I’M ON A BOAT: A RUNDOWN OF ACCEPTABLE SUMMER FOOTWEAR

Fact: Women love boats. We love riding in boats, looking at boats, yacht clubs, booze cruises. You name it, we’re on board with it (literally). And since July is the prime season for sailing into her heart and dropping anchor, Miss Wingman thought it only fair to provide you with a little nautical footwear rundown.

Why? Because you should capitalize on this opportunity to put your best foot forward while it’s still seasonally appropriate. And because the only thing that can hurt your chances is what you’ve got on your feet. So take a break from swabbing the deck, raise the sails and listen up, boys.

(*Miss Wingman note: In Googling whether “swabbing the deck” is even a viable nautical term anymore, I discovered that it has an alternate meaning of the perverse sexual variety. Thanks for the traumatic new knowledge, Urban Dictionary).

You’ve heard me rant against public enemy #1, Crocs, before. And decry the offensiveness of mandals (that’s “man sandals” for the uninitiated). And I’ve grazed over the merits of Sperry’s and flip flops (both completely fine). But a new potential enemy has surfaced in my war against male footwear, and I had to share it with you.

Behold: Swims.

Am I the only one who hadn’t heard of these before? It’s recently come to my attention that someone has taken the idea of summery dude shoes to another level, and thus Swims were unleashed on the world. They’re a hybrid of aqua socks (bleh!) and loafers, and they look a little like a Tod’s driving moccasin with an entirely mesh, waterproof cloth body. Oh, and they come with laces and tassles, too… if that’s what you’re into.

As ridiculous as this sounds, I’ve been grappling with what my opinion is on these things since they were put onto my radar. So I did a little research: The Norwegian company who created Swims (or more accurately, a Norwegian guy named Johan), began by making fashion-questionable galoshes to help protect shoes during the soaking rainy season. Yes, galoshes – those things your dad wore. Or your mom, they make a truly horrifying version for women’s high heels, too (Thanks a lot, Norway).

This is a fine idea I suppose, but somehow over time they expanded the brand and began cross-pollinating water proof shoes with penny loafers, and this is where the trouble started. Though I understand the necessity for a rubber-soled shoe for men, I think I’ve finally figured out where I stand on the issue: The world did not need the Swims loafer. It has simply gone too far.

That said, I know there will be several of you who will adamantly defend these ridiculous things – just like legions of Croakies lovers came out of the woodwork after I bashed those, too. Miss Wingman is still getting photos of Croakies texted to me and email testimonials from friends who apparently love those God awful things. (PS, remind me to de-friend all of you now, thanks).

So, if you choose to ignore my purchase advice and absolutely MUST take a dip in the Swims pool, there are only a few acceptable styles and colors to choose from among the vast array they offer. I’m more pro-tassle than pro-flat front loafer, which is considerably less attractive. The lace up loafer is the least heinous style and the penny loafer is borderline, in my opinion. As for colors? Navy is nice, gray is good, and the orange, red or green? Those would even be a little bit much if you were competing in a regatta. Yikes.

Under no circumstances should males rock the white Swims – in any style. You’ve heard me say this before, but no one can pull those off. Not even a deckhand on the Love Boat. I mean it – cut that sh*t out.

You’d also do well to avoid the Charles style, but the forthcoming Helmut isn’t too terrible, from what I can tell. But if I ever spot any of you sporting the slipper Swims, I’m staging an intervention, and it won’t be pretty.

In fairness, I would never give you a full list of “Don’ts” without at least offering you some alternatives. That said, I’ve grown to appreciate a good Sperry top-sider. Recent collaborations that I love are the Sperry Top-Sider/Band of Outsiders styles and Sperry for Barneys Co-Op (a pop of color at it’s very best).

I also never find fault with flip flops, unless they’re of the Adidas, shower shoe variety – it’s not college anymore – and Cons (ahem, Converse) will always be an old school favorite of mine.

But whatever direction your footwear fetish takes you, keep in mind two things: 1) Gay men can pull off many things that straight guys cannot (look no further than length of shorts hem). Baby steps, boys, don’t try to emulate – for your own good. And 2) Remember, even if you don’t actually have a boat, that doesn’t mean you can’t use them to your girl-getting advantage. Good luck, god speed, and may the romance waters always be smooth sailing.DAPPER WINGMAN

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ONLINE DATING HORROR STORY OF THE WEEK: AM I BEING PUNK’D?

