Tag Archives: mentervention

You’re Doing It Wrong: Asking Out a Woman

I’m jogging to Starbucks after my morning workout around 7:30 AM. I’m in tight compression pants and a long-sleeved Under Armour top that has thumb holes, which makes me feel like I’m training for The Hunger Games. The exact kind of motivation I need to jump-start my (previous) morning ritual of hitting the gym.

My gym is a good eight minute jog from my apartment, so instead of drive, I figure I should work in the extra cardio, take in the fresh air, and get my mind clear for the day. Working out is therapy for me — I can outline everything I need to achieve for the day, meditate on my goals and give thanks for what I’ve been given. And I can daydream about going on tour, developing TV shows and traveling the world to my iTunes soundtrack. (This particular morning, I am playing Taylor Swift’s 1989 on repeat — its been out approximately nine hours.)

As I get half a block from Starbucks, I stop the jog and start to walk. That’s when a black car pulls up beside me. A gentleman waves his hand at me. Oh, this guy needs directions. His mouth is moving while “just take me home!” in Taylor’s signature shout is being pulsed into my ears. Out come the earbuds.

“Hi! So do you live in the Beverly Hills area?”

“Yeah.” (I lie. I’m adjacent. And I’m not telling you where I live.) “But Beverly Hills is about three minutes west of here.” I point to where he needs to be.

“Oh yeah, I know that. I was just asking if you live over here.”

“No, I workout here, so I jog to the gym in the morning.”

“Gotcha, that’s cool. I just moved here, I mean to Beverly Hills, from Marina Del Rey.”

This guy looks harmless, but I’ve fully realized that this isn’t a directional intervention. He’s trying to figure out how to ask me out. It’s too early for this. I’m not caffeinated. 

“That’s cool…” I keep silent. When you’re quiet, people are almost forced to fill the silence. I’m eager to hear how this is going to turn out.

“Do you jog a lot?”

“Yeah.”

“That’s great!” (He looks into his passenger seat for something — I’m assuming his phone or a business card.) “Do you mind if I get your information? I’m looking for a jogging buddy.”

Sooooooooooooo here’s the thing. I know women complain that men aren’t spontaneous enough. We say, “if you find us attractive, approach us! Ask us out! Take initiative!” I have said all of these things. But usually, it’s assumed that we want those things to happen after we’ve given you several social cues, like looking into your eyes from across the room or touching your arm or giving you a hard time. Or hell, kissing you in the middle of a dance floor. It doesn’t matter how, but the point is that we’re giving you the go-ahead to approach us. Sometimes (mostly in movies), a guy will approach a woman at a bar (think Ryan Gosling to Emma Stone in Crazy Sexy Love) and he charms his way into a date with her, and she initially acts uninterested, but then it all works out. Those instances are not completely inconceivable, but they’re the exception, not the rule.

Driving up next to me because you saw me jogging (from who knows where?) and asking to be my jogging partner is not idiotic — it’s unsettling. Why, you ask? Besides the obvious “who the hell are you and how long have you been watching me?” factor, jogging is such a weird thing to ask a woman to do within two minutes of speaking to her. I politely declined to give out my information, and told him jogging was a personal thing for me. And I’m not lying — it is. I like to listen to my music and keep to myself when I work out. I’ve been on hikes with several dudes, and those were fun and all, but it’s also semi-embarrassing going on a first date with a guy and you’re literally about to slide down the hard trail at Runyon and you’re out of breath and the guy is asking you questions about your family and your life pre-LA, and you’re sweating like a maniac. (I swear that some men use this as a gauntlet tactic to see if I can hang or not.) I enjoy the outdoors, I like working out, and I like adventure, but can’t you save this for date three or four? Once the basics are out-of-the-way?

I feel bad for men, because unfortunately, women have to worry about things like being kidnapped, raped and stalked. Not saying men don’t deal with these things, but statistics show women are more likely to be in danger of them. So approaching a woman you don’t know, in a car, on the side of the road, behind a building, and asking her to come close enough to the car “to get her info” is most definitely not how you should try to ask her out. (I know my mother is reading this, and no, Mom, I stood about eight feet away from his car. You’re welcome.)

Men, I want you to approach women and ask them out. But I want you to be smart about it. Don’t ask to be her jogging buddy. Don’t follow her in your car like a weirdo. And don’t ask her where she lives within a minute of seeing her.

Messages I’ve Received on OKCupid

Guys. I’ve been SO INTO MTV PROGRAMMING lately! What is wrong with me? I’ve been an MTV baby from the get-go, but there were a few rough years around the time I graduated college. And now they’re back on track with this sh*tstorm of a show, Are You The One?, which is actually genius. It seems scripted at some points, but I like the premise and wish I had come up with it. Not to mention, the revamped version of The Real World is complete madness, which makes fabulous television. I just wish they would have kept the old school docu-style cameras a la the Hawaii season. Side note: COLIN AND AMAYA FOR-EV-ER. (I know there will be people reading this who won’t know who either of these folk are, and for that I will cry a single tear.)

That had nothing to do with anything. Moving on…

Alright ladies, what’s the worst pickup line you’ve heard? Have one in mind? Okay, take that, then imagine the guy peed himself while delivering it to you, while wearing a shirt with a naked picture of himself on it. That’s what it feels like when you get messages from (most) men on OKCupid: it’s more second-hand embarrassment anyone should have to deal with.

OKCupid is free. You get what you pay for. Which is, in fact, nothing, except for these offensive messages. Some are offensive in the sense of being vulgar and foul, but most are offensive because the grammar is so poor, the try-hards are in fact TRYING THE HARDEST, and overall it’s just a disappointing experience. But it’s free, so you feel like you haven’t lost anything. (Except your dignity…) So you forge ahead and hope someone fun, charismatic and maybe even attractive comes along! But don’t hold your breath.

I won’t get off of the site because I know that the messages would make great fodder for Mentervention. Without further ado, here’s what to do on OKCupid, apparently, if you’re a man. You can thank me later, dudes!

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED Email incessantly, like these guys! Nothing is a bigger turn on than unappreciated persistence, self-doubt, and essentially talking to yourself.

