All posts by Mentervention

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Who You Gonna Call? Obviously Not Me, Because You Ghosted Out

When I heard about men just “ghosting out” on my friends, I figured, ignorantly, something must have happened that caused it, or that it they weren’t giving me the full story. How does a guy just disappear, never to be heard from again? Unlike that time I had a legitimate crush on Casper the Friendly Ghost, aka DEVON SAWA, I don’t fancy men that peace out like they’ve crossed over to the afterlife. That’s pish-posh. It’s like hearing stories of women finding their husbands and boyfriends on Tinder. And by “finding” them, I don’t mean they found “the one.” I mean they were already “the one,” and they were on Tinder looking for a side chick.

(That’s actually happened to people I know. DAMMIT.)

So I should have known better than to think it could happen to everyone else but me, but alas, there I was, thinking it couldn’t possibly. And then it did.

Twice in a row, actually. Little back story on both:

Guy 1: We’ll call him… MM. He was on a popular reality show, and I was setup through a friend. He seemed normal/nice enough, given being on television. (I’ve had really odd/obnoxious situations with people on TV.) He was professionally successful, and my friend told me he was a nice, standup guy. And frankly, it was the first time I was excited to go on a date! I didn’t feel dread; I didn’t feel like it was a chore. I was happy to go out and learn more about him.

I was impressed by the fact that he reached out to me almost immediately after my friend gave him my number, and I was really thrilled that he called me on the phone to organize the date. Talking on the phone these days is so rare. People are scared to pick up the phone — I used to hate talking on the phone, but now it’s like I crave it. It’s a more sincere connection than just sitting and texting with someone. You have to actually pay attention when you talk to someone on the phone.

For the date, he picked me up, took me out for drinks… and that’s when things got a little odd.

About halfway through the date, I excused myself to text my girlfriends in the bathroom: “This isn’t going well. He isn’t into me.” He didn’t do anything that would make me think he didn’t like me, unless you count the fact that he asked me one question about myself (maybe) in a matter of two hours. Most of the time was spent talking about his professional life, his personal life, his family, his time on reality TV,  and somewhat talking down to me about sports. (He wouldn’t have known that I know a lot about the subject — he never asked.)

It’s pretty typical of men in LA to sit and gloat about themselves, and I feel sad that it’s a rare trait to find someone who seems interested in what I have to say. Some of you might be thinking, “but your job is to ask people questions for a living. Maybe you weren’t giving him a chance?” I have to say that, if anything, this makes me more aware of other people and how they act, react and their body language — none of which seemed to express interest in me.

Anyway, I was relieved when we got the check and decided to go. I was bummed that he wasn’t interested, but I tried to shake it off. When we got back to my apartment, we sat in his car for a few minutes listening to Big Sean and Drake and laughing (I equate this to men reciting poetry for women back in the 1600s), then he got out, opened my door and walked me up to the porch area, WHICH I LOVE! Because that’s chivalry, people. Anyway, no smooching happened (like you care? oy)  but he did ask me out for the next night, much to my surprise. And I thought, “see, Kirbie! You have to stop writing people off. Maybe you’re meant to go out with him and a real connection will happen!” (I clearly have been watching too much of The Bachelorette.)

And then I never heard from him again.

Ever. again. Bye, Felicia status.

Guy 2: I have known this guy for a few years, because he was my former neighbor. He was married. He is not married anymore.

While that is all true, the real reason I connected with him was because OF TINDER! Sue me. He was cute. I wanted to go on dates. You know, put myself out there, embrace the law of attraction, all that jazz.

He was the first person that came up in my matches. So I asked my roommate if I should “heart” him or not, and with her encouragement, went for it. What did I have to lose? If it wasn’t a match, he’d never know. And I felt comfortable, given I knew him (albeit not very well).

The short of it is that we went on two dates, which I thought went well. No spark immediately, but I wasn’t trying to rush anything. After our second date, I told him to call me the next day, and he laughed and joked it was “too soon.” Surely no dude would openly say that out loud and NOT BE KIDDING, right?

Well, joke it was not — because he kissed me goodbye that Saturday night, and I never heard from him again.

The end!

