Thursday, November 26, 2009

#22 Thanksgiving

Aside from Halloween, Thanksgiving might be a single girl's favorite holiday.

For Thanksgiving is an American holiday and if there is one thing that Americans know how to do right, it is EAT. Thanksgiving is a completely gluttonous holiday with food consumption as its ONLY priority (no presents, no religious obligations, JUST eating) so single girls may starve ourselves 364 days out of the year in order to binge on this special day.

Because we're eating (a lot, and in public, to boot), we say "no thanks" to Spanx. Single girls thanked our lucky stars when empire waist and tent dresses came back in style. And how can we forget Lindsay Lohan for her one contribution to society? Indeed, the second coming of leggings. After all, the glorious thing about leggings, besides pairing so well with tunics, is their elastic waistbands.

Now that our food belly can be safely concealed under something equally chic and unrestraining, Thanksgiving is the one day a year single girls will ignore our internal calorie counters. Instead, we think about Thanksgiving's health benefits: turkey is a lean meat and good source of protein, cranberry sauce is an excellent source of antioxidants, one slice of pumpkin pie contains more than 100% of your daily value of vitamin A, and it now appears that mashed potatoes potentially lower blood-pressure. Seconds? Yes, PLEASE!

While we're happily gorging on our Thanksgiving feasts, we might even humor our relatives with pithy responses to their relentless badgering of our (lack of) romantic pursuits.  To Aunt Betty who thinks we can't "find a man" because we wear "too much make-up," we might tell her that after our last boyfriend dumped us, we are seriously considering devoting ourselves to Jesus and becoming a nun.  To Uncle Tom who thinks we can't "land a husband" because we don't wear enough make-up, we might tell him that our "boyfriend" is up in outerspace on a special NASA mission.  Indefinitely.

On the other hand, Thanksgiving can be quite the bittersweet holiday.  Once Black Friday rolls around, it will be a rough three months braving the triumverate of holidays that single girls loathe - Christmas (mistletoe envy), New Year's Eve (midnight kiss anxiety), and the dreaded Valentine's Day (aka Single Awareness Day).  Not until St. Patrick's Day (a single girl's favorite drinking holiday), can we go about our merry (and unmarried) single way.
So single girls, between mouthfuls of your first slice of pie, think about the one thing we are most thankful for (aside from elastic waistbands) - our autonomy. 
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

#21 Business Cards

There are many conduits of exchanging phone numbers with a single girl.  Old school methods include cocktail napkins or the back of a receipt.  Commonly done today, we simply place personal information into each others' cell phones. 

Then there are those guys who prefer to hand a girl his business card.  While one of my male friends think this is rather "douchey," if done correctly, I don't mind when a guy discretely hands me his card in lieu of me reciting my number while hovering over him as he punches it into his Blackberry.

Single girls like business cards because these 3.5" x 2" pieces of cardstock harbor a whole lot of information about dudes. 

First, a card has his full name on it - and you know how much we love learning his last name.  Secondly, it includes his work information, and hopefully his occupation or title.  And this helps us grant him a nickname all that much quicker when we talk about him at Sunday brunch with our girlfriends.

Obviously, his phone number and email address are kinda important, too.

Knowing all this information about him immediately saves us a bit of time in front of our computers Google stalking - time that is preferably spent performing eyebrow maintenance on ourselves or examining our pores in front of the bathroom mirror. 

Single girls like efficiency and a business card helps us decide whether we really want to go out with a guy or not.  Depending on what he does or where he works, his card can either be a friend or foe.

You see, a long time ago, when a man handed anyone (not just a woman he wanted to hook up with) his business card, it actually MEANT something.  A business card said, "Hi!  I'm important!  My company spent resources printing out my name on little pieces of paper for me to give to strangers so they can call me at work!  I am a big deal!"

Single girls like big deals.  We like seeing "CEO" or "President" next to a name.  In this case, when a business card is a measure of your success, it can be your friend.

