Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Art of Texting

Is it just me or does modern technology make dating very difficult? Between texting, bbm’ing, gchat, facebook, twitter and myspace (do people still use this?), the means to communicate with your potential new boyfriend or girlfriend are endless. Most would think the development of this technology is just a natural progression of our society’s incessant need to communicate with other humans at all hours of the day. Mass conglomerates are simply offering more menu items at the restaurant that is human interaction. But, if anyone is anything like me, I feel extremely overwhelmed and frustrated when presented with too many options. It’s like going to the Cheesecake Factory all over again, 39 menu pages are not necessary!

It’s hard enough trying to master the art of casual flirtation without seeming too forward or too virginal while my date stares at me from across the table, presumably judging. Yet, I then have to go home and decipher whether the “I had a great time….” text should remain unanswered until the morning, what I should say in response and what the fuck the“…..” means. I mean come on; I don’t have time for that sort of analysis at 9 am in my Friday morning meeting with clients.

It is not as though I, or anyone else, sits at home, in peril and worried when responding to a “what are you doing” text. However, everyone should realize that there is a fine line to instant chat at the beginning of a blossoming relationship. In some cases, the incessant communication or lackthereof can make or break a spark. I do not agree with this irrelevant and absurd custom. I am personally of the belief that if my dates would use only the telephone to talk to me when we’re not together, I’d be a much less annoyed and anxious woman. However, modern technology is a perpetual cock block and must be recognized.

After a brief Google search regarding “the art of texting,” I found a plethora of websites devoted to teaching singles how to text new potential mates appropriately. While I don’t believe that any of my readers would waste their time researching or reading such fodder, I decided to give you the overall synopsis of countless websites from my personal experience and information.

Good Experience:
I briefly met a handsome single at a football game. We did the usual introductions, discovered a little about one another at a tailgate and parted with a spark. He tracked down my number from a mutual friend and inevitably texted me that he had a great time meeting me, wanted to get to know me, but was going out of town for a few weeks. We kept in touch, texting only occasionally but talking on the phone nightly before bed. It was 3 weeks before the two of us were in the same state and made for a great way to get to know the other person. It is important to remember that while texting is nonstop communication, it is not a conversation.

Bad Experience:
This past fall, I again briefly met someone at a mutual friend’s cook out. It was the same; we did the usual introductions, discovered some shared interests and parted ways with a yearning for one another. I didn’t hear from him for two weeks. We went out and had a great time. Some days, he would text incessantly and others he would not call or text at all. I was confused as to why on Monday we would talk all day long. However, a text from Tuesday morning would remain unanswered until Saturday. While most people do not spend their days anxiously waiting by the phone, there is nothing louder or more irritating than a silent cell phone. The text rapport inevitably echoed our relationship. Too hot and then at times, too cold. Constant texting can cause confusion in a relationship when it suddenly stops, not to mention, get annoying when I’m on a date with someone else.

So is there an art to texting? Some happy medium for the perfect text relationship, as well as real relationship? I am sure there is. However, it’s bizarre that modern day singles put so much pressure on themselves to send the perfect witty response to their potential boyfriend or girlfriend. I am not suggesting that I don’t participate in this circus; I just also understand and appreciate why the crowd is laughing at the show.

So what is the art of texting? What is the key that unlocks all doors? I guess it’s a personal opinion. For me it would be seeing and speaking to the person I am newly dating only occasionally. While I do get those butterflies in my stomach each time I see a lover’s name appear on my phone and easily fall into the daily text pattern, I don’t want that to be the case. A little mystery is good for men and women.

And don’t even get me started on all the other modes of stalking and communication. Just be advised that writing on someone’s Facebook wall who you are casually hooking up with is NEVER a good idea.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Music Man

One of my favorite aspects of dating, aside from having endless amounts of blog content, is the morning recap. Most twenty something men and women know what I am referring to. While the stories may have tamed since the college years, the basic concept remains the same. You or a friend go out with someone, go home or don’t go home with that person, then meet all of your close friends for brunch the next day to dish all the dirty details of your future spouse and/or future PFA recipient over a zesty Bloody Mary.

In college, reasonable questions from morning recap participants were “What’s he look like?” “Does he have a car on campus?” “Is he in a frat?” “Did you sleep with him?” “Where at?” “Is his roommate hot?” While these days the questions go, and usually in this order, “What does he do?” “Where is he from?” Does he have his own place?” “What kind of car does he drive?” “When was his last relationship?” “Does he a have a girlfriend?” (Well the last question is usually only asked in my circle of friends, and is typically only aimed at me.)

However, I somehow NEVER end up with answers to all of the above questions asked by my young professional friends. One friend recently brought this to my attention when I described a guy I had met to her. “What does he do?” She asked. There was a pause in dialogue before I responded, “I honestly have no idea. I didn’t ask.” My girlfriend laughed before explaining how every time I meet someone new and she asks their occupation, I can't give her even a fraction of an answer.

I left our conversation and started considering why I never know that detail of my dates and what, if any, morning recap answers regarding a potential suitor do I supply my friends with. After some thought, wine and the soulful sounds of Samuel Beam at home that night, I figured it out. Firstly, I never know what someone does for a living because I don’t ask that question, ever. Duh. Secondly, I don’t ask that question because I don’t believe that a person’s occupation says who they are as a person. For me, a job is what you do, not who you are. Upon meeting someone, I am more concerned with who they are so I can decipher if I even want to bother hearing any of the boring details later.

That night I realized that after meeting a new individual I could supply my friends with answers to the following questions: “What’s his name?” “Does he have a girlfriend?” “What type of music does he listen to?” “Does he/ has he smoked pot?” “Does he write and/or read?”

