Archive for June, 2010

Ego Boost
June 3, 2010

Perhaps the newest installment can address the issue of ego. While for some this can be a debilitating facet of their personalities that causes rifts with friends and family, I think a little bit can be in good measure from time to time and can provide a small, albeit shallow pick me up. For those looking for nirvana they won’t risk their future on such childish behavior but for the rest of us that are of the more flawed human race this brief moment can be quite exhilarating. Now, please note that it is not my intent to recommend that you find or create joy at the expense of another. While I have no hope for reaching a state of “oneness” I do believe in the idea of karma and having something stupid come back to bite you would be most tragic. I will give a simple example to show the correct situation that ego can be applied without detriment.

I recently had an ex move on quite abruptly after our split to the point of marrying the next girl he dated a mere 6 months after meeting her. I must admit that this shocked me especially since I perceived him to be the least mature of the two of us despite his age gap. The only comfort was that his ability to move on swiftly created an environment free from guilt for when I chose to find an alternative mate. I was fortunate that my “rebound” came in the form of a member of our armed forces from a nearby city. And although there was definitely no possibility for a full fledged relationship, I felt pretty confident in my choice to have a cheesy romance novel fantasy element that makes girls swoon and boys cringe. The tricky part was that my ex and I have maintained a surface level friendship, mainly due to the fact that we also work together. While in the friend role I had repeatedly swallowed the vomit that continually climbed my throat when he would refer to his absurdly boring marital bliss. In a moment of perfection he set me up with a question in regards to my weekend plans and I realized that this was my moment to have an ego filled gloat fest in regards to the marine. I casually referenced a guest coming into town and staying at my apartment and when it finally came out (after prodding on his part) his jaw could have shattered when it hit the ground. “Wait, what” was repeated ad nauseum and I casually gave him just enough details to wet his appetite while still maintaining an air of mystery. I walked away cool and collected but immediately began humming to myself and suppressed a sudden urge to skip through the parking lot.

Now was this sharing of malicious intent. No because neither of us are still interested in one another and while he had obviously moved on with the phrase “I do” I had been unable to express the fact that I too had moved on and was in no way pining for his lost affection. If anything one could say that he now no longer needs to worry about “crushing” my poor heart and can sleep easier. True that was not the initial reason for the confession but I think that the benefit to both parties shows that this was not a terrible way to obtain an ego boost. This single jab is plenty so please if such an opportunity arises do not proceed to flaunt your new beau or varied beaus in his face because that crosses into the territory of being rude for the sake of it. Also this moment can not be created by your own accord and must be presented to you like a blue tiffany box. This does not mean trying to be sneaky and poke and prod to get the question or set up delivered to you.

Do I still feel a slight amount of joy from that moment several days later, I will admit yes at an increasingly smaller level of course which will surely disappear completely in the coming days. But in a moment in which I was perhaps feeling a little worse for the wears and questioning the potential happy ending that he seemed to so easily discover it was exactly what the love doctor prescribed.

Treasure Maps
June 3, 2010

A friend alerted me to an interesting astrological process that centers around the zodiacs new year which begins at the New Moon of Aries. On this date, one is to create what is referred to as a Treasure Map. The individual is instructed to spend the weeks prior to the new moon clearing the clutter out of their lives (for the rest of the world this is referred to as Spring cleaning and has more to do with the clutter your father/husband has been squirreling away in the garage then anything else but I digress) to make room for the new desires and goals for the year.

Thus over the weekend I took some time to declutter my life/apartment. Getting rid of clothes/handbags/shoes that I haven’t worn for at least 2 years (of course kept the Saved by the Bell t-shirt but that’s “vintage”) along with random knick-knacks that I held on for sentimental reasons (aka guilt) from relatives I rarely see.

The second phase occurs tonight in which the instructions state that you are to get a poster board and cut from magazines, or draw for the artistically gifted, items, ideas, goals for your upcoming year. For instance if you want to lose weight, put your head on the body of a victorias secret model. if you want a car cut out a picture of your dream auto. If a picture doesn’t seem to express it then writing on the map is acceptable as well. The focus of the activity is to take some time and really think about what it is you want out of life for at least the next 365 days. Don’t put a picture of a wedding dress unless you seriously want to get married this year. Same can be said for the car; you want the Mercedes but do you want the car payments that come along with said vehicle.

