That Girl Who Never Has Time For You (Hashtag Multiple Emoji Smiley With Hearts)

Everyone knows that one girl. That girl who goes to all the cool parties, knows all the coolest people, knows the best places to hang out, and has a great look that all her friends want to emulate:

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Everyone she knows is texting her, messaging her, and commenting on all of her posts just waiting for their chance to hang out with her. There is one caveat: she doesn’t actually have time for you or anyone else.

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It’s true she’s always posting on social media about going out to all the amazing bars, clubs, shows, and parties. She’ll “check in” to all the exclusive velvet-rope hot spots where you and your friends wait outside for hours. She gets right in because she “knows someone.” She’s what is known as a “scene girl” or “Really cool hipster girl with connections” or “uber hipster,” if you must. (I wish you wouldn’t. It gives these girls way more credit than they actually deserve).    Every girl and guy she knows follows her around like a lost puppy, just grateful for the privilege of her expertise in what’s hot right now. She obviously knows better than you do. Her clothes are cuter. Her haircut is more expensive. She is a vegan chef. She plays an instrumet. She is a writer. She is an artist. She has a lip ring. Or maybe she doesn’t. There are varying breeds. Whatever she is, she’s cooler and better than everyone and she lets them know it:

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These girls are what I like to call “Scene Fakers,” or simply, “Fakes” If their friends text them to hang out, the “scene fake” ignores them. Meanwhile that very same night, she’s at a hip LA/SF/NYC bar bumping into the cool kids she knows who also showed up alone just to “bump into” the other socially acceptable scene kids they feel are worthy of them.
This faker will also post on social media: “I’m going to Such-and-Such Bar/Going for a bike ride/Cooking vegan food at my apartment. Who’s down?” All of her Twitter/Instagram/Facebook followers will answer. Hours will go by. Meanwhile she’ll post pics of said activity with the people she met up with. You know, the people who know a lot more about “the scene” than you. People who she feels made the cut.
This “fake” doesn’t actually have real friends. She doesn’t want them. But she does want everyone to know how popular she is because one is simply not popular unless they have the pictures to prove it. Meanwhile, her friends will comment under her social media posts, “How come you never returned my text? I wanted to go bike riding with you” or “Invite me next time you to go to Such-and-Such Bar.” Meanwhile she’s laughing out the sides of her extremely heavy, oversized black framed glasses. She lives life on her own terms, and you as her friend, are lucky enough to get a front row seat on social media to watch. Meanwhile she’ll flake on you and everyone else every chance she gets because there’s always somewhere anywhere else she’d rather and someone else she’d rather be doing it with. She’ll meet up with the person that suits her mood best given the activity and situation. The person who will best help her “be seen.”

I personally don’t know about you guys, but I’ve known at least one girl (or guy) like this since my early 20s. I still know girls pushing 30 who still act like this and trust me, it doesn’t get any more endearing with age. Only more pathetic. Now Miss Fake, the next time you hit up the overpriced vintage store/forever 21/American Apparel/Buffalo Exchange/Urban Outfitters to pick out an outfit to instagram for #ootd, be sure to pick up a personality while you’re at it.

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Just one of those bitches I was talking about (j/k it’s me!)

Sidebar: I can’t post this on facebook because I’ll offend just about every facebook friend I have. Especially the L.A. Based ones (emoji/smiley face).

Why I Quit My Server/Bartender Job: A Brief Illustrated History

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Customer gets my attention in abrupt, startling way. It’s probably worth mentioning that my server/bartender job was at a wedding facility that purported to cater to classy and upscale wedding guests/customers, but had guests not unlike those at Free Taco Night on Taco Tuesday with a “Me first and the gimme gimme gimmes” with a side of “Phuck yo feelings” type of mentality.
Customer then has a variety of vocal tones and deliveries to choose from when making a request. Customer chooses “Patronizing/Passive Aggressive” from his settings menu.

Example:
“Can YOU get me a glass of water? Is that something YOU can do?”

Note: Customer says “YOU” as if I am a mentally impaired trained ape. Wrong again, customer. The mentally impaired trained ape is the person NOT standing and taking your order.

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Yes, the mother-son duo looked at me with the same look of superiority/contempt as the mother-son duo pictured here.