The point I initially was going to make was: don’t be a coward! Politely tell a woman you’re not into her if you aren’t. But I guess that’s weird, and quite assuming on your part to think she would even care. Given my interest level in both guys, I was confused, but I wasn’t devastated to not hear from them again. But part of me is curious as to why I never heard from MM, especially since he made the effort to invite me out for the next day, and nothing terrible or deal-breaking happened on the Neighbor Boy dates.

Granted, I could have said something that they didn’t like, or they could have been turned off by my weave…? (RIP Ashley!) (Actually, they definitely had no idea about Ashley because she was put in flawlessly. She was undetectable.)

So what is my point? I don’t know. Maybe it’s to ask what you think is appropriate in this situation: do you ignore and avoid? Or are you upfront about everything so there’s no questions? Is blowing people off soooooo 2000 and late? I want to know what it all means!

When you ghost out on a woman, what’s your reasoning?

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Dudes Wanna Know: How Can I Fix My Mug?

I get various texts and Facebook messages from dudes asking me about beauty advice. Yes, real men who want to know more about their skin and how to take care of it!

So here’s my annual “This is how to take care of your face, dudes,” post. If you have questions, email me at mentervention@gmail.com and I’ll keep you anonymous.

KEEPING THE MUG CLEAN

1. Exfoliate 1-2 times a week

You guys have it great because you exfoliate every few days — it’s called shaving. This instantly takes off layers of skin, plus your hair, so that’s why you guys look like you age in retrograde (George Clooney) and 55-year-old women in Hollywood have issues getting roles playing people their own age. Chances are, though, you aren’t shaving your forehead or nose (maybe you are? I’m not here to discriminate, as I shave my own face. I know you’re probably disgusted by me now, but there is no hair on this mug outside of my eyebrows), so you need something you can use once or twice a week to exfoliate your entire face AND prevent ingrown hairs after you shave.

Low-end option: Mix brown sugar with olive oil to make a paste, and use it to scrub your skin.

Middle grade: Kiehl’s Oil Eliminator Deep Cleansing Exfoliating Wash, $22

High-end: Clarisonic. Yes, that contraption your girlfriend has. If you wonder how sexy beasts like Charlie Hunnam or Idris Elba have gorgeous, clear skin, chances are they have a Clarisonic. (I don’t know if they actually own one.)  If your girlfriend or wife has one, get another brush head and share. It times your wash, so you know how long to spend on each area of your face. The brush bristles remove dirt better than a wash cloth and it’s kind of like a spa experience you can get down with in the shower.

Ryan knows what’s up.

If you buy your own, there’s a $99 travel option (the Mia) and the $149 option (the Mia 2) and the Aria ($199). I’m going to be honest: I don’t think there’s a huge difference. The Aria has 3 speeds instead of two, it’s bigger; the Mia is smaller. They all come with a charger and usually a face wash made by Clarisonic. You will need a cleanser to use with this, but use something gentle (not an exfoliator).

2. Cleanse

The rest of the week, you should be cleansing your skin twice a day, plus every time you sweat. (Don’t act like you’ve never thought about skipping a shower and going straight to the Playstation after a workout…)

You should have a mild cleanser that gets rid of dirt and bacteria. If you deal with breakouts, I’d suggest avoiding acne cleansers, because some tend to be too drying to use both morning and night. Spot treat instead.

A nice cleanser that has zero sulfates (which can dry out your skin) and a ton of aloe (hydrating) is Ursa Major’s Fantastic Face Wash ($26). You need a dime size amount. Put on your fingertips, and lather it on to damp skin for a minute, then rinse with cool water.

BONUS: Are you getting old as sh*t? Or feel like you’re quickly approaching that point? Find a cleanser with alpha and beta hydroxy acids. It’s very easy to find these, because they literally say it on the bottle. Or, they’ll say they contain:

Lactic acid

Glycolic acid

Salicylic acid (found in acne treatment products)

Citric acid

A great anti-aging face wash+ acne-clearing wash: Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel ($35 – but on sale here for $17).

3. Protect and Hydrate 

I would separate these, but I figure if I can get you to wear sunscreen, I’ll try to make it easy on you. SPF MOISTURIZER SHOULD BE YOUR JAM. Melanoma has been on the rise for the past decade. If you are in the sun or drive a car, you are at risk of getting melanoma. Please wear sunscreen.

