Posted by Tamara Shayne Kagel
Unless you’re one of the people in LA with your own helicopter (of which there are a surprisingly high number), you too are likely painfully aware that Carmageddon is approaching. For weeks now, Los Angelenos have been chattering about the impending doom that is just days away from gripping our fair city.
But as a Los Angeles native, one who lived in Sherman Oaks during the Northridge earthquake, was in Santa Monica during the O.J. chase, and lived in the Canyons during the floods/mudslides/wild fires, I want to reassure you that this weekend will not be as bad as it seems. Yes of course, the traffic will be a nightmare worse than you can possibly imagine, but if there was ever a city that has learned to thrive during disaster, it is Los Angeles. People come together like a small community to support one another and talk to or rather meet their neighbors. And if you are single in LA, this weekend, you should be frothing at the mouth over the excitement that potentially awaits. In light of this, I give you:
10 Reasons Why Single People Should Love Carmaggedon
1. If you are out at a bar this weekend – rest assured, no one wants to drive home this weekend. So if you meet a girl at a bar not too far from your apartment…
2. If the LA dating scene has been causing you severe anxiety, take advantage of the free counseling LA Dept of Transportation is offering this week to help people deal with carmageddon anxiety. According to Steve Lopez: Psychologists, personal transit planners and life coaches will help travelers come to grips with the trauma of breaking routine, as well as help them plan activities that don’t require use of the 405. “We anticipate a number of people suffering from disorientation, rage and general anxiety,” said an LADOT spokesman. Crisis counseling will be offered at the Warner Center Park on Topanga Canyon in Woodland Hills; Galpin Jaguar on Roscoe Boulevard, east of the 405; the John Wooden Center at UCLA; and the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society of North Hollywood (where members will be encouraged to escape traffic problems by time traveling to a different weekend).
3. If you’re running late, instead of making your usual apology for being 20 minutes late because of the traffic, no one in the city, let alone your date will expect you to be on time anywhere.
4. Disasters can lead to romance – as Hollywood disaster movies have shown, in times of high stress and uncertainty, people need to turn to one another. Women feel more vulnerable and need comforting and male evolutionary impulses seem more sexy than ever before. Also, it has never been easier for a man to be a hero than in a disaster called carmageddon – if you’ve got an extra bike to loan out, you are like the only man in a post-apocalyptic town with drinking water.
5. If you go home with him, breakfast is likely to be part of the bargain this weekend. He literally cannot leave in the middle of the night and no one is going to be eager to get on the roads in the morning.
6. For practically the same price it would cost you to take a date out for dinner (i.e. - a nice dinner, valet, drinks, and a movie), you can take a romantic helicopter ride. Executive HeliShares is offering helicopter taxi service between the Westside and the Valley for 150$. Not only do you get to blow her away by planning this date, but you get to see what an empty 405 from above looks like during this historic weekend!
7. It won’t be weird if you are parked on the freeway and you mention to her that you have a tent in your car you don’t mind sharing.
8. 3$ dollar gridlock shots at South, 5$ Irish Car Bombs at Harvelles, 10$ Yoga classes at Yogis Anonymouse. Discounts galore! If you’ve been avoiding going out lately because of the expense, this is the weekend to change that. There are discounts everywhere. You won’t have to pay for valet because you shouldn’t be going anywhere you can’t walk to. Car-Mageddon.com and Where La’s Carmageddon Survival Guide have comprehensive lists of what’s going on. (Although Jet Blue’s 4$ (yes four dollar) flights between Long Beach and Burbank are reportedly sold out.)
9. Public transit is free. Free buses, subway rides. If you’re one of those people that says there’s no where to meet people in LA, hop on the subway and cozy up to the other first timers riding the LA metro. I have a feeling there will be a lot of newbies in need of navigating help.
10. You can remind her that there are literally no other options she could conceivably get to this weekend. As in that line about being the last man on earth/knowing of a detour with no closures/driving a bus through her love tunnel might finally work.
10. People will be walking everywhere - as in you don’t have to worry about falling for someone who lives on the other side of the hill from you. Finally, everyone will be heading to pretty much only where they can walk to. That means if you’re new to an area or just looking to meet locals, head to your closest coffeeshop/bar/restaurant/bookstore and meet the other locals that have planned to bunker down in their neighborhood this weekend.
So stay off the roads, enjoy Carmageddon, and embrace the love!