But then something happened that compromised the integrity of a business card.  Technology happened.  All of a sudden you can make your own business cards!  You can create them FOR FREE on the internet.  You can even go to your local Staples or Office Depot and buy those do-it-yourself kits from Avery that you run through your laser jet printers. 

Single girls HATE make-your-own business cards because it's cheating.  All of a sudden, anyone can be a big deal.  If you are NOT a big deal, don't PRETEND you are a big deal. 

Example: I met a dude who gave me his business card at a Halloween party.  I instantly questioned his legitimacy when he handed it to me after unfolding it from his wallet.  It has a picture of himself on it.  And he's not a realtor.  Oh no.  He is an "Actor/Writer/Producer."  Those of us who live in the City of Angels know that actor slash somethings or writer slash somethings are the worst kind - they aren't very good at one thing so they have to "creatively" compensate by becoming actors slash writers slash busboys.  His contact information included a link to his IMDB profile.  With his personal biography.  That saved me some time on Google. 

Another example: I met a dude who gave me his business card at an uber pretentious hotel bar on Sunset Boulevard.  I instantly questioned his legitimacy when I recognized the address of his "production company" as my old apartment address.  Changing "Apt. #202" to "Suite #202" did not fool me!

Essentially, we not only care about the content of a business card, we also examine its quality.  Whether it is embossed, matte, glossy, subtly off-white, or tastefully thick - or oh my god, is that a watermark? - we know when it comes from a professional printer and not the Epson sitting on the desk of a "home office."  Guys, do yourself a favor and don't cockblock yourself with a homemade business card.

Yes, it's true.  Modern society has caused us single girls to evolve into shallow human beings.  (Some of us should have business cards that read "Potential Future Trophy Wife.")  So if your card has you listed as an "administrative assistant," save it for your next networking event and try to win us over with your charming personality instead.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

#20 Elastic Waistbands

While Spanx gives us that illusion of looking like a size two when we are actually a size six, you have probably overheard a single girl complain about the discomforts of wearing such body shaping undergarments for more than three hours.  Especially since we only break out the Spanx for special occasions.  Like when champagne is involved.  And there is nothing that gets a girl bitching and moaning then consuming copious amounts of said champagne and pondering a way to relieve herself while shackled in Spanx.

For that reason, amongst a multitude of others, 21st century single girls would never trade places with our 19th century counterparts.  On a daily basis, we would be expected to whittle our waists down to less than 20" in steel or bone corsets.  While our ribs and internal organs are constantly crushed by such cruel corsetry, our torsos are subject to constant bruising.  We probably wouldn't even last for an hour before being carried away into a Victorian fainting room.

(Just for the record, the only time I'm putting myself in a corset is if it's being immediately removed, if you know what I mean.)

Single girls like - nay, LOVE - our elastic waistband pants, or "fat pants" as we affectionately call them.  Our fat pants are the first things we pull on at home after a long day in 4" heels and high-waisted pencil skirts.  Heck, "a long day" is completely subjective when you're tottering around on your tiptoes in ridiculous shoes and the waistband of your skirt is relentlessly digging into your abdomen. 

One reason why single girls are always hungry is because we can't, don't and won't eat anything when our stomachs are bound in skinny jeans (regardless of the 1% Spandex), strapless dresses, waist-cinching belts, and the like.  A perfect evening involves a night in our fat pants, of course, sitting Indian-style in front of the television catching up on Gossip Girl while stuffing our faces with chips and guacamole. 

For the love of fat pants, single girls can thank Thomas Hancock for the invention of elastic in the early 1800s.  But something unfortunate happened to prevent single girls from wearing our cherished fat pants in public.  The joys and comforts of wearing elastic waistband pants have been compromised.  For alas, elastic waistbands have become synonymous with grandmothers and nursing homes in Florida or overweight midwestern housewives and Walmart.

