Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thick Love

Have you heard about the Marie Claire blogger issue? Let me fill you in. This blogger, Maura Kelly, wrote a post where she basically states she's disgusted watching fat people make out on the street and on TV (they have a picture from the CBS show "Mike and Molly" with the blog post).

Now, I'm no skinny minny, I am like most humans…someone who is in the constant struggle with their weight. Ms. Kelly, in her retraction, has confessed that she has dealt with anorexia. (Which I guess she feels makes her an "expert" in weight issues….????)

She gives her two cents to the obese to: "….eat more fresh and unprocessed foods, read labels and avoid foods with any kind of processed sweetener in them whether it's cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup, increase the amount of fiber you're getting, get some kind of exercise for 30 minutes at least five times a week, and do everything you can to stand up more — even while using your computer — and walk more. I admit that there's plenty that makes slimming down tough, but YOU CAN DO IT! Trust me. It will take some time, but you'll also feel so good, physically and emotionally. A nutritionist or personal trainer will help — and if you can't afford one, visit your local YMCA for some advice."

Hum. Okay Ms. Kelly: I go to the gym roughly 4 to 5 times a week for a solid hour workout. I never drink soda, and haven't had fast or processed food in over three years (something I gave up for New Years 2007 and haven't gone back.) Bottom line: Weight issues are personal. Every person is unique and different. Everyone has to deal with their own issues whether it's physical or psychological. Why would I (or anyone else) even consider taking your advice whether it's truthful or not? Who died and made you an expert?

What really gets me in a tizzy about this blog post and her retraction, is the lack of a response from Marie Claire. Within their pages, they publish a fantastic column called "Big Girl in a Skinny World" by Ashley Falcon, who in the words of Maura Kelly is, shall we say "plump" – Ashley Falcon is a fashion conscious consumer who struggles with trends for her curves and finds a solution and gives great advice. It's well written, honest and relatable.

So when Marie Claire's own blogger writes that she finds it "gross" to watch fat people make out…where is Ashley? (This is your swan song Ashley…and Marie Claire should be putting her front and center on this issue.)

If you read Maura Kelly's bio, she apparently is writing a novel, and considers dating her job. (I wonder how that is working for her?) Bottom line is that Maura offended a treasure trove of readers by simply not being relatable and touting her own personal thoughts about the obese (lumping every single person who has a weight issue together) and offending masses of readers.

BUT….let's discuss the thicker issue here (pun intended). Being overweight and dating sucks. And if Ms. Kelly writes a dating blog, and she wants to write about real weight issues, why not write about "Sex and Thunder Thighs", "He's a good 30 lbs Heavier than his Profile Picture" or "First Date Fashion to Hide Your Muffin Top"?

So while people can protest, cancel their subscriptions to Marie Claire, blah blah blah…I do enjoy fashion and being trendy and I love Ashley Falcon's column.

I have seriously dived into the weight issue with my new novel ("Love in the Time of Skinny Jeans") and what I do know is that men are bias to "plump women". I deal with my weight every day of my life and I constantly struggle with my own image issues. BUT, I try not to judge people. It is hard to lose weight and keep it off. But it's even harder to be single in a sea of skinny people (aka Hollywood). So rather than be "disgusted" by fat people, let's all be sisters in the struggle.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lost in Translation

You've heard the phrase, "men are from Mars and women are from Venus." While I don't think we are from outer space, I do think men are men and women are women…we are just simply wired differently.

Recently I had a friend who went on vacation to China. She took these fabulous pictures of all these signs that were meant to be read by English speaking tourists. They cracked me up…but it also brought up and interesting point. Sometimes our messages and actions can be interpreted in many ways. Since I'm not a guy, I'm often flabbergasted when I get an email, text or a voicemail message that makes no sense. Is he trying to tell me something? Is he being vague because maybe he has a girlfriend and I'm his side show? Does he really think it's okay to cancel on me again? What is going on? Are you just not that into me?

Here's a secret: When I'm about to get my period…I cry. Cry at the emotional coffee commercials, cry at the inspirational talk shows, hell, I cry during a funny sitcom. Literally, I will sit there with my Kleenex and think…I should go buy some tampons. Men…you cannot understand this feeling. You just can't and well…I don't understand it myself. I just know when I start to cry at totally lame commercials, I'm probably pre-menstrual.

Somewhere in our breakdowns between the sexes we have to come to the realization that we're different. I wholly believe this is why both men and women need their spaces in their houses. Call them "man caves" or "craft rooms" or whatever…just give me some alone time and move out of my way.

