Tatiana Talks

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.

The Ladies Privilege

It came to my attention (and not because of the terrible Amy Adams’ movie) that Leap Day has historically been a day when it is perfectly acceptable for women to propose to men.

Now, setting aside the fact that I think it is always acceptable for women to propose to men and that I have no intention of getting married and thus have no intention of getting down on one knee to ask a man to be my groom, I do like the idea of proposing to someone today. So long as we all understand that by propose, I don’t mean marriage but merely making out with me until March.

Now, kiddies, back in my day, I wouldn’t have needed a special day on the calendar to approach a random guy and say, “You. Me. Lip-lock. Now.” Sadly, though, I don’t know where that girl went. I mean, I have some idea – she might have been run off by all those fools who kept telling her guys don’t like aggressive girls. But I digress. It is 2012. I am older and not much wiser and now require an occasion to get my groove on.

Ideally, I would propose to CK, but since the chances of randomly bumping into him are slim and none, and this doesn’t feel like the sort of thing one should plan, I crossed him off the list. This also eliminates Peyton, Ryan and Daniel from proposal contention. Leaving my two current crushes, Trainer Boyfriend (who is not really my boyfriend, aka Fake BF) and Hot Attorney.

Forgetting for a moment that he is so hot he melts my face off, when it comes to Hot Attorney, it actually shocks me a bit I haven’t already blurted out “Do you wanna make out?” I’m also shocked that I have refrained from doing anything else to make myself entirely too ridiculous to ever consider desirable. Maybe for this reason alone I won’t be throwing myself at Hot Attorney today. Or maybe it is because as horrific as rejection would be, I think it would be worse to actually have to come into the office tomorrow knowing what his mouth tastes like and not be able to do anything more about it.

This brings us to Fake Trainer Boyfriend. He is hot. I want to make out with him. I am going to the gym after work. This should be a no brainer. Except, that is exactly the problem. I’m not sure he has much of a brain. He starts talking and even when he is talking about something he should know about (like hamstrings, or quads, or the Brachialis muscle) he just doesn’t sound bright. And while much, much younger me wouldn’t have minded, current me struggles to get hot and bothered by someone who I worry might not be able to spell hot or bothered.

I think I’m beginning to understand why guys get so worked up about proposing. Thank god we women only have to deal with this once every four years.

Number Five

I have been having a lot of conversations about choosing to be single for life. Mostly friends that either don’t believe me or want in. At some point, rather incredulously, people will say, “So, you are never going to get married.”

I’m not a super big fan of the word never. I find it almost always comes back to bite me. I am still ruing the day I told Bridie I would never tuck my jeans into boots.

So I came up with a list, the five guys I would be willing to leave the single life for. As follows, ranked in case two of them ask me to marry them at the exact same time:
1. Peyton Manning
2. Ryan Gosling
3. CK
4. Daniel Craig
5. TBD
I left spot number five open because during this journey I swallowed a lot of red pills of truth. One of these pills was that truth changes. Right now everything in my life is perfectly wonderful. I am happy and content (not the same thing) and looking forward to my next adventure and the one after that, and the one after that.

But I know that as I go on these adventures, and continue on with my life, things will change. I will change. And there may come a day that I can’t fathom right now, when I will meet someone that changes my truth. That makes risking all my happiness worthwhile.

Of course, it is just as possible that the five spot will never be filled and that is okay too. The thing is, I just don’t know and – as my mother would say – my crystal ball is at the shop getting fixed.

I’m Saving Myself for Ryan Gosling

Now before you get your knickers in a twist: No. I haven’t already given up on my Single-4-Life lifestyle. I’ve been at that a couple of weeks now, and I have to say it has been refreshing. I have finished reading a couple of books, got a lot of work done on rewriting the first novel, and even finally finished knitting a cowl I started in August.

One thing that has been troubling me is how to explain it to people when they ask if I there are any men in my life.

With my close friends it was easy. I told them, they listened, some expressed sympathy for not knowing how crazy I was making myself, all were happy for me, and all implied in some way or another that, you know if, in the meantime, I did meet someone that would be wonderful too.

Which is fine for them to say, but really not what I want to hear.

When I tell others, this last bit is what they really seem to harp on. For example, when I answered a former colleague one night when we were out for drinks that I was taking myself out of the game so I can focus on my work, she responded “be careful. When people say that, the shit really hits the fan and they find themselves married and pregnant, living in the suburbs.”

I smiled. “No, no. No shit. No fan. Nothing of that sort will happen.”

So I had to come up with some other answer to this question that wasn’t a lie, but didn’t leave room for debate (or sympathy).

And then I came across a link to the tumbler account Feminist Ryan Gosling.

Now, It’s not really him, obviously. But it is hysterical and I love it. I love it so much I have decided that the only way I will give up my awesome single life is for (feminist) Ryan Gosling. So, now when people ask I simply explain that I am saving myself for the Gos (he likes itwhen I call him that).

It’s brilliant. People aren’t sure what to make of it. They either laugh because they think I am joking, blink rapidly and walk away because they think I’m crazy or they get all high-and-mighty and ask, “Really? And how are you going to meet Ryan Gosling.”

To which I have the ready response, “When my novel is published, it will become so popular someone will want to make it a movie. R.G. is the perfect person for the male lead, and after reading the script, he will want to read the novel, and after reading the novel he will insist on meeting the cleaver woman that could pen such wit and insight.”