October 13, 2007

The media. sigh.

I apologize for my absence lately, but schoolwork has been getting the best of me this last month. And I thought senior year would be easy.

Anyway, for the sake of transparency I should share the fact that in that time I have taken myself back off the market. Or maybe it’s more factual to say my ex finally succeeded in taking me off the market.

So, alas, no more blind date sagas (sad for you, fine with me!). I’m no longer a free woman, but according to my friend Phillip, I’m still the “life of the party.”

Oh yeah — I’ve still got it.

I might have stayed away from blogging longer, but a recent plea for more entries has strengthened me for the task — this one’s for you, Athens Door Guy.

In case I haven’t mentioned this before, I work in a newsroom.

It’s interesting to witness, not only what happens IN the newsroom when people have down time, but especially what happens outside of the newsroom. Because journalists are crazy. I’ll show you what I mean.

Here is an example of a conversation that happened IN the newsroom this week:

Girl — “Hey, do you still have that big box of condoms Trojan sent us?”
Guy — “Um, yeah…”
Second Guy — “That’s awkward.”
Girl — “Can I have some more of those?”
Guy — “I already gave you some.”
Girl — “Well I used them all. Besides, you’re not using them.”
Guy sighs and goes to get them. He throws a few her way.
Guy — “Well, at least someone’s getting some. I’m glad I could sponsor some sex.”

And here is an example of a conversation that happened OUTSIDE the newsroom, but among newsroom regulars:

Guy — “Yeah, we went to Toppers and this girl was dancing on me and I thought, ‘Well, that’s very nice,” and asked her, like, ‘Oh, do you go here?’”

Girl 1 — “Why are you giving me a cupcake?”
Girl 2 — “Because I want you to eat it.”
Guy — “Hahahahaha! I’m writing that on Facebook right now!”
Girl 2 — “It’s really good, just eat it.”
Girl 1 — “I don’t want your cupcake.”
Girl 2 — “Well, SOMEBODY has to eat my cupcake.”
Guy 2 — “Now everyone’s touched it.”

Girl 1 — “Hey, I’ve got a great idea! Let’s make a new sex magazine for Athens and call it Doggy Style!”
Girl 2 — “Ooo, our first cover can be a guy in his whitey-tighties with a happy face drawn on his drawers!”
Girl 3 — “We can review vibrators and stuff.”

On second thought, those are pretty normal conversations for 21-year-olds, journalists or no. I guess this is just a lame tribute to my really funny friends. I hope my next post will be more meaningful.

September 23, 2007

Is he remotely manly?

Size is no longer the ultimate measure of manliness.

I’ve discovered a fool-proof way of determining how much of a man you’ve got on your hands.

Next time you step into his place, count the number of remotes he owns.

The more remotes, the more of a man he’s likely to be.

There’s one for the television, one for the DVD player, one for the surround sound system, one for the Xbox, one for the (insert name of a second game console of choice. Good bets are Wii or PS3).

There’s also probably at least one lying around from something he used to own but got rid of a year ago, and another with a use that befuddles even him. He probably keeps it with all the useful ones to give himself a manlier appearance.

And that’s the point, I think. You come over and, while he’s getting you a beer, try to accomplish the simple task of watching television.

Next thing you know, you’re rendered helpless by his entourage of controllers and calling his name for assistance.

That’s when he sweeps in to the rescue – double fisting remotes and clicking buttons here and there as you watch in admiration at his technological savvy.

I think real men take pride in their confusing system of controllers and the fact that only they can utilize them with any success. I, on the other hand, end up throwing one of the many remotes across the room in frustration.

Ultimately, if you can figure out how to turn on his TV set, change the component to satellite, change the channel and adjust the volume – all on your own – consider it an assessment, not of your smarts, but of his manliness.

Because real men never cease to confuse you – even when it comes to their appliances. That’s the way it was meant to be.

September 7, 2007

'Hi, I’d like a tattoo that will make every man I meet go completely flaccid'

I had dinner with a friend Thursday night who told me a great story that I felt compelled to share with you.

As we savored Coronas and cheese dip, she began to tell me of a family friend who had been dating a man for several years. The man recently died in a motorcycle accident, and my friend’s relatives attended the wake to show their sympathy.

They quickly found that the abandoned girlfriend needed sympathy for more than one reason.

In the brief period between her beau’s death and his wake, she had decided the best way to mourn his tragic passing was to get a tattoo in memory of him.

A gigantic tattoo.

Across her entire back.

Of his face.

As icing on the cake, she scrawled the words, “I Will Love You Forever” below his image.

Now, we all understand grief. But my friend and I were intrigued by the sexual repercussions of her eternal memorial, and the possibilities this girl’s future love life holds.

“What happens when the next guy she’s with has sex with her doggie-style, and he looks up to see the Ghost of Christmas Past staring back at him?” my friend queried. “Is that not, like, instant ED?”

And she would know.

Her boyfriend has five tattoos, the majority of which reside squarely on his bum.

His philosophy, she says, is that he should get something incredibly tacky, stat.

“I know I’ll eventually regret one of them anyway. I might as well go ahead and get it over with, so I can say, ‘Wow. I really regret that,’ and move on,” is his mantra, she says.

This, coming from a guy who has Tigger (yes, the Winnie the Pooh character) inked on his ass, and who has seriously considered procuring a permanent representation of the “Ice Age” squirrel on his inner thigh, fervently reaching for his nuts.

As funny as it would be, I’m thinking that might be a Grade A, regrettable tatt.

Perhaps not as regrettable, however, as a freakishly accurate, life-sized, full-back portrait of your dead ex.

The moral of the story is that nothing’s permanent – boyfriends, marriages, life – except the ink you just injected into your skin.

So you may want to rethink getting his initials inside a heart on your ass cheek. It’ll be a guaranteed mood-killer with your next partner.

September 5, 2007

If you've been hit with the fugly stick...

"Pretty people have it easy, whether they want to admit or not," my friend Phillip recently wrote on his blog.

Yes, life sucks if you're unattractive. It's no secret that it's harder to get out of a speeding ticket or convince an employer to hire you if you've been hit by the ugly stick. Not to mention getting someone from the opposite sex to listen to what you have to say.

But it's not always a party for the pretty kids, either.

I've seen many a personal ad from guys pleading for someone to appreciate them for more than their really, really ridiculously good-looking selves.

"Girls only ever want me for my body," one poor soul lamented on Craigslist.

My, it must be an uphill battle for those who are physically blessed.

But whether hot or not, we all are obsessed with our looks and the idea that our futures depend on them.

We MUST know -- we NEED to know -- whether we are considered attractive, because it assuredly determines what kind of a life lies ahead of us!

Just check out the hundreds of people who pony up their photos for public criticism on HotorNot.com. They can't rest until they know if the world approves ... or recoils.

But there are, in fact, things WORSE than being ugly.

You might be bugly (butt ugly)

or fugly (fat and ugly)

or even pugly (poor and ugly).

And you had best count your blessings if you aren't dugly (dog ugly).

If you be so unlucky, however, at least you can take comfort in the fact that you've been informed. Now you can brace yourself for the disappointing and lonely life that's likely ahead of you as a member of the dugly club.

You might want to hit up that hot guy on Craigslist, though. Tell him you'll appreciate more than his body if he'll appreciate everything but yours.

September 4, 2007

Good enough for me

Lauren: “I think that everyone can change if the right person comes along, and I think that every girl wants to be that person. Every girl wants to be the one girl that can change that guy.”

Lo: “But why do you have to have a guy that you have to change? Don’t you want to meet someone who’s good already?”

Well, that’s the idea – to find someone who’s already a good guy. But it doesn’t always work like that, does it?

What the girls from The Hills failed to mention is that good is rarely good enough. When we finally settle down and decide to marry someone, that’s us saying, "Hey. You’re good enough."

But nobody likes to settle, so when you find someone who has some qualities you like or admire, it’s only natural to try to elicit some others that he's lacking. Every possible beau requires you to weight the pros and cons: he’s got these things going for him, but he’s missing those.

It makes sense that we’d want to tip the scale a bit in a good guy’s favor. That’s why we never stop hoping we can squeeze some more potential out of him.

And I agree with Lauren – it’s a kind of fantastical thought to change a bad boy into a good one. To tame the wild child, if you will. But it is usually just that – a fantasy. The kind of thing country songs are made of.

Don’t get me wrong – people can change. But they have to want to change, and many times the things we hope to alter are too intimately connected to who they are.