Minimum SPF you should be wearing: 30

Type of sunscreen: there are chemical sunscreens and physical sunscreens. Try to go with physical sunscreens, which are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Many people complain of the white residue they leave behind, but I’ve found several that don’t — for women. Finding a good SPF 30 moisturizer made with physical sunscreen for men has been a doozy for me to find, so here are a few that combine both physical and chemical sunscreen:

MD Complete Anti-Aging Sunscreen Moisturizer ($25)

Dr. Lancer Sun Shield ($48) (just sunscreen)

Kiehl’s Facial Fuel + UV Guard ($38)

4. Breakouts and Ingrown Hairs

Do yourself a favor and get this Drying Lotion from Mario Badescu ($17). It helps take down the size of the blemish and the redness. If you have an ingrown hair, slap some on the sucker! It will make it come to a head so you can pop it and get the hair out with tweezers. (You’re welcome for that visual.) (PS: every dude should own this pair of tweezers. Precision is key.)

Like I mentioned earlier, the exfoliation step will help with your ratchet ingrowns.

5. Blackheads

Do you have blackheads? That’s disgusting. (Just kidding! Actually, it’s more distracting than anything, so fix it.) My brother is going to kill me for sharing this, but the first thing I do when I see him is give him a facial and get all of the effing crap out of his pores. It really makes all the difference.

Things you can do to help keep your pores clean:

Wear sunscreen! Seriously. Blackheads aren’t dirt. I mean, they are, but the reason why they’re black is because they’ve been oxidized by the sun. The more you know.

Use a pore strip once or twice a month. It’s disgustingly satisfying seeing all that gunk come out on it.

Use a face mask once a week! This is not a joke. If you don’t want to spend a ton of money, get over to Target and grab a Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask ($4). The mud is going to help remove impurities from your skin.

Michael Bublé sings and uses face masks. He is a woman’s dream.

However, if you want to go for the gold, Glam Glow Mud is the best. I’ve gotten all the guys in the office hooked on this stuff. It’s $69, but you don’t need much. Don’t pile on the mud. Instead, smooth a thin layer over your skin, let it dry, then wash off in circular motions.

6. Night time moisturizer

You need to moisturize your skin every night before you go to bed, because your skin is dehydrated between the hours of 11PM and 2AM. This will help with keeping your skin looking youthful, too. I’d suggest Clinique for Men, but if you don’t want to try it, head to the drugstore and pick up an anti-aging face moisturizer that women use (like Olay).

Clinique for Men Maximum Hydrator ($32)

And remember, if you really want to keep your skin in pristine shape, stay in a dark hole, alone, where you won’t be tempted to eat crappy food, be stressed, laugh or smile, since all of those can create wear and tear on your skin.

Full list of items I suggested: here.

I Do Declare: Take No Sh*t in 2015

Many people resolute resolve (sue me, I’m tired) to “start” things in 2015:

  • Start working out
  • Start calling your parents weekly
  • Start living your passion

For me, it’s simple as not doing something. And that something is this:

dealing with bullsh*t.

Apologies for the language, but it’s really the only way I can describe it. I’ve done this in the past — putting up with treatment I don’t deserve, or doing things for people that I really don’t want to do, just to appease them. And when I say past, I’m referring to as recently as December 31st, 2014.

When you’re in a relationship, you’re willing to put up with crap because you’re tied to the other person. Not literally, obviously. And not by law in some cases. But because you’ve shared experiences with them, and because you care for them more than just on a friendly level, you deal with things that might not be acceptable.

But ask any woman, and she’ll tell you that she’s probably put up with her own fair share of shiz from men who aren’t her significant other — people she has no obligation to. They’re people she knows on a surface level, or she used to know really well, but doesn’t know them personally. Or hasn’t seen them in years.

I have done this with all kinds of men: acquaintances from my hometown, guys my friends have dated; guys I used to date seven years ago. My dad likes to call me a bum magnet, and went as far as to ask me where I found these “complete psychopaths.” And I figured out that it’s not me finding them. It’s them finding me. (And that’s the truly horrifying, if not comforting part of it all — I didn’t seek them out.) I’ve been (mostly) single the past five years, so some of these situations are not romantic interests.

I’ll give you a few examples:

This dude.

