Monday, June 28, 2010

Balance of Power

I have a friend Greg who is dating the hot model-college student Tiffany. (She's 21, goes to Pepperdine.) 26-year-old Greg is well…unemployed and sometimes works in production. He makes ends meet with odd jobs (helping people move) and working part time at his gym. He worships his hot girlfriend and is the envy of all his friends. The girlfriend truly expects to be treated like a princess and Greg does anything for her like a small puppy dog. Bring her lunch, pick her up, take her shopping…is all in a day's activity for Greg.

Now, let's flash forward to Tiffany in her 30's….Greg will have dumped her (for another hot college co-ed probably)…and career girl Tiffany will no longer have Greg's eating out of the palm of her hand. The power will have shifted, and Greg "might" or "might not" have time to call her. She will grow desperate (insert ticking clock) she will offer up free sex in the hopes it will lead to a ring, but then Greg, who is now in the one in demand, suddenly says, 'You know, I think you're great, but you're not who I want to marry.' Sound familiar? Tiffany, you've lost the power no matter how hot you still are, and no matter how good you look on paper.

Here's a secret, one of my favorite shows to watch is "The Hills" (I know…very MTV of me). Right now, you see these hot women, dating the "hot" guys and having a blast every night on the town. They are seemingly in control having the time of their lives and an endless line of men at every club, diner, beach and BBQ. I would LOVE for VH1 to create a show when these girls are in their 30's (ah hem…5 years from now) and see the shift of power. Trust me, for all their musings of "you look totally hot in that bikini"…they won't have the power. I think Heidi Montag will actually look like she's learned something from dating and marrying jerk Spencer, but at least she got married. Actually, I can already see the shift starting to happen. Brody Jenner can get plenty of tail (sorry Kristin)…and he's just "casting" his own spinoff of ex girlfriends (all hot playboy bunnies in their 20's I might add) every time the group hits the town. Fact is, 25 year old Kristin, Adriana and Lauren have already been deemed "too old" from well-aged Brody.

So ladies of all ages, take note.

In our 20's we love the way men follow us around. Buy us flowers, pay for dinners with their crappy salaries…treat us like the queens we've always been told we are. And we women…treat the men like shit. Sometimes, those guys propose…and we say yes. We look beyond the thralls of admirers and decide. "yeah, you'll do" even though there is a line out the door of better suitors.

For those of us who don't marry our 20-something boyfriends…..Then our 30's hit. We start to get desperate. The balance of power has suddenly shifted…yet no one really told us about the shift. He stops buying us flowers. He doesn't take us out to dinner (he's now saving for his 401k). And he's in control and we desperately say "yes" to anything he wants because…we've given him total control. We start to TiVo Oprah and muse to our girlfriends that we are smart career girls and men are shit.

Think of this: Men want to get married as much as women do. 20's, 30's, 40's…it's the balance of power that seems to get in the way.

So here's some things to ponder.

20's – he loves you…you have the power. Do you want him? Does he have potential? Any sort of sign that this is true. Hold on to him….and get that ring….

30's – He's looking at girls in their 20's. You've lost control. That said…if dating, he doesn't want to give up the "perks" of the relationship. So use the "perks" to get the ring. Got it. Hold out. Don't give it too easy.

40's – Time to regain control. You know what to do in the bedroom. Do it, and do it often. If satisfied…ask for the ring (or even propose to him…why not?) Or simply, have great sex for a couple months then, move on cougar. You've done your deed.

Bottom line: Learn the balance of power. As you get older, he will and does, trade you in for someone younger and hotter. Older ladies, think "Samantha Jones" get what you want from him and do not shed a tear. Make him want you (again) and shift that power back into your control.

I told you I'd be honest here.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

An Education

Once on a girls weekend, my friend Katie blurted out that one her requirements in a mate was a college degree. This rubbed a few of the women the wrong way. Another gals husband did "some" college, but was not a college graduate. "I wouldn't date him," was Katie's honest answer, even though we all love Pattie's husband. Why not?

And just the other night, I was out with some single gals at a wine bar and bing Naomi got a "wink" from a guy on We instantly sized up his profile. "Urgh, he did "some" college. No way," said Naomi. This was a serious deal breaker for her as well.

Ladies, should we narrow the field? What's wrong with guys sans diplomas?