You want him to be more frugal with his money, but you love his generous nature.

You want him to be more mature, but you love his silly sense of humor.

You keep hoping he’ll call you when he says he will, but…

wait, he should definitely change that!

The point is, some things about a person aren’t going to change. If you can’t see yourself dealing with those things if they don't change, you’ll have to accept defeat and move on.

Because a healthy relationship means losing the battle.

It means seeing a person for everything he is – the parts you love and the parts you wish you could change – and just accepting him.

It means saying, “You’re more than good enough.”

September 3, 2007

Dirty Dancing, Indeed

To my deep regret, I stopped into The Loft Friday night.

The spot I once enjoyed (at an earlier time in my life) now offers little more than a sweaty mass of horny freshmen, and no space to move or stand or breathe.

I went to meet up with a group of old high school friends and agreed to dance with one of them, only to discover that dancing with a guy can tell you everything you need to know about what he'll be like in bed.

It's no secret that the dancing we do downtown is just simulated sex, anyway. Like a less-than-complicated mating ritual, we can decide on the spot whether or not it's worth our wild to go home with a guy ... or duck out after one dance.

Because there are no secrets on the dance floor.

We can weed out the assholes and the virgins and the gay guys.

If he's thrusting his crotch around in a lost and confused manner, or if he seems in awe of the fact that a girl is actually willing to rub her ass against his groin for an extended period of time, you've probaby got yourself a grade A virgin.

If he's pounding you mercilessly with his denim cock (to quote Dane Cook) as if he was already doing the deed, he's probably the kind of guy who'd finish in two minutes and then get up and leave, without nary a thought to satisfying your needs.

Because if he doesn't care about your comfort and pleasure on the dance floor, he's going to care even less in bed.

The guy you want is smooth -- he wants to make you comfortable and happy, not get off inside his pants.

His dance style is gentle but firm, and he knows how to put the moves on you without violating your space.

My friend was not this guy.

His dance style -- which amounted to beating me with his crotch -- told me he was both a virgin and a two minute man.

I soon turned tail and moved on in search of better mate material, a little sorer than before.

September 1, 2007

A word about the mustache

If you are below the age of 40 – nay, 55 – you should NOT have a mustache.

It’s very simple – they are creepy.

I kissed a guy with a ‘tache (against my better judgment) this summer. That was creepier.

You should not have a mustache because they make you look older, but not in a good way.

They make you look like the 37-year-old who left his double wide for the night to crash a college party and eyeball the 18-year-old freshmen girls.

You might be the nicest guy on the planet, but the ladies won’t know it. They will avoid you like the plague.

If you have been told that your facial hair is the best thing to ever happen to your face, you either:

a) were told this by your guy friends (who are probably incapable of growing their own), or

b) are really ugly, and people are glad to see less of your face.

Almost no guy can pull off the mustache, and I say “almost” for reason and one reason only.

Sean Connery.
He is the only man I can think of whose face is actually enhanced by the ‘tache.

But I promise you will not look like Sean Connery.

You will look like Kip from Napoleon Dynamite. Good luck with that.

August 29, 2007

Is marriage the new dating?

“I think marriage is the new dating and having kids is the new marriage.”

This is the proclamation made by one free-as-a-bird 21st Century woman in the new issue of Marie Claire magazine.

The article, appropriately called “The Starter Husband,” examines an issue gaining attention in the media, literary and entertainment world -- a nonchalant attitude toward an increasing number of drive-through marriages.

It’s turned up in books, such as “The Starter Marriage” by Kate Harrison and “Not Your Mother’s Divorce: A Practical, Girlfriend-to-Girlfriend Guide to Surviving the End of a Young Marriage” by Kay Moffit.

It even garnered a mini series this summer –- “The Starter Wife" -– starring Debra Messing.

But this article talks to real women behind the phenomenon -– those who have jumped in and out of matrimony, changing husbands like they change their sheets.

Marriage the new dating? It’s a bold statement. A scary one, even. But when you look at today's culture, it makes sense.

We live in a throw-away society, always trading in what we have for an upgraded version. Our televisions and cell phones are perfectly fine, but we want high-def and an iPhone.

We want things until we don’t want them anymore. Why should our spouses be any different?

Many of us have watched our parents split up, too. This can make some who were products of divorces more cautious about choosing a partner in the future, but it also plants a subconscious seed that the option (divorce) is always there. That there’s always a way out.

A few of the women interviewed in the article said they got caught up in planning the wedding instead of planning the marriage. Some, nearing the big 3-0, caved to pressure from family. One said the man she married looked great on paper -– she’d have been crazy NOT to marry the guy.

Most realized they had made a mistake within months of saying “I Do.”

But is that how we should view a commitment to have and to hold ‘til death do us part? As a “mistake” that can be corrected with a phone call to a lawyer?

If this is what’s happening to the 25-30 crowd, I wonder what will happen to Gen Y as we reach the age to start pairing off.

We were pampered and coddled by our parents. They told us we were smart and that we could do anything, go anywhere and be anything. We are accustomed to kicking ass and taking names and getting what we want, when we want it. How will this mentality affect our perspective in a union?

Additionally, I wonder if our "have it now" generation can even fathom the concept of staying commited to someone –- or anything –- for a lifetime.

Our grandparents and even some of our parents held the same jobs or worked for the same companies for decades, maybe even their entire lives. But the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics show workers today average eight jobs before they turn 32.

Do we have any loyalties? Or will we, too, change our spouses, jobs and identities as we grow up?

I hope this isn’t the case. I hope that marriage can still mean something in society today –- that the high divorce rate and the bleak statistics on separating couples don’t disillusion us into the belief that matrimony is no big deal.

When the day arrives for you to say "I Do," I hope you won't be thinking that you can have a do-over.

August 28, 2007

Everyone loves a happy uterus

The price of safe sex has gone up.

Last week, the Red&Black reported that the price of discounted birth control pills through the University Health Center has risen and will continue to rise due to changes in the federal budget.

I found this out myself when I renewed my prescription last Thursday and paid $17 per pack instead of $14. This is the current rate for Ortho Tri Cyclen Lo without insurance coverage.

That translates to an extra $36 per year -- enough to buy a new pair of Rainbow sandals (currently on sale at Charbon's for about that price!)

Luckily, this is still a discounted rate, but as the price rises, it may discourage girls from purchasing the pills in the future.

And this is a shame, since birth control is one of the best forms of preventing unwanted pregnancy out there.

To draw on Dane Cook, there's no "ha ha" here.

More expensive pills mean more girls without protection.

In the future, young women who are forced to weigh the benefits of birth control against a higher price may start thinking, "I won't be having sex THAT often," or "I don't have THAT much sex."

They'll start deciding that if they only have sex two or three times a month (that's already paying $6 per encounter -- enough to buy an entire box of condoms) that the cost won't be worth it.

There's nothing wrong with condoms, of course, when they're used correctly. But we can already see how well they worked in "Knocked Up."

Ok, not the best example, but all the guys and gals who engage in hook-up culture after drinking downtown are more likely to forget to use a condom at all or be in no state of mind to put it on properly.

Guys should be concerned, because this affects them, too.

If fewer young women are on the pill, it places more responsibility on the male to take measures to prevent pregnancy.

Some guys out there assume they don't need to provide condoms when they hook up with a girl because "she's on the pill." Some even assume most girls are on the pill, and go around spreading their seeds without a care.

No more, if the price of having safe sex rises. Responsible guys will have to provide condoms or pitch in to help their girlfriends carry the financial burden of protection.

Unfortunately, the bottom line is that birth control is a preventative measure, which makes paying for it like paying for insurance.

Everybody hates paying insurance because, if nothing happens to you, it feels like a waste of money. But when something does happen, that cost seems a small price to pay.

If that something is a bun in your oven, compare more than $250,000 (the average cost of raising a child, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture) to $36.

Those new Rainbows aren't looking so hot anymore.

So, promiscuous ladies, suppress your frugal tendencies and shell out for the pills. Your wallet might feel the crunch, but your uterus will be happy.

And everyone loves a happy uterus.

August 27, 2007

Debunking the Theory of "The One"

A few years ago, I bought a book called "Is He The One? 101 Questions That Will Lead You to the Truth, Whatever That Is."

Each page has a question a woman supposedly should ask herself to determine whether or not her guy is, in fact, the "One."

It mostly asks obvious stuff that people ponder subconsciously anyway, like:

- "How does he treat his mother?"
-"Does he make you laugh?"
-"Does his plan for children match yours?"

