Tatiana Talks

Day 19 - Now with Less Snark


So, again, there is some hubabaloo on the site about something I wrote. I want to clear things up. And to reduce the miscommunication and bring it all down a level, I am going to try to do this without relying on sarcasm.

This could get ugly. And by ugly I mean boring as I'm not sure what kind of writer I am without my snark.

I started reading this book because I am genuinely interested in why some folks think that by allowing two men or two women the opportunity to get married, their marriages or marriage in general will be less. I agree the government has an interest in regulating marriage. I don't want to see 15-year-olds walking down the aisle. I don't want to see first cousins getting married. I also don't think you should be able to marry someone you've known for less than 24 hours, yet, all of those things are presently legal in at least one state.

Also presently legal in some states is gay marriage.

And while I don't see or hear an uproar on television or online about Nevada's lackadaisical marriage (and divorce) laws, I am currently reading an entire book laying out why gay marriage is bad for our society.

So far it has yet to fulfill the promise of its title. Of course, I am only on chapter 4.

The arguments the authors are presenting have already begun to fold in on themselves. In the introduction we learned their definition of marriage to be “a comprehensive union: a union of will (by consent) and body (by sexual union); inherently ordered to procreation and thus the broad sharing of family life; and calling for permanent and exclusive commitment, whatever the spouses’ preferences. 

But then they offered that straight couples that can't have children (“This is not to say infertile couples cannot marry” followed by a confusing sports analogy) or simply don't want to have them (“procreation need not (even where it can) be the most important aspect of marriage”) can also considered comprehensively married. 

In chapter one they write that the revisionist view of marriage being based on emotional connections and bonds opens the door for polygamy, which of course is in direct opposition to the exclusivity requirement of conjugal marriage. Then in chapter three they write that polygamy is fine. It isn't perfect, but it is okay so long as it is a man with multiple women.

[snarky comment by Mark Twain redacted]*

This is a little confusing to the reader, because to borrow the author's words for a minute:
So a husband and wife’s loving bodily union in coitus and the special kind of relationship that is seals are valuable, even when conception is neither sought nor achieved. But two men, two women, and larger groups cannot achieve organic bodily union: there is no bodily good or function toward which their bodies can coordinate. 
So, then, why is polygamy okay? How can a man and his two or three or four wives coordinate their bodies to achieve an organic bodily union?

Further, if gay marriage allows for polygamy, then why isn't the reverse true? Why doesn't polygamy allow for gay marriage. Why is this inorganic bodily union okay, but not the bodily union of two men or two women without a man present? 

Still, I’m glad I went back and reviewed the text. Because, I think I might have found the root of the authors issues. It is hinted at in this chapter. It is fear.

Yes. Just like when the no-fault divorce law passed, divorce in this country was normalized, allowing gays to get married will legitimize their relationships in our society. Being gay will be looked at as something perfectly normal.

Because it is and should be.

And maybe that is what my father's issue is. Maybe he is afraid. Afraid that if gay marriage is allowed in our state, I will come out as gay and get married and beaten up by gay-haters and my children will be taunted and teased and beaten up and they will hate me and kill me and my partner as we sleep and Lifetime will make a movie about my life and Craig T. Nelson will refuse to play my father.

Daddy, if you are reading this: Again, I'm not gay. Picky. But not gay.


*Okay, the Mark Twain quote was just too good and too appropriate to not include here: In his short story Letter’s from the Earth, Twain writes as Satan, banished to the earth, who is writing letters to the other angels to recruit for his cause. One of his observations proving God’s finest creation Man is mad goes like this: “Now there you have a sampling of man’s “reasoning powers,” as he calls them. He observes certain facts. For instance, that in all his life he never sees the day that he can satisfy one woman; also, that no woman ever sees the day that she can’t overwork, and defeat, and put out of commission any ten masculine plants that can be put to bed to her. He puts those strikingly suggestive and luminous facts together, and from them draws this astonishing conclusion: The Creator intended the woman to be restricted to one man. 

Day 17

I know. It has been entirely too long. The problem is, once I put that book down, I struggled to pick it up.

It was always around, taunting me. Taunting me from my bedside table. Teasing me on my coffee table. Calling out to me from inside my pocketbook, “Tatiana! Read me! You have blog readers curious about what additional nonsense lies inside these pages that wills slowly drive you to madness.”

Finally, after remember one of the new rules I learned in “The Happiness Project” (because I can never read one book at a time) “tackle a nagging task” I picked up a highlighter, a notepad and this god-forsaken book.

And oh boy am I glad I did. I forgot how much fun it can be to laugh at idiots.


We continue with the explanation about why the state should be involved in the regulation of marriage in the first place. I can’t argue with the premise that society is better off when we are all invested in the well being of the next generation (and the one after that) and yes, after the passage of no fault divorces and society’s general acceptance of the divorcee, divorces skyrocketed. Of course, how that isn’t an argument for banning no-fault divorces is beyond. But hey, I didn’t go to Harvard.

The discussion about how marriage actually binds three parties -- the husband, the wife and society, I found particularly interesting. The authors bring up a valid point: when the state recognizes a marriage – everyone else has to. So, say there is a law on the books that states if a woman if married and a man enters her room, impersonating her husband and engages in intercourse with her, it is rape like this California law (from 1872); that intruder is being forced to recognize the validity of her marriage and is therefor a rapist. That a single woman, as it turns out, doesn't have the same protection is a matter for another post.

Of course, in California, it is currently not the law for two women (or two men) to get married, so a homosexual couple wouldn’t be protect by this law either. Further proving the Supreme Court's point in Brown v. the Board of Education Topeka, Kansas: Separate is not equal. Civil unions do not a marriage make. 

Onward. The authors make a final impassioned plea for why the states need to regulate marriage. Because it protects society. Much like traffic laws (yes, they are comparing one’s right to get married to one’s right to obtain a driver’s license – I couldn’t make this up). The obvious fault in this logic is that the state isn’t allowed to discriminate as to who can and can’t get a license. If you are of age and pass the pre-requisites, you get to drive a car. The state can’t say to a young woman, after she has passed all the necessary tests, “Oh, yeah, hey, nice work. Congratulations on passing and all, but you have blonde hair and blue eyes and I have seen “Clueless” enough times to know you must be a terrible driver. So, come back after you’ve dyed your hair. Buh-bye.”

So, after that bulletproof argument, we are back to talking all about how important it is for children to be raised by married biological parents. According to the book, children fared far worse when raised in a “single-motherhood, cohabitation, joint custody after divorce, and stepparenting” household. Fascinating. I noticed there wasn’t a specific mention of gay couples. Are you lumping them under cohabitation? Stepparenting?

And of course, there have been extensive studies proving children raised by married, gay couples also fare worse, right?

No?

Again, interesting. So, children raised by married parents do the best, but we don’t have a lot of studies of married gay couples raising children BECAUSE MOST GAY COUPLES CAN’T GET MARRIED.

Like I said, fascinating.

I pointed this out before, but I have to say, again, to Anonymous and the authors – if this is all about the future of our children and we can all agree that every study proves children raised in households where the parents were married and remained married fared best – why aren’t we talking about banning divorce.

Or licensing parents?

But wait. This wasn’t even my favorite part of the chapter.

