It’s Pride month, and I’m so happy when people within and outside a community support each other… but good heavens. When you say that you accept someone “as they are,” it sounds like you’re buying as-is merchandise at a department store. One’s sexual/gender identity (regardless of what it is and/or its difference from your own!) is not a flaw. It’s not something that you have to either accept or not accept as a part of a whole person. That’s like saying that you accept a person despite the fact that they regularly donate to charity. Can you imagine? ‘Oh, you have eleemosynary leanings? I guess I can accept you as you are… you as-is, display model blender on the shelf at Macy’s.’ Whatever. Accept someone based on how long their fingernails are. It’s exactly as arbitrary.
If you have to be single, don’t ever be alone. Not even for a second. When you’re lonely, your standards for a mate start to fall, and that’s how you find yourself in a terrible long-term relationship with someone who’s not worthy of you. Here is an outline of your descent:
- You just got out of a relationship. Your standards: must be sexy, over 6’2″, have a degree, make decent money, clean-cut…
- It’s been a couple weeks since you’ve been out on a date. Your standards: must be objectively attractive, must be taller than me, must have a job, must be polite and considerate…
- Can’t really remember last date. Your standards: height doesn’t matter, has to be at least looking for a job (really, you’re letting most things slide–just as long as he’s not a bearded ginger…)
- So alone and lonely. Your standards no longer exist. Bearded gingers, home-brewers, voluntary baldies, first-floor apartment dwellers, and guys on probation are now on your radar.
Grab a friend and go to a movie. Go to that mixer you are pretty sure you’re going to hate. Get brunch at that trendy spot. Don’t allow your loneliness to push your standards down to “a breathing human who pays attention to me sometimes.”
If you have to work in an office, you’re going to have to interact with other people at some point during your day, and your first interaction will probably be way earlier than you’d like it to be. Despite keeping earphones in your ears until 9 AM and staring at the floor when you go to grab your coffee in the break room, horrible morning people will invariably break the wall of solitude you’ve attempted to maintain.
You’ll be subjected to one of the following scenarios:
- Women talking – Here’s what you need to know. Conversations involving more than two women always start with a complaint about something: men, kids, the weather, the temperature of the office, any manner of physical ailments (feminine or unisex, real or perceived), or potential injustices in the world. When one woman gloms onto an idea, the rest of the group piles on, and it turns into a rally cry about overcrowding in the shared kitchen refrigerator or some stupid thing like that.
- Men talking – The average man knows a total of seven things about sports. He will try to interject at least two of these nuggets into every man-conversation he has. Therefore, any attempt to follow men’s sports conversation is an exercise in futility because they all talk over each other, and they’re usually not even discussing the same sport. They’ll just keep getting louder and louder.
- Men and women talking – This doesn’t actually happen. A woman will say something about waiting in line to pour herself some coffee, and a man will mumble something about free throw percentages, then another woman will ask what he’s talking about, and then a man will say something about the World Series, and a woman will say something about how NFL players beat women, and then somebody from HR will walk by, and everyone will go silent.
So good luck. Avoid other humans when possible, but when you can’t, get coffee in the HR break room.
If you have to make fun of a class of people, please make sure you’re right about every single one of them.
As an example, let’s take a look at a recent incident in which, on a popular social media platform, an individual derided those who had never ordered a pizza… He commented something along the lines of that he couldn’t believe an actual adult human had never picked up a phone and ordered delivery… because obviously not having ever ordered pizza is the lament of the social pariah.
