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.



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

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WhyDid Wisdom: Judgey Wudgey Was a Bear…
Written by: WhyDid | WhyDid Wisdom

It’s very rare I bat even an eyelash at a guy when I’m out on the town.  Partially because I’m a bit shy, but mostly because I rarely come across anyone the slightest bit bat worthy.  But on one particular evening, I was feeling flirtatious, not to mention that I knew my marled grey sweater dress was hugging my curves in precisely the right places and my hair was on a whole new level of Pantene Pro-V commercial bounciness.  I might have also had two glasses of champagne, but that’s neither here nor there.

So, when I saw a guy at the table next to ours who did not resemble a Wall Street douchebag just let loose from his trading desk (unmistakable by their unbuttoned  custom tailored shirts, pressed grey trousers, and shiny black Ferragamos), I gave him the ol’ eye.  Even more so, I gave him the eye, eyebrow and half smile—my signature move.  Message delivered.  This tall, handsome, man of a man took his time, but made his way over to me to say, “hello.”   Names were exchanged, leading to the standard, “Where are you from?” question.  Him: New Jersey, Me: West Virginia.  We took digs at each other’s respective hometowns and a bond was forged.

Bonus points for his ability to not only dish it, but take it.  Double bonus points for texting me the moment he woke up the next morning (which was awfully early for the record) and having saved his number with both first and last name in my phone.  I never go out with someone sans knowing his surname anymore—but that story is for a different day.

After snoozing for another hour or so, I did what every twenty-first century woman in her right mind does… I first searched for him on Facebook to see if we had any overlapping friends, but found no relevant matches.  Up next, Google.  Due to his fairly common name, I had to think of another identifier that would make him more Googleable.  Oh, right, he told me he reverse commuted for work, so I typed in his name along with the city where he worked and, “BAM!” there he was.

Oh no.  How could this delicious dreamboat be a … carpet cleaner?  I’ve never even met a carpet cleaner.  There had to be some mistake.  Except there wasn’t because the same number listed on his website was the number so sweetly saved in my cell phone.  After discounting him for his less than desirable job title, I texted with him casually and one Monday night while having cocktails with a friend, Mr. Dreamboat suggested we come join him at Hudson Bar & Books (the irony is not lost on me) since we were down the street and we were essentially neighbors.

Having exhausted the people watching at our current watering hole, we obliged and found him sitting at the bar enjoying a Manhattan and a stogie.  He was warm and gracious towards my friend, a gay gentleman with a biting sense of snark.  We toyed with him by telling him my friend was the host of  an after hours radio show about sex to which he asked thoughtful questions.  My friend asked Dreamboat what he did and his answer surprised us both.  He ran a janitorial business.  My carpet cleaner was now a janitor?  When I asked what might be considered blatantly rude questions to his face, he didn’t flinch or get defensive, but instead answered them in earnest.

Wow, he’s a genuinely nice human.  Wow, I’m a bitch.

As he walked me home, he told me about how he’d started collecting art and couldn’t figure out where to hang a vintage mirror in his new apartment.  He told me he’d just seen a great movie and I was half expecting him to tell me something embarrassing and low brow like Iron Man, but instead he named a movie I had never heard of playing in a theater I didn’t even know existed.  Perhaps I’d judged Dreamboat a little too quickly.

This earned him a kiss goodnight.  One that must have been impressive because my doorman gave me a high five on my way through the lobby.

Things continued on casually.  Texts here and there, a date planned and then canceled and a run in with him during brunch at The Standard followed by a boozy Saturday afternoon with my friends mixing with his—one of which I had dated five years prior and another who may or may not have been a high end hooker.  Not much transpired past that day, not due to my lack of trying though.  As we’d been judging Dreamboat for being less than desirable on paper, he’d written me off for his own reasons.  Probably for being a sarcastic snob.

During one of my marathon phone calls with my dad, he was quick to remind me that sanitation is recession proof and while I’m sitting here writing this in my robe, he’s on vacation in the Dominican Republic.  Dick Smith, always thinking of things I didn’t.

Point being: careful when making judgments and remember that you, too, are being judged… even by your janitor.



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WhyDid Wisdom: Standards, Get Some.
Written by: WhyDid | WhyDid Wisdom

must be this tall to rideNo matter how old I’ve gotten, where I’ve lived, or what friends have come and gone, there’s one thing that’s never changed: women are always complaining about men.  In some cases for good reasons, but after hearing one too many sob stories about our canine counterparts over Saturday brunch, I started to realize that maybe the ones to blame for the malecentric masochism are us.  I hear the feminists out there getting antsy already, but hear me out.  I’m smarter than I look.  Plus, I’ve made enough terrible dating mistakes to provide sufficient data.

Remember that article in the NY Times regarding the end of courtship?  Guess whose fault that is?  Yours.  You see, technology glorious as it may be,  has certainly made us all a lot lazier.  Like you can’t even spell out the word “you” now?  Yeah, I’ll C U never.  Using technology and social networking as a scapegoat for shortcut dating is also lazy because truth be told, you didn’t have to answer that text.  You didn’t need to geo-tag yourself on Instagram.  And you sure as heck didn’t need to Tweet your exact whereabouts.  So, the common thread here is still you.  I love a happy coincidence of showing up at the same place as someone I’m seeing so long as it doesn’t involve him making out with another girl he’s seeing, but making “the chase” more like a an afternoon nap on the couch may make his life easier, but certainly not yours.

To act as if I, too, am not guilty of these crimes of courtship would be beyond ridiculous, so, please, consider this an open letter to myself.

