NICKNAMES: SURPRISE, WE HAVE THEM FOR YOU GUYS, TOO

Men can be shameless. I say this less as an accusation and more as an actual fact, having sat in on my fair share of conversations where phrases were tossed around that would horrify regular people. But, luckily for all of you, I’m not only NOT “regular people” (my insult threshold is high thanks to some seriously offensive friends), but I’ve also managed to pick up a thing or two about how you refer to the fairer sex.

Newsflash, boys: We do it, too. Actually, I’d say we do it better. Nicknames, whether they arise out of necessity – because you can’t remember the person’s actual name – or just for fun, are an inevitability. What you may not have realized though, is that women are ten times more ruthless when it comes to this kind of thing. And we spread gossip like wildfire.

Right about now, all of you should be wondering nervously if you’ve ever been given a nickname unbeknownst to you. And if you have to wonder, the answer is probably “yes.”

My male friends have shared with me funny nicknames they commonly use, ranging from the innocent: “Megan Questionmark?” because they didn’t know if that was her actual name and couldn’t verify after their drunken introduction, to the offensive: “Gremlin” because you can’t take her out in the daylight.

There are also nicknames based on personal appearance: “T–s on a stick,” because her body was so disproportionate, “Hot from far, far from hot” for obvious reasons. And then there are nicknames men have given girls based off of their actions – one that starts with “Hand” and ends with “job” (eek, sorry mom) and my personal favorite, “Herps,” for the girl who lead off conversation with the fact that she thought she might have Herpes.

*Note to females: Really? You’re not doing yourself any favors there, if you can’t be classy, at least don’t offer up the ammo for people to mock you. This is why girls get called chickenheads, seriously.

On the flip side of the coin, some of my favorite female-conjured nicknames have been a lot more pointed and mean. “Bizkit” referred to a guy who’s, um, shortcomings shared the same word as a 90s band with a similar two-name title; “Lisper” referred to a guy whose speech impediment drove everyone crazy. Then there was “J—off Jaime (name changed, I’m not that mean),” who someone once walked in on while he was…busy. And, the one that I promise I had no part in coining, “Cider House,” because the guy looked like he could’ve been a migrant worker. (I know, I said my friends were offensive, sorry).

Reaching way back, some unfortunate guys went all through college being referred to only as “Boy with a complex,” “Boy who was pants’d,” “Dandruff Dave,” and “(So and So) Who slept with his RA.” More recently, some poor fools were dubbed, “The Cuddler” (for excessive hugging while sleeping), “Quick Stop” (stamina was not his strong point apparently) and finally, “Hoodie.” That last one doesn’t have to do with what he did but rather what he had, or rather didn’t have, as a baby. Not his fault, and hats off to the clever (if super mean) girl who came up with it. You’re definitely going to hell for that one.

And don’t forget about the girls who branded one guy for his bad kissing (“Rape Mouth”) and, taking this one step farther, the coworker I once had who called a guy “GPS,” because he couldn’t have found his way around a woman’s body if he’d had one strapped to his hands, apparently. Told you, we can be brutal.

So the next time you’re considering calling a woman something other than her name, just remember that it all comes back around eventually. No matter whether it’s a recap of our bedroom adventures or just an honest dissection of your appearance, women can stand toe-to-toe with you any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

So be nice, use discretion and try to remember the Golden Rule. Or if not, just hope that your conversation doesn’t get back to her – you know what they say about karma.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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COUPLES WITH JOINT FACEBOOK ACCOUNTS: CONGRATULATIONS, YOU’RE WHIPPED

Let’s face it, social media is to relationships what the Big Bad Wolf was to the Three Little Pigs’ houses – if not built of something strong, any old breeze can topple them to the ground. So, with the creation of Facebook granting people access to everyone they could ever want to reconnect with (or it’s more accurate description, “All of the people you never got the chance to sleep with in high school”) provides a never ending supply of opportunities for bad behavior.

It’s no surprise, then, that some couples are reticent to have each other’s Facebook profile out there for the world – and potential romantic interests – to see. So, they swing to the opposite end of the trust spectrum and opt for a joint account, like SarahandJason (Fill in a last name here). Two people, one “We’re Just So Happy That We’ve Sacrificed Our Own Individuality” profile. Bleh, no thanks.

