Tuesday, January 26, 2010

#32 Geographical Desirability

I never really understood why dudes get so ga-ga-ooh-la-la over this mythical creature that they so endearingly call "the girl next door."  Or why Taylor Swift totally resents her cutie patootie neighbor for dating a girl who wears better shoes than she does.

We big city folks don't get it.  You would think that one good thing about living in a thriving metropolis is the multitude of other young, educated, date-able peers around you.  Think about all the potentially single, attractive people you run into at Whole Foods or the gym.  Being in a big city should mean we have more options than just "the boy next door."  Right??  And single girls like options!

But the more we date, the more we realize what the "girl next door" has going for her: geographical desirability.

The reason why geographic desirability has been so underrated is because single girls have this rational, yet false belief that we are exhausting the same pool of resources in our little neighborhoods.  Every dude seems like every other dude we've dated, especially when we're meeting them all at the same bars and supermarkets, and then awkwardly running into them with the next dude we're dating at the same restaurants.  How do we escape from these homogenous confines?

Solution: we started dating outside our usual enclave.  While venturing out and exploring these new regions, we started crossing paths with more people not just from the next area code, but the next COUNTY.

In New York, Manhattanites regard the "bridge and tunnel" crowd with some disdain.  San Franciscans are repulsed by those from the "South Bay," and in Los Angeles, we don't date "the 818."  No, we're not being elitist, we're being practical.

Our physics teachers taught us this:  time =  distance/rate

And while that was helpful in calculating where Train A would meet Train B if Train A were traveling at 64mph and Train B were traveling at 70mph, they never told us about unexpected delays on the subway or traffic on the 405 or road construction on Wilshire or the protest by the federal building, and suddenly an elementary equation turns into this:

(Okay, I'm exaggerating, that's really some first-order reaction equation that I learned in chemistry class.)

So you've met a cute guy who lives a few neighborhoods away.  What's the big deal?  Well, in a city where it can take over an hour to travel seven miles, ultimately it all boils down to this:  How far would you travel for sex?

Somehow we remember why we never dated outside a two-mile radius of our block in the first place.

An example: It's 2am.  We've had five too many martinis.  We're feeling a little frisky.  Who are we gonna drunk text for a bootie call?  Cute Guy A who lives a mile down the road or equally Cute Guy B who lives in the next area code seven miles away?

Even if Cute Guy B were traveling five times as fast as Cute Guy A, Cute Guy A will have parked his car by the time Cute Guy B even puts on his shoes and finds his wallet.  We won't even consider waiting for Cute Guy C who lives in another county - a decisive buzz kill right there.

A VERY simple equation:
geographical desirability  α  1/distance  α  gratification
In a time where single girls hold instant gratification in such high regard, is it any wonder that "the boy next door" (with the worn out jeans) always wins?    

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

#31 Adverbs

Perhaps one of the most ubiquitous single girl moments of the past decade is that of single girl icon and badass, Kristin Cavallari, thoughtfully twirling a strand of her illustrious blonde hair while steadily chewing on a piece of gum and airily exclaiming, "Seriously??"

Yes, seriously.  What is it about adverbs that single girls love so much?  I mean, really.

Before I wholeheartedly embark on the usual circumlocutory explanation, first, a grammar lesson.  For those of you not paying much attention during your English classes in third grade, fourth grade, and/or fifth grade, you may be quizzically wondering: What is an adverb?

"An adverb can modify a verb, an adjective, another adverb, a phrase, or a clause. An adverb indicates manner, time, place, cause, or degree."

Particularly in the English language, while adjectives only modify nouns and pronouns, adverbs modify everything else including themselves!  Indeed, adverbs are suitably versatile, in all manners of speaking, and quite literally.  Well done, adverbs! 

Those of us with liberal arts degrees are understandably decrying the untimely demise of the adverb as they have undoubtedly become a regular component of our vernacular. 

You see, something invariably happened after the women's liberation movement.  Suddenly, women were no longer simply respected for merely being that of the fairer sex.  In order to find ourselves (un)ceremoniously "hitched," we were now expected to be disarmingly well-spoken and smart.  How dare they give us the right to vote!

