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Feb 25, 2011

Living in DC, a mere four hours from New York City, does something funny to a girl -- it makes it not that big of a deal to go there. 

I remember my first trip to the Big Apple, when I was a wee 22-year-old and helping my friend Lara move into her Hell's Kitchen apartment from her beautiful row house in San Francisco.  I was interning at Atlanta Magazine and wasn't taking any classes, so I struck a deal with my editor that while all the other interns took off on the same spring break week, I'd take on all their workloads if I could get 10 days off in April.  They quickly said yes, thrilled they wouldn't have to fact check all those articles themselves.

Upon arrival I had stars in my eyes -- the big buildings, the bright lights, the historic landmarks, the celebrities (a guy in a Madonna video and the owner of American Apparel were my sightings)...it was everything I was hoping my future would hold at that moment in time. 

Fast forward seven years...

Lara and her boyfriend, Matt, finally decided to tie the knot, so K and I headed up for her bachelorette weekend.  We hadn't been since our last trip to see Lara, and I had decided not to even try to fit in fashion-wise this time.  I played it safe with my favorite gray cardigan, a cream, satin trimmed cami, pearls, dark boot cut jeans, and black flats. 

"When did you become so conservative?" K asked me on the drive up. 

"I don't. Know."  I mean, really, what had happened to me?  I used to be a little fashionista, wearing bright colors, loud patterns, lots of sparkly things, and loving the attention that came with it.  But somewhere between working in a federal building and living in DC, I guess I just gave up. 

It's not that DC is so conservative.  I mean, it is, but not everywhere, and not as much as people who don't live in DC would think.  I hear DC Fashion Week is a kind of a disaster, but generally I think the fashion here -- at least in the U Street Corridor/Dupont/Logan Circle areas (read: hipster) -- is pretty forward.  Let's not kid ourselves, it's no New York (which I would be quickly reminded of later that day), but it's not all navy blue suits, either.

Even so, K and I discussed how much more we like DC than New York on the way up.  DC is cleaner, not as crowded, much less fear of bed bugs...but as soon as we saw this:


...you better believe we started blasting this:



As we made our way through the Holland Tunnel toward the Lower East Side, suddenly we were 22-year-old, starstruck girls again.  You can reason all you want, but there's just something about New York that takes your breath away.  We ogled the tall buildings while doing our best hip hop car dancing, laughing the whole time. 

Miraculously we found a parking spot right in front of Lara's apartment.

"You better thank the Lord," I told K, "because that was clearly divine intervention."

This was doubly true because K did not bring a coat, thinking New York might possibly be as warm as DC (this was right after our faux spring last week). 

We lugged our stuff inside (and Noli -- her first time to NYC!) and were greeted by the bride-to-be who was in a rush to get ready for the party.  First order of business: mani/pedis!  Lara was trying to make boot cut capris with boots work and I quickly vetoed that idea, so instead she went with electric blue leggings with boots, a mushroom t-shirt with a pink and gray backless top over that, a khaki butt coverer (cannot be described as a skirt because it just wasn't), topped off with a turquoise knit cap. 

[Insert your confusion here].  Exactly.  You won't see that in DC!

We cabbed over to the salon, where the Coach Poppy model gets her nails done.

K immediately noticed they were offering the OPI Axxium manis, the manicure that lasts two weeks.  I passed because I wanted to copy Miley Cyrus's Marie Claire cover look...


...and I didn't want to wear that to work -- too funky.  (OMG I am such a bore.)  K was happy with the fact her mani would last a while, but a New York manicure is twice the price of a DC one, and there was no foot or hand massaging.  Note to self: get this done beforehand next time!

After spending my entire allowance for the month of February on my nails, we needed a quick and cheap meal.  Enter Mac Bar.  O to the M to the GEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

The Menu.

The Yumminess. (That's a macaroni shaped container! Sooo cute!)

After gobbling all THAT up, we all started getting ready.  Several of Lara's friends from high school had flown in for the occasion, and it was fun to catch up with them, all the upperclassmen who were so cool when I felt like such a geek (I was a year younger).  Turns out several of them read my blog, too!

My attempt at being hip.  Not too bad, huh?  Thank you, H&M!

People began arriving for the party, and I overheard someone say Carol Hannah was on her way.

Carol Hannah?  Like, THE Carol Hannah?  From Project Runway?  My favorite designer on the show EVER?  The one who designed the hottest jersey dress last year?  And who is from Charleston where I also used to live?

YES!  Turns out Lara offered Carol Hannah some free marketing for a wedding dress, and in the process they became friends, and Carol Hannah was coming to the party! 

"Get ahold of yourself," K warned me as I fanned my face.  "Famous people like to be treated like real people."

But I couldn't hear her.  Carol Hannah had just walked in, wearing a black dress with subtle sparkle and really tall shoes and brown hair. 

"Hi!" I said to her, trying my best to be casual.  "I'm Mary El.  You're my favorite.  I love your hair!  Can I get you a drink?  I used to live in Charleston too!  Have you seen these glowsticks?  You put them around your neck like this.  Need some help?  I can help you."

