INSINCERE WINGMAN: THE MOVE 39% OF WOMEN DO THAT THEY DON’T REALLY MEAN

In a perfect world, we’d all find true love, work at places like this (best. company. ever.), Matsui would be a Yankee again, and Ryan Gosling would have me on speed dial.

But, reality can suck sometimes. Which means our expectations aren’t always met, and on occasion, people behave disingenuously. Case in point, a recent study by the American Sociological Association entitled “Who Pays for Dates? Following vs Challenging Conventional Gender Norms” found that (gasp!) sometimes women do things that they don’t actually mean. Things like fake pulling out their wallet to fake offer to pay on a date even when 39% of them admit they’re hoping the man rejects the overture.

I know – worldview blown. Next thing you know the brain trust at some think tank’s going to tell you that women don’t actually like entitled A-holes, either (despite their fancy banker duds.)

After you stop reeling from the shock of it all, I’d like to call your attention to two noteworthy points in this uber groundbreaking story (you win the Duh Award, Slate.)

fingerscrossedtechnewsdaily

Firstly, we’ve been over this before, gentlemen. You know my position on who pays. (“hashtag” #dontbecheap.) Also PLEASE STOP SAYING HASHTAG OUT LOUD.

But just in case you need a refresher…

And secondly: wait, exactly how many PhD’s did it take to determine that gender-based attitudes have evolved on some things (like women in the workplace), but not others (like what a man’s chivalrous responsibility is on a date)?

Bitch please. You don’t need a panel of experts and 17,000 survey applicants to figure that out. Drinks with four of my best girlfriends would’ve told you the same thing.ETIQUETTE WINGMAN

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THE TOP 5 TIMES YOU REALLY SHOULD’VE GOTTEN HER FLOWERS

I’ll admit it – I’m not the girliest girl. I reject the notion of pink anything, don’t hit the salon until my split ends are borderline offensive, and swear more than Dave Chappelle doing stand up. But that said, even I appreciate – nay, expect – flowers on certain occasions.

It’s not a matter of traditional vs. modern dating attitudes that determine when a girl will give you side eye for showing up sans stems. It’s a matter of thoughtfulness. As in, you step outside what’s going on in your own life for a minute to acknowledge what’s going on in hers (or just want to do something to make her happy.) Either way, it’s the hallmark of a considerate man to know when to bring us flowers.

Not to be confused with companies like Hallmark telling men when to buy us flowers, which is total bullshit.

So here are the top 5 times you should show up with a bouquet in tow. Because hand delivery’s the only way to go, gentlemen.

When she gets the job. Or a promotion. Or finally wins that case she’s been working on, publishes that huge story, or finishes the masters that’s been causing her sleep deprivation and to miss the last 3 seasons of “Breaking Bad.” Why? Because if her accomplishments are recognized by authority figures, they should definitely be recognized by the dude who slept next to her in the pale glow of her laptop every night.

Or loses a job. Or her funding falls through. Or the universe just kicked her ass especially hard this week.

As for the last one, a clarification: I’m not suggesting that you buy her roses every time she misses the 6 train, drops her iPhone or the client gives her hell. But if you see her nearing her breaking point, just like you’ve been a thousand times yourself, surprising her with flowers reminds her that she’s loved (or just…really, really liked, whatever.)

Think of it as the dude equivalent of coming home to steak and a BJ. And now I smack myself for writing that line, true or not.

First date. Why? Because it’s the law. Or at least it should be.

When you meet her mother for the first time (read: bring her MOM the flowers, bro.) Why? Because mom will think you’re a class act, and she’ll appreciate how lucky she is to have a guy who thinks to bring her mother flowers. Even if you didn’t actually think of it.

Favim

Favim

Just because. Few things are sweeter for us than knowing that the man in your life just wanted you to feel loved. On a Tuesday. For no reason. Because it’d make you smile. (Actually, that’s a pretty good reason.)

