Monday, June 30, 2008

Sign Language

The Patriots were guilty of it. The Phillies just got accused of it. But if it is so easy to do, then why to people have trouble seeing and interpreting signs? It has been documents that a tremendous amount of communication is non-verbal. We give off vibes (baller waves) to prospective mates during the attraction tango in order to entice, enthrall, and engage. This leads me into one of the most prolific ongoing discussion of my dating life: Why do people think the signals they are sending actually get interpreted at all, and furthermore, why don’t we pick up on the signals we are being given?

Typically, it has been my experience that many women are tremendously frustrated as a result of men missing, what they consider to be obvious signals. Newsflash ladies: none of your ‘obvious’ signals are obvious. The world of men is a world of blunt, concise, and clear communication. Here are some examples to put this statement into perspective:

When a person in you party is ill smelling, “Dude, you smell like ass”.
When a guy acts like a D-Bag, “Dude, you’re acting like a D-Bag”
When a guy is into a girl, “I want to be on you”
Etc.

The problem is two fold and must be addressed in two separate ways. The first problem is a problem of Transmission. Place yourself into the following situation: Saturday night at a popular speak-easy. A top-forty blaring, alcho-pop sipping, strobe light flashing kind of atmosphere. Men and Women hear me, subtlety is not your friend in this environment. Ladies, the hair brush back, semi smile, momentary eye contact strategy doesn’t work when the your target is on the other side of the room, with 4 Bud light girls, 3 flat screens, two guys doing Jagger bombs, and a partridge in a pear tree all in the way. Hear this novel concept. Go approach a guy. You don’t have to go up to him when he is with all of his buddies. Wait until he goes to the bar by himself or wait until he goes to the jukebox, out for a smoke, whatever. Just say, “Hey, my name is Halle/Scar-Jo/ Naomi (That’s ‘I moan’ backwards) and watch how easily you open a conversation.

Girls, I always say this so listen and listen good. It is far more difficult than you think to walk up to a group of women and generate some sort of rapport out of thin air. How many times since you turned 12 have men ogled, cat called, hit on, and pick up lined you before? You are trained to dismiss 98% of all gentleman callers. Men have to fight off nerves, their boys peer pressure, the other dudes trying to talk to you and then find something memorable/ amusing enough to get you to stay in a convo for longer than the ‘What’s your name/ What do you do?’ conversation. It’s a rough life.

The second problem is a problem of reception. Men, we have all been told what interested women act like, right? So act like it, damn it! And for those of you that haven’t, let me help you. A book I read once referred to the signals women give as “Indicators of Interest” (IOI). IOI’s come in many forms and women are crafty so you need to actively looking for them while out. Firstly, keep your head on a swivel, and stop watching the game/beer girl/ strobe light and watch the women around you. The first IOI is always eye contact. Look for the quick glance, look away, sustained eye contact combo. If you get that, for heaven’s sake, go talk to the woman. Second is the eye-contact smile combination. If you get that, go talk to the woman, dumb ass. Thirdly is the ‘Hey my friend over there thinks you are cute but she is shy’ IOI. Hmm…buy that girl a drink and get over there, Don Jaun.

Don’t get me wrong, these signals are not always as blatant as Tara Reid’s boob job but they are there and remember, most women just want some guy to come up to talk with them. It’s just as awkward for them standing half undressed, alone at the bar, as it is for you shot-gunning PBR in the corner with your frosted tips and extra-medium Tee.

Let’s all try to help each other out and maybe we can re open the lines of communication.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wingman/Woman

The Wingman is a crucial participant in navigating the single world around us. Whether they are referred to as ‘Bro’s’, ‘The Crew’, ‘The Posse’ matters not, as long as they serve with honor and distinction. It has been brought to my attention by one of my near and dear friends that I have been doing an injustice to one of my greatest wingmen. Hollywood Harruki wrote me the following message after having been a faithful reader over the last few weeks:

“J-Lo needs a new name. He may have had this nickname before Jenny even made it to the block, but unfortunately she is more famous and hence, J-Lo is no name for a wingman”.

