Relationships: How to Turn a Nerd into an Ogre

From the responses to the poll, I’m seeing that people want more posts on relationships. This is unexpected but I’m always willing to do what I can to please my readers. This is why I’m starting a new series of posts on relationships. I’m not sure what kind of relationships people want to hear about, so I will discuss all kinds, from romantic to sexual to professional.

Story 1.

My friend Ellie is a strikingly beautiful woman. If you see her on the street, you are bound to stop and stare because she looks like a supermodel. Ellie is also brilliant, she speaks multiple languages, and there are few things she doesn’t know how to do. Because of her numerous accomplishments and amazing looks, Ellie is very popular with men and keeps getting married.

Ellie’s type is a quiet, nerdy, shy guy. Of course, such guys feel extremely flattered when a stunning woman like Ellie returns their affections. Sometimes, Ellie is the first woman ever to pay any attention to them. The early stages of the relationships are always the same: the new husband adores Ellie, showers her with gifts and attention, and treats her like a queen. I know from experience, however, that this stage will not last for long. Soon enough, Ellie will tell me what a horrible ogre her new husband is. He will deny her access to their bank account, take away all of her money, say horrible mean things about her appearance, and forbid her to talk to her friends and her mother. 

“I think I hear Jack at the door,” Ellie whispers to me over the phone. “I have to run or he will kill me. He says I talk too much.” I still remember how Jack would stare at her in absolute awe and would be afraid to breathe in her direction for fear of upsetting somebody so wonderful, so the transformation is very strange.

So far, Ellie has had 3 husbands and numerous boyfriends. Somehow, she manages to turn every single one of those quiet, gentle guys into controlling macho freaks. As a result of these experiences, Ellie has arrived at a conclusion that within all men a patriarchal monster is hiding. When she gets fed up with how manipulative and nasty her husband du jour is, she plots an escape. Then she finds a new guy, and the story repeats itself.

The reasons for this strange pattern became clear to me when I met Ellie’s family. She has 2 sisters, and all three daughters, the mother and the grandmother worship and fear Ellie’s father. He controls them, says nasty things to them, and they stare at him with awe and admiration, incapable of placing a limit on his behavior. Ellie is a strong woman who has overcome a lot of hardship. This is why it isn’t hard for her to bend her boyfriends to her will and push them into the scenario that is familiar and  comforting to her: an ogre of a man and an oppressed, self-sacrificing woman.

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Anticipation of Snow


I love Fall because it brings the possibility of snow closer. I always wanted to be able to see the snow falling from my bed, and now I finally will. I will even be able to see it from my bathtub which will be hard – core.

Also, I still find it unbelievable that my new phone takes such phenomenal photos. They are almost better than the original.

Frequent Usage

In “A More Perfect Union,” Mr. DuBois downloaded 19 million profiles from 21 online dating sites. He then wrote software to sort them by ZIP code, and determine the words most frequently used in each location. In the resulting maps, the top-ranked words replace city names. New York is “Now.” Atlanta is “God.”

I’m glad I don’t have to date any longer because something tells me there is no location where “vile freakazoids” would be the top ranked expression.

The End of Postmodernity

From Bauman’s and Bordoni’s State of Crisis:

Postmodernism has gone. Its life cycle has come to an end, its role as ferry man finished. . . Postmodernity is a transition between modernity and the new stage that does not yet have a name, though it’s essential features are already beginning to take shape.

So we’ve gone through modernity, traveled through the transition away from modernity, and have arrived at something newer still which we don’t have a name for just yet.

And now imagine the desperation and the terror of people who haven’t even managed fully to process modernity when everybody else has already moved on to something altogether different. Don’t go too far, we all know somebody like this.

Fallen Leaves


In 1995 in Ukraine an angry, disheveled university administrator stormed into our classroom, interrupting the professor who was teaching the course, and yelled in a triumphant voice of a harpy who gets off on humiliating people who are vastly superior to her, “Everybody out! Stop staring at me and get out! You are being sent to sweep the fallen leaves in the park.”

Our professor was young and still had the courage to try to defend his dignity from being publicly degraded by this sweaty, stupid creature whose only purpose in life was to shit on everybody with a functioning intellect.

“I’m teaching a class right now,” he said in a shaky voice. ” Please let us finish.”

“There will be no class for you until you sweep away the very last leaf!” the administrator vociferated. “Out with you all!  Now!”

Everybody got up and started moving towards the door. The professor followed. The only person who remained sitting and chewing her gum very loudly was me.

“And you?” the lumpen – administrator asked, mockingly. “Aren’t you coming?”

“No,” I said. “I’m here to learn,  not to clean.”

“I promise you, there will be consequences, ” hissed the harpy.

“Yeah? Like what?”

The creature got beet-red and started huffing.

“I don’t know!” it hissed. “But there will be consequences. The Dean will find out.”

“Come back, guys,” I called out to my colleagues. “Let’s just continue with our class. This person can’t do anything to us.”

But, of course, everybody still went to sweep the leaves like a scared bunny. And I went shopping, bought a huge fedora hat, donned it (I was 19, OK?), and strolled through the park where my classmates and the professor were sweeping. They looked miserable and humiliated. The wind was scattering each little pile of leaves they managed to make.

I sat on a bench with an ice-cream, slurping and conducting subversive activities at the same time.

“Come on, guys, just walk away from this. You can do it! Let’s go get ice-cream instead. What are you afraid of?”

Nobody left, of course, until the administrator came. She stared at the group and said, “Don’t you see the wind is blowing the leaves away? You should have just stopped when you saw sweeping was useless.”

The professor was later placed under administrative investigation for disrupting classes and allowing students to leave premises when they were supposed to be in class.

Please remember that the people I’m describing had only been liberated from one of the most repressive totalitarian regimes in the history of humanity 4 years earlier. And now please tell me, when you let your administrators extort free labor out of you, what’s your excuse?

P.S. By the way, I took both of the photos on this page with my new phone. You have to agree that they are extraordinarily beautiful. And given that I’m a lousy photographer, these are absolutely phenomenal. Samsung has vindicated itself.

November’s The Atlantic: A Digest

In the November’s issue of The Atlantic,  the increasingly pathetic Hanna Rosin is publicly masturbating over photos of naked teenagers.

Once again, I have to ask why her extreme sexual dysfunction should be inflicted on readers and not on her health care specialist. Every word of Rosin ‘ s article is textbook sexual dysfunction. Given that she can’t control herself and abstain from fantasizing about teenagers in public,  I’d say that help is urgently needed. Doesn’t the poor freak have a family member or a friend who cares about her and can gently lead her to a doctor?