Friday, July 31, 2009

Guest Writer: How to Flirt Like a Gay Man: Focus!

Today a guest post from the hysterical writer behind blog

I’m a straight woman who has lived in West Hollywood, AKA the 2nd gayest place on earth next to Disneyworld, for the majority of my adult life. I’ve learned a lot about dating from a unique, gay perspective.

As a result of the competitive dating scene, my gay friends tend to be much more direct than my straight friends. When they are flirting they are WORKING IT.

There is no time wasted and no glance ignored. Flirting is done with a purpose: to attract a man, to reel him in, and leave him begging for more.

Watching my gay friends in action has caused me to evaluate straight flirting methods and realize some serious mistakes we as women tend to make!

1 – We make excuses to hide the fact that we are flirting.

When we are at a bar, spot a cute guy, and make any form of communication with him, then we are FLIRTING.

We’re NOT “Just having fun” or having a “night out with the girls.” If we really wanted some good, clean, girly fun, then we’d be at the gay clubs!

Excuses like these ultimately just give us a reason not to go for it and smile at the cute guy. And what’s the point in that?

Cruising is a lot of fun, and can also be a great bonding experience for girlfriends, but at the end of the night it’s still CRUISING. We’re still looking for someone special to buy us a drink, laugh at our jokes, ask for our number, and call the next day!

2 – We lie to ourselves about attraction to male “friends.”

How often have we said, or heard a friend say, “Nothing would ever happen between me and Joe, he’s like my brother!” Then one night after a few drinks… something does happen, and it’s not very brotherly.

I’m dubious about friendships between straight men and women, but if they do exist then both parties have to be 100% honest with themselves. If we are “friends” with a guy, and not completely disgusted at the idea of making out with him, then we’re probably interested in him a little bit. And, without even thinking about it, we’re probably also flirting with him.

A good rule of thumb on this one is: "If my boyfriend had a female friend, and she was acting this way, would I be even the tiniest bit annoyed?" If the answer is yes, then you are F-L-I-R-T-I-N-G!

There’s nothing wrong with this, but we need to accept that he is more than just a friend. There are plenty of people you can be friends with, but potential lovers do not fall into this category. For a million reasons including: you could get hurt, he could get hurt, you could both end up hurting a third party.

Gay men in general do not play this little game. I assume it’s because it makes life too darn confusing, but that’s just a guess.

3 – We fail to embrace awkward.

Putting ourselves “out there” is awkward and uncomfortable... DUH!

When we put ourselves in a situation where we could potentially be hurt, we don’t want to expose too much too fast. We want to seem as “normal” as possible so nobody can figure out there is something wrong with us and leave.

To avoid potential embarrassment, we text instead of call, we check our blackberries at the bar, and we basically make ourselves less approachable in an effort to seem less awkward.

But the thing is, awkward is normal! Gay men often appear extremely confident, but it isn’t about breezing their way through every conversation, text, and email. Confidence is knowing that being nervous, wanting to make a good impression, and a gut-wrenching sense of self-doubt is perfectly normal!

I believe that we as women make these mistakes because we are afraid of being hurt. We don’t want to be too obvious about our flirting… even to ourselves! We try to blur the line between “friends” and “more” because “friends” is a lot more comfortable. And we build up walls around us to protect from potential rejection.

When we are flirting, we need to break down our walls and FOCUS. We need to flirt with a purpose, if we succeed then great and if we fail then oh well. The point is to be honest with ourselves and with the men around us. Mixed signals are annoying... and SO last season.

For more pearls of wisdom, check out – Tales From a Straight Girl in a Gay World!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Regarding beggars and their right to be choosers

The next time you or someone you know is describing someone you are/might soon be going out with – presenting the obvious cons, explaining the history behind why this is probably a bad idea, saying things like “I mean I would normally never go out with someone like this" – and then you/they/someone eaves-dropping from the next table says, “well – you know – beggers can’t be choosers…”
Tell them that is the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard.
What people who say “beggars can’t be choosers” are really saying is:
  • I’m too lonely and desperate to get to care who I go out with
  • OR No one ever wants to go out with me so I should just say yes because there’s a chance no one else ever will
  • In effect, I’m in no position to be picky because I’m lucky to have a date at all.
I know because I’ve said it.  
Time to unpack this emotional suitcase.  TRUST. (I'll explain that some other time, for now know that it is pure gold).
People can/should take chances on dates that are different than their typical type.  People should give those with a short list of obvious “cons” a chance.  And sometimes history doesn’t repeat itself and people do learn from their mistakes, so cut a kid some slack.  In short -- if you're being picky for the sake of being picky and should really sack up and go on the date, do that -- but do it without the cliched pretense.
None of that has anything to do with the beggar chooser situation. 
From my experience – and the experience of those who call me after first dates – the minute you fall into the beggar/chooser trap the first date/second date/5-month relationship stops having anything to do with the actual person and instead is built on this premise of, “I should do this because I’m in no position to think I’ll do better” -- "I should do this because I can't not" - "I should do this because it fell into my lap and that's got to mean something, right?"
  •  Alone is better than really bad with someone
  • You can "not" -  you can always "not"
  • Bird shit falls into laps too and people often call it lucky.  I call it bird shit in my lap and promptly wash it off without ceremony. 
To state the obvious – for effect – beggars can be choosers.
And I'm going to go so far as to say that they should be choosers because their beggar status renders them unfit to know what's best.  You'll eat sand if it looks like a mira... -- sorry -- you'll eat Pop Tarts for 3-meals a day if the Barney's Warehouse Sale is around the corner and absolutely anything you can buy off the street with the cash you have left when you're drunk-running home.  Judgement: impaired.  Results: heartburn.  
Of course this lecture rests on the fact that we beggars are begging for something great.  Someone great.  An evening that might lead to 7-10 evenings that might result in you-come-home-with-me-to-my-beach-house.  If you're begging for that, choose away -- by all means -- and choose wisely. 
But if all you're begging for is attention, free dinner, a solid make-out, then that's a different story.  If that's all you're after than you're probably right -- you probably shouldn't be a chooser -- what's the sense in wasting all that brain power if you're just out there man-handling 
(That's two puns in two paragraphs, in case you're not counting).

