Seriously? Is It Just Me…

Posts Tagged ‘men

female-dogNow I’ve never been married, so I don’t know what it feels like to have a husband who works with, socializes with or finds himself in the company of single women. I’m sure if someone has trust and/or jealousy issues then this could be a big problem for their marriage. However, I do know what it’s like to find myself having to socialize with married men, mainly for professional reasons, and to be treated so poorly by their wives simply for being single. These women (bless their hearts) are clearly struggling with some issues, but it’s always in my best interest to spot them early on and then steer clear. For those who have yet to experience the chilly demeanor of a mean wife, here are a few signs:

1. You are constantly having to tell her your name. Despite having met her at more than one company function, dinner party and/or social event, your name “escapes” her memory every time.

2. You feel a sharp pain in the back of your neck from the daggers she’s shooting at you through her eyes. If I’m talking to her husband, when I feel these nasty glares darting my way, I take an extra step back away from her man and limit my laughter. I clearly will not be able to express any enjoyment while conversating with her spouse.

3. You find yourself engaged in a conversation with her where she continues to deliver back handed compliments about your outfit, shoes and/or accessories. Now, this is always so comical to me because it’s always the wives who don’t work outside the home, and spend up their husbands money who find it appropriate to play the I have more than you do game. Really?

4. You find yourself biting your tongue while she proceeds to give you unsoliciated “advice” on why you’re not married. Comments such as, you’re too picky, too independent or unapproachable seem far reaching and clearly inappropriate especially when they’ve never spent more than 15 minutes with you. You don’t even know my name, why do you care if I’m still single or not?

Now contrary to what some married women think, most single women do not want your husband. I have several married friends, who are confident in their marriages, trust their husbands and care enough to know the people he works with on a regular basis. Therefore, when the mean wives rear their ugly heads, I simply smile, nod and dish out my own dose of back handed compliments right before I say a small prayer for their husbands. Seriously.

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Occasionally, a former male boss and I had would find ourselves having some rather random yet interesting conversations in lieu of working through a difficult project. On one particular day, we found ourselves discussing hair transplants and the process involved in restoring hair in places where there was none. Unfortunately, my supervisor was among the roughly 40 million men in the United States suffering from male pattern baldness (thank you Wikipedia for the stat). So naturally, he was for the procedure, while I was arguing against it since I, along with many women, prefer a man who embraces his baldness over one who fights it down to the last hair standing.

My boss was unexpectantly surprised that a young (I was at the time) single woman would find a bald man visually acceptable, if not attractive. This made me wonder if most men fighting against the battle of hair loss even realize that most women really don’t care that they are bald, and in fact many find a clean-shaven head a sexy quality in a man. However, this revelation does come with a few disclaimers that must be communicated before men start running through the streets shouting that thinning hair is the new do.

Bald man

Take it all off...

1. The combover is disturbing. I tend to think that even Donald Trump knows the attempt to hide a large bald area by forcing a handful of hair strands to cover it up is not a good look. Unfortunately, he has branded it to a point where anything different would probably result in the loss of millions of hard-earned dollars. So let’s all agree that The Donald can singlehandedly rock the combover, while the rest of balding men shave it off.

2. Bald ponytails are pathetic. I realize that it’s difficult to accept that parts of your head can grow hair like a weed while others have succumbed to a pathetic hair follicle death, however it’s truly sad to see a man who is bald on top sporting a long ponytail. It’s an oxymoron that is doing you no favors, so accept the baldness in its entirety and let it all go. Just think how much you’d save on shampoo.

3. Hair hats are stupid. Guys, I know that you think wearing a hat full of faux hair on the top takes you back to the days when you had the warmth of hair on your head, but it’s not sexy or cool. In fact, you look ridiculous and frankly it’s misleading. Whenever I see one of those hats I wonder what animal had to die to make a hat with that stupid hair style.

Since I like the look of a cleanly shaven bald head, I will use this post to personally let the balding guys of the world off the hook, and inform them that baldness can work to your advantage if you just embrace it. If you can swallow the fact that you belong to an ever-growing group of hairless men, and learn to rock it well and with confidence then you just might find yourself a beautiful woman who enjoys rubbing on that smooth head of yours. Seriously!