Guy A

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Guy B

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“If you’re interested, please say hi.” Oh, thank you! I didn’t realize that was the next step when you were actually interested in conversing with someone. You’ve shed new light on this site for me. And “if you were still interested in getting to know each other”? Not sure how I gave you that impression, as I literally DIDN’T WRITE ANYTHING.

Guy C

ImageThis is not an application for The Bachelorette. A short paragraph would suffice. Also, “not sure how this online stuff works?” We have bigger fish to fry here.

INSULT ME! Reverse psychology, right? (Or make a craptastic joke that doesn’t get you anywhere.)

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I’ve always wanted to go on a date where the dude tells me ahead of time he might not be attracted to me. Very reassuring! 

DEGRADE ME! Women love being talked dirty to before ever meeting in the flesh. It’s like a sex hotline, only with the written word! (aka ICQ chat rooms circa 1998.) 

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If I wanted to play a game on the internet, I’d accept all of those Farmville requests on Facebook.

TELL ME HOW I WILL FEEL because you clearly know the depths of my soul, all based on my online dating profile and a bunch of idiotic questions I decided to answer.      

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CREEP ME THE F-CK OUT.

Screen shot 2014-03-13 at 8.43.40 PMI imagine Jeffrey Dahmer saying something similar to that first message to his victims.

That’ll do for now, but more excerpts would be riddled with spelling and grammatical errors, condescending tones, and simple hellos which, as you can probably guess, don’t elicit any responses.                                      

If any of you have actually found more-than-decent, spectacular men to date on this site, hats off. In the meantime, I’m going to keep collecting these messages for more posts.                      

The Perfect Date

I went on a perfect date. In Los Angeles.

Yes, ’tis true. And at the risk that this person is reading this right now… I’m sorry for putting this out on the internet. But I cannot NOT share it. It was, in fact, a perfect date! GREAT JOB. I know you didn’t think it was, but it was. And in a life where I have had my fair share of cheeseball pickup lines and idiotic “dates” (if you want to call them that), this needs to be documented.

Dearest readers, before you start to roll your eyes (as visions of red roses and birds draping me in a gown come to mind), slow your roll. This is a very 2014-version of perfect.

Read: it wasn’t perfect at all.

I’ve been putting myself out there in terms of dating, because 5 years in Los Angeles without even a short-term relationship has been kind of a drag. It’s been hilarious and tragic. I’ve received the absolute corniest, cringe-worthy messages that I wish I could relinquish from this brain of mine. But this was the first date I’ve been on in a few months. (Since the sociopath incident of 2013…)

HERE WE GO!

1. IT DIDN’T GO ACCORDING TO PLAN

Usually, on dates, you end up meeting at a restaurant, separately, so you can plan your escape if the dude totally sucks, has an annoying laugh, looks like he might murder you later, or won’t stop talking about pilot season. However, it’s fairly tame. You sit awkwardly and order, while trying to get to “know” one another. Drinking can (and should) be involved. It can drag on forever, usually. But in this case, he came to pick me up. (This was enough to elicit an astounding “whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa” from several of my girlfriends.)

We headed to the destination — Lucques on Melrose. For whatever reason, the map and the GPS said it was on Melrose Place, so as we drove up and down the street, it was impossible to find. Clearly.

We ended up at this little Russian place that looked like a house on the inside. Yes, Russian. Probably not the ideal first date fare, but the restaurant was vintage-inspired, with beautiful light fixtures, amazing vodka (it was Russian, so it better had been!) and delicious, savory food. If you are up for an adventure, it’s across from Fig & Olive: Mari Vanna. (PS: Order the Salmon Blinis, Potato Dumplings, and Beef Stroganoff; the Honey cake was decadent, and the seaberry martini was refreshing and light.)

We’d both never had Russian food before (well, legit Russian anyway), so we were both hesistant upon first walking in. But we warmed up to it. It could have been a complete disaster, but our Russian waitress was dominant authoritative (honestly, I would have been terrified of her if she wasn’t so helpful and funny), and the atmosphere was perfect to get to know each other without feeling too uptight or stuffy.

It didn’t go according to plan, but it made for an experience we both hadn’t had before.

2. IT WAS ON A SUNDAY

Part II to “it didn’t go according to plan” was that this date was supposed to transpire on a Saturday, but he got stuck in Big Bear and wasn’t able to make it back in time. I figured he’d want to plan for later the next week, (and honestly thought he was just trying to get out of the date at the time) but then he asked me out for Sunday. Sunday isn’t your typical “date night”, but my mantra lately has been WHY THE HELL NOT? So Sunday it was.

This actually benefitted us on many levels. There was zero traffic. (I know, so LA to say.) And the bar we swung by after dinner wasn’t jam-packed. It was full because it was karaoke night, but we were able to sit and talk some more without having to yell to be heard. And the karaoke crowd made for some built-in comic relief.

3. THERE WAS NO KISSING INVOLVED

When you get to a certain age, it isn’t taboo to kiss on a first date. (Or then some.) Which frankly? It sucks, because you lose the romance and the allure and THE WHIMSY when it comes to first dates. I was talking about high school a few weeks ago, and how I  thought my high school (eh, right-after-high school) boyfriend was the most romantic I ever had. And there were a myriad of reasons: we got to know each other as friends before we started dating, and he courted me for while (after wanting to kill each other for an extended period of time — funny how that works out). So when we finally went on a first date and we had our first kiss, it was a HUGE DEAL. Butterflies, giddiness, the whole she-bang. I hadn’t felt that way in any of my most recent relationships, and sure as hell hadn’t felt that way since living in LA. Either I wasn’t attracted to the guy and God forbid he get anywhere close to my face, or I was attracted, and they kissed me right off the bat (and were rather forward about it, too). They never left something to be desired, and I was never on my toes. I never thought, “I can’t tell if he’s into me or not?”

This guy didn’t even hold my hand until walking me to my front door at the end of the night, and when I thought I might get a kiss goodnight — which I wouldn’t have minded, to be honest — he went for a hug and went on his way. I knew we were going to see each other again, because verbalized his interest in me, but it left me wanting more, and kept me on my toes.

So see? It wasn’t perfect. I’m sure he probably was worried that it wasn’t going to plan. But it was lovely.

Some of you are probably thinking “is this guy a genius or something?” Yes. I’m pretty sure he is, because apparently he knows just how to play it. And what I didn’t mention is that before the first date, we had a little coffee meetup just to see if there was any initial interest. Kind of like a pre-interview or something. And this Type A woman loves preparation, so it was completely up my alley.

