Posts Tagged ‘Till Death Do Us Part: Not as long as it used to be’
The Big RED Beauty Pageant…
Legend has it that… “Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.”
Everyone knows that Valentine’s Day is the biggest chocolate-teddy-bear-lingerie conspiracy on the planet (unless you’re actually in a relationship, in which case, IT ROCKS-HELLO!!!!!). SO, why do we set aside an entire day to celebrate the lost art of actually loving someone? Well…maybe…. it’s because in the land of LA power couples, celebrity 48-hour marriages, happy-ending massage parlors, match.com, baby momma drama, dead-beat dads and 5-minute speed dating, it’s kinda nice to take a day to acknowledge simple, true, romanticized, story-book, elusive, slash-your-tires-if-you-cheat-on me, psychotic ex-girlfriend, by-any-means-necessary, good old fashioned, LOVE.
Now, you may be asking yourself “How does one celebrate the Valentine’s Day in the city of Angels (and Desperate Hip-Hop Basketball Housewives)?” Well it’s simple…think of Valentine’s Day in Los Angeles like a BIG RED beauty Pageant. Women get to parade around town all dressed up in their bestest date-night dress, make dinner reservations and with significant other firmly in tote, say the world, “Yes world, I’m PRETTY and this man’s willingness to spend 3 times the usual cost on dinner tonight proves that.” Well, maybe not specifically, but you get the picture.
For starters let’s examine the wonderful phenomenon of women’s lingerie…while everyday is Valentine’s Day in Victoria’s Secret where the red and pink shopping bags inform everyone in my office that I am indeed intimate, it seems as though on V-Day, lingerie gets just a tad more provocative (if you can imagine). And let us not forget, the shower gel, lotion and glitter body spray usually reserved for only the classiest of pole dancers. Now that we’ve got the after-dinner fantasy romp covered, that is the end of the story because all these things ultimately lead up to the after dinner fantasy romp. So let us raise a toast and infuse our lives with one extra day of bikini waxes, Brazilian blowouts and beautification in honor of celebrating the thing we gals strive to attain; good old-fashioned, lovely, lovely, LOVE.
Working Girl Swag in LA…
Finding a great job in Los Angeles is a lot like finding a great man. Ideally, you want to land at a great company with a good solid history, some basic benefits and the biggest payoff of all; long-term stability. Should you be lucky enough to find such a man, oops I mean job, you should hold on to it, appreciate it, and invest your time in truly becoming a part of that company’s vision. All too often we hop from job to job to find that perfect balance of great pay and awesome colleagues. When we take the time to research these companies we should be looking a lot deeper than just salary and brand. Sometimes a smaller company, off the beaten path of corporation, can provide a much more rewarding work experience than a major conglomerate brand where you could easily get lost in the machine.
The same theory applies to dating. Sometimes the guy with the shiny car and the assumed big salary proves to be a horrible experience. You may find yourself drowned out by the chick inventory residing in his iPhone or, even worse, an enormous all consuming ego. The less flashy guy, with the nerdiest collection of Star Wars trilogy swag you’ve ever seen, can turn out to be just quirky enough to be oddly refreshing in a montage of man mediocrity.
Regardless of whether you’re looking for a man or a job, one thing that’s for certain is that you will fail to land either if you’re not on your A-Game. Quiet as it’s kept most employers want the best candidates who are savvy enough to stay on top of their appearance. Even the most qualified candidates fall victim to the clunky black loafer, a fashion no-no in the corporate world of sexy pencil skirts and Prada pumps. After all, getting in the door is 90 percent of the hustle; the other 10 percent resides in your ability to prove that you’re sharp enough to hold some staying power. A job interview is a first date, except with a company instead of a man. Looks, conversation, listening skills, engaging gestures that let the speaker know that they are not only being heard but that their words are actually landing somewhere on your brain are all qualities that you must exhibit if you’re going seal the deal on the man of your dreams, oops I mean job of your dreams!
So remember, always look your best, let your appearance evolve with the times and choose attire that you are comfortable enough to feel empowered in. There’s nothing sexier than a great fitting suit that accentuates your curves, at the same time letting the world know you came to bring “the business.” Head out into the world with confidence and get your LA Working girl swag on!
