Monday, February 28, 2011

And The Winner Is....

What a difference a year makes.

Last year I wrote a blogpost about award season where was working and watching awards shows.

This year, I was the one at the parties and award shows.

I had sort of a “pinch me” moment while backstage at the Independent Spirit Awards. I was uncomfortable…. Didn’t know anyone and the only person I did know…was working with her headset on and rushing around. I watched Natalie Portman, Annette Benning, Mark Ruffalo, the entire cast of Winters Bone, and show host Joel McHale (who is very tall) all walk by. When a waiter came by and offered me an Irish Coffee (Jameson Irish Whiskey was their sponsor) I took it, and sipped down some confidence.

Going to these events is sort of like work.  You get out there and talk with people, put together movie deals and meet those that can make things happen. My mantra was, “this is your year Heidi.” So I put on my party dress with that attitude. I was there to work. (And I was working in 5 inch heels and a nice sheen of new Josie Maran make-up.)

Later that evening I had a wingman, my manager Adam, to the Weinstein Company party at The SoHo House. I was not allowed to be a wallflower, he was working the room and introducing me to friends along the way. Work, work, work…this is work?

As I tried not to spill my cocktail, nor let the backpain that was starting to collect in my lower back get the better of me, (damn heels), Adam was setting up meetings for me to meet with producers, agents, and financiers. We literally worked the room. I saw former colleagues, friends, and old love interests. Work, work, work.

I scanned the room and started noticing patterns. I watched women bat their lashes at males in the room. Actors, agents, producers all sipping their “cocktail confidence” trying to get laid. There were posers acting like they were big shots, slutty actresses trying to book “jobs” on casting couches, and there were big actors wide eyed and trying to figure out where their publicists were. And then it hit me….what was I really doing here? I wanted these people to read my book, make it into a movie, hell, turn my life into a Cinderella tale.

As I clicked my heels together ala Dorothy and watched a cute little brunette, claws out, batting lashes, fixated on Adam, I made my breakaway and found a loan chair to give my feet a break. There I met a wonderful woman *Joan whose husband was “working” as she put it. (This wasn’t Joan’s first rodeo show.) “I hate award season” she lamented. Joan was not only going to this party, but the Oscars the next day. Her husband was nominated.

Sweet, a real insider.

Joan asked me about my story, why I was there, who was I there with etc. Telling her I was a writer was easy, and Joan was happy that I was just a normal, non-poser type, looking for love in a sea of “the enhanced”. Joan began her commentary on the women at this event pointing out bad boob jobs, lip injections, and hair extensions. “It’s all too much” and even their surgeons were at this party. (Really, people bring their plastic surgeons to Hollywood parties? “They are working the room too.” Fascinating.)

After a good thirty minutes of chatting with Joan, who promised to call me later and set me up with a “great guy not in the business”, she clinked my glass and left me to go find Adam.

Adam and I went from party to party, keeping up our “cocktail confidence” airs about us. Work, work, work. I finally cab-ed it home circa 1:00am, my business card holder empty, and a glass of water with a Tylenol as my new drink of choice. I was home.

I woke up Sunday morning and knew I had changed from a year ago. I had grown. Sure there were lessons and “access” I learned from my old job. But I had a new confidence, not alcohol induced, I was a published writer. People wanted to meet me. And I wasn’t in the shadows. I was re-born.

On Sunday, I received tweets from friends on red carpets (ohmiygod, they don’t have lit toilets for reporters at Elton John!) and watched an ex boyfriend perfect his comb-over on E! while mugging in the background. I happily watched the awards with a friend, cooked a fabulous meal and had a relaxed air. My friend turned to me and said, “you’re different”…if only he knew the real truth.

I was a winner too.
*Joan is not her real name, but her husband is now an Oscar winner.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Single, Divorced, Long Term-ers

In my many years on this planet, I’ve dated men that fit into many many categories. So I’ve begun to poll my dates and friends for their thoughts on dating those who are single, divorced, and those who have been in long term relationships but never married.

