1. Be a Better…Person.

    Warning, this may not be the funniest blog post that I’ve ever written, but consider it a brief break from mediocre humor to get to know ourselves, just a little more. For humor, click HERE. 

    *Throughout the past two years I’ve been writing this blog, I tend to steer away from personal issues or things that may result in internet “over exposure” but I’ve learned so much in the last few weeks of life, that sometimes sharing is the best thing.

    I’m two weeks fresh off a break up.

    A break up with someone I love dearly as a human being, someone that I respect with all of my being, and a man that is the definition of discipline and honor ( I think there might be a Wikipage for this). He’s great (yes, that’s present tense). I think I’m decent too (it has been confirmed, there is no Wikipage for this). But I’ve learned that sometimes, duality in greatness doesn’t mean perfection, or even compatibility in the end…That love is not math, one plus one…does not simply just equal two. 

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    Now, I am so so thankful that we’ve both exited the relationship, still with a huge amount of respect for one another, and yes, I know that’s not always the case. Truthfully, I spent the first post-breakup days analyzing everything…trying to pick apart the inner sinews of dynamics and missteps within the last 2 years…and then suddenly like LA traffic, I stopped. 

    I stopped questioning the why and how, and started realizing the most important thing..was figuring out how I could remain intact, gracious, and strive to be the best version of myself….not to make the other person jealous, not to fool others into thinking I was stronger than I am…but mostly, because that’s what we should be doing ANYWAY. My mantra of “being better” can’t stop at the doorstep of adversity or change…that’s the moment when it’s as vital as the blood in your veins. 

    Here are some things I’ve been wading though, I hope some of this resonates, even a little bit:

    -Be gracious: So what the f*ck does it mean to be gracious anyway? The old dictionary describes it as: being marked by tact and delicacy,  characterized by generosity of spirt, filled with mercy and compassion. So how the hell can we do those things…in real life, when I’m too busy being glum? Well, my answer was pretty simple in the end (this is ever changing btw). Think of others. You are not the only one that feels the waves of change and difficulty. You are not the only person that’s been involved with your relationship (there’s a web of people that you’ve chosen to weave together). I had to choose to thank those who supported us at a couple (through it all), to choose to ask my people how THEY were doing, and began to realize that if one becomes completely self-focused, your soul will burst inward..and no one wants that. Get outside of yourself and your struggle for extended moments during your day, don’t ignore what’s happened, but be thankful for lessons learned and see yourself as a part of a bigger story. 

    -Understand that Shit WILL Happen: Every time something negative happens to us as people, we’re just dumbfounded and caught totally off-guard, like WTF LIFE?!! Why? Did we think that somehow, by not being a serial killer or a complete degenerate that we somehow escape hardship? I did apparently. Honestly, I’ve had a really good life. Things have come easily, and while there’s been bumps in the road..for the most part, I’ve been really blessed. But did I really expect that things would go as planned for the next 70 years (including that I would die at the age of 97, with a mojito in hand, sunbathing on a black sand beach)? I’m realizing that you can’t live your life in expectation of adversity, but to know that if and when it happens, that the way you’ve built yourself up in the meantime, really matters. 

    -Challenge Yourself and Put Down the Paper Towel Tube: In the past two weeks, I’ve realized how truly unimaginative I’ve been at viewing my story and life as a whole. We tend to pigeonhole ourselves into “what I can do”, “how others see me”, “what I’ve come to expect from myself”…and in all that, we’ve completely lost any sort of imagination and expectation of future greatness.  Now, I have to say that my relationship wasn’t the driving factor of my small-sighted view, this is generally just a problem for us as people…people who get stuck in the day to day, people who are too busy to dream, people who live with small margins.  My effort, in singleness but also just moving forward is to stop looking at my life through a paper towel tube with one squinty eye…only seeing a small, manageable vision for my existence. I’ll be tossing that tube out, and will be attempting to exist in the terrifying vast oblivion that lies outside the boundaries of what’s safe, what’s possible, and what’s known. 

    -Be Close: When things fail, it’s insanely hard to have your life be a spectator sport…it’s hard to have people watch you flail and then tune in to watch what happens next. But I’ve come to realize, that it also can be the best treatment for an ailing heart. To surround yourself with a group of people, who are deeply observant and involved, is totally scary. You could look dumb. Or unwanted. Sad, or weak. You could mess things up. You could look insecure. But…the truth is, hiding it from others, doesn’t make those things any less present. You’re still going to feel that way. You’re still going to mess up. The difference is, if you never give others a direct view into your life, you’ll miss out on the great freedom of vulnerability.  I can almost promise that you’ll be taken care of. My care came in the form of friends, waiting with posterboards at the airport after my breakup, with a rental car waiting in the parking lot to scoop me up, and take me home. Did I mention it was 5AM?

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    Take time to yourself as you need it, but remember that suffering alone still is suffering, and you’ll be surprised the amount that you’re loved, if you let go and be vulnerable. 

    Here’s a quote that I was not smart enough to write:

    ‘Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.’ -CS Lewis

    I hope that in some way, this hits home for at least one of you...To end, I remain here, thankful and completely bowled over with the mystery of life and how much joy can be in the wake of what feels like an impossible blow. 

    Love to you all,

    Chinae

     


  2. Be Better at…Dating.

    Long Distance Lovin’…The Good, The Bad, The Ugly Edition:

    A typical conversation I have about 16 times a week:

    Them: “So are you dating anyone?”

    Me: “Oh yeah! I am. We’ve been dating a while now, he lives in LA. We’re long distance.”

    :: cue them giving me “the face” (usually looks like a combination of a shart face and reliving a memory of Chinese water torture)

    Them: “That really sucks. I could never do long distance, I’ve done it before and it was a total fucking nightmare.”

    Me: “Umm… yeah, well, we’re doing pretty good. Normal relationship shit but we are making do.”

    Them: “Well good for you guys, hope it works out better than mine did.”

    First off, people, this is not encouraging/helpful/kind in any sense of the word. I get that you had a shit relationship that happened to be long distance, but what’s your excuse for the other 10 failed love connections? What? Do you not date on dry land because it didn’t work out that one time?

    If you’re in a LDR (I hate this acronym but I’m not getting paid for this shit and even decent readership is not gonna pay for my oncoming carpal tunnel syndrome) you get me. Even if you aren’t, you should keep reading…you might find some nuggets of mediocre wisdom in here somewhere. (I said might…no guarantees) 

    So here’s the good: The best thing about an LDR are that the times you actually get to breathe the same oxygen are usually REALLY amazing. Like…whoa. Also, you tend to be able to appreciate your time together and don’t take your man/lady/manlady for granted. You also REALLY have to learn to communicate, whether your “I hate the phone” ass likes it or not. And you have to get over your own shit schedule and idea of convenience pretty quick. 

    And the bad: Fighting while far away totally sucks. Like…it’s the worst. There’s no kissing and making up, there’s no face to face time (other than skype), and things take a little longer to heal than in normal life. You’ll learn to navigate this better every time (although, Charlie and I still fall on our face with this A LOT). Also, being involved with someone in never never land has some major financial obligations so make sure you’re ready to take that on and work together. 

