ONLINE DATING HORROR STORY OF THE WEEK: THE PARTY FAVOR

After spending some time on the other coast, I’ve realized that the dating scene – at least on surface level – looks different depending on what city you call home. New York and LA might as well exist on different planets.

But, there are two fundamental truths that ring true in both places: people (for the most part) just want to find someone to call their own, and that person will almost certainly not be found at a bar. This idea is hammered home this week by Matt from LA’s tale of dating gone wrong. I hope you enjoy it.

The Swap: “I don’t know if this story can technically be considered an ‘online dating’ horror story exactly, but since it started out that way I think it fits. I met this girl online and after emailing/talking on the phone for a week we decided to meet. She’d seemed cool right up until that point, but then when we finally had a conversation face to face it was just…crickets. She was cute but not terribly high energy and we were struggling to think of things to say. So, we parted ways early and my friends met me out to salvage the rest of the night.

Turns out I met another girl at the same bar later that night who seemed pretty cool (OK hot) and she was with some friends, but she promptly ditched them and we started taking shots. Second girl seemed normal enough, she told me she was in grad school, was 23 and had moved out here a year ago. We started talking about how bad my first date had gone and she and I hit it off comparing bad online dating experiences with each other. I guess we both got pretty drunk (at one point she disappeared for a half hour), but by the end of the night she and I left together and went back to my place.

We hooked up for a while back at my apartment and then she excused herself to use the bathroom. When she didn’t return right away I went to check on her and found her nodding off on the toilet (not hot, by the way). Even though she was embarrassed she came back into my room. Nothing kills the mood like seeing a girl with her pants around her ankles, things were pretty much done after that.

I must’ve passed out not long after, because when I woke up in the morning she was already gone. I guess at some point she must’ve migrated out of my bed to the family room, but I slept through it. I didn’t realize it until I headed to the kitchen and saw a huge wet stain on the cushions where the girl had obviously peed on my couch. Yup. What girl does that?! I also found out later that one of my friends made out with her at the bar accidentally before he realized that she’d been talking to me. She was coming out of the ladies room when it happened. Pretty sure that qualifies as a horror story in my book.”

Ohhhhh Matt… Where do I begin? Yes, that qualifies, you’re right. But here are my observations, in no particular order: 1) The girl you met online wasn’t terribly “high energy?” Totally fine if there’s no chemistry, but what were you expecting, cartwheels? 2) What 23-year-old has online dating stories to compare? That’s ridiculous, like those women on The Bachelor who say they’re looking for a husband straight out of college. Be young! Worry about the other stuff later.

Thirdly, her passing out in your bathroom should’ve been her cue to leave, not sure how one recovers from that frankly. 4) Destruction of property, albeit gross and alcohol-driven, usually warrants a stealthy escape, that’s hardly shocking – even I’d support it 5) Your friend “accidentally” made out with her? Sounds suspect to me 6) Why is this chick all about bathrooms? And why do so many of these stories involve peeing, while we’re at it? 7) Sounds to me like whatever bar you found this girl in wasn’t exactly going to yield you any classy or high caliber of woman (Not that any bar will, in my opinion).

If someone were inclined to say “I told you so,” (which I’d never do, of course) they might say that’s what you get for not setting the bar higher. Just a thought for next time. I realize sometimes you just want to go out and have a little fun, but if you end up with a pee-soaked couch and swapping hook up stories with your friends about the same girl in the same night, probably don’t be surprised. Better luck next time, man!THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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ROMANCE WINGMAN: VALENTINE’S DAY DO’S AND DON’TS

So much has been written about Valentine’s Day that even the journalistically inclined are hard pressed to find a new way to tackle the subject. Taking the straight route, for example, dictates that we make some romantic comparison to a timely subject – like, oh…I don’t know…politics, as found here. Gosh, what a well-crafted argument, whoever wrote that must be pretty clever (or just shamefully self-promoting – your call).

Or there’s the statistical route, which isn’t flowery but still pretty damn interesting, like this compilation of cupid-related numbers. Eleven thousand children conceived on Valentine’s Day on average?! Ew, that’s more information than I needed…

But my personal favorite read as of late was about Valenswine’s Day, the day before Valentine’s when men take their mistresses out for a romantic tryst (hey, it’s better than double booking, right?)

This year, however, my contribution to the lovers melting pot is a 2012-themed Do’s and Don’ts list for both singles and couples. True, it may have been done before, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still fun.

For the attached:

DO try to avoid flaunting your syrupy sweet relationship details on Facebook or Twitter. Uploading excessive pictures of your gigantic floral arrangement or giving us the play by play of all of the things “the very best boyfriend/husband/fiancee in the whole world” did for you today tends to get on people’s nerves. Also, please try not to profess your love in 140 characters or less. The words “marry me” should never come with a hashtag in front of them, in my opinion.

Men: DON’T pawn off a gift that really serves your purposes as something you think we’d enjoy. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: giving lingerie and sports tickets is only altruistic if you’re dating Adriana Lima or Marv Albert. *Miss Wingman note - if you’re dating a woman who would love to hit up an NBA game on Valentine’s Day, marry her. She rocks.

DO recreate a fond memory with your beloved. If your first date was for Dim Sum in Chinatown and then a John Hughes revival at local theater, why not relive it? (And if it’s not possible, ordering in Chinese and Netflix’ing The Breakfast Club works, too).

DON’T be afraid to Do It Yourself for a gift. If you’re particularly good at something (cooking, playing music, etc.) now is a good time to showcase your skills. Just don’t go that route if you’re known for being notoriously cheap – homemade is endearing, but not if your reputation precedes you.