So, avid readers I put it to you. Please come up with a new alias for the Goose to my Maverick, J-Lo. HH is right, I have disrespected the wingman role and besmirched its honor and that is why I ask for any and all suggestions for a new name for J-Lo. He needs a name that does justice to the way that he acts like that Latin guy that can dance, grinding up on you, making you feel dangerous but also safe. Please submit your suggestions to the comments section so all the readers can share in the debate.

I have chosen to share with you some crucial thoughts on wingmandom (or wingwomandom for those of you ladies out there about to cut me for being so male-normative). Additionally, I have included an independent wingman hand book, which includes some of the finest wingman information ever written by someone that isn’t me (I will post it later because I don't know how to do that yet).I will break this analysis into sections to make it easily digestible and although some sections are gender specific, I encourage everyone to read everything for the sake of transparency.

1.Choice of Wingmen/women: Keep it on par with your self. Your company is a reflection of your personality. There is nothing worse than being the one in the party stuck with the weakest link. Ladies know when they have the ‘smelly guy’ (Breath and B.O.), the social pariah, or the close-talking, inappropriate touching guy, and they will spread discomfort to the other ladies in the group faster than Amy Winehouse smokes a rock. And boys, you know you never want to get stuck with the D.U.F.F (Designated, ugly, fat friend).

2. Personality mesh: If you are the shy guy, don’t bring along more shy people. If you are the loud socialite, don’t bring you bff from South Jersey (those chicks are loud). Balance the wing men so that your team can adjust to any situation. Here’s a nice formula. 1. Funny person 2. Shy person 3. Slutty person 4. Smart person 5. Artsy person. I know stereotypes are wrong but use this as a rubric. This set up gives the group good personality balance and makes all parties seem more interesting.

3. Know when to back off: No fighting over targets. Ever. Period. Know when to bail and sort it out in advance if you can. Sometimes once a conversation gets going you may have to pull a shift, but do so with tact and all should be gravy, baby.

4. Keep the social flow: Tasty Bevvies help keep everyone loose and try to remember, it’s all about having a good time. Worse comes to worst you can always just find some new people to scheme upon so keep you heads up and your game tight.

Hopefully this helped some of you out. Please make adjustments to my these theories at your own risk. Love, and more to come.

"This chick's rockin' your bro on the dance floor...
But she's towin' an anchor/ A junior investment banker
Who's talkin' about herself and not much moooooooore!!/
So buy her a beer /That's the reason you're here
Mighty Wingmaaaaaan You're taking one for the team/ So you're buddy can live the dream Wing-maaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnn "

Monday, June 23, 2008

"All I want is sex and cheese steaks"

What a week. With the whirlwind of changing statuses in the proverbial Facebook relationship column in my life who knew if I would have the will or the content to blog on, but here it is Monday morning and I write to you with plenty of material, energized and perplexed but ready to solider on.

There was a special guest appearance this whole weekend by the one known as Mr. Beebs. He is a lobbyist ( I did not take any of his donations) and he is also an avid Pearl Jam fan, up for the two Philly shows that were actually in Camden, NJ (lots of guns). Friday night I dropped Mr. Beebs off at the concert and went out with my wingman du jour, J-Lo. Another friend of ours, Anweezy made a guest appearance as he was also up from D.C. this weekend.

We met up with two female friends of J-Lo at Drinkers in Olde City. Drinkers is the type of place you go to drink 40's of Miller high life (the Champagne of Beer) and to generally not spend more than 15 bucks on a round for yourself and three other people. It's cheap, and because it's cheap the crew of fools at the bar tends to be a mixed bag: The hipsters, the preps, the prepstars, the goths, the greeks, the geeks, the homies, the haters, the candlestick makers etc.

