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Archive for December, 2008

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve. Got that special someone to give a midnight kiss to? No?

Whatever. I somehow manage to never be dating someone on New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, or my birthday. Sure, I’m missing out on candle-lit dinners and dancing cheek-to-cheek while being hit in the head with a flock of slowly descending balloons, but it’s not all bad. New Year’s Eve is just one more night to be fabulous. Here’s how:

1. Make plans. “Plans” cannot be defined as “spooning your cat and eating raw cookie dough in your pajamas while watching Dirty Dancing.” Make friends and get invited to a party, or throw your own. Put on real shoes and get out of the house. Jeez.

2. Don’t be around a bunch of couples. Can’t stand to be the fifth wheel? Avoid parties or venues where you’ll be the only single person having to listen to people tell you the nauseatingly adorable story of their first date (“I just knew they were THE ONE! From the day I met them!”), and then ask you when you’re going to “settle down.” I’d almost rather you spoon a cat.

3. Look hot. Maybe you’ll meet someone. And then in two years, you can regale the poor dateless wonder at a New Year’s Eve party with the story of how your eyes met from across the room and you just knew. And then that person will gag into their Malbec.

4. Know that “hot” does not equal “hot mess.” No one wants to be there when you get wasted and cry about some ex who dumped you three years ago. Don’t ruin other people’s evenings by becoming a sloppy, destructive, mascara-encrusted-tear-stained downer. Two drink maximum if booze makes you emotional. Don’t get arrested for public urination.

5. Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Being single isn’t a disease. Happily married people will not divorce within 24 to 48 hours after you accidentally sneeze in their general direction. You have people in your life who love you, so spend New Year’s Eve with them. Be optimistic about what 2009 has in store for you.

Edit: Bonus #6! Have enough money for a cab. Don’t drink and drive, for serious. Don’t make me tell you again!

Happy New Year!

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A few days ago, I broke things off with someone for the first time. Historically, the guy broke up with me, or it was mutual, but the guy initiated it. This time, it was me who said, “screw this,” and I picked up the phone and just…did it.

I hadn’t been seeing the guy for very long (though we’ve known each other for a few years). I just noticed that dating was #978 on his list of priorities, and I need someone who’s ready for something more than that. It’s cool, he isn’t at that point. The breakup was respectful and not a surprise to him.

Anyway, I’m not at all upset. If anything, I feel ridiculously empowered. I don’t think I would have done something like that a couple of years ago (this blog sure helps…I have to practice what I preach!). In the past, I would have just kept trying to see where the relationship would go, only to be horribly disappointed when the guy broke up with me. I would have left the power in his hands. No more!

Kudos to Tina, who came through with an immediate offer of a glass of wine, and L, who called me even though she was throwing a holiday party that was about to start. See? You need your girls, even when you aren’t sad.

So, once again I’m back to square one when it comes to finding dates. Won’t someone be my yenta?

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Happy holidays!

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all my readers, near and far. I hope you’re spending today with people you love, opening presents and/or taking in a movie and some Chinese food.

As for me, I’m enjoying my first of two five-day weekends, and I’m ready for New Year’s Eve. I’ll follow the advice of a co-worker, and suggest you all do the same (unless you’re, you know, a dude): “Have a great New Year’s bash, and definitely wear the shortest dress in your closet.”

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This one’s for the ladies

Frankly, most of my posts are for the ladies. I am a lady. Unless some guy steps up to do a “he said, she said” post with me (that would be pretty cool, actually…any volunteers?), the gentlemen in my audience might want to go grab a snack or something.

I was talking with my friend Tina about how hard it can be to find good girl friends. I’ve written before about how judgmental women can be toward each other, and, as far as I’ve come since my awkwardly-dressed middle school years, it can still be really intimidating to strike up a conversation in a group of women you don’t know well. At least in a group of guys, I can flirt. In fact, guys will often be your friend because they secretly want to do you. Women actually have to enjoy your presence.

This past week I went to a holiday party thrown by a girl who has taken it upon herself to arrange monthly get-togethers for young women in my city who were a member of my sorority in college. I had never met most of the 12 or so girls there, but we automatically had one thing in common (and a host of funny rush stories to tell), and the conversation flowed easily, as did the wine. I work for a company that’s about 80% male, and the girl-talk was a refreshing change from the “that’s what she said” contests that dominate lunch breaks with my co-workers.

Happily, I have a solid group of female friends here — some from college, some from my last job, some from my current job — but I always welcome new ones. Good girl friends will laugh with you, cry with you, compliment your sparkly new dress, and give you advice. Ladies, if you’re lacking friends like these, go out there and get involved in activities where you can meet some. Finding friends can be as awkward of a process as finding dates, especially if you’ve just moved to a new city.

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I met this girl at a party last night who had moved to my town for grad school. We started talking about dating, specifically dating in this city (which happens to be large and, conveniently, full of unmarried people). She complained about the guys here — too self-involved, total workaholics, completely immature — and I think of how I hear this from friends of mine all over the country.

I don’t think it’s that all guys in all cities are all self-involved. I think that finding someone is hard, whether you live in L.A. or Albany or Chicago or Omaha. I have friends in New York City, the mecca of the young, beautiful and single, who can’t get past the first date with anyone, and friends in small towns, where everyone supposedly settles down at a young age, who meet great people. Granted, if you’re looking to date within a certain race or religion, or you’re gay or lesbian, some cities will provide more dating options than others. But regardless, it’s possible to find love anywhere. You live where you do for a reason. Maybe you’ll find your future boyfriend or girlfriend, or maybe you’ll go on some bad dates and learn about what you don’t like before moving somewhere else. Maybe living there will boost your career at the expense of your personal life, and that’s what you need to sacrifice at this point in time.

You should be happy where you are now, rather than always thinking that things will be magically better if only you moved to your dream city, because then you’ll move to that city and think, “okay, well, I’m happier, but now I really want…”

It’s a never-ending cycle. Be realistic about what you need when moving to a new city (proximity to your job, safe neighborhoods, cultural activities, etc.) and then look for the best in the people who live there. No matter where you live, dating is hard, period. But keep an open mind and you might be surprised by who you meet.

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Someone left an excellent comment on this Advice Goddess column about a girl who wants to go all stalker on a date because it’s been like two hours since the date ended and he hasn’t called yet. The commenter said: “I hope she’s under the age of 25 when the supposed transformation to ‘I am self assured and comfortable in my own skin, why are guys so clingy?’ hasn’t happened yet.”

I don’t know if 25 if the cutoff point for unneccessary freaking out, as I know people who freak out well into their 30s. But I’ve noticed a change in myself. In college and in the year or so after, if I went out with someone, I’d get ridiculously nervous that they wouldn’t call again, even if the date wasn’t that exciting and I probably wouldn’t have given them another chance. I think my ego just needed the fluffing that comes with knowing a guy is interested.

Now? I don’t experience that nervousness until after five dates or so, when I realize I really like the guy and I sincerely hope things work out. But after one or two dates? I’m a busy girl, and they’ll have to chase a bit. When they do keep calling, I’m almost surprised!

Maybe it’s not that people become more self-assured and comfortable. Maybe it’s that after 25 or so, we’ve experienced enough disappointment to not get too worked up about the prospect of further disappointment. And our standards are now so low that when someone exceeds them by not disappearing after two months or not asking to incorporate light bondage into our second date, it’s practically a miracle.

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