Ever since single girls began eloquently signing our letters "yours very truly" in third grade (and brazenly "modifying" everything we wrote by dotting our i's with hearts), we eventually figured out that multi-syllabic adverbs usually create the illusion of sounding genuinely articulate.  Hence, we see the exponentially rising employment of grandiloquent adverbs such as: literally, obviously, really, totally, literally, and, of course, seriously.

Unfortunately, plebians with smaller IQs are not only incorrectly using such adverbs as literally (ie. "I, like, literally, died"), they often ingratiatingly shorten them with abbrevations like "totes" (in lieu of "totally") and "obvi" (instead of "obviously").  I find this obnoxiously ridiculous and rather self-deteriorating.

Our affinity for adverbs does not unconditionally end here.  Possibly our love for the adverb stems from our love for details.

Remember how we said adverbs indicate manner, time, place, cause or degree?  Well, this means they blatantly answers questions such as "how," "when," "where," "how much," "how often," "underwhat condition," and "to what degree."

This is incredibly useful for interrogating friends and dirtbags we are dating, especially when adverbs are used as intensifiers.

An adverb as an emphasizer:
Q. How much do you like him?
A. I really like him!  He's totally cute!

An adverb as an amplifier:
Q. What do you think about David 4.0?
A. He is obscenely douchey! 

An adverb as a down-turner:
Q. You said she was what???
A. I never said she was "hot!"  She is only mildly attractive!  No, I did not mean "attractive!!"  Oh crap...

Generally speaking, adverbs are unfairly underrated and have even been publicly criticized.  Can single girls save the adverb?  Undoubtedly, inarguably, and of course, totally.

Monday, January 18, 2010

#30 Personal Fashion Shows

Single girls hate to admit this, but we are occasionally in possession of this elusive "free time" that people speak about.  For us, "free time" generally encompasses those few hours between Pilates and dinner on Saturdays, brunch and dinner on Sundays, and after yoga class on Tuesdays.

So how do single girls devote our time between social engagements, appointments, and dates? 

Obviously, a lot of this "free time" is spent diligently in the bathroom: taking baths, examining pores, checking for wrinkles, maybe some eyebrow maintenance.  Then there's the TiVo and perhaps a Gossip Girl marathon lusting after Chuck Bass while flipping through the glossy pages of Vogue or Elle.

Then there are those days where we find ourselves with an unexpected span of leisure and absolutely nothing stimulating enough to do/watch/read.  (Brunch plans were cancelled due to a friend's massive hangover, surely an epic drinking tale is in store.)

Now, as you know, one of the best things about being a single girl is not having to share a bedroom with a significant other and being left to our own devices.  (Yes, those devices.)  And one of the best things about having our own bedrooms is having our own closets.

Ah, yes, the CLOSET!  But, OF COURSE.

Just doing a mental inventory of all the shoes, jackets, jeans, blouses, scarves, belts, handbags, coats, slacks, camisoles and shorts in our closets can be a virtual time-suck.  Sure, we can waste an entire month afternoon re-organizing the closet or setting some clothes aside for Goodwill or Salvation Army.  BUT a much better use of time would be spent producing our very own PERSONAL FASHION SHOW!  (Squeal, yes?)

For single girls, "free time" is best occupied in front of a mirror.  A full-length mirror.  And a personal fashion show allows us to do just that.  Cue runway music...

Remember those tops we just bought running errands last weekend?  (Yes, "errands" include the occassional H&M visit.)  Well, we haven't had a chance to try them on again under normal lighting.  (Stupid store dressing rooms.)  Or with jeans or a different skirt.  Or with boots.  Or a belt.  Or those other boots.  Fashion show time!

What about this new pair of 5" pumps we bought two months ago and haven't worn yet because we thought they were inappropriate for work?  Well, how can we make them suitable for work without getting a warning memo from HR (again)?  Maybe with dark opaque tights and a dress?  Or ankle-length slacks?  Or a long pencil skirt?  Fashion show time!

And speaking of making pieces wearable, what do we do about this red envelope clutch that's only twice seen the light of day?  Something Mad Men inspired?  Are red shoes too matchy matchy?  Is red lipstick too matchy matchy matchy? Fashion show time!

Now that we're really going at it, how exactly do we sport this season's must-have item without looking too much of a fashion victim editorial?  Like these black leather over-the-knee boots.  Unfortunately, this is a trend that will probably wear us and not the other way around.  Especially since the only thing that suits these boots are $2500 Balmain mini dresses.  Before we admit defeat and fall into a state of dismay rife with buyer's remorse, a sudden brainstorm!  I bet they look REALLY hot with lingerie and a trenchcoat? Fashion show time!

