Friday, January 30, 2009

Starch-Crossed Lovers


By popular demand, here is the Laundro-Matt story in its entirety.

My dry cleaner offered to set me up

Here's what happened with my dry cleaner offering to set me up

An Open Letter to Matt, my future boyfriend

The Matt Log: week Four, still no Matt

Matt-tics. It's like tactics but I've replaced the "tact" with "Matt"

I now know the identity of Matt

This is the Matt post I may eventually have to delete

The Laundro-Matt Lie

The truth will set you freak

What's missing is the post about how he responded almost instantly to my email with a really friendly, sweet, fun response about how he'd love to get together for a drink. I can't find that one in my files, ironically...

Then this:

The Laundro-Matt Afterward

Enjoy! I know I did.

*thanks to John K for the title.

My 80-year-old dentist on online dating


On Wednesday night I went to the dentist. Since graduation from my parent’s insurance I haven’t had dental because all small communication companies ironically view it as an option to have a healthy mouth.

Now at job number three I have secured dental insurance so I can finally go find out that I have seven cavities and inoperable gum disease. This is my uneducated assumption because sometimes my molars hurt and on occasion I do see a little pink in the sink.

I go to the first dentist I can find in network that has availability within the month and is located near a subway stop. This, in hindsight, is more like the way one should go about finding a $60, 50 min Chinese massage -- not professional care involving sharp tools.

My dentist, Docta Saaands as he was exclusively called by his secretary, is located on the 4th floor of a non-descript building in a neighborhood I didn’t previously know existed. “We’re in the gova’ment neighba’hood,” she told me on the phone. “You mean the Financial District?” I said. “No, I mean what just came outta my mouth! Gov a’ ment.”

I should have cancelled, but I really was worried about that pink…

Docta Sands office was like Willy Wonka’s office in the end of the movie (Gene Wilder version of course) when Charlie and Grandpa go try to apologize for stealing the EverLastinGobstopper except instead of everything being half there everything was just half dirty.

Docta Sands though appeared to be fully clean but only half there.

“How are we all today?” he said to me and a completely empty waiting room.

“Good to hear,” he said before I responded.

“Ga’ head and pick a chair ova' where the dentist chairs are. I’ll see ya' in a little bit.”

This is when I take out my moleskin. If this is going to be painful I better at least get a story out of it.

I pick the chair closest to the door. In, oh, 10 maybe 12 excruciating minutes, he saunters in. He appears to have just taken the final bite of a large roast beef sandwich with sauerkraut.
To give you a visual – he is George Castanza’s father except 6 feet tall and as tan as Fabio. I envision a half dirty house in Boca.

Then, within hesitation, reference to my teeth, or the application of one of those spittle bibs, he launches into this:


  • DRS: So – ya’ married?
  • Me: Nope
  • DRS: Ya’ wanna be?
  • Me: Eventually.
  • DRS: I don’t think ya’ wanna be.
  • Me: Excuse me?
  • DRS: Ya very non-chalant about it… (At this point he’s started taking out the various pointy dental tools and arranging them on the tray.)
  • Me: No, no, sorry – I would like someday to be married, but I don’t have a boyfriend right now.
  • DRS: Interesting.
  • Me: Why…do you know someone? (Two can play at this game)
  • DRS: Sure – how ‘bout Miguel in the chair over there (he points to the extremely not sound-proof half- wall separating me from, apparently, Miguel)
  • Me: Sshhh! He can hear you…
  • DRS: What? You like ‘um deaf? (I laugh then think Shit -- now I’ve encouraged him.)
  • DRS: Well listen – I tell ya’ – I do know some people. But I think you gotta go online first.
  • Me: Excuse me?
  • DRS: You on Craigslist?
  • Me: Craigslist? I’m not sure that’s a real dating site
  • DRS: Sure it is – and a free one ta' boot!
  • Me: Oh, well, I’m not sure…
  • DRS: I tell ya’ what’s wrong with you people.
  • Me: What people?
  • DRS: You young women people.
  • Me: Oh. (Here we go....)
  • DRS: You’re all just too all ova’ the place with ya’ profiles about ya’selves. Always I love to bicycle and read mystery novels and go to the beach and eat the sushi and work out three days a’ the week and small dogs and yadda yadda. It’s too much! (He throws one of the small pointy instruments on the floor in exclamation. I decide firmly that if he picks it up and tries to use it again in my mouth I will leave)
  • DRS: I tell ya’ what ya’ needa’ do. You needa’ say: ‘Sometimes I like ta stay home and relax…sometimes I like ta’ party. You take me out, you find out more.’ And that’s it! Done!
  • Me: Well I don’t…
  • DRS: Nope! Done! That’s it! (Now he is flailing the electric toothbrush around wizzing flecks of that fake toothpaste all over the room as he makes his grand point)
  • Me: Okay (it is not worth arguing with this man)
  • DRS: So – ya’ set. You let me know how that works out for ya’ Now, do ya’ floss? Neva' mind - ya' don't floss - I can see that plain as day...
And there you have it. Words of wisdom from an 80-some-year-old man who appears to have spent some time trolling the Craigslist want adds.

