Friday, August 20, 2010

#62 A Good "How We Met" Story

This week, I had the privilege of guest blogging for single dude, LA Idiot.  Read about my thoughts on internet dating and why single girls like a good "how we met" story here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

#6O.N.E. Coconut Water

**Sponsored post**

Most people are appalled with my habit of adopting the "elf diet:" Hostess cupcakes for breakfast, peanut M&Ms for lunch and Pop-tarts for dinner.  When I had my over-priced membership to an "athletic club," I devoted more time thinking of reasons NOT to go to the gym than I actually spent AT the gym. 

Granted, every single girl has different prerogatives.  Mine happen to include expensive Italian shoes, and not necessarily my physical well-being.  My poor health sometimes doesn't even make it on my list of priorities let alone, and well, left alone at the bottom of one. 

Certainly, single girls like to count calories, but with a penchant for fake cooking, take-out meals, eating over the sink or having chips and guacamole for dinner, we tend to overlook the fact that our only serving of fruit for the week was a measly piece of lychee in our martini.

After suffering through the hangover of the century two months ago, I decided to be more concerned about my entire body and not just my liver, which explains my latest obsession with O.N.E. Coconut Water.

According to our friends at O.N.E., coconut water is an "all-natural hangover elixir."  Not only is drinking 11-ounces of coconut water comparable to drinking an entire LITER of water for hydration purposes, coconut water controls vomiting and replaces lost electrolytes from vomiting.  (This is super helpful when even the thought of tequila makes you queasy.)

Reasons why single girls like O.N.E. Coconut Water:

- O.N.E. Coconut Water is a low calorie, NON-FAT beverage.  (You know how single girls feel about calorie counting.  And fat.)

- O.N.E. Coconut Water relieves urinary problems, kills intestinal worms and breaks up kidney stones.  (Who needs a Master Cleanse when you have coconut water?)

- O.N.E. Coconut Water is a natural alternative to Viagra.  (Um, score!  Pun intended.)

- O.N.E. Coconut Water may help encourage smoother and clearer skin.  (Age spots, acne and wrinkles, good bye!)

- O.N.E. Coconut Water has more potassium than a banana.  (Perfect because I never really cared for bananas, and potassium is great for your heart.)

- O.N.E. Coconut Water contains A LOT of vitamins.  (Natural energy booster, anyone?)

- O.N.E. Coconut Water is an all-natural isotonic beverage and contains a bunch of electrolytes.  (Translation: it increases metabolism.  Actual translation: it helps with [relationship] weight loss.)

- O.N.E. Coconut Water comes in a cute, eco-friendly container that fits nicely in the cup holder in my car. (Great for those mornings when you're hungover and dragging ass.)

With so many benefits of drinking O.N.E. Coconut Water, who knew it would be this easy to adopt a healthier lifestyle - and in a cardboard box to boot?  This single girl is officially a convert, but she's not giving up her cupcakes or Pop-tarts anytime soon.

Friday, August 6, 2010

#60 Girls' Night In

So it's Friday night.  Our girlfriends are rallying.  If it's a "who, what, wear" kinda night, maybe it'll be sushi and sake followed by drinks at the new hotel bar.  Or tapas and sangria, and then drinks at the other new hotel bar.

However, it's also the end of an arduous work week spent in high-waisted pencil skirts or slacks and pointy-toed office pumps.  The last thing we want to do is apply glue and false lashes to our eyelids, put on special underwear, squeeze into a cocktail dress and tiptoe around town in 5" YSL platform sandals.

Certainly by now, most single girls understand both the merits and disadvantages of a girls' night out (or GNO). On the positive side, many of our epic drinking tales are a result of the shenanigans, mischief and mayhem derived from a girls' night out. And what single girl doesn't enjoy a good chortle retelling such stories?

If the intent and mission of a GNO is to "meet guys," some single girls neglect to realize the size of their party is indirectly proportional to the level of success in meeting said guys.  With these expectations, failure to meet a definite caliber of male on a night out could lead to some, if not total, disappointment.

For example, when a large group of girls heading out to a bar together collide with a comparable group of dudes, one would hope this to be an opportune turn of events - until it resembles a junior high school dance in the cafeteria with boys on one side of the room sneaking fidgety glances at girls on the other side of the room.

Ladies, it's a simple formula of proportion and mathematics: we all know it's easier for two guys to approach two girls, not two guys to eight girls (much to everyone's chagrin).  Unfortunately, a girls' night out can become a complete clam jam session when too many women are involved.

Albeit, there are those nights where we abandon "Operation: Man Hunt" because we're not in the right mood to potentially meet the man of our dreams at a bar.  Maybe we're feeling bloated, maybe our favorite dress is at the dry cleaner's, or maybe we're just totally over "girls' night out."  (Gasp!  How could this be?)

These are the nights we step out of the house in leggings and tastefully oversized t-shirts with our favorite accessory (a bottle of wine) and head over to a girlfriend's house.  If she's the Martha Stewart of the group, she will have a lasagna, casserole or something equally starchy baking in the oven.  Otherwise, it's most likely she fake cooked or ordered take-out from somewhere calorically fantastic.

It's no wonder why single girls like "girls' night in."  Benefits include opening that fifth bottle of wine (when there are only four of us) AND indulging on a third piece of lasagna with nobody (really) judging us.  (And the fact that we showed up in elastic waistbands is no coincidence.)

The ability to converse on certain topics in the privacy and safety of someone's home is quite liberating (especially after that fifth glass of wine).  We can talk about birth control (because abstinence is not an option), Brazilians (not the people), penises (yes, we compare notes), blow jobs (yes, we share techniques) and battery-operated "boyfriends." 

We can exchange bad date stories, deliberate about the guys we're seeing or gossip about former sorority sisters without worrying about a bartender, waiter, busboy or stranger overhearing our blunt, and often bawdy, exchange.  Unfortunately, when a specific person is being discussed in public, there is always a chance that someone within earshot is acquainted with the subject, specifically in a small town such as Los Angeles.

Another advantage of girls' night in?  We can have our cake, and eat two.  Carpe noctem!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

#59 The Hills

Oh my god, you guys, are you just as upset as I am that The Hills is, like, absolutely dunzo?  I mean, I would totally be wearing all black in mourning but it's, like, 100 degrees outside.  (Duuuh.) 

Okay, so some of you are, like, probably thinking: Are you for real, Single Girl 1.0?  The Hills, REALLY?  You're college educated (so?), and aren't you a little too old to be watching that stuff?  First of all, shut your face.  Secondly, just because I'm old enough to remember when MTV used to, like, actually show music videos, it doesn't mean I'm "too old."  Whateveeeer...

You see, guys, The Hills is kind of a big deal.  It's, like, a cultural phenomenom recognized by legitimate publications such as Rolling Stone and important people like the President of the United States.  I KNOW!  Obama watches The Hills!  HUGE, right?  I wonder if he hosted viewing parties in the White House like I did?  (Hey, senators, take a drink everytime Lauren rolls her eyes!  Or have a shot when the cast arrives at an SBE-owned nightclub or restaurant!)

The reason why single girls like The Hills is because the producers created something that we can actually RELATE to.  I mean, that show about pregnant 15 year olds is, like, totally gross and crazy, and My Super Sweet 16 is just ridiculously tacky (and makes us jealous that our dads aren't billionaire record producers, those lucky bitches).

The Hills is essentially OUR lives, reenacted by thin, young, surgery-enhanced blonde chicks.  (And the token brunette.  What's up, Audrina!)  All of the drama we've sustained with frienemies, boyfriends, girlfriends, girlfriends' boyfriends, etc, is, like, ALL there - in neatly packaged, 30-minute episodes.  It's like the producers read our diaries or weblogs.  Or something...