This is the portion that causes me to want to run for the hills. For instance I am conflicted between wanting a serious relationship like a normal grown up would want (I am 25 now after all) or wanting to date more in general. The longest relationship I’ve had to date is 3 months which is a fairly pitiful track record and what’s worse is my b/f number is 2. So the age old question endears; quality or quantity. And will I appreciate quality without the quantified comfort that what appears to be quality isn’t simply naive inexperience.

Then comes the debate over career. I feel that I have had as much fun as possible at my current location and have been eager to test the waters in an alternative environment. However, at this point I’m trying not to limit myself and only apply for a single job title but have been flirting with several different areas; i.e development, casting, etc. Do I gamble with a specific area or do i figure out a way to keep this vague.

Naturally this is the point where my caffeine fueled brain starts to do the spins. How specific or vague am I supposed to be. For instance I put a picture of Gerard Butler on my map. Will that be interpreted as a) I want Gerry Butler, b) I want a guy that looks like Gerry, c) I want a guy that acts like Gerry Butler. Obviously if option A could work out I would be thrilled to the point of near brain aneurysm but honestly doubtful. And for option C, will that cause me to end up with a  sweets addicted horndog? Or on the flip side in regards to vagueness; I put a picture of two people having a romantic dinner overlooking the beach. Am I supposed to get more specific and say that I am actually enjoying this event. In 3 months I could find myself out on a date in such a setting except the guy is AWFUL and I’m completely miserable.

After taking some deep cleansing breaths (SERENITY NOW!), I come to the conclusion that this exercise is supposed to be therapeutic and calming. It’s to provide us control freaks a false sense of comfort in that we have some sort of power in deciding our fates. In addition, it goes along with the notion of positive energy being magnetic and that if you visualize and really put out those happy thoughts for your future something positive will come to you. Granted this is more likely to be having a good hair day for an important occasion than riding off into the sunset with “enter celebrity crush here” but that’s life.

Thus my evening will be spent with my roommate, a bottle of wine, and the grown up equivalent of the 1st grade art project entitled “What I want to Be When I Grow Up”. For those curious in the original I was pictured in a hot air balloon with my uncle because I really didn’t understand what he did for a living but knew he was the goofiest/funniest person I knew at age 6.

Losing Yourself in Love
June 3, 2010

As previously written, I have been enjoying the book “Why Men Love Bitches” and I am pleased to see that the author and I share the same philosophy in many areas when it comes to relationships. A subject that is reiterated throughout the book is the absolute necessity to maintain yourself as a person whether you are part of a couple or not. We all know the women who upon finding the man of the moment or the man of their lifetime, seem to say, “Phew, now I can give up all of these ‘filler’ activities and friendships that I maintained just to seem interesting to any prospective suitors”. They fall off the contact grid because in making time for their new beau, they have determined that yoga class, painting, or girls night are now obsolete and that nurturing the blossoming love is her number one priority. Now please note that I said HER number one priority and not THEIR number one priority. That’s because no self-respecting man is going to be able to tell his guy friends that poker night is canceled indefinitely while he is in a new relationship. While the girl friends will be disappointed and annoyed, the guy friends would stage an intervention and threaten to take his balls as he clearly doesn’t need them anymore since he entered this relationship. Harsh, but fair response from the men which is just one more reason that guys are so much easier to deal with. Now, all the couple has to talk about is each other because the female has immersed herself completely in “their” life and is unable to bring up a topic that involves a situation or element that they both have not been a part of. “Ohh my god remember that part of the football game when player x tackled player y?” which gets the reply, “Yeah babe, we watched it together” without a ton of enthusiasm. Now there are some women who will try to fake it. On “Guys night” she will panic and try to salvage her bond with the outside world by calling up her girls for an impromptu get together. Most women know exactly what this means and are aware that this is in no way a real get together. The entire evening she will be checking her voicemail or searching for text messages from her man. She will abruptly bail as soon as he is on his way back home or will panic and flee if he does not respond that he is returning at the hour that she feels is appropriate. What’s worse, is that when she tries to communicate or join the conversation of her friends, she is unable to because she has nothing to contribute other then antic dotes about the boyfriend. After a few of these, her friends are increasingly more likely to ditch her while she is in the bathroom pretending to check her make up but really leaving a message for the boyfriend.

The sad part of this behavior is that more times then not the guy is clueless to the facade. He is having fun with his guy friends and not thinking about her so it’s safe to assume that she is doing the same. He sees this time apart as refreshing and a nice change while she panics that he will want to make these social outings a permanent part of their dynamic. This can cause her to cling tighter to the relationship sending him running for the hills and her with nothing. When a girl friend comes to me completely baffled not only by her friends reaction to her departure from the circle but also by the guy starting to slowly distance himself and become less available to their nightly scheduled dates, I have to rhetorically ask, “Don’t you think that part of his attraction to you was the fact that you were so passionate or interested in other activities?” which hopefully flips a switch in her head.