The above probably explains why I end up dating the caliber of men that I do. But more importantly, I realized that “What kind of music do you listen to?” tells a whole hell of a lot more about who a person is than “What do you do for a living?”

Since the type of music a man is into is obviously more important to me than whether he is an architect over an engineer, I realized that over the course of my ten years of dating, I have a key for the map to dating a variety of men:

1. Men who listen to country music

Pro: These men tend to be genuinely nice, down to earth, and affectionate. These types are not needy and tend to be satisfied with the simple things in life: music, hunting, finding a good woman and beer.

Con: Sometimes the satisfaction with just beer makes them alcoholics and/or uncaring hicks. I draw the line at redneck speech. But for the most part, good men to date.

2. Men who listen to classic/indie rock music

Pro: Most importantly, I listen to classic rock and will enjoy any date that involves classic/indie rock music. These types tend to be generally laid back and complacent in life. Typically they have other retro interests that also attract me. These men are not jealous and don’t like to argue.

Con: Their laid back attitude can sometimes be indifference. If you stay they don’t care, if they leave you don’t care. Sometimes this attitude carries over to their careers and these types may not have any drive.

3. Men who listen to death metal:

Pro: They have a marginal interest which makes them interesting. Most anger and aggression is taken out when jamming and head banging.

Con: Sometimes they're weird and dress as such. If I wanted to date someone who wears eye liner, I would just date a woman. Sudden outbursts of rage are also common.

4. Men who listen to rap music

Pro: These men tend to be confident and somewhat suave. They know who they are and how to get you. Most men that listen to rap music are romantics behind closed doors.

Con: They are crazy jealous and have matching tempers. Every man I have ever dated that listened to rap music not only annoyed me because I loathe rap, but also because of their incessant need to keep tabs on me. Incongruously, these men also tend to cheat more often than any other music listener.

5. Men who listen to pop music:

Pro: These men are typically agreeable individuals. They will give in to almost any reasonable request from their girl. Most seem to have peaceful nice personalities.

Con: They are corny. Any man who listens to California Girls is un-dateable in my book. I know I am being unreasonable, but it’s a deal breaker. For some its smokers, for me, its men who listen to girly pop stars in glitter.

6. Men who have no preference:
Con: There is no “pro,” there are only “cons.” These men are boring and unattractive to me. Saying they “listen to anything!” when asked my pivotal first date question is like saying you are a corpse. I would prefer these men say they listen to gospel over no preference because at least I know you have an opinion or a thought in your head. I am over these men and the conversation at that point in time and most women should be too.

While I already mentioned that I don't believe jobs describe who you are, I also don't believe music describes ALL you are. However, it does a hell of a lot better job in helping me figure out who someone is and definitly makes for a better conversation than some asshole (without a taste in the sounds that soundtrack life)going on and on about his job in finance.

(Editor’s note- these are all generalizations that I have come to know as fact after my own personal experience)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Karma Is Not a Bitch, It's the Asshole That Lives Above Me

A few years ago, I foolishly moved in with my boyfriend at the ripe age of 20. We were having a lot of problems at the time (i.e. he was cheating on me) and we both felt that living together would be a quick fix to our problems (i.e. I could keep a better watch on him). Obviously, this innovative living situation was doomed for failure and upon moving into our second home (a house turned into two apartments), this became evident to not only us, but our downstairs neighbors.

While I do not need/want to get into details regarding the six degrees of crazy that the two of us participated in, I will say that it involved throwing things, kicking things, screaming, crying and all in all being loud enough for my neighbors to still avoid me on the street four years later.

Fast forward four years and I am living on my own in a peaceful first floor apartment (it’s a house turned into two apartments). Upon move in, I had met the attractive 20-something male who lives above me. Hmm, I thought. This could be interesting. However, my dreams were shattered moments later when a bubbly blonde with a southern accent walked up behind him and introduced herself as his live in girlfriend.

That very night, I awoke from my deep slumber to what sounded like my brother’s restless leg syndrome. Pow, Pow, Pow, Pow, Pow, Pow, Pow. Over and over again at the speed of light for 1.5 minutes. Then nothing. While I never had to experience the disappointment of awkward rabbit sex, I knew in an instant that I was living beneath two bunny rabbits. I wasn’t terribly upset in that I knew these nightly animal noises would only interrupt my sleep for 1-3 minutes, at most, per night. I more so felt bad for the girlfriend who had to not only hear those horrible mating noises, but participate in making them as well. However, my compassion for the southern bell only lasted a mere five hours.

At 6 am, I was again awoken. “GET OUT OF FUCKING BED!” I jumped up out of my sleep and thought for a moment that I was being robbed. “WHERE THE FUCK IS MY TIE?” And I realized it was the attractive 20-something male who was clearly upset from the moment he woke up. The screaming continued back and forth between the two of them until male-crazy presumably went to work.

This routine of horrible humping at night and screaming in the morning continued since my first night/morning in my “peaceful” home. While my hatred for them continued to grow, so did my knowledge of their tumultuous relationship. Steve and Haeley moved to Pittsburgh from Buffalo. This is their first time living together. Steve is quite unhappy when his shirts are not ironed in the morning. Haeley does not work. Steve must think he is good at sex. Haeley still texts her ex boyfriend. And lastly they have each other’s names tattooed on their wrists.

I found out the latter detail late one evening when a male suitor and I heard pounding on my front door at 3 am. Apparently, the two were drunk and locked out of their apartment. Snow was falling hard outside and I being a little tipsy myself, was feeling overly empathetic for them and invited the unhappy couple in until they found another place to stay.

After two rounds of drinks, Steve finally acknowledged the elephant in the room. “You have to hate us,” he said.