The Hills is basically a disclosure of what we single girls truly are: emotional masochists with a penchant for unneccessary theatrics, douchebags and expensive designer shoes.  Seriously, think about it.

Remember that episode when Justin Bobby told Audrina he would go to a party with her, then said he couldn't go to the party and she was, like, understandably, a little upset so he "surprised" her and showed up with his completely inappropriate combat boots ON THE BEACH?  And then they got into a fight and he ended up leaving ANYWAY and then disappeared on her for DAYS.  Oh.  My.  God.  So frustrating!  That, like, totally reminded me of a "Justin Bobby" I used to date.

And let's not forget the "Brody Jenners" of our dating repertoire.  You know, that guy who is a total player and gets away with hooking up with our girlfriend after he breaks up with us because he is "Brody Jenner."  And because he is "Brody Jenner," we remain friends while not-so-secretly pining after him.  Meanwhile, he is, like, dating Playboy models and ex-wives of punk rock musicians, and all we can do is sit next to him in a booth at a club giving him the stink-eye over the rim of our martini glass while he checks messages on his Blackberry.  (I know!  Why does it always have to be so complicated?)

In true single girl style, every piece of dialogue spoken on The Hills was, like, incredibly intense, not to mention poignant.  And reflective of our own lives, not everything said was as articulate as it could have been.  Example: "He's a sucky person!  I hate Spencer, I will never like Spencer!"  Wow, LC, that was, like, really sucky. 

But then she would redeem herself with gems such as: "The only thing left to do is forgive and forget.  I want to forgive you and I want to forget you."  Oh, snap!  So harsh, but totally something I'd want to say to a girlfriend who was getting married to a guy who spread nasty rumors about me that were published, like, in Us Weekly.  Yeah, I KNOW.

Even Audrina - sweet, sorta cross-eyed Audrina with the perpetually vacant stare - once told Justin Bobby: "You're gonna be incapable of loving someone.  You're gonna grow up and be a lonely, old man.  I hope you do fall in love someday 'cause then maybe you'll actually feel something."  You tell 'im, Audrina!  Although I wonder how many times she had to practice that speech... 

You know how sometimes you, like, find yourself in a situation where you just pause for a moment and think: "Huh.  This is my life."  Like that time when Whitney got to model an Oscar dress on television on television?  (Not being redundant, she was being filmed being filmed on a TV show for a TV show.)  Remember how she tripped walking down the stairs?  During a LIVE BROADCAST?  Oh my GOD, that would totally be, like, something I would do.  I felt for her during that episode, I really did.

Or that time when Lauren ruined the Givenchy dress she borrowed for the Crillon Ball in Paris and had to hustle back to the store for a new one?  I, like, TOTALLY felt for her in that episode.  No, really, I did.

So now that the series is over, what's next for the stars?  More nose jobs or butt implants?  Most importantly, what's next for us

Well, as they say, "the rest is still unwritten..."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

#58 Fake Cooking

Do you remember that scene in Mrs. Doubtfire where Robin Williams (as Mrs. Doubtfire) attempted to make dinner for the kids before his ex-wife came home but ended up catching his "boobs" on fire?  Rather than salvage the botched meal, he ordered take-out from somewhere fancy, plated it and pretended like he made it himself. (Note to self: candlesticks at the dining table add to the integrity of the meal.)  I didn't know it at that time when I was watching this epic film, but what Mrs. Doubtfire did was purely standard for any single "girl."  (Also, Pierce Brosnan makes a hot stepdad.)

Single girls don't necessarily enjoy cooking and it's NOT because we don't know how to cook.  On the contrary, following a recipe is not exactly rocket science and we do know our teaspoons (tsp) from our tablespoons (tbsp).  It's just very difficult to cook for ONE PERSON without running the risk of overeating extra portions or having to purchase an entire container of nutmeg (when we really just need a pinch) that we would probably never use again.

Also, do you know how TIME CONSUMING cooking is?  I don't know how they do it on Top Chef, but I cannot dice vegetables that fast.  I'm convinced it's not human.  Also, boiling water or waiting for the oven to preheat takes, like, FOREVER.

What single girls do like is take-out.  Chinese, Thai, Lebanese, Mexican, pizza - there are SO many options!  And single girls like options!  Not only that, it's convenient, fast and reliably tasty.  Home cooking?  NOT so reliably tasty.  In fact, the outcome of cooking from scratch is often a surprise for us.  A bad one.  

So what happens when a single girl gets to that point past the mythical third date and we actually offer to cook for someone?  Statistically speaking, girls who prepare a home-cooked meal for guys have a 99% chance of getting laid.  Squeal, no?

There is a slight dilemma.  How does a girl with nary a culinary background (because heating Bagel Bites in a toaster oven does not count) create a meal satisfying enough for a guy to take his pants off in the bedroom and not racing to take his pants off in the bathroom?  And how do we create this meal with the limited time we have when our real priorities include making both ourselves and our living space presentable for our guest? 

Two solutions:

1) Fake cooking à la Mrs. Doubtfire.
Single girls quite familiar with the best delivery services in our neighborhoods can make a quick call (the number is already pre-programmed in our phones, of course), and rendez-vous with the delivery person at our front door.  (One perk of waiting for our meals to show up: we can use that extra time for eyebrow maintenance.)

If the meal is suspiciously TOO authentic to be plated once removed from their take-out containers (ie bouillabaisse from that French bistro), I would suggest heading to the deli section of one of those yuppie markets like Whole Paycheck Foods, Bristol Farms or Gelson's for their selection of pre-made meal options.  Or try places like Little Next Door or Joan's on Third if you live in Los Anjealous.

Another impressive trick is to place the take-out contents in a warming skillet on the actual STOVE before plating it.  Note: any and all evidence of the true origin of the meal should be destroyed, hidden or removed from the premises.  

2) Pseudo-cooking à la Mom.
I grew up on a healthy diet of hormones, additives and preservatives.  Some evenings, Mom would make heavily protein-based dinners that included pork chops, steaks or ribs.  Then there were days when Mom had a "headache," so dinner would consist of a casserole (made from pasta and Campbell's cream of mushroom), Hamburger Helper or Stouffer's chicken pot pie.

This single girl grew up learning the advantages of pseudo-cooking, aka taking "short-cuts" in the kitchen.  So when I offered to make dinner for a boy I've been seeing, I dashed to my local Trader Joe's immediately after work, and grabbed a bag of their frozen mushroom risotto and two chicken breasts.

While the frozen risotto was thawing on my kitchen counter, I took a quick shower. While the chicken was cooking on a skillet, I vacuumed the living room.  By the time the boy showed up, my apartment and I were immaculately clean, buffed and polished with a "home cooked" chicken and mushroom risotto waiting for us on the stove top.  

And yes, I got laid that night.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

#57 Advisory Committees

Much to our chagrin, single girls are admittedly insecure at times and, more so often than not, seek validation from our peers.  We have been plagued with making bad decisions concerning guys in the past - putting up with terrible boyfriends or letting go of the good ones. Hence, why we are single.

Doesn't it feel like dating has turned into a "Choose Your Own Adventure" novel for us?  What decisions should we make to end up with the man of our dreams and not sinking in a pit of quicksand?  (My fate always concluded in the dreaded quicksand, hanging over an alligator-infested swamp or worse, marooned in a bar that has run out of alcohol.  That last one was obviously a lie.)

Because having just one confidante and one point of view is never enough, most single girls have compiled an advisory committee of our most trusted friends.  This esteemed group may include: the monogamous girlfriend, the old boyfriend, the jaded single girlfriend, the optimistic single girlfriend and the perpetually single dude friend.

Much like the Supreme Court, the importance of having a panel with such diversity is to enable us to examine a situation carefully with varying opinions and perspectives, and help us make the best comprehensive decision on how to handle such situation.  A situation can range anywhere from completely inane (ie "What does he MEAN when he said 'I'll call you later?'") to serious (ie "Is it time for The Talk?").