Maybe he’s right. Maybe that approach really is the way to hook a guy online.

Unfortunately I won’t be finding out or reporting back. According to Docta Sands I have no cavities and there’s nothin’ wrong with a little pink in the sink.

Next month I’ll be seeking a second opinion on the Upper East Side. I bet they don’t even know Craiglist exists.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hello My Name Is Genius


Time to put this blog this work.

Read through to the end. This one involves audience participation.

----------------------------------------------

I’ve been tossing the idea of offering "Hello My Name Is" tags at bars for awhile now.

It would work like this: Upon entering the bar and showing your ID you’d be given a Hello My Name Is tag to fill out (recommended, not required -- the Dems are back in power). Maybe we’d put a little table with colored Sharpies behind the big-guy checking licenses...I don’t know – we’ll work it out.

Ideally you’d fill out the name tag with your actual name. I’m working on being less judgemental so if (for whatever reason) you need/want to put a lie-of-a-name on the tag, that’s fine with me (but if you ask me what I think of that without giving me ample time to prepare a non-judgmental response I’ll say I think it’s a huge mistake).

It is my firm belief that if we walk, talk, dance, and drink about any bar wearing name tags we will have a 50-70% greater chance of talking to a person of the opposite sex.

A few examples to help you realize I’m correct:

  • I will instantly talk to any man I see named Jesse. My name is Jessie, and I think it’s creepily romantic to meet a man named Jesse. There's a longer story there...
  • I will almost always approach any man named Nathan. It’s my Dad’s name, and it’s rare. I’d say, “Oh, Nathan – that’s my Dad’s name – I love him” and things would likely develop in a positive manner from there.
  • I will probably roll my eyes and whisper to my girlfriends about any guy named ________, ____________, or __________. Those names have wronged me in the recent past. Said named men might think my pointing at them is an invitation to come talk to me. It is not, but this is still an instance of me talking to a member of the opposite sex, and so my theory holds.

But my issues aside.

If you knew the name of everyone in the bar you would use those names as you do the things we all do in bars (drink, wait in line for the bathroom, etc.). You'd say, “Hey Abby if you get the ‘tender’s attention before me could you order me a Stella?” Or, “Dave, are you friends with that guy Brian over there? I think he’s hot.” You'd do it, not only because it would aid in normal bar logistics, but because it would be rare and weird and funny, sort of like wearing halloween costumes in a bar...

The novelty factor is layer one – it provides something to talk about when you enter the bar creating an insta- sense of community. The execution of said novelty is layer two - in this case it's name-tags which in-and-of-themselves are a community creating device. (!!!!!!!)

So here’s what we’re going to do:

  • If you own a bar, get name tags and set this shit up at your bar. Then please report back with your findings.
  • If you know someone who owns a bar, please get them name tags and make them set this shit up. Then go there on the night they hand them out and report back with your findings.
  • If you think you could convince a bar where you don’t know the owner to do this please let me know and I will buy YOU name tags so you can set this shit up (note: there is a distinct chance these name tags will say 20-Nothings.com in small writing on the bottom right corner…).

Go to work. Report back. I’m at jessie.rosen@gmail.com

Do me proud.

Monday, January 26, 2009

You've got a real issue on our hands


I feel compelled to address what is, apparently, a very significant issue.

First, some background.

Embedded within this blog is a site meter. It tracks how many people visit per day, what pages they view, and how they found the blog to begin with. The # of people and where they're located is fun to know (holla back Yemen!!). But the root of the issue I need to address today comes from the “how people found it” function.

See, if you found this blog through someone’s Facebook page, the referring domain that I see in the site meter is Facebook.com. If you just typed it in from memory it reads “20-nothings.com”. But if you, say, googled something that related to a blog post and the blog popped up in the search results I would see, “google.com search” and then the exact search terms.

So, for example, if you searched “go to a bar alone” or “how to go to a bar alone” or “do people go to bar alone”, google would produce a link to this article – a little thing I wrote about how you can meet people if you to a bar alone.

This has happened 18 times. 18 separate people have entered something along the lines of “how do I go to a bar alone” since I published that story and thus found my blog. It bears mentioning that of the 18 only half were from the US. Apparently going to bars alone is just as confusing in England, Australia, Denmark and Bermuda.

Now, in the grand scheme of the google-searching world 18 is not wildly significant. But let’s assume that if 18 went through with a google search of “how do I go to a bar alone” then at least three times as many have thought of it. So if whatever 18 x 3 people is have gone so far as to consider this google search then probably four times that many have asked themselves the question at one point or another. By now we’re at, I don’t know, 5,000?

But to me, if even 18 people in this wide world are living in question about the perplexing details around how one goes to a bar alone well then I am flummoxed – flummoxed beyond words.