Okay, folks. As you may have already guessed, I have never ordered a pizza. I may have eaten pizza, but it did not arrive in my mouth due to my ordering of it from a restaurant. My reasons are threefold:
- I was allergic to milk (and therefore, cheese) until I was 24 years old. (I’ll give you a moment to let that sink in…) Therefore, I would have had no reason to order a pizza for well over half my life, but even so…
- I suffered a traumatic room service incident when I was 23. I was on my first honeymoon (shut up), and I wanted to order the conch chowder. That was all well and good, but as soon as the order-taking person answered the phone, I realized that I didn’t know how to pronounce the word conch. What was I to do? Should I say I want the chowder, and hope they realize I don’t want the clam chowder? Do I cough as I’m trying to say the word, and hope they say the word, and I can just say, “yeah, that’s it”? Nope. I hung up the phone and told my ex that he’d better order me my soup and a few more bottles of the resort-standard champagne. Which brings me to my next point…
- Boys are supposed to order the pizza. And the wine. And the everything. To be clear, I’m not a feminist. I’m a strong, iron-willed woman. I’ve been fiercely independent and self-reliant for most of my adult life. However, I need to be with a man who is strong enough and who knows me well enough to tell me what I want and who also has the wherewithal to give it to me. And that includes ordering the damn pizza. Just as long as it’s not (yuck) pepperoni.
Does this make sense? No. Should I be able to order a pizza? Yes.* What am I scared of, really? Okay, what if they ask me what kind of cheese I want on the pizza? I mean, what am I supposed to say? Pizza cheese… normal pizza cheese? What the hell is pizza cheese? What if they ask about what kind of sausage I want? I don’t know. The good kind? WHAT IF THEY ASK IF I WANT THE BLACK OLIVES ON THE RIGHT HALF OR THE LEFT HALF OF THE PIZZA? HOW IS THIS SUPPOSED TO GO?
In conclusion, and I’m not ashamed to admit it… I probably couldorder a pizza, but my silly, entitled ass feels like I shouldn’t have to do it myself.
* Disclaimer: I can “order” a pizza at Little Caesar’s by grunting and pointing at a box right behind Randy’s** head.
** All Little Caesar’s employees are named Randy.
If you have to be in a relationship with a woman, gents, know that she will never be 100% pleased with you and there’s no magic formula to making her happy.
Women are fickle, mercurial, and will tergiversate without a moment’s notice. They’re whiny, emotional, and petty–and they are easily annoyed by you, other women, the world, that blade of grass over there, and perceived injustice.
If you want a woman, and I mean really want a woman, you’ve got to be willing to fight… for her, for yourself, and for your relationship. Women need champions.
However, because all women are snowflakes, there’s no one way to keep any or all of them happy. Naturally, however, I’ve got a list of some general guidelines for you that will help keep you in your woman’s good graces:
- Remember that whole chivalry thing? Don’t let it die, whether it’s you’re first date or you’ve been together since before AOL. Open doors for her, offer your hand or your arm when you cross the street together, carry her heavy-ass suitcase for her, and let her order her dinner–or her supper (that’s a whole other blog post)–first.
- Be [semi-]predictable. It throws women when you do something out of character. Do that very often, and she’ll become very wary of you. Wary women get jealous. Jealous women get suspicious. Suspicious women get paranoid. And paranoid women murder you in your sleep. You probably don’t want that.
- Have a skill. A hobby. Be good at something. It doesn’t matter if it’s playing basketball, creating beautiful spreadsheets, or making the perfect cheese dip–just do something exceptionally well. She’ll respect you for it.
- Don’t look at other women when they walk by. As sly as you think you’re being when you leer at other women, we always see it. And we hate it. And we hate you a little bit for doing it. So fucking stop it. Don’t say it’s instinctual. Nut up and fight your natural urges, caveman boy.
- Tell her you love her. She needs to hear it. Yes, you just told her yesterday, but she needs to hear it again. And again. But just telling her isn’t enough…
- SHOW her you love her. You have to be a little bit thoughtful. Chivalry shows her. Making a pot of coffee and pouring her some when she walks in the room shows her. Tucking her hair behind her ear so that you can see both of her eyes while she’s talking will floor her and score you like a bajillion points.
- Tell her things. I don’t mean that she needs to know how much you paid for gas this morning or anything about gas in general. Give her a 30 second recap of your day. Tell her what you had for lunch. An informed woman is a trusting woman, and you don’t want her to get wary. See #2. Don’t wake up dead.