The best thing about having an advisory committee is that we not only act as its president, but as its sole ruler and queen.  There is no majority vote, and we have ultimate veto power over the final decision.  So why bother with such a jury?  (I personally have always wondered about this with the actual judicial process.)

Single girls like advisory committees for three reasons:

1) We LOVE over-analyzing EVERYTHING - it's just something we DO, we can't help it.  (He's just not THAT into me?  Or IS he?  Then what DOES he mean by "I'll call you later?")  An advisory committee allows us to over-think, over-examine and really scrutinize the hell out of any scenario that has our metaphorical panties up in a twist.  Making a certain circumstance even more complicated than it should be is our specialty.

2) We LOVE talking about ourselves.  ALL THE TIME.  There are few things more validating for us narcissistic attention-whores than having a group of five to six consultants discussing and focusing entirely on us and our (sad) state of affairs.

3) When our advisory committee steers us astray with an unsavory resolution (aka the wrong decision), we have someone else to blame for the resulting fiasco other than ourselves.  And you know how much single girls HATE being wrong. Unfortunately, even the Supreme Court makes mistakes.

Now if you'll excuse me, I just got into a "fight" with a guy this weekend, and the members of my council are waiting for me to present my case.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

#56 World Cup

First, it was March Madness.  Then, it was the NBA Finals.  And just before we single girls thought boys could stop focusing on basketball and start thinking about their own balls again, Americans got swept up with the World Cup.  Bars are opening at 6am so "fans" can watch the games live from South Africa before they head into the office.  Now it seems like the only way a girl can score a date in this town is by throwing herself at a guy in a sports bar between a commercial break and his 8am conference call.

Soccer not being much of an American sport (in fact, they don't even call it "soccer" anywhere else), this single girl actually could care less about a 90-minute ticking, yellow-card wielding, vuvuzuela blowing, penalty kicking game.  But then I started paying attention to what all the vuvu-hoopla was about.

Soccer, futbol, whatever you call it, suddenly I understood this phenomenon of "World Cup fever."  And who wouldn't?  Especially when it looks something like this:

Or this:

Holy chiseled, manscaped bodies, Batman!

Now really, WTF IS GOING ON???  What are they doing?!  Are they just taking their clothes off???  On the FIELD?  Is this LEGAL??  (It better be.)  

Most importantly, how is soccer not a bigger deal in America?

Obviously swimmers, water polo players and beach volleyball players are already partially naked as "skin" is their uniform.  But why are athletes who play baseball, basketball and American football not getting naked on the court or on the field?   In fact, basketball shorts have actually LENGTHENED over the years.  Have Americans made no progress since our Puritanical ancestors dropped anchor?

Sure, I could spout statistics of various players, their positions and the number of goals they have scored.  But all this talk of scoring and positions only allows me to focus on just one hard member - I mean - number.  No really, I meant NUMBER!

The number SIX!  For six-pack, that is:

The awesome thing is, it doesn't matter whether they just scored the winning goal or lost a big match - these guys LOVE getting naked.

Yoann Gourcuff, Cristiano Ronaldo, Fabio Cannavaro, Marco Borriello, Diego Lugano?  See also: dios mio, mon dieu, meu deus, mio dio.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

#55 MacGyverisms

Singles girls had different motivating factors for watching "MacGyver" as we were growing up.  Perhaps we enjoyed seeing a young Teri Hatcher star as the plucky Penny Parker.  Perhaps (and most likely) we had a crush on Richard Dean Anderson, mullet and all, as the title role.  (He's the only mullet exception we'll allow just as Tom Selleck is our only mustache exception.)

Whatever it was, one thing is for certain: single girls like MacGyver's ingenuity and resourcefulness at using everyday items to get himself out of perilous and, oftentimes, life-threatening situations.

Examples: Oh no!  MacGyver is stuck in a mine and needs to create an explosion with just bubble gum and a paper clip?  No problem!  Yikes!  MacGyver is trapped in a cage over a fiery pit and needs to unlatch the door using a tube sock and dental floss?  Consider it done!

These MacGyverisms left such an impression on us, most single girls don't even realize we have been MacGyver-ing ourselves out of dangerous scenarios for most of our lives.

Dangerous scenario: Ack!  Out and about when the strap to our camisole breaks!
MacGyver solution: A-ha!  A safety pin!  (No safety pin?  A-ha, an earring!)

Dangerous scenario: Horrors!  A giant pimple has erupted on our face and we are out of Clearasil!
MacGyver solution: A-ha!  Toothpaste!

Dangerous scenario: NO!  We wake up and that giant, RED pimple is still on our face!  (And yes, we are STILL out of Clearasil.)
MacGyver solution: A-ha!  Visine drops!

Dangerous scenario: Ugh!  Got into a brawl with our guy's bitchy ex-girlfriend, cut our knuckles open punching her ugly face and we're completely out of rubbing alcohol!
MacGyver solution: Alcohol?  Did someone say alcohol?  A-ha!  Popov vodka (where did THAT come from?) in the freezer!  (Some for me, some for the wounds...)

Dangerous scenario: Zoiks!  We have a giant piece of chicken/spinach stuck in our teeth!
MacGyver solution: A-ha!  That boring dude's business card!

Dangerous scenario: Eeks!  That bra we can only wear with THIS dress is missing!
MacGyver solution: A-ha!  Band-aids!  (Note: only to be applied with the smaller-chested.)

Thanks to MacGyver, us single girls have learned how to make do with the contents of our pockets and our handbags.

Trying to escape from a bad date?  What would MacGyver do with duct tape, tweezers and a bobby pin?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

#54 The Comeback Body

In those rare cases where a single girl does find herself in something that resembles a "relationship," there are times when we let ourselves slip with the calorie counting.  We may forget that sex isn't an adequate workout and that lingerie shopping does not really count as a cardio session.

Especially during the early stages of a "relationship" (aka the "honeymoon phase"), we are almost convinced that maybe our serial monogamist friends are indeed on to something.  Lazy Sunday mornings are best spent with sex marathons in bed, where we only bother to come up for air to answer the door for Chinese take-out or make, of all things calorically terrible, grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.  Of course, these are consumed IN bed before continuing to tackle another sex position recommended by Cosmo.

When we're not rolling like thunder under the covers (as Elton John would say), we suddenly understand why our non-single friends are a bit lackadaisical about scheduling sessions at the gym.  This time has been relegated to removing unwanted body hair and soaking ourselves in moisturizing bath salts.

Of course, as common with single girls, something happens to the "relationship." Maybe we reached an expiration date, maybe he cheated on us, maybe we cheated on him, maybe he cheated on us while we were cheating on him - whatever it is, one thing we take away from this experience is a few extra pounds of relationship weight.  Egads.

After a bad break-up, some girls are so upset, they can't eat.  (Bitches.)  Then there are the girls, such as myself, who are "emotional eaters" and drown our sorrow/anger/resentment in cupcakes.  And donuts.  And chocolate chip cookies. But there comes a day when we reach the bottom of that Ben and Jerry's container and realize, "Holy sh*t, did I really just consume a whole day's worth of calories within 20 minutes?"

We eventually return to our normal single girl routines - finding our center during yoga classes and punching out some of that aggression at our kickboxing studio (maybe he cheated on us with multiple skanks), then returning home with a smoothie or eating a bowl of cereal for dinner over the sink.  Before we know it, and much to our relief, those offensive pounds have given way to the comeback body.

The comeback body is absolutely crucial for a single girl after a break-up, traumatic or not.  Looking absolutely svelte and amazing makes it easier to attract new (and better) suitors.  In addition, the comeback body may also include the comeback hair, comeback wardrobe and/or comeback boobs.  Whatever it is, our comeback look can be the ultimate "f*ck you" and/or our inner 12-year old's way of saying "nyah nyah" to our former beau.