I could feel K's eyes boring into my face.  I ignored her.  Carol Hannah and I chatted (yes, I finally let her speak) for a moment more, and then I backed away slowly. K didn't have to say anything.  I knew she was cutting me off. 

But then it was time to go see the 80s cover band, and guess who I ended up in a cab with?  I PROMISE I did not orchestrate it.  I promise.  I did not. 

After some more chatting, we arrived at the club.  Carol Hannah and I crossed the street together, and I couldn't hold back anymore.

"I'm sorry if I'm coming off as a stalker, but I'm so excited to meet you, and my friends said I was too much, but I just think it's so awesome that you're standing here and we're talking and I love what you did on Project Runway!!!"

"What?" she said.  "You aren't being too much.  We barely talked before!  And I think it's exciting that you are so happy to meet me."

"Then will you take a picture with me?"

EEEEE CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!

We went inside to find a room full of people in sweatbands and tutus.  I smiled at a couple of guys, but they were not interested.  Hmph, well that's one thing DC and NYC have in common.

We all danced to 80s hits for a while, but my tired, DC feet, which long ago became accustomed to little black flats, were not going to last long in my 4-inch suede heels.  They were hot though, so I sucked it up for the sake of looking hip in New York.  In my zeal to fit in, I realized I was towering over just about everyone in the room.  (Isn't New York the land of supermodels?)  Well there's another thing NYC has in common with DC.

After dancing we dragged ourselves home and crashed.  The next day we had brunch then lunch then cupcakes (the DC-based Red Velvet cupcakes are WAY better than the NY ones, I have to say).  What are weekends away from home for if not eating your heart out?

We had to scoot in order to get home before dark, but that ended up being a joke when it took us two hours just to get to the tunnel.  I still can't figure out what was causing so much traffic. Noli was a trooper and crawled up on my shoulders and chilled out.

My little neck roll. (And yes, that's my favorite gray cardigan.)

It took us six hours to get home, but the trip had been worth it.  As much as I hated to admit it, those big lights had inspired me.

The next day I did my laundry, including my favorite gray cardigan.  When I took the clothes out of the washer, I noticed a string hanging off of the cardi...yep, it had unraveled and was WAY beyond repair.  I thought about the days of yore when I would have never worn such a thing, and about meeting Carol Hannah, and about how I was fulfilling the dreams of my youth by living in a big city but not really making the most of it.  Then I threw that cardigan in the trash without hesitation. 

And the next day, for the first time this winter, I wore a dress to work.  And I'm proud to report I haven't worn a cardigan once this week.  Color?  That's another story.  But I'll get there...baby steps...

Thinking of starting a blog? I'm here to help!

Feb 22, 2011

I've been getting a lot of requests for help starting up blogs lately, so I'm going to share my tips with everyone. 

Before I begin, I'd like to give some background on why and how I started my blog, for those of you who haven't been followers from day one (and I wouldn't blame you, it was a rough start).  I began writing this blog because I was broke and bored, and the constant in my life up to that point -- and still -- was writing.  I've kept a journal since I was eight years old.  All I ever wanted to do was write, and along the way I got published in some pretty reputable publications...and some cheesy ones.  Regardless, to see my name on something in print and to know that people were reading my words was the most thrilling thing in the world to me. 

So, when a career in magazine writing didn't pan out and I was living in one of the most expensive cities in the country and could barely afford to eat (yet still managed to gain 20 pounds), I traded my Friday night pity parties for blogging. At first I didn't know what to write about, so I just typed out my daydreams of the life I'd like to have.  Then I wrote about something silly that happened with a guy who worked across the hall from me.  And the crowd went wild!  Before I knew it my obligatory readers (close friends and my mother) were asking for more updates, and they were sending links to their friends and coworkers that over time created a wide network of readers.

Nowadays I'm astonished to find people all over the world are reading this thing.  How did someone in Saudi Arabia find me?  And why in the heck does he or she care???  For some strange reason, my ridiculous stories are relevant.  I think part of it is I'm not afraid to make fun of myself -- after all, social media is all about being transparent. 

That being said, your blog should be about whatever you want it to be.  The most successful blogs are niche ones, like dating, cooking, and crafting blogs.  But whether you want great success or just want a place to vent your feelings, here's my best advice (And if this inspires or helps you at all, please send me a link!  I'd love to see what you come up with.).


1) Understand why you're writing it and try to stick to that principle. Is it an online journal? Are you giving tips on shopping, cooking, etc.?  Is it just for entertainment value?

2) Decide who you want your audience to be and write for them. If you want readers, your blog can't be all about you. In other words, you may write about yourself, but remember who you're writing it for and cater your language and content to them.

3) Be consistent in posting. Once a week is perfectly acceptable, but if that's too much let your readers know you will only be posting twice a month, or however much you want to. As you become comfortable and familiar with your blog, push yourself to write more often. Fresh material will drive readers to your blog.