EXTRA: SOMEONE SENT ME A DRINK

This is completely irrelevant, but at dinner, some guy at the restaurant sent me a drink. Naturally, I told the waitress I didn’t order it — like an oblivious idiot — so she literally had to say, “it’s compliments of a man here in the restaurant.” It was completely shocking, but validating, too. I couldn’t have planned that shiz better myself. Cha-ching!

So remember that not everything has to go according to plan. There’s beauty in the imperfections. And for the love of God, play hard to get!

Items You Can (and Should) Steal From Your Girlfriend

After living in LA plenty of years, I never thought I’d be into the type of guy that spends a lot of time on his appearance. I guess I never really thought about it, but men care just as much, if not more, than women about how they look. This is fact! I know this because I see my brother checking himself out every time he catches his reflection. (Sorry Nick!)

That being said, I was used to the guys from the south who, for the most part, easily pick out an outfit of jeans and some type of polo or t-shirt, sneakers or boots, and call it a day. They don’t moisturize. Grooming consists of a haircut, a clean shave, and deodorant. And I loved that! I should be the one taking the most time to get ready, not you.

But approaching 5 years in Los Angeles, you get exposed to a variety of men — whether you want to or not. There are those great southern gents who dress and groom exactly as I have listed above. Then there are the men of questionable sexuality. (“Is he gay?” is something I frequently have to ask. And as it turns out, I’m most attracted to gay men. Figures.) They groom themselves impeccably, they care about their skin, they care about how their hair looks; they aren’t into last-season anything. Most of them are total asshats.

And then there are the guys with their own style: the guys that are most attractive. They look effortless, but put in some thought into their outfit. They have gotten a pedicure at some point in their life. But they aren’t trying to keep up with everyone else. They wear what they like, and they look damn good doing so. (Whether it be preppy, grungy, rock-influenced, hipster, corporate, and so on.)

That being said, I don’t really care what category you fit into. Just do you. But I do want you to take care of yourself. And even if you don’t want to run to Kiehl’s and by yourself a decent face wash, there are a few items you can sneak from your girlfriend (boyfriend, wife, fiancé, husband, whatever) to get yourself looking and feeling good. While some of you might think this is weird and you would never borrow any of these things, let me remind you that it’s only weird if it doesn’t work. And these all work. (Thanks Bud Light!)

Dry Shampoo

1. Dry Shampoo

If you have great hair, I love you. The longer, the better. But having a brother with a mop that rivals One Direction’s quiffs (and I say that as a compliment), I have seen the effort that goes into making that bedhead look perfectly imperfect. It requires wetting your hair every other day (when you are not showering) and roughing it up with your hands. That seems like a ton of unnecessary effort, so let me do you a solid by suggesting dry shampoo. Women have been using this for years to add texture and absorb unwanted oil, in order to prolong a blowout that probably cost around $85 ($40 if she’s hitting up Drybar).

I used a little bit of Oribe’s Dry Texturizing Spray on Nick’s hair the other day and he thought I was nothing short of a genius. “What is that? It smells good.” Instead of having to lean over into the sink or shower to wet his hair, it gave him instant lift and eliminated the matted look — and he didn’t even have to wet his hair.

Oribe’s is nice because it doesn’t look too feminine and doesn’t smell too feminine either. However, any dry shampoo your lady has in her bathroom will do the trick. There are options for men, like Axe’s Defying Dust. Alternatively, if you want something with zero smell, shake a tiny bit of baby powder on your scalp and comb through with a brush. (Don’t go overboard though, or it will look like dandruff.) (Here are a bunch of dry shampoos to choose from.)

Men's Moisturizers

2. Moisturizer

I don’t understand men who don’t use moisturizer. My skin would look like a prune without it. Newsflash: if your skin appears to have a white film on it, it’s because IT’S DRY! Grab your girlfriend’s face moisturizer — she should have plenty — and slather that on, especially after you shave. If it says SPF 30 on it, that’s better, because that will help block UVA/UVB rays and keep you looking young and handsome. Which really, what else could you want in life?

3. Conditioner

I also don’t understand men’s hair washing habits, and I won’t try to. I need both shampoo AND conditioner, and they have to be separate. But this isn’t about washing your hair. It’s about shaving. If you are out of shaving cream, grab your girlfriend’s conditioner and use it to shave your beard. It’s going to leave your skin silky soft and, because it doesn’t lather, will allow you to get a closer shave. I know people go back and forth about lather and how it’s crucial/not crucial, but you can ensure a more even shave without it. Be forewarned though: if the brand of conditioner includes Kérastase, Oribé, Pureology, Bumble and bumble, Alterna, or anything that looks super fancy and not from the drugstore… think twice before using it.

4. TWEEZERS

For the love of all things holy, pluck your unibrow. If your eyebrows are a mess, groom the stray hairs. Invest in a small pair of nail scissors — or better yet, stick with the theme of this post and borrow them from you partner — and trim them a bit. You’re not Bert (as in Bert and Ernie, or, Burt Reynolds would be a great example here as well) so keep them under control. I do not need you to wax them or anything of the sort. Perfectly groomed brows on a man? Chances are, you might be a Dawan Radé. (The term my girlfriend Beezus affectionately calls gay men — actually spelled like Duane Reade, as in the drugstore, but she got fancy with it.) Also, don’t avoid your nose hairs.

5. Blemish Cream

Most guys I’ve been in relationships know a few things about me: don’t expect to leave a bar without me performing a full dance routine (incorporating some of my favorite Britney moves), and I’m OCD about my skin. So whenever I’m staying the night, you can bet my face looks like a speckled egg, with dots of pink calamine from Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion strategically put on any blemish I may have — or think may be coming up. (Have I mentioned that I’m ridiculously sexy?) I’m sure other women do this as well. So if you deal with ingrown hairs from shaving, or you have a blemish that won’t quit, borrow those acne creams and slather them on the spot ASAP. Sometimes my brother thinks he’s breaking out, but because he’s in a rush to shave, he actually just caused a few ingrown hairs. All you have to do is put any type of benzoyl peroxide/salicylic acid cream on it overnight to draw the hair to the surface. It gets gross from here, but follow me: once it looks like a bona fide blemish, you can use a needle (WITH CAUTION) to pop it, and then can pluck out the hair out. Fin.

