Tatiana Talks

Slip and Falls and Stranger’s Beds

I know I retired (killed) the cliché of single women dying alone a couple of posts back and I am not about to revive it here. But it would be disingenuous if I didn’t admit I do fear dying alone. However, my fear is a very specific one.
I’m afraid of slipping and falling and, unable to reach my mobile phone, I die a slow, painful death alone in my apartment. This fear has more to do with my steep stairs, hardwood floors, general lack of grace, the fact that I wear five-inch heels, that I like to drink a lot, sometimes leave my five-inch heels wherever I kicked them off the night before, and often forget to bring a towel with me to the shower thus requiring me to run across my hardwood floors, wet and naked and not paying attention, then it does with being single. 
Bridie once assured me that this was a silly and unnecessary fear: my friends would all start to worry after the second day passed with no Facebook status update.
Still, I get a warm and fuzzy feeling inside when I get a panicked call from a worried friend who hasn’t heard from me.
I got such a call from Marie a couple of weekends back.  Marie and I had emailed back and forth on Friday, arranging to meet for a bike ride the next morning. I wanted to get out before 10 a.m., but Marie, who had plans to go to BBQ that night, wasn’t ready to set a time, in case she had a little too much barbecue (and by barbecue we all know I mean beer).  We agreed she would text me the next morning. I then went home, watched a movie, did a little reading and was snuggled under my coverlet early.
So early, in fact, I didn’t bother to set my alarm. I figured there was no way I wasn’t getting up by 9 a.m. and really, isn’t it always so much nicer to wake-up without an alarm?
My plan worked beautifully. The next morning I was up by 5 a.m. But since it was so early, and Marie wouldn’t be texting for at least another four hours, I fell back asleep.  The next time I opened my eyes it was after 9:30.
I got up quickly, checked my phone and found two texts from Marie and one nervous sounding voicemail. I smiled, sent her a text her back and then got ready to meet her for our ride.
When Marie and I finally met up, I was curious and so I asked her how long she would have waited before she called the cops.
Marie cocked her head to the side and asked why she would call the cops?
“Well, if I didn’t text you back, then clearly I would have been in trouble; possibly sprawled out on my floor, with a life-threatening injury.”
She laughed. “Are you kidding? I was excited for you. I thought maybe you and Salty went out last night and you had hooked up.” She laughed harder. “The only time you don’t immediately respond to one of my texts is when you are in someone else’s bed.”

What A Way To End the Year

I would like to pretend that it was the universe preparing me for my chance (albeit brief) meeting with CK, but the truth is, I overslept. And being too late and too lazy to iron anything, I threw on a cute dress.

And because my extra dorky glasses didn’t go with my cute dress, I put in my contacts. Because it was Thursday, I grabbed my make-up bag as I knew the odds were good that someone would want to do happy hour.

It came as no shock that that someone was Marie.

So there we were, sitting at a local wine bar, enjoying a very generous happy hour special when CK walked in.

Literally my breath caught.

Marie (who was getting up to use the lady's room) asked me what was wrong.

"Nothing. I think I know that guy." Now of course I knew it was him. But I thought maybe my eyesight or the three glasses of wine I drank were playing tricks on me.

She turned and looked where CK was standing. "Ding dong. I hope so." (Marie is part of the "you're not really going to be single for the rest of your life tribe.")

Then she walked away.

I watched as he scanned the bar for someone, tried (without looking too desperate) to catch his eye so I could wave, all the while secretly holding out hope that it was me he was looking for (despite not having checked-in to the bar on Facebook). He eventually stopped looking, never made eye contact and took a seat facing the door (and away from me).

When she returned she asked, “Well?”

“I do know him. It’s CK.” And I took a deep breath, ready to explain what that meant.

Marie turned in her chair, “that’s the one?”

I was racking my brain for how she would know him, then I wondered if she was thinking of this blog and confusing CK with The One. I started to respond, but she turned back in her chair.

“The CK? The reason it takes you 45 minutes to get ready to meet for a cup of coffee on Saturday morning because, as you put it, 'what if C-K- is there?'?”

I guess I had mentioned him before. “That’s the one.”

“I guess it is a good thing you didn’t wear your glasses today, huh?”

I nodded.

“Are you going to say ‘hi’ to him?”

“Of course.” I knew even as I said it, it was a lie.