    The ugly: You don’t get to be with the person you most want to be around. Plain and simple. It gets hard (think running a marathon after a 2-day jelly donut binge), but if and when you realize that loving them well, is more important than satisfying every selfish need and want that pops into your mind…well then, there’s some potential for success there folks. 

    DISCLAIMER: By no means do I have this ALL figured out. This is what I’ve learned (and failed at and will continue to fail at) for almost a year and a half but sometimes, it’s good to share what you’re learning even if you’re not a master at it yet. Right?!

    Here are 5 ways to survive an LDR:

    -Overcommunicate: Now, I don’t just mean tell the other person EVERY SINGLE TIME you are annoyed, upset, or in a bad mood. Every relationship has “stuff” and of course you’re gonna need to bring up unpleasant topics once in a while and hash them out. But here’s a trick I learned early on…communicate the good stuff, VERY intentionally. The problem with LDRs is that you cannot treat them like an in-person relationship. That’s like playing football with golf’s rules. Get used to telling that person the things that they are great at, why you love them, things that they’ve done to make you extra happy, and encourage them on things they are working on in their personal life/work. Notice and express the little stuff, it matters. 

    Real Life Example——> “Hey, I really appreciate that you called me on your lunch break because you knew I had to get up early (my time) to get to the gym. That was really thoughtful. Also, nice abs” (just kidding about the abs..but yeah, they’ll appreciate that too) 

    -Make a Schedule: Girls especially get discouraged when they don’t feel secure in “what’s going to happen” in the future. You don’t need to pencil in your f*cking wedding date, but planning and booking your plane tickets well in advance shows that you are making a commitment to moving forward. You’ll also get to look forward to the next time you see each other which always makes the distance seem shorter. 

    Real Life Example——> Book your trips one or two in advance and talk about things you’re excited to do together in the future. Also, take turns visiting each other’s cities and plan a fun vacation once or twice a year to escape! Make an list of adventures and things you want to do together, it shows you’re in it for the long haul. 

    -Learn How to Fight Fast: I’m a verbal processer and can fight and talk things out for hours and days on end, usually peppered with some intermittent bleary-teary-eyed monologues. Charlie likes to go to his cave and process (what is he doing in there?!). You can imagine how this is a tough thing to overcome, when all I want to do is talk and all he wants to do is not talk to me. An integral part of not accidentally killing each other is learning how the other one fights, and then coming to a consensus on where to meet in the middle. 

    Real Life Example——> Charlie and I recently were bickering about something dumb, and after some frustrating banter, he was like “I gotta go”…then “recanted and said “No, I’m here. I can talk for a minute more”…well what did that do to my cold dead heart? Calmed me right the fuck down, is what that did. 

    -Put in the Effort, No Matter the Distance: LDR’s are a lot of work, and the more effort you put in, the happier you’ll be. I promise. It seems counterintuitive that putting more effort toward could bring joy, but it’s true people. Send them letters, emails, unexpected texts, small thoughtful gifts, plan surprises, and ask questions about their day/life, even when you want to fall asleep in your cereal. If you’re both trying your best, it WILL be enough. Take the time to figure out how they want to be loved, and do it. 

    Real Life Example——> As you all know, I’m pretty much a carnivore and want to be eating steak 90% of the time. Yesterday, Charlie sent me (in the MAIL) a Trader Joe’s giftcard so I could go buy yummy food for my extra long, hard week at work. See guys, it’s not just about the flowers and chocolates. Get creative…and girls, it’s not just their job to please you, return the favor.  

    -Be Normal: It’s easy to have an awesome time together when you’re sunning your mutually tanned asses in Turks and Caicos, but guess what? You are going to have to clean this person’s throw up/pee/poop one day. You might have to move apartments together, or go to Costco. Vacations are great, but try to pepper in some normalcy on your days together to get a feel for real life. Walk to the grocery store and pick up food and cook a casual lunch, go to the coffee shop and read a book together (not the same copy of a book, that’s just fucking weird), or exercise and sweat it out with them. If you can love each other while picking up dog shit, you’ll probably love each other for a long time. 

    Real Life Example——> We’ve discovered that as much as we have fun taking epic trips, we really like napping in grass. 

    I hope this helps. Like I said, we’re just all limping along here together. But it’s worth it for that “forever person” and hell, it can only go up from here. 

    Reporting from in the trenches,

    Chinae

     


  3. Be Better at…Dating.

    3 Big Date Faux Pas:

    Now, before we dive in…I’ll mention that I have experienced ALL of these dating atrocities at least once when out with a gentleman caller. If you guys are reading this (and I know some of you are), I suggest you take heed, you heathens!  (Also, thanks for the 3-4 drinks I consumed on your Amex)

    I digress.

    You’d think most of these notes would be common sense…but then again, I saw a man ask a woman if she was having a boy or girl this morning on the train. Let’s just say, if a woman is just exhibiting a little extra upper arm meat and a slight bulge…maybe save  the Q+A session until you’re positive. Turns out, no baby, but she won’t be having her morning bacon, egg, and cheese on an everything bagel, anytime soon. 

    Here we go:

    -Fortune Teller: Sure, we gals don’t like to be in the dark (somewhere between date 6-16)…and YES, we like to know that we’ve piqued your interest and that you’re engaging with us purposefully. You know what we don’t need to know? That you think that we were “made for each other like a flower and bumblebee” or that you feel like we’ve reached “2 become 1 status, you know, like that song”. We just met likkkkke 1 vodka on the rocks ago. You’re scaring me. You think by predicting our 1.5 mixed race children, that somehow you’ve found a loophole to the eventual relational DTR…I’m sorry, you’ve just freaked me the f*ck out and I’m going to do a clothing swap with the waiter and hightail it outta here incognito.  

    -iDate: For a short period of time, I was dating a polygamist. Calm down Mom, not like the Utah kind. More like…I went on a date with a man and his iPhone, all at once. To hide that he was texting CONSTANTLY (probably with another lady), every time his phone would light up, he would excuse himself and head to the bathroom. OK, let me get this straight, you’d rather me think you have perma-shits than let those texts sit in the docket. WOW. Another fine gentleman kept checking his phone, I’d say…every 3-5 minutes. I probably couldn’t recognize this person in a line up, unless we are just identifying people my the top of their heads. Finally I got so irritated, I asked if something was wrong and he profusely apologized and said there was a big “game” that night. He was getting updates (clue #1 this would never materialize into a real relationship). So to make me feel included, he suggested  that we check updates TOGETHER on his phone, a bonding experience to say the least. I quietly ate my grilled salmon and plotted his untimely death. 

    -Too Soon Texter: Don’t get me wrong, every girl loves receiving a cordial text after a fun-filled date night that says something to the effect of, “I had so much fun, thanks for being a great date, see you soon!”. You know what we don’t like? When we say “thanks!” to that text and then you’re like, “So what are you doin’?” Homey, I JUST left you 15 minutes ago. I just want to take off all my jewelry, sit in my underwear in front of my A/C unit, and watch Law and Order SVU. Ok? Good. 

