Category Archives: Plastic Surgery

How Much is That Negligee in the Window?

Can I Help You?

We have all heard the tune from back yonder, “How Much is that Doggie in the Window” and been transposed to the days of our youth. Back when innocence prevailed or at least it did on T.V. and we lived a life of “purity.” That has come to a screeching halt…that of no surprise…to those of you reading today. We continue to be fascinated with those around us, the scandals they embroil themselves with, and the filthy gossip we bat around like a good ole fashion spat between Robin Givens and Mike Tyson. The dirtier, scarier, filthier it is…the better! Right?

Seeing others flail about is fun…right? Taking me away from my own reality feels like a gift from the Gods…right? Giving me pause, for entertainment purposes, is a way of giving back for the hard work and pain I have endured…right? Which brings me to a classic example of gawking that I just have to share…

The other night I was driving downtown Nashville with my fiance when we past the Hustler store (on of all streets, “Church Street”) when we noticed a gentlemen staring or should I say gawking through the plate-glass windows. As we sat at the red light, we both took notice at the level of commitment or should I say intensity with which this gentlemen peered into the candy store for adults. We both looked at each other and almost simultaneously said, “He looks Normal” as if to say he didn’t look like a stereotypical weirdo. Shocking no…surprising yes….

…and it got me thinking about this fascination with what is just beyond our reach. It also had me thinking about whether or not it was gender specific or driven by idiots. Was it something that only degenerates do or was this display of sultry desire a mere expression of hormones going askew? And, if gawking at negligees is Normal or accepted, what other ways do we ALL gawk at life and what assumptions do we lather onto the object of affection and/or disgust?

If men gawk does it turn women off? If women gawk do men feel mighty? Does it lessen one and uplift the other? Is it different if you are single and are “gawked” at? Does it sometimes feel good to stop others in their tracks with what you have done or what you look like? And, are there different forms of gawking that are unacceptable, equal, and/or just different? Would we consider tabloid journalism gawking? If so, then are we all guilty of the sinful pleasure of gawking through a news rack?

Let's Talk About Wants Instead...Whadda Ya Say?

Which brings us to the most appropriate and timely example….that of Mr. Tiger Woods. Millions probably watched Tiger’s apology today and formed immediate opinions. Many have been fascinated to gawk, I mean watch, the unraveling of an American icon. Now for many of you, this is an example of entertainment—not gawking. For some of you, like writers in the Golf world, boycotting is the approach of the day and for others it is mere water cooler talk.

Watcher or Gawker of Tiger's Press Conference?

Either way it presents as a perfect example for us to consider. Why is it that others successes and failures are far more entertaining and interesting than our own lives? Why do we get significant pleasure in the unattainable? Why do we want to bear witness (my apologizes to Lebron James) to salacious, scandalous, and murderous activities?

I must admit that I am the first to gawk at death on a Saturday night or two when I watch 48 Hours Mystery. I will say out loud that I am ready to, “…see dead people.” I say it with pleasure for entertainment and for my (I know I am not alone in this) desire to test out my detective skills.

Witness the NEXT Michael Jordan

I am not proud of my “gawking” and I want to continue to understand it. I think we would all do ourselves a favor by asking what it is that we gawk at and what are we truly going after. What lessons are we teaching our kids? How will they know when to intervene or will they just practice group-think and gawk with others when someone is in need?

Just recently a young girl was beaten in front of security personnel in Seattle and received no assistance or protection. Why did gawkers not turn into helpers?

Gawking can begin innocently. Gawking can merely be wishful thinking. The problem is that it sets the stage for an overall approach to life…One that places us on the sidelines of life assuming and placing judgment on people and circumstances outside of our purview and probably pay grade. Think about what you are gawking at and think even harder about the respect you are displaying to yourself and the younger generation looking for acceptable role models.

Dr. Rod
Rod Berger, PsyD The Normal Male

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The Tuesday Tiptoe-When Divorce Seems Inevitable


The day after. How do you feel? Did you make it through the night? Hopefully you did and can look out on the other side. You might be asking what did I survive or outlast? Well….According to some in the universe, The 25th of January is the Saddest Day of 2010.

