Congratulations—you’ve found another human being who wants to spend all his time and money and sex with you! Now don’t screw it up.
Don’t become crazy girl until there is a reason to become crazy girl. Look, if there’s anyone who has little to no faith in the male population, it’s me. But that doesn’t mean you need to proactively seek out their flaws and lies. Believe me, boys do an excellent job all on their own messing up a good thing. So until you witness him grabbing another girl’s bottom right in front of you, put a lid on your crazy.
Eat so much good food. The number one perk of having a boo is having a partner in eating. Brunch all the time. Cook all the time. Shower each other with treats. Get really, really fat and happy together. At least in the beginning. Then you can start bonding over exercise, or break up, or something.
Do stuff. The number two perk of having a boo is having an activity partner. I can’t tell you how easy it is to just wallow on a couch with your roommate all weekend marathoning Breaking Amish when you’re single, so use your boo as an excuse to get the fuck up. Not only will you feel super cultured from all the museums and shows you go to, but you’ll also have something more interesting to talk about at brunch than obscure reality shows on TLC. Oh also bonding. Yeah, bonding is important.
Be sweet. The best way to get sweetness is to give it. But then it’s like something something don’t give things expecting something in return, selflessness, blah blah. If you figure out how that works LET ME KNOW.
Scrump it out. Well, scrumping and then maybe talking through your problems like grownup human beings. It’s the best way to solve a fight, especially if the fight is about a certain lack of scrump and “growing apart” or whatever people call it.
Things to be honest about: Money, the deal with your ex, commitment issues, dessert preference, employment status.
Things to not be honest about: Poop, your number, that annoying thing his friend said, jealousy, toot suppression.
I have some very strict (but okay sometimes I always break them) rules for dating when you don’t have a serious boo-thing. It’s a cruel, cruel world out there, and a lady has to maintain her sanity.
No gifts. The most awkward thing is when you met a boy on the Tinders and two weeks later you’ve been on three dates, but WAIT it’s his birthday! Like what the fuck are you supposed to do with that? Send cupcakes to his office? NO. Buy him a tie? NO. Don’t give him anything except a suuuuper casual “happy birthday” text with the appropriate number of emojis. Too-soon gifts suck because the boy is either secretly (or not secretly) weirded out, or not adequately appreciative of the gesture. Let him give you all the gifts he wants, but you save that mess for a boyfriend.
A toothbrush means nothing. Just because a boy buys a toothbrush for you at his apartment or leaves one at yours does not mean y’all are going to be spending your Saturdays at Ikea any time soon. It means he likes a clean mouth to kiss. And let’s be honest, morning time loving is always better without morning breath. So if he falls of the face of the earth, save your “BUT HE BOUGHT ME A TOOTHBRUSH” monologue for someone else.
Most things mean nothing. Like meeting parents/family, becoming friends with his friends, GIRLS marathons, Instagram likes, brunch, article sharing, dieting together, and vacations. Men can fake entire relationships, remember?
Tell him what you like. A boy needs to know what kind of food you like to eat, what music you hate, and which activities you’re down for. Otherwise you’ll end up committing to a bike-n-brunch (which is just as miserable as it sounds). Same goes for the bedroom. If it’s casual and infrequent, it’d better be what you want.
Do not like him more than he likes you. In fact, don’t even like him as much as he likes you. I can’t tell you exactly how to do this, since I’m 100% sure I’ve never been successful, but for the love of god save yourselves! Maybe be a little mean? Don’t answer texts right away? Date at least 3 boys at once? I DON’T KNOW. Just don’t like him more, okay!
It’s totally fine to want to stay single forever. If you want to spend all you time and money browsing Apartment Therapy home tours and making your apartment totally rad, then GET IT GIRL. There are probably only like five men in the whole world who are worthy to step into your apartment anyway, and one of them is President Obama and I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t come to Bushwick. So yeah, nest away and let a boy love on you every month or so, no strings attached.
When I moved to New York in May 2011, a freshly-graduated 22-year old with a pep in my step and a song in my heart, I did not know what I was getting myself into. But you couldn’t have told me that. No, I fancied myself a woman of the world, unfazed by the big city and too ready to eat up all its foods, drink all its wine, and date all its boys.
I was a hungry little blonde fool though, and as a result I spent most of my first year here in a perpetual financial—and literal—hangover. So had I been the kind of 22-year old who took advice, here’s what someone should have told me.
You can say no, but mostly say yes.
There are a million things to do, dates to go on, and experiences to feel in the city. You have to do as many of them as you can, but when you need a break, take one.Then put your eyeliner back on, and get out there again.
Don’t move to the East Village.
And do not pay more than $1,000/month for your first apartment(s). Unless you’re making bank or someone else is funding your extravagant lifestyle, rent within your means. There are plenty of cool, safe places to live in Brooklyn. Do not be afraid because you’ve never seen them on TV or in a movie.
If there’s a way to make something seem hilarious rather than sad, make it seem hilarious.
