Are you lonesome tonight?

Elvis famously crooned “I can’t help falling in love with you” and millions of hearts beat a little faster. What has been unknown until now is the never-recorded refrain to that chart-topping song: “Yeah, but I can help falling in love with you, pal.”

   Aah, unrequited love. It sucks. Even more so around Valentine’s Day.

   Perhaps the only thing that hurts worse than unrequited love is requited love gone wrong—you know, getting dumped.

   Here at C-VILLE, we know how you feel, friend, and as misery loves nothing more than company we’re going to wallow with you for a while. We’ve got play lists for the heartbroken and tips for getting back at your ex. The Advice Goddess explains how good things come from bad breakups (uh, right). And, for those of you considering getting back in the game, we help you rank your chances with a simple quiz and show you what’s really going on in local bars.

   Maybe, as The King would put it, they could use a little less conversation and a little more action

 

 

Tough love
Advice Goddess Amy Alkon on heartbreak: If you’re going to go through the pain, make it worthwhile and learn something

It may be a Hallmark holiday to some, but the impending doom of another Valentine’s Day alone got C-VILLE’s resident lonely heart, LuvinLearn, in the mood for some soul searching on the relationship front. Thus, for some expert one-on-one counseling, LuvinLearn made an appointment to talk with Advice Goddess Amy Alkon over Instant Messenger. That way, the Goddess wouldn’t be able to detect LuvinLearn’s voice cracking after a particularly cutting insight into the truths of the heart. Here’s what we had to say.—Nell Boeschenstein

 

LuvinLearn: Houston, are we up and running?

AmyAlkon: Who you callin’ Houston?

LuvinLearn: So down to the business of hearts and heartache?

AmyAlkon: Is it a business?

LuvinLearn: If you’re making a living from it, it is, I think.

AmyAlkon: Yeah, without troubled people, I’d be working at a gas station.

LuvinLearn: I’ve seen some hot gas station attendants in my day. So when it comes to the pain of heartbreak, is something good going to come of it all?

AmyAlkon: Well, it depends. A lot of people go into relationships blind, and come out of them the exact same way. That’s the idiot side of heartbreak. I mean, if you’re going to go through a lot of pain, at least make it worthwhile.

LuvinLearn: That’s the good? So all knowledge is good? Like the apple and stuff?

AmyAlkon: I’m not a good one to go into Bible stories with. I’m, let’s say, post-religious. My business card says “godless harlot.”

LuvinLearn: What about the short term? What’s the good, except that age-old “Well, I won’t have to deal with the toilet seat anymore”?

AmyAlkon: People are too petty. So you have to put the toilet seat down. Big deal. If you get into a relationship with somebody right, that stuff typically matters less. If I hate you, I’ll hate you for having a piece of chicken—tiny, too—stuck in your teeth from across the room.

LuvinLearn: So when talking about the short term, you really don’t believe in benefits? The benefits are all about knowledge, which comes with time?

AmyAlkon: If you don’t eat instead of stuffing your face when you’re unhappy, I guess you could lose a few pounds. But, truly, being unhappy is a great teacher. When you’re blissful, you’re not questioning things: You’re having a lot of sex.

LuvinLearn: Speaking of sex. Does that make things better after a bad breakup? Lots of sex with random Joes?

AmyAlkon: It depends upon the person. I call that “lose yourself in the crotch of another.”

LuvinLearn: Are there benefits to losing oneself in said crotch?

AmyAlkon: Depends upon the crotch…and the loser.

LuvinLearn: The loser being the dumpee or the bar prize?

AmyAlkon: The loser being a snarky way to say the person who got dumped. Some people just need to do something to be out of their heads (i.e., their intellect) for a while. Sex is excellent for that.

LuvinLearn: So say you’ve been pining away over some dude or chick that dumped you for a while now. Is there a time when that becomes unhealthy?

AmyAlkon: Well, people need time to be sad.

LuvinLearn: But is there a time that is too much time?

AmyAlkon: There’s a time when your ass you’ve been dragging around needs to get picked up off the floor.

LuvinLearn: What about that half the time you went out? Isn’t that a “Sex and the City” thing?

AmyAlkon: That was a fictional show.

LuvinLearn: So what about the friends question? Is it worth it to “try and be friends?”

