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Email us: Buzz@TheBlockFM.com
We want to hear from you!!!!
Cassie, Tim & Brent get into a heated discussion about the torture memos that were released on Tuesday. Listen to the show today to check it out….www.theblockfm.com.
A newly declassified Congressional report released Tuesday outlined the most detailed evidence yet that the military’s use of harsh interrogation methods on terrorism suspects was approved at high levels of the Bush administration.
The report focused solely on interrogations carried out by the military, not those conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency at its secret prisons overseas. It rejected claims by former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and others that Pentagon policies played no role in harsh treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq or other military facilities.
Late last night, the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) released its full report on the Department of Defense’s (DOD) role in the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody (PDF). (A summary of the report was released last December, but it was only until last night that the full report was released after the government declassified it.)
This report makes frighteningly clear that some of the darkest moments in our country’s recent past were choreographed at the highest levels of government… The people who were at the very top of the Bush administration and those at the top of the chain of command must be held accountable. Just as any other American would be investigated by a prosecutor for crimes committed, so must our government officials. We must ensure that our laws are impartially enforced against everyone.
Scott from Unwritten Law will be calling in
Also, After Midnight Project will be calling in to talk about there upcoming tour. Check them out online at: http://www.myspace.com/aftermidnightproject
|Feb 19 2009||7:30P|
Chain Reaction (with “Call The Cops”) Anaheim, California
|Feb 20 2009||7:00P|
Key Club w/Jack left town,Wicker,The Jakes West Hollywood, California
|Feb 21 2009||6:30P|
Soma San Diego, California
|Feb 22 2009||7:00P|
Modified Arts Phoenix, Arizona
|Feb 24 2009||7:00P|
Bottom of the Hill San Francisco, California
|Feb 27 2009||7:00P|
The Glasshouse Pomona, California
|Feb 28 2009||7:00P|
Jerry’s Pizza Bakersfield, California
|Mar 3 2009||8:00P|
SHO w/ Watchout! There’s Ghosts and Karate High School Salt Lake City, Utah
|Mar 4 2009||7:00P|
Knights of Columbus w/ Watchout! Theres Ghosts/ Karate highschool Gillette, Wyoming
|Mar 5 2009||7:00P|
The Black Sheep w/ Watchout! Theres Ghosts/ Karate highschool Colorado Springs, Colorado
|Mar 7 2009||8:00P|
Club Roxbury w/ Watchout! Theres Ghosts/ Karate Highschool Omaha, Nebraska
|Mar 8 2009||7:00P|
The Picador w/ Watchout! Theres Ghosts/ Karate highschool Iowa City, Iowa
|Mar 9 2009||8:00P|
The Vault Buffalo, Minnesota
|Mar 10 2009||7:00P|
The Warehouse w/ Watchout! Theres Ghosts/ Karate highschool Lacrosse, Wisconsin
|Mar 12 2009||7:00P|
Mixtape Venue w/ Watchout! Theres Ghosts/ Karate highschool Grand Rapid, Michigan
|Mar 13 2009||9:00P|
Mac’s Bar Lansing, Michigan
|Mar 16 2009||7:00P|
The Masquerade w/ Watchout! Theres Ghosts/ Karate highschool Atlanta, Georgia
|Mar 17 2009||7:00P|
516 Soundstage w/ Watchout! Theres Ghosts/ Karate highschool Shreveport, Louisiana
|Mar 18 2009||10:00A|
SXSW Music Week Austin, Texas
|Mar 19 2009||10:00A|
SXSW Music Week Austin, Texas
|Mar 20 2009||10:00A|
SXSW – 01:00 PM – Troubador Saloon – SXSW Austin, Texas
|Mar 21 2009||10:00A|
Scout Bar w/ Forever The Sickest Kids Beaumont, Texas
|Mar 22 2009||1:00P|
SXSW Music Week Austin, Texas
|Jun 28 2009||10:00A|
Warped Tour Ventura, California
|Jun 30 2009||10:00A|
Warped Tour Phoenix, Arizona
|Jul 1 2009||10:00A|
Warped Tour Las Cruces, New Mexico
|Jul 2 2009||10:00A|
Warped Tour Selma, Texas
|Jul 3 2009||10:00A|
Warped Tour Houston, Texas
|Jul 5 2009||10:00A|
Warped Tour Dallas, Texas
|Aug 1 2009||10:00A|
Warped Tour Chicago, Illinois
|Aug 2 2009||10:00A|
Warped Tour Shakopee, Minnesota
|Aug 3 2009||10:00A|
Warped Tour St. Louis, Missouri
|Aug 4 2009||10:00A|
Warped Tour Bonner Springs, Kansas
|Aug 7 2009||10:00A|
Warped Tour Nampa, Idaho
|Aug 8 2009||10:00A|
Warped Tour Salt Lake City, Utah
|Aug 9 2009||10:00A|
Warped Tour Denver, Colorado
Shannon Williams!!!! You’re the winner of the free dozen roses! Thanks for alll your emails!!!!!!!