One Day it will all Make Sense…
Romantic epiphanies typically happen on the big screen. We’ve all seen the story, a girl sits on the couch eating a bowl of cereal, watching TV, pondering life, and then a commercial comes on. Suddenly she realizes that the man of her dreams has been delivering her mail for the last two years. How perfect, the man who has been consistent through rain, sleet, and snow is actually “The One.” What’s even better is that she never knew he felt the same way. Yeah, it totally happens like that in real life (NOT)!!! It has probably never, in the history of dating, happened like that. So maybe you don’t get the sign from above, the voice from within or the magical commercial on TV but one day something beyond the realm of basic understanding does click. One day you will realize that the cool, elusive, emotionally unavailable guy that you’ve planned your entire fantasy future with is NOT “The One.” All of a sudden your expectations shift and these characteristics are no longer attractive to you. The universe aligns and you understand why all the “nice guys” are MARRIED and all the A-holes are driving nice cars or trying desperately to buy one.
The moment you decide to start taking yourself seriously and begin placing real-time deadlines on the acquisition of the things you hold most dear (be it marriage, kids, or career) is the moment you begin to see what a time suck the wrong guy actually is. All the time and energy spent waiting for Mr. Wrong to morph into Mr. Perfect coupled with the “learning experience” of the imminent collapse of such relationships could be better spent on much more productive activities such as washing your hair, or stockpiling emergency earthquake items. What I’m saying is, time spent doing absolutely anything else would be more productive than dating the wrong guy. Luckily the universe doesn’t typically hold bad dating decisions against you. Luckily you can make oodles of noodle head dating decisions in your twenties so that once your thirties approach you already mean business, the business of serious inquiries only.
I know this concept seems like a bit of a ruse but trust and believe that your first instinct is 99.8% correct. If there’s a void of trust or in your understanding of how someone feels about you, be accountable for the fact that you’ve always known and somehow settled for this behavior (whether on purpose or by accident). Approach your future relationships as you would a business deal. Look at the presentation, read through the background and figure out if it’s best to move forward. Make a 2-5 year plan of where you see your life going romantically and revisit that plan often, after all it is YOUR plan. Don’t leave everything to chance and horoscopes. Be present and the rest will start to fall into place.
A Lady Never Tells: But a Groupie Just Might…
Once in while, LAG feels the need to make a public service announcement. So, today’s topic boys and girls is “The LA Groupie.” If the LA dating scene is known for nothing else, it should be known for its plethora of beautiful gold-diggers, also known as “groupies.” What people fail to realize about LA groupies is the magnitude to which they exist, so much so, that an entire subculture of young women groomed for groupiedom has emerged. There are TV shows, books, dating sites, and clothing stores that actually cater to the LA groupie. Heck, even entire families have publically embraced and exploited the groupie subculture, thus creating the very controversial “groupie nepotism.” You’ve seen them! They’re the ones dressed for the nightclub at basketball games, the ones standing in the front of every line at every club with a celebrity headliner, they seem to know everyone from the promoter to the bouncer to the bartender on a first name basis.
Now, Wikipedia defines the groupie as “A person who seeks emotional and sexual intimacy with some form of CELEBRITY. “Groupie” was derived from the word group, in reference to a musical group, given that the groupie phenomenon emerged from popular music groups of the 50’s and 60’s. However, the contemporary groupie is about seeking financial security and notoriety for her celebrity conquests. Today’s groupie isn’t about the mere rush and excitement of sleeping with a celeb, oh no, she means business. And, why not? Being a groupie is BIG BUSINESS!! We’ve all heard the tall tale of the video vixen turned millionaire for merely publishing the names and details of everyone she gave an “oral exam” to, industry wide. And, certainly you’re no stranger to the Celebrity-Wife reality shows where almost none of the women are actually “wives.” Don’t hate, they’re still getting a check, seemingly out of thin air at that. Granted, these women usually only get 5 minutes of fame (1/3 of the 15 minutes that real celebs get) but it does offer the smart ones a chance at some real opportunities for monetization. Sadly, few take advantage of such opportunities because few are actually smart enough to do so. You see, what drives a groupie isn’t her educated business savvy as much as her savvy for played out monogram bags and red bottom shoes that she only hears about and sees in music videos (I digress).
