All posts in the Women category

In Marriage

Published May 24, 2014 by harleyquinnly

20140524-223504-81304359.jpg“I have always been petrified of marriage – absolutely afraid. I’ve felt like once I would get married, someone would want to change me, and I would have no choice but to become this locked-up specimen in a box. I’m worried about losing my freedom of expression. People who meet me go, ‘Oh, you’re really fun and wild’. Then as soon as they get to know me, they go, ‘Well don’t do that’. And then I don’t do it. And I become this separate person from who I was. Then I resent the person who was trying to change me.”

Sandra Bullock

I don’t believe marriage is a horrible thing, but with the wrong person it can chew you up and then spit you out, forever leaving scars. Though those scars may fade, they’ll always be there.

To those of you who are in a happy, healthy relationship/marriage, count yourself very lucky.


From Someone Who Likes Valentine’s Day

Published February 14, 2013 by harleyquinnly

Happy Valentine’s Day

I previously wrote a blog post on why we hate Valentine’s Day and immediately set down to write why I love Valentine’s Day. Then I discovered, ‘hey, I really don’t.’ The thing I enjoy most about Valentine’s Day really isn’t about the holiday, it’s just that the holiday gives me a chance to do those things. My favorite part is having a holiday with just the two of us, without having to go out and be with other people. We get uninterrupted “us” time on our short weekend getaway. That is my absolute favorite part. But honestly we should show love and affection without having to have a holiday to force us to do so.

However, I found a cheekily written article by someone who does like the holiday itself and thought I would share it for the sake of festivity.

Jennifer Wright, “Why I Love Valentine’s Day and Why You Should Too,” The Gloss, http://www.thegloss.com/2011/02/09/sex-and-dating/why-i-love-valentines-day-and-you-should-too/ (accessed January 31, 2013).

“I love Valentine’s day. And no, I’m not just saying that due to a healthy  dose of iconoclasm.

Okay. I am a little bit, because I think there are too many spray-tanned   girls running around shrieking giddily about how they hate V-Day, and how it’s  just awful, and I  was to be different like Daria  and Wednesday  Addams. But I am sincere  in my love for Valentine’s Day.


Why not? It’s fantastic. It’s a holiday. Holidays by their very nature  mean  parties and drinking and having an excuse to dress up in unusual  outfits. Who  hates holidays? You see people running around bitching  about how much they hate  St. Patrick’s Day? Really? Who? Leprechauns?

On a personal, stupid level, I love Valentine’s day because pink is my   favorite color. Look, if you ever ask me my favorite color, I will stare  at you  like you’re a moron and reply “puce.” Real talk: I’m going to  lie to your face.  That’s because I know after a certain age it’s  ridiculous to have a favorite  color, but secretly, I do, and it’s pink. I  like it because it’s a happy,  cheerful color that reminds me of cupcake  frosting, and Funny Face and  the “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend”  number. However, because I want to be  taken seriously if I ever go into  meetings, I generally wear gray, black or  navy blue dresses. Valentine’s Day is an excuse to break out my little pink  Jackie Kennedy dress, and  that’s enough for me. If nothing else happened, I’d  like it just on the  merit of that. I think a lot of people have a heart  necklace, or a red skirt, or something else they don’t break out daily that’s  appropriate for the occasion, and I like that.

But maybe you don’t think pink. That’s fine. Your loss, loser.

You like parties?

Oh, good, because one of your friends is having one! I almost guarantee  you  they are. Oh, for heaven’s sake, go check Facebook. Yes, you’re  invited. Go  there, dance on a Monday, buy some champagne ostensibly “for  the party” and  drink half of it yourself. Will it be fun? Yes, it will  be! You’ve got half a  bottle of Bolly in your belly, and it’s fine,  because even though it’s a  Monday, it’s also Valentine’s Day! Now get up  there and sing all the words to “Tonight I’m Fuckin’ You”!

Wait, you say you’re a hermit? Hey, that’s cool. Me too. Valentine’s  Day was  made for hermits like us! Why? Because this is the day that  you’re most likely  to have a romance start without having to endure any  manner of social  awkwardness. Like, normal outside non-lepers, they go  out to “the clubs” and… I  honestly have no idea. They do things, and  then they are dating people.

