SATC Talk: Where There’s Smoke: Searching for Mr. Right…or Nah?

Ok if I had to pick one season that I adore from this series, this would be it (next would be season five even though it was crazy short due to SJP’s pregnancy). We enter season three with the gals all single, Big now dating soon to be engaged to a twenty something. The ladies party all night and the hung over Charlotte delivers her famous mini statement that every single woman in her late 20s to 40s has probably felt and loosely inspired me to write my book The Mission.

So there are other things that happen in this episode but I’m picking out Charlotte’s theme. She proceeds to start an aggressive search for Mr. Right. Soliciting help from other friends if they know anyone and so forth. They (whoever “they” are) say you always find him/her when you aren’t looking. But, yeah, I’m not so sure. I mean, yeah, “good things come to those who wait” but “God helps those who help themselves”. And isn’t the latter the theme that society seems to follow? You want a good job? Go to school, do good work. You want to lose weight? Eat better and workout. You want to travel or buy a house? Save up your money. You want a good relationship?…wait Er, that isn’t the motto!

So we have dating sites, matchmakers, dating books, wingmans etc. We recognize that that special someone isn’t necessarily going to pop up at your door or run into you at the grocery store. Sure they can but just how long are we willing to wait and do nothing?

 As I get older I easily see the frustration women of all races and backgrounds can have with dating, especially in a town like DC. Sometimes it feels like we are on a never ending game of The Bachelor. We are all beautiful, talented, successful, will we get the rose? Ugh, so not with it. I’m on that Generation X/Millennial line so, yes, I like to be rewarded and get instant gratification. Dating in DC is the total opposite of all that. I feel special and it can be pretty frustrating when I don’t find that others treat me like I’m the pretty, pretty princess (ok not exactly like that but you get what I’m saying).

So there are times where we (men and women) have to take matters into our own hands and at least make a little attempt to seek out love. If I can look for a parking space for thirty minutes in the U st area on a Friday night I sure as heck can swipe right or left on Tinder. Baby steps, but steps at the least.

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Decoding Man Part One

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I had a guy friend read my blog once and he told me that this blog comes from a purely female perspective. Yeah, I get that, I’m female. When I blog on the ideas of dating (although I talk about other things as well: travel, friendship, urban living) it stems from a female mind who wrote a fictional romantic comedy novel about dating (The Mission) and watches hours of old Sex and the City reruns. I’ve also watched a ton of dating guru shows and been to a couple of workshops (I am a research type A person).

So when said male friend told me it could use a male perspective I was all for that. I am still VERY open to getting male guest bloggers so email/inbox/direct message me if you are willing and able. However, in the meantime I decided to seek out some guys and ask some questions that darn near every gal I know has asked at some point in her dating life. From my female perspective and having dated for many years now, I can assume the answer to these questions I posed my friends simply is: he’s just not that into you.

But is that all? What does that mean if we make these assumptions? If we are assuming correctly, what’s the female takeaway? What do these responses say about the state of dating today and how we should navigate in the relationship world?

So here are the questions that some males were kind enough to answer. I will not share their identity. Some are single, some are married, some are dads, some are white collar, some are blue collar, some are in the city, some are in the suburbs, they are early millennial/ late generation x (in their 30s), some are more “flirtatious” than others. I’ll break this up over a couple of post so that this doesn’t read like a thesis paper. Here are the first few questions and a summary of their responses with my takeaway:

  1. You call/text back hours (or even a day) later because your phone died (or you left it at home). Is that for real?  Ok, sometimes a guy doesn’t hear the text or his phone really did die or he left it at work. But…it’s most often because they just don’t feel like talking to you (for many different reasons- they aren’t that into you, they might just be lazy and not want to be bothered by anyone outside of their mama/papa/child) or they are juggling other women and can’t be that attentive to one person.

The reality is, I think we women deep down know the difference between when a guy has left his phone and when he is just not that pressed to respond to you, whether we want to admit it or not (plus I’m sure some of us have done the same). Sure, you might give the first time it happens the benefit especially if this wasn’t something the guy was doing in the beginning. But if it starts off like that then you can assume the interest is not strong.

2. Why does he continue to text/call but doesn’t make plans to see you again?  He has a remote interest but just isn’t sure (perhaps there is another girl (or multiple women or a wife) he is juggling. Basically, the connection isn’t strong enough that you hold his undivided attention. This doesn’t mean things can’t change but it also means that he simply just wants a possible “cuddy buddy” and keeps you at not too great a distance to keep that door open. Or he could be blowing you off.