Let’s take care of this before we move on:

You pick a bar where you think there will be ample seating and men. You go there without the company of anyone else. You sit. You order a drink. You drink that drink while doing one of many things (watching the tv, reading a newspaper, making some notes in a small notebook, nothing at all but drinking). You smile and look inviting so that if you see someone you might like to talk to they might decide they like to talk to you too. If after one hour/you’re drunk you have yet to feel productive you move on. Rinse, repeat.

Hopefully we’re all clear now.

Flummo – sorry – surprised as I am that going to bars alone ranks high among dating confusion, this proves yet again that there are no dumb questions (nor small parts or I’s in TEAM). Apparently the core issues are as significant as my sometimes more detailed dissertations.

In the coming weeks I’ll be sure to pepper my posts with some of the more rudimentary dating issues - how to non-awkwardly approach a first kiss? how to tell someone you’re divorced? how to ask a girl to go back to your place? and maybe, in light of this discovery, how to go to a bar with just one other person?

Stay tuned.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Erica's Make Out Diet

My friend Erica is kicking it into high gear in '09 -- making it to the gym, eating healthy, yadda yadda.

Unfortunately she - like the 99.9% of Americans who drink and have access to pizza, Chinese food, or in my case Sam’s Falafel (extra hummus) - has a bad drunk-eating habit.

To makes matters worse, she lives in an epicenter of drunk eating. Within walking distance of her apartment is Pizza Booth, Pizza Counter, Ben’s Pizza, Mamoun’s Falafel, Pluck U Fried Chicken, and some Chinese restaurant open 24 hours. All but one take a credit card. It’s enough to drive a person to drink...more...and then eat again.

In an effort to start her ’09 off on a healthier foot, Erica intensified her elliptical regime and eliminated carbs, “other than alcohol, of course.” She had the will-power to get to the gym at 6am and avoid breads of any kind throughout the day, but the drunk eating she could not quit -- it was her diet Goliath.

You know what it feels like to absolutely need a slice of pizza at 3:00 in the morning. All feeling and action is instantly suspended and replaced with the singled-minded search for a hot and cheesy slice. You wander stumbling, cold, and cashless to the nearest dealer, try unsuccessfully to cut everyone else in line, and burn the shit out of your mouth the second the slice arrives thus necessitating a second slice that you beg off some equally drunk friend or stranger. It is a joy indescribable -- because you don't remember it. No one thinks, “god I want a slice of pizza” but then says, “but I won’t get one because it’s terrible to eat after 10pm and I’m off carbs completely. Home to munch on celery and do another set of 8 minute abs!”

And so in an effort to stick to her ’09 health regime, Erica stumbled upon an unconventional solution.

“So I'm out drinking. And I started to get starving and so I was totally dreading going home after we were out because I knew I was going to want to get something to eat,” she told me over cocktails sans snacks. “But then I started talking to this pretty cute guy. And one thing lead to another and we were sort of making out a little. And I hate to make out in public so I asked if he wanted to go back to my place just to make out more – I was very specific about that – 'nothing more, nothing less,' I told him.”

I’m nodding and sipping my extra dirty martini and wishing it were actually just straight olive juice and trying to prepare my face to go, “ugh that bastard!” or “ooooh how fantastic!”

“So we made out for awhile, and then we were both tired so he went home, and I went to bed. Buuut when I woke up I realized that I hadn’t eaten a thing before I went to bed and had burned calories by making out!!”

“Ooooh how fantastic,” I said.

“And so the next night I did it again.”

I hadn’t prepared a facial expression for this comment.

“Next night I met this cute guy, started talking to him, asked him if he wanted to go make out -- he did so we did then it ended, and I didn't eat before beg again!!”

“Hahahah - toooo much,” I said. I mean you tell me what the proper reaction to that statement is….

“And just like the first time I was like, ‘we’re just making out, is that clear?’ and he was fine with it, and it was fun for a bit then he went home and I went to bed – second night, no food.”

“Wow – it’s a pretty fail proof plan,” I said. And I meant it. It really did seem like a win-win…sans the potential for assault and/or robbery.

“So after three nights in a row of making out -- which is great -- and not eating -- which is phenom -- I decided I was really onto something,” she said triumphantly, “so now it’s my new thing.”

And there you have it. One girl’s triumph against the evils of late night binge eating. Take it or leave it, but you simply cannot deny its effectiveness.
Can’t say I’ve tried it myself, but that’s only because I quit my late-night falafel habit on account of my dicey relationship with the guy behind the counter.

That’s a whole other will-power story...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

(Too) Great Expectations?


Right before the holiday I found myself torn over the details surrounding some too-be-scheduled drinks....with a guy (in case you're new to this blog).

The date was of the blind variety, though in my opinion there’s no longer such thing as a blind date on account of the Internet and expert stalkers like my friend John.