"If he couldn't finish college, than it shows he doesn't have drive…" stated Naomi. "I need someone who can go toe to toe with me in a conversation."

How can you tell he can't go toe to toe with you in a conversation without even meeting him? How do you know he's not a self starter? Are you only interested in men in your field who can talk to you about your job? What about them? Don't you think you'll be smart enough to date someone who is interesting on his own? Wouldn't that get a bit boring if you only talked about yourself and your things?

So I asked Naomi, "How do you know without meeting someone whether or not they are interesting and can't carry on a conversation?"

"I've learned from experience. I've dated a lot of men, and I've tried to date men who did "some college" and they usually are intimidated by me."

Our other friend explained, out of Naomi's earshot, "she's a bit high maintenance."

You think?

Then I had lunch with my friend Rosemary yesterday whose husband did not graduate from college but played in the NFL. Would Naomi knock him off of her list? I don't think so….

But it brought up something to me. Over the years, I've dated men who went to college and men who made their wealth by working their ways from the bottom up and never went to an institute of higher learning. I've dated teachers, lawyers, men in the medical field a variety pack of white collar jobs. I've also dated men in blue collared jobs: tradesmen, law enforcement, baristas; and then the artists….musicians, actors, writers as well. Each and every category has pluses and minuses.

An education is a great thing, but sometimes, it's not for all. I look back at my own college experience as hard to capsulate. It all started with figuring out what I want to be, then leaving the nest, moving to the big city, keeping myself on budget, my grades in good standing, working my part time job, as well as writing, producing and editing my student films, not to mention dating and have a social life..well…my education wasn't just about what I was learning in the lecture halls. It was about how to live, and learn how others lived.

But do I narrow the dating field to only educated men? The older I get I'm more interested in someone who is financially stable than their GPA in the early 20's. Do they have drive? Will they be good providers? Do they have hobbies? And of course, can we carry on a conversation? My questions now tend to be, "do you own or rent?" – not whether or not someone went to college.

If I skimmed out the men who only graduated college, I'd miss out on many men I dated and learned a great deal from. Sometimes it's okay to look at the other side of the coin, some men who didn't go to college might not be in serious debt (like the over-educated lawyer I dated…who was well into six figures in debt). Is their debt worth it so you can carry on a conversation?




Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Force

"May the force be with you" -- Luke Skywalker
You walk into a party/bar/coffee shop/social gathering and scan the room. You see a guy, check to make sure he's not wearing a ring, and instantly size him up. He's cute? Or "bar cute"? Could he be the one? Is he husband material? Does he make a good living? Is he sensitive? Will he "get me"? Believe it or not, we intuitively have this instinct in us, passed down from the stone ages, will he be a good lover/provider/protector within three minutes of meeting someone.

I like to call it "The Force".
Okay, you could be a cynic like me…I do this with every viral man I meet. I will take the flaws, the beer gut, the "baggage" men carry around…but can you really know if he's "the one" within three minutes?
I had to dig deeper….
 Helen Fisher PhD says, that women typically regard rapid talkers as more educated and men with full voices as better looking than they are.
Ohmigod. She's right. Okay confession. I've been dating a rapid talker. Usually I'm a chatter box (shocking I know). So I opted to not be a big chatter on a recent date. Let him tell me all about himself. And you know what…I was instantly more attracted to him. Before him, I had a crush of "deep voice guy". (I told him he should go into voiceovers…because he has the sexiest voice on the planet…and I would listen to him read me the phonebook.) Totally intrigued by this Helen woman now…

She goes on to say that we basically form an opinion within the first three minutes and, we know pretty early on if we will say yes to date two. Helen says, that the "more you interact with a person you like (even slightly), the more you come to regard him as good looking, smart, and similar to you."

Now…okay I'm going back to quoting "Marry Him" by Lori Gottleib: "I can't make myself become attracted to someone…you have to feel it from the beginning. If you aren't physically attracted when you meet them, you're always forcing it and it never works."
 Right. But if you are mildly attracted to them…keep dating him. There might be something about those first three minutes and the force that pull you toward him….right?

So your next outing to a party/ bar/coffee shop/social gathering…let him do the talking…size him up and let me know your thoughts. Did you get a date? Did you say yes to date two? Or were you just not attracted to him?