Pretty soon, we're strutting around the apartment in fake eyelashes, stilettos and our favorite matching underwear set and shimmying to a mash-up of the Kings of Leon and the Four Tops, à la the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.  Our bedrooms have become extensions of our closets - hangers, clothing, handbags and shoes splayed willy nilly.  Before we know it, it's time to get dressed for a date.

Staring into the depths of a disheveled closet, we realize: Shit, I've got nothing to wear.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

#29 Parking

It's a big night for us single girls!  We've been on a couple of dates with this guy, and he's picking us up for dinner tonight.  He made reservations somewhere swanky and told us to get dressed up!  Squeal!  While we don't mean to be a little presumptuous, it HAS been a while since we've, you know, (stage whisper) had sex, and we think he might be the one, you know, to break the dry spell.  (No, silly, not the other THE ONE.  Please?  This guy?  Pshhh.)

Our roommate is out of town, we've scrubbed the bathroom, hidden our dorky reading glasses, dusted off our nightstand, placed some matches next to the candles, checked for "supplies" in our goody drawer, and made the bed.

Tonight, the waxing, plucking, and shaving will not be done in vain. Tonight, the matching bra and panty set will make a grand debut. Tonight is the night we will get laid.

Okay, so far, so good.  We still don't think he is a serial killer, and we had an amazing time at dinner - all the more better upon switching to vodka martinis after a couple glasses of champagne.  On the way back to our apartment, he's humming along to Air Supply and we're wondering if we should be coy about asking him upstairs or just literally ask him upstairs.  (Probably the latter, guys can be pretty dense.)

As the car is making its way to our block, we think about the best way to seduce him.  Coffee, tea...or me?  Except we don't know how to make coffee, nor do we have any tea left.  Do you mind if I slip into something a little more comfortable?  Ugh, SO overdone.  Let me give you a tour of the place.  Kitchen. living room, library, bathroom AND...BEDROOM!  TAH DAH! 

Now we're stopped in front of the building, but - what is this?  There's NO PARKING???  $#@%^!

How could this be?  There are absolutely NO parking spaces?  Where does our date leave his car for a night with us, candle light, and goody drawer contents?  Our eyes scan up and down the street for a couple more seconds as we hope and pray that a parking space will miraculously materialize.  When nothing happens, an awkward pause is followed by a meek "Well, thanks again for dinner."

Dejected, we silently curse the dating gods for this severe injustice and shuffle upstairs as Heart's "Alone" plays in our head.

There is a common analogy among single girls that "guys are like parking spaces."  But isn't it hard enough finding that guy ("parking space") who is neither handicapped NOR taken (nor too small)?  Now on top of that, we need to find an ACTUAL PARKING SPACE for our "parking space"??

The paradox is this: single girls who live in big cities like to date dudes who are financially stable, who have vehicles (nice ones), who have clean driving records, and who will pick us up for dates. But then we are cockblocked by the very lack of parking spaces in our charming but trendy metropolitan neighborhoods.

Of all things, why should hooking up and getting laid be contingent on the availability of a parking space outside our domiciles?

There are clearly some easy solutions to this dilemma.  Before a date, a single girl can park her car on the street, leaving her parking space available for a "guest."  However, this may appear to be a little too contrived, some may even argue "trampy" or "desperate."  Especially if a manual garage door is involved.

Another option involves the guy taking us back to his place.  But you know how we feel about home field advantage.  Finally, a third alternative for us is to date only really financially stable dudes (aka rich guys) with drivers and limousines a la Chuck Bass.  They can't buy our love (yet) but at least we don't have to worry about parking spaces.

We can't really pass (much) judgement on that girl with a permanent "visitor parking" space available or that other girl with multiple permits for "restricted parking" on her street.  (Snicker.)  If anything, the rest of us are just a bit jealous of their situations.  Now if only we had a "20 minute parking" space available for guests.  That's the right amount of time, right?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

#28 Drunken Text Messages

As much as single girls like drunken Alaskan king crab, one thing we enjoy more is drunken text messages.  Drunken text messages are such a vital part of a single girl's existence, it is the sole reason why we upgraded to the unlimited text messaging service on our mobile phone plans. 

