Kinda Like a Blind Conga Line

Somehow it has entirely escaped me, the most obvious rule of single living. That is: she who takes dating advice from her single girlfriends is exemplifying "blind leading the blind". Lately I'm realizing that I need to rustle up the advice I take from my MARRIED girlfriends. Or at least those who have boyfriends or, in many cases, the 3+ date sequence. My terminal daters, while lovely human beings, may *not* be optimal for doling out advice. I mean, you ask Paula Deen for her recipes, not Kate Bosworth, right?

Married friends feel they become irrelevant after they nuptualize-themselves away from Saturday nights spent getting all dressed up for nothing. They listen to our dating stories and feel like they don't have a full grasp of what we're going through (we=single people, because yes, I speak for them ALL). But you do remember. We just forget to ask you!

We usually just ask each other. Part of it is that sometimes it feels like if you talk with a single friend, you both learn from it. It's one of those rare conversations where it's about you but the other person feels like they get something out of it, more than just waiting for their turn to talk. Everyone can learn!

But problems exist with the current state of affairs. One such problem that needs to be highlighted (and I may even be guilty of?) is the Membership Obstacle. Which is: you kinda need a quorum in order for being single to still be cool. If everyone is coupled off except you, then you become the creepy aunt-uncle. You become the third (or thirteenth) wheel. So while you want your friends to be happy, you don't want them to be TOO happy, ie. married/dating/disappeared. Or you want *just enough* of them to be happily paired off that you still have a pool of people to choose from when making your plans for this weekend. So while we all do our best to avoid being selfish, the undercurrent of mixed motives is there.

Secondly, when the dating banter begins, we quickly forget that our single friend has his/her own set of criteria. It's probably part of why he or she is still single- they have the laundry list and hasn't found the guy who fits it all. And when she gives you advice, she is probably superimposing HER lengthy list on YOUR lengthy list. So now instead of me looking for just a guy who is "Teva-averse", I need to look for a guy who is "Teva-averse" (for me) AS WELL AS "no prominent forehead veins". Veins might be fine for me but my friend will have a bias upon finding out my beloved sports them. Just like if she brings her Mr. Perfect in front of me and he's rocking socks with Tevas, I'm going to give her advice based on the fact that I'm a mandal (man-sandal)-hater, even though she didn't ask. We operate from the mindset we're in.

Likewise, we might approve of funky behaviors just because we do them too and by ratifying another person doing it, we are therefore more normal than ever. I'd insert an example here, but it would be too self-incriminating.

Those are just a few of the problem points with our current single-conferencing behavior. I'm sure there are many more I'm not even aware of because I'm so freakin entrenched in them.

When you take a step back, you suddenly realize that singles advising each other is a truly weird phenomenon. In no other world would a rookie ask another rookie. It's the same reason athletes are coached by guys with championship rings and not some beer-bellied guy in his armchair with Cheetos breath. Everyone has an opinion, sure, but you gotta be smart about whose you take.

I think this really brings it back to my new Sex and the City Theorem. If the girls didn't brunch and dissect things every single weekend, if they didn't call each other after every hookup, date, or night out, would things have been different? Would Miranda give a guy the time of day if Carrie wasn't there to roll her eyes to? Would they possibly have dated more if they spent a LITTLE less time having a lunch of estrogen with a side salad?

Guys always say that women are hard to approach in groups at the bar. And now I'm wondering if this is part of it. Maybe by talking amongst ourselves we end up focusing on the wrong things. And more to the point, maybe we make ourselves "exponentially single" by hanging out in flocks.

I'm still working out my thoughts on this (and awaiting Jon's), but I have to admit: Lately, when I need some guy advice or just a dating pep talk, I find myself dialing the houses with kids running around in the background a little more often. And if the mom isn't home, the kid probably knows more than me anyhow, so let's chat.

Julie, Julia, and Lilly.

Well I saw the movie I've been waiting for. There was a summer of absolutely nothing interesting in theaters and then suddenly they're coming at me all at once- Julie & Julia, Time Traveler's Wife, 500 Days of Summer, The Cove. So much to see that it makes a girl consider getting a part-time job at a movie theater.

