About Me

July 31, 2009

I'm in love...with a pillow?

There was this fascinating-in-a-repellent way article by Lisa Katayama in the New York Times Magazine last Sunday July 26 called "Love in 2-D" (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/26/magazine/26FOB-2DLove-t.html?scp=1&sq=%22Love%20in%202-D%22&st=cse), which describes a "Lars & The Real Girl"-like situation (rent that movie if you haven't seen it) in which seemingly normal Japanese men fall in love with body-pillow girlfriends based on comic-book characters.

Yes. They fall in love with pillows. The article describes how some of these men even take their pillow-girlfriends out to dinner or to the beach, as if they were real ("the restaurant was packed with young families. Several mothers gave Nemutan [the pillow] inquisitive looks, but the majority seemed not to notice her"). That's weird enough, but what's more disturbing is these girl-pillows really are depictions of GIRLS -- around 10 - 12 years old.


My friends and I read about this together last weekend when they were visiting (actually, one of them read it aloud to the rest of us on the subway, which is probably the most awesome way to experience this article), and one of my friends, playing devil's advocate, asked, "But these guys aren't hurting anyone, so what's wrong with it?"

"They're hurting themselves!" I said. Just like people who fall in love with bridges, or towers, or other inanimate objects (see my March 31, 2009 post at http://www.bestdatesnow.com/2009/03/i-love-you-you-cute-inanimate-object.html), the more in love these men fall with pillows, the less chance they have of finding a real relationship, which is much more fulfilling. But apparently there are a lot of lovelorn people in Japan -- more than 25% of men and women between the ages of 30 - 34 are virgins. A 40-year-old man named Toru Honda, who writes books promoting the "2-D lifestyle," brings up the following issue:

"Honda wrote, 'As long as you train your imagination, a 2-D relationship is much more passionate than a 3-D one.' Honda insists that he’s advocating not prurience but a whole new kind of romance. If, as some researchers suggest, romantic love can be broken down into electrical impulses in the brain, then why not train the mind to simulate those signals while looking at an inanimate character?"

But when Honda "admitted to watching human porn at a panel discussion in Tokyo in 2005, several hundred hard-core 2-D lovers in the audience booed with shock that their dear leader had nostalgia for the 3-D world. Later, in an interview with a Japanese newspaper, Honda clarified his position, saying that he was worried 2-D love was becoming an easy way out for young otaku, who might still have a shot at success in the real world. 'I’m not saying that everyone should throw away hopes of real romance right away. I am simply saying that guys like me who have gotten to a point of no return can be happy living in 2-D.'"

He's only 40, and he's already given up on love? I think that is very sad! (Hasn't he seen "The 40-Year-Old Virgin"?)

This whole thing reminds of the red blue/blue pill choice in "The Matrix." The illusion of a girlfriend, or of any reality, may be safer, prettier, easier -- but in the end, it's just an illusion. Hate to say it, but no pillow is going to love you back.

(P.S. For non-dating-related posts, check out my other blog at http://herartichokeheart.blogspot.com/)

July 29, 2009

Facebook: Blasts from My (Dating) Past

As I posted on my other blog (http://HerArtichokeHeart.blogspot.com), a few weeks ago I discovered someone on Facebook I'd been looking for on and off since 2007: Hyper Boy! If you don't remember him from my March 10, 2008 post (http://www.bestdatesnow.com/2008/03/goin-to-chapel-part-2.html ), the abridged version is that we met at St. Bart's Church in Manhattan back in 2002 (http://www.stbarts.org) but only lasted a few months because he was too hyper for me, and he believed that non-Christians wouldn't get into heaven. I lost touch with him after we parted ways but what happened to him. I suspected he'd moved back down south, where he was from, and had gotten married, maybe had a kid or two. I also wondered if he'd stuck with the jewelry-design career he was beginning to embark on when we broke up. Well, thanks to Facebook I learned he did graduate from jewelry-design school, and five years ago he moved back down south. He does still design jewelry sometimes, but he's also an apprentice electrician, which sounds like a more stable career for him. And, he's engaged! Intriguingly, under political views he listed himself as a Democrat, and under religious views, he put "Open." Sounds like his time in NYC made him a bit more liberal after all.

THEN a few days ago, I got a really interesting message from him. He wrote he wanted to drop a line to clear his soul, as he put it, and he continued, "I have to apologize for being careless or hurtful. I had a wonderful time with you! I am glad that I got to spend what time did with you when we were together! Of course people change and I am glad we can be friends!! This is awesome! Its great to see you traveling lots! I do not get to do that much any more. What with getting a house and married and the like! Any who I will keep in touch. Take it easy!!"

Wasn't that so nice? I certainly never expected it! But the funny part happened after I wrote back thanking him, and asking when his big (wedding) day is. He wrote, "We are shooting for the first or second week in January. I want something unique but she is the traditional one... we will work something out. :) I hope you have a great weekend to! Hope you get to see some more of those wonderful museums up there!!"

I had to laugh when I read that last sentence. When we were dating he could not get through a museum without being completely immature and running around like a 12-year-old! Ha! I guess he really has matured. That's a good thing. :)

July 11, 2009

Why we love who we love

There's a new book out called "Why Him? Why Her? Finding Real Love by Analyzing Your Personality Type," by Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist. Here's a link to an article by Martin Bashir, Rob Wallace and Connie Clark from ABC's "20/20": http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=6734449&page=1 Fisher is apparently the woman behind the questionnaire used by the dating site Chemistry (http://www.chemistry.com/). Based on brain research, she thinks that there are four broad personality types associated with four specific neurotransmitters and hormones: dopamine, serotonin, testosterone and estrogen. According to the article, "Fisher believes we are all some combination of these four types, which she has named the explorer (dopamine), the builder (serotonin), the director (testosterone) and the negotiator (estrogen). Good examples of the risk-taking explorers, Fisher said, would be John F. Kennedy, Ernest Hemingway and Angelina Jolie. Colin Powell, she said, exemplifies the calm, traditional builder. Directors are analytical, tough-minded and decisive, and Fisher believes Bill Gates is a perfect example. Negotiators, on the other hand, are emotionally expressive and empathetic. A good example? Bill Clinton. 'He says, "I feel your pain," Fisher laughed."

She decided to design a questionnaire to try to elicit which of these four types each person is, and see how they matched up through the Chemistry dating site. It turns out that "explorers go for other explorers, and builders go for other builders. But the high testosterone directors go for the high-estrogen negotiators, and vice versa."

The end of the article includes a 3-question quiz. I suspected I'm a negotiator. I got "director" for the first question, "negotiator" for the second question, and very low testosterone for the third question, which is more negotiator-like and very anti-director. The next time I'm at the bookstore, I'll have to look through this book. Or you can go to http://www.whyhimwhyher.com/ to take the complete questionnaire.