Another Friday, another chance to feel better about your own life. And to be really, really happy that you weren’t on this date. Frankly, I wasn’t sure if you guys would rise to the occasion and send me something worthy of following up last week’s All You Can Eat saga. But luckily for me, Jana from Connecticut’s heinous romantic encounter came along at the right time.

So I’ll turn the floor over to her, and thank my lucky stars that I’ve never gone out with someone who makes me wonder if I’m on a hidden camera show. If you could use a good laugh, you’re in luck. And speaking of laughs…

Eric, the attorney: “His email showed up in my inbox one day with the subject line, “hey cutie.” I should’ve known that I was in for it right then and there, but I’d hit a bit of a dry spell lately, so I responded anyway. After a week or so of emailing, he seemed normal (aside from his love of affectionate names). So, we set up a time to meet for drinks at a low key wine bar of his choosing. When I showed up, he had considerably less hair than his profile photo. (*Miss Wingman note: Balding, it’s nature’s great equalizer. Accept it or Bic it, boys, we’ve been over this).

We sat and talked for a short time about the weather, our jobs, and whatever else. It was all superficial chit chat until we ran out of the aforementioned chatter and slammed headlong into total silence. I mean it – an awkward, drawn out pause where neither of us could think of anything to say. Until he decided to fill the silence with the first thing that came to his mind, and he blurted out, “So I used to want to be a priest when I grew up…”

I choked on an ice cube. “What?” He repeated himself. Yup, this was really happening. After I questioned him at length about why any adolescent male would ever consider voluntarily giving up sex FOR LIFE, he explained that he wanted to help people. Great, now I felt bad. Then I suggested he could do it in other ways, like volunteering at a hospital, or becoming a fireman. At least firemen were allowed to have sex.

I should’ve left the awkward silence alone, because as soon as I made the joke I realized how big a mistake I’d made. Eric laughed out loud, but it was the most high-pitched, ridiculous-sounding hyena laugh I’d ever heard. And it was deafeningly loud.

Or at least it seemed that way in a quiet wine bar, because everyone turned and stared at us. I would’ve laughed myself at how any person could even make such a noise, let alone a male, since he just hit falsetto octaves only whales and dogs could detect. But I was too busy shrinking down in my chair, paralyzed with embarrassment.

Ten minutes later he did it again, this time even louder and for a longer period of time, while we were discussing an episode of “Saturday Night Live.” I shrank down even further. Oh, and he kept calling me things like “babe,” “sweetie” and “hon” all night. It was getting worse by the minute.

I know you’re probably thinking that having a bad laugh isn’t really grounds for calling it a disaster, but I swear – no amount of describing it could ever do it justice. It was a cackle straight out of a movie.

But after two hours of awkwardness so thick you could cut it with a knife, my cue to leave came when he got out of his seat and started reenacting a scene from Episode V of “Star Wars” in front of our table. With voices and sound effects. I wish I was kidding. You can’t make this stuff up – unless it’s in an episode of “Punk’d.” I begged him to stop, and then looked for the camera – he had to be messing with me. Finally, I ended up just telling him I had an early conference call in the morning and needed to head home.

He packed up his imaginary light saber, paid our bill and walked me to my car. But not before giving me one last taste of the hyena laugh while thanking our waitress. I was spared the misery of a goodnight kiss attempt, and called my best friend on the drive home. After I told her about the date, she asked if I regretted going out with him. I told her yes, but I had an even bigger regret – that I didn’t think to record the laugh on my iPhone while I had the chance. It’s OK though, I can still hear it when I want to. In my nightmares.”

Jana: So would you say it was more Paul Rubens as Pee Wee Herman, or Janice on “Friends”? Either way it’s no laughing matter (Zing!)

But seriously, I’m glad it wasn’t me on that date because I have no poker face. A few other things I wanted to address though… 1) He said he’d considered becoming a priest at one time? Maybe that has something to do with him not trying for a goodnight kiss. Consider yourself lucky, but not lucky enough to have avoided the “Star Wars” role play. Which brings me to 2) Was it at least the Darth Vader/Luke Skywalker “I’m your father” scene from The Empire Strikes Back? If you must geek out, might as well be to George Lucas’ best work.