CK’s date finally showed up and Marie and I finally called it a night. As we walked by him, I didn’t say hello (it felt weird interrupting his date) but Marie did trip over his foot and I apologized for her while pretending not to know who he was.

I mean, it wouldn’t be a CK story if I didn’t make a little bit of an ass out of myself. At least this time I was a well-dressed, mostly sober ass.

All By Myself

So, the one thing that I really missed when I was single (back when I was single but still desperate to be a part of a couple) was going out to bars. I love going to bars. I do. I love having a glass of wine (or beer or vodka) served to me. I love watching TV surrounded by strangers, and eavesdropping on conversations. And since I hate to cook I also, occasionally, like eating at bars.

And when all my friends were single, we went out to bars all the time. Not to get plastered mind you, but most often to have a couple of drinks after work and bitch about our bosses, while scooping out all the cute guys still in suits.

This changed a bit when my friends all became a part of a we. They now had different after work plans – couple plans – dinner plans – plans to go to a bar with other couples.

The obvious solution would be for me to go to a bar by myself. However, this option was so terrifying to me, I instead went on an ill-conceived quest for a new best single girlfriend just so I would have someone to go to a bar with me (don’t you worry there is more to come on those adventures, I assure you).

When that failed, I was left to accept that I might have to give up bars (or at least seriously cut back).

That all changed this week. Yesterday, Midtown Village in Philadelphia celebrated Beaujolais Nouveau Day. As I will never turn down a chance to wear a beret, I was all over this event. Unfortunately, Bridie and Marie had to work, and Salty had dinner plans with other friends.

The day of the event, I decided that despite my close friends not being able to join me, I would still go. I had other friends going and I was sure to run into someone I knew at the event. And if I didn’t, what would be the big deal. I would shop and drink wine and shop some more by myself. Big whoop? (This was the pep talk I was giving myself, by the way).

So I went. And as predicted I met up with friends. And we shopped and drank some free Beaujolais Nouveau and shopped some more. But then they had to leave. And I didn’t want to. I was still having fun and so I checked my phone, but no other friends had sent text messages that they were in the area.

Decision time.

Did I go home too, slightly disappointed.

Or, did I stop by the bar all by myself for an actual glass of wine (we had been drinking from Dixie cups all night).

Emboldened, maybe by the wine, maybe by the French spirit that was all around on 13th Street, I bid my friends adieu (yeah I did) and headed for my favorite wine bar.

Honestly, I don’t know what I was so scared of. After only a couple of minutes of waiting, I ordered my glass of wine, was given a seat by someone leaving, and was eavesdropping on the conversation of the three late-20-somethings sitting next to me.

Late-20-Something, “I just don’t think I should have to settle. (slight louder)
I’m not going to settle. I’m fine being single until the right guy comes along.”
(Friends clink glasses).
It warmed my heart.

Or maybe it was the second glass of wine I ordered.

In Hiding

I’ve been hiding.

In plain sight, I have been hiding. I'm really good at hiding.

A few weeks back, Marie and I were out. Marie and I only became very good friends in the past few years. So, needless to say, she didn’t know me in college. I’m not sure how we got on the topic, but we started discussing all my various hair colors and styles.

See, I started hiding in college. But in college I hid behind pink and purple and black and orange hair. I hid behind black eyeliner and black lipstick. I hid behind boy haircuts and ironic t-shirts.

I explained to Marie that as much as it doesn’t make sense, I did it all to keep everyone from noticing me, at least the real me.

Then she asked what made me stop. And I answered honestly, that I just grew out of it.

At least it was honest at the time.

Some time around 25 I just stopped cutting my hair into weird shapes, I stopped dying it unnatural colors, and I put away my “Boys Lie” t-shirt.

And then I threw myself into my work.

Ten years later, well almost, I have a job I actually like, I’ve been published a bunch of times and I even completed a novel.

But over the last two years I have been letting myself get bigger and bigger. I’ve been smoking and eating things that aren’t good for me and not working out and all because I don’t want people (read guys) to see the me. Not the real me anyway.

Not that I think there is anything wrong with the real me. Quite the opposite. I think I rock. But what if I really liked a guy and he didn’t like me. Then what?

Whereas, if I have a pre-fabricated, built-in excuse for why I am alone -- I’m a freak, I’m too caught up in my work, I’m fat, well, then, no one gets hurt.

