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Month: August 2010

The Art of the Come-On

The perfect come-on. It’s the Holy Grail of dating, the enchanted key that unlocks the glorious gates of Eternal, On-Demand Lady Lovin’. Many seek it. Many fail.

“Shoot, I seem to have lost my phone number. Can I have yours?”

“If I could rearrange the alphabet, I’d put U and I together.”

“Did you clean your pants with Windex? Because I can practically see myself in them.”

The notion that a single pick-up line could win a woman’s heart, or even convince her to doff her Hanky Pankies for an exceedingly pleasant 37 minutes, is so far-fetched I’d swear it were a myth. Except that, occasionally, it works.

I was sitting outside a Denny’s recently, waiting for my family to arrive. A couple of young guys were walking in when one stopped and said, “Excuse me?”

I turned, expecting him to say that I’d dropped my car keys. Or forgotten to put on pants. You know, the usual.

“I just want to tell you, I think you’re really pretty,” he said.

And that was it. No creepy alligator smile. No goofy drunk-on-the-dance-floor body language. Just “you’re really pretty,” a shy grin, and he moseyed into the eatery.

Our Kids are Snitches

Running for office requires a hardy hide. Detractors lob accusations as easily as jugglers hurling torches; politicians expect it. But Oklahoma judicial candidate John Mantooth is being pelted by a particularly painful source: his own grown daughter.

Jan Schill (formerly Mantooth) recently took out a newspaper ad that read, “Do Not Vote for My Dad!” on the grounds that he’s “NOT a good father, NOT a good grandfather,” and would make a lousy judge. She launched, linking to legal documents that call his integrity into question and describing a Christmas gift she once received from her pop — a box of chocolates infested with worms and weevils.

Eww. I don’t care if you vote for him, but do not under any circumstances invite this guy to a secret Santa swap.

The candidate claims his daughter is embittered by his ugly decades-gone-by divorce from her mother, which may be true. But it’s hard to ignore the shocking shriek of a child blowing the whistle on her own badly behaving begetter.

Cops heeded just such a shriek last week when a 13-year-old New York girl called 911 from the backseat of her mother’s swerving car to report that mom was driving drunk. The good news: Troopers hauled in the besotted mama before anyone was hurt. The bad: Dinnertime conversation at their house will be awkward for quite some time.

Once Upon Two Mattresses

Standing naked at the bedside, my man and I tear back the covers, anticipating ecstasy. We climb between the sheets and press together, limbs entwined. Our eyes close in mutual euphoria and we fall … rapturously … asleep. (That’s right, pervs. Asleep.)

It’s our cherished nightly ritual: tug comforter up to noses, whisper, “Don’t tell them where we are,” and huddle pod-like ’til morning. Our shared shuteye is a horizontal dance — not a provocative bop but a slumber rhumba. Throughout the night, we flop subconsciously apart and back together, finding ourselves reconnected by morning’s first light: feet stacked, knees overlapping, fingertips resting on shoulders.

So for us, the following news was a rude awakening: Almost a quarter of American couples sleep in separate beds or bedrooms, according to the National Sleep Foundation. And builders claim the demand for separate master suites is on the rise.

I thought his-and-hers bunks were a relic from the I Love Lucy days — and even then, a fake-out to placate easily titillated network execs. Who wants to trot off to dreamland solo when you’ve got a buddy to spoon?

Family Travels

You’ve got a lot of nerve calling this a vacation. I’m chasing sun-punchy children around a murky pool with a spray-can of SPF, wondering how the oldest will survive on his all-Doritos-and-no-sleep diet and why the youngest appears to be missing a shoe. Just one shoe, not both.

I took off work for this. I got a dog-sitter. I’m spending $20 a night just to park my car — the same car that’s strewn with minuscule pegs from the inexplicably explosive Travel Battleship game.

This is not hell. I understand: It’s family travel. It’s togetherness-away-from-home. It’s bonding-over-adventures and, more often, under adventures.

But it ain’t my idea of a vacation.

Where’s the cabana boy I was promised? Where’s the bottomless blended cocktail and crisply pressed sheets? Where’s the blessed silence? The divine stillness? The hallowed, hard-won sloth, for flip-flop’s sake?

Vacations used to be different for my husband and me: isolation, rejuvenation, coconut libations. Our idea of bliss is sitting somewhere sunny, doing less than nothing, and consuming our weight (pre-vacation weight, to be clear) in guacamole.

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