But hermits like us? We really have to wait  until someone sends us a 50 page “sonnet” (words written in crayon, blood, none of them rhyming) that likens us  to a minor  battle in the Peloponesian War (THIS IS A LOVE TIP FOR MEN READING  THIS  ARTICLE) before we can realize that they’re interested in us. There is a  higher than average possibility of this happening on Valentine’s Day. I’m not  saying it’s necessarily going to happen, but the odds are way better than they  are on your run of the mill day.

It’s a day full of a lot of possibilities, that’s what I’m saying.

And yes, the possibilities extend as much to single people as they do to  people in relationships. I think one of the principal complaints leveled against  Valentine’s dayis that it’s a holiday to make single people feel bad. No. It’s  not. It’s a holiday to boost sales for greeting card companies and florists – just like every other holiday. And, like every other holiday, it pretty  much is what you make it.

You’re worried that you’ll feel like a loser because no one gets you a card  or flowers? Jesus, God, do you have any idea how many people love you? If you  want some drugstore candy, just talk to your friends/family/fellow lepers  beforehand. Say you sort of want to celebrate. Or just slip them a note saying “you’re my Valentine now, bitch. Gird your loins. I’m buying you something  meaningless or edible.” Either way.

I have a pact with one of my friends that, regardless of whether we have  boyfriends/girlfriends, we are always each other’s Valentine. So we do something  to commemorate the day. Sometimes he gets me flowers, sometimes I rip off a  Barbie Doll’s head, hide her body in his apartment weeks beforehand with a heart  shaped piece of cardboard on which I’ve scrawled “You Make Me Lose My Head Like  Anne Boleyn.” Obviously, there are different ways to say “I Love You.” If you  have romantic love that is fantastic. That’s seriously great.  But romantic love  is just one piece of the love pie, not the crust,  filling and whipped cream on  top. There’s nothing wrong with a holiday that reminds us to say “I Love You” to  people we, you know, love. And it’s better when it’s an excuse for you to buy  them an ice cream cake which you will “share” with them.

Ultimately, Valentine’s Day is just another holiday. It’s supposed to be fun.  Figure out what will make it fun for you, and then do that. I can’t say what  that is, but I’m guessing ice cream cake and champagne is a good start.”

So to all, Happy Valentine’s Day.

What We Hate About Valentine’s Day

Published February 4, 2013 by harleyquinnly
The unloved bear

The bear with no love

Ok I’m going to be a Bitter Betty for this post. Don’t worry, there will be a happy one to follow much closer to the actual holiday. And before you start thinking this, I am not the stereotypical single girl that is angry at her condition. I am in a long-term relationship and remember the stress I feel regarding almost every single Valentine’s Day. Not all single girls hate Valentine’s Day and not all those in committed relationships love it.

-Single or coupled, if you didn’t make a reservation in January, your options for going out to dinner are limited to the local fast food drive-through.

And seeing that in many situations the men want to plan the holiday, it is the day before and they have yet to figure anything out. Working at Walgreens with a convenient aisle de Valentine, the night before and the day of Valentine’s was busier than Black Friday with men frantically snatching leftover bottles of old-woman perfume and poor teddy bears. A holiday that requires men to plan? That’s like a recipe for disaster. (Although not all the time, depending on the man). And if I know I’m having to plan it, I get a little bitter that it’s just one more thing I have to plan in addition to the rest of my life.

 -The hour of our lives we waste every year in the greeting card aisle, looking for the perfect one. The stress of choosing an appropriate gift

Or the perfect gift. I sympathize with Sheldon Cooper on how difficult and stressful gift giving is. Is it too much? Too little? Too corny? Not appropriate for the amount of time dating? I find men very hard to buy for, especially those that are not into tools or sports teams. After two years I’ve gotten better but gift buying still brings on additional stress.

Sheldon Cooper’s theory on gift giving:

 -The often unrealistic expectations placed on men

I do sympathize with men on this one. They face many of the same difficulties covered in this entire post. In addition, it becomes even more daunting when you’re trying to please someone with unrealistic expectations of the fairy tale that their life should be. I blame too many Disney and romance movies.

 – The 24/7 romantic comedy marathon on TV during the month of February either makes you feel like a loser for being single or makes you resent your boyfriend for not being John Cusack.

This is why I hate watching “chick flicks.” I always get wrapped up in the story during the movie, thinking ‘oh my god how incredibly sweet and devoted they both are.’ Then when the movie ends, I find myself in a deep depression, hating my life because it never works out and that men do not have professional writers telling them how to say the perfect thing and be at the right place in the right time. By the way, my favorite ending to a movie is Easy A because Todd pays attention to her blog (gasp!) and recreates several of her favorite endings to ‘80s movies. It’s at least a little more realistic.


