Dating Online: Advice for Men – How to completely mess up the First Date

English: stamp with the words "Fail"...

English: stamp with the words “Fail” and “attention to detail” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve written about this before in my article What Men should NOT to do on a First or Second Date, but I decided I needed a shorthand version – a cheat sheet if you will.  Also ladies, consider this shorthand for extremely negative behavior.  If some guy is doing several of the things on this list…RUN!!!!!   I’m making this specific to online dating because I think it’s a fairly unique way to meet people, and fraught with peril.  If you totally want to sabotage a date early, here are a few sure-fire ways to do it:

Say any one or more of the following phrases:

  • My bitch, crazy, psycho, ex-wife or ex-girlfriend – I get it, you had a bad breakup.  This is not the time for a festival of bitching.
  • I’m still in love with my ex-wife or ex-girlfriend – This has happened to me more than once…no joke.
  • I have to pay way too much child support – Well maybe you think you do, but would you rather have your kids live in a box on the street?
  • How many guys have you slept with? – Are you kidding me?

The following will make you look like a liar, even if that wasn’t your intention. 

  • I lied about my age on my dating profile
  • Oh by the way, I have a girlfriend – This information should have been on your profile
  • Oh by the way, I have kids – This information should have been on your profile
  • Oh by the way, I’m married – This happens more than you would think…and of course…this should have been on your profile

How to look rude

  • Make frequent text messages
  • Receive phone calls or make calls
  • Constantly check your phone in front of your date
  • Never ask your date any questions about herself, just give her a non-stop biography
  • Take your date to an expensive restaurant and then ask her to split the bill – If you are on a budget do coffee or drinks
  • Insult your date – You would be surprised how often this happens
  • Discuss politics or religion – Unless of course you know 100% it’s OK to go there, it’s not exactly romantic
  • Show up late or cancel at the last-minute – things happen but if some catastrophe occurs, contact your date immediately and BEG for forgiveness.

How to freak out your date

  • Assume it’s time to start making out, when your date has given you no indication that it’s cool do go there
  • Drink to the point that you’re a drunken sloppy mess
  • Assume your date does drugs, and then tell her it’s a deal breaker if she doesn’t
  • Force your date into a social situation with a ton of people she doesn’t know
  • Have an emotional breakdown and then treat your date like a therapist
  • Focus the conversation on sex, and ask intimate sexual questions right off the bat – The only exception to this is if you both agreed ahead of time it’s a casual sex type of encounter, or you met your date on a hook-up site.
  • Get angry when it’s obvious your date doesn’t want to have sex with you – Even if you met her on a hook-up site or with the expectation that you would have sex.  You might have freaked her out, she might have changed her mind.  No always means no, so chill out and let it go.
  • Send your date a dick pic – Although I love making fun of these in my act, dick pics are rude, goofy, and way too forward.  Your date could cancel completely, scream at you or threaten to call the police.  The only exception is if your date has asked to see your business…otherwise DO NOT DO THIS!

My personal #1 Pet Peeves

  • I’ve always thought I was funny, I bet I could do stand-up.  Could you help me get started in comedy? – If you want to get started in comedy then go to an open mic or take an improv or stand-up class…and never ask me that question again.  🙂
  • Get competitive with me about comedy.  Insist your are funnier or try to one-up me with jokes – Unless you really are a comedian…please just stop…no really just stop
  • Never laugh once during the date
  • Demand I tell you jokes, or want to see my act, right there out of context, while on a date – I basically hate you now.
  • Proclaim that you can’t stand cats – When then say that I know 100% that it isn’t going to work out.
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Street Harassment: Why “Cat Calls” Suck Big Hairy Balls

Hairy balls

Hairy balls (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

I purposefully gave this article a ridiculously provocative title.  I don’t mean any offense, as some people really enjoy doing a lot of things with testicles.   I just wanted to use heated sexual language directed at men to make a point. Gentlemen, imagine hearing a phrase like that yelled at you all day long.

Some men resent women because they think we have it so much easier when it comes to dating.  In some ways we do.  For instance it’s a lot easier for the average women to get no strings attached sex. Of course, a few men have a lot of luck hooking up with multiple partners, but for the most part, women usually have no problem having casual sexual encounters.  The downside is that women are often the victims of forced sexual advances, sexual harassment, rape and sexual violence. For most of us, unwanted sexual attention comes at us all day long.  This is exactly why cat calling sucks big hairy balls.

Now because men and women do have different realities when it comes to street harassment, I don’t know an easy way to put this.  If you are male and are reading this please picture the LEAST sexually attractive person you could imagine coming on to you. If this real or imaginary human were to overtly make some type of advance, your skin would crawl.  The thought of having sex with this individual makes you want to vomit.  It would be so disgusting, you would never want to have sex again.  Really burn that face into your psyche. Now imagine if nearly every time you stepped out of your apartment or home, there they were…ready to make some graphic or illicit sexual remark directed at you.  They might follow you down the street, prevent you from walking, lean in close, physical touch or intimidate you.

That is what many women deal with, every day, all day long, all year round in nearly every conceivable situation.  Has it hit home yet?  Maybe? OK I’ll try to tell it from a woman’s perspective now.

When I’m walking down the street, I’m usually thinking of the next place I have to go, I’m not thinking I about any number of men:

  • Who I know nothing about
  • Who might be drunk, or flying high on drugs
  • Who might be much younger or older than me
  • Who could get violent at any moment or try to assault me
  • Who chances are I have no physical attraction to whatsoever

Believe it or not lovers of cat calls, street harassment is quite intimidating.  In fact, there have been several cases of rape, and even murder have begun with seemingly innocuous cat calling.  So no, I’m not overjoyed when some stranger treats me like a sexual object when I didn’t want the attention.

