Dear Lucky Agent Contest

Here’s a link to a writing contest for anyone who’s interested!

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Team Edward or Team Andy?

My husband is jealous of Edward Cullen—the vampire in the Twilight series that falls desperately in love with Bella, who is noteworthy for her extreme mediocrity.

His jealousy is justified.  Edward is, like, so hot.

During sex, Edward is so passionate that he breaks the bed.  My husband says that’s nothing—Andy claims that he could easily break the bed during sex too, but it’s impractical.  Who wants to buy a new bed multiple times a day?  (Multiple times a day!  Ha!  Who’s he kidding?)  But he misses a crucial point.  Edward can’t not break the bed during sex.

Andy says that’s probably because Bella gets her furniture from Ikea.

Edward is also rich.  No, richer than you’re thinking—definitely rich enough to replace the bed as many times as is necessary.  His family owns a private island, and he takes Bella there for their honeymoon.  He owns multiple sports cars, lives in a large mansion, and never has to work.  The downside is that, since he became immortal while still a teenager, he spends eternity attending various high schools around the country.  I guess there are only so many experiments you can do with a Bunsen burner before it gets old.

My husband protests Edward’s immortality.  There’s no such thing, he argues.  Legend (though not Stephenie Meyer) says that vampires can only be killed by a stake through the heart, a silver bullet, or decapitation.  But my husband the naysayer asks, “What about being hit by a bus?  That wouldn’t do it?  Or if a nuclear bomb detonated in his hands, the entire surrounding area would be decimated, but Edward would be okay?”  Andy is still sore about our fully in tact bed, clearly.

 According to Stephenie Meyer, though, the world’s current leading expert on vampires, Edward can be killed.  It’s just really, really hard.  For instance, a werewolf could rip him to shreds—but, since only Native Americans have the ability to morph into werewolves, as long as Edward checks the ethnicity breakdown before moving to a new city, he should be fine for several more centuries.

There is one thing that stops me from trading Andy in for Edward.  Aside from being a fictional character, Edward is over a hundred-years-old, and it creeps me out a little bit that he seduces a girl at his local high school.  It makes him seem like a rich, dirty old man, like Hugh Heffner.  Except that Edward has a lot of romantic one liners, and he continually saves Bella from the shocking abundance of supernatural creatures that reside in her small town, so I try to forget about it and forgive him.

Edward also claims he’s a virgin—even though he was born in 1901 and, as a vampire, he is stunning and irresistible to all women.  He says that when he was born, gentlemen waited until marriage.  I know.  It sounds like a line.  One that you would feed to your high school girlfriend that you’re trying to get in the sack.  I forgive him, though, because, at least in the movies, he wears more foundation and lip gloss than I typically do, so maybe it has been a few decades since he’s gotten any, and he’s hard up. 

My husband also objects to Edward because Edward is dangerous, and it maddens my husband that women really think that’s sexy (and it is).  What is sexy, Andy asks, about a creature that either wants to violently murder you and bury the evidence or playfully whisper romantic nothings into your ear?  And I would totally agree, except that the romantic nothings Edward whispers are pretty swoon-worthy.  I’m not the only woman who thinks so.  Teenage girls everywhere wish that their blood would be perfectly tinted to arouse a supernatural creature to either want to kill them or take them to prom.

Edward also watches Bella sleep.  My husband says that’s creepy.  And it is.  Completely.  Except when Edward does it.  Women have always known that an obsessive stalker they don’t like is an obsessive stalker, but a sexy, obsessive stalker is totally romantic.  And when he’s not wearing lipstick and cover up, Edward is sexy.

I guess, to my husband, Edward is a creepy old man who preys upon a young high school girl—a sort of psycho who wants to either kill his young mistress or have sex with her—all while wearing a foundation that makes his skin look unnaturally even and blemish-free.  And I guess Andy’s right in his description.  But score one for Stephenie Meyer—because, against all odds, she made every girl in America find that creepy old man deliciously sexy.

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Lying to Friends

Here’s a scenario various friends have asked me about in one form or another:

Jane’s friend is having a party, but Jane doesn’t want to go, so she doesn’t.  When her friend asks about it later, Jane replies honestly, “Oh, yeah, I just didn’t want to go.”

Should she have lied and made up an excuse for her absence, or was honesty best?