I did not refute the statement and simply smiled. They went on to explain to Ex and I how they came to live in Pittsburgh and how much they love each other. Ex and I both nodded and smiled politely but never once said “it’s ok” to their apologies. Because frankly, it wasn’t ok. They left and while the manic depressive behavior of their relationship discontinued for two whole nights, the usual schedule resumed on day three.

While I knew I was experiencing two minotaurs* living above me by way of Karma for my bad behavior four years ago, God decided to make a joke regarding my mistress status on top of it.

Last Friday, I was thankfully an hour away from my apartment when I received a text from Steve at 1:45 a.m. “Are you out,” he asked. Thinking that the two were again locked out, I responded, “No, why?” To which I received a series of pathetic text messages.

“My girl is outta town. Let’s hang out.” “I’m looking to party.” “BTW you looked really great when I saw you the other day waiting for the bus.” “I’m sorry I’m really drunk.” “I didn’t mean to offend you.” And lastly, “Good talk.”

I couldn’t bring myself to respond out of utter disgust for him and the momentary drunkenness I was experiencing at the party I was at when I received his desperate attempts to make our two story house into Melrose Place. In the morning, I considered responding to him or to unknowing Haeley. However, I realized that any ramifications for his actions would only result in more disruption of my sleep by their fighting. For now, the embarrassment he will feel the next time he sees me entering or exiting my apartment is punishment enough.

I stare, even today, appalled at the texts. Not only do I advertise mistress on my forehead, but apparently crazy too. Karma is apparently funny, but not a bitch. It’s a 5’11 dark handsome nut job. Karma is actually the asshole that lives above me.

*Minotaurs reference my favorite essay that inspired me to write this post. Hilarious and definitly worth checking out:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Elephant In the Room… Er… Cyberspace?

Facebook. Relationships. Ugh. I can’t be the only one annoyed. With the exception of those that actively participate in this grotesque public display of affection, I think it’s safe to say that everyone is bothered. I’m fairly certain that even people involved in relationships are offended by the “I’m laying next to you” wall posts. I get it, Boyfriend/Girlfriend love each other, Boyfriend/Girlfriend are physically with each other, they made that clear when Boyfriend/Girlfriend edited their profile stating that Boyfriend/Girlfriend is “In a relationship with ____.” But I don’t need to know when penetration is about to ensue. Really. I don’t.

Generally speaking, the world does not care that boyfriend/girlfriend is in the other room and boyfriend/girlfriend misses them. This is not normal. Not in any light. This is not the movie Pretty Woman. Boyfriend is not Richard Gere announcing to the world he loves Girlfriend and rescuing Girlfriend from the whorehouse she lives in. Grand romantic gestures are for the movies and not in any way shape or form appropriate for Facebook. No one cares how much Girlfriend “loves, loves, loves him!” Only Girlfriend’s scorned Ex does, whose heart breaks a little more each time Ex stalks her. I do not think these public displays of affection make Boyfriend/Girlfriend look like they are in a loving happy relationship. I think it makes Boyfriend/Girlfriend look annoying and insecure.

From my observations, there are two types of couples who participate in this awful custom. First, I am going to give a few people the benefit of the doubt by saying 10% of couples are actually in happy, loving relationships and genuinely can’t help their blissful outbursts of love and affection for their other half. By no means do I think this is normal nor am I any less annoyed, but who’s to say my cynicism is normal.

The second, and overwhelmingly larger portion of the percentage pie would be couples in dysfunctional and/or insecure relationships. These would be two people who don’t trust each other for one reason or another. Or, again giving these sorry couples the benefit of the doubt, people who don’t trust other people not to steal away their significant other. Women that are worried their boyfriend may be dating other women, even if they may not be. But these women are so insecure that they want coveting other women to know “I’m sitting next to the greatest guy in the world!”

Other types of over the top, loving Facebook relationships are men who are cheating, but want to ensure their girlfriend never even speculates the infidelity. In morning I wake up to “Babe, you’re the best girlfriend in the world” on my newsfeed. And I think to myself, “I’m sure she is because last night I saw you out dry humping a Coors Light girl at the Saloon just before going home to your unknowing live-in girlfriend.”

The worst type of Facebook couples, are those that break up and get back together weekly. These types need to save themselves the embarrassment and not show the entire world how fucked up and dysfunctional their relationship is! I imagine behind closed doors, these relationships resemble Sam and Ron from the classy show The Jersey Shore. This is not to say that I haven’t also been in that kind of relationship. However, I was just smart enough not to put myself on blast on Facebook.

It would be easy for an insecure person in one of the above mentioned relationships to assume that I am jealous or alone. However, that is not the case. I have been in good relationships. I just like to keep my affection private. As intimacy is defined as “the state of being intimate or : something of a personal or private nature.” Private being the key word here.

While I also realize people may not want to hear about my relationships (or lack thereof), those people simply don’t have to click on my blog. But I have to unwillingly see every aspect of these relationships on my newsfeed. The desperate attempts to make oneself look happy make me want to de-friend these couples, on Facebook, and in real life.

Why Elementary School Dating Is Better Than Whatever The Hell I Am Doing

People say we get smarter as we get older. But do we really? Well, yes we do continue on to higher education and our knowledge supposedly grows. Yet my knowledge of men seems to exceedingly decrease the older I get. That fact, combined with my cynicism, makes dating a lot like my relationship with long division in elementary school. Tedious, stressful and no matter how many different numbers I tried, the answer never met my expectation.