3) Although I like your fireman suggestion, priests can have sex. Didn’t you know that? It’s just slightly more of a hassle, what with having to silence all those young boys for years afterward. (Kidding! I know, I know – in poor taste in light of the Sandusky trial, whatever). 4) I loathe cheesy terms of endearment like “sweetie” and “cutie.” Next time a relative stranger calls you one of those, remind them that women have nicknames for them, too. Only they’re a lot less affectionate.

And finally 5) I’m bummed that you didn’t have an audio file to attach with this story, but I’m more concerned that you were discussing SNL. Who watches “Saturday Night Live” anymore anyway? Next thing you’ll be telling me you watch “American Ninja Warrior,” too. Where are your standards, girl? But thanks for the story, and it sounds like you learned your lesson. For future reference, the next time you want to set up a date, make sure to do it over the phone.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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HOLD THAT THOUGHT: THE ARGUMENT FOR “I DO” vs. “I DON’T”

I have a confession to make. I give advice on finding love for a living, but I’m not sure I really believe in marriage.

Um, what?

I know. Ridiculous, right? Especially since I’m not a child of divorce. I didn’t grow up rife with daddy issues or commitment phobias. In fact, I had an exceptional marital example to emulate. My parents just celebrated their 46th wedding anniversary and they still, to this day, hold hands walking together and share a soda with two straws. It’s sickeningly solid, really.

But after reading a recent New York Times article called “Missing the Boat – A Case for Marriage,” where the author argues that she doesn’t really believe in “happily ever after” but does think there’s something to be said for the necessity of marriage, I couldn’t stop thinking about the topic.

She said marriage was necessary because having that contract made it harder for someone to walk away, and I couldn’t help but wince at that rationale. Incidentally, I think a lot of married people would wince, too. So, when I was finished ruminating on it, I arrived at the following conclusion: Sorry, Jessica Bennett, but you’ve got it all wrong.

In fairness, let me emphasize that not only was the article outstanding, but she was also unflinchingly honest – a move I respect from anyone, regardless of whether or not our ideologies align. In it, Bennett tells the story of how she turned down her boyfriend’s proposal at the age of 24 (ouch – but good for her for recognizing that she wasn’t ready), and how they somehow managed to stay together for several years afterward. Despite her publicly professing how marriage was an obsolete, broken institution. Despite her believing that it wasn’t required to have a happily ever after with someone. Despite the fact that he was devastated.

You could ride off into the sunset without the piece of paper, she swore, no one was stopping your horse to ask for documentation. It would all work out just fine in the end. She even published an anti-marriage diatribe, she was that convinced.

So it was strange that somewhere along the way, this formerly marriage-shunning female changed her mind that she did want the romance, the wedding, the big profession of love in front friends and family. Only it was too late, he never recovered from her rejection, and he left her in the end.

Sometimes we hurt people so badly that when the wound heals, they can’t allow themselves to go back there again. No matter how much we want them to, or how badly they might, too. Resentment runs deep, and if you’ve ever caused that kind of pain to someone, you know what I’m talking about. And you also know that the guilt you carry as a result of it runs even deeper.

But back to the article…Bennett’s view on marriage had somehow pivoted 180 degrees, from “it’s unnecessary” to “there’s something to be said for it” over time, which is what drove her to write the present day argument. If I’m forced to choose between the two? My opinion might not sit so well with some of you I’m afraid.

I believe her previous mindset – that you could live happily with someone for life without the marriage police hunting you down – was spot on. But this is a realization I arrived at later in life. After I’d opted off the nuptial train (or at least one that was headed down that track). After I’d seen how much harder it was than I’d anticipated to get “there” – wherever “there” was – to be in the proper mindset for marriage. After I knew in my heart that allowing someone to think that you’re ready when you’re not would’ve been much crueler and messier in the end.

If timing is working against you, however, there’s nothing more brutal than realizing you’re leaving someone you love standing at the station as you pull away. And knowing they probably won’t still be there when you return. Such is life, I suppose, but it doesn’t make it suck any less.

Which is why I believe too many people allow the momentum of their circumstances to keep them in a situation that they know isn’t right. It’s (part of the reason) why half of all marriages fail, because people don’t listen to their gut.