DON’T ignore the holiday entirely, even if your significant other swears that she hates Valentine’s and couldn’t care less about it. Fact: 53% of women say that they’d break up with someone if they didn’t receive a present on Valentine’s Day. So even if it’s just a card, give Cupid a nod. Or else.

For the unattached:

DON’T get drunk and text or call your ex. Likewise, don’t check their Facebook page or e-stalk them – it will not make you feel better – especially if they’ve moved onto someone else. The past is the past for a reason, leave it that way.

DON’T try to DTR (Define The Relationship) with someone with whom you’ve been casually hooking up. This is not to be confused with being DTF (Down To…you know), which everyone should be on Valentine’s Day. Right, Pauly D?

DO start fresh by eliminating painful reminders of your old flames on Facebook, G-chat or your mobile device (a clean slate is better than looking backward, after all), but DON’T do anything drastic, like overhauling your life. Joining every single dating website (and downloading dating apps), buying a whole new wardrobe and signing up for the next casting of The Bachelor is excessive, FYI.

DO turn the negative (read: a recent break up) into a positive. It turns out angst is great fuel for creativity, so find a way to channel it. Hey, it worked for Adele, didn’t it?

DON’T be a cliche. The idea of the embittered single female – or in rare cases, male – isn’t amusing, it’s just plain angry. Please avoid blasting “F*%k You” music or going to see a midnight showing of Carrie, it’s not helping your cause (or making the rest of us look good).

For both:

DON’T sext half naked (or worse) pictures of yourself to anyone, whether you’re in a relationship or not. Have we learned nothing from Anthony Weiner, people?

But DO spread the love. Remember how much fun Valentine’s Day was as a kid? You don’t have to write tiny cards to all of your coworkers, but dropping Hershey’s Kisses or conversation hearts on your neighbor’s desk is fun way to be nostalgic. Everybody loves a little kitsch once in a while, right?

And there you have it, Miss Wingman’s take on this hot button holiday. Sure, some may hate Valentine’s Day because it, following closely on the heels of the other dreaded singles holiday, New Year’s Eve, provides the one-two punch we can’t avoid. It’s like a tandem assault-by-calendar, if you choose to view it that way. But I’d prefer to think of it as just another opportunity to make someone else smile – and there’s nothing wrong with that. And, if you still can’t get behind it, just know that your own Valentine’s misery is probably nothing compared to this guy’s. My love to you all, today and always.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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THE BOYFRIEND’S GUIDE TO TELEVISION: ROUND 2 – THE BACHELOR

The last time we met, I took you through the finer points of the male-repellent Fox hit “Glee.” This time around, gentlemen, I promise that your girlfriend/wife-inflicted television torture won’t involve any singing or dancing…at least not intentionally, we hope.

Since this round of pop culture Cliffs Notes has to do with latest installment of “The Bachelor” (therefore no real plot, per say), I’ll instead provide you with five handy phrases to make her think you were paying attention. Then you’re free to send out “SOS” texts to your buddies on the sly.

Hear that? That’s the sound of your single friends NOT envying your life. Sorry, I had to, it was too easy…

For what it’s worth, being forced to watch whining, weeping girls (albeit hot ones) last night when you should’ve been watching the LSU/’Bama game is grounds for a break up, in this girl’s opinion. But, if you were watching Ben and his harem instead, you were probably thinking more WTF than BCS, and sorry to hear it, boys.

Key phrase 1: No matter what girl she’s talking about being a head case, regardless of the episode, just say, “That’s nothing! No one could ever be as crazy as that Jenna blogger girl. I’m so glad he got rid of her.” *Miss Wingman note – thanks for making us all look bad, Jenna, you just made me want to give up writing and my other X chromosome. Nice work!

Key phrase 2: If she asks what girl you think Ben will end up with, you say, “The really hot one (who’s name is Courtney, btw). He’ll ignore how mean-spirited she is because she’s a model. Guys are helpless to such power,” and then quickly assure her that she’s much prettier than Courtney. And a much better person. Chances are you’ll be 50% right.

Key phrase 3: If she says anything about Ben’s hair, just say, “It’s a good thing he has that going for him. And the wine thing, too, because he’s turning out to be one of the worst Bachelors they’ve ever had.” Sorry, Ben, sad but true. I used to be a fan…

Key phrase 4: If she says anything about the two girls who pretty much swapped teams on the first episode, nearly falling in love with each other instead of the Bachelor, just say, “Whatever, I support it. I’d rather see them in a relationship together than with Ben, he’s too boring.”

And finally, Key phrase 5: No matter what girl she’s talking about, whether it’s during a rose ceremony, group date, etc. if she asks you anything – any question at all – just say, “I’m sorry what? I didn’t hear you, I was too distracted by Blakeley’s boobs.” I know you’re thinking that will make your woman mad (or make you look like a pig) but trust me, it won’t. I’m not even into breasts and even I can’t look away, it’s borderline uncomfortable.

The only other things you should know about this season are that the girl who rode in on the horse the first night and the model hate each other, everyone hates the girl who brought her grandma onto the show, and Chris Harrison and Ben keep dressing alike. That’s it, in a nutshell. But if I were you I’d make a point of being conspicuously absent on Monday nights (read: watching football/basketball/hockey somewhere far away) to preserve what little testosterone you have left. And for that, you have ABC to thank.ETIQUETTE WINGMAN

Have a show you’d like me to decode? I take requests! Misswingman@gmail.com, get involved.

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