So I hide. I hide, because I’m afraid. I’m terrified of getting hurt.

Worse. I know I am doing it. Since talking to Marie, I have realized it every time I choose something unhealthy to eat. Every time I hit the snooze button. Every time I lit a cigarette.

But I’m tired of it. Which is why I am writing this now. I tired of hiding. And while I know only a handful of people actually read this blog. Just knowing that it is out there may be enough.

I hope it will be anyway.

An Affair to Forget

By the middle of this post, you might think I have a drinking problem. Hell, some of you may already think I have a drinking problem. However, I don’t think I have a problem and anytime I do, I check out Texts From Last Night and am reassured that my drinking is within normal levels. Still, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I just ask that you judge me in silence.

The morning after my office’s holiday party, I woke up on my couch, the details of the previous night a little fuzzy. Whenever I find myself in this situation – which isn’t often because I don’t have a problem – I like to go over what I do remember.

I remembered arriving to the office party.

I remembered making flirty eyes at one of my co-workers (I shook my head in shame).

I remembered some old man complimenting me on my barrette (I shuddered).

There was a lot of food at the party, but I couldn’t eat most of it so I kept drinking.

Then the party was over and I met up with friends at a nearby bar, where I saw my cute co-worker but I didn’t talk to him, didn’t even look his way (I smiled).

We were upstairs, my friends introduced me to their other friends. A bunch of names I don’t remember. And one of them was cute. What’s his name.

Oh right, then we were talking and I still didn’t know his name. Did someone distract me when he said his name? Then everyone was leaving. I shared a cab with him and one of his friends. Didn’t know his name either. We dropped his friend off. He suggested we hit up another bar. We did. He ordered our drinks. We talked. We talked a lot. What did we talk about? Oh god – we made out. A lot.

In a bar.

And I don’t know his name.

I squeezed my eyes shut as I remembered that I gave him my number.

And because this is my life he wasn’t one of the countless men whose names I could remember the next day, and whose conversations I repeated in their entirety to my friends in an effort to convince them that there was a real connection, and that I really wanted to call me but never did.

Now I will fast forward through all the embarrassing text messages and the voicemail he left (with his name praise Jesus) and the awkward phone conversation and drop you right in on my date with Ringo (obviously not his real name but a nickname Bridie and I came up with for him).
The first words out Ringo's mouth (after hello) were “Wow, you’re a lot taller than I remember.”
That’s right, readers, I was on a date with a guy who was probably exactly my height, but because I was wearing heels seemed shorter than me. Strike one.

Quick side note here – As I am constantly getting grief about my issues with height I feel it only pertinent to point out that Ringo looked a combination of shocked and disgusted as he uttered the above phrase. Even after I pointed out that I was wearing heels, he didn’t look happy to be on a date with a taller woman.

We sat down and almost immediately I make the huge mistake of asking him what he does. He looked at me blankly and I realized this was probably something we already discussed. After he answered, I apologized, explaining that that night was kind of fuzzy for me.

He smiled and said the evening was a bit of a blur for him too.

Then an awkward silence as we both realized that we could either a) admit just how blurry things were and start over or b) continue on as if it didn’t matter.

I preferred (a); he chose (b).

At some point during this awkward tip-toeing around the basic information we didn’t know about each other he mentioned he’s a Cowboys fan. A Dallas Cowboys fan.

My face twisted up in horror -- it was too sore from my black eye for me to control it. Oh did I mention I had a black eye? Yeah, that story is for another time.

He looked up to see my pained expression and said, “Maybe I should have told you I was a pedophile that likes to kick dogs.”

I smiled, nodded and thought, he’s funny. I could almost look past his height for funny. Too bad he’s a Dallas Cowboys fan. Strike two.

Shortly after realizing I could never introduce this guy to my family, he paid for his beer, and we headed over to the theater to see Black Swan (yep, another totally inappropriate date movie, but this time I didn’t pick it). Very little was said, we even split up because the line to get tickets was so long and I wanted popcorn. We shared my popcorn, both being very careful to never reach for the popcorn at the same time.

During the movie he checked his BlackBerry at least twice. Strike Three, not that I needed a third strike.