But before you hit the bodega on the way home, hear this: it’s not always good to play the flower card. While some floral-toting instances are obvious, i.e. birthdays, anniversaries, when you f**k up, and Valentine’s Day (please ditch the red long stems and raise the originality bar), but sometimes it’s better to be empty handed.

Like when you sleep with us for the first time.

You may think it says “thanks for sharing an intimate experience with me,” but for some of us it says, “thanks for finally giving it up” and feels like a reward for sexual favors rendered. Show us it meant something with your words, not the FTD equivalent of leaving money on the nightstand.

Other notable considerations: her favorite flower’s best because it means you were paying attention, even if it’s decidedly unsophisticated (daisy girl, guilty), there’s no such thing as giving flowers too often, and bouquet presentation is unnecessary. Sometimes a single stem’s just as sweet. Just as long as it wasn’t hijacked from a hotel lobby.ETIQUETTE WINGMAN

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I’LL DRINK TO THAT: THE ART OF GIVING A GENTLEMANLY TOAST

It’s that time of year again, Wingman faithful. No, not the baseball home openers time of year – that ended badly for my Yanks – but the onset of wedding season, boys.

That’s right, the nuptial onslaught has commenced. There go your weekends from now until the fall, lucky you. But in event that you’re not just an attendee at the festivities, but rather a participant, then this post, my friends, is for you.

Yes, who doesn’t love the best man/rehearsal dinner/graduation/anniversary party speech? That time-honored tradition where people who have no business speaking in front of large groups do so anyway. This usually involves tedious monologues about so-and-so’s bad haircuts as a child, the time they peed their pants in little league, or a litany of their post-college romantic failures.

Well, until somebody cries out for mercy and hijacks the mic, that is.

So just in case that person causing everyone to facepalm is you, here’s a list of my top ten do’s and don’ts that should keep your oratory skills at the height of their game. Ignore my suggestions at your own risk, fellas, but if you do, don’t be surprised if you crash harder than Kevin Ware on an elevated court. Ouch.

What…too soon?

I give you The Art Of Giving A Gentleman’s Toast. May you use it in good health, good measure and in good company.

Do: Be aware of your stance. People have a tendency to either be too rigid, or too spastic, depending on comfort level. Scared to death equals white-knuckling the mic and refusing to turn your head. Too casual equals knocking grandma’s chardonnay onto her lap while you gesticulate for dramatic emphasis. Try holding the mic with one hand, and putting the other in your pocket. The relaxed stance should help you…well, relax.

Don’t: Forget to be authentic. If you’re the austere one of the family (read: the serious, boring one), don’t suddenly aim for Dave Chappelle standup routine status. Likewise, if you’re known for being colorful (that’s the nice way of saying The Family Dumbass), keep your sentiments lighthearted. Remembering to be yourself is the key to a successful toast.

Do: Salute the occasion. Are you there for your big brother’s wedding? His (yikes) second wedding? Your parents’ 35th wedding anniversary? Sister’s law school graduation? Whatever the reason you’ve assembled, remember to call attention to it in a polite way. That is, “I’m so happy my brother finally found a woman who can keep up with him and compliments him well,” rather than, “We NEVER thought Kevin would make it down the aisle in a million years. Good luck with that, Cathy.”

Don’t: Bring up any exes. I repeat: DO NOT BRING UP ANY FORMER FLAMES, unless you’re certain that the bride has a good sense of humor. Nothing says “welcome to the family” like reminding her how many women took the groom for a test drive before she drove him off of the lot. As tempting as it may be to put together a catchy little number commemorating their conquests, avoid at all costs.

Do: Keep an eye on the clock. Assuming you’ve done a trial run of your speech before (and you have rehearsed it, haven’t you?), you should aim to keep the toast under five minutes long. Sure, you should speak slowly and allow pauses for laughter, but still – brevity, bro.

Don’t: Read. For the love of God, man, look up. Staring at a paper you’re clutching or reciting your toast verbatim will cause people to zone out in the first 30 seconds. Eye contact is key in engaging your audience, as is knowing your material. You should be able to execute solely from index card talking points. Training wheels are for babies, don’t be that guy.