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July 6, 2011 | 1:57 pm
Posted by Tamara Shayne Kagel
Despite employing austerity measures in my home for the next month till taking the bar exam (canceling cable, putting newspaper delivery on hold, teetotaling), I could not avoid reading the New York Times Magazine article in Sunday’s paper about marriage and infidelity that has gripped the cultural zeitgeist ever since.
Ugh. It all makes me so exasperatedly hopeless. The article by Mark Oppenheimer called Marriage With Infidelities is another very well reasoned argument against being completely faithful in marriage. I strongly recommend you read it, but the gist is essentially a profile of Dan Savage, the popular sex columnist’s belief that marriage in today’s day and age should strive to be mostly monogomous. But a couple should talk openly and honestly about sexual desires and allow one another a few indiscretions from time to time so that they can remain in a stable committed relationship over time. He makes a compelling case.
I’m starting to buy that the rational reasonable thing to do is talk openly with your spouse about sexual desire and understand that especially for men sometimes sex is just sex and allowing a few flings over the years doesn’t detract from a healthy marriage. It makes sense. But the problem is, I suspect like many women, when reading this I can completely understand why it’s the logical, perhaps even smart conclusion and yet I can’t help hoping that I end up in the minority of marriages that are truly faithful and monogomous. In other words, this is all fine with me as long as I’m the exception.
So what I’m obsessing over is if intellectually I recognize that allowing a few meaningless sexual indiscretions is a smart choice, why does the thought of it make my stomach tie up in knots? Why emotionally is this so hard for me to swallow? I genuinely believe that men can have meaningless sex. (Of course some women can too, but I know I’m not one of them.) But nonetheless, I do believe a man can have sex with a woman and not cheat with his heart – as in, he still only loves and cherishes his spouse. But the thought of allowing that in my own life and marriage one day, makes my own heart feel weighted down.
Even if I tell myself, that sexual indiscretions are no different than viewing pornography, I can’t make it the same to my heart. The truth is sexual desire is so complicated. I think it’s completely unreasonable to expect that a husband never look at porn because I think it’s unreasonable to expect that over a lifetime a man would only never desire anyone but his spouse. So I would never consider pornography a betrayal because the vows of marriage are not to be pure in thought, but rather to be pure in action. It’s the choice to act on the desire that tears me up inside.
But still, why is that? I understand and expect that a husband over a lifetime will desire other women. I recognize that a man is capable of having meaningless sex that would not effect his feelings or commitment to a relationship. And yet, the thought of it happening to me makes me sick. Why am I so unevolved?
Why is it that I want fidelity so badly? Why do I want him to be all mine? To have his body belong to me and mine to him. I don’t understand it well but I know I want the act of making love to be a little piece of the world’s experience that only belongs to him and me. Something we share that no one else in the world can claim. A territory of ownership that nothing in the universe can cast asunder. Some of it is also selfishness. Part of why I hold marriage in such high estimation is to me it’s the promise of knowing you will never be alone again. You will always have someone with you. And part of ensuring that is sex. Knowing that your husband will always turn to you for sex ensures that he will always come back to you I suppose. Part of it, is jealousy. The thought of his hand on her body when I know it’s supposed to be on mine makes me seethe. I want his hand to always rove on my body and no one else’s. I want to know that I always matter to him. I want to know that when he’s away on business and at a bar and a little drunk and flirting with a hot younger girl that instead of putting me out of his mind and giving in to what feels good and natural, that he does the hard thing and remembers me and the promises he made and chooses me over the temporary pleasure the sexy girl in front of him might bring.
It’s a part of him he only shares with me. No one else. I get him. Me. Period. The End. The side of him that you see only when you lay your head next to his on the pillow belongs to me. Even if it is only sex and nothing more that is still something. Sex is a revelation of who are at your most basic primal level. You’re naked literally and emotionally and your primary purpose at that moment is to feel something that’s an expression of your most animalistic desires. So when you’re faithful, you’ve decided to share that most basic fundamental revelation about whom you are to only one person. Only your wife gets to know you like that. And that still feels special.
Are any of these feelings justification enough to remain unevolved and hope against reason that your partner is faithful to perpetuate the dying institution of marriage? I don’t know. But I know I can’t make those feelings go away. And as long as I do, the only way for me not to be miserable is to believe that someone will be faithful to me forever. I’m not naive enough to think that love always does conquer all. But I have to believe in this case, that love can conquer indiscretions.