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.