WhyDid Wisdom: Reserve Yourself

By |January 31st, 2014|WhyDid Wisdom|

annoying callerWinter is the time of year when many of us yearn to couple up in order to stay warm and potentially lower our ConEd bills. A lot of my friends are what could be considered professional daters. I’ve stopped asking what any of their chaps’ names are because I can’t keep up and would need a very elaborate flow chart in order to stay entirely in the loop. I’m always in utter amazement as to how they meet all of these fellas because most of my male companionship comes from my dog, gentlemen playing for the other team, and re-runs of Frasier. Ironically, I think I’ve just cracked the code as to my singledom with that last sentence.

Anyway, unlike myself, you’ve been hitting the town and getting hit on, you little minx, you. And in the mix of things, you’ve met a couple of cuties who have actually made it beyond asking for your number in between swigs of Jameson and you’ve spent a handful of cozy dinners and Saturday brunches at Extra Virgin and Cafe Cluny with one, maybe two, in particular. You knew it was meant to be when he ordered another round of mimosas and declared that there may be nothing better in this world than a great chocolate chip pancake except for maybe a hammock on Alphonse Island. In your mind, you’ve already started planning your June wedding at the St. Regis and have named your first born child due early next fall (you decided on something gender neutral and inanimate). You’re a perfect match much like Domenico and Stefano, so you can’t quite put your perfectly polished finger on why your affections, and text messages aren’t being returned.

Ready for an awful truth?

(You may need a quaalude and a seat for this). Okay, you know that one guy who continues to text you after countless subtle blow offs, blatant verbal abuse and finally virtual radio silence? You know… the one who tricked you into giving him your number after you said you’d just take his and then called himself from your phone. Yeah, that guy. Well, you may very well be that girl.

I know. It seems highly improbable, even mind blowing, that anyone male, female, or house plant could possibly resist your feminine wiles, biting wit, and Pilates body. But alas, as hard as it is to wrap your pretty little head around, you may have found the one and only human this side of the galaxy not interested in you or the Illuminati conspiracy theories.

Fine, maybe you didn’t bamboozle your way into his Blackberry (who still has one of those, by the way?), so let’s use another example. You know the sort of goofy handsome guy you went out with from Goldman Sachs? While he was perfectly nice and in “theory” should be a totally perfect partner completely capable of rearing healthy children and providing a stable lifestyle for your future family, there was just one problem. You didn’t feel any of that wild, crazy, I must have you more than this season’s Céline. He didn’t do anything wrong, per se. He was a perfect gentleman and has since then been hitting you up to have a second, third, and final date… before that wedding he’s planned in his head complete with future (already named) child.

Yep. It’s all starting to click isn’t it?

beyonceWe’ve all got a few of those guys lying around much like the Federal Reserve has a few spare bricks of gold. They’ll never get used, but it’s nice to know that they’re there for security’s sake and all. At one point, there were so many “code names” in my phone that I hadn’t really any clue who was calling anymore. I just knew I wasn’t going to answer under any circumstance. Not even after two dirty martinis. Okay, I have responded on occasion to these “reserves.” Sometimes because I’m just too nice and felt guilty leaving them hanging (passive aggressive much?). Other times I’ve just been totally bored in between checking Twitter and Instagram. There have been lonely nights in between relationships with people I actually liked. And sometimes my friends and I think it’s downright hilarious. Call me a mean girl if you want, but your nose may be growing at this very moment. You’ve totally done the same thing. We all have. And whether you admit it out loud or not, I want you to realize that it’s entirely possible that’s what is going on with you and Mr. Perfect.

While it can take women a little bit longer to warm up to a potential mate, guys know what they want almost instantly. They are hunters by nature and when they see something they want, they go for it. Full force. It’s science. A guy can sway us to the other side after a couple of dates by revealing a shared love of cheese, a dark sense of humor, or just general kindness and good behavior. Inversely, a guy can be completely smitten with a girl and she can crash and burn merely by being a bitch. Don’t be a bitch.

