Tatiana Talks

Open Letter to Marie Claire

Dear MC,

I visited my hometown last weekend to check in on my parents, but mostly to get my hair done (my Mom and Dad will probably out-live us all, not to mention I had just seen them the weekend before when we went to the Phillies game). Waiting for me upon my arrival was a stack of magazines, almost up to my knees and in that pile were a couple of Marie Claires.

See, my mom has a subscription to just about every magazine published. She curates from her collection a selection that she think I would enjoy and leaves them in a pile for me.

My mom was most excited to show me your June issue. Right there on the cover, she pointed out, was a story I was sure to love: “The New Revolution. Love and the Single Girl.”

The next day, over breakfast, my mom asked me what I thought of the article. I rolled my eyes and told her it annoyed me. I then started explaining why. The problem is, I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what it was that so bothered me.

Then, last week, I was talking to Hot Attorney, really trying to concentrate on what he was saying and not fantasize about all the things I wish he was saying when it hit me – the second vignette. The second vignette in your article is what pissed me off. I went home a re-read it and I was exactly as I remembered.

It started out so well: “Putting themselves first and a wedding ring second, a new generation of women fights for their rights to be left alone (literally) and then went on to point out all the recent attacks on single women (even some I didn’t know about or really perceive as attacks). The article actually has the words, “We are living through the invention of independent female adulthood.”

What isn’t there to love about this article?

Well, after the one page of celebration, with all your quotes and facts and figures, the three vignettes followed. Three little stories about three different single women at three different points in their lives, all expressing a different hardship of being single.

Now, I am not an us versus them sort of girl. I have nothing but respect for married and coupled women. Almost all of my friends are married or in relationships. However, in the instance of Vignette Number Two (or VNT as I’m gonna call her), I have to say it: she isn’t single. She never was single. She was dumped and is now presumably back in a relationship. Using her six-months wandering the city looking for a karaoke bar where she could shine in a article about how awesome it is to be single is like using a woman that likes to make out with her girlfriends when she is drunk to the delight of all of the male bar patrons in a story about living as a lesbian.

Was VNT’s story adorable? Yes. I am equal parts impressed that she went to karaoke bars and got up and sang all by herself and glad that she found a new dude and they are getting married soon. However, you should have saved her triumph over tragedy for the inevitable getting over him piece you will run in February. Because it has no business in an article about women choosing to be single.

I get it. You prefer to include three vignettes because three is a magic number when it comes to examples to back a theory and choruses in pop songs. But there had to have been better examples out there. Why not talk to my friend who called off her wedding when she realized she wanted to be married more than she wanted to be married to her fiancé. Or, if you were looking for a happy ending (which you clearly still define as in a relationship) then talk to any one of my now coupled off/married friends that were single well into their 30s, dating like crazy but never settling down until they found someone that was worth it.

Further, why were the other two vignettes about how hard it is to be single – a pesky father and always having to move over a seat at a bar so a couple could sit down? Where were the triumphant stories of dates so terrible they still make your friends laugh. Or stories about girlfriend-only vacations or the good they are doing throughout the world because they aren’t tied to a home and a family -- there has to be one female doctor out there curing some disease that can shrug and say, yeah, saving lives doesn’t leave me a whole lot of time to date. Where was she?

Do I seem a little over upset about this article? Maybe. But it is just because I had such high hopes. My mother and I both did. And it was just such a disappointment.

Then again, maybe I should stop pinning my hopes to a magazine with other coverlines that included “Extreme Weight Loss Confessions” and “Get it Now! Sexy Summer Style.”



The Matter of Yummy

I realized early on in my single for life adventure that there was a flaw in my system.

The flaw, as some of you may have already guessed, is what to do about sex.

Now, for some, this isn’t a flaw at all. Unfortunately, for me (and maybe others of you out there) I don’t have an eff buddy (nor have I had much luck with them in the past) nor do I have a friend with special benefits (this, too, in the past has proven to be a special kind of disaster). And while I know, thanks to one of my guy friends, that getting a stranger to have sex with me is as easy as walking into a bar and just saying, “Yes.” I’ve never been super comfortable with one night stands. Yes, I have enjoyed my share, but the self inflicted guilt and shame I experienced the next morning (which has increased over the years) diminished any enjoyment I remember from the evening prior.