    Glad we talked,

    Chinae

     


  4. Be Better at…Road Trips.

    Last week I embarked on an 8 day road trip with the boyfriend. 8 days, 8 cities. It was quite the undertaking and before we took off, I’ll admit, I was nervous. Boyfriend and I get along swimmingly, so that wasn’t the worry but being trapped in a refrigerator on wheels with one person for hours on end, well…it’s tough for this NYC car-less lady. I think even Mother Teresa and I might have fist-fought before the end of the week, that is, if Mother Teresa took road trips with mediocre bloggers.

    Disclaimer: The trip was awesome.

    There were a couple “raised-voice” moments in the car (like when I was so tired, I ran a red light and Charlie thought we were going to die (btw we were not close to dying)), but overall it went seamlessly. Here are some things I learned on the way to make every road trip, easy as pie.

    -Music vs. Muzak: This is a biggie. No one has the energy to talk for every minute of the trip, so you are gonna need some good tunes to keep happy vibrations alive. Here’s how this worked out on our trip: I’m not discerning enough to only pick super meaningful, emotion inducing music, perfect for the scenario and locale. I would have Wilco followed by the Ting Tings, bookended with Jay-Z and Bob Dylan. The shuffle option is my friend, but I am realizing, that not everyone is that way. My co pilot picked the right music for each scenario (cue Fleet Foxes at high volume played through the curvy roads of the Smokies, so good) but then at specific moments, I jammed that AV converter into my jumbled Spotify account and played loud hip hop through the Atlanta streets in the early morning hours (I may have played Bieber at one point). Let whoever cares the most, pick the music and then they’ll be happy to have you takeover when you are needing to groove a bit. Chances are you aren’t dating someone with horrible musical taste anyway. Also, switch it up with a little variance, we added in a TED talk and a couple This American Life’s to get our brains functioning and to kill some time.

    -Need to Pee: I think my legs were slowly turning to mannequin legs from driving and not walking city streets, so I was a bit more inclined to stop and take bathroom breaks on this trip. If you are going to take a road trip, you can’t be mad when your fellow traveller has to go pee pee. It’s natural and it means you’ve probably had a lot of cocktails or coffee in the last 24 hours, so it’s at least for good reason. Don’t be that person (usually male) that sighs and throws a hissy fit when we have to stop and use the ladies. We don’t need to heavy sighs and the “really? again?”. Look at it this way, you’ll save money later when I don’t have f*cking kidney stones in my old age. Try to sync up on your bathroom time and then you’ll make half as many stops and eat half as many Slim Jims. (note, Charlie was great with my frequent bathroom stops, yay for male patience!)

    -Getting Sidetracked: You both need to be on the same page about wanting to take a more scenic route, or if you want to grind and just get there. OR you can accidentally give your boyfriend sleep-inducing allergy meds that you purchased at the dollar store, and then make frequent stops at boiled peanut stands/creeks/DQ while he doses in and out of a heavy slumber. Be flexible and split it up, some scenic, some grinding…that way, everybody wins!

    -Directionally Challenged: I have learned I kinda suck at directions. I also learned that women and men utilize Google maps in very different ways. For the most part in my study of ladies (because I am the proud owner of girl parts), we typically don’t use things like cardinal directions or mileage. I want to start a Google maps product for women, here’s how it would go:

    • REGULAR VERSION: “Head southeast on 6th Ave N toward Charlotte Ave for 1.5 miles and then merge onto 1-35W”
    • LADIES VERSION: “Keep going the way your car is pointed on 6th Ave toward the Starbucks and then after 2 minutes or so, take a right at the Party Wagon Supply Store and then get on the highway, yes, that highway, right there”
    I was frequently asked…”in how many miles are we going to do that?”. I sat dumbfounded. Do you men have some sort of permanent odometer built into your brain? 

    -Keep Tabs on Your Co-Pilot: One thing we constantly did, that kept us both happy and not wanting to run our car into a swamp? We checked in with each other frequently to make sure we were hanging in there, helped each other out when we could and kept ourselves fed, watered, and caffeinated.  Also, if your co pilot’s face starts to look sullen and glazed over (mine), you might want stop and take a little break with them, pump up the jams, and pacify them with Chex Mix. 

    Happy Roadtripping Y’all,

    Chinae

     


  5. Be a Better…Wedding Guest.

    My refrigerator no longer looks like a food-containing appliance, but rather, a save the date graveyard…chock full of your smiling/dramatic/lovey letter pressed selves.

    Since you are all paying lots of money for me to come and eat over-priced food and drink your open bar dry…I feel like I need to remind myself how to be a good wedding guest. Mostly so I continue to get invited to your blooming nuptials, to ensure that my future of free risotto balls is secure. 

    4 Ways to Be A Better Wedding Guest:

    -Keep All Clothes On: I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this…but I actually can’t remember a wedding I’ve been to, where someone hasn’t done something weird as shit, and inevitably takes their suit/dress/dyed shoes off. Mostly the shoes thing, but I’ve witnessed a few shirtless interactions as well. People, this is not the 1992 Middleton High School Prom, nor is this a Nascar after party. Keep your shit together. Girls, if you are wearing painful shoes, and you really want to get low, for God’s sake, bring a pair of flats. No one wants to see your HEB feet running through the halls of a chiffon-covered convention center at 1AM. 

    -Be Cool: Do not stalk the cater waiters, asking when more mini-ceviche bowls are coming out of the kitchen. Do not ask the bartenders for 37 Patron shots, your friends, the bride and groom have to pay up for your habits. Do not make out with the Mother of the Bride, yes she’s hot and newly divorced, still…NO. Do not stuff appetizers in your small evening bag that’s shaped like a shell, so you can have insta-late night food. Do not do the worm (EVER)

    -Send Your Gift Via Post: You have a year to send a wedding present according the Emily Post, after attending a wedding. Do the bride and groom a favor and send that shit via the USPS. Don’t bring the gift to the wedding because all you’re doing is torturing some poor bridesmaid, who has to cart that shit back. After all, the poor girl just needs a cocktail, k?

    -Don’t Be an Attention Whore: I understand weddings are like…YOUR FAVORITE THING EVER..but guess what? This is actually not just a party for you. This is someone’s wedding day, and you licking the parquet floor while doing a choreographed dance by yourself, isn’t helping matters.  Save the over-the-top behavior for the after party or your 30th birthday, and remember…no one’s grandmother wants to watch you grind with the MC. 

    Cheers to Lots More Wedded Bliss!

    xo Chinae

     


  6. Be Better at…Getting Dumped.

    Fourth Grade was a roller coaster year for me.

    I made my first enemy (thanks Mary Liz), was totally mystified and subsequently grossed out when I found out how sex actually happens (again, thanks Mary Liz), got my first set of acrylic nails without my mother’s permission (thanks Tiffany Stotler’s mom), and experienced my first REAL heartbreak.

    His name was Tony Pena. He had a large, square head that was covered in dark course hair. He possessed some serious playground swagger. Tony had me swooning with his Latin accent that came through those large Chiclet-sized front teeth of his. I was hooked. He was pretty much a 9 year-old Ricky Ricardo and I wanted to be his brunette Lucy. We became friends and then… that fateful day came. 

    He told me he liked someone else. I think her name was Jasmine (and she was probably a bitch).