Before I go any further I have to confess that I'm listening to The [London] Royal Symphony Orchestra play the best of George Michael. I don't confess so much to get this off my chest as I do to let people know that such a masterpiece exists. Ha.

So something about seeing this movie tonight inspired creativity in me that just hasn't been there in too long. I rushed first to the grocery store (where, granted, I bought a box of mac and cheese that I've just polished off) and then home to my computer. OH, wait, duh. She's a blogger. So it's not just creativity but also a reminder that I have a barely-watered blog that is withering away out here. So for all four readers, howdy!

What is it about this movie that is so freaking feel-good? I honestly could have done without the Julie half of it. She was irritating and self-centered and the redeeming side wasn't really there for me. If it had been played by anyone but Amy Adams, I think my annoyance would hae peaked, but they picked someone likeable, which was key. But Meryl Streep, man, she's something else. It goes beyond good acting. Susie leaned over and asked me if she ever makes bad, unwatchable movies. And before I could bring up Mamma Mia (which I personally liked but thought Susie would find unwatchable) she said "I even watched her sing Abba and I liked her". So the reasonable conclusion is that she's an acting goddess.

I was trying to think of what makes for a good movie today. Certainly good acting counts, but in general I think the rule is much like a good book- if you can make someone care about something they never normally would, you have been successful in making a good film. I had never thought twice about Julia Child or the art of French cooking in particular, but now I'm fascinated (as is the rest of the country).

I wondered if there was a similar task I could undertake- to do such-and-such within a year and write about it, but I really don't know what that would be. I mean, I basically already do what interests me and avoid what doesn't. Right now I'm on a 60 day nonstop workout challenge, but who wants to hear about that? (not me) I need some new endeavor unlike anything else I've ever done in my life. Maybe I should just aim to try 100 recipes in the next year. That would be something, but I'd just wanna eat it, not write about it. BOOORING. (also, i have no problem with cooking, it's the grocery portion that bugs, or specifically, the lugging it upstairs). Anyhow, it's cool that she had a great idea and did well with it. It all wraps up nicely in the film for both ladies, and life so rarely does. The perfect matinee fare.

In other news, during my grocery trip today I officially avoided someone. When did San Diego become so small that I have to duck for cover? The only other time I've done that was when a guy I'd been emailing with on Match was at the grocery store (apparently grocery stores are not for me). I was pretty sure it was him and GO FIGURE (this stuff only happens to me) that I had just gotten out of my sweatiest-ever Bikram session. I went to the grocery store straight after (which I never do), one in a part of town I rarely shop in, and to the most ghetto one possible. And there I look up and have this moment of recognition with someone I absolutely do NOT want to be recognized by. I mean, seriously, what freakin dating gods have I so pissed off that only after 90 minutes in a room of 105 degrees will they let me run into a cute boy? And especially one I almost have a chance with! (the guy and i went on our date as scheduled, said nothing about it, and were mutual disinterested. I live with the fiction that I look so good when I'm dressed up that I can have zero resemblance to post-gymus-lillyus)

As for tonight's game of Hide and Seek, I have no particular reason to avoid this person but he's given off a bit of an Ahole vibe and I didn't feel like being super friendly when I was in happy Julia Child land. He just moved to town and I haven't technically seen him in some 14 years but I've heard. I was so frozen with indecision about whether to walk forward and say hi/reintroduce myself or to turn that if he is at ALL observant I was probably peeped out. I was perched like a greeter at the entrance. But who knows. I figure that your parents can make you be nice to people when you're a kid, but when you're 31 and there's a whole world out there, you don't have to.

Well, the mac n cheese coma (ok, and 5 of those freaking delicious Paul Newman healthy oreos. someone please take them OUT of my house) is fading. Time to put in my workout for the day... until I think of a better road to fame and fortune.

And in a final note of complete humiliation, I just posted this to my company's website. OOOOPS.