CUPID WINGMAN: FUN VALENTINE’S-RELATED ACTIVITIES

So this is what the other side of the country looks like…palm trees and low buildings. Who knew? Miss Wingman arrived safely in the City of Angels and has been soaking up the landscape (and losing her cell phone, screaming at her GPS and discovering how many things she forgot to pack) ever since. Good times!

But, as promised, I’m delivering with ideas to make your Valentine’s Day a little more interesting this year. I’m splitting the list into NYC and LA and starting with activities prior to the 14th, because who needs to adhere to calendar confines? Psshht, not this girl.

My biggest piece of advice for you is that you should aim to find new and unusual ways to have fun with the woman in your life (or man, whatever). Whether it’s something low key like sipping wine on the porch, or something spontaneous like a spur of the moment road trip, find the thing that suits who you are as a couple. There’s nothing more endearing than coordinating something that’s just so you, in our eyes. But before I get my list on, I leave you with one more kernel of Cupid-related wisdom. This one’s an oldie but goodie from my early advice days, but it’s classic Miss Wingman in tone (read: you can practically wring the sarcasm out of it). Enjoy.

For NYC lovebirds…

Get her dirt rock on (OK fine, hair metal, whatever): Guns N’ Roses at Roseland. You’re welcome. 2/10

Is she a fan of man’s best friend? If she can’t get into any Fashion Week events, no worries. Hit up the New Yorkie Runway Show at the pet-friendly New Yorker hotel. And no, I’m not making this up. 2/10

Does she love a man who can drain 3′s? The Knicks/Lakers game at the Garden is a solid choice (despite claims that sporting events are more for you than her – nonsense). Who needs Kobe when we have Lin and Novak – heck, ‘Melo can stay gone for all I care. Nothing says love like some hoops. 2/10

Keep her warm: What’s cooler than ice carving? Nothing. Check out the Ice Festival at Tavern in Central Park and watch the pros chip blocks of ice into Central Park icons. Cool! 2/11

Does she like wiseguys? NYC has no shortage of mob-related walking tours down in Little Italy, but this one’s a good place to start. *Note: If she prefers a more Kosher mafia, there’s also a Jewish Gangster tour. True Story. 2/11 or 2/16

Give her the gift of hockey: Is she a Lundqvist girl? Or maybe she prefers Ovechkin (I’m a Brooks girl, myself). Either way, the Rangers take on the Caps at the Garden. Guaranteed good time. 2/12

If you can’t serenade her, let someone else do it: B.B. Kings is hosting a Valentine’s Eve concert featuring the Harlem Gospel Choir. You haven’t heard people sing ’til you’ve heard this. 2/13

Maker her laugh: Cedric the Entertainer and Friends Valentine’s Show at the Beacon, because funny is sexy, too. 2/14

Say “I Do” all over again: Renew your vows at the Celebrate Love in Times Square event with a zillion other couples. How intimate! 2/14

Get your Capulet on: Nothing is more romantic than the New York City Ballet performing Romeo & Juliet on Valentine’s Day? She gets to see men in tights, and you get points for sitting through it. The things you do for love… 2/14

Does she love a good blow out? Yeaaaaah buddy! DJ Pauly D is at Pacha Valentine’s night. If she’s a Shore-head and you set this up, she’ll probably be DTF. 2/14

Put her in the mood: Filthy Gorgeous Burlesque show at the Highline. Need I say more? 2/14

For west coast lovers…

If she likes drummers…or tattoos: Travis Barker is at The Roxy on 2/10

If novelty is her thing: Bring out her competitive (and spooky) side at this Haunted Hollywood Valentine’s weekend scavenger hunt, 2/10

If classical is more her style: Take her to hear the Los Angeles Philharmonic on 2/11

For the girl who loves guys who play piano (and most of us do): The Fray is playing at The Troubador on 2/11

…Or the girl who just can’t get enough ?uest Love: The Roots (yes!) are playing at the House of Blues on 2/11

For the hipster in her: Young the Giant will be at the Wiltern on 2/11

For the sappy girl: Overdose on love at the ArcLight classic romance movie festival on 2/12

If she’s always wanted to dirty dance: You don’t have to be on Dancing With The Stars to dazzle, there’s a Tango workshop on 2/12

If you feel like watching her drool over another man: Robin Thicke is playing at the Nokia on 2/14. Swoon.

If she’s more baller than ballad girl: As with the above mention, women like sports too (well, cool women at least). There’s a Lakers/Hawks game on 2/14 or a Clips/Wizards game on 2/15 if she’s a Griffin or Paul fan (and you can convince her to wait).