After the movie Ringo offered to drive me home (first we would have to walked to his place) but I opted for I cab. I offered him a ride to his place, he declined. We then exchanged a very chaste kiss, which made me smile.

As I pulled away from him to get into the cab, I noticed he was smiling too. Probably thinking the same thing I was – thank god that’s over.

Number of potential boyfriends: back to zero.

Warning to All Those Persons Related to Me: You May Want to Skip this Blog.

The strangest thing happened to me in Mississippi last weekend.

I was visiting Ivan, my younger brother, and his new bride Alexia. They were having a party to celebrate their nuptials with all their southern friends, and a few of their northern friends. I was standing in a corner, taking it all in (and by taking it all in I really mean sending mass text messages to my friends) when I overheard one of Ivan’s friends say to Ivan, “I’m gonna break her.”

To which Ivan replied, “Good luck with that.” And walked away.

Now, I can’t be 100 percent sure they were talking about me. I started paying attention only midway through the conversation. But something other than my own inflated ego told me I was the her he was looking to break. Maybe it was the way the friend was behaving toward me earlier or maybe it was the way Ivan grimaced and then walked away. Either way, this feeling was later confirmed by (in my own inflated ego's opinion) by all the attention this friend continued to pay me.

And while I still find it strange that men are attracted to me, that wasn’t what has been bothering me since overhearing this conversation. What has been keeping me up at night (in addition to the upper respiratory infection I picked up on the airplane ride home) was my reaction to it.
Readers, I wasn’t righteously indignant or offended or affronted or angry or any of those things I think I should have been.

I was turned on.

Let me be perfectly clear, before that moment, I wasn’t the least bit attracted to this guy. Sure he was tall and Marie thinks he's good looking (her actual response to his picture was “giddy-up”). But he was also wearing cowboy boots and Croakies and a collared shirt tucked into way too faded blue jeans. Furthermore, I have never found a southern accent charming.

But four little words later and I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I had to give myself the “this is Ivan’s friend, Tatiana,” pep-talk followed by the “he has a girlfriend, Tatiana" pep-talk repeated several times over the course of the next couple of hours. And, honestly, if I wasn’t so very afraid of the Cowboy, those two talks may have failed me completely.

Thank god I still have my fear to keep me in check.

So, once I sobered up on the flight home I started to think about why I was so affected by the Cowboy. I had already been thinking a lot about the whole generation of guys phenomenon as I was surrounded by my brother’s friends, most of whom were definite guys (some are still borderline boys). And I’m not about to suggest that the Cowboy was a man – he’s more a leader of the guys.

No, I wasn’t thinking the Cowboy was a man, but of another conversation all together that Bob and I have had on a number of occasions. And because our recent conversation about guys versus men was already on my mind, this other conversation may have been lurking not far behind.

The second conversation always starts innocently enough -- what am I looking for in a guy. This inevitably turns into me listing the things I liked about my ex-boyfriends and the things I couldn’t stand about them. And because it is Bob, and because we have had one too many glasses of wine, it moves to the bedroom. While I am not about to say that my exes have been disappointing, none of them have been the sort that would throw you (me) down on the bed (or against a wall) and, for a lack of a better phrase, fuck you (me).

And I know this isn’t very feminist of me, but sometimes a girl really needs that.

Now, over the course of the last two years I have been on several dates with guys who couldn’t even make a plan, leaving me to pick the time and the place of our dates. And, whether it’s laziness or a lack of confidence, I assume if you won’t pick a place for us to meet for a drink, you aren’t going to be the sort that is ever going to pull my hair or smack my ass.

So maybe, when I heard those four little words I realized that before me stood a man that would probably do both. It’s the only thing I can come up with. That in that moment, as my subconscious raced through the last several years of dates with wishy-washy wusses and being almost completely in control of my life almost all of the time for as long as I can remember, it was attracted to the Cowboy who could offer me a break from both.

At that moment, I wonder what it would be like to be broken.

Who am I kidding? I'm still wondering.

An Open Letter to AT&T

Dear AT&T,

I noticed on Sunday that you renamed the Pattison station, AT&T station. I’m not going to point out to you just how ridiculous this is and that no one will actually call it AT&T station, but instead will continue to call it Pattison station. Much like the way no one calls MLK Drive anything but West River (well, except those few individuals who are new to the area and get lost when anyone gives them directions involving West River).

