May
16
2014
2


WhyDid Wisdom: Role Playing

role playingA true fan of a good prop and almost all excuses for a theme party (except for 80′s and ugly Christmas sweaters- I will not participate, so just don’t ask), I began to think about role playing.  Not only why it is so fun to slip into someone else’s persona even if only for an evening, but where some people fit into our lives and why they ever bothered showing up– especially without RSVP’ing.

My human wrecking ball reared his ugly head again and this go round completely demolished me and basically left me for dead.  An abandoned building with no plans for reconstruction.  Needless to say, it was a very difficult breakup to shake.  One that even after an extended stay in California post Smitty surgery I couldn’t manage to completely cut off.  Either that or I truly am a masochist.

I’d boarded the plane in Monterey late January/pre-birthday after having no contact for nearly two months, until ol’ Wile E. Coyote realized he was blocked and started bombarding my iCloud email with “I miss you” messages and invitations to cover seedy stories with him in Las Vegas.  True romance.  How could I not be hooked?  I kindly declined and upon arrival back in New York, I felt strong and assured that I’d kicked that nasty habit once and for all.  Sixth time’s a charm, right?  But just as all men must be born with one, his radar went off and he was able to track me down and catch me during a moment, wherein I was lonely, cold, and a few too many glasses of wine in.  The instant the door shut behind him the next afternoon, I immediately regretted having given in so easily.  His half assed apologies and falsified justifications were hardly enough to have allowed him to even take me to a shitty bottomless brunch.  Yet I had suffered what would be considered a relapse which had adorably been renamed by my friend- the only way of making it sound less tragic than it actually was.

block number

Numbers were re-blocked.  iMessage turned off.  Celibacy sworn.  Don’t worry, I was sure to repeat steps one through three two more times before finding out about his other concurrent victim girlfriend.  True to form, it had taken something terribly awful for me to finally throw in the towel.  This was ultimately the point of no return and surprisingly, it didn’t hurt as bad as I’d expected though it did disturb me a little for more than many reasons.

When a new (and wonderful) girlfriend asked that I please accompany her to meet up with some friends in the East Village one Sunday night early this spring, I was not expecting to walk into a startling and bewitching mix between Johnny Depp and John Lennon.  As someone who is normally all but immune to the male mystique, I was completely thrown off guard while being simultaneously drawn in.  I wouldn’t have been surprised if my mouth had actually dropped open onto the vintage wooden table where he and his bearded friends sat.  Covered in tattoos and stone cold sober, he wasn’t my standard breed.  He was actually nearing the polar opposite of the past, but after some bonding over Lionel Ritchie lyrics and exchanging of Instagram handles (the new phone number), I was sold.

johnny deppTurns out, the feeling was mutual.  At least for the next week and a half.  We made plans soon after and we spoke all day everyday following our outing.  We shared the same quick, sick, twisted humor and had similar ideologies as well as professions that complemented each other’s.  Though I thought he could potentially have had some staying power- there are very few people who can keep up with my undaunting and sometimes indecipherable wit- he all but fell off the face of the earth after having made lots of “future plans” with me and Smitty.  Oddly enough, this actually ended up upsetting me more than being dumped for someone who can’t legally buy a beer in the US.  After a few pow-wows with girlfriends and coming up with nothing but a lot of shoulder shrugging and ice cream sandwiches, we chocked it up to the “blackhole of dating” that is New York City.  The best way I was able to come to terms with the jilt was realizing that while he may not have been a forever in my life, he was an all but crucial bridge in the road to my recovery and healing.   And even though his behavior was only slightly north of total douchebag, I am so grateful to him for getting me over that little week long hump that could have just as easily sent me right back down the rabbit hole straight into another relapse.

It would have been just as easy to start wondering and obsessing about what was wrong with me and feeling angry at him, but instead I was reminded that I can not only be incredibly attracted to someone else, but there are other interesting fellows still out there.  Gentlemen who like you- if only for a moment in time.  Even if they do wear weird jeans and in retrospect probably wouldn’t have fit into your life longterm, it’s nice to be reminded how it feels to be pursued.  To be reminded that you are smart and funny and worth being treated with more respect than a dirty dishrag at a C grade sushi restaurant.

