Here’s Amy’s take on the “plight” of Inez Sainz, the self proclaimed “Hottest Sports Reporter in Mexico.”
Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
In this week’s Bintel Brief we tackle tact… Let’s see how we do!
Dear Bintel Brief,
My single, adult daughter is about 40 pounds overweight. I really want her to lose weight — primarily for health reasons, but also for more superficial reasons. I raised her and her siblings to believe that it’s what’s on the inside that matters, and I really do believe that. However, I also believe that losing weight would boost my daughter’s self-esteem, and make her more inclined to socialize and, yes, to date. (I’m a Jewish mother, after all!) Whenever I’ve brought up subject of losing weight, however gently (in the past, I’ve offered to pay for a nutritionist or a trainer or a therapist), she’s accused me of being ashamed of her. I’m not ashamed of her, at all; in fact, I’m very proud of her academic accomplishments and altruistic nature. So how should I go about encouraging healthy behaviors, without offending her or damaging our relationship? Thank you.
WALKING ON EGGSHELLS
The love of a mother (and particularly a Jewish mother!) is so strong that when her daughter eats too many potato chips, it is her own stomach that hurts. Indeed, you feel her suffering, so when her weight affects other aspects of her life — like her ability to attract a significant other — you suffer with her. But before you make another offer that she will reject, as she has rejected all of your other past offers, think of this from her perspective.
No one is more aware of her weight issues than she; it is she who walks around in her body all day. She sees models on TV; she sees her slender friends going on dates. The fact that she is overweight is not lost on her. So pointing it out AGAIN to her does not help her come to a moment of clarity, it hurts her feelings to know that despite her accomplishments, her mother still sees her for the plus 40 pounds she is.
You say you are proud of her altruistic nature and her academic achievements. But if you tell her “I am proud of your qualities but I want you to lose weight so you’ll be happy and healthy,” all she will hear “but I want you to lose weight.” You say that you have brought up the subject “gently” in the past.
Think of being overweight like being sunburned. It’s a problem of which the sufferer is well aware. If you pat someone with a sunburn on her sunburned back, she will jump no matter how “gentle” the pat is. At this point, you daughter is very sensitive to your judgment that she is overweight and has told you in no uncertain terms that even the most gentle of prodding is not welcome. If you want to offer help without damaging your relationship, lay off the weight talk until SHE brings it up, then offer to pay for the nutritionist, trainer or therapist. In the meantime, remind her of how wonderful she is, stifling the urge to add the “but I want you to lose weight.” She will eventually understand that you mean nothing but the best for her.
All the best,
Amy and Robin
There is nothing not to love about the Tiger Woods story. Right about now, both he and his wife are likely the most popular people on the planet as chosen by their respective gender populations. There is no man on earth who doesn’t want to be Tiger right now–the best athlete in his sport in the world, a billionaire, married to a swimsuit model, and, it turns out, a man with a bevvy of cocktail waitresses standing at the ready to be summoned to Vegas at his whim. As for the lovely Mrs. Woods, let she who has not cast a 9 iron in anger into the back of her cheater’s Escalade cast the first stone.
The legal lesson to be drawn here has nothing to do with cooperating–or not–with a police investigation, domestic violence (sorry, dour ideologues), prescription drug use, or even the value of prenuptial agreements. Instead, it has everything to do with marriage as a contract based on mutual mistake, and therein lies the lesson to us all. Because there is no doubt that when he got down on bended knee, Tiger’s proposal was likely full of the usual brief but romantic platitudes of the “I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you, will you be my wife” variety. Her part was, if any words were spoken at all, likely limited to either “yes” or “I love you.”
Not to bring down this Hallmark moment, but marriage is a contract plain and simple. It’s why you get a certificate. The difference between marriage and living together is, in addition to less nagging by your mother, a set of legal obligations related to property ownership and distribution. In it’s brevity, Tiger’s proposal–like every man’s–was not nearly explanatory enough. Because he meant “Be Mrs. Tiger Woods and live in the big house with me when I’m not in Vegas.” And she thought he said, “Be Mrs. Tigers Woods, and I will forsake all others.”