It is statistically impossible for us NOT to run into ex-boyfriends - especially if we were introduced through mutual friends, if he was a geographical desirable or if we stupidly added each other as friends on Facebook.  Ergo, flaunting our comeback body in his face(book) is like having the last word.

And you know how much single girls like having the last word.

Friday, June 4, 2010

#53 John Krasinski

Most of you recognize John Krasinski as "Jim Halpert" from that Emmy award-winning television series, "The Office."  Some of you may recall seeing him as Mandy Moore's fiance in that silly romantic comedy License to Wed with Robin Williams.  Then there are those of us who remember him as the guy who fills the "cute quota" in Jimmy Kimmel's Handsome Men's Club.  (He can be our big handsome.)

Whichever way we prefer to know him, single girls like John Krasinski because he is unarguably affable and charmingly adorable.  He is the kind of boy we bring home to introduce to our mother.  We want him to be the Jim to our Pam. 

Despite his exaggerated features, his nose is a bit grandiose and his ears tend to stick out a little too far, his strong features make him handsome enough to be swoon-worthy, but not so attractive that sluts are throwing themselves at him.  Plus, he seems to be the kind of guy who would be too shy or goofy to do anything about it anyway.

In essence, John Krasinski is the anti-douchebag.  And isn't it about high time us single girls avoid the douchebags and pursue the sweethearts?

Ultimately, John Krasinski could do no wrong.  His perpetual "aw shucks" look prevents anyone from ever blaming him for committing a mortal sin - he could probably get away with murder and mayhem merely by shrugging his grand shoulders and flashing his trademark apologetic grin.

We don't fantasize about John Krasinski.  Nay, fantasizing is reserved for dirty, raunchy thoughts and John Krasinski is better than that.  While we save naughty thoughts for guys like David Beckham and Bradley Cooper (because they are the type who would cheat on us anyway, fantasy or no fantasy), we daydream about John Krasinski.

In our daydreams, John Krasinski is the guy who holds our hand and takes us on picnics in the park where we could lie on our backs and make shapes out of clouds.  He is the guy who tells us the best part of his day is waking up next to us in the morning.  He even sincerely insists it is our most attractive moment.  (And because John Krasinski does not lie, we know this is the truth.)  He is the guy who brings us breakfast in bed where we can do the New York Times crossword puzzle together.  (He graduated from Brown with honors so we know he's a smart dude.)

If we were with a guy like John Krasinski, he would never give us a reason to write him a "Dear John" letter.  Aside from being engaged to Emily Blunt, John Krasinski is perfect.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

#52 Sporadic Self-Grooming Sessions

One hardship of being a single girl is our commitment to leave the house looking completely polished and resplendent.  After all, according to Murphy's Law, when we look our worst, we will meet the man of our dreams in the pasta aisle at the grocery store, or worse, run into our ex-boyfriend with the girl of his dreams ring shopping at Tiffany and Co.  In order to avoid this dilemma with Murphy's Law, and for the sake of our pride and dignity, we would rather look stunning when confronted with the latter situation than look like ass with the former.  (Yes, we're crazy.)

However, underneath the oversized sunglasses, does anybody really know the last time we had our eyebrows plucked/waxed/threaded?  No!  Does anybody else see what's going on with our toenail polish concealed in those Prada pumps?  No!  Under that three-quarter length blouse, can anyone tell when our underarms have last seen the light of day?  No!  Don't even get us started on what's going on with the hoo-ha area.  (Trust us, you absolutely do NOT want to know.)

As a single girl, we have the privilege of scheduling self-maintenance needs around dates and social engagements.  If we're on a dating sabbatical (hey, dating can be exhausting, sometimes a girl just needs a break), some of us can get away for weeks without being tweezed, waxed or shaved.  And it is GLORIOUS.

Jeans and leggings are preferred in lieu of shorts, skirts and dresses.  Strapless and sleeveless tops are avoided, air conditioned environments are embraced.  We won't let anyone invade our personal space to protect our pores from being closely examined.  And we keep a stiff upper lip about the last time we've handled our upper lip.

Then there comes a miraculous time for a single girl when she surpasses the five-date mark with someone.  Suddenly, we are seeing him more than twice a week.  (One of those nights being a booty call.)  Suddenly, we are consistently using that box of condoms we purchased three months ago on a futile whim.  Yay!  Suddenly, and because we have set a precedent, we are expected to be perfectly polished, hairless and buffed while we're in the buff!  Oh, no!

Due to all the spontaneous sex and weekends spent in bed together, suddenly we find ourselves naked ALL THE TIME.  How are we supposed to shave/wax/pluck EVERYDAY??

How do non-single girls do it?  Do their significant others care or even notice if they skip self-grooming sessions every so often?  Is it true that people in relationships never see each other naked, ergo, making self-maintenance a moot point?

One of my best friends, a former single girl, promptly got herself lasered once she found herself with boyfriend.  Is this what it takes to cross over to relationship status?  Is the answer and solution zapping your hair follicles with laser beams?  If so, it seems hairdly worth it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

#51 The Phase Out

Maybe we've only been seeing someone for two weeks, or maybe it's already been two months with multiple sleepovers.  But there comes a day during a dating life cycle when we are more excited at the prospect of doing laundry than we are about an impending date.  What do we do when we realize that we're just not that into him?  Easy.  We initiate the phase out.

Let's say we're on our way home from work and we call the guy we're seeing. We tell him a funny anecdote that he doesn't laugh at.  Instead, he responds with "Can I call you back later?" He calls us back MUCH later - like, two days later. And by the tone in his voice we can tell that he's just not that into us.  Anymore. Gulp. Is he beginning a phase out?

How does the phase out operate?

Those once flirty text messages no longer occur.  In fact, the winky emoticons from him are now obnoxious.  What used to be cute well-thought answers have become terse or vague, one-word replies.  Sometimes you don't even bother to respond.  Phone calls are now infrequent.  You never schedule time for each other on the weekends anymore, and dates have been relegated to weeknights - usually Mondays or Tuesdays.  Yikes.  Eventually, you just stop seeing or hearing from each other all together.  At this point, the phase out is complete.

Truthfully, the phase out may not be the most efficient method to end things with someone.  It could be a long, drawn-out and anticlimactic process, much like the Battle of Alamo.  Regardless of who sets up the phase out or whether it is a mutual procedure, one thing is for certain: single girls sure as hell prefer this to, ugh, The Talk. 

Let's face it, NOBODY likes The Talk - it's awkward and patronizing.  A complete lose-lose situation, The Talk only makes both parties feel completely shitty.  And since you haven't even made it close to boyfriend/girlfriend status yet, is it even necessary? 

Single girls like to dodge The Talk at all costs because we're people-pleasers.  We hate confrontation.  It's why single girls have never been president and why we get paid less than boys.  Rather than be assholes and dump a guy with an emotionally-gripping quasi-break up speech, we much prefer the quiet yet effective ninja moves of the phase out. 

In turn, guys can avoid being jerks/assholes and spare us the humiliation of another cliche'd "it's not you, it's me" monologue.  Stop returning our text messages or phone calls.  Don't invite us over for a movie and sex wine.  We've read AND seen (unfortunately) He's Just Not That Into You.  We get it.  Now gradually phase us out so we can start phasing someone else in.  (If we haven't already.)

Monday, May 17, 2010

#50 The Irrelevance of "Relationship Weight"

Single girls have all seen this happen: a "single" girlfriend (generally of the serial monogamist variety) meets a dude (probably on match dot com), starts dating him (exclusively), disappears from our lives (predictably), then reappears (undoubtedly with the boyfriend) ten pounds heavier.  (Or 20 pounds, collectively with the boyfriend.)