It’s why I’ve begun to lose count of how many of my friends are divorced, and why none of us even think twice about it anymore. “Did you hear about so and so?” we say to each other. And then as quickly as it’s brought up, it’s dismissed. No big deal, we think, moving right along…

Dating people who’re divorced is no longer such a daunting prospect as it was when we were younger, either. Now it’s a side note in someone’s characteristics list. Like being left-handed. Or a Mets fan (*Miss Wingman note: I’d rather date someone divorced with 10 kids than someone who loves the Mets, if we’re being honest).

To that end, I can literally line up all of my married friends and speculate which couples among them will stand the test of time, and who I just bought a very expensive gift for their first wedding. And I bet for the most part I’d guess correctly. Sadly, there will be more hatch marks in the latter category to come, I doubt we’ve seen the last of it (especially with all of you people cheating these days, cut that s**t out already, for real).

Which is why I say that you can have just as healthy and functional a long-term relationship with a non-spouse as you can with someone to whom you’re legally married. The piece of paper is all well and good, but I prefer that the person I end up with sticks around because he considers me the love of his life, not out of contractual obligation.

Sure, having that contract makes it harder to walk away from someone, but shouldn’t your commitment to him or her – regardless of the formality – be what makes it so hard instead? Be there because you want to, not because your vow requires it, at least that’s what I believe. And if the person still breaks their promise and decides to walk away, then maybe it wasn’t so right in the first place.

That said, I’m from a family of hardcore Catholics, so this was not an easy mentality to settle upon. I believe that marriage is a big deal because it’s a sacrament (a what? apologies for the faith specifics), thus should never be taken lightly. If you do it, you do it once and you do it right – and you fight like hell to keep working at it every day.

But not a lot of my peers seem to feel this way anymore, so I’m not sure which is outdated, my view or the institution itself. I only know that the follow through that needs to be there is waning, and that’s a damn shame.

Also, we shouldn’t be so afraid to take each other at our word. The prospect of saying to one another, “I love you. Do you love me? Good. Are you going anywhere? Good, me neither. Now sit tight,” shouldn’t incite a panic. If you really love someone, marriage can wait. We’re lucky to find our person at all, so focus on that in the meantime.

If you do choose marriage, that’s your right (well, if you’re heterosexual or live in one of the more liberal states, but don’t even get me started on how bullsh*t marriage inequality is…). If that’s what makes you happy, then you should absolutely do it. Just please don’t even consider walking down that aisle unless you’re certain that you’re ready to be a wife, not just a bride. To be a husband every day of your life, not just to placate her and then expect marriage not to be hard work.

And if you don’t see a difference between the two, then maybe that’s your answer.

In the end it all comes down to this: a ring on your finger shouldn’t give you any more validation or reassurance than not having one would. The unknown is the unknown, none of us can anticipate what life has in store. That’s just not something for which you can control. But even though it’s OK to have doubts about what life will throw at you, I’ll be damned if I’m going to have any doubts about the person I’m standing next to on the day when I say those vows. Or don’t say them, however it ends up shaking out.

Happily ever after may be an abstract, naive expectation, but being truly happy and committed isn’t. I’m beginning to sound like a broken record I fear, but if you follow your own timeline and don’t ignore your instincts, you’ll be fine. Whether you say “I do” or just “I don’t.”THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

http://youtu.be/oYGtzFKBhEI

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TRASHY WINGMAN: DARE YOU NOT TO LAUGH

It’s been a busy week here at Miss Wingman, so forgive me this short-but-sweet posting, boys. But have no fear – I promise you’ll enjoy it.

While my legs are still actively hating me after running a pretty savage road race this weekend, my funny bone is luckily still very much intact. Am I phoning it in? Maybe. But will you laugh anyway? For sure. (Um, unless you have one of these names, that is).

So just in case you needed a little levity today, check out this scene from the upcoming Mark Wahlberg, probably-mindless-but-definitely-funny movie “Ted.” I’ll admit I wasn’t dying to see this film until I saw this clip (and the extended trailer), but now I’m pretty much on the Seth McFarlane For President bandwagon – well, even more than I was before anyway. Click and enjoy, you won’t be sorry.

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ONLINE DATING HORROR STORY OF THE WEEK: THE CHAMPION

Who doesn’t love some good competitive eating every now and then? Apparently, people on dates (and for good reason). Yes in the midst of this oppressive, sweaty heat wave we’re experiencing, I couldn’t help but sweat it out for the guy who sent in this latest dating horror story.

