Friday, June 29, 2007

Desperate Women Make Plays For Other Women's Men

THE PLAYERS:

You: Minding your own business, out with a date or a boyfriend

Him: Minding his own business and enjoying your company

Another woman (his ex-girlfriend, an overly friendly waitress, or some other miscellaneous female): Makes eye contact with only him, uses body language to shut you out, may 'accidentally' spill your drink, makes sweeping gestures with her eyeballs to suggest you're wearing hideous clothes. In extreme situations, she may mention that you're not very good-looking.

It still blows me away the way some females treat other females, yet twice in two days I've heard from women who've been harrassed by a rival for a dude's affection. If this happens to you, feel sorry for the poor idiot who thinks her life is going to improve by making a play for your date.

Whatever you do, don't challenge her. Avoid telling her to go to hell, smacking her in the head, or giving her the finger. Do not-- I repeat-- do not reduce yourself to her level. She's desperate. You're not. She's also a loser.

Blot your spilled drink. Pretend you didn't notice that the sorry creature suffers compulsions to poach other women's boyfriends to feel better about herself. Did I mention that she's a loser?

A worthwhile guy will respond to her with casual but friendly disinterest, and then you've beat her. A substandard guy will leap on her like a St. Bernard. Even if this happens, you've still beat her.

Offer the pathetic woman your seat. If he's foolish enough to return the attention of such a low caliber individual, tell her she's welcome to him.

Then do yourself a favor and hit the highway.


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Thursday, June 28, 2007

If You Want to Meet a Guy, Bring a Book

Last Friday, I described how I attracted the attention of a highly attractive fellow on the beach with my head stuck in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights.

Books are like dogs that way. They attract the attention of the opposite sex. But you don't have to feed them or clean up after them.

On a business flight a few years ago, I overheard a man start a conversation with the woman next to him about the book in her lap, One Hundred Years of Solitude. On another flight, my seatmate, an entomologist proofreading a piece entitled, "The Oviposition of the Onion Fly," inquired about the book I read, which was A Christmas Carol. Then he wistfully told me about how his mother used to read it out loud to him when he was a child.

I once lent a copy of Bright Lights, Big City to a guy I was crazy about. He read it at lunchtime on a pretty spring day in Lower Manhattan, attracting the attention of another woman who chatted him up about it. (As you can guess, that wasn't exactly my intention.)

Even though reading is considered a solitary pursuit, it certainly invites conversation. And you can absolutely learn something about a guy by the books he reads, or by the things he says about the books you read.

Reading in public as a way to meet new men beats going to clubs (they're great for dancing, not meeting), where the emphasis remains on how hot your body is and how you shake it. Unless, of course, you hate reading and prefer sensory overload that prohibits meaningful conversation of any kind. Some people do.


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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Getting Lucky Again (More Law of Attraction at Play)

In my previous post, I discussed my reasons for joining Toastmasters. I mentioned that you won't necessarily meet the man of your dreams there, but you could make a friend or business contact who'll introduce you to him.

Interestingly, last week Ronnie Ann Ryan and I had a discussion about guys who make great boyfriends. We agreed that bookworms are tops; they're passionate, interesting, interested, and, based on our experience, pretty good guys (unless, of course, the books they read include titles like How to Build Bombs With Crap From Your Parents' Basement).

I've always been attracted to bookworms like Stephen Colbert, my husband, and Phil Lesh (anybody who quotes William Blake in his autobiography is definitely a bookworm).

Today I served as Toastmaster for the first time, which means I ran most of the meeting. Unfortunately, the member who'd been assigned to serve as Table Topics Master (the sadist responsible for singling out a poor sucker to talk off the top of his head about a specific subject) didn't show.

So I came up with today's topic off the top of my head. Inspired by the grand opening of a new independent bookstore (a delightful alternative to B&N, Waldenbooks, and Borders) in my neighborhood last week, I suggested we take turns telling the group about a book that changed us.

Midway through the first respondent's presentation about her life-altering experience with The Celestine Prophecy, two guys in their 20s we'd never seen before walked into the conference room.

