(The Hookups, the Big Ups, and the Big Downs)
In real love you want the other person’s good. In romantic love you want the other person.
The Stages Are Set
· The Eye Contact
· The Flirt
· The First Drink
· The Text
· The First Date
· The First D and M (Deep and Meaningful)
· The Great Sex
· The Boyfriend/Girlfriend
· The Spoon
· The Real Personality
· The Toiletry Kit
· The Parents
· The Denial
· The “Are We?”
· The “We Are”
· The Ring
· The Engaged
THE EYE CONTACT
This is the first moment. For women, it’s where the sun shines, the clouds part, butterflies start to flutter, and there’s a small chance that your entire future might start tonight. For men, I’ve been told, it’s the first thing they notice. It’s called “putting it out there.” Your eyes say it all: “Hello, I’m goin’ home with you” or “You’re goin’ home with me.” “I’m the one you want, so stop looking.” Sometimes the eyes just say, “Let’s dance!” or “Buy me a drink!” Or they can say the unfortunate, “I’m terrified, oh God, he doesn’t know I’m looking at the guy behind him.” Be very cautious, ladies, when you give that first look. It tells what kind of girl you are and what kind of girl you want to be. Whether you go classic or smoky, the eyes are the windows to the soul, so work it!
This next step is where boys become men. “Is your father a thief? Because he stole the stars and put them in your eyes” is not what we want to hear. Or, my favorite, and the night I will never forget, when I dressed up, waited all night for a guy to talk to me, and got “that guy.” He asked me if I was Irish because his penis was “Dublin.” I didn’t date or go out for five months after that. If those are my choices, I’m good for now. The flirt is as important as the first night of sex because it tells us whether or not you will even be able to give us a first night of sex. You have to be smooth, but not slick; warm, but not aggressive; interesting, but not pompous—and humor is always the key. Just talk to us, no tricks, all personality. And, oh yeah, don’t be seen talking to every girl in the bar before us. If they didn’t want it, we don’t either.
THE FIRST DRINK
This drink can tell you a lot. If he has eight, bad sign. If he has a Cosmo and you have a scotch, it could also be a bad sign. If he gets angry with alcohol, really bad sign. But if he can give great conversation, gets fun or sexy with alcohol, wants to tell you how beautiful you are, and it’s effortless, congrats, you are moving on to the next drink and the next step.
This is just fun! You can say what- ever you want and put it all out there. He can make your heart race with four smileys and the right words. But beware: don’t let it go too far or for too long. Be coy and move him quickly to some face-to-face time.
THE FIRST DATE
The eye contact, the flirt, the first drink, and the text all got you right here. Both of you in your best outfits, trying not only to impress, but be impressed. You are telling all your best stories; he is showing all his best traits. The wine is amazing, the lighting perfect, the food, who cares? And his eyes are even more beautiful than you remembered. If all goes perfectly, he will call you tomorrow and you will wake your girlfriends up with details when you get home.
THE FIRST D AND M
(Deep and Meaningful)
This is a very important conversation. Not for the reasons you may think. It’s because women make a mistake in the first d and m, and believe me they pay later. We are so willing to give ourselves over to love and the good feelings that come with it that our ears fail us. We shut off every clue men give us to who they really are and instead plug into those spaces who we want them to be and what we thought they said. Really, I can’t express this enough, listen to what they say, EVERYTHING! It’s telling you who they will be in a relationship within six months—that’s a lot of time you could save.
THE GREAT SEX
Oh God! This gets us every time. “The First Time.” Yes, it’s a bigger deal for us than it is for them, blah, blah, blah, but how good the act feels matters to both. When it works, it’s amazing. The horizontal lambada can change any bad day into a good one, end fights, and move two people into the next phase. Now, this is a little old-fashioned, but girls, know who you are giving it to. If you want a relationship with a guy, show him what kind of woman you are. If he can get it the first night and you’re too drunk to remember, what does he have to come back for? On the flip side, men have to have a sexual connection to invest, so don’t hold out too long (unless, of course, that’s your belief or agreement with your guy). And one more thing: it doesn’t always have to be so serious; it’s okay to just have great sex. But remember, your body is a temple, not a 7-Eleven; you decide when it’s open and who gets to come in. And guys, sexual relationships can be stormy, so wear a raincoat.
This part isn’t so easy. This is where two different people with two different lives have to make it work. I’m not saying that all the fun stuff ends—by the way, if it does, you’re not in the right twosome. I just mean this is where, if a person or a relationship is worth it, you do the work to make it last.