According to Amazon, customers who bought this book also bought "How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk" and "How Can You Tell If You're Really In

Basically, really confused people. The kind of people who turn to Dr. Phil for advice.

Unfortunately, "Is He the One?" probably won’t help these people any more than Dr. Phil would. It can help you pinpoint things you like and don't like about a guy, but it won't tell you if he's the "One,” because there's no formula for that.

Let's say he receives positive answers for 60 percent of the 101 questions.
Does THAT mean he's the “One”?

Or should he have received a higher score, like 87 percent? Would THAT score make him the “One”?

And what about 100 percent? If you have good things to say about him for all the questions presented in this book, does THAT mean you should commit your life to this guy forever?

This is why the book doesn't work. Because after you've answered all the questions, you're left with the same glaring question you started with:
Is he the “One”?

And that's only a valid question if you believe there IS such a thing as the “One."

People who believe this theory likely believe in fate or destiny or God's will. That whomever we end up with isn't a choice, but rather, that he or she is pre-destined to be our compatible companion in life.

But there are over 6.6 Billion (with a capital B) people on this planet.

Does it even make sense to think that only one person is capable of making us happy?

I rejected this theory a while ago because following it can cause serious anxiety issues.

No matter who you're with, you'll always be asking yourself if he is that ONE special person out of all the other choices.
Sure, he makes you happy -- but does he make you happy ENOUGH? Or is the elusive "One" still out there who could make you happier?

This kind of thinking only perpetuates a “grass is greener on the other side” mentality. You’ll never be satisfied with what you’ve got while wondering what you’re missing.

The alternative is to believe that there are multiple people with whom you are compatible, and that you could be happy with any one of them. That the person you spend your life with is a matter of settling.

Not quite as romantic, I know, but reasonable.

In this way, when you meet someone who makes you happy and with whom you can see yourself sharing a lifetime, there is no reason NOT to marry that person over the other options. Basically, you acknowledge that others exist who could make you happy, but not necessarily happier than the person you've chosen.

Even this thinking, though, leaves you asking questions. Because in the end, you weren't really wondering if your boyfriend was the "One" -- you were wondering, "Should I marry him?"

And no matter where you turn, be it a book or God or your belief that the "One" for you is out there, no one can answer that question except you.

Just to be safe, though, you might want to read "How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk" before making a decision.

August 26, 2007

The new and improved SEX ED

Sex ed sucks.

That’s nothing new. It’s all ovary and testicle talk, and it’s delivered to us at a time when we still believe in cooties.

What’s more, do you recall ever once hearing the word “orgasm” in your sex ed classes?

And they call THAT a sexual education?!

In my experience, however, it’s become clear that some people should be made to take a second sex ed course once they actually begin HAVING sex. Perhaps one with more relevance.

I propose a mandatory class on sexual etiquette, since some men and women don’t seem capable of practicing such fundamentals as respecting the people around them once their hormones kick into gear.

The rules differ slightly, depending on where you plan your encounter, but there are rules nonetheless. Any time some person other than your partner has to see or hear or think about you having sex (against their will), it’s only fair to take their feelings into consideration.

So here are some lessons from the new and improved sex et. ed course, which I call
“Well, F*ck Me: A Beginner’s Guide to Getting It On Without Pissing Others Off.”

Chapter 3: Location, location, location

Part I. The Dorm Room

Having sex in a dorm room can be uncomfortable to begin with, but there are many obstacles to overcome if you hope to stay friends with your roommate and hall mates for the remainder of the year.

Number one: you should never have sex when your roommate is in the room. Some would argue that it can be done in the top/bottom bunk if the roommate can reasonably be considered to be asleep, but I disagree.

* First, your roommate would have to be practically comatose to be capable of blocking out your whispering/giggling/heavy breathing/squeaking of the lousy bunk springs under the weight of two people –- two people vigorously squirming around, no less.

* Second, you open the door for your roommate to do the same to you. Let’s see how happy you are when you have an 8 a.m. test the next morning and you’re trying to block mental images while listening to her and her stoner boyfriend wreathing all night.

* Third, for the sake of being polite, I argue that boyfriends should not sleep over at all, regardless of deed-doing, while the roommate is present.
There’s nothing worse than trying to fall asleep while listening to kissing noises and lovey-dovey whispers above/below/around you.

So if you have no other locale to which you can move your love-making session, talk to your roommate about the possibility of her spending the night elsewhere. Or, ask for her class schedule so you can use the room while she’s gone.

Lastly, DO use a system to let her know if you are in the room getting some love -– write a code word on your message board or dig out that scrunchie from 5th grade to put on the door knob. ANYTHING to save her from walking in on you while you’re bumping uglies. Otherwise, you can look forward to a pretty awkward year.

…And yes, the communal futon is OFF LIMITS.

But I know you’ll do it anyway thinking no one will figure it out.

They will.

Part II. The apartment

You think that since you have your own room, you can do whatever you want in it.

But this is only partly true, considering you have a peer on the other side of a very thin wall. I guarantee she doesn’t want to hear you moaning, or even your bed squeaking. (This may be a different story for guy roomies.)

But since you have your own space, this problem can be easily fixed. The simplest thing to do is to turn on some music to a volume just loud enough to cover evidence of your activities.
An even better scenario: take advantage when your roommates aren't at home. Then you can scream your lungs out.

But there are complications to the arrangement, too, if you share a bathroom. Guys should not walk through the hall to the bathroom naked. Your roommate either won’t want to accidentally see that, or (if she does) you won’t want her to see that.

Also, no sex in a shared shower. Ew.

But again, you’ll do it anyway. Just remember, every time you think you’re being sneaky, your roommate is doing the same thing.

Part III. The parents’ house

Some people have truly mastered getting action around the ‘rents. One guy I know received a happy ending on Easter Sunday while his family was in the next room.

But you should start slowly.

Basically, parents don’t want to hear or see you having sex any more than you want to hear or see them having sex.

You can do it quietly, turn on music or go out to the treehouse in the backyard.

No matter what you do, they’ll probably know what you’re doing, so hiding the FACT isn’t the issue, it’s just saving them the disturbance of having to actually ACCEPT the fact.

And I know you were thinking it, but your parents’ bed is OFF LIMITS.

But who are we kidding? You already did it.

Part IV. The Hotel Room

Pretty much anything goes in a hotel room.

You don’t have to wash the sheets or worry about ever again seeing the people unfortunate enough to be resting on the other side of the wall behind your headboard.

The only rule here is to be as loud and crazy as possible without your neighbors calling the front desk to complain.
And even if security knocks on your door about the noise, we both know you’ll just be proud of it later.

Hotel rooms rock.

August 22, 2007

Bling, rings and things

Since yesterday, at least three people have complimented me on the diamond-shaped Opal pendant I wear everyday.

It's caught me off guard because I've been wearing this necklace -- and the earrings and ring that match it -- since Christmas, and I've never had so many people notice them.

Yet some well-wishers go one step further than applauding my taste and drop the bombshell question -- where did I get it?

Somehow, the fact that my ex-boyfriend gave me the jewelry complicates this simple inquiry.

I either feel compelled to launch into a monologue explaining the complicated history of our relationship and our current status, or offer up the short but relatively awkward response: "My ex-boyfriend gave it to me."

And this never seems to suffice, since "ex" has negative connotations. Then they might get the wrong idea and feel embarrassed to have asked, thinking they're forcing me to recall a painful break-up. I'm actually still close friends with my ex, so I always feel the need to explain myself.

Which brings us to a question of some concern to females everywhere: when a relationship ends, what do you do with the leftover bling?

Some women have found creative ways to deal with extra accessories, and it turns out that men also have varying attitudes about the proper way girls should dispose of the tainted goods.

On the male front, a number of guys I spoke with reached the general consensus that if you hit the track, you give it back.

Male 1: "If she had the nerve to break up with me and break my heart, I want that stuff back!"

This from a guy who said he'd consider re-gifting the stuff for the next girl.

Male 2: "I broke up with my girlfriend and she still has my Seinfeld DVDs. Now she lives in Duluth and I want them back....oh yeah! She has my sweatshirts too!"

Girls, you may want to test the waters to see if the guy you're breaking up with is of this mindset.

If you haven't been dating for very long and you have his things at your place -- things that weren't gifts -- the general rule is NOT "lovers keepers."

On the other hand, these guys argue they want even their gifts back. This can only be described by one word: cheap.