    One hour later, I got hit in the stomach with a Frisbee, which subsequently caused a catastrophic nosebleed, covering me in the same blood that once pumped my heart full of love for Tony Pena. What a day.

    All of this is to say: break-ups totally suck. So how do we deal with one without getting drunk on box wine and singing 70’s ballads in our underwear between tears and re-runs of Dawson’s Creek? I’ll tell you how.

    5 WAYS TO BE BETTER…AT GETTING DUMPED:


    1. WRITE IT ALL DOWN:

    There are a few reasons to write down what you’re thinking at this moment. One, you’ll need to re-read this journal in moments of wine-related loneliness, where all you want to do is call them and try it all again. Having the words in black and white might help curb that craving. Two, it’s just a good way to process. But remember, you aren’t making a f*cking Burn Book here, and it’s not The Notebook either…but try writing down the good, the bad, and the breakup worthy things about your relationship as a whole (as objectively as you can in this moment of sadness/joy/anger/fear/relief).

    2. GET FIT:

    There’s nothing better than a little sweat to relieve aggression or stress. Plus, knowing that you’ll look hotter the next time you see your Ex doesn’t hurt either. Amp up your gym routine, add some new physical activities to your schedule, and who knows…you may meet your soul mate on the stretching mat.

    2. FILL UP YOUR SCHEDULE:

     Take some time to actually grieve the loss of your relationship, but know when that grieving expiration date is. After that point, fill up your schedule and keep busy. Ex-girlfriend never wanted to go camping upstate with you? Plan a camping trip with your buddies. Ex-boyfriend hated your cooking? Take some cooking classes and do it for you, not him. Think of a break-up as New Year’s Day when you get a fresh start. Try a challenging activity that you’ve always been scared to do! Go on a fabulous trip, or redecorate your tiny ass apartment. Use your extra time well and you’ll feel more centered and disciplined, rather than lonely and bored.

    4. LOCATION REDEMPTION:

    That restaurant you had your first kiss, the bar where you locked eyes, the Turkish Bathhouse you broke up at (what?)…all those places now have romantic real estate in your brain. Make it a goal to revisit each of those places and redeem your memory with something equally great but unrelated. Host a dinner party at that restaurant, meet the guys for drinks at that bar…maybe stay away from the bathhouse but treat yourself to a romantic bath for two with your new lover.

    5. DON’T EAT, DRINK, OR F*CK YOUR FEELINGS AWAY:

    Vodka, Supreme beefy-cheesy nachos, and that long-haired Russian bouncer are not the answer to your woes. Don’t fall into the pit of loneliness and try and eat/drink/sex your way out. It won’t help and you’ll just be fatter, more hung over, and with a little less dignity in the morning. 

    Hope this helps your heart get on the mend QUICK! 

    xo Chinae

    P.S. This post is also featured on Fucked in Park Slope…another baller site I get to blog for! Check it out HERE.

     


  7. Be a Better…Lover.

    Since today is the official day of being all vomit-y and talking about love, I suppose my adoration of jumping on bandwagons shouldn’t quit on such an occasion. 

    But I’m not going to tell you how to impress that special someone, or how to pick the perfect V-day gift…because, seriously, no one wants to read that shit.

    Instead, let’s dissect the easiest ways to absolutely make your v-day crash and burn…as one half of a couple, or totally single. Because that’s WAY more fun.

    5 Ways to Kill Valentine’s Day: Relationship Edition

    -Buy her clothes: Clothes are tricky…especially if you have no clue what actual size she is. You’re probably going to offend her or make her feel fat. I was shopping last night, and was approached by men 3 separate times, to give my opinion on some V-day clothing items for their wives/girlfriends. I picked out clothing for three women, who I happen to never have met, have no idea of their personal style, or what they actually look like. Descriptors that were used by these men when asked to give details of their ladies were: skinny, light-skinned, hot, big butt, and short. So, as you can see…I was not set up to win here. Note, if you are asking a stranger at Forever 21 if you should buy either the ugly satin blue dress or the ugly satin pink dress…you should stick with something more in your wheelhouse..like candy (or bling-covered chains in one instance). And for the record, I picked the ugly blue one. 

    -Open the Ex-Files: This is not the time or place to talk about past gifts, or romantic expressions made by previous lovers. Ladies, shut your mouth. This is also not the time to talk about that wedding at Disneyland that you’ve been dreaming of. Eat your Russell Stover’s and be happy.

    -Make an Overly-Romantic Gesture That Reveals Your Inner Guilt: Maybe i’m a Valentine’s Day cynic (realist) in that I think some good quality time, small tokens of affection, and telling them how you feel is enough. But I will tell you…when I see that someone has rented the entire Empire State Building for a rousing hide and go seek game, figured out how to make an actual carpet fly Aladdin-style, and/or has brought in Mario Batali for a home made dinner complete with a trip to Italy for dessert…I start wondering how badly you f*cked up this year to have to do all that.  If a man did this, I would probably break up with him, because he is for sure cheating on me or killing puppies in his spare time. 

    -E-cards: Nothing is worse than an e-card. Just…don’t do it. Too depressing. Write an email or something. Or actually WRITE A REAL LETTER. Imagine that.

    -Fuck Dinner Up: Valentine’s dinner has some sort of weird pressure behind it. Don’t totally mess it up by emotionally vomiting on your date…how this is the first Valentine’s date you’ve ever been on and that if all goes to plan that you know that you guys would have very adorable children. Also, men…stop talking about work, or your “portfolio”, or how you can’t wait to get home and bump uglies. It’s making my steak taste funny.

    5 Ways to Ruin Valentine’s Day: Single Edition

    -Post Anti-Love Sentiments on FB: We’ve all been single on at least one Valentine’s Day…and Facebook makes that more evident than ever. But I will tell you one thing…if you want to ensure that next year’s V-day will be just as lonely, talk about how much V-day sucks, and how it’s a Hallmark holiday. Even some of us that are in relationships don’t really care for it…but putting out those negative vibes don’t make you or anyone else feel any better. No guy was ever like…”man, that girl is pissed she’s single…I think I should do something about that and whisk her off her angry little feet!” Also, I think F*ck Guys Girl’s Night Out is banned on today…too much, ladies. 

    -Cat Photo Shoot: Doing a full-fledged photo shoot with your army of felines after too much discount wine is not going to go well. 

    -Ask Strangers on a Date: Men, this is not the day to pick up women on the train/bar/laundry mat. You are opening up a time bomb of emotion that you are not prepared for. You may want a hot date for tonight, really bad…but don’t be that weirdo desperate guy that’s ordering the pre-fixe Valentine’s menu for one at the bar so you can scope out women. 

    -Go to the Gym: I’ve been single quite a few times on Valentine’s…but one thing I won’t do is go to the gym on this day. Give yourself a break, have a relaxing evening…the gym is only going to be full of die-hards and lonely hearts tonight. Grab a drink with friends and celebrate love today, single or not.

    -Single’s Events: Holy sh*t. I still can’t believe that people go to things that include the words: Speed date, mixer, anti-valentine’s day ball, singles b-ball. I mean, I am all for figuring out ways to meet people, but going to one of these things on Valentine’s Day is NOT the answer. Again, drinks with friends are always the best option!