A person I knew from Texas has contacted me recently, buttering me up for God knows what reason — but I know there is one, because I know there are ulterior motives involved. (There’s always at least one motive these days.) I am polite and thank him for his compliments, but I’m not giving in to his requests to meet up. Because you know what? I don’t want to. I have zero obligation to, actually. I’ve been down that road with him, and frankly, I don’t need the association, and I also don’t need the drama or exhaustion, either. He’s not my boyfriend; he’s not my brother… I don’t want to deal with it. He’s brilliant, and wish him all the best, but until I see a change in his behavior, we’re not getting drinks, and I’m not following him on Instagram. (And I’m not holding my breath, either.)

The last example involves an ex on New Year’s Eve. I don’t know why I refer to him as an “ex,” because we barely dated. But it lasted long enough, and he asked me not to see other people, so I guess we were in a relationship? If we were, he had a peculiar way of treating me like his girlfriend. Anyway, we had a very turbulent romance, and I was absolutely humiliated by the end of it.

Two years ago, he ended up asking for forgiveness, let me know he got his life together on various fronts, and he apologized for everything he had ever done to me. Considering I had forgiven him years ago, I was thrilled he had reached a point in his life where he could find peace and comfort in himself and with God. And our conversations, although few and far between, since then were great. But the NYE conversation went south BIG TIME. It got to a point where I was genuinely uncomfortable and struggling to find a tactful response (cue thousands of emojis). I even avoided the conversation for a few hours. Basically, it went from me making a joke about making out (which we had a few times — he was my boyfriend once, after all) to him crossing the line and making a few comments that would make anyone blush. I was so baffled and infuriated by the whole thing that I told him I was sad for him if he was drunk, and I was also sad for him if he wasn’t. I didn’t do anything to provoke or lead him to those comments, and the fact that he thought he could talk to me like that really pissed me off.

This angered him, and thus came all of the condescending, terrible comments that I was once accustomed to receiving back in college. You know, when I was 19. News flash: I’m a grown woman now. I’ve lived a life. A small portion of it, but still, I’ve had a lot more experiences in this world now than I did at 19. Needless to say, I wasn’t having it.

I don’t deserve that type of treatment, and by the way: I HAVEN’T SEEN HIM IN YEARS. I’m disheartened to think of how he would talk to someone he’s regularly dating. Mostly, I’m disappointed that nothing has changed.

I ended up cutting the cord right then and there. You know why?

I don’t need the bullsh*t.

So do yourself a favor, and stop the bloody madness. I’m ripping these situations straight from my life and my friends lives (sorry!), so I hope you can relate and will move forward this year by:

  • Ignoring your ex’s calls and texts. They are not strong enough to stop contacting you, so you’re going to have to grow a pair and do it yourself.
  • Stop feeling bad for people who bring problems upon themselves. They have to want to change themselves.
  • Stop believing people will change, when they consistently prove to you that they can’t and won’t. (That’s what we like to call “madness.”)
  • Stop falling back into old habits and relationships because it’s “comfortable.” You’re missing out on the better experiences waiting to be had.
  • Stop doing things just because other people want you to or depend on you — people who have no business depending on you in the first place. I think you should have empathy for others, but learn to love and protect yourself first.

Here’s to taking no sh*t in 2015.

x

Take the Hint

With an all-male crew on my set on Friday, I found this to be the perfect opportunity to ask a question:

“A guy will not stop texting me or trying to hang out with me, and I’ve made it clear that I am not interested in either. What do I do?”

Their immediate answers:

“Tell him you have a boyfriend.”

“Stop responding.” 

I explained that I have ignored him, on more than one occasion. Scroll through my phone and you’ll see a graveyard of texts received, sometimes three times a day, to the ghost that is my phone number. I have to say, it’s a bit admirable that he persists without any response.

He’s gotten to me a few times. Some because I was annoyed; another because he made it sound like he might have a good career connection for me. And since I’m an equal opportunist, I’m always looking for ways to get further in my career. I should know better than to fall for these antics, because each time it’s obviously a tactic to get me to respond or get me on the phone.

I cannot tell this person I have a boyfriend — he would be able to figure out that it’s a lie. (Or would he?) And that got me on a tirade: why do I have to lie to a man to get him to leave me alone?