Or, you can use it to bring a blemish to the surface so it’s easier to remove. It’s better to extract the sebum that’s clogging the pore than dealing with it for months on end. Also, do yourself a favor and get a facial with extractions every once and while. Nobody has to know. If your girlfriend is a picker, she’ll probably get joy out of picking your face — it’s free and you can do it while watching Sunday football. I don’t know anyone who actually enjoys that though…

Oh, and if you want, here’s the magical Drying Lotion I speak of. Use a cotton swab, dip it in the bottle — all the way to the pink sediment — then pull it out and apply it to your skin. Do not shake the bottle or you won’t get the most out of the medication.

And that’s your official invitation to get sneaky — by borrowing your girlfriend’s products. That should satiate your need to do anything secretive, and it won’t even ruin your relationship! Unless you use up all her La Mer face cream. That’s grounds for a breakup.

Things You Need Not Do If You’re Trying to Take Me on a Date

As my irritation with the male population continues, I have to remind myself that I am actually attracted to men and that, most of the time, they’re just so darn loveable! I usually remind myself of this by looking at a picture of Harry Styles.

S’CUTE. SOOOO CUTE.

So why would I be irritated, you ask? (Have you read this blog before?) I mean, perhaps I am hard to please, sure. But after discussing some qualms with my coworker today, I realized that I am in the right about these irritations. 

THINGS YOU NEED NOT DO IF YOU ARE TRYING TO DATE ME, SON.*

(*Or anyone, really.)

1. Send a cryptic message about who you are

If I dont know you/barely know you, it is not in your best interest to message me with “Hi, It’s Ben.” Ben WHO? The kid I had a crush on in 4th grade? My brother’s best friend? Who the eff are you? This first communicative message would be the ideal time to identify yourself. Therefore, if you are messaging me to ask me out, please indicate how we met — and immediately. A “Hi, It’s Ben, I met you at that Nylon party with Jennifer two weeks ago,” should suffice. Identifying how we met and where is always a great option. That way, if I still don’t remember you, I’m the real a-hole.

2. Ask me out to lunch

I am not a man, but are you trying to put yourself in the no bone zone? (Not like that is going to happen, get a grip.) If I agree to lunch with you, it’s because I do not find you attractive or I feel like you may be homosexual. Nothing wrong with either of those, but it definitely means I am not trying to see the relationship progress past chatting over a sandwich for 30 minutes. Also, I am not trying to drink at lunch, and sometimes you need a cocktail to endure a first date.

There have been way too many men, in general, asking women to go to lunch for a first date. (Polling the office, obviously.) Do people take lunches these days? This is a foreign concept to me. And any lunch I do take is not going to spent trying to get to know someone, unless that person ends up being a new employer or is discussing a business venture. Or one of my parents.

*general note: while I do not take lunch because I am usually working, I do get the opportunity… but I don’t typically because the valet situation at the studio is obnoxious*

ANYWAY, if you expect to ‘wow’ someone in a 30 minute lunch (which, by the way, would be just 30 minutes — because traffic is a nightmare here), think again. I may respect that you are not trying to take up too much of my time, but really? I’m not trying to get romantic over a lunch portion salad and an agua fresca.

3. Date my friends

Hey, novel concept here, but if you dated one of my friends, get lost. I am not trying to date you. Unless I have her blessing, I am not doing it. Furthermore, I do not want to date my friend’s sloppy seconds. And last time I checked, I am not attracted to anyone they date because I am apparently attracted to people that none of my friends find attractive either. (And thank God. It makes going out in a single group of girls a lot easier.)

Also, I am a Capricorn. By nature, I assume you want something from me if you are nice to me (bad habit), so if you had dated my girlfriend and then were a little too friendly/touchy-feely with me at that party I randomly saw you at, in the immortal words of Dionne Farris: I know what you’re doing. I know you’re trying to piss her off and make yourself feel better about yourself. Please take your issues elsewhere.

4. Send me text messages or emails with emoticons/emojis

Listen, do I enjoy sending 17 cat emojis in a row to my coworkers? Yes. It’s gratifying, for whatever reason. But please do not send them to me if you’re asking me out. I know this is wrong, but judgements will be made. I need to feel like you are mature, a bit mysterious, and maybe even SEXY! (God help me!) And if you are sending me “;-)” or that emoji that’s attempting an air kiss, you are not sexy. You have solidified it for me.

There are levels to this. You are between Defcon 1-3 if you send emojis, depending on what they are. And if you send me a @—->—– (a rose) or a :^) you are most definitely hitting Defcon 4 or 5. Emojis can be forgiven at times, emoticons are the kiss of death.

Ryan Gosling could ask me out to dinner in Paris, but if he sends me a “thumbs up” emoji as I’m driving to dinner, I’m having that Porshe he called for me turn around. “Cough cough, I’m sick.”

Save emojis for an inside joke with a friend or your parents. And don’t even think about sending an emoticon. Ever. To anyone. And if you’re worried that I might not get your sarcasm or sense of humor, try giving me a phone call like a normal human.

5. Ask me what I “want to do”

Please take the reigns here. If we end up driving around for 30 minutes trying to decide on what to do after dinner, or where to eat, or where to buy the bottle of wine — do me a favor and drop me back off at home.

Men make decisions. If we’re going with comparisons here, please be a Schmidt in this situation, not a Nick Miller. (If you don’t get these, please ignore.) Men make reservations and say, “Hi, I will pick you up at 7:00 and was thinking dinner at _______________ would be nice. Sound good?” Not “So I’ll grab you around 7:00, is that okay? And we can go from there.” NO. No we can’t. At least by saying “sound good?” you offer me the opportunity to let you know I hate pizza, so that old school Italian pizzeria you wanted to take me to isn’t the best idea, but if they have other options that sounds great! And “we can go from there” is maybe the worst thing you could say to me, because the last thing I want to think about is that I could possibly be trying to entertain a guy I barely know in a car for 30 minutes while we decide on where to eat.

One of the best things in life I have learned is that sometimes you need to take action and show people what they are missing*. Not let them marinate on it and have time to decide whether it’s good or bad. Just jump into it and commit! (*This sentiment should not be taken in regards to sexual activity. I’ve warned you.)