I mentioned in my earlier post that I wondered how the authors would deal with the issue of polygamy. In my head, I assumed they would blissfully ignore it. I assumed they were too smart to touch this topic, especially after pointing out that allowing gay marriage would inevitably lead to polygamy and eventual lawlessness.

Here, on page 48 we learn that exclusivity is not even that important in the conjugal view of marriage – so long as rearing children remains the central focus. Yes, other cultures throughout history have had different opinions about what is important and what is moral. So, yes, “permanent, exclusive commitment -- is less represented. Hence the presence of polygamy in many cultures.” And then a footnote:
Unlike a union that involves coitus, children and permanent commitment, but not (say) exclusivity, the partnerships of two men or three women lacks even what is most basic to marriage. So such partnerships cannot even be seen as imperfect participation in the good of marriage; they are not true marriages at all.


To be clear. The authors aren’t talking about a man being married to two women not counting as marriage – that is an“imperfect participation in marriage.” They are saying that two men, or two women (or three women – wherever the hell that came from) who are exclusively engaged in a bodily union with a connection to creating and raising children aren’t involved in true marriages.

If you recall, earlier the making babies part wasn't all that important either, whether a couple couldn't make a baby or just didn't want to, so long as the couple was engaged in coitus. And coitus here is defined as a penis penetrating a vagina.

It gets better. They then rail against polyamory (again) (I thought these dudes went to Harvard, you think they would be too smart to bring it up right after pointing out that polygamy was cool). Because, again, if you want gay marriage, you can’t not allow polyamory, which would eventually lead to the downfall of society. The same can’t be said for polygamy because, again with another footnote:



Polygamy -- whereby a man can have more than one wife -- would undermine women’s social and political equality. But the proposal considered here is polyamory (emphasis theirs): legal recognition of a group (of whatever (again them, not me) gender distribution) as a sexual-romantic unit.


But hey, I mean, if women have to lose their social and political statuses, that’s okay. They have only had them for what? Less than 50 years. It is not as if they have gotten used to them. But gay marriage! Gay marriage will result in polyamory and that could bring our whole society to a screeching halt.

Raise your hand if you think it might be time for our current society to come to a screeching halt.

Also, these dickheads are okay with arranged marriages, because there is nothing saying an arranged marriage can’t be consensual. Tell that to these little girls, you effin’ pricks.

For My Dad on Father’s Day


What follows has more curse words than is typical for me, but it is a post for my father and he would want it that way.

Like many in America, I heard about the recent pew study finding more than 40 percent of households are being supported by women.

I can’t say this surprised me, though the total shit-storm that erupted because of it did take me back a bit. And I was going to post a rant about how screwed up some of these douchebags are, especially after watching Megyn Kelly (really? Can we see a birth certificate as I don’t buy her mother named her Megyn with a y) handed two of these assholes their hats and I found myself cheering for her. But since it is Father’s Day, and my dad has a secret crush on Megyn, I decided I would be nice.

Instead, I think I am going to take this opportunity to tell you a little something about my family. My unholy, unnatural family.

My mom was the primary earner in our house.

That’s right. My mother was one of the 40 percent before there was such a thing. Always a trailblazer that one.

Whether it was because he was in school or economic hard times kept him out of a job, for portions of my childhood, my dad stayed at home while my mom worked. Even when he worked, my mother’s paycheck was bigger than his. 

And, according to some asshats out there, my family is what is wrong with America.

Because, instead of wringing her hands and spending her time in the kitchen, my mother worked. While she was working, my father was the one who took me to dance class and piano lessons and shopping for my first bra.

Which is why I am such a fuck up today. I mean, I’m a total degenerate. As are my brother and sister.

Oh, wait, that’s not right. We're actually all pretty normal, functioning members of society. We work. We pay taxes. Ivan and Lana even rescue dogs for crying out loud. Bad people don’t rescue dogs. 

Yes. It’s true, more people know my father as “my father” or in some cases by Ivan’s first name because they just assume he named his son after himself, than they might know him from his professional life. But it doesn’t seem to bother him. Give him a cigar and a Scotch and my father will tell you story after story about running into our old teachers and coaches and friends’ parents and friends. 

My father loves being a father. More than he ever loved working. And there is nothing wrong or unmanly or unnatural about that. 

In fact, Erick Erickson, I think you should go knock on my parents door and tell my father to his face you think our family is unnatural and the reason America is going down the toilet. Because I think it would be hysterical to watch you explain to your viewers how a man who stayed at home taking care of his kids while his wife worked to support the family gave you a black eye and a broken nose.

Maybe instead of blaming feminists or women who support their families out of desire or necessity, you should be looking for ways to turn this bullshit paradigm on its head.

Maybe we should stop defining men by the title on their business card, the zeroes on their pay-stubs or the number of women they’ve banged and instead ask if he is a good fathers. Is he a good providers, not just of a roof over his family's head, but of love and support of his family and occasionally a shoulder for his teenage daughter to cry on, say when her best friend stole her boyfriend and it feels like her world is coming to an end.

Because right now, there is a man who did just that, sitting on his deck, smoking a cigar, next to a pile of opened Father’s Day cards, possibly with a tear in his eye because he got emotional after reading what his favorite daughter wrote, wishing his children would give him grandkids instead of just golf balls and cigars.

And you know what? There is nothing unnatural about him.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

Forgiveness


An incredible thing happened to me recently. 

A few weeks ago I was sitting across from my friend Nicole as she went on and on about the One.

Nicole and I haven’t been friends for very long, and friends who haven’t known me since college or spent a night drinking wine with me on my couch discussing all of our past mistakes don’t know about the One. Mostly because I can’t sum our history up in a cute word or even a novella. 

So, as she extolled the destroyer of my innocence, I nodded and smiled and did everything I could to hide the fact I didn’t have 20 (or 20,000) questions.

Eventually, as is the case with all pain, my body eventually numbed, and I could stop faking my inner peace and actually start listening to everything she was saying. Which is when the something astounding happened.

The year before it would end for the and the One, Alanis Morissette released her song Thank U. Twelve months later, right about the time we stopped talking to each other, the song was on heavy rotation in our gym -- it is possible our strength trainer was also going through something at the time. Two lyrics really struck me as I snatched more weight than a 21-year-old girl should be capable: “How ‘bout me not blaming you for everything.” And “how ‘bout how good it feels to finally forgive you.” 

More than wanting the One to love me the way I loved him, I wanted to feel those things.

And, because you know I got through the stages of break-up with the One many years ago, I did eventually stop blaming him for every bad decision I made after he broke my heart and even managed to forgive him for not wanting to spend the rest of his life with me.

However, sometimes, mostly on nights when I can’t sleep, or when I hear our song or am watching Sliding Doors, or just finished beating myself up because I can still recognize him from behind, from 30 feet, I still blame myself for falling for him in the first place.

I hurt for so long and didn’t trust myself for even longer. And on those early mornings, in my bed, I think about how it all could’ve been different if I was just smarter. When my heart is throbbing under my sweaty tank top, both from running and his proximity, I shake my head and whimper, “You did this to yourself, Tati.” 

But, sitting across from Nicole, listening to her say the same things I used to say to my friends all those years ago, I realized two things: (1) my very smart, successful, attractive friend was falling victim to the One’s charms and, (2) it was time to forgive my 19-year-old, naive self for doing the very same thing. 