Example: Middle aged mom of a teenage boy selects the “I’m older than you and therefore know so much more about life” vocal tone/delivery from her personal settings menu: “The DJ really needs to eat. Make sure he eats, okay?” This mom, who is in actuality only about 10-11 years older than I am, emphasizes the word “okay” as if I am a six year old child who needs to be redirected into doing my job correctly because it sure looks like after 13 years as a server and being twice her son’s age, I can use some condescending “pointers.” What this woman didn’t know was I teach high school as my second job. I am very likely more educated than she. I eat kids her son’s age for breakfast. But definitely talk to me like I’m even younger and more incompetent than your son. I guess it’s to my detriment that I look very young for my age and was working with mostly teenagers at the time. Oh the sacrifices I make in order to earn extra money in the summer when schools are not in session.
Sidebar: I actually had the DJ’s dinner plate in my hand right as this mom made her “helpful” statement because believe it or not, I am quite capable of carrying out the duties of a job that I’ve been employed since the time her son was shitting his diapers. At least I can find some comfort in not being called a “Fucking idiot” like my 20 year old coworker for making the tragic mistake of pouring a wedding guest iced tea instead of water. Factoid: My fellow server quit immediately after that happened. I guess being called names and not getting tips isn’t everyone’s “cup of tea.” See what I did there?

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This customer really did put her hair behind her ears and pull a “bitch face.”

Example:
I am serving wedding cake to customers. I put a slice of chocolate cake in front of ratchet-ass college girl with a high pitched voice not unlike a drunk Minnie Mouse. She tells me (while selecting “Rude Biotch” from her personal delivery settings): “Excuse me. You just set a piece of chocolate cake in front of me.” Startled, I thought maybe that was the rare time I mistook a piece of delicious chocolate cake for a steaming turd. Nope. She just didn’t care for that flavor and felt being passive aggressive was the most effective way to inform me. Well done, Skankzilla.
I think she meant to tell me, “May I have a piece of Red Velvet cake from your next layer instead?” That would have indicated she was in at least some form, a civilized human being. Last time I make that mistake.
Fun fact: All of my customers expect 5 star service and never once leave a tip.

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“Phuck yo tip.”

Customers at open bar where alcohol is taken care of all night by host (just not my tip or self esteem): “We’ll have 19 Patron shots.”
Same guests take those shots without leaving a tip then ask, “Now we want 13 more.” Still no tip or even a “Please” or a “Thank you.” I say playfully, “Come on guys, don’t forget your girl” since I have to rely on guests’ generosity or lack thereof to make enough of a living to pay to eat this week. My minimum hourly wage alone just doesn’t quite cut it, unfortunately. Not even in 1957. Instead, I give away $2,500 worth of Top Shelf liquor from the “open bar” and get $3 in tips for the last hour of a grueling 6.5 shift with non- tipping, rude, and demanding bullies. Then some of the customers go behind my back and tell my boss:

“The bartender didn’t smile at us!”

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My boss:

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“It’s all YOUR fault!”

Me:

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As the prolific Snoop Dogg once said, “I don’t love you hoes, I’m out the door.”

