Relationships help pass the time by trapping you in arguments about things that don't matter.

That asteroid functions as at least three different metaphors.

Just The Facts

  1. Relationship advice usually reveals a lot more about the person dispensing it than about the relationship.
  2. The #2 source for relationship advice is friends trying to break you up for their own purposes.
  3. Most relationship advice makes things much worse.
  4. That said, here is some relationship advice.

Dating, Relating and Fornicating

Modern dating involves other people telling us how to think (self-loathingly), what to do (remove body hair) and when to have sex without shame (Tuesday).

Historically, women haven't had much choice in relationships. If your father didn't trade you for a cow, you applied for your withered maid license. When Papa died of Labours & Toils Disease, he left you a horsehair blanket and a large debt to the oppressive Lord Miseryshire. Your best hope was that this cruel noble would himself die, leaving his estate to a dashing son returned from the Indies to claim his due in heaving bosom.

For a woman to survive, she needed a sharp tongue and sharper wits to hide it. The fairer sex became master manipulators just to land a station in life where they weren't beaten for letting the spinning wheel overheat. A few won their freedom in bloody kickboxing battles, but didn't date much thereafter.

Jane Eyre is Clint Howard
Jane Eyre dared argue that ugly women could marry, if the man was useless to society.

By the Victorian era, women were considered too frail for anything hardier than gossiping, fainting or prostitution. Since giving birth would have exploded them into a shimmering red mist, women ordered their babies from the Pumblechook & Figg catalog.

Victorian boxer
Behold the Victorian man!
He bends barrel hoops, kills all his own food
and has never seen a nude woman.

What changed? VAMPIRES. The Austro-Hungarian undead seduced an estimated 16 percent of English womanhood. The nearly lost art of sex once again became a way to pass time before dying. Victorian men emerged furious from the coke mines, and swore to avenge this outrage, even if it meant sleeping with their wives.

Twilight blah blah
The real reason for World War I, as well as the English complexion.

The gendercide was over - but the war was just begun. As women asserted their rights and the dream of choosing their own spouse grew less ridiculous, society found new and slyer ways of dashing their hopes...

Frustrating and Mating

Once allowed outside, women easily won the battle of the sexes, thanks to superior intelligence and unflappable insanity. Millions of men lost their lifestyles in tragically happy marriages to innocent-eyed beauties. Katherine Hepburn alone was responsible for no fewer than three dozen screwball comedies.

The secret to womankind's success was the pools of knowledge found in magazines like Cosmopolitan, Truck-Driver for Her and Gody's Ladies' Handbook of Recipes & Cunning Entrapment.

Gody's Ladies' Handbook dared to acknowledge the existence of the female period.
Gody's Ladies' Handbook also confirmed the existence of the female period to great controversy.

Among the early findings:

  • That men seldom say what they're thinking
  • That men are thinking exactly what they say
  • That men enjoy sex
  • That women might not go to hell for enjoying sex

Today these magazines forsake sound advice to play keep-away with women's self-esteem. These Iagos of print foster insecurity, nurturing hope only when it inspires greater fear. Hey, publishers! If women wanted someone to chip away at their confidence with outrageous flattery followed by vicious backstabbing, they'd have lunch with their best friends.

Just because magazines are 85 percent advertising doesn't mean they need to keep their readership unhappy and eager for products to fill their empty lives. Oh wait, yes it does. Those ad fuckers think The Feminine Mystique is a how-to manual.

This used to pass for legitimate editorial opinion.

Self-hating and Berating

Consider the erroneous advice on the cover of a contemporary women's magazine.

Christina Hendricks, you're the ginchiest. This is not a Cosmopolitan Cosmo cover, it's Overanalyzing.
But you probably didn't notice the text

Notice how the magazine pays homage to the bullshit of the past while relentlessly kidney-punching it. Clearly, the modern woman is ready to go, even if she crushes your pubic bone into powder getting there.

Yet for every nugget of anecdotal wisdom about how to please your man and hate your body, the magazine contradicts itself. This is based on the Sex & the City rule, which states that women want essentially everything men want, but feel guilty about it, or at least feel guilty about not feeling guilty about it. Unfortunately, Sex & the City itself is seen as a reasonable front for relationship wisdom these days. It's still 2001, right?

Which Sex & the City character are you? It doesn't matter, they're all shallow Manhattan elitists. Honestly, when in your life would you heed the wisdom of a woman dressed as a giant flower?

Sex & the City is catnip for morons
Catnip for workaholics.

So how to enjoy oneself on a date and adhere to the rigid dictates of strangers? Here's a tip! Ignore some common rules plucked from today's checkout aisle:

  • If you get a guy's number, wait three days to call so he wonders who you're sleeping with over the weekend. This counts as fantasizing about you.
  • A man won't respect you if you have sex on the first date, unless it's with him.
  • You look terrible. Have a friend Photoshop you before a date.
  • Love yourself for who you are, says a magazine that has never had a size 10 cover model.
  • You should never let a man pressure you into sex, unless he paid for dinner and a movie, because, come on, that's like $75.
  • Trust is the foundation of a healthy relationship. Hire a private investigator to dig up your boyfriend's secrets so you know how exactly what kind of bastard you're dating.
  • When having an affair with a married man, it is polite to wait at least six months for him to leave his wife before you "accidentally" get pregnant.
  • Dumped? Wow, there must be something wrong with you. Figure out what before you waste anyone else's time, you goddamn train wreck.

Fortunately, the relationship advice these sources dispense is so terrible that within three generations anyone who heeded it failed to reproduce. Modern women know dating is more fun when you're sane, and these publications are dying off faster than the cast of Golden Girls. The long, hard battle for equality is nearly won, and in some states, it's even legal for a woman to ask a man out! However, it should be noted that God has natural disasters planned for each of these states. Enjoy your plague of locusts, Sinsylvania!

So it's obvious women enjoy sex, and possibly cities. Does that mean men want children? Here's a popular "lads' mag," a seething furnace of impotent rage hissing with a steamy need for validation.

Maxim? No, Macho. Kim Kardashian naked could end war by selling world peace.
There's also Entourage, but the less said about that, the better.

Men's publications are breeding a new caste of helpless, self-obsessed neurotics, just like women's mags did before their readership evolved an immunity to it. GQ and Spy once dispensed useful information like how to knot a bow tie without strangling yourself, how to autoerotically asphyxiate without strangling yourself, and how to repair a car without strangling yourself. Today, Men's Health and Maxim fret over traditional women's concerns, like abdominal fitness and finding the clitoris.

True story: The three licensed Maxim products are hair dye, bed sheets and sweaters for kitty-cats. Ladies, you must treat such a man like you would a Victorian woman; use your hard-won independence to shield him from the world. Meanwhile, enjoy the equality waiting on the horizon.

A planet where men evolved from women?
You won't like what you find, ladies!

Poor femininity! All this time we were trying to save you from discovering the bitter truth! But you wouldn't turn back! Now having finally balanced career and family, you've learned both should be avoided.

Follow man's example, you mistresses of the Earth--guzzle beer, hunt gothic monsters and conquer the Indian sub-continent. For these are the only comforts left, and you've earned them.

Brendan McGinley knows a healthy relationship is built on trust and the willingness to don a PVC bodysuit.