Asked to introduce themselves, they seemed to be the kind of fellows Ronnie Ann and I talked about. One guy in particular screamed "bookworm" with his black-rimmed glasses (behind which hid a beautiful face). Once we got him talking about his favorite book, The Pilgrim's Progress, he confirmed bookworm status.

Neither one of them were wearing wedding rings, so maybe I can endorse Toastmasters as a place where you might meet the man of your dreams. As for me, if I were single and a couple of years younger, I'd have gone for the dude with the glasses.


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Getting Lucky

Today I'll conduct my local Toastmasters meeting for the first time. In case you don't know, Toastmasters is an organization devoted to promoting leadership and public speaking skills.

I joined for two reasons: It helps me lead the networking group I started for businesswomen in my area. It also helps keep the shyness at bay.

Toastmasters is a great place to meet supportive, ambitious people. You won't necessarily meet the man of your dreams there, but you might make a friend or a business contact or two. And who knows where that'll lead?

One successful man who raves about Toastmasters is Scott Ginsberg, who's also known as "The Nametag Guy." This dude has been wandering the planet wearing a nametag 24/7 since November 2000, and it's paid off. He's made a lot of friends (his goal is to make the planet a friendlier place). He also launched a business that landed him on 20/20 a couple of weeks ago. You can check out the video right here.

While most of his fans want to to promote their businesses, Scott's advice applies to anybody looking to get lucky. It boils down to this: Meet new people and start relationships with them. (I love this guy!)

I doubt I'll ever venture out of my house wearing a nametag, but I did email Scott for permission to print the following article from his ezine. It offers brilliant tips for getting out of a rut and changing your life:

How to become the Luckiest Person You Know
By Scott Ginsberg, The Nametag Guy

1. Exponentially increase your activity level. Since November 2nd, 2000, I’ve met over 100,000 people. I also seem to be extremely lucky. Coincidence?

LUCK OUT: figure out how many people you encounter on an average day. Then triple it.

2. Don't stay at home. The best way to be in the right place at the right time is to be in a lot of places.

LUCK OUT: next time you want to sit around and surf the net, read or write, go to Starbucks or something. Increase the probability of an encounter by positioning yourself in a high-traffic area.

3. Practice strategic serendipity. It’s about preparation, observation and relaxation. This is especially important for trade shows, conferences and other high-traffic venues.

LUCK OUT: got an event coming up? Cool! Read this article called 19 Ways to be the One Person at Your Next Conference Everybody Remembers.

4. Stick yourself out there. The reason I meet so many people (and, subsequently have so many opportunities) is because a nametag is unexpected. It breaks people's patterns. It makes them wonder, "Huh?" And especially if they notice a nametag in an unexpected venue, like a concert or a wedding, they're more likely to approach me.

LUCK OUT: it's not about the nametag - it's about making the mundane memorable. Be unexpected.

Learn three more ways to become the luckiest person you know here!


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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Why You May Be Attracted to the Men You're Attracted to

This pretty decent report from Today explains a lot.


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She Attracted the Right Man (After Dating a Parade of Duds)

The trip to the Jersey Shore for my brother-in-law's 40th birthday party was worth it for numerous reasons:

1. I got to see smart, fun people I hadn't seen in years
2. I got to spend time with my cousin and her remarkable boyfriend
3. The pain in my neck I suffered as a result of recent events finally subsided
4. My ghostly offspring and I showed up on the beach, making every sunbather in the vicinity feel superior.

About my cousin and her boyfriend:

When she was in her 20s, she watched all her friends get married. Most of her siblings and cousins married. Like a lot of married people who drop their single friends, they dropped her. She soldiered on, hoping to meet the right guy, between shopping for and attending showers. For one reason or another, all relationships met dead ends.

By the time she got into her 30s, she started to feel pretty dissatisfied about life. The dating parade continued, but few of the men did it for her. If they did it for her, she didn't do it for them. She pressed on, spending time with fellows who enjoyed her hobbies of dancing and going to the theater.

I'd met several of them over the years because she brought them to my parents' house for Thanksgiving. They didn't thrill me, and they didn't thrill her.

Then, four years ago, as I hung a shower curtain in our new house, my cousin called to invite me somewhere. She mentioned that she'd been dating a podiatrist. She didn't say she was crazy about him, or that he was crazy about her, but I could hear it in her voice: This guy was different.