The Entitled Generation: Ch-Ch-Changes in the wedding industry

Working as a server, chef, bartender, and wedding coordinator for the wedding industry since 1998, I have seen some startling changes in expectations from brides, grooms, and guests at wedding venues.
  Having worked in various capacities at two wedding venues in Southern California since 2001, I have seen weddings change from understated, modest, religious affairs to overblown pretentious Vegas style blowouts. Any attempt at treating a wedding as a sacred, special gathering with just the bride and groom’s closest family and friends has gone the way of champagne fountains and balloon arches (just to make a reference to popular wedding trends when I started in this industry 16 years ago). Back when I first started, it was rare for a bride and groom to have lived together before marriage and even more rare to have children before marriage. Of course it happened, but it occurred about 20% of the time. Starting within the last five years, courtships last on average 5 years and include living together. About half the couples I see walk down the aisle have children old enough to be the ring bearer and/or flower girl. Before any of you chastise me, I am not trying to put today’s couples down. I am merely making a point of what marriage means to today’s couples. Many couples in the past would date for no more than two years and plan a special, intimate wedding with just their closest family and friends to celebrate their new lives together. They would be moving into their new place together for the first time. This attitude gave weddings a sense of being sacred and a way to spirtually celebrate the union of two people very much in love.
…..Flash forward to 2013: I just listened to the groom make a speech that went like this, “Jennifer and I have been dating five years. I was hestitant to ask her to marry me at first. But I’m glad we got to this point.”
This is what I like to call a “might as well wedding.” This is not the first speech of this type that I’ve heard and it certainly won’t be the last. The groom figures he “might as well” ask his girlfriend of five years (I’ve seen some couples say it took 8-10 years) to marry him despite his reservations because he isn’t going to do any better, she’s already putting up with him so it’s convenient, and he’s likely getting pressure from his family to make it official, so he “might as well” put a ring on it. Couples in this situation don’t look at weddings the same way. They see their wedding as an excuse to plan an extravagant blowout. They not only want to invite their closest family and friends, but anyone and everyone who has known them as a couple for the last 5+ years they’ve been together. Believe me, after that many years together, that’s a lot of people. They want their wedding to cater to their every whim. It’s like the sweet 16 party they never had. It’s like that trip to Vegas they should have taken when they were single, but they never got around to it because they had been dating the person they are now marrying. They feel as though singles trips of this kind would make them appear unfaithful to their partner. Instead, they have nights in with their live in love instead of having an occasional “girls night” or “lads night” like couples have traditionally done before the decision to live together caused a change in opinion of what it meant to be faithful. They never had time to enjoy the single life because most couples I meet have been dating since high school and spent most of their twenties living together and/or having children. They didn’t get to party like young people should be doing at their age. As a result, they don’t quite understand the purpose of their wedding. They want to act like teenagers at their wedding. Everything must be EXACTLY the way they want or there will be hell to pay. The bartender MUST keep serving the guests shots even if the guests are noticeably intoxicated. Having worked as a bartender for various So Cal wedding venues since 2004, I have seen brides’ and grooms’ attitudes completely change. Brides used to come up to me and ask me not to over serve the guests because they didn’t want guests to get too drunk and behave inappropriately at their wedding. They didn’t want guests to disrespect the solemnity of the occasion. Many brides requested that shots be off limits. I cannot even remember the last time I was requested by the bride or groom not to serve shots or over serve guests in general. I think it was at least 2007. Now if I or my coworker decide to stop serving someone who is obviously intoxicated (it’s against the law to keep serving them, by the way. The bartender can be fined $1,000), I used to be able to calmly explain the liquor laws to the bride, groom, and family and they would actually calmly reply, “I understand. I’ll keep that guest away from the bar.” Within the past three years, brides and grooms have treated me as if I was challenging them and trying to ruin their “special day” by cutting certain guests off from the alcohol after noticeable intoxication. I would explain to them that I am following the law and I am the one that will be in trouble with the A.B.C. if I serve someone who’s drunk. I can even lose my job. Now I honestly fear my partner and I can be fired from our venue as bartenders simply because we have the judgment, training, and common sense discretion to not allow our wedding guests to do whatever they feel like just because they feel like it. Welcome to the entitled generation. Just last Saturday, the groom demanded to know my name as well as my Co bartender’s name because we had to cut off two over served guests from the bar. He was angry and said he was going to leave a review online. He didn’t care about his guests driving home drunk. He just wanted to ensure that my partner and I were going to hand out the booze like it was candy to whoever demanded it for a whole six and a half hour shift. This is not the first time in the last 3-5 years that guests were upset that my partner and I would make this kind of judgment call to ensure guests’ safety and to serve responsibly. We’ve been trained to adhere to all current California liquor laws but seriously SCREW US for having the complete and utter gall to expect the rules of our venue to be followed. We’re trying to ruin their wedding and they will leave a negative review online saying how much our venue screwed them over.
This sense of entitlement not unlike a kid at a candy store does not just apply to bartending but to serving and managing also. A DJ demanded to speak to my boss when I told him that the door behind his set- up station does not open. He didn’t care that we had rules at our venue. His preference was more important. That is the shift in entitlement nowadays. Brides, grooms, guests, and vendors are actually guests at our venue. Instead, they act as squatters who take total control over how they want their experience to be. They tell my staff what THEY want instead of listening to my staff go over the safety rules to ensure their maximum safety and enjoyment. The father of the bride walked over to the air conditioner and turned it up. A few years ago, he would have asked a staff member to do it. A bride was furious with my boss that her dinner was served 15 minutes behind schedule. My boss spent half an hour (literally) explaining to her that it was due to the fact that she and her wedding party requested that they be allowed another 15 minutes to get ready for the grand entrance. The entire blame was on the bride, but she wanted it to be our fault. She then left a negative review online saying “No one was willing to talk to me or help me when I had issues.” So for some reason my boss talking to her for half an hour did not count. It was an untruthful review but yelp put it up on the list of recommended reviews and chose to “filter out” the positive reviews from real customers of ours as “not recommended” because our small company can’t afford to pay yelp’s extortion fee of $20 a month for the whole year to rearrange the positive reviews on top under “reviews that are recommended.” The other venue I’ve worked for wants to boycott yelp due to these shady practices. They have the contracts to prove the satisfied customers whose reviews are “not recommended” are real just like my other venue will. Between the changing sense of entitlement of customers for the reason I described, and the internet’s ability to post slanderous, untruthful reviews as “recommended,” (one called my bartender a “crook” because the bride and groom chose to have a cash bar and she wouldn’t allow a guest to have a free drink just because he wanted one) I fear the wedding industry is not the same place I signed on to work 16 years ago. Now I am not saying every bride and groom, family, and guests in Southern California behave this way. In fact, when I work weddings through my family business independently, the bride, groom, family, and guests are gracious and very nice. They wouldn’t dream of making the same demands that I see them do at the venues I work for other companies. But knowing that some people feel they have the right to do this makes me worry for the future.
By writing this blog, I was hoping to spread some awareness of what it is like to be on the receiving end of this constant abuse from customers and the reasons why I think it exists. If anyone working in this industry would like to chime in, I welcome your feed back (be respectful and professional, please).