Congratulations, men, if your woman makes you one half of this social media merger, you’ve just admitted to everyone you know that you’re pretty much whipped. But, among the litany of issues that have just been uncovered, that one’s the least of your worries. The bigger problem is that you don’t trust each other.

No man would willingly choose this mashup unless goaded into it by a woman worrying that his natural behavioral tendency might get him into trouble without supervision. It’s a sad state of affairs. Call me crazy, though, I don’t want to act as mother or police officer to any man I’m dating, that’s not my job. And it’s not hot, either.

Still, increasing the volume of opportunities to stray increases the likelihood that your significant other could one day have a moment of weakness, I can’t deny that. But the amount of temptation or access to new people only matters when it comes to fidelity if one or both of you hasn’t fully matured yet, in which case you’ll definitely make mistakes you’ll think better of down the line.That’s not a prediction, it’s an inevitability.

Let me be clear: just because I said volume and access *shouldn’t* matter, doesn’t mean that they don’t. I’m a realist, after all. Following that logic, sites like Facebook open a Pandora’s Box of trouble, but only if your relationship is lacking something to begin with – communication, validation, sex, whatever. You wouldn’t look for others to satisfy something if you were 100% fulfilled. Why go elsewhere for what you can get at home, after all?

One could argue that people cheat out of boredom, but I disagree. People cheat because something is missing – and it’s not always something missing from their partner, often it’s missing inside themselves (back to the maturity thing). Or, you’re just a really inconsiderate person, but let’s hope it’s the former.

If you’re on solid ground, women could hit you up all day long telling you how great you look, friend requesting you, or dangling photos of their summer at the beach and, if you were in a committed relationship, you might engage briefly. But eventually you’d put an end to the banter, for fear of losing something more important as a result (one would hope, at least). Momentary bursts of flattery or excitement are human, but if you really love the one you’re with, she’ll be sharply in focus, while everyone else is blurry.

I’m not entirely unsympathetic to the cause, however. Being nervous about the stability of one’s relationship is normal. But if your love is that easily rattled, then maybe it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be in the first place. Further, if you have to wonder if your significant other is exchanging messages with, chatting up or flirting with those who present competition for you, why would you be with someone like that in the first place?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If I can’t trust you or have to make excuses and/or explanations for your behavior, I just don’t date you. Flat-out, simple as that. I wish that every female lived like that, we’d all appear a hell of a lot less crazy as a group that way. I’ll reiterate that this philosophy means that you don’t ever have to be possessive, jealous or the least bit controlling of someone’s time, because when he (or she) isn’t with you, you don’t automatically think they’re up to no good.

Granted, if your relationship is open enough that you’d share Facebook or email passwords regardless, or if only one of you has a (single name) account but both parties log onto it (as I know couples who do, totally fine), that’s one thing. But it’s not really who I’m addressing.

Further, I’ve found one notable exception to the “How Does It Feel To Be Whipped?” rule, and that is when the couples have been married for decades or are our parents’ age. For this population, joint accounts are sometimes a result of being less-than tech savvy, or just plain having the exact same group of friends after all that time. They’re the exception, not the rule.

The fact is, there will always be someone out there better looking than you. Someone with cooler hair, more chiseled abs, longer legs, a nicer car or a bigger bank account. And, they will probably be on Facebook, too. But if you try to compete with them for the sake of hanging onto your significant other, you’ll run yourself ragged. And you’ll never find any peace.

When choosing a girlfriend, wife (or husband to turn the tables on you boys a bit) common sense dictates that you need to love them for the thing that no one else has to offer but them – the thing that you’re lucky enough to have been shown, and with which they have entrusted you.

Until you find that game-changer, you might end up tangling with a whole lot of Miss Wrongs or, in the case of joint Facebook accounts, a whole lot of Miss I’m-Trying-To-Change-You’s. Whatever your relationship status, remember: there are lots of things in life that are wonderful to share. But please don’t let your profile be one of them.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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ONLINE DATING HORROR STORY OF THE WEEK: THE LANKY GAY MAN

You guys and your horrible dates… After a brief hiatus, this rapidly-becoming-your-favorite feature (it’s true, numbers don’t lie) has returned. This time we’re dealing with extreme differences in stature and sexual orientation, courtesy of Amanda in Manhattan. Bet you can’t guess which one was the bigger problem…

Extremely Tall Gay Man: “The second I walked into the pub and this guy smiled at me, I instantly knew he was gay. This isn’t the first one I’ve encountered, either. I can’t believe how many gay men are on straight dating sites! Insanity. So he was like 6’5 to my 5’2, already really awkward. But I was like fine, whatever, so we sad down at the bar and had a beer. He was an aspiring actor and we had nothing – I mean NOTHING – in common to talk about so he started doing celebrity impressions that weren’t even good. WTF!

