Sexless in the City.

Perhaps there is no female bonding ritual greater than watching Sex and the City with one's girlfriends and bonding through ongoing commentary and categorization. By commentary I mean (as anyone who has watched this show knows) the points at which laughter occur, at which people exclaim "What a JERK!", or mumble an "Oh my God...". You can tell a lot about a friend from these gasps and murmurs.

And categorization is of course the art of figuring out which of your friends is most like which character. This sport became formalized in a Facebook quiz, which I took, only to be told I"m a Miranda. My friends say I'm a Carrie, and hopefully after I finish my obsessive watching of the show, I will know my true identity.

For someone who loves pop culture as much as I do, it's surprising that it took me until 2007 to begin watching the show at all, and TBS edits at that! I had seen a handful of episodes before seeing the movie, so it was a mystery to me why Carrie would marry Big after all. I've borrowed the series from a friend and am now dutifully watching from the beginning so I can understand it all, working backwards, as it were. After Season One, my question is more of "why does Big put up with her needy crap?", but I know the next five will show me the light.

What I love most about the show is its slice-of-life analysis of male-female relationships. I've realized this is something every woman does, with her friends, in her journal, on her blog, but it's another story to put it into a column as beautifully and as succinctly as Carrie does. (another New Years' Resolution: write as well as Carrie Bradshaw)

Today the topic of conversation amongst my email buddies regarded the issue of "hints". Someone omitted to bring up a topic I was waiting to hear about, and he knew I was waiting for said topic to come up. So I immediately sent a missive out to my Charlotte and my Miranda to ask their opinions. Was his lack of mentioning aforementioned topic a BIG HINT to me? Should I take it personally? How could he mention subject b without mentioning subject a?

The email replies came quickly (one wonders what the effect to the American economy's productivity would be if personal email servers were shut down for a day...) And they both said the same thing: men don't make hints, women do. Men don't do subtlety. And they aren't as obsessive about the nuances of conversation and interaction as we are.

The question is, how did this happen? How did women learn the art of the hint and guys avoid it? It's not a clear line between subtle people and unsubtle people; I have very forward female friends who can drop a great hint if they want to. Do we have different communication weapons in our artillery? If so, what are guys'?

I try to think of cases in which men I know have "dropped hints", but I can't think of a one. The more I think about it, the less grey area there seems to be in men's behavior. My guy friends have often told me that a guy either likes you or he doesn't. When I ask if it can be that simple, they affirm: "If he likes you, he will make it obvious and he will go for it. If he's not going for it, he doesn't want it." (author's note: see also, "He's Just Not That Into You").

I need the guys to weigh in on this. If a guy doesn't mention something, does it mean he's just not thinking about it at all? Or do men have the same avoidance tactics we do, and just do them differently? For example, when I've tried to set up a guy with a female friend, if he doesn't mention her again, is he just not focused on the issue or is he silently rejecting her? Do they hint at all? Is it a case-by-case thing?

The good news is that today I learned that maybe everything I read as a silent dis is not so. This is good for my ego. But the bad news is that it reaffirmed the existence of my personal "window of interest". But he can blog about that one :)


I usually don't wait till New Year's to make resolutions, I'm making them constantly, but this year I did make them to coincide with Jan 1st. Here's my list, subject to change:

1. Do that health thing. You know the one -- the one where you cut sugar (my resolutions also include to not resolve to do things that are impossible such as giving up sugar completely. As long as there is peanut butter frozen yogurt, I will eat sugar. With age comes wisdom). I'm gonna eat more fruits and veggies, drink more water, try to eat at home more, etc. Right now I'm drinking cucumber-infused water that I made. It's the spa experience minus the fun.

2. Perfect my handstand. When I went to the Madonna concert a few years ago and she did those insane handstands and moved her legs around I got super jealous. This year, rather than admire that ability from a distance, I want to learn how to do it. I have no idea how I'm going to accomplish this. Personally I'm still using a wall, but yay for goals!

3. Spend more time with my girlfriends. And not in the bar-prowling way. Just time with the girls, watching silly movies or cooking or going on walks or whatever. Last year I got slammed with school and my quality time doing cheesy shit like getting sushi and watching Sex and the City reruns was minimized. I needed to take measures.

4. Read more. I know, it sounds insane. But what people don't understand is that for my job I read a ton of unpublished work, not the books on my Goodreads list. So this year I'm going to work on that. Last year I read 28 books (with some additional abandoned halfway). This year I'm going for 40. In general, just want to take time out, make a coffee (at home!) and sit and read a good book, escape to another world. Preferably one that doesn't involve a recession and mean boys.

5. Listen to music more. I realized that last year I spent most of my time that I was at home working or studying in silence. Those who have every lived near me can attest to the fact that I don't "do" silence. I like to think of it (last year) as my Black Period. I think quiet homes are creepy, and I don't want mine to be one. Unfortunately my neighbor downstairs just made it known to building management that they can hear "a pin drop" in my apartment. Sucks for you! It's the dawn of a new era. Hope ya like Madonna...

6. Take better care of my skin. There's a scene in one of my favorite movies (The Truth About Cats & Dogs) where Janeane G. has a horrible run-in with the lady at a mall makeup counter. The woman points out zillions of skin defects that our fearless heroine had not previously noticed. Last night my mirror and I reenacted that scene. SPF 75, anyone?

7. Figure out what I want to be when I grow up (self-explanatory)