SATC Talk: The Freak Show: When the Pickings Get Slim

So now we enter season two of the show and I must admit this season (along with season three) are my favorite seasons. This is episode three of the season and here we find the gals raising the age old question: Are all men freaks? Particularly men past their mid 30s. Essentially the women wonder if they are just getting the leftover troubled guys by their 30s.

(beware some cursing)

Women get the stigma that once we get in our 30s we are hardcore focused on getting married and birthing babies and are just desperate. However, men don’t get this stigma. The women all encounter guys that have a little something odd about them and Carrie becomes so paranoid about these guys that when she meets a nice dude she becomes the crazy one in her quest to find his crazy.

Here’s my theory. Once we hit our 30s and especially our mid 30s and have been single living on our own for a decade or so we become set in our ways and are less adaptable and willing to compromise. We develop quirks that no one really checked us on. That comes off as crazy. This is not a guy or gal thing. It’s a people thing.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are some freak shows out there. But I don’t think it correlates to age. The crazies have always been crazy. It’s just highlighted more in our 30s because the pickings ARE getting slim so the crazies start becoming more apparent. Post 30 singles are not some left behinds or the potluck dish no one wants to eat. Have you seen some of these ratchet shows? There is someone for everyone no matter the age.

But…I have encountered some hillbilly foolishness whilst dating in my 30s. I don’t like to embarrass folk in case they actually read these posts so I won’t point any fingers. Ok, well I’ll give you a quick list: I’ve gone out with a guy who was obsessive compulsive about cleaning to the point of inspection of my pad, a guy who got angry with me because I responded to his morning text with “morning” instead of a “good morning” and thought I was mean for that, the painfully awkward silent dude, the angry “all black women are-“ dude, the overly picky dude ( his woman must have perfect hair, perfect feet, and so forth), the vegan (haha, they crazy to me, just kidding, not really), the smelly dude, the biter (not good), the slobber (don’t ask), the suspicious acting dude (like if I call 911 on you would I be getting a reward for your arrest?). Sigh the list goes on. And it gets even crazier if I tell you the guys my friends have dated (guy who greets her at the door totally naked for the first date, man who already is in a relationship…with another man).

Yeah it gets crazier once we hit a certain age but we can’t get wrapped up in the idea that we are surrounded by foolishness because I’m pretty sure more foolishness will come our way (law of attraction and all). So, despite all the trouble I choose to stay positive and weed through it all. But yeah, sometime you got to bat a freak out the way to get to the good.

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My Top Baltimore Places to Sip

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Part four of my ode to Baltimore brings us to my favorite (or highly recommended) spots to grab a drink. Baltimore is a blue collar town but it has an array of places to sip and see , from fancy to divey, depending on your mood.

pubdog

The Brewer’s Art– In the artsy Mt. Vernon area, this was a favorite of mine. The upstairs is the upscale fancy side and the basement is the popular hipster divvy side. I was more a fan of the basement but loved the garlic fries of the upstairs.

Phaze 10– You like soul food? You like live jazz/neo-soul music? Check it out. It’s hidden away not too far from the Baltimore Symphony but well worth the trip for a down home, cool vibe.

Red Maple- I have had many a night here in my younger days. It’s trendy, sexy, and classy with a cool back patio. I fondly recall drinking many a French martini here.

Pub Dog– I am not a huge beer drinker at ALL. But if I had to drink a beer it’d be here. They have great flavors (like raspberry) and the prices are very right at this Federal Hill spot. Plus I love, love, love the pizza here. I would come back just for this place.

If I’m missing something please let me know. I’d love to add to my list when I go back for visits! Also check out my other lists for more great places to drank, eat and chill in Charm City!

SATC Talk: Oh Come All Ye Faithful: What if he doesn’t give you the title?

So this wraps up my favorite episodes from season one with the season finale episode 12. I really struggled with this one. When it first came out, I wasn’t watching HBO or the series (still in school) but I did watch the rerun years later so I think I was much wiser by then (man, I hope).  In this episode we see the Big and Carrie relationship come to a head (one of many).

He introduces her to his mother as a friend and it makes her wonder if they are really in a relationship like she thought.

Ugh, been there and it is so whack.  While I’m not a huge dating guide fan (which is the premise of my novel The Mission), I have read a plenty. Some make me scoff out loud. But I read Steve Harvey’s Think Like a Man Act Like a Lady and one thing stayed with me. A man must do the three Ps: Protect, Provide, Profess. I will focus on the Profess part. I’m no one’s secret, side chick or shame. If the guy I’m seeing can’t tell others that I am his girlfriend, woman, boo thang (I don’t care as long as its respectful and designates that I am The One) then I’m not with it. If you side step the talk about “are we in a relationship” then I am not here for that.