Most of your dates will be terrible. But is there anything funnier than a bad date? Most certainly not. You will be poor and fat from all the brunch, but isn’t it supremely uproarious that you can’t afford baby powder to fight the chub rub? Yes. Start a blog.
Things you can save money on: a gym, groceries, cabs.
Gyms are not a good place to make friends or pick up boys. Since you’re not going to the gym, you’ll need to eat less, so no need to waste your dollas at Whole Foods. And most of the grandestadventures take place on the New York City subway. Do not deprive yourself of them because you’re lazy and want a car to haul you around like a common suburban American. Unless of course you need to avoid the walk or subway ride of shame. In that case, wipe last night’s mascara from under your eyes and hail yourself a cab, darling.
Things you must spend money on: shoes, brunch, hair products.
New York City will eat your shoes. Invest in good ones. Brunch is where the best stories are made and told. Your hair is all you have left, so take care of it, you thrifty minx.
Force everyone to visit you.
They will believe your life is far more fabulous than it actually is, and their misguided perceptions will validate your reckless decision to live in New York.
The boys will not always pay.
It doesn’t matter if they picked the restaurant, initiated the asking-out, wore a nice suit, or make six figures. When that bill comes to the table, you’d better be fully prepared to go halfsies. Example. Two months in to my relationship with New York City, I went on an OkCupid (should have known then) date with a gentleman I’ve since dubbed “Bobblehead.” I was a lowly intern at the time, and Bobblehead had invited me to a taqueria speakeasy for dinner. Silly southern belle that I am assumed that since he’d invited me, my job was to get dolled up and be charming, and his job was to pay. I realized my error when the $300 bill arrived and he asked me for my card so we could split it. I handed it to him in a margarita daze, and after narrowly escaping an embarrassing DECLINE, I survived solely on cereal from my office for the next week and a half.
So there you have it. I’d like to say it gets better, but really you just make more money and different mistakes. And you have way more fun making them.
Plenty of pep in my step on my first day of work. May 16, 2011.
It’s like Yeezus always says, sometimes when you want food, you want it NOW. I’m specifically thinking of brunch—a topic I seemingly have exhausted on this blog, but one thing you should know about me is that I do not tire easily.*
Brunch is obligatory in our apartment on weekends (Saturdays AND Sundays if we can muster the strength monies). And no matter what wayward boy or house guest has found themselves in our abode, we will brunch because we are young and wild and free, goddamnit! But it is not always easy to be young and wild and free. Brunch is a process.
First there’s the lying in bed for 1-3 hours (depending on the hangover) trying to see what our hearts are telling us re: cuisine. Do we want Mexican brunch? Fried chicken? What kind of bloody mary mood are we in today? Do we really, really need 100 pankcakes?
This discussion then migrates to the living room where we all laze about on sofas, sharing funny snaps, instas, and IRL memories from the night before. Wait—back to brunch! Where should we gooooooo? Somewhere off Bedford? Graham? Do we want to stay in Brooklyn or venture to Manhattan? BAHAHAHAHAHA, JK. We’re totally staying in Brooklyn.
This continues for another 1-2 hours (again, depending on the hangover), while the various parties, shower, dress, wallow, and continue to debate the brunch ahead.
Then when all is said and done, we select a destination. Our mouths water and bellies rumble all the way to brunch. Then we wait. And wait. And wait. Because it’s not Brooklyn brunch unless you feel like you’ve served a minor prison sentence waiting for a table. Except I don’t think they serve bloody marys in prison. But I don’t know, I could be wrong.
When the food finally comes, tears stream from our faces, our Instagrams and Vines overflow with delicious, delicious content. And when we’ve stuffed ourselves silly, swearing we’ll never eat again, we venture back into the world a little happier, a little drunker. We are ready to take on the day.
*This is actually not true. Stairs often tucker me out, and I do love a good sit.
Today I invented an acronym, kids. SDOA: Social Displays of Affection.
It’s the thing of where you have a boo (or would-be boo) and you openly boo-love all over the internets. We’ve got Vines; we’ve got tweets; we’ve got tagged FB pics; we’ve got so many instas you’d think all you ever do is brunch & boo.
SDOA is all about the @mentions—not DMs or FB chat or gchat. You wanna scream it from the platforms that you are in a boo-thing and probably eating a lot of good food and doing a lot of fun things and looking really friggin cute all the livelong day.
And before you ask, “relationship statuses” are not still a thing. Too vintage. So try-hard. SDOA is more like:
"Oh look at me being suuuuuuper casual with this bloody mary insta. Why did I tag, Brad? Umm because you can’t see because it’s a casual insta, but Brad & I are brunching and booing and drinking the shit out of these bloodys."
And it’s all hearts and likes until the boo-thing is over. That’s when things get sad and awkward, and you’re like:
"Well great my Vine is now nothing but videos of my boo-no-more frolicking in the park and washing dishes and dancing at that cool party we went to and drinking bloodys at that spot we love. Guess I’d better find some cool stuff to Vine to fill this sad boo-shaped hole in my heart."