For the purposes of this discussion – I knew-ish him but he didn’t know me. I had asked him to grab a drink sometime, so it wasn’t even his idea. Sure he could have assumed I was fantastic, but again, he didn’t know me. I had made a bold move, so it was good of him to even respond favorably in the first place.

Our drinks were difficult to schedule - delayed response, mixed messages – what have you.We had a tentative date and time -- he blew it off by three days. Nothing major, but it wasn’t the makings of a fantastic first impression. As my one guy friend said, "he's not 100% in the wrong, but he's not exactly trying to impress you."

But again – he didn’t know me. He’d agreed to grab a drink but he wasn’t the pursuer and so he was treating it casually and without major effort. At most he'd seen my Facebook profile pic and some basic info. At the least he had self control and no friends like John so he knew nothing.

Some people I ran the details by said he did nothing wrong. He had yet to technically stand me up, and he owed me nothing but common courtesy. These people implied that my expectations were too high given the circumstances. In a way they were right.

Others said, forget this guy, he’s lame. Sure he doesn’t have to be out to impress you, but who wants a guy who isn’t just out to impress everyone? He agreed to the drinks, he should follow through with common courtesy. They were right too.

On the pro-him camp lines like, “you need to give him the benefit of the doubt” and “if he meets you and is still flakey like this then you have a problem.” On the ney side – “once a flake, always a flake” and, “go out with him but I’d be shocked if he turned out great given this track record.”

Did I want him to flawlessly execute the pre-drinks planning period? Of course. I realize he didn’t yet know that I was worth his most excellent behavior, but I wanted him to anticipate I was worth it and therefore treat me like someone he wanted to know and, more importantly, someone he intended to like.

But I also acknowledged that certain outside circumstances could be preventing that from happening for any number of reasons that had nothing to do with me.

Were my expectations too great or was this guy just lame? Against some people's advice, I decided the only way to find out way to make the drinks work -- even if they were over Monday night football and among his friends...

I'll be honest, he seemed like he could be great. He said things like – this was great, sorry it was so hard to schedule – we’ll have to get a proper dinner after the holidays.

And so I immediately felt like an ass for judging his pre-date behavior before I'd given him a chance. He didn't seem like a flake after all. Maybe it really had been a busy time and the drinks were just hard to schedule.

He has since re-fallen off the face of the earth. Several weeks -- no contact, and the way we left it he was going to get in touch.

Maybe he wasn't sold on me after the first set of drinks. That is entirely possible.
Or maybe you really can judge a person by how they treat you before they know you...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

This is how we'll learn what's wrong with our game


I’ve come up with a solution to help us figure out why we strike out when meeting (some) people.  

It’s a system loosely based on Christian Confession. For yee of other faiths, that’s when we go into a small room where a priest sits behind a screen and tell him the things we think we've done wrong and are willing to admit. Then he gives us "punishment" in the form of us saying a lot of prayers so we can still get into heaven. Yeah, I know.

Here’s how it would work.

One person among a tight knit group of friends who've all seen each other in trying-to-impress-someone mode secretly invites the group to participate in this process via some online interface. The technology part is still TBD, but I'm sure we could work it out on Facebook.   

The key is that no one knows what other people are participating. The moderator knows the friend group and invites the people to participate but doesn’t tell them who else is in. Right. So maybe not Facebook...that part needs work...Please hold your questions until it all makes sense.

So on the day of the experiment all the parties come to the designated location. They’d have to be secretive about where they’re going and try to somehow hide their identity. Maybe masks could be involved; I’m not sure.

Upon arrival each person is directed to one small room or special booth or something with access to just one other room/booth/whatever – see -- like confession.  

Among the sets of rooms are “asker” rooms and “answerer” rooms. So rooms where people's job is to ask questions and rooms where people are required (encouraged...) to answer.  
The moderator gives each person in an “asker” room a little pieces of paper that has their name on it so they can slide the piece of paper through some little hole in the dark-screen of the soundproof booth or room informing the person on the “answerer” side knows who they are.

Now this next part is key. In order to maintain the anonymity of the people on each side of the booths so people aren’t offended by what their friends say to the question, “why don’t guys like me” we’d have voice changing machines inside each booth ala Batman.  There is a name for these machines, but I don't know it. 

Okay. So the askers slips his/her name to the answerer. The answerer has a few minutes to consider what he/she knows about the flirting skills (or lack thereof) of that person, and then the asker has…I don’t know…10 minutes?...to ask specific or vague questions about what’s wrong with them. Things like, “so I seem to be able to find nice guys and get them to talk to me, but after a few minutes they tend to lose interest.” 

Now ideally the answerer will have seen this scenario in action one or ten times and will be able to say – in his/her fully disguised voice – “you flirt like an idiot. No guy wants to hear you go on and on about how much you love the Twilight books.” Or perhaps the asker, a guy this time, would say, “I don’t know what the problem is. I meet these fun/nice girls who I just want to hang out with and hook up with a little and then they latch on immediately and I don’t know what to do.” To which the answerer, perhaps a girl who has fallen victim to him should the booths "magically" align, would say, “that’s because you treat them like it going somewhere so you can get them in bed and then let it go on without any indication that you’re not really interested in them. This is called leading someone on.” Again, voice disguised.