I do have one question, though. Why is it, on Sunday, on my way home from the Eagles’ game, I couldn’t send or receive any text messages while I waited for the northbound local? Meanwhile, Marie, who has Verizon, had no problems. I would think, while standing in a station named after my wireless carrier, I would be the one with the better service.

Just curious.



The Grandfather Clause

As anyone who also follows my adventures on Facebook is aware, I was at the shore last week. See, Marie and I both decided that since neither of us had a real vacation this summer, we would borrow our friend Salty’s condo in North Wildwood and spend the days in the sun, baking ourselves until we were golden bubbly (and spend our nights drinking and laughing and eating crackers and hummus).

For those of you who have never been, the nightlight in North Wildwood leaves a lot to be desired (unless you are under the age of 25 or over the age of 65). Still my friends and I could have fun with a paper bag so I wasn’t really too worried about it. We had wine. We had beer. Oh and look, both came in paper bags. Marie did want to go out one night – Monday night to be exact. She had heard the Soul Cruisers were playing at a bar only a couple of blocks away and Marie loves Soul music. So after a long day doing nothing by the pool, Marie and I got gussied up and headed to the monstrosity that is Keenan’s Irish Pub (a monstrosity because this “pub” pretty much takes up an entire city block).

Now, before I go any further, I should explain that when visiting any beach town, my 20lbs of hair expands to at least 45lbs of hair. The Wildwoods are no exception. And since I was tan (from the day sitting by the pool wearing only SPF 4) and already had huge hair, I decided it was the perfect occasion for my bright red lipstick. Marie would later hypothesize that no man can resist my big blonde hair and bright red lips. I am thinking about testing this theory out in Philadelphia tomorrow night.

I won’t bore you with all the details of the night. Instead, I will fast forward to the close of the evening. The Soul Cruisers were rocking and Marie and I were chair dancing in our bar stools. A very old man was standing not too far from us and asked me why I wasn’t up there dancing. This was approximately the 18th old man that had stopped to talk to me and Marie in the two hours we were sitting there. I smiled and said I wasn’t much of a dancer. Marie stepped in and announced, “She’s just shy” (I swear she also gave me a little pushed towards him but she denies this of course). And with that, Pop-pop, took my hand and led me out to the dance floor.

My first thought was how the heck am I suppose to hold on to my cookies while grinding with Pop-pop to “Give Me Just A Little More Time”? Then Pop-pop grabbed my hand, put his other hand on my waist and I thanked the heavens above that Pop-pop was too old to even know what grinding was – that or his fake hip wouldn’t allow it.

Once I was able to relax, I have to admit, it wasn’t the worst three minutes of my life. It wasn’t even the most awkward. We danced and he twirled me and thank goodness he didn’t try to dip me (between his back and my strapless dress it could have been a disaster) and when the song was over so was the Soul Cruisers’ set and so Pop-pop and I walked back to our bar stools. He thanked me for the dance and kissed me on the forehead. The closest I came to upchucking was when Marie leaned over and whispered, “You totally gave him a boner.”

So a couple days later, we are reliving the week for Salty. We get to this point and Salty asks, “Wait, how tall was Pop-pop?” (My height requirement has become a bit of a thorn in everyone’s side as they are all looking for someone for me to date).

I shrugged my shoulder, “I don’t know, I guess he was a little taller than me in flip-flops.”

“And you danced with him?” (The basis of my height requirement really boils down to not wanting to look ridiculous when I am dancing with my boyfriend).

“Yeah, but he was old and has probably shrunk. My guess is that he was once six feet tall, so I grandfathered him in.”

I understand this opens up a loophole for 5’10” 80-year-olds, but it is quickly closed by my father’s rule forbidding me to date anyone twice my age or older.

I Got A Magic Skirt

Some of you may remember that a couple of months ago I was debating moving from my pad on Broad Street to somewhere a little bit quieter. After getting some feedback from you, I decided it was time to fly the coup.

Oh, just a quick side note here: for any of you out there in cyberland that find yourself in a situation similar to the one I was in – don’t be afraid to talk to your landlord when the time comes to renew your lease. I didn’t (because I was afraid and because I had already found a new place) but when I gave my notice, he was very amenable, asking what he could do to keep me. As I later learned from friends of mine that are also landlords, good, paying tenants aren’t always easy to find, so when they have one, they want to keep him or her. Important note for landlords out there: if you have a good tenant that you want to keep because she is quiet and never complains and always pays her rent on time, you may want to rethink raising her rent every year. Just sayin’.