So there you have it. Thangs you need not do if you’re tryin’ to take me a on date, y’all.. And not just me — any woman you’re trying to date. Capeesh?

Also, aren’t I doing a great job of showing that I am truly a happy-go-lucky, goofy, go-with-the-flow type of gal? Because I am. I AM. (!!!!)

For Pete’s sake.

It’s normal to hate your friend’s boyfriend

Friendship: one of the most coveted relationships you can have the honor of being bestowed with. Friends are the family you choose for yourself, yeah? Chances are, some of your friends know more about you than your own parents. I can say that I have a group of friends that I can count on one hand that have known me over half of my life. These women will probably have more memories with me, of me, and know more about me than my future husband ever will. They will remember what I looked like in elementary, middle and high school; the idiotic things I said and did in college, the first place I lived here in LA.

But with the glory of having a comrade to engage in debauchery with, to gripe with and to go through social awkwardness with also comes the crappy parts of having that friend. Perhaps it’s holding their hair back. Perhaps it’s trying to get them to put pants on. Or maybe it’s the inevitable: the fact that, at some point, you will hate their boyfriend.

Maybe hate is a strong word. You may hate them, but you may also feel many of your friends are selling themselves short with the people they’re dating.

I can’t.

As a friend, you have the short end of the stick. Not only do you have to hear all the good points (the first dates! the sweet gestures! the engagements!) but the terrible things as well, which can range from cheating, name calling; when they spent a large amount of money without consulting you first, dinner with an ex behind your back, flirting, arguing, multiple breakups, and, sadly, if he’s been abusive.

As friends, these are the burdens we take on: to love our friends unconditionally, lift them up, and try to help advise them when it’s necessary. But it’s hard to forget those terrible things when a reconciliation comes about, because the last thing we want is to see our friends end up with someone unworthy of them in the long run. Sure, nobody’s perfect, but why settle when the red flags keep popping up repeatedly?

When you’re in your teens, or even in college, you don’t tend to worry about these relationships because, more than likely, they will fizzle out, fade, die — whatever you want to call it. But as I’ve gotten into this thing others like to refer to as “adulthood,” (I prefer “4 years of Ramen or Lean Cuisine?”) I have gotten increasingly more neurotic about my friends. Mostly because they’re all dating or have dated jackasses, and also because, outside of work, my life consists of hanging with said friends or going to the gym.

“You are meddling in their lives!” you may be thinking. No, I am not. When you love someone, don’t you want what’s best for their own physical and emotional welfare? I do not want anyone I know walking down the aisle, only to get the big D four years later. (And by “big D,” I am referring to divorce.)

At first, I wondered why so many of their boyfriends were such idiots, and then I wondered what my own problem was. Newsflash: It’s normal to not be keen on your friends’ boyfriends from time to time. In fact, so many of our friends these days are worried about the option of being alone that they tend to cling to people not worth their time. So it’s normal to hold a grudge, be bitter and still be weary of said boyfriend who has broken their heart or done an unforgivable thing. Because more than often, at this age, if our friends aren’t married (like, no kidding, 90% of mine, thank goodness), they’re dating some idiot who doesn’t have his shit together. It’s true. Said shit could be their job, their emotional state, their spending, their drinking, their education… the list goes on.

Let me backtrack for a second. Some of my friends’ boyfriends, exes, or whatever their defined as these days (some of them are in relationship limbo) are great people. People I’ve had great times with, people I adore, and even people I consider a friend too. But guess what? They don’t have my allegiance. I might like these two people as individuals, but together? To the left with it.

While you would like to brush this whole “feeling” off, it’s almost impossible because it can affect your life in a few ways. It can make your life a living hell because all your friend does is spend every waking minute with this person and they’re always around, NO MATTER WHAT. So you have to hear their arrogant, self-satisfying babble when you could not care less.

Or, it can ruin your relationship with your friend. She cares too much about him at that point. Women tend to put on their Boyfriend Goggles(TM) in relationships. They impair everything! Good decisions get thrown out the window sometimes, so you’re more than likely getting kicked to the curb until she figures out this lowlife isn’t loyal, isn’t going anywhere, and has no real attributes she should be attracted to.

Or you can deal with it and drive yourself nuts.

I used to spend my time thinking about how I was going to tell my friends I couldn’t stand their boyfriend, and what a terrible decision it was for them to (move in, get back together, quit their job for them, etc). It was like the nagging thing in the back of my head. I am classified as a Stage 5 Helper, and these girls NEEDED help! Didn’t they? Didn’t they need me to tell them everything that was wrong with their relationship?

If you don’t know the answer already, it’s no.

And you know what? That’s why it’s never happened. Because I realized something. Well, two things. More than likely, these women know, deep within their hearts, it’s not right. That there are too many red flags for this to be the real deal. And sure, they’re probably ignoring it for now so they can enjoy the time they have left, but ultimately they know in their heart it’s not “it.”

Second, it’s not worth it for me, and not for you as a friend, either. It’s not your battle to fight, your mountain to climb, your experience to go through. If they are in physical harm, obviously reach out to the appropriate parties to keep things safe. But emotional harm can be just as damaging, and I understand how hard it is to walk away and not say something when your friend just got prescribed a new pair of Boyfriend Goggles.

At the end of the day, you can cause a bunch of drama by speaking your mind and probably get nowhere because, let’s face it, we’re all adults. Your friend is going to make her own decisions. You can say something, or you can love your friends, advise when necessary, and hope they get some sense smacked into them at some point.

I will say that I have been vocal with one friend recently about her relationship, and it takes a really special friendship to be able to vocalize something like that and have them respect what you’re saying, knowing it’s coming from a good, honest place. Some of your friendships won’t be able to handle — let alone make it through — a conversation like that. Even your best friends.

So mind your mouth before you try to offer help and advice.

How To Reject a Man

Death. Taxes. The Cowboys choking. Rejecting someone you don’t want to date.

Yes, these are all things that are definitive in this life.

Rejection is a word I hate. I think it’s so pompous to “reject” someone. Like they’re an object so foreign that you have to reject them from your life. Ugh. It’s the worst. word. ever. I prefer “notify them that you like them as a person, but are not interested in moving forward.” And at times it’s more like “notify them that you don’t like them as a person because they are a complete (insert descriptive noun here) and you most definitely won’t be moving forward with any type of interaction.” But those are too long, yeah?