In my short 40 years on this planet, I’ve had to deal with the following scenarios of street harassment.

I have had men assume I was a prostitute – They would pull their cars over, open their doors and ask “how much?” – this happened several times when I was going to work at a coffee shop in college at 5AM.  I was always wearing khaki pants, a t-shirt or long-sleeved shirt, tennis shoes and carrying a bag.  I usually also had a hat on, so I have no idea why this read as prostitute.

I been groped by strangers – I wish this wasn’t true but it’s happened at clubs, bars or on the subway. The physical touching wasn’t ambiguous. Men would grab my ass when I was a cocktail waitress – every time it happened a security guard threw them out of the club.

I been followed, threatened and stalked – You name the threat I’ve heard it.  From “I’m gonna cut your head off” or “I’m going to smash your brains in” and the usual “I want to fuck you so hard”

I have had total stranger grab me, or block my path – When this happens I totally blow up at the man, which usually leads to one of the “I’m going to smash your brains in” type of comments.  But honestly why should any stranger physically touch or grab someone they don’t know? No one has a right to touch another person or prevent them from walking down the street.

I had men expose themselves and masturbate towards me – This has happened more than once and both times on the subway in Chicago.  I learned after my first experience to completely ignore the man. The second time it happened I refuse to acknowledge anything was going on, and luckily this strategy worked and he got bored and stopped.  Again before this might sound HOT to any men reading picture the someone you who actually sexually repulses you doing this to you!  Not so fun now is it.

It happens every day, all times of the year, all day long, regardless of what I’m wearing, or how I look. Even mild interactions tend to wear me down.  Here is a typical one.

It was 5:30 a.m.  I was walking down the street dressed in a conservative skirt suit while hauling a rolling suitcase behind me.   A sanitation worker blocked my path on the sidewalk and physically prevented me from moving.  He said simply, “Hey baby.”

I don’t look up, and politely walked around him with my suitcase.  As I walked past him he shouts, “Bitch.”

Was I supposed to make myself late to work, and just start talking to guy who chose to say “Hey baby.”  Should I have smiled back only to invite even more attention?  Why can’t I just ignore it?    This type of attention is grating, annoying and seriously starts to make women angry at the men who do it.  We don’t view as complimentary.  It’s harassment plain and simple and sadly no joke.

If none of this has swayed your opinion and you are man who still thinks street harassment is welcome, picture your daughter, niece or a friend’s defenseless young child walking down the street…now imagine grown men making sexually lewd comments to her.  The first time I was sexually harassed and intimidated I was about five years old.  So it really does start when girls are extremely young.  Would you want your daughter, sister or mother to go through it?  Of course you wouldn’t.  So the next time you think of making a kissing noise at a random woman, or shouting at her about her ass, or blocking a female on the street, stop yourself.   Your tactic not only won’t work, but you are probably making that woman’s day that much worse.  If a woman thinks you are cute, she will probably find a reason to talk to you, but when you scream “Hey baby you look so good I want to fuck you”, you’ve just lost any chance that it will happen.

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How did you not know? – The worst thing to ask a Straight Spouse

Wedding Cake

It’s the one question we all cringe when we hear it.  The one thing that brings more resentment and anger than any other.  The one inquiry that if people stopped and thought about it before they said it, they might not even think to ask.

It starts with the obvious

  • How did you not know he/she was gay?
  • How could you not tell he/she was gay?

The there is the mildly accusatory

  • He/She must have given you signs.
  • Didn’t you always have a suspicion from the start?

To the downright shaming

  • I just don’t understand how a person wouldn’t know their spouse was gay.
  • Didn’t you guys have sex?  How could he/she have sex with you if they were gay?
  • You knew before you married him/her right?

Straight spouses are men and women who end up in a mixed orientation marriage.  For the vast majority of us, we had no idea that our partners were homosexual or had any gay tendencies.  There is a saying in our community.  When our spouses come out of the closet we go into one.  Many straight spouses don’t want to bring added shame and stigma to their kids.  They also don’t want the judgment for something their spouse did.  So most straight spouses don’t openly talk about what happened to them.  It’s estimated that there are about 2 million straight spouses in the United States.  It not that we were all so sexually repressed we didn’t know the difference, we just married liars.  Our sex lives started out normal, and became dysfunctional.

Would anyone think to ask these types of questions to someone who had a spouse who was a serial cheater?  Would they think it was appropriate to blame a person who married a charming and habitual liar?  Would they assume that a person somehow should have seen signs of a well orchestrated cover-up?

Another one we get is along the lines of logic

  • Well I just don’t see why logically he/she would do that
  • That just doesn’t make sense, no one would care if he/she was gay

When anyone uses logic in the same breath as human sexuality I have to laugh.  Did it make any logical sense for Arnold Schwarzenegger to cheat on his beautiful, well-connected wife with the family’s average looking housekeeper?  Did it make sense for Anthony Weiner to repeatedly send explicit text messages and images to women he didn’t know, AFTER he had to resign from congress for the same behavior?  Did it make sense for Rhianna to date Chris Brown again AFTER he brutally beat her?  When it comes to sex and relationships, people act illogically all the time.  Gay men and women who marry straight partners are absolutely desperate to live what they see as a normal and healthy life.  Deep down they hate themselves and will do anything to try to fix what they see as a major flaw.  In most cases, our spouses viewed us as little more than props for their illusion.  They might have cared for us a great deal in their own twisted way, but ultimately we were means to an end.