You want to be in something that brings out the best in you—where you can be your true self. You want to be with someone who makes you laugh, who is sexy, romantic, and knows what you are worth. Respect and trust are essential. I have struggled with the trust issue in my life. It’s hurt my personal growth, as well as growth in my relationships, and truly, most of the time, it comes more from my own fear of getting hurt than the other person’s actions. So don’t make my mistakes, and just trust as much as you can. And respect—this one is hard because it has to be earned, reciprocated, and kept. By that I mean your partner has to be respectful of you also, and has to always act in a way that doesn’t damage your respect for them. We’ve all had breakups, but the worst ones are when someone not only hurts you, but does it in a way that makes you lose respect for them. And last, I will say this: a really good relationship is where both people can learn from each other, the person you love can make you a better version of yourself, and you can do the same for them.
I’m a spooner, I love to spoon!” There, I said it. This is one of the top BF/GF perks. Like a Velcro monkey, I will suck to the back of my cuddle partner, creating the ultimate spoon. But—and it’s no secret—guys hate to spoon. They prefer to fork, lol! Like a little, soft, female electric blanket, we cause them to sweat, they try to breathe through our long hair, and they almost always end up clinging to one side of the bed like a cliff that can only bring them death. So here’s the trick: Play it cool until he falls asleep and then Velcro yourself to him, quickly and with very little motion (think Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible). And then, if and when he wakes, turn quickly, like you were just stretching, and wait. When the little lamb sleeps again One…Two…Three…Velcro!!!!!!!!!!!!!
THE REAL PERSONALITY
I don’t wish this next step on anyone and some can avoid it. Remember when I said to really listen to everything he says early on? This is why. If, suddenly, six months in, he has anger issues, an inclination to be overly flirtatious with other girls, or is selfish or rude in the way he speaks to you, girls, please don’t hate me, but that’s your fault. People can learn things in their relationships to make the other person more comfortable and make small adjustments in personality, but really, leopards don’t change their spots. He probably told you in his own way, or showed you those behaviors six months ago, while you were dressing him up in your mind in a Prince Charming outfit, white horse included, and his words were drowned out by the Bridget Jones soundtrack in your head. What we do in falling in love is not wrong; it’s just not in our best interest. We turn them into what we want instead of seeing what they are, and we should keep looking until we find the guy who really is all the things we want. Or, maybe, along the way, just really listen, look inside, and see if those qualities are worth moving ahead with. And, oh yeah, there will never be perfect, but there will be pretty great. And a relationship in which people are really listening sounds pretty great to me!
THE TOILETRY KIT
OMG, let me just embarrass myself right now. I spent three hours once making his and her toiletry kits. One for my house and one for his house. At the time, I thought it was the most amazing gift. When I presented them I thought I would receive the Greatest Romantic Award. Uh, not what happened. Instead, I received awkward silence, followed by more awkward smiles, and never heard from him again. My advice, use overnight bags for as long as it takes. And when he is ready to put stuff at yours, still wait, and even then, start with small things and let him lead. Trust me, I know.
Um, have you watched Jerry Springer? When has it ever gone smoothly meeting the parents? There is always either awkward him, awkward you, awkward them, or awkward us. Awkward him is him hoping that they don’t bring up every ex-girlfriend and dorky Star Trek high school photo. Awkward you is hoping you wore the right thing, aren’t allergic to his mom’s cooking, and don’t get felt up by his weird uncle. Awkward them is their very vocal doubt about whether this will last, not even knowing he had a girlfriend, or calling you by the last one’s name. Awkward us is the silence…in your still Strawberry Shortcake–decorated bedroom. They could be your in-laws if you go to the next level. Will you go to the next level? And can you have intimacy in a Strawberry Shortcake bedroom? I honestly have no advice on how to make this easier, but I do send you into battle with love.
After you meet the parents, guys go into a phase of trying to pretend that the relationship isn’t moving into a serious place, that it’s still just casual dating with toiletry kits, sleeping together every night, and meeting the parents. This is when women have to be very careful and very smart. You actually want him to think it’s no big deal because you don’t want him to get scared, but you also want him to know that you’re the type of girl he should commit to. Not that I’m a fan of games, but kick your game into high gear! Always look amazing. Really try to pick your battles. Try to be unpredictable and sometimes unavailable. Give him more sex than he asks for. If he works late or has to cancel on something say, “Okay.” Show him how easy it is to be in a serious relationship with you and still live his life. That two can in fact be better than one. Don’t lie or turn into someone you’re not, just look at the relationship and him as no serious thing. In return, he will look at you seriously. Once a man has decided he can commit to you and not lose himself, when he knows you are “the one,” the chemistry in his body and mind will change, and seeing you the way you’ve always wanted him to will be inevitable. So go ahead, be the Queen of Denial.
THE “ARE WE?”
One morning it will all just be different. Something, some moment, will change the dynamic. It could be something he says or a look in his eye. It might be the way she sleeps or knows how to give you space when you need it. But both of you will just wonder, are we? Are we really going to do this? Be together always? Sleep only with each other? Make a family? Is this it?
And the answer will be exactly what you both wanted. All the dating drama, little fights, getting to know each other’s quirks, insecurities, and questions will be over (at least for this phase). You will both just be. A sigh of relief will come over you and you will be on your way to what will hopefully be a beautiful future. Congrats.
