The “Are You Really Over Him?” TEST

Before I get started, I just want to take a nanosecond to thank those readers who sent me “Happy Birthday” greetings over the weekend. While I’d love to say you’re all created equal in my eyes, who are we kidding? THREE people in particular left all of you choking in the dust with these holy superior grand gestures:

1. An anonymous admirer in Bangladesh who composed this haiku for me:

I am a Sherpa

I want to carry your bags

Up a mountain high

** Who knew you could even get Wi-Fi in a yurt.

2 & 3: My faithful readers Jill and Steve who literally made several of my Wish-Tree wishes come true with these wicked to the awesome, heart-melting cards:

And now — Step away from the ledge, put down the rubber-dart gun, and slowly walk your eyes to the center of the page:

After a brief delay, Mailbag Monday is here.

Dear Nerdy Romantic,

About 3 months ago, my boyfriend of over a year broke up with me for a perky, 24-year old au pair/Pilates instructor at his gym. Now that the shock has worn off and the Xanax prescription has run out, I can’t help but think: The longer I — a single woman in her late 30’s — stay out of the game, the harder it’s going to be to even make it on the field. So, my question to you is: How long do you think I should wait to start dating again?

Sincerely,
Benched

Dearest Benched:

Hot damn if there isn’t this Lifetime television-bred notion that the only available men out there for single women over the age of 30 have secret cyber lives, stolen identities, or are haunted by their dead ex-girlfriends.

Sure, our ego-maniacal culture views an attractive woman in her 40’s as some scientific anomaly that should be studied like an albino peacock  — WHILE men over 40 just grow more dignified, dapper, and datable cuz they’ve finally figured out the G-spot is nowhere near where Richard Gere’s rumored gerbil caught some shuteye.

Yes — statistically speaking, the older we get the pool of viable prospects dries up faster than a Wall Street bank’s paper trail. But those are all numbers. And you, dear “Benched” are more than a number. When the time is right, and you’re really READY to re-enter the dating pool, there are tons of things you can do to give yourself a leg up on the competition. Off the cuff:

  • Move to a Montana cattle ranch.
  • Hang outside the chain-link release yard of the nearest (white-collar) prison
  • When you do go out to the bars, find a cute guy and talk about whether your belly-button is an innie or outie.

In other words: Don’t Rush Yourself. Just because it’s over between you and your ex, doesn’t mean you’re OVER it. And I for one think it’s best to follow the TSA luggage regulations when entering a new relationship: i.e.

You can only take one, carry-on item on the plane, so make it a doozy.

The question then becomes: WHEN will you REALLY be ready to move on?

Theory 1: It takes half the time you were in the relationship to start seriously dating again. Reality: I’ve known women who are like lizards after a bad break-up. Their tail gets lopped off, only to grow back fresh and new in nothing flat.

Me personally — I tend to be more like Massive Head Wound Harry: showing up to fancy cocktail parties long after the break-up, horrifying guests as the pet dog gnaws at my dangling, left skull-flap.

head wound harry

Theory 2: Intensive Shock Therapoo-tang: In order to get over your ex, you must do the horizontal bop with a total stranger.

Again — been there, tried that. I ended up on some random dude’s futon in a basement apartment, eating fried Fruit Loops as he played me a CD of his Emo-punk band “Batteries for Frogger.” Only lyric I remember:

“I gave you my heart and you gave me human papilloma.”

In truth, there is no one-size-fits-all comeback cure. But that didn’t stop me from creating my very own “Are You Really Over Him?” TEST.