So let’s replay Tiger’s proposal the way it should have gone:
“Elin. I love you. From the moment I saw your beautiful smile I knew that I wanted to be married to you for the rest of my life. To me, that means that you will be the only Mrs. Tiger Woods. You will live a giant house with me and have every material comfort you desire. We will have beautiful babies together. And we will fight, as all couples do, about whose parents we spend Thanksgiving with, why I can’t figure out how to use a hamper, and what color we should paint the entry hall. But we will not fight about my jaunts to Vegas. Because let me make this perfectly clear: I was a total geek in high school. I studied and that got me into Stanford. And I played golf, and that ultimately made me a billion dollars, a part of which I will share with you. But what it did not get me was any pussy because golf used to be a sport reserved for middle aged white men in pom pom caps and argyle socks until I came around and made it cool. And now that I did, I am going to make up for lost time. Don’t get me wrong, there is no Vegas cocktail waitress that I want to raise kids with, spend weekends out of bed with, or sit in a rocking chair on the porch of the old age home with. Those priveleges will be reserved solely for you. But you gotta know that those Vegas cocktail waitresses will get a few hours of my time, and I will hit that. This is what I mean when I say, please marry me. If you say “yes” or “I love you” or nod your head vigorously, then please take this ring and be my wife. But if this is not the deal you have in mind, put down my golf clubs and keep the 9 iron away from my Escalade.”
So I argue for a far less romantic but ultimately much more sound form of full proposal disclosure. The one where he says: You’ll be the only Mrs. Smith, but I am not going to go blind. So please don’t gain 50 pounds and stop desiring me because I will find someone who will. And the one where she responds: I love our active life together. If, two years into this marriage to which you refer, you should find your one hand on the remote and the other in your pants from 5 pm every Friday to 9 am every Monday, that’s not going to cut it.” Hallmark will still make its money on Valentine’s Day, when we all pretend that we don’t know each other as well as we actually do. But if it cuts into the divorce lawyers’ money, so be it. Too late for Tiger, but there’s still hope for you…
As a person engaged in a creative career (read: no place from which to liberate office supplies), I have a certain amount of sympathy for Samuel Bartley Steele, the man who is currently suing Time Warner, Major League Baseball and Bon Jovi for $430 billion.
Mr. Steele claims that the song he wrote, “(Man I Really) Love This Team”–a song about the Boston Red Sox, if you can believe it–was ripped off by Bon Jovi and then used by MLB to promote baseball on Time Warner’s TBS cable station. In 2007, the Jersey rocker Bon Jovi released a song called “I Love This Town,” which MLB began using as its play-offs promo music.
Though Steele’s first law suit was tossed out of court because, according to a story in Reuters, “A district judge ruled that no reasonable jury could conclude there was substantial similarity between the songs and dismissed the claim,” he’s not done with his legal wranglings.
Steele’s appealing the verdict because he said “he handed out copies to Red Sox executives, sent copies of the song to players, performed it live on local television and sent it to MLB with the idea for a “country” song that would market baseball.” Of course one could easily joke that Mr. Steele’s futile attempts to win are modeled after those of his beloved Bo-Sox, but that wouldn’t be fair to Mr. Steele. (As I said, I have a soft spot for fellow delusional creative types.)
If the singer songwriter was indeed ripped off, he deserves that mad cash pay out. But having written magazine pitches and TV spec scripts and subsequently seen the ideas published and/or produced by others elsewhere, I also know that sometimes great concepts are just out there. Sometimes that idea that you’re so certain is original is anything but… It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but I think as a fan of the Red Sox, Mr. Steele is used to taking his lumps.
Our great friends Em and Lo have been kind enough to excerpt the book again on their fantastic site, Em & Lo: Sex. Love. And Everything In Between.
In this excerpt we discuss the concept of “Common Law marriage.” So if you’ve ever heard that living with someone for 7 years renders you married by default, you’ll definitely want to click the link.
Or, if you’re simply interested in reading the comments on the article that readers of Astrology.yahoo.com wrote, check this out: Does Living Together For 7 Years Make You Common Law Married?