Do: Put your best foot forward. Whether you lead with a joke, (“Someone once told me that the best man’s speech shouldn’t last any longer than it takes the groom to make love. Well, goodnight, everybody!”) or with an anecdote, start with your strongest material. Personally, I favor telling a story that captures the essence of the couple, or demonstrates perfectly the character of the person you’re toasting. Kicking things off with a “That’s so them” moment is a winner.

Don’t: Forget who your audience is, please. If you retain nothing else from this article, remember this – keep it classy. Sure, a well-placed expletive is sometimes in order (so long as it’s not in the vein of “wedded matrimony, motherf***ers!”), but not when table linens and grandparents are involved. Please refrain from re-telling any sexual stories, anything that involves body fluids, or anything that starts with the words, “One time, at our frat mixer…”

Do: Stick to a timeline. Touching upon something from the toasted parties’ past, followed by something about them now, and ending with a wish for the future is a nice way to tie it all together. Just don’t let the future part involve outing the bride for being knocked up.

Don’t: Confuse “toast” with “roast.” There’s a playful way to take jabs at people (“This marriage really is for better or for worse. John, you couldn’t have done any better, and Beth, you really couldn’t have done much worse”), and then there’s the wrong way to do it. Recounting the time the groom was nearly kicked out of college, or how the bride was once arrested in the Bahamas falls into the latter, FYI. Ain’t nothin’ funny about prison, y’all.

Well there you have it. The civilized way to address a room with charm, class and, most importantly, booze. So raise your glasses, if you would, to the words of Jonathan Swift. There is simply no occasion, that I’ve found at least, for which they’re not befitting:

“May you live every day of your life.”

I don’t know about you gentlemen, but I’ll drink to that.ETIQUETTE WINGMAN

I leave you with this example of a well-executed wedding toast. The best man’s words strike a nice balance between wit and sentimentality. View the entirety or just the beginning. But either way, it’s worth the watch.

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REJECTION WINGMAN: THE ART OF LOSING LIKE A MAN

Happy Monday, Wingman faithful. And since I’m a Georgetown fan, I use the word “happy” loosely.

I don’t care how many people are writing about the next big Cinderella story today, I still say “Suck it, FGCU.”

If you’re like me, you spent the weekend watching the tourney elevate men to kings, and then dash those empires to the ground almost as quickly as they rose. It’s been an emotional few days and frankly, I’m exhausted. But it got me to thinking…

Are guys usually graceful losers? Is there really a way to take the art of rejection like a man?

Eh, it depends on who the unlucky party is, but I suspect that some of you need a lesson on losing with class. From striking out with the ladies, to losing your job, to sports upsets of all kinds, failure can be a fickle beast. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t maintain your dignity (and your composure). So pull up a chair, boys, because class is now in session. And this time, the only grade on your report card that matters is an F.

I give you How To Lose Like A Man:

*Assess the situation. How bad is it? On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being getting brushed off by that blonde at the bar, and 10 being a game 7 upset in the 2004 World Series (from the perspective of a Yankees fan, obviously), where does it fall? If it’s above a 6, the requisite pouting-slash-bitter grumbling is allowed, sulk away my friend. Only for a little while, though. But if it’s just a minor ego bruise, put it in perspective and walk it off, man.

I understand that in matters of financial ruin, impending legal action or jilted love – being left at the altar must suck, I’ll give you that – the stakes are a bit higher. But try to remember that there will always be an upswing. Turn to your friends, faith, vodka, whatever. Just do what you have to in order to white-knuckle through it, and I promise you’ll make it out alive.

*Know when to take “No” for an answer. If we’re talking about your garden variety date proposition or failure to get a woman’s digits, sometimes persistence is key. I’ve known couples who started out as a relentless guy and a girl who eventually gave him a chance once he wore her down. And yes, those happy endings are possible, so long as you stay on the right side of the law.

But there are also times when you should bow out gracefully. Did you get passed over for a promotion? Ouch. But throwing a hissy fit will only ensure that you lose the job you do have. Has she moved on to someone else and told you that she’s finally happy? Brutal, but give her the courtesy of closure.

