Saturday, October 10, 2009

People Who Have 'Decorative' Towels: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

Before I begin this week's blog, I'd like to be serious for a minute and talk about an organization that is aiming to help the people of the Philippines who were devastated by the recent Typhoon Ondoy.

HOPE worldwide
is an international charity that aims to change lives by harnessing the compassion and commitment of dedicated staff and volunteers to deliver sustainable, high-impact, community-based services to the poor and needy. A good friend of mine who has volunteered all over the world for Hope worldwide helped to build and work in an facility called the Center of HOPE Worldwide Orphanage in Manila. It is a treatment center for abused children in the Philippines, specializing in child sexual and physical abuse cases primarily. The center offers short-term and long-term residential care, treatment and placement, meeting the holistic needs of each child. The center has been completely flooded and destroyed, and they are working to take care of the people who were displaced as a result.

Here is a link to how you can make a donation to helping the victims of this terrible disaster reclaim their lives.

On a personal note: Like many of us, when I initially heard about the typhoon, I admittedly thought little of it. Was it sad to hear? Yes. But was I greatly affected in any way by the news? No. To be frank, I was pretty disconnected from the whole thing. When tragic events like this happen, most of us don't stop to realize just how much people's lives have been affected by this, because simply put we're not the ones being affected.

But when my friend told me about the orphanage in Manila, and that she knows of several people who have perished or are declared missing as a result of the typhoon, I began seeing things in a different light. And I began to think that in these times, we have to look beyond our little bubble. We have to see the world around us and help out -- all of us -- when others are in need.

In addition, a small donation really goes on a long way. Living in America, we don't see how far a little money can go. But in an impoverished nation, a $25 donation -- one donation!! -- can help feed a family for months. All of this -- individually -- can make a big difference with just a small effort.

So please click on the link above and make a donation. You will be changing a life for the better.

And now for the blog. :-)

I was at a party recently and I asked my buddy where the bathroom was. As he pointed down the hallway, I started to walk toward the area when my buddy gave me the following warning:

Oh hey, don't use the pink towels. They're for show.

Don't use the pink towels. They're for show.

Here's the thing: I'm a traditionalist. I don't believe in having items that are meant for regular use but don't get used because they look pretty. It doesn't work for me. A towel is meant to dry things: Your hands, dishes, the occasional spill. It's not meant as a decoration. They're towels, people!!

My buddy, to his credit, looked embarrassed. And I know why: This was his girlfriend's doing. See, at the risk of sounding sexist, this idea -- of not allowing people to use items that are meant to be used regularly because they fit within your home's color scheme and you don't want to mess it up -- is a female thing.

That's right: I said it.

I have never known a guy who said to me: "No Nevin!! Don't use that towel!! It's a display towel!! It's for aesthetic appeal!! What the hell's wrong with you?!?!" But women will say that. Not only that, but when they say it, it sounds strangely natural. And what happens when you actually use that towel? You'd have thought you had killed one of their beloved pets. They yell at you, throw things at you, chase after you with knives. You're no longer allowed in their home, your male friend gets denied sex by her every time he hangs out with you or even speaks about you, and the woman always refers to you as:

That dumb ass who f******* up my nice towels.

Growing up, my mom took this concept one step further. In the living room, we had a couch that we had purchased for several hundred dollars that had a prominent space in our living room. And we were never able to sit on it. I mean never. Guests couldn't even sit on it. It's a couch. It's meant to put your butt on. But my mom had a dream as a little girl of a pretty little living room with a big nice white couch, and she would be damned if her family was going to crush that dream.

I have a place of my own now. And I'm happy to say that I have a wife who is OK with using all of our towels. Also, I've yet to hear her say something about purchasing a non-usable couch.

But am I in the clear?

"Now Nev, we got these really nice plates as a wedding gift," she said recently. "They're really, really good quality.

"Never use them."

Guess not.


And now for this week's:


My buddy, cousin-in-law and podcast partner Mike recently told me about an Applebees commercial that said the following:

"Great news! Applebees appetizer and two entree's menu now has real food!"

Sources tell me they were also going to include the words "as opposed to the crap we normally serve" but it got left on the cutting room floor.

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