Before we continue discussing the merits of texting while intoxicated, I think we can all agree that the consumption of alcohol, a lot of it, generally exacerbates our mental state, causing most of us (boys and girls included) to be a bit more emotional than normal.  (Normal to mean "while sober" for those of us not suffering from alcoholism.) 

When you say or do something out of character whilst inebriated, some may argue that "you didn't mean it."  Don't act like you have no idea that I am referring to those slurred "I love yous" and other drunken declarations of your undying love.  I actually received a drunk marriage proposal once.  He definitely did not mean it.  Or did he?

You MAY argue that a drunken text is a moot one due to temporary mental impairment.  I disagree.  Despite your diminished capacity, the content of a drunken text should not be ignored, simply because if you were able to type out a somewhat articulate message on that tiny BlackBerry/iPhone keyboard with your large mitts, then you probably had SOME semblance of coherency. 

Is it any wonder that alcohol is often compared to a truth serum?  Thus, drunk words should really be considered as sober thoughts.

And that is why single girls like drunken text messages.

For the most part, single girls have just as many qualms as guys do expressing impressions and thoughts.  Thanks to modern technology and the repeal of prohibition, we can send guys a concise text message verbalizing exactly how we feel about them.  The best part is, texting generally takes up less than ten seconds of our time.

Notice how emotional stability is indirectly proportional to the amount of alcohol consumed:

After three vodka martinis, an angry text to an ex-boyfriend: "Hey asshole.  I want my stuff back."  After five vodka martinis, A VERY angry text to that OTHER ex-boyfriend who won't leave us alone: "F*ck off, loser.  Brian just told me you slept with that slutty WHALE.  Go to hell."

Immature?  Maybe.  Efficient?  No doubt. 

The frustrating part is that dating these jerks all started from sending drunken text messages in the first place.  It's like the dating equivalent of the circle of life! 

To elaborate, let's say that after a couple glasses of champagne, we are now brave enough to text back that cute boy we met at the gym or that other cute boy we met at Ralph's/Safeway.  (Alcohol makes us more clever and witty.  Clearly.)

What starts off with a seemingly innocuous drunken text, "Dinner Friday sounds great.  Looking forward to seeing you in something other than your sweaty gym clothes.  ;)" or "Dinner Friday sounds great.  Am I expecting your secret Hamburger Helper recipe to be on the menu?  ;)" may eventually turn into a short-lived but tumultuous "relationship" that ends with a slutty whale.

Ah, good times...

Single girls like reciprocity.  We enjoy SENDING drunken text messages just as much as we appreciate being on the RECEIVING end.  (In more ways than one, but here I mean texting.) 

A drunken text message from a guy generally means he wants to sleep with us.  We understand that he might just be looking for a late night booty call.  (This can happen if he's textually stimulating.)  And while some single girls may roll their eyes at receiving such, I don't know any single girls who are not secretly delighted to wake up Saturday morning having received drunken text messages from multiple guys between 2am and 4am.   
When your beer glass is up (and emptied), your emotional guard comes down.  Those drunken text messages?  What a clever excuse to express longing and desire for us!  Maybe this latent craving actually stems from real feelings.  Maybe he truly adores us.  Maybe, just maybe, he dreams about us.  We are flattered to know he us thinking and wondering about us, especially in his inebriated state.

Somewhere in Rome, John Keats is turning in his grave.  Has the drunken text message become the 21st century love letter?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

#27 Missed Connections

Who knows how popular the "Personals" section is on Craigslist after the Boston Craigslist killings, but I do know that "Missed Connections" is still commonly used in the very birthplace of Craigslist: San Francisco.  Over 60 "missed connections" were posted yesterday alone in JUST the M4W section. 

Perhaps it's the minute size of this city coupled with its dense population, but it's no wonder that a quick, sideways glance can be miscontrued as a "missed connection" (or isn't it?) when you're crammed on BART or Muni with hundreds of strangers.

Not just for single girls or guys, I know a lot of you enjoy reading the "Personals" section purely as a form of entertainment.  (Especially since The Hills is on hiatus.)  In today's "Missed Connections," we have someone who "held the door open for you at Subway on Oak Road" and someone else looking for an "Asian girl with yellow flats."