I talked to one young woman who put the issue into perspective: "I mean, if the girl gave her boyfriend a big ticket item, like, a PS2 or something, I don't think he'd give it back to her..."

Agreed. I can't exactly see a guy handing back the stereo system you had installed in his Jeep for Valentine's Day.

So when giving it back is out of the question, here's what the women are saying:

Sell it.

It's the classic lemons and lemonade theory. The love is gone, your credit card bill isn't.
Garage sales, eBay, antique stores, or the pawn shop all will offer you the means to buy yourself a new outfit that'll help snag your next boyfriend!

Give it away.

Female 1: "I gave mine to my sister. Because I don't want to sell it -- I don't really want to know how much it's worth! It doesn't mean anything to her, yet it's still something nice to have."

Trade with friends.

I worked with a girl in Washington last fall whose ex-boyfriend had given her a promise ring sometime during their three-year relationship.

I'll resist the urge to share my thoughts on the stupidity of promise rings, and continue.

It turns out another of her close girlfriends had received a promise ring from her boyfriend. When neither of their relationships lasted, they decided to swap so the rings wouldn't go to waste. After all, who wants to remember a broken promise?

Now she sports a sweet ring free of emotional fall-out.

Let it sit in your jewelry box.

If it's something really nice, you may have trouble parting with it, even if you don't want to wear it.

One gal I chatted with said she keeps a pair of diamond earrings her ex gave to her, but she still sees him around campus sometimes.
"I don't wear them because I wouldn't want him to see me with them on. That would be awkward."

Wear the damn thing.

In my case, because there were no bad feelings at the end of the relationship, I continue to wear my jewelry without any qualms. Seeing it every day doesn't make me all weepy at the thought of old memories -- they just match everything and they make me happy.

But that still doesn't mean my ex is getting his sweatshirt back!

August 21, 2007

Please proceed to check out

I return to Athens to find my roommate -- whom I've known, lived with and shared sorority sisterhood for at least two years -- engaged.

Now our apartment is filled with Modern Bride magazine and the reflective brilliance of her shiny new rock.

And I know mine isn't the only residence in Athens experiencing pre-marital bliss.

Apparently once you exceed age 20, wedding bells start ringing and never stop. My friend is only one of a growing list of girls I know who are set to tie the knot -- or already have!

(There’s a whole different list, of course, for the ones who have been “lavaleered” – an inane ritual that I won’t pretend to understand. I figure if the guy’s got plans to marry you, he should go ahead and pop the question already. There’s no need to propose his intention to propose.)

I guess I’ll get used to it eventually. My mailbox will receive a steady stream of fancy invitations…or perhaps Facebook will add another new application: the wedding invitation. That would save daddy some money – grade A paper isn’t cheap.

Maybe they could even get a multiple-store registry going on there. Then the spouses-to-be could elicit presents, not just from close friends and family, but all the hundreds of vague and distant acquaintances they’ve befriended electronically over the years.

It’s how we keep up with everyone’s love lives these days anyway.

If not for Facebook, we wouldn’t care that a high school friend we worked with when we were 15 just got engaged to her high school sweetheart.

Or maybe nobody else cares. Maybe I’m the only one that feels a little shocked and bitter when I see yet another girl I know sporting a ring.

I’m not sure why, because I love being single. There are way too many men out there (cute ones!) to settle down in my prime.

It’s like walking into a grocery store filled with all different kinds of good food and then walking out with the first thing to fall into your basket. You could at least pick up a few samples!

It could be that I feel like, because I’m not ready, no one else my age is either.

“You’re so young!” I want to cry out. “Don’t do it! Go forth into the world and kiss many men! Date often and receive many free meals and drinks while you’re still smoking hot and desirable!”

But everyone is different. There was a time when even I -- yes, I in my young naivetĂ© -- believed I was ready to settle down. Perhaps deep down, my discomfort with the idea of my girlfriends becoming wives is a denial of my own desire to do the same, even though I know I don’t want it right now.

Like I told my best friend – who will utterly betray me if she gets married anytime in the next eight years – a few days ago:

“Perhaps guys are picking them up and putting them in their shopping carts, but we’re not just sittin’ on the shelves – we’re dancing in the aisles, baby!”

(Preferably Publix aisles. They’re cleaner than Kroger and have better bread.)

So, when all is said and done, I sincerely hope that all the fiancĂ©s out there find happiness in their selections, and eventually, sometime in the distant future, I’ll dance right into a shopping cart of my own and check the hell out of here!

August 17, 2007

“Who's your daddy?” *SMACK!

Now couples have an excuse for beating the crap out of one another.

The New York Times reports that a growing number of men and women are squaring off in the ring for a few rounds of boxing.

They say it’s for exercise, but this isn’t play fighting -- we’re talking about the opportunity to release some serious aggression. I can see it now:

“How many times” *SMACK! “do I have to ask you” *POP! “to lower the toilet seat?” *BAM!

“Yeah? Well why don’t you” *BLAM! “stop using my razor” *SMACK “to shave your nasty legs?” *POW!

“Oh? Speaking of legs” *POW! “I guess you’d prefer the legs” *BLAM! “on that girl you were checking out at the bar last night” *POP! POW! “Is that what you want?” *BANG!

“Maybe I do,” *BAM! “since you never seem to be in the mood anymore.” *ZING!

“In the mood for what?” *BANG! “Fifteen seconds in paradise?”*BLAM!

Punching one another repeatedly at this time can only end badly.

At least one man sees the impending peril of pitting couples against one another, even for fun or fitness.

“If a guy hits his wife too hard in the face, intentionally or unintentionally, she will remember that and it will come up again at some point,” said Mr. Barker, 52.

This is a man who clearly knows about women. You’re damn right it’ll come up again!

Fellows, when you screw up, we WILL call forth -- from the dark, deep recesses of our minds where we store them -- all the past times you’ve screwed up.

Usually things we never bothered to mention to you at the time they took place.

Almost certainly things you don’t remember, but we’ll be angry about them anyway.

Soon, you’ll find yourself drowning in a relationship’s worth of wrong-doings that you never knew you’d been doing.

You’ll probably be better off if accidentally giving your girl a black eye isn't one of them.

Another point well-made by Mr. Barker: no man wants to be beaten up by a woman. After all, what happens if she kicks his ass?

“The male ego makes it hard for them to think that they got beat by a woman,” Barker said.

It’s too bad, because I for one would love letting fists fly with my guy ... until he hits me too hard.

And that’s probably the big problem with this scenario. Neither party can really fight the other without causing major trust issues. One bruise-worthy punch, and suddenly I’m thinking,

“Did he mean to do that? Is he mad at me? Did I do something wrong?...He’s gonna pay for this later!”

On the other hand, for you non-confrontational types that like to drive your girlfriend crazy until she breaks up with you, this could be a great way to speed the process.

One good slug to the face and you’re a free man. But you didn’t hear it from me.

August 16, 2007

Things guys say online to make me come runnin'

There are a lot more options for girls than for guys in the online dating arena.

I know, because last night I got curious and decided to check out the "Women Seeking Men" page on Craigslist.

I could count on one hand the number of women who'd posted their pictures, and it would take more than ten fingers to count how many were over 50.

The ladies who DID post pics were no beauty queens, which made me wonder what those in hiding looked like.

If I were a dude, I'd be scared pants-less to answer any of those ads.

On the other hand, plenty of men have the decency to produce a photo (which in many cases saves you the trouble of reading what they have to say). Some even write you a novel about who they are (lame) and what they're looking for (you, of course).

So you'd think when all these poor fellows came across a good-looking girl with the guts to post her pictures, they'd at least put a little effort into writing a witty message to impress and intrigue her.

Yet, it appears the Internet has made men lazy. If you don't reply to their a-grammatical, four-word come-on, they'll just send one to the next girl.

Below are some of the less than stellar messages I've received in the past two weeks. Keep in mind that these are initial encounters, to which they supposedly expect me to reply, and none of the errors are mine.


"how you doin would you like to chat???"

" =) "

"I've got nice shoes and nice teeth."

"how r u i really lik u can i know u meet u"

"Great man here! I aint lyin!"

"The sweet sweet breeze has blown all the sweet work off my desk. Guess I'd better go pick that up."

"i like reading your profile?"

"You picked my attention and to say hi too. I don't know you and of course you don't know me. this is i wanna say for now till i get your reply. peace for you."

"Too bad you don't like us older guys" (Sent by a 59-year-old, aka, older than my dad.)