So, you see, not everyone is meant to be a lifelong soulmate, friend, or boyfriend.  Sometimes people are strategically placed into our lives at the exact moment we unknowingly need them to teach us lessons, save us from ourselves, and prepare us for what lies ahead.  And instead of feeling bitter and holding onto the anger about being abandoned, passed over, or neglected it’s best to look more intently into their ultimate purpose and thank them for coming to our party.  Even if they left without cleaning up, they technically did bring a hostess gift and it’s up to you to figure what that was and be grateful for it.

xx,

WhyDid

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Aug
16
2012
1


WhyDid Wisdom: Pick of the Litter

maltipoosNote: Smitty is not in this photo.  He was busy.  Being coddled by his new mom/soul mate.

I remember sprawling out in the grass in Central Park with my girlfriends one sunny afternoon.  We were killing two birds with one blanket:  catching up on the latest gossip and checking out what kind of hunks Manhattan had to offer.  Forget the Meatpacking District, Central Park was a pure meat market on that particular Saturday.  While scanning Sheep’s Meadow for Big Apple’s buffest, one Adonis-like gentleman caught my girlfriends’ eyes.  As they began to “Ooh!” and “Ahh!” I lowered my Oliver Peoples, assessed the situation, and stated very matter of factly, “His nipples are HUGE!” and resumed scanning that month’s issue of Elle.  My friends gave me a lot of grief for my observation and it became a bit of an ongoing joke, but here’s what: I’ve always known exactly what I’ve wanted and never seen any reason why I shouldn’t have it.  And that includes the circumference of my potential mate’s areola.

Whether it’s been a dress, apartment, hairstyle, or shoes, I knew it the moment I saw it.  I have laser sharp focus when it comes to such things and I really can’t be bothered with anything subpar.  I’d rather have nothing at all than second choice.  Now, I get that I may sound cold and some people may call me critical, but I’m not suggesting we go around judging everyone and everything.  That’s not our job.  Plus, I doubt I could stand up to my own scrutiny.  I’m simply suggesting that in matters of the heart, we should have some standards.  If I’m willing to hold out on a pair of shoes, why wouldn’t I do the same for love?

Many times I’ve referenced the sweet, sweet love of my life, Smitty.  He’s the best friend and longest relationship I’ve ever had… and he was the pick of the litter.  I got first dibs on the four maltipoo pups and I don’t think any of this is a coincidence.  I saw him and I knew.  Now, granted, he really had no choice in the matter… he was coming home with me whether he liked it or not, but it’s a prime example of seeing what you want and going for it rather than taking the little one in the corner who looks sad because you feel bad for him.

How exactly does this all relate to love?  Well, having grandiose ideas about what you’re looking for in a partner can be off-putting to many.  They may think you’re being idealistic or just too picky.  A lot of people will try and sell you on the dream of, “Oh it might not come in the packaging you think” or, “You should give him a chance.” AKA, lower your expectations. You know what that’s called? Settling.  And guess what?  I’ve done that… and look how well that turned out!

So many times I’ve gone out with guys who are “meh” out of sheer boredom or just hoping that they would grow on me and turn into some fabulous Prince Charming once I got to know them.  Well, here’s the thing.  They grew on me, alright.  Like barnacles.  Nothing good will come out of dating a guy who you aren’t initially interested in.  If I don’t like your face now, I’m certainly not going to like it ten months in once I’ve found out all of your bad habits like leaving your socks on the floor and never folding your towel.

So, I’ve just stopped doing that.  I no longer spend time on the “so-so.”  I don’t bother wasting my new Alexander Wang on just any ol’ schmoe.  I’ll save it for someone worth impressing.  I turned down multiple gentlemen callers on more than one night this past week because I’d really just rather sit home and hang out with my dog, a glass of wine, and an interesting book than exert the insincere effort.  In the past, I’ve found myself gazing across the table thinking… let’s pretend for a moment that I care…

There is nothing wrong with holding out and being a little bit picky.  Perhaps my “near marriage” experience has changed the way I feel about rushing down the aisle just so I’m not “alone.”  Alone is a whole heck of a lot better than a bad relationship.  So, if the guy is wearing a gold watch at the gym, you don’t need to cut him a break.  Move along and wait for your pick of the litter.  Here’s to being picky.  I will gladly sit here solo with my glass of wine, Smitty, and Anna Karenina until Prince Charming does, in fact, show up.

xx,

WhyDid

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Jul
12
2012
2


WhyDid Wisdom: Third Time Is Not a Charm

charms

They say “Third time’s a charm,” yet that leaves me wondering: Who is “they”? and in what reference?  Because in my experience, especially in love, the third time has been anything but charming.