Sex is relatively easy for most adults to pull off.  If we felt like our lives depended on it, most of us could stomach having sex with just about anyone.  We probably wouldn’t really enjoy ourselves, but if the alternative meant losing everything we held near and dear to our hearts, we might be able to find away through it.  That is basically how a lot of our spouses compartmentalized sex in our marriages.  As harsh as it may seem, most of our partners admit to fantasy, imagery and role-playing in order to have sex with their straight spouses.  The entire time they really wished they were with a same-sex partner.  For some of us, our partners could only pull off the charade for so long until our marriages basically became celibate.  Some used excuses such as past sexual trauma, erectile dysfunction or lowered hormones.   Meanwhile most if not all of these closeted gay men and women were actually having some type of homosexual sex outside of the marriage.

What is even worse is the assumption that sexual orientation is always so obvious.  Not every gay man speaks with a lisp, swishes when he walks, or spends an inordinate time on his appearance.  Not every gay woman dresses in a masculine way, has a short mannish haircut or refuses to wear makeup.  In fact, very few gay men and women act like a two-dimensional stereotype. There are many shades in the sexual orientation rainbow.  For a lot of straight spouses, our partners would appear heterosexual to most people.

When my ex-husband officially came out of the closet, even his close friends were in a state of disbelief.  Some even thought I may have started gay rumors to slander him.  My ex was notorious for leaving our apartment in shabby clothing, cheap shoes and looking generally disheveled.  He also aggressively pursued me and had multiple ex-girlfriends.  His last was a long-term relationship with a stunningly attractive Asian woman.   I didn’t know until I was many years into the marriage that he had sexual dysfunction or lack of sex in all of his previous relationships.  I didn’t know until after our divorce that he probably had same-sex relationships or at least homosexual sex long before I met him.  My case is typical, not exceptional.  Most straight spouses really do have no sign that their partners are living a secret life.  Much like the spouse of a philanderer is often the last to know that their spouse has had multiple affairs outside the marriage.

Ultimately people want order and rules in life.  They want to believe that bad things don’t happen to people without a reason.  They also want to think that somehow if they were in a terrible situation they would figure out a way to get out of it.  Well two-year olds sometimes get cancer while a few horrible people live well in their nineties.  The wealthy are sometime the nastiest most undeserving people, while some with very little have no limits for love and compassion.  Bad things sometimes happen to good people.   A wife or husband might be betrayed by the person they most adore.  I know these concepts might seem fairly obvious but I honestly wish more would think of them before asking:

How did you not know?

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Divorce: When One Half Wants Out

Divorce Cakes a_005

Divorce Cakes a_005 (Photo credit: DrJohnBullas)

Someone told me a story about a woman who refused to admit that her marriage was over.  It was before the “no fault” divorce laws in New York state.  She decided to legally contest her husband‘s petition of divorce.  The woman felt that her husband had no right to leave her.   In her mind shhe had been a good and loyal wife, and he had no right to end the marriage.  She was also Catholic and believed that divorce was immoral and a sin against God.  A few years later, after spending a small fortune on legal fees and lawyers a judge agreed with her.  The court denied her husband’s petition for divorce.  Even though they were physically separated and no longer a couple they remained legally married.  Desperate, her husband moved to New Jersey with his new girlfriend and started the process all over again.  They couple is now divorced.  As much as my heart goes out to the woman, she should have just let him go.

A failed marriage is kind of like our own personal fairy tale but with a horrible twisted bad ending – one we never would have expected.  Most marriages end when one half of a partnership wants out, not with both sides sitting down and coming to a mutually agreed upon separation.  Sure, those amicable divorces are out there, and some couples have literally tried everything to make their marriages work before they decide to end things.  But since I started writing about divorce I have gotten an avalanche of stories from readers about their own divorce related battles.  In most situations, one side simply wants out of the marriage while the other spouse fights desperately to keep things together.  In some cases the spouse who wants to remain married is simply crushed by the split.  It might take two people to get married, but it only takes one to force a divorce.  Not every marriage falls apart due to constant fighting, any number of things can lead to a divorce:

  • Rampant infidelity – sex with multiple partners over the course of the marriage behind their spouses back
  • Falling in love with a new partner
  • Midlife crisis – suddenly they want to completely rebuild their life – including their spouse
  • Substance abuse – spouse refuses to seek treatment
  • Untreated mental illness – spouse refuses to seek treatment
  • Massive deception – leading secret life
  • Fraud – married for a green card, inheritance, money, etc.
  • Closeted homosexual – married to have “normal” life

What is tragic is that I have met so many men and women who are not accepting that it’s over.  What they tend to say repeatedly are things like:

  • I don’t want to give up on this marriage
  • I grew up in a broken home and I vowed to never let this happen to me
  • I thought if I just worked hard enough that I could avoid divorce
  • How can he/she do this to our family? – It’s not fair

Relationships involve two people, and no one can control the behavior of another human being.  If your spouse wants out, there is not much you can do about it.  We all think if we just sacrifice enough, give up more and more of our happiness we can make it work.  I put up with an emotionally distant man in a celibate marriage because I refused to give up on my vows.  I believed in the sanctity in marriage and believed with all my heart that if I loved him enough and gave up my own hopes and dreams for his, that we would be together forever.  Somehow along the way I missed the point that the marriage was not the source of my happiness.  Just being with another human being does not always give the greatest fulfillment or joy.  I know this now because four years after leaving my husband I am much better off emotionally than I was for the last few years of my marriage.  Unwittingly we buy into the hype that romantic love is the greatest thing in the world to achieve, when I would argue it’s not.

