boots” are referred to simply as “boots” here in Austin and they are a treasured part of any person’s wardrobe in Texas.  I have six pairs ranging from a work type boot to a roper to handmade custom boots and I wear a pair every day.  

For purposes of this question, I’ll assume that since this is your first pair of boots you’re looking for something you can generally wear with jeans that is practical, comfortable, and affordable.  I’ll assume you’re not going to saddle up and drive the herd to Montana.  Finally, I’ll assume you’ll want something Midwest appropriate.  In other words, you don’t want something too flashy and decorative that might work here in Texas but would literally make you look like a clown in a Rush Street tavern. 

Like running shoes, boots were initially designed to serve a specific function: namely, cowboy-type work.  Most of the design features on boots actually are functional elements that have remained with the boots over time.  For instance, the distinctive stitching on the upper part, or shaft, of the boot is decorative; however, it also serves to keep the leather from sagging like a used up bachelorette after Fantasy Week. 

Generally, the more fancy and multicolored the stitching is the higher quality the boot.  That’s not always true, but for the most part, it is.  The shaft of the boot is usually covered by jeans but is often the most decorative part of the boot even though it’s not seen.  However, it’s not uncommon these days to see women sport a miniskirt or shorts with a pair of boots here in town (I love that look, by the way) and the shaft of the boot is what makes them unique.  Because of this there are many options available in all price ranges and styles.    

The hard “cup” on the front of the boot extends to flex point in the boot and reinforces the shape and curve of the front of the boot.  There are pointy boots, rounded boots, and just about every variation in between.  Finding what looks best and what makes you most comfortable is a very subjective thing.  I prefer a capped toe, for instance, but have pointed and square toed boots too.    

Many of the other elements of the boot remain from when their owners spent a good deal of time riding a horse. For example, the pointed toe common on a lot of boots was designed so the cowboy could easily insert (and remove) his toe into the stirrups.  Likewise, the high heel keeps the foot from slipping all the way through the stirrup and allows the boot to grip the stirrup when the heel is pushed downward while riding.

For your purposes, you’ll want a simple, monochromatic leather boot with a traditional toe and heel.  There’s no need to overdo it.  A “roper” boot is also an option, but that type of boot is more common outside of the “Western” confines of Chicago.  That’s a boot with a much shorter shaft, a more rounded toe, and a shorter, wider heel.  These were initially designed and worn for cowboys who roped more often (thus, the name) and needed to jump of their horses and run to whatever animal happened to be at the end of the rope.  It’s tough to run in a higher heel.  The boot survived and is often the model for work oriented boots as opposed to the fashion statement you want to make. 

Look for quality leather.  I’d suggest cowhide or an equally tough leather as opposed to something softer and easily worn.  Exotic boots can be expensive and are not meant to be worn and beat up daily.  If you stick to boots in the $250-$350 price range, that should take care of itself.  It’s easier to find and kill a cow than it is an elephant or a ostrich and the price will reflect that.     

Do not buy cheap boots with vinyl or composite soles.  Get a pair with leather soles.  Plastic soles and heels are a sure sign of cheap boots.  They’ll be uncomfortable and will not last long.  Even if you’re only going to wear them a few times a year, stay away from the low end stuff.   Justin and Nocona are good generic brands and they’re made to fit generic feet.  Ariat boots are literally as comfortable as a pair of slippers but are more work boot oriented.  They’re made in China too.  Work oriented boots like these have rubber soles and are lined more like a sneaker than a boot.  They’re good if you wear boots every day or if you plan on being on your feet all day when you do wear them.  Again, there’s a difference between these rubber soles and the plastic type rubber on a cheap pair of boots.    

Next, keep in mind that boots are sized by both foot size and width so don’t assume your shoe size is also your boot size.  Start there and be prepared to try on a half size in either direction once you get a width that feels good.  Also, your size in one style of boots is almost never your size in another style.  Try them on with thick socks and walk around in them.  However, remember to scuff the sole a tad before trying to walk.  Like any leather bottom shoe, they’ll slip a bit at first, especially on carpet.   

Off the shelf, generic boots are machine made and will need to be broken in a bit.  They should fit snugly, but not tightly, across the top of your foot and you should be able to spread your toes out while standing.  Your heel should be gently cupped in place but it shouldn’t be tightly held.  Once the leather stretches your boots will literally conform to your own foot and will feel like a sock.  This process takes much longer with the generic boots than it does with handmade or custom boots.  Buy what’s known as a “boot jack” for taking them off.  You’ll be glad you did.    

