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Dear sidewalk bikers,

Okay, I get it. You're way too scared to ride your totally awesome bike in the street.

I understand why you prefer the sidewalk. I mean, its uneven pavement and occasional shrubs and bus benches are way better than the designated, paved, biker lane allotted to you in the street with other fast moving vehicles like yourself.

I understand you don't want to get sewer water on your awesome mountain bike, but do me a favor: try not to look so scared when I turn around in shock after your tire hits the back of my knee when it’s dark out and I’m alone.

You have no right to look scared. I am the innocent bystander walking, minding my own business, and trying to get to my destination hoping Michael Meyers isn't following me there.

So yeah, when I turn around suddenly because I feel like there is a "presence" creeping behind me, I am going to jump, want to stab you with my keys I keep in between each finger in case Michael Meyers follows me home or punch you in the neck.

No, I can't hear you ring your little bell on your little beach cruiser.

I am wearing headphones and I know you can see my headphones because they are the kind that are oversized and for serious music listeners who are partially deaf due to overexposure of heavy metal in their early teens.

No, I can't see you approaching me at 15 miles an hour on your fixed gear bike you just bought and don’t even know how to ride. I don't have mirrors built in.

You have no right to do that quiet, slow bike walk thing (walk while standing over bike seat), you timid sidewalk bikers do right behind me until I move out of the way.

Fuck you and your bike. Get in the street where you belong.

Not sincerely yours and no best wishes.
How important is attraction when it comes to dating?
Photo by Terry O'Neill

Hair, face, height, bone structure, eyes, teeth, lips, legs, ass, style, nose, hands, shoulders, chest, feet: these are all things we notice first in a person. Don't lie. There is no way you notice a person's passion for feeding the homeless before their perfectly coiffed hair.

A study at Long Beach State University proved a woman's chest, ass and hair are the first three things men notice in the opposite sex.

Women, on the other hand, said they notice height, eyes and feet first. I don't know about feet, I would say body structure or face over feet, but height is probably the first thing I see.

Physical attraction is what draws us to each other, but is it what keeps us drawn? Hell no. Then what is attraction anyway?

When it comes to attraction and being drawn to someone--setting the physical aside--there are theories on why people gravitate to each other.

The first is the Attraction Theory: based on attractiveness and similarity, people who are similar to us are attractive to us (this isn't similar to the 'pet owners start looking like their cat's theory').

So does this mean opposites don't attract? Maybe. I don’t recall being into someone with different interests and it working out.

Of course, you don’t want everything in common. A relationship should involve learning and teaching each other new things. A guy who is into witches and warlocks just wouldn’t work for me even if he was great in bed and the hottest thing to walk this earth.

The second is the Mere Exposure Effect: Constant exposure to someone or something will tend to produce a liking for that object (yes, you’re just an object in this thing called dating) even if the initial response was negative (aka: red flag).

I have a problem with this one. I’d like to rename this "the boredom theory."

When I think of constant exposure, I think of a person being forced to watch a documentary on the Holocaust until finally giving in and agreeing with Hitler. No.

It seems like people get bored with who is available and because we are sexual beings that yearn for companionship, we don’t wait for the right person. Instead, we date a lot of "right now’s" as opposed to "right's (which are hard to come by)."

Of course there are people who meet someone they detest and eventually end up happily every after, but speaking from my own mere exposure experiences, pay attention to those red flags and don't let persistence get the best of you.

The third is the hard-to-get-phenomenon: those who are unattainable are more desirable which probably explains my longing for Ryan Gosling.

Along with these theories, we look for someone who can satisfy our desires and expectancies in the opposite sex.

Someone who is socially attractive (a person we would like to hang out with), task oriented (driven and passionate in their work) and someone with personal qualities that reward us (sex, fun, affection, companionship and financial resources).

Physical attraction plays a large role in dating, but the bigger role is personal attraction. Good looks can only go so far.
What happens to single people on Valentines Day?

What happens to single people on Valentine’s Day? Uh, you carry on with the day? I kind of forgot about it until some guy followed me around earlier selling me his and her sweetheart dog tags. No thank you, sir.

I guess you know it’s Valentine’s Day when couples are placing their pet names for each other on 24 karat gold.

So when you’re single, and it’s February 14, you know what that means?
1. It means you’re like, way more single than you are on like, February 13 or February 15. Like, way more.

2. It means you need to get all your closest girlfriends together—or guys—and get drunk while yelling things like “yeah, fuck Valentine’s Day, fuck love, fuck together-ness and flowers and shit. I don’t like those things anyway (see: pity party and things you really care about but won't admit).”

3. It means when you’re not really dating, someone but kind of dating someone, you have to answer that awkward "what do I do?" question. Do you get a gift or take the person out? But then you might look clingy and obsessed because you aren’t really together. Do you risk looking like a jerk and just ignore February 14 because you're only sort of official?

4. It means love is shoved in your face all week on TNT, TBS, ABC Family, HBO, Showtime, Lifetime, you name it. You either sit there wishing you had John Cusack or you wonder why your current boyfriend isn’t more like him.

5. You can eat all the candy you want because who do you really have to look good for anyway?

6. Every magazine reads "Valentine’s Day survival guide" on their January covers because no one cares about your depression any other day or the fact you want to hurl yourself off a building due to loneliness.

