Oh, it’s been a year. As we head down the pike into the last glorious days of 2010, we can’t help but reflecting on the mistakes made, the successes very nearly achieved, the many, most of all, things learned that we now need not ever do again. Because that’s what learning is all about. Herewith, 9 Months (because that’s how long we’ve been at this blog, it so happens) in The Plight of the Single Lady, or “10 Things We Learned About Dating This Year.”
1. Smiling is one of the most underrated secretly powerful things you can do. Especially in New York, where women tend to walk around with perpetual pissed-off face most of the time. We know actual people who have recently smiled, gleaning: a) free drinks b) a table at a restaurant for 7 with no reservation c) free drinks d) a taxi to Brooklyn without cabbie-balking e) smiles in return. Of course, smiling should be used with discretion. Like anything, frequency of use dilutes impact.
2. This one goes down in the books as the year’s worst single lady ploy for attention, media or otherwise: Marrying yourself. Not recommended. For one thing, cheating gets really creepy. For another, why buy a white dress when black is so much more slimming?
3. So WHAT if you planted seedlings in your ex’s shag carpet, broke into his apartment over the course of a few weeks, maybe months, and watered the plants into life just to freak him out? The worst, craziest, most psycho things you do in (or recently out of) a relationship — short of actually hurting someone — can almost always be excused based on the scientific fact that love has a physical effect similar to that of crack. For serious! When it’s taken away, you’ll have what we like to call “withdrawal symptoms.”
4. Patience is a virtue, and virtue is overrated. Nonetheless, wait until after the murder trial is over to try to hook up with the court officer.
5. Those “red flags” that pop up in the beginning of a relationship are quite likely going to be the very things that kill it in the end, even though you’ll inevitably go through a phase of finding those red flags “cute” or “charming” or “bearable” until they cease to amuse and instead only infuriate AND MAKE YOU FUCKING INSANE. Cons, in the end, are cons, and ex-cons are ex-cons. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t date those people, because they make for some pretty amusing stories. What is life if not for stories? Plus…hate is good for you.
6. In conjunction with the above, you are not going to change anyone. Nor will they change you. That’s why you should be yourself, only…whatever yourself it is that you think the other person wants to date. No, just kidding, be yourself! Unless you’re insane. In that case, be someone named either Veronica Shortpants or Hazel McGillicuddy.
7. People who hate animals should be treated as potential psychopaths. However, liking (and possibly owning) animals does not mean you are not a psychopath. As for the guy who marries his dog, well, he’s taken.
8. Despite what you might think, most men don’t like one-night stands any more than most women do. If you don’t get in touch, chances are, they will. Whether you’ll want them to or not is another story (see Julian Assange), but that’s why you should be judicious about giving out your number, or, to avoid awkward moments, be so drunk you simply can’t remember it should the situation should arise.
Related: Never go public with someone else’s grooming (or lack thereof), regardless of how famous and/or obnoxious they are and whether they put out or not. It’s just not worth the karmic retribution.
9. The myth of the “average dude” (exclusive to New York and L.A.): If you think that you are the only woman in New York City who has discovered that a certain “Seth Rogany/Zach Galifianakis-esque” guy is actually sort of counter-intuitively attractive, you are the last one to hitch a ride on that train and he has dated — or is dating! — everyone in your six degrees of separation already.
10. The best place to meet someone is drunk in a bar, or drunk at a media event that is also hopefully in a bar. This is also the absolute worst place to meet someone, for any number of reasons that should be obvious (see all of the above, but especially 4, 5, 6, 8, 9).
May 2011 bring more lessons, or at the very least, some good stories. ‘Cause that’s really why we do this in the first place.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 20, 2010