Fascinating stuff, and I’m not just saying that because I’m a Scorpio…
Today we share the post of our friend, Dan Pashman, genius radio producer and Ben Affleck doppelganger, who recently traveled to Guantanamo Bay with Air America. Considering all the legal wranglings that have been on going on that small island, we’re incredibly happy to have a smart and well informed source to share his impressions with you.
Without further ado, here’s Dan in his own words and pictures…
Last week I spent three days at the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, producing coverage for Air America, an interesting experience on many levels. Below are two slide shows of some pictures I took. The first has pictures of the detention camps, along with a few other shots of detainee-related points of interest. The second, entitled “Gitmo: Wish You Were Here,” has pictures of some of the base’s natural beauty, as well as some items available at the Gitmo Souvenir Shop. (Some of my shots from the souvenir shop will be featured on VanityFair.com today or tomorrow.) A bit more on my visit and the store…
The truth is that the detention camps make up a relatively small (and new) part of Gitmo. The base is huge—45 square miles—and resembles other military bases, with diversions like movie theaters, athletic fields, and a McDonald’s. Troops are constantly coming and going. A lot goes on there that has nothing to do with detentions. Families live there. Kids go to school there.
But none of that seems to matter. When you say “Gitmo” to most Americans, they picture a guy standing on a wooden box wearing a black hood, end of story, even though that iconic image came from Abu Ghraib. Troops I spoke with seemed universally aware of, and frustrated by, this perception. (Indeed, they have been tarred with an unfairly large brush.)
The pervasive nature of that frustration made my stop at the Gitmo souvenir shop all the more jarring. On one hand people there are very sensitive about the base’s image, but on the other hand, they sell T-shirts that say things like, “Welcome to Paradise! GTMO, Pearl of the Antilles.” I still can’t decide whether this is contradictory. Gitmo is in the Caribbean, so the same cheesy T-shirts and chotchkes you’d see at any vacation destination don’t feel entirely out of place. In fact my experience in the shop came complete with a mother scolding her children for running in the store. But depending on the reason for your stay at Gitmo, you may find a different meaning in some of the items for sale.
Gitmo Detention Camp Photos
Gitmo: Wish You Were Here
You’ll also be able to hear Dan TODAY on Stand Up with Pete Dominick at 5 pm, on POTUS, Sirius 110 / XM 130.
We’ve been trying to encourage folks to email us with their legal questions and yesterday, we got a great one! The writer has kindly allowed us to post his question here, and before we answer it, we’d like to see what you think the proper legal response should be.
It’s a long letter, but one we think well worth reading to the end. Amy will respond with the correct legal answer later in the day, so for now, just have a think on this…
Dear Ms. Epstein and Ms. Feldman:
My wife returned a rental car to a major US rental car agency. The car was picked up at a location near our home in Brooklyn which we have used on numerous occasions with no difficulty. No pre-rental inspection was performed on the car. The car was returned to a different location, on time, in exactly the same condition it was received two days later.
The receiving agent performed no inspection. My wife returned the keys, paid and left. A few days later the first of a series of letter arrived requesting insurance and credit card information for the damage done to the car. Their claim, over $300 worth of damage to the fender.
The fact of the case: my wife did not damage the car. No inspections upon pick-up or drop-off were performed in my wife’s presence. The car was out of our possession for at least three days before the damage claim was even presented to us. The car’s whereabouts are unknown to us for the past five weeks, i.e. any amount of damage could now be attributed to us.
It is obvious to me their case has no merit whatsoever, however some reviewers of your new book (which I intend to purchase, by the way, perhaps after a windfall from a legal settlement) mentioned that there are some surprising rights you don’t have. I wanted to clarify the best strategy going forward to deal with this company’s spurious and harassing claim.
Coincidentally, the president of this rental car company was in our apartment while we were away on our honeymoon and performed a sexual act with a goat. They (he and the goat, though I am pursuing litigation solely against the company president) caused over $300 worth of damage to a carpet, and some household furnishings.
Now, I did not inspect the apartment in his presence before or after our honeymoon and his act of sexual perversion with a goat, and my wife and I have been living in the apartment for the five weeks since then. Thus, I have no proof that the damage in my apartment was committed by the president of this car rental company while having sexual relations with a goat, but it was. Should I just begin sending him unsubstantiated claim forms?
Thank you very much,