 So how should we protect ourselves? The easiest answer is to stay firm on your life and plans/activities from the start. If the guy gets whiney about not getting to see u enough then offer up that he can accompany you. Chances are he is not upset enough to actually attend your pottery class. Ladies, if he decides that he wants to play video games all day and you won’t be playing you SHOULD take this time to do something you want. Read a book, write a blog, go workout.

If your friend has already started down the path of least resistance to her boyfriends schedule, you as a friend must decide exactly how active a role you want to play. For some women you are going to need to take babysteps and allow time for this concept to sink in. Thus to start, try to get your friend to go out when you know that her boyfriend will be otherwise engaged. For instance, chances are you’ve either met the guy or have heard enough about him to have a basic idea of his interests. If he loves to spend every Sunday watching a golf tournament take advantage of this knowledge and invite her out for shopping, a movie, etc. The next step on this path to recovery is to see if your friend would be open to signing up for a regularly scheduled event. If there is a speaker package, a workout class, etc that you both would be interested in (please remember this has to be something that you both want to do; don’t be a martyr) see if you can convince her to sign up. Courses that involve money are better as most people are less likely to skip a class if they are paying for it.

Hopefully with these simple additional steps your friend will realize that her man does not need her to be present and give him a high five after 4 hours of finally finding the gatlin gun on Halo and that being supportive does not mean being there for every single solitary moment of the day.

Playing the Bitch
June 3, 2010

I was recently given the book “Why Men Love Bitches” as a birthday gift and I was intrigued to see what other “interventionistas” had to say and what advice or recommendations were being distributed to the masses. While I haven’t finished the book yet I must say for the most part I approve. In fact I have a friend who is an incredible example and my own personal case study in the success of the “bitch” tactic in securing a man. Now granted this girl is definitely gorgeous but more then that when she is out she has the most incredible confidence that in positively blinding. This girl knows no strangers in any situation and has a magnetism that is rare to see in real life. She has no problem calling you out on bullshit and exudes a persona of being the life of the party and you’re an idiot if you don’t want to sign away your Camaro just for the opportunity to talk to her. Watching her in action is a sight to see, unless you are having an “ugly day” in which you tend to want to her to break a heel. She’s the girl who will be sitting at a table with friends and half the male population at the location will start strolling by or just introducing themselves. Was she sending that particular guy a signal to approach her? No. she was sending out the signal to the ENTIRE bar/restaurant/club/theatre/grocery store. The usual progression for a night out with her involves lots of male attention, some will bring a babysitter or two for her friends, sometimes they will be invited back but her phone number is always requested and a dinner invitation is almost always issued within 24 hours of the initial introduction.

Now if you are getting pissed at me, completely dumbfounded why I would feel the need to share a story about a cute girl getting TONS of male suitors and her having the opportunity of picking the brightest stars of the bunch, take a deep cleansing breath, put down the chocolate and merlot because here comes the fatal flaw. She loses her cool almost immediately after the first encounter. She may continue as her charming self for a dinner or two but after approximately a week and a half, she makes the switch from cool bond girl to needy clingy wanna be girlfriend. This occurs with no provocation and takes the gentleman caller completely by surprise. Prior to this moment she would never call the potential boyfriend and was aloof/mysterious without being cold. She had her own life and was willing to find room for him in it only if the situation was applicable and he was deemed worthy. After the switch if she does not receive a call when she feels one is appropriate you better believe the guy is going to hear about it for WEEKS afterwards. In addition, her confidence begins to slip away, where as her friend there are numerous desperate calls asking for the deciphering of phone messages, texts, and e-mails (or the lack there of) for the truth that he really hates her taste in music or the way she wears her hair. At this point she actually reverts to a high school or college freshman in regards to her relating skills. Her mindset is that in an attempt to maintain some element of mystique she won’t call unless she is too drunk to remember the rule about not calling. This is a triple negative. You are not only calling, but you are now being obnoxious in doing so and sending the not so subtle message that you become a sloppy lush when alcohol is involved. After several of these calls I am sad to tell her that more then likely the damage is done and the hope for redemption is slim. Instead of the cool amazing initial meeting guiding his behavior he has seen the dark side and can envision a future of babysitting a 30 yr old alcoholic who needs more reassurance and comforting then a newborn. And what’s worse, they resent the fact that they were lied to. The contract they signed in regards to the future after the initial dinner/drink was for a fun happy confident woman.