This notion got me thinking that maybe my knowledge of math was not so great back then, but my relationships were? I started thinking of all the ways “dating” first through fourth grade was somewhat similar to what I’m experiencing now and the ways in which it is far better than whatever the hell I am doing now…

1. In first grade, I “dated” Dom. He was the cutest boy in my class. Coincidently, he was also the most misbehaved boy in class. We ended up dating after he passed me a note that said, “I like you, do you like me? Circle Yes or No.” Shortly after circling “Yes”, he lifted up my dress in class and somehow blamed it on me. Not so coincidently, he was also the same boy that told me Santa Claus didn’t exist and explained, in detail, what sex was.

SIMILAR: Women often like bad boys who treat them poorly.
BETTER: He was very upfront about his feelings.

2. In second grade, I “dated” James. He was in 4th grade (go me!) and the lunchtime patrol who sat at the end of my table.

SIMILAR: Women more often than not date men that are convenient, geographically speaking.
BETTER: He was a man of power.

3. In third grade, I “dated” Bill. He sat in the back of Ms. Schwartz’s classroom with me. He wasn’t that great to look at, but he was far better than any of the other characters in my class. Plus he was smart and often did my homework for me because we both knew I was out of his league.

SIMILAR: Women settle for men that don’t meet their standards because they have no other options.
BETTER: He did nice things for me.

4. In fourth grade, I “dated” Dom, again. He grew more attractive the older we got and continued to do so through middle school. We ended up going steady for several years until I ditched him for his best friend in sixth grade when I realized Dom was still an asshole.

SIMILAR: Women often recycle men. We always think we can change men, but we can’t.
BETTER: He introduced me to his best friend who was sweet, loving and to this day one of my best friends.

The only downfall I really see to elementary school dating is that we have not yet hit puberty, thus we cannot yet have sex. But sex complicates things even further anyways, right? And I don’t think I would want to go back to middle school dating. At that time, we’re pushing for sexual maturity and between the pimples, periods and pre-pubescent boys, it was actually much more stressful than dating as an adult.

What Do You Want From Me?

"Why'd you call me today with nothing new to say? You pretend it's just hello, but you know what it does to me to see your number on the phone. Now tell me, what do you want? What do you want? What do you want from me?"

Of the many many men I have dated, hung out with, "talked to", lived with or just killed some time with, there were actually three or so serious relationships. And unfortunately for me, it seems as though these still unattached characters like to pop back in my life every time I seem to have forgotten about them.

Just this past December I was going along the holiday season with a new Beau. Things were going great. I liked him, he liked me. He was all the things past boyfriends were not. There was no ambiguity regarding his feelings about me. No pushing to let me in his life. He rolled out the red carpet for me and asked me in it. Things were just easy and I of course was ignorantly blissfully happy. So of course, one fine New Year’s Day, there he was. An ex. His face literally popped up on my phone while at my house with Beau.

For the first time in months of not thinking about him, I was forced to. Due to modern technology, his face and his name came flashing on my cell phone screen. However, modern technology also has its benefits and I chose to "Ignore" him. Thank you Blackberry for that therapeutic button. I felt liberated and continued to forget him for the remainder of Beau's visit.

However, just as soon as I turned the dead bolt on my door. I raced back to my phone and the inevitable texting war began with X. He said he just wanted to see how I was doing. That he missed me. That he just wanted to go to dinner to "talk."

That's how it always begins right? Innocent enough? But why? What do you want from me? I was fairly certain X and I had run dry of things to talk about. Apparently, the volatile ending of our relationship with curse words and tears was not hint enough to him that we had run out of appropriate things to "talk" about.

Fast forward almost two months and I am without Beau and in no man’s land with X. I am left without a guy who was all the things I wanted X to be. I’m in limbo with X, all the same problems that we had before still exist. Nothing has changed. I have not changed. He has not changed (though they always try to get you in the beginning by saying they have). So what I really want to say is WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME? Are you lonely? Go meet someone! Do you just want a bed mate for a night? Go to your local watering hole! I am positive that a one night stand with someone would be far less of a hassle than one night with me and the nine hundred and one questions, calls and emails you will get from me shortly after the sex haze is gone.

I at least recognize at this point in life that I do this to myself, as so many women do. But I really want to know is… why do men do it?

Cheating Punishment

This story is not made up or exaggerated. I actually find it hard to believe myself...

There is a man standing on the corner of Gallows Road and Leesburg Pike holding a sign stating "I cheated and this is my punishment." Apparently, his wife of three years caught him cheating and to prove how sorry he his, Michael must stand at the corner everyday this week during am rush hour traffic.

I always find those who cheat and ask for forgiveness borderline hilarious. If you really wanted to be faithful from the start, you would have. No one trips and accidentally falls on top of another naked....

Bottom line, don't cheat if you don't want to stand in 92 degree humidity on a major highway, sweating in a pantsuit.

Expensive Excess Baggage

In today’s economy people are universally cutting all unnecessary costs. Times are tough and money is tight for all individuals, as well as businesses. Moreover, even the mass conglomerates that own the skies must cut back as well. What was once a bring all you can standard, even the superfluous, for flight passengers has come to a screeching halt.

Not only are passengers being charged for their second, third, and fourth bag, but their first as well. Because of this, a reasonable, money saving passenger packs lightly and with caution. There is no need, nor room, for those ten pairs of designer jeans on a three day trip. Nor is there a need to drag along multiple bags as carryon luggage, making your flight and that of surrounding passengers, uncomfortable, bumpy, and cramped.

You may be thinking that this is an obvious observation that need not be mentioned. Money is scarce. People need to be more conscience of their decisions when packing and avoid being ultimately broke, right? Then why is this concept so hard to translate to relationships? Who wants excess baggage while taking a trip with someone on that pivotal first, second, and possibly third date? When the costs far outweigh the benefits, why are we willing to settle with another’s baggage?

