Friday, February 24, 2012

Me Time

I was just telling my coworkers yesterday that I’m always coming up with ideas, and then finding out that someone else just did it.

Being alone scares a lot of people. You start talking to yourself, dinners come out of a can, you begin lurking on acquaintances’ Facebook pages and mentally high-fiving that awkward girl that somehow got it together and is doing really well with her good-looking husband and new baby. It’s scary.

But it’s also Me Time. You let your neuroticism get out of control, and no one is there to judge. I read aloud in a British accent because it sounds nice. But then I'll have read pages that way, and forgot to actually pay attention to what I read, so I always end up going back and rereading. Or I don’t pick up the hair I shed on my bathroom floor for days. My hair is long, and I shed a lot—it’s pretty gross. And I go on cleaning binges. I’ve crawled across my cream-colored carpeted floor, picking up individual hairs. Again, I shed a lot. And I’ve been doing the carpet thing since high school. I also like to draw without my glasses or contacts and then look at what I created. Someone might think I have schizophrenia if they looked at those pictures.

I surveyed my friends with the same question, and this is why I love them:
  • SAK: Power ballads--I am like, who is that, Beyonce or me singing? Facemask time, plucking those unsightly hairs you don't want anyone to know you have. And I walk around in my heels to see if I look sexier in them, usually in my underwear, or I put on my favorite ones I don't get to wear that much.
  • LR: Apply dramatic makeup that I would never wear in the outside world in a million years. I go way overboard--total tranny. Especially with the eyeliner--a Persian tranny.
  • CD: Video games where I kill people. Yes, killing. In the past, clean my shoes with an old toothbrush.
  • NS: Vegging out and reading a book, or just vegging out, period. And secret McDonald’s and ice cream dinners. Oh, and watching mindless and trashy rom coms.
  • MS: Oh God, so many things. Watch rom coms, put on my zit cream, eat a roll of cookie dough, and maybe listen to David Gray and cry. And I drink wine out of the bottle and put on my cow shaped slippers.
  • NF: I talk to my dog, wear my lesbian socks, and tight pants.
  • ML: Farting unapologetically and eating Nutella out of the jar with my fingers (but I do that with K too).
  • RL: Talking to the tv—“oh snap, no you didn't!", air drum—hardcore style, and I use the bathroom with the door open. (M: he does that anyways)
  • BT: I make weird faces in the mirror to try and make a face that doesn't look like me anymore, but not in a silly way, just naturally a different person. I find that drastically different lip-formations can really change who you are.
I wouldn’t give up Me Time for anything. It makes me who I am. And as my wise and beautiful sister-friend, Sabiha, said, “If you can learn to be happy and content alone and doing your own thing, you can def be happier with someone else.”

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Corollary Study*

My love life amuses my friends to the degree that they have plans to write scripts based on it for sitcoms. We aren’t sure of the evolution quite yet; whether the TV show will come first, then movie (ex: Sex and the City) or vice versa (ex: Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

Anyway, I bring this up to explain why I have given up on the dating scene. Meena told me that I give more attention to puppies on the sidewalk than I do to potential men. This is true. I just don’t have the energy, patience, stamina, or cutthroat competitive drive. You see, I conducted a non-scientific, data-poor, assumption-based study, relying on prejudiced observation and hearsay. And because I’m certain the greater public will benefit from such groundbreaking work, I present my findings below. Feel free to leave your feedback and thoughts before I submit this to the New England Journal of Medicine. I will list you as an Editor. (Special thanks to Ham N. Sargento, MD, L. Lee, PhD, MBA, MSW, DrPH, and Leana Men, Esq., BAMF)

Will my penchant to pounce on seemingly available men increase the longer that I am single?

Research and Methods:
  • Observations from “Girls Night Out,” both as a participant and third-party bystander 
  • 11,028 hours over 4.7 years of G-chat conversations with expert testimony and analysis from lots of women, and some men “for the male point of view”
Duration of singledom directly correlates to aggression displayed during flirting.

One evening I went out with a group of girls, most of whom I did not know and met for the first time, to a sportsball event. The average age was 30 (95% CI, 27 to 33). I, and my close friend—we’ll call her “Sheena”—got down to business and left the larger group immediately to locate food and beverages. When we returned, I was surprised to see that our group of 7 increased to 12. Upon entering the sportsball stadium, the others in the group focused their attention on gathering men. For the remainder of the outing, while Sheena and I concentrated on beasting garlic fries, the other members of our group displayed impressive flirting skills, drawing in increasing numbers of men. At any given time, each girl was in sermone(1) with a man. When one stopped to catch a breath, another swooped in and diverted attention away from the first.

On a separate occasion, several friends gathered together to celebrate a birthday. As the evening progressed, an auxiliary friend joined the group. I began to notice how this latecomer was handsome and brought this to the attention of others in the group. When the group turned to affirm my observation, we saw that “Charlotte” (age 34) was already on it. Upon relocating to a second venue, Charlotte disappeared with the boy, who later reemerged flushed and bewildered; she smiling. We did not ask questions.

The first example shows that in order to separate oneself from a group, girls will and must out-flirt each other when surrounded by competition. Moreover, catching male attention must be the first priority, especially in a sportsball setting. You should not allow yourself to be distracted by other interests, such as food.

The second example illustrates that as you grow older, the orbitofrontal region of the brain, which plays a role in making appropriate social responses (particularly in situations involving fear and aggression), evolves to shed any sense of hesitation. This gives the older brain a clear advantage when responding to even the slightest detection of an attractive man.

The hypothesis is correct. As one ages, they become increasingly aggressive in their tactics to capture attention. However, this has led the author to the realization of a Dating Catch 22: the more aggression you display, the more likely you are to scare off potential mates. The increasing frequency with which this occurs, the longer you are single. Aggressive girls get the action, but not the man.

The author is not saying that aggressive behavior in females is negative. I, myself, have aggressively lurked on a few occasions. However, I have agreed to “reign in the crazy,” and will therefore retire such behavior.

*Names and events changed to protect the identity of the study subjects, as no forms of informed consent were obtained prior to this study.
(1) conversating

Friday, February 3, 2012


OECD (2011), Society at a Glance – OECD Social Indicators
  • People in the United States spend only 30 minutes per day on average cooking, the lowest in the OECD, as well as spending low amounts of time eating (1 hour 14 minutes per day, the third lowest in the OECD). But one third of Americans are obese, the highest rate in the OECD.
  • (As of 2007)  At $31,000, the United States has the second highest household income after taxes and benefits in the OECD, after Luxembourg. But US income is distributed relatively unequally, with both the fourth highest rate of income inequality and relative poverty (17.3% of people poor compared to an OECD average of 11.1%) in the OECD.
  • While the United States is often considered a country of immigrants and has 13.7% of its population foreign born, 11 out of 34 OECD countries have a higher foreign-born population share.
  • People in the United States have a life expectancy of 77.9 years, lower than the OECD average of 79.3 years, despite having the highest public and private spending on health at 16% of GDP,  considerably higher than the OECD average of 9%.
  • The United States leads the OECD in citizens volunteering time, giving money, and helping strangers. 60% of Americans undertook such activities in the previous month, compared to an OECD average of 39%.