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Newlyweds Holly and Jack take you inside their lives and give you an intimate look at their marriage. Learn all about The Fart Club, their "MCA" (that's "Most Common Argument"), and more!

Watching ‘Mad Men’ Helps Our Relationship

When Holly and I first started watching Mad Men -- whose new season recently premiered, for those of you who haven’t been waiting with bated (and alcohol-soaked) breath – it was purely for enjoyment. The writing, acting, cinematography – it’s all top notch. We even throw back a few Old-Fashioneds and Whiskey Sours while we watch; it’s impossible not to crave a cocktail watching them down drink after drink at work, in broad daylight. In reality, if I drank that much at work – if I drank at all at work – I’d be useless for the rest of the day. How do they do it with those three-martini lunches? Anyway, I digress.

After a while, I started to realize that our Mad Men viewing sessions started to resemble couples’ therapy sessions. The complex characters on the show – with their old-fashioned mentalities and flawed relationships – have been fodder for Holly and my discussions about life, love, commitment and betrayal.

Betty Draper Francis is Holly’s favorite character – mainly because she loves to hate her. She can’t understand Betty’s coldness for Don or the new husband, and it drives her nuts that the woman seems to hate her own children. I have to admit it gets under my skin a little when Holly tells me she’d be “anything but cold” if she were married to Don Draper. (Really, ladies, we get it but don’t need to hear about it.) But it gives me insight into Holly’s own feelings toward relationships, nurturing and even mothering – even though we’re not there yet. It also gives me an opportunity to explain the weird appeal that women like Betty have for men like me (I really can’t explain it fully, but I try. I mean, she’s hot, and she’s a challenge. Who’s with me?)

Holly says that my admiration for Peggy – the smart cookie who’s way ahead of her time and can hold her own with the boys – actually makes her more attracted to me. (It could be all the whiskey she’s drinking while I’m talking). It’s true though – while I’d love to have a fling with Betty, Peggy’s the one I’d want to be in a relationship with. Her strength, smarts and even her offbeat hotness are definitely my thing. And if it turns Holly on to hear that – or gives her a reason to feel like she made the right decision picking me (we all need a little reassurance now and then, right?), then all the better.

So, who else tuned in to see the season premiere of Mad Men? What did you think? And more importantly, are you (or do prefer) a Betty or a Peggy?

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The Mystery Date

This may not be news to you, but yes, relationships can become routine.You always want to keep things growing and changing; you want to avoid predictability. In some ways, routine is inevitable. In others, it's up to the couple in question. Stef and I get a lot of inquiries from readers seeking guidance and advice. It's kinda funny, because in no way do Stephanie and I have it “figured out.”

Dave's def. right. But one thing we always do is have fun. It doesn't matter what the situation, where we are or what we're going through, we always laugh with each other. Sometimes it takes effort, but most of the time it doesn’t.

We do have one routine that ironically keeps things fresh and fun: the Mystery Date.

The Mystery Date took off in LA. We were a bit more adventurous then, so Dave started it. It was a Saturday night. We got in the car, he put a blindfold over my eyes, and an hour later, I found myself at a drive-in theater! We were so Danny and Sandy! (Minus the black-leather outfits.)

The Mystery Date is something that EVERY couple should incorporate into their relationship. Here’s how it works: One half of the couple chooses, plans and organizes the date. They provide the other half with only the vital information:

1. What time to be ready to be out the door

2. How long they should free their schedule

3. How to dress appropriately

And that's it! Here’s an example: For one mystery date, I took Stef to a live taping of The Jerry Springer Show. Jerry films in Stamford, Connecticut, about an hour's drive from New York. All I told her was, "Be ready at 10:30 a.m. (12 noon taping), dress casual, and bring a bathing suit." The bathing suit part was a red herring to throw her off the scent.

No words can describe the Jerry experience. It was complete anarchy! We got totally caught up in chanting, "Jerry! Jerry!" I was all smiles all day. It's a great memory, and it was so much fun! And definitely different than your average Saturday night out. And Jerry hit on me!!

Mystery Dates are always fun for the person kept in the dark because they're trying to figure out where you're going and what you're doing. It's also fun for the planner because they're controlling the whole thing. And you just alternate who does the planning. Once a month is more than enough. It can be as simple as a movie you've both been wanting to see or as extravagant as a vacation -- hence the mystery.

While we aren't perfect, I think we've got the date thing down. Would you consider planning a mystery date? Have you ever?

Are You Going to the Gyno Too Often?

If your gyno told you it’s fine to stop getting exams for the next few years, would you be okay with that? According to The New York Times, doctors have been recommending less frequent cervical cancer screenings via Pap tests. Once a year is excessive, all of a sudden. I find that a little scary.

Apparently, many medical experts feel that overly frequent visits instill unnecessary trauma in girls and women. More cervical cancer tests equal a higher instance of false-positive results -- not to mention all the poking and prodding.