Now, given that LA is host to so many different types of celebrities, (movie stars, rock stars, rap stars, basketball players, football players, producers, directors, reality show stars, etc., etc.) you can only imagine the various strains of groupie that follow. Some of them may even be lurking amongst your own social circles, right under your nose. To that end, I’ve created an efficient and classifiable way to identify the LA groupie. NOTE: there are several hybrids of the categories outlined below but I felt it necessary to start with the basics, the canonical staples if you will, of the Groupie kingdom.
First off we have the “Veteran Groupie”: The Veteran groupie is the saddest groupie of them all, primarily because she is old and no one told her that her days were numbered 5 years prior. She’s at the club regularly, usually with a crew 7-10 years younger so that she can blend in appropriately. The veteran groupie has a fierce body. In fact, one only knows that she is of a more mature age when they get above her neckline. There you’ll find the over-compensated make-up that only a cougar or a clown could appreciate. However, the Veteran Groupie does pave the way for the Green Groupie (refer to the description below) also known as “Baby Groupies.” For what is a student without its teacher?
Next, we have the “Green Groupie”: Contrary to her title, the Green Groupie is not about world conservation and recycling. The Green Groupie is fertile ground, impressed by anyone on TV whether they’re in a commercial or a full feature film. The Green Groupie’s innocence is her biggest draw. Regular guys like her because they can introduce her to their friends. She technically still has girlfriend potential given that she is relatively undiscovered. Celebrity guys like her because their celebrity friends have yet to add her to their celebrity to-do list. Either way, she’s kinda doomed from the start.
Lastly, we have the “Groupie By Association”: The Groupie By Association hangs out with groupies from time to time but only long enough to be able to disengage from any rumors that could peg her as a groupie. Make no mistake! If it walks like a duck, puts on heels like a duck, and finds herself at Jamie Foxx’s house at 2am like a duck. It’s A DUCK!!! The Groupie by Association is my personal favorite because she’s clever enough to keep a day job and often vacillates between the average guy and the 2nd tier celebrity entourage guy. Either way she’s not winning, yet she presses on…
Honestly, I’m not clowning; I don’t knock anyone’s hustle. Seriously, we’ve all got a little groupie in us, gotten excited when our favorite singer or actor hit the stage. For example, one might say that I’m a Barack Obama groupie, a Cornell West groupie, or a Michael Eric Dyson groupie versus a Lil Wayne groupie, a Kanye West groupie or a Kobe Bryant groupie. Is there a distinction to be made? Maybe not, but I’ll leave it at that…
In LA, every woman revels in the glorious victory of the FREE DRINK. The free drink is social-scene Darwinism at its finest, the ultimate badge of honor for “Survival of the Prettiest.” The free drink not only validates a woman’s efforts in hair, clothing, and make-up selection, it also sets her apart from the less fortunate souls who did not make it past the process of natural selection (mean girl smirk). While the ritual of the free drink may seem a bit trifling to some, unarguably no better feeling exists than that of the accomplishment derived from public displays of infatuation by a complete stranger. To put it plainly, the free drink makes you feel like the SH*&!!! As you mix it up with your pretend 5-minute boyfriend, for that brief moment in time, you are the bar Prom Queen. However, there are rules to this ish. The free drink does come with a healthy dose of fine print; a print so fine that it seemingly only exists in theory. It would be awesome if we could get SOME form of heads up like…”Tonight on Eyewitness News: We bring you the breaking story of the 1-drink Stalker on the loose. He’s been spotted in local LA bars and clubs hanging around dark corners with 2 free drink tickets and a GPS tracking device. Don’t be fooled by his generosity and harmless conversation! For once you’ve accepted the complimentary Grey Goose N Red Bull Martini, he will self magnetize to the bottom of your glass playing interference to all of your normal guy prospects for the rest of the evening.”