Are you willing to wait for who knows how long to determine whether it’s just a guy who is taking things super slow or rather one who has someone else? I think one’s patience on this kind of thing all depends on what we are ultimately looking for. If I’m ready to settle down and want something serious sooner rather than later, then putting up with a text buddy/pen pal type of situation seems like bit of a waste of time. That and my cat fish o meter starts going off if we’ve never met in person.

 3. Why is he late but doesn’t tell you that he is running late? Stopping to tell you he’s late will just make him later (assuming he doesn’t have blue tooth), he just doesn’t care (because he’d call if he was running late for work), or he’s afraid of upsetting you and rather ask for forgiveness later.

His lateness is just a sign of things to come and he will continue to be this way if you put up with it. Sure, everyone runs a little late every now and then but if you express that you don’t appriciate the lack of heads up and he still does it, it just might be his thing and it’s not going to change. Some people are just late people.

4. Why is he looking to make just new friends on a dating site? He’s looking for a cuddy buddy

This is one I think we already knew the answer to but just want confirmation. Most guys aren’t going to come right out and say they are just looking for someone to “hook up” with so saying they are looking for friends seems the nicer way to go. If they are really looking for friends they would join social sports or Meet Up.

Morale of part one, when in doubt, trust your gut. Guy behavior may seem like a mystery to us but I think they are more straight forward than we think and it’s us getting in our own heads that makes us ignore the reality of the dating situation. When a guy really likes us, we will feel it. No questions.

SATC Talk: Games People Play: Should We Go to Therapy for our Dating Issues?

I love the concept of this episode (Season 2 episode 13). Carrie has just broken up with Big for the second time and she is using her friends as a way to vent (and vent and vent) and get through her feelings. Problem is, they’re a little bit tired of hearing about him. So they recommend she see a psychologist.

I’ve heard of couples counseling for people married, engaged, divorced even dating but to see a psychologist to help you through a breakup? It’s actually a concept that is not that unique. My friends and I will gripe about a guy. It’s what we do. But sometimes a subject can be too heavy for us to handle. I am no Oprah, Iyana or Phil. I don’t think I can help a friend reach a breakthrough or “ahh-haa” moment. Sometimes you just need to talk to a professional to get some clarity.

We now have life coaches and even dating coaches because we recognize that sometimes people need help reaching their own personal self fulfilment. I don’t think anything is wrong with it as long as it’s helpful and not a bunch of clichés (which a future episode gets into and I will discuss).

Also your friends might not tell you the whole truth for fear of hurting your feelings. We women can sometimes be notorious for griping without really wanting a solution. And I am one of those women. Nothing pisses me off more than venting to a friend and having them respond in a clinical (albeit logical) way. Sometimes I want to complain with no fix or solution. I just want to get out my feelings through the act of blowing hot air.

But if the venting becomes repetitive and I see that a friend is really hurting long term then I think I would suggest counseling. It doesn’t mean I think the friend is wrong or unbalanced. It just means that I don’t think I’m helping and I don’t think she’s moving on for the better. If a professional can stop a woman from dating bad boys, get over a commitment phobia or trust issues, why not get the help? And, hey, no one need know!

SATC Talk: The Man, The Myth…: Dating Urban Legends

Episode 8 of season 2 is another favorite, particularly because it focuses on the idea of dating urban myths. You’ve know them, a friend of a friend finds true love in ways we are told you really shouldn’t expect it. You don’t know this friend twice removed so you can’t verify it’s truth but, well, we still hold out a little hope for the sake of positive thinking. Here are some of my top dating urban myths:

  • Making a relationship out of a one night stand: This is one of the themes in this episode. Miranda hooks up with Steve the bartender and initially just brushes him off as a one night stand. But good ole Steve wants more. This scene always gets the girlie girl in me.

The cynic in me won’t hold my breath that this actually happens but the romantic in me thinks this is just so sweet.

