Tag Archives: 20s

The Just Fine First Date Conversation Guide

12 Jun

Well, it’s official: Betty’s no longer an online dating virgin. I went on a date last week via Coffee Meets Bagel, a Stacie-endorsed online dating app, and I survived. Go me.

The date itself was okay. Really, there was nothing wrong with it – the guy looked like he did in his profile, he had all his teeth, he had a job, and conversation flowed fine.

But if I’ve learned anything from the professional schmoozers that run this city, it’s that making conversation isn’t that high of a bar. Indeed, anyone can make conversation in #thistown. It doesn’t mean there’s a spark, and it doesn’t mean the date was a home run.

In fact, it feels like conversation on these just-fine-but-that’s-it dates is sadly predictable. And if you’re not into it, it’s really easy to just converse at the lowest acceptable level – even if you’re the best of conversationalists. If your date is just fine and neither of you give a fuck, here’s what you’ll almost definitely talk about:

Whether you’ve been here before. It’s a great harmless opener. You look around appreciatively. “I’ve never been here before but my friend Jim loves it! Great suggestion!” [Alternative: “Oh wow I’ve only ever been here for brunch! I’m so excited to try it!]

How you got here. This is also another safe conversation starter. I am guilty of employing it as an awkward way to ease into the conversation. It’s literally the most boring thing you could bring up so no wonder I’m single.

Token metro complaint. 

You waited TWELVE MINUTES for the red line???

Where you live. This will allow you to make all of the conversation about your favorite bars and restaurants in that area, your coworker who lives there and you went to a party there once, on and on. The sky’s the limit. Just don’t make a face when you find out it’s Gaithersburg. Or do.

How you got here. Nope, not a repeat of above. I mean how you got to DC. How you made it big in #thistown, if you will. Note that you’ve gotten this far with only purely surface conversations. I bet you’re halfway done with your beer by now! You almost get to leave!

What you do. I mean obviously because #DC, but actually I have a lot of respect for people who don’t ask about this in the first five minutes. My recent date was one of those people, so props to him – although that was admittedly preempted by the fact that Coffee Meets Bagel profiles include your employer because they know that we’re all job snobs. Sigh.

College. Now I realize why no one shuts the fuck up about college. It’s because a) it’s the last time any of us was interesting and b) (relatedly) it’s the perfect safe conversation topic. You went to college? Oh thank god me too. Tell me about it! Tell me about your late night food adventures and all nighters in the library and your spring break trip. I’ll just listen. It’s easier that way. Keep talking!

Do we have to talk about it?

Running and/or fitness. Seriously, fuck this town for being so fucking fit and making me feel like I always need to be on an intense fitness regime or at least planning on starting one. The upside of that is that your date probably feels the same way so you can probably find some common ground talking about how you really want to run a half marathon but you just weren’t sure if you could do it and then sigh your knee got fucked up. NO WAY! ME TOO! [Side note: my Coffee Meets Bagel date was totally intense and was modestly talking about 50 mile runs or some shit. GOOD. BYE.]

 

There you have it. I hope to God at least one of those generated some conversational detours along the way, but I guarantee you you hit most or all of those between gulps of G&T as you attempt to figure out if you can see yourself ever sharing your life – or at least your bed – with this person.

DISCLAIMER: I am not advocating that these are things that should be discussed on a date. What I have provided is a literal recipe for a mediocre date. WE CAN DO BETTER! On the best first date I can recall, we talked about everything from celebrity crushes to favorite Mexican restaurants to stupid movies we liked. Be the change you wish to see in your dates, ladies. But just know that they can’t all be winners. And remember that at the end of even the most boring date, you always – always! – get to go home.

 

 

 

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The Thing Ruining My 20s

1 May

Folks,

Over the weekend, I read the truest words anyone has written about what’s poisoning our postgrad years.

It’s not men. It’s not the economy. It’s not alcohol, unless you mean tequila, in which case yes it is literally poisoning you.

IT’S GCHAT.