    Love you all. 

    xo Chinae

     


  8. Be a Better…Dater.

    Surviving a Bad Date Edition:

    There’s nothing like sitting in awkward mid-conversation silence, watching your date inhale his Steak Au Poivre like a f*cking Dustbuster, and then quietly listen while he tells you that he’d like to take you to visit his family in rural Tennessee where you guys can learn to churn your own butter. We need to have some tips and tricks of how to power through a bad date without flipping the table and forever ruining your reputation at your favorite restaurant.

    Bad Date Blunders:


    Chatty Cathy: You’ve been on the date for 45 minutes and you haven’t been able to get a word in yet. You now know her dermatological history, what she eats for breakfast on Mondays to “get her going”, and how fast she powers through her Jillian Michael’s Cardio Ballet workout DVDs. And she’s still going…

    What to do: She’s probably mostly nervous and trying to fill air time. Most women fear that men are going to think they are boring if there’s a lull in the conversation, so they overcompensate with word vomit. A good way to push the reset button is to do a Cheers. It will stop her from talking for just a minute, get some booze flowing in the system, and hopefully will give you a chance to get a real conversation going. If that doesn’t work, pretend like you are listening to talk radio, eat fast, and get on outta there as fast as your legs will carry you. 

    Sneak Attack Weirdness: Everything is going swimmingly and then all of a sudden, they do something that makes you go…”what the what?!”.  Here’s an example:

    Him: Yeah, so I went to Croatia last year…it was pretty amazing. A trip of a lifetime, really.

    Her: WOW. Croatia, that sounds like a dream. Why’d you make the trek and what did you do there?

    Him: Oh, well, I went and visited the ancient Roman ruins, explored the Dalmatian coast, hiked the Croatian mountains, and entered into a furry cosplay festival for people who are interested in pet/human domination.

    Her:…

    Her: hiking huh? 

    ::End Scene::

    Keep laughing folks, but this happens. Maybe not to this extreme but when you realize your lover has a bit of weird in them, you have to know how to rebound. 

    What To Do: As much as you want to let it slide, so you don’t have to know more, you should just ask. Be nosy. They obviously put it out there to see how you’d react and if it was me, I wouldn’t be able to stop wondering if this is just a tiny taste of a weirdo buffet that could be in my future. Maybe it was a one time thing…that he was dragged into by a friend. Maybe he’s insane? It’d be good to find out sooner than later.

    Too Much Too Soon Lover: He/She has planned out your first three kids’ post-grade school educational plans before the stuffed mushrooms arrive. 

    What To Do: RUN.

    OK. Just kidding. (sorta) If this only kinda scares you, make VERY clear where you’re at in your dating life, what you want, see if that slows them down a bit. But yeah, you should probably head for the hills.

    Cheers to being a survivor and living to tell about it,

    xo Chinae

     


  9. Be a Better…Dater.

    Out to Eat Edition:

    Eating is easy. Talking is easy. Manners are pretty easy. Doing all three simultaneously with someone that makes your stomach feel like worms is not as easy. How do you navigate dinner date night and make your lil’ lady feel super special without looking like a total tool?

    5 Ways to Win on Date Night:

    -Take Charge of Planning: You know what I f*cking hate? Being asked out and then having to plan the whole damn date. You asked me if I’d like to have dinner, and I am aware that you are scared to pick something I potentially could hate…but more than a bad Chicken Tandoori experience, is me having to plan our night out when it was your idea in the first place. Don’t ask me where I want to go. YOU DECIDE. The best way I’ve ever been asked out went something like this:

    Manfriend: “Hey, I’d like to take you out this week for dinner, are you free Friday evening?”

    Me: “Yeah”

    Manfriend: “Be ready at 7, I’ll come get you.”

    Me: “Where you wanna go?”

    Manfriend: “I’ve got a plan, just be ready at 7pm”

    Me:(swoon)

    Hearing that you’ve put some thought, effort, and have the balls to take charge is HOT. It won’t even matter if the place sucks, TRUST ME.

    -Order Well: The ordering process is always a weird moment on a date…you’re both trying to figure out what the f*ck you want but then are trying to have conversation at the same time. I’m mostly trying to figure out what won’t give me bad breath or a teeth situation while trying to figure out if ordering another vodka makes me look like an alcoholic or just “fun”. And then you both ask each other what you are thinking about getting…and let’s be honest, neither one of you really care.

    **Here’s a pro tip for guys, look at the menu before you go and even talk to the maitre d’ on the phone when you are making your reservation about what are NO FAIL options for ordering, while you are on the phone, make sure you know if they are cash only, or any special things about the place (this can derail a date). When you can suggest something to a lady or order FOR HER (chill out feminists), most gals will go with your opinion and feel like you know your sh*t. Bonus round, be confident and order a bottle of wine with the meal that you don’t take her suggestion on. Just order it, with confidence. 

    -Relocation Plan: So you’re going to need two plans here…Plan A is for when or IF for some reason the restaurant falls through. Come up with a place that’s close by, that could work, because you’ll never know when the place is booked up, your wait time will be extended, or you find out she has a shellfish allergy when you pull into the Joe’s Crab Shack parking lot (for God’s sake I’m joking). The second plan you’ll need to have at the ready is the after party…well…not party per se, but a place to grab a drink or extend the night if you both are wanting to do that. Nothing kills a mood like you using your Yelp app post dessert. 

    -Table Manners: Pull out chairs, excuse yourself properly, be the main contact for the server, and always tip well. These things are old-fashioned and seem like obvious things, but you wouldn’t believe how many dudes are missing things here. Think about the small stuff…if you see her water glass low, or that she needs another drink, call the waiter over and make sure it’s tended to, before she has to even think about it. 

    -Checktiquette: Gals, always offer to pay for your half. Guys, rarely let them. Whoever planned the date should pay. This rule lessens if you are seriously dating and it’s normal food eating time…once you get to the non-date dating stage, this rule relaxes and both people should be contributing. 

    Go eat food and multiply,

    Chinae

     


  10. Be a Better…Dater.

    PDA Edition:

    I don’t WANT to like PDA. Seriously I don’t.

    I hate watching people explore each other’s uvulas (look it up dirty people) on the sidewalk while I’m just trying to get my iced coffee (2 sweet n’ lows and a splash of cream) to hide the fact that I’ve been on Skype, chatting until the early hours of the morning instead of sleeping. 

    But (confession time), I kinda like it when it’s me. 

    Yeah…you all hate me now. It’s fine. Feel free to remove me from your bookmarks bar and delete me from facebook.

    But before you digitally break up with me, let me explain myself…I think there is a time and a place for all kinds of PDA and we all just need to do a little scouting of the situation before taking your date’s shirt off at your niece’s bat mitzvah. There’s a balance that could be reached here people and I’m convinced that I’ve got the secret sauce. 

    ANNND…I made a f*cking chart. Deal with it.

    Screw the Food Guide Pyramid…I’d pick kissing over fruits and veggies any day (amirite?). Let’s break this down.