1. Your first talk
2. The first kiss
3. When he introduces you as “my girlfriend”
4. The first morning after
5. Finding the nerve to say “I love you”
6. The first time you write “we” in an e-mail to your friends
7. The first time you fight and make up
8. That first trip together
9. The first time you grocery shop together
10. The first time he lets you control his car/remote/iPod
11. The moment you see a future with him
12. When you notice you are no longer primping for him
13. Going to the doctor together for the first time
14. When you care for something together
15. When you commit–we’re talking long-term commit–to each other
TheBlockFM on Twitter!!! LOOK IT UP!
Some Senators have stealthily stuffed $1 billion for nuclear weapons into the recovery bill. The only thing this will stimulate is an arms race. It must go.
The Senate bill now contains language authorizing $1 billion “for weapons activities” at the sprawling nuclear weapons complex of laboratories and factories run by the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), including new construction, new projects and new computers. The House bill does not contain this funding, for good reason.
Military spending is notoriously poor at stimulating the economy. Studies show that investing in mass transit, education or state and local government projects generate far more economic activity than money spent on weapons. There are, in addition, three other major problems with using this emergency legislation for non-urgent and unnecessary nuclear weapons purposes.
First, this is a stealth increase in the nuclear weapons budget. The government currently spends at least $52 billion each year on nuclear weapons and related programs, according to a new study by the Carnegie Endowment. This is an unconscionable amount in any year, but particularly outrageous during this profound economic crisis. Of this amount, the NNSA got $9.3 billion last year. The Senate would give the agency a $1 billion bonus–free money above and beyond its normal budget. It is an 11 percent increase for weapons programs at a time when hospitals, schools and state governments are forced to slash their budgets and lay off workers.
The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability provides a complete NNSA budget breakdown on their website. They are mounting a public campaign against this give-away.
Second, this weapons increase comes without any presidential plan for the size, composition, or mission for the 5,200 nuclear weapons currently in our stockpile. We have enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world–or any nation therein–many times over. But the Bush Administration planned to expand nuclear weapon production, plans that could cost $200 billion over the next two decades, according to Bill Hartung at the New America Foundation. Giving a nuclear bonus to the weapons complex now is an attempt to force start this expansion, box in President Obama, and create facts on the ground that he will find more difficult to reverse.
Finally, this is a nuclear earmark manipulated in Senate backrooms. There is not a record of who put these funds into the bill, nor any justification for why this amount and why now. The culprit, however, is suspected to be a senator who has no intention of voting for the bill. This is not transparency; this is hypocrisy. No member of Congress should be allowed to vigorously oppose the recovery bill with one hand and stuff nuclear pork into it with the other.
Who made the top 10 list?
Barack Obama has not yet taken office, and Rush Limbaugh is already rooting for his failure. On his radio show last Friday, Limbaugh said, “I disagree fervently with the people on our [Republican] side of the aisle who have caved and who say, ‘Well, I hope he succeeds.’”
