an-american-girl-in-paris-part-deux-04-1024

HBO

My friends probably won’t believe that I’m going to skip the next (rumored) Sex and the City movie. And it’s not because Chris Noth, the actor who played Mr. Big, just called the Carrie Bradshaw character a “whore” in an interview with news.com.au. He was joking. Lighten up, people. But no … it was something else he said that was much more important.

You see, back in the day (let’s acknowledge that the show went off the air 10 … TEN … years ago), I was 100% in love with SATC. I threw viewing parties with my friends; I took the “which SATC character are you” quiz (Miranda); heck, I even have the SATC board game.

The show did its job: It made me feel empowered to brag about my sex life and entitled to bitch about the men in my life.

But since the show went off the air, my feelings about it began to evolve. The shows are readily available on syndication, and I’ve certainly indulged. But I began to realize that binge-watching SATC while drinking homemade cosmos and eating ultra-rich ice cream wasn’t fulfilling anymore. In fact, it was downright depressing.

And then I began writing this blog, collecting my man cards and tapping into the way guys think. When watching the episodes now, the male bashing and whining exhaust me. While I still hold Samantha’s character in high regard, I now see Miranda as a self-absorbed workaholic and Charlotte as trapped in tradition, but not in a good way. Carrie is truly the biggest disappointment of all, constantly sidelining the men’s perspective and demanding they bend to her will, or be kicked to the curb.

When I asked a more-enlightened-than-most man-card-sharing friend for his take on SATC, he replied, “I think my male friends would agree with me here. We didn’t just avoid SATC because it was a chick show and didn’t interest us. We actively shunned it,” he says. “It was because the show was giving off a vibe like it was in the know about modern adult relationships, and it was sharing its ‘secrets’ with women at large and for the most part those ‘secrets’ were twisted or distorted or just plain inaccurate.”

Wait. I give away secrets in my ManCard Chick blog, too, though. “ManCard Chick makes me and other guys a little uncomfortable because it is sharing our inner workings, but at least it’s doing it honestly,” my friend ensures. “SATC was pretending to do that but was really broadcasting a lot of fantasy and hyperbole in lieu of gritty honesty. … SATC tried to empower women not by lifting them up but by tearing us down.”

I will concede this: In the mid-2000s, we needed to see SATC, and we needed to realize that some men didn’t seem to be even trying to come close to our expectations for a successful relationship. Today, I believe we need to adjust our expectations to a more realistic, and ultimately more loving, acceptance toward the men in our lives. Yes, they need to not be dogs and try to make the relationship work, but no, it’s not just all about what we — women — insist upon. We’ve been fighting for equal, right? But is it, or has the pendulum swung too far the other way in terms of relationship demands?

Need proof? Answer this: How many 30-35 year old friends do you have who are still single and childless, but don’t prefer to be? I’ll let you dive deeper into the reasoning on your own.

The truth is that we need to break away from the false hopes and endless nagging that are at the heart of what subliminally frustrates modern women as they pass on man after man who just simply aren’t perfect enough for them. Do they really date a series of pot-smoking dudes who live with mom, premature-ejaculating writers, ADHD-addled musicians and politicians with urine fetishes? Not likely. And SATC inflated the imperfections of men beyond repair.

Noth, in his interview, nails it:

“[Mr. Big] was what he was. One of the things I tell people is that he never tried to pretend he was anything other than what he was. It was [Carrie] who tried to pretend he was something he wasn’t. He was always honest about himself — he never cheated on her. The relationship just didn’t work …”

So if Michael Patrick King and Darren Star want to create a SATC3 in which Mr. Big is finally portrayed as a human and Carrie owns up to her narcissism, count me in. But if it’s more of the same from 10 years ago, well, sorry, guys. I couldn’t help but … move on.

BLD038810

When coaching friends about their relationships, there are three ManCard Chick guidelines I start with: 1. You’re more attractive when you’re just living your life and not obsessing about “where this relationship is going;” 2. If he likes you … really likes you … he will undeniably let you know; 3. You cannot force your will on him. And if you do happen to succeed at this, it will be fleeting and you’ll be more unsatisfied than ever.

I’ve come up with these suggestions after many chats with guy friends on what drives them nuts, and after hearing countless girlfriends carry on and on … and on … and on some more about the slow pace of their relationship.

So I was thrilled when a close friend relayed a story about how her guy brought up that the two of them were at a critical turning point in their relationship, and he even said the “m” word. Let me put it this way: He wanted to have “the talk” with her. Not the other way around. And how did this happen? After months of agonizing, she decided to stop freaking out about it, stopped scowling and fretting and start loving her life with him in it, while trying to put aside the “where is this going” question for a while.

“How much better is it that he came to this conclusion on his own?” I asked her. “You’re so right!” she gushed. “You’re a genius!”

