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Life Lessons from Rebecca

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Being three years older than me, Rebecca often provides me with wise insights and words of wisdom. Since I moved to Boston, she had proved an indispensible resource. Her witty, insightful words of advice about local bars, concerts, skeptical events, and the best places to buy joke gifts for your friends have been very useful. Rebecca is good at selecting presents. Recently, she gave me three excellent birthday presents: a “Choose Your Own Religion” information wheel and two books which are reprints from the 1930s. The two books are, as seen below, “How to Make Love” and “The Art of Kissing.”

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Isn’t Rebecca such a good older skepchick sister? She’s trying to help me choose a religion (an informed choice, of course) and help me become more skilled in bed. She’s really watching out for me!

The religion wheel has proven the life tool that is easier to use. I have spun the little wheel around and learned about all of the world’s major religions as well as about some minor ones. I was tempted by the Rastafarianism, Psychoanalysis, and Snake Handler (briefly– many of their members seem to be killed by poisonous snakes) religions, but I think I’ll stick with atheism for now.

The love advice books I am finding somewhat less useful. There isn’t much useful information about positions, sex toys, orgasms, et cetera. Actually, there isn’t anything in these books about these subjects. Mostly, the text consists of a bunch of boring, psychological, or sexist (and highly entertaining) advice, such as:

“Yet, how are we to tell the difference between an infatuation and true love at the onset of a love affair? Some people react to disillusioning infatuations healthily. They allow them to roll off their backs, forget them immediately and go on in the search for true love. Others, more sensitive than the rest, brood disconsolately over the loss of what they thought was true love, become hypochondriacs and suffer torture and agony. Oftimes, they allow their sorrow to prevent them from ever loving again. That, in most cases, accounts for the multitudes if bachelors and spinsters.”

Hang on a moment. What sort of analysis is this? I feel as if Trixie Belden broke up with Jim or Nancy Drew broke up with Ned. Shocking! I mean, most people who have a bad break-up never make love again. Certainly, people never have one-night stands or jet off to Vegas for “whoops” weddings. People never make mistakes (or have adventures… depends how you look at it) like that. And people are never single by choice, right? Marriage is an ultimate society goal!

Honestly, I hope that Trixie dumped Jim, Nancy dumped Ned, and the two of them teamed up and opened a women’s detective agency. Sort of like Skepchicks, maybe, but with 1940s and 1950s flair. Maybe I’ll write a sequel…

Another gem of a quotation:

“Naturally, in choosing a mate, it is imperative that he or she be healthy. The ailing woman is a menace to any love affair. She should be strong enough to do housework, she should be strong enough to bear children, she should be strong enough to do the work necessary toward the building of a home. Again, the same should apply to a man, but even more so, for he is going to be the main support of the future family… money is a very important factor here as it is in practically everything else. And the young girl, before she falls in love with a young man whose intentionals are serious, as they should be, should make herself doubly certain that he will be able to take care of her and himself after they are married.”

What is this, an ethnic cleansing book? Also, “intentionals” sounds like a euphemism. Maybe that’s it… all the good sex advice is hidden in the form of euphemisms and 1930s lingo I don’t understand. I must re-read and re-interpret. Or, perhaps, just go buy the latest issue of “Cosmo,” which is a 2000s era version of this same bullshit but at least has decent sex advice, now and again.

And a final quotation:

“Be well groomed and you will be a groom sure enough.”

I’ll let that last quotation speak for itself. Thanks for the fun presents, Becca!


Evelyn is a geologist, writer, traveler, and skeptic residing in Cape Town, South Africa with frequent trips back to the US for work. She has two adorable cats; enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and kayaking; and has a very large rock collection. You can follow her on twitter @GeoEvelyn. She also writes a geology blog called Georneys.

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  1. Is this like a fighting game? Are you squabling over which one of you skepchicks happen to come on top of the totaly hot reasonable chicks?

    First bug_girl goes on about sex toys and electronics making her… eroused. Now we have this.


  2. Aw, you're welcome, Evy! Remember, don't spend all your new-found love advice in one place or you'll never get a guy into your intentionals.

  3. Evelyn wrote:

    Honestly, I hope that Trixie dumped Jim, Nancy dumped Ned, and the two of them teamed up and opened a women’s detective agency. Sort of like Skepchicks, maybe, but with 1940s and 1950s flair.

    Actually, I was figuring you'd say, "I hope that Trixie dumped Jim, Nancy dumped Ned, and the two of them got married."

  4. I'm just left wondering if Jim and Ned's intentionals weren't serious enough. As a man who has been afraid that, maybe, his own intentionals weren't serious (as they should be), I'm comforted to know that my inbox is full of messages telling me about various medications to help me develop more serious intentionals. It's too bad Jim and Ned lived before such advances were available. It might have helped them better learn the art of kissing and how to make love.