Many of my friends would argue that if I am not interested, I’m pretty blatant about it. (To me, if I’m annoyed and with a group of girls, I have no qualms telling a dude to buzz off.) But a majority of the time, I’m polite and friendly. However, if I’m not interested in you, I shouldn’t have to fake that I have a significant other to get you to leave me alone. But that’s what it comes down to, doesn’t it ladies? How many times have you been at a bar and a guy comes up and talks to you… you engage in a nice conversation, but it’s not going anywhere and you can tell right off the bat you aren’t interested or attracted to them. He asks for your number or to hang out (or whatever) and you say “that’s so sweet, but I don’t think so,” and the guy goes, “why? You have a boyfriend?”

When you tell them it’s because you’re not interested, you’re a bitch. Or they persist, trying to sway you otherwise.

Sometimes persistence is charming. You never know why a woman has her guard up. But more than likely, we know where we stand, and we’re not interested in taking the conversation any further. So for you to badger us about “why we aren’t interested” really makes things uncomfortable. We are human, and we can be polite, but that doesn’t obligate us to go any further than small chat at a bar. And just because we’re engaging in conversation doesn’t mean we’re attracted to you!

The sad part about this story is that the guy is not some random dude at a bar. He was a guy I knew. But at the same time, we hung out maybe… maaaaaaybe… three times total? Yes. Three times. Usually in the company of a mutual friend. So his random persistence to see me and hang out really made him suspect, in my opinion.

At one point I thought this person would be a good friend. My definition of friend: makes me laugh, we can sit and not have to fill the air with chatter, and not hitting on me. I have guy friends from elementary school, who I’ve known forever, and who I have kissed. I see them and we pick up like old chums and it doesn’t affect the relationship. But I guess that changes when you become an adult. I tried to test the waters with this person, meaning the “friendship waters” and let me tell you what happened: he tried to hold my hand all night as I literally told him “no” and “stop” a cumulative 50-100 times; he had taken my phone and posted pictures of us together which a) is as total invasion of privacy and b) lead me to believe he was just doing it to make his ex upset.

And after all of this goes down, and I have flat out said “I am not attracted to you” (read: back off), he tells me that I wouldn’t have worn the outfit I wore if I wasn’t trying to get him to do all of those things.

Are you kidding me? I can’t wear an outfit I feel good in — an outfit I wore, frankly, in hopes of meeting someone else, not him — because “I’m asking for it” if he tries to hold my hand or kiss me?

For whatever reason, (maybe I blacked out or something) I decided to give this guy another chance. After a several weeks of not responding/politely refusing to see him, he invited me to a party that I thought (again) would be a great place to meet people. When I told him that this was just a “platonic hang out,” and “no funny business,” he wrote me “no promises” and that he didn’t want to be told from the get-go what wasn’t going to happen. This is after he had told me, several times, that he was okay with being “just friends” and merely liked hanging out with me. I am an idiot.

I tell him that I am dating someone (see? It keeps happening) and I don’t want to push him off me all night. And then he responds with “maybe I should take someone else, yeah?”

IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING? You know that I’m not interested, that the only possibility of hanging out with me would be in a friend capacity, and you have the audacity to decline the invite because you don’t want to be told “no”? That’s dangerous. Actually, that’s predatory.

Quote: “I’m just asking you to not go into it having any restrictions. I wanna have fun and I’m not saying anything is going to happen. I’d just rather not be like I can do this I can’t do that.”

After telling him I wasn’t going and to have fun, he ended up inviting one of my friends, who, not shockingly, said no as well.

Guys, let me tell you something: making a woman do anything that she isn’t comfortable with? That’s predator behavior, and it’s something that none of us (as women) should trust. If you tell a guy all night long that you aren’t interested and to stop touching you, stop trying to hold your hand, stop anything — it’s not your fault that he keeps persisting. It’s his.

And if he’s willing to go that far in public, imagine what would happen if you were alone.

Anyway, gents: do yourself a solid and read between the lines. Women tend to back off if a guy we’re interested in straight up stops responding to our texts or calls. I’d suggest you do the same.

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.

Do All Men Cheat… or Nah?

I’m just trying to gauge things here, guys, but can you do me a solid and answer the following poll? Inquiring minds want to know:

Based on a few experiences I’ve had the past couple of months, I’m assuming men have lost a majority of their brain cells. How? I do not know. Sports? Huffing paint as a kid? I really don’t care, but that has to be the only excuse possible to even entertain the idea of getting intimate with a woman other than your wife, fiancé or girlfriend. Right?

