Last week, my friend had sex for a plate of meatballs. Before y’all run out to stock up on minced beef, let me give you a quick rundown.
Step 1: Friend meets guy on Bumble, chats.
Step 2: Friend goes on Date 1, is not attracted to the guy but enjoys their conversation.
Step 3: Friend goes on Date 2, chemistry fails to emerge but pleasant colloquy continues.
Step 4: Guy invites friend over for a “home-cooked dinner.” She agrees, if only for the sad, simple reason that men don’t volunteer their cooking skills too often these days. She arrives to his Gramercy abode to find him going all Mario Batali on her with an Italian feast of pasta and meatballs (homemade! with ingredients from Eataly!). One bottle of red wine in they start hooking up, at which point she discovers that her Meatball King is a terrible kisser. And yet she still proceeds to have sex with him, an experience that quickly unveils itself to be about as unpalatable as the kiss.
I recently asked a 42-year-old man whether he thought I would ever get married. (What can I say? Four days with my brother had clearly traumatized me.) His answer? “Sure, just do yourself a favor and grow out that haircut. Men like long hair.”
I wish I could tell you that his words shocked me, or at least that I had some American feminism left in my system to battle him out for a woman’s right to a trendy overpriced bob. Alas, after spending the past two months in Russia and thereby being subjected to an unofficial local investigation into why I’m not currently 2.5 babies deep, his statement was mere icing on the sexist, antiquated cake I had grown all-too-good at metabolizing.
Truth be told, attempting to reshape some people’s inherent beliefs is a dire waste of time. After all, is there really any chance of convincing Babushka Nina that women are no longer ranked by their borsch cooking skills? Probably not, which means that it’s better to just smile and zip it. In predicaments that a – don’t involve fragile elderly relatives and b – call for real retaliation, I propose using a non-violent tactic entitled Revenge by Awkwardness, coined by yours truly. The goal: to yield your opponent to extreme levels of discomfort, causing them to quickly withdraw their statements.
Here are some examples.
Non-alternative fact: crazy people are trending.
While there is little to laugh about when reflecting on the reality show that has become America, there has been one evolution that I find semi-entertaining. Over the past few months, Donald Trump and his cronies have transformed the entire liberal media into a bunch of amateur psychiatrists, analyzing their every move in an effort to tap into their true motivations. (Personally, I think one needs to look no further than their bank accounts.) Is Trump a narcissist gone rogue? A bona fide sociopath? An orangutan possessed by a demon? (No, wait, that’s Bannon.) As a result, we are now aware of an entire portfolio of personality disorders previously reserved but for Wes Craven films.
Chances are that your decision to click on the title of this post was accompanied by a skeptical scoff. “There she goes again.. What nonsense could she have possibly conjured this time?” you may have thought. After all, as we approach the slippery single zone of cuffing season, it is all too easy to get distracted by daydreams of fireplace cuddles and tandem figure skating sessions, inadvertently pushing yourself into a sad hole of self-pity, or a desperate Bumble binge. As we recently learned the hard way, human beings have a terrible tendency to under-appreciate the now and to make rash decisions in hope of a better future, leading to catastrophic missteps à la nominations of orangutans as presidents. (Slightly off-topic. I just had to say it.) On this day of commercially-induced gratitude, I urge you take a moment to be thankful for the now, wherever you are in your life, because there is always a chance that it could all be way worse. If you happen to be single, I will also be supplying you with reasons.
A few weeks ago, a reader requested that I write a post on the dos and don’ts of dating Russian men. A reader’s wishes is normally my command, and yet this particular one presented a bit of a dilemma. Albeit having spent the initial sixteen years of my life on Russian turf, I have probably dated a total of 1.5 Russian guys in my post-high school life. This is in no way an act of rebellion – trust me, there is nothing I would love more than to bring home a man who would be able to deliberate the (grim) future of Putin’s reign at a Khorosh family dinner. No, it is simply that Russian guys and myself rarely cross paths, for most of them prefer adult restaurants in favor of hipster joints and stay as far from my beloved Nolita as possible. And so, I decided to ask for a little bit of help from my friends.
So, the Cross-Cupper incident was fun. A little crazy, a bit on the wild side, but fun nonetheless. All is well that ends well, as they say.
And yet, the episode got me thinking. As much as I may enjoy the adrenaline rush of escaping some weirdo’s home in the middle of the night, I am very fortunate that said weirdo ended up being a benign threat. Next time – if I am dumb enough to get myself in a similar predicament once again, that is – I may not be that lucky.
In our day and age, you cannot be too careful. Even if you don’t have a recreational habit of dating people with telltale signs of psychiatric disorders, you don’t know what dangers may be lurking around the corner. As Kim K recently taught us, our seemingly innocent social media habits can easily put us on the radar of smart criminals. Even if you don’t happen to have $10 million in jewelry laying around, there is always the possibility of those impromptu street assaults that nobody is protected from. (I myself have been the target of not one but two phone snatching attempts in the past year alone, one in London and one in Hanoi. Proud to say that I kicked the Vietnamese dude’s scrawny ass.) Oh, and if all of the above doesn’t scare you, there is always our GOP presidential nominee, eager to get his hands on your precious flower!