Cologne Incapacitation

I’ve said it before. I will say it again.5170609728_24be6c86ba_z

I know a body like the guy in this cologne ad requires a lot of time at the gym. I get it. And I thank you for your service to society by creating such sexiness.

But my god- I cannot breathe when you spray heaps of cologne on your body then begin to sweat it off at the gym. It becomes more potent than it already is without sweating. It is awful. I need to gasp for air.

Please. Please. Please, fellas. If you feel the need to be attractive at the gym, do so with an extra tight shirt or fitted spinning pants. Please… spare us with the cologne.

This is my last nice warning. The next time I write about this, shit will get real.

Thank you.

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Single Women vs. Tinder

 …the following is a transcript from a make-believe court session for a case some single women have brought against the free dating application Tinder. 

The courtroom is filled with chaos. The lawyer for Single Women has just made a strong case that the application causes people to be too judgmental, too superficial, and too narcissistic. Based on the uproar, most people watching agree with this opinion and think Tinder is an unacceptable dating application.

The judge waves her gavel several times and calls for order. Eventually, the courtroom quiets down. She calls forth the defense counsel. The lawyer for Tinder is in her late 20s, clearly hard-working, well-dressed woman. As she stands, she sets down her phone she had just been using and a hush falls over the courtroom. She smiles, looks around, and begins to make her arguments.

Ladies of the court. I understand where my opponents are coming from. I really do. An application like Tinder can seem to bring out the worst in people, causing them to make snap judgements about each other and to go out on dates based on little to no information about the other party. I get that it seems this way.

But let me share with you my own personal Tinder adventure.

I work constantly. As you can imagine, being a successful lawyer is a full-time job. I dedicate a lot of time and energy to my career. I don’t have the time right now in my life to go out to a bar every single night of the week and sit around hoping some man I find attractive will be there, come up and talk to me, and find out we have things in common. The odds aren’t in my favor for that. They’re in nobody’s favor.

But when I use Tinder, I can automatically see other men in my area who are interested in dating. I can look at their pictures and determine if I like what I see- both the type of man they look like and the types of pictures they choose to put up. And I can make that judgement easily by simply swiping my finger one way or another.

Yes, I said judgement. We are all constantly judging each other. If a man comes up to me at a bar, I immediately judge him. Even if I say I’m not doing it, thousands of years of evolution are ingrained in me to immediately assess within seconds if I’m interested in this person as a potential mate. Tinder just allows us to do it more quickly and more efficiently, so we can spread our dating net out even wider.

I only have the capability to talk to people who have also said that they might be interested in me. This way, I don’t have to waste my time or energy pursuing men who aren’t interested in me. Again- it allows for more efficiency so I don’t have to waste my precious time.

And my opponent talked about how Tinder forces you to be superficial. I completely disagree. It doesn’t force you to do anything. If all you want to do is scan people in your area and see who thinks you’re attractive by seeing how many matches you can get, you can do that. If you are just feeling low and want to be reminded that there truly are plenty of fish in the dating sea, you can just collect matches and be reminded that you’re beautiful. If you want to send flirty messages with relative strangers with no strings attached, you can do that. If you want to actually meet people and go on dates you barely had to do any work to set up, you can do that. If you want to meet an actual potential mate, you can do that. If you just want to look at random men’s instagram pages, you can do that.

It doesn’t force you to be anything. It’s whatever you want it to be.

We’re expecting more and more of our potential partners these days. We’re living longer and romance has taken over our narrative. In the old days, you married the first suitor that came to your door. And you stayed married because you didn’t have any other options. And you only lived until like 25 years old. Now we go out hoping that in a sea of billions of people, we might happen to accidentally run into our soulmate who be our everything for the next 70ish years.

I’m a practical woman, so I’m not buying it. I want to meet someone who has interests in common with me. I want to meet someone who has friends in common with me. I want to meet someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously. And I want to have options. And I want to do it all without taking away too much time from my own career and personal goals. Tinder allows me to do just that.

Yes, it’s different from our notion of dating in the past. But dating has changed immensely throughout the years anyway. This is just another evolution of dating. And it’s not the end. It just an option. One of many now available to us lucky modern women.

And all practicalities aside, Tinder is fun and it’s great for your self esteem. It’s hilarious to see some of the types of men and the pictures they choose to put online. And if you’re sitting in your sweat pants eating chocolate ice cream alone on a Saturday night, you can still feel beautiful because someone on Tinder decided to “like” you and create a match.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s an all-around win.

The court is silent for a moment as the women look at each other. Tinder’s attorney takes one last look around and begins speaking again.