Let's discuss….

Monday, June 14, 2010

Coupon Tom

My friend Sara is at a crossroads in her recent relationship. She has been dating Coupon Tom. It's what you're thinking. The guy who only takes her to places he has a coupon too. "It shows he's frugal, and that's not necessarily a bad thing, right?"
Right….I think… I had to dig deeper.
Sara's story started off by her telling me she rejected Coupon Tom's suggestion of Buca Di Beppo (he had a "buy one entrée, get the second one free" coupon, of course). "It just wasn't romantic. That's more of a family style restaurant and I didn't want to be sucked into it, just because he had a coupon." Sara then suggested The Chart House for appetizers and drinks instead. (Good move.) But her story didn't end there. While dining at the lovely Chart House, Coupon Tom was sucked into their "rewards program" to get future coupons. Say What?
Houston we have a problem. Coupon Tom is addicted to…well…coupons.
Look, I'm all about the coupons. I use them personally. And in fact, I have ads and coupons on this website for you all to save some money (and please use them…that includes you Coupon Tom!) If a date made a suggestion of a restaurant and then used a coupon, I would have no issue. But if he only suggested restaurants with coupons or rewards programs, well, then that's a little tacky.
We can face facts, in this day and age, we are all trying to save money. I have rewards programs tied to my credit card and I use my "rewards points" toward travel and hotel rooms…does that make me cheap too? I don't think so.
Let me fill you in here. Celebrities…they love free stuff and coupons. The "swag bags"; gifting suites, free invitations to all those great parties (where laymen have to pay hundreds or sometimes thousands of dollars to attend) not to mention the perks at restaurants, bars and the free concert tickets. They get a plethora of freebies. And that's why they show up. And the events/restaurants get to say "Leonardo DiCaprio showed up at my event!" -- it's a win-win situation. They get the notoriety and the celebrity gets something for free.
I have a friend who is a private chef who once said to me, "rich people are cheap" and you know what…he's right. So let's all take pause here. While Coupon Tom only uses coupons, he probably drives a nice car, owns a house, and dresses well. "He does!" exclaims Sara. So while he might not be spending money on her right now, as she asserts herself into new suggestions and different restaurants, take the "rewards programs" and allow him to wine and dine you for more nights out but if he can't break away from only using coupons, you might need to tell him, "I'm not a two-for-one" and move on.
One of my favorite sites is Here's a link:
For my friends with kids: Here's a printable coupon for Buca di Beppo:
Oh and hey Sara, I put up a coupon for (on the left banner).... You can either use it yourself or give it to Coupon Tom when you dump him J

Friday, June 11, 2010

Gasp…I’m a Romance Writer

A male friend of mine recently asked me point blank how difficult was it for me to "reveal" I manage a dating blog and I write Chick Lit (aka Romance) novels to my dates.

My response was simple: This is not something I blurt out on a first date. (If I did….let's face facts, they would run for the hills.) Usually I tell my dates I'm a writer and write about woman and female subject matters…nothing they'd be into. If they prod me…I am proud of my honesty here…so let them in on my little secret, read it for all its glory. I am a published writer and well…I'm writing about dating…so are you a good kisser. Come closer….inspire me.

Believe me. When a date finds out I manage this blog, I set them straight with some facts:
  1. When I'm dating someone, I do not write about them. I might incorporate a story they told me, but I will ask them first.
  2. I do not recreationally date multiple people at once. (I am not swimming in tons of free time.) So I take my dating pretty serious. If I'm dating someone, I'm usually only dating them…not multiples. (However, there have been periods in my life where I've dated more than one person…and that's a future blog post…but I'm not proud of that either.)
  3. I ask them to respect my subjects and not ask too many questions to figure out who I'm writing about. I usually change names of people I write about. (But I have named my sister and best friend…and I'm not sure they liked that…so from now on…they will be "friends" with random names.)
  4. I usually try and explain what type or writing I do and explain it this way: Chick Lit writers tend to "fumble" in the bedroom. Can he figure out that I'm wearing a front closing bra? And Romance writers tend to write epic multiple orgasmic sex scenes. I am a Chick Lit writer. If I figure out my dates are turning on me before my eyes, I think to myself, "but let's have sex and maybe I'll be inspired to write a romance novel."
  5. Yes…I worked for a celebrity. Big international superstar. I don't work there anymore. (For the record: my novel is NOT about my former boss or any experience I've ever had working there…because a novel is a work of fiction people!)
  6. If you break my heart…I might be tempted to write about you somewhere down the line. So don't break my heart.