THE “WE ARE”
And then there were two. Now that you have said good-bye to dating, worked out the relationship do’s and don’ts, and find yourself in commitment bliss, the mind starts asking the next question: Will he ask me to marry him? When? Your friends begin to wonder and you can’t help but start sending little hints to your guy. Where is his mind? Well, there are a few possibilities: (a) Not even thinking about marriage, sorry but it’s the truth; (b) thinking about it and wanting it, but thinking he still has time before he has to do it (that’s men, it’s okay, you want him to really be ready); or (c) planning the most beautiful surprise of your life and making you squirm. (We all hope for this option.)
MY ADVICE IS SIMPLE: Don’t let other people tell you how or when it’s supposed to happen. It’s your relationship and you want it to be organic and real. Don’t push him. A man pushed into marriage or babies is a caged animal ready to attack. And then you will never know if he really wanted to or was just tired of hearing about it. And, most important, daydream about the moment, but remember how powerful the imagination can be. It won’t be a Julia Roberts movie because that’s not real. It won’t be a fairy tale because that’s also not real. It will just be your man asking his woman to be his wife. And it will be magical because he’s a man making a real commitment that goes beyond his instincts because you have inspired him to do so. This moment, for him, is all the romance he’s got. He has thought, planned, and sweated getting ready to do this. Let it be more perfect than a movie or something in your mind because it’s real and it’s beautiful.
Oh God, I can’t even breathe when I talk about it. It’s like the world has all the sound sucked out of it and everything’s in slow motion except for your heart. As that little box opens, so do your dreams, and there it is, the Ring. There are two scenarios with this:
The “Oh my God, it’s the biggest thing I’ve ever seen, where did he get the money? Who cares, he’s mine, it’s mine, and all of my friends will be jealous” scenario.
The “Keep smiling, it’s tiny, not the cut we talked about, he makes more money than that, I care, he doesn’t know me” scenario.
Both exist and we have no control over which one will happen—or do we? This is embarrassing and personal, but once a month, since I was twelve years old, I go to my favorite jewelry store and try on my dream ring. Some might say pathetic, I say prepared. While you get a “take a chance” ring, I will be blinging it all day with my “dream ring.” And actually, in the last few months or so, trying to be more prepared, I have found three rings that would make my heart stop. So if my guy ever starts putting out the “ring vibe” he will have choices, but they will be choices I love. I don’t apologize. A woman’s engagement ring is like a man’s dream car, it’s what we wear every day, what people ask to see first after the announcement, and whether we want to admit it or not, it says a lot about what our man knows about and thinks of us. A friend of mine wasn’t so happy with her engagement ring, and so, after a few months, she traded up and got a bigger one. It was a big deal between the two of them and could have been avoided with a little bling preparation.
Also, men will know they’ve done a good job based on how much she wears it. If it’s always in the soap dish, jewelry box, or not on when company’s over, she’s not crazy about the ring. Don’t get me wrong, the ring is still about the meaning behind it, but there is also bling vanity, I’m not gonna lie. So here’s a thought: start looking for what you love, and narrow it down to three rings. When it’s that time in the relationship, show them to your guy and help him understand what it means to you and why. He wants to make you happy, and trust me, guys will love the help. And then know that when he opens that box, one of the three things you love will be in there. And then you can have the “Oh my God, I knew he would pick that one, it’s perfect, he is amazing, he’s going to be my husband, and thank you JLH” scenario!
This is where my knowledge ends. I have not gone past the engagement, but I did learn something while I was engaged. It’s as beautiful as it should be. It is a time for flowers, parties, congrats, planning, dreaming, and contentment. But it’s also a time for reflection. It’s a time to really look at yourself and your partner, individually and together, and have respect for where you’re headed. Take care of any issues or problems in this phase because in marriage they will only get bigger. Know that your views are compatible on all the major issues, such as children, family, fidelity, religion, and commitment. Even though the stats right now aren’t favorable for marriage doesn’t mean that you can’t change it. Just be ready. Know that marriage is a responsibility and will take work, but it’s beautiful when done right. So while you’re engaged, have fun and take a million memory photos to remember this time. But also slow everything down and truly understand and appreciate the next step you will take. As you leave all of us single ladies behind to find our perfect moment, look back at us over your shoulder as you walk down the aisle and know that we are right behind you.
Texting or Sexing
Okay, so let’s be honest, texting is fun! It’s flirty and dangerous. You can be more forward if you’re shy, more honest if you’re scared, and it’s faster if you’re antisocial. And, like anything really cool, if you overuse it, it can be a nightmare. The first time a guy texts you, it’s awesome! You can’t wait to write back something witty and wait by your phone for a response. (NOTE: You are waiting. By the phone. For his response.)