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My Celebrity Connections

I’m going to vary this blog a little to any random musing.  Here’s my first random musing:

My sister’s name is Whitney, so, understandably, Whitney Houston’s death has been hard for her—because that was her celebrity name twin, and everyone needs a celebrity name twin.  Parents who don’t think about this when naming their children are just irresponsible, really.  I’d certainly be sad if Kirsten Dunst died prematurely, despite her inability to spell her name correctly.  (And why does she spell it wrong, especially since with great power comes great responsibility?)

What makes it worse is that Whitney Houston’s death was so preventable.  If only she hadn’t met that awful Bobby Brown.  He sucked her in during a moment of vulnerability when all she wanted to do was feel the heat with somebody, with somebody who loved her.  What is my sister supposed to do now?  She’ll have to fall back on Eli Whitney, inventor of the cotton gin.  And who cares about him now?  He certainly couldn’t have been as profound as the person who taught us that learning to love ourselves is the greatest love of all.  I actually don’t mean to make light of Whitney Houston’s death—or Eli Whitney’s, however he might have died (which does prove my point, though—who even knows how he died?  Sorry Eli.)

Some people don’t have a celebrity name twin (because their parents are ridiculously unhip), but they do look like a celebrity.  I met a woman a few weeks ago that looked just like Meg Ryan.  I was nervous to bring up the comparison because I knew everyone probably tells her that, and when I mentioned it, she laughed and said three minutes ago someone had said the same thing to her.  I asked her if it bothered her when Meg Ryan abandoned her good girl image to run lustfully after Russell Crowe, but she said she was fine with it.  And I guess most women who saw Russell Crowe running around in that short skirt in Gladiator understood.

A handful of people have told me I look like Hilary Swank.  I don’t see the resemblance, but I’ve heard it enough times that I’ve thought about it.  This is going to sound awful, but pretty much all celebrities are absolutely gorgeous, so if someone says you look like one, it’s exciting.  Wow!  I’m gorgeous.  But Hilary Swank—she’s just okay.  I mean, she’s pretty enough, but she’s just not celebrity gorgeous.  I have a friend who calls her the BART lady because he says she just looks like any lady you’d see on BART.  And this is vain, but if I’m going to be told I look like a celebrity—even if it’s one I don’t particularly look like—I want it to be one of the gorgeous ones, not the BART lady.

Plus, after her Academy Award for Million Dollar Baby, what has she really done?  It’s been years since she’s been in a big movie, so what’s the point of a celebrity twin if she’s out of the spotlight for years?  It’s a little inconsiderate of her—unless it’s not her fault.  Maybe she hasn’t been in a blockbuster lately because it’s hard for women to make it in Hollywood unless they’re stunning.  So that just proves that even if an actress is talented enough to win Academy Awards, she still can’t land movie roles if she’s the BART lady.  All Swank’s really done for me is show me that I’d fail at my hypothetical movie career.  I mean thanks a lot, Hilary.

I forgive Hilary, though, because I still have Kirsten Dunst as my celebrity name twin.  She’s made me proud with Bring It On, which has spawned four sequels about the racial trials faced by white, blond cheerleaders today.  It’s an important issue that was begging for media attention, but Kirsten’s really brought it the coverage it’s needed—which just goes to show that with great power comes great responsibility.

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If your friend or family member asks if you like her partner, and you don’t, do you tell the truth or lie?  (I’m not talking about partners who are abusive or anything dire–just someone you happen not to like.)

Here’s an example that happened to me: John asked Mary if she liked his girlfriend, and Mary said no…and then John married his girlfriend anyway.  Knowing that people generally marry the people they want to marry and ignore advice of this kind, should Mary have lied, or was she right to tell the truth?

Thanks for your thoughts!

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Park Fee

Here’s my first question: If you’re at a park that charges a twenty dollar admittance fee for children under the age of five, and your child is five, do you fess up and pay the fee?  Or do you lie and say your child is four?

Does your answer change if the park charges a fifty dollar admittance fee?  Or if your child is six or seven instead of five?  Or if your child knows you’re lying?

No wrong answers!  I’m happy to see anyone’s thoughts!

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What this blog’s about…

I wrote a book called Honesty: Not the Best Policy, which argues that the world would be a more compassionate place if, at least in certain circumstances, people lied more.  Whenever I told people about my book’s premise, whether they agreed with me or not, interesting discussions ensued.  It made me realize that this is a subject people like to talk about.

I’ll post situations and ask whether you’d lie or tell the truth.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Oh, and a shameless plug for my book…If you want to check it out, it’s available as an ebook for a dollar.

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