And one last thing. I was in relationships for a long time. Their constant failure had me feeling low. My self-esteem had taken a beating through constantly putting up with behaviors I shouldn’t have. My latest one had left me absolutely heartbroken. I didn’t know what I wanted. And I was overwhelmed by how to re-enter the dating pool after such a long break from it.

So I joined Tinder. Just for fun. I didn’t want to take the time to create a more extensive online profile. I was open to anyone or anything.

Immediately on Tinder, I started getting “matches” that made me feel good and gave me hope for the future. I went on some dates with men I already knew I thought were cute. Most of them were duds. Some were fine but not spectacular. But one date I went on was fabulous. I liked him immediately. He made me laugh. He was everything I had asked the universe for. We’re still dating. He takes me out, shows me off, and makes me laugh. And I met him by taking a chance simply swiping right on Tinder.

What will happen with this relationship? Who knows. Only time will tell. But I do know that I’m dating him because I want to be dating him. I know there are plenty of other fish in the sea. I’ve dated many of them. None of them are like him. But I’m sure there are other wonderful ones out there, waiting for me on Tinder if this one doesn’t work.

I’m in a healthy mindset for once in my life. And that’s thanks to Tinder.

I rest my case.

The young lawyer sat down. Looking around the courtroom, everyone was looking at their phones and using their thumbs to swipe pictures either left or right.

Tinder wins.

Who’s That Lady?

I was in the weight room the other day when a woman wearing a neon yellow bra and tight Lulu Lemon stretch pants with a splash of color on top and nothing else walked by. She had killer abs and was one of those people who clearly took time to do her hair and makeup before going to the gym.

And I watched as every man in the weight room’s eyes slowly followed her as she walked by. And she walked slowly for their eyes to follow. And it was hilarious.

For a moment, I was the only one still lifting in the weight room.

So I took advantage of it and snagged one of the precious few flat benches available.

Thank you, lady, for being so hilariously distracting. And thank you, men, for being so predictable.

The White Shirt

I knew that the white shirt I was wearing was a pretty one. I knew because I had just worn it that weekend for the first time in a few years, and the weight that I’d dropped agreed with the new way that this shirt fit me. When I showed up to see my boyfriend wearing that shirt, his eyes got a little bigger and he said “That’s a nice shirt.” From him, that was the equivalent of screaming on top of a mountain “Holy shit-you look really hot.”

So I wore it a few times in a row. Sue me. Doing laundry when you don’t own your own washer and dryer is expensive and I wanted some mileage out of the shirt. On this particular day, I coupled it with my skinny jeans and great brown boots that had a manageable heel and little bit of attitude. And I gotta admit- it did make for an awesome outfit. I looked good. Normally, I look fine. That day I looked good. Really good.

Of course, it was the day my boss asked me to walk a few blocks to the post office to drop off some letters in the afternoon. No big deal. I actually love the excuse to walk somewhere in LA. It makes me feel like I’m back in Chicago again- except without all the stress of having to bring three change of clothing options for any possible weather pattern that may occur in the ten minute walk. So I headed out the door. Great outfit on.

Now keep in mind, this is Los Angeles- a city where women wear heels like sneakers. No…literally. High heels while going running or playing tennis. I know I’ve seen it. The heels are everywhere. And having on a good outfit is expected around these parts. I walked out with my hips a-swaying and my head held high.

So why, then, did I suddenly feel like I was the only female walking through a giant construction site filled with men who haven’t seen a woman in five years? It’s literally a six minute walk to the post office. Within the first minute, I’d been cat called. I was walking by a car repair shop located right next to my day job’s office and I could feel their eyes on me. My boss once suggested I go to this place for an oil change. I tried. I got the creepiest vibes ever and decided to drive 45 minutes one way to my regular shop instead. That’s how much I don’t like this repair shop.

Someone made a whistle sound with their mouth, and I knew I was the likely subject causing it. There was nobody else around and- even though I didn’t want to look over- I could feel the eyes. Another whistle and some laughs or grunts. I couldn’t tell the difference at this distance and I was sure as hell not going to look in their direction to find out. These men creep me out when they’re not looking at me, let alone when they are.

Why the whistle, anyway? Am I a bird that responds to a high-pitched mating noise? Has anyone ever actually responded to a cat call and started a meaningful relationship from it? Has anyone ever started any relationship at all because of it? What’s the point? I can only imagine that women who have extremely low self-esteem would ever respond to that type of interaction with any interest. And the types of women who would respond to that are certainly not the types that men like to have around- needy, insecure, unsure of themselves, constantly needing approval… you get the idea. So, really, no good can come out of that whistle. Why even do it then? I guess I’ll never know.

