Get married and/or proposed to: If you’re single: If you want to meet someone in January and be married by December 31, 2011, chances are that on January 1, you will learn of their criminal record and children the person has with eight other people. Have fun with that. I hear Target and Bed Bath & Beyond have great return policies for wedding gifts. If you’re in a relationship: The guy won’t pop the question? Don’t sucker him into it to meet your deadline unless you want a life of holy matrimonial hell.

Stop using Facebook and Twitter: Get real. You know you enjoy seeing your ex of a train-wreck crash and burn every chance you get, so when you see that she's tagged in pictures where she looks like she gained a few pounds, you’re all over it. Don't lie.

Make _____ (insert celebrity) fall in love with you: Justin Bieber doesn't want to date you. You're 38. It's wrong.

Have lunch with the president: your sob story of how you're a poor kid from the projects isn't going to get you cucumber sandwiches and fruit salad with him. He wouldn't even play basketball with harmless white guys on MTV. I mean, it's not like he has a country to run or anything.

Become a celebrity: No, MTV isn't going to sign your idea of Milwaukee Shore. I can guarantee nothing exciting comes out of Milwaukee.

Stop eating sweets: Puh-lease. If my doctor told me I'd become terminally ill if I consumed another Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, I’d still do it.

Get your ex back: your ex--the one who cheated on you and is now dating the person he/she cheated on you with--will see you after you stop eating sweets and are famous and want you back. Do you hear yourself?

Record an album: Everyone thinks they are someone, just look at the Bravo network. This doesn't mean your idea of recording a mash-up of TLC and Alanis Morissette in your shower is good and should be forced upon your friends and family.

Drink less alcohol: Be honest with yourself: After your album gets terrible reviews (from your neighbors) and MTV declines your story pitch, you'll probably give in to sweets again, then with December 31 quickly approaching and no suitable spouse on the horizon, you may become an anxious Snickers eater resulting in a sudden weight gain; therefore, you turn to booze. Who are you kidding? Don’t ruin the one good thing you have going for you.

Happy New Year!
Dating Advice from a kid

This is Alec Greven, a 9-year-old ladies man who wrote a book called How to Talk to Girls.

This kid knows what's up! He is so going to have all the girls in the sandbox coming over after school to get help with their science homework!

What CAN happen when you're single

Photo by Etiam Vita

Being single is all kinds of fun--don't get me wrong, it is--but if you aren't careful, things can happen, bad things:

1. You get the “single for life” syndrome: you've been broken up with your ex for a month and because no one perfect has come along, you start muttering that you will die alone in a cold, poorly lit room with cheap carpet and your body won’t be discovered for weeks.

2. You develop weird inexcusable crushes on people who aren't even good looking like Kathy Lee Gifford and that guy who hosts Survivor.

3. You find that your TiVo has way too many Lifetime movies recorded on it or there are way too many Man vs. Food episodes. Just as long as you don’t start emulating the guy on the Food Network with the flame shirts and bleached hair, you're sort of okay.

4. You think a guy is checking you out until you realize he's looking at his girlfriend, right behind you. Cut to five minutes later, you're crying in the bathroom because you thought he might have been the one.

5. You begin to get too curious about dating sites, too curious to the point where you join one “accidentally.”

6. You start dating people that aren't anything great just because there is no one else. Shame, shame! Instead of going for an ex or someone you're not that into, try meeting new people, but not on eHarmony. If you're in your 20's and using dating sights, you need to get out more, get a library card or something.

7. You start staying home as opposed to going out all the time. This is when you really may end up being single forever because this is when you catch up on all those Lifetime movies you TiVo'd.

8. You become a slut or a man whore. Being single is great, but embracing it like it's Cher's comeback tour (as if she were never coming back again) all the time will leave you asking yourself: who is Tony and why does it say “thank you for the good time” on my hand?

9. You start to compare yourself to everyone by saying “if he can get a girlfriend, why can't I? You get envious and it eventually makes you feel like shit. Just stop.

10. You tell yourself that there's NO ONE out there. Yeah, like, totally. Because like, everyone, like, totally sucks. Everyone is a cheater, a liar, a slut, a star trekkie, whatever.

It's easy to be a victim of this list, so while you're sitting at the kiddie table because you had no "plus one" at a wedding, just be glad you aren't making shrines to Kathy Lee Gifford.
Photograph by Ellen Von Unwerth

If you're in your twenties, then you probably haven't seen Santa Claus in action since you were wearing Oshkosh.

Watching Santa Claus, Saint Nick, Chris Cringle--whatever the hell he goes by these days (you'd think he was P. Diddy with all these names)-- is not only a little voyeuristic if you don't have kids or siblings, let's be honest, but pretty frightening.