Okay, now back to my skirt.

One of my last nights at my old place, I had the girls over to sit on my stoop, drink wine, reminisce and make some last minute decisions about what to do with things I wasn’t sure about taking to the new place – including some clothes. So, a la Carrie and the girls in the first Sex in the City Movie, Salty, Marie and Bridie laid across my bed as I pulled the unloved items from my closet.

Somewhere in the middle of this mayhem, after we determined I only need two (not six) strappy, black mini-dresses and that I would never be preppy enough to wear argyle, I pulled from my closet my lucky skirt.

My lucky skirt, soon to be referred to as my magic skirt. I bought her when I was still in college and needed something fun, but dressy, but also sexy without being slutty to wear to a banquet where both my parents and CK would be. You would think something I bought more than 10 years ago would be hopelessly out of style, but she is just a simple greenish-blue, wrap skirt that still looks pretty good – mostly because I rarely wear her. She is much to powerful to wield regularly.

The first night I wore the skirt I swear to god CK flirted with me. Of course, it is only in hindsight that I realize he was flirting, at the time, I was so nervous that he was talking to me, I smiled, nodded and walked away. I still shake my head in disgust about what a dolt I was.
The second time I wore her, when crossing Walnut Street, Bridie and I overheard some guy exclaim to his car full of friends, did you see that girl’s skirt. Bridie stopped me, “Did you hear that guy?”

I smiled.

She looked down at my skirt, “That thing is magical.”

The third time I wore the skirt – I met Hung. I don’t think I need to go into any more detail about why that night was awesome.

The fourth (and final) time I wore it was to Wharton’s going away party. Except I never made it to the party. Wharton was being a bit of a jackass (at least in my mojito-clouded opinion) and I decided he didn’t deserve to see me in the skirt.

I’m not sure why I never wore it again. Maybe I was afraid it’s magic had worn off or maybe I just didn’t have the occasion to wear it. But when it came time to clean out the closet, I decided it was time to pass the magic skirt on to someone else.

When Bridie saw that I was giving it away she was shocked and asked me what the heck I was thinking. And maybe it was because I had too much wine. Or maybe it was because I was surrounded by the women that love me the most. Whatever it was, I decided to be honest. Because the truth was it had nothing to do with passing the magic on to someone else (have I ever been that magnanimous?). I just didn’t feel like the same girl that wore that skirt.

Worse, I wasn’t sure I could ever be her again. So why have that reminder hanging in my closet.
A couple of days later, Salty was coming over to help me take my oversized, industrial trash bags to the Goodwill. I was pulling the third bag from the back room when I noticed my lucky skirt had escaped and was half hiding underneath a bookshelf. I inspected the bag for tears but found none. It seems, while I was ready to be done with the magic skirt, she wasn’t done with me.
I scooped her off the floor and stuffed her into my pocketbook.

Maybe there was some space for her in my future after all.

Are Guys Pigs Or Are Some Girls Asking For It?

Before I begin, let me just state for the record that by, “asking for it,” I’m not talking about rape. I am a very firm believer that no matter what a woman is wearing, she is never asking for a man to force himself on her.

That being said, I am beginning to wonder that maybe, sometimes, women are asking to be ogled, even treated like pieces of meat.

It was Friday at 5:00 p.m. on the corner of 18th and Market Streets. For those of you that don’t live in Philadelphia, it was cloudy, rainy, windy and approximately 40 degrees. I was hiding in a corner of a building, doing my best to protect myself from the wind, sipping a cup of hot tea I just picked up at the Fourbucks, when a woman turned the corner and brushed by me.

In her heels she was about an inch or so taller than me, so 5’10” (I was slouching). She was wearing a tank dress that was so short, it barely covered her ass. It was so short (and tight) that as she walked up 18th Street she was holding down the hem so it wouldn’t inch up. If it did inch up, she would have been committing a crime. But that wasn’t even the worst part. She was a triple-D or a double-E (when they get that big it is hard for me to tell) and the scoop in the front was doing nothing to hold those girls in place. In fact, really the only thing the dress was doing was covering her nipples. I wish I could tell you what her face looked like, but as I explained to Salty later, I couldn’t see past her boobs.