  5. Actually, I was figuring you’d say, “I hope that Trixie dumped Jim, Nancy dumped Ned, and the two of them got married.”

    Ditto (: The only question would be: which of them would need to be doubly healthy?

    Perhaps these gifts could be combined! Take a spin on the Wheel of Religion, then find something in the advice books to offend a representative member of that religion. The most creative answer wins an iPhone*!

    * Restrictions may apply

  6. Hey, now that I think about it, I found that very same edition of The Art of Kissing in the room where I lived sophomore year. Some time earlier, I also found The Fundamental Operations of Bead Arithmetic lying on the Commonwealth Avenue sidewalk. It didn't have an author's name, I never figured out where it came from. . . . but it did explain how to take cube roots on an abacus. Even better than kissing!

    (Don't tell me otherwise, or I'll be sad.)

  7. First bug_girl goes on about sex toys and electronics making her… eroused. Now we have this.

    They're obviously playing with us…you can just see them having a good laugh at the skepchick pajama party.

  8. Okay,First things first.

    Would it kill you guys to have a little respect,

    for our short attention span.No offense,but just because you

    write something out,doesn't mean you successfully captured my

    attention.Please Stop fooling yourself,it's hurting my fragile little mind…

    This post is like many of the others,that are just a subterfuges/

    misdirection,to take another stab at someones religion…

    and I will support my accusation!

    "Isn't Rebecca such a good older skepchick sister?

    She’s trying to help me choose a religion"

    Actually,in Rebeccas' own words she herself denounces

    any religion,so how can she be informative and helpful to

    understanding spiritual enlightenment.

    "but if you turn a devil inside out,you have a saint.."

    In other words,What would an atheist know,or possibly

    describe the lov and commitment of anyones GOD,since

    the source itself,(by own omission)does not believe in such nonces..

    When I wont chicken,I will go to K.F.C,

    not Chucky Chess True?

    here is where the truth reveals itself??

    "but I think I’ll stick with atheism for now"

    how can you be ready to honestly chose a belief when,

    1)You've already have a belief

    2)You would rather pick a GOD from a scratch ticket,than

    listen to the testimonies of one who lovs that GOD they serve..

    That is what I call an informed opion..(my opinion)

    So honestly,I don't see any REAL benefit of posting this

    topic,other than to mock(again) something someone holds very

    dear to them intimately.

    In my opinion I think what you guys do here is disgusting

    and dishonest to your readers..Again I say,just because you're

    a skeptic,doesn't make you an atheist..I don't believe the web you weave,will not remain hidden for long..

    and a little honesty to your readers wouldn't hurt either

    I bet you celebrate Christmas too.

    Take care and Happy Birthday


  9. He doesnt know. He just likes talking. Thinks he's more than an entertaining nuissance with nutty nut ideas.

    He's actualy fun to prod.

    Watch this: You know what's disgusting and dishonest, pretending to have psychic powers.

    Mike, bubby, we mock because we love. If someone really feels ashamed of their beleif from a little heathen laughing at it, maybe they SHOULD be ashamed. Maybe it is just silly and rediculous.

  10. I've just 'sent' M. Dmon a message telepathically. I'd like for him to tell me what it was that I 'said.' It's a simple four-word statement, non-insulting or anything like that. I wonder how this test will play out…

  11. Dear Exlax

    I don't know where you get the idea that I can read your mind,

    but more importantly I don't care..

    However it's often obvious by your post that you don't think,

    so I would speculate that the answer is,Nothing…

    I believe it's time that you all start addressing

    me like a person,rather looking for methods to dismiss me

    I will begin being respectful,when you all decide to show me some

    respect. or as the bible would say,"an eye for an eye"

    Take care my friends

    Devil's Advocate:M.Dmon.

  12. Dmon–you are on very thin ice. One more threat of violence, and I will no longer approve your posts.

    Personally, I think people are being quite reasonable–they just also disagree with you. Apparently you interpret that as disrespect.

    Grow a pair.

    (*that's* disrespect. So you can tell the difference.)

  13. I have no idea what you're talking about FOR THE RECORD!

    this is no doubt your attempt to make me out like some monster,

    to ban your only source of entertainment

    Grow a pair?

    How about stepping off of mine..

    Take care M.Dmon

  14. First off, "eye for an eye" was about turning the other cheek. It was about ignoring us "ungodly" heathens and not threatening to choke them.

    Sad that a souless monster like myself knows more about the bible than yourself, a self proclaimed man of god. So in this circumstance it's about being respectful even when we are not.