What is Marriage: A Review of the Book that Is Meant to Change My Mind About Gay Marriage




So, as some of you know, I agreed to read “What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense.” At first, I was going to write an answer to the whole book at once, when I was finished. But then I found myself yelling at the book. A lot. And so I started thinking about live tweeting my reading of the book, but that seemed like a lot of work. Plus, I like to drink when I read. And I learned (the hard way) drinking and tweeting should never mix. 

So I decided to live blog (sort of) the reading of What is Marriage: Man and Woman: A Defense. Since I’m not that far along, I would suggest you all buying the book and reading along with me. But that would mean giving these two guys more money. So, maybe next time. Oh, I know, we can all read the Millionaire Matchmaker’s book together. I don’t mind lining Patty’s pockets.

In the meantime, here we go:


Day One

The introduction. Where I learn that there are two definitions of marriage. The revisionist and comprehensive (also conjugal). The revisionist is what most of us are currently subscribing to even those (I gather) that are opposed to gay marriage. It is the belief that you marry someone you love more than anyone else. No, for real. Here’s the quote:
It sees marriage as a union of two people who commit to romantic partnership and domestic life; essentially an emotional union, merely enhanced by whatever sexual activity the partners find agreeable.
The comprehensive (or conjugal) union is something only a man and women can form. But I have no idea why. It is defined as:
A union of will (by consent) and body (by sexual union) inherently ordered to procreation and thus the broad sharing of family life; and calling for permanent and exclusive commitment, whatever the spouses’ preferences.
Beyond not really understanding (yet, I’ll give them that, it is only page 6) why this has to be between a man and a woman, it would seem to me that the only other difference is the permanence thing. Which makes me wonder -- why outlaw gay marriage and not divorce? 

Day Two. AKA I Can Do This. I Can Get Through This Book:

Seriously, is there anything I won’t do for you guys? I think I’d rather read Why He Didn’t Call You again, or maybe the Handbook for the Recently Deceased. Both seem an easy read in comparison. Fortunately it is short.

In defense of the book and the authors, under the comprehensive definition of marriage, it is hard to say where we will stop. No, I am not suggesting we will soon allow men to marry goats or women to marry their cats (though, didn’t some chick marry a cutout of Robert Pattison, so why not a cat?). But, if we say two consenting adults of the same sex can get married, why can’t three consenting adults get married? But really? Why can’t they? I will bring this up again later (if the author doesn’t address it) but for a very long time (like, really long time) polygamy was the norm. Why? Because the more wives a man had, the more kids he had. So, he had more help in the fields and hunting and spares to be heir to his mini kingdom. It is only after the industrial revolution (and child labor laws) that having tons of kids (and polygamy) went out of fashion. Not because people suddenly hated having so many kids around, but because kids are expensive when they aren’t pulling their own weight in the fields or factories. True Story. 

He expressly states that the conjugal view of marriage prohibits marriage between more than two people -- but that is crap. Read your bible, sirs. Jacob and all his wives were all married in your conjugal sense -- it was permanent and for the good of the family and society. In fact, it was this very definition that allowed him to marry so many women. After all, we get old. Our insides dry up and we can’t keep making babies, but Jacob still needed sons to work and support his expanding brood. So, he went out and found younger, fertile wives. The older wives accepted this because what choice did they have? Watch their husband get it on with a teenager or get kicked out of the family: essentially a death sentence. Yep. The conjugal definition of marriage sounds awesome. I can’t imagine why we ever moved away from this.

But, I digress. Back to reading what marriage isn’t (here’s a hint, roommates are not married).

Day Three: 

I’m also going to need someone to explain to me why the U.S. Supreme Court is undemocratic. And, as popular opinion turns (good for you, Minnesota, that makes 12 states), if the Supreme Court decides in favor of marriage equality, does that make it more democratic?  

Day Five -- Another Marathon Session: 

Here’s the thing: you can’t say “procreation is the good that fulfills and extends a marriage” and then go on and on about how sex that leads to making babies (even when it doesn’t lead to making babies but it could possibly lead to making babies) is what makes a marriage a marriage because it is a reinforcement and reminder that these two came together for the better good of making a family and then, three paragraphs later -- the same freakin’ page for crying out loud -- say, but of course this doesn’t mean infertile couples aren’t married.

How. How does that not mean that?

He says he will explain it in Chapter Five. I’m not sure I can make it to Chapter Five, but I suppose I must.

Oh, wait, now the dudes are just effin’ with me. Did they even read this book. On one page they write “That is why marriage alone is the loving union of mind and body fulfilled by the procreation -- and rearing -- of whole new human beings.” Then, on the next page, practically directly across from the text I just typed are the words, “On the other hand, procreation need not (even where it can) be the most important aspect of a marriage, nor should it be its sole point.

Really? 

He’s trying to make it clearer using baseball, but I still don’t get it. I don’t get why as a woman who is attracted to men, I can get conjugally married, even though I don’t want children. But two men (or two women) who want lots of babies and want to raise them to be the best possible people ever, can’t be married. Not in the conjugal sense anyway. Because they can’t make the babies. But infertile couples who can’t make babies can be married, even if they have to make the babies using the exact same options available to gay couples. 

Chapter Five can not get here fast enough.

To the author’s credit -- they make wonderful arguments for why marriages must be exclusive and permanent. However, nothing they have said thus far makes it clear how a) this differs from the “revisionist” view and b) why this exclusivity and permanence can only exist between a man and a woman. If it is because only a man and a woman can “unite” to make a baby -- then it would seem to me that the government should also prevent any man and woman who a) can’t physically make babies or b) don’t want to make babies from getting married. Because they aren’t really married in the first place.

Also, at this point I am giving up on the “revisionist” definition of marriage. Primarily because I don’t think it exists outside this book. I don’t know anyone who gets married thinking “I’ll give this a go, but, hey, if I get bored with him in a couple of months, I can divorce him.” I think everyone gets married thinking I want to share my mind, body and soul with this person for the rest of my life. This person is not just my best friend, they are a part of me and my life and I need them for the rest of it. 

Of course, if this isn’t the case, and there really are people out there who believe marriage is just the sharing of space with someone you really like a lot right now, then I will concede this is complete crap, not what marriage is about, and possibly the reason we have such programs like Teen Mom

I will not concede, however, that in order to allow gay couples to get married we must change the definition to this. I can’t. And so far I have read nothing that proves as much.


The Best Laptop Ever (In Memoriam)




Me and Steve during happier times.
For those of you who follow me on Twitter or like me on Facebook, you were expecting the first in a series of blog posts about that marriage book the anonymous commenter told me to read.

Of course, if you follow me, then you also know tragedy struck this weekend. My laptop, Steve (he also liked to be called Magic Mac) died.

Did you all know I called my laptop Steve?

I give a lot of inanimate things names, however I don’t really use them. But when I was working from home for the year, I often spoke to (and of) my co-worker Steve.


Steve and I were working on a press release Saturday night (I know, I make being single look so glamorous) when suddenly, he just went black. He’s done this sort of thing before, so I restarted him and waited, cursing him under my breath.

It pains me to think that the last words he ever heard me say were, “Not now, Steve.”