End note: My boss never got the hair plugs; I like to think it’s because of my exceptional debating skills.

This past week, I was in the fabulous city of Chicago attending a compensation event sponsored by my former/new employer, Bank Director magazine. My job was to blog and tweet on the various sessions, record a few video interviews, and conduct some low level market research on the use of smart phones in the banking industry. I know, sounds like a ton of fun, but I have to admit that I did learn a lot which I know will make my banker friends proud.

Of course, one can not fly the hour and a half to Chicago, stay in a four star hotel on Michigan avenue, and find themselves with a few hours to spare without doing some shopping. Oh, I was just giddy with excitement at the possibility of walking up and down the Magnificent Mile visiting my favorite stores including Aldo, Coach, and Burberry.”

Unfortunately, the shopping gods were not smiling on me this brisk November afternoon, as I was having no luck falling in love with that must have item (sounds a lot like my love life, maybe my ticker is broken). Nonetheless, I pressed on with my co-worker, who by the way was walking out of every store with an adorable handbag, before hitting our last stop, the go to store for all things shoes — MACYS!

As I was circling the tables loaded with the season’s latest open-toed boots and stiletto heels, I found myself face to face with a middle-aged black man who had apparently just bounced off the escalator. “Hey there”, he starts as I try to move past him. “You’re the size that I wish my fiance was.” I freeze in my tracks as I brace myself for the conversation that had nowhere to go but down from there. With a quizzical look on my face, all I could manage to do was nod once and raise my eyebrows in anticipation.

question marks

Seriously Confused!

Ignoring my look of concern, he continues. “We just got engaged and I told her I was going to have a hard time carrying her across the threshold.” He snickers as my look goes from concern to mortified. But he continues, “she’s about 40 pounds heavier than you, and she complains that I just want her to be the fun size”. At that point, it was very clear that this guy was full of nonsense. The fun size? I immediately turn around and walk off in the other direction never once uttering a single word at this guys ridiculous attempt at…what?

As I began checking out the sales rack, I wondered what was his motivation for those bizarre comments. Was he trying to compliment me by acknowledging that I had a nice figure, which seems odd to me since I have nothing in the way of curves? Was he trying to hit on me, but why start off acknowledging that he had a fiance? Was he trying to make fun of me by using his girlfriends snide remarks about skinny girls?

Just as I was giving up on my shoe search, I came to the conclusion that he was just an idiot who had suckered some poor girl into marrying him and she had no idea he was talking badly about her to other women. Mystery solved. Now if I could just find a pair of fun shoes in my size, seriously?

I’m probably dating myself here, but does anyone remember the movie When Harry Met Sally? If you haven’t seen it, you should rent it on NetFlix, if for no other reason then to see how cute Meg Ryan was before she let a plastic surgeon butcher her face. Tragic.

The movie is most famous for the classic scene where Sally proves to Harry in a public restaurant that women do indeed fake it, and do it very well. But the movie wasn’t about the big O, it was actually about the changing face of a friendship between a man and a woman. The following is part of a dialogue from the movie:

Harry: You realize of course that we could never be friends.
Sally: Why not?
Harry: What I’m saying is — and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form — is that men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.

Whenever I hear a woman who has been spending a lot of quality time with a guy say, “but we’re just friends”, I automatically think of this movie and shake my head. It may just be me, but I’m simply not convinced that it’s possible to truly be friends with a man — no strings attached. So can a man and a woman be nothing more than friends without someone wanting more? I’m not a dating guru, although after 20 years you would think I at least had a degree in it, but I have seen these scenarios all to often:

yes-no-maybe

What do you think?

1. You like him – he no like you. Painful! You hang on as “friends” in hopes that he will one day recognize that you are the woman of his dreams. You spend so much time trying to convince yourself that you are okay with being friends that you actually forget to be his friend.

2. He likes you – you no like him. Even more painful. You have to endure the puppy dog I love you eyes every time you hang out with him. He continually reminds you that you are just friends, but you can tell he he’s really just trying to convince himself.

