GIRL FACTS: HOLIDAY EDITION

It’s a Christmas miracle, Wingman faithful – the return of “Girl Facts.” I know how much you were hoping to find this under the tree this year, so consider me the Santa of sarcastic blog wisdom.

So far we’ve gone over secrets of our undergarments, signs we like you, how to tell if we like sports, seasonal-themed facts, and a host of others. This time around we’re dealing with holiday girl facts. Let the enlightening begin.

Girl Fact: If you give us a gift and you want to know if we REALLY like it, don’t listen to a word we say. Just watch our faces very closely in the first few seconds when we open your present. Even the best poker face will reveal some sign of an authentic reaction.

Girl Fact: We start stressing over our New Year’s Eve plans as soon as December hits. No matter if we say we don’t care about it, some part of us will have even the smallest momentary panic about what we’ll do, with whom, and where we’ll go. You can pretty much count on that.

Girl Fact: Even if we hate holiday crowds, we love that shopping for gifts gives us an added excuse to JUST SHOP. We may act exhausted, but there was a dopamine high somewhere in that credit card swipe. It’s in our DNA.

Girl Fact: If we’re not dating anyone steadily, in the winter months we’re lucky if we shave our legs once a week. Don’t judge us – we have a lot more surface area to cover than you.

Girl Fact: Even if we say we don’t care what you get us for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa (?) or Festivus – you can bet your life that at some point we’ve dropped you a hint on what we really want. Were you paying attention?

Girl Fact: We call in reinforcements if we don’t know what to get you for a present. And we prep our own inner circle just in case you do, too.

Girl Facts: We’re fighting an uphill battle to look cute this time of year. Static hair, sniffling noses and coats that look like sleeping bags. So if we look disheveled when you see us, do yourselves a favor and don’t point it out.

Girl Fact: If you hook up with us at a holiday party and are actually interested in keeping the ball rolling, don’t wait to text or call us afterward. Sledding, ice skating, or going for hot chocolate/cider are all great winter date ideas, so pick up the phone boys.

Girl Fact: We either irrationally love Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” or violently hate it. For your sake, here’s hoping your woman is in the latter category.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

And don’t forget: If you’re having trouble finding the right gift for her this year, I’m here to help. MISS WINGMAN IS AVAILABLE FOR CONSULTATIONS via phone/Skype and, geography permitting, accompanying men on their shopping excursions. I’ll make sure your gift is perfectly suited for her, for a small fee, and you just make sure to take all the credit (wink). Email me at misswingman@gmail.com for more details.

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PICK UP POINTERS: BEHOLD! YOGA CLASS.

They say good things come to those who wait. And, if you’re a diehard Miss Wingman fan, then you’ve been waiting a pretty long time for another edition of “Pick Up Pointers.” We’ve delved into the world of The Approach at the gym differently before, and also within the grocery store aisles. But this time, I suggest you put down the produce and pick up a spongy floor mat, because yoga class is where it’s at, boys.

I’ll admit, I’ve never been a fan of yoga myself, (Miss Wingman prefers to wail on a heavy bag. Namaste, my ass) but last night my sore muscles drove me into the land of trippy music and cleansing breaths. Apart from the fact that the workout itself is beneficial to everyone, if you can get past the bizarre meditations (I don’t do “zen,” apologies to my Yogi friends), there’s another obvious bonus to taking a class: The women.

Men of the world, I’m sure common sense dictates that you’ve thought of this before, but allow me to emphasize how RIDICULOUSLY STACKED those classes are with women – hot women – wearing tight clothing, and doing bendy things.

I felt euphoric, like I’d found the promised land for guys. Much like the time I found a bar overflowing with a sea of dudes watching hoops at the Garden, or stumbled upon a good after-work spot in the finance district (so that’s where you’ve all been hiding…) Hitting the mother lode is fun, especially if I can spin it in your favor.