While my statistics are not scientific, it’s helped me in my dating life. So let me fill you in.

MEN (Perspective from women dating men)

• Single Guys under 35: Looking for the hot chick in her 20’s. Not necessarily looking for a baby momma. (And always carry condoms.)

• Single Guys over 40: Houston we have a problem. They have never been married but think they have all the answers and just haven’t met “the one”. Men and women are different…it’s time to learn this and respect each other’s individually for if we are too similar…it would be weird.

• Long Term-ers: Scared of the future. They are stuck in their ways and getting married will just be too different for them. They would rather you leave them than force them to get married. “It’s just a piece of paper” anyway.

• Divorced Guys (divorced less than 5 years): Don’t want to get married ever. She took them to the cleaners and they are pissed off. Oh and you better be hot so he can show you off in case of a run in.

• Divorced Guys (divorced over 5 years): Want a companion. Miss having someone who cooks, cleans, and does laundry. Plus…you can get them organized. They’ve “been a mess since the divorce.” You are their new cheerleader. Rah Rah Rah.

WOMEN (Perspective from men dating women)

• Single Women under 25: Looking for a good time. Into their careers and climbing the ladder…so let’s just have fun.

• Single Women between 25-38: Looking for a baby daddy. Men sense this right away and run if scared. (Men carry condoms).

• Single Women 38 plus: They are there to be a cheer leader to a divorced guy.

• Single Women 45 plus (and never married): All men think you have ten cats. (I know you don’t…I’m just sayin…don’t talk about your odd hobbies.)

• Long term-ers: Totally frustrated by men and want the ring within 6 months of dating men.

• Divorced Women (divorced less than 5 years): Cougars on the prowl. Just want to have sex and it can be with the pool man, cable guy, and random hot dude who bags your groceries. Not looking for divorced dad types…yet.

• Divorced Women (divorced over 5 years): Want the Brady Bunch situation. You have kids, he has kids…let’s make this work. Finally ready for a real relationship.

Again…no hate mail on this…this is just what I’ve heard out there. I started asking after I started dating some men who were divorced (something I had not done a lot of early on) and well…it’s odd how they fit into various categories. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule and there are categories I know I haven’t even thought of. I’m just trying to sum up my “research”.

All this to say…if you are recently divorced, I don’t think you are banging your pool guy per se. It’s just that many of my male friends tell me women go through a “mid-life crisis” once their divorce papers are signed. I’m just stating what I’m being told.

But let’s keep the debate going…if you have a story: please email me:

Monday, February 7, 2011

Oh no…Valentine’s Day is Coming…Quick…Time to Panic?

What is it about Valentine’s that scares men? No really. I mean, all men I know hate Valentine’s day. Why?

Remember when we were kids and we were forced to write a Valentine to every kid in our class. But expect a card from a guy today…and forget about it. They clam up and all blame Hallmark for “making up” this holiday to sell them something.

I think men are half correct. Restaurants, florists, chocolate makers, and of course card companies all make a bundle on Valentine’s day. But does that mean I shouldn’t buy candy for kids on Halloween because Hershey is making a profit?

I was walking the aisles of my favorite store (um Target) the other day and I will admit, I got swept up and made some impulse purchases for the holiday: cute lace panties, a box of conversation hearts, and yes… I even bought some chocolate.

It was like I was in school again…letting the merchants make a buck or two off me to, I dunno, put a smile on my face.

What changed from when we were kids?

I know what it is…its expectation. Men feel if they don’t do something fantastic and romantic then we will be disappointed. (Um, we will.) Yes its true, many women have some romantic fantasy that our man will come home with a large bouquet of roses and/or chocolates and take us out to an amazing meal, and then we will have incredible sex. It’s one day out of the year…and it can actually be fun.

Do you not think you will meet our expectations? You are probably right. But let’s not get derailed. Let’s take baby steps to get you to “enjoy” this holiday.