As I stood there, aghast, I noticed I wasn’t the only one. Women were fighting their umbrellas against the wind to stop and stare. Men were hitting each other in the arms to make sure they saw what they were seeing. I turned away, shaking my head and smiling, only to see one guy stopped, almost paralyzed, staring, hoping that she would lose her grip on her hem and he would catch a glimpse of more of her. Another man stopped and asked, “Did you catch that?” He nodded, “I’m still catching it.” Then they both watched her walk into the wind tunnel.

But not before the second guy said, “You know that girl over there totally knows what you are doing.” That girl over there, was me.

The first guy shook his head and said, “I don’t care.”

And thus, the internal struggle begins. The feminist side of me wanted to scream -- she’s not a piece of meat you pig and defend this stranger's right to wear whatever she felt like without be objectified. But then the pragmatist in me stepped in and said, “Tati, let’s be real here.” After all, she wasn’t wearing that outfit for comfort. It was freezing and the skirt was so short and tight she had to hold it in place -- from experience I know that that isn’t comfortable.

So she was looking for attention. And there is nothing wrong with that. But then one can’t get upset when men stop and gawk as you walk down the street. See, it’s a lot like planting flowers in your backyard. Yes, they are pretty and smell nice and make it so much lovelier out there when you are enjoying your morning coffee. Sadly, though they also bring bees. You have to take the good with the bad.

Of course, in this instance, she could have avoided all the onlookers had she simply put on a coat. She would have also prevented that cold I am sure she caught walking around like that in the cold, wet weather. But I’m not her mother.

A Night at The Museum

So in the spirit of trying new ways to meet guys that don’t involve coming up with a clever way to describe myself in 10 words or less, Marie and I headed over to the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archeology for their Valentine’s Day lecture “Cougars, Playas and Baby Mama Drama in the Ancient World.”

Now, as the name of the event would suggest, it was a lecture. A point that was totally lost on both me and Marie until we walked into a dark room, shocked to find a woman standing at a podium giving a PowerPoint presentation. We had decided to stop and get a glass of wine first so we wouldn’t be the first there. Instead, we were practically the last people there. Fortunately, there was still an open cafe table in the back.

We sat down just in time for the start of the “Cougar” section. Sadly, there weren’t many ancient Egyptian cougars for us to learn from. There was an interesting sculpture depicting one woman being serviced by several well endowed men. If I could remember the woman in the statute she would be my new personal hero.

During the player section we learned all about Ptolemy VIII who killed his brother and married his sister, one of the Cleopatras who was married to Ptolemy’s brother until his untimely death. When, Ptolemy got pissed at Cleopatra he killed his nephew/her son, from the first marriage, chopped him up into pieces, wrapped him in a box and gave the gift to her for her birthday. Kinda gives me a new perspective on all those terrible gifts guys have given me over the years.

Still, all of this didn’t give Ptolemy VIII his player status. No, that was solidified when he grew tired of his Cleo and decided to seduce and marry her daughter (his niece) whose name was also Cleo. They were known as Ptolemy, Cleo His Sister and Cleo His Wife. And no, I'm not making this up.

I leaned over and whispered to Marie that when we were allowed to mingle I was going to ask the first eligible bachelor I came across if he thought Ptolemy was a player or did he just crush a lot. If he didn’t get the reference I would know it wasn’t meant to be. Marie agreed there was no future with a guy that didn’t immediately respond with something along the lines of “well, the real problem was that Ptolemy represented Queens but Cleo was raised out in Brooklyn." Thus a new rule was born -- if he doesn’t recognize LL when he hears it, then he's not the one for me.

Finally, the lecture was over and we were invited to get a drink. Marie and I (who had already snuck to the bar just as soon as we arrived) sat at our table to see if there was anyone worthy of our clever pick-up line.

With the lights on we saw that there were approximately eight guys and 100 women at this event. Of the eight guys, two were there together, like on a date, another was with a date with a woman, two weren’t tall enough to talk to, two were old enough to have known the first Ptolemy and then, finally, there was the creepy gentleman wandering around wearing a visor. I’m pretty sure I told you how I feel about guys that wear baseball caps. Well, it goes double, no triple, for visors. Unless you're guarding a beach, you shouldn’t be wearing a visor.