7. You don’t lose 30 minutes of your life standing in Hallmark trying to find something that means you care about a person more on this day than other day.

8. You more money since you’re probably still in debt over Christmas and New Year’s.

Valentine's Day shouldn't be taken so seriously. It's lighthearted and kind of funny.

You can’t take any holiday—dare I call it that—seriously that involves buying your boyfriend silk boxers with emoticon hearts all over them.

I mean, I guess if you're dying for something or someone, you can always crash a second grade classroom. At least you're guaranteed 13 boys telling you you're pretty with holographic Transformers cards there--which are much cooler now than when I was in elementary school--and lots of cookies.

What does the opposite sex think about you?

Men on women and women on men
Photo by Jonathan Leder

I had the pleasure of sitting in on a group discussion about theories men have on women and women have on men.

The room was divided in half: men on one side, women on the other—granted there were far more women in the room—and we collectively came up with theories to share with the opposite sex as a group. Oddly, even though there were more women than men, it seemed as if men had much more to say.

Here are a few strong points everyone brought up.

Women on men:

Men hear, but don’t listen: sometimes the male brain seems like this: blah, blah, blah, beer; blah, blah, blah, sports; blah, blah, blah, sex. It seems like men listen to what they want and tune out the rest. Not all the time, but once you’ve gotten comfortable, it’s more apparent.

Men solve everything logically: this isn’t terrible, but men and women operate differently. Women talk. Women vent. Women talk-vent at you. We know. When said talk-vent moments occur, women aren’t prodding for answers. As you know when you try to logically fix the situation and women strike back.

Men have a hard time doing things when asked to do them as opposed to doing things when they want to do them: ah, yes. Some men are totally into working on their car, but when asked to do something simple like get the mail, they are suddenly tired, lazy, hungry, busy, sick with the flu, etc.

Men on women:

A female wants to vent, a male wants to fix (both sexes seem to have a problem with this one): a girl needs to know when to stop and who she should be venting to. It’s give and take. (Ladies, I kind of agree with this one: it’s one thing to vent about a personal problem, but when you’re just talking shit on some girl you work with, he’s hearing “blah, blah, blah and her tits are so fake, everyone in the office totally knows.” See above).

Women are too indirect: when men see something, they typically go for it or say what’s on their mind as opposed to women who say one thing but feel another leaving men to figure it out. Example: if a girl spots an attractive guy at a bar, she’s indirect about it. She smiles and makes eye contact. That is ‘come hither’ in woman speak. Men, on the other hand, are direct. If they see an attractive girl, their brain registers “me.want.girl.now.talk.must.” And so on.

Women are nurturing (enter women “awe-ing”): women have maternal instincts. When you’re having a bad day, they hold your hand or know what to say. They are comforting. Men aren’t as comforting.

Women are over-analytical: women have the tendency to take everything out of context and think too far into meaning when the meaning is literally right in front of them.

Women want build-up before sex: a lot of girls like that extra stuff before cutting to it. Men can basically just be ready whenever (rebuttal: women are chemically built different and physically need that build-up sometimes. Deal with it and be grateful you're getting some).

Women have too many double standards: women can call their friends bitches, but if a woman is being a bitch, a man could never call her that (rebuttal: if a girl is a bitch, you can break it to her softly; bonus points if you use a synonym).

When technology trumps all, dating in the 21st century


What's Modern Romance?
photo by Matt Weiner

When I say the term "modern romance" it sounds like some innovative new way of loving each other, right? Innovative in an energy-efficient-car, Peter Frampton introducing that talk box guitar sound, sort of way; too bad it's not.

Too bad it’s what our society has become: a lazy and frightened generation that likes to hide behind text messages and online profiles making us lose our ability to really communicate.

I remember the days before text messaging when most guys called to talk or ask you to … well, I would have been 13, so that meant asking me to come over after school, watch MTV Beach House and sip on Capri Suns while his mom hovered and watched Oprah on her mini TV in the kitchen. Ah, young love.

Romance was lost somewhere between MySpace and iPhones. We live in an instant gratification society that has made us emotionally shallow at times.

With emailing, texting and social networking, we’re lucky to be able to keep in touch so easily but we’re also kind of at risk of losing touch with each other.

Our generation has become so interpersonal that we can’t even talk to each other during phone sex, we sext. See my point people? Is it that bad to communicate?
So what is romance anymore, liking someone's status update and sending them electronic flowers? Of course, sending sweet nothings using our wonderful technology is fun and convenient--I am not going to totally knock it--but it diminishes what’s really important: getting to know each other.

What do we really know about each other anymore, what we all like and are fans of on Facebook? We practically know everything about a person before dating them anyway thanks to social networks. What fun is that? What do you talk about when you go to dinner, how many sugar packets are on the table?

I find it so refreshing when I meet someone who isn’t into Facebook or Twitter. I know very few men (and by few, I can hardly count them on one hand) who value old fashioned ways and I totally commend them for it.

Texting and networking are crutches; we use them to conduct the perfect sentence to that certain someone but in reality, you don’t have a thesaurus and time to think up witty conundrums in real life when you’re with that person.

The bottom line is, if you really like someone, get offline and be with them. I’m not saying you have to go buy a box of chocolate covered strawberries (this goes both ways ladies) but "if you’re not willing to sound stupid, you don’t deserve to be in love."

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