After several failed restart attempts, I made an appointment with a genius at Apple and then drank an entire bottle of red wine: mostly medicinal since my anxiety for Steve may have kept me from sleeping.

The next morning the genius (and really, that’s a stretch) informed me that (1) my computer is old, (b) the video chip probably failed and (iii) they can’t replace it because they no longer make it (“We don’t want to encourage people to put that kind of money into such an old computer.”), and in conclusion I can take it to a third party, get the hard drive removed and then use that as an external drive because he was pretty positive the hard drive was still intact.

One last gift from my favorite co-worker.

After realizing I hadn't lost eight years of my work (I think its backed up, but who knows), so there was no cause for serious alarm, the sadness set in.

As well as an irrational anger every time one of these barely post-pubescents called my computer old.

We were going over the paper work for leaving my computer for servicing when the third-party guy said “VIN just stands for vintage, which is the label they give because your computer is so old.”

“You know, when they label a Chanel clutch vintage, it means it’s more valuable.”

He stared back at me blankly for a minute and then responded. “It could be worse, it could be labeled obsolete. Those computers can’t even get on the Internet.”

What do you think the odds are this kid has “vintage” t-shirts or video games back at his apartment? The t-shirts from television shows he's never watched but spent $50 each on at Urban Outfitters are cool, but my vintage computer was something to disdain.

Was I being ridiculous. Absolutely. But Steve and I had a lot of history. We watched the first season of LOST together. We drafted countless query letters and columns and blogs and press releases together. We emailed friends and foes, stalked celebrities and exes and exes new girlfriends. We wrote a novel together. And sure most people don’t develop emotional bonds with their laptops, but most people are comfortable having feelings for other people. I prefer to reserve my feelings for computers. They are more reliable.

Well, until they’re not.

Keep Philadelphia Beautiful, Guys


So, now that it is finally warming up on the East Coast, I think it is time to address something that has long bothered me when I am running on Kelly Drive.

No, not the crazies, or the horn honkers, or the high school rowers who walk six across on the path. I’m talking about something I can actually do something about. 

Guys. Running. Without shirts on.

I understand running is a sweaty activity, and when the mercury climbs you want to be wearing as little as possible. So, if the PECO building is flashing a temperature above 90, I will give you guys a pass. I'm even a little jealous.

Eighty-nine degrees and below, fellas, and I'm telling you, cover it up.

And this isn’t just for me. It's for you, too.


I mean, why are we running on Kelly Drive in the first place? To get healthy. Right. Okay, so what’s our second reason? To look good. Maybe even to attract a potential mate?

No? That's not why you are out there (insert eye-roll). Fine. You get a pass, too. 

But, if you happen to think, as you are coordinating your running shorts with your wristbands, how nice it would be to run into a cute girl who can keep your pace, keep reading.

While I recognize I don't represent women everywhere, I did conduct a quick survey and found that unless you look like Ryan Gosling in Crazy Stupid Love, we will not be impressed when your sweaty self comes lumbering towards us. Instead, we may be repulsed.

However, if I see a perfectly normally shaped man headed towards me, even if he is a little round in the belly, I can find him very attractive and start wondering about all the other sweaty things we can do together.

But, when I see a guy naked from the waist up, nine times out of ten I'm thinking only one thing: Where the eff is your shirt?

Take, for example, Peyton Manning.

I have loved Peyton Manning for most of my adult life. However, I had never seen him shirtless. Not until he was on SNL a few years back. He did this sketch (I warn you, it isn’t funny), and if I didn't already love him I wouldn't be capable of getting past his frozen chicken breast like chest (really, he’s a professional athlete?). No amount of pass completions or clever MasterCard commercials could have erased that image from my retinas.

Need something closer to home. You got it.

I was recently out on Kelly Drive (in capri pants and a tank top even though the Runner’s World app suggested I wear the shortest shorts I could find and a sports bra) when I passed an acquaintance running sans shirt. Now, because I’m single for life, I wasn’t attracted to this guy before this run-in. Still, I knew he was single and had considered his potential for any one of my wonderful friends. And, if it came down to describing him, I would’ve said: tall with a pretty decent body. After all, he was always talking about all the races and working out he did; I figured it was fair to assume his body was nice.

Oh, would I have been wrong. His skin was so pale it was practically translucent. It was like that scene in the first X-men movie when the senator is walking out of the ocean all jellyfish-like. I didn’t know if I should avert my eyes or find him sunscreen. Either way, he quickly moved from potential hottie for one of my friends to how do I tell her about his six chest hairs. 

And while you might not think being on my hot list is an honor, being hooked up with one of my friends certainly is. Reason number 7 you should always wear a shirt -- the first six being skin cancer.

Oh, and lest you think I'm being sexist, I don't want to see you Ryan Gosling look-a-likes without your shirts either. But that is mostly because I find it distracting. And when I'm distracted I fall.

Or run into light posts.

A Moment for Boston


Rue La La is selling these tees
if you are interested (proceeds benefit
the Emergency Medicine Fund
at Massachusetts General Hospital).
I have a couple of posts due to you kids, but as a runner, I felt the need to address this first.

I sat at my desk yesterday afternoon fighting back tears. I don’t know it if was all the calls and texts asking me if I knew anyone running Boston, or my sister emailing me about how happy she was that I didn’t qualify for Boston this year, or the tweet I read from a reporter passing folks on the street in Boston on their phones all saying the same thing: Mom, I’m okay.

Yep. Just typing that makes the tears well up.

Regardless, like many of you, I was saddened by what happened at the Boston Marathon yesterday.

Then I was angry.

Irrationally so.

I wanted to throw everything off my desk.

I wanted to scream and kick things.

I wanted to walk into Hot Attorney’s office and break his jaw. And I probably could – I've been taking kick-boxing.

But before I did any of this – though, after I used the eff word as a noun, verb, adjective, adverb and conjunction – I stopped to ask myself why I so desperately wanted to destroy something beautiful.

Honestly, because that is one of the ways I respond to fear.

The other is humor.

A few years back, I was at the starting line for the New York City Marathon. There I was on Staten Island, waiting for my race to begin, when I noticed the snipers. The guy standing next to me followed my eyes to a nearby rooftop and asked. “Is that a sniper?”

I took a deep breath, looked away from the sniper and up at the stranger next to me and responded “Seems like a pretty harsh punishment for bandits.”

For the uninitiated, “bandits” are people that run the race without a bib.

See. I was trying to be funny. That is what I do when I am scared.

That and get angry.

Yesterday, I couldn't be funny. So instead, I went to rage.

Until I remembered more destruction wouldn’t help the situation. Destruction. Anger. That is how we got here in the first place. Because whoever did this – whether it was one guy, one gal, or a team of folks – I’m pretty sure he, she or they did it from a place of fear.

Being afraid is perceived as a weakness. But anger. Anger is awesome. Anger inspires fears. Anger garners respect. Someone who is angry isn’t a pussy; they’re a badass.

Except they’re not. They are scared. The person who did this is a coward. And so instead of responding with more anger, I’m going take deep breaths and thank the universe that my friends and family are safe.

I’m also through being afraid. I may be a little suspicious of adult males I see walking around the city with a backpack, but really that is nothing new.

And now, I’m going for a run.