I’ve been given a hard time for having fairly high expectations, and while I may be asking a lot for wanting a 6’0+ gentleman with great style, a sense of humor, brains, charisma, love of small white dogs named Smitty and a handle on his personal finances, I don’t think common courtesy is too much to ask. I certainly do expect my potential love interest to have the capacity to craft up a cohesive text message using the proper your/you’re and two/to/too, let alone actually grasp the concept of dialing my telephone number for voice on voice conversation. As a matter of fact, I don’t think any of that is too much to ask- and you shouldn’t either. I have been pursued hard, like verging on restraining order, so, I know the difference between being the “reserve” and the “jackpot.” If someone can’t even take a moment from his or her grueling life (barring he/she is doing volunteer work in a country without telephone wiring or toilets), that person is probably not particularly interested in you. At very least, you just aren’t ranking high on the priority list and well, that’s a problem.

Listen, it may be disappointing to realize you aren’t someone’s ideal match but, there’s no need to beat yourself up about it or shamelessly and repeatedly throw yourself at someone who just thinks you’re “ok for now.” (Remember DBDG?) Essentially he’s doing you a favor by self eliminating. It’s like Darwinian dating. Instead of wasting any more time on someone who doesn’t see how absolutely spectacular you are, you can keep on stepping… right on towards your true “Mr. Right.” (And you should probably throw in a hair toss or two). You wouldn’t jam your feet into shoes that don’t fit (I mean, maybe), so why would you try to force a connection that just isn’t there? All that comes from that is uncomfortableness and corns. Just repeat to yourself, “No answer is your answer.”

So, next time you are staring at your gold iPhone imploringly, just remember that poor ol’ chap you’ve renamed “Never Gonna Happen” and reserve yourself.




Coincidentally saw this video this afternoon post-posting.  All too fitting.

WhyDid Wisdom: Crazy is Contagious

By |November 7th, 2013|WhyDid Wisdom|

kirsten smithFirst things first, we’re all insane.  Some of us hide it better than others.  Some of us are in complete and utter denial.  And some of us have just not had the last little screw knocked loose before going completely and totally mad.  I, for one, have never claimed to be sane.  My self-awareness is both one of my best and worst qualities.

I mean, I’m the girl who went all kinds of Carrie Underwood on an ex after finding him at the strip club across the street from our apartment with a woman wearing a cabbie hat.  That was the first time I realized just how crazy I could be.  Having woken up with bruised hands after beating on the window of the cab they had hopped into upon exiting New York Dolls and pouring my red Solo cup full of beer (thanks to the bar next door for providing me with a to-go cup) on them both, I knew the looney in me had been unleashed.  Thank heavens I must have looked like a raccoon with rabies, because had that lady gotten out of the cab, I ‘m not sure what I would have done.  I’m not the type to take part in a girl fight.  Sorry, Jerry Springer, but I do know karate.

That wasn’t the last time I lost my shit.  Remember my little lost bird?  My human wrecking ball(Oh, hey, Miley).  Well, wouldn’t you know, I wasn’t quite through with him.  It’s hard to kick an addiction and I sure do love a challenge.  I’m no quitter.  After having gone north with him and nursing him through a full blown panic attack, I thought I’d seen enough.  But that’s the thing about love, New York, and Pandora’s box, once you’ve been bitten by the bug, there’s no turning back.  If I looked at the situation as a logical human being, which most of the time I am, I knew that it was time to abort mission.  Had one of my girlfriends been sharing her horrifying experience with me, I would have grasped her firmly by the shoulders and shaken her.  However, my cognitive thinking was way out of whack and to be completely honest (another one of my best/worst qualities), I didn’t want to kick the habit.