  • Marriage after knowing someone less than a year: In our society we’ve all heard of the couple who knew each other a couple of months (or less) who fall madly in love and get married and stay that way for years and years. Sure it happens but normally we give side eyes to each other if we hear about a couple getting married after knowing each other less than a year. However, as a child of parents who were married darn near 20 years after knowing each other like six months, I’m a little open minded here.
  • A guy changing his ways for you: In the episode we see Big come through and join Carrie and the gals just as they were going to dismiss him for being a no show (as shown in the clip above). It was one of the last episodes, until the finale, that I like Big. Sadly, this has yet to happen to me or anyone that I know of. Now I’m not talking about getting a guy to pick up his socks off the floor. I’m talking about having a guy change a personality trait or a relationship habit to encourage and foster the relationship. Especially an older, set in his ways, guy. I think we women always have hope that if a guy is ready to settle down and really loves us that this will happen. It’s the hope that gets us to stick around even in bad situations. I feel we should have a balance. Express our desire for this “habit” to change but give ourselves an out if it doesn’t. Because, well, we can’t change a man (or woman). They have to want to change on their own.
  • Meeting the love of your life online: About ten years ago I think if we were dating online we’d want to keep it hush hush. Sure we knew by then that not everyone on line was from To Catch a Predator or the headline behind that Saturday night Lifetime movie. However, it still felt a little, well, desperate. Now in the age of technology and our slow domination by computers (did I say that out loud, sorry too much Matrix), everything online is the way to go. You can shop, order food, make friends, do a workout, conduct a meeting and yes, find a date online. But is it still the stuff of legends to find “the one” on line? I dare say, nope! I know quite a few people who have met some husbands and had significant relationships with people they met online. I’m not one of them but since I know this to be true, I’m open to the possibility. Just meet them as soon as possible (no Catfish please).
  • Side chicks wining. Lookahere (she says in her southern accent), you are a sad Love and Hiphop character if you think the man will leave his wife for you or that he will treat you better than he did his wife if does he does leave her. For the most part you will not find happily ever after being his mistress/side chick.

Do you know of any dating urban legends or have a story of an urban legend coming true?

Where Have All the Theme Songs Gone?

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I just finished binge watching The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and that dang theme song is in my head and won’t leave. So that got me to thinking, where have all the theme songs (or melodies) gone? Yes, it saves time to go straight to the show but there is something to having a good intro that makes a show memorable and brings back a certain nostalgia long after a show has ended.

So for memories sake here are my all-time favorite TV theme intros (not all with lyrics) in no order:

 Good Times– Although this show came out before my time reruns are a great thing because this show is now part of my growing up culture.

Sex and the City (no words)- I heart this show much to the annoyance of practically any guy I’ve dated. So when I hear this theme music I’m already searching for my Carrie pink Tutu (don’t worry, I don’t have one).

 

Fresh Prince of Bel Air – We all know the lyrics to this song and it is one of the few raps I can do all the way through.

 

Facts of Life– Another show that I caught mostly in its later years and rerun status but it is still a heavy part of my growing up. Such a corny and cute show.

 

Golden Girls- I will still watch this all day, every day. The song is so cute (and my sister’s class had to sing it at their kindergarten graduation hehe)

 

Living Single– In a 90s kind of world I’m glad I got my girls. I still say “true blue, we tight like glue”.

 

In Living Color- Like Heavy D said, take it from me it’s alright to be In Living Color.  I think I actually danced whenever this came on. Still kinda sorta want to be a Fly Girl.

 

Rosanne (no words)- I loved me some Rosanne and her intros. Although in retrospect her intro did sound a bit like a run down truck stop strip club.

 

Jem and the Holograms- If I had to choose only one cartoon theme song (and lucky I don’t) this one is my all-time favorite. I will not acknowledge the remake.

 Sponge Bob Square Pants– Yes, I’m well aware that I was at least a teen or even in my twenties when this cartoon first came out but the darn theme is so catchy!

 

Different World- The first season theme song is not as good but when you got Aretha in on the song I loved it and even the final season Boys II Men version is on point.

 

Dawson’s Creek– Poor Paula Cole, not so sure she envisioned this teen show when she sang this song but hey, now it will forever be in my mind.

 

Married With Children – Love how this Frank Sinatra song just ended midway, good indicator of how the show was anything but sweet.

 

Fraggle Rock- I’m sure the makers might have been on something when they came up with this show but I was a kid and I loved it.

 

Saved by the Bell– C’mon, if you were under the age of 18 when this show came out you know this theme song.

 

The Jeffersons– Ya know, I don’t remember much about this show. I know I watched it in syndication but darn if I don’t know this theme song like it just came out on the radio.

 

Tiny Toon Adventures – Aww, childhood memories…

 

Alvin and the Chipmunks– I LOVED all things Alvin and the Chipmunks growing up (but I’m side eyeing the live action movies).

 

Ducktales- The best early 90s era theme music for a cartoon. You can do a mean Carlton dance to this one. I’m not saying I was doing that but…

 

Now I know I left MANY off but I just had to narrow it down to shows I loved watching back in the day although there were themes songs I liked from shows I really didn’t watch (Cheers anyone?). There are more shows I loved but I could be here all day reminiscing on my childhood TV (especially the cartoon songs and yes I know I left Friends off) so I will step away and leave these here. Any TV songs that bring back memories for you?

