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Archive for the ‘Don't Be This Guy/Girl’ Category

If there’s one thing I hate more than all the other things I hate (including goat cheese, dirty snow, and control-top pantyhose), it’s flakiness. Listen, I don’t always show up on time to stuff. I don’t own a car and I’m at the mercy of the whims of public transit. I’m not perfect, either. And there are times when it’s acceptable to flake (like when you get an Evite to some 200-person birthday party at some bar and then the weather sucks so you decide to stay home — odds are no one will miss you). But don’t flake when you’re invited to a dinner party, for example, or you’ve set up a date. When your absence will create a problem, you must give notice if you have to cancel. Period.

L, I hope you don’t mind me telling your story. She and I were talking at a party when, out of nowhere, a pleasant and good-looking fellow introduced himself to us. Sensing he had eyes for L, I did my wingwomanly duty and made up some excuse to back out of the conversation. They talked, they exchanged numbers. After some more texting they both agreed to meet up for lunch over a weekend. They hadn’t set a day, time, or place, so L called on Friday and left a voicemail.

She never heard back from the guy.

Anyway, I know L is all “whatever, his loss” about the ordeal, which is the right attitude, but I feel rage. Rage! Why? Because it is not polite to reach the age of 29 and flake like that just because something better comes along. You agreed to a specific activity (lunch) on a specific weekend, step up and pick a time, or call and politely cancel. You don’t even have to make up a reason. Just, “I’m sorry, something came up, I’m going to have to cancel.” The other person will get the hint when you don’t try to reschedule.

I don’t actually feel rage. I just think it’s stupid that with so many ways to communicate with someone, people don’t bother to cancel plans correctly. Have respect for someone else’s time. They’re setting aside a few hours to meet up with you, at the expense of hanging out with other people. Set them free if you must, but you need to let them know this.

And if you don’t, it’s bad dating karma.

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…because I will laugh so hard when you go back to being single. And it will feel good. Bwahahaha!

A girl I went to school with years ago friended me awhile back. For about four months, she had all of these status updates about how her life was now complete (Really! Complete!) because she’d met her boyfriend. He constantly wrote on her wall to say dumb shit like, “I love you, baby, you’re so great” (Gag! Isn’t that what e-mail is for?). There were photos posted constantly of the two of them out to dinner with her family. Friends wrote on her wall to express joy about what a great relationship she was in.

And then? Back to single. All photos of the guy erased. All his wall messages deleted. Listen, I’m cool with people listing themselves as in a relationship or engaged or married (all the better to stalk you with with, my dear). Part of the joy of Facebook is finding out what your old friends are up to. But for the love of all that is holy, I hate when people spew all of that sappy “I am so in LOVE and my boyfriend/girlfriend is the BEST EVER and I never knew TRUE JOY until I met them and now my life has REALLY BEGUN!” bullshit all over their Facebook pages. I’m talking about people in their mid- to late-20s, not 14-year-olds. Pathetic.

Does this post make me sound bitter? I’m not. I just don’t like when people think the only thing they have going for them is the fact that they’re dating someone. Come on, you’re so much more interesting than that! They are so many private ways in which you can communicate your slobbery love (give them a phone call!). Why does the whole world need to see it? I get the whole shout-it-from-the-rooftops thing, but…yeah. Am I alone in this? Thoughts?

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Apparently it’s fashion week here at CHO.

At a brunch, my brother met a guy who was dressed from head to toe in biker gear, and I’m not talking of the Harley variety. He was clad in a jersey and padded shorts, and kept his yellow-tinted, non-prescription protective glasses on throughout the meal. I imagine he removed his helmet, but no word on whether or not he limped around on those shoes made for clips.

Listen, I get that all that stuff serves a purpose. I own a bike, I’ve ridden long distances on it. I’ve felt pain in NSFW locations that was alleviated by padded shorts. But there is a time and a place. Riding in a metric century? Fine, look like Lance Armstrong. But if you’re just heading out to brunch, you will look like a douchebag. There were single women at this. You can bike in jeans.

I see this a lot on What Not To Wear: People who have a serious hobby or a job that involves special clothes start dressing for that activity or job all the time. They work in construction and dress casually, for example, or yoga instructors who only wear tank tops and yoga pants, even when out in bars. You need to dress for the place you’re at. Then go home and change before the bike ride.