Meet Rob, the insurance salesman from New Jersey who thought he was taking a nice girl out to dinner, but ended up being the less masculine one of the pair. While Miss Wingman loves when guys send in stories for this feature, I hope none of you encounter anything like this on a date. Ever again.

Jen, the champ: I was set up with this girl through a friend of a friend, but we both had dating profiles on the same site. So I think technically it still fits your “Online Dating Horror Story” criteria. We’d exchanged a few emails and she’d sent me a photo of herself before we decided to have dinner one Friday night. I thought she was pretty, if a bit more athletic-looking than most girls I’d dated. Our mutual friend said she was “into triathlons” and played several sports in a corporate league. I had an ex who was a soccer player, so I thought nothing of it. Game on.

She suggested a sports bar near her house, and when I walked in I saw that she’d already gotten us a booth in the back. When she stood up to say hello, I noticed that she was a lot taller than I’d expected, and almost had bigger triceps than I did. That’s hard to do, I’ve played Rugby since high school.

We exchanged some small talk and sipped our waters while the waitress brought us menus. That’s when trouble started. Our waitress mentioned that, in addition to the specials, the bar also featured a sandwich called the “Big Daddy” that, if you finished the whole thing, would earn you a free meal.

The menu described it as “a colossal stack of gooey, fried awesomeness,” which was really a cheeseburger with chicken fingers, fries and more cheese piled 8 inches high, all wrapped up on “bread” that was really a pizza folded in half. Oh and it was doused in wing sauce, too. My date turned to me and shouted, “Let’s do it!” But the waitress said it had to be eaten by only one person for it to count. I was so freaked out that she would even consider it that it didn’t even really sink in when Jen told the waitress that she’d take the challenge herself.

What the hell was happening?

As I sat there trying to process that a female had just ordered a meal on a first date that even truck drivers couldn’t take down, I glanced at our waitress who shot me back an equally surprised/sympathetic look. “It’ll be great!” Jen told me. “I can out eat almost anyone, and this way I’ll be a cheap date.” Then she high-fived me (not kidding) and asked me about what I did for a living.

I couldn’t even concentrate on what I was saying because she began picking at this enormous scab on her elbow while I was talking (*Miss Wingman note: Ew. Just…ew.) When she caught me staring she said, “Haha, yeah – isn’t it gnarly? I got it playing kickball the other day. We crushed the other team though so it’s all good.”

I would’ve been tempted to get up at this point, but that’s when they brought out the Big Daddy on this huge tray. And handed Jen a bib. Yup – a bib. She was smiling ear to ear, I was exchanging confused looks with guys around me.

Then the waitress went over and rang this cowbell thing on the wall alerting the bar that someone was taking the “Daddy Challenge” and then people started watching and coming over to stand by our table to cheer her on. Within minutes there was a full-blown chant going as Jen dove into this enormous towering pile of food. If that wasn’t bad enough, she had sauce all over her face and hands (not to mention pieces of lettuce stuck to her bib) and when I offered her a napkin to clean up, she said, “Nah what’s the point? I’ll wait til I’m done, doesn’t bother me.” Holy sh*t. I was speechless.

As it turns out, Jen DID finish the Big Daddy. And even though I was grossed out and it was the least sexy thing I’ve ever seen a girl do, I had to hand it to her. It was impressive. But when the crowd subsided and they took away her plate, she realized that someone had taken her purse while she was eating. When she panicked and told me, my first reaction was, “Wait you carry a purse?” She seemed like more of a wallet in the back pocket kind of girl.

We alerted the bar and everyone looked around, but at that point it was a lost cause (on the purse front and the date front). I offered to give her a ride home since her keys were gone, too but she said she’d rather call her roommate to bring her a spare set. I stayed with her until her friend came, but then high-tailed it out of there. As I was walking out, I heard someone let out a long, loud burp and, without even turning around, knew it was her.

Ladies, I know even jock girls need love, too, but if you want a guy to be into you, don’t spend half your date with condiments on your face. Her name is still up on the wall at the bar, by the way.

Rob: This. Is. Awesome. I mean, not the losing her bag part – that’s a stomach-sinking feeling that all women have had at one point or another and it SUCKS. But the devouring a platter of food that would make most dudes cower part is pretty outstanding, you have to admit. On one hand, the scab-picking would’ve made me bolt for the door – I’m nauseous just writing about it. But on the other hand, you have to admire a girl who was so comfortable being herself around you that it didn’t dawn on her to be self-conscious. The only one horrified was you.