AmyAlkon: I HATE THAT! Is there any more insulting thing you could say than “Let’s be friends”?

LuvinLearn: But the whole thing about valuing somebody as a person…

AmyAlkon: The realistic response: “There are a lot of other people in the world you didn’t break up with. Go be ‘friends’ with one of them…Buttwad.”

LuvinLearn: But I put so much time into this person, do I just let him or her disappear?

AmyAlkon: They’re a person, with feelings, not a stock investment.

LuvinLearn: Stock investment. Point well put, counsel.

AmyAlkon: The fangs of the dog are stuck in your ass. You need time away from the dog.

LuvinLearn: So when the fangs are in your ass, why does it actually hurt so much?

AmyAlkon: Well, because it’s not somebody’s lips kissing your ass. They’re fangs!

LuvinLearn: But is there a reason for the [physical] pain?

AmyAlkon: Any sort of stress [hurts]. There’s a stress hormone, cortisol. Nasty stuff. Best to stay destressed. I’ve always been a “bring it on” kinda girl. Some people aren’t. They should stay home and hide under their beds.

LuvinLearn: Speaking of under the bed, how do I get that blue t-shirt back?

AmyAlkon: Why does the blue t-shirt matter?

LuvinLearn: Because it’s soft and special and my favorite. And I got it at a Stones concert in 1982, man.

AmyAlkon: I had this pottery teacher (and don’t laugh, it was damn hard, pottery class) at the University of Michigan, named Uta Savage, who made me break a pot I made to be less attached to things. Perhaps it’s a good lesson, losing [the shirt]. Don’t leave stuff at guys’ houses? Pay more attention to where the relationship is?

LuvinLearn: If there’s any sense that you might not be going back [to the guy’s house] don’t leave it there, eh?

AmyAlkon: Since it happens so often.

LuvinLearn: Hehehe. Well, I AM in my 20s…

 

You can read more of the Advice Goddess’ divine wisdom online at www.advicegoddess.com and on p. 64.

 

 

Songs in the key of luv
What music is playing on the soundtrack of your love life? We asked a few local music hounds what they put on to celebrate love found and mourn love lost.—Spencer Lathrop

 

Robin Tomlin, WTJU Soul DJ Extraordinaire

Tunes for those in love:

Bobby Blue Bland, “Wouldn’t You Rather Have Me”

The Dramatics, “Whatcha See is Whatcha Get”

Candi Staton, “He Called Me Baby”

Al Green, “Let’s Get Married”

The Intruders, “I Wanna Know Your Name”

Tunes for those losing love:

Lou Rawls, “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine”

Darrell Banks, “No One”

Howard Tate, “Ain’t Nobody Home”

Bettye Swann, “Kiss My Love Goodbye”

Isaac Hayes, “Walk On By”

 

 

Jim Waive, Frontman for The Young Divorcees

Tunes for those in love:

Elvis Presley, “Can’t Help Falling In Love”xz

Elvis Presley, ”Love Me Tender”

The Temptations, “My Girl”

Marvin Gaye, “Let’s Get It On”

Van Morrison, “Into The Mystic”

 Tunes for those losing love:

Patsy Cline, “Crazy”

George Jones, “Flame in my Heart

Dwight Yoakam, “Two Doors Down”

Hank Williams, “Your Cheatin’ Heart”

Bob Dylan, “Positively 4th Street”

Elvis Presley, “She’s Not You”

Bill Monroe, “Blue Moon of Kentucky”

Buck Owens, “Crying Time”

Ray Charles, “Hit The Road Jack”

 

Josh Rogan, Guitarist, Rogan Brothers

Tunes for those in love:

Dire Straits, “Romeo and Juliet”

Bob Dylan, “I’ll be Your Baby Tonight”

John Lee Hooker, “Boom Boom”

Bob Marley, “Kinky Reggae”

U2, “With or Without You”

Tunes for those losing love:

Stevie Ray Vaughan, “Let’s Go Shopping”

Brown/Henderson/Lewis, “Sitting on Top of the World”

Sinead O’Connor, “Nothing Compares 2 U”

            

Be my baby tonight?
You might think that getting lucky is a mysterious combination of a smoking hot wardrobe, ice-cold moves and the inexplicable generosity of the unpredictable love gods. Actually, your chances of snagging that special someone this Valentine’s Day are predictable—so pre-dictable that we’ve boiled it down to a simple multiple-choice quiz. If you want to know if you are going
to get lucky, we’ve got the answer. —Anne Metz

