Monday, March 24, 2008

Maneorexia, Maybe?

My friend McConnell recently met a guy and they had a great marathon Sunday date.

They went out for brunch, then back to his place to listen to music, then out to a movie.

At the end of the day (and an overall couple days of craziness), McConnell was blissfully ready to go home and do nothing at all – maybe scarf down some more junk food and call it a weekend.

Meanwhile, the Great Date left McConnell to do what he had to do – go to the gym.


McConnell, who likes to work out five times a week herself, couldn’t believe what she was hearing. How could it be that there was a guy more fitness conscious than she was?

She flashed back to the meal they had earlier that morning.

He definitely talked about having a workout regimen. He ordered a Diet Coke.

By the time she and I were talking about it the next day, we realized that this guy fits a pattern we’ve been noticing in guys recently. Guys who are more body conscious than we are.

Manoerexics, as they say.

Other notable examples:

  • My brother is currently on the Atkins diet. While I totally support him and think it’s a good decision for him to get back to a healthy weight, it’s kinda nuts to see him obsessing over every meal. He and my cousin at Purdue (who he talked into doing the protein diet with him) call each other to talk about what they’re eating.

  • A co-worker refuses to eat cookies when I bring them into the office. He lost weight and now avoids all sweets so as to keep it off.

I guess it should not be shocking to realize that men, too, care about their bodies and staying in shape. But it just feels like lately, there are men out there who care more than WE do.

And in this world of obsessive women who tape pictures of abs onto their mirrors for inspiration, that’s pretty amazing, if not scary.

I wonder when this Manoerexic movement started.

McConnell and I think we’ve only noticed guys sounding this way the past year or so.

Is it something to do with Hollywood and the way famous men are super skinny these days, too?

Or has it always been this way, and we’re just now starting to notice?

On the one hand, I have to say it’s kind of endearing that there are men out there who are feeling some of the irrational body image insecurity that women feel.

It’s like hearing about a guy getting PMS or something. Part of me feels like, oh thank GOD they see how awful it is to feel icky for no reason at all.

But on the flip side, there’s something sad to me about men now getting into the body image craziness. I mean, most of the time, I feel like men are voices of reason when it comes to all this.

The ones who are like, “You look great. Guys don't like waif-thin women, anyway.” The ones who down cheeseburgers and REGULAR cokes without remorse.

I hope that the recent examples McConnell and I noticed are just coincidence and not indicative of how everybody hates their bodies these days.

Because if men are going to be Maneorexics, I can't imagine what that's going to do for women already dying to be thin.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

It Could Happen to Me

So the other day, one of my favorite chick flicks – “It Could Happen to You” was on TV.

If you don’t know the plot, it’s a totally implausible story about a NYC cop (Nicholas Cage) who feels so badly about not having enough money to tip his coffee shop waitress (Bridget Fonda), he makes her a silly promise.

He shows her a lottery ticket and swears that if he wins, he’ll come back and split the jackpot with her.

She laughs, then continues on with her broke, unhappy life, until the miracle happens. The cop does win the lottery and they do split the jackpot and they fall in love. Add a few dramatic complications from the cop’s wife for Hollywood effect, and you get a whole movie about how money isn’t everything and how important it is in this world to be kind to strangers.

My friends tease me, say the movie is hokey and that the cop was crazy to fork over that cash, and that in the real world people would never do that.

They’re probably right, but I love the movie anyway.

So the other day, I finished watching “It Could Happen to You” for the umpteenth time (although it’s been several years since my last viewing), then took my tear-streaked face to the grocery store.

I paid for my groceries, then got back into my car. Just as I started to pull out of my parking space, a man approached my window.

Man: Excuse me, m’am. I’m really, really sorry to bother you. But my girlfriend and I are kind of in trouble, and she said to approach you because you look nice. I’m really, really sorry to bother you.

Me: (nervous, this is downtown Chicago, after all) What’s up?

Man: I can give you my ID, you can hold it, or I can write down my name and address. We’re trying to get somewhere, but there’s something wrong with my car, and I’m short of $7.00 on my balance on my Shell card. (he repeats) I’ll write down my address. You just look nice and I’ve already approached three people and they’ve been really mad, but I can write down my name and address.