After an especially volatile text exchange a couple of months ago, I found myself in a puddle of tears on my hardwood floor with Smitty looking on in despair.  I indulged in far too much wine and the lunacy was rolling in like dark storm clouds. Receiving a message that really set me off and having already prepared his grilled cheese, I chucked my phone across the room.  Let’s be clear, I’ve dropped my phone down the stairs on more than one occasion and had a couple of near death experiences with it on the treadmill, I had yet to crack my iPhone screen in all the time I’d had it.  The straw that broke my iPhone’s glass, was me, not an average accident.  I couldn’t even answer my phone, let alone respond to texts without risking shards of glass in my fingers.  Thanks to the cute guys (seriously, they’re so cute) at Gotham iPhone, my cracked glass was repaired, but the same couldn’t be said for my heart– or my sanity.

I knew I’d gone nuts as I stared at my shattered screen.  This was completely out of the norm for me.  After my last breakup, the most tragic of many, I’d behaved like a real lady.  Sure I could have kidnapped his fluffy white cat and left rotting fish in the vents of the Bahl house we shared to haunt him, but I hadn’t.  I took my belongings and my dignity and never looked back.  I thought I’d moved past those emotions when I moved back across the country.  I wasn’t mad or even sad.  Perhaps I just hadn’t cared as much as I’d thought.  To inflict pain on myself, was something I’d never done- though close friends might argue I’m a bit of a masochist.

kirsten smithBut alas, the story doesn’t stop there.  Even after the broken glass, typhoon of tears, and bruised heart and ego, I continued on with the crazy.  A glutton for punishment, I kept trying to put the pieces back together and hold onto whatever it was that had me so hooked.  There’s a very fine line between being loyal and being a lunatic.  I was straddling that line.  So, how on Earth did a seemingly sound woman find herself clinging by bloody fingernails to the last ounce of her sanity?

It took me a while to really grasp what was going on and I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a sliver of my heart that belongs to him today.  I’m still in recovery.  The thing is, a seemingly rational person can be swayed to the other side when exposed to too much mania for too long.  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. When a person is capable of looking you in the eyes and telling a boldface lie somehow convincing you that you’re the one to blame, more than likely, they believe their own story.  And more than likely if you stick around long enough, you’ll start to believe it too.  No one wants to be rejected and everyone would rather not believe a painful truth.  We all just want to be loved and sometimes it’s just easier to swallow the crazy pill than to be honest with yourself and walk away from something you’ve grown attached to.  But you can’t fix crazy and you definitely can’t fight crazy with crazy.  It’s like when they say never engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed man. In this instance, you’re the unarmed man.  You will not win.  Show me one guy who doesn’t have a “crazy” ex-girlfriend and I’ll show you a liar.  That girl didn’t become psycho on her own.  They never do.  It’s like when someone knocks down the first domino and the rest just follow suit.

kirsten smithSo, I held on until it was no longer possible.  My fingers had to let go in the end and I was forced to begin picking up my own dominos.  Perhaps the only really crazy part was trying to salvage a situation and person who was completely hopeless.  I was not only staying on the Titanic while it sank, I’d gone ahead and sat down with a cocktail to watch.  I can tell you one thing for sure, no one ever won a prize for staying in the midst of a storm.  So, as I sat and tried to figure it all out in the aftermath, my dad reminded me, yet again, that if I understood why some people act the way they do then he’d need to start worrying about me.  And so, the first moment you detect the slightest bit of batty, you need to cut your losses and look for the nearest exit- unless you, too, want to come unhinged.


As it turns out, crazy is contagious and there is no known cure.



photos by Michael Stielger

WhyDid Wisdom: When Your Fixer Upper Becomes a Human Wrecking Ball

By |July 11th, 2013|WhyDid Wisdom|

open cage doorHi. My name’s Kirsten and I love to save things. That’s right, I’m the girl who found just about any and all types of stray animals and wanted to keep them. Wild bunnies, frogs, lizards, birds, and even hermit crabs—you name it, it was coming home with me. I’m the girl who brought in her rescued baby squirrels to third grade show and tell. Yes, squirrels. Some might say I have a penchant for rescuing things, taking in the lost and forlorn. My parents were certain I’d become a veterinarian… or zookeeper. I probably would have had it not been for ninth grade biology and that whole dissection of a frog thing. Well, turns out the same little blonde who fed baby bunnies with an eyedropper when she was eight graduated to her own species as she got older.