Three things a single girl never wants to be analogous to are: wrinkles, obesity, and Walmart.  And this negative stigma is the reason why our fat pants (and they are called "fat" pants for a reason) have been banished from the public eye and forced to stay within the confines of our homes and the gym.

Perhaps we can learn to appreciate our fat pants all the more since our time with them has been limited.  Perhaps too much of a good thing is bad for us.  Perhaps there is a blessing in this curse.  After all, did Cinderella meet the man of her dreams in a pair of sweatpants older than her last relationship?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

#19 Nicknames

"So I had dinner with Mark the other night."
"Wait, which Mark?"
"Mark from Texas."
"Wait. Which Mark from Texas?"
"The one who drives the Ferrari."
"I thought Jon drove the Ferrari?"
"No, Jon drives a Benz."
"Wait. Which Jon?"

We've all run into this problem before, some of us more often than most. (Me? Definitely more often than average.) We meet a guy with an annoyingly common name (ie. Brian or David) and when we're telling our girlfriends about said guy during Sunday brunch, they don't know if we're talking about Brian 1.0 or Brian 2.0. This proves to be ingratiatingly confusing, especially after a few glasses of mimosas.

Sure, it's easy to name them David #1 or David #2, but things get a little tricky after you meet a David #3. Equally disturbing is when David #1 re-enters your life years later as David #4. (He claims to be a "changed man," ergo a new David.)

Those repetitively explanatory conversations can easily be avoided with nicknames. We have a vested interest in saving time and energy from differentiating Tim #1 from Tim #2 when there are clearly more important topics to discuss such as "What did Tim #2 REALLY mean when he said 'I will call you later.'"

Thus, single girls like nicknames.

Nicknames are designated using unique details about dudes.  A nickname is easily contrived if he comes from somewhere foreign like Germany, South Africa, or Alabama. Thus, his new moniker is "The German," "The South African," or "The Redneck," respectively.

Single girls also like unusual occupations. Not only does having an unusual occupation make you easier to Google stalk, unusual occupations make classifying him a piece of cake. (Mmmm...cake.) College basketball coach? Magician? Firefighter? Scoreboard technician? Butcher? Baker? (No, seriously, is there cake?) Candlestick maker?

Even better are foreigners with unusual occupations.  Argentinian opthamologist? French venture capitalist? Brazilian bikini designer? (Slightly redundant if he only designs Brazilian bikinis as he would then be a Brazilian Brazilian bikini designer.)

So he's not foreign and he's a "consultant"? Never fret, it might not be as easy, but we'll figure out a way to distinctly christen this newbie - whether it's from his choice of wardrobe, the car he drives, his political or religious views, or the man bag - excuse me, satchel - he's carrying.

But Single Girl 1.0, you say, since you love learning last names so much, why don't you just refer to dudes by their last names so you don't get all your Marks confused?

Frankly, some single girls have faster trigger fingers than others, and may be dating multiple guys one month and then going through a completely different batch the next.  Because of this high turnover, it's not worth the storage space in our pretty heads for us to remember that "Smith" = "Pilot" simply when "Pilot" = "Pilot."  So when we speak of dudes with our girlfriends, referring to him as "Smith" means nothing to them when there is no identifying qualifier. 

Plus, we know dudes like using nicknames just as much as we do. How else would their buddies distinguish ex-girlfriends as "That Crazy Ex #1" from "That Crazy Ex #2"?

Monday, November 9, 2009

#18 Our Crazy Girlfriend

Much like how we feel about Spanx, single girls have a love/hate relationship with our crazy girlfriends.  And much like Spanx, crazy girlfriends are oftentimes difficult to remove.

You know who she is.  She's the one we call when we're looking for more than just the usual humdrum Friday night sitting at a lounge bar sipping on martinis and trolling for dudes.  Sure, everyone knows where all the after parties are, but our crazy girlfriend knows where the AFTER after parties are.  Maybe we've spent all our cash at the strip club and ran out of money for a taxi.  Our erratic girlfriend has a way of finagling a ride home from some random guys.  So what if they're operating a truck from the Department of Water and Power? 