Life isn’t fair for many of us.  Time and time again I have heard stories of one partner horribly betrayed by another.  We didn’t sign up for this.  We didn’t stand in front of our families and vow to give up on our version of a happy ending.  One of the most difficult realities to face as an adult is the willingness to admit we are powerless in certain situations.  No matter how hard we work, we cannot fix something that cannot be mended.

It’s awful and the pain is real and devastating, but just because that our original dream didn’t work out, it doesn’t mean we can’t find a new one.  If your partner wants out and you have tried everything to make it work – let them go.  They might have a change of heart and realize their mistake, but do you really want someone who left you in the first place?  No one is perfect.  There is no single human being on this planet who can complete another.  Even if they are the parent to your children, and even if you thought your life would work out differently.  As hard as it is when our marriages fall apart, we have to forget about the life we envisioned married to our spouse.   We have to instead learn to cherish and love our new reality.  It will get better, every day, week, month and year…just hang in there. 🙂

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One Straight Spouse who supports Same-Sex Marriage

Same Sex Marriage

Same Sex Marriage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The current court struggle against the Defense of Marriage Act  in the US Supreme Court  could help decide the fate of same-sex marriage in this country.  If the federal government decides that limiting marriage to one man and one woman is unconstitutional, opportunities for same-sex marriage legislation could open up in states that have banned such unions. Any laws currently on the books in states that violate the US constitution will be basically nullified.  We have seen examples of this same thing in regards to civil rights and access to abortion.  The marriage equality battle has in many ways reached a tipping point.

Opponents of same-sex marriage claim that letting gays marry will cause some sort of destruction of our society.  If we allow gays to marry the institution of marriage will erode and locusts and frogs will drop from the sky, maybe the rivers will run with blood.  Biblical plagues aside, preventing gays and lesbians from entering into legally binding marriages does have real life consequences.  Marriages that are not recognized by the state face all sorts of legal obstacles – child custody, inheritance, citizenship, tax penalties even health insurance.  One group of collateral damage that is largely ignored – straight spouses and their families.

When I use the label straight spouse, most people have no idea what I am talking about.  As a group we are mostly hidden.  A common saying in straight spouse groups is “As our spouses come out of the closet, we go into one.”  We are not small in numbers, according to many sources including the Straight Spouse Network there are approx. two million Americans who end up in a mixed orientation marriage.  It might be hard for many to believe that the problem is so prevalent, but straight spouses exist in every region in the United States crossing every racial, cultural and socioeconomic boundary.  We are everywhere, and a direct result of prejudice and hatred for homosexuality.  Ironically we were all one half a traditional marriage that was wrecked by homophobia.

In most situations a gay man or woman enters into a marriage with a straight partner under false pretenses.  They want children, a stable home life, white picket fences and apple pie dreams.  What they usually end up with are broken families and deeply damaged relationships.  No one can live a lie for an extended period of time and not do great destruction to themselves and everyone around them.  Some are in denial of their true orientation for years, while others actively pursue a full-blown homosexual life for the duration of their sham marriages.  A few mixed orientation marriages are successful.  However they are the exception not the norm.  In most cases both partners knew they were entering a non-traditional relationship.  The vast majority of mixed orientation marriages leave a path of destruction across generations.

No laws are going to stop human sexuality.  Even in countries where homosexuality, promiscuity and adultery are punishable by death the behavior still occurs.  Homosexuality, bisexuality, transgendered identity have been around as long as humans have been on this planet.  Instead of subjugating GLBT people into second class citizens and forcing them to live a life of shame, we should embrace them as they are and end this insane marginalization.  Sexual activity between two consenting adults should not be an issue of the state or anyone.

Had my former spouse, and countless others felt they had the option to marry and raise children with a same-sex partner the plight of many straight spouses like myself, could have been much different.   When opponents of same-sex marriage cry that these partnerships will be a threat to traditional marriage, I have to think of my own wrecked life and question their logic.

The damage that I have suffered as a result of my marriage and subsequent divorce has been devastating.  Even four years after the fact I have difficulty trusting and bonding with intimate partners.  I have yet to have a decent, stable relationship for any length of time.  Yet I am one of the luckier ones: I didn’t contract HIV, I didn’t have to go through a divorce with children, I didn’t lose everything, I didn’t have to bury my spouse from AIDS, and I didn’t commit suicide.

We need marriage equality NOW, so that in a few generations there will be no such thing as a straight spouse.  Every man or woman should have the same expectations for a loving legal partnership that is recognized by the state and society.  Forcing people to live in rigid narrow constraints leads to nothing but suffering.  Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people are simply part of humanity.  It’s about time we accept them as full-fledged members of the human race and not buy into bigotry and superstitious nonsense.

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Dating in NYC – Damaged Goods

Damaged buildings

Damaged buildings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I think I might be beginning to snap.   Not actually have an emotional break down, I am healthier than I have been in years.  I am just so tired of living in New York, but I love New York.  My entire being has become conformed to this strange reality of subway commuting, 3 am evenings, manic intensity and creativity overflowing in every direction.  How could I go back to a more mundane existence?   Not that there is anything wrong with a mundane existence.  There are days I downright envy it.  I have waking dreams of just falling into friend’s photos on Facebook and melding into their lives.