Higher end boots can be tricky because they are hand made.  Find the right size and they are instantly comfortable.  Find the wrong one and they’ll never be right.  Lucchese (Loo-kay-see) is a good high end brand and their 1883 line is a good boot at a low price point of the beginning of the high end.  They run about $400 and can go up in the thousands of dollars depending on the type of leather and craftsmanship.  My most expensive pair ran about $1,800 and is made of Cayman crocodile back leather, but I’ve had them for over 15 years and they’re not everyday boots.  Again, for your purposes, I’d start simple.  If you get hooked, buy your way up the ladder but don’t go nuts.   

A fancy higher end handmade boot that is popular here in Austin is made by Old Gringo.  They have a penchant for ornate, well weathered boots and putting a pair on for the first time is like putting them on after they’ve been broken in for years.  I’d recommend a pair down the road if you enjoy your first pair enough to invest in something a bit more ornate, but Old Gringos are fun to browse if you’ve never seen the selection.  

Next,---and this is EXTREMELY important if you want to be taken seriously in your new boots—you also need to buy jeans that look good with the boots.  Cinch is a good brand but they probably don’t have that in Chicago.  Levis are fine too.  Just make sure the type you buy are boot cut and buy them with an inseam at least two and as much as four inches longer than your normal inseam.  This will feel and look funny to you as a new boot wearer but trust me.  Any Texan can spot a tourist a mile away if his jeans don’t lie on his boots the right way. We call that “the stack” or “the break” on the boots down here. A good measure of that stack is to put your foot up on a short stool or step (think Captain Morgan) while standing.  If they are long enough, the front of the jean will stay on top of the boot with the break in place and the rear of the jean should rise only slightly, if at all. 

Finally, get a simple belt that matches the boot leather and has a western stitch on it.  Giant belt buckles are for bull riders who’ve earned them and for people from Dallas.  Stick to something simple.  One of my prize possessions is a handmade Texas Ranger belt buckle.  It was given to me by my former boss for Christmas one year.  Stick to small and simple and don’t pair your boots with a braided or canvas belt that Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bel Air would have worn.  That’s for German tourists.   

I hope that helps.  Incidentally, since you’re in Chicago, try Alcala’s on Chicago Avenue for boots.  Some of the clothes in there are over the top but their boot selection is the best you’re going to find in town and the staff there is knowledgeable enough to direct you to a pair that’s right for you.  Good luck.  Let me know how you turn out. 

CAN YOU GIVE ME A GUY’S TAKE ON LIVING TOGETHER BEFORE MARRIAGE?  IS THAT A DEAL BREAKER FOR MEN WHEN A WOMAN SUGGESTS MOVING IN TOGETHER?

My suspicion is that the person who sent this question is either contemplating the big move in or recently proposed it and got a bad result.  Here’s my take on this issue. 

First, I don’t think this is a “male perspective” issue.  We all have our own opinions about living together before marriage or just living together in general.  As we say in my business, the answer to the “Should I live with my significant other” question is fact determinative.  Here’s where I think problems arise in the male vs. female interpretation of the facts. 

I think (actually, I know) I speak for most men when I say that I never cease to be absolutely dumbfounded when I answer a question from a woman as clearly, simply, and honestly as I can answer it and she hears something completely different. 

If you’ll recall my “Worst Date Ever” post, you can find a good example of this.  I specifically and unequivocally told that female that I was not attracted to her, was attracted to her friend, and wanted to simply stay friends.  Her response was, “I think you’re misunderstanding your feelings.”  You get the point.  I’m certain all of you have a version of this anecdote. 


I think that when a woman gets a “yes” to the move in question she is apt to see that as the natural and logical progression of the relationship toward marriage, which is often the ultimate goal for a woman.  Moving in together is a big sign of commitment.  It also gives a woman the opportunity to discard the coffee table her man built in wood shop in high school and the liquor mirrors he stole in college.  The Dogs Playing Poker paintings shall be relegated to one wall in the back office/junk room, which is her definition of compromise.  To be fair, absent the specific type of communication referenced above, I think that it is a valid assumption by the woman that moving in equals progression to a larger, permanent commitment.


