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More Dumpage Tips from the Secret, Closely-Guarded Girl Manual



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 NOTE: This blog post, and the previous post, are dedicated to the group of loving friends that make my studio the heaven it is. These incredibly intelligent, stomach-crunchingly funny individuals are possessed of a Zen-level patience and tolerance of my “okay, let me read THIS draft to you: I changed a syllable, so I have to read the entire thing again…” They are futon-draping, chair-grabbing, pillow-lounging folk whom my daughter calls simply “The Cool People.” Today, in particular, I send my love to Aris*, the willowy and graceful beauty who allowed me the honor of photographing her last night, preserving the rare and unique beauty she someday will know she possesses.

Let's look at The Book.

Let's look at The Book.

And Now..

(Drum Roll, Please…)

More Dumpage Tips from
The Secret, Closely-Guarded Girl Manual.

In the highs and lows following a spectacular drop from a great height, many of us make mistakes we later regret with the same shuddering horror with which we look back upon our school pictures: what was I thinking?

Clearly, you were NOT. Thinking, that is. Thinking is NOT something you will be good at for the next little while.

You have suffered what we can term an “emotional concussion.The Secret, Closely-Guarded Girl Manual provides for this, offering guidelines of what you SHOULD and SHOULD NOT do immediately after someone tells you they want nothing more to do with you.

#1: Your comprehension skills are at an all-time low right now.

Know this, embrace this, and STOP. LOOK. LISTEN. Be slow to act, and even slower to respond.

For example: when your former “significant other” tells you it’s over, they COULD mean anything from:

“I’m a: complete jackass/player/fool/commitment-phobe/blind in one eye/liar/coward/<<insert any number of possibilities here, including (I hate to break to you) Just-Not-the-Right-Fit, and Mr.-Not-Right-Now, or even – and this DOES happen, because no one is all bad, even your ex’s… I’m-a-nice-guy-and-I-see-it’s-not-working-so-I’m-letting-you-down-easy-now-instead-of-later-when-it’ll-only-be-tougher.>>

The Secret, Closely-Guarded Girl Manual, however, deeply encourages you to interpret WHATEVER is said to you, at least for now, thusly:

“You are: wonderful/fabulous/exciting/any person’s dream come true. For some reason, I’ve experienced some brain damage and cannot perceive all your unique and charming qualities, so you’d best either simply be my friend, since I could obviously use all the help I could get, or forget me entirely.”

Then – and this is the most important thing of all DO IT.

#2: Your literary skills are not what you think they might be at this vulnerable time.

So stop e-mailing all those WAY too long, really stupid, soulful volumes that belong in your diary instead.

dump-emailThere are several reasons why this is an abysmally bad idea.

Unless you are a woman, and your ex is a woman, too*, you might as well be writing: “I really want to have your baby, spend all your money, and your penis? I’ll keep that safe in my hope chest; you won’t need it anymore.” If you listen carefully after you hit the SEND button, you’ll hear the musical “beep-beep-ZOOM” of the Warner Brothers Road Runner. It’s him, running for his life.

[*N.B. – Deeply soulful, heartfelt outpourings work far better on woman-to-woman relationships, although tread carefully here; the line between deeply heartfelt and profoundly pathetic is thin indeed.]

Pouring your heart out like that, although you want to everyday, all day, several times a day, is worse than useless. It’s not that he doesn’t care – after all, if he was with you once, he certainly DOES care. THAT’S why it’s so bad.

Heartfelt outpourings make him twitchy, itchy in his own skin, guilty, and miserable. Yeah, yeah, you might initially be pulling a joyful fist down and shouting “Boo-YEAH,” but what’s really happening is this:

Who wants to feel twitchy, itchy, guilty and miserable?
Remember that weirdo with the crush on you from Starbucks a couple of months ago?
The short, creepy dude who kept staring at you and your girlfriends?
The one you guys laughed at, especially when he kept giving you free lattes, and trying to strike up a conversation, but you kept shutting him down because he was really starting to make you feel uncomfortable?