- Be respectful. Hang up your towel instead of throwing it on the floor, put your dishes in the sink, keep the temperature a little warmer in the car so she doesn’t freeze after having gone through the trouble of wearing something revealing for you, and slow your pace a tiny bit when you’re walking together. And when it’s her time of the month, just do your best to not be an asshole.
- Though it flies in the face of what I believe in regular social interaction (and of course it’s not actually true, but you are allowed to lie here), tell her she’s beautiful. Listen up. This is important. Your woman lives in a world where she’s expected to look perfect all the time. She’s constantly comparing herself to other women, always trying to fall on the correct side of the attractive/getting-the-wrong-kind-of-attention line, and she keeps getting those creepy, leering looks from men (see #4) who haven’t read this list. Tell her she’s beautiful. She needs to hear it.
- This one’s a little out there, but it’s ridiculously effective. Pay attention when she’s talking. I don’t mean you have to listen to everything (because women talk all the damn time), but make an effort to remember just one thing she said. Bring it up later in conversation. (“Oh yeah, I meant to ask earlier… When you and your dad picked lilacs in Illinois, was it in a garden or out in the wild?“) Boom. The conversation turns from mind-numbing drivel into how sweet you are for asking a thoughtful question. Win-win.
If you have to be the +1 at a work event for your partner, follow the damn rules. They are enumerated below for your convenience.
- Be charming. (Google that and use the second definition: polite, friendly, and likable.) Convincingly feign interest in the boring shit you’ll be listening to all day. Alcohol helps with this.
- Don’t drink too much as you’re trying to accomplish list item #1.
- Just as important as #1: step down and let the person you’re accompanying be the one who shines. Be the stunning arm candy who contributes only a tiny amount to conversation. Defer to your mate. This doesn’t make you look weak; it makes you look like an excellent complement, and it makes your partner as well as your bond with him/her appear strong (though we all know you’re the one who wears the pants).
- Everyone understands checking your phone occasionally, but don’t be that wad who just sits there and plays Candy Crush and/or whatever the fuck it is that you Facebook people do all day on your phones.
- Overdress. Seriously. You’re there to make your significant other look good. You should look appropriate together, but it should be your goal to make sure that office gossips Kayla and Ann have something to talk about at the office on Monday. (And they will, because you’re damn sexy.)
- When your significant other tells you at the last minute that you don’t have to go and that he’ll just go by himself, don’t worry. He probably didn’t just find out that his girlfriend will be there.
- Don’t be offended when your mate doesn’t introduce you to anyone. He’s probably embarrassed by you and/or he doesn’t want you to meet his girlfriend (see #6).
- When someone at the event does something abhorrent like sitting on the table right next to you, with their ass only inches away from your arm and clearly in your personal space, do nothing. Pretend that it’s not the most disgusting thing that’s happened to you all day. Smile and nod.
- Remember that any sense of humor you might have won’t be appreciated here. Making jokes will just make everyone uncomfortable. You’ll find it best to continue to smile and nod, just like when that ass was on your arm.
If you have to try to impress men, please realize that whatever you’re thinking impresses them probably, well, ain’t it. If you think that flawlessly applying eyeliner is going to make a guy magically look past your grating personality, your mind-numbing stupidity, and your almost unbelievable level of insecurity, guess again.
Guys don’t give a fuck if you spent $3 or $300 on a tube of lipstick. They don’t care if Stefon or Sergio cut your hair (though a guy with an ounce of class won’t be a fan of Jimmy at Super Cuts hacking at your mane). They’re ambivalent about brands. I promise that unless you’re into the most metro (and actually totes gay on Tuesday and Thursday nights) dude, he doesn’t care if you shop at Gap or Saks, just as long as you look good.
That being said, I’m not intimating that men are easy to please.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA… That’s a lie. Men are very easy to please. Just follow these simple rules:
- Don’t be a bitch.