Men, on the other hand, are likely to see the move in as a step toward DELAYING marriage.  In other words, as a substitute for marriage.  Men see it as a solution to making the ultimate commitment rather than as a step toward it.  Allowing a woman to nest and giving up personal living space are things men see as signs of serious commitments.  These are in no way related to a man’s desire to marry his partner. 


If both parties do not have this discussion prior to the move in, it is likely to take months—even years—before this little issue creeps into the room.  At that point, couches have been jointly purchased, contracts have been jointly signed, pets have been jointly walked, families have been over for Thanksgiving dinner, etc.  In short, big problems arise. 


My advice?  Never ever move in with a person unless there is a wedding date or there are specific plans to get engaged and a finite time for BOTH events to occur.  Never ever assume that moving in will solve any existing relationship issue and never ever move in together without having a discussion about each person’s expectations and future plans.  Never ever move in together to “try it out.”  And, most importantly, never ever ever purchase anything together (furniture, house, condo, pets, plants, knick knacks, or a garden hose) without being legally married. 


Ignore that advice at your own risk.  My objection to living together prior to at least being engaged is not moral, it’s practical. 

What is one of your quirkiest pet peeves? 

I love this question.  Thanks to the person who had the insight to send it.     

My quirkiest pet peeve?  Absolutely under no circumstances will I set foot in a restaurant shaped like a boat.  I’m not talking about a restaurant that’s an actual boat that’s parked on a body of water and secured to a dock.  I’m not talking about the floating river boat casinos docked on the shores of the Mississippi River.  I’m not even referring to nautically themed restaurants, although I avoid those too.  I’m referring to a building on dry land shaped like a boat complete with a mast, round windows, cargo nets, barrels, and any other accoutrement intended to mimic a high seas dining experience.

  
I can’t think of anything in the restaurant world that would be a bigger F.U. to a customer than pretending that anyone dining there will actually feel like he’s in a boat.  It’s the stupidest thing I can think of.  I would rather take flying lessons from Jake Pavelka or go horseback riding with Ben Flanjik than enter a boat shaped restaurant.  Top that off with the fact that they’re all named “Cap’n Something’s Seafood House” or “Admiral So and So’s Whatever” and the entire thing makes me feel like I’ve eaten tainted oysters. 

Real Admirals and Cap’ns are in charge of aircraft carriers and cruise ships, they don’t wipe down laminated menus with dirty cloths and comp baskets of deep fried shrimp when a foreign object falls into the batter and ends up in someone’s “Fisherman’s Feast.”    

Who are they fooling?  You’re on dry land in the middle of an urban area.  I can see parked cars in the lot from the “portholes” in the “hull.”  Give me a freaking break.  You want to serve me fish?  Fine, just accept the fact that your restaurant is miles from an open body of water and do it in a normal building.  If I want a rib eye does that mean I have to jump in a zodiac and take a short ride offshore to a floating steakhouse?  Exactly.  Restaurants shaped like boats are a bad idea.  My reaction to their existence goes far beyond mild annoyance and could easily be classified as open hostility.  I suppose that narrows my options for meet and greet locations, but I’m alright with that. 

By the way, a second pet peeve of mine is Brunch, or as I like to refer to it, Breakfast for A**holes.  It’s beyond me why throwing a fried egg on top of an English muffin, sprinkling it with paprika, and serving it to me after 10 a.m. should triple the price of the aforementioned egg and muffin.  You’ll never find me brunching on a Sunday in a restaurant shaped like a boat.  Fisherman’s Feast, my ass.  Thanks for the question.     


What's the dirtiest thing in your house?

Depending on who comes home with me, the kitchen sponge. 

Thanks to the person who teed that one up for me.  You can apologize to my Special Lady Friend right after I’m done groveling. 


Assuming that being a litigator was not your first choice as a profession, how did you come to be one?  What would you choose to do professionally, supposing that there are no impediments to your doing it?

Wow.  This question brings up all kinds of thoughts.  I suppose the short answer to this question is that one of my greatest regrets in life is not having a “plan” in my early adult life.  Like most people, I had the weight of expectation placed firmly between my shoulder blades when I was in my early teens.  My parents were adamant that an education was the most valuable thing they could give me in order to secure my future.  A trust fund wasn’t an option.    