Monday, July 27, 2009

Understanding what they preach: integrity

I find that older people are always offering me advice that I pretend to understand – generally advice around the subject of how to live my life such that when I end up where they are I have less regrets/grudges/debts/husbands as them.
I listen intently, offer a nod of “mmm, yes, I get it, I’m on it!” and then file it away alongside the financial advice and recommendations to stop dressing in what appear to be period piece costumes.  What I should say is, “could you please provide some tactical steps toward this concept of living my life as if I could die tomorrow?”
New Series! (they're really piling up!):  
Thanks, but I don’t really know what the hell that means.
 A series of posts in which we explore very common adult terms, advice, and moral code from a perspective of how the hell we’re actually supposed to do, follow, and observe it.
 Topic 1: INTEGRITY.
 A life filled with integrity is big among the advice-dealers.  “Ya’ live a life of integrity and everyone will want cha' on their side.”  “Always keep your integrity in tact and people will trust you with anything.”  “Integrity is the key to success in family and in finance, doll.”
 They’ve perfected the sell.  I desperately want everyone on my side, trust with anything, success in family and finance.  I will do it – I will be integritious! I will be it every day from this day forward.  Now, if you could just provide some quick bullets on how, when, with who, for how long that would be great.
 I’ve done all the research I know how (Comm. major).
 Integrity (noun) in-teg-ri-ty
  1. firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values : incorruptibility
  2. an unimpaired condition : soundness
  3. the quality or state of being complete or undivided : completeness
  4. synonyms see honesty
See -- this, to me, seems like a lot of things.  Living an honest life.  Living a life in which you can't be bought or sold (that incorruptibility part).  Being sound of mind (solid in your own thoughts and not too influenced by others?).  That's a lot of different tasks.  When people say, "have integrity, young grasshopper -- in your work, in your family, in the loves of your life" (an old Jesuit priest dealt me this very line) can't they mean something a little simpler than the four-prong definition? 

Three years after he offered that key to success I emailed that exact question. He answered with one line-- this one only slightly longer than the first: 

Integrity - said Jack - is living your life in such a way that your 87-year-old Poppop, 42-year-old boss, and 21-year-old mentee would describe you as exactly the same person. 

Finally -- action words.  

To live your life so that you're the same person in all aspects of it.  To be true to yourself at all times so that your actions are consistent -- so that you can be known and once known, trusted -- and once trusted, loved.  To live a life in which that self is fully integrated into every aspect of what you do.  Yes you will drink 3 beers with Poppop, 5 with your boss, and 13 with that mentee, but how you talk to them, respect them, care for them and for yourself when around them is consistent to all three.  

Integrity -- know yourself, be happy with that self, and then and behave like that self in all aspects of your life.

We can handle that. 

Now regarding this very vague issue of "living somewhere long enough to know it's time to leave..." 

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sexism: Guys & Girls on work passion

Back after quite the hiatus is the famed Sexism series. Joining a long line of debates include Phone Behavior and Leading People On is this --

It's best to just paste this as the convo went down

Yesterday, approx. 11am - gchat
  • Geanna: millie* has been working for the bicycle festival
  • Jessie: haha
  • Geanna: no it gets better
  • Jessie: oh
  • Geanna: so she's been all consumed with this job
    and apparently it's all she talks about
    and her therapist told her that it's ruining her dating life because she will likely scare guys off with all of her work stories, etc
  • Jessie: I can see that
  • Geanna: i mean what kind of a thing is that to say
  • Jessie: well, probably a true thing - ha
  • Geanna: but when a man is consumed with work, it's dedication
  • Jessie: right, that's what I was supposed to say...
  • Jessie: hhmm...what are girls supposed to talk about on dates vs. guys - good post.
  • Geanna: i just think its a double standard
  • Jessie: I completely and totally agree
  • Geanna: and therpaists should not be saying things like that
    it's not helpful
    and just breeds idiocy
  • Jessie: true
    I mean I would advise not to obsess over any one thing on a date
    but that's not what the therapist said
  • Geanna: right
  • Jessie: she said, "your passion about your career scares men"
    which may be true but is not nice
  • Geanna: exactly
*(name changed)
Brief window into a bigger topic, so don't jam up about the verbatim of the the 11am chat (that happened while I was on a conference call).
The crux is this. Therapist said, chillax on the obsessive work talk because guys don't want to hear about that -- it intimidates them.
So this is interesting on a few levels.
First -- my gut reaction to the therapist saying, "don't talk about your job so much it'll scare a guy off" was "yeah, don't do that - so true." In my head that advice is correct. And in fact I can think of several times when I've held back in that specific topic realm on a first date (if you consider 2 several). But when prompted by someone wiser I do agree -- it's a D.S.
Second -- there's an important back-peddle piece inside the convo that I want to point out sos to calm those currently devising hate comments. Talking about one thing in an out of control manner on a date will do more than just intimidate a guy. If I were a therapist (hhmm...) I would advise never to talk to anyone obsessively about one thing until you give yourself pink eye (It can be done...). But what this therapist said is, "don't talk about your work too much because it intimidates guys." That's what we're focusing on here.
And now -- does it or is this shrink a quack?  If/when a girl is really passionate about her career and shares that on a first date is a guy thinking any of the following:
  • This girls is too consumed with her career and won't have time for me
  • This girl is really successful in her career and I can't compete with that so I don't want to date her
  • This girl is really passionate about her career and I don't even really have a career so that makes us uneven and me feel uncomfortable 
  • This girl will clearly not be fun because she's all work and no play. 
I don't know the answer.  What I do know is what girls thing when they interact with a guy who is really passionate about his career and shares that on a first date:
  • Wow this guy is really mature about his career -- that's cute
  • Hm, this guy probably does well at work and therefore has stable money and savings...
  • My parents will like this guy and his impressive career
I am NOT saying that guys don't feel exactly the same about career oriented girls.  I want very much for this therapist's advice to be a relic from the days of will-you-be-a-nurse-or-a-teacher.  
But it does make you wonder, no?  Does the double standard still exist? Or should Millie say what she wants and just start paying me once a month.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

How and why Rachel is never single.

I haven't seen Rachel in 4 or 5 months but there's no question in my mind that she's dating someone.  She's always dating someone.  In the 12 -- wow has it been that long ... -- years I've known her she's only not been dating someone for a few months at a time -- and even then she has a prospect.  It's important to note that these aren't one-off relationships.  These are deep, meaningful relationships with people that she remains friends with 80-90% of the time.

We were talking about this situation -- her dating situation -- over salads in Madison Square Park the other day.  I was saying that above paragraph except put "you" in place of "she" and change whatever other pronouns you need to, and she was saying things like this:

  • Rachel - Yeah, but that's because I ask these people out.
  • Me - Hhmm elaborate.
  • Rachel - I determine I like someone and then I say, "I like you, do you want to go on a date?"
  • Me - I'm sorry, what?
  • Rachel -- Yeah, or sometimes I say, "I think you're cute -- let's go on a date."
  • Me -- And then what?
  • Rachel -- They either say ok or something like, now's not a good time for me or whatever they want to say if they don't want to go out with me.
  • Me - Right -- makes sense.  So when do you do this?
  • Rachel - As soon as I can usually.  I mean, why would I waste my time if they don't like me or I end up going on a date and not liking them?  And what if I don't ask them and then someone else does first?
It's hard to respond to all that because all of those things are absolutely true and yet never factor into my thought process as I'm too busy thinking, "well, now could be a good time but my hair is in a bun and generally looks better in a low, side pony so I should probably wait to make my move."  