"You should come see me." (NOTE: This guy, whom I don't know, lives in Jersey. That's an hour and a half drive and at least $10 in tolls. Much like the rest of em, he really thought he was hot sh*t.)

August 15, 2007

The disappearing man trick

Guys seem to have mastered it, especially asshole types.

You go out, maybe several times, and you both have a great time.

You’re floating through life on a cloud, dreaming of all the possibilities and picking out names for your future children when suddenly-

he stops calling.

Just up and drops off the face of the planet.

You find yourself making excuses for him, because you know he would call unless he’d been hit by a car, or his grandma misplaced her cat, or he had to lock himself in the SLC for a week because he totally forgot about that midterm paper that’s due four weeks before midterm.

Hint: Putting the person’s life in peril is the ultimate excuse – you can’t be upset with him when he narrowly escaped doom.

I recently was talking with a friend about the police officer that hadn’t called me when she said, matter-of-factly, “Maybe he got shot on the job.”

Why didn’t I think of that?!

But even if you picture him lying in a hospital bed, you’re eventually going to run out of excuses and come to one conclusion: “WTF?”

Then you’ll have to face reality and accept that one of the following is the ACTUAL reason he hasn’t called, and never will:

A) He’s lost interest. You’re yesterday’s news, baby.
B) He’s found someone else. (Hopefully not your best friend.)
C) He discovered those very unflattering pictures of you on the Internet and changed his mind about you.
D) He took you out thinking he could get some and it took a few dates to figure out he wouldn’t, or at least not as quickly as he would have liked. (You’ll know if this one applies.)

But even if there’s a rational explanation (avoiding drama and confrontation) for his disappearance, that doesn’t make this behavior acceptable.

I’m still bitter about the guy that did it to me in high school.

“Jockstrap” and I had nothing in common.

Looking back now, it was a pretty “She’s All That” scenario, but he went out of his way to sweep me off my feet. He even offered to help me study for AP History (which he wasn’t even taking -- no surprise there).

After several dates, visits at work, holding hands in the hall between classes and some very disappointing make-out sessions (he was a terrible kisser!), I started thinking this guy was for real.

*Cue disappearing act*

Not only did he stop calling, he stopped talking to me at school -- a totally awkward situation, seeing as how we sat with the same group at lunch every day!

That’s an extreme example of a guy trying to avoid confrontation.

To be fair and balanced, I give the floor now to one of my guy friends, 21, who attempts to cover for his sex:

ChokingOnMyFoot (8:49:39 PM): i’m guessing that it’s just that we don’t wanna go through the trouble
ChokingOnMyFoot (8:53:19 PM): but idk, that’s what i think. guys probably just don’t want to go through the trouble of calling her up and maybe hearing her talking
ChokingOnMyFoot (8:53:25 PM): especially when he has no interest in her
ChokingOnMyFoot (8:53:34 PM): they probably think girls will just get the picture
ChokingOnMyFoot (8:53:46 PM): but i guess that’s the difference between guys and girls
ChokingOnMyFoot (8:53:54 PM): girls are so detail-oriented

I’ll let his words speak for themselves.

August 14, 2007

At last! Proof of the notorious "Rule of Three"

Jessica: “If a guy tells you how many girls he's hooked up with, it's not even close to that. You take that number and divide it by three, then you get the real total. OK, so if Kevin is saying it's been three girls it's more like one or none.”
Vicky: “None?”
Jessica: “The rule of three. It's an exact science. Consistent as gravity.”

At last, the knowledge brought to us six years ago by American Pie 2 rings true ... sort of.

Wikipedia describes the “rule of three” as "the generalization that men multiply their true number of sexual encounters by three in order to boast, while women divide their true number of sexual encounters by three in order to fulfill societal expectations of female propriety.”

It has long been found in surveys of both sexes that men have more sex partners than females. The latest U.S. report by the National Center for Health Statistics shows men average 7 partners in their lifetimes, while women average 4.

A story by the New York Times, however, reports that mathmeticians find these results statistically impossible.

Bottom line: Somebody’s lyin’.

A U.C. Berkley professor interviewed in the story uses this example:

“By way of dramatization, we change the context slightly and will prove what will be called the High School Prom Theorem.

We suppose that on the day after the prom, each girl is asked to give the number of boys she danced with. These numbers are then added up giving a number G.

The same information is then obtained from the boys, giving a number B.

Theorem: G=B
Proof: Both G and B are equal to C, the number of couples who danced together at the prom.”

So perhaps a version of the rule of three exists -- either men are ADDING three extra partners to their lists of conquests, or women are SUBTRACTING three partners from theirs.

The mathmeticians say that if men really do have more partners than women, the question is where are these extra partners coming from?

They would have to be from outside the survey population (prostitutes) or outside the country (foriegn exchange students). But even these extra mystery women couldn’t explain the huge gap between men and women’s reported partners.

I think one professor at the University of California, San Diego, has the right idea:

“Some might be imaginary. Maybe two are in the man’s mind and one really exists.”

Am I an "I'd bang her, but whatever" girl?

My friend Steve claims guys have a highly-scientific classification method for the girls in their lives.

Some fall into the “I’d bang her, but whatever” pile. This girl usually gets a lot of attention on the first date while the guy’s hoping to get in her pants, but doesn’t usually warrant enough interest to merit a phone call afterwards.

Others are elevated to “I’d bang her in a heartbeat” status, and the rejects are dumped unceremoniously into the “Not gonna touch that” heap.

I knew I had to find out if other men’s brains worked this way, and as it turns out, not all guys use the same system.

Further research produced this enlightening AIM conversation with a 20-year-old guy friend, who requested to be identified as “Dr. Velvet.” For the sake of authenticity, I managed to suppress my urge to correct (most of) the grammar.

Car0 (9:25:46 PM): according to one of my guy friends, guys have an "I'd bang that, but whatever" pile. He says not to confuse girls a guy wants to do with ones he would do.

Dr. Velvet (9:28:51 PM): um i dunno bout him... but I’d say its more of a Venn diagram

Car0 (9:29:23 PM): lol - please explain. i HAVE to hear this

Dr. Velvet (9:30:04 PM): you have a box that represents all girls and in said box are two circles: one with girls I’d bang, one with girls I’d date/have a relationship with. some are in both and belong in the center

Car0 (9:31:42 PM): that makes sense. so the ugly/fat ones are outside the circles, floating around in (or sinking to the bottom of) the box?

Dr. Velvet (9:32:56 PM): in theory.. unless ur into that or they have such a remarkably redeeming personality that they are elevated into a circle

Dr. Velvet (9:33:29 PM): and girls can change circles, and often do based on learning new info about them

Dr. Velvet went on to describe how “new info” that a girl has the herp or a bun in the oven demotes her to box status, while the revelation that she’s an airhead moves her into the “bang only” circle.

I thought it was a pretty nifty way to keep track. After all, you wouldn’t want to get confused and end up boyfriending a “bang only” chick by mistake.

Some guys view it as demoralizing to talk about banging this chick or that (I applaud you, sirs). Another guy friend, 25, who I’ll call “Mr. Man,” keeps things relatively simple – you’re either a woman or a girl.

Mr. Man (10:08:00 PM): well, a girl is an immature female that claims to be a woman. She has to be the center of attention and is usually telling one up stories.
Mr. Man (10:08:36 PM): a woman is confident without making herself the center of attention and is able to grab my eye without being slutty or showing skin
Mr. Man (10:08:59 PM): but there are sub-classes even within those groups

Alas, I wasn’t able to elicit said sub-classes. Perhaps I’ll post those later.

Finally, you have the guys who are either too busy playing video games to think about sex, too embarrassed to talk about the fact that they think about sex, or they are one of a handful of guys who actually think of other things more than they think about sex.

One of these guys, whom I spoke with last night, told me he didn’t classify girls because “it’s not his goal in life have sex with as many chicks as possible.”

You’re correct. He’s not a frat boy.

August 13, 2007

It's not about the man, it's about the meat

The New York Times recently ran an article about an increasing number of women ordering steak on the first date in order to impress men.

Apparently, instead of ordering what they want to eat because they are comfortable with who they are, women are ordering what they think MEN want them to eat to PROVE that they’re comfortable with who they are.

Besides, what could men possibly find sexier than a beautiful woman devouring a hunk of meat? Just look at Paris’s infamous commercial for Karl’s Jr.