Or if that’s not an option, take off the damn yellow-tinted glasses.

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I can say, unscientifically, that the women I know care more about fashion than most of the [heterosexual] men I know. We ladies keep up with trends (Fall is coming, have you stocked up on navy blue nail polish and boots that go slightly above your knee? And why the hell are the ’80s back?!) It’s true that women dress for each other, because most guys really don’t notice half of the details of the outfits we carefully assemble. As for the gents…”dressing up” is a button-down shirt and jeans, and maybe a sweater on top if its chilly. If they feel like switching things up, they’ll wear a gray sweater instead of a black one.

It seems so simple, but it takes a man some effort to look good. One guy I know asked me how a man could, at least marginally, keep up with trends to avoid looking like his mom picked out his clothes. Here’s how: Men’s clothing doesn’t change much, but the shapes of that clothing does. So, here’s a breakdown of a typical man’s wardrobe, and the do’s and don’ts:

Jeans

  • Hot: Tighter fit, lower waist, boot cut or straight leg, long enough leg so the back of the hem is about an inch from the ground. I generally like a darker wash, as they can be dressed up or down.
  • Not: High waist, tapered ankle, too short of an inseam. Icky lighter wash, or that weird medium blue wash that was big in the ’90s.

T-shirts

  • Hot: Tighter fit, longer length. Crew neck is classic, v-neck is a matter of taste. Just avoid the douchebag neck. Solid color is great, wear patterns with caution. Some people can pull off the ironic message shirt, but make sure people actually find it funny. The older you get, the less cute it is.
  • Not: Nothing is weirder-looking that a too-short over-sized t-shirt that gets wider toward the bottom so it fits like a circus tent. No ugly old touristy shirts.

Button-down shirts

  • Hot: Again, a tighter fit (noticing a trend?) with some stretch for comfort. The fit can be looser if you intend to tuck the shirt in (so you might have some looser ones for work in more traditional colors like white and blue, and some tighter ones for going out in funkier colors or patterns).
  • Not: Those light blue oxford shirts with the collars that button down. An untucked shirt with a looser fit — you get that circus tent effect again. Any colorful shirt with a white collar and cuffs.

Non-denim pants

  • Hot: Flat-front, no cuffs.
  • Not: The opposite.

Dress shoes

  • Hot: Lace-up in brown and black will take you far. Navy suits look fresher with brown shoes and belt.
  • Not: Loafers or anything with tassels.

Sneakers

  • Hot: Anything of the low-performance variety (Pumas, those gray suede New Balance sneakers, etc.)
  • Not: Puffy white running shoes, unless you’re actually going for a run.

Other tips: Own proper outerwear — A wool coat in black or camel and a trench coat in either of those colors. Maybe a leather jacket also. Three crew-neck or v-neck sweaters in neutral colors (black, brown, gray, navy) will take you far. Keep your clothes in good shape and replace items that are worn out. Nothing is sexy about a sweater with holes in it or a t-shirt with sweat stains. You don’t need a lot of clothing to build up a good wardrobe. Don’t wear jewelry beyond a watch and wedding ring, and invest in a nice watch.

So, there you have it. This is a list of what women in the age range you want to date find attractive. Listen to your mom in general, but not about fashion, as she picked your clothes in the late ’80s and early ’90s, which were two very unfortunate periods of time, sartorially speaking.

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A friend tipped me off to this little gem, where a man named Dimitri leaves two voicemails for a woman named Olga. Apparently he met her on the street and she gave him her business card. Then he proceeded to leave two extremely long, oversharing voicemails where he comes off as a narcissistic, controlling, mentally unstable asshat.

Men, sometimes women play games. They give you their number but never call back, or play hard to get. It’s annoying, I know. But if you left a woman a voicemail like Dimitri’s, she wouldn’t respond for fear of her safety. If you’re laying it all out on the line like this because you’ve been toyed with by women before, it’s not going to get you results. Just like you don’t like to take the blame when other men have hurt a woman, we don’t like it when you automatically assume we’re going to hurt you before we’ve even exchanged last names.