Do I want to waste my time? No never.  But would I rather waste three full years rather than be embarrassed for three full minutes?  Yes, absolutely except more like six...years. Aren't I ever worried that someone else is going to get them first? Stop saying that! You might make it happen!!

Rachel didn't stop at that, of course.  She wanted to be sure to present so much logic and statistical success that I might be shamed into listening to her.  Might, of course, because we all know strong logic and clear statistical evidence are no match for but-what-if-I-have-to-see-him-in-a-bar-within-a-year-from-the-rejection?!?!

  • Rachel - I mean, bottom line, I am a strong person and I want to be a strong person in a relationship.  So I want people to know that up front which is why I pursue them, so it's clear that I'm bold and fairly confident.  And I only want to date people who are comfortable with confident people so it always works out.  Almost all of my relationships have been with someone who really liked that I was confident.  And I think almost every single one of those relationships started because I approached the person.
I need to pause to call out the fact that Rachel is a lesbian.  I mention this now and not at the top of the post because if I had you'd have read the entire post thinking, "yeah but she's a lesbian so it's totally different."  Pieces of "it" (here representing the dynamic between the same sex in dating vs. opposite sexes) are different, yes.  But the most significant among them is that Rachel isn't accountable to specific gender roles that wedge us into place.  Straight girls shouldn't ask guys out -- some thought processes hold.  Straight guys don't want to be with obviously more dominant woman -- is a frequent school of thought.  So yes, Rachel isn't approaching this from exactly the same set up as guy/girl daters, but that doesn't change the logic it only changes the stereotype and expectation.  

Everything about her "why I do it" makes sense.  People who like confident people like that they're confident.  People show that they're confident and bold by making first moves.  Successful relationships are the result of people being true to themselves.  And further -- if you ask people out that you like you can determine if they like you.  Yes, evaluating their Facebook behavior, watching them like a hawk while in bars, consulting every single one of your friends on the issue, and booby trapping them with fake dates may also help you figure out if they like you, but read all that again and tell me how you feel about yourself?

Two minutes of maybe awkward and it can allll be over.  It's very, very convincing. Every "but what if..." running through your mind is right -- you could get rejected, you could be embarrassed, you could feel super awkward around that person in the future.  But then it's done.  And 9 times out of 10 you'll grow apart and move on because the only reason you were associating with the person was to continue to evaluate if they like you too.
  • Rachel -- I mean, listen, it doesn't work for everyone.  Some people just can't handle it. 
Oh no she didn't...

Can we not handle asking someone out?  No.  What we can't handle is ourselves if they say no.  It's a small but significant difference. 

I know, I know - to round out this piece it's time to ask that age-old question -- are guys turned off or on by a girl who asks them out? When girlfriends as me I say, "no! of course not! this is 2009!" but I don't technically no (sorry Kelly) making this post a lot of do-as-I-say-and-not-as-I've-confirmed.

I'll get back to you Monday with Blog Board research.  You leave your own thoughts here. 

And thank you Rachel -- you're a frustration to us all.  

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Do you count sex halvsies?

Skipping TextfromLastNight Tuesdays because this just could not wait. (Chris and Molly deserve full credit for concept).  Mom -- eye muffs.

It started (something) like so:

  • Chris - do you think people do or do not count halvsies as sex?
  • Me in my head - what is halvsies...why don't I know...have I done it...has it been done to can I get out of this conversation, go find out, and come back without him knowing....
  • Chris - you know, like if you start having sex but then the girl - or I guess the guy but probably never the guy - is like, "wait, no, I don't want to" after a minute. 
  • Me in my head - PHEW
  • Me - Right.  Totally. And yeah, of course that counts.
  • Chris - Right?! That's what I said, but Molly said no girls claim them, even if they have 100 of them, none count against their number
  • Me - What?! 
  • Chris - Right -- 'cause a guy counts that every time.
Right now you are thinking one of the following things:
  1. SHIT my mind is blown! How has this issue not come up before?!?! People are cheaters.  Cheaters and liars and down-players of sex partner numbers! What a world!
  2. Hahaha.  Funny that guys and girls think different things! But wait -- which is right and if it's Chris then who can I consult for a second opinion, and if the second opinion sides with Chris then can I just starting counting from zero now?
  3. Jessie, what in God's name does eye muffs mean and what are you thinking writing this smut!
I like to be as open-minded and lax with interpretation as possible, but there are no grey lines on this issue.  If it goes in and out -- one time, two times, five times - condom, no condom, you can't quite remember -- it is intercourse.  I don't need to go all Webster New American regarding penetration and consent.  Bottom line -- P in V and you've racked up another notch on the bed post my friend.  

..But it was super quick...and I changed my mind right away...and I barely felt it...and you know what I don't even think he was all the way in...  

I get it -- and if you're sorry that happened then I'm sorry that happened, but you had sex.  And much like you can't be a sort of pregnant -- you can't sort of have sex.  You're welcome to lie about it so you don't feel like whatever having sex you regret makes you feel like (like I said -- very open-minded), but then you're lying about it, so just know that and move on from there. 

This -- and the very clear male female divide on it -- raises several significant questions.  First off -- is Molly right?  Do all girls not count halvsies, kindas, and just a little bits?

I believe they count, so that's one for the other side.  I asked 4 other girls who do too, so that's five. But Molly has a very good point.  Using zero logic or science but a very good sense of style, I'm going to say 70% of women lie about their sex number by not counting sort-of's.  Do they start lying at a certain number? Do they only lie to guys? Do they count the ones with guys they technically liked but not with ones they can't remember? 

I don't think it divides out that specifically.  I think if you're either comfortable with casual sex or uncomfortable with lying about the truth then you count it.  If you're not, you don't -- no specifications by height of man or time of day. Except I do think girls count halvsies with goal guys -- but that's another post. 

Next question: why do all guys count it? 

A. Because having a higher sex number holds different - fine, saying it - more value to most guys.  It's a double-standard, yes, but well perpetuated by both genders, so calm down.  Also I think there's a weird B. where because the man actually does the inserting of the member into the woman there's something more official and requiredly countable about it.  

And finally -- but this is getting into different territory entirely -- are girls smart to not count them because having a high number is a major turn off to guys?  Well, wait, also - do you have to tell a guy you're dating seriously your number?  And then I guess that begs the question, should guys be concerned about girls with a higher number than them? And is that fair? And don't most girls technically care how high a guys number is but just deal with it because it's expected?

That makes many more questions... More more questions I'm unprepared to answer...for now

For now let's stick with today's absolute truth: halvsies count -- definitely. 

Sooo now that you know that, you may as well finish. 

Mom,  I warned you.   

Monday, July 20, 2009

For Debate: Do you need to be apart before you can be married?