After the second whistle sound, which secured my notion that these men were- in fact- starting at me, I started to feel self-conscious. I suddenly didn’t know how to properly walk. Was I walking sexy before? Should I change up my walk? How can I somehow change up my walk to retain the confidence I have in myself yet get rid of the supposed sexiness that is causing all this attention in the first place? But I had to do it in a way that doesn’t change any part of my movement at all so as not to let them see that they’re affecting me at all. It’s impossible. Instead of worrying about it too much, I kept my hips a-swaying and my head held high. And I hold out hope that a woman in heels and a dress comes along soon to distract them. Surely this white shirt isn’t powerful enough to detract attention from a woman in heels and a dress. That’s like car repair shop cryptonite.

After pressing on and making it past the car repair shop, I had to cross a six lane street. Yes, I had a light, silly!  I’m not some superhero! If I were I would have just flown above the car repair shop, spit down on the workers so they wondered what hit them and flown away giggling before they could see that it was me!

The problem with crossing this street now is that I’ve already started to feel a little self conscious. I knew I looked pretty good, and those workers made me think I must look like a total babe, so now I had to walk across a line of cars who are stopped, staring forward, and have nothing else to do but watch the slow pedestrian in front of them.

Whatever. I keep my hips-a-swaying and my head held high. I finally make it to the post office. Normally, this would feel like punishment because it is the US Postal Service after all- the place where hope and dreams go to die. But on that particular day, it felt like a relief. With all the freaks and weirdos wandering around in and out of the post office (most of them employees), I could disappear into anonymity again. If you ever want to feel ignored, the post office is the place for you.

I headed inside. Just as I was about to open the door, a young man yelled something at me. He said, “Excuse me?” My hand on the door, I turned around.

I know better than to turn around. I’ve talked to enough weirdos and freaks in my life to know not to engage random people on the street. You very rarely meet a soulmate that way. But I can’t help it. I am, after all, born and raised in the midwest…so of course I turn around.

After living in major cities for a while, though, I have developed one protection mechanism. I have a totally annoyed look on my face. Creepy people hate it when you talk to them with an annoyed look on their face. They’re known for picking up on subtle human social cues. So I turn around, annoyed face, and answer, “Yeah?”

It was a young man who’s a few feet behind me. He’s walking fast to catch up to me. I kept my hand on the door as if to show how I’m clearly busy and on a mission. He said, without really looking up, “Can you do me a favor?” I knew there is no way in hell I’m going to do anything for this man. There’s absolutely nothing I will give him and there’s no way I’m going to be even mildly inconvenienced by him. I’m already giving like three extra seconds of my life to listen to him! Why would I give anything more?

I stood there waiting for him to tell me what the favor is. I didn’t even answer (because I’m such a badass!) but I kept standing there (because I’m such a pushover!). He said, “I just wondered if you could do me a favor… can you go on a date with me?”

For any of you out there thinking “OMG, how cute is that?” Let me first encourage you not to use text talk in your head. It’s very important that- at least in our mindthoughts- we don’t abbrev. If we abbrev everything all the time, we’ll forget what the original meaning before the text talk was. So, rethink that now, please.

For those of you now thinking “Oh my gosh, how cute is that?” Let me thank you for changing up that thought to be more complete, and then tell you a little back story.

About three months ago, when I was first training for my current day job, I went to a grocery store around the corner from the office with the girl who’s job I was taking over. It was a few days before she was moving across the country to be with her boyfriend and start a new life and family with him. When we walked into the grocery store, a young man approached her and said, “Excuse me? Can you do me a favor?” Michelle, the girl who’s job I now have, stopped and said, “What?” and the man looked coyly at her and said, “Uh, can you go on a date with me this weekend?” Michelle laughed and said, “No, I don’t think so.” I answered, “She’ll be across the country living with her very serious boyfriend hopefully fiance at that point so… she’s busy.” He walked away and went about his day. We did the same- after making fun of his “do me a favor” approach for a minute.

Fast forward, and there I was not far from where this original incident took place. And there’s kid asking me the same question in the same way it was previously asked who looks a lot like the guy who approached Michelle in the grocery store. Can I prove it was the same dude? No. I didn’t take a picture or do a sketch of his face afterwards. A picture would have been weird and a sketch would have made him look like every other sketch picture I make…a blob with disproportionate features. Plus…it would have certainly been a lot weirder if I had gone back to the office after the incident and started sketching down the face of this guy for posterity. Who does that?

Having said that, I’ve probably talked to enough creepers in my life that I am likely a person with at least a couple sketches of my face in some back alley box somebody is holding onto for posterity.

