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AnswerRing: The New Magic 8 Ball

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The AnswerRing, a paper device the size of a salad plate, is our generation's version of the Magic 8 Ball -- targeted specifically to "help a woman deal with her husband."

Dr. Michelle Golland: I am so excited because I just found the adult version of the Magic 8 Ball -- you know, the 5-inch round shiny black ball with the big 8 on it that we all had in the late 1970s. I would shake it and ask: "Is Jason going to be at Skateway tonight?" Shake shake shake. Answer: Cannot predict now. Darn!!!!! Okay, "If Jason is at Skateway, should I wear the red Valor hoodie?" Shake shake shake. Answer: Concentrate and ask again. Whatever!!! Okay, "Magic 8 Ball, will Jason kiss me tonight while I am wearing my red Valor hoodie?" Shake shake shake. Answer: Yes most definitely. YEAH!!!! And yes, I did wear the hoodie, and I kissed Jason near the lockers at the skating rink.

woman looking at crystal ball and anserring product
The Magic 8 Ball was so great because it made us ask the questions that we deeply wanted answers to. For some strange reason, it was safer to shake that ball and want to believe we would be guided by it than to listen to ourselves or take the action that was needed to make what we wanted to happen actually occur. For example, I really wanted to call Jason and ask him to go to Skateway, but I was too scared. I knew I would look supercute in the red Valor hoodie, but I needed validation. I also knew I truly wanted to kiss Jason that night, and inside I probably knew he wanted the same thing too.

The AnswerRing, a paper device the size of a salad plate that claims to help people "solve personal and interpersonal problems in an inexpensive, private, and simple manner," is a similar little gadget that is supposed to "help a woman deal with her husband." It allows you to describe more than 117,000 specific situations for which you want an answer -- for example, I don't feel my husband loves me, or My husband doesn't make enough money. Once you complete the 4 sentences with prewritten options to form your question, you turn the AnswerRing over and it gives you "advice."

If you're wondering, as I did, what the AnswerRing could possibly say that would be helpful, here is your answer:

1) My husband ... Says he loves me, but doesn't seem to.
2) This makes me feel ... Very sad.
3) I wonder if ... It would help to call a friend.
4) Or if ... It's better to do nothing.

The advice on the back is also presented in a formula:

1) Your husband ... Should be told you don't feel loved -- then given the reasons.
2) Realize ... We all have downtimes; change alone can work, but you may need clinical help.
3) So ... Talk to a friend you can trust to get more perspective.
4) Anyway ... If you don't do anything, don't expect anything to change.

If you should be one of the lucky ones whose problem doesn't fall into the category of situations covered by the AnswerRing, the device offers this sage advice: "If the situation seems unlikely to you, don't dial it in.... There are a lot of odd situations out there."

The AnswerRing cautions that once you seek its help, you need to decide if there is danger involved in your situation before you act on its advice. How do you decide if there is danger involved? "If you aren't sure whether there's danger or not, assume that there may be danger, and get professional help as soon as you can." The device also suggests, if you are not in danger, that you discreetly place the AnswerRing somewhere your husband will find it so that it may pique his interest to start a discussion with you about the topic you left exposed for him to read.

It seems to me that what this is trying to get us to do is to ask ourselves the important questions and then muster up the courage to actually speak to our husband about things that concern or bother us -- so if your husband doesn't find the AnswerRing in his underwear drawer where you placed it, maybe you should ask the Magic 8 Ball what to do next.

What do you think of the AnswerRing?


next: Give Experiences Instead of Gifts!
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