We are no longer living in an era where baggage check is free. Nor do men and women marry their first boyfriend or girlfriend straight out of high school. With progress and time, we are presented with more options in life, as well as in life partners. Coincidently, men and women are choosier and more conscience of whom they marry. Because of this, one invariably racks up quite the number of ex boyfriends or girlfriends in the years it takes to find “the one”. During those years of jumping from one relationship to the next, men and women can’t let go of that last relationship until they are certain the next one is for keeps.

Instead of checking their baggage at the front gate, these persons want to take their past and carry it on flight with them. Men and women reason that this is less costly- being that they have relationship A if B doesn’t work out. On the other hand, this is costly for the other passengers on flight. Who wants to sit with someone with so much baggage? How much is too much? Is it fair to travel with any at all?

I, for one, find it selfish and annoying. I am one of those disgruntled third party passengers who is vieing for space on the elbow rest. Move your baggage, move over, or I'm moving on.....

Men don't change their stripes, but they do change their bed mates, and often

I think it's the general consensus that John Mayer is an idiot. Or, to be fair, what he says to the media, makes him sound like an idiot. The comments he makes in interviews and to paparazzi are just retarded.

BUT, I admire the guy. I kinda dig him too. Not just for his blatant sexuality and sleeve tattoos, but for his bluntness. Here is a guy that tells the media anything, from his hygiene to his personal sexual experiences, in detail, I might add. Most women would and should hate him. He's a complete dick to women and is everything no woman should want in a stable relationship. But all women should be able to appreciate his honesty. Not about what he says, because I think even he knows that half of it is bullshit, but honest with who he is.

John Mayer is the type of guy, or seems to be the type of guy, that you may eye up in a bar. He's attractive, so this is in the realm of possibility. And if you didn't know him, you might go over to him and strike up a conversation. He will, without a doubt, look you up and down, and decide whether or not he wants to take you home. He will then look you straight in the eye and say something to the effect of, "You're going to be a great one night stand."

The girl, or you, will giggle at his what appears to be, rudeness, but is in actuality the honest truth. You will then follow through with his aforementioned plan, thinking you may be John Mayer's next girlfriend. You will then feel demoralized and completed offended when he asks you to leave immediately after he's had his way with you.

Women do this so often. They think they are going to change his stripes. But the thing I love about John is that he blatanly tells you the truth. Its not his fault you twisted his words. Is what he says about women offensive? Yes. Do women still sleep with him? Apparently so. Is he honest about his behavior and mindset? Yes.

So stop crying about him and appreciate a man that tells the truth, even if its not what you want to hear.

Disney is a Bad Influence on Impressionable Young Girls

This just made me laugh and I thought I'd share...

Forever.... In Lieu of Valentine's Day

So here it is. Another Valentine's Day or just another Monday. For me, it's just another Monday. And I have not one problem with that.

I have several single girlfriends who were a bit distraught these past few days as the apocalypse of love was upon them. While I did joke with those girlfriends that we would drink our singledom away, I was genuinely not bothered with the awareness of that singledom this Monday morning. Had I had a boyfriend, I am sure I would have some plans for this evening. However, I do not, and that’s ok too. I will spend this Monday evening as I do every every other, going to the gym after work then heading home to make myself a fine meal.

I am and always have been the only offspring of my family who does not regularly bring around significant others. While in the past my brothers have brought every girl they have ever kissed to family functions and Sunday dinners at my parents’ house, I respectfully abstain from this practice.

I do not believe that I am any better or any worse for not wanting to bring just any man that I currently have occupying my single spare time to formally meet the fam. I just don't do it because it's not something I like to do.

I can count the number of men that I have introduced to my family to on one hand. And I would like to keep it this way. As some of you can tell, I date a lot of men. I am fully aware of my fickle dating habits. Most often I do not date these men thinking they are "the one". I am typically thinking they are "the one of the week" and sometimes if they are lucky, "the one of the month." Because my interest in these persons is fleeting, I don't want to waste my family's or my time, introducing these great companions, when I know they aren't going to be in my life for the long haul.

Had I met and fell absurdly in love with someone, I am sure I would have the need, the want, the urge to introduce him to everyone I know. But I haven't. So for now, I'll continue having great fun with great men I meet and when I do find "the one of forever", my family will know because they will actually get to meet this fellow instead of reading about him on my blog. And "the one of forever" will know how I feel because he'll know that not everyone, or anyone for that matter, gets to meet my family.

So in ode to that, here is one of my all time favorite love songs that describes exactly how I feel about the one I haven't met...

The Mistress Factor- DC Edition

As mentioned before, I have gone out with an assortment unavailable men. This includes but is not limited to: men with girlfriends, men with fiancés, married men and men that might be asexual, seriously. I realize this sounds terrible, and makes me look even worse. However, to my defense I am either extremely naïve or exceedingly optimistic to assume that when I start seeing someone on a regular basis, they are unattached.

Not too long ago, I moved to Washington, D.C. for a variety of reasons. One of which was to get away from all my old bad habits that I had in Pittsburgh (i.e. dating the wrong men). I started working at a non-profit organization that was filled with young people. After a few months of being there, life was great. Work was exciting, I found my own apartment and I had made new friends in the city. Wow, I thought. I finally have my shit together.