Gaining weight is no mystery to single girls, hence the calorie counting, so we devote some time at the gym to maintain a figure that would mobilize certain (preferably single) dudes to ask us out.  Think about it: if a guy had to choose between you or a ten-pound heavier version of you, which would he choose.  (This isn't rocket science, kids.)

This concept of "relationship weight" (and we're not talking about just a couple of pounds here) is so foreign to single girls, we cannot begin to comprehend how our non-single friends can gain so much weight that they admit to purchasing new slacks a whole size (or two) up.  Not fitting into Italian sample sizes already gives me grief, imagine rehauling my whole wardrobe?  Mio Dio!

So how or why do couples get fat together?  A single girl's hypotheses:

- Relationship people do not have sex. 
Ironic, if you think about it.  You would think couples actually, well, "couple."  A friend once told me of a couple he knew who only had sex once a week: Saturdays at 4pm.  If relationship people don't have sex, maybe have little to no desire to look good naked like us narcissistic single people.

 Non-single girls are comfortable eating in front of their boyfriends.
Now that she's in a secure relationship, a non-single girl doesn't have to worry about eating too much on a date for risk of looking poochy/having food baby and not getting laid (she won't anyway) like us single girls.

- Relationship people spend too much time at home.
Why do we never see our non-single girlfriend?  She's spending all her time nesting with the boyfriend at home.  Couples like cooking for each other and overeating together.  And since they're at home, this means they're probably wearing sweatpants all the time so they REALLY have no idea how much their waists are expanding.

- If they're not at home, relationship people have twice as many social engagements to attend.
Since there's two of them, a couple generally gets invited to twice as many birthday dinners (food), barbecues (food), weddings (food), Thanksgivings (FOOD), and other celebrations/holidays (more food).  Double the social calendar, double the calories.

Whether these hypotheses are true or not (I mean, what do I know?  I'm Single Girl 1.0), gaining weight is so repulsive to single girls, the idea of putting on "relationship weight" gives us enough motivation to remain single.

Monday, April 26, 2010

#49 Compliments from Strangers

I was washing my hands in the ladies' room at a restaurant one evening when a girl walked in and complimented my outfit: a black strapless mini-dress (Jean Paul Gaultier for Target), cinched by a studded belt (Forever 21) and topped with a bolero-style leather jacket (H&M).  Black four-inch satin platform pumps (BCBG Max Azria) completed the look.  While she was examining me, she revealed herself to be a fashion editor.  I gave myself a mental high five.

The other day, I was running through Santa Monica in my usual short shorts (Nike) and some guy yelled out his window, "Nice butt!"  Hearing an endorsement like that is one advantage of working out without an iPod.  I got home and checked out my ass in the mirror.  Lookin' goooood.

We normally don't like to admit this, but single girls can feel a bit insecure of ourselves from time to time without the constant warm fuzzies and attention that our non-single counterparts receive from their significant others.  This is why single girls are compliment whores. It's not enough that we try to surround ourselves with people who adore us and flatter us, nothing validates our existence more than compliments from an absolute stranger.

Growing up, some of us were placated with faux praise from our mothers who assured us that we were too pretty AND smart to be dating the silly boys from high school.  (I was a fugly teenager and THE ultimate single girl as I never went on a date until college.)  Now, we're still skeptical of approval we receive from friends or family members since they're morally obligated to tell us we look "cute" or "nice."  ("Nice," but not "amazing"?)  Worse, we're especially wary of "compliments" from a frenemy.  (Do these jeans really make me look skinny or is the bitch trying to sabotage me again?)  And compliments from the dude(s) we're dating?  Don't even get me started on what some guys will say to get laid.  ("You look like a supermodel."  Puh-leeeze.)

How can we measure the integrity of a compliment?  This requires some high-level training to obtain the powers of clairvoyance, and we obviously have better things to do with our time - like eyebrow maintenance.

On the other hand, compliments from a stranger (especially a good looking one) are the best kind of affirmation because we know this unsolicited act of admiration is clearly genuine and the universal truth.  From the stranger's lips to our ears (and everyone else within auditory range), it is a FACT that we have gorgeous eyes, beautiful hair, et al.  After all, why else would this person completely unknown to us with no ulterior motive tell us so?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

#48 Blaming Our Menstrual Cycles

Ever since we met "Auntie Flo," single girls realized the advantages of using our menstrual cycles as a scapegoat for just about anything.

As teenagers in high school, we used our periods as a reason to ditch classes.  It's swimming day in PE class and we don't want the boy of our dreams seeing us in our bathing suit?  "I can't swim, I'm on my period and I'm bleeding really heavily today."  We can't handle another trigonometric equation during calculus?  "I'm on my period and I have REALLY bad cramps.  I think I need to go home and lie down."

Or who could forget that scene in Clueless when Cher explained a day of tardiness because she "was surfing the crimson wave and had to haul ass to the ladies'"?

Nobody questioned the integrity of our monthly cycles, especially not the male teachers.  They were so uncomfortable with our "time of the month," they would practically throw hall passes at us.

Now that we are better acquainted with Aunt Flo, single girls like using our periods to make allowances for:

- Calorie consumption.  Craving chocolate, ice cream, chips or donuts?  We must be on our period.

- Bitchy behavior.  Just snapped at our boss, the mailman and/or the cashier at the grocery store?  We must be on our period.

- Crying or general moodiness.  Just burst into tears over a parking ticket or a sappy AT&T commercial?  We must be on our period.

Then there are the activities and events we try to avoid by using our period as an excuse.  It's just like high school again!

- Child's birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese.  "Sorry, heavy flow day!"

- Networking event with bitchy co-worker (who must be on her period).  "Sorry, bad cramps!"

- And most importantly, sex.  "SO sorry, babe, I'm on my period."  (Usually followed by a cringe for a response.)

Because everybody gives us the benefit of the doubt that we are indeed menstruating, blaming things on our menstrual cycles can be prolonged when we place just as much responsibility on PREmenstrual syndrome, or PMS in layman's terms.

Just ate an entire Costco-sized bag of Kettle Chips?  Have a strong desire to karate chop that annoying neighbor?  Tears forming upon the realization that you will never be the first Mrs. Ryan Reynolds?


Not a lot of people realize this, but PMS occurs several days to a week before a girl's menstrual cycle.  Then after the whole PMS thing, our actual cycles occur over the span of several days to a week before our NEXT cycle 28 days later.  So it appears that girls spend about 50% - 75% of our time either PMSing or on our periods.  (It's true.)

No wonder we're all "crazy."

In conclusion, single girls like to justify our behavior when we're "on the rag" due to "the rag," but by no means is it acceptable for men to accuse us of being on said rag.  The next time I hear someone tell me, "Wow, you must be on your period," I will make him bleed. 

Or not.  Sorry, I must be PMS-ing.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

#47 Facebook Stalking

We can all agree on the merits of Facebook: it's a wonderful resource to reunite with old friends, see how much weight the cheerleaders from high school have gained, find out what loser the prom queen married, make snarky remarks about the outfit our frenemy wore to an event and keep in touch with our best friend who moved to Singapore.

If Facebook is another manifestation of social voyeurism, then consider it another avenue for stalking.  Unless our stalkee is a celebrity or other public figure, the results we retrieve from Google stalking can be frivolously nominal.  On the other hand, Facebook stalking offers a cache of information on our current crush.

Looking at a Facebook profile not only reveals someone's basic information like current city and hometown, likes and interests, employer and alma mater; you are also privy to this person's status updates, mobile uploads, photo albums, wall posts, friend additions and how many sheep he has collected on his farm.  You not only see WHO likes/comments on his status updates, mobile uploads and wall posts; you can even see THEIR status updates, mobile uploads, wall posts et al.  You can even see what EVENTS they are attending.  It's like a stalker's dream come true!