Without fail, I seem to find those who are wounded, lost, or troubled for friendships as well as romantic relationships. I don’t seek out the wayward and wandering, but without fail, that’s who I find. It concerns me they say, “like attracts like” because if that’s the case, I must be completely insane. Whether it be an alcoholic, narcissist, schizophrenic or sociopath (I specialize in sociopaths), I’ve opened up my home and heart to all sorts of human personality defects. After many tears, broken hearts and promises, I started to realize my pattern. Admission is the first step in the road to recovery, you know. After my last breakup and a “pal” who couldn’t seem to pull it together, I made a mental note to be more wary of those telltale red flags.

So when my dear friend, ironically the same one who introduced me to my ex-fiancé– which should’ve been my first clue– brought me to a SuperBowl party hosted by another one of her friends, I wasn’t expecting to meet anyone of dateable interest. As our gracious host came over to introduce himself, I found myself attracted to his boyish charm mixed with nonchalance. My friend must have seen the glimmer in my eye because she immediately put her hand on my arm and warned me, “He’s not your future husband, but he’s definitely a good time.” What sealed the deal for me was his reaction to a gaggle of bitchy girls foreign to the East Village who pitched a full fledged fit over his inability to switch the sound from the evening’s playlist (bonus points for a shared love of gangster rap) to Beyonce’s halftime performance. Somehow phone numbers were exchanged and so began the dysfunction.

Heeding my friend’s warning, I hadn’t taken things very seriously. It all started off as some kind of joke. A form of entertainment for me and my girlfriends. I shrugged off the 3am dinner invitation. We laughed about the 13 missed calls ranging from 2 until 7am. The nonsensical text messages that poured in well past my self imposed curfew were topic of discussion over frittatas and mimosas. The strange promises that we’d some day be taking our children to Epcot seemed like silly ramblings, but somewhere along the way, I fell for this little lost bird. And I fell hard.

Sure, his clothes never quite matched, but in the most endearing manner. I never knew what he had been doing all night or where he’d spent the evening doing it. I couldn’t be certain where he’d be the next day or when I’d hear from him next. We could barely make it through brunch without a minor to moderate meltdown. But as I looked at him lying in my perfectly pristine white bed, long lashes, perfect teeth, floppy brown curls, and long limbs, I was hooked. The moment he walked out of my door with an inaudible adieu, my heart ached. I wanted more. And the cycle repeated. Over and over again.

After one particular raucous evening out, one might say that I could be labeled as “intoxicated.” Let’s not play Mary Magdalene, we’ve all been there. The problem was when we returned back to my apartment, my little lost bird said to me, “Maybe we should hang out some other time when you’re– less wasted.” The tables had turned. The caretaker had become the responsibility, the charge. I awoke the next day not only feeling hungover, but confused, hurt. How could someone who I’d been not only tolerant but nurturing of, turn his back on me in my time of need? That’s the pattern though. In a functional relationship, partners take turns with the ups and downs. As a zookeeper, you’re always going to be making sure the elephants have clean water and the tigers have fresh meat. They won’t bother worrying about if and when you take your lunch break or how you slept last night. To be a successful zookeeper, you need to make sure you’ve taken care of yourself before you take a step into the lion’s den, otherwise you’ll become their lunch.

And so, painful as it was, I had to let my little lost bird go, at least until I could reconfigure my own wellbeing. I can’t lie, however. If a hippopotamus with a sprained ankle and narcotics dependency showed up tomorrow, I’d make room in my queen size bed for him to recover. This time, I’ll just make sure my own deficiencies are handled first.


image via

WhyDid Wisdom: Pick of the Litter

By |August 16th, 2012|Why Did You Date Him?, WhyDid Wisdom|

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.



WhyDid Wisdom: Dog Days of Dating

By |May 17th, 2012|Why Did You Date Him?, WhyDid Wisdom|

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.




image via NY Times