One Monday, I was seated in our office’s usual morning meeting when the Director announced that we had a new IT guy who would be working on a website for us. I didn’t even know we were hiring. Then, the DCist walked in. I immediately found him strikingly handsome in an unconventional way. He was very tall, slightly overweight, definitely nerdy and blonde with blue eyes. (my kryptonite)

After our meeting and for the entire week, I made time in the morning to doll myself up and found excuses to go in his office. Each and every advance I made for that entire week was met with disinterest. I was all but sitting on his desk, throwing myself at him and he would not even make eye contact with me.(Red flag #1)

The following week, my entire office went to San Francisco, CA for our annual convention. The "work day" only lasted four short hours, so the majority of our trip was left to sightseeing and boozing. On the first night in the Haight Ashbury area, after enough booze and group interaction, DCist and I became friends. The following night, after enough Jack Daniels, we kissed. And for the remaining 5 days in San Fran, we were inseparable. All the while, he kept saying “I don't want this to end.” (Red flag #2)

Upon our return to DC, we continued our interoffice flirting. We'd steal kisses in the elevator, sneak off to lunch alone and write each other love notes. Corny I know. We’d grab drinks after work, see documentaries in the evenings and wander around Columbia Heights on the weekends. It was all so exciting. But oddly, he never once invited me to his apartment. (Red flag #3)

After about a month, we were taking our usual lunch hour together, strolling around DC, deciding where to eat. We were holding hands and about to cross K street when out of nowhere, the DCist dropped my hand and crossed the opposite street towards CVS without a word. I stood there dumbfounded as I watched him hussle his slightly overweight ass over to some tall blonde. She looked surprised to see him at that end of town (we never usually walked on K) as they embraced and began to passionately kiss. (RED FLAG #4 HE IS TAKEN)

I immediately shielded my eyes from my supposed soulmate (his words, not mine) and his apparent girlfriend and turned to walk away gracefully. I won’t lie there was a moment that I considered marching across the street to let that gigantic blonde with bad roots know what was going on. But then I remembered, I moved to DC to change. Old me would have been that crazy mistress, but not new me.

Unfortunately, there was still a bit of old me left inside and after the DCist explained that he wasn’t happy LIVING WITH HIS FUTURE WIFE and that he was going to leave her for me, I continued seeing him for a few more months.

We finally broke up when I moved back to Pittsburgh. Apparently I was an idiot no matter what city I was in. The DCist and tall blonde with bad roots are set to wed this summer.

Note* The actual DCist is a popular Weblog "the DCist" and I used to read together.

The Mistress Factor

In the past, I have unknowingly been the mistress of many a men. During the demise of those relationships and the revelation that those men already had girlfriends that were evidently not me, I have often turned to my friends and asked WHAT ABOUT ME SCREAMS MISTRESS? Do I have some sort of tattoo written across my forehead that I am utterly unaware of? Why does this keep happening to me?

However, most recently I got my answer. A few months back, I was dating someone we’ll call Ginger. We had met through a mutual friend and for a month and a half, we were together every free moment we had. He supposedly worked out of town during the week, so on the weekends, he would come down to the city and post up residency at my place until Sunday.

I don’t like to talk about feelings and labels if ever at all, so I just took our spending so much time together and being introduced to all of his friends as a sign that things were headed in the right direction.

One Sunday morning, after a weekend of good times and passion, we were laying in bed deciding where to eat. His cell phone rang and he immediately picked it up on speaker phone. A good sign, I thought. We’re completely open with each other. His friend asks Ginger what he’s doing and he responds that he’s “laying in bed with the most beautiful woman.” To which his friend responds, “Oh, are you with Maryann?”

For the record, my name is NOT Maryann. Ginger continues chatting with his friend, while I hurriedly jump in the cold shower as smoke is currently coming out my ears like a speeding locomotive. After a few minutes of cooling off, I exit the shower, still sobbing wet and confront him.

“Who’s Maryann?” I ask. Ginger sighs then proceeds to give a stuttering response regarding his on and off again girlfriend. He then blames me for not “talking” about our situation weeks prior.

I did not know that “do you have a girlfriend” needs to be the first question I ask upon meeting a prospective suitor, but you bet your ass it is now. Apparently that is what has been separating me from potential new girlfriend v. mistress. The ignorance of assuming all men are honest and upfront.

Lesson learned. Ginger recently contacted me. My first response was, “do you still have a girlfriend?”

Ginger and I no longer speak.

chivalry is dead because WE killed it

Like most single women my age (between the cocktail parties, girl’s nights out and family dinners), I unfortunately sometimes wish for my knight in shining armor. However, that knight looks much different than the one in most romantic comedies. While the damsels in distress of those movies are pining away for man to stand outside their window holding up a stereo, I can genuinely say, I would run straight for the hills, not without locking all doors and windows, had that happened to me in real life. A simple “I want you back” text would have sufficed.

Some may argue that women are settling these days. That we are willing to put up with un-chivalrous men because their antithesis no longer exists. That we are all just waiting for that one grand gesture. However, I don’t believe that to be true.

A few years back, I was visiting my then boyfriend in Philadelphia. The weekend was nice enough. But on my last day there, we got into our last of many arguments. I told him I no longer wanted to be in our relationship, packed my bags and headed back to Pittsburgh. Yet, to my surprise, he was already there with roses and a card when I pulled into my driveway.

Apparently, he drove much faster than I on the turnpike and beat me home to apologize. In my head I thought, if the 300 miles of distance I was putting between us wasn’t hint enough that I no longer wanted to be with you, I don’t know is.

I was not at all touched or impressed by his “grand gesture”. I was infuriated. I just drove all that time in a fit of rage to get the hell away from him and he follows me home?

So case in point, I do not believe chivalry is necessarily dead, I just think women more often than not don’t want it. We are all at points in our lives where we are making decisions and figuring out what we want. Subtle signs of affection are going to draw me in as opposed to grand gestures that are going to send me running. Women today don’t want to be smothered. We want the freedom to decide if and when we want that knight in shining armor, not drop everything when he decides to arrive.

I entertained that boy for two days before sending him home. And I didn’t break back up with him until I was sure he was back in Philadelphia. Very chivalrous of me, if I do say so myself ;-)

The Walk of Shame: Progression or Regression?