Valentines Day: A Lesson From My High Schoolers

Sometimes as a teacher, I’m fortunate enough to learn valuable life-changing lessons from my students. One of those lessons is what I should not put up with from men on Valentines Day.
   I had a lot of blessings this Valentines Day. I actually got a chance to substitute teach again at the local continuation high school. Being able to connect with kids in a positive way is a very rewarding experience. These kids do not care for teachers in general (especially substitutes) and if you happen to be a white teacher, let’s just say you have your work cut out for you. It is an exercise in character building to say the least. I always tell myself that the only reward in taking an easy sub job over a more challenging one is that it’s easy. While working with these students, I’ve learned (by overhearing side conversations) about sex ed (handjobs), what to do if you have a pregnancy scare, where the best meth parties are in the desert, the difference between a “ghetto weave” and a “nice weave” and about how smoking weed “isn’t really a drug” and “it improves your concentration in school.” The best lesson I learned by far is what guys should give you on Valentines Day.
  I’ve had several suitors over the years attempt to seduce me with their well thought out and even better executed Valentines Day “gifts.” Let’s start with my magical Valentine of 2008 when the guy I was dating asked me if I wanted to go to the local bar to get a drink:

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Why of course I’d love you to win me over with alcohol on the most romantic day of the year. I could tell this date was planned for over a month (I will add my “sarcastic smiley” 😉 for those of you that are unfamiliar with sarcasm).

Who can forget Valentines Day 2009 when I was given a single rose (Just the rose by itself):

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….From Big Bob’s Last Second Roadside Valentines Day Emporium:

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Perhaps the most “memorable” Valentines Day was 2013 when my last boyfriend gave me…wait for it….

NOTHING!!!!!

And the funny thing was all three of these guys thought they were going to get laid. They didn’t even deserve a peck on the cheek. Ain’t nobody got time.

As I was teaching at the continuation high school, my female students for all 6 periods got the whole lot-flowers (plural), candy, and a teddy bear:

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It made me realize I was putting up with way less than I deserved. These girls were just 15-17 years old and their Valentines gifts from their 15-17 year old boyfriends were way better than the Valentines Day gifts I received as an adult. It was a wake up call. I’m going to expect better for my future suitors. Time to raise the bar.