And yes, even not-so-girly girls need love, too. But if ingesting 3000 calories isn’t your idea of a fun first date, I totally get it. You’ve got to hand it to her, though. She was a cheap date in the end. And it sounds like she’d be a hit at parties, too.

The next time you go out with a woman who seems like she has more testosterone than you (the next time?), bear in mind how hard it must be for jock-ish girls to find a guy who isn’t threatened by them. I guess it’d be similar to skinny, frail guys who are man pretty finding dates too. I mean, I don’t go out with guys who wear a smaller jean size than I do, but I guess that’s what they made hipster girls for… Either way, better luck next time and to Jen out there – wherever you are – consider this me sending you a chest bump. Well done, girl.THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID

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(SUMMER) GAME KILLERS THAT MAKE WOMEN CRINGE

(Taps the mic) Is this thing on?

Listen up, men of the world. Miss Wingman is all for praise and patting you on the back for having good manners, decent style or even superior pick up skills, but sometimes I have to put my foot down.

And speaking of feet, we need to talk.

Now that the mercury is rising (or more accurately, assaulting the hell out of us) there are a few things you boys need to be aware of in the grooming department. Why? Because summer is rife with opportunities for picking up women. Roof top parties, backyard barbecues, ball games, weddings, concerts – it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. So why would you voluntarily blow your chances with a girl by committing one of these highly unsavory faux pas?

You wouldn’t, at least not if I can help it.

But getting back to the feet thing – or rather, toenail thing – let’s be real here. I’m horrified that I have to write about something so vile, but apparently dudes are not getting the memo that having feet that resemble talons is highly unsexy to most females. Strike that – to all females.

Common sense dictates that if the weather is warm enough for you to ditch socks and shoes in favor of some flip flop action (*Miss Wingman note: Notice I didn’t say “sandal” action. I’m strongly anti-Mandals), then your toes will be on display for all the world to see.

So please, for the love of God, put the “man” back in “manicure” and clean your act up, boys.

Use some clippers, trim some hair, hell – even throw on some moisturizer if you’re feeling a little crazy that day. Just do some maintenance, I beg of you. I’m not suggesting you hit up a nail salon (Women judge you for that. Don’t let any of them tell you differently), but sometimes a professional is required to work that sh*t out. Do what you must, we’ll look the other way.

And if you do all that and your little piggies still look like they didn’t only go to the market, but they also got run over by an 18-wheeler on the way home, then perhaps opt for some closed-toe shoes instead. Sperry’s or Converse are a solid summer substitute.

One last thing to really nail my point home (pun intended!). This goes for fingernails, too. If I had a dollar for every time I was on the subway and I saw a guy grab the pole with fingernails so long they could only be suitable for drug sniffing, well…I wouldn’t have to take the subway, let’s just put it that way. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: no one wants to look like Wolverine, and women don’t want to date that, either (unless we’re talking about Hugh Jackman).

Onto the issue of sweating. No one’s arguing that there are few things that suck harder than being forced to wear a suit on a sweltering day. I have the utmost sympathy for corporate-types in heat waves, I assure you. But if you’re not donning your office best (or if you have a job with a particularly casual-slash-liberal dress code) take this hot weather fashion suggestion: Just wear a white T-shirt. Hear that boys? Just a plain, crisp, white tee.

Why? Because it’s classic (hey it worked for James Dean didn’t it?) but more importantly it masks your enormous sweat stains. Sure, they might still be there, but at least we can’t see them. Not a huge revelation, but an important one.

And finally – the topic of eyewear. Miss Wingman will do a full rundown of female-friendly frame styles down the road, but in the meantime just take this advice: No one should ever wear a sunglasses strap (otherwise known as Croakies). Ever. Under any circumstances. Not even if you’re a sport fisherman on the Discovery Channel.

True story: when I first started dating a former boyfriend, he owned this heinous accessory. Upon discovering it, I promptly made it disappear, and would keep hiding it every time it resurfaced. Why? Because it looks ridiculous. What are you really telling the world when you wear it, that you can’t be bothered to put your shades in your pocket when you take them off? Is the weather that blustery that they’re at risk of just flying right off your face?