I despise the “I’m just having a good time with you” or “let’s not complicate matters with titles”. The older I get the crazier this sounds to me. And it really sounds crazy coming from a guy in his late 30s and up. Yes, I’m sure there are women out there who are fine with this and I’m comfortable not being one of them.

HOWEVER, what did make me squint my eyes at Carrie was the fact that she HAD to have this talk before their big romantic trip to Paris! Here is one thing I don’t like doing: forcing a guy to show you or tell you his feelings about you before he is ready. It never works. Tried and failed. You either won’t like what you hear (like Carrie) or what you hear may not be true but simply something he says to keep the peace. Perhaps on the trip Big would have come to the realization that she was his One and confessed at the top of the Effiel Tower! On his time.  And if not, she’d probably still have had an awesome time.

But she didn’t want to go on the trip without that knowledge. So there we end the season with her and her bags as she sends Big off on this romantic trip alone. While I applaud her for sticking to her guns, the travel junkie in me was like “girl, couldn’t you just hold tight and wait until after the trip?”. Sometimes having the title and having it at a time you think you should have gotten it is more important, I suppose.

My Top Baltimore Brunch Spots

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Type A Cosmo gal loves a good brunch (which for me is just an excuse to eat breakfast after 12 and drink alcohol before 5). And although Baltimore is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from what I call the brunch capital of the country (maybe even world?); it has a lot of good options on its own. So in my continued mini series on fun Baltimore spots I will highlight my favorite Baltimore brunch places!

courtesy of yelp

courtesy of yelp

Teavolve Café and Lounge– Yes I know I mentioned Teavolve, located in the Harbor East area, in another post but when you’re good, you’re good. And three words: Red Velvet Pancakes. I need say nothing else. But I guess I should mention the array of teas which is their thing. The vibe is hip and cool and really I haven’t had a bad meal from there yet.

Miss Shirley’s Cafe- It’s so good here they have two locations: Roland Park and the Inner Harbor area (and I’ve been to both and love them equally). Winner in the Best of Baltimore Magazine, this is a must if you come to Baltimore. The food is down home and I can’t recall not liking anything I’ve eaten there. The vibe is classy southern style. Fried Green Tomatoes were yummy, funky monkey bread was delish, waffles devine. I hear great things about their chicken and waffles. Of course these are popular spots in Baltimore so make reservations or come at an off time. I could go on so check it out!

Mama’s on the Half Shell – This is another local favorite. Come for brunch, dinner, happy hour. Come early because it can get packed. The crab cakes and oysters are awesome. The drinks are great. The atmosphere is casual and laid back but fun in this Canton area spot.

Papermoon– Eclectic is the word for this 24 hour dining spot. Any late night partying twenty something (or older) knows to come here after a night of dancing and if you want the kitschy feel of Baltimore you can get it here.

Café Hon – If you haven’t guessed, I like a quirky vibe and Baltimore has tons of that. Somewhere between southern charm and northern hipness (is that a word?), Baltimore is full of quirk and Café Hon exemplifies it. Complete with a full sized Elvis, this fun little spot in Hampden has tasty food, a fun vibe and that Bmore charm.

Other recommendations from friends: The Food Market, Mari Luna, Live! and Plates

SATC Talk : The Turtle and the Hare: Would you date a fixer upper or a man who won’t get married?

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This is episode 9 from the first season and we get quite a few issues in this episode (not going to talk about the Rabbit). Particularly we see Samantha “settle” for a guy that she finds less than desirable but whom she decides to makeover to make more suitable. This is not the Samantha I know but first season Samantha seemed less secure to me. The second issue is Carrie learning that Mr. Big does not want to get married again. Usually I try to stick to one theme from the episodes but this one had two that I can’t ignore. One, would you date a guy you are not attracted to and “settle” for him? Two, would you  “settle” for a guy who doesn’t want to get married if that is something you always wanted?

The Fixer Upper: Soo I’ve done this. More so in my twenties which goes against the idea that women do this out of some sort of desperation. I don’t think that’s always the case. Sometimes, like Samantha, we give a guy a shot becuase we like so many other things about him. I do believe women are less visual in that sense…to a degree. Maybe he isn’t too bad on the eyes and just needs sprucing up a bit. You’d be amazed what a good tailored outfit and a fresh cut/ or color/or beard can do to a guy. (have you seen early Calvin Harris compared to today’s Calvin Harris?)

The_Turtle_and_the_Hare

The key is that you have something to work with. There are limits, eventually Samantha couldn’t get past some things. There is something to be said of chemistry.