I need to believe that you have zero brain power and that men who actually do have brain cells are not committing these fraudulent acts of treason.  I don’t want to live in a world where men with intelligence are knowingly doing stupid sh*t like this.

But unfortunately, I am. And hey, women are guilty of this crime against humanity, too. But can we put an end to it? I’m sick of the cheating culture. Hollywood sensationalizes it; books profit from it.

A former colleague told me a few months back that if her husband went off to the (random example) Caribbean with a group of friends and had a one-night affair with some chick, she wouldn’t care. And she wouldn’t want to know. I don’t know that I would want to know, either. But this type of thing always comes back around — I would hate it even more if 10 years down the line, someone slipped up and made a comment about that night in front of me. The “last person to know” part would be where the trust was broken… not necessarily the actual act of infidelity.

But what happens if he comes clean right after it happens? Where do you go from there?

Is infidelity a big deal?

Apparently so.

If you’re religious, yes. But if you’re religious, you (usually) don’t believe in divorce, either. So what now?

In the past three months, the following has occurred:

  • A bachelor party attendee (not the groom) fully tried to make out with my single friend, only to have her look him up and find out he was engaged
  • Same friend made out with a guy at a club, only to find out he was a bachelor planning to get married in the next few weeks. (He even contacted her after that night which makes him a complete moron.) (Please note that said friend is not an instigator of these types of things; she is a bum magnet, apparently. Not her fault.)
  • A friend made out with a guy at a house party; she Facebooked him the next day and read that he was “in a relationship.” The worst part? Two of his friends saw this go down and didn’t say a word.
  • I had a married man kiss me, not realizing he was married. (No ring. Said he was divorced. Apparently is getting one? Ugh.)

And before you go off on me and say this is an “LA” issue, trust me, friends, that it is not. Yeah, I know everyone here is looking for the next best thing. That’s why we don’t date. (In addition to the terrible layout of the land, poor traffic conditions and unfeasible public transportation options. I mean, if you live in WeHo and they live on Santa Monica? That’s practically the kiss of death on a relationship. Live in the valley? FORGET ABOUT IT.) (That’s a blog in itself. Coming soon…) Anyway, I have heard all kinds of crazy stories about infidelity and they’re rooted deep in the heart of Texas, in the midwest – EVERYWHERE, Y’ALL! Infidelity is the blemish on the face that is life: it can pop up anywhere. Nobody’s safe.

I know I’ve written about being cheated on before (idiot) and I’m fairly sure I’ve posted about the incident where I went through my boyfriend’s phone (I highly do NOT recommend doing this, ever) only to find that he was texting his friend, calling dibs on a girl who was hanging out with our group. Oh yes, I was there. Friggen Paige — grown men calling dibs on her. Grown men with girlfriends, mind you. And I can’t name my daughter Paige now because all I will ever think about is this ridiculous incident. I shouldn’t have gone through his phone, but he shouldn’t have “called dibs” on a girl when he wasn’t single. So absurd.

Additionally, here’s why I’m so conflicted about this topic: because I’ve heard from so many people that this is the norm nowadays. Cheating doesn’t have the “OMG!” factor anymore. It’s like, oh, Katie cheated on her husband? Bless her heart. Was there a pre-nup?

Infidelity, whether it’s emotional or physical, is normal. Apparently. To the world. And I don’t know which option is worse! They’re both traumatizing.

You knew this GIF was coming. You knew it.

And I know that being flirtatious isn’t a crime, but there are plenty of cases where it crosses the line. Specifically in the workplace, where a dude gets a little too chummy with his female coworker and makes forward comments that he has no business making if he’s in a relationship. I don’t want to show up to his office or at a company party, fearful that my boyfriend or fiancé or whoever he is sends dirty texts or raunchy emails to his secretary, coworker, boss (whatever). The only person you should have inside jokes (or dirty jokes, in this case) with is ME, DAMMIT. ME. I want to be enough for you. Him. Hypothetically. Clearly.

So, what’s the resolution here? Fear not, ladies and gents. I have an answer for everything. And it doesn’t include “be calm and know that everyone cheats a little bit, in some way or another.”

