Archive for November 24, 2010

Turkey for 1?

Let’s face it.  The holiday season can be like a daunting 6 weeks of gloom for single people.

I’m here to tell you that you might feel lonely but YOU AREN’T ALONE!

I feel like there should be a HUGE dinner planned at some restaurant in December that is for single folks only.  None of you adorable coupled up, matching Gap scarf wearing and Deering Oaks Park ice skating jerks allowed! (Seriously…could someone get on planning that…)

I’m sorry.  That was a little bitter.  All of you people in matching Gap scarfs are adorable.  I promise.

Adorable Older Couple Kissing On A Park Bench In Scarves
I mean really, aren’t they adorable? With a beautiful story from the photographer too!

What can I say?  Being single during the holidays brings out a dark and mean side of me!

But I don’t want to write a ranting post about the suckiness that is reminding your Aunt Ida that “No – you will NOT be bringing anyone “special” to Thanksgiving dinner”, and glaring at store clerks trying to push a tie/necklace on your “for that someone special”, and wishing on every shooting star from now until December 31st that you will have a “special moment” at midnight to start 2011 off on a good note.

I’m not going to write about those things because they are all about finding special stuff OUTSIDE of yourself.  And dammit, part of the reason you are single is probably because you realize just how special you are.  And you want to find someone else who sees that, too.  Not just your Mom as she passes you another serving of green bean casserole and muses “Don’t worry, you will find someone when the time is right.

Yet here we are, the day before Thanksgiving, having mini-panic attacks over and dreading many minutes of the upcoming season.

But instead of dreading it, I vote we celebrate it.

Crazy, right?!

Very few people (except for emotionally hurt and prone to hermitude individuals) actually WANT to be alone during a time of year dedicated to being with others.  That’s a fact.

But it’s important not to turn cynical.  To suppress the urge to get snarky, denouncing the whole season as a cheap ploy by Macy’s and the like to hawk their wares to a population of people desperate to buy the love and affection of others through toys, jewelry and iJunk.  To hole up with Two Buck Chuck and a box of cookies and sob with your favorite love story where everyone dies.  To sit in sulking anger as everyone at your family gathering talks about their relationships while you silently plot their painful and craftily detailed demises.

It won’t make the feelings go away.  It won’t make the next 40 days any easier.

Tomorrow I will spend the day with one of my good girlfriends.  We’re going to eat cinnamon buns (that *I* baked!) and drink mimosa’s in our jammies while we watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Then we’ll head out to a delicious dinner where we may or may not be donning construction paper Pilgrim hats.  Then we’ll determine if we are up for wine and chick flicks or exhausted from the merriment of the day.

And we’re going to laugh and have fun the whole time.

Also, we are not adverse to making out with hot single men to and from our dinner destination.  (I’m just tossin’ it out there…in case the Universe is listening.)

Most importantly…remembering that even though we may feel lonely during the holidays, we are most certainly not alone.

What will you do to remind yourself that even though you might feel a little alone there are hundreds of thousands out there in the same boat as you?

Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Sex For A Cause

Whether it’s a Facebook status or a National Holiday, cancer awareness sure is getting sexy.

Last January, the Facebook news feed was overwhelmed by women randomly posting colors as their status update.  Beige, white, blue, red silk with black lace, nude…all in a viral campaing to bring awareness to the fight against breast cancer.

Ok, I get it.  Women were updating with the colors of the bras they were wearing, cause for 50% of the population, bras are where breasts are most commonly found.  And whether people loved it or hated it, the online world was abuzz with cancer talk for a week straight.

Fast-forward to October, when the “I Like It On” viral campaign launched.  Now, while the posting color updates cold be explained away with the bra-holding-boobs thing, this was an obvious overture to a more salacious topic than under-garments.

I’m still not 100% sure what a purse has to do with breast cancer, but women sure had fun posting about it and men were sure in a tizzy over women’s hot resting spots.  (The campaign asked women to update “I Like It On” and then list where they leave their purse when entering the house.)

Women seemed to be having all the cancer fighting viral fun.

Enter Movember.