This Symbol Means I Support Marriage Equality, Not That I Love Bacon

There have been a number of times in my past when I wished I was gay. Most of these times coincide with being hit on by a hot, accomplished, funny female and wondering why I can’t simply be attracted to her.

But never in my life had I wanted to be gay more than last week.

See, last week, as you all know, the Supreme Court heard arguments to strike down both Proposition 8 in California and the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Like so many others, I changed my Facebook profile picture to the red equals sign.

And so did my sister.

And so did my brother.

When my father logged onto Facebook that afternoon, he asked me why all three of his children had the same profile picture. I explained the meaning to him and this set off a firestorm.

In hindsight, I probably should’ve said it was to show how much we all love bacon or something equally uncontroversial.

My father than posted to my sister’s and brother’s pages, voicing his disapproval of their pictures (he never actually said he didn’t like my mine, but that could simply be because he is used to me doing things like this), stating he disagrees with marriage equality and isn’t happy with their decision to support it.

This broke my heart.

Because my father is a good man. He’s a crazy, gun-toting, Fox News watching conservative, but he’s a good man.

And I know if I went home this weekend and told him I was a lesbian and had met someone and wanted to marry her, he would be 100 percent supportive. He would walk me down the aisle, give me away to my wife, toast the two of us at our reception, and love and spoil our children.

And there would be one less person out there supporting DOMA and Prop 8 and discrimination against the LGBT community.

Unfortunately, I am not gay and, like so many others, my father can’t make the jump from his children’s happiness to the happiness of other’s children.

We hear it all the time., We've heard it in the recent rape cases: What if it were your daughter or sister or mother? Well, so what if it’s not? Does that make rape any less heinous? Because it isn't happening to someone you love it is okay? Because your child is straight and legally allowed to marry and divorce as many times and he or she sees fit, you don't care if your neighbor’s child has the same right?  

I would like to believe that even if I didn't know a single gay person, I would still have changed my profile to the red equals sign. I can't know for sure, because I have a number of people in my life who I love and call friends who happen to be gay. And, while I know my changed profile picture will have zero impact on how the Court votes, I still changed it to show my friends, loved ones and strangers that I think it is pretty shitty that I can go out tomorrow and marry some random stranger, meanwhile they can't marry their partners of many years.

I only hope one day my father will feel the same way. And that it won't take having a gay grandchild to make him change his mind.

Why Didn't He Call?

Show of hands: Growing up, who asked their
 parents for this phone? Keep 'em up if you got it.
Guys. I think I’ve been pretty helpful over the past couple of weeks – show of hands, how many of you took my advice about Valentine’s Day.  All four of you? That’s what I thought. So, now I’m going to ask you to help me solve one of the great riddles that has perplexed women since Alexander Graham Bell first asked Mr. Watson, “Can you hear me now?”

Why do you ask for our phone numbers and then never call?

Now, because this is something I have been researching extensively for the past 20 years or so, I will tell you, I understand in some instances it is a play to get in the panties. You’re out, you’re talking to a woman you wanna bang and in an effort to close the deal, you ask for her phone number, hoping she will take this to mean you aren’t just looking for sex and will take you home to make the beast with two backs.

And for every time that has worked for you, I say well-played, sir.


However, why ask for the phone number the next morning? Is it to spare her feelings? To make her feel less cheap? What about weeks later, when you happen to bump into her but haven’t seen or heard from her since the night and everything seems okay? Why ask then?

I’m asking for a friend.

Okay. I’m asking for me.

As predicted, I ran into Miller Lite (the dude I closed the book on 2012 with) recently. Now, before that moment, I barely attempted to cyberstalk him, I didn’t call or email our mutual friends to fish for details about him, nor did I attempt to gain an invite (or crash) any happy hours they planned. After all, it was a one-night stand and I was fine with that.

The moment the bump-in happened, I was perfectly content doing the polite thing and pretending I didn’t even know who he was. But then he initiated contact. We laughed about the awkwardness and how funny it was we hadn’t run into each other sooner and just as I was ready to walk away, glad the initial meeting was over, he asked for my number.

You know, so we could maybe get a drink some time.

And then, he. Never. Called.

Sure, I’m not looking for a relationship, nor do I want one. But I can’t help that I’m a girl. And so, yes. I obsessively checked my phone for the week that followed. Friday morning, I shaved my legs and wore an extra-cute outfit  just in case a last minute happy hour invitation arrived.

But it never did. So what the hell is the point of getting my number in the first place? Seriously. I’m asking.

It Gets Better, Preston

The post from the other day got me thinking – no, not about how I’m setting myself up to fail – but about young men in general – and no, not that way you perverts.

Clearly, Preston (the author) is hurt. His girlfriend got tired of sitting around the house with him and out of the blue dumped him for an older guy who has to wear a suit to work every day. Preston didn’t see this coming and so after a night of heavy drinking, he took his pain out on his keyboard.*

I’ve been there, Preston. I get it.


Poor Preston. He considers himself a good guy, and you know what, all that misogynist crap he posted aside, he might be. Pain makes you say and do some strange things. And because he is young, instead of wondering what he could’ve done differently, he is blaming his girlfriend’s new boyfriend – well, him and his girlfriend and then all women in general – setting him up as the asshole to his hero.
Maybe the Duke grad is an a-hole. Maybe Preston’s girlfriend likes a-holes, in addition to being taken out for dinner.

But this doesn’t mean all women like jerks.

And because I've been seeing this a lot lately, I feel it needs to be addressed. For Preston and for all the nice guys out there, convinced they are doomed to finish last for the rest of their days.

Women don’t like jerks.

Or bad boys.

Or assholes.

Not all women, anyway.

And saying we do is tantamount to women decrying men only date crazy women. Or bitches.

Is that true, Preston? Do you only date crazy bitches? Because if that’s the case, you are setting yourself up to fail, sir.

Yes, most women have a bad boy (or six) in our past. When we are young and don’t know any better, some of us find ourselves attracted to the challenge of an asshole. All our friends tell us he’s bad news, but we argue they don’t know what it's like when it's just the two of us. When he can’t make plans because he’s just so busy, we feel extra special when he does call to come over – even if that call is a text message at 1 a.m. on Saturday morning.

But, just like, eventually, you outgrow the women who kill your pets because they shouldn’t have to share your affection, eventually we start to resent how rude he is to us in front of his friends. We realize being someone lowest priority doesn’t make us special and we move on. We grow up and go looking for someone who doesn’t cut us off in the middle of a story. Someone who doesn’t answer his mobile phone in the middle of dinner. Someone who compliments our clothing, not criticizes it. Someone who, when asked if he wants to do something this weekend, responds, “Sure.” Not, “Well, if my buddies go down the shore, then maybe.”

In short, someone nice.

However, Preston, I must warn you. I don’t know any woman, bitch or not, who wants to sit around and watch their boyfriend play Call of Duty, or watch TV, or clip his toenails or whatever it is you are doing when you are just being lazy. The 19-year old you spoke of so highly at the end of your piece might hang around for a bit – especially if you buy her and her friends beer. But, eventually, she will turn 21, and want to rub her ID in a bouncer’s face. She will want to see a movie or get a meal. And because all her friends are busy seeing movies and eating meals with their boyfriends, she will turn to you to do these things. So, yeah, you’re going to actually have to do stuff your girlfriend wants to.

That will never change.
 