The funny thing I've learned is, usually my dates WANT me to write about them. (Funny huh?) I think it's some male ego thing to have their name in print, or that they bagged a chick from a dating blog. Whatever…I just find it amusing really.

The other thing I've learned is…men will read my blog once…and never go back. (So I don't think they are checking up on me.) In fact I recently saw a guy who I must have wrote 5 or 6 posts about…didn't have a clue. I told him… "You should really read my blog more often, you might find it interesting." –So we'll see if he calls me again.

Bottom line, I'm a writer… and damn proud of it. So keep reading, tell your friends and well. Laugh, cry and send me your dating stories. I'm all ears.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Got My Cook On

I recently read an article where the writer was expounding on what she learned about dating with 31 things she wished she knew in her 20's. Number 12, she wishes she learned to cook and cook well. It helps a lot. Ahhhh to be a good cook, in her view…a way to a man's heart was through his tummy.

Link to Glamour Magazine article:

On the eve of my birthday…where I'm one year older, and in my thought wiser, I have recently got my "cook on". For you see, I am the daughter of a family cook (he wasn't a chef at a restaurant or anything…) but my dad claimed that he was taught by the famed Cordon Bleu Culinary School. And my dad was one killer cook. Every Sunday, he'd hit the farmed markets, multiple grocery stores, and cook up some of my most memorable dinners. Sunday Dinner is still a tradition in my family. And as an adult, when I'm home alone, I usually try and whip up a culinary masterpiece on Sundays, whether for myself, with friends, or dare I say…a man.

I'm also a big believer in the dinner party. I introduced couples who eventually married at one of my famed dining adventures. I've had people meet and create multi-million dollar venture deals…all at my humble dinner table. I love to gather friends and family. It's what really makes my heart tick.

Recently, I was "hired" by a friend to be a caregiver for her elderly father John. She asked me if I could cook dinner for her dad too. My first day on the job, I looked in the fridge and the pantry and dare I say? I was in the "prepared food nightmare". The entire freezer and pantry had boxed dinners. Now, I have nothing against Stove Top stuffing and Rice-a-Roni…but I decided to try out some of my favorite dishes for John. After dining on my breaded filet of sole with lemon sauce, honey-glazed carrots and wild rice with slivered almonds…John looked at me and asked, "now, why aren't you married?' (Made me just love John all the more.) For a week, I cooked this man beautiful food for very little money. Now I will confess, the "bread" of the "breaded filet of sole", was Bisquick, because for the life of me…I couldn't find flour in the pantry! But…that's what a creative cook does…you make due with what you have and a little trial and error just makes you a better cook. (FYI – John is currently on the hunt to set me up, so this could get interesting….but these are my adventures for you…so enjoy.)

I have a multitude of dishes in my repertoire, but ladies, I think it is of the upmost importance to know how to cook four simple items that will wow any date. They'll actually think you can cook, even if you don't think you can.

Here are the dishes to master:

  • Roast Chicken – this is SO easy and they think you slave over the stove. You don't. Literally you prep a chicken (take it out of a bag, wash it); salt and pepper and throw into the cavity of the bird: Onions OR oranges and lemons. Drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle your favorite herbs on top (dried thyme, basil, rosemary…or whatever you have on hand…Mrs. Dash? Whatever really…) and throw it in a 350 degree oven for an hour and 20 minutes…make some rice and a vegetable…Voila, dinner is served. So simple.

  • Simple Spaghetti sauce from scratch: I say "scratch" – but really a couple cans of quality stewed tomatoes, dried and fresh herbs (hello basil), olive oil, crushed garlic, diced onions, salt and pepper. Really…it's not that difficult but you can really dazzle a guy by making sauce from "scratch" – and you don't need to tell him the tomatoes came from a can. If you can boil pasta…you can make this dish. Trust me.