You hear this scenarios from time to time:

Someone's been in a relationship for 4, 5, maybe 6 years -- a relationship that's spanned some serious developmental time (i.e. college to post-grad) such that most people in their adult life have never known them outside of that relationship; it's much of what defines them.  Now they're fairly certain this person is right for them -- the one, if you believe in that -- so there's nothing wrong with the relationship -- no major dealbreakers or hot button issues.

But then that someone ends the relationship.  Their position: that in order to really know if this is right they need to break up.  They need to know themselves outside of the relationship.  They need to re-exert their independence.  They need to be sure they can exist without this person to feel confident committing themselves forever.  They assign it no set timeline or rules, so they know there's a chance they won't end up back with that person they want to end up with, but they say, "I need to to spend some time apart from us so I can be sure this is what I want."

Everyone's heard of someone who's made that decision. 

There's no research on how many times those pairs get back (and stay back) together which means we can't know if it's a right or wrong move. And when we're unsure if something's right or wrong we generally judge the shit out of it until we've convinced ourselves that our position is right.

I know several people who've recently found themselves on one or the other end of this scenario so - newly fascinated - I've asked people to judge the shit out of it until I'm convinced of a position that's right. Here are their judgements.

Pro the break-up
  • Marriage is not something you enter into 95% sure you're in the place you need to be.  It's a 100% situation.  If you want to be apart before you get married there's got to be a really good reason making it smart to break up so you can figure that out.
  • A sense of independence is incredibly important in a committed relationship.  If you're struggling to find that independence -- if you feel you've lost essential pieces of yourself due to the length, nature, simple fact that you've been in this relationship for so long -- taking a major step back is the only way to re-set to zero and figure yourself out
  • If it's truly meant to be then you'll get back together.  If you don't have faith enough in your love for each other to break up and believe what's right will figure itself out then you don't really love this person
  • Sometimes, after a really long time, you can't appreciate your relationship until you're looking at it objectively -- outside the relationship
Con the break-up
  • If you can't feel independent inside your relationship then there's something wrong with the relationship.  It shouldn't take breaking up to "find yourself" or re-connect with your pre-dating self. 
  • If you're willing to risk your significant other ending up with someone else that says something about how much you really want to end up with them.
  • Breaking up for, say, 6 months while you travel to Europe for a teaching gig is a way to say, "let's take this time for ourselves and then get really serious about getting married after that" -- it's a joint decision for the mutual good of the relationship.  A break-up that only 1/2 the couple wants is a different scenario. 
A clarifying point of logic

This point comes straight from one of the most critical thinkers among my group of consultants.  If you know her, then you know her. Paraphrased:
  • My problem is not that the person wants to break up.  If you want to break up and take time for yourself and figure your shit out, go ahead.  If you think you need to do that then you should - definitely.  But then don't say you're sure you want to marry that person.  You're not.  Right now you're sure you want to break up with that person.  And while I've never been there - I don't think you can want to break up with someone that you know you want to marry -- ever. 
I too have never been there.  I'd like to hope to god I don't end up there because I don't really have time to date someone for 5 or 6 years and have it not work out...

But I do know that hard as that decision would be to make -- the harder one for me would be to decide if I could ever take back a person who broke up with me for all the above reasons... 

Thursday, July 16, 2009

She Posts, We Post, Tall Pale Posts!

This trumps Thursday First Dates. Thanks to your many comments (and criticisms?) Tall Pale speaks!

Tall Pale here. First off, two big thank yous; one to Jessie to posting this story, and one to those of you who have commented. It's good to see what people's thoughts are on this, aside from the many lovely ladies I spoke with on this very topic over (too much?) white wine the other evening.

I'd like to clarify a few things that I've seen posted, and offer my own reasoning/explanation for what happened.

  • First off, to avoid any Destiny's Child/"Say My Name" confusion, Casper did definitely mean to text me that Friday, because he referenced my name in the text and mentioned the geographic location of my long weekend vacation (unless he knows tons of other Tall Pales who were in the state I was in at the time I was there -- you never know).
  • Second, regarding the "maybe he was wasted when he texted you that Friday" responses, I tend to think that he wasn't completely smashed when he texted me (a) because it wasn't that late on a Friday (it was around 9 or so) and (b) because the two other times I hung out with him, he didn't drink that much. Now I know some of you might say, "well, he could have gotten drunk at a happy hour from 6 to 8:30, then texted you", but Casper works kind of crazy hours in financial services, so I'm thinking that even if he did get out on the early side, he wouldn't have been to the drunk-texting stage of his evening by 9:00/9:30. Of course, despite all my Columbo/Lenny Briscoe detective work, we'll never really know the answer to this one until AT&T offers a texting Breathalizer (one day!).
  • Also, in response to the "maybe I should have been more in touch with him while I was away/after I got back" responses, it should be noted (not that most of you would have reason to know this because you have never met me) that I am very traditional regarding my approach to communications with boys that are not my platonic friends, which is to say that in the early stages of dating I definitely rely on the guy to initiate communication with me, so I was never going to be the one contacting him while I was away or thereafter. Call it what you will, but that is, for better or worse, how I roll.

Now that the clarifications are out of the way, I think that the best explanation for "what happened" does sadly fall in the Greg Behrendt school of "He's Just Not That Into You."
If he were that into me, I tend to think he would have been in touch earlier in the week and have made sure that we hung out, if not during the week I was back, then at least over the weekend.
The thing that's hard is that before I went away, he was doing everything that (in my mind) he should have been doing to make sure I thought he was into me (i.e., regularly emailing/calling/texting, trying to get together before I went away), so to have the sudden drop-off and flakiness on his part was unexpected.
I'm certainly not going to spend any more time crying over spilt milk (and will not be responding to Casper's texts or voicemails (if any) going forward), but it just annoying to me when a guy's way of telling you that he's not feeling it is by dropping off the face of the planet or, in this case, making a brief Halley's Comet-like appearance on my cell phone, never to appear again (in this lifetime at least).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

She Posts We Post: Unexpected Radio Silence

The past two "She Posts/He Posts" posts have helped us hash out some of the most important issues of the modern dating scene -- issues like Do Guys Really Want a Little Crazy? and Does Not Now Mean Not Ever?

But this time -- this time the question is bigger than one man can handle in 500 words or less.  This time, as Lauren said after 1.5, maybe 2 bottles of Santa Margarita, "We need the people -- let the people speak their words on this bullshit." Amen Lauren, Amen. 

A true story to explain the situation:

A lovely female friend - call sign Tall Pale (TP) - met a nice guy at a work function.  They hit it off.  He asked her that night to join him the next night at an event he thought she'd enjoy. As in, "hey, I'm supposed to go to the ________ tomorrow night for a ________. Do you want to come with me?" (note: this is an excellent move, even if you're lying about the "supposed to" -- actually especially if you're lying).  She agreed.  They went.  It was fun.  They kissed a little.  There is no yadda yadda, yet.