Limbaugh told his listeners that he was asked by “a major American print publication” to offer a 400-word statement explaining his “hope for the Obama presidency.” He responded:
So I’m thinking of replying to the guy, “Okay, I’ll send you a response, but I don’t need 400 words, I need four: I hope he fails.” (interruption) What are you laughing at? See, here’s the point. Everybody thinks it’s outrageous to say. Look, even my staff, “Oh, you can’t do that.” Why not? Why is it any different, what’s new, what is unfair about my saying I hope liberalism fails? Liberalism is our problem. Liberalism is what’s gotten us dangerously close to the precipice here. Why do I want more of it? I don’t care what the Drive-By story is. I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: “Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails.” Somebody’s gotta say it.
Men’s Fitness magazine has named Salt Lake City the nation’s fittest city in its annual ranking.
Following Salt Lake on the list are Colorado Springs, Colo.; Minneapolis; Denver; and Albuquerque, N.M. The magazine says Salt Lake earned the distinction because of its park space and athletically motivated residents.
The magazine named Miami the “Fattest City in America,” followed by Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Las Vegas and New York.
The magazine conducts a national survey of 50 cities in the U.S. to determine the rankings on its lists.
Check out the complete list of all 80 cities in our study.
“Large cities that everyone associates with socializing, like Los Angeles and Miami, did not rank particularly high, scoring lower in categories like coffee shops per capita and flowers bought as gifts,” said Bert Sperling, president of Sperling’s BestPlaces.
“But cities like Austin (No. 1), Colorado Springs (No. 2) and Ann Arbor (No. 8) were not a complete surprise – they are heavy-populated college towns and it’s easy for young singles to get together.”
-Wednesday Kayla from The Bad Girls Club on Oxygen calls in
-Thursday Frangela will be in-studio to share there thoughts on the economy, Bush, Obama and celeb gossip… Oh and to talk about “He’s just not that into you”
-Friday Matt has your over/unders for this weekend in sports
-Karus will be breaking down the Hollyweird scene
And of course, Tim and Cassie got you covered on ALL the news to help you talk around the water cooler… to who ever is there!
As you take steps to avoid the germs and viruses that proliferate as winter progresses, you’ve no doubt received a good share of advice on how to avoid catching whatever’s going around.
ABCNews OnCall+ spoke with experts about some of the popular myths about germs that tend to spread as fast as the bacteria themselves this time of year.
Is a dog’s mouth cleaner than a person’s? How unsafe are public toilet seats? Some of these questions lack hard data, and the study findings sometimes conflict.
So before taking advice from your friends, you might want to check their wisdom about our microbe neighbors.
Fact or Myth? You can get infections or illnesses from sitting directly on a public toilet seat.
“Just sort of sitting on the seat and having that contact with the skin on your butt isn’t going to be a way of transmitting an infection,” said Elizabeth Scott, co-director and founder of the Simmons Center for Hygiene and Health in Home and Community Settings at Simmons College in Boston.
“I think that one’s associated with the fact that we all find public toilets very disgusting,” she said, adding that you were more likely to get sick from touching the toilet seat or the flush handle with your hand.
Dr. J. Owen Hendley, professor of pediatric infectious disease at the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital, said that this myth has been a persistent one.
Of getting an infection, he said, “I guess you could, but I’ve never known of a documented case where that actually happened.”
But that has not stopped the myth. Hendley noted that the concern might have originated with a fear that syphilis could spread through toilet seats. He said that that fear is likely behind the design of many public toilet seats in which the seat itself is open in the front, preventing contact between the person and the seat in that area.
But the knowledge that sitting directly on the seat doesn’t spread the germs doesn’t seem likely to make it more appealing.
“I couldn’t imagine it [spreading infection],” said Hendley. “Which is not to say I would like to go into a public restroom and sit down on the toilet seat.”
Fact or Myth? If you keep your toothbrush within 6 feet of your toilet, you’re brushing your teeth with toilet water.