Anyway, I’m a fraud, I admit. Aren’t I supposed to offer sound advice and encouragement when it comes to breaking up or calling it quits? Probably. But  when it comes to letting people know I am not interested, I can’t close the deal.

I am going to admit that I am way too empathetic. I imagine how I’d feel if I were on the receiving end of this conversation. I get nervous I might hurt their feelings, so instead of straight up saying I’m not interested, I pretend to be too busy to ever see them again. (Partially true.) Or, I will not respond to their attempts to go out again. (I know, it’s awful.)

I’ve asked a lot of people how this should go. How do you tell someone you aren’t interested in them? I am not the Queen of Dating by any means. I don’t have men lining up to take me out. (This is LA, after all!) But if we’re going to remain realists here on Mentervention, I must say that I haven’t dated a guy in a while that I’ve been super eager to see again. The giddy factor is missing. A CRUCIAL FACTOR, FOLKS. I want to feel like I’m 17 again. Surely that feeling can be replicated. (Surely???)

Most dates are failures in terms of finding a mate. I think it’s because I have a clear idea of what I’m looking for in a man. And not just physically — although tall, determined and handsome doesn’t hurt nobody! These guys… they all have great attributes, but “Dreamweaver” hasn’t started playing in my head when they walk in the room.

Just to clarify, I don’t openly go around asking people for advice on how to let someone down gently. It’s just that whenever I casually mention that I have a date, people tend lose their damn minds. “WITH WHO!!!!! OMG!!! WHERE DID YOU MEET!!! LET ME SEE A PIC!” You’d think I had just won the $600 million Powerball with all the fuss that is made. (And should I be concerned that people are that excited when I get a date? Like I’m the perptetual single chick or something? Dear lord.) So they obviously do a follow-up  to ask how it went, and my response is pretty much as follows:

“He’s nice, we had a good time, but I don’t see it going anywhere.”

I mean, I should really redefine the term “good” because it’s not usually “good.” Good is like, we LOLed three or four times together, we held hands at one point, and I know I am going to see him again. Maybe a kiss was involved?! I don’t know. (I’m not that old-fashioned.) In most cases, I should say that it “sufficed to keep me occupied and he was a friendly person.”

So, how do you reject a perfectly nice guy, who bought you a drink (or two) and you might even see yourself being friends with? And they’re asking to see you again? But homie don’t play that?

I’ve had a few good answers given to me. A guy friend said to be straight forward, Band-Aid style. Hit them with it right off the bat, be quick, be nice, throw in some humor if you can. Just don’t lead him on. Men would rather know immediately that you’re not interested. Which, is logical, considering I would want to be told the same way.

My makeup artist said she found the perfect term to use, and she was right. “Tell them you had a great time, but you don’t think you’re a match.” Perfection. You did enjoy yourself, you like them as a person, but there’s no gray area when it comes to if you do or don’t want to see him again.

But how do you do you deliver this message?  Now usually I am a huge proponent of phone calls because it’s a lost communication form these days. I love talking on the phone, unless you are a publicist pitching me a product. (Don’t do that, by the way. Emails only.) That wasn’t always the case — but here, calls are my saving grace, considering all my closest friends and family are all living a solid 1200-1300 hundred miles away from me. (I know this for a fact since I have many of them on Find a Friend, an app we skillfully downloaded in Vegas, just in case one of us decided to wander off alone or happened to lose our phone.) But if you can get away with a text on this type of rejection, especially with somoene you just started to see, you can probably get the point across better by writing them instead of talking it out.

And on that note, if you are in a long-term relationship and you are rejecting someone through a text message, you are an asshat of epic proportions, and you should probably not be dating anyone, but instead taking some “me” time. Because that has “issues” written all over it.

Trivial Pursuits

I’m one of those people who can talk to a wall if need be, but when it comes to dating, I CRINGE at the thought of having to explore if there’s a “connection” with someone I just met, because 99% of the time there is not.

Granted, I haven’t had a ton of dates. But last week I had two planned, which is rather shocking considering I don’t do these types of things. Surprisingly, neither one was awkward or boring or cringe-worthy… but that’s because one actually didn’t happen. Allow me to explain:

I met a guy two weeks ago at The Surly Goat, after my friends identified him as “my type.” He approached me during bar close. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t wooed by this guy because he was attractive, charming and totally outgoing — all things women can get behind, right? Long story short, he asked me on a date this past Saturday, I went, and it was great. Not weird, bizarre, uncomfortable — legitimately, it was a great time with a fun, interesting guy. Kudos to him for acting like someone I’ve known for more than just a week and not like a socially awkward idiot. I don’t know when I’ll see this guy again, (or if that’s even in the cards) but it made me happy to know not all dates are emotionally traumatizing. Rejoice!

My date on Friday, however, was with Brutus (name obvi changed). Since I’m trying to, you know, make time to date in my life, I figured why not test the waters? I wasn’t particularly interested in this person, but one of my co-workers gave me great advice: go on the date, get some wine, and use it as a way to build up your experience for when you meet someone great. Wine makes things less serious than an entire dinner, and if you use it more like a tool to help you get better at dating, there’s no harm there. PS writing “a tool to get better at dating” literally made me regurgitate a little, as it sounds SO BLOODY pathetic. Why do I need help dating? I’m effing awesome, right…?

So here’s the deal: I was going to be in San Fran for most of the week, and on that Monday I was asked out by this guy. I let him know I wasn’t going to be around, but he offered to pick me up from the airport on Friday and would take me to dinner then. I liked the gesture and thought it was super considerate of him (I can’t get some of my own friends to pick my ass up) so I committed to the date and went about my week. We would text a little bit while I was gone, and on Wednesday he told me he was headed to San Fran as well. A weird coincidence, yet not one I was willing to be like, “we should totally meet up!” Mostly because a) I was busy all day long while I was there, b) I had my office party and c) I was going to see him Friday. No need to go overboard with the appearances here. And frankly, I’m not asking you to come back to my hotel, so forget it, dude.