You might have thought thus far that Gchat was a saving grace, keeping you sane during the workday. Actually, no. Read the article linked above. It’s not only making you less productive (shocker, I know) but it’s having a negative impact on those relationships you think you’re keeping afloat (to her credit, our own Stacie called this a long time ago).

How true is this?

While a concise instant message may seem to be an efficient way to touch base (without strains like rising from your swivel chair), the interaction can quickly turn trite or futile. “A lot of the stuff that happens on Gchat is not necessarily productive and wouldn’t be talked about in real life — it’s surface-level nonsense that’s getting in the way of why you’re in the office to begin with,” Bolt says. The more time you spend swapping complaints about your boss, links to the best video you’ve seen all year and — oh, right — questions about work, the harder it becomes to recover and produce.

And this:

Why ask Google when you can ask a friend? Gchat’s accessibility to smart people with whom we share personal relationships makes finding answers easy — or so we think. But often, typing a “quick q?” to a friend becomes more disruptive and distracting than digging for the answer yourself.

And start gchatting with a new love interest at your peril:

It happens all-too fast: You add your new beau on Gchat, and start chatting from nine-to-five. You debate over lunch spots, talk happy hour plans and vent about the pain of working for a tyrannical supervisor. The days fly by, at first, but the circular conversations can quickly feel confining and inadequate. This day-long chatting poses the illusion that you’ve shared moments and have been in touch, but those experiences are anything but quality.

Fuck that. I’d rather waste my workday blogging.

Boys, Sometimes a Girl Just Needs One (But Sometimes Not).

11 Mar

by Stacie Smack

It’s always been a common known fact that I am going to be the 60 year old in the leopard leggings, sequin top, and a 27 year old boy toy. My friends love to joke about how I will be the one who’s always up to take a ladies trip somewhere fun, who’ll have the ultimate bachelorette* apartment fully stocked with wine, chips, and hummus, so that they can come and take a load off from their presumably married family lives.

Honestly, I’m just flattered that they think that I’ll be rich enough to afford wine and a penthouse, that I’ll still have my fabulous looks and oh-so great curves, and that I’ll still have my amazing flirtation and seduction skills (and humility?) that will lead me to have a solid rotation of 2 or 3 men that will obviously be eternally devoted and in love with me, without expecting me to love them in return.

Right?

Despite the pride I take in my reputation, I spend an awful lot of time whining about how much I hate single life. I mean, just look at every single blog post I’ve ever written (hint: they’re all about boys and dating).

And let’s be real, it is definitely not just me. I actually have this terrible tendency of eavesdropping on conversations whenever I see two or three 20-something women walking by me (and no, I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ll adjust my pace so that I can listen for longer). And my rigorous statistical analysis has shown that approximately 89.4% of the time, the conversations that these women are having are about boys.

So why do we let this subject matter take up 76.8% of our mental space? What if instead of spending the last 2 hours looking at my phone to see if “he” texted me back, I had read another chapter of Lean In? What if I had worked on my blog post ahead of time?

Why is the subject of relationships such a time suck?

Well, duh Stacie. Because there are all sorts of pressures all around us! Family, friends, TV shows. BIOLOGY! All of these things are like little voices inside of our womanly heads  saying “find a man before you shrivel up all alone!”

Scenario 1: Some of your closest friends are in relationships. Obviously you crave one too! They’re doing all the gross couple-y stuff you want to be doing that you used to do with your friend before she got herself a date. You become hyper aware of how alone you are because not only do you see your friend enjoying her relationship, you also mourn the loss of the 24/7 hour friend. And this may be a tad dramatic (not at all), but I don’t care (I love it). Not all women ditch their friends once in a relationship, but they now have a new person to make time for and yet, the amount of available time in a day hasn’t changed! Something’s gotta give.

Scenario 2: Your older sister was married when she was your age now! And you’re still single trying to make assholes in law school fall in love with you. Something must be wrong with you. Except it’s not, and please don’t ask me that question again. Your sister (or cousin, or mom) was just different. It’s not that she got lucky, or that she’s the exception. Her life just happened in a different order.