Clearly, our mentally unbalanced girlfriends keep our lives interesting and entertaining.  Most of our favorite stories come from nights spent with said girlfriends.  When we go out with a crazy girlfriend, we're following Alice down the rabbit hole.  Inarguably, a night of excitement and adventure awaits.

As awesome as our crazy girlfriend is, there are jawdropping moments when we realize how much of a double-edged sword she is.  For she is also the one who makes out with all of our male friends, the one who starts a fight with girls in the bathroom, the one who throws a temper tantrum while you're dragging her out of a bar, the one who calls you at 4am sobbing about her ex-boyfriend, and the one who has no recollection that any of this ever happened due to blackouts brought on by excessive drinking.

In short, this crazy girlfriend is a BIG MESS.  Our other girlfriends may be confused as to why we maintain a friendship with someone so sanity-challenged.  And really, isn't there enough drama in our own sad single lives?  Do we really need to inherit more craziness by association?

One word single girls like to use: standards.

You know those girls who keep less attractive. dumpy friends around them so they look infinitely more pretty, polished, and skinny?  When you're at the grocery store standing in front of the bread aisle (mmm, single girls like carbs), do you reach for the hot dog buns in pristine condition or do you think, "Hmm...look at these other poor hot dog buns that look like they've been stomped on and damaged.  I think I will take these home"?

Single girls like standards because our crazy girlfriend becomes a basis of comparison for our own sanity.

I was once friends with a girl who blew off an entire trust fund to pursue her dream of becoming an actress.  Ten years later, she is now one of those "accountants" you find on Craigslist.  Even more ironically, she once declared bankruptcy several years ago and had to buy a fake social security number and driver's license to lease an apartment. She says she wasted a decade of her life trying to become something she is not.  So she is now an aspiring singer.  She likes to drive her car smoking a cigarette with one hand and drinking a beer with the other.  She has no car insurance and doesn't like to wear seatbelts.  She is turning 31 soon and goes through several mid-life crises per week.

And here I thought I had issues?  Next to my psychotic girlfriend, I am the antithesis of crazy!

I understand that after all the crap that single girls have been through, we all need some form of professional therapy, especially since I've heard that love makes some people crazy.  Why are broken hearts not covered by health insurance?  Is Obama working on this? 

Those of us who can't afford therapy or do not have friends with psychology degrees may try a support group.  And then there are those of us who keep a deranged friend around to remind ourselves of our own mental stability. 

Keep in mind though: just because you are the sane one next to your crazy girlfriend doesn't mean you're not someone else's damaged hot dog buns.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

#17 Breakfast at Tiffany's

Note: This is in reference to the 1961 film starring Audrey Hepburn and directed by Blake Edwards, not the novella by Truman Capote on which the film was based nor the catchy 1996 song by Deep Blue Something.

Enter the dwelling of any single girl and you will most likely find a DVD of Breakfast at Tiffany's and/or a framed black and white poster of a scene from said film.

So what is it about Breakfast at Tiffany's that causes us single girls to idolize it so much that we have things hanging on our walls to honor it?  I will admit the plot of the film is rather silly and ridiculous at times, but the life of a single girl can BE rather silly and ridiculous more often than not.

Single girls love Breakfast at Tiffany's because Audrey Hepburn's role as Holly Golightly is a single girl's icon.  (And not just because of the Givenchy wardrobe.)

In a lot of ways, Holly is just like us: naturally flirtatious, commitment phobic, charmingly quirky, unabashedly shallow, and secretly vulnerable.  She throws random parties, dates guys for money, and sleeps with her neighbor.  She is leaving the dream!  And of course, she is "CRAZY about Tiffany's!"  Aren't we all?  She probably eats over the sink, too.