Which brings me to my madness today….I've been dating a guy who always comes up with the loftiest tales to tell me when he wants to cancel a date. Common one liners are: I'm sick; I have to work late; I'm too tired… etc. All signs are pointing he's not that into me. BUT when I bring it up to him…he honestly thinks no, that's not the case…he's just sick, tired, and working too much. I should just understand, move out of his way. The game is on. And that's when I crack. The calm rational girl and me walks out of the house and goes for a walk to blow off my steam. But in reality, I call my best friend and have a major bitch session. The guy has screwed up …again and he just doesn't get it.

Now I am no fool. I know when there is a baseball playoff game on, I understand the Sunday football commitments, and when something better comes up like….ah…sitting on the couch…I get it. Who isn't tired?
So is he lying? Or am I just lost in the male translation of his actions? Does he just need space and doesn't know how to verbalize this to me? I don't want to come off as some needy chick who is constantly calling him or texting him…but can you give me a bit more than "I'm sick."? Yes..this is where we differ. Men think that's the excuse and end of story. Newsflash: Women need more. We want to know you are committed. Try this: "Honey, I'm not feeling well but I promise to take you out on next Friday, if I feel better." Now was that so hard?
I don't think men and women will ever really know or understand one another, for now, we are just going to be lost in translation. So if I start crying when a Folgers commercial comes on you can just politely move out of the way and I will try and understand your Sunday ritual of sitting around in a smelly football jersey eating chips and watching football all day rather than having sex.

Well, I'll try and understand that.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pull the Trigger

Okay, has this ever happened to you? You have been emailing a guy. You get along great but he never asks you out? And then he drops the excuse… "I'm new in town. Where do you want to meet?"
Really? Do we need to do everything? Get a plan, call, and be a man. This is called: Pulling the trigger.

From simple first dates, to asking a girl to the school dance, to busting a first kiss, and well hell, the holy grail of proposing with a ring…these are all "trigger pull" issues for men. This is not the day and age to be shy, sit in the corner, and wait for us to tell you what we want…just do it. Rejection is not that bad.

The First Date Triggers: There are a gaggle of Starbucks worldwide. So if you want a simple first date. Pick one and meet there. Now, how hard was that? Pull it. End of story. For the more adventurous first daters, suggest a restaurant or activity (bowling, miniature golf, ice skating, movie etc). It is perfectly acceptable to ask what type of food we like (not everyone is a sushi eater, or they might be a vegetarian.) Do a little research, read some restaurant reviews, maybe scope out the restaurant in a drive by, get the movie times, and then pull the trigger with a plan. Easy!

The Trigger Kiss: You know that awkward moment, you're on your second or third date and you wouldn't mind for the guy to kiss you goodnight. So let's say, he walks you to your car, if you're not interested…you jump in the car and say thanks. You dodged a bullet. BUT, if you give him a hug, lock eyes and tilt you head. This is the universal symbol to give us a kiss. Now I'm not saying to go in full throttle PDA and make out in a parking lot. But throw us an interest. If you turn and go and don't even walk us to our car…well, yeah…we get it. Not interested.

I went out with a guy recently who got nervous every time he went to kiss me. "I don't like kissing in a parking lot" he told me. Seriously, he gave me a peck and five minutes later texted me "I wish I could have really kissed you…" So, why didn't you? Hello???

Now, what should he have done?

A) Gave me a more than a peck in the parking lot.
B) Whispered in my ear that he wanted to kiss me more and suggest a location to go other than the parking lot.
C) Waited until the next date wherein the date would end in an intimate location not a parking lot.
D) All of the above.
My answer would have been B. (His text was actually kinda close to "whispering".) So where did this lead to? Yes…we met up ten minutes later and had a wonderful make out session back at my place…because afterall…he was a non-trigger puller and I knew he wanted me to make it simple for him.

The 'back in the saddle' non trigger puller: You know the type. He was just burned in a relationship, or divorced, or just a guy who hasn't been on a lot of dates. He's forgotten how to date! Please, please, please. Call with a plan. I was communicating with one of these lately. He loved to email but the thought of actually meeting scared the crap out of him. Would I be disappointed in what he looked like? Would I notice that he didn't date much? Didn't have much hair? Was I sure I wanted to go out with him. Hello….if you lied in your "online profile" – that's your issue. There was something in your profile and emails that peaked my interest to at least go out for a cup of coffee and meet you. Stop with the witty emails and wasting way too much of my time. Let's just meet. Pull the trigger.

You know what really drives me mad? These 'back in the saddle' types who ask way too many questions. Example: Terry was a serial non-trigger puller. He'd send me these great emails. Full of witty responses, thoughtful messages, and caring thoughts. But Terry could not for the life of him pull the trigger. He could never commit to a date, location, or time. I knew he was interested, but coming up with suggestions was getting old. I was leading him to water way to many times. Here's a classic line he'd write me: "I'm thinking about going out to dinner with you. Do you know any great Italian restaurants? What's your week looking like? "

Now…Terry's not really asking me on a date he just wants some suggestions. And he doesn't tell me how his week looks like, but wants to know mine.