Now that’s YOU. How’s THAT for some perspective?

Suddenly, you don’t feel like sending those e-mails anymore, do ya?

#3: Mention no names, but start telling strange, cute men that you just got dumped.

Sub-tip: Do not EVER leave your house without looking your very best.

dump_flirtChances are, in your misery, if you are thin, you will have gained a few needed pounds. If you have been looking to lose a few, you have. Ergo, one delicious benefit to your agony is that you are, in all likelihood, looking better than ever.

Doll yourself up – not ridiculously so, of course. You’re not going to the grocery store in a little black dress. But instead of a tank top… maybe… throw a halter on. Show a little shoulder. Wear your nicest jeans, with some awesome shoes. Stand up straight; you look confident and thinner.

Casually mention to hunky guys that you’ve just been dumped, but be sure to say it in your most cheerful voice, with your most dazzling smile.

Guaranteed: you will be consoled, flattered, and told what an abominable half-wit he was.

Enjoy this, but TAKE NO NUMBERS. You are not ready for a new relationship; just revel in the glory of the insults he cannot hear, and the joy of hearing how wonderful you are – for you are, and soon you will be fine, and you won’t need anyone to tell you.

You’ll just know.

* Aris: Not her real name. Her real name is cooler, like she is.

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MORE secrets from The Secret, Closely-Guarded Girl Manual



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dumpFace it, it’s no fun, and we’ve all been there… unless you’re one of those who’s married your elementary school sweetheart and have no experience whatsoever with the words:

“It’s not you, it’s me…”

…which everyone (except you) knows actually mean: “It’s not you, I’m an asshole.”

There are a zillion different scenarios, which I won’t delve into here. For instance, the kind where you see it coming: he’s phoning less and less. Your stomach lurches every time you look at your cell phone and notice all the little green arrows. Huh. Every time you see his number, YOU called HIM.

Bad. Bad sign.

SO…. you start getting a little pissier each time you DO talk. HE doesn’t want to call someone who’s always pissy. Would you? Things spiral downhill from there… yet somehow… when the big fat DUMP comes…

Surprise! (was it me? what did I do? why doesn’t he want to have babies with me? wait – I don’t WANT babies. wait – was it me – wait. WHAT?) All you say, however, is just a quiet, emotionless: “Okay.” Sometimes your back stiffens and you get a little formal, and you might give him two whole words: “That’s fine.” 

The big fat LURCH in your stomach comes up– and sometimes, later, even the contents of your stomach itself.

The point is, he or she doesn’t want you anymore, despite all your brilliant qualities, your sparkling conversation, your cool emoticons, nifty predictive texting, and the Brainbone Awards gleaming on your Facebook Page.

So you’ve eaten three and a half Ben & Jerry’s Rainforest Crunch tubs. And the Family Size Bag of Fun-Size Snickers. And the loaf of toast, with Thousand Island dressing dipping sauce, when everything else was gone.

You’ve called in sick, so you could surf the Web all day. You’re struggling to resist e-mailing him, and as you’re trying to distract yourself, you find yourself on WikiHow.com, seeing if you can teach yourself how to pull off a Denial of Service Attack Hack on his web site, or if you would get caught if you learned how to program a Trojan Virus that would wipe him out of existence, or at least write your name over and over on his screensaver.

But you know, from the Secret, Closely-Guarded Girl Manual that you were handed in the cigarette-smoke filled bathrooms in school that you will not do any of these things.

It’s okay to fantasize epic revenge, of course. In fact, now’s as good a time as any: Here, I’ll help you: 

Go ahead, you can’t be judged by your thoughts, only by your actions; let’s get it out of your system, and then you’ll be free. C’mon, you can do it. You know you want to. Yeah, see? I see you smiling. 

