Wednesday, December 16, 2009

#25 His (Not So) Secret Talents

Nobody knows exactly what this "x-factor" is that caused girls to scream and faint when they saw Elvis Presley gyrating his hips or throw their panties on stage at Michael Jackson.  I obviously don't get it, as I have never felt compelled to drop dead at the sight of Brad Pitt or sling my unmentionables at Justin Timberlake.  (Regarding the latter, they were a rather expensive pair of undies.  Sexy back, indeed.)

This je ne sais quoi transcends into what some single girls and single guys look for when they're dating.  I know certain girls who only date guys in bands while some dudes I know only date girls who look like supermodels.  Fortunately for them, we live in Los Angeles where struggling musicians and aspiring models are a dime a dozen.

For the rest of us not pursuing rock stars or models or rock stars/models, we know things can be just as thrilling when we're dating medical malpractice lawyers or corporate accoutants.

Or not.

Okay, who am I kidding?  I imagine there are very few things more exciting than dating a rock star.  (I wouldn't know, I've only dated a trumpet player who is obviously NOT a rock star.)  I mean, look at Courtney Love.  She dated and eventually married Kurt Cobain and their life together (and even not together) was anything but a snoozefest.

Single girls like to fantasize about dating rock stars and this is why we like (not so) secret talents. 

What qualifies as a secret talent?  The operative word here is "secret."  It's not so much as classified information if everyone on your Facebook page receives a status update broadcasting your latest victory at a karaoke contest.

An example:

I once dated a guy who started a business in college that eventually folded before he graduated.  The local newspaper wrote a story about this lesson in trial and error.  It essentially served as a huge "job wanted" ad for him, and he was soon hired as one of Bank of America's youngest associates in the private banking arena.

I found this to be quite the accomplishment, but what I really found remarkable about him is the fact that he was a champion go-kart racer as a teenager.  When presented with the opportunity to pursue this skill professionally, he chose to attend college instead.  Seriously?

Another example:

I was over at this other guy's house one night.  His place is immaculate, but not creepy immaculate like American Psycho.  You know how they photograph homes for interior design magazines and there is always that room with a book tossed haphazardly on the couch, but you know they put it there on purpose and it probably took them ten minutes to figure out how to make it look like they DIDN'T put it there on purpose?  Anyway, so this guy had a guitar placed just so on a chair by the window.

Assuming he knew HOW to play the guitar (I mean, what kind of dudes leave a guitar hanging around if they don't know how to play?  Oh right, douchey poseurs.), I asked him what he could play.  He then proceeded to serenade me.  Swoon worthy?  Yes.

A not-so secret talent doesn't neccessarily mean he has to play an instrument or drive go-karts very fast.  It's a skill that he is humble about sharing, but he knows his aptitude is better than the average bear.  He's showing us that he's not just some other beer-drinking, sports-watching, video-game playing dude.  We're catching a glimpse about him that some of his friends might not even know, and this makes us feel trusted and a bit privileged.

Maybe he's not the next Justin Timberlake, but we might still end up tossing our undergarments at him.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

#24 Holiday Shopping Hours

As most of you know, one pastime that single girls are especially fond of is shopping.  Not only does it have physical benefits as a form of cardiovascular activity, mental benefits include sanity preservation.  (Hence, "retail therapy.")

In fact, shopping is something we revere so much, a shopping binge at our favorite department store could be considered a religious experience for some of us.  Mental sanctuary or consumer temple?  Call it what you will, but shopping only gets better when stores and malls extend their retail hours.

Well, DUH, Single Girl 1.0, you're probably thinking. Of COURSE, girls love having extra hours to SHOP. It's like giving dudes extra points when their fantasy football QB throws for over 100 yards.

Well, not exactly.

You see, when single girls have a bad day at work or an argument with our mothers, we don't need a hug.  We need to shop.  What better way to distract ourselves from the injustices of life by lusting after the spring 2010 handbags at Gucci, followed by a corn dog at the mall food court?  Sounds perfect, right?  Not when there are throngs of holidays shoppers in our way. 

What happens after Thanksgiving is that department stores and malls turn into huge family clusterfucks. Apparently around the holidays, a family that spends together, stays together. So as much as single girls wish to partake in the yuletide cheer with the fake snow and Christmas lights, it's hard to get in the mood when our poor ankles and designer heels are constantly being nipped at by stupid baby strollers.

What was once a reliable refuge for us, our local shopping meccas become rife with plebians around the holidays. As much as we want to avoid the masses of people and families (and strollers!!), especially on Christmas Eve (oh dear God, that was the worst retail experience of my life - I am never again helping my brother shop for his girlfriend the day before Christmas), what can ever really stop us from setting foot into a mall? 

Thank goodness for the super genius consumer analyst (most likely a single girl) who was sensitive enough to answer our retail needs by proposing extended shopping hours around the holidays.

Did you know that at this time of year, some malls open as early as 8am and close as late as 10pm?  While non-single girls are rushing home at 8pm to tend to their husbands/boyfriends/children, single girls rejoice in those extra two hours we have to ourselves in our shopping havens.  Oh, holy night!  Peace and sanctity is restored, and all is well with the world.

Ironically, single girls don't enjoy holiday shopping hours because we're holiday shopping.  Oh no, we had all THAT figured out by Labor Day.  (What do you think we've been doing at malls and stores for the past forty weekends?)  We can't rely on men (not even Santa) to buy us what we want, we gotta rely on ourselves.  And seriously, with all those Christmas parties we're invited to, how can we possibly wear the same cocktail dresses in our closets when we've already been photographed in them so many times and subsequently tagged in dozens of Facebook pictures for the whole world to see?