 

1. What do you wear when you go out?

A. Kevlar

B. Fake wire-rimmed glasses

C. Prada

D. Slept-in t-shirt featuring name of bar and/or event involving Jell-O shots, pants with stains of unknown provenance, white socks, Chuck Taylors, fat laces

 

2. What do you think is cool?

A. Late night at C&O

B. Almost anything, so long as it involves mimes

C. Emoticons! Emoticons! Emoticons!

D. OxyContin and Red Bull

 

3. Your drink of choice is:

A. Pina Colada

B. Stoli and Soda

C. Cosmopolitan

D. Belgian beer

 

4. When it comes to text
messaging:

A. You do it all the time.

B. You do it occasionally, but still prefer the phone.

C. You’ve tried it once, but didn’t like the typing.

D. Text what?

 

5. Your CD collection includes:

A. Barry White

B. Sophie B. Hawkins’ “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover”

C. Color Me Badd

D. Postal Service

 

6. What was the last book you read?

A. Book of Job

B. Chilton’s Manual: 1981 Datsun 280Z

C. Tropic of Cancer

D. A Separate Peace, 10th Grade English class

 

7. What do you say to a woman if you want to meet her at a bar?

A. “Has anybody ever told you how much you look like my mom?”

B. “You know, I think Fashion Bug is sooooo underrated!”

C. “Listen: The last trolley leaves at midnight, so we’ve got to do this fast.”

D. “Your hair style isn’t bad, I mean, for a wig and all.”

 

8. The last movie you saw was:

A. Brokeback Mountain

B. The Shining or any movie with pre-face lift Michael Keaton.

C. Any film from The Evil Dead series.

D. In Her Shoes or any movie in which a sad, but beautiful single woman befriends a crazy old lady only to find true love with a slightly geeky, but nonetheless hunky boy next door.

 

9. What gets you hot?

A. DIY projects around the house.

B. Correcting the grammar and spelling of take-out menus shoved under the windshield wiper of your car.

C. The films of Ingmar Bergman.

D. Long walks on the beach.

10. Last night you:

A. Went out for dinner with friends.

B. Went go-carting with your cousins.

C. Drove up and down 29N with no particular place to go.

D. Stalked your crush via Google and Friendster.

 

Now, tally up your score to see if you will get lucky:

 

1. Give yourself a point if you answered B or C.

2. Give yourself a point if you answered A.

3. Give yourself a point if you answered B or D.

4. Give yourself a point if you answered A or B.

5. Give yourself a point if you answered A or D.

6. Give yourself a point if you answered C.

7. Give yourself a point if you answered B or D.

8. Give yourself a point if you answered A.

9. Give yourself a point if you answered A or C.

10. Give yourself a point if you answered A or D.

If you scored 7-9 points, congratulations, you are so going to get lucky this Valentine’s Day. With your semi-pretentious tastes and your knowledge of ‘negging’ (i.e. insulting someone to impress them) you are doing all of the right things when it comes to the opposite sex.

 

If you scored 4-6 points, then you have a pretty good chance of getting lucky this Valentine’s Day. To increase your chances, you should definitely get with the program when it comes to the latest technology. Like it or not, Friendster and text messaging are the future of romance!

 

If you scored 1-3, we’ve got some bad news. You have very little chance of getting lucky this Valentine’s Day. While you might be well-meaning, you are crashing and burning at every corner. To improve your chances of wooing the opposite sex, ditch the bad drinks, buy some new CDs and give up the go-carting.

 

If you scored 0, well, sorry, kid. Things are not looking so good for you. Either change your ways, your look…well, everything about you, or look forward to a long, lonely life of celibacy.

 

Tender is the night?
Does true love exist on a drunken Saturday night? C-VILLE explores the local bar scene and asks, “Are people really hooking up or does it just look that way?”

By Nell Boeschenstein

nell@c-ville.com

 

Before I don my plastic goggles, fire up the Bunsen burners, get my test tubes off and bubbling, and delve into the question of whether Char-lottesville’s singletons are really making whoopie, let’s make a few things clear:

   First, the object of this experiment is not to hypothesize on or test the mating habits of college students. They are a subset unto themselves about which plenty—nay, too much—is already known or has been speculated about when it comes to the subject of raging hormones.