He's still different. Spending time at their house last weekend, I actually got a lump in my throat; their love for one another is that obvious (without being creepy).

My father called me last night to rave about the dude. Peter loves him. My aunt is crazy about him. He's successful but down to earth. He's polite. He's funny. He's easy to be around. And he loves my cousin.

If he's so great, you may ask, why hasn't he married her?

Well, it's certainly not for lack of trying. He's the love of her life, she says, but they have a good thing. Why mess it up?


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Monday, June 25, 2007

The Highway to Unhappiness

During our 4-hour trip to the Jersey Shore Saturday morning, we encountered a series of jerk drivers. You know the type: They exist solely to weave in and out of tight spaces and scare the pants off everybody else on the parkway.

I briefly--very briefly--dated such an individual in college. He liked to call himself "an offensive driver." His sister called him "Asshole."

Which is, of course, what he turned out to be.

When you're dating a guy, watch the way he drives. Decent men (those of the 'treat others as you would have them treat you' variety) don't need to prove they own the road. They don't cut people off. They resist urges to speed around blind curves. They don't zip through residential neighborhoods.

Case in point: My cousin's boyfriend drives a new Jaguar, but he's not an idiot about it. He drives it like a man, not like a 7-year-old. He lets the car speak for itself.

While this man can afford his car, a lot of people driving luxury vehicles can't. They're living on credit. Don't be impressed by cars. Actions speak much louder than possessions.

The last thing you ever want to do is end up with a guy in serious debt. A man in debt is a miserable man. He'll make you miserable, too.


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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Geek Finds Romance On the Beach

It's 5:30AM. We're packing the offspring for a trip this morning to the Jersey Shore, hoping to beat the traffic to my brother-in-law's 40th birthday bash this evening.

Since we should arrive before lunch, we'll meet my cousin on the beach and expose our blindingly white bodies. I'm not a beach person, unless it means going at night, which is another lovely story altogether.

Spent much of my adolescence and young adulthood plagued by people with a substance called melanin in their skin that caused them to crave the rays of the sun. Consequently, I suffered countless hours on the hot sand, wrapped in Levis and sweatshirts to avoid splattering like a strip of bacon.

I killed time by reading behind a pair of massive UV-repellent goggles. One time, a tall, handsome, golden, and sufficiently-muscled 21-year-old man approached not my lithe friends, who lay fetchingly in bikinis, but me: the poindexter inside a book.

He crouched down next to me. "What're you reading?" he asked.

"Wuthering Heights," I answered.

"You're kidding," he said. "I just finished Jane Eyre."

And so began a little romance. Years later, one of my bikini friends still marvels at it.

If a pasty bookworm can get the attention of a gorgeous (and well-read!) man on the beach, I guess anything can happen.


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Friday, June 22, 2007

How He Met the Woman He Is Going to Marry

Talk about the Law of Attraction.

For the past couple of days, I've been talking, thinking, and writing about online dating services like Match.com and Eharmony.

And then I got a call today from my insurance agent telling me that he'd received notice from my insurance company. They told him they planned to cancel my policy because I hadn't paid my premium, which was due June 8th (between accommodating houseguests during my father-in-law's funeral and shuttling children to end-of-year school activities, I forgot to write the check).

My insurance agent is my cousins' childhood friend, so I'm friendly with him. After we agreed that I would set up an automatic payment plan, he said, "I don't know whether the boys have told you, Terry, but I'm getting married."

"Get out!" I shrieked. "Congratulations."

(Just so you know, this guy is tall, well-employed, smart, good-looking, and funny. It's amazed me for years that nobody had ever snatched him up.)

"When's the big day?" I asked.

"We're going to elope," he said. "But she's Irish like me, so we plan a trip to Ireland early next year."

"Where did you meet?" I asked.

He paused.

"On Match.com, if you can believe it," he answered sheepishly. "You get to be my age (44), and you don't get to meet too many people otherwise."

"I know exactly what you mean," I said. Then I told him about my male friend who'd had success on Eharmony.