He spoke about his acting career the ENTIRE time. He didn’t ask me a single question until about an hour in when he suddenly said, ‘What’s your favorite color?’

Um, what?

And then he said, ‘Ok, pause – how is this date going so far?’ Here’s a tip – Never ask that question in the middle of a date. Especially if that date is terrible.”

Ohhhhhh Amanda. Or should I say “Aman-duhhhhhhh” (Sorry, I’m a “Can’t Hardly Wait” fan, I couldn’t resist). Compared to some of the things I’ve heard, you got off fairly easily with this one, but it’s still miserable to have someone talk about themselves ad nauseum.

For the men out there reading this, please do us a favor and take ownership of your sexuality. Maybe it’s because I live in a major city (well, and it’s 2012), but I’d venture a guess that most of us wouldn’t be bothered by your actually being gay. What does piss women off, however, is the hope of a romantic connection only to find out you bat for the other team.

I know it’s more complicated than this, but in matters of online dating, people tend to be very hopeful, and when that hope doesn’t pan out, they get bent out of shape. So, even if you’re not formally out, there are other websites that are probably more suitable for your exploratory dating purposes. You’d do well to avoid the ire of every female in New York to be up front, just saying.

And finally, never attempt impressions unless you’re Robin Williams. Or this guy.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

Have a horror story of your own? Might as well make us laugh – email misswingman@gmail.com.

 

 

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GIRL FACTS: VOL. 3

Girl Fact: We might not always remember dates or names, but we can usually tell you what we were wearing during any significant event.

Girl Fact: We tend to have multiple men who make our day when we see them. We call them “office crush,” “subway crush,” “gym crush,” etc. It helps keep things interesting, even if we never speak to them.

Girl Fact: No matter how many times you tell us your family likes us, we’ll still always worry that your mom and sisters don’t think we’re good enough for you.

Girl Fact: Even if we know we’re the worst driver in the world, we’ll still swear we’re awesome at it til the day we die.

Girl Fact: We are physically incapable of NOT sucking in, sticking out our boobs, or checking out our own butts when trying something on in a mirror. It’s scientific, or something.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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LIP SERVICE: WHY THERE’S NO EXCUSE FOR BEING A BAD KISSER…PAST NINTH GRADE

Maybe it’s because New Years Eve just passed and there was a healthy amount of midnight smooching going on between virtual strangers. Or, maybe it’s because the universe just decided to drop topics into my lap lately by having no less than 3 – yes 3 – female friends complain about recent misadventures of the lip-lock variety. Whatever the reason, I’m taking a stand. Listen up, men: There is no, I repeat NO excuse for being a bad kisser at this age. (*and if you have to wonder if that term includes you, then keep reading…)

Are you 15 and awkwardly making out after school before her parents get home? No?

Then what gives.

One would assume that, whether you’re in your twenties, thirties or beyond, at this point you’ve been in at the very least one serious relationship, so you’ve had constant access to a partner, and ample opportunity for practice. Even if you’ve never been the serious relationship kind, you’ve likely had more than a few dalliances with the opposite sex by now. So, when women are openly voicing their disgust amongst each other, you’ve got some ‘Splaining to do. And I’ve got my work cut out for me.

Every so often I stumble across articles where Ask-A-Chick types give advice to men about techniques in bed or foreplay where they use creepy descriptive words and make you feel like you’re reading soft-core porn. Not my style. What I can tell you is that, if you take nothing else from this or read no further, hear this: slow down. SLOW. DOWN.

There’s a time and a place for aggressive, Mountains-Of-Pent-Up-Sexual-Tension-Between-You-type make out sessions. Rolling around and hair-pulling is all well and good, when it’s called for. But, for the most part, you want to slow down and enjoy each other. So take your time, if you please.

What We Hate: I know a guy who’s nickname amongst the females who knew him was “Rape Mouth.” Yup, it’s true. I said it – and I do so with complete knowledge that making light of rape in any way, shape or form is not OK, so my apologies for repeating this not-so-PC phrase, but it’s for educational purposes. And no, despite being a smart ass, I did not coin the term. He earned that name because he had a tendency to shove his face into yours and gnaw away like you were an ice cream cone that was about to melt at any minute. Afterwards, you felt violated.