Answer: Possibly a Fact
“You get a great spray out of the toilet when you flush it,” said Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona. “This throws bacteria out of the toilet.”
Gerba’s research showed a spray coming out of toilets when they are flushed. That spray goes out and puts fecal bacteria and whatever else is in the toilet all over everything else in the bathroom, right?
Maybe not. A few years ago, the Discovery Channel’s “Mythbusters” tackled the issue.
In its tests, the show placed toothbrushes near the toilet, in a bathroom cabinet and in the kitchen of a house.
At the end of the test, the show declared the toilet-toothbrush-shower a myth, with all three toothbrushes having similar amounts of fecal bacteria, regardless of placement.
So we know there’s a spray when the toilet gets flushed, but it’s unclear how far it travels and what ends up where.
Ultimately, the problem may be that there hasn’t been a peer-reviewed study of toothbrush hygiene. We don’t know where the bacteria travel, and we don’t know the source of bacteria that may have ended up on the toothbrushes placed in various areas.
“A lot of the droplets that are generated when you flush a toilet, they are too large to spread probably more than a foot or two,” said Sattar.
Fecal bacteria means the bacterium E. coli, which is found in fecal matter, among other things. While often used to gross someone out about bacterial contamination, just finding it doesn’t mean the germs came from the toilet.
So it’s not entirely clear that your toothbrush is showering in your toilet water just because it’s nearby. But it may not be a bad idea to put the lid down when you flush.
Fact or Myth? The blowing air from a hand drier in a public restroom spreads germs.
Syed Sattar, a professor emeritus of microbiology at the University of Ottawa, has looked into this issue, and was more than happy to declare it an outdated concern.
“That is certainly a myth, because we have done our own studies in that regard,” he said.
Sattar said his team had sampled the air around driers in various public restrooms as people were using them and found no increase in bacteria.
As to the rumor that dust accumulates inside, he said his team had taken apart multiple hand driers in places like bus stations and busy shopping centers and also found nothing.
The real worry about hand driers, said Scott, is having to touch something to start them.
“It’s always good to look for systems that don’t require you to touch,” she said, because the buttons will accumulate germs.
Ideal restrooms, Scott said, wouldn’t have doors or handles for the faucet, and would have electronic eyes to start hand driers, faucets and flush mechansms on toilets.
“No-touch is ideal,” Scott said.
Fact or Myth? Antibacterial soap keeps your hands cleaner than regular soap.
This myth may stem from a misconception about what we do when we wash our hands. By rinsing in soap and water for at least 20 seconds, we aren’t supposed to be killing bacteria, but simply getting germs and viruses off our hands.
“If you can get to a sink and you can wash your hands thoroughly 15 to 20 seconds with regular soap and then rinsing — that is the most effective method of ‘de-germing’, or removing germs from your hands,” said Scott.
She noted that washing with soap and water doesn’t remove all the microbes from our hands, because some are an important part of our skin, and even if we did kill them, they would return.
Given that regular soap and water removes the germs, there is no need for an antibacterial agent, and it probably won’t work anyway.
“The speed of action of these ingredients that are added is rather slow, so that they are not there on the hands long enough to present the desired level of reductions,” said Sattar.
So the antibacterial agents added to soap, typically triclosan, isn’t effective in this case but may present problems, as our next myth explains.
Fact or Myth? Alcohol rubs cause bacterial mutation and help create resistant strains.
Answer: Myth for Alcohol Rubs, Possibly a Fact for Antibacterial Soap
The alcohol-based antibacterial rubs are effective enough that they do not create resistant strains, explained Scott, but the antibacterial soaps may present a hazard.
While the alcohol rub stays on the hands and is not meant to be rinsed off, the antibacterial triclosan is rinsed off before it can do all its work and then enters the water supply.
“The reason I don’t like it is because it gets in the water supply and stuff like that,” said Hendley of his opposition to triclosan in soap.