Movember - Supporting Pancreatic Cancer Awareness
Photo Credit: Getty Images – Nick Dolding

Movember was founded in 2003 in Australia, as a sort of joke for men to grow moustaches for a month for a purpose.  The Mo (slang for moustache) is like a holy grail of facial hair for many men, according to my informal survey.

The original purpose?  Ummm…Movember sounds like a pretty cool word!

Towards the end of the campaign they began to realize that Movember could be about more than allowing your Mo to flap freely in the passing breeze without the nagging of significant others.  Inspired by the dedication of women around the globe banding together for breast cancer awareness, the original group of men decided that they would fundraise for the month for Prostate and Testicular Cancer.  (In the US the funds will go to the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Livestrong – Check out the Movember Intro Trailer on YouTube)

Six years later Movember is catching on, but still building a presence.

Enter sex.

Cause if we’ve learned nothing this year, it is that sex sells cancer awareness campaigns.

Today (November 18th) is National Have Sex With A Guy With A Moustache Day, as declared by the ladies over on Asylum.

I guess their tactic is working, I’m certainly writing about it to spread the viral campaign.

So ladies, if you were updating on Facebook about your bras and purses, and your man (or a man you are rather interested in) is sporting a lovely lip sweater after 18 days of Movember growth, consider it your contribution to Movember awareness to dim the lights, whisper sweet nothings and rock your moustached man’s world.

What do you think of the recent trend in online viral campaigns to “sex up” their message?

The Mythic Cougar

Way before Demi made it vogue to strut with younger arm candy, Mrs. Robinson was seducing poor Ben Braddock in The Graduate.

In fact, in a survey done by popular dating site/Facebook app AreYouInterested.com over 70% of women would not be offended if they were called “cougars” and 85% of men think it’s socially acceptable to date an older woman.

Many people attribute this to the women’s revolution and independence of the 60’s and 70’s, because it was during this time that it became more socially accepted for a woman to support herself and approach men without having to worry about finding a man “take care” of her.  Others believe the cougar craze began with a Canadian dating site, Cougardate.com, which was created in 1999 for the express purpose fo serving older women and younger men who wanted to date.

Per the original website’s Cougar Manifesto, they chose to call these women “cougars” because a cougar is: “The largest North American cat, top of the food chain”  Which makes sense.  The Dream Moods dream dictionary states that cats symbolize an independent spirit, feminine sexuality, creativity and power to the subconscious.

By most definitions a “Cougar” is a woman older than 35 who prefers to date men who are at least 8-10 years her junior.  Variations include women in their early 30’s called “Pumas” and women over 60 called “Snow Leopards.”
Photo Credit – Houston Zoo

So what’s the appeal of the cougar craze?

The term used to have an extremely negative connotation, describing women who had grown desperate in their search for a mate, exhausted all possibilities in their own age bracket and generally wore far too much makeup and too many tight clothes.

However women have claimed the mindset of a cougar as more than just a December-May romance.  CougarLife.com is another online dating site devoted to helping older women find younger men (and vice versa.)  Yet their definition is one of empowerment and ownership: “Cougars are women in their PRIME: independant, sexy and wildly successful. They enjoy men that are youthful, fit, with the same zest for life. Cougars are classy, confident women that already possess many of the finer things in life – but now want the young, hot guy to go with it.”

No teased hair and leopard print for these ladies, unless that’s the look they choose to rock.

On the Cougar Candy Store (a site dedicated to women of any age who are strong, sexy, smart and independent) President Janet Margolis offers this simple 10-question quiz to determine if you have what it takes to embody the Cougar attitude:

1.   Are you mature, independent and savvy?

2.   Are you opinionated, sassy and fun?

3.   Do you have a full fantasy life that you want to share with others?

4.   Are you open to relationships with younger men?

5.   Are you fun and enjoy humor of many different types?

6.   Do you love to travel, explore and learn new things?

7.   Are you getting sexier and more sensual as you age?

8.   Can you assert yourself without worrying what others will think of you?

9.   Are you happy whether in a relationship or not?

10. Do you know what you want and then go after it?

————

If that’s the barometer, then gosh, I think I might be a Cougar!