The article goes on to interview women who feel jipped because of their vegetarian status, which forces them to settle on wimpy greens and noodles.

The best part, of course, is that it doesn’t seem to work both ways.

My favorite quote: “When a guy sits down and eats something fatty and big, you wonder if they eat like that all the time. It crosses my mind they’ll probably die early.”

I couldn’t have said it better, but I find it equally disconcerting if my date orders a salad. How can I dig into a New York strip while he’s picking at his rabbit food?

So maybe no date of mine can ever win.

I’m only interested in guys who take care of their bodies, but I don’t want to know they do it. I don’t like knowing they care what they eat or how often they work out -- I’d rather it just magically happen.

So in my case, if he orders a steak, he’s on the verge of heart failure, and if he orders a salad, his masculinity’s at stake (no pun intended).

But I think there’s another side to this steak story.

Maybe some women think they’re impressing the world with their fat-filled meals, but I bet the rest of ‘em order the steak because they can.

It’s generally the most expensive thing on the menu, short of lobster, and if a date’s paying, why not?

This is especially true if it’s a first date and you’ve already decided you don’t like the guy. Might as well cut your losses and enjoy a nice dinner.

Another thing to consider is this: ordering an expensive meal on the first date tells the guy you aren’t a cheap date -- he’ll have to keep those steak dinners coming if he wants to keep you around.

This isn’t a bad standard to establish, although concessions must be made if he’s a student or a bum still living in his parents’ basement.

But then again, your steak-loving self knows better than to go out with THAT guy in the first place. He’d probably order a salad (the cheapest thing on the menu) and talk about how many push-ups he did that afternoon.

Which brings us to another of my theories on this steak-eating craze.

Maybe the guys taking these women out are such terrible, mind-numbing dates that gals have the urge to kill themselves before the meal even starts, and they order the meat in hopes that they’ll have a heart attack right then and there.

However, I recommend excusing yourself for the restroom and never returning. It’s less messy, and has an equally high success rate.

August 12, 2007

Even getting the girl drunk won't help you

They say the best things are worth waiting for.

I could share many, many amusing things said by Tommy, the guy I went out with last night, but I’ll just skip to the gold nugget I received at the end, while standing beside my car:

“So, not to be awkward or anything, but, why do I get the feeling that if I leaned in to kiss you right now, you’d push me away?”

Not to be awkward, indeed. What could I tell him?

“Because your fondness for dancing makes me question your masculinity.”

“Because you insist on familiarizing me with famous bands (like the Black Crowes and the Gorillaz) that I already know, continually insulting my intelligence.”

“Because you think that telling me, ‘You don’t wear a lot of make-up like some girls,’ is a compliment.”

“Because earlier tonight, you pointed out the fact that I was checking out another guy, making our time together even more awkward.”

No, despite my beer buzz, I didn’t have the heart to use any of these reasons, so I took the high road and went with,

“Yeah, I probably would push you away. I’m just not attracted to you.”

But that wasn’t enough for Tommy. He wanted to dig himself a deeper hole.

“Well, ok, ok,” he stammered. “Is it the age difference, do you think?”

Tommy is 29 – eight years my senior. But let me assure you, his age wouldn’t be a problem if he were good-looking. Again, he asked for the truth, and he got some version of it.

“No, not really,” (I was grinning. You might think I'd feel sorry for him, but this was too funny.) “You’re just not my type.”

This turned out to be exactly what he was hoping NOT to hear, but I couldn’t feel bad when he was asking for it. With that, we went our separate ways and the date was over – I, marching off victoriously relishing my free drinks, and he, slinking off without the goodnight kiss he’d been waiting for.

For all the Tommy’s out there, I offer this advice:

If, at the end of the night, you have to ask a girl whether or not she’d kiss you, then she probably won’t. Even without your glasses, I’m pretty sure you’d see the signs if she wanted you…or wanted to run away.

Better luck next time.

August 10, 2007

My heroine

If you've never checked out Mindy Raf, a stand-up comedian and columnist for CollegeHumor.com , you should do so immediately. Her scribblings are a little racier (read: more entertaining) than mine, so I guess you could call her my new heroine.

Below is an excerpt from one of my favorites of her columns, proposing a new name for the dreaded Walk of Shame.

What does Mindy suggest?

Why not the "Happy Clit and Tits Trot"?

"So, if you're walking home to your dorm room at 11 a.m. wearing a sequined tube top, glitter eye shadow crusted in the crease of your liner smudged eyes, your thong shoved into the zipper compartment of your purse, and your body smelling like cheap beer and AXE Body Spray, walk with confidence. Hold your head up high, smile at all the people who stare at you, and don't be afraid to shout out,











August 9, 2007

Flower power

Today, as I was quietly sitting at my desk dreading inevitable assignments to come, I received a phone call from the building’s security desk.

“We have a floral delivery for you downstairs.”

This wasn’t the first time I’d received flowers at work, but it was the first time I hadn’t anyone in my life who would send them.

Who could they be from? I thought over and over again as I walked down the hall. The thoughts flew rapidly through my mind, as I flipped through my mental rolodex of secret admirers.

They couldn’t be from the cop. I knew this was the truth, but still, I couldn’t think of anyone I’d rather receive them from.

My ex-boyfriend? I knew he wouldn’t dare. There would be no excuse.

Next on the list was my mother, but there was no occasion for her to shower me with flora. The same went for dad -- a possibilty, but no motive.

I had run out of ideas and submitted to calmly puzzling the delivery.

The flowers were gorgeous -- red daisies, magenta starburst lilies, white roses, purple irises.

The suspense was crushing me, but I carried them up to my desk before opening the card, and then --
the beautiful letdown.

“Thank you for everything. From D.P., CEO of V.L.”

Yes, the mystery flowers were from the head of a company I had written a story about the day before.
I’ve never received a perk quite so lush, but I guess I could get used to reporting business news after all.

Nonetheless, I was disappointed. What good are flowers when there’s no love attached? No titillating affection? No sappy message that makes you blush?

Yet, there are rules to flower-bearing. It made me pause to consider, what if they had been from the cop? Would that have been appropriate?

No, of course not. I’d be questioning his sanity.

Most guys understand not to send flowers too soon after meeting a beauitful woman, but here are some basic rules that not every guy understands about sending buds.

1. Bigger isn’t better.

Unless I work an office job every day, I have to carry that vase home at the end of the day. Not only does the water spill all over my car, but the flowers get crushed against the seat as I’m trying to keep them standing.

2. Don’t send the same thing.

It’s nice to find out a girl’s “favorite” kind of flower, but she doesn’t want it every time! The number one thing to avoid is predictability, and if she knows she’s getting gerber daisies AGAIN, she won’t be excited.

3. Don’t send flowers for every occasion -- or any occasion at all.

Valentine’s Day rolls around again, and what’s a girl getting? Flowers, just like last year. Her birthday? Flowers, just like last year.
Flowers make a better “just because” gift. Think of something more creative for holidays, and send blossoms when she’s least expecting them.

She’ll thank you appropriately later.

August 8, 2007

In His Own Words

My friend Steve would like the chance to respond to some of my former claims on this blog.

For the sake of a male perspective, and for your own entertainment, I have agreed to post his rebuttals here.

In response to “The sound of silence”

"I'll call you tomorrow" doesn't always mean tomorrow.

It's like saying, "Yeah, see ya later."

Later is whenever the next time I see you is. So don't put much stock in that.

I've told a friend I'd call him "tomorrow" last August and didn't call until December.

And with chicks, we're afraid of looking clingy or too eager. We think it gives off a loser stench. So we lay off a little bit and try not to let her think we like her as much as we do.

Delaying the phone call is one way. And texting instead of calling. It kinda straddles the line between "I'm really busy, but I do care" and "I don't care enough about you," but we try to walk that tight rope.

If the guy says, "I'll call you tomorrow" and then calls tomorrow, early, then we think that she thinks, "Aha! Gotcha, bitch. I've got the upper hand and you're whipped. Pathetic little boy. Once again, coochie reigns supreme!"

Yeah, we think women are all diabolical, scheming vixen bitches (because they are) and we can't afford to show weakness.

So if we do call tomorrow, it's in the night. And 60/40, we'd rather text instead of call in that situation.

Or we'll wait until the afternoon after that and then call with some bullshit excuse about why we didn't call.

That's not 100% of the time.

I'd say about 10%, the guy just doesn't like you enough and you're in his "I'd hit it, but whatever" heap (Yeah, we have that. Don't confuse a chick we would hit with one we want to hit), but most of the time he's playing the leverage game, trying not to look desperate.