This past Sunday morning, I took my parents to a popular Southside diner. Its popularity stems from the fact that it’s close, on Carson Street and such a variety of individuals hang out there, that the likelihood of anyone being judged at this establishment is slim to none. Coincidently, I took my parents there for the first two reasons.

After our cookie cutter family sat down in a red vinyl booth and were handed our menus from the tattooed 65 year old waitress with hair down to her bottom, my father carefully scanned every area of the restaurant in his panoramic view. While watching, I was certain a question would arise.

“Why are so many of these girls so dressed up at 9 am?” my dad asked.

Without even looking at the sequin dressed brunette sitting to my right and short skirted blonde with men’s tennis shoes on sitting across from her, I laughed. I did not believe that my 64 year old father did not know what the walk of shame was, I just don’t think that he fully understood young women’s impudence.

The Walk of Shame is not some new age movement. Women have been sleeping at men’s quarters for decades. To prove my theory, I bring to your attention the television series, Mad Men. In it, Christina Hendricks plays a cheeky ginger known for her over the top, coy sexuality. Yes I realize those two adjectives are antonyms, but watch the show and you’ll get it. Anyways, in the show, the women go out for a night on the town, prepared for the Walk of Shame the next day. In one episode of the first season, Joan goes out with her roommate with a change of clothes and other items for the next day in her bag. How clever!

However, it seems that women these days are either not so innovative (unlikely) or they just don’t give a damn if someone knows they did not sleep at home the night before (100% likely).

By no means am I making the statement that I have not been at Tom’s Diner at 10 am, wearing men’s clothing. And my mother carefully made note of that fact when she responded to my father, “oh this is what your daughter usually likes like on her way home in the morning too.” However, I am making a comment on the fact that our generation is too lazy and uncaring of the fact that we look like whores. College aged women and older no longer care how society views and judges them. We are independent, strong minded individuals. However, is this new tradition really a step forward with progression? Or should we be more like Joan Holloway and mindfully hide at least some of our sexuality?

“They haven’t been home from the night before yet dad, they haven’t been home.”

Jealousy at 8 AM

I wish I could be one of those women who is completely put together on their way to work at 8 am. Their hair is perfectly straightened and styled. They typically have on nice tailored pants and a freshly ironed blouse with coat and outerwear all matching. However, there are several reasons why this may happen only once a week for me. I guess you can call it immaturity, but I’d rather hit snooze for an hour and 15 minutes to sleep, then wake up to shower and straighten my hair. Apparently I always feel optimistic the night before, but when that alarm goes off and its still dark outside, no amount of pride for looking good on a Pittsburgh City bus could get me out of bed.

Other days, I’d rather spend my nights out with friends having cocktails into the wee hours of the morning, than prepare an outfit for work the night before. On some rare occasions, however, I can pull off sleeping in my clothes and just retouching my eye liner, so long as the bar was smoke free. Hence my one day a week I look put together on the bus..

And sometimes, I just don't sleep at home to have the luxury to get ready in the morning? On those days, there is not a shot in hell I will look decent and I would MUCH rather be staying up late in those instances, than sleeping alone so I can get a good nights sleep.

I sometimes wonder if these women have social lives that they find the time to do this? But maybe that’s just my jealousy talking…

Dating Lessons of the Week- 3rd Edition

Sometimes a woman just needs to be alone.... and its a good thing.

Dating Lessons of the Week 2nd Edition

1. Hand holding on a first date is NOT appropriate. I view hand holding with the same gravity as I do sex, unless I have had too much to drink, in both circumstances.

2. Good on paper men are what I need to date, but not what I am attracted to.

3. Facebook is a major Angelina for anyone who is not publically “in a relationship.” Learn facebook posting etiquette people.

4. Texting v. calling is what categorizes women as booty call v. potential girlfriend.

5. Hot single older men are single for a reason

Is This the Twilight Zone?

True Story….
Last week I was discussing my future career plans and goals with my mother and father. Upon me stating that I want to have a highly successful writing career and I need a job that gives me a lot of power and prestige my father responds “You don’t need a job, you need to find a husband.”

My jaw literally hit the floor. Here I am, youngest daughter of three older boys, trying to stand on my own two feet and be independent of any man and my dad resorts to acting like a 1950s father who just found out I burned my bras. My response? “I don’t know what delusional world you live in, but you’re lucky mom doesn’t leave your ass.”

Romantic Atheism

I recently met an uber cute co-ed whose style fits my taste in men perfectly. Coincidently, his personality fits the below mentioned traits that I should flee from- not to. From the start, Caleb was slightly off kilter, but I found him endearing.

Things were going well for a month and a half until he explained his relationship religion.

While making plans for an upcoming weekend, Caleb tells me, “I’m not the lovey dovey kind.”

Oh, great. I have heard this before.. “I get it, no need to say anything more,” I say, hoping he’ll drop it and we can both go our separate ways.

Retard- I mean, I’m not a dick. I don’t like one night stands. It’s just that when most guys see a girl, they think about sleeping with her, then possibly dating her. But me, I don’t think about dating her.”

Me- Great, so you’re a typical guy? Perfect.

Retard- No. I mean, if I meet a girl out at the club I want, I take her home. But then after, I like to get her email, number, or bbm and talk to her. You know, get to know her. Build a friendship based on honesty, where both parties know what is going on. And the friendship is based on genuine interest in the other person. I want the girl to want to be friends because we get along, not because she feels used and it will make her feel less guilty.

Me- What if you take a girl home and she turns out to be a moron and/or complete psycho? Do you still want to be “genuine friends” with this person?

Retard- I mean yes. Unless the girl is threatening or violent, I’ll talk to her. I told you, I want all women, and then I want to be friends.