There’s a fine line between fighting for what you want, and disregarding someone else’s wishes (Steubenville, anyone?) And no, silence should never be confused with compliance. D*cks.

*Be a class act. As much as it might kill you, being the bigger man is always key. Even if you were a stand up guy for 99% of the time, if you punk out in the home stretch, whatever legacy you created for yourself will likely be ruined. And who wants to taint their own reputation? Resorting to cheap shots, cutting remarks or tantrums of any kind is never the answer.

Plus, recognize that your setback could be someone else’s moment for glory. And even if it is, that doesn’t mean you won’t get your turn one day, too. Would it suck to be John Stockton to Jordan’s game 6? Absolutely. (Or Eisley, for that matter, and suck is an understatement). But should you begrudge somebody their moment in the sun? No. Because A) It’ll make your own accomplishment that much sweeter and more appreciated one day and B) You know what they say about karma.

And finally…

*Crying Is not an option. I’ve made my beliefs on the Man Cry clear before, but just in case you need a reminder… Allow me to extol the virtues of just sucking it up once more. Sure, the relationship between chicks and your waterworks is a tricky one, boys, but in regards to sports? No such ambiguity. I leave you with the sore loser gospel according to Tom Hanks, even though I’m making a one-time exception and repeating a clip I’ve previously posted. Why? Because it’s a classic. And also, because the man has a point.ETIQUETTE WINGMAN

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DRUNKEN PICK UP POINTERS: THE ART OF THE ST. PATRICK’S DAY SEDUCTION

It’s that time of year again, gentlemen. The Irish-fueled equivalent of New Year’s Eve, Halloween and Superbowl Sunday all rolled into one sloppy, joyful, day drinking event. It’s one giant green-clad amateur hour…and it’s outstanding.

At least in NYC it is, or any major city and it’s environs (although I’d wager a guess that sidewalk vomit-dodging is the toughest here). But what St. Paddy’s also means, in addition to copious amounts of green beer, Guinness and Jameson shots, is that everyone will be out and about and in a good mood. Prime opportunity for picking up some cute lasses at the bar, boys.

Granted, you might argue that trying to spit game while 10 beers deep is a bad idea, I’ll remind you that A) liquid courage is sometimes a good thing and B) Miss Wingman hates the idea of “game” anyway. Just be your charming, leprechaun pin-wearing self, and it’ll all fall into place. If you do it right, she may just kiss you…not because you’re Irish, but because you’re awesome. But first, remember these guidelines…

1) Know your goal for the day. Are you looking to capitalize on the many social settings where you could spot a cute friend-of-a-friend type you might actually be interested in pursuing? Or are you just looking for a drunken fling to cap off the revelry? It’s OK if it’s the latter, just don’t approach the two the same way, boys. We know the difference.

2) Look extra handsome. This one seems obvious, but in order to offset your head to toe green attire and (most likely) beer splattered shirt, you should class it up a little if possible. Try layering a button-down shirt over that Guinness tee, or at least wear your least hideous shoes. It’s hard to look dapper on a novelty holiday, but as a favor to me, kindly try.

3) Play the numbers game. If you spot a cute female parade-watcher nearby, or think the girl ordering shots seems like your type, assess your condition – and hers – and assign it a number.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “Why the hell are you sober?” 10 being “Where’s the nearest E.R.?” and 8 being the teetering, getting-tossed-out-of-bars kind of drunk, please play it safe, gentlemen. Don’t approach her if you’re above a 6.5…or if she is, for that matter. Slow blinking isn’t sexy, kids. Neither is having a virtual stranger puke on you.

4. Remember her name, remember her name, remember her name. Nothing will kill your game when calling her mid-week like not knowing if she’s a Danielle or a Desiree, trust me. Make sure to commit your target’s young lady’s name and her digits to your phone, even if “Jennifer” looks like dJnnifeR with drunken typos.

And just hope her name isn’t close to an actual word, or else Auto Correct is your worst enemy.