Well. Yeah. Um. I’m blushing. And I’m truly glad he came through so I don’t have to beat him up. He’s a big guy, and I’m not sure I could take him.

While my buddy basked in the glow of this realization, I was questioning my real genius, being that I’d been backsliding into some pretty treacherous territory that nearly put my man card in jeopardy. I was not applying my own knowledge and instead let my girl brain take over and go past the point of rational thought. A serious ManCard Chick fail. But hey, I’m human, too, and at the end of the day: I’m still a girl.

Read the rest of this entry »

pool

Lots of guys get labeled as a “player” because they date around, use pick-up lines and techniques or simply talk a big game. But these dudes are obvious and easily identified. What you really need to learn is how to spot the ones who are so masterful that “player” won’t even enter your vocabulary.

Everything about him seems legit and honest and intriguing. There will be no lame moves, and you will feel like the only woman in his world. There are a few key giveaways that he’s not the Mr. Right you’re looking for. How do I know? I’ve seen these guys in action, talked strategy with them and maybe even borrowed a few of their tricks.

They are a rare breed. I equate the numbers of true ninja-level players with serious female gold diggers. There are not that many of them, but enough to give the rest of us a bad name. Earnest, thoughtful men suffer in the same way that independent, generous women do thanks to these, um, standouts.

These guys play the dirtiest game because they study us and tap into our deepest subliminal triggers. We have to put our ego and wishful thinking on the shelf to figure out how to get past one of these guys.

Here are four surefire clues that he’s a ninja-level player:

Read the rest of this entry »

restaurant scene
So, ladies. Have you had any good chats about your guy lately? Bent your friends’ ears over a bottle of wine for a few hours? Why am I even asking? Of course you have! This is what we do. We talk about our fellas. And we talk and we talk and then we talk some more.

But what is it that we’re talking about? During a few illuminating conversations with friends over the past few weeks, it dawned on me that we’re not discussing that great steak he grilled last night or how he drove back home from work because you locked the keys in the house … again.

Be honest: What was the topic of the last exhaustive discussion that you had about your guy with your girls? A few guesses:

• He hasn’t introduced you to his mother

• He hasn’t said those three magic words

• You can’t get a commitment on moving in together

• It’s been three years, and he hasn’t popped the question yet

• He doesn’t seem to want to have sex anymore even though you keep reminding him that your clock is ticking!

There’s nothing really wrong with these conversations, but are you discussing anything else about him and your relationship? What is it that your girlfriends are taking away from your, er, rantings? Anything good in there at all? I hear crickets …

A close buddy of mine once gave me some stellar advice. He said: Don’t be that girl who bashes your friend’s boyfriend/husband, even if she’s giving you lots of ammunition to do so. You’ll always be remembered as the one who didn’t believe in their relationship, and you’ll never recover from that … you know, like when they’re walking down the aisle, and you’re sitting there wondering why you’re not her maid of honor.

That was certainly wise advice, but are you making it too hard for your friends to do anything other than hate this guy?

Read the rest of this entry »

Image

So you might have seen a recent discouraging study from the University of Kansas about the art of flirting. Apparently, when placed in a face-to-face situation and asked to chat, college men and women were really bad at recognizing when the other was working his or her moves. In fact, only 36 percent of the men and 18 percent of the women picked up on flirting cues.

Sigh. How have humans survived for so long? You might be surprised at the answer.

There are plenty of books, blogs and advice columns on how a gal should get a guy’s attention by making those sexy eyes over her shoulder, batting those plumped-up lashes and “casually” touching his arm. However, the reality is: Guys are reading the instinctive things you do more than your intentional moves. That’s actually good news if you’re shy or think you suck at flirting — and probably why men scored twice as high in the study.

If you’re attracted to a guy, you’re going to lean in, touch or bite your lips and arch your back without even realizing it. It’s like your body propels you into the mating ritual practically against your will. That’s what guys pick up on. “Most women can’t hide or fake these cues,” a guy friend tells me. “They’re like tells in poker.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Image

Question for you: How many hours, days even, do you think you’ve spent breaking down the meaning of every text, glance, grin and utterance of the guy you’re attracted to? I’m guessing it’s quite a lot. You know — equivalent to the six months the average person spends standing in line during their lifetime. And just about as useful, really.

I’ve been there. I once crushed on a co-worker whose desk was positioned on the other end of our vast warehouse-like newsroom. Every time he stood up from his desk and just happened to turn his head north, I had an emotional spasm, thinking he couldn’t spend another moment without looking my way. If he caught my eye and smiled, I was sure he was covertly signaling our future wedding date.

Truth is: I wasn’t picking up the signs of his (casual at best) interest in me. Or worse: his obvious interest in other women at the office. I brushed those aside and made excuses and looked for more clues. And I mean, I looked really hard.