And let’s ponder…
Are social displays of affection good? Bad? Annoying? Necessary to demonstrate your affection in our DIGITAL AGE?
Can you base an entire relationship on a shared love of bloody marys?
Do the lovers who brunch together stay together?
Should someone create a social platform where you can send all your old SDOAs to die when you’re no longer booed up?
BRB going to invent this now and become an internet millionaire.
Aside from a brief beer with an autistic gentleman, only one date came out of my 2nd round with NoWayStupid. And boy was that fun!
I was foolishly optimistic about this guy. He was tall, kinda chubby, and appeared to be a hamburger connoisseur of sorts. Check, check, and check! For our first date, he took me to brunch at Perilla in the West Village, which was amazing. I had scrimp&grits and three bloody marys. He was super charming (and paying for everything), so brunch turned into a stroll around a museum, which turned into fancy drinks, which turned into a sushi dinner.
I got the impression that he was trying to impress me by spending money, partly because he was spending so much money and partly because he kept talking about all his family’s “houses” and “cars” and “dinner parties.” But I didn’t pay much attention because, you know, I’d been drinking since 2pm.
After dinner he took me to the bench where Woody Allen and Diane Keaton sat in Manhattan. This felt painfully forced, but I endured the too-soon romance for about 10 minutes before declaring I needed to go to sleep.
All in all it wasn’t bad. Free food, decent company.
Then he tricked me into a second date.
He invited me to accompany him to the premiere of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Duh, I said yes. “Why don’t we try another date before the premiere??” he asked innocently. “Awwkay,” I said. Tricks!
We went to Mayahuel in the East Village—incredible food and drinks. Not so incredible date. Here’s how things unraveled:
We talked about our childhoods, which is always for fun early dating talk because neither person is really listening to the other. He told me about his various vacation house(s!), and asked me, “So where did you summer?”
We were eating these delicious tamales, and he spilled some of the sauce on his (I’m guessing fairly expensive) suit. He made an embarrassed face, so to lighten the mood, I sweetly said, “Aw you spilled!” and offered him my napkin. To which he replied, “No I didn’t.”
Um okay, but I totally just saw you dude.
He spent the rest of dinner awkwardly pulling his jacket over the stain to “hide” it from me. SO freaking weird.
Somehow we got back onto the subject on “summering,” and he began telling me about his family’s annual bash in the Hamptons. I was half-listening, until he dropped this bomb: “Now not to freak you out, but this party is like a big test for a girlfriend. Like if you can handle it, and my parents like you, then you’re in the family pretty much.”
I choked on my margarita.
Homeboy was full of stories that night, so he started telling me about this wild, crazy time he ate a chicken&waffles spot in LA (maybe he was trying to convince me he could also do low-brow??). Well he apparently wore basketball shorts and a t-shirt to this establishment AND—here’s the punchline—his $5,000 watch. When the waitress came to the table she allegedly remarked, “I know you’re not wearing that $5,000 watch with basketball shorts!” He then chuckled to me, “I mean what could I say?”
As he awkwardly adjusted his jacket to yet again cover up his OBVIOUS tamale stain, exposing his $5,000 watch, he said, “Oh yeah, it was actually this watch here!”
Needless to say I didn’t respond to his follow-up calls/texts/FB friend requests. And unfortunately, I was un-invited to the premiere. I hope he and his $5,000 watch had a terrific time together. Whatevs!
My love of breakfast foods dates back to my elementary school years. At least once a week, my Daddy would take my little sister and me out to a bright and early breakfast before school. Margaret Ann’s favorite spot was Evan’s Fine Foods. Here my four-year-old sister would take shots of coffee creamer while she waited for her signature dish: eggs sunny side up.
Evan’s always kinda sketched me out. Most of the clientele was ancient—seriously one time an elderly woman had a heart attack or something in the middle of her grits and eggs and had to be rushed away in an ambulance! Talk about a breakfast buzzkill. Also the silverware was greasy.
No, my spot was The Original Pancake House. Strawberry pancakes with fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream—none of that berry syrup bullshit—and bacon. The end. Seriously, I love that place so much, I used to force my high school boyfriend who lived in South Carolina to wake up extra early on Saturdays so he could get to Atlanta in time to take me out for some strawberry pancakes. I am the worst!
So when I moved to NYC—the brunch capital of the world—I knew I was in for a treat. I was also in for some real sticker shock. Really, $16 for eggs benedict? I’d better be getting unlimited mimosas for that.
But last weekend I discovered that my Whole Foods has a little restaurant on the 2nd floor with an incredible and cheap (!) brunch. I helped myself to their eggs benedict, which was bomb and only like $7.
This weekend though, I had a radical notion—why not make my own brunch?? And so I did. I made some french toast and turkey bacon, using my Daddy’s french toast recipe. No old ladies or greasy forks—just YUM!