The takeaway? Please don’t press your faces up against ours so hard. Please remember to pull back and take a breath every once in a while. Please don’t lead with your teeth – ever. And please stick to the actual vicinity of her lips. I also know a story about a girl whose face was licked during a make out session like he was a Golden Retriever (or Charlotte, below). I am still traumatized from hearing her tell it.

What We Like: I can’t speak for every girl, but I can tell you that for the most part women like a confident kisser. You know you’re confident when you can put little pauses in the action, playfully bite her lower lip (I said playfully – light and infrequent is the key) or put both hands on either side of her face.

There’s something about seeing a man kiss his woman while holding her face that is just too sweet – like he really, really means it. If none of this is your style, then feel free to improvise. Kissing shouldn’t be choreographed, it shouldn’t feel contrived, and it should vary greatly from one partner to the next. After a few seconds of it, you’ll be able to tell her style and, if you want, take her lead.

Please try to keep the spit thing under control, and for god’s sake don’t cram your tongues down our throats. Remember also that we wear lip gloss/stick/makeup in general, so there’s a solid chance that, if the kissing was extensive enough, when you pull back and look at us we may look a little…worse for the wear.

Likewise, if you have stubble or facial hair, don’t be surprised if our face looks like the skin equivalent of furniture stripped with sandpaper afterwards. Ouch.

I can’t even believe I’m having to lay this all out for you, but apparently some guidelines were in order. Also, fret not – I’d say the vast majority of men fall squarely in the “you’re doing fine” part of the bell curve. But if you were worried that you’re an outlier, perhaps this will help.

Whatever your method, remember this – kissing should be fun, and you should do it often. And if you needed this refresher course to get you back on track, don’t worry, it’ll be our little secret. I promise – my lips are sealed.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

 

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AULD LANG SYNE WINGMAN

It’s the million dollar question these days, “What are you doing for New Years Eve?” But call me crazy, I prefer to focus more on “What are you doing in the new year?” As in Every. Single. Day. So please allow me to take a break from urging you to slap on some cologne and lace up your coolest sneakers to go find a date this weekend, so that I may impart some hard-earned wisdom.

This past year has been a life-changing one in many ways for Miss Wingman (the actual Miss, if you will). I said last New Years that, rather than resolving to do something, people should just do instead. That’s what I’ve done in the past 12 months…and I’ve never been happier. Though I’m certain I’m still miles from where I will eventually land, I have taken the following advice to heart. And now I want to share it will all of you in the hopes that it will strike a similar chord. I wish, I hope, I’ll will it to be so…

…That all of you will take the time to ask yourselves what you really want. Are you happy? What would it take to make you happy? Now don’t stop until you get it. It’s as simple as that. The only thing preventing us from going out there and absolutely killing it is ourselves. So, once you find the thing – your thing – put it in your sights. Then set ‘em up and knock ‘em down, and don’t ever look back.

But make sure to surround yourself with good people. I’ve learned that sometimes the ones we expected to be the Varsity players in our lives end up second string. And, sometimes you pull people up from JV that you never expected to champion your cause, but they end up cheering the loudest. Just as long as you have good people to share it with, you will never – can never – go wrong.

So, whether it’s finding your own wingwoman this year, holding on to the one you’ve got, or an entirely unromantic endeavor you crave, decide to laugh more. At yourself…and perhaps at everything else, too. Stop worrying about the “How” in how you’re going to accomplish your goals, the world has a way of rearranging things in our favor once we decide to leap. If everyone dwelt on the “how,” no one would ever do anything, after all.

And if you won’t take it from me, take it from this impossibly charming duo – I’m biased, since Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been on my list ever since (500) Days of Summer. Enjoy the tune, enjoy each other, and remember: This year, don’t just resolve, DO. THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

 

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HOW TO BLOW IT VIA TEXT MESSAGE

Congratulations, you got our digits – you must be doing something right. But, now that you’ve got the keys to the kingdom (or at least made it through the front gate), what you do next can determine whether we tell you to wipe your feet and come on in, or slam the door in your face.