Off topic again...I have to work on that. Anyway, we meet these two friends of J-Lo's. One is J-lo's recent tryst. a former cheerleader, what she lacks in looks, she makes up in spirit. She could be cute but she is a little Squidgy and I remind J-lo of this every time we see her but on the scale of zero to 1 (This is the only scale that matters. Zero is a no go, no negotiations. 1 is a would do. There is no room for elaboration or caveats) she is a 1 so all is fair in love and war.

Her friend, who will get no name shout out, was wasted and putting on a full court press to this tall guy at the bar who looked exactly like Psycho T from the University of North Carolina. When she came back to the table to ask for the green light, I told her that he looked the the type of guy that would cut out her liver and leave her bleeding in a bathtub full of ice. Needless to say, she was thrilled with my assessment of her man-candy's character, and proceeded to chew me out for being a hater. It's OK to call me a hater...I'll wake up in the morning and still have my liver.

While all of this was going on, the Squidgy chick was going all Tim Rus on me (R.I.P) trying to get the scoop on J-lo and whether he wanted to wife her up. Note to self ladies: stop asking questions that you don't want to hear answer to! A simple principle, ignored by so many, that could save many a half dressed woman from a fight (Does this make me look fat?) or many a married woman from divorce ( Which one of my friends would you want to sleep with if you could?).

Because I'm nice but blunt, I told her that she needed to figure out what she wanted from the relationship first and then worry about J-lo. Total cop out, but I was tired and wanted to get out of there and go home. After J-Lo limped his way out of the bar, we offered the ladies a ride home. The lady friend of the Squidge way venting because of the lack of loving she had received: "He wasn't so bad. He wasn't that bad. I don't understand why it has to be so complicated. All I want is sex and cheese steaks! Sex and Cheese steaks!"

Ladies, you wonder why men say women are crazy and then nights like these happen. I know we don't make it easy on you but you sure don't make it any easier on yourselves.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Zigged when you though I was zagging

I think we have thrown a wild card into the deck, blogaholics. I few days ago I had one of those wake up and today is going to be different kind of days and I arose with a fresh outlook on the single life. I hit the ex up with a text saying that we needed to talk, and she actually responded saying that she was up for a chat. This was a positive step considering we hadn't spoken in about a month. I suggested that we meet at the Bishop's Collar, a lovely speakeasy round the corner from her apartment.

The day at work was filled with a complex combination of anticipation and a completely inappropriate level of calmness. I didn't have a plan for what I was going to say, and I hadn't entirely figured out how I should go about telling her what I was thinking. I hit up a mutual friend of mine and the GF, who suggested that maybe this time, because the stakes we so much higher, I should put some forethought into my actions instead of going in well intentioned but ass-out.

With the advice of my friend still resonating in my ears, I developed a plan of attack. Perhaps instead of my normal aloof attitude and keeping my cards close to my chest, I should roll the dice and lay it out there. Nothing says, I'm sorry like vulnerability. I made sure to get to the bar 15 minutes before i told her to meet me so I could find my position of choice to post up. I pounded a tasty bevy, Allgash white i think, and waited. She showed up a little late (probably to make me sweat...hater). We exchanged greetings and picked a table out on the sidewalk because the bar was loud and after a few superficial pleasantries, I went to work.

"I'm a dumb ass." That's right, that's what I lead with. And I will tell you why for those of you in disbelief of my humility. I was a bit of a dumb ass. I was dating a very sweet, intelligent, caring, supportive girl and I freaked out a little bit about the increasing seriousness of the relationship. I mean I am only a youngster, like barely remember the 80's youngster, so when people (not her) started asking me about engagement plans, and moving in together et cetera, I just projected their questions as her questions and panicked. She had never put that pressure on me and I had come to the decision to break up with her without trying to work out our issues first which was neither fair, nor smart.

I missed her. She missed me. Drum roll... we got back together. And now for the most important part. What does this mean to you, my dear readers? It means that the format of this blog is going to evolve as all things must. I will maintain my critique of the absurdity of dating and being a single (non-married/engaged) person in the Illadelph. I will still point out the absurdity of man and woman kind, in bars, at parties, and in the streets. I will still provide the heard-hitting reports of hard headed actions without spin. So many do so much that is so foolish that I will always have much to share with you. Foolish singles beware, I will be lurking. There may also be some posts/ comments coming from the GF, so my critiques and observations will have deeper prospective and balance.