Ladies, if you know a guy is taken… just back off. Keep it casual. I know it can feel like you’re special when a dude is giving you attention and he has a woman, but it really makes you pathetic. Not special.

Guys, follow this handy flow chart to see what your next steps should be!

menterflowchart copy

Fin.

Why Online Dating Sucks

Online dating is like wearing a pair of Crocs: they feel good when you’re lounging around the house, but you’re embarrassed to be seen out in public with them. Nobody is screaming from the rooftops, “WE MET ON TINDER, Y’ALL!” (Yeah, that one was a stretch. Work with me here.)

I gave my best shot at online dating. I know people who have met their spouses online. But I really, truly can’t get into it. Did I date a guy I met on Tinder? Yes, I did. Was he smokin’ hot? Yes, he was. (Hellooooo abs!) And how long did that last? Three weeks? Four at best?

I don’t attribute us meeting online to the fact that we didn’t work out. Actually, I take that back. I do. I saw him on Tinder and thought he was as smoke show, swiped to the right and it was a match. I had nothing other than his looks to go off of. And sure, he swept me off my feet the first few dates (even after The Perfect Date), but those red flags that were waving relentlessly in the back of my head were shielded by the fact that he was so. good. looking. I remember at one point saying to myself, “it doesn’t have to be serious, right? This could be fun! Just for fun. Nothing more.” And then I found myself wanting to do nothing else but make out with this guy. Thassit. No small talk, no sweet dinners. Just kiss me already! Not exactly grounds for a long-lasting, healthy relationship now, is it?

So, if you haven’t guessed my first point, let me spell it out for you:

1.) It’s extremely superficial.

No matter what site you’re on, you’re looking for someone attractive, or at least someone you find attractive. He could be a doctor, could save small children from fires for a living, hell, he could be a royal, but if he doesn’t look good, you ain’t giving him the time of day. I mean, he would really have nail that first message if he wasn’t attractive to you.

Remember when you still lived at home with your parents (I’m talking pre-college, okay) and you met people in high school? It was usually because you ran around with the same crowd and you got to know that person on a deeper level. You went through trials and tribs together. And even if they weren’t initially hot enough for you, you ended up liking them because they made you laugh and they had a heart of gold. (Or they were a bad boy that made you want to leave home and live yo’ life.)

Regardless, it was an organic way to meet people. And now it’s all muddled, because you usually don’t meet people unless it’s at work, and GOD FORBID you date anyone at work. I’m not saying that sarcastically. Unless you own the company with your significant other, I do not admire people who date and work together. That sounds like my nightmare. My ex-boyfriend in college and I both got an internship before we broke up, and when we did break up, I dreaded the day he was going to walk through those doors after not seeing him for a few weeks. Good news for me was that he never did — I guess he got a better offer elsewhere (or he probably didn’t want to deal with that drama either). If you are my ex-boyfriend and I truly cared you, I do not want to be your friend after we break up. Initially, anyway. It isn’t that easy.

2. No matter what is said, I find something wrong with it. 

I hate every message I’ve ever received on OKCupid. Every single one. Well, I take that back. I had an ongoing conversation with a high power attorney who wanted to keep himself anonymous because he was a over a certain age, and he didn’t want people knowing he was on the site. (He gave me his number and I googled him, pulling up all his personal details, like where he works, his full name, etc.) That was a fun one. And then there was a super hot dude who was witty and Christian, but lived in Chicago… so that wasn’t going anywhere. Other than that, all the messages are AWFUL.

There’s the ones from guys you know — who might even be your friends — and they feel obligated to say something because they see you on the site. (Just kill me.) I’m sorry if you’ve done that and I haven’t responded. I adore you, but I’m not about to message you on a dating site.

There’s the messages that are a simple, “Hey, what’s up.” This isn’t AIM. Mama doesn’t have time for that. I have 46 other messages waiting to be read. What makes you special enough to get a response? —  SEE? IT’S LIKE I CAN’T EVEN HAVE A NORMAL CONVERSATION ON THESE SITES! In real life, that IS how a guy should approach you. But online it’s like, “ugh, YOU’RE WASTING ALL MY TIME.”

Alternatively, there are the messages that are six paragraphs long. They discuss why they are so special and different, why they think you two would be a good match, and what they’re looking for (and why you fit the bill). At that point you’re so drained reading all the emotional BS that you don’t want to respond.