    If you get grossed out by a couple holding hands, hugging, or lightly flirting…you need to get a life. And more importantly, you need to get over yourself and your insecurities. If you consistently disapprove of love shared by others, you’ll never find your own. Trust. Put down your cherry-mango Haterade and try a vodka on the rocks (two limes). This type of PDA should be widely acceptable and use as needed. Rinse and freaking repeat, folks. 

    The second level of my PDA Pyramid is the Date Night level. Now, don’t get too Lifetime movie on me here ladies and gents…no one wants to watch The Notebook while in line at Shake Shack (or we’d be watching The Notebook at Shake Shack on our iPad), but I get it. You’re on a date, you hopefully are in love, and you should be able to kiss each other on such an occasion. Just limit the amount of tongue I have to stare at (because I WILL be staring at you, it’s a good thing and I know I’m creepy). 

    Third level is a VERY SMALL window between 2-5am on date night…you’ve thrown a couple drinks into the bloodstream, you have probably decided that walking home (he better be walking your ass home) in 5inch heels was a great idea (very romantic), and that pepperoni pizza is a low calorie early morning breakfast treat. This is the ONLY time when potentially making out in public is an OK idea. Mostly because everyone else is riiiight there with ya. Typical locations involve the corners/patios of your local watering hole, residential streets, and Brooklyn stoops. Enjoy, you crazy kids.

    The ETC. section is a no-no for the public. You do NOT need a ticket for public indecency right now.

    Some Examples of BAD PDA:

    -An Ann Taylor Love Story: This is a personal favorite of mine. I’m riding the train into Soho and i see your rumpled asses get on the train. Business casual…but rumpled nonetheless. It’s obvious that those are yesterday’s chinos and yesterday’s Ann Taylor shift dress. Let me guess, you work together, you had one too many free appletinis at office happy hour and then one thing led to another and you’ve both ended up now riding the train into work wearing your dirty little secrets in the form of cuffed khakis.  You are sorta afraid to touch each other, but you are also sorta giggly and weird because this is going to cause so much tension in that boardroom this morning. I AM GOING TO STARE AND LAUGH ON THE INSIDE AT YOU. Just keep it cool at work guys, no sexy intra-office emailing today ok? 

    -The Young and the Restless: People are drawn to me. And by people, I mean every latin american teenage couple in New York City. Pretty much everywhere I go, I have two underaged kids within arms length…just GOING AT IT. Typically this hair gel/JLo Glow fueled love affair is pretty graphic, there is always at least one asscrack visible (damn you lowrise jeans), and suddenly I revert back to being ten and thinking babies come from a lot of kissing. All I can hear is your saliva, and a lot of “oh babys” and every time I look at you guys, I feel like a pedofile (cue Chris Hansen and the offer of a sweet tea). 

    -The Old Couple: OMG…I will stop my friends and make them look at any old couple who is doing anything remotely romantic. Usually it involves hand holding or something of that nature. I smile and think…”awwww…I hope my husband and I are still like that when we’re that age…” and then the other day, it happened. I was looking at a beautiful old couple, just enjoying the scenery on the ferry across Lake Champlain…holding hands and chatting. AND THEN SHE GRABBED HIS ASS. You’ve ruined this for me. I am ok with old people doing cute ass sh*t but visualizing your sexual virility in public is just not something I’m ready for at this juncture. 

    Be Better at Public Lovin’ Y’all,

    Chinae

     


  11. Be a Better…Dater.

    Break Up Edition:

    I’ve been confronted a lot, in my own dating life and my friends’ dating lives, about breakup protocol recently. We all know how to end a RELATIONSHIP, like the real thang…what gets dicey is ending the CASUAL dating rigamaroll in a good and healthy way. 

    So here’s the situation, you’ve been on a couple dates, it’s going fine, you are seemingly happy and so is your partner in crime. So what’s wrong? I smell a stench of apathy. 

    You know it won’t end in a relationship, it won’t transform magically into some epic love affair (f*ck you Disney) or some damn romantic comedy (I’m looking at you Cameron Diaz). And that’s the truth that both of you probably are aware of but it’s fun enough just keep hanging out. Is there any harm in that?

    I don’t know the answer to that people. What I do know the answer to is this…when you make the decision to break it off finally, there are some ways to alleviate the possible relational schrapnel.

    Here we go:

    -Pull the Band-Aid Off Quick: This is no fun for anyone involved. It’s pretty much the worst actually. Don’t extend it by dragging it along waiting for the other person to get annoyed or tired of the process first, just man/lady up and do the deed.

    -Be Honest, Even If It’s Gonna Sting: You know that saying, ” If you give ‘em an inch, they’ll take a mile”? Well this applies in the breakup situation as well…If you give a little bit of hope, they’ll probably choose to live in that sliver of hope rather than resting in the reality of what is actually happening. So be honest, tell them exactly your future plans, and God forbid don’t put out the friend card UNLESS YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO BE THEIR FRIEND. And if you say that, follow up and commit to it.

    -Be Direct: You aren’t too busy, you don’t have THAT much to concentrate on, and you aren’t JUST travelling a lot. Just tell the truth. You obviously liked them enough to go on a few dates…it’s OK to say you just don’t see it going anywhere but that they are awesome. Because usually…they are. 

    -Get Out of Tech Land: No texts, no e-mails, no FB messages. It’s just lame. Do it in person or on the phone to avoid looking like a total coward.

    Cheers to the best breakups ever!

    xo Chinae

     


  12. Be a Better…Dater.

    Asking Someone Out Edition:

    Why is this so complex you ask? Well, I have no f*cking clue. People always seems to struggle  with the concept of getting the nerve up to ask a lady (or man, for you “I am Woman, Hear Me Roar” types) out, but I think we are getting our manties/panties in a twist for no reason. So unravel that situation, and let’s navigate this like Ponce De Leon and his discovery of Hispanola.

    Here are some tips and tricks to Being Better…At Asking Someone Out.

    -Perspective: It’s JUST a date. You aren’t proposing peace treaties with Kim Jong Il on a North Korean military base at gunpoint, you are asking someone to go drink house vodka with you at some bar, whose name you will both forget if you have enough house vodka. Worst case scenario, she’s on her period and turns you down, BUT in that case you probably weren’t going to have a good time anyway, and now you have $12-15 bucks to spend at your next Dave and Busters outing. Prizes!

    -Timing: Be specific, and give a few options. You know what annoys me? Having to plan my own date. Here’s how the conversation sometimes goes (and shouldn’t):

    Guy A: ” Um…hey..we should hang out sometime!”

    Me: “Yeah, sounds great! I’d love to….just let me know.”

     (a couple days pass)

    Guy A: “So, yeah. Let’s hang out. When do you want to do that?”

    This sucks. You know what would be better? THIS:

    Guy B: “Hey, I’d love to take you out for a drink sometime, just you and I”

    Me: “Yeah, I’d really like to do that.”

    Guy B: “Well, how’s Friday night at 7? If that doesn’t work, we will get something else on the schedule but I’d like te see you before the week end.”


    There are so many good things about this. Specific times make us feel like we are making plans, not that we are just throwing out some bullshit grey-area talk. It also means you are trying to lock us down into actual firm plans that we can then put in our schedule and totally freak out about it later (in a good way). Also, you are giving us a time and date suggestion but also letting us know that if that doesn’t work for us, that you are ready and willing to make up a backup time with the end point being the weekend. We want to know that you want to see us again like Lohan wants to see her dealer ok?