And we do that because we like you. But, of course, I'm sure it's got a high backfire rate.

Response to “Make him quit texting you”

Ya'll are too damn demanding.

I'm a texter. Texting is for when we want to avoid the possibility of the conversation stalling.

There really ain't much to talk about, but you wanna contact the person.

You don't want to call a chick and say, “Hey...umm...just wanted to say hi.... Yeah, the summer is cooling down. It hasn't reached 90 in a week or so.... Umm, I'm just watching TV."

Then you'd be on him saying he's boring.

Text is pressure-free and it gives him a minute to think up a response.

And dammit, give him credit because texting is hard. Spending 2 f*cking minutes to type a 10-word sentence; you're hitting 4 and you've cycled past the “G” three times.

It's like the old 1988 Nintendo controller that'd have your thumb aching after a few minutes. Appreciate that!

My friggin' thumb is killing me...because I love you.

The death of a date

So my date with the lawyer – we’ll call him “J” – went pretty well last night.

He turned out to be a nice guy who made a handful of fatal errors during the night. The date was dead.

But to be fair, J had a rough time of it in the first place, since I’m convinced the NYPD officer I'm seeing is the best thing to happen since sliced bread.

However, in your own interest, I’ve broken down the mistakes J made so you’ll know what to look for in a date that is not gonna work out … and then run away!

1. Inviting a random guy friend along.

This should have been my first blaring siren.
J told me over the phone before we met, “Oh, my friend has nothing to do so he might tag along.”

I think he ditched the idea after I made it clear that I was unimpressed, but what was he thinking? How awkward to have to impress both him and his friend! On top of that, it makes him look like he doesn’t have the balls to spend an evening alone with me.

2. Asking if yall can take your car.

His perfectly good car is sitting right there by yours. He shouldn’t ask you to drive him – he shouldn’t even want to. I know guys who feel foolish in the passenger seat and they’ll only let me drive over their dead bodies. But on a first date??

This one is especially true in my case, since I had already driven nearly 30 minutes to meet him at his place.

3. Ordering your meal for you.

This was J’s doing-in point.

I think most guys know this one – I never thought it would actually happen to me.

J and I decided – no, actually, he decided this too – that we’d split a rack of ribs at the barbeque place we were at.

When the waitress told us it came with two sides, he ordered both without even looking to me for my input!! Even the waitress looked at me, surprised by what had just happened.

4. Flirting with the waitress at dinner.

I didn’t care by this point. I knew I was far from interested and I was getting a free meal, but it was icing on the cake.

5. Coming home after the date to play video games with a friend and inviting you to watch.

But, Caroline, you say, isn’t this guy a 24-year-old lawyer?

Yes, but lots of “men” look like men when they are actually just boys. Clearly, J didn’t want to get laid last night when he made this move. If a guy is going to play video games on a date, he can at least offer to let me play.

By this time, I’d have enjoyed kicking his ass at Mario Kart!

August 7, 2007

Sex In My City

Finally, after residing in New York for two months, I am living my very own "Sex & The City" episode.

Tonight, I have a dinner date with a wicked funny lawyer.

Wednesday night, I'm going out with a sweet, hot firefighter.

Thursday night, I'm getting drinks in the city with an old high school "friend" who "can't wait to see me."

The goods keep coming, and I couldn't be having more fun meeting new men every week.

Which makes me wonder -- is it better to stay single while you're a young, attractive 20-something? If you're in a serious relationship at this point, are you missing out while you're in your prime?

Being with just one person offers its own comforts -- having someone to rely on, lean on, laugh with, cry with. It's what we're all seeking...eventually.

But investing too much in one person while you're young doesn't do much to help you find out what you really want in a life partner.

Yeah, you like the way he surprises you and runs his fingers through your hair, but others guys may do that too, and they might be a better match for you. You'll never know if you don't get back out there and find 'em!

Of course, no one can help it if they find a great guy and want to be his girlfriend. Life's like that. But there are definite advantages of being unfettered in a world full of attractive men, and each one can show you a little bit of what you ultimately want in a man when the time comes.

To be sure, my time isn't coming any time too soon!

August 6, 2007

The sound of silence

Men are such confounding creatures. Let’s examine a classic scenario.

Girl goes out with Guy.

Guy is a true gentleman. He tells her that he likes her, that she is beautiful, and that he will call her the next day.

Girl keeps phone by her all day, but Guy doesn’t call.

Girl goes crazy wondering why he hasn’t called.

Girl loses self control and sends Guy a text message, to which he responds. Finally, Girl points out fact that Guy said he would call.

Guy calls.

Now what is a girl supposed to think when, the day after an amazing date with someone she thought she felt a mutual connection with, that self-same man seems to have no interest in talking to her? Why does she feel like she’s forcing him into conversing at all?

It seems intuitive that if a guy goes out with a beautiful girl, whom he claims to like, he would want to talk to her as soon as possible ... right?

Overall, I sympathize with the three-day rule, but it doesn’t apply if the guy explicitly claims he will call the next day.

Upon the utterance of those words, the rules go out the window, and we’re working on an honor system.

For a girl, there are few things more important than for a guy to do what he says he’ll do. Being a good kisser is up there too, but integrity still trumps.

And calling is essential, because a silent phone throws you into a whirlpool of self-doubt about things you felt sure about while on the date. Suddenly, you're drowning in all the little things you did that could have made him change his mind about you.

In the end, you’ll have to chalk it up to his being an ass. It can be hard to come to this conclusion if the guy in question seemed really amazing, but in the end, if he was worth your energies and attentions, he’d be excited to talk to you again.

Ultimately, a silent phone = being alone ... and that’s his loneliness we’re talking about, because he’s the one missing out on your beautiful self.

August 5, 2007

Playing with fire

Remember when Samantha hooks up with that really hot New York fireman on “Sex in the City”?

I went out with one Saturday night.

Ok, so the firefighter gig is only a volunteer thing, but it definitely got my engines revving. He’s actually NYPD fulltime.

The “Officer” took me to Dave & Buster’s. It had to be the best first date I’ve ever been on – let me explain the genius of going to an arcade for an initial encounter.

Instead of forcing conversation while the two of you stare across the table at dinner with nothing to distract yourselves but stuffing your faces (attractive), you have games.

Loads of them.

You can play air hockey, shoot aliens, race cars, play pool. And you can drink while doing all of this, except the place isn’t as loud as a regular bar, and there are fewer hot girls around to steal his attention.

Another plus: you can make wagers.

For example, “If I kick your ass on this round, we have to do this again.”

One word of caution, however – whatever he picks for his side of the bet will probably be dirty. Make sure you like the guy before suggesting a wager.

D&B isn’t the cheapest of dates, but it’s worth every penny if the guy’s any fun at all. It’s easier to split than a dinner bill – if he ponies up the cash for the games, you can offer to buy drinks.

I leave you with one final thought: there’s nothing sexier than watching a really hot policeman shoot things on a screen.

Sure, your character died during the first two minutes of play, but now you can watch him play. And that's even better than winning.

August 3, 2007

Blind date

Oh my God.

That was my first thought when I spotted him across the street, walking toward me. I knew it was him. There was no mistaking it, but I was still praying that I was wrong.

I had agreed to meet one of the men I met online Friday night, despite the fact that I already knew I wasn’t interested. I figured I’d at least make a friend and have someone fun to hang out with. Nothing, however, could have prepared me for this.

We chatted on AIM Thursday night and agreed that I would call him (I didn't want to give out my number) Friday to let him know whether I’d be free that night. We'd been talking online for about two weeks, and he had sent me a photograph a while back, so I knew he was Indian.

It didn’t bother me – I’ve been infatuated with men of many different ethnicities over the years, but I made the mistake of assuming he was like them. Americanized.

He wasn’t.

I knew it as soon as I called – I was answered by a very thick accent. Very.

He was fresh off the boat, all right. And that's not a bad thing...unless I'm hoping to be attracted to you.

But what could I do at that point? By the time I had registered the fact that I had to decipher his every word, I already heard myself telling him I was free that night.

So it was settled. I would meet him in the village for dinner at 7:45 p.m.

The time came and went. He was still on the road. I waited. He was still trying to get there – did I know where 258 was? This wasn’t happening.

It’s one thing to have to wait for a date you’re excited to go out with. It’s another to have to wait for one you’re dreading. On top of that, he couldn’t understand my directions, and I was getting irritating.