Don’t get me wrong; the gynecologist’s office is literally the last place on Earth I care to be at any given moment. I prefer a root canal on Motrin. (I wish I were joking.) But that doesn’t mean I won’t continue to march my slightly humiliated, paper-gown-swathed butt into that office once a year. Bring on the stirrups; I’m not the type to take chances.

Can you blame me? According to the Centers for Disease Control’s most recent stats, more than 12,000 US women were diagnosed with cervical cancer last year, while 4,000 women died from the disease. I’m no doctor, but I can’t help feeling that two or three years would make a huge difference for someone in the earliest stages of cervical cancer -- and I’m not even taking into account any of the other diseases that gynecological exams screen for.

The Times article suggests that this new practice will promote a more lax attitude in future generations, and I agree 110 percent. In fact, it kind of feels like a throwback to my great-grandmother’s generation. From talking with my MIL, I gathered that many women back in the day were too “modest” to attend regular gynecologist appointments -- and many of them, my ancestors included, succumbed to advanced forms of reproductive illnesses as a result. We’ve come too far medically to revert back to unfortunate realities like that.

I also worry that health insurance companies will catch onto this trend and start reducing coverage for gyno visits, thereby forcing us all to be a little more lax. I have to be honest, ladies...I never thought I’d be arguing for my right to be invaded by a cold metal speculum, but I guess there’s a first time for everything.

How often do you visit the gynecologist? Would you be willing to cut back to once every three years, as doctors are beginning to suggest?

A Story Worth Reading

Ever get into a situation where you start telling a story -- with the best of intentions -- then you get to the middle and realize, oops, I have no idea where this is going? Yeah, I do that ALL THE TIME.

There's nothing wrong with confidence. In fact, it's a great thing. But Stephanie has a habit of starting stories that have no endings, and trusting that they’ll end fine. I can't tell you how many of her stories end with "So, you know…."

The other night we were out with a reporter friend of mine and his girlfriend, and I started to tell a story about Gainesville, Florida -- the place where I had my first TV job. It starts something like, “Oh, I love Gainesville. I had the best time there. My roommate and I once decided to just up and tour the town on a whim."

Aaaaand...that was the end of her story. No crazy encounters with locals. No getting lost and seeing an alligator. Nada! But here's the thing: Stef has driven down Dead-End Story Lane often enough that she's learned a little trick. Instead of going down in flames by herself, she'll now take me down with her!

"My roommate and I once decided to just up and tour the town on a whim. And so, you know...Dave, you go to a lot of new towns, right???"

What?? I was an innocent bystander. In fact, to be honest, I like watching Stephanie jump out of her “story plane�� without a parachute. But now she's pulling me out of the plane with her!

Honestly, I tell stories for a living. I blame it on that. I spend hours thinking up a beginning, middle and end. I think Dave has come to the realization that he has a lifetime of ending my stories ahead of him. At least he's funny!

To look on the bright side, it's a test of my improv skills. Here, take this horrible story and make something entertaining out of it. Reaaaddy...GO!

Who's the "entertainer" in your relationship? Do you guys have each other's backs or let the other go down in flames?

Stephanie Tsoflias is a reporter for WPIX in New York City. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter (@lifeofareporter). Dave Siegel is a standup comedian and writer in New York City. You can see a list of his upcoming performances at DaveSiegel.com and follow him on Twitter (@StandUpDave).

The Rise of Erotica and E-Reading

I was reading in The Wall Street Journal about the link between the rise in sales of e-readers and the growing popularity of erotica. Apparently, the particular genre of erotica they’re referring to is called “romantica,” because it appeals to women and always has a happy ending (not that kind). Hmm...what are you ladies up to? I’m intrigued.

The article points out that the relative anonymity of downloading books digitally and reading them on a neatly wrapped electronic device is what makes e-readers the perfect platform for X-rated literature. One woman they interviewed claimed to have bought a Kindle just so she could read Fifty Shades of Grey, the erotica series that the entire country is buzzing about right now. As a man, I have to say it’s exciting to think that the woman sitting next to me on the train, who looks so sweet and demure, might actually be reading an erotic novel. It never even occurred to me before, but I like it!

This phenomenon makes me wonder, though: What are the guilty reading pleasures of men? I have to admit, I enjoy a sci-fi novel every now and then, but I wouldn’t be embarrassed to read, say, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in public. So I asked a few male friends of mine for their theories on what guys are reading covertly on their Kindles and Nooks. The top answer? Women’s magazines. Why? “Because we like to understand how women’s minds work.” I also asked Holly what she thought men were secretly reading. Her answer: Fifty Shades of Grey.

Tell me, ladies: Have you ever downloaded erotica to your e-reader? Would you? And what dirty little secrets do you think you’d find on men’s Kindles and Nooks?

Home Buying Help – Money Management Tools – Home Decorating Ideas – Free Recipes Posted by Jack
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