However, one of the golden rules of being a single girl is: do NOT add the guy(s) you are dating as a friend on Facebook.  Why?  Because ignorance is bliss.

Having unrestricted access to someone's Facebook profile is like opening the Pandora's box of the 21st century.

Do we really need to agonize over that blonde whore commenting on his status update, or the photo of a brunette bitch posing in a tiny bikini with him on a beach somewhere?  Do we really need to obsess over the wall-to-wall thread he has with that OTHER brunette bitch?  So what if they're just meeting for coffee??  RIGHT?! 

Even if we're not friends with someone on Facebook, sometimes we can't help but search for him/her.  Maybe he's a crush.  Or an ex.  Or an ex of a crush.  Or our ex's crush.  We're bored.  It's Tuesday night.  Do we open Pandora's box?

I once Facebook stalked an ex who happens to have three mutual friends with me.  I had limited access to his profile, but his relationship status told me he was currently engaged.  I was then engrossed with staring at a thumbnail-sized photo of his "fiancee" for at least 15 minutes.  I did a mental timeline of how long they could have known each other based on when I had broken up with his voicemail (true story), then threw myself a pity party.  I also considered freezing my ovaries.

Another time, I Facebook stalked a guy I was dating who claimed he had a very hectic work load.  He told me he was too busy to talk to me, but Facebook revealed that he wasn't too busy to turn on his computer, open his internet browser, log onto Facebook, find a picture, crop the picture and ultimately change his profile picture every week.

Why should Facebook be a tool single girls use to flagellate our own emotions and egos?

In a twisted way, Facebook stalking has become a form of self-preservation.  Single girls have had our hearts broken in some shape or form, this is why we're single.  We know guys can be dishonest, we know they can disappoint us.  Maybe knowing certain details about their lives via Facebook will shed some light on their behavior and possible indiscretions.

I dated a guy who had drinks with an ex-girlfriend.  Alone.  She clearly wanted to get back together with him still, and this was a motivating factor for him to keep me in the dark about their rendezvous.  I eventually found out and confronted him about it.  He told me defiantly: "Well, just because I didn't tell you, it doesn't mean I'm lying to you."

Does it?  (This was the same guy I broke up with over voicemail.)

It only takes one bad experience with one bad guy to give us a reason to open Pandora's box.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

#46 The Plan

When single girls say we like plans, we don't mean marital plans, career plans or baby-making plans.  Oh, God, no.  Who does that?  This is why we're still single.  When we say we like plans, we're talking about something a little more immediate.

Let's say a single girl has "plans" with a dude for Sunday evening.  She doesn't know if they're having dinner and drinks or just drinks, let alone what time they are meeting.  At around four o'clock in the afternoon when she hasn't heard from him all day, she takes it upon herself to ask him what time they will be seeing each other.  He texts back that he's on a hike and won't be ready for a few hours.  Three and a half hours later, she is STARVING, heats up a Lean Pocket and eats it over the sink.  Mid-bite she gets a call from the dude.  He seems disappointed that she's already having dinner (sorta) and won't be ready to see him for an hour or so. 

Two hours later, she shows up at his apartment well after ten o'clock.  The dude is a little surly that she's so "late" and suggests they go bowling.  She balks as she's in heels (and refuses to borrow bowling shoes especially without socks) and suggests they stay in.  Wink.  He clearly doesn't get the hint, hurt that she didn't like his idea and petutantly responds that he has cabin fever (despite being on a "hike" for three hours) and was merely offering an alternative to the usual drinks at a bar.

They ended up having drinks at a bar and neither of them got laid that night.

Guys, don't be that guy!  Single girls like plans because we want to avoid situations like this.  We're not trying to be annoying, nagging or clingy by asking you what The PLAN is.  Hell, The Plan doesn't necessarily have to be champagne and caviar aboard some hot air ballon.  

On the contrary, we're just happy knowing that there is an agenda: WHAT, WHERE and WHEN.

What are we doing?  Are we golfing?  Ocean kayaking?  Watching a movie?  This helps us determine what we will be wearing. 

Where are we going?  A fancy night club?  A hole in the wall?  The beach?  Nowhere?  This also helps us determine what we will be wearing.  Specifically, shoes.  Don't make us be that girl who unwittingly wears stilettos somewhere with cobblestone streets.

When are we going?  Afternoon?  Evening?  Guess what?  This ALSO helps us determine what we will be wearing.  And if we know in advance what time we're meeting (and I'm not talking about an exact Jack Bauer time like 6:57 PST, 7:00 PST is fine), we can manage our schedule so we're (hopefully) not running late and making him wait in the car for ten minutes.

Nothing irritates a single girl more than being mal-dressed.  Sure, it's always better to be overdressed than underdressed, but we like to avoid those awkwards moments spent in 4" Choos and a mini-dress at the local dive bar unless we're doing it intentionally.  (I have a tendency of purposefully overdressing but nobody likes getting sawdust in her Choos.)

Looking our best and having the appropriate amount of time to do so is very important to a single girl especially when we're trying to impress a guy.  Shaving, waxing, buffing, polishing and plucking is ridiculously time consuming.

And here's a single girl confession: chances are, if we like a dude well enough, we want to get laid just as much as he does.  So when there's a Plan, not only do we have an idea of what to wear, we also know what NOT to wear...

So guys: Help us, help you!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

#(4)5 David Wright

For some of you single girls who don't follow major league baseball, let alone sports, you may not have the faintest idea who David Wright is.  And up until a few days ago, you may have assumed he was just another pretty boy athlete who plays for that other team in New York.  You know, the one that's not the Yankees.  (Yes, New York has two baseball teams.)

So who is David Wright? 

He plays third base for the New York Mets.  Since his major league debut in 2004, he has consistently been a solid hitter - his career batting average is 0.308.  (30% may not seem very good at all,  but in baseball, anything above a 0.300 is considered excellent.)  He led the National League in RBIs, ranked in the top 10 over the past several years.  Defensively as a third baseman, he has won the Rawlings Gold Glove Award in 2007 and 2008.  He has also been selected to play for the All-Star team every year since 2006. 

Wright's accomplishments were curtailed in 2009 when he was struck in the head with a 90+ mph fastball.  (Ouch.  But don't worry, he's okay and nothing happened to his gorgeous head.)  Long story short, he is VERY good at what he does.  As if this Mr. Wright couldn't be any more right, he founded a charitable organization in 2005 to increase awareness for multiple sclerosis and raise funds for its research.  Oh, and he's only 27.

It is easy to see how Wright has been overlooked in the non-ESPN universe when players from that other New York team (the Yankees) have tabloid-worthy dating resumes like Derek Jeter's.  ("Girlfriends" include Mariah Carey, Vanessa Minnillo, Victoria's Secret model Adriana Lima, a Miss Universe, Jessica Alba and Jessica BIEL.  Jeter is now engaged to Minka Kelly.)  Lately, that other New York third baseman, Alex Rodriguez (aka A-Rod), was "dating" single-ish girl Madonna and then new-ish single girl Kate Hudson.

An exhaustive Google search for "David Wright girlfriend" reveals a possible girlfriend from 2008.  Certainly Wright's activities off the field have not been TMZ-worthy.

Until now.

You may have heard about his endorsement deal with Vitamin Water and the $20 million he netted from its sale to Coca-Cola.  Okay, maybe not.

But you have seen his latest Vitamin Water commercial co-starring Mike "The Situation" from that MTV reality show Jersey Snore, right?  No?  Well, watch it right here.  Then watch it ten more times.