It's startling watching children scream and throw fits as they're pressed down on that old guys lap. Parents place infants on his lap as if he's going to place a hand on their head and promise a future with a high SAT score, a rich spouse and forever good looks.

What's even stranger is watching the ones who are fascinated by him. There he is, this big fat guy with a long scraggly beard that he keeps rubbing, and there they are, with twinkling eyes as if he were Mickey Mouse or Jesus.

There’s something wrong with Christmas and it starts with jolly St. Nicholas:

1. I’m certain this guy has to be on Megan's Law. He lures children with candy canes and cookies to his sleigh and then asks them to sit on his lap. This sounds like a case of Michael Jackson. Too soon?

2. I think Mrs. Claus is a total decoy like Hillary was for Bill. Why else do you think he has all those little interns, I mean, elves working for him?

3. What's up with that weird gingerbread house behind the tree? It's creepy and it's too small to be a home and too big to be a dog house. I think that's where he takes his “clients.”

4. Toy making? What kind of toys? We all know Santa doesn't bring them anyway, mom and dad do (sorry if I just ruined Christmas), so we know it’s a cover-up.

5. What's with all the stage names? He sounds like a mail-order stripper: he shows up at your house late at night in disguise with names like St. Nick or Chris Cringle while rubbing his bowl full of jelly. It's just not right, but I guess if that gets you off, by all means, carry on.

6. 20 bucks says there's a camera in his beard. He definitely video tapes his daily events and watches it in his “shop” later that night.

7. “He sees you when you’re sleeping; he knows when you’re awake.” Oh, does he? That’s not creepy at all.

8. He has a “naughty or nice” list and it doesn’t mean good vs. bad, it means gentle vs. rough.

9. Holiday traditions like mistletoe and spiking eggnog don’t sound innocent. I know he didn’t coin the mistletoe idea, but you know he’s getting his “helpers” wasted and tossing mistletoe like it’s rice at a wedding. Don’t even get me started on “snow flocking (that sounds like something that happens at a fraternity party, in a basement, on a cold night)."

10.He got caught kissing mommy underneath the mistletoe (look up song). That’s not all he’s up to.

Maybe I just don’t get it. Maybe there's some sort of gratification in watching your child scream on his lap? Is it payback for what your parents did to you? And is the picture really that worth it anyway? This stranger with rosy red cheeks is holding your six-week-old baby who’s crying and all you get is a picture that’s off-centered because the girl operating the camera is: texting, chewing gum and thinking of ways to kill herself and her parents for making her take that job.

Santa, you dirty dog, I’m onto you.
Never trust a guy who

Never trust a guy who wears too much Axe. He clearly doesn't like to use a toothbrush or deodorant and doesn't shower after the gym. Oh, don't even get me started on bad breath, how can you not smell yourself? Everyone else can.

Don't trust a guy who thinks kissing isn't cheating. If you can get herpes doing something, it's cheating.

Don't trust someone who still keeps in close contact with his ex/exes. He's not just "checking up on them." He's thinking about them naked, sexting and poking them on Facebook (and probably real life).

Don't trust a guy who says he needs to figure out his life at the moment before he makes you his girlfriend, but keeps hanging out with you and then some. Just don't. Move on because you don't have time to waste. You're only wrinkle free until you hit 30 and then it's all down hill from there. You will be sipping wine spritzers in the back of a bar while all the older men hit on your sister, who is in college.

Don't trust a guy who never carries condoms because he thinks women should handle it, he hates wearing them, he's too broke to buy any, blah blah blah. Yes, it's the 21st century and everyone should "pitch in," but jeeze, if you're having sex, be prepared and be responsible.

Don't trust a guy who is afraid of camping: dirt, bugs, peeing in public, and not showering? Who are you?

Steer clear of the guy who sends his food or drinks back all the time. He will never be satisfied.

Don't even think about hitting on the hot guy who didn't open the door for you, let you sit down when there weren't empty seats on the train or pick up your book that fell when you're hands were full. He's probably an asshole and that's not all he won't do.

Don't trust a guy who orders a bunch of drinks on your dollar. I don't know what crazed fantasy world you're living in but hearing that there's an open tab is not an invitation for your belligerence.

Never trust a guy who tells you (his girlfriend) he got a girls number when he was out with his friends. Yeah, she's totally going to help him with his thesis statement. Cough, cough.

Don't trust a guy who says he ran into an ex and is going to have dinner with her just to catch up. Unless she's his babies momma and they're discussing child support, he's for sure not going for endless soup and salad.



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