Nay, at 9pm while all you poor schmucks are running around willy nilly trying to figure out what to buy for Aunt Edna, we're in a dressing room trying on a little black dress that may impress that guy Brett in accounting.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

#23 Epic Drinking Tales

One of the primary reasons why our non-single counterparts keep us around is to live vicariously through our infinite dating chronicles.  We all know what happens when a girlfriend becomes coupled, and she is no longer a "me" but a "we."  (I know, ugh.)  The level of mischief, mayhem, scandal, and debauchery in her life is severely compromised. 

And because of that, non-single girls like a reiteration of an epic drinking tale just as much as we like telling it to them.

An epic drinking tale is just that - epic.  Much like the Odyssey, our epic stories include key elements: endless nights, a melange of monsters, men who turn into swine, douchey suitors, questionable deeds, and an incredible voyage returning to sobriety.  (For Odysseus, he returned to his marriage, which some may consider a buzz kill.)  Of course, costume changes and some nudity may be involved.  (But hopefully unlike Odysseus showing up naked and disoriented on the shores of that island, Scherie.  Dude, how embarassing.)

Every narration normally begins with "So the night started off innocently enough..."  As the tale unfolds, the level of hijinks and hilarity escalates, usually proportionate to the number of alcohol units consumed.  I am in every way condoning binge drinking.  After all, epic drinking narrations involve the actual act of ingesting alcoholic beverages.  And really, have you ever had a dull evening when tequila shots were involved?  Exactly.

(Note: What I do NOT condone is vomiting, belligerence, or any other asshat behavior resulting from marathon drinking.  That, my friends, is completely bush league and single girls HATE anything bush league.)

An epic drinking tale that recently occured:

"My night started off innocently enough at a sports bar in San Francisco with my buddy D, watching a football game between my alma mater and our cross-town rivals.  There, we watched miserably as my team got its ass spanked by a melange of monsters.

"We were joined by a seemingly mild-mannered acquaintance who told of his experiences working as a television personality news reporter.  Our eyebrows arched at the thought of him as a "local celebrity" being chased around a grocery store by swooning girls and having his bill comped at restaurants several times a week.  (Man turning into swine?  Check, please.)

"After the game, I promptly replaced the t-shirt bearing the name of my alma mater, aka the LOSING team, (costume change!) before heading over to a gay bar where D's 22-year old cousin, T, was bartending.  T was gracious enough to supply us with several drinks (on the house, of course), introduced us to his roommate (a Mr. San Francisco Leather), spread salacious gossip about his bar patrons, and told us about his epic drinking night.

"The three of us then proceeded to a crowded dive bar in the Mission, which could be redundant since watering holes in the Mission are generally grungy gross shit holes divey, but then "too cool for school" douchey establishments like Medjool opened.  (God, I hate that place.)  Anyway, this particular dive bar was akin to a sauna due to San Franciscans never turning off their heaters no matter how warm it already is or how many bodies are crammed into one room. 

"Further digressing, as most of you know, the Mission in San Francisco is like the Silver Lake/Echo Park of Los Angeles, except with ugly people.  I rather enjoy being the prettiest person in a room, but once the dude next to me started scratching his dreadlocked head, bringing back memories of how itchy my scalp was when I had lice in fourth grade, we high-tailed it out of there.

"T thought it necessary to expose me to attractive people next so he took us to a club in the Castro.  He paid an $8 cover for each of us to walk in, use the restroom, and leave.  Well, that wasn't exactly his intention, but with all the talk about his previous night's events, T had a hankering for narcotics and had arranged with his dealer to meet him somewhere else.  Immediately.  (Yes, $24 might have been the most I have ever spent to take a piss.)

"On our way to this "somewhere else," I thought it necessary for another costume change.  Much to the delight of my companions, I stripped down to my undies in the middle of the street and pulled on a cocktail dress.  (Public nudity, just like Odysseus!  Well, sorta.)" 

Okay, so now at this point of my story, you're probably thinking: Sweet baby Jesus, what TIME is it ?!  Remember, an epic drinking tale involves an endless night.  But to answer your question, I believe it was well after midnight.

"While T was off buying drugs doing a questionable deed, D and I shuffled into another bar for additional libations where I received a text message requesting my presence at yet another bar not too far from where this night all began.  Leaving T for the evening, we raced to our last stop for the night before last call.

"And of course, no epic drinking tale can conclude without running into a former douchey suitor, which is exactly what happened.  Apparently, I was dating the only single dude in San Francisco.

"A shot of whiskey and a cocktail later, we began our incredible voyage home to sobriety."

As I end this account, most often I catch my non-single girlfriend gazing wistfully away, thinking about the glory days when she was once single. (She probably can't eat over the sink anymore or sit in front of the TV in fat pants indulging on a package of Oreos while watching Gossip Girl.  I may actually do that after I finish this post...)

We delight in telling such tales because sometimes we can't believe why we don't have our own reality shows like LC or Whitney or those guidos.  The shenanigans we find ourselves in aren't even friggin' scripted (we unwittingly run into ex-boyfriends while we're out on dates all the time!) but you don't see us making $20,000 an episode!  Kristin, Heidi, Audrina and those other Hills girls have nothing on us.  Well, except maybe boob jobs.

A single girl's worst critic is herself but a single girl's biggest fan is also herself.  There is nobody who loves ourselves more than ourselves.  It's true what they say about us: we are narcissists.  (Why do you think we spend so much time in the bathroom?) 

A narcissist will not let mortality get in the way of her infamy.  These epic drinking tales are often fantastical: absurd and astonishing, but also so incredible and far-fetched, we couldn't possibly make this shit up!  Indeed, legends are, and have been, made from such recitations.