And here it comes, the flirty text that will start it all. You’ve got his attention, it’s hot, and you’ve found a rhythm! It’s been an amazingly wordy week and a half. He hasn’t called or taken you out, but he hasn’t blown you off either. Maybe he just needs more time, or maybe he’s supposed to take an hour and a half to respond to your last text. Or maybe he hasn’t turned his whole life over to your little text affair and is having a day. Like a normal person. Sorry, the truth hurts. News flash, maybe he’s texting you while he’s with the girl he is on a date with. Or else, loving the fact that he can flirt wildly and not commit to anything more solid. Or maybe he’s just too stupid to know that you won’t stand for that forever. Or will you?
Come on, ladies, we’ve got to be smarter than this! Do we want textin’ or sexin’? It’s cool to rely on modern means to get things rolling, but if we don’t stop the electronic lovin’ before it’s gone too far, they won’t. Hey mister—text me all you want, but after three days I need a phone call and some face-to-face lovin’ to ensure what you really want is me and not a cyber-Sally, hassle-free, texting girlfriend. Can you say passive-aggressive, boys? I mean, what’s next? Text sex?! I’ll tell you what—it’s already happening! Ew!
If you’re a good girl…I’ll text you my penis size.
Well big daddy…my nipple dimensions are on the way.
HIS TENTH TEXT
Instead of cuddling and looking into your eyes…I’m going to shut my phone off and text you tomorrow.
And we wonder why the relationship isn’t working? Say no to text relationships. Take his BlackBerry away, and see what he’s really made of.
IM in. IM out. I’m Still on His IM.
Ah…stressful day at the office so sweetly interrupted by the instant message (IM) man of your dreams. What a great little invention. He can say hello, send kisses and smileys, and mess up your train of thought anytime he feels like it. And you can do the same. It’s so sweet and…so much like stalking when you think about it. If you’re there, he knows. If you’re gone, he knows. Every time you’re there and don’t answer…he knows. Maybe they should have temporary IM restraining orders. Think about it. You break up, he moves out, you say good-bye to his friends, cry, gain weight, cry, get a new life, lose weight, move on, forget about him, go to work, get on your computer, and like from the dead, it emerges. The one thing you didn’t do. THE BLOCK. The IM block that allows you freedom from the occasional
HEY dot dot dot
WHAT’S UP dot dot dot
YOU SEEING ANYBODY dot dot dot
I KNOW YOU’RE THERE dot dot dot
We must think of everything, girls! Why should we be prisoners on our own computers? Stop reading this and block him before it’s too late! Run to your computer, don’t walk!
Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your heart or burn down your house, you can never tell.
Three Strikes YOU’RE OUT
If dates were like baseball, the three strikes you’re out rule would still apply. There are lots of variations on the theme, but the outcome is the same. On my one and only blind date, I experienced three in one night. He called me “baby” before we even pulled out of the driveway, gave me Altoids twenty minutes in for “our kiss at the end of the night,” and then tried to get me to play a game with him at the arcade because “that’s what couples do.” The appearance of my knight in shining armor was not what had been written in my childhood diaries. He was wearing alligator loafers (hello, PETA?), slacks that were cut too high (maybe he was expecting a flood?), and a shiny silk shirt. Yeah, I was about to go out with the neighborhood slick guy, except he obviously was from a time period before I was born. (SIDE NOTE: The reason they call it a blind date is because if you could see them you wouldn’t go!)
Let me show you how this works. You’re in public and the guy starts to show anger or aggression toward you and others.
Later in the evening you realize that the “friend” who dressed him, taught him those manners, and told him it was okay for him to behave this way on a date is his EX who is also his ROOMMATE.
And then at the climax of the evening (the only one you will experience) you go to a karaoke bar, “because that makes up for the last two hours of your life you will never get back,” and realize you are with a man who knows every word to the Discovery Channel song and is proud of it! For those of you who don’t know the song, the lyrics are…“you and me baby ain’t nothin’ but mammals, so let’s do it like they do on the Discovery Channel.”
STRIKE THREE, YOU’RE OUT!
Now, although these scenarios sound dramatic, trust me, the three strike rule works when applied. Look, if he strikes out three times in one night, you don’t want to go to that game again, and the hot dog probably wasn’t very good.
HERE ARE SOME MORE STRIKES TO LOOK OUT FOR
· 1. He is more than fifteen minutes late.
· 2. He is driving his mother’s car.
· 3. His mother is driving.
· 1. If he can’t stop looking at your chest.
· 2. If he can’t stop looking at the waitress’s chest.
· 3. If he can’t stop looking at every girl’s chest.
· 1. If he starts talking about himself and can’t stop.
· 2. If he starts talking at breakfast in the morning and you just sat down.
· 3. If he basically tries to eat your face when kissing you good night.
· 1. If he keeps saying, “That’s so dumb” when you’re talking.
· 2. If he’s been living in his ex-wife’s house.
· 3. If he keeps calling you by another girl’s name.