The ending of Easy A.

 -If you’ve had anything resembling a date in the past two months, it always prematurely launches the “where is this going?” conversation.

In the words of Pauly D, “AWKWARD!” Or even worse you could not have the conversation. I once dated a guy who took me to lunch on Valentine’s Day but never once mentioned what day it was. I’ve never been a huge fan of the holiday but at the end of the meal I told him “Happy Valentine’s Day.” He got all flustered, drove me quickly to my parked car (that was elsewhere), and sped away. Wow.

 -If you’re single and lucky enough to have three close, single girlfriends, you can’t go out for drinks with them without being a cliché.

If I were single I would definitely go out with girlfriends just to get out of the house, do something fun, and escape those stupid non-stop romantic comedies. But the pitying looks from others is maddening. So is the assumption of many single men that since I may be single on Valentine’s I am going to pathetically throw myself into your bed.

 – They don’t make Valentine’s Day cards for friends-with-benefits or “I think I like you but it’s too soon to tell.”

For those of you in this situation, good luck. It’s another awkward time of life.

 -We just started paying off our credit card bills from holiday shopping – our bank statements can’t handle another gift.

Personally, with the way my finances fall, I am guaranteed to be absolutely broke and literally eating ramen every single day in January and February. This is not because I’m irresponsible with Christmas spending, but because several large bills come due at this time I am unable to save for previously in the year. By the time February rolls around, I really want to get that special someone something spectacular but then have to wonder how many meals I’m going to have to skip.

 -Finding enough of another thing as rare as money for me: time

Every February I like to do something for the holiday but in working two jobs and earning my Ph.D. it’s almost an impossible task. I usually have to pull at least one all-nighter or be an unpleasant bear in order to move my schedule around and get enough done so that I can be able to even go to that dinner.

 -The amount of chocolate and candy I consume

Easter and Valentine’s Day have the best candy and chocolate EVER. Most of the year I really don’t eat a lot of sweets because I really don’t have much of a craving for them. This is blown to hell in February and April.

 -It enhances awareness that your relationship is in a rut

Everyone’s relationship has those down times, or are in a rut at some point. If that happens around Valentine’s Day it really sucks and makes you feel worse about it. When commercials and other couples are perfectly happy being sappy together, you’re left wondering what to do with your significant other. The excitement in planning a dinner or getaway is replaced with the guilt that maybe you don’t really feel like it right now.

 -It’s engagement season

My addition is that it’s “engagement season.” While I am very happy for my peeps finding the love of their life with the courage to actually ask them, all these photos of engagement rings force me to wonder where my long-term nonmoving relationship is going. Or if single, it may make one wonder if that will ever happen for them. By all means share your engagement news but don’t overdo it and be conscious if you’re telling your friend as they are sobbing from a breakup.

What do you hate about Valentine’s Day?

 Some Notes

“Ten Reasons We Hate Valentine’s Day, Marie Claire http://shine.yahoo.com/love-sex/10-things-hate-valentines-day-175700295.html (accessed January 31, 2013).

The End of Courtship?

Published January 16, 2013 by harleyquinnly

A while ago I wrote an article regarding peacocking and the end of romance. This much more seriously written article is from the New York Times describing “hook-up culture.” In thinking about this, it makes me sad. Instead of actual dating we just hang out and have sex. Oh how romantic. It definitely isn’t the plot of a favorite romance movie. Then I started thinking about my own life, which is never a good thing and often depressing. I realized after reading this article I have not gone on a first date since I was fifteen years old. Granted I haven’t dated a lot of different people but since that first date when I was fifteen it’s all been group hangouts. Facepalm.

So guys, if you are interested in someone and get the Herculean courage to ask someone out…TAKE THEM ON A DATE! Not to a bar with your friends, not to your frat-boy apartment to watch a movie, etc. Please take him/her to dinner, movie, activity, whatever but a date with just you and him/her. And ladies, we need to stop agreeing to these things. Now I like doing the non-date things after date(s) have happened, but not for the initial getting-to-know-each-other phase.

Now think about it, when is the last time you’ve gone on a real date?

Denise Hewitt, “The End of Courtship?” The New York Times, January 11, 2013, http://shine.yahoo.com/work-money/single-america-thatll-cost-190100225.html (accessed January 16, 2013).