And finally, 5). Pay attention to the signs. Did she offer to buy you and your friends a round to thank you for bank rolling her drinks all night? Thoughtful. Was she down with late night pizza or even (gasp!) suggest it herself as a solid end to the evening? Low maintenance! If she’s seen you sloppily devouring a drunken slice whilst slumped on a curb and she still likes you, this girl’s a keeper.

But on the flip side, if your day ends in girl tears after someone spilled a drink on her, she lost her hoodie, whatever – this is not a good sign. Drama’s still drama, drunk or not. You deserve to set the bar higher.

So that’s it, fellas. My heartfelt suggestions for finding a female to sham-rock your world this weekend. Hopefully she’ll intoxicate you with her beauty & wit, and you don’t wake up finding that her appeal was just plain old intoxication. Either way, may the luck o’ the Irish be with you. And if not, there’s always college hoops to cheer you up. Slainte –MW.ETIQUETTE WINGMAN

*Miss Wingman note: I leave you with one of my favorite St. Patrick’s Day themes, though forgive me, it’s for sentimental reasons. So if your Irish drinking songs tend to be more bandwagon, then here you go. (And psst! There are other bands than Dropkick Murphy’s, fyi). If you’re more of a St. Paddy’s purist, a la Pogues & Dubliners, then here’s an authentic little link of your own. To everyone else, enjoy.

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ALTRUIST WINGMAN: WHY VOLUNTEERING IS SERIOUSLY SEXY

When it comes to men, there’s nothing sexier to women than a big, huge…heart.

What’d you think I was going to say? Pervs.

That’s why this year, you should clear a little space in your schedule to grab a shovel, or a soup ladle, or a storybook and lend your time to someone in need. You don’t have to sacrifice every Saturday, and you don’t need to go very far – there are all types of opportunities in every local community, just check sites like VolunteerMatch to get started.

From neighborhood beautification projects, to Habitat for Humanity, to Meals on Wheels or even Big Brothers/Big Sisters, there’s a million and one ways to make a difference. Just log on, type in what project interests you, and voila! Let the giving begin.

And if being a do-gooder doesn’t come naturally to you, allow me to persuade you with the following reasons: 1) Because it really does make you feel better inside to pay it forward. Think I’m lying? No amount of manual labor or it’s measurable results could match the satisfaction you’ll feel from seeing gratitude on someone’s face. You’ll get more out if it than the recipients, trust me.

Secondly, for the less altruistic man, because it ups your desirability with the ladies. (Read: it may even get you laid). See? If I can’t appeal to your kindness, I’ll appeal to your libido. Whatever works.

Now, I’m not suggesting you join a charitable organization so that you can pick off broads to try and score with, I’m just saying that if we know volunteering is what you’re into, we may just be more into you as a result.

And finally, for the free T-Shirt.

Which, if you wear to the gym next time you work out, might just, oh I don’ t know…possibly catch the attention of some broads with whom you end up scoring. Synergy, boys, it’s a beautiful thing.

Just take my advice and please leave your acts of kindness off of social media. Posting “Look-At-Me-I’m-Such-A-Good-Person” uploads to Facebook kills the generosity part, I’m afraid.

And if you’re still not convinced, you can always donate your money instead of your time. Organizations like the Red Cross are constantly seeking donations. Sometimes reaching into your wallet just comes easier to some people than reaching for some work gloves, I get it.

Hopefully the next time you’re faced with the choice between watching the games all afternoon or giving back, you’ll at least contemplate the latter – as a favor to me. If you’re blessed enough to have the means to be reading this site, then you certainly have more than a lot of other people. If you never lose sight of that, I promise your grace will serve you well.

Because in the end, you may not always feel responsibility for your fellow man, but you should feel a sense of accountability to yourself. And you’ll sleep better at night – literally – if you help a total stranger.

So give generously, gentlemen. Give often. And as always, give without expectation.ETIQUETTE WINGMAN

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FIVE THINGS TO STOP DOING IN 2013

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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