Tall Pale corresponded with the guy -- let's call him Casper because I can't come up with something less obvious right now -- the entire next day and so on until their second date was scheduled -- this time a dinner.  They went to dinner.  It was fun.  They were getting along. She was invited back to his place.  There they participated in very PG-13 end-of-eve business.  She went home. 

TP then leaves for a mini vaca in another state.  She doesn't hear from Casper while she's away, but then, she doesn't contact him either.  It was only one date so vacation outreach seems, to her, unnecessary -- maybe too much? Plus he's been the aggressor thus far.  He was, as Lauren interjected mid-story, "on her like white rice."  Well, only if it was sticky rice Lauren.

No call/text from Casper while TP is gone.  No call/text the entire following week (it was a long weekend vacay).  Then -- just as TP and Lauren are paying the check for their "woe-is-me-why-won't-he-call-tell-me-I'm-not-crazy dinner (the one in which un-burned girl friend tells burned girl friend how wonderful, attractive, and desirable she is), Casper shoots a text.

Lauren: "I was like, damn, now we wasted all that time talking about you when we could have been talking about me." Oh Santa Margarita...

Casper texted something like, "hey, haven't heard from you in ages -- what's up? how are you?" (that's not a direct quote, but the "heard from you in ages part is").

TP was startled.  Was he supposed to have heard from her?  Is one week ages?  What is up? But she decided -- like we all decide at least once in the course of a 2-week old non-relationship -- to be nice, try it out, and text back.

"Hey -- just back from vacation -- I'm good -- how are you? any plans for the weekend?"

An explanation.  A proper response to his question.  A polite question to his well-being.  A hint at maybe plans.  All in under 120 characters.  

He never responded.  

Correct: never responded.  That was last Friday.  This is this Wednesday.  No response.

He texted to get back in touch.  She texted back with a question.  He went radio silent.   

Tall Pale's (and Lauren's, technically) story was told to a circle of girls from a variety of dating backgrounds with several different colors of hair.  Almost all had the same response.  

UGH WHAT IS THAT?!?! I've had that happened to me and canNOT understand. 
(One of them was me -- it's actually happened to me twice).

Katie hit the nail on the head.  "I mean, why did he re-engage if he was just going to drop it?"

Questions abound.  Presuming he received the text and this isn't some sad death by cell technically you've got to wonder what TP said in her response that made him go, "" Did he want an apology? Was he hoping for a more direct request for a 3rd date?  Does he hate being asked how he's doing?  What response was he looking for to decide he'd keep it going? 

Did he plot this all to drop her as he felt she'd dropped him with her no vacation contact?  Is he now letting it be "ages" before he responds?  Has he fallen down? Is he hurt? Did he lose/break/decide against his cell phone between the time he texted and she responded?  Did he meet the girl of his dreams in those few seconds? Did he forget?? Can one forget?? 

There isn't a world outside the one where he lost his cell phone or his person in which I think it's okay or even explainable for Casper to have simply disappeared.  If he'd never texted following their second date, fine.  He didn't have a great time.  He wasn't that into it.  He'd rather not keep things going if he knew it wasn't going to work out.  Fine.  

But to re-engage after one week only to drop her after one text is just plain weird.  Plain weird and yet shockingly common. What goes on here?

And so, as Lauren suggested, I ask you the people to speak your words on this bullshit.  

Has it happened to you?  Have you done it to someone else?  Can you explain it either way? 

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

TFLN Tuesdays: Bathroom Deal Breakers

Now we've got a nice groove going.

Some TFLN's are funny because they're gross -- others because they're pathetic and 99% because you've been there, texted that.  

But this one is funny in that ha-shit-good-point-now-what-else way...

(585): i'm in his bathroom *freshening up* and he not only has a hairdryer... but a straightener. get me out of here... NOW

Here, in my opinion, is "what else":

fungal cream of any variety

First because it's gross and evidence of some real viral skin issues that you don't want touching any part of you that's likely involved in the reasons you're in his bathroom in the first place.  Secondly because of the Seinfeld episode.  As a general rule: when your dating life features a moment that imitates a Steinfeld episode, abort.

vague prescriptions with the name of some girl on the label

Which means one of the following:
  • he lives with some girl -- not good
  • he stole from some girl -- potentially worse
  • he buys drugs from some girl -- just embarrassing
toilet paper with colorful patterns on it -- unless it's that bacon toilet paper

I'm talking about that toilet paper with the pastel flowers or little birds imprinted all over it. I know, he probably just grabbed it off the shelf, and who cares? I'm saying look before you buy bumble bee Charmin Ultra for your bachelor pad, and I care.  Bacon strip toilet paper is disqualified from judgement (negative at least) because that shit's just funny.


Playboy, fine.  Hustler, ugh but I get it.  Juggs -- red flag.  First because if you have it that's one thing; if you have it so obviously in the bathroom then you probably just used it that morning.  And secondly -- ala the Seinfeld rule -- when your dating life mirrors a Sex & the City episode starring Charlotte (pre Harry...bless him), abort.

Hair products in a greater quantity or quality than your own

A. I'm a tad competitive.  B. My V in the Alphabet Dealbreaker game is Vain.  and C. In these hard economic times is it really cost effective to be buying $22 shampoo when you have nice dinners to buy for loving girls? 

a professional shorts themed shower curtain

This foreshadows a very big fight around whether or not framed sports-related posters will adorn an otherwise perfectly decorated living room... 

dirty towels

Let's not overlook the small stuff.

flecks of toothpaste in the sink

A personal pet peeve that I assume I share with the logical, mildly-OCD population.  If at the end of your brushing session you note that there remain tiny spots of toothpaste in or around the sink, wipe them off.  They are not decoration.  They are not invisible to the naked eye.  And they are not easy to get off when they dry.  Also, use less toothpaste, brush until it foams, and spit out in a more focused-toward-the-drain manner.  

Regarding what you do if you find one of these things on your first boy-bathroom visit?  I'd weight it against the other features of his place of living -- i.e. if his bedroom still features that Bob-Marley-shrouded-in-a-cloud-of-pot-smoke poster, run. 

Monday, July 13, 2009

Re: Time, wounds, and being stubborn

I just got off the red-eye from LA after a four day business slash pleasure trip.

For the business portion I stayed at The Mondrian on Santa Monica Blvd. For the pleasure half I stayed with a friend I I think twice?…oh right there was that....yep, four times swore I would never be friends with again.

Yes – there’s a helluva story there. No – you can’t hear it.

What’s important is this: I’m a girl, he’s a guy. We had for many years what we can generally call conflicts. Said conflicts stemmed from the same thing 99% of guy/girl conflict stem from. One person saw/needed/wanted things one way, the other saw/needed/wanted things another way and then those views/needs/wants reversed for each of us – over and over again.  I know; try living it.