Anytime you get a compliment? Yeah, it’s instantly game over. “WOW! You have the most beautiful eyes! And you have your life together! What a catch!” It comes off super cheesy online, and like they’re kissing your ass for a response. Spare me. (See? There it is again. If a dude said this to me in real life, I’d be elated.)

Further, if the message includes multiple spelling, grammar and punctuation errors, I have zero desire to get to know you. You could be my soul mate, but because you do not know that gorgeous does, in fact, include the letter “e”, I cannot move forward. Nope.

3. The internet gives you courage.

Most people know that my writing very true to who I am as a person. My personality gets channeled into my writing… not always the case with people you meet online. You might think you’re about to meet this outspoken, put-together dude; then you meet them and they’re timid, quiet and could possibly be homeless. Their online personality is the complete opposite of who they are IRL. And, taking that to another level — you could be in a full-on Catfish situation, where you think you’re meeting one person, then it ends up being their sister.

There are plenty more ways online dating sucks. What are some of your peeves? Any tips about how to navigate the internet dating waters? Don’t feel like you need to offer up any advice. I feel like this is territory I’d rather not step into again.

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.)

Screen shot 2014-03-13 at 8.26.40 PM

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.      

Screen shot 2014-03-13 at 8.36.48 PM

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!

You Pay For Dinner. The End.

Tonight, my producer Lauren stared at her computer screen, with a frown, and said the following:

“I really wish somebody would take me out to a nice dinner.”

Allison and I gave each other our “OMG” eyes and burst into laughter, because DUH, who doesn’t want a free meal? We’re all hustling 20-somethings. A free lobster tail and glass of Pinot would be excpetional right now, especially since most of us are getting enough sleep at night to warrant any bitchy comments we might say the next day null and void, since we’re all working around the clock in the midst of awards season.

I almost responded with “well, you aren’t lacking in the dating department,” because girlfriend’s full-time hobby is dating. That’s something she’s good at. Something I’m very much not. I don’t make the time, and I don’t have any means of meeting new people (except through work I suppose).

But you know why I didn’t say that? Because that would be insinuating that men actually pay for dates these days. And it’s come to my attention, on more than just a handful of occasions, that dating isn’t as old fashioned as I’d like it to be. Dating, as in dinner, a movie — whatever it may be — it has no charm anymore. Men don’t pay for dinner on first dates. They go halfsies. Or, worst case scenario, I’ve heard of women that front the entire bill — willingingly and (once) against their own will.

THIS IS MADNESS.

Before The Black Dahlia got cut in half, she was known as a beautiful woman in Hollywood who went out on dates, as it was a great way to meet people and, I quote (from E! True Hollywood Story — hard-hitting journalism here) “a free meal.” (Perhaps this is not the best example, as she ended up dead after all of these frequent free dining experiences.) However, that is what a date should be*. A free meal. For a lady. (Or men who feel like a lady.) Dudes, if you ask a woman out on a date, you should pay.

Actually, I take that back. If you ask someone on a date, you should pay.

I can hear this question in the distance: “What if you don’t know who asked who? What if you both just agreed to meet for drinks or something casual?”

This brings me to my next point: stop with this ‘meeting’ bullshit. My mother, a wise woman, told me (and to this day will still throw it out there) that there is no “hanging out.” If a man is interested, he’ll be forward enough to ask you to dinner, or, will even ask you out on a date. HEAVENS TO MURGATROYD. And contrary to what I’ve told every single human being the past 10 years, if a guy asks you to dinner, it’s a date — whether you see it as one or not. (I used to have reservations about this because I felt like I should be able to select what was a date and what wasn’t, depending on if I liked the guy or not. That is not the case. You can go on single dates with people you have no intention of ever seeing again. Isn’t that nuts?)

Notice that I italicized man, to reeeeeeally get the point across. Men ask you on dates. And people who wear the pants ask people on dates. So no matter what type of sexually-oriented relationship you’re in, know that one of you has to assume the role of the aggressor, and will have to ask the other on the date. If you do this, know that you will be paying for it.

(In a chivalrous way, not in a “you might die” way.)

*Dates should also be the bridge between singledom and the possibility of finding true love, but let’s focus on the real issues here.