Now there could be a number of reasons not the least of which are associated with gray skies, a depressed economy and on and on….right?

Or could it be just a seasonal thing…something that occurs because the euphoria of the holidays is over and we are left with only tax season on the horizon…or could it be something entirely too close to home?

I am not sure what it is or why it is or why we would bring focus each year to something not exactly uplifting, but what I am sure of is that gray skies outside can translate into gloomy nights inside.

As this week steams ahead like a runaway train we are going to explore the Divorce Life-cycle. Gloomy to some…liberating to others. Divorce can be a very lonely and desolate place for the individual and the couple as a whole.

We are going to look at how one assesses where they are at…the decision before them…the internal and external pressures…and the outlook once a decision is made. In short, we are going to breakdown divorce into the following categories:

1. Irritation
2. Contemplation
3. Irrigation

4. Condemnation

5. Reconciliation
6. Emancipation

Why should I be tackling this series? What do I know about it? Well,in short order I am a divorcee and have worked with divorce from all angels and situations. I have seen the impact on the adults and the children and know of many individuals who struggle to answer this question:

“Am I just in a funk or is this state-of-mind permanent?”

And of course we hear of the “7-year-itch” aptly depicting the rash-like feeling we can feel when every move taken or word spoken by our spouse elicits anger, irritation, and debate. So let’s examine this first stage and try to get a grasp on this stage of a relationship entering the E.R.

Stage 1: Irritation

Whether it is the man or woman that becomes increasingly irritated with their spouse one thing becomes clear…as one partner’s irritation increases—the likelihood is that their spouses irritation goes up too! And as we begin to experience our once perfect spouse as not-so-perfect we begin to have conversations with ourselves. Often we do not share our thoughts with our friends, relatives, coworkers, or spouse. What we do is go down a list, in our head, that mimics a security checklist for a school field trip:
1. Where are we going?
2. Why?
3. Did anyone ask if I even wanted to go?
4. How long do I have to stay?
5. What will I need to take with me?
6. What’s for lunch?
7. Who is going?
8. Am I responsible for work I am missing?
9. Who do I HAVE to sit by on the bus?
10. Am I the only one who doesn’t want to go on this trip?

You might think that this list is either limited or exhaustive, but what you cannot do is deny the mental tussle one goes through on a moment-to-moment basis when contemplating the survival rate of their relationship.

Let’s Translate shall we…

1. Where are we going?= What happened to our original plan and why do I feel like this relationship is out of control?

2. Why?= Why have you changed and do you even care about me anymore?

3. Did anyone ask if I even wanted to go?= I feel like you never ask me what I want. I feel like I am trapped doing what everyone else expects a wife/husband to do.

4. How long do I have to stay?= I am not sure that I want to continue feeling this way and I don’t know how to tell you or if this thought is fleeting…either way I want some control over MY life.

5. What will I need to take with me?= I don’t even know what I need to do that will help me feel better if we are going to work this out…and if we decide to end it I really don’t know what I need to do!

6. What’s for lunch?= I don’t feel nourished by this relationship. My tank is empty and I hate feeling and knowing that one of us is going to have to “give back” with only fumes. I hate this vicious cycle of bartering for our needs.

7. Who is going?= Am I the only one that is scared my marriage is falling a part? Do my friends ever go through this?

8. Am I responsible for work I am missing?= Our routines are killing any opportunity to “get back” what we had. Why can’t life wait so that we can recapture our magic of yesteryear?

9. Who do I HAVE to sit by on the bus?= If I am to risk “losing hand” by bringing up my sadness…what conciliatory acts am I going to have to take on?

10. Am I the only one who doesn’t want to go on this trip?
= Does he/she not notice how bad things have gotten? Do they not care?

The result of this long and drawn out conversation is that many are left wondering…“Why should I care anymore?”

And, instead of sharing our fears (speaking to the men out there) we close up shop, build up walls, and act out for hope that she will notice. Normal Males will work hard to share their feelings and concerns sending a message that the relationship is that important to them.