 
*I don't actually know Preston, nor do I know if this is really how it all went down. He could be a troll just desperate for attention for all I know. But since I'm sure there is someone out there a lot like the Preston I imagined here, let's just go with it.

How Women Set Themselves Up To Fail

Wow. I mean. Wow.
So, Theresa sent me a link on Facebook – I’m still debating posting it – of an article on how women set themselves up to fail.
First, I think it is a great show of maturity on my part that I’m not nearly as angry about this post as I would have been, say two years ago. From the beginning when he calls all women crazy (yes, those are the first three words of this post), to the part where he tells me, I (as a woman) have been brainwashed, to when he points out that we (women) all lose our looks after 26 (no brainwashing there, Preston), I didn’t scream or punch the back of the neck of the guy sitting in front of me on the subway, or use the eff word, or even throw my phone down in disgust.
Mostly I just laughed, because I feel terrible for this poor, simple, 20-something (my guess and hope as if he is in his 30s, then I feel scared for our future) idiot.

Actually, I think we should collectively feel terrible for the author of this post who was clearly recently dumped by his girlfriend for a Duke graduate who studied finance and psychology and likes doing things the author didn’t, which seems to be almost anything since the author likes “being lazy” and just “lying in bed all day doing nothing.”
Please note, just because he admits he likes being lazy and doing nothing does not mean he lacks ambition.
Because his now ex-girlfriend wanted to do more with her life, the author reasons “women are insecure” and “like to compete with their friends, and they would rather die than see their friends end up with a better guy than they have.”
So true. The only reason I’m single is because I'm waiting for all my friends to marry so I can find someone better and win (and not die). Unfortunately, all my friends are with such wonderful guys it may be impossible for me to find someone better. Really. My list of four is becoming less about looking for a 6’5” man with a laser rocket arm, and more about Peyton Manning being one of the few guys I can think of who would beat my friends husbands and boyfriends.
But wait, it gets better. You see, every relationship “gets stale” and this is why men cheat and women walk away. But women shouldn’t walk away when it gets stale (or, I guess, if their men cheat), because (my hand to god) “the devil you know is always better than the devil you don’t.”
Also, it seems, nice guys are the guys who are willing to do the minimum in return for decent sex and blow jobs (I couldn’t make this up) and the assholes are the guys in the suits with the fancy degrees taking you out to dinner. But  don’t be fooled, ladies, those guys in the suits with the hard to get reservations are only doing all of that to court you and will eventually dump you for a 22-year old. Leaving you sad. And miserable. And apparently suffering from a mid-life crisis at 30.
Oh, more bad news: you’re only going to live 60.

And I guess this is how women are setting themselves up to fail.

Oh, eff it, here’s the link. Enjoy – the pictures, not to mention the conclusion,  are worth the visit.

Recovery and Moving On

Well, Single Ladies, we made it past President’s Day. How’d we do? Did you drink every time a family member asked you about your ex at Thanksgiving, get drunk and finally stand up and say, “You know what? You can all go f*ck yourselves.” Grabbed the bottle of wine off the table and later pass out in your childhood bed? Did you sit in one weekend in December, eating all the cookies you made for co-workers and cry through all the made for Hallmark holidays movies that were less about the holidays and more about finding love in time for Christmas dinner?  How many times did you check your phone New Year’s eve for a text from you-know-who?

And I’m not even gonna ask about last week.

Welcome to recovery. The longest and possibly least exciting stage of the break-up process. Because it is during this time things start to return to normal.

Your friends stop asking you if you are okay. They start saying his name again around you. They also start judging you if you spend entire days in your pajamas eating peanut butter from the jar and watching the Real Housewives of anywhere.

You will also start to notice you are okay when you hear your ex’s name. Your urge to ask if his new girlfriend’s boobs are bigger than yours is manageable and the thought of spending a Saturday night in alone doesn’t freak you out to the point you post a status update on Facebook looking to see if someone (anyone) wants to hang out.

As you progress, you'll find immediately upon meeting a new guy you don't ask yourself, "If so-and-so bumped into me when I was out with this guy, would he be jealous?" You're no longer making up excuses to not meet that friend of a friend. Or listing all the reasons why you don’t want to go out with the guy you met at happy hour the other night.

Then, just like that, one day you find yourself smiling at a memory of your ex.

And, a few weeks (or months or years) later, you hear something good has happened to him. Maybe he got married or promoted or had a child and you respond, “That’s great.” And you find you actually mean it.

Congratulations. You survived.

Bizarro Valentine’s Day

My father isn’t afraid of many things. He’s a former Marine who owns a lot of guns and quite frankly, if you don’t know him, looks terrifying in a big, angry sort of way.

One thing that does scare his socks off is my independence. He fears my not needing anyone will lead to my never finding someone and spending my life sad and alone. This manifests itself in many ways, most notably on Valentine’s Day when my father sends me a bouquet of flowers so he doesn’t have to picture me sitting at my desk, fighting back tears because I’m the only girl in the office who doesn’t have a Valentine.

And while I could definitely do with fewer talks on the back porch of my parent’s home about how he would really like me to find someone, I do love getting flowers from him every Valentine’s Day.

I mean, what girl doesn’t love to get flowers?

So, in keeping with tradition, waiting for me on my desk when I arrived at work yesterday morning was a big stupid bouquet of light pink and dark pink Gerbera Daisies.

And I do mean big. My boss audibly gasped when she saw it. I heard people on the floor talking about it. I’m not sure if this is what my father intended, or if the florist got a deal on daisies or if my father insisted on purple daises and the florist couldn’t find them so she (or he) over-compensated by doubling the number of pink daisies, but whatever happened, I have a vase filled with a lot of Gerbera Daisies – which aren’t small flowers to begin with.

But I’m not just telling you this to brag – I swear.

I was sitting there, in my pink dress (because a single girl who wears black on V-Day is just asking for sideways glances and tongue clicks of pity) when one of my married co-workers approached.

“Look at you with your bouquets (I only had one – I swear) and your pretty pink dress. I bet this is just your favorite holiday.”

I can say with certainty no one has ever accused me of that before.

It's A Wonder People Ever Get Together in the First Place

Maybe it is all the conversation hearts I’ve been consuming -- I’m so glad they don’t make those all year round -- but I’ve been thinking a lot about relationships lately. 

Don’t worry, I’m not thinking about getting in one. I’m still a perfectly happily single woman.

Still, it is on my mind (and constantly mentioned in my horoscope), which is how I came to be reading a blog article on tips for dating for men.

Let me tell you, all you daters out there, no wonder people have such a hard time connecting.

Now, if you just clicked back from the above link, you might be thinking, Tati, there is nothing wrong with that advice. And you would be correct.

But, when we put this advice in context with what we are telling women (remember this is advice for men) you start to see how this complicates things.

For instance, Tip 2: Never talk about the future. Makes sense if this is a first or second date, but what about the third or fourth or fifth date? When is it okay to start talking about the future. Because women are told to be upfront (though never on the first date) about what they want (isn’t that right, Steve Harvey?).

And then there is Tip 7. Don’t over-pursue. Good tip. Unfortunately, it is almost word for word what every dating book I have ever read (and keep in mind I read almost all of them) tells women. So, imagine, two people have a great time and neither of them reaches out to the other for fear of looking desperate. I don’t have picture the woman wondering why she never heard from a guy after -- I’ve been her. But it is laughable to think some of those guys were sitting around their living rooms drinking bottles of wines with their friends wondering what they did wrong by doing nothing.