I’m going to give it to you straight, guys, because I think a lot of you need to hear this. I truly believe that you can kill an otherwise good thing by playing your cellular cards wrong. So put your phones on silent for a minute and listen up please. Committing any of these digital Don’ts once shouldn’t be a deal breaker, but become a repeat offender and she just may cut off your service permanently.

Text us, “Hey” and only “hey.” Nothing else - What the hell is that? Seriously? That’s like calling someone and then, once they answer, not saying a word. Don’t forget, you reached out to us – not the other way around. So if you’re going to pop onto our radar, kindly fill it with something worthwhile, not just the sound of crickets. While we realize that texting at all means you’re thinking of us – or at least want credit for appearing to be – if you put forth minimal effort in your follow up, you’re ultimately just wasting our time.

Ridiculously lengthy, unexplained pauses between responses - I’m not talking minutes here, I’m talking hours. It’s cool if you’re busy – we are too – but if life sidetracked you while you were typing away, when you resurface it would be nice to offer an apology or an explanation. There’s nothing stranger than a guy who picks up the conversation after radio silence like there was never any interruption. *Note: my go-to move has become typing a playful “Ahem” to remind someone that their response should be forthcoming. Only do it with people you know well, however, lest you risk someone thinking you’re actually angry.

Send us shirtless (or worse) photos, flagrant innuendos or intentionally misspelled words - And by “words” I mean swapping some vowels out of the word c-o-m-e, and no I won’t elaborate further because I’m a lady (sometimes). Does she have a 9-7-6 number? No? Then keep it classy, boys. Long before Anthony Weiner made it a very public, very scandalous art form, men have been messing up a good thing by getting too fresh over text message.

The rule of thumb should be, unless you’ve existed on a somewhat naughty level with her in person before you send those messages, or if you get a crystal clear impression that she’ll be down for the get-down, don’t try to get away with any R-rated mobile content. Unless of course your relationship is well-established enough to withstand the backlash. PS, sending such content pretty much guarantees that your handiwork will be shared with her friends, so I hope you enjoy an audience (and being nicknamed “Brett Favre” from now on).

Over-use of emoticons, cyber-slang or abbreviations of the ‘Tween variety - Is your last name Bieber or Cyrus? No? Then she probably won’t LOL when you type such gibberish. BM&Y, sometimes IDK what U guys R thinking when U type msgs, but we don’t <3 men who act like 14-year-old girls. You probably won’t be scoring any more D8s if our phone is suddenly speckled with tongue-sticking-out smiley faces and we have to Google just to find out what your abbreviations mean.

If you want to emphasize that you’re joking – tone is sometimes hard to tell over text – then using a smile once or twice is fine, but keep it to a minimum please. Or you can get away with it if you’re Ashton Kutcher in this scene, but even his friends knew the rule, which leads us right into the late-night message…

Rely on text as your sole means of communication - There’s a time and place for everything, and while texting is convenient, it’s also a romantic cop out. It’s hardly a sufficient substitute for actual conversation. If we give you our number, we probably want you to use it. Preferably not only between the hours of 11pm and 3am, unless that particular girl seems content to be entered into your contacts list as “Booty Call.” Getting to know each other is important, but you can’t do that adequately if you’re always counting characters.

Utter disregard for punctuation - This one’s not a huge deal, but if your messages all run into one another with no consideration for periods commas or apostrophes how is someone supposed to read them on a small screen without going crazy right isn’t that just common sense I mean it should be (insert huge gasp for breath here sigh)

Try to be too quirky or cryptic - Answering our questions with another question is maddening. Trying to be overly clever is also frustrating. Still unclear? How about this – these are actual texts I’ve received: “I love alpacas,” “Down like a clown Charlie Brown” and “Let’s talk lades, babes, okays?” Um, yeah, you get the idea now.

If this list seems ridiculous, then I’m not sure why avoiding such pitfalls isn’t more obvious to men? A well-crafted text message takes talent, granted, but when executed it can do some serious wooing. I have had some insanely enthralling conversations with guys over text, where their sexiness quotient skyrocketed simply because they had a way with (electronic) words.

At the very least, it shouldn’t be too taxing to just keep your proverbial coloring inside the lines and try to remain charming between face-to-face interactions. And if all else fails, just pick up the phone. That’s right, hit that green “Send” button (the what?) and give us a few minutes of your time. Remember, we’ve got your number boys, and if you want us to keep it, you’d best behave.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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