I thought at 18 and then 20 and again around 23 that I had a good enough sense of who I was and what I could handle to make a call on this whole ordeal. That call was that it was best to stay cordial -- a christmas-cards-and-birthday-emails-friendship but anything more probably wouldn’t work. I’m not, as general rule, stubborn, but I tend to be sure of myself and then follow that path directly, indefinitely.  I’m told that’s what stubborn is, but I disagree.

I was told to “give it time.” To “see where time took us.” To “let time pass and then see how I felt.” Healer of wounds, incessant ticker, only teller of certain things -- frankly I would not become a fan of time on Facebook. It makes no sense and yet governs over all. As an East Coast liberal I can't support things of that nature.

My problem is that advice around time always seems to vague. How much time heals all wounds? Fine, but Is there anything else that could maybe "tell" besides time? And thanks but, “I can’t explain it -- you’ll just know when it’s time” is not advice -- it's a bad movie line.

I think in next steps and project plans. Things left hanging to be fixed by an indefinite don’t sit well with me. This was that sort of thing – it had some rough history, some lingering confusion, and an awkward present. If it were, say, an integrated marketing program I would kill it. If it had been a small pet other than a dog to which I wasn’t particularly attached I would have given it away. Not because I’m an asshole – just because everything doesn’t always work out. Sometimes you do have to walk away. I evaluated and next stepped and project planned and determined this was that – a “learning experience” not a life long friendship.

I was wrong, but then you knew that.

I changed.  He changed. And with that the rhythm of the "we" piece changed.  This past weekend was exactly and yet noting like any time we'd spent together before.  We fell into the old habits, but we weren't really paying attention to them because of the new ones.  Every once in awhile I thought about where we'd been 6 months or a year before and had trouble remembering what exactly made me sure we'd never get to here.  Everything was different but unlike every time before, it was okay.

When people ask me what it took for us to finally work through all the tough stuff I say two things.  1. That I consciously decided to start working through it versus calling it a loss.  I decided to, as he sang, make that chaaaange - and 2. That after that it just took time.  

How much? When did you know time was up? When did you decide it was time to do whatever you did?, they then want to know.

And like the very proud hypocrite I am, I say, you know, I can't even remember.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Teenaged Saga -- Adult Lessons

I warned you.

Last night's episode of NYC Prep was, as Nora emailed at 2am, "a gem." Many, many moleskin-note-jotting events occurred between our cast of pubescent (I know, but I just like that work) Manhattan tycoons. But as Brian complained last week, "an entire blog post on a tv show?!" -- not quite my style. Instead I'll cheap out with an entire post based on a storyline from a tv show.

If it is not at this point achingly obvious to you that the show's blonde-Donna-Karen "Jessie" is in love with its sad-excuse-for-Chuck-Bass "PC" then you must be Jessie. He goes to Mexico with "the boy" as "Jessie's Friend Zoe" amazingly notes (but PC denies) prompting Jessie to behave like he's her fiance on his bachelor party weekend -- or her child.

It is juvenile. It is annoying. It is more transparent than a perfectly groomed boy in too short swim trunks denying being bi by saying nooo, I am noot!" And yet it is something I have seen go down countless times in the adult world.

Blanket statement: if you are to the point of wondering if people realize you have a real thing for someone, they do. Ta-rust me.

While it's never good/healthy/easy to deny your true feelings, we all have our reasons for wanting to hide certain affections. If that's your situation I recommend NOT doing the following:

  • Do NOT say, "oooh ________ would love this bar/song/plate of nachos...I wish he was here..."
  • If you steal away to text _______, are found and asked, "who did you run away from Poker Face on the dance floor to text?!" - LIE.
  • If possible, cover most of your face when talking on the phone to this person. This will help hide the "I am talking to the guy I have a huge crush on" faces you're making.
  • If you have "our thing" (you get Yogurtland every Tuesday night, you watch Conan together over the phone, you text him whenever you hear Build Me Up Buttercut) don't tell anyone, ever.
  • Never engage in the following conversation: "So, hey, do you think ________ is attractive? Because I can never really tell...I mean, I think he's fine looking, but I guess we're just too close for me to really see him as, you know, a guy."
  • Try to keep the wall-posting of inside jokes to a minimum.
  • When you go out to dinner with a group of people keep your obvious jockying for position next to ________ in check.
  • Never let this happen: Your Friend: "is that a guy's shirt you're wearing?" You: "Oh, haha, yeah, it's _______'s, he left it at my apartment after we ordered in Thai and watched the Bourne Trilogy on a rainy day."
  • When playing Fuck, Chuck, or Marry NEVER chuck this person first with a line like, "well I obviously have to chuck _______ because I could never marry him..." This seems like a diversion tactic but it is not.
  • And -- and if you follow one piece of advice from this post make it this -- if people say "wait, which _______?" Don't you DARE say, "my ______."
Of course, if that all seems impossible you could tell _______ how you feel -- or, in the theme of the post, have one of your friends do it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

TFLN Tuesdays: I Wish Facebook Had...

The series holds strong with a 2nd post following last week's format. Here are some thoughts loosely based on a Text from Last Night Text:

(515): I wish facebook had an eff off button.

Yes -- agreed on multiple levels. And while we're at it, why not also the following:

A "used to date" feature

The other day Geanna and I positively wracked our brains over whether or not ______ had dated _______ while we were in high school. After 10 maybe 15 full minutes we were forced to give up and then Geanna later had to ask him if he'd dated her. Wholly unecessary use of time and pride.
In my ideal world this feature could be manipulated by anyone who is your friend because no one would willingly load their past relationships, but then when that backfired on me I'd regret it.
Anonymous posting
There are a LOT of things I want to say/do/post on the book without my 1X1" self associated. A simple "go-ghost" feature (profile pic appears as a black box? pixelated? bearing the sign of a pirate?) would give us all the opportunity to keep friends and enemies in check and engage in some very advanced prank warefare.
Lies associated with "blocking people"
Right now when you decide to ignore a friend request nothing at all happens leaving the person on the other end to wonder if perhaps you just haven't checked that particular inbox in 5 months. I feel it be better for everyone involved if your hitting ignore prompted a drop-down menu of lie options. "Jessie recently experienced identity theft and as such is not currently accepting friends" or "Jessie is trying to manage her Facebook-life balance and right now needs to keep friends at their current number." Yes everyone knows what that really means, but it's better than hearing nothing, forgetting you sent the request, and going through the whole rejection cycle again 5 months later.
Friends prioritized by significane
I think it needs to be clearer who we're actually friends with and who we've accepted on account of we need to find out exactly when they finally get engaged. Frankly, people are looking -- that's why we have the Facebook in the first place -- and I don't want them thinking I'm just as close with X as I am Y just because they're both in my NYC network. I won't propose how this can be solved because I've gone far (mean...) enough, but color coding and a star-system should probably be involved.
Ability to block news feed items based on topic
If I could have eliminated all news of ________'s wedding prep for the one year prior to the blessed event I'd be a more stable person. That said _______ also sometimes posts other interesting info I'd want to weed out from the updates on her dress fittings. I prefer, as a general rule, not to take the bad with the good. A simple subject sieve application would solve this.
And the ultimate -- ability to see who's look at your profile
I know for a fact that they have this feature inside "the system" so it's only a matter of time before we can all know just how many (or few...) times certain people click on us. Once this finally happens the world will be changed forever. That is not a dramatic statement -- it is the truth.
So Mark -- what's it going to be? Are you just going to keep changing the size and shape of our profile pictures until we all jump ship for Twitter or are you going to man up and give the people want they really want -- advanced ways to behave like elementary school students on the Internet.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Our secret "date me" behavior