Now here's the best part of this guy's story:

"I'd been on Match for about a year," he continued. "And I met a lot of quality people, but nothing clicked. Then I met this woman, and I knew right away."

This guy's tenacity struck me. Honestly, if I'd endured a year's worth of lackluster dates, I'd probably drop Match.com. I'd give up. Dating the wrong people is exhausting. It's also expensive.

But not this guy. He knew what he wanted, and he held out for it. He found it. Hearing this thrilled me to no end. I just love it when people get what they're looking for.


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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Attract a Man You Can Love and Respect

I spent Father's Day at a barbecue with my in-laws. My sister-in-law's sister showed up with her fiance. She met him at work.

Turns out her fiance's sister is about to get married, too, to a guy she met on Match.com. I chimed in that a good friend of mine met his girlfriend of almost a year on Eharmony.

At that point, a fellow who overheard our conversation jumped in. "I don't believe in dating websites," he said. "It's like you're trying to buy a girlfriend or boyfriend."

The woman who met her fiance at work and I disagreed. Granted, she did meet her fiance, a guy she loves and respects, at the office. I didn't. I met my husband the old fashioned way (in a bar). I do remember being frustrated at the time because the only people I met in my day-to-day life were the same old robots at my office.

So I kept doing what I'd been doing, which was to go to bars.

But I'd set a different intention. I knew what I wanted and what I didn't want. I began to attract it (I still attracted losers, too, but I started spotting them before I got involved). I went out with a variety of guys, instead of just the type I'd previously been attracted to (and who were the source of my problems). I widened the net.

Eventually, the right guy showed up. Not only was he attracted to me, but, for for a nice change of pace, I was attracted to him, too.

When you want to meet a special person, I don't think it matters so much where you meet him as it does that you're open (I said open, not desperate) to meeting him. You might meet him in a bar, a hospital, a coffee shop, online, whatever. It helps to step out into the world every morning feeling good about yourself and knowing what you have to offer.

Also know what kind of man you want. Bring that person to life consistently in your imagination. It may sound like hocus-pocus, but it isn't. If you bring that guy to life in your mind every morning and night, you'll eventually attract a man you can respect and fall in love with.

As far as being attractive goes, even if you're not a good-looking person, you can blow a classic beauty away if you present yourself with confidence and optimism. Be an easy person to be around.

How often do you laugh, for example?

Find something to laugh about. Laughing genuinely is so attractive to other people who like to laugh. Look, life isn't easy. It's not fair, either. You want to spend it with a person who can help you see the humor in it, don't you?

Well, there's a decent guy you can love and respect who wants to spend his life with that kind of person, too.

Be that person, set your intention to meet a great guy, and get out of the house.


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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

How She Met Her Husband

Had dinner with the wife of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's great-grandson last night. She told me she met her very kind and well-off husband in a supermarket, of all places.

What's even cooler is that she was the mother of five when they met. He is six years younger than she is.

The fact that this woman found her husband in a supermarket comes as no surprise to Ronnie Ann Ryan, the author of Manifesting Mr. Right, who has been telling women that supermarkets are great places to meet men for eons.


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Monday, June 18, 2007

Men I Love (and Men I Don't)

The following men make me glad I'm female:

Stephen Colbert
Lewis Black
Jon Stewart
Phil Lesh
Paul Newman
Bob Deans

The following men make me scared I'm female:

Larry the Cable Guy
Mick Jagger
Joe Francis, the loser who founded the Girls Gone Wild video series
Phil Spector
James Woods
Jack Nicholson
Jay Leno (If I hear one more Paris-Hilton-Is-a-Whore joke I'm going to scream)


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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Dating Tip For Father's Day

If you've been emotionally or physically abused, or if you grew up in a house where nobody paid much attention to you or your feelings, you will probably attract friends and lovers who treat you the same way.

Just so you know, I'm not a shrink. I'm licensed to drive, and that's about it.

But I've noticed that people who've suffered rotten relationships in childhood tend to end up in rotten relationships as adults. If this sounds like you, you need to create in your own mind what a good relationship looks and feels like. You have to, as Wayne Dyer says, "picture the end result," and put yourself in that picture. You have to feel yourself in that picture, and you have to do it over and over again until you realize it. "Fake it 'til you make it," Steven Tyler from Aerosmith once said.