    -The Plan: Now that you’ve suggested a time, make sure you add in some more specifics about what you want to do. If it’s the first date, whoever asks, should plan. Instead of saying let’s hang out (which is hyper ambiguous and totally annoying amirite?), be direct in where or what you want to do on said date. We don’t know if we are going deep sea fishing or going to the local dive bar…enlighten us.

    Here’s the perfect scenario:

    "There’s this great cocktail bar that I’ve been wanting to try called HouseVodkaHouse, are you available on Friday to have a drink with me? Say…7pm? If Friday doesn’t work, let’s pick another day this week that works for you."


    -Be Clear: I don’t hear anything more frequently than girls who get asked out to “hang” with a guy, and end sitting around, eating cheetos with their gal pals in their underwear, trying to figure out if they are going on a date, friend hangout, or if it’s a legit business meeting (OK maybe not the last one, if he send you an iCal event, it’s probably a meeting), or if they are recruiting for their new BFF. Just say it’s a date! OR if that’s too much pressure, just make it clear that it’s just the two of you. Speaking from personal history,  I seriously have shown up, thinking I was going on a date, and ended up doing sake bombs with said guy and his room mates. SO…you get the point. It’ll save us a lot of crazy-girl thoughts.

    So that’s pretty simple yeah? Put itinto perspective, be specific about date/time/activity, and be a clear communicator. If we can follow these simple tips, it’ll make all of our dating lives better and we might even make it on to date #2!

    Helping your game, daily.

    xoxo Chinae

     


  13. Be a Better…Dater.

    Dinner Date Edition:

    Let’s be honest, the first dinner date can be a minefield of bad breath, weird tooth situations, and bodily reactions that you must enter with extreme caution. It’s the ‘Nam of dates, where pretty much everything can go wrong and has the potential to leave you sitting there…stinky, gassy, and alone with a doggie bag full of bad memories.

    Here are some pointers from staying out of your version of a gastro-nightmare:

    -What to Order: Now, you should order what you want to eat, I’ll say that…but be careful and try to stay away from these particular items that may or may not send you hurdling down the path back to singleville.

    Sushi: It’s classy, it’s healthy, and can be a very chic choice right? Well, all of those are true statements…BUT be ready for 2 things. 1) Awkward silences that last for what feels like 10 minutes due to the fact that you both have shoved a baseball-sized ball of fish infused rice into your mouth at the same time. 2) Due to said food-to-mouth shoveling, not only will you not be talking, both of you will be trying to do rapid hand motion patterns to get your point across while both cheeks are filled to the brim, causing you to look like a rabid squirrel who’s transporting nuts back to her young while directing air traffic. Maybe that chicken teriyaki isn’t looking so bad now, eh?

    Italian: Here we’ve got the trifecta of potential life ruiners…garlic breath, tiny flecks of oregano/basil that will creep in between those cigarette & coffee stained bi-cuspids and then the rigamarole of attempting to eat pasta without looking like a small child who just realized that forks are a thing. Unless your partner is eating that sh*t too…steer clear. 

    BBQ: Anywhere that you need a bib to be able to function in society after dining, is probably tough for a first time romantic dining experience. Now, I’m totally in for date 2-3, getting all dirty, saucy, and greased up…but remember that we ladies need to be prepared for such occasions as this. When we do go though, I will wear flannel, I will bring my own bib, and I will be ordering copious amounts of meat products. You bring the wet wipes.

    Mexican: A true danger zone, Mexican food has the veil of being fun, cheap, and a great excuse to have a serious amount of tequila in a dinner setting without judgement,  but you may have some issues with this after your last couple of bites. Try having a conscious post-dinner conversation when both of you feel like you may have been impregnated at some point during the meal by a burrito the size of a 30 week old fetus. 2nd Trimester is never a sexy time. In addition to your new arrival, you just drank A LOT of tequila…so pretty much you are drunk and pregnant. Poor form new parent. 

    All that to say, these aren’t hard and fast rules…eat what you want, you’ll be fine. BUT if you take them into consideration next time on your first dinner date…I have a feeling it’ll aid in speeding you right on through to dinner date #2 where you can unveil all your disgusting surprises and they still will probably like you!

    Supporter of hot dates everywhere since 1985,

    x chinae

     


  14. Be a Better…Communicator.

    (Part 2 from yesterday…) Pick-Up Artist LADIES Edition:

    So…I am around A LOT of women in my life, that and I am the proud owner of my own girly parts. Between Simultaneous-Period phenomenon conversation, and talking about how we are going to make a million dollars to fund our desire for a beach house with exactly 3 shirtless cabana boys… I get to overhear and take part in a lot of talk about the men folk and of course some mild bitching.

    Here are some of the most common things I hear regarding men and the pickup process:

    -“Guys never approach me!” (not with that attitude they don’t)

    -“What’s there to talk about with a stranger?” (umm…hello…you’ve never met. this is going to be the time where you have the most to talk about)

    -“They probably are just out for sex and nothing serious…” (oh c’mon, let’s not renew our Manhaters Magazine subscription so quickly)

    -“Can I turn flirting into a bar, into an actual date?” (it can and DOES happen…they may turn into a crazy person though…I can’t guarantee this will not happen..and it’s more likely than not)

    -“I think men are intimidated by my strong personality/good looks/job/etc…so that’s why I don’t get picked up” (false. unless you are Heidi Klum, and if you are Heidi Klum and you are reading this blog…tell Seal hello.)

    -“How do I chat up a guy without him thinking I’m desperate?” (If you are desperate, it’s obvious whether you open your mouth or not…it’s like the smell of freshly cooked bacon to a vegetarian (smells good but wouldn’t put it in their mouth for a million)

    SOME TIPS AND TRICKS to Expert Lady Game (minus the game playing):

    -Problem: Poor Positioning….If you are sitting in the corner of a six person booth, no drink, stuck on level twelve of Angry Birds on your iPhone or talking to your friend in an intense convo about how no one “understands who you really are”…no guy is going to talk to you. Not because you aren’t pretty, or interesting, or because they’re nervous…but because you’ve positioned yourself as inaccessible. This isn’t American Gladiators. They should not have to fight Nitro and Storm with pugil sticks and then hand-bike their way over a foam-filled trench to get to you. 

    -Solution: Guys are lazy. If you are a single gal, you’ve gotta learn pick-up positioning. Instead of sitting in the corner of the booth, let your married friend sit there (she is having regular sex), and sit at the edge of a table and face the flow of traffic (this gives the maximum amount of eye to eye contact possible and if the guy does want to approach you, he doesn’t feel like Storm is giving him the stink eye for leaning over her to try and offer you an adult beverage). I think the best place to post up is near the bar….now don’t be one of those annoying people who (at a busy place) are saddled up to the bar but are pretty much requiring you to do the choreography from the Bump and Grind music video to be able to order my Absolut on the rocks (two limes). 

    Another easy positioning thing is to open your body up to the main part of the room or who you’ve got your eye on… even if you are seated at a table with people, angle your chair toward the center of the room, I don’t know think NASA has done any research behind this, but speaking from trial and error…it works.