Here's the "more" from last Tuesday's post -- (sorry for the wait Kerry) 

In order for this post to work (that's defined by you going, "hhmmm..." and not, "bitch" when you finish reading it), you're going to have to admit a few things up front:
  1. you are trying to find someone to date (you)
  2. you think certain, specific things will attract that person
  3. you engage in said things/moves/behaviors/outfits consciously or unconsciously while in places where you think this someone might see you (so, outside your apartment)
What and why you do is based on any number of things:
  • maybe some guy complimented your Marc Jacobs "Daisy" and so you henceforth douse yourself with it whenever you leave the house (you'd tell me if it was too much, right Kate?)
  • could be that your slow solo saunter to the juke box never fails to deliver a vintage concert t-clad guy to fight over which Stones song is really the best (it's Wild Horses, but that's not really bar appropriate)
  • or perhaps you have very nice breasts that you've come to understand perform well in given necked shirts (F you).
It's not what you do, it's that you do it -- take your given self and enhance it in ways you suspect the person you're looking for will want.  Consider them add on's, subtle improvements, fanning of various metaphoric peacock feathers.  It's not 100% lying or particularly faking -- but it's not exactly your true self either.  You have an agenda and you're pursuing it.   

To help nudge this from bitch to hhmm let me make it very clear that I am you.  So is a do as I say and really wish I could do piece (and blog...).

(Closer) to the point: what's significant here is that these things you do aren't the natural things you do to make yourself happy/feel good/confident/etc.  Case in point: I don't dance in the center of most dance floors organized or otherwise in an effort to attract men.  I do this because I cannot help myself.  On the other hand -- last week I wore a very uncomfortable short skirt and heels instead of what I wanted to wear (jeans and cute flats) because in my mind the latter is a more male attracting ensemble.  Yes, I know how grossly un-feminist that sounds.  This isn't a blog about feminism -- it's a blog about the truth.    

Back to crux of last Tuesday's post.  If I knew I was going to meet a/the right person for me at a 2013 NYC Boston College Alumni event I would do a lot of things differently (namely, start attending those events).  Because I don't know that my logic says to project excellent versions of myself at all times sos to make who I am and what I'm offering clear to anyone who might be glancing my way. 

The question around the difference between what I think are excellent versions of myself and what guys think.

So where things get tricky is when we start to project versions of the selves we think people want offered -- when we start to behave like what we think we're supposed to be versus what we are.  We go, "I like a guy who is/does x,y,z -- I bet that kind of guy likes a girl who's a,b,c so I'll do that."  That can come in the form of short skirts we wear on night's we'd kill to be in jeans or whatever your move du jour.  If you're currently going, "I don't do that" -- try this:
  • go to a bar and pretend you're in a serious relationship/married/a nun whatever (plan it in advance)  
  • don't look at any guys
  • engage in conversation as if you are certain no one is watching you, and you wouldn't care if they were
  • drink only what you want to drink to later go home and call your boyfriend/sleep with your husband/pray the rosary
  • note aallll the things that feel very different about that experience.
Which are just harmless flirting that we all do and should in no way be ashamed of (i.e. sexy eyes)?  Which are frankly just you and not changing (requesting of and dancing to Billy Jean -- pre MJ's untimely death I'll have you know)? And which completely vanish when the prospect of finding someone in that bar is erased from your agenda....?

I very much like to think I know what the kind of guys I like would like in me (read it twice), but there's a pretty strong chance I'm wrong considering I'm not a guy and don't have a wildly impressive history of getting one. 

Is eliminating those moves that are "us trying" are answer to finding the/a one? I don't know. But it all makes you wonder if perhaps the reason the right people aren't picking up what you're putting down isn't because they're not the right people for you -- it's because you're not being the right person for yourself.   

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thursday First Dates: And Dr and a Mister

The first Thursday First Date, finally, comes from L.L in Chicago.

I've never been a fan of blind dates, but a friend found a guy " I just HAD to meet." So, I agreed to let her give him my phone number. Guy arrived on time and picked me up in a cab to head to dinner. Guy picked a cute gourmet pizza place that neither of us had ever been to but which had been recommended to him by a friend. He requested a table outside on the patio and chose a bottle of wine for us. Everything seemed to be going rather nicely.

And then the Mr. Hyde appeared. As our waitress walked away, he made a snide comment about the way she was dressed. At first, I couldn't tell if he was joking or if I had misheard what he said, so I just sort of smiled and let it go by. A few minutes later, he interrupted me to point out what he called a "major mismatch." I turned to see a pretty woman walking hand-in-hand with an cute, but admittedly average looking guy - by no means a major mismatch and certainly did not warrant an interruption and the 2 minute discourse Mr. Hyde proceeded with about how it must suck because women have to be beautiful to get men, but even an ugly man can always find a woman because women want relationships.

The remainder of the meal was marked by Jekyll/Hyde transformations. The jabs about everything from our waitress, to passers-by, to how areas of medicine outside of neuro-surgery area are basically just glorified nursing, were interspersed with compliments and interesting banter.

Clinging to the hope that Jekyll would prevail, I agreed to walk with him to get gelato. After 10 minutes of walking with Jekyll, he realized that we were headed in the wrong direction and Hyde proceeded with a rant full of more 4-letter words than I've heard in a very long time.

After calming down, Jekyll told me about his condo. Suddenly, Hyde launched into a story about how the previous night, he was awoken by noises coming from his neighbor. He eavesdropped and figured out that the sounds were the result of some over-enthusiastic drunken masturbating. This story was questionably first-date appropriate to start with, but I might have let it slide if Hyde had not continued describing the sounds and how he stayed up and listened to her go at it multiple times for an hour.

The icing on the cake happened at the awkward goodbye moment. I offered him some money for the cab (in my head telling myself I was going to murder my friend for thinking that this guy was even close to being a good match for me) and climbed out. Unfortunately, Hyde climbed out behind me. I initially was going to be nice and just give him a hug and say good night. But, as I pulled away from the hug he tried to kiss me, which I pulled away from. Somehow Hyde took that to mean, "I don't want to do this here, but why don't you come upstairs with me" and turned to head inside. After I exclaimed, “Whoa! I don’t think you should come up,” he threw a toddler’s tantrum. Hyde made flustered, pouty remarks about paying for the date and deserving a kiss. I should have just said, “You’ve got to be kidding me, get out of here!” Instead I apologized for any confusion and snuck through the door, pulling it tightly behind me, already pulling out my phone to call and yell at my friend for this torture.