MAYBE it was because they had met on OkCupid. But when the dark-eyed musician with artfully disheveled hair asked Shani Silver, a social media and blog manager in Philadelphia, out on a “date” Friday night, she was expecting at least a drink, one on one.

“At 10 p.m., I hadn’t heard from him,” said Ms. Silver, 30, who wore her favorite skinny black jeans. Finally, at 10:30, he sent a text message. “Hey, I’m at Pub & Kitchen, want to meet up for a drink or whatever?” he wrote, before adding, “I’m here with a bunch of friends from college.”

Turned off, she fired back a text message, politely declining. But in retrospect, she might have adjusted her expectations. “The word ‘date’ should almost be stricken from the dictionary,” Ms. Silver said. “Dating culture has evolved to a cycle of text messages, each one requiring the code-breaking skills of a cold war spy to interpret.”

“It’s one step below a date, and one step above a high-five,” she added. Dinner at a romantic new bistro? Forget it. Women in their 20s these days are lucky to get a last-minute text to tag along. Raised in the age of so-called “hookup culture,” millennials — who are reaching an age where they are starting to think about settling down — are subverting the rules of courtship.

Instead of dinner-and-a-movie, which seems as obsolete as a rotary phone, they rendezvous over phone texts, Facebook posts, instant messages and other “non-dates” that are leaving a generation confused about how to land a boyfriend or girlfriend.

“The new date is ‘hanging out,’ ” said Denise Hewett, 24, an associate television producer in Manhattan, who is currently developing a show about this frustrating new romantic landscape. As one male friend recently told her: “I don’t like to take girls out. I like to have them join in on what I’m doing — going to an event, a concert.”

For evidence, look no further than “Girls,” HBO’s cultural weather vane for urban 20-somethings, where none of the main characters paired off in a manner that might count as courtship even a decade ago. In Sunday’s opener for Season 2, Hannah (Lena Dunham) and Adam (Adam Driver), who last season forged a relationship by texting each other nude photos, are shown lying in bed, debating whether being each other’s “main hang” constitutes actual dating.

The actors in the show seem to fare no better in real life, judging by a monologue by Zosia Mamet (who plays Shoshanna, the show’s token virgin, since deflowered) at a benefit last fall at Joe’s Pub in the East Village. Bemoaning an anything-goes dating culture, Ms. Mamet, 24, recalled an encounter with a boyfriend whose idea of a date was lounging in a hotel room while he “Lewis and Clarked” her body, then tried to stick her father, the playwright David Mamet, with the bill, according to a Huffington Post report.

Blame the much-documented rise of the “hookup culture” among young people, characterized by spontaneous, commitment-free (and often, alcohol-fueled) romantic flings. Many students today have never been on a traditional date, said Donna Freitas, who has taught religion and gender studies at Boston University and Hofstra and is the author of the forthcoming book, “The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused About Intimacy.”

Hookups may be fine for college students, but what about after, when they start to build an adult life? The problem is that “young people today don’t know how to get out of hookup culture,” Ms. Freitas said. In interviews with students, many graduating seniors did not know the first thing about the basic mechanics of a traditional date. “They’re wondering, ‘If you like someone, how would you walk up to them? What would you say? What words would you use?’ ” Ms. Freitas said.

That may explain why “dates” among 20-somethings resemble college hookups, only without the dorms. Lindsay, a 25-year-old online marketing manager in Manhattan, recalled a recent non-date that had all the elegance of a keg stand (her last name is not used here to avoid professional embarrassment).

After an evening when she exchanged flirtatious glances with a bouncer at a Williamsburg nightclub, the bouncer invited her and her friends back to his apartment for whiskey and boxed macaroni and cheese. When she agreed, he gamely hoisted her over his shoulders, and, she recalled, “carried me home, my girlfriends and his bros in tow, where we danced around a tiny apartment to some MGMT and Ratatat remixes.”

She spent the night at the apartment, which kicked off a cycle of weekly hookups, invariably preceded by a Thursday night text message from him saying, ‘hey babe, what are you up to this weekend?” (It petered out after four months.)

Relationship experts point to technology as another factor in the upending of dating culture.