Or, if you find yourself solo before Tuesday, you can always try speed dating, held 2/14 all over, but this boozy Valentine’s one sounds like fun.

* * *

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ENTREPRENEURIAL WINGMAN: A LITTLE O’ THIS, A LITTLE O’ THAT.

It’s really hard to follow up yesterday’s Stamos-themed cuddle posting, but I’ll try…Big things are brewing here at Miss Wingman, starting with a little travel this week. Yes, starting today I will be bi-coastal for a bit – not to be confused with bi-curious, which is another posting entirely – but in the airport travel interim I’d like to leave you with some bits and pieces today. If we were playing Jeopardy, consider this, “I”ll take knowledge Potpourri for $1000.” Which I guess would make me Alex Trebek…bad analogy.

Anyway, with Valentine’s Day now less than a week away, I’m sure every attached male that is scrambling for ideas/gifts, if he hasn’t already. But rather than rehashing gift ideas we love once more, I thought it better to just refer you to my Fail-Safe Girl Gift Guide from the holidays, since most of those still apply. Turns out, judging from your feedback, many of you found great ideas in there, so feel free to revisit them again.

Here’s what women would want to unwrap if she’s into something: sparkly, sentimental, serene, sporty, boozy or intimate. If you’d like, you can resurrect something in the culinary idea vein, but be careful – the only things that are Valentine’s Day appropriate from that list are the glasses and the classes – and again, only if you take them together and she’s hinted at wanting them (otherwise it could be a very lonely holiday for you, my friend).

Aside from those offerings, be on the look out the next few days for a two-part list of stellar activities to do with your beloved. I’m covering everything and, since I’ll be out west, I’m including some love for the LA lovers this time, too. And yes, that’s how New Yorkers think, there are only two cities in America, and a whole lot of flyover stuff in between (or just refer to this map of our mentality). I kid, I kid!

Moreover, if you want a little extra Miss Wingman next week, you’re in luck. On Valentine’s Day, if you pick up an issue of USA Today and turn to the editorial page (or just check their website), you will find a love-themed Op-ed written by yours truly, as well as tuning into CosmoRadio’s Wake Up! With Taylor at 8:40am eastern on Sirius radio where I will be a guest that day. If you’ve never listened to Taylor and Kenny’s musings before, you’re missing out – and might I suggest starting on Tuesday…

Finally, since I would never just give you an entirely recycled post, here’s a little something – two little somethings, actually – that I stumbled upon in regards to starting your own company (How old is too old to be taken seriously? Ask these guys) and being at the helm of something huge as a youthful CEO (Are young CEO’s up to the job? Find out!).

Not only are they both interesting reads, but as someone who took the career plunge, I can appreciate the wisdom in both. Also, I know I’m not alone in dreams of lofty job pursuits, so maybe these pieces speak to you…. Go big or go home, that’s what I say.

So be good, kids (don’t fight with your brother), read up and I’ll be posting from sunnier skies before you know it. I’m contemplating provoking the TSA just to get some fun content out of it, but maybe that’s not such a good idea. I don’t play Words With Friends, either, so at least the plane leg of the trip should be smooth sailing. But probably not as good as this guy’s.

In the meantime, I leave you with this little slice of awesome for your mid week enjoyment. Because no one ever went wrong with a little Led Zeppelin.GEEK WINGMAN

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WIPE OUT: WHEN TO DELETE SOMEONE FROM YOUR PHONE AND FACEBOOK

The last time I took to my keyboard the morning after a big game, my post was brimming with Giants references and sports metaphors. Did I mention they won? Maybe you’ve heard, it’s kind of a big deal. So, today it only feels right that there be a similar tie-in, only perhaps this time I’ll wax poetic on the other side of the victory coin.

Just like I’m sure today millions of New York fans will rise and shine with a spring in their step (and most likely signs of last night’s celebration still visible), despondent Patriots fans will awake to the urge to blot out last night’s crushing defeat. You win some, you lose some. But if you’re on the latter team, sometimes you’d just as soon wipe all evidence of said loss from your memory – in real life, and in your virtual one.

This is germane to the topic of romance, too: If you’ve ever parted ways with someone post-hook up (however extensive) and you just can’t seem to erase all the evidence, perhaps it’s time to throw away their digits and de-friend them for good. Why do we collect these relationship relics? They never do us any good.

Case in point: ever notice how attempting to eliminate someone in your phone or Facebook triggers a prompt question like, “Are you sure you want to delete so and so?” It’s a cruel tease, but it speaks to our hesitation. If your gut says it’s better to say goodbye, go with it. We never go wrong when we listen to our instincts.