Of course, no such warning signs exist. Shortly after your two best girlfriends find male distractions and disappear into their respective conversations, the 1-Drink stalker is plotting his descent when you’re at the bar alone, at your most vulnerable. Just as you manage to get the waiters attention a mediocre looking man will approach and pay for your drink. Mildly impressed, you’ll entertain some conversation. Five minutes in and you’ll know you aren’t interested but you’ll extend the full courtesy 15 minutes before ditching him to do your final walk around in the bar. As you ease your way off the bar stool you’ll see him grab his drink off the bar in an attempt to escort you to your intended destination. You figure you’ll take the easy way out and hit the ladies room. Hopefully you’ll see one of your girlfriends so you can pretend to be in one of the deepest conversations of your life thus bypassing the 1-Drink stalker. To no avail, he’ll be standing right at the base of the ladies room exit (argggghhhh)!!!
What contemporary science has concluded is that there is no sure-fire way to politely extract one’s self from the clutches of the 1-Drink stalker (outside of leaving the venue all together). Fake numbers, one-word answers, the look of absolute disinterest simply won’t cut it. Thus, much like the Christian based slogan for abstinence, The Best Drink is No Drink if you want to avoid the lurking annoyances of the 1-Drink stalker.
Till Death Do Us Part: Not as long as it used to be…
The average man in LA confronts two primary fears when he contemplates the long road down the altar of commitment. The first is the concept of accomplishment. He asks himself questions. Am I financially stable? Have I traveled the world, seen all it has to offer? Am I man enough to be someone’s husband/provider/father? And, most importantly, have I sampled enough women (sexually)? The latter is highly subjective and contingent upon the border of one’s imagination/fantasy world.
The second primary fear is that of time. A lot happens over the span of several years with respect to our values, outlook on life and overall preferences (both intellectually and aesthetically). But, what men (and women alike) think about most is: Can I deal with this person till death do us part?
Let us examine this further, shall we? The average man in Los Angeles gets married at around age 35 (give or take a couple years). While the bureau of statistics would have us believe that LA men marry at a median age of 28, I strongly beg to differ. It would seem that it is during this time that most men, and women alike, are settled within their respective careers or well on their way to it. They find a suitable host with whom they can share their hopes, dreams, vacations, and future offspring. But, simple mathematics determines that there really isn’t much time to actually accomplish this. Ideally, a married couple would seek to enjoy the fertile years of their marriage, also known as the “honeymoon phase,” usually spent traveling and actually enjoying the fruits of their union (both fiscally and emotionally).
So, how much time do we carve out in order to solidify our identity as a couple? How much time do we set aside to raise a family? Speaking as a 30+ year old, I often wonder about that myself. Will I get to celebrate a 50-year anniversary? Have the days of such traditions been reduced to the fading residual folklore of our grandparents?
This is not necessarily a bad thing but realistically speaking, the energy of a 40 year-old is not that of a 30 year-old. And, when we begin our families at roughly this age, how much time do we have to actually be in the lives of our children? My mom had me at age 22. She will be around when I’m well into my 50’s (God willing). But, I can’t necessarily say the same thing about myself.
So here it is, sorry to be the bearer of bad news. 30 is NOT the new 20, and 40 is NOT the new 30. This is merely a slogan created by Viagra and all of its constituents to propagate one of the most antiquated myths of our lifetime, The Fountain of Youth.
RELATIONSHIPS VS. RELATIONS…The Art of Casual Sex
In the world of art where we celebrate the talents of those who are/were able to create unique representations of objects and people, Jackson Pollack is most remembered for his stylistic defiance of traditional lines, space, and color.
His work, a full departure from traditional imagery, provokes an onlooker to make sense of an overall abstract body of work.
Casual sex/dating in Los Angeles is a lot like a Jackson Pollack painting (metaphorically speaking). It’s contemporary and excitingly colorful. And somehow, in all its beautiful complexity, it makes sense. But, at the end of the day, it’s not something that fits nicely into everyone’s living room. And, you may find that, in retrospect, casual sex, much like a Jackson Pollack, can be just plain messy.