   Second, I could not be less interested in what married people do when they go out to bars. For all I care, they could be reciting Chaucer while doing a downward dog and keg stand. Unless they are at said bar to hit or be hit on, their presence at the bar, to this scientist, is irrelevant. What I’m interested in, for the purposes of this experiment, are the mating habits of the single 20- and 30something local young professionals.

   Third, I am in no way a fly in this bar scene. My observations of and participation in this experiment are done solely as an observer, an anthropologist, a scientist.

   Finally, while I may be playing the role of scientist, my methods are hardly scientific. The last time I approached Science for a date was the eighth grade science fair when I tested the emotional effects of ROY G. BIV (i.e. yellow makes people feel happy, blue makes people feel sad, etc.). So, do not—and I repeat, do not—apply anything I report in this experiment to any other time, place, or demographic. Doing so could prove dangerous. If not dangerous, then at the very least, demoralizing.

Step One: Observation

O.K., class. Open your eyes and take a good look around for signs of rampant sex.

   Holed up alone in the safety of my own house, for an impersonal perusal of my peer group’s private lives, I turned to the indispensable Friendster. I typed in a search for singles between the ages of 23 and 35 within 10 miles of Charlottesville. I don’t know whether I was expecting loads of blurry photos of half naked people to pop up with “About Me” entries along the lines of “Once, I got drunk on a bottle of champagne at the Frankfurt airport and made out in the broom closet with a Yemenese janitor: Yes, I enjoy getting wasted and hooking up with random people,” but, needless to say, I found no such incriminating evidence. There is the occasional photo featuring flushed cheeks or testimonial along the lines of “Last night was amazing, hott stuff!” But generally speaking, when it comes to Friendster profiles, people spin their images as assiduously as celebrities. Perhaps that’s the glory of it.

   For further material in the observation arsenal, I turned to my own and my friends’ experiences with the bar scene. Which is minimal. We go to bars, but studiously avoid intense gazes bearing down on us from across the room or pointless questions from strangers aimed at jumpstarting conversation. We go. We drink. We talk amongst ourselves. Some people call this “closed off”; I call this “safe.”

   For the final step in my observation process, I ventured out to watch the meat market, live and in the flesh, unfold before me. I selected a Saturday night at Blue Light Grill. The first thing I noticed when I walked through the front glass doors was the soundtrack: pounding techno music. The beats were undeniably…primal.

   “I wonder,” I mused to myself, surveying the scene, “what would happen if I took control of the turntables and forced Leonard Cohen on these people? On the other hand, what would happen to me if, instead of Cohen’s constant moaning, there was this stuff on my Volvo stereo?”

   For 11:30pm on a Saturday, Blue Light was not crowded. It appeared so at first, but past the 50 or so people crowded into the front bar area, the place was empty. A group of middle-aged women in jeans, Lycra tank tops and gold jewelry gossiped around the tables by the front window. At least half were wearing wedding rings. Plus, they were all drinking white wine. My gaze wandered.

   Seated beside me was a group of swarthy young bucks in black leather jackets silently knocking back cocktails. In the name of subtlety, I couldn’t turn and stare, but their lack of conversation was a clear sign they were surveying the room for fresh meat. This being the observation stage, I resisted the urge to test my theory by turning to bat my eyes.

   By the bar, there were a few circles of what appeared to be grad students, a couple of dudes nursing beers alone, and the inevitable crowd I recognized (duck and run for cover!) from high school.

   Thing is, in that hour and a half as I sat and watched each group hold conversations by shouting over both each other and the heavy bass, not once did I observe any cross pollination. Within the greater context of Blue Light, each little circle of revelers appeared, to the casual scientist, to be a world unto itself.

 

Step Two: Hypothesis

The young, restless, beautiful and not-so-beautiful crowd Downtown bars on the weekend looking for something. Tube tops and leather jackets would lead to the assumption that that “something” is sex, but you can’t ever be sure. In fact, observations lead to a more nuanced conclusion: Ultimately, singles are looking for love, but the bar scene is not as forceful a karate chop against the brick of the single life as might first be thought. Thus, I officially hypothesize that when it comes to the so-called local “meat markets,” looks can be deceiving.