If you don’t need any further convincing, allow me to help you navigate the proper way to approach a woman in yoga class. Here are The Do’s and Don’ts of Fitness Flirting:

Do: Hit up a class in a normal gym, not a yoga-only spot. Why? Because there’s a difference between seeming like you just want to try out this yoga thing, and appearing that you’re either A) Mr. Sensitive Ponytail Man B) blatantly creeping on women or C) of questionable sexual orientation. Regular gym yoga classes are harmless and could just have landed you there out of sheer curiosity (hey, it’s plausible enough).

Don’t: Go the Bikram yoga route (read: hot yoga). Why? Because the only thing less sexy than having your own sweat pour off of your body is having someone else’s sweat drip on you. Plus, it’s a little hard to work up your charm when you feel like you’re breathing through a cocktail straw.

Do: Wait until before or after the class to chat up any cute women you spot. They’re pretty serious about the whole silence/mood music/soothing lighting thing, and you wouldn’t want her to think you have no sense of self-awareness. Etiquette is key.

Don’t: Stare. Yes, many of the poses involve putting your ass in the air or spreading your legs far apart, but that doesn’t give you license to skeeve us out (Down Dog, anyone?). Be crafty in the quick glances that you steal. Kind of like how you check out our cleavage when we’re “not looking.” Remember – eyes on your own paper, boys.

Do: Casually establish why you’re in the class in the first place, if you feel self-conscious about it. Asking the girl on the next mat over if she likes the workout because you “have this sports injury in my back that I’m trying to fix, and someone suggested trying yoga,” isn’t a bad idea. Sure, it’s lying, but it’s the little white kind. You have my permission.

Don’t: Be too good at it. If we wanted to date a guy who was Gumby-flexible or could hold a difficult pose indefinitely, we’d date a principal dancer in the New York City Ballet. There’s a difference between being open-minded enough to try yoga, and chipping away at your masculinity. Walk that line at your own risk.

Do: Be adorably clumsy – which probably won’t be intentional. You’ll likely have a hard time with yoga at first anyway. Watching the few guys in the class around me struggle to keep their balance was endearing, actually. And it gives you a good excuse to chat a girl up afterward if you catch her chuckling.

Asking for pointers or making a joke about how much your skills are lacking is a harmless way to get our attention. Just don’t ask her if she can do that thing with her legs in other places, too – unless you want to hear her tell you to “Nama-stay away.”  Far less amusing, boys.

Also, Do: Take care of your feet. Yoga involves being barefoot, and nothing will kill your game faster than if she looks over and sees your mangled, gnarly man-hooves. You don’t have to go full pedicure, but for the love of God at least trim the nails.

And finally, Don’t: Be afraid to say nothing at all. If you can tolerate a few weeks of going to the same class (you might actually like it), you’ll develop enough of a rapport or familiarity with the people in it to strike up a conversation with them elsewhere. If you’re too shy or just don’t feel confident that you’ll say the right thing, try just putting your mat in close proximity to hers for a few classes, so she gets to recognize your face.

But be mindful of personal space, don’t crowd the poor girl. Then, if you want to chat her up at the water fountain or arrange an “accidental” run in arriving at or leaving the gym, you can use the “Hey aren’t you in that yoga class?” line without sounding like a D-bag. It’s a slow strategy, but still effective.

But all of this is to say that it should, theoretically, offer you the opportunity to showcase your personality and allow her the chance to get to know you. Once you’ve got our attention, it’s up to you to be yourself (which is charming, I assume) and let things play out naturally. Pick up tactics only work if they’re only used to get your foot in the door, not to guide the whole process.

So go ahead – bust out your best spandex (please don’t), take some deep breaths, and don’t forget to limber up, boys. If you do this right and get lucky, you just might need it.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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JUST WING IT: WINGMAN PROTOCOL FROM BOTH PERSPECTIVES

Let’s face it – the dating world is a dangerous place. It’s full of conversational land mines, social mishaps and the occasional grenades to dodge (in the Pauly D sense of the word, that is). Thus having a wingman is not only necessary, but a huge help in chatting up the opposite sex.