Of course, this is if there is even a great date to begin with, which won’t be the case if guys follow Tip 9: don’t talk about yourself. Why? Because your date has been told to not talk about herself, and instead seem (I love that) interested in listening to you talk about yourself and your work. So, we take all conversation about you (and her) off the table, as well as the future, politics, religion, anything else too deep, and I guess that leaves you with the weather. I suppose once the food arrives you could comment on that as well.

I don’t think it is supposed to be this complicated. In fact, I’m pretty sure, when you are with the right person, he will actually be interested in listening to talk about yourself (yes, even on the first date) and she will be delighted when you send her a text and an email and then called her.

s for talking about the future, I think it is foolish not to. Personally, I smell three-monther any time a guy starts telling me he can see us growing old together, so I would wait for the where-do-you-see-us-in-five-years conversation until you two are ready to bump private parts (though obviously not right before).

Of course, I’m also jaded, so maybe you shouldn’t take any dating advice from me.

A Valentine's Day Primer - Chapter Two


As a commenter and a couple of my guy friends pointed out -- there are a lot of women out there that hate Valentine’s Day and insist they want nothing to do with it.
 
These women fall into one of two categories. She has either a) been burned by this bullshit holiday in the past and is pissed she ever put any stock into the whole candy hearts and flowers industry. She is still smoldering and doesn’t want to get hurt again. Or, b) she's testing you.

Fortunately, you don’t need to know which type you are dealing with to know what to do.

Similar to the commenter’s suggestion, your answer is to plan a low key, but romantic, evening. Go by her place, or invite her to yours, with some fun junk food or take-out, along with something red and/or heart shaped and a romantic comedy. Put in the movie, get on the couch, and make fun of just how truly terrible  and unrealistic the movie is. When you can no longer tolerate Kate Hudson, start making out and then move the party to the bedroom (or not -- go crazy and do it on the couch). 

Now, if your girlfriend is in the first group, she may wake up on February 15 with a renewed sense of hope and wonder in the world. You could very well be her hero, having restored her faith in all things lovely and romantic and Hallmark. At the very least, next year when her girlfriends are all complaining about what a waste of a day February 14 is, she may shrug and say, "I don't know. It's not so bad."

However, if you girlfriend is in the second group -- well, she is going to be less than happy with this evening. Though she said she wants nothing, she’s expecting reservations at the most exclusive restaurant in town, two dozen roses and a little (or not so little) blue box. Your first clue you are dealing with a woman from the second group will be when she answers her door in a brand new, strapless mini dress in full make up and an up-do. 

Unfortunately, your chance of getting any -- and really isn’t that the whole point of this holiday for you, men -- has just dropped to near zero. Even if you anticipated this may be the case and got the table in Bistro Romano’s wine cellar, she still won’t be happy. Instead of being happy and rewarding you (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) later, she will yell at you and throw your roses in your face, calling you contrived and screaming that you never listen to her. Why? Because you are with a girl who tests her boyfriend. She is not looking for a winner. She is looking for drama. And, even as terrible as some of the acting is in those rom coms, they just don't provide enough drama for her. Nor does being happy.

On the plus side, you now know your girlfriend is chicken-killer crazy and so you can run as fast as you can and hey, maybe if you head to a bar, there is still a chance you will get some. Of course, if you are one of those guys who actually enjoys being yelled at and never right -- then Happy Valentine’s Day to you.

Valentine's Day: A Primer for Men

At the Wawa (for those of you not from the Philadelphia area: this is a convenience store with the absolute best coffee ever. Also, back when they were still in the city they were a perfect place to pick up a hoagie after a late night of drinking – not that I know anything about that.) this morning I was reminded (by the display of candy hearts) that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.
Now last year, following this most glorious day, I overheard a co-worker telling another co-worker about how excited his girlfriend was when she opened her Valentine’s Day gift. In his words, her excited was comparable to someone handing him keys to a vintage Camaro.
And what was this gift that inspired such excitement, you ask.
Yoga pants.
Poor boy. He saw what his girlfriend looks like when she’s faking it and didn’t even know it.

I pledged right then and there I wouldn’t let another woman fake excitement over yoga pants again. So, men, this year, I’m here to help.
First: your girlfriend does not want yoga pants for Valentine’s Day. I don’t care how into yoga she is – trust me, yoga pants, a yoga top, hell, even a new yoga mat is not what she is hoping to unwrap on V-Day.
Now, a coupon for couple’s yoga – that’s a possibility.
So, you ask, how do you know if your girlfriend or wife or fiancé wants couples yoga or something else entirely? Well, because she’s going to tell you. In fact, she may have already.
Back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth and I was a short-haired feminist college student living in Fairmount and working at a café, I got one of the greatest presents from boss: an amber necklace that never fails to receive a ton of compliments when I wear it – and you know how much I love compliments.
You might not expect one’s boss to hit one out of the park like that. How’d he do it? Simple. He took me shopping.
No. Not for the necklace. For a present for his sister. And while at the store, as he pretended to browse for his sister, he paid more attention to what caught my eye. I actually tried the necklace on and fell in love with it and while I figured out how long I would have to live on mustard packets and Ramen noodles to afford the necklace and determined it wasn’t worth it, he motioned to the sales clerk to wrap it up.
Do you have a sister you could pretend shop for? What about a mother?
No. I’m sorry. But there is still hope. Start paying attention when you two are watching TV. Take note when she says, don't you think So-and-So's earrings are gorgeous? Or when you two are out with another couple and she asks your best friend's new girlfriend what perfume she is wearing. When she is complaining about how old and tired she feels, she doesn't want you to tell her how great she looks; well she does, but she's also hinting that a gift certificate to the spa might be nice.
Believe me, she is dropping hints all over the place because she doesn’t want you to fail any more than she wants that juicer you got her last year.
 

The Stride of Pride

That right kids, your occasional blogger finally got some.

I won’t go into the gory details. You just need to know I went out with unshaven legs so of course I met a cute guy who wanted to come back to my place.
The hot dress I was wearing (with tights to hide the leg stubble) and the many Miller Lites I drank may have also contributed to the inevitably of the situation I found myself in.

Oh, and, mom, if you are still reading this: Stop. Don’t torture yourself. I don’t redeem myself.

As predicted, the following day I carried around with me a mixed bag of guilt and shame, in addition to feeling bloated and dehydrated. In an effort to alleviate these, I emailed and sent text messages to my friends, letting them know their friend was a dirty stay-out who actually didn’t stay out, but instead, had to hurry home that evening to clean the boy off of her apartment.

And because they are my friends and were probably starting to worry about how long it had been, they were equal parts thrilled and assuring that there was no reason to stitch red letters onto all my sweaters. They asked all the standard questions about his looks and performance and the awkwardness level reached the next morning and one that caused me to pause.

All my girlfriends (with one exception) asked me if I had plans to see him again.

I laughed and reminded them it wouldn’t be called a one-night stand if they lasted more than one night and that I was sure to see him again and again (if my random hook-up history repeated itself) but we wouldn’t actually talk. Instead we would avoid eye contact and pretend we didn’t recognize each other with clothes on.