So yeah, this is all easier said than done. These pressures are not going away. And let’s face it, we LOVE talking about “BOYZ”. Otherwise, why would we do it so much? So I say, let’s embrace the boy-talk. Let’s over-analyze every text. Relieve every minute of that first hook up outside the AdMo McDonald’s. Stay in bed a little longer after he lives because you can still smell his shirt on your bed. Spend 5 hours at brunch recounting last night’s shenanigans and planning your future wedding with “Rando #2”. Let’s open our arms and accept the boy psychosis.

But let’s be aware that it is a bit of a psychosis – it’s an exaggerated hyper reality. Let’s be constantly aware that we are definitely over analyzing a text,a word, a gesture. Let’s enjoy the emotional ride for a bit, but let’s remember that it shouldn’t define our state of being. Yes, a partner can make you “happy”, but so can best friends, professional satisfaction, family, or tequila. More importantly, you can make you happy! Don’t let the male gender control you. We already have a gigantic glass ceiling to break through, let’s not also create glass walls.

Say yes to love, dates, romance, hook ups, adventures!

But say yes to moving on, being young, having opportunities, appreciating your independence!

*Google Chrome doesn’t recognize the word bachelorette and wants me to correct it to bachelor. GOOD BYE.

Excuse Me… What?

4 Mar

I think I’ve written about it before, but to refresh your memory: I, Stacie Smack, am dating a man [mostly] monogamously. And no, his name is not Chuck Bass. It’s been an interesting process, the whole having someone still in your apartment after 7am on any given day.

One thing I’ve been less than successful at is figuring out when, why, and how to incorporate him into group activities, such as a happy hour or a Saturday night at the Brixton. My current MO is to just have him show up places without giving my friends advance notice. In theory, it makes sense. In practice, not the most successful strategy.

This is all a whole bunch of lead up to something only marginally related. By now, several of my friends have met him and interacted with him, if at all briefly. I was pretty nervous of all of this happening because I live in fear of people judging my choices (of people judging the guy I’ve allowed to keep me from sleeping with other men). Generally speaking, the interactions were fine. Except for a tiny point:

“He’s SO not your type!”

That is what some of my friends choose to tell me every time the topic comes up. They say it with smiles plastered on, but I can’t help but be offended at the comments. What does it mean? Who fits your expectation of the type of man that Stacie dates? Why is he not my type? Why do you think that’s an appropriate thing to say to someone who obviously has insecurity issues when it comes to men?

So please, don’t describe people that way. It’s really not helping anyone. It only heightens the insecurity I feel. It’s judgmental and not helpful. It comes off as condescending, and can you really not come up with anything better to say? Because it’s not even honest. I’d prefer you tell me that you don’t like him, or that he’s rude or that he’s too pushy rather than tell me that he’s not my type…

I see it as one of two things. One, he doesn’t meet the expectations that I’ve set for the men I date. Meaning he’s not a 6’2” UVA graduate that works in finance. He stands below the expectations. The alternative, two, is that he exceeds your expectations. In which case why don’t you say that? Why don’t you say that he is so much better than other guys I’ve dated? That he seems like a good guy? What’s that you say?

“He’s quite likable”

Thanks, pal.

Watch What Happens.

25 Feb

by Stacie Smack

My friend Kate recently broke up with her boyfriend and also my friend Matt. They are both very much part of my tight-knit friend group. Their relationship had been shaky for about a month now, so the break-up was not devastating for either of them. Kate, being the proactive woman that she is, didn’t hesitate, reactivated her Okcupid profile, and started scheduling dates. Of course, she told me and a couple of our other girlfriends, including Jenna.

I’ve talked about Jenna before (love you, gurl…). So it should come as no surprise that the first thing she did was tell her current boyfriend that Kate was already online dating, after they only broke up on Sunday. He, being the tactful man that I once made out with and also part of our friend group, immediately g-chatted Kate about it. When I found about this breach in privacy, I was IRATE. Mostly because we are trying to spare poor Matt’s feelings by keeping him from finding out that her ex of three days is already dating. Already, too many people know about this.