You see, I am a hopeless romantic and have a bit of an overactive imagination, which is great for writing, not so much for relationships.  Combine that with the dramatically romanticized television shows, movies, and books of our time and you’ve got a recipe for one hot mess of a love life.  I love love, I love seeing people in love, and I am, without question, capable of love.  While some argue that to be a good and even enviable quality, I find it to be a bit of a double edged sword.  The upside is pretty obvious, but as for the downside, well, that’s where things get a bit messy.

For six years I tricked myself (with the aid of a “gentleman”‘) into believing we had some magical “connection.”  So, we had an on again-off again, long distance, lacking all substance, but seriously there has to be something there relationship.  Not kidding, six years.  (I realize this either dates me, or you can’t believe my mom let me start dating at the tender age of 10).  It was as if he had some type of sonar/GPS/radar on my heart.  Each and every time I was in between a relationship, or a relationship was washing up at shore, lo and behold, there he’ be.  Either that or he was a total stalker.  Not even blocking his phone number kept him away, thanks to Facebook.  (Zuckerberg, you trying to ruin my life?).  This couldn’t be coincidence, right?  Of course not!  We were quite clearly very deeply connected!  So what if I don’t think he even knows what I do for a living and the only reason he knows my birthday is because he needed it to book a flight?  None of that matters when you and a person share an indescribable bond.  Therefore, I continued to let it play out.  Time and time again.  Even after swearing I’d never let it happen again.

teardrop

Every time I’d see him, I was left in a puddle of tears when he’d leave.  Our latest installment, however, was, by far, the most dramatic.  Without going into details, I left the situation feeling totally humiliated, shocked, and somewhat depressed.  How was it possible that after all of this time, we could never manage to get things right?  Oh, silly, silly girl, here’s the thing: there was no “connection.”  All the going back and forth and showing back up in my life was merely a game to him.  Cause, guess what?  A guy who “knows” knows.  He doesn’t allow a near decade to pass without so much as a whisper of commitment. I was writing the next epic romance novel and he was playing a cheap game of cat and mouse.  I had successfully faked a relationship by allowing all the drama to cloud my judgement.  Drama doesn’t equate to love and passion.  Drama equals drama.  I’d painted this person out to be a Mr. Big, when all he really was was a Mr. Big Asshole.

Speaking of which, a recent study even proves that you can “fake” being in love and actually fall in love.  If that’s the case, I’m in love a few fellows at this very moment (call me).  And while I now know that there was never any connection, let alone love, I also know my phone will ring sometime in the near future with that same familiar number on the caller ID.  I certainly won’t be answering and I most definitely am not expecting him to show up in Paris to whisk me off my feet.

Better luck next time.

xx,

WhyDid

 

 

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May
17
2012
2


WhyDid Wisdom: Dog Days of Dating

mand and his dogI’ve been irrationally angry today- though some close to me might argue that it’s actually quite rational as of late.  Luckily, they are wise enough to know not to argue with me on a day such as this… cause I’m quite likely to high kick someone given my current mood.  That’s why I figure now’s as good a time as any to drop a little dating knowledge on you ladies.  Brace yourselves…

Time and time again, I hear women complaining about what dogs men are.  First of all, don’t insult dogs (and my best friend) like that.  Secondly, who do you think is to blame for men behaving so badly?  Two guesses and one of them is not his mother.

Here’s the deal… and go ahead and write this down or tattoo it on your forehead, whatever you must do to remember it… you don’t want men to act like dogs?  Don’t let them.