My friends have diapers, school schedules and mortgages to worry about while  I am struggling to keep a float.  It’s like I am watching everyone else grow up around me.  Proud parents showing off their babies with stories of first words and tears.  Why can’t I seem to get anything together?  Why do I snap and run at the slightest provocation?  Have I been burned so badly that the sight of the first sign of flame causes me to bolt?  Why am I surrounded by so many stuck in a permanent state of adolescence?  Those who refuse to live beyond their 19-year-old ambitions.

A few of my friends who got divorced around the same time I did are already getting re-married.  I can’t even go out with the same person for more than two or three times.  I was a serial monogamist but now I just drift around, scared to get too close to anyone.  And I am constantly hunted by the predatory types.  New York is never at a shortage of people who would love to get to know you really well for an evening and nothing more. I have given up on the notion of children, completely abandoned the idea of a second marriage.  I just want to hang out with someone on a semi-regular basis.  I couldn’t really handle a polyamorous lifestyle and I dread sleeping with more perfect strangers.  I want off this ride.

Is it different somewhere else?  I think its worse here but I have gotten emails from people all over the country who confirm my fears that things aren’t much better elsewhere.  Yet I see happy couples all the time here.  All I can think of is “How did they manage that?”

When I first got divorced I fell back on my usual habits.  I would do my borderline co-dependent, nurturing routine – which was too much and I freaked out pretty much every guy I tried to date.  Now I am hesitant, somewhat cold and distant.  I don’t ask a lot of questions, or get too personal because I figure I’ll never hear from the person again anyway.  Why bother opening myself up to more disappointment.  Months ago, one young man from another city who tried to seduce me looked almost astonished at the detached way I dealt with him.  He was so excited, and I was so matter of fact.  Yet none of this matters, I tell myself, they will find an excuse.  Too clingy or too self-involved -they can always find someone new.

Then I go out with perfectly nice men who I feel absolutely nothing for, other than the fact that they seem like decent people.  I don’t know what is wrong with me.  The fissures and scars that are still deep down in my bones won’t seem to heal.   And the words echo through my skull that I have heard so many times.

“Well you had an EASY divorce, at least your husband was gay”

Yeah, the primary relationship in my life, the one man I would have given my life for…was a fraud.  Not exactly an “easy” divorce.

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Melissa McCarthy is Obese – So what?

Actresses Melissa McCarthy and Jane Lynch atte...

Actresses Melissa McCarthy and Jane Lynch attend Audi and David Yurman Kick Off Emmy Week 2011 and Support Tuesday’s Children at Cecconi’s Restaurant on September 11, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo credit: Audi USA)

In his recent movie review for the newly released Identity Theft Rex Reed refers to comedic actress Melissa McCarthy as tractor-sized, humongous, obese and a female hippo.  Rex Reed hated the film, tearing apart the screenplay, the direction and even the very premise.  He has every right to his opinion on the film as a whole; however, he goes too far when he attacks the weight of one of its stars.

According to the average hippo is 15 feet in length and weighs about 3.5 tons, or 7,000 pounds.  Hippos are also incredibly aggressive towards humans making them one of the most dangerous large animals in Africa.  I don’t know Melissa McCarthy’s weight but I would take a wild guess that it is nowhere near 7,000 pounds.  I also doubt that she would be considered dangerous or aggressive.   The average weight of a farm tractor is 18,661 pounds, or roughly 2.5 hippos, so she is not quite as heavy as a tractor either.   His use of the term, humongous is subjective I guess, but it is especially harsh since the origin of the word comes from combining huge with monstrous.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) defines obesity on a person having a Body Mass Index or  (BMI) of 30 or higher. The CDC lists the average weight of an American woman at 166 lb. with a waist circumference of 37.5 inches.  I don’t know McCarthy’s height or weight, but based on photos I would have to make a guess that she would probably be classified as obese.  The CDC estimates that approx. 35.9% of adult Americans would be considered obese.    Since such a significant portion of the population has a BMI of 30 or higher, is it really so extraordinary that an actress of that size appear as a lead character in a film?  Wouldn’t one-third of the country want to occasionally see someone who represents what they look like on the silver screen?

What does her size matter in this or any film?  It is not like she is portraying a personal trainer, runway model or starving refugee.  In this movie, her weight is about as relevant as her eye and hair color.  If the role specifically needed a slim woman that he might have a point, but in this case her weight might have actually helped her get the part.  She is portraying a common thief in Florida, shouldn’t she reflect the weight of a more common American?  Not every story or character calls for the usual 22-year-old Hollywood waif.

I suspect that McCarthy’s gender may have played a role in being ridiculed for being overweight. Eric Stonestreet best known for his performance of Cameron Tucker in the acclaimed hit television show, Modern Family, is hardly svelte.  Stonestreet is heavily featured in the film’s trailer yet Mr. Reed didn’t see the need to call him a beached whale.  He didn’t even mention him in his review.

Could we just move on from talking about any actresses weight?  The average size of most actresses in American films is alarming slender.  When someone as slim and in shape as the awarding winning actress, Jennifer Lawrence complains about being considered a fat actress by Hollywood standards, clearly the criterion in Hollywood is completely out of whack.  Shouldn’t it be about talent or finding the best actress for any specific role?

Haven’t we had enough already?  Isn’t the success of the film Bridesmaids proof enough that an obese actress can not only be extremely entertaining but help make a movie into a blockbuster.  According to the world-wide gross for Bridesmaids was over $288 million dollars.  Somehow I don’t think it would have been as successful without the hysterical McCarthy, no matter what her weight.