I didn’t hear from him Thursday or Friday morning, which lead me to crack some jokes about how I had been ditched and that my girlfriends and I should grab tacos that night and watch sappy roms coms in bed. Some of my friends thought I should have texted him with my flight info or to follow up, but I have some serious issues with this — those being that he’s the one who set this up, and he was the one making the offer. Like, perhaps if this dude was the man of my dreams, I’d make an effort. (Probably not. Chivalry ain’t dead in my book, people.) But here’s the point: if I’m offering to pick someone up from the airport, I’m asking them well in advance their flight info, what time I should be there, etc. I wasn’t about to ask this dude if he was still offering to pick me up and, you know, GO ON A DATE AND BUY ME DINNER. Also, please consider that the week before this he made plans to meet up with me and he flaked on those as well. See the pattern here? He knows how to woo ladies, especially ones who appear extremely disinterested.

I landed at LAX with no message from him at all, which was fine — me and my friends cabbed it home — but can we get real here? What an effing joke. This is why women bitch about dating guys in our generation, because they make these so-called “plans” for dates yet none of them have the gonads to follow up and make those things happen. Guys, it’s your bloody job to pursue a woman. Ladies, you should not be pursuing any man. I’m not old fashioned — and it’s not empowering for women to be pursuing a man, unless you’re in some ridic romantic comedy featuring Julia Roberts, and we all know how My Best Friend’s Wedding ended.  (If you don’t, hint: her love marries the younger, blonder Cameron Diaz, and she’s left alone with her gay companion.)  you’re wondering if a relationship is right for you, ask yourself if you are pursuing it more than the man is. If you are, and it works out, just remember you will have a lifetime to deal with him not pursuing you, and you having to pick up all the slack.

I don’t even need to get into that you shouldn’t take take take but give as well — that’s obvious, but not the point here. If a guy really wants to see you, he will figure out a way to make that happen, no matter what you’re doing or what you’re going through. If it ever pops into your mind that you should text him because you haven’t heard from him in a few days, please listen to me and DON’T TEXT HIM. Because any guy who is thinking of you is going to reach out to you via text, email, phone call, whatever. (Please apply this to breakups as well: if he wanted to be with you, he wouldn’t have broken up with you.)

“But you’ve been single how long?” Make the joke — I’ve been single three years. I haven’t gone on thousands of dates, but I did learn from the relationships I had in the past, and they all started out with the guy pursuing MOI. They made the effort, and there weren’t any games. No “let’s hang out” or “will you be at X bar?” or waiting six days to text or call each other. They were very much open about their intentions: they liked me, wanted to see me and spend time with me, and they were going to make that happen. These were no trivial pursuits by any means. They were valuable pursuits, and they were happy to go through them to court me.

OH! I forgot the best part. I’m pretty much a terror when it comes to men and making them feel dumb. By happenstance (or so we’ll say at this point) I ran into him at a bar I was at that night. Low and behold, he shows with his posse of bros. I truly adore one of his friends (apologies if you’re reading this) and explained to him what had happened.

“So, Brutus is socially inept when it comes to women — he was supposed to pick me up at the airport tonight and take me on a date, which obviously is not happening since, you know, we’re not on a date right now.”

The friend explained Brutus was buzzed on another level. (Shocking.) And eventually Brutus came over and made small talk that went something like this:

Brutus: “Hey, how’s it going?”

Kirbie: “Good! Great, how are you?” (I can really pep it up when I’m annoyed.)

B: “I’m good, you look great.”

K: “Thanks…”

B: “Yeah, I just got back in from San Fran late tonight. Did you fly in?”

K: “Yeah, I left around 7:10 and got in at 8:30.”

B: “Oh. Yeah. Remind me, where were you again?”

That was the point where I turned him around by brute force and requested that he leave. I know I shouldn’t have been upset if I didn’t want to see this guy in the first place, but really, make up your mind, and don’t waste my time with it all. He made the plans, and was proactive about it happening THAT NIGHT. Then I happen to see him at a bar after he pretty much ditched me, and the guy is obviously on something because he doesn’t even remember that I was in San Francisco — the place he was just at as well.

LONG STORY but that’s not the guy I want to date, nor the kind of guy I’m attracted to, and I’m sick of dealing with these lint-lickers. Ladies, does this sound like someone you’d want to date either? Unless you are working the street corner, no, no you don’t.  One characteristic every fiancé or husband to my girlfriends has? They’re men, and they encompass that. They don’t allow their women to be their mothers or babysitters. They may not be good at planning, but they figure out how to get their shit together, especially when it comes to pursuing those women. Each woman is strong and independent, yet these men allow them to feel their best and let them enjoy being a woman, and part of that is being pursued by a real man.

So let’s cheers to this: no more trivial pursuits, ladies and gentlemen.

Men: Your Turnoffs Are Slightly Idiotic

My friend Emily sent me a link last week from Jezebel. It’s a few months old, but that didn’t take away from its relevance or how hilarious it is. This woman, Lindy West, is a woman after my own heart. Because she likes to mix relationship commentary with some good, old fashioned LOLs.

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Her commentary, perfectly written in her post, “Listen Up, Ladies: Here’s Everything Real Men Think is Wrong With You,” highlights several “turnoffs” “real men” have, according to Yahoo. A few of the treats include:

- false lashes, fake hair

- applying body lotion

- taking too much time to put on makeup

- wet hair

- using a hair dryer, wearing heels (before work to get ready)

- hair roots showing too much

- doing manicures themselves

- being low maintenance

You can read the entire thing here. Trust me, you’ll want to, because it’s LOL-worthy. But guys, if you’re reading this, I’m going to be frank with you because some of these answers are bloody absurd.

First, let me just define turnoff for you: “A person or thing that causes someone to feel bored, disgusted, or sexually repelled.” So you’re telling me, guys, that you are bored with a woman when she takes too long to put on makeup and dry her hair — something she’s doing to make herself look good for you? You are “sexually repelled” by women who go to sleep with their hair wet? According to this Yahoo! survey, yes, yes you are.

I know you wish your woman would wake up with beautiful, shiny hair and look absolutely runway worthy without makeup. But that’s a pipedream you’re going to need to get rid of immediately, because most of us don’t look this good at the crack of dawn. Truth is, someone of us need glasses, our hair will look like a stump full of granddaddies, we’ve probably drooled on our pillows that night, and have very appearent blemish cream on our faces that make us look like we have leopard spots, all so that you don’t have to look at a face full of acne. If you think we’re going to look like Olivia Wilde in the morning, you are sorely mistaken, because she is literally the only human being capable of looking like that without a stich of makeup. Because she isn’t real. Round of applause for Jason Sudeikis. Everyone can be improved upon with a little bit of cosmetics.