Easier said than done. I know. I struggled mightily to fight routines and speak up when I so desperately wanted answers to my growing frustration and irritation. But, I am human as are you and sometimes men and women demonstrate their fears by acting out in hopes that their spouse will translate the community theater production being put before them on a daily basis.

It hark-ins back to a friend of mine who became so irritated with his job that he wanted to send a message to his superiors, of which he had many, by playing the movie Office Space on repeat in his section of the “cube-farm.” After the movie played 62 times…my friend glided into work one day to find his computer gone…vanished…no more secret “telegrams” to be sent.

Relationships go through bumps and bruises and so many in the media and in mental health want to lie to you and say that, “It’ll be ok…just hang in there.” I am here to tell you a truth…sometimes the Irritation reflects the different paths you each are on and that is Normal.

It does not imply that one person is at fault or malicious. It might simply mean that as you have evolved as individuals your values, goals, dreams, personalities and outlook might have taken a separate and individual path. This country prides itself on “finishing what we started”….”never giving up”….and that one gender has to “go down with the ship.”

These can be destructive messages to both men and women resulting in children and friends who no longer understand or enjoy being around you. As we walk through the Divorce Life-Cycle please be cognizant that you are NOT alone, you ARE Normal, and if too much damage hasn’t been done, you can work it out. Be aware of your thoughts and actions and look beyond the Irritation to understand the cause and source…it might very well be You…I know it was Me.

See you tomorrow when we will look at the progression of the Divorce Life-Cycle and Stage 2: Contemplation

Dr. Rod
Rod Berger, PsyD The Normal Male

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Do Normal Males Really Desire the Heidi Montag’s of the World?


If you haven’t read about the “Hills” star Heidi Montag than you have missed a golden opportunity to see how young girls and women are impacted by media and men (click here to watch GMA interview with Heidi). Ms Montag is showing off her new look after completing 10 plastic surgery procedures in one day.

As I watched the story this morning on the news I was struck by my flat affect…does this really surprise me? Should I be shocked that this reality “star” turned singer had so many procedures? And…my answer came only when I heard that she is a mere 23 years-old.

To think that a 23 year-old young woman who states that she is promoting inner beauty stinks of arrogance and ignorance for the role she plays in the very people who will probably buy her new album. “Superficial” is the name of her new album and titled quite appropriately if you ask a Normal Males opinion.

My hope is that young girls and women call out Heidi Montag for her approach to beauty and ridiculous statements that…”tripple D’s aren’t big enough”…and support those in the spotlight that provide healthy examples. Actress Emmy Rossum did just that blasting Heidi for her poor example during a time of global heartache and need.

The question to ponder is this…What role do men play in young women’s approach and possible addiction to perfecting their outward appearance? Is this a matter of “natural selection”…that we males will only select females based on perfected body features for marriage and procreation?

Normal Males know, even if they don’t want to admit it to their buddies during football and beer, that though they may desire or dream about “fake” women for short-term sexual prowess…they all know that long term love and companionship are nearly impossible with someone so consumed by themselves. Let’s think practically…if a man or woman is so focused on the perfection of their bodies what time do they have to share with you.

Men play a significant role in the responding to the “Heidi’s” of the world…we need to let all females know that we fear being accepted, looking “buff” enough, tall enough, and we sure won’t survive being with a woman who perpetuates that fear of never falling “below” the line of perfection.

On the Bachelor last night, Jake Pavelka made two decisions that could make Normal Males proud. Faced with a majority of female contestants that appear to have gone “under-the-knife”, Jake sent two packing because of their in-authenticity. .

Young girls and women hear this…(trumpets bellowing in the background)…Normal Males want to find someone to love, to be loved by, to share with, to feel safe when scared, someone who is comfortable nurturing our fragile ego (See Jake last night ask for that of Vienna after bungee jump), someone who understands being lazy on a Saturday, and one who challenges us.

None of the above hopes require looks that resemble packaging and plastic…they require comfort in ones’ skin. We, Normal Males, will work hard to support you and hope that adult women will support Normal Females as well.

Looking perfect only masks the imperfections on the inside. We’ll work hard on our end to treat you better and communicate those things we love and would never trade for physical alterations.

Dr. Rod
Rod Berger, PsyD The Normal Male

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