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Top 10 Worst Things to Say to a Newly Divorced Person

LOL Just divorced. And no, that's not my car.

LOL Just divorced. And no, that’s not my car. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A friend suggested I write this post, when I mentioned to her some of the things people have said to me post-split.  It’s been three and a half years since my divorce but the hits keep coming!  So I asked some of my divorced Facebook friends to tell me some of the worst comments they have gotten.  Since I have even more readers on this blog, if you have one you want me to add any that I don’t have here, PLEASE SHARE THEM!  More often that not, the rudest most inappropriate comments come from casual acquaintances, not close friends.  Also my friend and fellow divorcee, Carolyn Castiglia has re-posted some of my comments at  If you notice any changes in my quotes from this article to hers, it is just because I made edits to my piece in the after she had read it, but before her article got published.  I don’t have an editor over here, so I am constantly revising myself. 🙂

1. You should have tried to keep it together for the kids – There have been tons of studies published about the negative effects of divorce on children. Divorce is never easy on anyone and it usually the last resort for any couple with kids.  Parents know it isn’t exactly healthy to raise children in a combative environment with constant fighting. If one spouse is being physically, mentally or emotionally abusive to another, the abuse could easily spread to the children.  In fact some couples may have divorced for the sake of their kids.  Growing up in an extremely toxic environment can cause a lot more damage than splitting time between two households.  The decision to divorce has probably weighed heavily on the couple for months if not years.  When someone states this obvious fact it is just rubbing salt in a wound.

2. How could you give up that lifestyle?  The money, cars, vacations?  Couldn’t you just put up with it? – So are you a spouse or a prostitute?  For some, it is a fine line, as some men and women marry purely for financial gain.  But for the vast majority of us, we married for love and no amount of money and stability can replace that.  If one partner is treating the other like garbage, the damage to a person‘s self-esteem and sense of well-being is not worth any amount of material wealth.

3. I totally saw it coming – Who are they the divorce Svengali? No one knows what goes on in a marriage besides the two people in that marriage.  No one.  It is one thing if you have confided to your friend that you were having problems.  It’s another thing entirely if you haven’t.

4. You need tons of sex, you should just go out there and get laid, go crazy – It’s not terrible advice, but for some sex can turn into another form of self-destructive behavior,  just like drugs or alcohol.  I suspect that some say this because they are secretly wishing they could “live the dream.”  Being single after a certain age is hardly a sexual paradise.  For many of us it is boring, lonely and quite sexless.

5. You’re in denial – For some divorce is the greatest thing that ever happened to them.  No one should assume that they are denying their real grief.

6. You should change your name back – I just got this one the other day.  I just looked at the woman funny when she said it.  I decided to keep my ex-husband’s surname because I had built up professional credits with it.  I didn’t want to start over and rebuild up everything considering I had lost so much. Legally I can keep his name.  Why anyone would think this is nothing more than a personal decision is baffling.

7. Oh you’ll get married again.  There’s someone out there for everyone – This comment is well-meant, but a lot of divorced people NEVER want to get married again.  Since divorce is hell on earth, for so many of us, why would we want to repeat it?

8. I always hated him/her – Ouch.  When someone says this they might expect a divorced person to immediately agree with them and start ripping apart their ex.  Divorce is sometimes extremely one-sided and a person could still be very much in love, or at least conflicted about their former partner.  When in doubt, don’t go there.

9. I never knew why the two of you were together in the first place – I have no idea why anyone would think this is appropriate to say, yet plenty do.  A statement like this completely invalidates a marriage.  It implies their partnership was a freak show that no one could understand.  A newly divorced person is usually in mourning for what they just lost, a comment like this hits below the belt.

10. You really need to get over this and move past it. – Everyone grieves at different speeds.  No two divorces or relationships are the same.  No one should make a judgment call about another person’s suffering .  The most annoying people who make this comment,  are those who have never even been married.

11. Welcome to Hell – I know this bring it to 11, but I personally love this comment because people also say to people who just got married!  I guess it is a matter of perspective.

12. You gave him the best years of your life – OK now it’s 12 things. But my mother actually said that exact phrase to me for months, in fact she still does.  My mother means well, and I have developed a sense of humor about her morbidity about the failure of my marriage.  I did sacrifice most of my child-bearing years to that partnership, but I still think the best years of my life are yet to come.  So thanks Mom, I know you only want the best for me.  🙂

PLEASE SHARE any comments you have gotten!  🙂 

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Dating Online: The Liar – A Hall of Famer!


I am launching a new category on this blog: The Hall of Fame.   Anyone I place in the online dating Hall of Fame will be a person who expresses the most extreme traits of an already established archetype.  To protect this man’s identity  for the purposes of this article I will simply call him, “The Pretty Boy”.

It started out innocently enough.  Tired of my inbox filling up with 22-25 year olds trolling for cougars, and geriatric men who lie about their age, I did a quick match search.  My query was simple, men who live in New York City ages 32-47.  After scrolling through dozens of profiles I ended up emailing exactly two men.  One was an extremely attractive man, almost too pretty for my taste.  Most of his photos were professionally done, and he had one shot of himself holding a guitar in front of a large crowd of what looked like several thousand people.  The caption read “I was a rock star…about 10 years ago”

This photo was the first red flag. I questioned why he would put something like that on his profile.  I also wondered if this man might be promiscuous; as the lifestyle of most professional musicians isn’t exactly one of steadfast fidelity.  My roommate looked at his photos and said immediately.