At least I didn’t have any desperate, creepy guys on tinder that I’ve only known for three days try to rush to meet me so they wouldn’t be single on Valentines Day. That was my other Valentines Day blessing.

This is the time of your life, but you just can’t tell

“When I used to go out, I knew everyone I saw. Now I go out alone if I go out at all.” -The Walkmen “The Rat”

This 2005 indie hit was the soundtrack to a magical window in my life, the glorious coming-of- age years between 2005 and 2009 when I was between 22 and 26. During these precious four years I was going out a minimum of once a week with my sister, friends, and boyfriends to all the Indie/hipster clubs, bars, house parties, art walks, and special invite-only events all over L.A.
I knew a lot of people I would run into. They were other scenesters who were regulars just like I was. Some were my friends from college. Others were my friends from Hollywood. It was during those years that I was coming of age with those closest to me. I was merely not part of the scene, but was among those “in the know” who was helping to carve it out. We were discovering life and savoring the newness of young adult independence. I knew the time would come when my “scene” would migrate and change. My social invitations would slow down as we started to drift away from each other with college graduation, careers, life changing moves, and other necessary adult goals. That time for me came in 2010. As we pursued other interests and obligations, I knew I would be going out alone if I would go out at all. Life would still be fun for me, just a more responsible kind of fun. Nothing would quite be the same as those formative years when we each had our finger on the pulse just being irresponsible, carefree, and living life with an innocent sense of self discovery and vigor that can never quite be recaptured.
I was recently discovering the app called Songza which selects playlists based on your mood and what you’re doing (it’s pretty cool and worth checking out). I perused the Indie playlists until I came across a mix called “On the Indie dancefloor The ’00s.” Every song I enjoyed on the dancefloor during 2005-2009 re-entered my life like a long lost friend. A flood of fond memories came rushing over me. I was young, happy, and alive once again. When MGMT’s “Kids” came on, I was suddenly transported back in time to 2009, dancing the night away at an L.A. house party to that song. I was one of those “party kids” who took other kids by the hand to enter our version of Never Never Land where we were stuck in a moment of fantasy. When Hot Chip’s “Over and Over” came on, I was taken back to an L.A. club feeling primal and sweaty with my sister and friends on the dancefloor laughing about boys. At the ripe age of 30, I don’t really feel like I qualify as being old enough to reminisce about when I used to feel alive, young, happy, and carefree. I feel as though the ‘noughts not ought to have come and gone so quickly. Do any of you have a time in your life accompanied by a musical soundtrack that reminds you of being young, happy, innocently worryfree and not burdened with the pressures of adulthood? Please share below 🙂

New Girl Jess Day (a.k.a. Zooey Deschanel) is my spirit animal

My lifelong dream is to be a screenwriter for television.

Marge Simpson: “But your lifelong dream was to run out onto the field during a baseball game and you did it last year, remember?”

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Oh how I forget.

Those who know me know I love to quote The Simpsons in my everyday conversation. Whether or not it makes sense to anyone else but me is irrelevant. Conan O’Brien wrote the teleplay for this aforementioned episode Marge Vs. The Monorail (Season 4). He is a hero of mine.
   Television writing has been a part of my life since I emerged into this thankless world on March 10, 1983. My aunt’s boyfriend was in the hospital with my family on the day of my royal birth (who is this George Alexander Louis? I don’t know him). My aunt’s boyfriend at the time was a prominent television screenwriter who has written for Dragnet, M*A*S*H, and more recently, Diagnosis Murder. While they didn’t end up together, his quick wit regarding a largish female baby who shared the room with me had my mom in stitches great enough to threaten the stitches fresh from her cesarean section. I always wondered how life turned out for “Mr. P.” I like to think he had something to do with my love of writing.
  When I was a teenager and in my twenties, I wrote short stories and poetry. I was a staff writer on my high school newspaper my senior year. Unless you count my blog and my high school newspaper, I have never been published. I am working on changing that now. Last summer, I got a position as a writing teacher for 7th and 8th grade GATE students at a private school. These students attended public middle schools in the Arcadia Unified School District during the year. This private academy was meant for enrichment during the summer and was therefore a temporary position for me. My job was to come up with my own curriculum to foster these gifted and talented students’ love of writing. They needed to be challenged by someone who truly loved to write and who could make writing fun for them. I planned my own essay topics, taught them how to write a strong essay, taught them how to write fiction, came up with my own creative writing prompts, and under my direction, we published a class newspaper. Their parents were college professors. My boss told me the parents called him up every day praising my program. Their positive feedback gave me the inspiration I needed to take my writing to a more public arena.
     I gave screenwriting some serious consideration when I  started watching Fox’s New Girl starring Zooey Deschanel. I tuned into this “Friends for the millenials” sitcom partially because I am a fan of She and Him, but mostly because I could relate to Deschanel’s T.V. character Jess Day in a variety of ways. First, we are both creative and quirky middle school teachers. Secondly, we both sing (only I’m not famous, but am working on that minor setback as well). Lastly, we are both the same age and look alike. I’d say my resemblance to Zooey Deschanel is only about 40%, but I’ve had enough people mention it to me over the past few years that I’m willing to believe it may have some merit, but I will let you be the judge:

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Miss “Look at me, I’m a lovable goof!” Deschanel.

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Miss “Look at me partying in my friend’s car! I totally have a reason for making this face!” Lewis.

After tuning into some recent episodes that appear to have been basted in the weakest recipe for weak sauce since Miracle Whip (Schmidt swallowing ALL of Jess’s birth control pills right in front of her? Beyond creepy and totes not funny), I decided it was time to add some of my real experiences/sydrocks flava that can take the plot ideas and writing of New Girl to soaring new heights. After all, there has to be some perspective that can be gained from a similar lovable goof/30ish female douchebag/hipster/singer/creative middle school teacher who wears “cool” glasses like Jess Day:

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I’m aware that my glasses could be bigger. I’m aware that my frames could look more 1950s in a way that’s ironically unflattering. Sorry I’ve let you down with this anticlimactic photo. (Sidebar: I think school is very cool).

Here are suggestions to enhance the plots of New Girl from someone who considers Jess Day to be her spirit animal:

1. Have Jess collect homework from a row of male students. In horror, she will see that they have drawn dictures on their assignments. Hilarious parent phone calls will ensue. This has happened to me with my 8th graders and I have a feeling that both Jess and I would react the same way: blushing, laughing nervously, and crying on the inside.

2. In New Girl, I have seen a storyline where Jess has trouble fitting in with her fellow teachers. They are older and more experienced, so naturally they exclude her. I would like to bring my experience to the table. How about instead of her fellow teachers being a decade older, why not have them be almost a decade younger? Why not have them be jealous and catty about the fact that she feels more comfortable being called “Miss Day” rather than by her first name like them? Why not have them be jealous about the fact that she has more experience and education and is therefore getting more pay than they are? Why not have them give her icy stares in the hall because she is getting paid more for creating her own curriculum rather than passing out reading packets for less pay like them? Why not have them pretend to be friendly but act in passive aggressive ways like not erasing the board for her when it’s her turn to teach in the classroom they share or coming by to shut the door to her room because they think her voice carries? (It does, but the civilized thing to do would be to discuss it with her first). And why not have all of her fellow teachers be no older than 22? I’m trying to decide whether this situation would be funny or just plain sad.

3. Jess comes up with a creative writing prompt where she writes the beginning lyrics to several hip hop songs including “The Motto” by Drake (the clean parts, obvi) on the board and her 8th grade boys who are hip hop fans get to finish the lyrics by writing their own. She awkwardly raps the beginning lyrics to get them excited about the assignment. At first they stare at her, then to her total surprise, they laugh, nod their heads in approval, and call it a “bomb assignment.” Yep. This is how it went down for yours truly. Since the girls were not hip hop fans, I let them finish the lyrics for Justin Bieber and One Direction.

4. Jess’s students will ask her if she has a boyfriend. She will mistakenly answer, “Yes.” They will then ask her, “Do you do nasty stuff together?” She will react the same way I did: bewildered and crying on the inside.

Mind you, this is just a start. I think New Girl is great and that is why I have so much affection for Jess. I see a lot of myself in her. If I could, I would marry her. Oh wait. Now I can.