It helps to get away from people who are down on the opposite sex, who believe true love is a myth for suckers, and so on. Hang around with people who enjoy good love relationships. Absorb their good luck. It's contagious.

Recognize the fact that your past relationships weren't ideal, but don't feel sorry for yourself. Move on. Believe that the love you want and desire wants and desires you, too.

Keep at it until one morning you find yourself waking up next to a man who cherishes you the way you were meant to be cherished.


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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Should a Guy Pay For the First Date?

A couple of readers asked me this one.

I answered via my e-newsletter that, yeah, the guy should pay the first time out, only because most men will assume you're politely giving them the heave-ho if you reach into your wallet.

Unfortunately, this means that men can shoulder an unfair financial burden. So, if you're out for the first time with a guy, and you like him, let him pay. Then look him in the eye, smile sincerely, and thank him. You can say, "What do you say we let me get it next time?"

This way, he knows you like him. He knows you are not taking advantage of him (a lot of men have been burned by women who feigned interest in an effort to score free drinks, for example, although I know for a fact you are not one of them).

If he likes you, he'll call you again (don't call him; you've made your intentions known). Suggest something affordable and pick up the check.

My advice solicited a question from another reader who said she went out with a guy she met on a dating site. As she approached the register to pay for her meal at an Italian buffet, the guy, who'd already paid for his, gave her an annoyed look. He asked her if she expected him to pay.

She said this pretty much 'screamed' to her that he didn't like her even before they'd eaten lunch. She asked if I agreed. I agree. It's possible that he was protecting himself from being taken, but come on. What a turn-off!

Next.

And if he ever called again, I'd tell him thanks but no thanks.

If a guy's hitting dating sites and meeting several new women a week, it's going to get expensive if he pays for meals. If you agree to meet a fellow you met online, save yourself the trouble of a potentially awkward situation. Suggest you get together for coffee.

Then, if he turns out to be a graceless jerk who balks at paying for yours, tell the clerk you'll take it 'to go.'


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Thursday, June 14, 2007

When Are You Getting Married?

Is that the most annoying question, or what?

Wait a second. I'm wrong. It's, "Aren't you ever going to get married?"

This query tends to be posed by people who want you to believe they mean well, but if they meant well, they'd entertain the possibility that you're happy as you are and mind their own damn business.

The subtext to "Aren't you ever going to get married?" is, of course, that you must be a loser, hopelessly immature, or just so repulsive that you can't manage to attract another person to spend life with.

When I was single, I, too, had to fend off an unrelenting parade of clowns who wanted to know if I'd ever get married. I must say it required a good deal of fortitude to deal with them. After a while, I got the hang of looking an inquisitor straight in the eye and answering her question with a question.

"Why do you ask?" I'd inquire.

"Well, you're not getting any younger," came the reply.

"And neither are you," I'd say. "But I don't look quite so beaten down by life as you do now, do I?"

And that'd shut her up.

If you're getting heat to hook a live one, I beseech you to stay strong. A very good friend of mine caved into family pressure to give them the big day out, and she regretted it. Painfully regretted it. She's since divorced the guy and moved on, but she went through hell first.

Date leisurely.

If your goal is to meet and marry a wonderful person with whom you can spend a happy life, that's grand. Know what you want and hold out for it. In the meantime, don't let anybody--I don't care if it's your mother, your aunt, or the guy at the coffee truck--pressure you into picking out a china pattern before you're good and ready.

Because once you get married, whether it's to the right person or the wrong one, the same pests will come out of the woodwork to ask you, "Aren't you ever going to have a baby?"


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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Single Women Just Want to Date and Have Fun

I recommend two great resources for single women. The first is Ronnie Ann Ryan's free newsletter and her ebook, Manifesting Mr. Right, which describes how Ronnie found love after the age of 35, and how you can, too.

Sign up for Ronnie's newsletter, and you'll receive her report, "10 Reasons Why a Woman Should Never Pay on the First Date." While you're at it, you can fish around for information on the new podcast about dating I recently did with Ronnie.