Scott notes that resistant strains of bacteria have been created in labs using triclosan, although it remains to be seen if it will happen in the natural environment.
“It’s something that’s been observed in the laboratory, and it’s something that needs to be researched,” she said.
For Sattar, the long-term risks of triclosan in the environment also need to be looked at.
“Their accumulation in the environment or chronic exposure to them on a long-term basis, especially for children, may have a long-term risk that we will not discover until later on,” he said.
Ultimately, Sattar said, antibacterial soap doesn’t do enough to justify its use. “Don’t take risk without a demonstrated benefit,” he said.
Fact or Myth? Sponges typically don’t help keep your kitchen cleaner, they just spread germs around.
Sponges pick up various contaminants when used to clean used to clean dishes or surfaces that food has touched, and those contaminants can be easily spread.
“Sponges are probably the most germ-laden object in the household,” said Gerba. “They usually contain 10,000,000 or more fecal bacteria. In a study we did some years ago, we found salmonella in 10 percent of them. The reason is that they are wet and pick up food for the bacteria. They do a great job of spreading bacteria around the household.”
So in order to keep sponges from being bacteria farms for your kitchen, several steps should be taken.
Hendley said he maintains separate counter and dish sponges and makes sure to have detergent in the sponge whenever he uses it.
Scott said that maintaining separate dish and counter sponges is key.
“I think the best practice is to keep the sponge at the kitchen sink for washing up, and to use paper towels for wiping down kitchen surfaces,” she said.
Sponges can be placed in the dishwasher or laundry to decontaminate them, although the research on how much that helps remains unclear.
Perhaps the best way to clean sponges is by microwaving them, but it’s important to ensure that they are wet before putting them in.
Fact or Myth? Plastic cutting boards are more sanitary than wooden ones.
Answer: Fact — if the board’s handled right
The difference in sanitation has little to do with the cutting boards themselves.
“[The cutting boards] are about the same,” said Gerba. “In the average household they have 200 times more fecal bacteria that the average toilet seat.”
Scott explains that the wear on the cutting board affects its cleanliness more than the material from which it’s made.
“The most important thing is, whatever cutting board anyone’s using, it’s not badly scoured,” she said.
So why did we deem this a fact?
As Scott explained, a plastic cutting board is easier to clean, by bleaching it at the sink or putting it through the dishwasher.
In any case, she noted, separate cutting boards should be used for raw chicken or beef and vegetables.
And ultimately, the plastic cutting boards are more sanitary, Scott said, because they’re cheaper — so people are more likely to throw them out and replace them. Fact or Myth? The makeup at a cosmetics counter is unsafe to use — it harbors a multitude of germs.
Answer: Probably a Fact
The safety of using sample cosmetics from the counter may depend on how they’re used, but the prospect of what could be in that makeup is enough to keep Scott away from them.
“I don’t like that idea at all,” she said. “There is the possibility that someone handled the cosmetic who had pathogens on their hands or a skin infection or an eye infection. That all might be transmitted by that cosmetic.”
There doesn’t appear to much hard data on what the cosmetics at the counter contain, but their usage could lead to the spread of infection.
Scott’s advice is to stick to single use samples and avoid the communal beauty sources.
Fact or Myth? A dog’s mouth is cleaner than a person’s mouth.
If you heard this myth, it probably came from a dog lover as they justified why they let their pet lick their face.
And in one sense, they may be right: A dog’s mouth is likely to contain fewer microbes that are harmful to humans.
“If I were forced to be bitten by a dog or a human, I’d take a dog,” said Hendley.
But that doesn’t mean a dog’s mouth has fewer microbes, or that it’s “clean.”
“I’m thinking, what was the dog last licking?” said Scott.
Hendley and Scott noted that dogs tend to lick themselves, particularly after scraping themselves, and their mouths tend to come in contact with animal feces.
Scott also noted that germs can be picked up by stroking the animals, and you should wash your hands anytime you touch them.
Fact or Myth? Airplanes are a major source of contamination because of the recirculated air.