So, what does a girl like me do for a little something-something? This is the exact question that my dear friend Cricket and I were contemplating over a pitcher or tequila. Because the whole thing has be recently fantasizing about a relationship. A relationship I don’t want anywhere else but the bedroom.
Cricket is still on the fence about the whole single for life thing for herself, but she fully embraces it for me. She too, is just concerned about my lack of yummy, especially as it concerns my inability to carry on a conversation with Hot Attorney, but more on that later.

The first obvious solution was that I get involved with a professional baseball player.  And while I am still working this angle, I figured it would make sense to explore other options as well. Especially for those of you out there that don’t live in a city with a professional baseball team.

Another option that came to us after our third round was getting involved with a married man. Forgetting for a moment the moral objections one might have with this arrangement, for someone like me, this could work. However, I really try to keep my life as drama free as humanly possible and sleeping with another woman’s husband is just inviting crazy into my apartment.

Still, a married man wouldn’t likely develop feelings for me. The boundaries of our relationship would be very clear, dictated by the fact that he has a wife he shares his feelings with. I would just be someone he shared his bed with. And really, isn’t that what brings so many of these friends with benefits relationships crashing to a halt. Often, one of the partners confuses sex (or the hormonal release post orgasm) with love. For my part, I can control how I feel (and even when I can’t, I can get out before I get too hurt). But what about him? What happens if its his line that starts blurring? I like hurting people even less than I like drama in my living room (unless it is Law & Order).

Ideally, what I am looking for is someone I find attractive, but could never actually be attracted to. So he would have to be less than smart and/or less than funny and/or a Dallas Cowboys fan. He would also need to find me attractive without being attracted to me. Maybe there is an expiration date (he is only in Philadelphia for school or a work assignment) or perhaps he has a rule about falling in love with someone who worships Peyton Manning.

So Cricket suggested I try meditating before bed, focusing on exactly what I am looking for and then asking the universe to bring him to me. We then agreed this seems a lot like masturbation, so I decided I would also put this out in this universe and see if you guys could bring me a solution.

But know this, other spinsters, I am working on the problem. And when I find an answer that works for all of us, I will share it with you.

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.

A Tragedy on Spruce Street

I had a rough day at the office yesterday. Nothing I couldn’t handle, just a series of meetings, interrupting a number of emergency projects, punctuated with a ride in the elevator with Hot Attorney where I actually managed to not say something stupid but that is mostly because I was focused on not shoving my tongue down his throat so I kept my mouth shut.

So I was really looking forward to happy hour with some friends. But, my day got crazier and crazier, and then I learned my friends were having just as hectic days, and it was decided we should postpone happy hour.

As I finished up at the office, I realized just how disappointed I was that I wasn’t getting a drink after work. See, in an effort to lose weight, I have cut back on my drinking and I had even saved up calories so I could have two glasses of wine after work and after the day I had I was really going to enjoy them.

On the other hand, I told myself, I should be happy that I can just go home and make dinner and not have to worry that two glasses would turn into three would turn into four and happy hour would end with me making a late evening fast food run.

Unfortunately, no matter how many times I told myself this, I still really wanted a glass of wine.

Now, I suppose, I could have gone to a bar and had a glass. But that sort of thinking didn’t occur to me. Instead, on my way home from work, I stopped at the liquor store and picked up a bottle – promising myself I would only have two glasses (and not bottomless glasses either).

I then picked up the necessary groceries to make myself a wonderfully healthy dinner to go with my red wine.

Walking (actually, more like strutting) down Spruce Street I was pumped for my evening. Just when I thought things couldn’t get better, Florence and the Machine came on my iPhone.

I was adjusting my bags so that I could turn up the music when tragedy struck.

I dropped the bag from the liquor store.

I heard the crash; I saw the red liquid pouring out across the sidewalk.

I couldn’t move. I didn’t know what to do. I mean, I knew I had to pick up the bag and that I didn’t need to clean up the spill (it was about to rain, after all) but frozen there I wondered, who can I call? Should I take a picture for Twitter? Do I go back to the liquor store for another bottle?

A man with a stroller walked by and asked if I wanted a napkin. I looked up at him, then down at the spill wondering what a single napkin would do, then double checked that none of the wine splashed up on my pants (thank goodness I didn’t have to take another pair of pants to the cleaners with a wine stain on them) and then said, “No. I think I’m fine.”

Clearly, though, I wasn’t.