You see, while we can’t be held 100% accountable for the philanderings, foul play, and general mischief of men, we are responsible for what we tolerate.  You think it’s really cute that someone else’s boyfriend/husband/fiance/significant other is flirting with you?  Really?  Well, joke’s on you.  By entertaining inappropriate behavior, you’re simply perpetuating the very same douchebaggery you complain about.  You’ve made it harder on yourself and your fellow females just so you could get a little ego boost, a feather in your cap.  Worth it?  Yeah, didn’t think so.  And let’s be serious, do you really want to be with someone who would step out on his lady?  Spoiler alert: a man who cheats with you, is going to cheat on you.  Sure, you’ve filled her spot… but your mistress role is now open and I hear he’s taking applications.

The same holds true for the other side of the coin.  You have a guy in your life who is acting like a complete and utter ass?  While it may feel as if he’s holding all the cards, you, my dear, are actually the one in power.  My grandma Betty (Mee Maw) said, “A lady always allows a man to be a gentleman.”  Such a simple, yet forgotten truth.  You won’t get any less than you think you deserve.  So, stop acting like cheap two bit hussies and make a man work for it.  If you’re willing to settle for scraps, that’s precisely what you’re going to get: scraps.  Are we really so desperate to have a man in our lives that we’re willing to settle for subpar?

Now, I know some of you are probably rolling your eyes (I see you) because you think this doesn’t apply to you.  What’s the harm in a little flirtatious fun or spring fling?  Maybe it doesn’t affect you right this second, we are, afterall, a society of instant gratification, but in the long run, you’ve set yourself and women back ages.  You think you’re being a feminist with free love, but what happened to having a little respect for yourself and your X chromosome counterparts?  I call that modern day feminism.

And for heaven’s sake, don’t think for one second that I’m here on a soap box or my high horse (I wish I had a pony).  I couldn’t even possibly begin to dish out advice on something I, myself, haven’t encountered.  I’ve played into this shit a time or two (too many).  Well, guess who I’m not dating/marrying?  Any of those guys.

Here’s the deal, if your dog continuously shat on the floor, you’d reprimand him, no?  The same should hold true for the men in our lives.  If you wouldn’t tolerate it from Fido, don’t tolerate it from Frank.  You don’t want men to act like scum?  Don’t let ‘em.

xx,

WhyDid

 

image via NY Times

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Apr
19
2012
2


WhyDid Wisdom: Place Your Bets

james bond casinoI read a quote the other day that said, “The most common way to fail is by playing it safe. “  It sounds a bit contradictory at first, but may hold more truth than you’d initially think.

After a breakup, or failed experience, you are likely to be barraged with comments like “take what you learned from this and apply it in the future” or “this is only going to make you smarter.”  You probably just want to tell these well wishers to GFY.  Well, as it turns out, as long as your eyes, mind, and heart are open, there actually can be quite a bit to take away from even the most terrible of situations.

After a very traumatic breakup with the Don Draper of Wall Street (or least in his head), I felt wounded and fragile.  (You guys remember that one?)  He was a bit of a wild card and I knew what I was getting myself into from the very beginning, but I was suffering from ITIS (I Think I’m Special) syndrome and took a chance.  When my hand played out precisely the way one might expect I was not totally shocked.  To say I was upset?  Yes.  Hurt?  For sure.  Surprised?  Not particularly.

I sat out a few hands to recollect myself, but the next time I stepped up to the table to play a little love roulette, I opted to place a much safer bet.  When I took a gamble on the other end of the spectrum (a safe bet) and lost again, it was most certainly a shock.  Probably more shocking and upsetting than losing a big bet.  How could I have been so careful, had such good odds and still lost?  I thought by aiming “low” or being conservative I might not hit the jackpot, but at least was going to win a lil somethin’.  I’d hoped for the best, took a gamble, and lost.

What I learned from both of these experiences is that it doesn’t matter if he’s the shiny, suave Wall Street type or the disheveled, artsy IT guy.  The big bet or the little gamble.  Anyone can hurt you or turn out to be a “loss.”  Having had bad experiences at both levels has made me tentative about making any decisions at all.  I tend to just sit and worry until the decision is eventually just made for me.  Well, that’s really no way to live.  There’s no way you will end up becoming a high roller just keeping your cards close to your chest.  Sometimes you have to just double down and put it all out on the table.

Just remember, a safe bet may be the most dangerous bet you can make.

xx,

WhyDid

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