Airplanes put many different people in a confined space for several hours with the same air. Small wonder that some see planes as flying germ houses.
But while germs may once have recirculated freely, new technology may have removed some of the flight concerns.
ABCNews OnCall+ has previously looked at the issue, and travel can increase risk of flu (which comes from a virus, not a germ), but that is a concern in any crowded area, not just an airplane.
The recirculated air, however, is not as much of a concern as it may once have been.
“It probably was true in the sense that inside of an aircraft cabin, if filled to capacity, you would have a lot of people breathing germs in and out,” said Sattar.
But, he said, “More recent aircraft design has created engineering controls which reduce that risk.”
Sattar notes that HEPAs, or high efficiency particulate arresters, which were developed around World War II, trap tiny particles in the air so that any particle that might be carrying viruses or bacteria is caught when viruses pass through the air system in the aircraft.
So planes, like any crowded area, pose an increased disease risk, but it isn’t clear how much, if any, of that is due to the recirculated air.
Sattar also noted that the World Health Organization will be examining this issue to ensure that passengers aren’t sharing illnesses with their fellow travelers.
The Oakland Raiders strongly denied a report by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that team owner Al Davis was in discussions to sell at least 10% of the team to C. Dean Metropoulos, a billionaire seeking to buy a team to move to Los Angeles.
The Raiders sold 20% minority interest in the team in 2007 to a small group of investors in a deal that gave the group no option to buy the team. ESPN, citing unidentified individuals, reported that Metropoulos is trying to negotiate a purchase option within three to five years of closing the deal.
“Chris’ report is not true,” Raiders CEO Amy Trask said. “We are not negotiating with this group. We know who they are and that they want to purchase the controlling interest in a team. This team is not available to them. They are unhappy about that and have turned to Chris to assist them in their efforts, which is easy to do since Chris contacted no one with the Raiders to ascertain if there was any truth to his report.
“There is not. It would have been so easy for him to contact us and ask if we are negotiating with this group. We are not.”
Mortensen said in an e-mail that he stands by his report.
“The Raiders have lost the privilege with me of running stories past them for comment,” he said.
“This stems from their history of denials to most stories I have reported — as well as others in the media — when those stories have eventually proven to be true. The latest example is I reported that Al Davis planned to interview Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride and, of course, the story was trashed by a team spokesman.”
Mortensen later clarified his comments.
“Upon further review, I should not have qualified any potential communication with the Raiders as a ‘privilege,”‘ he said. “I’d say they have repeatedly diminished and discouraged efforts to reach out for an official comment based on the repeated denials of prior stories. It also would be an assumption on their part that I have not had any contact with the Raiders while reporting on this story.”
Meanwhile, Davis had a 90-minute phone conversation with New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride about the team’s coaching vacancy.
The two spoke Saturday after Gilbride had expressed interest in the job through his agent, Raiders senior executive John Herrera said Sunday.
Gilbride is the first outside candidate to talk to Davis about the job. Interim coach Tom Cable is also a candidate after running the team for the final 12 games following the firing of Lane Kiffin in September.
The Raiders cannot talk to Gilbride again until the Giants are eliminated from the playoffs.
Cable is a serious contender for the job after winning the final two games of the season, including a season-ending victory over Tampa Bay that knocked former Raiders coach Jon Gruden’s team out of the playoffs. Cable had a 4-8 record after replacing Kiffin.
Cable is still under contract until Jan. 13, and has talked with Davis over the past week about the team.
Go Vote: http://www.TheblockFM.com
(LifeWire) — For a couple in their sixties, Cynthia MacGregor and her live-in partner, Grant, have few hang-ups about personal boundaries: In their household, the bathroom door is always open, regardless of what’s taking place inside.
But MacGregor has one hard and fast rule — Grant cannot see her toothless mouth or her mouthless teeth.
The 65-year-old Florida resident has sported a full set of false teeth since her early forties — a “business decision” made because of chronic dental issues. MacGregor is so disturbed by the thought of Grant seeing her toothless that she even wears them while sleeping.