“Go down 110 and make a right on Main Street,” I instructed calmly.

“What?! Whoa – you want me to come to your place?”

“No! Take a right on Main. Main street!”

So this brings us to me, watching him cross the street, an hour and a half later. I saw him from a distance. He was like a lanky ape, with his mouth hanging open, lumbering toward me.

I’ll skip the brutal details of dinner, and get to the point.

Yes, he bought me dinner. He called he gorgeous. He opened the door for me. But it was awkward, and I found myself watching the clock (conveniently hung on the wall opposite me) and stretching for something to talk about.

The point is, don’t go out with someone you don’t like. That “free” meal you’ll console yourself with later? It’s not really free – you paid for it with the hard work you put into acting like you didn’t want to run away all night. It was also work trying to think of a reason to skip drinks and head home early.

In the future, I screen all dates by phone before making plans.

August 2, 2007

To market, to market

Below is one real estate broker’s take on men:

“Listen, maybe it’s because of my job, but I approach dating like house-shopping.

First, I pick a neighborhood in my price range. I’m realistic. I know I’m never going to live on Brad Pitt Lane or George Clooney Avenue, but that doesn’t mean I have to settle for a dump on George Costanza Row.

And once I’m out there shopping, I always factor in renovation costs — because honey, I don’t care how good a paint job he has on the surface, no man is in “move-in” condition.

But sometimes a fixer-upper is a good investment — especially if he’s a good kisser.

And here’s the other thing I learned: Don’t be afraid to flip.

Life is short, you have to live like the market is red-hot. Give him a try, and if it doesn’t work out, then flip him and move on.”

Life is indeed short, but are we all just shopping around?

If that’s true, then the market isn’t getting any better as we get older -- women’s “property” value decreases and men’s increases as years pass.

I wondered: how close is the relationship between shopping for a house and finding a good guy?

That’s when I found “The Four Rules of Real Estate” -- an article written by Dirk Zeller, President of Real Estate Champions, for International Real Estate Digest.

You can apply his advice for agents next time you’re trying to close a deal.

1. Be There.

This one’s obvious – as a potential buyer, you’ll have to get his attention!
Zeller says this rule means showing up, being prepared and taking your job seriously.

Bottom line: if you spot something good, you’re going to have to commit. Make sure he knows you’re interested, and you might just get offered a complete tour…

2. Focus mentally.

“The better you focus mentally, the more results you will get for your time invested,” Zeller writes.

Well said. It’s dog-eat-dog in this game, so you’re going to need to concentrate if you want to walk away a winner. Maybe this means taking note of his favorite things, or out-shining the blonde he’s got his eye on.

3. Tell the truth.

Honesty is the best policy. ‘Nuff said.

4. Accept the results and move on.

No one wins ‘em all. If he won’t agree to your terms, take your business elsewhere. If he turns out not to measure up to his claims or suit your needs, keep looking.

There are new “listings” hitting the market every day.

August 1, 2007

It's a jungle out there!

I have given up online dating.

In retrospect, I’m not sure exactly what led me to join the ranks of personal ad-placers in the virtual realm of romance. It began with me being bored after work, since my roommate works a night shift.

That’s when I discovered how incredibly entertaining it is to read the personals on Craigslist.

It turns out the site attracts all kinds of sketchy people -- looking for everything from a spanking to their Jewish soul mate.

At any rate, I figured it couldn’t hurt to look ... until I started finding ads that sounded half normal. They were few and far between, but nonetheless, I wanted to meet these people. They were attractive, fun and lived nearby.

I felt a little dirty when I finally answered one!

The first person I chatted with on AIM was Danny, a good-looking Asian student at Gainesville College. He seemed sweet, but we couldn’t exactly meet up since I’m still in New York.

The next was Derek, a techie working for Google in Manhattan. He was a nice guy, but after I finally received his picture, not my type.

After realizing Craigslist was slim-pickings, this 21-year-old decided to take action.
Why should I have to sift through the creeps to find a normalish guy online, I thought, when I could post my own ad and let him come to me?
That’s when I found plentyoffish.com.

It’s free, and you can set up parameters for who can contact you through the site. Of course, I didn’t know this at first, and received plenty of questionable messages from men older than my father.

I felt pretty confident as I described my interests and posted my photo -- I have nothing to be ashamed of! -- and I was justified by an almost immediate stream of messages in my inbox.

“You are cute how are you doing nice pics,” said Vick.

“I like your profile and I’d like to get to know you,” said Kamran.

Followed by the ever-endearing,
“Can i ask if you have a preference for a guy who is fairly well endowed?”

I won’t even tell you HIS username.

But it turned out to be an effective system. Through the site, I met Kris, a young engineer living here on Long Island; Matt, a software programer who works right down the road from me; and Justin, a student at SUNY Farmingdale.

After chatting online briefly, I decided to meet Justin in the village for pizza. It went well -- he was a funny and easy-going guy. We haven’t talked since, but he texts me incessantly. (See July 29 post)

So now I have a whole gaggle of guys to hang out with/date, should I choose to do so. What a blessing! you are thinking. Isn’t this what you wanted? More guys to choose from?

Apparently not. I guess excess really does lower the value -- I’ve now decided I don’t want to date at all. I don’t even feel a desire to meet the guys I’ve been getting to know on AIM.

But it’s a good feeling.
It seems there’s a difference between sitting at home because you HAVEN’T anyone to go out with, and sitting at home because you CHOOSE not to go out with people. Suddenly, I’m content to stay at home reading a book and writing on this blog.

So, even if I’m dateless, I guess I won’t leave my stint in the online dating world empty-handed. I’ll have the satisfaction of knowing there are truckloads of guys out there who want me ... but can’t have me!

July 31, 2007

Xing the Ex...completely

Much like there is no universal rule for getting over an ex, there is no standard guideline for whether or not you should continue to be friends with an ex...

...or is there?

Is it, regardless of your relationship, a bad idea to stay friends?

My girlfriends have done it. I’ve done it. We’ve all come to the same conclusion.


Although I defied their advice when I broke up with my boyfriend and decided to stay close friends with him, I have found out the hard way that it may not have been the healthiest of choices.

I decided to dissect the situation by first considering WHY we want to remain close to our exes.
As “best friends,” we can continue to rely on them for emotional support. We can keep calling them to share the every day goings on in our lives. Sometimes we can even continue to give and receive benefits, further delaying the fact that they’re no longer ours. All of this ultimately means one thing: We don’t have to deal with the loss of our relationships.

Staying friends is really a dressed up form of denial about your break-up, and it can sabotage your future happiness.

That’s because, in the end, you will end up breaking up TWICE. Once when one of you delivers the news, and again when one of you finds someone new.

Eventually, one of you will move on. He will stop calling every day. He won’t have time to hear those little things you used to share. His affections will be for another, and you will have to sit back and watch as you become second place in his world.

Bottom line: You will become a helpless bystander to your own pain, and he’ll have all the control.

HE will not care about your heartache - he will be out having fun with his new girl.
HE will not offer you support when you are crying your eyes out - it isn’t his problem.

You have basically set yourself up for an emotional crisis, which will probably lead to you cutting off communication so that you can hibernate and begin to heal apart from him.
But you can off-set this suffering by cutting off communication from the beginning, at least until the two of you have sufficiently healed by yourselves.

Below, I offer some advice from friends, each of which have made the mistake of staying friends with exes in the past. It remains difficult advice to swallow, but I am beginning to see their point.

Friend One
"Whatever happens, you cannot talk to him about her. Better yet, you shouldn't talk to him at all. Are you still calling him? If so, you've got to stop. Also, do not Facebook him. You can't see anymore pictures of him with this new chick or read any of the sappy stuff they write to each other.”

Friend Two
“You won't always need to be #1 in his life, which is just as scary a thought as it is comforting. The thought that you will not need him one day will kick your ass for a while as you try to push it out of your head, but you will wake up one day realizing you've accepted the idea."

Friend Three
"You can't wait on him to really move on. You're trying to hold on mostly because you're trying to protect him at the cost of your own feelings. Ah, the sacrificial nature of a woman. We go to great lengths for the men we love, and we're always self-destructive.
Don't do it.
You're actually more ready than he is right now, he's just found someone to help him get there. A someone that YOU DON’T NEED. Stop protecting him. It's okay for him to hurt!”

Friend Four
“You don't need a man to understand you. And when you realize that, good for you! How wonderful it will feel!”