  • Grilled meat: Ladies. Men like steak. If you can take over their beloved grill…go for it. If the grill is "his domain" – pan frying is delicious too. Simply add butter to the pan (its true…everything tastes better with butter) and here's the key – once you get a sear…turn down the heat and continue cooking it low and slow for another 10 minutes. Then let the meat REST for 5 minutes. This allows it to continue cooking and keep juicy. After cooking your steak, add onions and mushrooms and deglaze it with some red wine or balsamic vinegar…and well…your man will have died and gone to heaven. Oh and for brownie points…make homemade French fries. Again…super easy. Oven at 400 – cut up a potato (or sweet potato) into match sticks sprinkle with oil and salt…bake for 10-12 minutes. He'll think you are a super woman…and it took you no time.
  • Apple Pie: I actually like to bake and I used to hate apple pie (I wasn't a fan of warmed fruit). Then I went to a picnic and tasted a homemade pie and was hooked. When I learned how easy to bake a homemade apple pie…well, I became a fan and truly, everyone loves a homemade apple pie. Now…I will confess…I'm not a "crust maker" – (Martha Stewart purist I'm not.) Since Pillsbury makes a fine crust in the perfect dimensions…why would I even think about chilling butter and making my own homemade crust? Exactly…you don't need to master crust making either. So buy a pre-made crust (or make your own if you dare…but trust me, your guy/guests they won't know the difference). Filling: peel and slice about 8 small granny smith apples, zest of one lemon, juice of 2 lemons, add ½ cup of sugar, ¼ cup of flour, sprinkle on cinnamon and nutmeg (to your liking). Put them in the pie shell. Cut up half a stick of butter (1/4 cup) and add pieces of butter into the apples. Cover the pie with other crust and cut slits on the top. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven (on a cookie sheet); reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 40-45 minutes. Hello. So easy…serve with vanilla ice cream. And you score major points.
The cynical one in me is thinking…if I'm such a good cook, how come I'm not married? Well….I'm usually not cooking for my dates. So this is going to change. Because, if cooking is a way to a man's heart, I feel I need to stop having so many parties, and start creating more intimate dinners. Oh, and for my birthday, I am purchasing a new dining room table if nothing else, I will be whipping up romantic dinners for two.



Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Al and Tipper Gore

Seperating? Divorcing? Say what?
My best friend has a thing for Al Gore. She volunteered for him during the 2000 election campaign. Walked door-to-door expounding his attributes to the masses. Wore her Gore/Lieberman hat proudly to my very Republican parents house (and was asked to leave actually). And then one morning, she woke up and said, "Wow…I just had this awesome dream. Al Gore was great in the sack." From then on…she's had fantasies about Al.
So this morning, as I perused the headlines, I see Al and Tipper are seperating.
No explanation given, it was a mutual decision. Of course I had to call my best friend.
"I know…maybe I have a chance?" she blurted. Somehow, I don't think so, but I let her fantasize.
After famously, laying a big fat kiss on Tipper during the 2000 Democratic Convention, Al had become some fantasy of my friend as the perfect lover with power.
Recently I went to an Al Gore book signing/public speaking event. Here was a confident man, giving a speech he'd probably given a hundred times. It was time for people to wake up to Global Warming and take action. The room was filled with men and women; students and suits; young and old…it was a general mix. He wasn't converting anyone…we all knew about Global Warming…but we hung on his every word. He stood tall, was smart, polite, Southern Charmer, and while I chuckled at his "Gore-isms" and the way he pronunciated his h's, I understood my best friends attraction. Al Gore was a nice guy.
And then today's news.
Come on Tipper…what do you know?
Did he have an affair with some documentary filmmaker ala John Edwards? Laurie David perhaps?
Traveling too much?
Was he too into giving speeches and presentations on Global Warming, that he missed the warm sensation for your embrace?
Details, we need details!
I swear, if I hear Al Gore traded her in for a younger woman, I'm going to hurl. Tipper is a good woman Al. Wake up and don't be so delusional. What are you looking for at your age?
Or was it Tipper? Did she leave ha-ha-ha-him? Hey Tipper, you think someone else is going to walk in and sweep you off your feet? How often was he on the road? Because last time I checked, absence makes the heart grow fonder.
So what gives?
After 40 years of marriage…what would make you two throw it all away? The press will find out…so why are they being so vague?
I'm utterly curious now…and I know something is going to crack. For now…hey best friend…go for it. Start your dreamin. Because Al Gore is on the open market.