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emmanation

You like me! Of course, you probably don't know me very well.

Archive for March, 2010

A day in the life of my boyfriend

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

You know how on Monday I posted, all whiny like, about how I’m sad that Crockett is in the Bahamas without me even though I was totally invited, and then I said his airplane ticket buying habits would give me an aneurysm if we shared a bank account?

He called me that night, from the Bahamas – to tell me that my shoe budget probably matches his travel budget and that that would give him an aneurysm.

I had no comeback. Cause it’s true.

Then I got to thinking, it must be hard to be my boyfriend. I mean, super super rewarding, cause I’m all adorable and stuff, but hard for two reasons.

1) I have a blog and he doesn’t. When he has a really good point like the one about my shoe budget, he makes it to me. When I have a really good point like the one about his travel budget, I make it to all of you. To get to you, his point has to go through me, and you know I’m going to change it up a little, right? For example, he actually called me on Monday because he’s a sweetie and knew that I would be missing him, and he threw that budget thing in there as an afterthought. A snarky afterthought.

2) He made the mistake of giving me his IM address waaaaay back when we started dating. Now, when he walks away from his computer, this is what he comes back to.

can you have fewer friends?
it’s really hard for me to keep them all straight
or could they possibly have weirder hair?
that would help me remember

wanna go fourwheeling at lunch?

ha
I just printed out a presentation where instead of Product I’d written Broduct
sounds like Barney Simpson

aww
puppies
I luv puppies

can you please give me an example of something that you have understood that i haven’t?
something intellectual?
one of those quark things maybe?
come on
haven’t there been times in your kitchen
where you’re trying to explain physics to me
and i’m looking at you like you’re speaking dingbats?

I just realized I’m O+
because O- is the universal donor
and I’m pretty sure somebody would have told me if I was a universal donor

hey, we’re having Stars party at your house
ok?

This is good stuff, right? But this is truly the kind of thing that happens EVERY TIME he walks away from his computer. And then, when he starts asking for details about the party, I say “dude, don’t you even care that I’m a universal recipient? Think about how much safer that makes me!”. Then, when he says “yes, Em, that’s gre…” I interrupt him to say “don’t you love puppies too?” and so on and so forth.

There you go. That’s what it’s like dating me – you spend your life bombarded by mostly nonsensical IMs and you are always wrong because the internet is on my side.

I wish he was here so I could give him a big old hug.

Do I have ‘erotic capital’?

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

A few days ago, Catherine Hakim published an article in the UK online magazine Prospect called ‘Have You got Erotic Capital?’

Erotic capital, according to Ms. Hakim, is:

…a nebulous but crucial combination of physical and social attractiveness. Properly understood, erotic capital is what economists call a “personal asset,” ready to take its place alongside economic, cultural, human and social capital. It is just (if not more) as important for social mobility and success.

Erotic capital goes beyond beauty to include sex appeal, charm and social skills, physical fitness and liveliness, sexual competence and skills in self-presentation, such as face-painting, hairstyles, clothing and all the other arts of self-adornment.

Ok- beauty, sex appeal, charm, fitness, good in bedness, and good at making yourself fancy.

My interpretation of what she’s saying is that if you’re the kind of people that others find attractive as an entire person, you have erotic capital. And that’s a good thing. So for, I’m with her – I particularly like that being straight up gorgeous isn’t a prerequisite (not for me, obviously, because I am all goddessy even when I climb out of bed, but for everyone else).

…women have long excelled at such arts: that’s why they tend to be more dressed up than men at parties. They make more effort to develop the “soft skills” of charm, empathy, persuasion, deploying emotional intelligence and “emotional labour.” Indeed, the final element of erotic capital is unique to women: bearing children. In some cultures, fertility is an essential element of women’s erotic power.

While she opened the article by listing Barack Obama and David Beckham as individuals with erotic capital, she’s certainly starting to skew towards those of us with girl parts. The “soft skills” (because charm and persuasion are “skills”, whereas woodworking and fencing are just plain skills?) she mentions are all things that have traditionally been perceived as feminine traits – and that’s before she throws in the babymaking.

Anything else, Ms. Hakim?

World Health Organisation research shows that humans see sexual activity as essential to quality of life—but men still rank sex as more important than women. Indeed, rocketing global demand for sexual activity of all kinds (including commercial sex, autoeroticism and erotic entertainments) has been far more pronounced among men than women. Sex tourism is essentially a male hobby, while erotic magazines for women often fail.