Being someone who writes romance novels for a living…trust me…I have lived out the “romantic date” fantasy for decades…and I feel for all the men I’ve dated because I know this is added pressure. But take my profession out of the picture and I tell you what I really want…..Is You.

The little stuff you do for me all the time is far more romantic than anything you will/could bring me on Valentine’s day. Don’t be so scared. I don’t have a warped reality. Seriously I don’t.

Oh I know what you are going to say: If he doesn’t bring me: Flowers, Chocolates, or take me out to dinner –I will be disappointed.

Yes, but isn’t life full of disappointments? Prom? Graduation? Getting older? Yeah…all of it…overrated. And so is Valentine’s Day. Get over it.

Moons ago I was dating this guy who always got it “wrong” on Valentine’s Day. One year he took me to Benihana so we could have dinner with other random couples (ahhh Not romantic). Another year he took me to some Brazilian meat place where men in harem pants came to our table with sabers of beef and lamb they would slice off for us…yikes. But I shouldn’t complain, I mean he was making an effort because he never liked to go out to dinner in the first place. I was always so amused by what he thought I’d like. In all honesty…I didn’t need a fancy dinner…I just wanted to see him and know he loved me.

I was reminded by a very dear friend of mine that women should not put all this expectation on the day…it’s too much pressure for men. Really? Pressure to write me a card? Tell them they like me? Really?

Look….Having someone who is always “so busy” with work, family, school, other random commitments, for them to take a break from their lives to go on dates, go to a movie, and well…sit down and have a chat over a cup of tea…all those little things far outweigh anything that can happen on a date designed for the colors of pink and red.

Here’s my beef. Yes there is a lot of symbolism in Valentine’s day…lots of “pressures” because you might not be sure you actually like us, or gasp, love us. I can tell you…it’s a bigger sign if you do nothing, than if you just wrote us a card, made a mixed CD or spent two dollars on a box of conversation hearts.

So what do you want?

I hear you. You don’t want to give us “too much” of your heart on Valentine’s Day. So keep your roadside flowers (they will die in a few days anyways) and well…we don’t need the chocolates (which goes right to my thighs)…and let’s save money by not going out on a day when restaurants jack up the prices on prix fixed menus. Honestly, a quiet night in together is always nice, and if you put pen to paper and wrote me a card – well this is far more romantic than anything in my book.

So men out there…don’t be nervous. Be yourself. And you have to do SOMETHING (Hint: Write a card.) Because, if you like her…tell her. And if you don’t tell her everyday, tell her at least on ONE DAY out of the year. Hallmark is just your reminder notice.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Bill Splitter

You might have heard about this story…it was told to me by a friend who heard the women on The View chatting about it. Basically a woman went out on a date with a guy, she didn’t feel the chemistry, so when he emailed her for a second date, she politely said “thanks but, no thanks.”

His response was: “Sorry to hear that, but can you send me $45 for your share of the dinner bill?”
Ouch. Bitter?

Here’s my thought. He could have invited her to coffee. Usually the guy is the one asking the woman out. So if he was, ah, being cheap, then why didn’t he suggest something in his price range rather than try and woo a girl with a fancy dinner out the gate?

I don’t know about you, but I usually offer to pay the bill on a first date. I have never been taken up on my offer. (I will tell you I once went on an epic six hour long first date, and after he had paid for lunch, I thought it only fair that I pay for coffee, which the guy took me up on and I have NO ISSUE with that.)

Now I will admit, if I guy said, “Sure, could you give me $30 for your portion” it would change my perception of him. After all, he invited me on the date to said location. (I’m much more of a first date coffee or one drink cocktail type of person anyway.) But that’s my point, if you picked the restaurant, you pay.

It’s sort of obvious that this guy is a bit bummed he was dumped. But he shouldn’t have tried so hard. Meanwhile…how much do we hate her for going to the press with her “Story”.

So to the dumped guy…I think you actually dodged a bullet. Call me…we can go dutch to coffee.