“He is probably gay, he is way too pretty to be straight”

I disagreed as I have met many pretty straight men.  I was more concerned with, “How could a man this good-looking really have much of a problem getting a date, especially if he was a rock star at some point in his life?”

I have come across many extremely attractive people on dating websites.  However this man was model good-looking.  He was gorgeous, and that is rare on dating sites.  I wasn’t really interested as I am really attracted to bookish nerdy guys or artistic types; but, his profile was so over the top I felt compelled to contact him.

I sent him a brief one sentence asking him for a “drink or something”, to which Pretty Boy responded.

When you said ‘or something’ did you mean sky diving?  Or a book reading? Something a bit more exciting?”

I found his response rather annoying.  Here I was a total stranger sticking my neck out to ask him out and he is scolding me for not being bold enough in my request.  So I responded…

“No actually I meant just coffee.  I would hate to ruin an experience like sky diving with a total stranger, not to mention it is rather expensive.  If we went to a book reading we wouldn’t get a chance to talk much and well…you are a total stranger so it is better to actually get to know you”

And then the first shoe dropped and I get this response.

“Well I would love to meet for coffee but I actually live in Los Angeles but I will be moving to New York soon…so that is why I have New York on my profile.  I will be in town on Dec. 10th if you want to hang.”

I wish I could say this is the first time I found an inaccurate profile, but unfortunately a lot of guys lie about living in New York.  I guess we New York gals have a bit of a reputation for being fabulous.  I have no idea.  I should have just walked away; but, for reasons I don’t understand, I shot back

“Hey man if you live in LA you should say you live in LA.  And if you are moving here soon, maybe you should focus on moving here before you try to date anyone.  If that is what you are looking for, I am not sure.  Anyway good luck to you, New York is a really difficult city to date in.  I wrote an article about it, trust me it is hell.”

And because I thought this would be the end of the conversation I sent him a link to my #1 hit as it were, “Dating After Divorce in a City of Sluts.”  I have no idea why I did this.  I had never done it before.  I guess I meant it as a nice parting gesture.  I was just trying to give him my perspective on dating in this city. I just forgot how opinionated and worked up people got about that article.

About twenty minutes later I get this long rambling response written mostly in text speech with the letter “u” substituting for the word “you” and some of the worst grammar and spelling I have ever seen in my life.  I would have just ignored it but his tone set me off.  The line that pushed me over the edge “I disagree with the very notion of writing about it in the first place.”

Plenty of people disagree with me, and I don’t mind a healthy debate.  However telling me I shouldn’t write about any subject was incredibly disrespectful and insulting.  It was also incredibly difficult to respect his opinion since he couldn’t write in complete sentences, spell simple words or even make his opinions clear.  My writing is not perfect, but his writing was simply abominable.

I will paraphrase as our correspondence got somewhat heated and long-winded.  My first tactic was to  defend my article.

“Look you may not agree with me, but I have every right to write about whatever I want.  This is my personal experience so you may disagree with my point of view, but I wrote it from the heart.  I got hundreds of new followers on twitter, it was shared thousands of times on the internet, and I even did interviews based on the article.  So you may not agree with me but a lot of people did.  I am not bashing men as this is a universal problem.   As I stated in the article: women, men and people of every sexual orientation and gender identification deal with this predicament”

His next response is when things really got weird.  As he took my attempt at defending my piece as me bragging about my accomplishments.  His response was to try to out-brag me…again paraphrasing for length.

“Look I have sold millions of records, I have been on TV, was voted one of the most beautiful people in the world and I have been married for 15 years I am just on a hiatus and I have four children”

Well this is news now isn’t it?  He hadn’t indicated on his profile that he was MARRIED, nor that he had FOUR CHILDREN!  I was floored, and kept reading. He may have not realized the verb tenses he used but the words “have been married for 15 years” implied he is still married.  Also the use of the word “hiatus” made me feel he was not even legally separated much less divorced. He went on,

“And because of all of this, I have had a lot of experience with women…all over the world”

And I started doing the math in my head.  So if he is 38 and married for 15 years, and is probably still married…if he was screwing a bunch of women 10 years ago when he was in a band, then he was cheating on his wife.  Wow, this man was a catch.

“And so what about your article who cares?  I also know I am attractive.  Why?  Because thousands of people have told me so.  Including millions of readers in a certain popular magazine that called me one of the most beautiful people in the world.”

At this point I started cackling.  Yes this man was attractive, but obviously he had put a lot of his self-worth into what he looked like as I had not brought up his physical appearance.  I realized he misunderstood my defense of my article.  I wasn’t actually trying to brag, just point out that yes my piece was controversial but plenty of people loved it.  Now it seemed he was hoping that I would rue the day that I had snubbed him.  After all he was one of America’s Most Beautiful people, a fact he mentioned twice in his rant. If he only knew how many other pompous beautiful men I have turned down over the years.  I finally ended this madness and wrote.

“Well if you are so famous and attractive, then why have you resorted to online dating to try to meet women?”

And then I blocked him from contacting me.  I was kind of insulting myself  and everyone else on dating website when I wrote that.  I didn’t mean to diss everyone on a dating website as plenty of people find love online.  I just thought it was funny that this man who kept bragging about how he was so beautiful, had appeared on television and sold millions of records was trying to find a date on a free dating website.

I WILL NOT reveal this man’s identity on this blog but after a fairly quick google search I found out he had what looked like one big hit and a couple minor hits about a decade ago.  I didn’t recognize him or his musical partner, nor had I ever heard any of their music.  It was bland light pop and I am sure they had a loyal following for a brief time.