The point of all of this is that why did Jenna have to tell her boyfriend about it right away? Why do significant others trump girlfriends in the secret-keeping hierarchy?

Relationships are built on trust and honesty and blah blah blah. I get it. We shouldn’t keep secrets from the people we love, but please someone, agree with me. This was not a secret. It was sheer gossip. And let’s be honest. We all gossip like our lives depend on it. We don’t intend to – we think we’re being concerned friends by discussing other people’s lives. And sometimes that is genuine. You try and find ways to be helpful by talking it out with other people – people who also already know about the situation.

But what’s the advantage of telling someone who’s closer to the ex-boyfriend? Kate didn’t tell him – she chose not to tell him. And now, he’s going to tell his friends, and eventually, the ex is going to hear about it too. And it’s because Jenna likes drama. She wants to watch the ball start rolling, she wants to watch it get bigger and bigger and she wants it to explode in front of her while coming out of it unscathed.

If you want drama, go watch Bravo instead, honey.

After the Fade Away

18 Feb

by Stacie Smack

Some friends and I were recently enjoying some delish food at Ted’s Bulletin on 14. In the midst of my enjoyment, I noticed that seating at the bar directly in my line of vision was a guy I briefly dated last summer, Jason, having dinner with a [male] friend. As soon as I noticed, I started uncontrollably laughing, I tried to hide under the table, and my friends proceeded to discretely turn around [in a very obvious way] to look at him. Similarly, Jason’s friend did a little 360 head spin that lingered too long in my direction. I am confident that it was evident that we were both aware of each other’s presence.

The back story:
We met at Policy not by sucking on each other’s faces. We went on a couple dates before he tried to kiss me – amateur move. He seemed interested and interesting enough – we went on some dates, had some sleepovers, and texted every once in a while. I went abroad for a week, came back, and after some pleasantries about my trip, he blew me off a week later with the classic “I’m really busy and my sister is staying with me” excuse. My response (in classic Stacie fashion) was “well good luck. You know where to find me ;)”, followed by a contact deletion. I never heard from him again. It was a classic case of The Fade Away*.

There’s enough on the topic to know that this is just a way of saying “I’m just not that into you”, but I was still left wondering, in this situation if perhaps I should have gone up to say hi? Or if he should have come over to say hi? I didn’t want to say hi, because my strongest emotion upon seeing him was anger and sadness from feeling rejected. He probably didn’t want to say hi, because we all know that the first thing we think when someone fades us out is that they probably had to go into witness protection and that’s why they stopped texting us. This leads to the question of the post fade away spontaneous run-in: for whom is it more awkward after a fade away? The one who did the fading? Or the one who got faded?

The one who did the fading –
My first instinct is that the one who does the fading has all the power. He/she is the one who gets to make the shot “I’m not interested” under the assumption that the other involved party probably is interested. Power overcomes awkward – Jason should feel good that here’s this girl that HE got to dump.
But upon further over analyzing, it’s perhaps incredibly awkward for him. I mean he now has to face the fact that he can’t go on pretending that I think he moved to Iowa, or that he got hit by a bus. Now, he has to come up with actual believable non-awkward excuses for why he never texted back, “I was really busy” for the last 6 months would not cut it.

The one who gets faded-
As implied above, I felt extremely awkward. I felt powerless. I didn’t have a good explanation as to why he stopped calling, and so the default (as it is with A LOT of women, don’t lie to yourself) is to focus on my insecurities and blame every single one of the things I’ve decided is “wrong” with me. I felt awkward because the first thing I thought he thought when he saw me was “oh there’s that girl, still looking/acting/being the same exact way she was when I decided to end things”.
But, let’s be real. That was probably not his first thought. He probably also turned beet red and felt awkward! Because, here was this perfectly fine girl who he never called again. He hopefully realized that he came off as a coward who was too afraid to tell a girl it’s over so instead went for the disappearing act, not thinking that [YUPie NW + gentrified NE] DC is actually small, and the chances of running into someone you’ve met are pretty high.