Hold tight with me and I will keep it really real with you. Boom, that just happened.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Thrust back into the swing of things...

What has two thumbs and a weekend update? This guy! The weekend events have gone off without a hitch and my evening with Lady Law de-flowered me back into the world of dating. I was looking remarkably fresh in my polo and cream boat shoes if I do say so myself, and I even ventured so far as to tuck in my shirt in an effort to at least play the part of an adult. We met in the lobby of my building at the bizarrely specific and arbitrary time of 6:05. (Who says 6:05 really? I mean is this a black-op for the special forces?) The adrenaline was flowing and the anticipation was building so without further adieu:

Being the man, I made sure to have a plan for dinner in case she didn't go for my "I wanted to let you choose where we eat to demonstrate my respect for women routine". She clearly declined to make a selection (or to offer any insight on any food preference...grrr) which left me to revert back to the plan. I suggested Tria which is my spot; wine, cheese, and gourmet goodness for your face (Nik-nificent knows how we get down). Tria was also a great selection because there were obviously drinks involved which helps the social flow difficulties that often pop up on a first date. It also offers foods that come in various portion sizes so she could either crush 3 sandwiches like Kobayasih or nibble at nothing like Kate Bosworth .

As the conversation started flowing and we started drinking, there was much to be said about the restaurant and the menu offerings. She was a little bit stifled by the abundance of menu options and as the pangs of hunger began to ring forth from my belly, I inched towards frustration. Never get between a man and his Prosciutto di Parma, Grana Padano and Fig Jam Panino (At $8½ it's a bargain). The conversation was light and friendly and apparently we looked like we were having fun. My stalker friends, J-Lo and Tandy Gold sat at the restaurant across the street and paparazzi ed the balls out of my date, but they didn't interfere so I pushed forward. (Way to be creepy).

As the conversation droned on I realized that I'm just not that into LL. There was no spark and that was that. We took a walk through Rittenhouse square after dinner and although the convo was free flowing the magic was not in the air (the hot garbage smell was in the air instead). After two accidental yawns on my part we called it quits and hugged it out. I don't think I'm in a rush to reach back out to her but who knows. Pretty painless and pretty uneventful is the report. I give myself a B. I did have the home court advantage at Tria but she fumbled the menu and pissed me off. I also got distracted at one point by the very cute rear end of a very cute waitress who was "accidentally" backing her bum onto my plate and it was funny at the time but once I realized I was more interested in the rando waitress' back end then my dates front, I knew the date was doomed.

Later that night my friend Nee had a champagne party at her apartment. Awk-Runner was in the spot with a bunch of wack-tacular friends. I don't know if it was the bubbly or the heat but her awkwardness seemed more awkward and less cute this time around. We didn't talk too much but I got the impression that cute quirks are only cute for a while and then you want to end yourself like the people in The Happening (awful film btw, if you see M. Night whatever, punch him for me). A girl can not subsit on cute quirks alone...ahem Lisa Loeb.

All in all seems like a back to the drawing board weekend. Little on the horizon and much in the rear view but I will persevere, the saga continues...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Baby steps

What up, I think I set this new post up so that a few of my buddies would get notified when I posted. If you hate me for doing this and don't want the emails send me something and I will take you off the list, but if you find these literary tid bits tasty, like little mint on your hotel pillow, listen up.

Lady Law has made a resurgence into contention with an email out of the blue last night. it was short, but it was sweet and it contained a joke involving three captions and three pictures of lions. The tile of the whole thing was "stages of man". The first caption said single and had a picture of a male lion mounting a female. I got that. The second caption was married, with a picture of a female lion roaring at a male. That was less funny. The final caption was divorced and the picture was of a dead, skinned lion.