Anyway, back to the post office. Ugh. The post office. So gross. So grimey. So sad.

Sorry what was I talking about again? Oh yeah, outside the post office. The dude. And the favor. Which- let me just add- is a pathetic and not charming way of asking any woman out ever. Even if he lucked out and got some really altruistic woman to agree to a date, it would be out of literally doing him a favor. How sad. The whole thing would be out of pity. Not a good way to start. Then again, I’m sure the same woman who respond to cat calling may actually appreciate a man with low enough self esteem to ask for a date out of pity. I guess these people exist. The magic only has to work once.

I didn’t have the heart to both embarrass him by calling him out on using the same line on both me and my friend a few months ago and then rejecting him. So I just said, “No, I don’t think my boyfriend would like that very much.” And walked away. Which is a lie. My boyfriend wouldn’t care. Sure, he wouldn’t be really fond of the fact that I would say “yes” to dates with other guys. That’s obvious. I don’t mean that. I mean that he would not be threatened at all by a man who would be willing to approach a woman and ask her for a date as a “favor” without even really having the confidence to make eye contact. My boyfriend is one of those alpha males, you know. Confident. Aggressive. Few words. Tall. Intelligent. Handsome. Strong. Pure masculinity. Mmmmmm.

What?

Oh. Sorry. I went away for a minute. I’m back now.

Another reason the line I gave was a line was because that wasn’t my reason for rejecting him. Boyfriend aside… (aw man! Now I’m thinking about boyfriend again. Tall. Handsome. Mmmmm. I’ll be right back…)

Anyway! If there were no other outside factors keeping me from saying “yes” to this man, there’s still no way I would do it. Too pathetic. Too obvious. Too victim-y. Too weak. I would eat him alive. A guy like him coming up to a girl like me is like a gazelle wandering up to a hungry lioness asking directions to the shadiest spot in the safari. Many a gazelle has been killed that way. When will they ever learn? Come on, gazelles! Just get GPSes (GPSi?) already!

I walked away from the man- for his own good- and went to the post office to drop off my letters. And then started the long trek back. Yes, as I passed the car repair shop I heard more whistles. Yes. I counted. A total of five for the entire trip. Five whistles and one date proposal. That’s how nice this white shirt looked. Why did I count the whistles, you say? I am an actress, after all. I can’t pretend to not like attention.

Was it flattering? Truth be told, yes. It was very flattering. But I hated every moment of it. And I loved every moment of hating it. And I can’t wait to wear the shirt again and love hating every new moment of the attention it brings. I’ll wear it with a little heel to make my hips a-sway and keep my head held high. And I’ll disgustedly glare down any man who looks at me.

Ah, the complicated ways of we women.

Man shocked that woman has no desire to make out with him

Rodney Dearborn is an average man. He’s average height, average weight, average attractiveness. Like most average men, his ego is greater than the sum of its parts. Imagine, then, Dearborn’s surprise when last Friday, a random woman he met and began talking to on the train, refused to kiss him when he made a move mid-conversation.

“Clearly because she was politely responding to my questions and faintly smiling, she wanted me. I don’t get why I got rejected,” he claims. The two had apparently been making casual conversation, which in Dearborn’s mind was the equivalent of intense flirting from a desperate woman at a dive bar at 2 am on a Friday night.

Midway through the discussion about the colder-than-average temperatures, Dearborn leaned in with his lips puckered and his eyes closed. The woman squealed, jumped up and got off at the next train stop. “It’s her own fault!” Dearborn asserts. “She was giving me all the signals.”

“I’m a man. She’s a woman. We were talking. She made eye contact once in a while. Clearly, she wanted me,” he reiterated. Many men have been in Dearborn’s position before and unsure why they were rejected by these women.

The Institute for Male Ego Studies, IMES, has been researching the issue for several years. Brad Hunter, their spokesman, stated, “Scientifically speaking, there’s no reason any given woman shouldn’t be not only attracted to but smitten by an average man. Unless, of course, she’s a lesbian.The phenomena of women rejecting men who make a move has been boggling us for centuries.”

Hunter, who is quite familiar with cases like Dearborn’s, has attributed these rejections to the increase in the number of lesbians who retain much of their femininity, rather than wearing the obvious uniform of plaid, khakis, Birkenstock sandals and short hair. After years of research, that is the only feasible conclusion IMES can come up with. “Nothing else makes sense,” says Hunter. “There is absolutely no other possibly solution.”

Dearborn added, “If a woman doesn’t want to have intimate relations with a man, she shouldn’t lead him on by doing obvious things like eye contact, responding to simple questions, or being friendly. It gives the wrong impression.”