The no marriage guy: This recently happened on the season finale of Being Mary Jane. She was in it to win it and older guy (let’s call him the black Mr. Big played by the fine Gary Dourdan) told Mary Jane that he had no desire to marry or even cohabitat. I have encountered this with older men which always makes me weary of them. Sometimes they don’t want to be married again (maybe after a painful divorce) or want kids (maybe already having them).

I get angry when a guy ensnares you into a relationship without telling you this upfront. 9 times out of 10, women want to get married at some point. So the likihood that she will change her mind from not wanting marriage or kids just because she found a great love in you is not a sure thing.

One guy told me upon meeting me that he did not want more kids. He was all in for marriage but was through with having kids. I appriciated his quick honesty and we were just friends. There was no point in getting caught up if I know that children (or at least a child) are in my future.

I can’t think of any situation yet in my life where I’d want to continue to fully commit to a guy who does not want to get married or have children. Perhaps if I was much older (50s maybe) but here’s to hoping that is not an issue for me and I meet my mister before then!

Baltimore’s Best Patios for Dining and Drinking

Another post on my personal best of Baltimore. I’m sure some may not agree with my list which is fine, I’m looking for new spots to add anyway! This is just my list of places I know of from my time living there and still visiting or places my friends suggest.

Since its getting warmer one thing Type A gal likes is dining (and drinking) al fresco. Not only is the sun great for you but a bit of sunset and or people watching is a wonderful thing. So here is my list of places that I enjoy hanging out in the warm weather:

Miguelsmiguels

This is a hidden gem I just found out about in Silo Point (just past Locust Point) in downtown. I don’t know for sure but I think this area is pretty new as I don’t recall it when I lived in Bmore which was about 5-6 years ago. Miguels is a little hard to find but that hasn’t hurt business. The happy hour drink prices are just ok ($1 off) but the food prices are good (and the food, Mexican style- is yummy). The crowd is diverse and the patio area overlooks the water. Parking in the garage is free! They also have a much cheaper happy hour on certain days like Wednesday and Sunday (love a good weekend happy hour).

Teavolve–  I love this place at any time. Located in the Harbor East/Fells point section, it’s great for brunch, happy hour,  and dinner. It’s mostly an indoor spot but there are tables outside that are great for chilling and drinking the flavorful sangria and on certain nights (in doors) they have a DJ or band.

Ouzo Bayouza

While I’m not a huge Greek food fan, I do love the class of this place. Located in Harbor East the feel is airy, classy and hip. It over looks the water and is a nice option for something a little fancy.

City Café– This was one of my go to spots when I lived in Mt. Vernon. Hip, good food (great desserts). It’s more of a casual spot and has two sides, the sit down dining side and the place your order/get your own seat side. I have gone for both experiences but when I think of this place I think of dining on the more casual side for brunch, sipping a mimosa and people watching. Aww the life.

Little Havanalittle havana

An old staple in the Locust Point/Federal Hill area, it was a fun spot when I used to go in my younger years.  I’ve been for happy hour and brunch. It can get packed so coming at an off time might be best or getting their early.  The price is right ($4 for a mimosa) and I liked the Cuban inspired food. Nice outside view of the water if you can get a seat!

Bond Street Socialbond street

Popular spot  (especially for the younger crowd) over looking the water in Fells Point. Hip and trendy. Great outdoor seating for people and water watching.

Honorable mention-  The Boathouse – http://www.boathousecanton.com/

There are tons others that I am overlooking so please share!

SATC Talk: The Power of Female Sex: Do We Need To Be Sexy To Get Mr. Right?

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Do you recall Season 1, Episode 5 where Carrie goes out and meets a guy from her “euro trash” friend. She and the French guy hook up after a day and night of dating and he leaves $1000 on her beside table much to her horror (after all this wasn’t just a good time, she was in to him)? Has that ever happened to you? Yeah me either (and if it did, would I tell? It is very embarrassing and morally questionable, no?). But it got me thinking about how we women get attention when we are out and about at night.

the-power-of-female-sex-picture

As I’ve mentioned before, I live in a city chock full o women. For Type A Cosmo girl this makes it a tough dating environment. And D.C. has a wealth of pretty, smart, successful girls. As one guy rudely told me, I am a dime a dozen (but my mama said I was special) so I need to bring something extra like more sex appeal. So what do I lead with?

In a smart, political town like this even the nerds want the best of the arm candy. I can engage you like Oprah and still walk away empty handed. So I’ve been told by guys that I need to dress a little sexier. Wear my hair straight. Smile more, giggle more. Light up the room when I appear. Fine, get me a stylist, hairdresser and professional lighting. And if I can’t do all that, just be a size 2.