After the ten minutes the moderator rings a bell, the people put their disguises back on (maybe robes with hoods would be better than masks…) and then they rotate from one room to the next.

By the end of the session everyone will have had their questions answered by several well-informed people who were able to be honest and direct thanks to the aid of costumes, voice altering devices, and very dark booths.

There are still a few kinks to work out, but I think that pretty much covers it -- an organized system to solve the fact that when you ask, "I mean, what is wrong with me that I can't meet and date a normal guy!?!"  whatever answer you get will be a lie. 

Friday, January 16, 2009

This is why I shouldn't write for newlywed magazines...


*I was assigned the below essay by The Nest – a magazine for newlyweds from the creators of the weddings website, The Knot.

Original assignment: write a letter to the new wife of my male best friend expressing my feelings about their marriage and waiving the white flag so we can move on as friends.

The editor’s reaction to this first draft: “reads a bit harsh…like you are a bitch...could you make a few adjustments so it sounds like you remotely want to be this women’s friend??”

I made the requested adjustments, but I still like this draft better

-------------------------------------------------------
Dear Krissy,

I just can’t tell you what an amazing time I had at Stevo – sorry – Stephen’s and your wedding! My god he would not stop going on about how nervous he was! Cold feet I’m sure, but it all went off without a hitch. Congrats again.

Now that the big day madness has calmed down I wanted to reach out to you with something a bit more personal than a registry gift (btw, nice move with the Egyptian cotton! Steve was so wrong about your taste!).

As you know, Steve and I have been best friends since the very first day of college, so this is a big transition for us both. I know things haven’t always been the most comfortable between you and me (really, Aunt Dot has thought Steve and I were married for years – it’s the dimentia. No one saw her confront you at the wedding), but I really feel we’ve overcome those early, awkward times.

So now that you’re practically my sister-in-law, I wanted to finally express what I’ve been meaning to say since you and Steve got engaged…

You’re welcome. It wasn’t easy preparing him to be the man you chose to marry, but I knew a sensible girl like you would come along and expect him to shower every day – twice if he goes to the gym or plays sports. Yes many people helped make Steve the success he is today, but let’s be honest – it was 80% me.

Over the past the past 12 years I’ve come to know Steve inside and out (again, not literally – God the Delta Sig boys will not let that rumor die!), so I thought it might be helpful for me to share some of the lesser-known Steve facts – pearls of wisdom that I hope will help you on your journey toward not getting divorced:

  • Too much tequila makes him an angry drunk – Nothing to be too concerned about, but he has some strong-though-generally-secret feelings about the death penalty that only come out after the Cuervo.
  • He has a tendency of just throwing things out versus cleaning them so the garbage may be a smart place to look if you’re missing any decorative items, clothes, or silverware.
  • When he thinks an argument is pointless and just wants to stop dealing with you he’ll generally say, “C’mon baby, you know our love is bigger than this little fight.” To him, your accepting this line means he’s won.
  • He lies about having read certain books and seen most movies – I don’t know why, he just always has. I think it’s just a mini pathological lying thing, but from what I can tell it’s isolated to those two things, so no worries.
Krissy – you seem like an incredibly patient and very loving person. I’m sure the thought of a female Dupree is the last thing you want in your brand new marriage, but don’t you worry – I have no intentions of playing third wheel. God love him, but now that you’re taking Stevo off my hands I’m finally free to date guys without him staring them down, then pretending to be my boyfriend.

All my love to you both. Maybe as the years go on we’ll forge a friendship all our own. After all, you know what they always say – keep your friends close and your husband’s female best friend closer.

XO,
Jessie

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Laundro-Matt Afterward - for those inquiring minds


I'll keep this brief - for a change.
I did end up meeting Laundro-Matt for a drink before the holidays. We had a nice time. He seemed like (and may very well be) a nice guy - potentially but not definitively "nicest guy."
Unfortunately he appears to possess a few qualities that rank high on my alphabetic list of dealbreakers - most notably in the F category: FLAKEY and complete FAILURE to FOLLOW-through (double word score!) being primary among them.
You may have noticed that the several (fine, nine...) Laundro posts disappeared sometime before the holidays. I took them down in an effort to be polite to Laundro, his family, and any other contacts of his that I wrote about. They will be replaced over the weekend for your re-reading pleasure :)
And yes, I fully intend to continue patronizing Best Dry Cleaners, but Anna's role as neighborhood yenta has been terminated. I've got my sights set on Muhammed at Thompson Liquors as a replacement.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Being booby in the name of "journalism"



I was recently given a freelance writing assignment that required me to visited dozens of Manhattan locations in search of men -- so essentially what I do always except now I had an excuse to admit it and would ultimately get paid.

