Tuesday, March 31, 2009

For All The Men Out There

My mother recently purchased for me “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” by Steve Harvey, telling me she heard it was funny. I will let you know what I think when I finish reading it.

Meanwhile, it occurred to me, that if my ever growing collection is any indication, a lot of these relationship books are geared towards helping women find and keep a man.

Which seems unfair to me since clearly men are the ones that need the help. I mean no offense. It just seems to me that men need women more than women need men.

Think about it, one reason heterosexuals couple-off is to procreate, it isn’t the only reason, but it is one of the main ones, even if they don’t admit it at first. Now, in California, a single woman without a job can go and have eight babies all at once. In that same state, I doubt a court would let a single man with an eight figure salary adopt a child.

See, you men need us.

And that is why I am going to start providing you with some sage advice in finding and capturing the woman you want to share a bed with for the rest of your life.

First thing is first, Women talk.

Maybe you already knew this. Maybe, you heard the recent results from some study that determined women say three times as many words a day as men. What you may not know is what we are talking about; in this order: our jobs, our men, our family and, when the occasion calls for it, our other friends.

So what you ask. Well, say you meet a girl at the grocery store -- okay, I know it never happens, but it is more interesting than saying at a bar -- you exchange chit-chat and then numbers and then good-byes. That girl is going to call her best friend, quite possibly as soon as you are out of earshot.

She is going to tell this friend what you look like, what you were wearing, what you said and what was in your cart/basket. This friend will then follow-up over the next couple of days to learn if you called. Hours will be spent trying to figure out your motive for waiting until Thursday to call and what it means that you want to grab coffee on Sunday as opposed to a drink on Saturday. Other friends will be consulted, outfits will be tried on and emergency evacuation plans finalized.

So if you wait to call her for two weeks or instead of calling her you send her a text at 1:30 in the morning, not only will her friends know about it, they will have opinions about it.

Oh, and believe it when I tell you that every detail of your date will be dissected, more often than not later that same night. Her friends will know if you picked the place, what you ordered, if you paid, if you offered to drive her home and if you got any action. At this point they also know if you are getting a second date and your chances of getting any action then.

What am I driving at? While you may be able to sweep one off her feet with your smile and the twinkle in your eye, I am telling you there is at least one other woman that will require more than charm to win over. And from the moment you leave your BlackBerry out on the table, she will be urgently whispering in your young love’s ear that you are no good.

Is this fair? Maybe not. But that best friend knows just how awesome your young love is and she will do everything in her power to make sure she finds someone that appreciates her.

Plus, who ever said life is fair?

Tune in next week when I explain to you why dating a feminist does not mean not having to pick up the tab on the first date.

Friday, March 27, 2009

They’re the People that You Meet at Borders on Broad Street

It is funny to me what people will talk about in public on their mobile phones.

I was sitting in Border’s working on the next great piece of American literature when a gentlemen, and yes I am using that term loosely, answered his phone.

Now, he has an earpiece in, making it easier for him to hear his caller, but he is also using the speaker phone, making it easier for all of us to hear him.

I can’t tell you who called him, if it was a he or a she, I can tell you he hadn’t heard from this person since this person and someone named Chris made him feel like a ragdoll.

Then there was a pause.

Then he explained that he was sitting next to Chris the night this person was slamming into him.
Is it cruel for me to put this conversation on blast? Possibly. But he wasn’t being quiet about it. Sure, I was sitting right next to him, but the woman sitting at the table across from me, looked up at the “slammed into Chris comment” and we both raised our eyebrows and stifled a chuckle. So clearly, he isn’t worried about who heard what.

Now, just before Ragdoll sat down near me, Theresa stopped by to check on me. We talked about how things were going and in the course of our conversation people we knew were mentioned. Each time one of us said a proper name (read: not a nickname we gave the person) we would both look around and then lower our voice before saying it.

As I sat listening to Ragdoll, I wondered if Theresa had called me, would I have been so cautious as to see who was listening.

My guess, probably not. Just one more reason to hate cell phones, and one more reason I prefer texting or e-mailing to chatting.

Now, for those keeping score at home, I would not recommend working at the Border’s on Broad. Even without Ragdoll’s colorful conversation as a distraction, the tea tasted like a blend of piss and soap water and I had faster download times on dial-up.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Unemployment Diaries --- Day Three

So, I was “let go” from the Charles Townsend Agency.

The first thing everyone asks is, “Did you see it coming?” Sadly, no. I mean I should have. Before my departure, the agency had one sexy angel, two sassy angels and four practical angels. And in the economic downturn it makes sense that if you are going to start cutting, you would start with where you have a surplus. I guess I just thought I was the best of the practical angels.

Despite daydreaming about this exact moment, I found myself wholly unprepared for the surprise conference with Bosley, Natalie, one of the other practical angels, and our HR director. I wasn’t brave or tough or even articulate. I was numb. I barely listened as the HR director walked me through the transition.

Reality didn’t really hit until I walked into my office with my brown box and saw that my laptop was missing.

The worst thing about being laid-off by far was having Natalie see me cry.

The best part of being laid-off is how nice everyone is to you. Of course, after a day or so, this becomes the most annoying thing about being laid-off. For instance, I was driving to breakfast with my mother when she remarked, “You are really getting quite good at driving.” I know she meant well, but telling me I am doing something that any teen can do is not going to make me forget that I failed at being an adult?

Which is what it feels like, at times. That I failed at being an adult. I had a plan. Do well in school, get into a good college, get a job, work my bottom off, get an office, get a promotion, fall in love, get married, buy a house, buy a dog, buy a shore house and then if things are still not working out, have a kid. But now, my whole plan was derailed. Not only have I failed at relationships, I have failed at work -- my excuse for why I fail at relationships.

The stupidest thing I have done since being laid-off -- and no, it wasn’t losing my transition paperwork which I did in either the haze of losing my job or the haze that followed the three large glasses of red wine I had on an empty stomach -- was smoking three cigarettes. Really, shit-for-brains? You just lost your job. Which means you also just lost your health insurance. So why not engage in an activity that will give you cancer. God, sometimes I am such a self-indulgent idiot.

The second thing everyone asks when they learn you no longer have a job, is “What are you going to do now?”

Which brings us the “this new reality doesn’t suck so much” moment of my unemployment. We were sitting on Lana’s stoop, Theresa, a former sexy angel at the agency, joined us as did one of Lana’s neighbors. Lana pointed out that it doesn’t suck to be unemployed when it is nice out. Theresa then added that my talent was going to waste at the agency and that now I would have time to finish my novel, work on my blog and just be a writer.

In all my fantasies about Bosley calling me into his office to conference with Charlie to let me know that I my services were no longer needed at the agency, my stiff-lipped self would shrug and let him know that I hadn’t been happy for awhile and that I will use this opportunity to write and maybe go back to school. Then I would stand up, shake his hand, shake my hair and walk out with my head held high.

While it didn’t actually go down like that, it doesn’t change the fact that I wasn’t happy, the spring and summer are coming, the government is going to pay my bills and for the first time since I was grounded in the third grade, I have all the time I need to just write.