Or would I be a Puma?

Jeez, this is confusing!  🙂

What do you think of the cougar phenomenon?  Has it changed from it’s original concept or is it still boozy divorcees looking for toy boys?

Tales From The ((Dating)) Crypt

All those dating horror stories that become books and movies and urban legends have to come from somewhere, right?

Sure, a lot of Hollywood is made up, and we all know those things never happen in real life.

Except when they do.

Coming off the heels of Halloween I was told a story last week that would cause even the most fearless of single people to sleep with the lights on.  The story I am about to tell you is real, things like this happen in our little city of Portland.

A reader emailed me (yes, please, email me!!!) to tell me about the guy she had been seeing this summer.  Introduced by common interests and mutual acquaintances, Sarah* and Derek* were lucky in that they got to know each other as friends before jumping into any sort of relationship things.

Derek first approached Sarah after he had seen on her Facebook a lot of pictures from recent local shows.  An avid music lover himself, Derek took the opportunity to finally chat up Sarah and ask her to hit up a venue with him sometime.  Sarah had always thought Derek was kinda cute, and a very nice guy, so she was more than happy to agree to meet up with him.

They kept things on a friendly level for a bit, and then one night the friendship changed into something much more, as those things tend to do.

But Sarah was hesitant.  After suffering through a pretty drawn out and dramatic break-up, Derek was sometimes a little mysterious about his plans.  He seemed to have his schedule down to a perfect time-stamped science and was always out with friends, though Sarah never ran into him anywhere.  Plus he had this weird way of calling to ask if she wanted to do something on nights she swore she had told him she already had plans.

No More Clowning Around
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons – Averageman

Now Sarah is a pretty smart cookie, and she told him again and again at the beginning of their relationship that she loved being friends with him and they could totally just stay friends if he wanted to see other people.  She just didn’t want a casual relationship.  “Nothing to worry about,” he assured her.  “I’m exclusive with you.”

Then one weekend at a party (as it tends to happen) someone was talking to Sarah about a mutual friend’s new boyfriend.  They had hung out as a foursome a couple times and he seemed like a really great guy.  Since Sarah was so into the local music scene, maybe she’d know him.

As much at the metaphoric punch to the guy hurt, it somehow didn’t surprise Sarah to find out that her mutual friend’s new boyfriend was none other than HERboyfriend (as of the serious “relationship talk” two nights prior) Derek.

In a scene that I somehow envision playing out like the 90’s video “The Boy Is Mine” with Brandy and Monica, Sarah got in touch via her six degrees of separation with Derek’s other girlfriends (yes, you read that right…girlfriendssssssss) and planned a meeting to confront him.

Thinking he was coming over to hang out with Sarah, have a glass of wine and watch some Netflix Derek walked into her apartment expecting a night of cuddling and relaxation.  However upon seeing his deception manifest itself in 3-d form sitting around Sarah’s kitchen table, all Derek could do was stare at his feet and mindlessly pet Sarah’s dog.

I know, I know.  The abrupt and malicious confrontation seems a LITTLE harsh.  Especially for someone who is, in all other manners of speaking, a really nice businessman in downtown Portland who is just trying to mend a broken heart.  Who loves women (apparently a lot of them) and just can’t bring himself to limit his options to only one person so soon after his break-up.

But dude…really?!  All four of his “girlfriends” at different times had the same sneaking suspicion of Derek’s actions and tried to break things off.  At which point he offered more serious commitment and deeper levels of care and affection.

It’s a point of dating I’ll never understand.  If you want to date people casually THAT’S TOTALLY FINE!!! But have the common courtesy to let them know that is what you are doing.  And don’t lie about it.

Lying isn’t sexy.

Especially in Portland.  Seriously, everybody knows somebody here.  You can’t get away with stuff like you could in a much bigger city.

Eventually, you are just gonna get caught.  And I can’t guarantee that the grand reveal will be any less painful the Sarah and Derek’s.

How about you?  What Tales From The ((Dating)) Crypt do you have that are so crazy they should be made into a movie?

Names and details have been changed to protect the innocent…and the not-so-innocent...