When should you do that, you ask? It varies. For some it’s best to expunge them from your relationship record immediately upon things going south – or silent. Whether the person disrespected you or things just plain fizzled, once it’s clear that it’s over, why wait? Just make sure you don’t add them back – that’s the tricky part.

I have a friend who periodically deletes guys from her phone so that she won’t be tempted to text or call them in moments of drunkenness, I mean weakness. For a lot of women, having that direct line to your past is like walking around with a live grenade in their purse on a Friday or Saturday night. It could go off at any time, and there will be damage.

Still others need to feel ready before pulling the plug on their old flames, even if their love has long since flat-lined. It’s like tearing off a band-aid – best if done swiftly – but often with a good amount of psyching up to do first. Whether it’s a week or a month that lapses doesn’t matter, just marinate in your misery as long as you need to until you’re ready to press the delete button – but make sure you do it.

Why am I so certain? Because if men are even remotely like women, you will not want a constant reminder and portal into the life of someone who no longer wants you. Whether it’s being forced to see her name as you casually scroll through the contacts in your phone book, or watching her come up in your news feed on Facebook, you’ll never be free if you don’t blot out these sucky little souvenirs, trust me. Why torture yourself?

If it suits you, you can do it in stages. I’ve actually vanquished people in graduated levels before. It’s like dipping your big toe into the Independent Badass pool to test the waters before diving right in – a necessary precaution from time to time. Sometimes these baby steps have involved changing the name in my phone book so that I don’t have to see it spelled out (before I’m ready to sever all ties – a wuss move, admittedly).

Other times I’ve just hidden someone from my friend list – an even bigger wuss move, and futile. You’ll still be tempted to check their page to see if they’re dating someone new – better to just delete them altogether and eliminate the drama.

In rare instances, I’ve just leveraged my disgust and deleted someone straight away. Anger is a powerful motivator, if you can get pissed and stay pissed long enough to make your departure permanent, I’d highly recommend it. You may or may not have had a say in how things ended, but this way you can at least cut the cord on your own terms.

But if ire is your catalyst, always make sure to let it go immediately after. Life’s too short to hold grudges. Moving on is the best revenge…well, that and looking awesome next time you see them. Even if there’s no ill will, sometimes it just feels good to clean house. Whatever the impetus, I implore you – be like Nike, and just do it.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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ONLINE DATING HORROR STORY OF THE WEEK: MR. POPULAR

You know what time it is: your favorite procrastination point of the week. Otherwise known as “delight in the romantic misery of your fellow man.”

After a brief hiatus last week, this time we have a tale of woe from Gretchen in LA (a different city! yay!) who proves that douchery isn’t geographically exclusive to NYC. And here I’d been convinced otherwise…

Tim, the studio exec: “This guy’s picture was hot but super cheesy. Like, with his car and hair/sunglasses styled just-so cheesy, but I decided to give him a chance anyway because everyone out here is fake like that, so whatever. He suggested dinner at 6:30, which seemed a little early for my taste but I agreed. Then he took me to “this great Ethiopian place” he knew about. Um, going to a restaurant where you eat with your fingers isn’t exactly ideal for a first date. It’s hard to look civil when your hands are a mess.

We talked about his job and “the industry” and briefly grazed over what I do for a living, but he kept checking his watch and it was starting to bug me. He seemed pretty normal aside from the bad manners, but I couldn’t help but notice he was distracted. After dinner he suggested this really loud, kitschy bar that no one in LA would really frequent. Total tourist trap. I mean, it has a mechanical bull in it – a little too spring break for my liking. We could barely hear each other.

After one drink I was about ready to call it a night anyway when his phone went off (he’d left the table to hit the men’s room). The message showed up from whoever his next date was asking where he wanted to meet her that night. Actually, it was from a “Melissa” and said, “Hey, should we meet at someplace on Sunset or closer to your work? Excited to meet you!” I nearly fell over.

Guys – Don’t double book! And if you’re stupid enough to double book dates on the same night, at least don’t leave your iPhone where date #1 can see it, moron. Needless to say, I got up and left before he even returned to the table.”

Wow. Sounds like you dodged a bullet there, Gretchen. If his photos were any indication, he wasn’t going to be terribly considerate, but double booking is a big no no. Plus, I’d be pissed that I was given the earlier shift – just saying. Thanks for sharing, the lessons are many: Go with your gut – if the person seems lame they probably are, don’t take people to awkward ethnic restaurants on first dates, and never, ever stack two dates on the same night. Even if you’re extra smooth, the odds of it turning out well are slim.