Honestly, I’m pretty sure it’s awkward for both people, unless you’re a fairly confident person, in which case very few things are awkward for you. I would like to think that when I become a grown-up, I’ll be able to say hi to people I’ve dated regardless of how things ended. Maybe. Or, I’ll continue to giggle, twirl my hair, fix my make-up and completely ignore him, while trying to make him regret all decisions that led to him never calling me again. Maturity.

If nothing else, listen to my favorite singers and nod your head in agreement:

*Also called sometimes the Fade Out and I’m sure like a trillion other things.

The Treat Yo Self Guide to Cooking on a Budget

13 Feb

One of my 2014 goals has been to cook more, in order to eat healthier, practice the skill of making edible food for the human beings who may someday depend on me for it, and – of course – save money. On that last one, I’ve found that the trick may actually be somewhat counterintuitive. Rather than forcing yourself into annoying and unnecessary austerity measures, you can save surprising amounts of money by actually being a little bit more extravagant when it comes to grocery shopping and cooking. 

In other words, TREAT YO SELF!

Allow me to explain how this can work.

1. Buy a lot of shit, part 1: I always feel like I’m outsmarting the system when I see something that’s $2 for 5, or something and I don’t fall for the deal. I’m like, “whatever I’m never going to eat two hunks of cheese so I’m actually saving myself $2.50 instead of 30 cents. TAKE THAT, MARKETING PLOY!” But in reality, falling for those deals and filling up your grocery cart with a bit more can definitely save you money if you are smart about freezing things. Bread products are especially great with this, I find – I’ll buy a big thing of mini-bagels from Whole Foods, freeze them, and roll them out 3 or 5 at a time so that I can eat one for breakfast several days in a row. 

This is essentially just buying in bulk. Obviously it’s a thing. But the reason it’s especially good for young people who are tempted to eat out all the time is because I think it can get exhausting “trying” to finish all your groceries before they go bad. You feel like you’re racing against the mold clock and you experience a backlash and you eat out 4 days in a row. Freezing some of what you buy can take off that pressure.

2. Buy a lot of shit, part 2: The other obstacle to regular cooking – and therefore, enticement to eat out – is not having things on hand when you make a last-minute decision to make dinner. So the smart – yet counterintuitive – thing to do is to buy extra food that you don’t plan on cooking that week, because that rushed grocery trip always fucks up the schedule and it becomes easier just to order in. Even though I can be super cheap at the grocery store, I’m trying to make it a habit to throw down a few extra dollars for a 2nd box of pasta or quinoa just so that I have it as a backup. 

3. It’s okay to be a lazy ass! No one expects you to reinvent the wheel. Sure, it’s better to whip up everything from scratch, but it’s probably better to milk your own cows too and that sure as hell isn’t happening. Don’t feel like you aren’t allowed to buy frozen food, mixes, pre-seasoned items, etc. It’s okay! You’re still saving money, and keeping yourself sane, too.

4.Wine on and shine on. No really! If the food didn’t come out well, or you just kind of wish you were at Chipotle, or you’re sad to be eating alone, or whatever, pouring a glass of wine can help you  feel like you’re not just eating the evening/weekend version of a sad desk lunch.

5. Treat yourself to a good time! This may be the most important (or at least it feels kinda deep and important): treat cooking as a fun activity rather than a chore! I’ve come to enjoy it, scheduling it into my day day as a way to decompress. It’s also, frankly, a more constructive way to kill time than watching TV. If you enjoy cooking – even if you’re not great at it – you’ll start to look forward to eating at home, rather than seeing it as some sort of New Years’ resolution-imposed punishment. 

Happy cooking!