I have been on and off OKCupid now for over two years and I have never found a profile that proved to be so blatantly fraudulent.  He had no mention of children, still being married or living in a totally different city.  He tried to defend his actions by saying he was only looking for “friends and activity partners”.  That was the only honest thing he had written, but  I can’t imagine his wife would be overjoyed if she found his profile.  This was the ultimate liar, and from the looks of his ranting a fairly insecure liar.  Perhaps he should try to find some groupies who might still be starstruck.  He will learn soon enough, most New York women won’t give a damn that a popular magazine called him a beautiful person.  If he wants casual sexual encounters he will have no problem getting them, he just shouldn’t pretend he would rather go skydiving instead.  Had he been honest from the start, he would have saved us both a lot of trouble.

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Dating in NYC: The Snob

English: Engraving on wood by W. M. Thackeray ...

English: Engraving on wood by W. M. Thackeray himself, for the first edition od The Book of Snobs. Chapter XVIII, “Party-giving snobs” . Mr Snob and Miss Smith Français : Illustration du chapitre XVIII “Party-giving snobs” de l’édition originale du Livre des snobs par l’auteur. Gravure sur bois. Mr Snob parle avec Miss Smith.(page 69) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We have all been on a date with a person like this.  No matter what you say, or what you have accomplished in life, to a snob, it won’t be good enough.  Who is the snob?  And why are there so many of them in New York City.  I am going to use a male example here as that is my personal experience, but I know that this category especially has no gender specific qualifications.  The snob can also just as easily be a woman as a man.

The Snob

  • Any Age
  • Profession – Something high-profile – they have done press, interviews, written books, etc.
  • Advanced Degrees or Ivy League degrees
  • Enjoy hobbies and sports average Americans know nothing about – i.e. Squash, Polo, Sailing
  • Few live in Brooklyn or Queens and if they do this fact is a source of embarrassment  (Park Slope exception)
  • They have well-connected friends, constantly name drop
  • Brag about accomplishments
  • Blather on about expensive travel all over the world
  • Best paired with other snobs

A typical date with a snob will feel more like a job interview than anything romantic or fun.  They will judge where you live, what you do for a living, your background, where you grew up, the amount you have traveled and even your ethnicity.  Some snobs like the idea of “trolling”: going out with someone they believe far beneath them.  You have to watch out, because a snob will never really respect you or what you do.  You might just be another eccentric accessory he can show off to his friends.

Probably the biggest indicator of acceptance by a snob is education.  According to the most recent census, the percentage of Americans with college degrees is at an all time high of 30%.  So even though you may have had to work two jobs while getting your diploma and might have had to resort to a combination of college loans, the Pell grant and scholarships to go to school none of this will impress the snob.  If you don’t at least have a masters degree, or some type of ivy league affiliation you are simply not good enough.  Even though with a BA you are still doing better than 2/3 of the general population.

One snob that I had the displeasure of going out boasted of the extremely prestigious school of Oxford on his dating profile and his Facebook page.  Although in reality, he had only gone to Oxford for one year before he dropped out of a masters program.  His BA from an Ivy League institution and perfect grade point average is not enough, so he brags about a school he couldn’t hack.

I had another date where the man kept grilling me over my “life plan”.  I tried my best to answer him but other than working on my memoir and getting on stage as much as possible I don’t really have specific life goals.  Perhaps I should, but most of my energy is spent just trying to survive each month.  The whole experience just made me feel like I was defending my life, and every choice that I had made up until that point.  Never mind that I just went through a devastating divorce, have worked in an artistic profession for the past decade, and come from a blue-collar background.  This person ignored the success of this blog, the press that I have done for my articles on the Huffington Post and the huge body of work I have done on stage.  Needless to say the date made me feel crushed and about an inch tall.

Why are so many men like this in New York City?  My bet it is just insecurity on their part.  They may have worked extremely hard for all that they have accomplished and worry that if they date anyone beneath their status that it will somehow lower theirs.  What they fail to realize is that most of us work extremely hard at what we do, but we don’t all come from privileged or even middle class backgrounds.  Race, gender and socioeconomic factors are all at work against many of us, despite out best efforts.  The workforce is not exactly an even playing field.

A snob also might believe that their advanced degrees and their overflowing bookcases actually make them a superior person, someone society should value greater than a humble janitor or preschool teacher.  No one will ever live up to their standard, because they don’t live up to their own.  A snob is most critical of themselves than they are anyone else.  Their projection of arrogance towards you is just a symptom of their own feelings of inadequacy.  A person who was truly happy with their lives would never waste energy looking down on others.

Snobs exist everywhere but are especially a problem in New York City because of the many elite colleges on this little island, and the cultural and financial makeup of its residents.  As the city attracts the best and brightest many view significant others as an extension of what they have accomplished.  It is not enough to a snob that you are intelligent, well read, beautiful, young, creative, in amazing shape, have a great sense of humor, have a kind heart, or an open-mind. In addition to any number of positive qualities you must also have a résumé that rivals theirs.

So if you see the signs of someone who doesn’t think you are good enough for them…BOLT.  Try to find the inner strength to get up and walk out.  Point out to this person that they are being a jerk.  I can’t write how many times I have wanted to tell one of these jokers off and haven’t.   No person is better than any other, the distinction only lives inside their mind.  Don’t put up with it, just get back on that saddle and try to find someone who will appreciate you for all that you are.  The snob can sit and wait for Mr. or Mrs. Perfect.


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