The kinds of places I visited included typical places where I’ve come across eligible men (bars, hot dog stands, other bars) and more untraditional places (temp agencies, off track betting outposts, The New York Public Library, no – not dry cleaners…never again dry cleaners).

Now I like to consider myself a friendly person. I don’t generally hesitate to talk to strangers or keep up conversation if conversation is prompted. But I can go shy-ish when blatant, sober flirting is involved.

In the case of my research, though, I found myself wildly emboldened. I had this nice, packaged excuse to hide behind complete with a simple intro (Hi, I’m working on this article about what kind of men would come to an off track betting outpost…), natural info gathering device (so could I just get your name and number in case I have any follow up questions?), and easy out if things went south (Great. Well I think I’ve got all I need to work with. Thanks for your help.)

Yes, the article was very conveniently about meeting men, but it could just as easily been about anything and I would have had to ask just as many questions of just as many strangers, of which I would obviously choose men.

This isn’t me advising you to become a freelance writer because it’s a great excuse to meet guys. Or me saying, just fake being a freelance writer because it’s a great excuse to meet guys and you can worry about the truth if they end up being great.

I'm saying you need a journalist-style cop out.

The only difference between the Me writing an article and the Me asking an attractive man a random question was my "cover." I got to say, “So do you come to this bar a lot?.....because I’m writing an article and that’s why I need to know. It’s not because I just think you’re cute and want to talk to you.”

The article-writing makes me booby* -- as in the female equivalent of ballsy – not as in possessing of large breasts -- not at all, sadly. (please note: the noun equivalent does not exist in this circumstance. So "Dammnn, that girl's got BOOBS!" cannot, for obvious reasons, be used when she does something bold.)

It’s my cop out. I can be sure he’s interested in answering my question because I am working on something and need his help, not because he might like me. And he’s left to wonder if I’m asking because I think he’s cute or because I need one more quote for my piece. Advantage: me.

In this forthcoming article – the one I got to hit up six happy hours in two days for (thanks Liz and Katie!) – I will advise women to travel to a series of random locations where I successfully located mass amounts of men. What's implied is that once they get there – really once any of us get anywhere – we’ve got to muster up a cop out.


We’ve got to come up with some reasonable question or prompt just as if we were a journalist who had to ask on account of a very important assignment:

  • “So is this the best bar in this neighborhood because I’m new to the area.”
  • Or “what was that weird beer you just ordered? I want to pick up a six pack of something different for a friend who loves beer.”

Logical question – very reasonable rationale (read: cop out), which I've underlined in case this still isn't clear.

This sounds like I’m saying – “come up with reasonable lies so you can talk to people with greater confidence.”

That is what I’m saying.

If that poses a real moral dilemma for you then you can continue perfecting your sexy eye until your dry cleaner sets you up with someone.

*thank you Gallotta

Monday, January 12, 2009

We're running out of maybe people


I think slowly but surely we all realize we’re not going to end up with any of our maybe-people.

Heavy for a Monday morning, but here's how I see it.

As modern adults we exist in large, co-ed friends groups. Within those friend groups are people you have slash would hook up with and those you haven’t and would never. Of that set is the subset of people you’ve considered dating (your maybe-people) and those you haven’t.

This is not the same as the secret list of people (person...) you truly believe you belong with (for me, Mark Ruffalo). This is a less definite list -- people you keep tabs on and wonder about, but in a less manic way. These are not people you text when you're drunk or call at 12:01 am on their birthday.

At some point something generally happens to confirm a given person’s place within this social pecking order. They either fall out of maybe and into legit contention: finally break up with their long-term girlfriend, randomly move to your city, prove convincingly enough that they aren’t gay. Or they fall out: never get over that drinking issue, gain 65 lbs., start dating your best friend...who is a guy...
Whatever the issue, they go from maybe-someday-always-wondered to not (or vice versa).

I claim a lot of shit is universal that likely isn’t, but this I’m standing by. At some point we’ve all said, “well, if all else fails _________ could probably be a good option.” Or even, “maybe _________ would actually be really good for me.” Or when we play Fuck, Chuck, or Mary for 12 hours on the drive to Notre Dame and ________'s name comes up we say "marry" and think, "hhmm...maybe..."

But there comes a point, somewhere around now to two-to-three-years-from-now, where if he/she hasn’t tipped over the edge, he/she isn’t going to. If this person hasn’t shifted from the back-pocket list to the check-Facebook-profile-every-day group, they won’t.

And so we slowly start crossing people off this strange mental list that we were never really sure about anyway.

What’s funny slash sick is that even though we never really considered these people – never really had a true crush or fantasy about them – it’s still disappointing when they shift from maybe to no.

The funny part is the ridiculousness of someone falling into deal breaker territory before there was even a deal. “I always thought there was a chance I could be happy with ________ but then he went and become an actor and now he’s off the list. A: actor. Deal breaker.”

The sick part – this all means that we keep mental back pocket plays because the idea of saying, “I currently have zero options for someone to end up with” is way too scary to handle.