Okay, price of nice perfume—$50. Lotion and powder to go with it—$150. Victoria’s Secret nightie—$45. Mascara, eyeliner, concealer, blush, gloss, and foundation—at least $250. And mani-pedi—at least $30. Just some of the things we do as women to get our guys all hot and bothered, and it works. It attacks them like the bird flu and makes them defenseless. We become sex goddesses, smelling of roses and vanilla, with smoky eyes and French tips, slinking across the room with our hair cascading around us, in a body-hugging nightie that we will never wear again.
And yet, romance (or that damn Cupid) shoves one more pin in our alluring balloon. A study was done a few years ago to find out what scent got men going. They were all blindfolded and asked to smell a bunch of different aromas. This is where you’ll want to sit down. Every one of them picked the same thing. Was it exotic? Did it smell of unforgettable nights in Europe? Could it change your sex life forever? Not unless you find breakfast arousing. They all picked the smell of freshly baked cinnamon rolls. Are you kidding me?
Okay, my first two problems—who included breakfast in the perfume test? (Must have been a man.) And do I actually have to worry more about the factory girls from Pillsbury than their model exes? Honestly, what is the world coming to? I refuse to walk around with frosting behind my ears and cinnamon on my wrists. A French maid or a Playboy Playmate is okay to get your man’s motor running, but to pretend to be a croissant? That is where dignity is lost. So save all of your beauty money, and I guess if you want to take him to bed, take him to breakfast.
Okay, so we have all done it. Taken the walk. We have connected with someone, or some tequila bottle, and found ourselves in day two of the same outfit. Taken what is affectionately called THE WALK OF SHAME. QUESTION: How come John Travolta walks down the street with a theme song after dancing all night and everyone thinks he’s cool? Yet we all can’t get a cab or friendly “good morning” without judgment and misunderstanding. SO WHAT? I DIDN’T GO HOME! The outfit looked great last night, maybe it will look even better in the light of day. “He said he could see into my soul” (okay, maybe that’s not a good reason to take the walk). Sometimes stuff happens! What are we supposed to do? Turn our car into a mini walk-in so that others approve? Not ever follow our hearts down Impulsive Street? And why do we care? And here’s a bone—who made it the walk of shame? Why can’t it be the “I had a good time walk” or “the walk of accomplishment”? Maybe we just all care too much about what others think.
So right here, right now, let’s change it! NO MORE SHAME! Take a walk whatever time you want, with a theme song or without, but hold your head high. It’s time to be proud of our decisions, and remember, the outfit you wear tonight, you better like in the morning.
When Your Relationship Comes to a Skid…Mark
This is not for those with delicate stomachs, so beware. In relationships there are lots of big moments, cliffhangers, and showstoppers, and then what I like to call “oh no he didn’ts!” Let me set the scene: it’s another beautiful day in your dreamy relationship with Mr. Perfect and you decide to be a domestic goddess for your man. Besides writing “Mrs._____________” over and over again on a piece of paper, the other way to pretend you’re in domestic bliss is to do his laundry, see your whites next to his whites, your thongs next to his briefs. It’s the moment you don’t want anyone to walk in on because they would think you were absolutely hopeless. And then, as if you were in the front row of a horror movie, it appears. THE SKID MARK.
Stop everything. Unless you have had bad fish or the twenty-four-hour flu, there is just no excuse. WIPE HARDER! And if you know there’s a chance that something might get left behind, wash them yourself, or burn them. I have been introduced to Mr. Brown and I didn’t handle it well at first. I screamed and ran to the opposite end of the house. Why? I don’t know. Maybe I thought it would leave or clean itself or I was just dreaming. Then, with the Rocky theme song in my head, I decided that no brown ugly was going to get me down. So back I went! I grabbed those undies, with tongs of course, and threw them in the machine. I felt like a real woman. I knew that oodles of women had washed skids before me. I felt domestic and ready to take on whatever the world had to offer. I wondered if I would look at him differently, pay closer attention to what he was eating, and wonder every time if I would come face-to-face with it again. By the way, after that, he did the laundry.
So you’re out with your guy, and it is breakfast time at your favorite café. The sun is shining, your skin glows perfect in the light, his eyes are still a little bit puffy from waking up, his bed-head is irresistible, and your guy can’t stop staring at you. The type of staring you hope other women see because (a) you want witnesses and (b) you know for a brief moment of time they will be jealous and wish they were with him. Oh, but he is so not with them! He is yours and so happy to be a slave to the sparkle in your eyes! (P.S. Sparkle is provided by hot boyfriend staring.) And then it happens. And, oh ladies, it has happened to all of us. The moment that he says, “YOU ARE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN THE WORLD. I LOVE IT WHEN YOU DON’T WEAR MAKEUP. I WANT TO BE WITH THE GIRL IN SWEATS AND NO MAKEUP FOREVER.”
