Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I wound up coming home on the train sitting next to this dweeb reading Are You The One For Me? by Barbara De Angelis, also known as that smiley woman from those infomercials on at two in the morning. Barbara is, according to her book cover, a "relationship expert," and there's no way that her book cover could possibly make up random hyperbole like "bestselling author" and "over two zillion copies sold!" I will not be content until someone explains to me exact what it takes before someone can declare themselves a relationship expert. Is there some kind of accreditation program? Do you have to pass an exam or something?

Let's think about this for a minute: how does one become an expert on a subject? Like, if you wanted to be an expert on, say, metallurgy, you'd spend a lot of time in a mill, watching smelting and puddling, practicing until you became proficient, accumulating little bits and pieces of knowledge. This De Angelis chick spends her life drinking from the well of pick-up exposure, and the whole "relationship expert" thing is basically a euphemism for "slut."

Maybe that's a little harsh. "Sex expert" is a euphemism for "slut." There's still something a little ironic about taking relationship advice from someone who claims to have had a great variety of their own personal amalgamations; it sort of implies that she's either a cuckold or she's really awful with commitment. According to her website, "Barbara has been a pioneer in the field of personal transformation as one of the first people to popularize the idea of self-help in the 1980's," so thanks a lot, Barbara, for projecting your own damn issues onto the rest of society and making us all realize that we suck in your eyes. You suck! You might think I'm just acting out of some sort of jealous rage, kind of that feeling that washes over me every time Dr. Phil opens his redneck mouth, but take a look at Barbara's pictures. I'd say they're taken about twenty years ago, judging by the amount of volumizer in her hair, and the most recent thing on her CV is from 1994. Maybe she's not exactly growing old with confidence and grace?

Back to the dude sitting next to me reading Are You The One For Me?, I sort of feel like the answer to that question is going to wind up being a big fat no. First of all, this guy looked that kid on The X-Files who thought Mulder was a mandroid, except Train Guy was in business formal, which, for someone of that particular wedgie-prone build, isn't an improvement over a Space: Above and Beyond one-size-fits-all t-shirt. And he's getting girlfriend advice from an infomercial, which also means that he's probably watched one of Barbara's infomercials, and that was a half-hour of his life that he could've been, say, doing something romantic for this poor, poor girl. Oh, and did I mention that he was taking notes on a legal pad and these notes looked something like, "numbness about our relationship -- she's hiding something." So I'm thinking he might need the entire Barbara De Angelis inspirational library if he's gonna be saving this relationship.

Here's our Barbara De Angelis, PH.D. poorly-punctuated quote of the day. I'm sort of ambivalent as to whether it's a complete sentence. You know what's weird... I couldn't find on her website where Barbara's degree is from. Have you ever heard of anyone with a real doctorate who wasn't just salivating at the opportunity to brag about their education? Well, I'll bet you still haven't.Each time you choose to love, to reach out, to connect, and to feel you come alive.I thought it had something to do with having a heartbeat and brain signals or something, but I guess that's why I'm not a Ph.D.