People will often tell you that a good marriage comprises selflessness, compromise, and patience, but those people are probably embroiled in what marriage counselor Pamela Haag calls a "mediocre marriage." Her solution: Counseling? Date night? Nah, just rename the behavior of single people so that it sounds like a marital compromise. It's all in the article on CNN.com entitled, Options for your Mediocre Marriage (full link below).
For example, she suggests struggling couples employ the following "stick-together" techniques:
1. Marital Sabbatical
Joe's Paraphrase: Abandon the marriage for 3 months (or until the rapture hits) while still retaining your eligibility for Wife Swap.
2. Divorce Cohabitation
Joe's Paraphrase: Enjoy the perks of divorce (e.g., crippling shame, depression) while maintaining a residence with the person whom you've fallen out of love. Check out the new twist on "date night" -- you each go out on dates with other people.
3. Practice "new monogamy"
Joe's Take: Basically, sleep with whomever you wish -- it's an open marriage. "Date night" can get even more complicated.
I think these are great ideas for turning your mediocre marriage into a spectacular divorce/suicide pact; however, I admire Dr. Haag's positive spin on such horrible ideas. I would love to see her rebranding of other horrible things. Luckily, she sent me a list.
Her suggestions are in parentheses:
1. Holocaust/ethnic cleansing (Laundry day)
2. Apartheid (Org chart)
3. Slavery (Unpaid internship)
4. Suicide (A "me" day)
5. Rape (Successful distributive negotiation)
That's pretty offensive, Pamela.
Full link here: http://www.cnn.com/2011/LIVING/06/02/marriage.with.issues/index.html
Thor - 1 out of 7 Golden Slacks
Synopsis(from imdb.com):The powerful but arrogant warrior Thor is cast out of the fantastic realm of Asgard and sent to live amongst humans on Earth, where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders.
Joe's Take: Most of the time when people illegally enter the country, they don't save us from epic interplanetary battles; they merely draw the ire of Bill O'Reilly. Thor apparently comes from a species who can conjure up magic and otherwordly powers yet who seem to exist in a primitive time where twitter and yelp.com aren't available. This is essentially a battle between good and evil waged by a warrior who is handsome and capable -- it's a wish-fulfillment fantasy for fat nerds who read comic books while other guys (who ironically look like Thor) steal their lunch money and girlfriends.
Unexpected Scene: In another unwise cross-promotional move with CBS, Thor takes a break from interplanetary war to be a contestant on The Price is Right and after overbidding on a toaster, murders half of the audience.
The Beaver - 8 out of 7 Golden Slacks
Synopsis(from imdb.com): A troubled husband and executive adopts a beaver hand-puppet as his sole means of communicating.
Joe's Take: Some things in life are better left unseen. One of them is the meeting during which the idea for this screenplay was pitched. How this was made into a feature film falls into a box of unexplained phenomena with the Bermuda Triangle or Rosie O'Donnell's career (despite my complaint letters to God).
This movie strains credulity. Gibson, a successful executive and father, stumbles into a deep depression for reasons unexplained (perhaps he just saw Something Borrowed), and turns to a beaver puppet for therapy. If you were to go work with a beaver puppet on your hand, you would not be heralded as a genius; you would be robbed and pushed onto the sidewalk. Rather than continue trashing the film, I've made a list of ways to effectively use a puppet beaver in your own life.
1. Become a proctologist. Use the puppet for examinations.
2. Videotape the previous point and send it to Jeff Dunham.
Unexpected Scene: After losing the beaver in a high stakes poker game, Gibson's character uses a live scorpion (or dead baby, if available) to dole out therapy (and bite unsuspecting passersby).
Something Borrowed -- -90 out of 7 Golden Slacks
Synopsis(from imdb.com): Friendships are tested and secrets come to the surface when terminally single Rachel falls for Dex, her best friend Darcy's fiancé.
Joe's Take: This is dark material. For some reason, romantic comedies have conditioned us to find a situation heartwarming even if our reaction to something similar in real life would lead to alcoholism, depression and beaver-talking therapy. I want you to put down your Lady Gaga CD and imagine your wedding day. Then, I want you to imagine that your best friend and fiance revealed their love for each other. According to the movie, you would be mildly upset. Then, after seeing it from their point of view (they're such a great-looking couple!), you would be the first to champion this new-found love. A similar thing happened to a friend of mine, and he put on 50 pounds, lost his job, and narrowed his eyes at all women (even -- and especially -- cartoon characters on television). It makes you wonder how the director and writers would handle the Holocaust.
Unexpected scene: When Kate Hudson learns of the cheating, she throws battery acid into her best friend's face, blinding her for life. She says, "Now I see who you really are. And you can never see again!"
Have you ever used a public bench and thought to yourself: "This is too comfortable." If so, then you should move to Philadelphia. At SEPTA stations you'll find a bench specifically designed by the people at Veyko to be "resistant to damage and vandalism." Below is a sample of the bench.
Apparently the strategy for reducing vandalism and damage is to make a bench so uncomfortable, no one will actually use it. Unfortunately, the city has contracted Veyko to give other public mainstays their "vandalism-proof" treatment. I have a list of the proposed changes. Take a look.
Costly institution: Public Park
Veyko Solution: Install Nooses.
Costly Institution: Public Drinking Fountain
Veyko Solution: Random boxing gloves to the groin.
Costly Institution: Public Pay Phone
Veyko Solution: Phone automatically dials Meryl Streep who talks about the craft of acting in between songs from the hit musical and motion picture Mamma Mia!
Costly Institution: Public Fire Department
Veyko Solution: Replace fire crew with the cast of Tyler Perry's House of Payne. Even if people have legitimate fires, they will be hesitant to invite the clan into their homes.
Costly Institution: NPR
Veyko Solution: None. It's too important to tear down.
Just kidding. The House of Representatives came up with the real solution: they voted to kill its federal funding. Thanks anyway, Veyko.