You are floored for many reasons. First, you have to forget the $30 you spent on hottie products, but, more important, all of that worry you’ve had for years, thinking of how you could erase supermodels so you could be noticed. Getting up two hours earlier than him to put on makeup so he doesn’t see you without the mask. Worried that guy 187 didn’t call because he met someone prettier. It’s gone. Vanished. It only took one guy, your guy, to make you feel more beautiful than you could have imagined. Forget burning bras, you want to burn it all! Every product. And feel free in your naked beauty. So you kiss him, a big one that says I’ll thank you now and later. You sit back and feel like the queen you are. You look around at the other women and wonder if they’ve had such a moment and, if not, hope they do. You are the natural Heidi Klum walking down the runway of no-worries and everyone wants what you’re selling. (Cue the record scratch.) WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?! Did your guy just check out another girl? And not just with his eyes, but did he just turn his head? And for the girl in the March Vogue cover outfit and full makeup? And is he really trying to play it off like I didn’t see it?
And why did that skank buzz-kill my moment?! This has happened to all of us. To me, way too many times. And I personally will never get it. QUICK QUESTION, GUYS: If you love us, your partner, with no makeup, but your head turns toward the girl who has spent four hours in the bathroom, what are we supposed to do? And the excuses kill me. One guy said, and I quote, “Baby, I wasn’t looking at that girl, my neck hurt and I was stretching it out.” Guy two said, “Girl? What girl? I thought that was a dude.” And, my personal favorite, from guy number three: “You know, a lot of people have noticed it is hard for me to focus on one thing, maybe I have adult ADD.”
Seriously, they will go to any length to protect the right to stare. To admire someone’s beauty is natural, but the head-turning, dead-mouth drooling, and saying that you love us natural and then gawking at America’s Next Top Model is really hard to swallow. So what does it all mean? They should all be killed, that’s what it means (said like the little kid in The Shining—sorry, that was my inside voice talking!). Should we express the way it makes us feel? Or do we, and this sounds easy, accept it as a thing that men do that’s harmless, and unless they leave you at the café to follow the skirt home, don’t worry. Be annoyed, but don’t worry. MEN WILL ALWAYS LOOK.
So next time it happens, brush it off. And no matter what your inner voice tells you, know that if he left you it would be his biggest mistake. For the extremely insecure, the category I sometimes fall into, never let his wandering eye make you feel like you are not good enough. It’s like a dog that is full and fat. It doesn’t need food or want food, but if it’s there it will beg for it. And remember, it’s in our nature to want what we can’t have. On the other hand, even if guys have to stare, it’s a part of their nature, blah, blah, blah, but it’s not okay if it hurts you. If it bothers you, that’s one thing. If it hurts you, talk to him. And to the guys who might be reading this, be gentle. Looking at other girls while we are standing there can hurt. And then maybe some of you should be happy with the woman you have. In a relationship, don’t look backward or forward, look right next to you. You are probably luckier than you realize. I say this to everyone. Love and relationships are already complicated, and making your partner feel like you’d rather be somewhere else doesn’t help anything. There are a lot of people in the world to be with, and there will always be someone smarter, prettier, or more interesting.
If girls are putting it out there, guys are going to pick it up. They are not in a relationship with you and actively looking for something else. They are just doing what my boyfriend and I call “the register.” They are registering the opposite sex as a slight release of the old single guy and their right as “your guy” to still be able to look without it destroying you. It doesn’t mean they want to run off and start a life with every girl they look at (that’s in our heads). It’s strictly physical and not emotional. By the way, we as women should register, too! Ladies, try to accept guys for who they are and don’t take it personally. Guys, be more sensitive to your partner, and if you have to look, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WEAR SUNGLASSES!
the book has officially been hijacked by a MAN, who is funny, I trust, and has insight into the female mind. I hope you find what you read next as enlightening and inspiring as I did. True to women’s form, I had to jump in every now and then!
BuTTinski, or Does My Butt Look Big?
(men hope so…)
“I like big butts and I cannot lie.” Boy, Sir Mix-a-lot was a genius. No truer words have ever been spoken. The rear end or the booty has been the subject of fascination for the male species since the Stone Age.
I’m here to tell you, as a man, a guy, or whatever you want to call me, what we REALLY like. We like your BUTT, and we like it BIG. Hold on a second! JLH here! I have to jump in! Did a man just say he likes our butts? And big? Then what has the last ten years of self-torture been about? Why didn’t we know this before and where is the nearest Baskin-Robbins? Sorry, continue. It’s the last impression guys have of you when you’re walking away. It’s like the end credits of a movie. It’s what we envision as something we can grab and hold. Something that will keep us warm and protect us from tropical storms because we can hide under it. But somehow in the last thirty years someone thought the butt should be smaller, tiny, like an eight-year-old boy’s even. WHAT!@#$%%? (NEEDLE SCRATCH.)