 

Step Three: Testes, testes

Properly testing my hypothesis required breaking out of myself a bit. It’s impossible to know whether or not hooking up is happening unless one actually puts on the costume and plays the guinea pig. For my part, I got dolled up in a short skirt and Mary J. Blige boots and headed to Mas!

   Parked at the packed bar, there were a couple of cutie pies to my right, a sleaze bag feeling up some girl in a skin tight leopard print dress to my left, and another girl on her hands and knees searching the beer-soaked floor for her engagement ring that had fallen off her finger (she later found it). It was too loud and chaotic to randomly start a conversation so, instead, I headed downstairs where there was a full-on, sweat-soaked, leg-humping, face-sucking dance party going on.

   “If there’s hooking up in town tonight,” I deduced, “it’s in that thar beer pit.” I descended down the stairs…feeling lucky.

   Props to the mixmaster: If beer isn’t a sufficient social lubricant, then Chic’s “Good Times” picks up the slack. Feeling like a lamb lost in the jungle, I tentatively shot out a few flirtatious glances to my left, right, left and right again. Bingo. Before I knew it I was dancing with a total stranger. Call him L. There was flirting, yes, and I don’t mean to sound cocky, but I think the flirting could have progressed. However, sensing I had sufficiently tested my hypothesis for the time being, I called it a night. But before I could get out the door, I noticed L. talking to an acquaintance of mine. So much for breaking out of my social group: In Charlottesville everyone is three degrees of separation at most.

   Realizing that my own experiences mean little to nothing in the grand scheme of things, the next step to testing my hypothesis was to interview bartenders. If anyone knows about sexual mores in this town, it’s the men and women who provide the Saturday night elixir. I talked with bartenders from Blue Light, C&O and South Street. The consensus? People definitely come to bars to get nookie, stupid. Blue Light, they agreed, was ground zero for local libido. According to the bartenders, the lack of mingling I observed at Blue Light was simply a result of my dorkiness—I was there too early. Last call, apparently, is when things get really interesting: That’s when people are about as drunk and as desperate as they’re ever going to get.

 

Step Four: Conclusion

Testing proves my hypothesis wrong. Hookups happen…if you want them to. That’s the key. Because really, dear readers, whatever makes you happy. Isn’t that what it’s all about, anyway?

 

 

Strike back
How to take revenge on an ex

By Ben Sellers

feature@c-ville.com

When Eminem reunited in Decem-ber with his ex-wife Kim, it struck a backhanded blow to men everywhere. Gone were the days of vicarious living as the rapper—through his lyrics—bound, gagged and trunked that bee-otch, or performed countless other feats of misogynist violence.

   In real life, it turns out, things are not so cut and dry. Regardless of the circumstances, women are a manipulative lot. Hence, it’s important to use extreme caution and deviousness when avenging yourself on one.

   With the proper guidance, however, any man can learn how to go Count-of-Monte-Cristo on the two-timing hussy who stole his prized CD collection and squandered the best years of his youth. While each vindictive deed should be custom fit to the occasion, there are some basic rules of thumb:

 

Attack pre-emptively

The best time to act is when you first sense things going wayward. Get cozy with your ex-to-be’s friends and family in order to cut her post-break support lines. When she finally calls it quits, be slightly too agreeable, though making sure to assert your victim status. Ask her to one last pricey dinner for friendship’s sake. Slip out before the check arrives.

 

Get in her head

Bringing in your psychological game is a must. Use your knowledge of your ex against her. Change her e-mail password before she does, then invite all her friends over for a surprise makeover party when you know it’s her “time of the month.”

 

Don’t get caught

Chances are, the underlying reason she left you was for attention. If your former betrothed knows you still think about her, she wins. Instead of risking your hide on an elaborate stunt, surprise her with several small things, like a subscription to Al-Qaeda’s daily newsletter. For you, spying on her is considered stalking; for Uncle Sam, it’s A-O.K.

 

The Golden Rule of Jealousy

You may be tempted to go to the gutter, slandering her every chance you get. But the fallout can be just as bad. Remember those nude photos of you she has, just waiting to be posted all over town?

   Think positive instead. Focus on getting ripped and finding a sweet piece of arm-candy to tote around for the next time you bump into her at your favorite bar. Also remember that if she did it to you, she can do it to the next guy too. Learn from your mistakes and wait for her to come running back.

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