You need someone to help you with your approach, engage in playful rounds of verbal sparring so that you seem witty, and chat up any friends your target has in tow to free you and your intended up for a love connection. Someone to be the Goose to your Maverick, if you will. But what are the rules of such a set up? This is where things can get tricky.

A friend recently sent me an email detailing her distaste for the way a man behaved while she was serving as wingwoman one night. She said the gentleman attempting to win over her friend virtually ignored her – the cardinal sin men can commit in a social setting. Be nice to the friend, be nice to the friend, be nice to the friend – always, and under all circumstances.

Because after all, when you walk away, if you’ve rubbed the wrong way the one who will have her ear on the ride home, you’ve just shot yourself down and all of that hard work was for naught. So here are a few behavioral guidelines for those chatting up someone with a wingman in tow, as well as for the wingman (or woman) him or herself. It’s not rocket science, but it needs to be said.

Be inclusive, not exclusive - If the person you’re talking to has a friend (or friends) with them, as I said, make sure to engage them in conversation as well. Or, at least make eye contact while you’re talking to the one you’re really interested in, so that they don’t feel like human furniture. Eye contact or nodding when they talk is just as effective an interaction. I can’t emphasize this enough.

Even if you are underwhelmed by said friend, this will make the friend think you have manners, and possibly rally in your favor later on if he or she thinks you’re particularly funny or charming. If there is a momentary lull in conversation, ask how they know each other, chat up the friend about what she does for work – whatever, just keep the exchange going as long as possible to gain an opportunity to showcase your personality.

Smile - There is nothing as disarming as smiling at someone. People should do it more often, in my opinion. So, if you’re talking to a woman you’re into, make steady eye contact, smile (not in a goofy, cartoon-ish way though) and be as relaxed as possible. It’s just a conversation, don’t over-think it.

Offer both of them a drink - If you notice that one or both of the women you’re chatting up has a drink that could use some refilling, take the initiative and ask to buy them a round. I know this isn’t an inexpensive or convenient move, but it shows us that you have manners, a rare commodity these days.

For those serving as wingman/woman - It becomes clear fairly quickly who the intended target is, so if it’s established that it’s your friend’s affections that are being sought, you have some responsibilities as well. If you seem to like the person who just approached (or at least don’t abhor them instantly), you would do well to help him or her out. It’s good karma.

If there is an awkward silence, jump in and ask a question, like, “So, what does a (fill in the blank job) do exactly?” *Note, obviously if the person has an easy job, like a dentist, that’s pretty self-explanatory. Don’t inquire unless you want to look slightly challenged in the smarts department.

Or you could talk up your friend if you think that he or she could use some help closing the deal. Casually bring up something impressive about them, or if he or she is particularly funny take a cue from earlier and do the whole witty banter thing. Verbally tag-teaming your friends makes you both look approachable and reminds us all of our own friendships, which helps put people at ease.

But whatever you do, try to avoid cutting the poor person at the knees and forcing them to walk away with a bruised ego and shattered confidence. It takes guts to approach someone, after all, and that type of bravery should never be scoffed at or insulted – unless the person approaching is particularly lecherous or annoying.

In that case, the wingman should fake an asthma attack or say something to your friend like, “Hey isn’t that your girlfriend (or boyfriend) over there?” and then point to the most intimidating-looking person in the room. Then make a hasty escape.

It shouldn’t be that hard to meet people, we do it every day in various circumstances. It is, however, hard to meet people of substance, worth keeping around. So if you’re on the prowl or just keeping a buddy company, remember that some rules of decorum apply. And if you can’t be helpful or straighten up and fly right, perhaps you’re better off staying home.ETIQUETTE WINGMAN

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