As with any good lesson, I couldn’t get out of my own way, and this one was best learned by watching my friends suffer, too. They cling onto every painfully vague promise of “where this is going” he might utter, and somehow read their vows between the lines of his wishy-washy words.

This realization led me to ask some of my guy friends a pretty common question: How do you know if he’s really all in? Their answer was a resounding: Duh! You won’t even have to ask. You’ll know. There will be no question about his intention.

Read the rest of this entry »

Image

How could a television show about six single dudes in New York City who chase skirts, eat hot wings, sit around a smelly poker table and roll cigars possibly appeal to women? In many ways. Oh, so many ways.

Seriously, ladies. Turn off the “Sex and the City” reruns. Sexy-version Aiden isn’t going to build you a custom armoire anytime soon. You need to clear your schedule and get caught up on the Esquire Network’s new original series, “Lucky Bastards” — pronto.

In April, Esquire Network (the former Style Network that relaunched in September 2013) premiered the 10-episode series. The premise of “Lucky Bastards” is simple: follow six highly eligible and financially buff bachelors around Manhattan for a while and see what madness ensues.

The no-holds-barred, balls-out attitude of this posse makes for some great, entertaining television. When that’s paired with nothing-to-lose, guy-to-guy, wink-wink-nudge-nudge commentary, it’s a veritable overflowing fountain of insider intel that every single gal needs to take a nice long, hot shower in. Bring a loofah — you’re gonna need it.

The best way for modern women to find the genius in this show (besides the cute smiles and occasionally bare chests), is to realize it’s a celebration of men being men — unapologetically. Now at the halfway point in the series, we’ve seen that the situations are real and sometimes dirty, often crass and even distasteful. In a world otherwise filled with emasculating male-bashing, hate-filled blogs and television shows, I find “Lucky Bastards” refreshing and illuminating. But I’ve got thick skin and I’m open-minded; plus I want to learn. As they say: When the student is ready, the teacher appears.

My six new favorite professors are a group of old friends who range in age from 33 to 45. They’re not the ridiculous caricatures of men we often see on TV these days. They’re real, they’re savvy and they’re deal closers. Their personalities and business pursuits are quite varied, but their chemistry and camaraderie are undeniable and often combustible. There’s just enough douche-baggery to earn the “bastard” badge, but no one’s faster to call them out on it than one of their own — usually delivered in a swift, harsh, “don’t-be-a-dick” verbal swipe. The “lucky” comes in because they’re rich, well-educated, business savvy, good looking and well-spoken (proper grammar is always sexy). Here they are:

Read the rest of this entry »

Image

I heard this question for the first time about six years ago. I was pursuing a guy I shouldn’t have been (fill in the reasons for his unsuitability … several apply). He knew he was wrong for me, too, but I was stubborn and persistent.

Until the day he asked me: “What’s your endgame, here?”

Endgame? What does that mean? I’m supposed to start at the end? Do I have to actually say it out loud?

It was time to bring in some help, so I asked my guy friends what this “endgame” was all about. “Well, what do you want to happen in the end?” is what they countered with. Starting with an endgame, they explain, keeps you on task, focused and purposeful.

Officially, this endgame term defines the final moves in a game of chess, and it also applies to battle strategy. Heck, Homeland Security even had Operation Endgame, an effort to deport illegal aliens and suspected terrorists in the U.S. by 2012.

If we’re honest with ourselves, women will concede that we look at every love interest as possibly THE ONE, even if he’s completely wrong for us. To put that in guy speak: Even if we know better, there’s a moment where our endgame looks something like Kimye in Florence, rose walls and all.

Read the rest of this entry »

ICYMI: This kid shows some early savvy with the ladies, but the best — and most revealing part — is listening to the announcers absolutely gushing over his strategy.

Ask2

At the end of a sweaty night in a dark, hipster coffee house turned makeshift blues bar, a musician friend of mine laid down the royal flush of man card material. “It’s all about strategy, man,” he said.

This was in response to my gaping shock when he relayed a conversation with a much younger, quite adorable, band mate. The kid wanted to play more gigs because he was broke. Why? He’d spent all his cash on his drums and the hot, red car he pulled up in. He’d bought them for one purpose: To pick up chicks, he confessed. “Dude. You already play the drums,” my friend instructed him. “You don’t need BOTH!”

This cute guy had banged on the drums for several hours, seductively throwing his head back, completely lost in the music, or so I thought. If he had just made eye contact or said hello to me, I would have been a puddle, and I didn’t even know about his sexy red ride. But in his mind, he needed a shtick — or strategy — to give him an edge.

After getting hit with this strategy card, it dawned on me: In all of life’s worthy pursuits, guys instinctively go into this game-plan mode; with deliberate actions designed for a desired outcome. Chicks get grossed out at the thought of guys running game on them, but it happens outside the dating world, too. Read the rest of this entry »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 163 other followers