Who can forget the first scene in the film as Holly alights from a taxi in New York and nibbles on a croissant in front of Tiffany & Co. on Fifth Avenue?  It is early morning but she is decked in a long gown (Givenchy, of course), elbow length gloves, giant pearls and a mini-tiara.  Her hair is immaculate.  Yes, she has sunglasses on, but wouldn't you?  I dare any other girl to look this amazing OWNING the walk of shame as Holly does.  Nobody can do it quite like Holly Golightly.

Like us, Holly isn't perfect.  She certainly has issues - she was once married to an older man, has been arrested, and is somewhat of a kleptomaniac.  Despite her flaws, she is still so captivating, her hunky neighbor chases her through the rain to profess his love AND helps find her cat in an alley to boot. 

Us single girls can only hope that we are alluring enough to be chased through the rain by a man worthy of our affection.  It gives us another reason to wear that trenchcoat.

Monday, November 2, 2009

#16 Dinner Invitations

So boys, you've read The Game and you've got "negging" down to a science, but you're not-so secretly tired of wearing that stupid bright orange shirt around town to "peacock" your way into a "set"?  What other impressive methods can you employ to eventually get into our panties? 

This may sound simple and completely obvious, but single girls like when guys invite us out to dinner. 

The key word here is "dinner."  A dinner invitation means 1) he is feeding us (single girls are always hungry), 2) he is paying (he did invite us, so we are his guest) and 3) it is a real date and not a pseudo-date. 

Pseudo dates are bullshit.  What is a pseudo date?  Examples:
  • Beers and "the big game" at a local sports bar
  • "Wine and movie night" at his house at 11pm
  • Barbeque hosted by his fraternity brothers
  • Cocktails after work but before he has dinner (without us)
  • Cocktails after he already had dinner (without us)
  • Anywhere his ex-girlfriend could potentially show up
  • Anything that involves meeting at his home immediately after a 2am phone call
Nothing frustrates a single girl more in the early stages of a courtship than half-assed attempts at impressing us.  We like real dates because a dude chauffeurs us around town, buys us dinner, and essentially treats us like the fairy princesses we aspired to be when we were five years old.  Inviting us out to dinner is a real date.

You argue that single girls are ALWAYS going on dinner dates and this mating ritual has become antiquated and cliched.  This may be true, but dinner dates allow us to properly assess you without any form of outside interference.  We want him to impress our pants (or skirts or shorts or dresses) off.  Literally. 

How are his manners?  Does he pull out our chair?  Does he stand when we leave the table?  Is he as funny in person as he is in emails and text messages?  Did he compliment our outfit?  Is he bright enough to keep up with our opinions on both American Idol and the election in Afghanistan?

Think of a dinner date like a job interview.  If he wants to nail the "job," then he needs to show us he's well qualified and a strong candidate.  And ask us good follow-up questions.

The other crucial aspect of inviting us out to dinner is how he asks us.  We like conspicuous requests.  You are one step closer to getting laid if he says these magic words: Would you like to have dinner with me?

Seriously, guys.  What is SO hard about saying that?  Why has Would you like to have dinner with me? become an endangered species in your dating vernacular?  Instead, you use verbally retarded and lame ambiguous expressions like: "We should hang out." 


I have seen dinner invitations in different forms.  Although we prefer phone calls, it could be as easy as a three-word text message: You.  Me.  Dinner?  It could be cute: Will you be hungry on Thursday night at 8pm?  It could be a hybrid of conventional and modern: a handwritten note on your personal stationary Fed Ex'd to our doorstep.  (That one was a little extreme but done by a Frenchman.  They always up the ante when it comes to romance, don't they?)

We know it's hard putting yourself out there all the time and risk getting rejected.  We know you have fragile egos.  But if you want us coming anywhere near your balls, you've gotta show us that you actually have some cojones.