Re-prioritizing Dating

In my recent experiences online dating, I have learned that men in their 20s want to date women in their 20s. Makes sense. They are the same age, the same stage, and want the same things out of life. When I first signed up for online dating three years ago at 27, I noticed that men 25 and older wanted to date women 23 and younger. It was in their profiles: “Seeking women 18-23.” Don’t get me started on the social  implications of a man 25+ who wants his “woman” balancing that tightrope of “barely legal.” I guess older men want to date child acrobats.

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Guys: If you would rather date the “Dance” contestants rather than the “Dance Moms”, there is a special place on okcupid for you!

Ladies and gentlemen, I have some startling news: as men get older, that proverbial tightrope gets tighter. I am now 30. During my most recent online dating experiences, I have found that men ages 28-38 list in their profiles, “Seeking women ages 19-26.” Twenty six is pretty generous. Most men cut it off at 24. I had a 31 year old college professor write to me and say, “I decided to join okcupid because I am getting tired of my students being able to find me on plenty of fish.” I suggested, “Why don’t you increase your desired age range from 18-26 to 26-36? You won’t be bothered by college age girls anymore since you’ll be dating women your own age.” Apparently he didn’t appreciate that insight as much as I did. I never heard from him again. And that’s fine. I am going to be the real me during my online dating exploits: wit, wisdom, age, and all. I’m not going to be the girl guys would like to see.
Patti Stanger, the Millionaire Matchmaker thinks differently. In her recent article, “The Midlife Dating Game: having fun after 50” Stanger affirms, “Men don’t want to pick you if you’re over 50. The minute you say you’re over 50, you’re out. But if you say you’re 40, you’re in. There’s an ageism in our society.” Among her tips for snagging that “dream guy” online? “Shaving a couple of years off your online profile might improve your prospects.”
As someone who has seen first hand how ageist guys are towards girls who are even just 30, I am inclined to disagree. Starting a relationship off on a dishonest note is no way to start a relationship. If a guy can’t handle your real age, what do you want with him? Stanger recommends working overtime to get a guy to approve of YOU when you should be the one putting him to the test to see if he’s good enough for YOU. Stanger recommends, “Always look your best, even if you’re going to the gas station.” If you’re the type of woman who likes to straighten her hair and put on makeup every time she leaves the house, more power to you. I am not one of those women. You can’t even get me to put on lipgloss unless it’s a special occasion. And fyi, “work”, “Walmart”, and the “gas station” are not special occasions. I’m a firm believer in being who you are, looking the way you are, and acting the way you are. The right guy will come along. I for one am not going to live my life in a way to seek approval from other men. In high school, the kids used to call it “staying true to yourself.” Who would have thought high school would be the time in our lives when everything was simpler, more honest, more transparent? I’ve given up on online dating until further notice. If guys my age want someone younger and say in their profile that they must be “attractive,” then I agree. I’d like to find an attractive guy too. And I won’t find him online. When I go out, I’m going to be me. If I don’t want to wear makeup or my hair in anything other than a ponytail, I’m not going to. Fun fact: every guy I’ve dated, I’ve met in person while wearing glasses, no makeup, and my hair in a ponytail. It’s that winning smile, personality, and brains that draw men to us. It is not saying what they want to hear, looking the way they think we should look, and agreeing with everything they say. Sorry, but I don’t buy into the Malibu Stacy form of dating as suggested by Patti Stanger and countless others: *cue coquettish giggly doll voice* “Let’s put on makeup so the boys will like us.”
Because if I have to change who I am, lie about my age, and hang out in places I wouldn’t normally hang out in just to snag a man, I can honestly say I’d rather not date. I realize my journey in finding the right person is not going to be quick or easy. I’m okay with that. I am going to find happiness and meaning in other ways: family, friends, work, and hobbies. But meanwhile, I hope I can make all of you laugh and enlighten you along the way. My life may not turn out being married with children by the time I’m forty. I’ve accepted a wide range of alternate scenarios. Because the moment you become desperate to attract a man like so many dating “experts” suggest, you are done. Remember it is better to be alone than to feel alone.

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“Let’s put on makeup so the boys will like us!”