(Answers are graded on a point scale. Circle the number that best reflects your true experience:)

1. You have spent the last 5 weekends watching:

  • a. The entire Criterion collection of British Period Dramas: 3
  • b. The entire 4-hour, PBS documentary “Alone in the Wilderness”: 2
  • c. Sold your TV for a Black Diamond harness and belay AND have taken up rock-climbing: 1

——-

2. You + booty calls with ex:

  • a. You’re currently knocking boots with him as you read this blog: 3
  • b. You started wearing an old-fashioned, iron chastity belt: 2
  • c. You moved 3000 miles away to a remote, mountain village where people communicate solely through carrier pigeons:  1

——-

3. You hear “YOUR” song on the radio:

  • a. You start dry heaving and swerve into a ditch: 3
  • b.You roll down the windows and scream so loud, the Kraken goes scurrying back into his cave: 2
  • c. You calmly turn it off and switch on your Tony Robbins audio-podcast: 1

——–

4. His favorite t-shirt:

  • a. You wear it to bed at night and refuse to wash it for fear of losing his scent: 3
  • b. You use it to clean out the toilet: 2
  • c. The Retrievers long since picked it up from your house and returned it to its rightful owner. 1

——–

5. “YOUR” Favorite restaurant:

  • a. Go there alone on the weekends wearing sweatpants and a hoodie; sit at a table and refuse to let the waiter remove the second place setting: 3
  • b.The place shut down after an “anonymous” tip of kitchen rats was sent to the Health Inspector: 2
  • c. It served vegan-only food. Now, you only eat that which you’ve killed with a sawed-off shotgun: 1
——–
7. The weight you put on after the break-up:
  • a. Gilbert Grape’s mom: 3
  • b. A little more of you to love: 2
  • c. After joining a local running group, you look 10-times hotter than before you met whatever his name was: 1

——–

8. Your phone:

  • a. His contact name is still “Love Of My Life”: 3
  • b.His contact name is changed to “El Diablo”: 2
  • c. You erased his number all together: 1

——–

9. You find yourself listening to:

  • a. Bonnie Raitt: 3
  • a. Echo and the Bunnymen: 2
  • c. Beyonce: 1

———

10. After downing 4 Kamikaze shots, you:

  • a. Refill the glasses with your own, unstoppable stream of salty tears. AND then, you proceed to knock those back as well:  3
  • b. Go outside and start bashing in the windows of parked cars: 2
  • c. The only shots you’ve had in the last 2 months are wheat-grass shooters at the local Smoothie King: 1

————————————————————————————————

Time to tally up your points:

Total:

10 – 12:  Turn up the “I will Survive,” put on your fancy dress, and snag yourself the man of your dreams.

13 – 20:  Don’t cancel your Redbox membership just yet.

21-30:  head wound harry
You got some serious healing left to do.

Advertisements

Whole Foods HOT-TIE Bar

Tonight, I had an eye-opening experience in the hot bar section of Whole Foods. Here’s the play-by-play:

8 pm:  I assume my regular Friday night position: Right hand shoveling $20 worth of vegan Mac-n-cheese and fried tofu cubes into the re-purposed-from-elephant-poop-take-out-container held by my left hand. I look up and see this very attractive guy heading in my direction with an expression of great purpose on his face.*

*Footnote: Normally, this would describe the billy-club-carrying store security guard coming over to order me to stop sampling the food before I buy it…

But, seeing as this guy is clearly a civilian with no outwardly apparent disfigurements, I carefully start to remove my own concealed weapon from its holster — aka, my deadly smile!

As he gets closer, however, I notice he’s looking a little too far to the left to be focused on me, unless he has a lazy eye, which by no means is a deal-breaker by the way.

8:07: Guy stands 1 inch away, with his back to me AND his face…

TO the cute blonde on his other side.

So, I add another consolatory spoonful of Mac-n-cheese atop my organic (read: “healthy) mountain of food, slip my deadly smile back into its holster, and LUCKY ME proceed to overhear the happy new couple’s entire conversation. It goes as follows:

  • 8:08.1, Guy: “Hey, my name is Sam. What’s your name?”
  • 8:08.2, Girl: “Hey, I’m Amanda.”
  • 8:08.3, Sam: “Cool Amanda. Do you have a boyfriend?”
  • 8:08.4, Amanda: “Oh, um, hee hee, uh, yeah. Yeah I do actually.”
  • 8:08.7, Sam:  “That sucks-and-a-half.  See ya, never.”  (Leaves)

8:09: Amanda (formerly of “Samanda”) turns to me with a vexed air and says,

“Wow! Did you just hear that? That guy was sooooo rude.”