You see him, don’t you? Old, and alone. Your picture, clasped in his bony, fragile hand, his other hand, trembling and thin, raised to his sobbing, thickly creased face. Your young, beautiful face is partially obscured by his many past tears, it is obvious. The room he is in is dark and cold, and an old, tattered blanket rests across his wheelchair. You can just barely hear his voice call your name, in a throaty voice profound with regret – then you hear the nurses behind him, whispering more loudly amongst themselves: “Poor bastard. He’s been like this for years. All he’ll ever say is her name.”

There, now. Don’t you feel better? Now, get over yourself.

NOW:

You WILL:

Stoically behave as if you do not care; it’s not as if anyone can actually HURT a superwoman such as yourself.

You WILL:

Casually toss your hair back, as if moving onto the next dance partner at the waltz, your crinoline waving around you in a graceful cloud.

You WILL:

Gently (so as not to further damage the delicate skin under your eyes) clear those dark smudgy puddles of mascara and tears, and max out your cards at the Esteé Lauder counter so you will look even MORE fabulous. You are allowed to get your eyebrows waxed, perhaps a mani-pedi, but you are NOT allowed for the next four to six months to cut your hair. You are WAY too vulnerable.

You WILL:

Embrace “THE CONCEPTS.”

  1. There are plenty of fish in the sea.
  2. He doesn’t deserve me.
  3. I was too good for him.

You will NOT:

Wander aimlessly through the 7-11, absently muttering “ASShole,” loudly enough to offend innocent passersby.

You will NOT:

Jam your car into Drive, or into Park, hard enough to do enough damage to cost you actual money, because it will most certainly not be said asshole who will be paying for it now, will it?

You will NOT:

Get dolled up and go alone to a fancy bar – or worse, a dive bar – just for the comforts of flirtation or free drinks. Do I really need to explain why THIS is a bad idea?

Don't let this happen to you.

Don't let this happen to you.

And, this bears repeating, because you WILL be sorely tempted: 
YOU WILL NOT, I repeat, NOT, CUT YOUR HAIR. Maybe – and only if a unanimous decision is approved by your closest friends – consider a color change or highlights, but ONLY IF DONE PROFESSIONALLY. 

YOU WILL:

Recall that as The Secret, Closely-Guarded Girl Manual gets scribbled over during your lifetime with jotted notes, footnotes, and Post-Its, it evolves, somehow, into the Not-So-Fucking-Secret-Mutually-Supportive-I’m-Here-For-You-Sister-Woman’s Manual, and you learn:

THE CONCEPTS are actually TRUE.

There ARE plenty of fish in the sea. The thing is, those fish are the people who really DO love you: your family, your kids, your friends – your guy friends, too, who come in really handy at a time like this – and your best girlfriends, who are AWESOME, and to whom you CAN mutter “ASShole” as loudly as you like, and they will set up a cheer squad for you, complete with pyramid.

If he’s foolish enough to dump you, he probably DIDN’T deserve you, and you WERE too good for him, so do YOURSELF a favor, and move on – it’s actually the best thing for you, because moving on, having no revenge at all, ironically turns out to be the best revenge of all –

… because men always want what they can’t have.

If you move on, have yourself a good old life, happy with yourself, you just MIGHT haunt them forever as the one that got away.

It won’t bother YOU.

You’ll be too busy fighting the rest of the fish off with a stick.

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The Not-So-Gentle Gin and Tonic.


My fave.

My fave.

My new favorite drink.

It used to be Pinot Grigio, since Chardonnay gives me kind of a headache. Pouilly-Fuissé is pouilly fabulous, but it puts too much of a hole in my wallet to be a regular thing – and hey, an artist likes a little nip now and then after a hard day’s, well, arting.

So now I have discovered – well, technically, REdiscovered, since it’s not like I never had a gin and tonic before in my life – the wonders of this clean, refreshing, and buzzy little drink.

Best of all? The little bottles of Tanqueray are VERY moderately priced, and there’s something about pouring your drink out of a flask-shaped container that makes you feel charmingly like a cross between a hobo and Dorothy Parker.

Especially if you drink enough of it.

Cheers.

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