Watching You Move On

7 Jan

by Stacie Smack

My (mostly) eternal Bachelorette status means that I’ve had the chance to experience dozens upon dozens of break-ups among my friends. I’ve also seem them begin relationships, and exist during them. The more I observe, the more confused I become. Let me give you an example:

I have this friend, Jenna. She falls in a category on the opposite end of the spectrum as singledom. In the six years that I have known her, she has spent very few days single. Anyways, she was dating this guy Mark in college; he was a year younger, she was a senior, and it was as most college relationships were (at least in small liberal arts schools). They spent most of their time together, basically alternating which dorm room to sleep in each night of the week. She went out less. She started hanging out with his friends more than her friends. The usual.

After graduation, they stayed together. He was still in school and she was here in DC. I always thought he liked her more than she liked him. But then, at some point around the holidays, Mark broke up with her. She had debated quitting her job to move to where he was. And then, he broke up with her. She was truly devastated, and two weeks later she was dating some guy named Daniel (they lasted about six months).

Jenna (who’s now on her third relationship since we moved out here about a year and a half ago) jokes about it all the time. She is proud of the fact that she moves on quickly. And I don’t blame her! I can only imagine what it feels like to end a relationship, and I am sure that I would want to stop feeling those feelings AS QUICKLY as possible.

The thing is, Jenna is FAR from the exception. I’d say most of my friends exhibit this behavioral pattern. And I don’t ask questions because I am a friend and it would be rude, but… where do I start?

1. Why invest so much time and effort for something that can be over so quickly?

I’ve never been in a relationship. In great part, this is by construction. I don’t understand how to “share myself” or whatever with some other person, when at any second either of us could cheat, or move, or just get bored and want out. They must see/feel something that makes it worth it and I would love to know what that is.

2. How do you “give yourself” with such facility?

I mean, honestly, these girls are already referring to guys as their boyfriends just WEEKS into the relationships, which also generally start just days after a breakup. I suppose that I find it interesting that despite experiencing so many hurt feelings and such sadness, they are still willing to throw themselves into commitment over and over again. I mean, Jenna is talking about moving to wherever her current boyfriend ends up next summer.

3. What makes you think he’s different?

This is not sarcastic. This is a legitimate question. Do you even ask yourself that question? I mean you must see something different and better in this new guy you are calling your boyfriend right? I literally have become so diluted that I fail to see that any guy can be a “good guy” anymore. Teach me how to believe that not every man is a walking penis with only one goal in mind. Teach me how to believe that THIS TIME, it will last.

4. Is it just him?

I mean, we (or really you) cycle through guys hoping that the next one will stick around forever. However, I am convinced personally that a lot of my failures are a combination of meeting total dickwads but also because I am still not emotionally ready for a long-term relationship. Do you ever wonder if maybe you should also look at yourself after a relationship is over? I’m not trying to gaslight anyone here. I just am very, very aware that it takes two to tango. And as many flaws as he may have had and as much as he needs some relationship coaching, you probably need to get some self-awareness too.

5. How do you put all that time behind you?

Whether it was a six month relationship, or a three year one. Maybe I should think about it in Economics terms, that time has passed and it’s a sunk cost. But is that really how you think of it? In a few days, you can let go of time so easily. I know that often times, an individual begins the process of ending a relationship before the actual break up, which helps with making everything easier. But even so. I’m amazed at your ability to let go of a year of your life that you had dedicated to one man only, letting other people fall of by the waist side – you no longer talk about things that happened during that year.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

This comes off as a rant more than an attempt to ask legitimate questions. But my intention was for it to be the latter. Most of these questions began when after thirty years of marriage, my dad called it quits. A year later my mom met a man, and they have been dating for the last three and a half years. I have never experienced such devastation; seeing her after he left is something that I would hope no else I love ever experiences. But while I still try to move on and accept the fact that my mom and dad are no longer, she’s been able to fall in love all over again. The woman I saw crying on the bathroom floor and the woman I see now when I go home would not recognize each other.

How did she do it? How did you do it?