Seriously, is that what I went to school for? Forget all the personality that I have, let’s break it down to the basics and show some leg and cleavage and pop on that Ms. America smile while you’re at it.

I feel pretty good about myself and struggle with the idea that there isn’t a great guy for me that wouldn’t think I was the bees knees (who came up with that saying? Bees have no knees and if they did why would anyone think they were great).

Do I have to succumb to the idea that this area is stuck on pretentiousness and superficiality or should I fight the proverbial machine and be who I am? The best me who has a lot to offer. After all if I’m spending my time competing to be something I’m not, how fun is that? And how fun is it being with someone who simply wanted arm candy instead of a real mate.

Sure I might not get all the attention in the bar but is that all that’s needed to get the type of relationship we truly want? Trying to compete with the local Beyoncé lookalike is of no interest to me. Instead I say go out and be the best, happiest you. In return you’ll attract what you really want. It’s not about the number but the quality. Value who you are as the best thing since sliced bread and others will see that. Sure, being sexy could pay off literally like it did Carrie but that’s not the kind of pay off I’m looking for.

Best Baltimore Roof Top Bars

It’s warm out and what better time to enjoy the outdoors than now! I am originally from Baltimore and wanted to do a short ode to my hometown by highlighting some of the best spots. Up now, best rooftop bars:

Four Seasons/Splash pool bar– very sexy sophisticated atmosphere, http://www.fourseasons.com/baltimore/dining/restaurants/splash_
From the site

From the site

Nicks Fish House– great views over looking the Potomac River, great seafood, casual fun spot, you can arrive by car or boat which is a cool option, http://nicksfishhouse.com/
From the site

From the site

 
Woody’s Rum Bar– fun casual atmosphere in Fells Point above an Irish Bar (across from the old Homicide film building location), good drinks http://www.woodysrumbar.com/
From yelp reviewer

From yelp reviewer

The Olive Room– good food, nice atmosphere, Woody Harrelson is co-owner of this dinning establishment http://www.oliveroom.com/,
from yelp reviewer

from yelp reviewer

Am I missing anything from this list? Share! Up next, best bar patio spots

SATC Talk: Bay of Married Pigs: Can Single Women and Married Women Be Friends?

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This is the third episode of the first season and is actually a question I wonder about. Now, I’m not talking about friends you already have who get married or become single. I’m talking about attracting new friends who are married if you are a single woman. And I mean meaningful friendships.

In this episode, Carrie has an awkward encounter with a friends husband while staying with them at their beach house. Zach Morris time out (yes I dated myself): What couple invites a single woman on vacation with them? Like even if my sister (my bestie) invited me out with her and her man on a fabulous destination: boo, I’ll pass unless you are inviting another (hot) eligible bachelor.

Ok, back to the regularly scheduled program. Also in this episode, Miranda’s boss tries to hook her up. She didn’t ask for help but there is obvious a percieved problem with seeing this single woman. And they decide that she must be a lesbian because that’s who they hook her up with.

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So I’ve met a few attached women in my life and, honestly, unless they are older and are more of a mentor to me, I really don’t have the same type of close friendships that I have with my single gals. This got me wondering why and I can only think of these “obstacles” to justify why I don’t make new married friends:

1) I feel judged- Like Miranda’s boss, do these married people (especially ones married for a long time) think something is wrong with me (I discuss this also in my novel, The Mission). This might just be a onesided view in my own head.

2) They do different things- I go out with the girls for happy hour. Married friends have date night or if they have kids, happy hour is a rare event.

3) I go more places with my single friends- married friends go places with their spouses so I end up just having single friends because they are more available to do things

4) I’m slightly paranoid and think my married friends are going back to their families and dishing all my dirt. Outside of SATC (where Charlotte shares WAY too much of her and Trey’s personal business with her gals), my married friends don’t spill their marital tea. And hey, I get it and don’t fault them for that. But us single girls share. That’s how we bond. But if that sharing is one sided, where does the bond come from especially for a new friend.

5) I don’t want you thinking I want your man. Like in this episode, I don’t want a situation where you could possibly feel threatened or uncomfortable due to my presence. Other people’s husbands make me uncomfortable. Maybe I watch too much TV. I’ll even stop thinking a celebrity is hot when he gets married. (Like his wife would ever be threatened by my crush). I don’t want no problems.

So here are just some of my hang ups to developinng new friendships with married women. I guess I feel a certain solidarity for the single gal since I am one. But on a deep level none of this should hinder the ability to develop new friends no matter what their status.