Ladies, ladies, ladies, let me tell you something. Stop trippin’ on yo’ butt. Let your man decide how big it should be for you. JLH again! Okay, he can decide how big, but I have to carry it in my pants. You want a bigger butt? Say the word. Whatever you want, sweetheart. Sorry, keep going. If you look at the history of film, from Olivia de Havilland in the beginning, all the way through the sixties, seventies (especially Russ Meyer films), Kelly LeBrock in the eighties and the nineties with J.Lo and Salma Hayek, etc., women have always had big, round, beautiful derrieres. You notice how I didn’t mention Cate Blanchett and Nicole Kidman in that sentence. Classy, beautiful women, nonetheless, but no junko in the trunko. (Although, I will say, as far as Englishwomen go, Kate Winslet does have a nice badonkadonk.)
We men worship your heinie. First of all, more cushin’ for pushin’, more round to ground, and bootylicious, are all terms that apply to women that men love. Oh, you know who it is! If I could just eat a double-double right now and shake it naked, I would. This is hot! Women everywhere—pay attention. A man who knows other men, and is surrounded by a city of beautiful, thin women, wants you bootylicious. Come on, tell me this is not the best day ever! Shapely and curvy is what turns men on, not NOSITOL (no ass at all). It says that our women are sexy, strong, and yummy. When we see a woman with the kitchen sink as her backside, we just want to kiss you all over after we tackle you like a fullback on the thirty-yard line at Soldier Field.
I feel that women somehow (maybe when aerobics started…damn you, JANE FONDA!!!) have lost touch with what men desire and are trying to go against the natural grain of BONERISM.
Let me tell you something, MEN DON’T WANT OLIVE OYL! They want Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman. It goes back to our genetics, girls. Google it. I hate to see ladies always worried and saying, “Do these pants make my butt look big?” God, I hope so.Yep, you guessed it, JLH again. I just have to say—what?? God, I love this man! And where has this secret colony of butt-lovers been living? We don’t want to ask if our butts look big. But we thought anything over a size 0, which isn’t even a size anyway, was a no-no. Again, sorry for interrupting, tell us more! Men don’t want sticks. I’m serious, girls. We like juicy and firm, or juicy and jiggly. Have you ever heard a man say, “HEY LOOK AT THAT ASS! IT’S SO FLAT. COOL, LET ME GET SOME OF THAT!!!!”?
NOOOOO. Stop reading magazines, ladies. It ain’t reality. Those are starved bitches who survive on Starbucks, cigarettes, and Valtrex, and most are fourteen years old. JLH is SO glad you just said that! As women, if we said this we would get slapped. And P.S., have you ever seen a super-skinny girl with a smile on her face? No, she’s too hungry. Being neurotic about your backside is not sexy to men. Sexy, to men, is owning your rump roast and daring your man to try and conquer it. Sexy, to men, is your attitude, and the attitude is in your eyes—when you look at us, and we see that stare you give and you’re confident in who you are. That’s what gets us going, because we think, “Dayyum, that chick knows what she wants. I hope she picks me.” Hell, voluptuoushas become a curse word to a lot of women. THAT’S WHAT MEN WANT!!
Here’s an example: Have you ever seen a woman who’s kinda big? She’s got big boobs, a big butt, and thick legs. She wears heels and pants a little too tight. I know girls look at her and say, “WHO does she think SHE is with all that extra luggage? She better put THAT away.” Well, ladies, let me tell you, men look at her and say, “Woooo! I wanna tackle that lion. I wanna tame that beast!” You know you’ve seen women like this, and you might be one. Those women should be adored because they are confident in their size, and men love confidence. Me again! I have to say this whole thing is shocking and great. I might actually be able to feel good about myself in a pair of skinny jeans eating a pint of ice cream. God bless you, Jamie Kennedy. If you own who you are, then men will wanna own it with you. Enjoy yourself, and men will enjoy you also.
Which leads me to another thought—women can be so hard on other women. You’re a sisterhood. Have each other’s backs. Sorry to keep butting in—no pun intended—but you’re right, we are a sisterhood, except some girls didn’t get the memo and are mean, which makes us defensive and judgmental. But hey, I’m so happy about the big butt thing, I’ll look at being nicer to other girls. It’s true. Women judge each other so hard. They’ll look a woman up and down and say, “Look at her, she got her lips done, she got her cheeks done, she got her nose done. Hell! That’s not even her real head!”
I personally think women get boob implants to compete with other women, and men get hair transplants to compete with other men. It’s not for the opposite sex. I mean, we’ll take fake boobs if you’ve got them, but we’d rather take what God gave you, small or big. As long as you’re cool with it, we’re cool with it, and if you want a little procedure because it will make you feel better about yourself, go for it. Grab that scalpel. We all do a little nip and tuck now and then (God knows these aren’t my real pecs). But it saddens me to see women be so hard on themselves about the body they think they have, as opposed to the body that men are dying to get all over. We love your big hips, your big butt (more to spoon with), your big boobs (more to keep us warm), and your little tummy pooch, that’s where we wanna crawl in and live. We know it’s safe there. JLH…See, girls, there are good ones out there! Just my two cents.