SATC Talk: Double Episode, They Shoot Single People, Don’t They? and Four Women and a Funeral

I combined episodes 4 and 5 because they present a common theme that really makes a gal think about single life post thirty. And it ain’t pretty. Every side has its ups and down. Marriage can be rough. Kids can be tough.

But these episodes doesn’t highlight all that. It gives us the ugly side of single life. Charlotte feels a little desperate and rethinks dating a guy friend she really has nothing in common with. Samantha allows herself (so unlike the Samantha we see in later seasons) to get quickly caught up in a man who is the “we” guy. You know the type, who upon your first date ensnares you with future plans together (we should go to this movie or we should go on this trip). You think you automatically got him because if the guy is thinking in “we” terms he must really like you. I have come to realize (ok I learned in a psych class back in college) that men become immediately into it ( it being love, lust, like) but then can fizzle off just as quickly. Women are the opposite usually and will take a little time to get into it and take their time falling off. Samantha’s guy ends up ditching her much to her tearfull sadness.

However the most memorable scene is in episode 5 where Miranda gets freaked out, after buying a house as a single person that belonged to a previous single owner who died there. She chokes on her food in her new home and has no one to give her the Heimlich maneuver (she ends up ramming against the counter to spit the food out). She calls Carrie crying that she could have died and no one would know except her cat who would have ended up eating her (she ends up locking her cat out of her room for a while).

After seeing that episode I remember to eat my food very slowly and in small bites. I could literally be in that same situation. If there is nothing that a single person fears it’s the idea of dying alone. If I get sick, I’m pretty much on my own. Sometimes that just sucks. But it also forces you to be more independent and do-it-yourself.

Another memorable moment in episode 4 is when Carrie goes out for a night of partying before she has a photo shoot about being over 30, single and fabulous. Needless to say waking up with a hangover doesn’t look so pretty as it did in our twenties. You need your B12, under eye roller, moisturizer/hydration. Carrie had none of that and when she was at her shoot the camera was going while she was getting dolled up. That photo of pre done up/hangover Carrie would become the cover of the magazine entitled “Single and Fabulous?”. Ouch.

single

So we don’t bounce back in the morning as quickly as we used to which is reason number 498 why I don’t typically hang until the wee hours of the morning. Nothing makes a person feel less fabulous being single than aging. Not that married people go into their middle ages and twilight years skipping and hopping and swinging hands but its a lot easier pill to swallow when you have a partner to go with.

But not to end on a downer, single life has its positives: doing what you want when you want (“I’m going out for drinks be back at 12, don’t wait up for me” she tells no one), having your own peaceful space to do with as you please (face mask, hair in rollers and sometimes prickly legs needing a shave), more money to spend on things you want to do and on self that you don’t have to share (outside of charity- you gotta give to charity!).

The great thing about this show was that it highlighted the ups and downs. We envied their fun and sympathized with their fears. Just like in real life.

My Top Places to Shop in Baltimore

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And now we enter my final (for now) ode to Baltimore with SHOPPING! Ah, yes, nothing makes a Type A girl more cosmo than the love of shopping. In fact, since leaving Baltimore I miss my downtown shopping experiences. Don’t sleep on good ole Bmore, we have a great arts scene in all respects. Don’t believe me?  Check out the yearly Artscape.

But my favorite art (other than writing of course) is clothing design (well, looking at it). And I love a good boutique. I have fond memories of these spots and have been recommended several. Check them out if you are a shopping diva like moi.

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Farmers market and Bazaar- K, so I know this is not a store but seriously ya’ll (she says in her southern drawl), this is the best farmer’s market in all respects. But speaking only to the clothing and accessories side- it’s awesome. I’ve gotten many a great find from here and miss my lazy Sunday mornings of walking over here from my Mt. Vernon pad to get food, jewelry and clothes.

Vintage- Baltimore is a quirky, artistic town (and many a TV show and movie has been filmed here) so of course the vintage fashion is something to check out. Check these second time around stores out- The Zone (Mt. Vernon), Killer Trash (Fells Point), and Damsel in Designer (Canton)

Hip- I love a good girlie boutique and can recommend these places for trendy, fun fashion- Party Dress Boutique (Fells Point), Katwalk- (Fells Point and my personal all time favorite boutique in Baltimore) , Cloud 9 (many spots in Baltimore including Canton), Lovelace (Downtown), and poppy and stella (Fells Point)

Unique- If you are looking for something more exclusive or with a twist check out- Exclusively Yours (Mt. Vernon) K Stanton boutique (Hampden- for the curvy ladies),and Ma Petite Shoe– (Hampden- chocolate, wine, desserts and shoes! oh my!)

And there is so much more.  Any shops I’m missing that you’d recommend?