Speaking of Asians, someone is also looking for "an Asian girl in Berkeley."  Doesn't that describe half of the female students there?  Maybe she is the same Asian girl with the yellow flats?  Then there is someone who is "truely missing you" who thinks "the sexual tention is too strong when we are around each other.  So the truth is I have [an] out of body experience around you."  I don't know what is more frightening: his "out of body experiences" or his spelling.

As much as we love looking at these "missed connections" for comedic value, single girls secretly hope that someday she could be the "cute girl on BART heading towards Fremont around 7:00 tonight" or the "cute brunette in striped shirt at Trader Joe's."  Or, since we're feeling the Asian persuasion, the "beautiful Asian woman crossing Golden Gate Avenue."

It all boils down to this: somewhere out there, unbeknownst to us, while we're out and about minding our own business and going on with our day, a complete stranger looked at us, maybe spoke to us for a few minutes, and thought "WOW!"  His first impression of us was so profound, he immediately had to go home, boot up his computer, get on his internet browser, navigate his way to the Craigslist website, compose a short blurb about this amazing but brief encounter with us, submit it to Craigslist, wait for an authentication email, then publish this "missed connection."

Yes, Craigslist makes you jump through quite a few hoops.  Not that I would know.

Somewhere out there, some dude is professing his love/lust for THE WHOLE WORLD to see, hoping that somewhere out there, miracle of miracles, we will see it, too.

We love missed connections because as much as single girls would like to believe in "destiny" and "true love," deep down, we really DO believe in "destiny" and "true love."  This is akin to our curiosity about the Loch Ness monster.  Just because we haven't seen it, how do we know it's not really there?

We know what happens when some of you meet a "sexy girl in red."  Shrinkage.  Air ball.  Too many brain synapses, not enough motor reflexes.  You choke.  And you regret it!  She could be "the one that got away!" And then you're kicking yourself in what's left of your balls.  Life rarely gives you second chances, but missed connections is a second chance.  A second chance at what, you ask?  A "missed connection" could simply be the dating gods' way of hooking us up with a quick hook up. That's fine, too. 

So what are you waiting for?  The "hot blonde at Starbucks with the green jacket" may be thinking about you, too.  The only thing worse than a "missed connection" is a missed "missed connection."

Monday, January 4, 2010

#26 Cameras

Because we are narcissists (reason #17 why we are still single), single girls rather enjoy taking pictures of ourselves.  Whether it be a self-portrait with our iPhones in front of the bathroom mirror (hey, the soft lighting in there makes my skin look amazing) or a group photo we have finagled some poor stranger to take of us (with five different cameras, of course), there are very few times when having a camera is completely unnecessary. 

Every outing, every birthday, every celebration, every holiday, every party (especially a THEME party!) is an excuse for single girls to have our picture taken.

Our friends in relationships rarely take photos of themselves - because they never go anywhere once they are happily coupled.  And when they do, they go on vacations to tropical resorts and take 400 pictures.  Of the beach.  Once a couple gets married, the only pictures you will see after the wedding are those taken of their children. 

Cameras have always been appreciated by single girls - even more so when we entered the digital era and no longer have to wait the three business days or one hour for our pictures to be developed at the drugstore.  (Single girls like instant gratification.)  Now, social networking sites (ie MySpace and Facebook) became a great tool for single girls to market ourselves.  The power of the perfect profile picture became as glaringly obvious as the very flash on our Canon PowerShots.

Certainly as much as single girls like looking at ourselves in the mirror, photographs are just another form of medium for self-expression self-examination.  By now, single girls have learned how to impeccably arrange ourselves in front of the camera.  We've had enough practice to determine which poses work best to showcase our clavicle, make our legs appear longer, or hide a weak chin.  Those smiles, smirks and pouts we perform in front of a mirror will later be captured on film.  Blue Steel, anyone?  Derek Zoolander, eat your heart out!

You may find it slightly disturbing how many hundreds of photos we have taken over the course of our 20s.  Sadly, we are reminded of our own mortality with these glossy 4x6 prints of our pretty, unblemished faces when seen juxtaposed with pictures from years past.  Essentially, cameras are the perfect way to canonize our youth and beauty before we succumb to Botox injections and the like.  And what better way to capture proof of our gorgeous, unflappable existence than with photographic evidence?