So you’re wondering why he doesn’t step up to the plate and pull out all the stops for you?  Because you didn’t make him.  I know, mind blowing.  Whether you’d like to believe it or not,  men like you to set standards.  If you don’t ask them to, they sure as the sunrise aren’t going to do it themselves.  And don’t be afraid that asking him to be a gentleman is going to scare him off because if you do ask him to value you (as much as you should value yourself) and he doesn’t want to?  Get to stepping cause it’s only going downhill from here.  Trust.  Some of you think I’m being Prissy Patty here, but wouldn’t you know, I’ve got a few dating anecdotes to drive the point right on home.

I went out with a nice, cute, fun bankery type a few times.  We would meet over drinks or make a general plan to meet up on a Sunday afternoon and while I always enjoyed my time with him and his Polo shirts, I was looking for him to make a real date, not just a “casual hang.”  So one rainy Sunday evening as he walked me home under an umbrella, I decided to speak up.  When I told him to make an actual date, not just another hangout, you better believe I had a detailed email in my inbox first thing the next morning with three different (very creative) date options for me to choose from as well as the weather forecast.  All it took was letting him know.  He’s also been made well aware that should he ever want to get any closer to my pants than perusing Spring’s latest washes at 7 for All Mankind, he must make a proper dinner plan.  He explained that most girls he’s gone out with hadn’t really cared much about courtship nor could they spell it.

Another guy I granted the pleasure of my company was nervous to open my door for me on our first date because the girl he dated before me was apparently offended by the gesture.  Well, yes, it’s true I’m physically capable of opening my own door, but I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t do it for me.  I made it crystal clear that I had no qualms with him being a gentleman and opening my door and so he did open my door every single time until I was no longer getting into his car for a multitude of other reasons. But to the chick who hated having her door opened, come on, sister, stop ruining it for the rest of us.

But for every positive example, there’s always its more entertaining negative complement.

elevator capacityI met a strapping young fellow who seemed to be a bit of a loose cannon (read: probably not a qualified candidate to father my future children), but despite his wild ways, he asked me out to dinner one night over text… at 2:56am.  I waited until the next day to answer although I’d been wide awake at the time and played coy with my response.  The invitation didn’t come again, but instead he did invite himself over late one night to “hang.”  My mistake for obliging him.  Because while the hickey on my shoulder endured (sorry, Dad), long gone are the days of  him inviting me out to dinner.  I don’t count on a dinner at Nobu in my future.  I can, however count on past midnight messages and phone calls.

One gentleman (ha!) who’s a true thorn in my side, has turned into a tragic Telemundo soap opera, bad acting and all.  When he calls, I run.  Not so long ago, his radar alerted him that I’d forgotten all about him and so he dialed my number, and like clockwork I hurried my little behind right on down to the Soho Grand.  To be clear, it wasn’t always this way.  As a matter of fact, for the first half our our “relationship” it was all fun and games (and dinners and dancing) when I made him chase me all the way over to Avenue B, but the moment I stopped playing precious princess, the tables turned… like Teresa Giudice turned.  I made it too easy for him because I was scared that he’d stop calling.  Which is totally ridiculous because he clearly enjoys the chase more than the kill and if he didn’t call?  Good riddance.  I’m seeing him next Thursday.

You see, I’m just as guilty as the gals in the NY Times article though I was appalled when I’d read it the first time.  I no longer know how to spell courtship, let alone dinner and the only person I have to blame is myself… well, and the rest of you.  Did we not learn anything in Psychology 101?  Pavlov’s dogs ring a bell?  (I didn’t even mean to do that).  We’re just as trainable as dogs and we can very easily train people how to treat us.  If I let my dog just pee wherever her wanted he, would.  Well, I don’t let him, but he does anyway– but you get the gist.  Just be careful you’re not being the one being trained to drool when the bell rings.

The bottom line is quite simple: you get what you settle for.  And isn’t being a lady the original form of feminism?



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The List Volume LXXXV
Written by: WhyDid | The List

datingSeeing as I’m now back in the dating pool (though I don’t date a lot… reasons following), I have remembered why it is that dating can be both glorious and horrifying at the same time.  While some men are gallant and chivalrous like white knights, others are more like the town idiots riding around town on broke down donkeys.

The good ones are far and few between and the bad ones are so bad, they almost cancel out all the good ones… making me want to just throw in the towel and start the adoption process… and I know I’m not alone in this.  So go ahead and print this out, ladies.  Post it by the watercooler in your office or better yet, the men’s bathroom.  Pass it along anonymously (or not) to the men in your lives in hopes that somehow, some way they’ll get the hint.

berger sex and the city

  1. When you ask for my number and I say I’ll just take yours and then you make me call you so you have mine.  Unfair.
  2. Asking for my Instagram info rather than my phone number.  Are you serious? (By the way, WhyDid is now on Instagram: whydid_dotcom).
  3. Telling me about all the other girls you’re dating.  Well, that clears up what’s going to happen after dinner: Nada.
  4. I appreciate you offering to buy me a drink.  But please, PLEASE, do not berate me for politely declining.  As a matter of fact, you should thank me.  I just saved you fifteen dollars.
  5. If I do not ask you to come upstairs after a date, this is not the time to pout like a child.  Just ’cause you bought me dinner doesn’t mean I owe you anything.

man with flowers

    1. Remembering minor details, ie; I don’t drink anything without a straw.
    2. Finding out what neighborhood I live in and then picking the restaurant based on that.
    3. The ol’ make sure I get in a cab safely tell the driver where I’m going, pass him a $20, and give him a stern warning that I better arrive home in one piece.
    4. Treating my friends as kindly as you treat me (non-romantically, of course).
    5. Not looking at your phone for one second during our date.

Welp, who wants to order in Chinese?

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