Traditional courtship — picking up the telephone and asking someone on a date — required courage, strategic planning and a considerable investment of ego (by telephone, rejection stings). Not so with texting, e-mail, Twitter or other forms of “asynchronous communication,” as techies call it. In the context of dating, it removes much of the need for charm; it’s more like dropping a line in the water and hoping for a nibble.

“I’ve seen men put more effort into finding a movie to watch on Netflix Instant than composing a coherent message to ask a woman out,” said Anna Goldfarb, 34, an author and blogger in Moorestown, N.J. A typical, annoying query is the last-minute: “Is anything fun going on tonight?” More annoying still are the men who simply ping, “Hey” or “ ’sup.”

“What does he think I’m doing?” she said. “I’m going to my friend’s house to drink cheap white wine and watch episodes of ‘Dance Moms’ on demand.”

Online dating services, which have gained mainstream acceptance, reinforce the hyper-casual approach by greatly expanding the number of potential dates. Faced with a never-ending stream of singles to choose from, many feel a sense of “FOMO” (fear of missing out), so they opt for a speed-dating approach — cycle through lots of suitors quickly.

That also means that suitors need to keep dates cheap and casual. A fancy dinner? You’re lucky to get a drink.

“It’s like online job applications, you can target many people simultaneously — it’s like darts on a dart board, eventually one will stick,” said Joshua Sky, 26, a branding coordinator in Manhattan, describing the attitudes of many singles in their 20s. The mass-mailer approach necessitates “cost-cutting, going to bars, meeting for coffee the first time,” he added, “because you only want to invest in a mate you’re going to get more out of.”

If online dating sites have accelerated that trend, they are also taking advantage of it. New services like Grouper aren’t so much about matchmaking as they are about group dates, bringing together two sets of friends for informal drinks.

The Gaggle, a dating commentary and advice site, helps young women navigate what its founders call the “post-dating” landscape, by championing “non-dates,” including the “group non-date” and the “networking non-date.” The site’s founders, Jessica Massa and Rebecca Wiegand, say that in  a world where “courtship” is quickly being redefined, women must recognize a flirtatious exchange of tweets, or a lingering glance at a company softball game, as legitimate opportunities for romance, too.

“Once women begin recognizing these more ambiguous settings as opportunities for romantic possibility,” Ms. Massa said, “they really start seeing their love lives as much more intriguing and vibrant than they did when they were only judging themselves by how many ‘dates’ they had lined up.”

THERE’S another reason Web-enabled singles are rendering traditional dates obsolete. If the purpose of the first date was to learn about someone’s background, education, politics and cultural tastes, Google and Facebook have taken care of that.

“We’re all Ph.D.’s in Internet stalking these days,” said Andrea Lavinthal, an author of the 2005 book “The Hookup Handbook.” “Online research makes the first date feel unnecessary, because it creates a false sense of intimacy. You think you know all the important stuff, when in reality, all you know is that they watch ‘Homeland.’ ”

Dodgy economic prospects facing millennials also help torpedo the old, formal dating rituals. Faced with a lingering recession, a stagnant job market, and mountains of student debt, many young people — particularly victims of the “mancession” — simply cannot afford to invest a fancy dinner or show in someone they may or may not click with.

Further complicating matters is the changing economic power dynamic between the genders, as reflected by a number of studies in recent years, said Hanna Rosin, author of the recent book “The End of Men.”

A much-publicized study by Reach Advisors, a Boston-based market research group, found that the median income for young, single, childless women is higher than it is for men in many of the country’s biggest cities (though men still dominate the highest-income jobs, according to James Chung, the company’s president).  This may be one reason it is not uncommon to walk into the hottest new West Village bistro on a Saturday night and find five smartly dressed young women dining together — the nearest man the waiter. Income equality, or superiority, for women muddles the old, male-dominated dating structure.

“Maybe there’s still a sense of a man taking care of a woman, but our ideology is aligning with the reality of our finances,” Ms. Rosin said. As a man, you might “convince yourself that dating is passé, a relic of a paternalistic era, because you can’t afford to take a woman to a restaurant.”

Many young men these days have no experience in formal dating and feel the need to be faintly ironic about the process — “to ‘date’ in quotation marks” — because they are “worried that they might offend women by dating in an old-fashioned way,” Ms. Rosin said.

“It’s hard to read a woman exactly right these days,” she added. “You don’t know whether, say, choosing the wine without asking her opinion will meet her yearnings for old-fashioned romance or strike her as boorish and macho.”