What about Jeter?  Alex Rod-who?  This commercial gives us enough reason to name David Wright our own MVP.  Maybe we can even convince him to let us past third base.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

#44 Expiration Dating

We're almost a full week into April and it's now safe to say that spring is finally upon us.  Single girls know that the advent of spring is not determined by a date on the calendar reminding us of the vernal equinox, but rather when the last buzzer goes off during the final game of the NCAA men's basketball tournament.  That's when dudes stop discussing college teams from the midwest we've never heard of and start noticing us walking down the street in dresses and shorts again.

Spring has sprung, and this Single Girl is currently accepting applications for this year's spring fling(s).

The beauty of expiration dating is the pre-determined expected duration of a relationship.  (And yes, a "relationship" could spoil after two weeks like milk, or have a much longer "use-by date" like beef jerkey.)

For some of us single girls, our first experience with expiration dating occurred as adolescents at band camp or astronaut camp.  We spent one month making out in the woods every night with our camp boyfriend who promised he would keep in touch (KIT) and write, despite the hundreds of miles between us.  Guess what?  He never did.  (And unfortunately, this won't be the last time a boy will disappoint us.)

We got over it eventually by persuading ourselves it would never have worked out anyway.  Geographical undesirability can be such a bitch.  Plus we were 15 and convinced we'd be the future Mrs. Luke Perry.

Setting a "use by date" on relationships manages our expectations of dudes, allows us to quit while we're ahead and enables us to avoid "jumping the shark."  This is perfect for those guys we can't (and won't) get serious about.  Maybe he's great in bed, maybe he drives a nice car, maybe we just need him to be our escort for our sister's wedding since he's so photogenic.  (And we know how important those pictures on Facebook are.)  BUT, he could be an asshole, a borderline alcoholic or a Canadian.

Much like various grocery items, different dudes have different expiration dates.  Most of the time, this is established by the quality of the item and how well it will last past the "guaranteed fresh date."  Exacerbating factors that usually push a "use by date" closer to the "best if used before date" include sunlight, alcohol, cigarettes and general douchiness.

Contrary to urban legend, even Twinkies have a shelf life of 25 years.  And we all know products are best enjoyed well before their expiration dates. 

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

#43 Frenemies

According to our friends over at Mirriam-Webster, a "frenemy" is one who pretends to be a friend but is actually an enemy.  As likely as it is for a single girl to have a crazy girlfriend in her entourage, it is not uncommon to have a frenemy (or two) waiting in the wings as well.

Our frenemy is the Betty to our Veronica, the Serena to our Blair, the Paris to our Nicole.  We can't live with her, but we can't live without her.  She is the one we wake up loving in the morning but go to bed hating at night.

Backhanded compliments and sabotage are her specialties.  She convinces us to wear the less flattering outfit so she could look better.  She asks the older guy we're interested in why he isn't married yet.  She tells embarassing stories about us in public. 

It's quite possible she only befriended us because she had a thing for our ex-boyfriend.  Or she could be that co-worker in the next office who secretly resents us. 

So why do we tolerate having this friend/enemy hybrid? 

Maybe we both enjoy the same television shows.  Maybe she's a trust fund baby.  Maybe we wear the same shoe size - and what single girl doesn't like borrowing Louboutins from a friend's closet? 

This on-going, but unacknowledged, competition and rivalry with our frenemy keeps us on par and on top of our game.  Who looks better in a bikini?  Who's dating the hotter guy?  Who has a more successful career?  Without our frenemies, we would be overweight losers eating over the sink on Friday nights.  In a sick way, she motivates us to be the best we can be.

And frankly, it's easier to be friends with a frenemy than not.  We begrudgingly endure her undermining tactics because we're nervous what could happen if we declared war on her as an actual nemesis.

After all, single girls know it's best to keep our friends close and frenemies closer.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

#42 The Fate Versus Coincidence Debate

As young, impressionable children, single girls once believed in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, unicorns and true love.  While our faith in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny has diminished, the dubious existence of true love has been perpetuated by romance novels written by Nicholas Sparks and romantic comedies starring Meg Ryan.  (Unicorns, on the other hand, are real.)

The idea of "true love," "love at first sight," "the one" and "destiny" has often been challenged by many single girls, specifically after a horrible break-up or a series of bad dates.  But our confidence in a "happily ever after" can easily be restored by accidental encounters with the (current) object of our obsession affection.

However, because some single girls have become a bit jaded with age, these seemingly serendipitous meetings are the subject of a great debate that pits fate against coincidence.  For example, if we run into a boy we are interested in at the supermarket, could one argue that this is fate and predestined to happen, or purely coincidental?

The case in favor of coincidence asserts that people are attracted to people with similar interests, so naturally bumping into him in the freezer section at Trader Joe's means the two of you love their mint icecream sandwiches.  (You even mentioned this on a date, remember?) 

So you run into him again at a rock concert?  Coincidence.  You obviously like the same band.

Additionally, a chance rendezvous at the local bar is an absolute fluke if the two of you live within a three-mile radius of each other.  (Don't forget, single girls like geographical desirability.)

Now, the defense for fate contends that these unexpected tête-à-têtes are rather remarkable, maybe even magical.  Think about it: an unintended and unplanned encounter translates to two people being in the same exact place at the same exact time. 

Would these "coincidences" still occur if you took an extra two seconds to apply lip gloss this morning or if he stayed in his car an extra five seconds to answer a text message?

Those mint icecream sandwiches at Trader Joe's?  Not only were you both at the same exact Trader Joe's at the same exact time (3:07pm on Saturday), you were both completely out of mint icecream sandwiches at the same time.  Is this fate?

So you run into him again at a rock concert, waiting for a beer in the same exact line (the one upstairs) at the same exact time (9:46pm on Thursday).  But neither of you know the indie band on stage - you're only there to support your friend who is in love with the bass player and he was invited by a friend who won tickets on the radio.  This is TOTALLY fate, right?

Another fortuitous reunion, but this time the two of you both happen to be in the same shitty dive bar in a completely foreign neighborhood at the same exact time?  What are the odds?  Is the world really this small?  And why does it seem to revolve around us?

Call it kismet, call it fate.  Whatever this is, it's not just a coincidence anymore.  Or is it?

Monday, March 22, 2010

#41 Mascot Bracketology

With the advent of spring fast approaching, every smart single girl knows that during this time of year, affectionately dubbed "March Madness," the best way to stay on top of our game and maintain a semblance of social relevance is to participate in our office's/buddy's/cute neighbor's pool for the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

After painstakingly filling out those brackets, wondering where in the world Wofford is or who Robert Morris was, some of you watched in sheer amazement this past weekend as powerhouses like Kansas, Villanova and Georgetown fell to much lower-seeded teams.  March madness, indeed!

Most of the country is lamenting over busted brackets, and there's probably that  random single girl currently ranked at the top of your office pool.  Why is it always the person who seemingly knows the least about basketball, let alone sports, the one who wins it all?

Honestly, most single girls don't have the time or choose not to follow college basketball at all.  (Some of us would rather be watching Gossip Girl or working on eyebrow maintenance, especially if our alma mater's team has been underperforming or going through a "rebuilding year."  Ahem, Bruins.)  So while dudes are poring over statistics on athletes and reviewing games from the regular season to select advancing teams in their brackets, single girls take a less educated approach. 

With both Kansas State and Kansas, Ohio State and Ohio, Florida State and  Florida, AND several Texas schools are in the tournament, we may have a difficult time differentiating them apart and remembering what we caught on the SportsCenter ticker when we were trolling for guys at various bars, or who has been consistently ranked in the top 10 by AP and USA Today.

Some girls choose their winning teams by uniform colors, some just purely guess, and then there are those who base their decisions on how well a team's mascot would perform in a Narnian contest against the other team's mascot.  For example, pitting Washington's Huskies against Marquette's Golden Eagles is a simple decision - hypothetically, the husky could easily defeat an eagle in combat.  Despite Washington's low seed (11), they ultimately beat Marquette (6) in the first round.