The other is Eve's Society, an organization devoted to helping women shake the socially-fostered mentality that urges them to make finding a man their goal in life. Founder Keysha Whitaker's goal is for women to have fun and prosper whether a knight in shining (or newly refurbished) armor ever shows up.



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Monday, June 11, 2007

Paris Hilton Back In Jail

If you're here for dating advice, scroll down a bit. In the meantime, I have to get something off my chest.

The news media are incensed about Paris Hilton's latest statement:

"I must also say that I was shocked to see all of the attention devoted to the amount of time I would spend in jail for what I had done by the media, public and city officials. I would hope going forward that the public and the media will focus on more important things like the men and women serving our country in Iraq and other places around the world."

The plastic coifs on TV laughed their heads off. "Since when is Paris Hilton interested in international affairs?" they scoffed.

Whether Miss Hilton's concern is genuine or not is beside the point. Like her or hate her, our men and women remain in Iraq. There are more important things going on in the world besides Paris Hilton.

Try telling that to NBC. The Today Show knuckleheads followed up an in-depth segment on the girl's incarceration (featuring former Westchester County DA Jeanine Pirro and TV psychologist Dr. Keith Ablow) with breaking news about British women discovering a cure for wrinkles.


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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Dating Tips For the Shy Woman

People who meet me today can't believe I used to be freakishly shy. In fact, I spent the first part of my freshman year of high school learning how to make eye contact with other humans. Now, there are days when I'm still shy, but I've gotten better at hiding it.

Shyness is paralysis. It holds you back from getting what you deserve in life. A lot of the time, people don't even realize you're terrified of talking to them and saying the wrong thing. They just assume you're a filthy snob, and that makes things worse.

Especially if you want to meet a person to spend the rest of your life with.

If you're shy and ready to get over it, I've written an article that may help. Click here to check it out.


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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Make Them Show You the Love

Sure, you have to love yourself if you want to attract excellent men. But this helps, too: Only do business with people who love you, or at least treat you with the consideration you deserve.

This became clear to me yesterday. We've been busy with my father-in-law's wake and funeral over the past few days, which required us to eat in various restaurants. We met Peter's family for a quick bite before the wake on Thursday at the Bayside Diner, where our waiter smiled, made eye contact, and gave the impression that he wanted us to enjoy ourselves.

In Bayside yesterday, we hit another diner for lunch. Despite our attempts to engage our waiter as a human being, he didn't look up from his pad, plunked our plates on the table, and gave the impression that he couldn't care less if we got stabbed in the parking lot.

Food always tastes better when it's served with a smile, and ours hadn't been. I left the diner feeling strangely unsatisfied and unloved.

As I got to the car, I remembered an incident from a year ago at the Pig and Whistle, an Irish pub near my father's in Manhattan. A pack of regulars had lodged themselves at the bar to get roaring drunk. And they were roaring, let me tell you. You couldn't hear much besides them.

I felt uncomfortable. I'd suggested that our group go there in the first place and built the place up as a good spot for fish and chips and a pint of Guinness, but the crowd at the bar threatened to ruin the evening.

And then the manager made his way to our table. He introduced himself and asked if we were tourists enjoying our stay in New York. I told him my father and his friend lived nearby, and we'd just stopped in for dinner. He didn't apologize for the behavior of the people at the bar, but you could tell that he was concerned that they'd killed our chances for a good time. He impressed us to no end.

Face it, if we'd walked out in a huff, why should he care? The place is crowded at lunch and jammed to the rafters at dinner. He didn't need us. But he went out of his way to consider our feelings. Of course we went back. Which diner do you think I'll visit the next time I go to Bayside?

I've made it my policy to support businesses that support me, and I suggest you do the same. If your dry cleaner sneers when you ask to pick up your shirts a day early, find someone who'll do it cheerfully. Avoid supermarket checkers who delight in blasting your eggs with jumbo bottles of Tide. If you have to, wait on longer lines for better service.

Surround yourself with people who treat you as you would treat them -- in every aspect of your life.

What does this have to do with dating? It has everything to do with dating. When you expect people--even strangers-- to treat you well, you become accustomed to being treated well.

Then you attract men who treat you well.

Make sense?