- Wear just enough makeup that it enhances the way you look. If you’re wearing so much that you look like a different person entirely, remember that your guy will probably see you without makeup at some point. It’ll freak him out if his precious little Amanda is actually a Bertha, ifyouknowwhatImean.
- Be active. Don’t just sit on the couch all day and only get up to get the tub of chocolate ice cream. That’s disgusting. And by “that,” I mean both you and your damn ice cream.
- Don’t be a bitch.
- Stop whining, stop nagging, and stop being an unpredictable Play-Doh emotion factory.
- Smile. Make jokes. Don’t be so serious all the time.
- Check your sex drive. Okay, listen up. This is a big one and a solid truth. I can guarantee you 100% that your relationship will not work if you and your dude don’t have similar appetites for sex. That’s just biological fact. Think long and hard about how it’ll work if one of you is ready to go 24/7 and the other one is pretty meh about getting down and dirty. This is a fundamental, solid incompatibility for a lot of people. You can ignore it for a while, but it’ll come out and raise its ugly head sooner or later. And then you’re screwed (or not, ever).
- Don’t hate sports. I promise that you can suck it up and at least pretend for a couple of hours that you care whether or not his team wins. (Hint: make excited sounds at the same time as the people wearing his team colors.)
- Know that men are men. They’re going to drink beer. They’re going to leave dirty socks on the floor. They’re going to smell bad sometimes. If you can’t handle that, consider dating girls instead.
- Don’t be a bitch.
If you have to be around that one couple who truly has no business being together, consider that one or both of them might not know any better.
Do you have one of those friends who’s always with the wrong guy? You joke and say that Yolanda “really knows how to pick ’em” and wonder how she doesn’t see that her husband Jeff and her ex Mike are, like, totally the same person. How does she not realize it’s all going to end up the same way it did when she and Tom broke up? It’ll all be for the same reasons.
Learned helplessness is when a subject has stopped trying to escape an an adverse condition or stimulus because it has been forced to deal with it for so long.
Yolanda doesn’t want to be miserable in her relationships. She’s not seeking out guys who all have the same problem. That’s just all she knows. In her current relationship, she married her husband because she stopped trying to find something different. She thinks all guys are the same. It’s like she has found 309 different ways to cook an egg, but she won’t (or can’t) acknowledge that she could do something else entirely with the egg–like dye it, or bake a cake, or (even better) throw it at Jeff’s stupid, fat face.
It’s gonna be an interesting day when Yolanda figures out something else to do with her eggs.
This story was inspired by all the awkward couples I saw (and the omelet I ate) at breakfast this morning.
If you have to go to a work event that’s “business casual,” for heaven’s sake, do not don a golf shirt and a pair of khakis and think that’s acceptable. (There’s one guy who can get away with it, and you are not him.)
Business casual today means:
Ladies – a wrap dress, sleek pants and a tailored button-up shirt, or a pencil skirt with an embellished top or a cardigan.
Gents – dress pants and a collared button-up shirt (no tie).
…Wondering about the other categories?
Business professional means:
Ladies – shirts with collars and dressy pants/skirts, conservative dresses, suits.
Gents – suits with ties.
Ladies – like business professional, but lose the suit jacket and add some sparkle.
Gents – three piece suits and up.
Casual means showing skin or something… short-sleeved shirts, sandals, etc. Be advised that khakis are casual; jeans mean you’re slummin.
PLEASE NOTE: Never, ever, ever, ever wear capri pants, clamdiggers(?), ankle-length pants, or anything else that makes it look like you borrowed a short person’s pants and/or you can’t commit to either actual (long!) pants or shorts. Sorry, Becky, but no one wants to see your bony and cartilage-y ankles. Lisa, the skin on your calves is transparent and I’m seeing more blue lines per square inch than a map of US rivers. And Mary… Those are cankles. Cover them up. They’re disgusting.