Me: I’m not sure what you’re asking for. So you need $7?

Man: Yeah. Please don’t be mad.

Me: (knowing I only have 20s in my wallet because I went to the ATM in the grocery store) Well, I don’t have 7, but I can break a bill. Why don’t you meet me at that ice cream shop over there and I’ll drive over and ask them to break it.

Man: That’s great. Thanks so much.

As I drove over to the ice cream store, it started to occur to me that the guy’s story about the Shell card didn’t really make any sense. And it didn’t really make any sense that he was willing to write his address down for me. What was he purporting I do – send him a bill?

When we got into the store, even the ice cream shop man raised an eyebrow at our story.

Me: Can you please break this $20 for me?

Ice Cream Man: What are you trying to do?

Me: I just met this guy outside and he’s stranded and needs $7, but all I have is this $20.

The Ice Cream man gave me a look that said, “sucka!” but opened the register and broke the bill.

Me: (turning to the man to prove himself) Where is your car and your girlfriend?

Man: They’re right outside in that silver car over there.

(He pointed outside but I saw no silver car and no girlfriend waiting).

I handed over the $7 and the guy thanked me again, and we went our separate ways.

A few hours later at a party, I told some friends about what happened to me.

“You just bought that man’s next bottle of Jack Daniels,” they joked.

Hmph. They’re probably right.

But I’m glad I did it anyway.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Johnny Depp at the ICC

For those of you in Milwaukee, here's your chance to be in a movie with the Pirate himself. If I still lived in town, I would SO go check it out!

My friend Lynn found this on Channel 3000 Madison's website:

MILWAUKEE -- Johnny Depp fans around Wisconsin will get a chance to be in a movie with the movie star.

The Hollywood heartthrob's new movie "Public Enemies" is being shot in Wisconsin beginning in the middle of March.

They need extras for the movie.

Producers will hold auditions Friday night from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee.

Men should be no taller than 6-foot-1 and wear a dark suit and overcoat.

Women should be no taller than 5 feet 8 and wear a dark dress and overcoat.

People should also bring a recent color picture of themselves.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


I have a feeling I’m going to get in trouble here.

But bear with me – it’s the last stretch of winter. Everybody’s grumpy.

So I was talking with my friend Marie the other day and we were lamenting the way it seems everywhere we look, there are mis-matched couples.

As in:

really cute guy + really not cute girl =holding hands walking down the street.

I know, I know. It’s a terrible observation to make.

But it's hard not to notice.

Believe me -- I’m usually the girl who gets dogged by my guy friends for arguing that every girl is pretty.

I do think, generally speaking, it’s hard to be unattractive as a woman because we have so many tools at our disposal.


Great hair

Cute clothes

Beautiful smiles and great personality (most important, obviously)

It's just that historically, the mis-matches have tended to go in the other direction.

Think: Julia Roberts + Lyle Lovett; Hugh Hefner + any of the girls at the mansion; Katherine Heigl + Seth Rogan in “Knocked Up” (yes, that was a movie, but the casting still demonstrates the trend).

Admittedly, at first blush, this observation came from a caddy place all women go to when they’re grumpy and it’s been snowing for months and it’s freakin cold outside for the gazillionth day in a row.

No fair. Why does she get that guy and not me?

But the conversation quickly moved on to a much happier place.

Could it be that guys are learning to appreciate women for more than just what the eyes can see?

Maybe the tall, dark and handsome men out there are realizing that you can’t judge a woman by her broken out skin, a few extra pounds on her hips, or her roots growing out obnoxiously.

Maybe those fancily dressed guys have HDTVs at home that have helped them to understand that even Jessica Simpson needs Proactiv, Jennifer Love Hewitt isn’t always stick thin and even J.Lo herself skips highlighting appointments occasionally.

So don't be mad at me for pointing out the mismatch. You have to admit it's hard to stay sweet during this stretch of March.

And the way I see it, from this grumpy beginning comes two happy conclusions.

1) Maybe men can and have evolved to be not so superficial when it comes to appearance.


2) At least superficial women can evolve their evil thought process to get back on the side of their ladies.