To which I simply nod and shrug my shoulders in sympathetic wonder at the nerve of some people WHILE on the INSIDE, where my true voice lives, I am really emitting a high-pitched vitriol that sends dogs and bats cowering into the darkness. It goes as follows:

“First of all, it wasn’t ‘That Guy’; it was ‘Sam,’ or have you already forgotten. And secondly, no actually, if anyone’s the dillweed in this scenario, it’s you. Everyone knows that getting your dinner from the Whole Foods hot bar on a Friday night is a universal sign of singledom. To do so AND be in a relationship is a great offense and shall be perceived as one by any unsuspecting man/woman misled by such distortion.”

Seriously, though, in all seriousness I’m being serious. There are few (maybe NONE) exceptions to this unwritten code. Forget Whole Foods for a second and the fact remains:

If your FRIDAY night dinner involves a sneeze guard and is bought “BY THE POUND” — You Are Single.

Caveat 1: You are an ER surgeon – in which case you’d be wearing scrubs.

Caveat 2: You are in the middle of moving – in which case you’d be wearing dirt/paint covered sweatpants and a ratty t-shirt.

Neither of which exception applies here, as Amanda was dressed to the six’s in skinny jeans, an Urban Outfitters looking top, and black leather riding boots.

In the end, what Amanda did is not just a snow job, it’s also selfish. It’s like an airplane crashing onto a deserted island, and 2 weeks into the grisly ordeal, the fat guy who had to buy 2 seats just to be able to fly licks the very last plate of remaining food clean while everyone else watches on in starved horror.

CUE: Lord of the Flies, “‘Kill the pig! Cut his throat! Kill the pig! Bash him in!'”

Understand: While there may be an infinite resupply of warm dishes for the Whole Foods hot bar, the already slim pickings at the “Hottie” bar of eligible singles is dwindling at a famine-fearing rate.

To do my small part in reducing the number of future incidents of spoken-for-people-infiltrating-single-people-territory — I’ve created an easy, user-friendly guide to the Universal Signs of Singledom in Women & Men.

single people chart

  • Woman: Unplucked unibrow, chin hair
  • Man: Listening to Nickelback (see also, Creed)
  • Woman: Knitting circles
  • Man: Having bookshelves in your home made out of cinder-blocks/milk crates
  • Woman: Cat fur on your clothes
  • Man: Having a liger avatar in Furcadia that you use to dreamweave and huggle
  • Woman: Having a chinchilla avatar in “(see above)”
  • Man: Using a chip-clip to hold up your sweatpants
  • Woman: Keeping any kind of Entenmann’s Danish/coffee cake in your house when your grandmother is NOT visiting.
  • Man/Woman: Buying your toilet paper at the nearby 711/convenience store
  • Man/Woman: Not having a cellphone on your person
  • Man/Woman: Unmanicured “bush”
  • Woman: Having a strip of “Sticky Paws” (adhesive tape used to prevent cats from peeing on your furniture) stuck to the bottom of your shoes.
**** Editor’s Update: I just came across this article in the September 11, 2012 Gawker. It features the following picture of the Chicago Teachers Union protestors and writes:
“Civility has disappeared in Chicago Teachers Union protests. Truly. Making fun of the mayor’s mother, declare him worse than Hitler, plant evident that he’s having an extramarital affair. But calling him a Nickelback fan? Unacceptable.”
rahm emanuel. Great minds… and all that!

Mailbag Monday: Seren-DUPE-ity

mailbagWelcome to Mailbag Monday. This week’s topic has to do with staying on the right side of the searching-single-lady morality line. 3, 2, 1, and action:

Dear Nerdy Romantic,

“Is it unethical to cause a minor traffic accident in an attempt to meet the really cute guy in the truck behind you?”

This is a prime example of what I like to call Seren-DUPE-ity — a situation in which every step to meeting a guy is pre-designed and plotted by you. He along with friends, family, future offspring, and whomever else you had to pay off along the way — however — know the experience as FATE.