    You can beleive whatever you wish, I do adress you as a person, only a person with idiotic ideas who could care less about reality so long as his little psychic fairy tale survives.

    You deffinatly arn't my only source of entertainment. But you are one of them.

    You're fun. Like a child who just wont accept that santa claus isn't real, who needs to check under his bed at night and in his closet and needs a night light.

    I bet you beleive in the shadow people don't you?

    I know you consider yourself a "ghost hunter".

    I know you work in an "institute" for psychic crap.

    Why should I treat these dumb ideas with any type of respect. If you have ANY proof, ANY evidence I'd be glad to take a look at it. But if you don't then they do not deserve respect.

  15. Dear Mr Ass

    I sad that I wouldn't speak with you again,

    so I hope you don't mind the name change..

    Fact is ,when it comes to facts and understanding of the information

    you shift through,somewhere you skipped the bible study classes,

    offered freely,Typical Atheist mistake

    So I will correct you now.

    Christian interpretation of the biblical passage has been heavily influenced by the quotation from Leviticus (19:18, see above) in Jesus of Nazareth's Sermon on the Mount. In the Expounding of the Law (part of the Sermon on the Mount), Jesus urges his followers to turn the other cheek when confronted by violence:

    You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth". But I say to you, do not resist an evildoer. If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. (Matthew 5:38-39, NRSV)

    So you can see from this excerpt,found in th most common of places,

    that "eye for an eye" means measure to measure,or Retributive justice

    Your also mistaken with your interpretation of the choke comment,

    I referred it as a metaphor,to describe the choke chain your friend

    like to keep me on.If someone stifled her freedom of speech,I'm sure she would than empathies how I feel.

    the only "religious nut" on moderation

    As for beliefs,I'm here to share an opinion,I find no reason to share

    or explain my beliefs with you..

    I trust my beliefs among my personal friends and I don't consider you

    one of them.Unless you wont me lurking in your garbage,i suggest we

    stay on topic ,which is something I know responsible moderators would endorse.

    In closing,I did warn you that you are not at my level

    Please don't forget this next time you decide to open mouth,

    and insert foot Take care M.Dmon

  16. MD. you are now DONE. You have threatened someone with stalking, as well as hinted at physical violence.You claim to be a Christian, but I see nothing of the Book I know pretty well (preacher's grandkid here) in your actions. Shame. On. You.

    Don't expect to have any more of your comments approved by me.

  17. You find no reason to "share" your beliefs and yet that is all you seem to do.

    Then you throw a hissy fit when we tell, and explain, why we find (as well as science in general) those beliefs as wrong. I'm still amazed by how suprised you are that we cannot accept the lunacy you put forth. Give us one reason we should take your claims seriously?

    As for "lurking in my garbage" that's fine by me. I've never been ashamed by what I do, who I am, or what I beleive. I will tell you openly anything you wish to know.

    In fact i'll give you a head start if you wish. My name is Noah Robert Miller, I live in Las Vegas Nevada, I am 21, I attend the university of nevada, las vegas (known as UNLV) I moved her just over 2 years ago from a little town in Washington State called Lake Stevens. My hobbies include the writing of fictional stories, quite a bit of reading rangeing from literature of all catagories right down to mind numbing but beyond fun comic books.

    I was raised as a catholic for a good chunk of my childhood in which I studied the bible pretty closley including a single summer where I read it from cover to cover and realised what a horrible evil book it was. That was the begining of my journey to the loveable chap you converse with today.

    I have no formal training in science beyond the dismal public school system but am a "fan" of science. I devour the ideas and discoveries of all areas of science. I'm a bit overweight as most of my generation is and tend to be to lazy to keep on a gym schedule, feel free to exploit that with ad hominem attacks, they wont get you far as I use them on myself quite openly.

    I could go into my sexual exploits but per the chubby-ness they are a bit scant for a man of my years. Though still intersting if that sort of thing gets you off I'm more than willing to ablige.

    Hmm… what else is there? (I'm quite the bore when you break everything down) when I was a mid-teen and rebelious I got involved with this crappy form of music/ subculture that's headed by a horror-comedy-rap group called ICP. (that's the insane clown posse).

    That little section of my life is probly what I'm least proud of. Go ahead look em up, you can see the nutty-ness I was involved in. But the great thing about being human is we change (especialy when we lose the hormonal rage) and generaly become better.

    So that's my garbage. Feel free to lurk in it, and if you want more, or would like to give me your nice verbal slap down free of "restrictions" my email (since now you seem intersted in staying on topic…. which is actualy about the neat trinkets of a bygone age not one of the many things you have talked about) is [email protected]

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