This creates an effect that should be familiar to any economist: the laws of supply and demand raise the value of women’s erotic capital, in particular their beauty, sex appeal and sexual competence. … it should not surprise us that some women do use sex, and their erotic capital more generally, to get what they want.

I really wanted to like this article. I find the way I’m treated on any given day is influenced by my attitude as well as my appearance, and I wanted her to give me a framework for the balance between those two things. I wanted to hear how men and women use their erotic capital differently with each other and in different types of situations – professional vs. romantic, for example. I wanted to know how the “soft skills” she mentions vary for men and women – empathy isn’t traditionally a valued male trait, for example, so I would be interested to hear if it did in fact increase mens ‘erotic capital’.

Instead, I got a longish article about the fact that how you look is important if you’re a woman. If you’re pretty, you don’t need to be as smart and people will still want to be around you. If you’re not pretty, you can distract people by being charming, persuasive, and good in bed. Either way, consider using sex as a bargaining chip, ladies – men like it more than we do. If you don’t want to waste space by typing out all of those traits and “skills” separately, refer to the combination as ‘erotic capital’. The more of those things you have, the more people will want to hang out with you. People wanting to hang out with you is good, because it means you will have more friends, more prospective lovers, and be more likely to get and keep jobs.

I don’t think she’s wrong about the things that she says – I just think it’s more of the same thing we read and hear everywhere. Please, someone show me a way that women can build capital that involves neither hair nor vaginas? Please?

I want to ride my bicycle

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Yesterday, in my severely belated Sunday Talky, I mentioned that Crockett is in the Bahamas without me.

Two points:

1) I have actually started calling him Crockett in real life. If you’re my facebook friend, you know his real name, and yet yesterday I posted an update using the name Crockett.

2) You might be saying to yourself – ‘self, wasn’t he JUST gone? Doesn’t he love her at ALL?’

To clear things up, I was invited along. It first came up about three weeks ago, but because of his International Man of Mystery status, Crockett had some passport issues that he had to check on… and then he couldn’t decide if it would be fun… and then I mentioned that since next year I’ll be a poor grad student if I did go it would probably have to replace one of the other vacations we’re planning… and then we decided not to go.

And then last Wednesday (SNOW DAY WHOO HOO) he looked up from his computer and said ‘I just bought a ticket to the Bahamas’.

So. There you go. I was invited, I declined, and he decided to go.

Since we don’t share a bank account (thank god, because his penchant for buying last minute airline tickets would give me an aneurysm in about two seconds flat), I said ‘good! You’ll have fun!’

And now, of course, I’m a little pissed. For no good reason. It’s just that HE’S IN THE BAHAMAS WITHOUT ME.

Sad face.

belated sunday talky

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

mambo italiano

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Let’s pretend we’re having a real conversation instead of the kind we normally have where I talk a bunch and sometimes you comment and sometimes you just send me happy thoughts, ok?

I’ll do your part though, since it’s a conversation I’ve had a lot of times and I can pretty much predict what you’re going to say.

You: Emma, have you seen The Hurt Locker/Crash/The Curious Case of Benjamin Button?
Me: Nope.
You: Oh, you totally have to! It’s so good!!
Me: Not going to happen.
You:…. because you hate things that are good?
Me: Yes. But also because I hate movies where bad and sad things happen.
You: But you love horror movies?
Me: Obviously.
You: Ah ha! I have found the flaw in your usually impeccable logic!
Me: Oh, really? What’s that?
You: Bad things happen in horror movies ALL THE TIME. Horror movies are just basically an excuse to put bad things on film! And yet you enjoy them! So you enjoy seeing bad things happen in movies!
Me: Were all of those exclamation points really necessary, you?
You: Yes.
Me: Really long explanation about how horror movies are an affirmation of the human will to survive and blah blah blah they are full of strong women etc etc.  I’ve written about the strong women part before.
You: If I tell you I understand, will you shut up?
Me: On this topic or in general?
You: This topic.
Me: Yep.
You: I understand. It makes perfect sense. Also, have I mentioned how pretty you look  today?
Me: Several times, but I never tire of hearing it.

Let this be a lesson to you. STOP ASKING. I love horror movies. You know who the good guys are, who the bad guys are, and who you can probably pin your heart to without risking it getting broken. I will watch them if I want. And I’m not going to watch your depressing flick about post-war something something. BUT (unless you’re Crockett), I won’t make you watch my movies either. Deal?