Find a guy who calls you beautiful instead of hot, who calls you back when you hang up on him, who will lie under the stars and listen to your heartbeat, or will stay awake just to watch you sleep…. Wait for the boy who kisses your forehead, who wants to show you off to the world when you are in sweats, who holds your hand in front of his friends, who thinks you’re just as pretty without makeup on. One who is constantly reminding you of how much he cares and how lucky he is to have YOU…the one who turns to his friends and says, that’s her.
His and Her Thrones
The bathroom. The friend that knows all your secrets, maybe too many. The sacred place where we get ready for the world. The magic passageway that we step through for a big date. We go in a potential hottie and come out a showstopper. It’s where a guy goes from a boy to a man, with cologne and a crisp white button-down. It’s more than a bathroom, it’s your sanctuary. And then someone invented his and her sinks. What were they thinking? Hello reality, good-bye mystery. I’m all for domesticity and sharing space, but not that space. I didn’t always feel this way. I thought it would be the ultimate in romance, until I realized it’s not just men who need a little mystery.
Let’s be honest, it’s not hot to see a man clip his nose hairs, rub his butt, clean out his ears, or worse, discover he doesn’t do any of those things! And men definitely don’t want to see us shave our underarms, pluck our eyebrows, lather on anticellulite cream, Nair our nifty mustache, and struggle with figure-smoothing shorts (P.S., I love those shorts!). We want to picture our guy in a hot shower with water dripping from his biceps, his white teeth sparkling in the mirror (like Edward from Twilight), barely containing his excitement to see us. Now, that is hot! And guys want to picture us in tiny black lace panties, high heels, with our hair half up, half down, and a little in our face, dancing to “Let’s Get It On,” putting perfume in all the right places and slipping slowly into our little black dress à la Audrey Hepburn. So I say sharing some things is good, just not everything. Let mystery be your secret weapon of romance. Let him have his fantasy of you and you in return cherish your alone time in the magic chamber that is the bathroom. Trust me, no man will be offended by these separate quarters. In fact, you might even be the woman of his dreams.
Have you ever had words fly out of your mouth like a bad meal? I suffer from this on a daily basis. I need someone to invent a mouth zipper. SPEAKING OF ZIPPERS, don’t you just despise the men and women with no moral values or self-control and with downright slutty behavior who can’t keep their zippers closed—oops, see what I’m talking about…no self-control! SPEAKING OF CONTROL, don’t you wish you could turn your back for five seconds without some pea-brain bimbo trying to make the love of your life an afternoon snack—oops…I did it again! Inventors, please listen to my plea: MOUTH ZIPPER. While I’m on this subject, here is a novel idea. Let people be in love. If you see two people happy, keep your mitts to yourself.
Just know these destroyers of happiness will never penetrate the inner lining of the heart we occupy. I’ll tell you why these people are out there; it’s to show us who we can trust. There will always be sluts and man-whores, but there will also be good women and even better men who won’t stray from their hearts’ desire because something new has been added to the menu. It is our job to send those lost yet slutty souls our light and sympathy, because at the end of the day it must be so sad to love yourself so little that you’d be willing to become the joke, the cocktail-hour topic, or, worst of all, the reason someone else will find it difficult to love and trust again. Guess I couldn’t zip it on that one.
Let’s Play “We”
This, ladies, is a tricky one. The “we” is not just a game. Like, for instance, when we help move our men from “I” to “we.”
HIM: “I’m going to dinner at 8 p.m.”
US: “No, actually, we are going to dinner.”
HIM: “I just came back from vacation in Mexico.”
US: “No, actually, we just came back from vacation in Mexico.”
I don’t believe for a minute that this is a mantactic, a reason not to commit. I think it’s complete unawareness of the joint relationship effort. They are used to traveling alone, whereas women tend to travel in groups. For instance we, from the time we are little, go to the bathroom together. They go it alone. They take their computers and go to Starbucks. We go with the girls for drinks. They go backpacking in Europe. We go for all-girls spa weekends. They like to play alone (you know what I mean). We prefer not to play alone (you also know what I mean). We can’t be hard on men about this one. We have to help them. When they say “I,” help them say “we.” If you and your guy are with other people and he says, “I ate at the best restaurant last night,” just simply follow it up with “Yeah, we had the best food!” It will eventually change his thinking.
And men, relax, just because we want you to include us in the moment with the powerful “we” doesn’t mean marriage. Women don’t think “we” is the house, the dog, the joint bank account, the wedding, the babies, and the end (well, maybe some do, but we don’t claim those girls). For women, it’s just a small, considerate step toward really respecting us. It’s including us in your life and showing no fear in sharing your existence. It’s important for both sexes to keep their identities, but it’s also sometimes important to share. We were all taught that in, what, first grade, I think. Just try to be more aware, guys, and help them out, ladies. Trust me, “we” will all be happier.