Gratuitous BC gif that makes everything better

The Fishing Theory

17 Dec

by Stacie Smack

I regularly wish I taped my therapy sessions. There are some real gems that come out of the conversations I have with Tito (as one would hope, given the steep fee I’m charged for those 50 minutes of uninterrupted me-talk). Because of basic common sense and because good quality wires are so expensive, I don’t tape them.

Recently, he and I established that my approach to dating is like fishing. I’ve never gone fishing but I have a basic understanding of how it works, thank you television. There’s a lot of preparation that goes into fishing, a lot of planning, and it’s not a simple task. Yet, there is a clear goal: to catch a fish.

As it turns out, when one goes fishing, one does not jump into the ocean and yell “I want fish! Come to me fish!”. This would be too direct, too noisy, and too obvious and the fish would get scared and obviously swim away.  Instead, there’s bait designed to be deceiving. The idea is to convince the fish that you want nothing to do with them – in fact you conceal the hook (what gets you what you want) to look like food (something that they want that you would never actually want to eat yourself!). You give the wrong impression and that guarantees that you’ll get the fish!

I’m hoping that by now, the metaphor has become quite clear. I spend a lot of time sitting on that big leather chair, telling him how much I want a man to fall in love with me head over heels. And as I tell him, I realize that  we go out to bars and we talk to guys and we do everything possible to seem cool, unattached, and as far from desperate as possible. We conceal what we really want so well, because we are so scared (perhaps rightfully so) that if we approach the process directly, all men will see is flutter in the water and they will swim away.

I mean, really, can you imagine what would happen if you went up to a guy and said “Hi, I’m Blah Blah and I want to be married by 26 and start having babies at 27, would you be interested in finding out if you are the one I should do it with?” Luckily for me, I don’t want any of those things. But I run out of fingers and toes if I try to count the number of girlfriends I have who do want that. And, you can bet your ass that by the time you finish that sentence, you’ll be talking to a wall.

I know I am generalizing here. Not every girl dresses “to impress men” and no woman should. But at least I know I am guilty of dressing in low cut shirts and short skirts, not just because I feel confident and sexy, but because I know that guys will notice me. I egg them on in conversations that quickly begin to insinuate that they have a chance with me. Obviously, I’m totally hiding my real intentions and desires, and instead I play on to behavior that I hope will hook them, but that gives an impression that affects their behavior towards me.

I guess, when it comes to fishing, if you get the spicy ahi tuna to bite on the bite, it’s much more likely that it will get hooked and that you’ll have something for dinner that night. The fish won’t really run away once it’s on the boat. The same does not apply to men. Just because you get them to fall for the bait, either but getting a number or by getting into your pants, it does not guarantee that you’ll have what you really wanted.

I guess the point that Tito was trying to make is that perhaps dating is not like fishing and it should not be approached as such, but for some reason both men and women have been conditioned to play games that end up looking like that.The problem is that then you spend a couple of months dating someone, and you finally feel comfortable to say “hey, let’s be exclusive, let’s put labels on our relationship, and let’s work hard on this in case it can be forever” and this will still cause the fish (man) to jump overboard. You take away his bachelor status and he realizes that he can’t breath outside of the water. He starts choking, feels trapped and jumps! Even if there are other predators in the water, at least he’s in his natural environment!

The difference is that once you catch a man, the metaphor breaks. Being in a relationship does not equate to eating a caught fish for dinner.

So what now? For starters, I’m working on being more honest. Perhaps by not lying about what I do, or where I am from, or what I like to do. Perhaps by breaking Stacie’s Rules of Dating, and responding to a text immediately rather than waiting the necessary 4 hours.

So what now? It’s obviously not all me. Betty can tell you about this much better than I can, but perhaps guys need to stop feeling life fish out of water the second that a relationship starts getting serious. We are not trapping you, catching you, or taking you from your natural environment. Are we?