The interesting thing about this article is that men range from “you are trying too hard, ladies” to “you aren’t trying hard enough.” Please, just shut up. If you are with a woman who is too low maintenance for your standards, dump her. If she is too high maintenance, kiss her goodbye. She may be nice, she may be pretty, and she may enjoy college football just as much as you do, but if you’re going to complain about how long it takes her to get ready in the morning, it’s time to let that ship sail. Because that’s a losing battle.

First off, I know half of your dream women include a Victoria’s Secret Angel, Kate Upton, Rihanna, Erin Andrews or Kate Beckinsale. They’re all gorgeous. But while you’re admiring that Angel on the catwalk, please note that she has at least six tracks of clip-in extensions in, they’ve airbrushed her makeup for a “natural glow,” she’s probably had two airbrush tans, and those lashes that look so natural? Most likely they’re curled, have extensions, or are individuals glued on. While they may be stunning, they’ve had some help. It’s not 100% au natural, as you have envisioned in your heads.

The kicker for me is that half of the things the men complained about are all things that a) most men usually have no idea a woman is wearing (or not wearing), or b) things men tend to like and grativate toward. For instance, the dude griping about the woman wearing heels and making too much noise by wearing them: you like the illusion of long legs, gents? Well stop griping about the heels. And the at-home manicure — you’d be complaining if we spent too much money to get a $30 set of gel nails, so let the woman paint her own nails! It’s therapeautic sometimes after a long day of our boyfriend nagging us about sleeping on a pillow with wet hair.

Also, I’m going to say it. I’ve worn fake hair. I’ve worn faux lashes. And when I get married, my husband will be like “DAYUM. Our wedding photos look out of control” and it will be because my hair is thick and flowing and my eyes look definied and beautiful. On the hair note, no man has ever figured it out. (Cat’s out of the bag now I suppose). But unless he’s running his hands through my hair — which he sure as hell ain’t doing unless we’re at the point where we’re close enough for me to say ‘listen dude, I have a weave’ — then he’s happy sure to be thrilled that my hair looks awesome. Which, by the way, I’m sure he won’t, because MEN USUALLY DON’T CARE ABOUT HOW LONG OR THICK OR WAVY OR STRAIGHT YOUR HAIRS ARE.

Except these men in the poll. Clearly.

I’m by no means saying you need anything “fake” to make you look fabulous, ladies. Whether it’s a little lip gloss and blush, putting on a moisturizer, or just a few strokes of a paddle brush through your hair, we all do a little “something” to make us feel better (and look better). Men, get used to it. This sounds more of communication issue though. If your girlfriend has a problem with screwing lids on correctly, why not express your pissed off-ness to them instead of writing into a survey like some passive-aggressive weirdo?

Anyway men, the real takeaway here is stop complaining — half of these primping and pampering routines we have? It’s to make you happy.

I can’t make this up: October 17th edition

I’m a glutton for punishment. I take that back: I’m a glutton for watching others be punished, which is exactly what happens in online dating. Although I took myself off OKStupid OKCupid, I’m back. For dating? No. For blogs? Yes. And the messages are better (or worse, depending on how you look at it) than ever.

You know how these work: I leave out usernames and photos, because I’m not a life-ruiner. I’m more of a Carly Simon, “I bet you think this song is about you” kind of gal, instead of a Taylor Swift “guess which song is about Jake Gyllenhaal” kind of lady. Maybe someday I’ll tread into Swifty territory but for right now I think keeping things anonymous = good karma.

OKC is anonymous, but let’s be real here, I’d respond the way I do to some of these creeps without hiding behind a screen name. 

The Argumentative Pr*ck

I don’t respond to messages unless the guy really pisses me off. This guy was offensive on so many levels that I just… well, just read. 

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I had no idea what this meant. Religion? Probably. He definitely couldn’t be talking about how there’s no possible way the mansions on X Factor were actually the judges real homes. Further inquiry: 

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The “Size Queen”

This guy has a shirtless photo of himself as his avatar, and references his “size” in his username. I’m so over the 50 Shades of Grey train. (Saying anything after that book title just sounds foul.)

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The Basher

Never thought I’d get a guy who actually bashes women on a dating site, but hey, that’s what OKC is all about: surpassing your douchiest expectations. I obviously had to say something back. (GED comment thanks to my dearest Slim and our most recent trip to Vegas.)

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He never got back to me…

The Sister Lover

I’m so utterly confused by this message. Is he calling me uncool? We have a pseudo-connection based on our (poor) Match percentages, but it’s not as good as his connection with this sister? I’m so lost. I think he meant well, but it turned out a little too much like a Honey Boo Boo reference for me. 

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WTF

If you happen to have extra time to make a fake account on OKC and then use that line as your opener… you shouldn’t be dating.

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The thing about OKC that I will never understand is why men post photos from behind, in the dark, with their faces covered; while they’re white water rafting from 20 miles away; posing with an ex-girlfriend, taking shirtless selfies in the bathroom, etc. Just. don’t. get. it. Those photos are not attractive, sometimes are fully embarrassing, and somewhat of a sham, considering most people would like to see what the other looks like, given they can’t be there in person. Guys, do everyone a solid if you’re really trying to get out there and date and post a decent photo of your face.

But MAN. Aren’t photos deceiving? I have plenty photos of myself where I look like I’m 5’9 and could possibly be 20 pounds lighter, when in fact, it was a great camera angle and superior lighting. Ladies and gents, don’t pretend you don’t have those poses down to a SCIENCE. In our Facebook-dependent society, knowing how to take a proper photo without looking cross-eyed, frumpy and double-chinned is a skill. A SKILL!

Also, the ones that message you multiple times after you haven’t written them back: desperation, anyone? Not only are you annoying me, you are proving to be needy before we’ve ever met. (And we-eeeeeee won’t ever, ever, ever… since it’s my strict policy to never meet menz from the internets. (Unless Clay Matthews sees this and in that case… make it happen, CMIII.) 

Regardless, it’s nice to have a reminder of why I’m happily single.