Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Loving cups

It has been widely reported online that two earnest little researchers, Jackie Lee and Hyemin Chung from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston have invented two high-tech glasses that glow when either member of the couple are using them. These cups are designed for couples to use when they are far apart from each other.

Whenever either person picks up a glass, the light-emitting diodes start to glow on their partner’s glass. Accordingly, when one puts the glass to their lips, the other glass glows brightly. It does not matter how far apart the couple are: liquid sensors and wireless links have been built into the glasses.

Oh yuck! You've left goozies on the edge!

Jackie and Hyemin believe that couples who drink together create a ‘vital part of social interacting that lovebirds miss out on when separated.’ Lee went on to say that the wireless glasses really do ‘help people feel as if they were sharing a drinking experience together.’ That’s right – you could be lapping a latte in London, and he could be sipping a soda in Saigon.

Awww, aint that nice. Similar to my previous blog about the innate preference of men to cook meals outside – ala the BBQ - http://blurbfromtheburbs.blogspot.com/2006/03/king-tong-advertiser-newspaper.html
- this is another fantastic example of taxpayer monies being put to thoroughly useful, high-priority research and study to benefit all of us in society.

Think about it: how many times have you wondered just when your absent beloved was drinking? Never, right? A few months ago, Love Chunks was sent to Chile for a weather bureau nerdy-thinktank chatter-fest. Being at least four time zones behind us in South Oz, I never once wondered, at 3am or any other time, whether he was having a fizzy cup of fanta, green tea, or zesty red Chilean wine on his jaunt. To be blunt, the only thing a wife like myself would be interested in that glows when her partner is using it is located much further south than his mouth - that's right, his whoopee wand. Even then it doesn’t mean we will be about to put our lips to our own glowing version at home because, after all, the ‘ol love log is used for a couple of other things as well and we don’t want to frighten our children unnecessarily.

If a few hundred canoodling couples were surveyed, I suspect that ‘imbibing beverages at the same time’ would not be first on their list if asked: What would you miss most about your partner? Jackie and Hyemin might consider it a vital part of social interacting for lovebirds, but in the real world it would rank way below touching, hugging, kissing, foreplay, sex, cuddles, rubbing, talking, walking and so on and so forth. Even ‘looking in real estate/furniture/homewares/book/gifts/clothing store windows’ would rate higher, as would ‘putting together the ikea bookshelf in two hours or less.’

Have Jackshit and Hymen thought about the potential health implications of their newest thing in the beverage world since the wide-mouthed beer can for quicker drinking was introduced in Australia in 1994? If Boy in Beijing is busy cycling a vigorous 30km uphill ride home from work, he’s likely to be gulping down a couple of litres of water. Is that the volume of liquid that his lover, Lulu in Lapland wants to drink in the middle of an Arctic winter?

Let us consider the situation of Ingrid in IT and her boyfriend Ralph, in road works. They live in the same city but could still fall prey to the deathly portions dealt out by these lethal loving cups. After four hours at her desk in an air-conditioned office, she sips at a tiny little espresso. Ralph, on the other hand, has been ditch-digging for four hours in 37C heat and needs more fluid than the sum total of a dew drop off a ladybird’s back.

Will these cups work if the couples have different tastes? My darling husband Love Chunks likes a good slosh of red wine in the evening – will it be transferred into gin’n’tonic in mine, or, more seriously, from Farmers Union Iced Coffee (3% fat) to Feel Good Iced Coffee (0.5% fat)?

So my point – if I have one, and that is, quite fairly, somewhat doubtful – is that perhaps these loving cups are OK for the couple that is still in the first six months of fixated, sickening-to-others Code Red Kling-On Togetherness. When they have the time, energy and will to lie on any horizontal surface and stare into each others’ eyes for hours on end, ignoring the dust bunnies on the kitchen sink and the mushrooms growing in the shower cubicle. When no aspect of their partner is (yet) repugnant – dutch ovens, 10cm nose hairs or leaving a tiny pile of toe nail clippings on the arm of the lounge are still kinda gorgeous and endearing. Then, and only then, would any person in a couple be interested in doing the same thing – such as slurping from a cup – at precisely the same time as their partner.

The rest of us would be more likely to think: “Oh thank god he’s up first. He can get Sapphire up, dressed and breakfasted; or: He's sipping coffee - he can easily streak outside to retrieve the newspaper; Great, he’s cooling down with a drink so he’ll be fine to finish the weeding and lawn trimming; He can entertain the guests whilst I dash from the bathroom to the bedroom; or I hope he’s not too miffed to find that I drank all of the iced coffee yesterday arvo…..”

If it was chocolate it would be far more appropriate – couples, after all, like to cocoon together, usually on the lounge eating naughty things of miniscule nutritional value and watching DVDs. Preferably in tracksuit pants with forgiving elastic waistbands. If they were for a reason geographically separated, they would no doubt be left unimpressed at the thought of having to unpeel themselves from the sofa cushions to go to the loo in the middle of ‘When Harry Met Sally.’ Chips – and chocolates – don’t fill bladders, but beverages bloody well do. And if Love Chunks is eating some of the good stuff, I want to be as well, even if he's in Chile and it's 3am in the morning over here.

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