Indeed, being too formal too early can send a message that a man is ready to get serious, which few men in their 20s are ready to do, said Lex Edness, a television writer in Los Angeles.

“A lot of men in their 20s are reluctant to take the girl to the French restaurant, or buy them jewelry, because those steps tend to lead to ‘eventually, we’re going to get married,’ ” Mr. Edness, 27, said. In a tight economy, where everyone is grinding away to build a career, most men cannot fathom supporting a family until at least 30 or 35, he said.

“So it’s a lot easier to meet people on an even playing field, in casual dating,” he said. “The stakes are lower.”

Even in an era of ingrained ambivalence about gender roles, however, some women keep the old dating traditions alive by refusing to accept anything less.

Cheryl Yeoh, a tech entrepreneur in San Francisco, said that she has been on many formal dates of late — plays, fancy restaurants. One suitor even presented her with red roses. For her, the old traditions are alive simply because she refuses to put up with anything less. She generally refuses to go on any date that is not set up a week in advance, involving a degree of forethought.

“If he really wants you,” Ms. Yeoh, 29, said, “he has to put in some effort.”

Ten Love Lessons Learned from ’80s Movies

Published November 28, 2012 by harleyquinnly

I found this post during  late-night news reading. I loved it because despite only being born in the 1980s and actually growing up in the 1990s, I always loved ’80s movies the most. The Breakfast Club was my introduction and it was all Sixteen Candles from there. I’m not quite sure why, but I can never relate or watch newer “chick-flicks.” (Except for Crazy-Stupid-Love). I always thought because they were unrealistic, too good to be true. After I stop crying from the beauty of the perfect romance of they guy finally getting the girl in a complicated romantic way, I then think about my own life and start crying again. Maybe I just try to stick to lower expectations so I won’t be as disappointed and more surprised when things do work out nicely. Either way, I still watch 1980s movies.

“10 Love Lessons You Can Learn from the 1980s,” by Nico Lang.

1. Dancing is the key to winning someone’s heart. (Dirty Dancing, Flashdance, Footloose, Fame, Breakin’ and Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo)

For anyone who has seen Dirty Dancing and the wonder of Patrick Swayze’s torso (#neverforget), you know that nobody can resist dancing. What’s sexier than someone who is in touch with their body and knows how to move it? It doesn’t even matter what they’re dancing to or whether it’s a tune as admittedly dopey as “I’ve Had the Time of My Life.” When you see those hips moving to Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes’ words, nothing else matters; not maudlin theme songs, botched backstreet abortions, the high expectations of your parents (Emily Gilmore and pre-L&O Jerry Orbach) or that you think you can’t do that lift. You can do that lift. You just have to learn to believe in yourself. His sweet moves will show you the way.

Also, you know you kind of still love that song anyway.

2. Any problems you have with your romantic partner can be solved with the soulful tunes of Peter Gabriel. (Say Anything)

John Cusack movies taught me everything I needed to know about relationships, and Say Anything is a great example. Did you give her your heart and she gave you a pen? Do you want to be a professional kickboxer while she wants to study in England? Is her father, the dad from Frasier, being investigated by the IRS for tax evasions? All of these issues can be solved by blasting/serenading your beloved via boombox outside of her window. If you can’t figure out what to say to win back her heart, let Peter do the talking. Like in 1977’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, music is the universal language, and when it comes to love, sometimes Gabriel’s lyrics are the only words you need.

3. Hot guys have feelings, too. (Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink)

Hey, just because he’s beautiful, perfect and has cheekbones that could slice a diamond doesn’t mean he isn’t soulful or doesn’t want a real relationship with someone. For example: You know all those douchebag friends of his that wreck his parents’ house or that awful ex-girlfriend who let an unlicensed freshman operate his dad’s Rolls Royce? He doesn’t like those things, either. He might just like you and if you let him in, he will wait for you outside of your sister’s wedding with a trans am, ready to do it on a cloud without getting pregnant or herpes. Or you’ll just eat cake together, because who doesn’t love cake? Either way, someone will remember your birthday and see how special you are, and it just might be him. So, when he tries to talk to you at the dance, make sure to say something back.

4. Sometimes the bad boy is just bad. (Heathers)

If the object of your affections is a dead ringer for Jack Nicholson in The Shining, has suspicious access to firearms and explosives and helps you plot to kill all of your friends, you might not want to take him to the prom. Before getting involved with the bad boy, ask yourself: “Does his father blow things up for a living? Did he move to your town under suspicious circumstances? Does he wear long trenchcoats all the time? Is he anti-social or a possible serial murderer?” If you are unclear about the answers to any of these questions, run. “Ich Luge” bullets are not a thing — you’re the one who is lying to yourself.