Still, their optimism prevailed and they followed up days later to see if I had heard from him.

Of course I hadn’t.

Their follow-up? Well, why don’t you reach out to him?

How’s that?

Beyond all my typical protests that would prevent me from ever doing that I had to ask why I would?

“Because he meets all your prerequisites for dating someone.”

Very true. He does. And had I not slept with him after knowing him for only a few hours (Mom, seriously? I tried to tell you) I suppose there is a slim chance he could have filled the empty number five spot.

But I did sleep with him. I was one of those girls. I opted for immediate gratification over giving him my number and crossing my fingers he would call. A single girl who wanted to get some, saw her opportunity and took it, knowing by doing so she would drastically reduce her chance of seeing this gentleman again.

And yes, there are those out there that will call me a slut (none of my friends, I mean people like Steve Harvey and Dr. Phil) and tell me this is precisely the behavior that keeps me single. In turn, I suppose I could blame it on the alcohol or say it wasn’t me, it was the dress.

However, I prefer to think that because I'm single and am not looking to change that, this is exactly the way I should be behaving.

How Not To Go on a Date

Now that you are celebrating your single-dom again, you are going to start getting asked out. Some of these invitations will be welcome and during those dates my only advice is to not get drunk, bring up the ex-boyfriend, start crying and then drunk dial the ex after your date drops you off  – not that I ever did that.
Unfortunately, along with the good will come the bad. And for those, you can simply say something like, “Awe, thanks. That is really sweet of you, but I am really just getting over someone and so I’m not looking to date right now.”  What? Most of that is true.
But what do you do when you aren't sure you are being asked out? 
For example: A guy friend calls or emails or texts you something funny and you two are going back and forth and are laughing and  then suddenly you hear (or read), “Hey, wanna grab a drink?”

What is that?


Funny story (I swear I’ll make it quick): The first time this happened to me, I had no idea my covert date was into me until my second drink when dude (who was engaged be-tee-dubs) leaned over and told me just how sexy he thought I was and started to enumerate all the things he wanted to do to me. Nothing friendly about that. 

Now, the above scenario (the friend asking you to grab a drink – not my accidental date with an engaged man) presents the obvious problem. You have no idea if you are saying yes to a date or drinks with a friend. And since I don’t know any cool way to go about ascertaining this, I suggest you decide if you want to go on a date with your guy friend. If you do – awesome-sauce. I hope your life is made of all the wonderful things that happen in almost every rom-com ever written and that he isn't just asking you out for a drink between friends.

On the other hand, if you have no romantic interest in this friend. May I suggest one of the following options for ensuring you aren’t going on a date (or at least that there won’t be a second):

Option One: Invite other friends. Probably the easiest and most obvious.   

Option Two: Sleep with someone he finds despicable. I call this move "In Memory of the Geisha" (from Memoirs of a Geisha). Sometimes the only way to let a guy know that you aren’t interested is to have sex with his sworn enemy. If you think this is a bit extreme (and maybe it is, I am pulling this play from a sex worker’s playbook) then perhaps you can just extol the virtues of his sworn enemy. If he doesn’t have a sworn enemy, talk about how you think the quarterback from the Dallas Cowboys is dreamy (only works for Eagle’s fans). If he doesn’t follow football, then there must be someone he hates. You're his friend, you should know this and you should feel free to use it to your advantage this one time.

One drawback of this plan is it could end your friendship.   

Option Three: Pay for everything. I know this is going to sound antiquated and will probably piss off Gloria (just when we were becoming friends again) but there are signs that a guy puts out there and picks up on when he is on a date (at least I think there are, but really what do I know?). So if you find during drinks that it seems to be more a date than just two friends catching up, and you really want to drive home the fact that it isn’t a date – pay. Pay for everything. Or at least insist on paying for your portion (just don’t do the wallet-grab-psych-out).

Warning: If he thinks this is a date, he will fight you on paying. You must win this fight. Otherwise the words  “I think we are just better as friends” are in your near future.

Now, what if the date you don’t want to be on isn’t with a guy friend? What if your boss or your mom or someone else you can’t say no to, has offered to fixed you up.
Sure getting fixed up can work. It worked for Marie, for instance. But assuming you have really good reasons to object to this pairing, here is the best way to make sure it is only once (without pissing off your boss or mother). 
Exaggerate: Unfortunately, you have to go on the date. You also have to do some soul searching. You need to think of something about yourself that even your own lovely mother would shrug and say, yeah, she does do that, and then exaggerate it. Do you love cats? Talk about how you like to dress them up and how much you hate that your landlord only lets you have three.  Has someone told you, you curse like a sailor? Well, get ready to make truckers blush. Have a bit of a mean side? Attempt to make your waiter/waitress cry (and then double back and give them a super large tip after explaining everything). 

Another word of warning: Exaggeration will most likely lead to this guy never calling (score).
However, it could also lead to your boss, mother, friend with terrible taste in dudes, to never fixing you up again. I will leave it to you to decide if that is a good thing or a bad thing.

Let’s Party

I bet you thought I forgot all about you kids out there suffering through your break-ups. Well, I didn’t. But as I explained earlier, this is a process, a cycle, and I wanted to give you lots of time to go back and forth between disgusting and cleansing before I prepared you for the next phase.

That and I’ve been really busy. I mean, I did run a marathon and all.

And now that I am no longer training (who are we kidding? I barely trained) and you are through cycling – let’s party.
The celebration stage is crucial – not just because if you continue to drink alone people are going to start to suggest you have a problem – but because it is time for you to be happy . Why are you still wallowing in this break-up? Why are you still eating whole packages of Oreo Double Stuffs and crying because your ex didn’t want to be with you? Why would you want to be with someone who didn’t want to be with you? Who didn’t recognize just how amazing you are and how freakishly lucky he was to land you? Seriously?

He did you a favor. He clearly wasn’t who you thought he was and thank goodness he didn’t waste another day of your life. You should be thanking him. But since that would mean reaching out to him and believe me, we aren’t there yet, let’s get gussied up, call our friends, and celebrate that you are no longer wasting your life with that loser.

Can’t buy any of that? Okay, well, then how about this? Imagine how pissed/shocked/upset/regretful he is going to feel when he finds out (either through the grapevine or by stalking your Facebook page) that you are over him and already back out there – having fun and looking amazing?

That’s my girl.

Also, and believe me I know this from experience, you aren’t ever going to get laid home alone, sitting on your couch, drinking wine straight from the box. A necessary part of the healing process is getting some strange. Even if it is just a hot and heavy make-out session in a dark alleyway with a  little under the shirt action, feeling sexy and desired by the opposite (or same – no judgment) sex goes a long way.

A word of warning here, however. As you are well aware, you are still emotionally raw right now. Couple that with the oxytocin your body is going to produce after a few minutes in that dark alley and you may start thinking you have found the one. Spoiler alert: He’s not the one. He’s not perfect or the man you have been waiting your whole life for. Hell, it is very likely you won’t even remember his name in a couple of months. He's a means to an end. He can't even count as a transitional person because he isn't going to be around that long. 

The celebration phase is not the time to find your next boyfriend.

It is the time to remember just how amazing you are (with or without a guy) and to celebrate all you have to offer.

So what are you waiting for?