Getting her to see her fatal flaw has been a constant battle and unfortunately her sensitivity to this subject makes it near impossible to make a preempted strike. Reflection is the major source of conversation and hope for the future that in that moment when Jekyll is about to take over, she senses that she is about to lose something that could be great. Someday at this crucial turning point she will remind herself of how she was able to secure the man in the first place and maintain the personality and confidence that makes the men flock to her.

Delivery
June 2, 2010

No this is not entry in reference to tone or the way to “deliver” news to someone that they more than likely don’t want to hear. And it most certainly is not in regards to the act of “delivering” a baby. No this is an entry to discuss a new technique that I have witnessed that is a bit disturbing. This in my opinion is even lower then the late night meet/booty call. Granted it is technically better than a full-blown booty call. Perhaps definitions would be useful:

Booty call: This is a text or phone call from a person to another that they would like to have sex with. It occurs after the individual has left the bar without any prospects for a rendezvous and now are in a state of panic/drunken horniness at the thought of sleeping alone. This is a request that the other person come over at 2AM or later without any possible romance or niceties that are to be expected in a “dating” type atmosphere.

Late night meet up/booty call: This is one step better than a booty call as in this scenario the two people meet up in a bar or social situation. Conversations usually take place and the gentleman usually feels obligated to buy the lady a drink. They do not start the evening together and frankly this meeting can occur as close to “last call” as humanly possible if preferred however there is the element, real or imaginary, that the two actually might have a connection beyond what occurs between the sheets.

Delivery: This occurs usually when one individual is looking for some afternoon delight. The instigator however cannot be bothered to leave home, get dressed up, purchase refreshment, and thus opts to call it in; much like one would for pizza or Chinese food. The recipient then goes to their home, perhaps watches some sports but it’s not required pre-sex. The other main point of this is that if it occurs on a Saturday; the caller always has alternative plans for the evening, which requires a prompt farewell post-sex. Same basic scenario on a Sunday as work needs to be done for an early morning meeting on Monday.

The amazing part is that this actually works for some women as they are deceived by the implications involved. When he invites her to his home; into his domain she sees this as a sign that he in fact really cares for her in a significant way and spending the afternoon watching TV and having sex is what a couple would do. The issue is that couples see each other on other days/nights of the week as well. And when they aren’t physically in each others presence there is usually communication via text, phone, e-mail, facebook, smoke signal to let the other one know that they are being thought of.

The real world example is one that I am still determining the best course of action as her mood fluctuates so frequently it might not even be worth the time and energy to discuss/provide insight. There are some red flags that I find painfully blatant though to her they are invisible behind the rose coloring of her glasses. The inability to meet up in the evening or even go out to an alternative location besides his dwelling. A secondary concern might be that there is no communication prior to the day of the delivery. The lack of actual wooing isn’t what is upsetting this person the most but the lack of communication in between each encounter. In the past by approximately Wednesday or Thursday she is in a sulky mood and by Friday he has been completely written off which she sticks to until the inevitable call on Sunday. One of the many gems of wisdom from “He’s Just Not That Into You” is a section in which the author Greg explains that he’s not interested if he’s not calling you. There is never a point in which a person is legitimately too busy to send an e-mail or text during a 24-hour period. He references the frequency in which he unintentionally calls people from his pocket. This “he’s got a really hectic career” excuse is a bunch of hogwash.

But how long will this process last before reality smacks her in the face. In the past she has dragged out relationships far past their expiration date simply for the fact that she feels that at this point in her life she should be in a serious relationship. One lasted nearly 3 months and only had 2 actual dates and one delivery. Now is that the best way to go about the dating scene. While I know the idea of singledom can be terrifying to some I prefer to look at the situation as you can waste your time with a loser or take the gamble, and use the time when you aren’t with the loser to search for someone a bit less jerky.

My plan of attack is to proceed slowly. As painful/annoying as it may be, it might take several of these non calling cycles for her to accept that the precedent has been set and this supposed relationship is just a farce. One can usually create an excuse for the first, and even second occurrence of bad behavior but past that becomes harder and one is possibly beginning to have a few doubts of their own about the viability of the romance. Thus I have 1-2 weeks of discussion on how wonderful he is during the first portion of the week and how he’s dead to her during the second half. Good thing I stocked up on Two Buck Chuck to dull the pain =)