5. Opposites attract. (Pretty in Pink, Footloose, every ’80s movie ever)

Just because he’s popular doesn’t mean he’s not into you. You’re the girl from the wrong side of the tracks (who has to make her own dress for the prom), the sort-of-goth girl who needs someone to open up to or the preacher’s daughter who just wants to let her wild side out and dance but can’t because the town outlawed dancing. Although your families don’t approve and it seems like you couldn’t possibly get together with society standing in the way, nothing is so insurmountable that it can’t be solved before the closing credits. You’ll get a makeover, find your self-esteem and get your dad to sit down and listen to what the kids are jamming to these days. When John Lithgow finally hears Kenny Loggins, he’ll understand what Paula Abdul and a cartoon cat have been telling us all these years: Sometimes it’s so wrong that it couldn’t be more right.

6. Want to get the guy? Be yourself. (Sixteen Candles)

This is the ’80s, and girls aren’t like Sandy in Grease, ditching their poodle skirts to impress some guy. No. You’re like Molly Ringwald, and guys like you for just doing you. You’re not like other girls. You wear kooky-yet-cool flowered hats and loan your underwear to a freshman, because you’re special and you care about people. If he really likes you, he won’t care about his popular friends or that you have an overtly racist Asian caricature staying in your house. When you like someone, you like them for the quirks that make them who they are, even if those quirks are Long Duk Dong.

7. I repeat: Don’t change for them. (The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink)

’80s movies are big on transformations. We find out that nerdy guy was McDreamy THE WHOLE TIME or that Ally Sheedy is a knock-out when her bangs aren’t covering up her entire face. Getting a new wardrobe and a new lease on self-esteem is wonderful, but don’t let someone else tell you who to be. A makeover can turn a frog into a prince, but that only goes so far. When Patrick Dempsey gets the girl in Can’t Buy Me Love, it’s because he’s been a prince THE WHOLE TIME. Change the clothes, but don’t forget about the person inside them.

8. Guys who ride riding mowers are surprisingly sexy. (Can’t Buy Me Love)

Although country music has informed us of the erotic powers of the tractor, CBML makes a strong case for the sexual appeal of lawn trimmers. However, it helps when the person riding that thing is as forever-hot as Patrick Dempsey, who only seems to get more good looking with each passing year. Between him, Robert Downey Jr. and Anthony Michael Hall (who got weird hot after the ’80s), I’m convinced there’s a Brat Pack Fountain of Sexy, and I want in. At the very least, they need to share with Judd Nelson.

9. Friendship is the basis of any great relationship. (Some Kind of Wonderful, The Goonies)

Although the two of you CAN just be friends, sometimes being best friends with someone can be the foundation for something more. When Harry Met Sally is the classic example of this (because who wouldn’t eventually fall in love with Meg Ryan?), but Some Kind of Wonderful proves this conclusively. You seem like bros, but this just masks the fact that you’ve got it for him, bad, even though he has the hots for Lea Thompson.

However, he will eventually watch Howard The Duck, where she has intergalactic nookie with a cigar-smoking alien waterfowl, and he’ll get over her. Guess who will still be there? You. You put in the time and the effort and were there for him while he got his heart broken by poultry porn, and that matters. Sure, you might have to chauffeur him on a couple dates to get to that point, but when he sees how cute you look in that chauffeur hat, he’ll never think about Lea Thompson again.

10. But sometimes, you have to settle for being friends. (Pretty in Pink)

Sure, you could end up in a Beauty and the Beast (1991) situation, where there’s something there that wasn’t there before. But if you’re pining for her and she makes it clear she wants to be with the angelicly feather-haired Andrew McCarthy, you need to give it up, bra. You can best win her over by being there for her when Andrew’s bougie best friends are a jerk to her for being, like, poor and stuff. (Dem blue collars are such a buzzkill, amiright?) Either she’ll find happiness with Andrew McCarthy when he finally gets up the courage to tell off James Spader and you’ll come to respect her decision, or you’ll forge an alternate reality where a Flock-of-Seagull-haired Jon Cryer can find love, too. Maybe that will then stop him from doing Two and a Half Men? A girl can dream.