Have a story to contribute? Send it my way: misswingman@gmail.com. Remember, the only up side to a bad date is being able to publicly make fun of them afterward.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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“CAN I PULL THIS OFF?” WINGMAN: SUSPENDERS EDITION

Have you ever looked at pictures of some of the more offbeat male fashion looks and wondered if you could rock them, too? From suspenders to elbow patches to cardigan sweaters, style “risks” (if you could even call them that) abound for the unadventurous male, if he’s brave enough to banish his hesitation and try them out.

Luckily for you, Miss Wingman offers a new and recurring feature that serves as a How To guide to aid you in your closet exploits. So, if you’ve ever stared timidly at an outfit and wondered, “Could I pull that off?” this one is for you.

There are 3 basic ways to rock a pair of suspenders, in my opinion. The power broker look, the I’m-Just-Really-Laid-Back-And-Trying-To-Look-Like-I’m-Not-Trying-Too-Hard look, and the ironic hipster I’m-Trying-Way-Too-Hard look. Two of them work, one of them doesn’t. Can you guess which one?

Right, my thoughts exactly.

First up, to please the inner Chuck Bass in all of you (my bad – men don’t watch “Gossip Girl,” here’s a picture to illustrate), suspenders with a suit and a crisp oxford shirt is a great way to go to work.

But, you have to commit to it. It’s a pretty severe, corporate, Patrick Bateman in “American Psycho” kind of look, so if it means making sure your hair is in place with some pomade and that your shoes are polished to a high shine, then so be it. Just don’t have any part of your look be slovenly, or else you’ll throw it off balance.

Also, you have to be a certain type of guy to pull this off – the type of guy who eats high-powered lunches at Harry’s Steakhouse and lives in a loft in Tribeca. Otherwise you might look a little silly walking into your job at Kinko’s looking like Bill Lumbergh in “Office Space.”

Next up we have the Trying-Not-To-Look-Like-I’m-Trying-Too-Hard suspenders look found here:

And also on the casual-yet-dapper guy seen here:

The key to this look is that you have to A) roll up your sleeves a bit and unbutton your top collar button and B) a nice, chunky watch helps polish the look off, too. As long as the suspenders are on the skinnier side – button fastened or clip on, whatever your pleasure – and they’re paired with a slightly rumpled dress shirt or T-shirt look, you’re good to go.

But, beware of our last example, the Ironic Hipster look, found here by the brilliantly roaming Sartorialist:

How you know you’ve overdone it is if you pair it with really skinny pants, Converse sneakers and a fedora hat. One of these alone may not be a problem, all of them together is just too much. And speaking of things to avoid, never EVER rock suspenders shirtless or with a sleeveless undershirt.

This isn’t Chippendales and you aren’t in a naked fireman costume, so cut that s–t out please, thanks. If you really must leave the suspenders hanging down around your waist, I can’t stop you, but in general they’re better up on your shoulders where they belong.

The general idea with suspenders is that you want to embrace the whimsical, add a new accessory to the mix, or even just give a silent “F%*@ you” to belt wearers everywhere, it’s your call. Just don’t overdose on whimsy, and make sure you feel comfortable as well. If you’re not confident when you wear them, it will come through.

Don’t be scared to try out new things, but also don’t be afraid to ask what the right way to approach them is, either. In matters of style, there’s a good way and a bad way to sport everything, trust me. But when it comes to suspenders, they’re not just for holding up your pants anymore, so have a little fun.DAPPER WINGMAN

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NETIQUETTE NO NO’S: THINGS WOMEN DON’T WANT TO SEE ON FACEBOOK

Let’s face it, social networking is the best thing to happen to guys trying to get lucky since the invention of…well…women, frankly. With just a few keystrokes you have a bevvy of beautiful women who you either want to get to know, already know, or never knew you wanted to sleep with until now. It’s a world of possibility at your fingertips – literally.

But, just as social networking sites like Facebook work in your favor, they can also work against you if you don’t know what to avoid (sorry, blame Zuckerberg). Whether it’s you who’s engaging in marks of bad behavior or your friends/past relations working against you, it doesn’t really matter – it’s all filed under the heading “game killer” in the end. As I’ve said before, women have a tendency to e-stalk, so if she unearths any of the following on your profile, don’t be surprised if she starts running for the virtual hills.