Now for a second email, this is a bold message. It seems to say, "I'm funny and laid back...but I will cut your balls off if I get the chance". Why do girls think sending stuff like that is funny to a guy? And then they wonder why guys call women crazy...and then bang them anway and never call them back. I wrote her a response implying something about her having praying mantis tendencies and we may have a coffee date on Friday. I'd just like to get through the date intact, head atop my body.

I also just got passed along a number from my friend, Nee. My buddy j-Lo and I met up with my firend Nee at a Phills game with her friend, Awk-runner. I thought AR was kind of cute and apparently in a drunken stupor, asked Nee if I could give her a call. Nee and I had lunch yesterday and I was passed along the Awk-runner's number and told to call. Awk-runner is cute and tan, blonde with some freckles and has a runners build. She is also deliberately or in-deliberately one of the most awkward people of all time. I'm talking credit card rejected on a date at a fancy restaurant awkward. I'm talking caught by the bride with in bed with her sister on your wedding day awkward. Still...it's kind of fun to be with a person aware of their own awkardness, there is always a spark in the air.

Can't hurt though, she's cute and I need to get back out there. Time to man up...

Friday, June 6, 2008

First Friday

Updates my friends, updates. Seeing as I got no response to my death-bed email to Lady Law, I take that as a sign that either witty banter can only bring a relationship into the intorduction phase. Seeing as I am not interested enough in this girl to actually call her, nor is she cute enough to make me feel guilty for not being more intrested, I will chalk this entire interaction up to laziness and move on from there.

First Friday is name of the game tonight. For those of you not urbane enough to have some version of this highly ubiquitous occurrence in your metropolis, First Friday is a day where galleries are open late and artists come to peddle their wares on the street. Free entertainment and booze prevail and you get a combination of wannabe hipsters, high school kids drinking free wine, old "I'm trying to still be hip" people, and youthful urbanites looking for a good time and thier first piece of non-ikea art.

There is always a colorful crowd and I am hopeful that between the throngs of people in cut off jean shorts and excessively large sunglasses, I can find a few nice girls in some colorful American apparel dresses to keep me company. I have my wingman, J-the force is strong with that one-Lo and we a prepared to do some damage. I'm all brushed up on my Jasper Johns and my Deathcab for Cutie so I'm locked and loaded for this artsy crowd. It's all deadly.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The point

So, I joked with many a person about actually doing this and I thought that it was time to put my money where my mouth was. Here's the scoop, after a long but fruitful 3.5 year relationship, I am back on the single train and learning what it is really like to be a young single man in Philadelphia. I came access a very funny and insightful blog called girl about Philly (http://www.girlaboutphilly.blogspot.com/) where a lovely lady shares the trials and trepidations of her love live with a few of her readers in some lovely anecdotes.

Now, I 'm going to just jock her style and run with her formula because a) She is more clever than I am and b) that's not the point of this conversation. I just felt that with some of the wack-tacular, pseudo ridiculous, and foolish things that happen when I engage with the opposite sex, I could pass along a lesson or two. Maybe even provide a laugh from time to time.

With that being said about motivation and conscious, lets get this party hoppin. i am officially two weeks out of the relationship. Still in that wounded animal type phase where other girls are pretty to look at, but I secretly fear that they are waiting to feast upon my flesh. It's a real tight rope, the rebroadcast of one's self to public about newly discovery single status. Your friends give you that weird "how do I react to this news" look. If they are like my boys, they buy you a beer too many, the champagne of beers , Miller Highlife, and you drink until it makes sense or until the next morning appears in the form of mask of chunder.

Interesting new update. I actually did meet a nice new prospect whom I will refer to as the Lady Law. LL apparently works in my building and thanks to an impromptu race to the elevator button (which I won but she never knew we were racing) we stuck up a convo and I gave her my card. Well, she actually emailed me and I sent her one back because I was sick and didn't want to call her sounding like I might die mid-filtration. I think I'm going to ask her out to coffee. We'll see how that goes.