When you’re fresh out of a relationship, oftentimes you find yourself looking to recoup some much-needed single girl activities, of which often involve working out, dating, shopping, and sex. At some point you meet a guy and grace him with the goods and it becomes kind of…nice. You hang out back-to-back, you have the “what are we doing” conversation and establish the ground rules. But, the ground rules never seem to cover the real rules. Rules like:
1. Are you having sex with any other people?
2. How many other people are you having sex with?
3. Where do I rank on your totem pole (pun intended)
4. If we see each other out in public with other “people,” are we all good?
5. What types of privileges and exclusivity are you expecting?
It would be awesome if these five simple line items were covered, but the ground rules seem to only be articulated in stupid phrases like “we’re just having fun,” or “we’re just seeing where this goes.”
Then, outta nowhere, he disappears for a weekend. So, you make yourself unavailable for TWO weekends. He leaves you a few voicemails and after a few more missed calls, you finally decide to call and begin the dancing circus all over again.
It was so much easier back in the day when your dad sat the guy down and simply asked, “What are your intentions with my daughter?” Even though your 13 year-old self was mortified at the very thought that your dad might speak to anyone you had a crush on, it let you know where the guy stood (in all of his Junior High ambitions LOL).
The bottom line is this: We are all single, independently-driven dating anthropologists, seeking out and studying (okay yes, occasionally Facebook stalking) all reasonably suited partners. If you want to lock it down and be taken seriously by a guy, don’t give up the business before you establish a solid, mutual understanding of where you both see the relationship going. However, if you know what the deal is going in and you have no intentions of turning the pimp into the pumpkin, by all means be safe and get your Pollack on!
THE NUMBERS RULE; It Doesn’t Count If…
One night over coffee and dessert two girlfriends, Maya and Alene, both age 25, got together to gossip about Maya’s new roommate, Karin. Maya’s new roommate was 28 years old and had slept with approximately 30 different men (give or take a couple). Both ladies were intrigued with Maya’s roomie and her ability to articulate this number with an air of accomplishment, so sophisticated and mature. But, both ladies, judgments firmly in place, still felt that Karin’s numbers were too high for comfort. Too high, that is, until they got on the topic of their own number of shelved sexual partners.
Alene whipped out a notepad and began to draw a line for every sexual partner that she could recall. Every time she hit five she started a new cluster…all of sudden she was on cluster number 4. “Maya, I couldn’t have slept with 19 guys already, I’m a whore,” Alene said with quantitative conviction.
Maya hastily interjected, “Alene, I’m on number 17 so I’m not far behind you and I’m NOT a whore. F*%$K, I honestly don’t even remember some of their names. How did this happen?”
Maya began to sort through her personal catalog in a comical Sherlock Holmes fashion. “Well, what about that guy who was only 4 inches (hard), he doesn’t count right?” “Don’t be stupid Maya,” said Alene, “but that guy I slept with in Miami last summer only lasted like 2 minutes and then he fell asleep so that guy REALLY doesn’t count.” “Wait a minute Alene, he counts!!! You remembered all the dirty details,” Maya retorted feistily. “2 minutes of details does not equal dirty details,” said Alene.
This was getting ugly and time consuming. Faced with the prospect of having to weed though future prospects in the same manner, the girls decided to create some universal rules to live by, thus, enabling them to erase certain guys from their inventory (like an etch a sketch). The rules are:
1. If the sexual encounter is under 3 minutes, it doesn’t count
2. If the fun stick is under 4 inches (hard), it doesn’t count
3. If you can’t remember his name, it doesn’t count
4. If his name is Chris Hall, it doesn’t count
5. If you were too drunk to remember, it doesn’t count
6. If It’s over 5 years ago, it doesn’t count (unless you want it to)
Now, a blog wouldn’t be a blog without the author’s two cents. So ladies, I’ll leave you with this to chew on. If you want to keep your numbers low, think of your lady goods as a shiny new car. Every time you lease it out, typical wear and tear is to be expected. Don’t let these boys run your miles up unless they intend to purchase. If a guy isn’t stepping up to the plate, put your car back on the lot and only let serious buyers take a test drive. And, in case you didn’t know, serious buyers usually put down a card, Ya heard!!! (j/k, not really).