The problem is that I had a lot of dreams but I had no idea how to begin making them come true.  I never struck out and took a real chance.  I never chased my dream unapologetically.  I never had the courage to do that and the conservative background that I grew up in fostered my lack of risk taking.  That’s not all bad but it did leave a stockpile of untaken chances in my possession.  It’s a stockpile that I carry with me to this day; albeit, a bit smaller stockpile.    


The truth is that my failure to do those things and either succeed or fail at them eventually manifested itself in a horrible way when I was past my 20’s and I paid a very high price for it.  That’s a matter for another post, but the question above assumes that I “chose” to be something.  I didn’t.  Much of what happened to me in my early adult hood just “happened” to me.  I was like Forrest Gump except not as lucky and certainly not as stupid.  Tack on the massive ego and the ignorantly blind confidence that accompany youth along with the na├»ve and misguided idea that my great destiny would somehow find me and you get a good idea of why my true potential never blossomed. 


My parents’ collars were a lot more blue than they were white.  My dad climbed telephone poles and my mother worked retail and served as the Athletic Coordinator at the local health club.  My picture of lawyers was limited to what I saw on television or imagined the law would be like.  I knew lawyers got to write (but had no idea that legal writing is the exact opposite of creative writing), got to argue, and made decent money.  I liked school and was a good student.  I’m embarrassed to say that it was these things alone that served as the impetus for me to go to law school.  I wish there was a better story, but there isn’t.


To answer the question, I suppose I “decided” that law school was an option when I was a junior in college and my great-grandmother passed away.  Although she wasn’t wealthy she was an immigrant who managed to save enough to purchase a small apartment building and rent it out over the years.  It was worth a bit of money when she passed and she had a decent amount of cash in the bank.  As is the case when people pass away, there’s always at least one family member who feels entitled to it all.  That was the case with my mother’s uncle and aunt. 

For years I had witnessed my great grandmother begging my mother to allow her to transfer the building and all of the assets to her while she was still alive.  My mother always refused saying she didn’t feel right about accepting it.  When she died, her aunt and uncle contested the will and my mother accepted a small cash payout in lieu of fighting about it.  During that entire process, the only person who could explain any of it was the lawyer my parents hired to handle the dispute.  I remember feeling frustrated and powerless and I remember seeing my parents feel the same way.  That’s when I decided I would go to law school. 


As for my true calling?  The honest truth—and I mean this—is that if money had nothing to do with it and I could literally do anything I wanted to do for a living, I’d be a lounge singer.  I’d have a lounge act and I’d tour the country playing small venues with my band.  I’d wear flashy jackets and revel in making dozens of women swoon at the wink of my eye or a glance in their direction.  I’d refuse to play any lounge located in a boat-shaped restaurant.    


Why do men constantly have to touch themselves? It's attached and not going anywhere. Is there really a need for adjusting oneself regularly?

Unless this person hangs out with a professional baseball team all day, I’m not certain where this question comes from.  Like any normal person, my body parts are sometimes in need of an adjustment from time to time.  I suppose the female equivalent is the automatic taking off of the bra the second she arrives home.  If your man is in constant need of adjustment, perhaps he has chronic jock itch or perhaps you’re washing his underwear in hot water.  I’m certain he realizes that his equipment is attached.  I know that because all men spend the better part of their teenage years frantically trying to pull it off.  That lesson is learned early and reinforced often during that time of life.  Trust me, if there was a way to make it pop off, like Columbus, all men would stumble upon that great discovery during their childhood.    


To answer the second part of that question, I suppose that depends on the circumstances.  During an Austin summer, for instance, regular adjustments are, in fact, necessary in light of the heat and humidity.  That’s simply an issue of comfort rather than an issue of the aforementioned adolescent equipment fascination.  The only other alternative is that your man is feeling a bit “anxious” around you.  Rather than scoffing at it, be flattered and realize that you’re attractive to him.  You might want to offer to take over the adjustment duties from time to time as well.  Just remind him to shoot me a “thank you” email after you do. 


Well, there it is.  DP Tells All Part 4.  Enjoy your weekend and be prepared for the big finale on Monday.  I’ll post as early as I can next week.  Finally, I’m now committed to posting some pictures on the blog.  Attached is this week’s fan picture.  This guy caught up with me at my favorite local honky tonk and bought me a Lone Star Light.  If you happen to run into me, say hello.  In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be adjusting myself while having brunch at a boat shaped restaurant.  DP