Happy New Year, Wingman faithful. As you probably noticed, a certain trusty writer has been conspicuously absent during the holidays. I’d love to say that’s due entirely to spending quality time with my family, but in truth it’s because a brutal two-part cold has sidelined me for weeks. Mercifully, I enjoyed a window of upswing for a few days around Christmas, but now my glimmer of good health is gone, and I’m back to my Robitussin-swilling, Kleenex-toting ways. Only this time I sound like Big Ange.

No matter. The new year brings renewed motivation and a chance to reinvent yourselves – at least if you buy into the marketing Tsunami we’re being hit with this month. But, luckily for you, I’m not here to urge you to get in shape or quit that dead end job. No, Miss Wingman’s advice is far more pragmatic, female-focused and (gasp!) sarcastic. Plus, it just might be easier than earning yourself Beckham abs.

So here you go, the Five Things You Should Stop Doing in 2013. Drum roll please…

Using the terms “Superstorm Sandy,” “Kim-ye” and “YOLO.” Granted, guys are less likely to inject these little gems into their vocabulary, but this one goes for all of my readers, male and female.

Yes, Sandy was a destructive, devastating force. But the use of the word “Superstorm” is ridiculous, it’s unnecessary, and DO NOT SAY THIS OH MY GOD STOP SAYING THIS. Even meteorologists. You people can now take your place alongside my other least favorite vocab offenders, those that say “epic” to describe anything other than a lengthy Greek narrative.

Likewise with the acronym “YOLO” (you only live once, for those of you who have flatlined or haven’t mastered the Internet) and the newly dubbed moniker for Kim Kardashian and Kanye West on the impending birth of their reality series, I mean baby. She’s not even out of her first trimester yet and I’m already sick of hearing about him-ye or her-ye. Who wants to bet the kid comes out wearing head to toe Louis Vuitton and ends up with a “K” name? We can’t stop that, but we can put an end to the celeb nickname mashup game by Just. Saying. “No.”

Texting/Checking Your Phone Incessantly. Even I’m guilty of this one, but it would serve us all well to unplug once in a while. Especially when you’re out with people, engaged in conversation, or at the dinner table. I know the urge to Instagram what you’re eating is high, and that scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed is done almost subconsciously, but it’s still bad manners. And we all know how Miss Wingman feels about the importance of manners, whether you’re on a date or not.

So try your best to digitally decompress once in a while. It’s good for your mind, and also good for your game with the ladies. We’d like your undivided attention, please.

Wearing embellished-pocket jeans. Or pilgrim shoes. Or track suits. Or…you know what? Just overhaul your whole closet this year.

Now I know you’ve heard me complain about some of my biggest male fashion pet peeves before – like Crocs, Croakies, 180′s (there are more suitable girl-friendly cold weather accessories for men). And don’t even get me started on your grooming and cologne habits. But this one’s more of a plea to dress in things that actually flatter you.

“Pilgrim shoes” (square-toed black dress shoes with flaps or buckles) need to be tossed because they’re, oh how do I put this…too ugly even for the Puritans. And women pay attention to your shoes, boys, believe it. Likewise, jeans with swirly detail and pocket stitching, a la True Religion, are only acceptable on the cast of “Jersey Shore.”

It’s been my experience that guys who wear these jeans also tend to wear bling’d out rosary beads as necklaces. And where do women stand on those? In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Sh*t you look ridiculous, take those off. And while you’re at it, please take off any Tap Out gear, too.

When you’re done resolving to not dress like a D-bag in 2012, next try to stop acting like one, too. Avoid waiting to call or reach out to a girl you’re interested in. Mandatory waiting periods are only OK for gun sales, guys. Taking a few days to avoid looking overeager is fine, but taking 5 days? Or a week? Then you might just miss the boat entirely. Sitting on your hands won’t make you look cool, but it might just make us luke warm about you.

Women like to feel like you care whether or not you see us. So, if you meet a woman who you’d like to see more of, TELL HER. And then, if you’re lucky enough to get her digits, take a moment to gather up your courage and drop her a line. It sounds simple, but so many of you manage to bungle it in the end.

So do yourself a favor and make a plan first. Decide what you’re going to suggest, where you might go, and when you’d like to try and meet up. We’re fine with idle chatter, but the reason you’re calling will be pretty obvious to us. Making concrete suggestions shows us that you’ve put some thought into it, and that you value our time. And lastly…

Stop talking yourself out of things. If you want to do something, do it. If your gut says something feels wrong, trust it. Nothing is as strong as our instincts, but unfortunately near equal in strength is our ability to psyche ourselves out of a dream or a goal.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If everybody dwelt on the “how” of how to accomplish something, no one would ever do anything. Just act – the universe has a way of rearranging things in your favor once you do.

So that’s my advice, for better or for worse (well, for better if you take my wardrobe suggestions). May the new year be filled with teachable moments, endless possibilities, much laughter and, of course, some romance too. Cheers  –MW.ETIQUETTE WINGMAN

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