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Friday, June 08, 2007

Jealousy Hurts

It gives you a big pain in your stomach, for one thing. It also repels decent men and attracts controlling jerks like a magnet.

Stop worrying about a guy's old girlfriends, the beautiful oncologist who takes care of his father, and anyone happens to be thinner than you. Never compare yourself to anybody but yourself.

When you're with a man, your attitude has to be, "I'm a great girl, and you'd be lucky to have me."


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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Are You Ready For Love?

Take this fun quiz to find out. It's an eye-opener!

I met its author, Ronnie Ann Ryan, at a meeting last January, and we've become friends. I'd read several of her articles over the years and admired her approach to men and dating. At the age of 40, she decided she was ready for lasting love, set out to get it, and succeeded. Now she's showing other women how to do it in her ebook, Manifesting Mr. Right.

Which definitely beats manifesting Mr. Wrong.

In other news, my father-in-law's wake begins tonight. The past week has been a blur of visits to and from relatives, and our house is loaded with pleasant overnight guests.

Off to iron my daughter's dress. Does she have tights without a hole in them? May have to run out and get a fresh pair.

Martha Stewart clearly doesn't live in this house!

I just heard that Paris Hilton was sprung from the pokey after doing three measly days of her sentence. Wow. Why couldn't authorities just give her community service and leave the rest of us out of it?


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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

My Problem With Isaac Mizrahi For Target

Warning: The following is another of the author's opinions on things that have absolutely nothing to do with dating. If you're here for dating advice, slide down the page a bit.

Went to Target the other day. Target is the kind of place best approached with your eyes closed. You can't help wanting everything you see. A gorgeous aqua twill party dress by Isaac Mizrahi caught my eye immediately.

I love Isaac Mizrahi. The man knows how to design for a woman's body, particularly this particular woman's imperfect body. The dress in question hung from the rack fetchingly. It spoke to me.

It said, "Terry, if you buy me, I will make you beautiful."

Standing there in my jeans that emphasize the wretched lump beneath my navel (actually, all jeans emphasize the lump beneath my navel), I knew the dress told the truth. Just like the A-line skirt I bought from the Isaac collection a couple of years ago (for, like, $24), the dress would erase all lumpenness from my physique. I would look absolutely smashing in it.

The price tag read $29. A rumble went off in my head, echoing the thundering in my heart: I - have to - have this - dress! I - have to - have this - dress!

And then a small voice said, "But Terry, you don't have any place to wear it."

And the dress countered, "But, I know you, Terry. You'll find a place to wear it."

And I thought to myself, that dress knows me better than my own mother.

So I took the dress off the rack and held it against me, like a boyfriend you love just a little bit more every time you look at him.

I picked at the label inside the dress and read the washing instructions.

I decided I could live with them.

But then I saw the dreaded words, the phrase that makes me shake down to my heels:

MADE IN CHINA.

And I knew I had to say goodbye to my beautiful dress. Because it's made in China, it's possible that somebody else's kid, maybe the same age as my kid, sat for hours upon hours without a bathroom break and perhaps a beating or two, sewing a dress that would make me feel good about myself for a couple of hours. She was paid about twenty-five cents a hour for her trouble.

I wonder why Target won't pay Americans (or fairly treated allies) to manufacture their beautiful things. I'd have paid twice or three times the price for that garment, and you would have too, if you'd seen it.

It killed me to return my beloved dress to the rack. It hated turning my back on it and walking away.

But I did it. I had to.


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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Cheating A-Rod Only Fools Himself

In the interests of full disclosure, I'm not a Yankees fan. I grew up in Flushing, New York, the home of The Mets.

But the reports about A-Rod, this professional athlete who has gained a reputation for cheating on his wife, intrigue me. This morning, Good Morning America asked why the very attractive Cynthia Rodriguez remains loyal to a man who allegedly text messages strippers from across the country when he isn't dating them.

I'll tell you what I'd do if I were married to A-Rod. I'd tell him not to let the door hit him on his way out. Yeah, I know he makes a lot of money, but who cares? Money can't buy respect, and I couldn't respect a dude who carries on like that. It's just sad.