That's what this is about.

This list of people is like that job waiting for you at your Dad’s friend's company should all else fail. It's an option that you haven't already tried and failed, so even if it isn't really a good option, it has yet to become a no.

I recently had someone fall off my maybe list on account of a political reference made via a Facebook status update. I have not seen this person since the beginning of high school, but I always had it in the back of my head that we would make a nice couple. His lack of confidence in our new president now makes that impossible. He's tipped over the edge and out of contention.

And with that I am now one lost option closer to engaging in my emergency back up plan -- which is a whole other heavy Monday morning story...

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Facebook can be a real cock tease


Take one female friend’s recent discovery regarding a guy she’d seen more than a few times.

Said guy doesn’t live where my friend lives. On the occasions that they’ve gotten together she’s either gone to or happened-to-be-in his area or he has traveled to hers.

They remain, for the most part, in occasionally regular contact. A week or two may go by in which they don’t speak, but then he’ll get back in Facebook touch with a message/text/not actual phone call.

A few weeks or so ago my friend discovered that this guy had made a trip to the place she lives but had not contacted her. Now, in fairness, she lives in a fairly big place where this guy has several other friends. My friend and this guy are by no means in a relationship. But, given their past contact and history, she was surprised he’d come all this way without at least letting her know.

On account of The ‘Book his trip was public information. An entire album of pictures were posted advertising the fun he'd had. He was not trying to hide the fact that he’d been in town.

“But I can’t be like ‘Hey, saw all your pictures from ________, thanks for letting me know you’d be in town’” my friend said, “That’s just creepy.”

See, cock tease.

It’s like we have all this information about people’s whereabouts and activities and breakups and hook ups but in dozens of circumstances it's just fore play. We have to sit on it. And by "sit on it" I mean talk about it endlessly with everyone else who’s seeing the same thing but also can’t say anything about it until we arrive at a person with the appropriate access to directly address it with the people in question.

“Did you see those recent pictures of _______ and ________ together?! I thought they broke up. What’s the deal?”

I want to know if ________ and ________ and this guy who snubbed my friend are posting pictures and status messages full-well knowing exactly how people are reacting. We all know how it works. Dude knows how the Facebook works. So he was fully aware that my friend would know he was in town. And that once-couple could rattle off the list of people who saw those recent pictures and went, “wtf?!”

So do we technically have full liberty to just say something!?

Established Facebook etiquette says no. I cannot openly write the following wall post: “Hey ________. Cute pix of you and _______!! What’s the deal? Thought you guys broke up!” Just as my friend really shouldn’t openly (or even in message form) blast that guy.

So Facebook goes on allowing people to rub shit under our virtual noses. But if people make things online public knowledge, then shouldn’t the online public have cart blanche to comment? I'm made to feel like a creeper when I say, "Hey! Ireland and Scotland looked amazing! How was the trip?" to a mere acquaintance, but why were the pictures posted if not for me and 567 other people to see them?

Really makes you think about what you’re advertising and who can see it. That and how many “friends” you have that you're technically not friends with.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

To me you are - probably making a mistake


I watched Love Actually with my family over the holiday break. I’m sure you did too. It’s reached official holiday status.

I enjoy Love Actually for the same reasons most people do. It gives you hope in the possibility of unbelievable love stories, and it features Hugh Grant.

But every time I watch it I get caught up on one scene that, hard as a try to appreciate it, leaves me annoyed and confused and from then on completely unable to enjoy the Hugh Grant scenes (and Colin Firth – he’s very good too).

It's that scene where the best friend (in my head his name is Good Looking) of the recently married Keira Knightly (what the fuck is that wedding dress?!) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (I think his character name is Peter) goes to the house of WTF and Maybe Peter with the many pieces of poster that read something along the lines of, “I want to tell you I think you’re perfect and actually love you because it’s Christmas. Also, don’t tell Peter.” That last part is implied by the “pretend I’m carolers” cover.

All anyone can remember about that scene is when he/the cards say, “to me, you are PERFECT.” When I try to discuss it (complain about it) to/with people they say something like, “what’s the problem? He just tells her that to him she is perfect. Don’t be such an asshole.”

I think there’s far more to it. Like the back story.

Keira thinks Good Looking really hates her because she’s stealing his best friend away, but in a painfully ironic twist he actually loves her, which we discover through the wedding video he takes starring her face, neck, and body. She sees the video, he’s sort of busted, and it’s awkward. Five or so scenes later he decides the life-sized note cards route will make it all better.

I’ve thought about what I would do in that same scenario more than a few times. She sees the video, it’s entirely focused on her, she has a feeling he loves her, she’s right.

Cowardly as this may be, I’ve decided I would lie my way out of it. I would say, “Oh you looked so beautiful that day, and I just knew Peter would want to see all these beautiful shots of you, so I took that video thinking I would give it to him so he could remember how beautiful you looked on that day.” Done.