Jessessment (you'll get used to it): it is one thing for you to show your true colors on a first date; let the shopper familiarize themselves with the real merchandise. It is quite another thing for those true colors to in no way match. People should strive to be like outfits -- never matchy-matchy in all their facets but certainly complimentary and exhibiting of corresponding themes throughout.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

NYC Prep: "I flush the toilet before I'm done peeing"

I swore I would not watch this show. I abandoned The City after 2 episodes, stopped watching The Hills when Spencer grew that terrifying white beard and have not watched one episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. I had risen above it all. I was watching Mad Men on AMC onDemand and DVRd episodes of The Rachel Maddow Show.

Until last night.

NYC Prep is Laguna Beach in Manhattan. The cast of 5 represent various NYC Prep schools that we're supposed to not know but all know on account of the Internet and the fact that they're wearing their school uniforms which feature the school crest. From left:
  • Kelli (15) nothing worth mentioning
  • Sebastian (17) he's French and has a unibrow
  • Camille (16?) always wears red lipstick, she's the "Lo" to Kelli's LC
  • PC (18) he's "confused.."
  • Jessie (17) she loves PC and fashion, and has my god-damned name
  • and Taylor (15) she's the one public school kid, very Reese Witherspoon in Cruel Intentions, if she grows a set
They do what all kids in reality television shows like this do. Hang out with, date and talk about each other while going to parties and engaging in side projects set up by producers. Also, vacations.

But here's what makes this show different-ish than The Laguna/Hills/City/Housewives set and explains why, when it was over and started again (god bless Bravo), I said to Geanna, "oooh new episode!" to which Geanna said, "no we just watched this -- and I think you actually watched it once before that."
These kids are like 15-18 but also very much like 28-35. Case in point: Jessie meets Kelli and Taylor at a party she's at with PC. She doesn't know why they're there and doesn't like that they're talking to PC so she treats them like a caddy 17-year-old bitch might, but in confessional on this matter says, "Listen, I don't know you. Don't talk shit about me! I wasn't there to meet you. I was there to network." It's all very Dr. Seuss/Mr. Trump, if you will.

Here is what we've learned so far:

JESSIE loves PC in the kind of painfully honest way that makes you pour yourself another D.I.Y Dirty Martini mid-episode. When they eat Citarella at her Upper East Side kitchen couter she says, "whatever, do whatever you want, I'm not your girlfriend." And later, "haha, want to make out." You know the drill. The majority of Jessie's action in this episode revolves around calling PC on Blackberry speaker phone (the quintessential rich-girl move) to complain about where he is and why it's not with her and helping her friend Zoe with her downtown loft party (ed note: downtown loft parties of the nature we saw last night take approx. 5-15K and at least 3 weeks to produce. Usually I'd say the producers did all of this, but with these kids there's actually a chance Zoe made this happen on her own). Oh also Jessie chairs come charity committee called Operation Smile. Again, this could be legit.

PC (Peter Carey and you've got to wonder when that moniker was born...) loves Jessie in the painfully obvious way that Will loved Grace. I'm sorry -- I'm calling it. He's all head-to-toe Tom Ford bespoke with wildly advanced facial hair for someone who can't legally drink. PC is very, very bored with school and life in general it seems. He's ready for a deeper, emotional connection with someone. "Everone just has very casual sex," he explains, "But I'm looking for something more tasteful" -- like a beard, we infer.
He meets with ex Danielle maybe? and determines he must get out of the pomous inner Upper East Side circle. "Yeah, that's not you," maybe Danielle says. "God I know," PC agrees as he drinks a pink cocktail at some club he can't legally get into. To work through his issues PC goes to a generic Upper East Side therapist like any 15-55 year-old NYer would. She says, "you seem impatient." He says, "I flush the toilet before I'm done peeing." It is at this moment that I decide to give up and love him like all Jessie's should. Oh, also, PC gets stood up by some girl his 25-year-old friend sets him up with. Told you -- only on TV...

SEBASTIAN is a player which we know because he tells us. He has the same hair cut as that guy Nigel who judges So You Think You Can Dance and speaks French because he's from France? It's fuzzy. He always wears a scarf to clear up said fuzziness.
Sebastian meets both Kelli and Taylor at a party. The next day he takes Kelli for Magnolia Bakery cupcakes, which pleases her endlesses. Kelli: "Omg did you like know cupcakes are like my favorite thing in the world?? Like, I like them more than cake." A. he noted you have breasts-ish and live in Manhattan so yes, you could say he knew. And B. cupcakes are cake -- just smaller and in little paper wrappings.
He later takes Taylor to a french restaurant which goes well (despite the fact that Taylor's there) until he kisses her then let's her walk home by herself. Rude.

KELLI is so many stereotypes stuffed into one high-waisted skirt that I lost count. Consider her a dumber Blair Waldorff with only one minion (CAMILLE, who will not receive a paragraph). Kelli likes Sebastian on account of the hair and cupcakes. She is aware that he likes Taylor and intends to continue seeing her but there are times (like this episode...) when that info doesn't seem to be sticking. What I will say about Kelli is her conflicting layer of brute forwardness on top of generic teen idiocy. She calls Sebastian after his date with Kelli and says, point blank, "So is this going any further?" (excellent move) But then when Taylor shows up at Zoe's party and breaks up her "conversation" with Sebastian she "cries" and storms out (never do that).

TAYLOR TAYLOR TAYLOR -- no teen show arc is complete without a pretty outsider for the girls to torture, guys to de-virginize, and authorities to mistakenly arrest (mark my word it will happen.) Taylor goes to public school. She's not used to this fast-paced world. She doesn't want to spend $500 on an Intermix frock she can get at Target. She is the youngest (at 15) but seemingly the most level-headed and unfortunately, in a confusing twist, still the dumbest. She and Sebastian go on a date to a French restaurant (Cercle Rouge in Tribeca) where he makes conversation and she makes you no longer feel bad about agreeing that public school is lesser...
  • First...Sebastian: So what do you want to be when you grow up?
  • Taylor: Like, I don't philosopher?
  • Later...Sebastian: So, what do you like about me?
  • Taylor: Like, I don't know, that you -- like -- like me.
  • Then...Taylor: I like you more than Cole
  • Sebastian: Really, how much?
  • Taylor: I don't know - like - maybe - 100%
  • And finally -- Taylor: It's actually really stressful to be at a party with two guys you like
Spoken like a true like-maybe-philosopher....
Rather than end up a hypocrite again I'll just say I'm probably going to keep watching this show because there's nothing else on Tuesdays and it gives me a break from SYTYCD nights (v. stressful). If nothing else it's excellent research as to whether or not I can/should/will ever raise kids here...