3. After years of friendship, you decide that there’s “something there” so you take it to the next level. If you can get past the incredibly awkward period, you may stand a chance. But that interim period where you can’t figure out if this is a good idea or not makes it very difficult on all parties involved.

Maybe I’ve just had bad experiences, but it doesn’t seem possible to be friends with someone of the opposite sex without the awkwardness of attraction flying around the relationship. In my opinion, men are for “dating” and women are for friendships. If you truly want to be friends with a man, may I suggest a good gay one with a great fashion sense, seriously?

Rejection Stamp

Ouch, is that necessary?

If you’re a human being then you’ve been faced with some type of rejection in your life. Whether it’s not being part of the cool crowd, or getting that job you really wanted, and of course, getting dumped by someone you really liked. Oh, the stings of life. It’s pretty amazing how much being rejected can impact your self-esteem, but what about the effects of having to reject someone.

Recently, I found myself in the situation where I had to inflict some tough love on a guy who I really cared about as a person. The problem was that he was not someone I wanted to be with in any type of relationship, other than friendship. Interestingly enough, throughout our tumultuous relationship, he’s had the opportunity to reject me but now I found myself having to reject him. Which begs the question, tis better to be rejected or to reject?

Being Rejected
We all remember a time when we were rejected by that special someone (if you haven’t then this is the wrong blog for you). Most likely he never told you he wanted out, instead he just disappeared. Perhaps you sensed his pulling away, as his calls decreased dramatically, he stop returning your text messages, and when you finally cornered (or rather stalked) him, he couldn’t seem to muster a reason other than “its me, not you”.

When you’re rejected, especially with no reason offered, it’s the not knowing that will drive you nuts. You and your girlfriends spend hours taking inventory of your insecurities as you try to analyze the demise of your relationship. Did he really like me? Maybe he was just too busy to be tied down? Could there be someone else? As you come up with zero satisfactory answers you vow to never do the same thing to anyone else.

Rejecting a Being
And then you find yourself in the situation where you’ve been involved with a guy for a while and you’ve determined that, although you like him, this is not the relationship for you. It’s now time for you to live up to your personal vow to be an adult and tell him you want out.

Most likely you start to remember how you felt when someone last rejected you, and you realize you don’t want to hurt his feelings. Then you think maybe I’ll just stop returning his phone calls and maybe he’ll get the hint, but then you remember the last time someone walked away from you and the frustration that ensued of not knowing why. You start to send a text message, but then you put your big girl panties on, call and give him the old standby line, “it’s me, not you”. After the call is over, you think that sucked and although you feel relieved you also feel guilty for breaking someone’s heart.

So which one is worse, being rejected by someone you really liked but understand they had their reasons? Or rejecting someone, knowing you’ve inflicted hurt onto someone you liked but just couldn’t make it work?

Personally, I think rejection of any kind sucks, but eventually you come to realize that it is them, not you. Seriously!

Out of Order

Maybe it's broken...

Believe it or not, there was a time in my life when a Saturday night out with a girlfriend was merely an excuse to go man hunting. We would get all dolled up in our sexiest clothes, the more you show the better your odds, and then teeter off to the newest hot spot in search of the “one” (because yes, he was in the clubs and bars despite what those old 30 plus year olds said).

Upon arrival, we would squeeze our way through the sea of people searching for the perfect bar seat that gave us the best opportunity to survey the crowd looking for hot guys. The added bonus, of course, would be people watching which was always one of our favorite past times. The rest of the evening would be spent scanning the room looking for a “sponsor” to buy us a drink and entertain us.

As I reflect back on those days of trying to snag a man, a hook-up or a friend, I’ve come to realize that I may have lost my dating mojo. I probably would be panicking right about now, if it were not for the fact that one of my girlfriends* has clearly lost hers too.

A few weeks ago, she and I made plans to actually get out of the house one Saturday night and decided to sashay over to a new bar in town. It turned out to be a really cool spot as we consumed fabulous cocktails, munched on yummy tapas, and chattered well into the evening.