She’s would be touched, grateful, convinced. He would be sort of lying but most of that’s the truth and this way he isn’t left wanting to kill himself because his best friend’s new wife now knows he loves her. Nobody gets hurt except Good Looking who’s not doing so great as is so we net out even.

Instead he goes for the purge it out than walk away with a triumphant-though-still-defeated, “Enough now. Enough.”

It’s powerful. You watch it and think to yourself, Ohhhh man…but hey…good for him. He needed to do that.”

I watch it and think to myself, “Don’t DO IT! You will not feel better. SHE will not feel better. If Peter finds out ALL of you will feel a lot worse. And also, where did you get all that poster board!?”

My friend Matt isn’t opposed to the moment, but he did recently admit wondering if Good Looking had an entirely different set of words on the opposite side of those posters just in case Peter came down. Like: “Hello. Please don’t tell Peter, but I got him an excellent and very expensive surprise that he will love. Yes, I could have emailed this to you, but I’m afraid he checks your email. I could have called, true, but there’s always the chance he could pick up your phone. So I decided this was my only option. Bring him to my house at 8pm so I can give him this most exciting surprise. Thank you. No, I don’t want to come in.”

Something like that.

But since this is a movie, Good Looking went plan A.

He confesses. She seems almost relieved. He seems definitely relieved. And the whole thing is rendered a distant memory. “Remember when I came to your doorstep and performed a cue card-based confession of my love in light of the holiday season?” he’ll absolutely never say.

And so, I’m left with two questions. Does this happen? And is this the right move?

I fully acknowledge that people are in love with people who their best friends marry. But how often does the unrequited lover confess for the sake of getting it off his or her chest? And is it the right thing to do?

I’ve confessed things and felt better. I’ve confessed things and felt much worse. But I’ve never confessed anything full-well-knowing that nothing I said would make any difference. That takes something I’m not sure I fully understand. Apparently it's called Christmas.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

These should be easy resolutions


At this very time last year I posted my two very simple New Year’s Resolutions. To read at least one book per month and to not hook up with people for insensible reasons.

Of the two I successfully accomplished one.

And so once again I will post very simple, seemingly easy to accomplish New Year’s Resolutions in an effort to be motivated by the potential for public shame. It worked last year.

I was out at a bar talking very closely to a boy that had potential to make me act insensibly when a friend who reads the blog texted me NEW YRS RES!! from across the room. Citizen willpower at its best.

Here’s this year’s set of four (trying to up my odds).

To read the newspaper a majority of days of the week (that being 4).

Geanna and I ordered the Weekender from The New York Times (see there’s the week, the weekend, and the weekender…), so that takes care of three days of having it delivered directly to my apartment door.

Considering the entire paper is online every day for free, I should have no trouble reading it at least one of the other days. It is my understanding that Monday is the shortest issue.

I believe that by reading the newspaper I will become worldlier, develop an excellent vocabulary for the SATs, and get better ideas of what to pitch the Thursday Styles Section so they’ll finally respond to my daily emails.

To use skim milk and Splenda in my coffee, always-ish

I’m a cream and sugar girl by nature, but if it’s between cream in my coffee and one more unit of alcohol, I can go skim and Splenda.

Oprah magazine has yet to cover the exact caloric difference between my preferred fixings and this modified approach (not by any lack of my requesting), so I can’t be 100% certain there’s a direct fat free coffee to one wine glass ratio.

So not to end up a hypocrite I will say that this is my resolution unless Oprah or some equally reputable source says I can have my cream and sugar back.

To set four friends (or strong acquaintances) up on dates with people I believe make a good match.

That’s one date per season – really the least I can do.

As previously discussed it’s only logical to assume that if we bring happiness to others they will in turn think of us if and when they have happiness (read: men) of their own to dole out.

To stop lying to cab drivers when I'm drunk.

I lie to cab drivers when I’m drunk.

We get to talking about some topic I usually bring up because I’m uncomfortable with car silence and that in- cab tv makes me nauseous (also because I'm drunk). This usually leads to me asking where the cab driver is from. Something like, “From where do you come?” (I also speak in old English syntax when drunk. I've tried resolving to give that up. I can't.)

The cab driver says something like Ghana or Haiti or Palestine or Queens. And then I say, “You kid! I’ve been there – so beautiful – and your people – by far the most generous I’ve encountered.”

I have never been to Ghana or Haiti or Palestine or Queens.

Then the cab driver inevitably says! (Insert word of praise specific to his country's dialect. ex: No Fuckin' Way!, Queens) This is wonderful! No girls like you have ever been to my country! Thank you. This makes me proud.”

And then I am filled with a warm, wonderful feeling of having made the day (maybe week?) of a kind service provider who makes it so I don’t have to own a car in Manhattan. And so I keep doing it.

Harmless as this may seem, it is lying which is wrong and weird, which is worse, and so I will make a concerted effort to stop.

Happy New Year. Wish me willpower. And please provide some if necessary.