Cringe-Worthy Photos: There are so many things that fall under this category, I hardly know where to begin. Oh no wait – yes I do – with anything that involves vomit, bodily functions, shotgunning/funneling beer over the age of 25, shirtless poses in bathroom mirrors or photos of you flexing in any way, shape or form. What this tells us? You’re either still pretty immature, don’t realize that you’re a narcissist, or that you have no understanding of/concern for the Internet and all that lives on it. And this is coming from a girl who’s own male friends’ immature behavior is a source of much entertainment. I may laugh, I just won’t date you. Also, I don’t care if you have The Situation’s abs, put a shirt on please.

Debbie Downer Status Updates: No one likes a person who’s negative all the time, and this goes double for Facebook. Are you constantly complaining about your life? Do you let little, fickle things get to you or love unleashing your rage to your social network? Lighten up, man. Glass half full is way sexier. I guarantee you that if you’re the All Misery All The Time Network, we’ll want to change the channel. Fast.

Friend Poaching: Under no circumstances is it acceptable for you to reach out to people on our lists and friend request total strangers. If you know our friends, that’s one thing (but still dicey, only add them if you’re certain you’re close enough for it not to be weird). Otherwise it just looks like you’re either A) potentially trying to get with our friends if it doesn’t work out B) trying to keep tabs on us and who we’re out with or C) just a social-climbing opportunist – but that one’s primarily for girls, it rarely goes the other way.

A Visible Imprint of Your Ex: Guys who keep pictures of their ex on their Facebook are a huge red flag for us. It’s understandable if you’ve just recently broken up and she was a large part of your life for an extended time, and you haven’t had a chance to pull them down yet. But once that time is up, if you want to move on and have a fighting chance with new girls, you should probably ditch the vacation shots, arm around each other photos or anything that screams that you used to sleep with another woman. Just a suggestion.

Any Women Who Like To “Hover” On Your Page: As I’ve also said before, women have a tendency to mark their territory by writing on your Facebook wall and other such stupid acts of possessiveness. It’s not terribly mature, but it’s common practice – and it’s meant to ward off other females. By constantly “Like”-ing your photos, commenting on your status updates or posting things on your wall like it’s her own personal doodle pad, women are trying to establish themselves as a formidable presence in your life, even if you don’t feel the same way. These actions are off-putting to normal girls, who will likely bow out before trying to engage in competition for your affection. Sad but true.

And finally, Annoying Relationship Blasts Of Any Kind: This usually applies to guys who fall hard for girls way too easily and then have things like the following written on their pages: “In a relationship” as their status after one or two dates, photos of them wearing matching sports gear with a girl at a game, references to having “the best girlfriend in the whole world,” etc., etc., gag. Also falling in this category are things written by a female you may or may not be formally dating, like “Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii” or “Miss youuuu!!” or “Can’t wait to see you,” “Awwwww, you look so cute in this pic!” or anything that emasculates you publicly. Also, it will have us thinking that if you could ever have been attracted to such a complete tool (if girls can even be called that, which I believe they can) then there’s no way you belong with us, we’re better off.

I know some of this sounds harsh, but it’s for your own good, men. If Miss Wingman is all about creating opportunities to showcase to us how great you are, then committing the sins on this list only make you get in your own way. A Facebook faux pas may not seem like a big deal, but it doesn’t help you out, either. Just remember these reminders when you sign on, or else the next time you may find the ladies logging on and losing interest.ETIQUETTE WINGMAN

*And yes, before you point it out, the quality on this clip is bootleg, at best. Sometimes Youtube videos are pretty hoopty. Sigh…

 

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GIRL FACTS: THE SAGA CONTINUES

Girl Fact: We have underwear that serve specific functions. Like the I’m-Doing-Laundry-And-These-Are-From-Before-Christ pair we throw on in the meantime, the Comfy-And-Won’t-Give-Me-A-Wedgie pair we wear when we’re out of commission, and the Really-Uncomfy-But-I-Don’t-Care-I-Look-Hot-In-Them pair we wear when we think we might be bringing a guy home. Those are not to be confused with the Don’t-judge-me-for-buying-something-so-slutty pair that every girl owns. True story.

Girl Fact: We all secretly hate Blake Lively.

Girl Fact: Sometimes girls who say they like sports go to bars to “watch the game.” How can you tell if she’s an impostor? Block the screen and ask her what the score is, what number the star player’s jersey is or what color each team is wearing. Chances are she can’t tell you.

Girl Fact: We have a favorite amongst your friends, we also know which one we think is the hottest, and we’ll probably never tell you either one.

Girl Fact: We like to sing loudly while in the shower or driving in our cars, usually to guilty pleasure music like Taylor Swift, Gaga or Katy Perry. And no matter how unfortunate our singing voice is, in our minds we sound exactly like Kelly Clarkson.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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