Getting Over a Breakup…or Anything

Published November 12, 2012 by harleyquinnly

As the third anniversary of the stupidest decision I’ve ever made is coming up, I’ve wondered if there are stages of working through the grief. And how do you know when you’re done with it? Every time I’ve gone through a rough patch, I’ve been able to trace defined steps of grief: shock, manic action, depression, acceptance, and realization. The one time I truly believed the world was falling down, I oddly didn’t have any of these normal steps. It was overwhelming shock, emotional and physical pain, and then nothingness. I shut down completely and went emotionally numb. I had no idea of what a normal way to cope was. Now a lot of people may be thinking, ‘Jeez, it’s been three years, get over it already.’ I’m over “it” and what happened, but not quite the trust that I have the ability to survive anything like that again or cope like a normal person. Sometimes I wonder, what’s going to put me back in that mental/emotional place I don’t ever want to go again? I found this article that sums it up, the healthy ways to cope. It’s specifically for breakups, but I think it could apply to other grieving times as well.

Mark Banschick, MD: Getting Over Him In Six Steps
By Mark Banschick, MD
Posted: Nov 8, 2012, 3:00:57 AM
Huffington Post

You’ve been dumped. It feels like hell, and you don’t know what to do. What will it take to get over a nasty affair, or worse, an unexpected divorce? And will you or your kids make it?

The key is to your recovery is to take back control and own your life. Acceptance is mandatory. As hard as it sounds, there’s no moving forward as long as you’re mired in regret, anger or fear. This is not to say that you don’t have to protect yourself, and sometimes, your children. He may be manipulative. She may be dangerous. Acceptance does not mean passivity, it means living in the present, the future and not in the pain of the past.

Here are six steps to feeling yourself again:

Mourn: You sacrificed a lot for your marriage and it didn’t work out. Feeling hurt, anger, remorse, guilt, or shame is normal. You will have to go through the steps of grief one by one: denial, bargaining, anger, depression and acceptance. Get a good therapist and grieve properly. You may still be angry with your narcissistic ex wife or your adulterous husband, and that is a part of the healing process. If, however, you get stuck in one of the phases of grief like anger or depression, make sure that you’re in good hands.

Admit: Admit that you cannot control everything. It is hardly productive to focus on the “what ifs” of the past. Admit that breaking up cost you something — be it emotionally, financially, or both. Bad things do happen to good people.

Trust: Have faith that you won’t feel like this forever. Healing is what your body and soul really wants. And healing is what your children want. Perhaps this is an opportunity for spirituality. Many people are comforted by the sense of being held by a God who cares. If you’re not inclined toward religion, perhaps get in touch with the grandness of the world. See your story as the part of a complete human experience. Meditate and observe. It can liberate.

Forgive: Forgive yourself, forgive the universe, and if possible, forgive your ex. Understand that everyone carries their own injuries, and that he or she may be fighting his or her own demons.

Make Centered Decisions: To forgive is not to forget. Become more aware so that you can move forward. If this means self-protection, then self-protect. If it means allowing your kids to see an ex you hate, but who is a loving parent, allow it to happen. Wounds of the past should not prevent you from making sound decisions. Plus, taking care of business properly feels good.

Accept: You are now in a place where you can understand what happened to you more clearly. Maybe your narcissistic husband or boyfriend did not truly love you. Acceptance is necessary, and at some point, you need not fight the past. It means seeing things clearly.
In the aftermath of a divorce, your emotions may seem overwhelming. I urge you to experience them all, from the outrage to the hurt to the self doubt and the fear of what comes next. Grief work is required, and it’s a necessary component of healing.

Grief is the spiritual equivalent to the body slowly healing a bad wound. It gets triggered time after time, overwhelming when least expected. But it gets worked through and the wound ultimately heals.

Life is not fair.

Loss hurts. If he left you, then you are holding a bag of resentment and hurt. If you left him, you’ve been grieving the loss of your marriage for some time. It’s a big loss. We all want to rage at the world, or crawl into a depressed spot when we feel the injustice and randomness of our pain.
Acceptance heals. Real acceptance is a gift — for you and for everyone else in the world. If you try and shortcut your healing, you will not get there. Losing a relationship is a loss and grieving is required. Just know that there is hope, a brighter tomorrow and that true acceptance can help you and your children get there.

Acceptance is an evolutionary good because acceptance doesn’t mean passivity. It means freedom.

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