I was in the middle of a story (which was funny, I’m sure) when I was approached by a slightly intoxicated guy so far from my type I wasn’t sure if he meant to talk to me or my girlfriend. Since I’m all for meeting new people, I politely engage in small talk before he asks if he could buy me a drink. Now, the younger me would have been all — “yes, I’d like another of what I’m having” because you never turn down free drinks, but instead I say, “no thanks, I have to drive home”. (More like I didn’t want to get a cab and potentially sleep on my friend’s bathroom floor.)

Thinking that would knock the wind out of his sails, I attempt to return back to my story, which I’m positive now was funny. However, that didn’t deter him as he proceeds to fill me in on his life details — in the music business, recently divorced, has an eight year old kid, and apparently likes his women of the chocolate variety (yes, he shared that with me).

So I’m nodding and smiling as I see my pursuer’s wingman, a rather short black man, make a beeline to my girlfriend. We had been tag teamed. Now, women with their dating mojo intact may have been all over this situation. Free drinks, musicians with connections (apparently Kid Rock and George Clintion, but no confirmation received), and no girl left behind to fend for herself. But not the two of us, instead in perfect unison as if part of a synchronized swim team, we both ask the bartender for our checks, insert laughter, leave our tips, insert hair flip, accept their numbers and then bolt for the door. Not a word exchanged between the two of us.

Clearly annoyed we stomp down to our cars when suddenly my friend busts out laughing. She points out that we both got hit on, ended up with phone numbers and we’re pissed off about it. I started feeling sad for us, but then I thought if they had been more our types that we would have stayed, drank and had a lovely time, but I the thing is I can’t say that for certain. Guess I need to go find my mojo, seriously?

* No names will be used…but she knows who she is.

Well, we’ve finally come to the conclusion of my A Seriously Series on Who Let The Dogs In, and I’ve saved my favorite point for last.

6. Like to be alone.

Unfortunately, being single often carries a stigma that there must certainly be something wrong with you if you aren’t in a serious relationship or married. Even more so, if you are a woman all up in your 30’s and haven’t found a man yet (shame on you Society).

Bridget Jones Diary

All By Myself

I think most of us single women can’t help but reflect back on the oh so close to home scene in Bridget Jones’s Diary, where a flannel pajama wearing Miss Jones is all alone on a Saturday night drinking wine, smoking and doing a tortured rendition of Celine Dion’s “All By Myself”. (Classic scene — check it out on YouTube.) Sadly, it’s a stereotype that has become many a single girl’s nightmare.

While being alone night after night can at times feel painful, I’ve come to learn that it’s no where near has painful as staying in a relationship with someone who is not good for you. So often women will jump from one bad relationship to the next in a desperate attempt to never be single or alone. However, in my years of going solo, I’ve actually come to learn so much about myself and what I want, or more importantly need, in a relationship. You’ve got to learn to like yourself before you can expect someone else to like you.

Learning to be alone can be intimidating and frightening, but it can actually be a lot of fun. Since you really have no one to entertain you, it falls to you to figure out what you like to do. What do you want to eat? What movies or tv shows do you want to watch? What hobbies do you enjoy? What do YOU want to do?

Of course, there are different ways to be alone and I’m not talking about the depressed, bitter and angry version. This time on your own should be reflective, introspective and inspiring. Think about it, it’s quite difficult to determine how you can improve or grow as a partner if you never taken the time to truly reflect back on your past relationship. What went wrong? What role did you play? What could you have done differently?

Taking that time, and I mean time as in months not days, to be alone and come to conclusions that can benefit you and your new man going forward. Man hopping simply doesn’t accomplish that, it just takes the old habits and problems into the next relationship.

So the next time you find yourself leaving a relationship, take some time off to heal, reflect and set new goals for yourself. You’ll be refreshed and ready to give it another go when the time is right. Of course, if you’re aren’t too careful, you might end up like me and enjoy being alone so much the thought of being in a relationship makes you cringe. But that’s another series, seriously?


Soapbox Diaries from an Unplanned Single Life!

I hope you enjoy the random thoughts, observations and life lessons that I've learned along the way. It's called Seriously? because some days I just shake my head and say seriously, is this my life?


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