    -Problem: No One is Approaching You…Well the mentality that men should be the only one’s making first contact is absurd. If this your thought process.. (fast forward 30 years), you’ll be sharing a bowl of Cherry Garcia ice cream with your hairless Persian cat Mr. Weebles, watching Designing Women re-runs in your Lot’s o’ Coverage cotton undies. Now look,  I’m Southern and I do believe men should make the first move to ask you out but we are talking about striking up a conversation while you’re out…you aren’t inviting him on a romantic Parisien vacation.

    -Solution: Get over your insecurity and talk to someone. Buy a guy a beer (wouldn’t that be shocking?). Introduce yourself. Be bold…and I can guarentee most guys will think its insanely refreshing to not have to handle all the dirty work and you’ll probably gain major points for being confident enough to make the first move. 

    -Problem: Conversation (What the heck do we talk about?!)… Alright, so he came up and offered to buy you a drink. He has dimples. Sh*t. That’s distracting. He sorta looks like that Werewolf kid from that vampire movie I never saw. I wonder if his abs look like that Werewolf’s?….. OK YOU MUST SNAP OUT OF IT. This is the time that you have everything in the world to talk about so make the most of it. You’ll probably get to the stage where you are both 85 and are just staring into space over the dinner table but that time is not now. Engage!

    -Solution: Get your brain in the game. Come up with your go-to questions for these times when you are all flustery due to the potential of Werewolf Abs. Think about what you’d want to be asked…be original and don’t ask Yes or No Questions, you’ll feel dumb when they answer and you have to ask another question making you feel like a tube-top-wearing Regis Philbin on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Be really good at talking about a couple of topics so you can hop right on over those uncomfortable silences. 

    Also, keep it short. Excuse yourself, say you loved talking and that you hope to talk again, and go do something else, if he comes and finds you to continue conversation..you’ve made it to BONUS ROUND!

    -Be a little mean sometimes. This is my typical mode of operation. Keep it playful but a few little jabs can let them know that you are interested and they’ll usually respond with a zinger right back. Let’s be honest…we all can use reverting to 3rd grade hair pulling once in a while.

    Three Cheers for Summer Love,

    xoxo Chinae

     


  15. Be a Better…Communicator.

    Pick-Up Line Edition:

    Picture it. Winter in NYC 2011. Walking through Times Square with my ladies. Heading over to Dave and Busters to engage in some antics (this is why I love my lady friends, we aren’t watching re-runs of the hit WE Network television show Bridezillas together, we’re dominating Skeeball/Dance Dance Revolution with the other creeps at D&B).

    As we are walking down the street, I notice a stallion of a man, sitting on the sidewalk in a wheelchair with some of his equally stallion-like compatriots. He is rounding out at about 350 lbs, hasn’t showered in a minute or two years, and looks like he may be fused permanently to his mobile throne. He was turned around, with his back to me…but out of his malt liquor-glazed periphery, he saw me. Instantly he was healed from any illness or handicap and jumped out of his wheelchair…and then he said it. The best pick-up line I’ve ever been served up. 

    "Girrrrrl, I would drink your bathwater!" 

    I mean, c’mon people. It doesn’t get better than that. 

    A group of my friends and I were sitting on the patio of my favorite Williamsburg haunt this weekend and during our Budweiser-laced conversation (don’t judge, they were 2 for $5) pick-up lines came up as the topic of discussion. So that got me thinking…(I only think in blog posts now BTW)

    The do’s and don’ts of pick-up artistry…a simple guide for guys and gals:

    For the men folk (PART ONE)…

    -Focus: If we see you trying to pick up every moderately attractive woman at the bar (i have eagle eyes), we are not going to be impressed, nor are we going to want to be one of many. So just calm your inner 12 year old boy who just discovered boobs, act like you’ve been out in a social situation before, and when you see something that interests you, act on it, but be selective, choose wisely, and don’t be a total scavenger. 

    -If you want to pay a compliment, tread carefully: Now if you do this wrong it can really be a disaster (think relational ‘Nam), but if you master the art of the compliment, it can really be a slam dunk (sports reference FTW). As women, we want to have transparency and know that you’re interested. We spend way too much time trying to analyze you as a gender, trying to wade through gray-area behavior. In this early stage of the game, a good compliment can show direct interest and clear intent (we don’t want to try and figure out if you are just trying to chat us up to waste time in the bathroom line while you are trying to not do the Pee-Pee dance). Let me give you a hint here…we want to feel/look hot, but it’s mostly not for you (we want to impress our girlfriends) and when the first thing out of your mouth is that you think we are pretty/sexy/hot, it makes us feel cheap and unoriginal. We know you thought we looked good, or you probably wouldn’t have approached us.

     If you are going to pay a compliment to a lady, be thoughtful about it. Look at what she’s wearing, her best feature (that doesn’t involve one of her wonder zones), and her accessories. We love when you notice something about our style and the way we present ourselves. Don’t go all Will and Grace, starting by telling me you like my shoes and following up with asking for a recommendation of where you can get your own pair, but make us feel like you notice little things beyond the obvious. 

    -The Double Swoop: You notice her standing there, you like what you see and you want to chat her up. This technique is really going to help your success ratio. Don’t just barge in right away, walk by and catch her eye. Smile (this is important), and hold your gaze for a few extra seconds (don’t get all scary and intense) and see if she returns the favor and then walk away. We aren’t going to give you that sort of attention or extended gaze if we aren’t at least a little interested (unless you have some sort of crazy facial feature, in that case we are just trying to understand how you see past/through that overhang of eyebrow hair). Now you wait. We will be wondering why you didn’t stop and talk, that stare will be bugging us. Let it marinate. After a little while, go back and start the conversation. The great thing about this is that it feels like we’ve already sorta met and that it wasn’t just an impulsive interaction, but that you saw us, went away, and still were thinking about us. We like that.

    -Questions: Instead of using a bad line, just ask us a question. Some of the best conversations have just started with, “Hi, I’m ______, what’s your name?”. Also, ask their opinion about something. We love to be asked what we think and be able to be an expert on it. Let’s say we’re at a museum, and you see someone that looks interesting. Ask her what exhibit you shouldn’t miss…or what her favorite piece is. We want you to need us in a situation, just like you want to feel needed and depended on. 

    -Group Strategy: If you are approaching gals in a group, ask questions to her AND her friends. Make sure you pay her extra attention so she knows that she’s special, but engage with the people who are important to her, make them feel pretty and wanted and by the end of the night, all of her friends will be putting in their orders for “Team Steve” shirts. (Take some hints from the Spice Girls…”If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends”) In the situation of approaching a co-ed group, take a minute and watch the group dynamic. You should be able to tell who’s dating who within a brief period. When you go up to chat them up, acknowledge the guys as a sign of respect, introduce yourself and shake their hand but don’t let their presence lead you to the assumption that the girls are all taken or unavailable. 

    Picking up and being picked up, Ladies Edition (PART TWO)…coming tomorrow!

    Hoping your Memorial Day weekend was as awesome as mine was (but it probably wasn’t b/c mine was EPIC),

    Chinae