Better Halves

Nadine Marries Herself, Lori’s Sells Her
Soul & a Squid Did What to a Woman?

We were going for a full ‘National Enquire’ feel with that headline, but lost our verve halfway through it. It’d be redundant to take a bombastic stab at these already tabloid-ish ‘human interest’ stories. And yet, we’re hopping you get as utterly enthralled by them as we’ve been since we’ve started writing them.
They’re all true, by the way: Nadine’s ceremony, Lori’s eBay auction, and an ‘aggregation of gametes’ found inside the mount of the unidentified woman. As for the headline, we’d never do justice to the ‘Ford to City: Drop Dead,’ to invoke a legendary one, ran by the N.Y. Post in the 1970s.
Also, these vignettes about three women at the center of these events, who have attracted widespread media attention, bring to mind a post we’ve published not too long ago, about men. In other words, we’re equal opportunity dissenters, or, if you’d prefer, ‘si hay gobierno, soy contra,’ which is an old saying most likely misattributed to Che Guevara.
Despite being different from each other, though, we think these stories somehow have something in common, besides their strangeness and, of course, the fact that they’re all about women. We’re just not about to insult your intelligence telling you exactly what. So after going over them, let’s see whether we can all come out in one piece on the other side.

It was a simple ceremony and, for the 45 friends and family who shared the cake afterwards, quite touching, really. After reading her vows to ‘relish a lifelong love affair’ with herself, Nadine Schweigert, of Fargo, presented her exquisite ring to her ‘bride’ and, although could not kiss her own mouth, seemed radiantly happy.
For those of us who tend to associate her city with the quirkiness of that old Cohen Brothers movie, the idea doesn’t seem too out of character. But for the yoga teacher, it was also a public statement of her self-acceptance and, pragmatically, the need to stop waiting for the ‘right’ person to show up and sweep her out of her feet.
Which makes sense. Why, if she’s just found out that the person of her dreams is right there, staring at her from the mirror, ready to please her in any way possible. Plus, the advantage of already knowing all her preferences and tastes, so to always make the right choice when shopping, going to the movies, or, for once, indulging a pint of ice cream without any criticism.
Cynics, of course, will read in that just another proof that most of us have already given up on each other, tired of so much fuss for a few years of exciting mutual discovery, followed by a lifetime of exacerbating each other’s flaws and idiosyncrasies. Cynics should stop making judgments about other people’s choices, though, since they couldn’t care less about them anyway.
Things are tough out there, and all the dating sites’ advertising, about finding the ‘one,’ sounds exactly like that, advertising. Most don’t even believe that there’s that ‘one’ somewhere outside our door, and, in many instances, that’s a good thing. Nadine, who’s honeymooning in New Orleans, is already a step ahead in finding an alternative to such depressing prospect.

Lori N.’s ad on EBay is a whole new ballgame, though. By advertising the sale of her heartbroken soul, for a mere $2,000, no takers so far, she’s actually being brutally open about her own depression and feelings of despair. While so many would feel ashamed of admitting their own sadness, Lori went public about hers.
We’re no doctors but by Lori’s own admission, it all started with a car accident a few years ago, in her native Albuquerque. She was into a comma for three weeks and, when she came to, she had a stroke, several broken bones and a collapsed lung. Not long after, one of her breasts had to go too. The biggest damage though seems to have been neurological.
From an active writer, her life took a turn to the worst, and she found herself ‘at the end of her hope,’ as she candidly put it to the local press. In fact, the poignancy of her stunt is that it goes way beyond any gimmick; this woman is publicly putting herself at the mercy of strangers, offering them the chance to ‘save’ her soul.
The part that appeals to us, though, is that, unwittingly, she seems to have already open a new door for her redemption, in case she would like to consider having one. For what her idea amounts to is a piece of psychodrama, that she’s willing to share as a sort of more-honest-than-usual reality show.
She may not have realized it, but she did package her own pain into a neat, palatable piece of performance art, that, who knows, may offer her a new lease on life. Even claiming that she hasn’t written anything in years, this is already a play that’s begging to be committed to paper. Someone ought to tell her that (not you, cynics). In that sense, all power to Lori’s soul.

This story made the rounds as ‘the squid that impregnated a Korean woman,’ and even though that’s far from what happened, it made for good copy, in the appreciation of weird news editors all over, so they run with it. But Danna Staaf, from the Science 2.0 Website, has thoroughly dismissed the idea that any inner-species impregnation has ever occurred.
The original report, published by Dr. Park GM and his team at South Korea’s Kwandong University College of Medicine, is about a 63-year-old woman, who ‘experienced severe pain in her oral cavity immediately after eating a portion of parboiled squid along with its internal organs.’ Since her discomfort persisted, she sought medical attention.
As it turned out, the team removed ‘twelve small, white spindle-shaped, bug-like organisms’ that were stuck to her tongue, cheek, and gums. What afflicted her were squid spermatophores, which according to Staaf, are not organisms, but ‘packages,’ capable of delivering genetic material once attached to the skin.
But, let’s make it very clear (and hope we can get you back, since we’ve lost you all with the last graph), these have no way in heaven or earth to somehow reproduce little squid inside anybody’s mouth and most likely, would have been eliminated by the woman’s body, though some form of infection.
Also, all parts involved, and probably the U.S. fishing industry too, want to make sure that you know that few people in this country would ever eat squid without removing first its internal organs. Calamari? it’s just the muscle of the little thing. And it’s always good to remind everyone that we’re far, genetically or otherwise speaking, of any inner-species reproduction.
So it’s way more likely that we’ll wind up building those pods that the movie The Fly imprinted on our collective psyche, in order to combine two species, than to have them somehow ‘mate,’ even if it’s in the cozy, wet environment of your own mouth. Unless, of course, they finally find that giant squid they keep talking about. In that case, our advice is, run, run, run.

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