Other surprising first round games included Georgetown (3) resoundingly falling to Ohio (14).  Georgetown's official "mascot" is a Hoya.  Now when you google "What is a Hoya?" you will discover its origins as a derivation of a Greek and Latin chant.  What happens when the Ohio Bobcats take on the Georgetown Hoyas?  A 97-83 roaring win for the Bobcats over a chant.  Naturally.

Murray State (13) upset Vanderbilt (4), and it is no wonder.  Although Murray State's mascot is perplexingly a "Racer," Vanderbilt students have "Mr. C," a cartoonish representation of their founder, Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt. 

As we know, it is not truly "the Big Dance" without a Cinderella - or three.  Mascot bracketology would have successfully predicted the outcome of this weekend's biggest losses.

The University of Northern Iowa Panthers (9) routed the UNLV Rebels (questionable mascot, no surprise) to take on THE top-ranked team in the tournament, Kansas' Jayhawks.  Apparently, a "jayhawk" is a mythical cross between a bluejay and a sparrow hawk.  But Panthers are the obvious winner against a bird hybrid, mythical or not.

In New York, the Ivy League was represented by 12th-seed Cornell.  Although Cornell has no official mascot, potentially causing confusion amongst mascot bracketologists, it is known as the "Big Red."  Perhaps it was this divine entity, an unknown primary color, much like the "monster" in Lost,  that defeated Temple's Owls (5) and Wisconsin's Badgers (4), in the first and second rounds respectively.

In the South, we watched as the Richmond Spiders (7) were squashed by St. Mary's Gaels (10), followed by another huge win for the Gaels against bracket-favorite, the Villanova University Wildcats.  Wildcats versus Irish people?  How does that work?  Obviously, St. Mary's unofficial mascot is Jesus, and God's right-hand man always makes a worthy adversary.

Mascots entering the Sweet 16 include various cats and dogs (Panthers, Huskies, a hound dog, Bulldogs, two sets of Wildcats), colors (an Orange [seriously?], Big Red and Blue Blob), Blue Devils, Spartans, Boilermakers, Gaels, Mountaineers, Bears and Buckeyes.

Ultimate match-ups single girls would love to see are the Blue Blob versus Big Red (a battle of the primary colors!) or a Wildcat-Wildcat challenge.  This coming weekend, will the Spartans rule over the Panthers?  Does Otto the Orange stand a chance against Butler's Bulldogs?  Will Smokey the Hound Dog sniff out Brutus Buckeye?

May the better mascot win.

Friday, March 19, 2010

#40 Faking Enthusiasm Over Engagement Announcements

Upon hearing of a friend's impending nuptials, society deems it appropriate for single girls to squeal ecstatically, marvel at the engagement ring and squeal some more.  And so, when we receive news of an engagement to marry, single girls are obligated to play along with these social norms. 

Truth be told, this performance is done with a heavy heart and some questionable integrity.

But our friend is getting married!  She has found the man of her dreams!  Why the false cheer and forced smiles?  Are we not happy for her?  Why do we feel as if we've just been told our car insurance rates are increasing?

Frankly, we want to be happy for her and we believe we are happy for her, but this news of her engagement really isn't about her. No, quite the contrary.  This is about us.  Leave it to us narcissistic single girls, upon hearing the biggest news of a girlfriend's life, to focus on what's really important: ourselves.

Obviously, there is some jealousy involved.  Our friend has found a guy who will accept her for better or for worse.  This means she can stop counting calories and throw those Spanx away!  Plus, she's sporting a new piece of jewelry on her left hand worth more than some people's vehicles.

While she's prattling on about venues, save-the-dates, flowers and gowns, we're silently resenting the situation - and not just because she can afford the Vera Wang at Saks.

We were curious to see the initial wave of our girlfriends get married immediately in their early 20s to their college sweethearts - we were all barely legal enough to purchase alcohol.  This was followed by a tolerable smattering of espousals here and there.  Eventually, engagement announcements started to spread like the swine flu and we realized that our single friends were slowly being overtaken by married friends. 

When a girlfriend is married off, she becomes a unit with her husband.  I becomes a we.  When making plans with her, it's always "Let me check with the husband, WE may have his boss' dinner that night."  Worse, couples LOVE making plans with other couples.  It starts off with weekend wine tastings in Santa Barbara and turns into playdates with their toddlers.

And so, as the feigned congratulations increased, so did our fear of abandonment. We are ultimately mourning the loss of a friend to an institution that isolates single people.  How is it possible to be genuinely thrilled by this prospect?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

#39: Trashing His New Girlfriend

Much like our unbridled affection for bad "reality" drama series such as The Hills, one thing that single girls like to partake in but don't particularly like to admit to is trashing his new girlfriend.  If, for whatever God-given reason, we manage to stay civil/cordial/friendly/friends/Facebook friends with him after a break-up, we will undoubtedly have something disparaging to say about his latest female interest.

For the most part, nobody loses more friends or raises more eyebrows (in a bad way) than those girls who make overtly catty comments about someone in public, especially among strangers.  (Save that for a reality show.)  But put us in a room with our closest friends, and after a couple of vodka martinis, we will eventually confess all of those nasty, resentful thoughts we've been harboring about the new girl our ex-boyfriend is dating.

Where does all this animosity stem from?  Whatever happened to sisterhood?  Sisterhood!  Ha!  Have you SEEN the way sorority sisters treat each other?  I know from firsthand experience (eating disorder rumors, anyone?) that being a girl, let alone a "sister," is not always sugar and spice and everything nice.  (There was also one summer a long, long time ago when I was at WAR with my actual blood sister over a stolen diary.  Bitch.  To this day, I still have no idea what she did with it.)

Anyway, where were we?  Right.  Back to the source of hostility towards the new girlfriend.  Basically, with any ex-boyfriend, we ultimately failed as a couple.  And there is nothing more a single girl hates than FAILING.  The new girlfriend?  She is our "replacement."

So it is with great despair that we come to terms with the notion that we are dispensable.  After hours spent on self-examination and running various masochistic "what-if" scenarios through our pretty heads, we turn our attentions to the new girl.  After all, the best way to pick a girl up (us) is to put another girl down (her).

Single girls are VICIOUS when it comes to judging and criticizing other girls - and we will especially NOT hold back when the new girl he is dating could potentially be "the one."  This results from a cocktail of jealousy, bitterness and resentment.  After all, it might not have been that long ago when we thought we were "the one" for him.

Thus begins the comparison study.  If the new girlfriend is stupid enough to have lenient security settings on her Facebook profile, we have a social-networking field day.  Every bit of information is extracted from her "Wall," "Info" and "Photos" tabs to such a degree, we could be FBI profilers.  There is some intial satisfaction in discovering that she could be older, fatter and definitely NOT as attractive as we are.  But this eventually brings us to question, "Well, what was wrong with me?"  This silly idea can be quickly and easily buried in the nether regions of our minds by clicking on a terrible photo of new girlfriend in a shitty outfit.

Okay, but what if she is younger, skinnier, maybe prettier than us with an Ivy League degree, working on her MBA and training for a marathon?  We can (and will) find something repulsive about her.  Like how her right ear seems slightly lower than her left ear.  That is WEIRD, right?

We hypothesize about all the bad sex they're probably having and all the diseases she's probably carrying (and sharing).  We discuss the cosmetic surgeries she should invest in or have probably invested in.  Spiteful?  Yes.  Therapeutic?  YES!

Admittedly, at some point of our single girl lives, we have all been the "new girlfriend," replacing an ex-girlfriend who may or may not be older, younger, thinner, fatter or prettier.  And while we smugly wrapped our arms around this new boyfriend, his ex-girlfriend was somewhere in the city with her friends trashing us and wondering if our boobs are real.

Karma is a bitch.