It was, as they say, “in the cards” …. EXCEPT that you stacked the deck.

It was, as they say, “destiny” EXCEPT that you snuck up behind Cupid as he was preening his wing feathers, knocked him out cold, stole his bow, and shot an arrow “straight through your lover’s heart” all by your lonesome.

oh no you di'intNow, I had to be really careful not to answer this reader’s question too soon. My knee jerk response was,

“Girlll! You gotta check your head before you wreck his flat-bed.”

But, then I thought about it some more and considered all the possible crazy acts of manipulation a woman could do to snag the man of her (lucid) dreams. Many hours and countless disturbing Google images of sexually cannibalistic black-widow spiders eating the heads off their male lovers later — here’s what I came up with:

Commence: Dance of Chart Joy

  • X axis: Act of manipulation
  • Y axis: Correlating degree of cray-cray

* Color blocking coincides with Department of Homeland Security threat levels

** Full definition of each act of manipulation beneath chart

*** Click on chart for larger image

Mis-FAKE-N Identity: Good, clean, taradiddling. Goes like:

  • You spot a cute guy in the Large Breed dog-food section of the grocery store. You walk up to him and say,

“Brock [or any other macho-sounding guy’s name] is that you? Oh my God! It’s been so long. What are you doing in [your city]?”

  • Not Brock:

“The bad news is: I’m not Brock. The good news is: I would love to have dinner with you tomorrow night after I get done tagging sharks.”

*****************

Amelie: Like the movie, this involves adorable, doe-eyed acts of winsome capers. Probably includes any of the following accessories:

  • Bottle rockets, a trail of bread crumbs, garden gnomes, a Dutch windmill, decoder rings, 2 Speak-&-Spells, and one old curmudgeon neighbor made of glass.

*****************

Brake Slam: (THE ORIGINAL ACT IN QUESTION)

  • You’re stuck in non-moving “Carmageddon” like traffic. Little old-ladies with walkers strapped to the backs of giant land sloths pass you by in mocking laughter. In your rear-view mirror, you see that the guy in the truck directly behind you is uber-hot. So, at the next 3-inch roll forward, you tap on your brakes. His front bumper crushes your license plate and takes out a taillight, or 2.
  • You get out. He gets out. You smile. He smiles. You exchange insurance information and phone numbers.
  • You get back in your car. Your phone rings. It’s him. You spend the remaining 3 “rush” hours sharing your life stories and planning the details of your “second date” (the 1st of many inside jokes!)

******************

Nanny 1: Goes like:

  • He’s a handsome widow left to raise his angelic 3-year old daughter on his own.
  • You answer his ad for a live-in “domestic assistant.”
  • 1 healing year later, you have managed to restore the beauty of his home, and also repair the hole in his heart.

******************

Roofie 1: You slip a date-rape drug into his drink and take him home to “make love.”

******************

Stalkholm Syndrome:  Goes like:

  • Abduct him from the parking garage at his work
  • Hold him hostage in your IKEA-built, GORM storage solution wine cellar
  • Several months pass. He fully processes all 5 emotional stages of captivity.
  • You are no longer his prison guard; You are his salvation

*******************

Roofie 2: 9 months after slipping him a mickie, you knock on his door and introduce him to his newborn son/daughter.

*******************

Nanny 2:

  • He’s a happily married man with 2 young kids.
  • You answer his ad for a live-in “domestic assistant.”
  • 1 week later, you cut the brake lines to his wife’s car.

*******************

Bunny stew: Fatal Attraction.

The End

So, in the grand scheme (ing) of things, the reader’s act of seren-DUPE-ity really isn’t that bad. Is it the “right” side of the searching-single-lady morality line? Well, on the chart, it sits just above the “WILY” category of cray-cray.

Threat level: “Low” to “Guarded.”

If green/blue means GO for you, then I say GO — and be sure to invite me to the wedding… OR character testimony at the civil court lawsuit, as the case may be.