My hatred of Croakies is second only to my disdain for Crocs, but I’m not alone in that sentiment. Sure there will be men among you who will plead your pro-Croakies case, but trust me on this one – we hate them.

So that’s it – warm weather wisdom for wooing women. (I should get an award for most alliteration for that sentence). I’ve sacrificed my eyesight for the greater good, but I did it out of love. Ever tried to Google image search “long fingernails”? You can’t un-see that stuff. Now kindly heed these suggestions in your pursuit of a summer romance. And remember: You should always put your best foot forward with the ladies, but there’s nothing wrong with it being a well-manicured one.DAPPER WINGMAN

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F#&@ YOU, HEAT! THE TOP 3 WAYS TO STAY COOL THIS SUMMER.

First things first – despite the ambiguous title, this is NOT a post about Game 4. Though if you’re Westbrook, you can’t seem to beat the Heat, either. (Zing! Had to, it was too easy). And this is coming from an OKC supporter, sadly. But I digress.

Ahem…where was I?

Wouldn’t it be great if summertime meant refreshing dips in the pool, breezy sail boat rides and being fanned on the beach by people with giant palm tree leaves?

(*Insert record scratch noise here*) Right. Well that’s not the world we live in, hate to burst your bubble. But, even though the official kick off of summer sometimes carries with it sticky, punishing days like today, it doesn’t mean you can’t rise above the heat. Have no fear – Miss Wingman has compiled the Top 3 Ways To Stay Cool This Summer. So peel yourself off your chair, crank the AC and grab a pencil, ’cause you might want to take notes, gentlemen.

Wingman Wipes: No, I did not make this up, but based on the name how could I NOT include this on the list? Also, this invention should be mandatory for all men in the greater New York City area…and beyond.

What are they? They’re dude-friendly wipes infused with aloe, ginseng and peppermint that you use to clean off the grime of your day before leaving the office, heading out for a date, or when things just get downright swampy. Obviously a shower is the preferred clean up method, but these will do just fine in a pinch.

They can be used to blot your face, neck, underarms, or any place you think could use a little refresher – it’s all fair game. And no, they’re not the size of the moist (ugh!) towelette you get after eating wings, they’re larger and more durable, promise.

Available for only $4 at Grooming Lounge, these wipes are the best thing to happen to wingmen since…well, me! Stock up for the work, the gym or even the beach to banish salt and sunblock buildup – they’re totally worth the investment. Trust me, women everywhere will thank you.

If that doesn’t do the trick, try cooling down from the inside, out. Even though ball park beers and happy hour specials do a decent job of staving off the heat, do yourself one better with a Frozen Cocktail All-Star Lineup.

Photo credit: Danny Kim for NY Mag

I know what you’re thinking, fruity drinks are for chicks. Erroneous! Well, mostly erroneous at least. If you order anything pink or icy any other time of year, you might get some curious glances. But in the summer you can get away with it without having to scream “DON’T JUDGE ME!” at strangers giving you the side eye.

So if a blender is your new best friend, then you’re in luck, because the folks at Grubstreet have compiled a list of the best slushie joints in the city. That’s upscale, booze-filled slushies to be clear (though the kind you drank as a kid are still stellar, in this girl’s opinion). From coconut-infused pisco sours to frozen basil lemonades, these standout joints have covered every base. Check out as many as you can on dates or just for fun. But beware of the brain freeze, boys.

And lastly, if you can’t lower your temperature, you can at least raise the volume on your iPod and distract yourself from a sticky commute by blasting some Cool Tunes For Summer.

Some music just screams sunny days, road trips or backyard BBQ to me, so why not break those bands out when the forecast beckons? Check out the following girl-friendly summer music. And if upbeat’s not your style, there’s plenty of shoe-gazing, tortured-types on Spotify or iTunes instead.

Of Monsters And Men – Psst! All you Mumford bandwagon types? These guys are better.

Fun. -  Even though they’re massively overplayed (Thanks a lot, Glee) they were still goddamn fantastic on Aim & Ignite and now Some Nights.

Cabin By The Sea – A new one in my rotation, but nothing says “summer” like ska and reggae beats

Rodrigo y Gabriela – Because they make you feel like you should be drinking Horchata

The Black Keys – Recommended for windows-down car rides

Brett Dennen – Favored by surfers, tree-huggers and optimists of all ages.

The Beach Boys – Do I really need to explain? Two words: new album.iWINGMAN

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