Me- That has to be exhausting, you must spend a lot of time on the phone. What kind of romantic atheism have you resorted to?

Where do I find these people?! (Note to self- stop doing whatever it is you're doing)

Dating Lessons of the Week

Over the course of my 10 years of dating... I have come to learn dating life lessons that are not often discussed. I feel it is my duty to share these with the world as often as I learn them. Which, coincidently, is every time I meet someone new.

1. "I do not watch porn" does not mean: "I'm a nice guy who doesn't need to watch cheapened sex." It actually means "I sleep around so much that I don't have the time or the need to watch others have sex."

2. There is no such thing as a sex addict- you are just an asshole trying to come up with a medical reason that you are an asshole.

3. If your significant other is a member of Adult Friend Finder, he is a sex addict aka asshole with creepy creepy habits.

4. Even shy, dorky, slightly overweight IT guys cheat on their fiances.

5. Shy, dorky, slightly overweight IT guys know how to romance a woman better than Joe Cool.

Old Habits Die Hard

Ever since some friends of mine found out my closested writing dreams and habits, I have often been asked, at times even begged, to write of my not so run-of-the-mill catalog of past suitors. Each and every time I have introduced a potential new boyfriend to my friends since junior high, they have laughed and cried at my choices for companions.

While I am not naive nor arrogant enough to believe that only I date psychos, I finally decided to put it all down on paper (or screen). But the problem I had, as most writers do, was where do I start? And where in hell is this going to end?

As far back as I can remember, I somehow managed to seek out the weird, damaged, drug dependent, lost souls of this world. What I am about to write may embarrass those lucky boys that I have had the pleasure of calling mine so I am openly acknowledging a disclaimer: The fact that I date these people so consistently is not because something is wrong with them. Coincidently, they all have me in common. This only reiterates that something is wrong with me. I keep thinking (more like praying) that I'm going to grow out of this.

Red heads with freckles were my first quirky obsession at the ripe age of eight in my 2nd grade classroom. I was captivated by Ryan Darling, the redhead with freckles who sat second seat back from the teacher's desk.

I don't remember the day or what I was wearing when Ryan entered our classroom, but I do remember he was assigned to the desk directly in front of mine. Mr. Darling was clenching a notebook to his chest as he looked like he was about to pee himself or cry. The entire class gawked and laughed at his death grip and colorful pen holder filled with dozens of writing utensils. As a then closeted writer, I secretly coveted his tools.

As the days and weeks progressed - his torments and my infatuation only grew. Upon finishing any assignment we were given, Ryan would pull his notebook out of his desk and furiously write. I was immediately intrigued. Who is the new man? And more importantly, what is he hiding from me?

He spent countless hours hovering over the colorless pages as though he had a map to buried treasure. Mr. Darling was so mysterious and weird (two qualities I apparently seek in a life partner- and sometimes under less good judgement- a night partner). Since he refused to speak to me or anyone else in the class, I had to find an in. Because he spent so much time scribbling in his notebook, Ryan was constantly in trouble. His punishment, which was inevitably no punishment at all, was to stay indoors at recess (presumably writing in his notebook) while the other children played outside.

I found it easy to be banned from kick ball and recess by kicking boys in their privates when they tried to kiss me, making this small act of fleeing a metaphor for my dating life. Run from the normal boys who just want to kiss and run to the disturbed souls who ignore you.

I was nervous the first time the on-duty teacher escorted me back into the classroom from recess. Moreover, much to my surprise and disappointment, Ryan did not even acknowledge me as I reentered the classroom. I sat in my seat behind him and huffed and sighed to his disinterest. I finally tapped him on the shoulder.

"Do you have a pen I could borrow?" I asked.

Timidly, Ryan handed me a standard black Bic pen. What a crock of shit. You have every kind and color of marker under the god damn sun and you hand me this? Even at a young age, I had the attitude of a 40 year old jaded divorce. Ryan turned back around and spent the remainder of in-door recess paying no attention to me. This went on for weeks but as I got myself in more trouble to be alone inside with him, my quality of pens improved.

I grew tired of playing cat and mouse after a while and decided to just blatantly ask him. "What are you writing in that notebook?"

"Numbers," he responded sheepishly.

"Numbers?" I ask, quite confused.

In a flurry of excitement, he pulled out all of his notebooks and handed them to me. "Numbers!" he shouted.

I opened Ryan Darling's notebook only to find my supposed literary soul mate simply jotted down numbers, in numerical order, continuously, in all of his 30 notebooks. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc. Numbers?! With comas?! I guess that's writing, I thought? My eyes must have bulged out of my head as I stared at my first love, my own personal fucking rain man. For an instant, I was mortified, disappointed. Weeks of effort and punishment from recess for this? But when I saw the freckles smiling back at me, I was putty in his permanently inked hands.

"Cool," I responded, not letting damaged goods and disappointment hinder me from my expectation. And right then and there, he became my boyfriend.

From then on, Ryan Darling let his freak flag fly, writing numbers in his notebook unabashedly, trying to set the record for highest count I guess. And I sought after, even chased, the weird, non-historically attractive nerds who make writing down numbers in a notebook look about as mundane and sane as closing ones eyes when they sneeze.

Like a Virgin

So it has been awhile since I have made any substantial posts. Life has been coming at me fast and I have had little time to write anything other than legal pleadings for work. To my credit or discredit, however you want to judge me, my hiatus from blogging has allowed me to go on a multitude of dates. During this time I have come across the good, the bad and the ugly, ultimately giving me new blog material. I had initially said that I would be using this blog as an artistic outlet for my creative mind as well as a forum to share my disgruntlement with the general population and their quirks. Now, it will just be qualms with the opposite sex and general population, at least until I give up. This blog is like a virgin...

(note all names have been changed)