“I think I look perfectly horrible without my teeth and my teeth look pretty ridiculous without me,” says MacGregor, a writer and editor. “We [use the toilet] in front of each other and bathe in front of each other. I don’t mind if he sees me giving myself a bikini shave. I just don’t think he needs to see my sunken face without teeth.”
But not every couple share similar views on personal boundaries.
Doug Lueder and his wife Sam have wildly disparate ideas of what’s appropriate to display in front of others, a philosophical difference that literally exploded one night during their courtship: Doug tried to impress Sam by holding a lighter to his backside while passing gas.
The bad news: Sam hated it, along with Doug’s other explicit exhibits of certain personal habits. The good news: She married him anyway. The couple now lives with their two small children in Atlanta, Georgia, where Mommy teaches them to pass gas discreetly and Daddy, well, breaks wind blithely and chuckles about it.
“This is something we’ve had to come to terms with,” says the British-born Sam Lueder, 37, a marketing executive who describes herself as “quite prim and proper” and her 43-year-old husband as “loud, gregarious and crass.”
“We’ve met halfway,” she adds. “If Harry [their 3-year-old] burps or passes wind, he says, ‘Excuse me.’ Doug will also say, ‘Excuse me’ — but with a laugh. Maybe Harry will just understand there are different kinds of people in the world.”
This essential dilemma — differences between individuals — underlies every intimate relationship. But conflicting opinions of what’s acceptable to do in front of others — from plucking eyebrows to using the toilet — are normal among couples and do not usually threaten a relationship, New York psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert says.
“I think these types of things — burping, [passing gas], blowing your nose — show comfort and intimacy in front of your partner,” Alpert says, “though I’m not suggesting you should do these things to build intimacy.”
Indeed, some believe there’s such a thing as being too close, which colors their views on what behaviors to exhibit and what’s better done behind closed doors. Kim Wilder-Lee has a long list of things she won’t do in front of her husband of 14 years — including weighing herself and taking off makeup — and makes no bones about what she doesn’t want to witness him doing, either.
If her spouse is using the toilet with the door open, Wilder-Lee, 43, will close it for him.
“I don’t want to be part of that. … It isn’t a part of his life that I want to see,” says the Temecula, California, freelance public relations consultant, who advocates retaining a bit of “feminine mystique” in marriage. “He thinks it’s ridiculous that he can’t know my weight, but that’s just the way it is. He knows I’m not at all uptight in most areas of my life.”
And while certain gender stereotypes hold — women tend to keep certain habits private while men veer toward openness — some behaviors are purely personality-driven. Take bachelor David Seaman, who won’t clip his toenails or even shave in front of his new girlfriend, Lindsay.
“I’m probably not the typical male,” says the New York author and blogger, 23. “I personally don’t mind when someone likes a little privacy. I’m probably like this because it’s still early on in our relationship, but I tend to be somewhat guarded.”
Ditto for Jessica Odenbach, 27, of Chicago, who thinks her boyfriend’s upbringing in a large family explains why he’ll pop pimples, blow “snot rockets” and discuss bowel movements in front of her despite her obvious discomfort.
“Even if we’re out with friends, I’ll go to the bathroom to blow my nose,” says Odenbach, a media specialist. “If he does that in front of us, I give him a dirty look and say, ‘Don’t you need to go to the bathroom?’ “
“We do occasionally have a tiff about these things. No brawls,” she adds. “But he doesn’t necessarily know what will bother me.”
What if your personal boundaries are totally different from your partner’s? Cherry Hill, New Jersey, relationship coach Jo Anne White offers these tips to keep the peace:
• Communicate: “After we get over how disgusting their habit is, what can we do about it? We can negotiate about this.”
• Compromise: “If it’s a little habit we can adjust or alter to get more satisfaction into the relationship, why not?”
• Support: “Our partner needs us to be a friend, someone who’s really in their corner rather than always being critical or finding flaws.”
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