So I screw with Terry. "I'm free tonight. There is a great Italian place around the corner from my apartment. Wanna meet at 7:00pm?" Yeah…didn't date him very long. His tactic didn't work because he didn't know how to make a plan and pull the trigger.

Hope this is enlightening to my male readers. Ladies…can I get an amen?

You're welcome.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sex Scandal

This morning while working out at the gym, I glanced up and watched Meredith Veira on the TV talking about the female Duke student who wrote a 42 page Power Point presentation on her various sexual partners. The female student emailed it to three friends…and well…they didn't keep it to themselves. Opps.

So this student is in a pickle. Or is she? She wrote a pretty funny, well written, ah hem, accurate diatribe on stupid things men think is sexy (FYI…guys take some notes here.) But did she really think her three friends would just keep it to themselves? The female student was interviewed with wherein she defends herself stating, "Fraternities rank women all the time." True. They just don't write up a 42 page Power Point presentation on it.

So is she wrong?

With my variety of female magazines surrounding my desk (that's you, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, InStyle, Marie Claire, Elle, Lucky, Allure) and all your articles on sex positions, how to talk to men in bed, etc etc. What's the difference? Right. She posted pictures of her subjects. (That was slander…especially for those lower ranked.) But the real question is…did she or did she not mean it to go viral?

Now I'm not going to sit here and condone this student. She's young, made an obvious mistake. Let's face facts, people are talking about it, and she's going to get a book deal out of this. Hell, she'll probably get hired by a woman's magazine to blog about dates. But I digress.

Beyond spending way too many hours after each date writing up her dissertations on the male anatomy or saving various sext messages from her partners…she obviously thought it was important to tell her friends before they headed to the bar. A little "pre warning" to her friends if they encountered any of these men at the local watering hole. (Bytheway…I do think it's sad that she never had any real "relationships" with these men…just sex.)

So what did she do? Well…she sized up men by outlining eight categories. Physical Attractiveness, Size, Talent, Creativity, Aggressiveness, Entertainment (she provides 'dirty talk' transcripts), athletic ability and my favorite category "Bonus" where she gave men extra points for having an Australian accent, but minus points for being Canadian. (Funny!)

Now, have you ever called a friend after a date and given them the blow-by-blow? Of course you have. Who doesn't do this? But intimate details of my sexual encounters…yeah, I don't really go into details with my friends. Some things are just left up to the imagination.

My motto is…what happens in the bedroom…stays in the bedroom. I don't need to type it down on my computer, write it in my journal, or put it up on my blog. Because you know what…someone might just read it.

But for our female Duke University friend, well, here's the thing…sex sells. So don't give the "presentation" for free. Get a book deal.

What are your thoughts?

Here's a link to the article:

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Science of Online Dating

The programmer/psychologist behind and Yahoo Personals has a new book out Who Should You Have Sex With?: The Secrets to Great Sexual Chemistry Author Mark Thompson claims you will never find "Mr. or Mrs. Right on the internet" – Really? Why?

There is no exit interview.

Hum. Good point. He suggests there be some sort of exit interview (ala Netflix) that will help you narrow your search. And while we see numerous commercials with happy couples and their nuptials displayed all over the TV, in reality, many couples meet online, but one in ten actually make a couple.

So does that mean I have to go through ten dates before I find Mr. Okay to date?

This has me dreaming of some exit interview multi-million dollar online dating company to start up (yes, I did just see The Social Network)…would that work? And honestly, are couples really connected through some sort of mathematic equation figured out by psychologists and computer programmers? I thought finding a mate was through face-to-face connections? You just increase your odds by actually going out and meeting new people. No?

Here's the truth. I'm a social butterfly. I have a number of friends. But…somewhere in my dating life, I was way too into my job/life to actually look at men as date-able objects. Then one day, I turned around and everyone was married. And now I go out with my friends and they have no single men to set me up with. And I often wonder…how did this happen? When did this happen? And how do I find someone? Pronto.

Enter internet dating.

Now I will admit, I've met a few guys I just didn't click with after a first or second date. No problem. You just get back on the horse. But the thing I like…I am actually meeting new people who are single. Compare that to the "old days" of being set up by friends, meeting men in bars, or *gasp* answering a personal ad – volume doesn't actually mean more quality, but I am having way more fun and it's relatively easy.

So Mr. Thompson…your "overpromised and under-delivered" results in online dating sites might ring true for many, but I for one, am happy too actually meet single men. Because I don't know where they are in my town – and my guess is, I'll find more single men on the internet than I will anywhere else.