I was finishing college when I met my husband, Jason*, a carefree, polite Australian with dreamy blue eyes and shaggy brown hair who was on an extended working holiday. The attraction to his laissez faire personality and quirky accent was arguably a naive American girl’s knee-jerk reaction to a breakup with a controlling and insecure Brit. Yet, it is undeniable that our romance was of Hollywood screenwriting caliber. Set in the picturesque town of St. Andrews, Scotland — ironically at the same time and place where Prince William courted Duchess Catherine — I allowed this delicious Aussie, four years my senior, to sweep me off my feet. We strolled hand-in-hand through ruins on the beaches that lined the North Sea, snuck kisses in-between pints at our favourite pubs on Sunday afternoons, and celebrated my graduation from St. Andrews University in the company of my entire family, who embraced him immediately. I knew he was a keeper when he broke into the Royal and Ancient Golf Club where he worked to show me the grandiose dining room, which had banned women patrons centuries ago.
Nonetheless, reality always finds a way to spoil the fairytale. Soon after graduation, I returned to my parents’ house in Connecticut and Jason returned to his native Australia. While most flings abroad are retired, Jason and I couldn’t shake the feeling that we might be soul mates. We agreed to take a stab at our fledging union and if it didn’t work, we would walk away with dignity and respect knowing that we tried our best. Thus began a journey that far outweighed the rarity of our early beginnings as Jason and B.B. Truly, what was most unforeseen was not the juggling of the typical long-distance relationship, but where this brand of relationship took us and the questions we inevitably had to answer. Keep reading »
Foosball, cricket, video games and hot dogs — it’s just another afternoon at Sydney IKEA‘s new “man cave,” where weary husbands and boyfriends can unload while the womenfolk go shopping. I know you’re expecting me to start ripping my hair out at the gender stereotypes here. And I will, in a moment. But I actually think this is a good idea from IKEA corporate’s standpoint. If whining make the customers leave before they spend more money, get rid of them. It probably costs IKEA very little to distract men in their new “man cave,” while allowing the person holding to credit card to cha-ching! even more. Children have their own play station at IKEA — it’s called Smaland — and now another group not known in aggregate for their dedication to long shopping excursions have their own place. I just wish it weren’t so “dude” specific. Not all women love shopping and us ladies would love a “man cave” of our own. [YouTube] Keep reading »
Coffees with sexual enhancement properties do come with some, um, perks. But Australian health officials say to put the java down. Food Standards Australia New Zealand said the coffee brands Sexpresso and Rock Hard contain “analogues of sildenafil (Viagra),” which are “not declared on the label,” the Herald Sun reports. Sexual aids should not be added to food products, the health officials said, because it’s unclear how all the ingredients will interact. That’s too bad. After a few shots of Sexpresso in the morning, a dude could be up for anything. [Herald Sun AU] Keep reading »
What’s in a swimsuit? Well, if it’s got an image of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi on it, apparently a lot. Hindus are outraged after Australian designer Lisa Blue trotted a suit with an image of Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of love and abundance, down the runway in her recent spring 2011 show during Australian Fashion Week. In response to the suit, members of right-wing Hindi group Shiv Sena burned the Australian flag, believing that it is inappropriate to use Hindu deities or concepts for commercial usage. Lisa Blue has already vowed that the suit will never be made for sale. Keep reading »