I'd take comfort in the fact that, since strippers don't come cheap, it won't be long before A-Rod is a fat, washed-up MLB player who blew a fortune paying women who couldn't care less about him for their company. I'd very quietly shut the door, raise my child with dignity, and move on to better things.

What disturbs me most about the A-Rod drama? It perpetuates the myth that all men are compelled to cheat. In other words, Cynthia may be lovely, but she's just one woman. One woman's never enough for a major league no-neck like A-Rod.

Nonsense.

Check out this Boston Red Sox fan's fascinating take on the matter.


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Sunday, June 03, 2007

My Father-In-Law Died

Nothing to say about dating today, I'm afraid. The envelope on which I scratched some ideas disappeared during the last-minute clean-up for the onslaught of visitors we're expecting in the next couple of days (thank you, Children).

We got word that my father-in-law died on Friday, just before midnight.

My sister-in-law and her four children will be down from Canada tomorrow, my mother-in-law and brother-in-law will be on their way up from South Carolina with Peter's father's remains some time later in the week.

Peter's working overtime to finish the renovations to our main bathroom as I write.

Last night, he downloaded a boatload of Cape Breton and Irish fiddle music for the wake, along with some Enya. He loves Blood, Sweat and Tears but resisted the impulse to include "And When I Die."


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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Everybody Keep Your Clothes On

The other day someone asked me if she were a prude because she didn't feel like sleeping with some guy on their third date.

According to the box in her living room, Date 3 marks the customary kick-off for a new sexual relationship. If you're unwilling to hit the sheets with a new male by then, you may be branded a frigid loser and tossed onto the reject pile.

Guys have expressed reservations to me about this so-called rule, too. If they don't make a move by the third time out, some women accuse them of being weird or gay. But think about it: What kind of man gets into bed with women from the get-go?

Guys who think James Bond is a real person.

Guys who need to feel better about themselves.

Guys who have absolutely no self-control.

Put it this way, if a guy keeps pushing you, a virtual stranger, for sex right away, chances are he's pushing every other virtual stranger for sex right away. He probably won't make an ideal boyfriend.

I know what you're thinking. Sometimes a couple will click immediately. I do believe in love at first sight. But, most of the time after a third date, a woman doesn't even know if a guy picks his nose at traffic lights, let alone if he harbors a contagious lung disease. As for me, I would probably like to have a fair idea of a dude's hygiene practices before making serious contact. Why learn the hard way he gave up showers for well-targeted squirts of Axe Body Spray?

By the third date, you're just getting to know a person. Sure, you may be really attracted to the guy, but wouldn't you rather know that he still lives in his parents' basement before you sleep with him? Does he possess the characteristics you want in a friend? Is he worthy of your respect and admiration?

In the end, we all need a friend we can respect and admire.

When you sleep with a person you don't know, you don't know him any better afterwards. You don't really know if he likes you, or if you like him (although you may tell yourself you do to justify the sex). You don't know if he's honest, trustworthy, or kind, and he knows none of those things about you.

You're walking around with a big scary question mark in your head, and for what? Everybody keep your clothes on!


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Friday, June 01, 2007

Dressing For Dating Success

It may seem like common sense, but it's amazing how many women hit the streets in belly shirts, blouses cut waaaay low, and short shorts. Then they can't understand why they keep attracting men who make their skin crawl.

If you want to attract a decent guy, don't dress for men who subscribe to the Girls Gone Wild DVD series. (Repeat after me: Yuck.) You can be out-and-out sexy without looking like an idiot. Abbreviated clothing tends to attract men with abbreviated imaginations. You can do better than that.

If you're into preppy men, wear a collared shirt with a white skirt, bare legs, and flat sandals. Wear earrings. If you're into bikers, perhaps pair a feminine peasant blouse with a Harley belt buckle or leather pants. If you're into corporate guys, wear a dead-sexy fitted yet conservative suit and a pair of killer shoes.

Whatever you do, emphasize toes, calves, wrists, neck and ears. Squeezed up cleavage is less attractive than you may imagine, and it's catnip for perverts. A neckline that shows off your clavicle is so much sexier.

You've heard the expression, "Dress for the job you want in the long run." It's the same thing with men. Dress for the guy you want in the long run.

And you'll repel losers at the same time.


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