I once met a guy at a bar. We talked for awhile and got along well, so I gave him my number and clearly said, “I’d like to go out with you sometime.” Later in the evening he asked if he could kiss me, and I politely said I’d rather get to know him a bit better first. Suddenly, he got defensive, and said now he wouldn’t call me, that I’d have to call him, because he didn’t want to call me if I was just going to reject him or ignore the call. I was like, “What? I said to you not 20 minutes ago that I wanted to go out with you, and I gave you my number. You know what that means? That I want to go out with you, so you should call my number.” I wasn’t going to fall for this shit.

So I never called, and in a few days he called anyway. We went out for dinner once and I never saw him again. In retrospect I probably shouldn’t even bothered, because he went from zero to asshole in 3 seconds, but I gave him a chance, and he was actually perfectly polite on the date. But yeah, if you get weirdly aggressive because you don’t get your way, don’t be surprised if women you meet disappear.

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Ladies, has this ever happened to you? You’re at a bar with a female friend when a guy walks up to chat with your friend and totally ignores you. You’re left standing there awkwardly, staring into your gin and tonic as if it’s the most interesting thing in the world. Your night has just been made worse by The Solo Artist.

Gents, there’s a reason the wingman is so important. If you leave your target girl’s friend hanging, she’ll cockblock you out of boredom. Here’s why: When a group of guys go to bars, if they lose each other in the course of the night, they just assume everyone made it home (to their own or someone else’s) okay. Women tend to arrive at a bar together and leave together. No chick left behind. If your target girl notices that her friend is wandering off, she’ll be more likely to ditch you.

Get yourself a good wingman. They chat up the friend, you chat up the girl. No one is bored. Magic! Or, if you don’t have a wingman, be sure to talk to both women at the outset. This will make you seem like a quality guy to the friend, so she’s more likely to give the girl you like the thumbs up. We’re all about that stamp of approval when it comes to potentially sketchy guys in bars.

And it’s not necessarily true that the wingman gets the “lesser” girl. When I was in college, a friend of mine directed his wingman to chat up a girl he himself wasn’t interested in, and the wingman ended up dating this girl for several years.

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There’s an article in today’s Washington Post about a woman who works as a consultant, helping Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y people get along in the workplace. Often, she teaches Boomers how to figure those Gen Y kids out. As a Millenial, I’m stereotyped as having a poor work ethic. Supposedly everything was handed to me by my indulgent parents, and I got trophies even if I came in last place, and I don’t talk to anyone in person, just on Facebook. Read the comments. Some of them are pretty insightful.

I think it’s kind of weird to have someone work as a consultant, helping people figure out Gen Y. Pretty soon we’ll be in our 40s, trying to figure out those kids who were born in the (gasp!) early 21st century. Besides, didn’t the parents of the Boomers think their kids were a bunch of wild, irresponsible hippies? The Boomers in their heyday made sexting look like church. My point is, no one likes to be told how they “are” based on sweeping generalizations. Don’t tell me I’m a lazy, self-entitled waste of space. I actually never work overtime because I’m so insanely efficient at work that I don’t have to. What can I say? I’m a list-maker.

That brings me to my latest Don’t Be This Girl: The Bitter Single. These women have been burned a few times by guys, or are at least terribly afraid of being burned, and so they “protect” themselves by assuming that all men are shit. If you ever hear someone say (or hear yourself saying), “ALL men are [negative trait here],” that is the trademark of The Bitter Single. These women commiserate with their gal pals over pink cocktails, comforting each other after a bad break-up. “It’s not you,” they coo. “It’s him. It’s men! Men are all pigs.”

No, they aren’t all pigs, and maybe it actually is you. I don’t get why male-bashing is so popular. Men could just as easily assume that all women are snobby bitches, and that wouldn’t be at all fair to the down-to-earth ladies looking for a nice man. When you make broad generalizations like this, you close yourself off from being able to see the good in people. When someone believes that all 24-year-olds are incapable of taking work seriously, they won’t notice the ones who do. When a woman declares that all men are douchebags, and her friends sing a chorus of, “Mm hmm, that’s right!” in the background, she will scare away good men. They can smell The Bitter Single from miles away.

Most people are good people. Stop generalizing and look at each person for who they are.

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