10 Things Men Do that Definitely Help me Keep my Pants On

10 Dec

by Stacie Smack
inspired by Belle’s recount of Long-Fingernails-Guy

Dear Employed Male Yuppie who lives in NW DC (or H St) who is trying to put the moves on me, please see below on why I will not be going home with you tonight (or if I did, I won’t be calling you back…):

1. Your jeans are too short.

You are in your 20s and probably have an income that allows you to buy adult jeans. Unless you’re 6’5’ or taller (in which case you were them short on purpose), there is no excuse for me being able to see your (not even ironic) socks.

2. You own New Balance sneakers (or generic replicas).

Go watch Crazy Stupid Love and watch Steve Carrell, closely. DO NOT be that guy.  Which leads me to…

3. You wore sneakers on on a weekend night out

Dear man whose pants I most definitely won’t be removing. Please never ever wear your sneakers out again. Like ever ever again. Consider the slew of alternatives of boat shoes, loafers, casual dress shoes, the list goes on and it does not include your New Balance white sneakers that your mom bought you. I mean seriously.

4. You have a stubbly chest.

At some point (thanks Channing Tatum and your perfectly smooth body), some dudes that seem to like picking up what Stacie is putting down decided to start shaving their chests. I get it, maybe if you shave, you’ll fake a six-pack better (hint: not). You will also give me stubble burn from not your beard in places where I definitely do not intend on getting stubble burn. Rug burn? Maybe. Stubble burn? STOP REQUESTED. Alternatively, go and get your chest waxed if you really think you can pull off the look (see below for reference). And, if you think it hurts, then grow a pair of balls before you try to talk to me again.

5. You don’t have condoms

Let’s pretend that somehow, you manage to get me back to your place. We start fooling around. And you have NO. CONDOMS. Excuse me? No, hoping that your roommate has some is not a valid alternative, and no, expecting me to carry some (which by the way ladies, do) is also not an option. There is literally a CVS everywhere in this city. I’m not saying that you have to be a mature adult, but like basic responsibilities dude. Handle them.

6. You wear/own old boxers

I don’t have a penis, I’ll give you that. But is it really that uncomfortable to wear boxer briefs? I mean look at those ads with David Beckham in them. They look DAMN good. And if you’re going to wear boxers (which I guess is fine because otherwise I’ll be giving up sex for a long time), please no holes, no strings, no stains. You are a grown-ass man. Just put yourself in my shoes, and imagine that moment when you’re fooling around on the couch, pants are coming off, and here’s a pair of orange boxers that you’ve had since eighth grade. Never. Time to Uber home.

7. Greasy Hair

There are a handful (maybe a dozen, but probably not even that many) men who can pull off the greasy hair look. You are definitely NOT one of those, sir. Please talk to me when you’ve taken a shower WITH shampoo. I don’t care if it’s the 3-in-1 body wash/shampoo/toothpaste situation. Also, if you try to convince me to talk to you by saying it’s not greasy, it’s just hair product, please rotate in a 180 degree angle and walk away as quickly as possible.

8. Sweatpants that don’t fit me

Here at #SRDC, we LOVE shack outfits. LOVE. If you are so tiny that I can’t borrow your pants to shame-walk home, then I don’t really want anything to do with you. BAI.

9. A Twin Size Bed

So this one night I went to see this DJ at Black Cat. I started chatting this kid up. He was kind of funny. Worked for the senate. Went to college and graduated. Was taller than me by enough inches that I’d be able to wear my favorite four-inch heels. I mean in #thisTown, that’s already a pretty solid foundation. So maybe he was wearing a male fashion ring, but he bought be a vodka soda and I kind of stopped seeing it. To make the deal even sweeter, he lived in Columbia Heights (this was while I was living Red-Line land). Basically he seemed to be the ideal #boyfriend material to supplement my perfect 20-something lifestyle. UNTIL. Until we walked into his room to find a bed. A bed for one. A bed like the one I slept on in college. I am no longer in college. You’ve been living in this apartment for A YEAR. And given how much you spent on drinks that night, I know it’s not a money issue. Call me when we can both sleep on that bed without me having flashbacks to Senior Week.

10. Also stop wearing fashion rings.

Just stop. Please