4) Keep posts short. Most blog readers like to take a 5-10 minute break during their day and don't have time to read a novel. Plus, when you see a lot, it can be daunting to the reader and she may not read it at all. I used to write really long posts, and at some point I realized this isn't attractive to my readers.  So I tried to write more often and shorter posts, and also included information useful to my audience.  This also made blogging less of a chore and more fun, knowing I didn't have to spend two hours drafting a post. 

5) Listen to your readers. Publish their comments and respond to them, good or bad. Blogging is considered social media, and social media is based on open relationships and conversations. If you censor your readers because you don't like what they have to say, you risk estranging everyone.

6) Promote your blog on Twitter and Facebook. Facebook is easy, but Twitter is more work.  It's worth it.  If you don't know how to tweet, get on Twitter and start paying attention.  You'll get the hang of it!

7) Don't be afraid of the "online" aspect. A lot of people are freaked out about the idea of their info being out there for anyone to access. If you don't like that, it's fine to remain anonymous. But if you do that, you should start a Twitter account anonymously as well so the anonymous you is still interacting with readers and other bloggers. Making contact is critical, and using all types of social media is best.

8) Be patient when trying to get followers.  I started out sharing it with my friends and family members, and then I put a link on my Gchat, then I began sharing on Facebook and eventually Twitter, plus I started attending networking events (like happy hours) with other bloggers.  I've even set up such events.  You really have to get yourself out there.  So many times last year I went to a happy hour where I didn't know one person, and I left with five new friends.  After a while people you've never met will be reading your blog, and that is mighty exciting stuff!  But it definitely takes time, and it also takes a little bit of time to find your "voice" and your rhythm and all that. 

9) Write well.  Spell check.  Use run-on and fragment sentences sparingly.  No, there aren't any strict rules in blogging style writing, but don't forget most of us are indoctrinated with certain writing styles and grammatical rules, so seeing too much bending of them can hurt the eyes after a while.  Break the rules when it adds a punch, but otherwise complete sentences are recommended. And make sure your content is interesting and relevant to your audience; otherwise, you can't blame them for not being interested. 

10) Read other blogs.  You will learn how to blog by seeing what other bloggers are doing.  Plus, the blogging community is very supportive.  If you want to succeed it's important to reach out to other bloggers.  Make sure you comment on their posts and give them feedback, especially if you expect the same from them.  If you build up a good relationship with a blogger, you can cross-promote each other's blogs

Above all, have fun!  If you're not having fun, it shows.  If you need to take a break, just let your readers know, and give them a timeframe when you'll be back.  If you just disappear you'll lose readers like flies.

Hope this helps!  Happy blogging!

UPDATED (and the winner is...): Review (and Giveaway!): Batiste Dry Shampoo

Feb 17, 2011

This past fall I tried dry shampoo for the first time.  I was pleasantly surprised with the results and have been using it ever since.  But I have one complaint -- my hair still kind of smells.

So when I received two cans of Batiste in the mail to try, I was thrilled to see that their dry shampoo is scented.  Apparently this brand is popular in the UK but just made its way to the States.  It's a little more expensive than Tresemme, but the upside to Batiste is the light fragrances.

(By the way, the package was addressed to "Cupcakes and Shoes."  I still haven't thrown it away.)

Because they reached out to me to try out the product, I figured I had to really put it to the test, so I decided to go a full business week without washing my hair.  This idea worked out well because I also happened to get sick that week and didn't feel like taking the time to wash, dry, and style my hair.  It just takes too long...which is why I started using dry shampoo in the first place. 

So two Saturdays ago I washed my hair and didn't get it wet again till Thursday night (the idea of dirty hair finally got to me and I caved).  That was five straight days, which is almost a full business week.  The first two days my hair was okay, but by day three I needed the dry shampoo.  Not only does my hair get oily, in the wintertime I get dandruff because of the dry air.  Batiste is heavier than Tresemme, but I liked it because it seemed to soak up more of the grossness, and after I brushed it out I didn't notice much -- if any -- dandruff.  Plus I smelled like a petunia!

So you can see with your own eyes, I took pictures of clean hair vs. Batiste hair on Day 5:

Clean hair (OMG do I have a lazy eye?)

Dirty Hair
(My eye looks more normal here.  Maybe I shouldn't try to be funny in pictures, huh?)

As you can see...the lighting is different and I'm not a great photographer.  But I think you can tell that my hair doesn't look all that bad on Day 5.  And let me emphasize, that was FIVE DAYS of not washing my hair. 

In light of this suddenly warm weather, I'm very much looking forward to using this in between washes, especially when I'll be *ahem* glowing all day.

You can buy it on their websiteUlta, Sally Beauty Supply, and other retailers.  They even have a 1.6 fl. oz size so you can take it on the plane with you -- VERY handy.  (Find them on Twitter at @BatisteHair.)

Want to try it before you buy it?  I have a can to give you!  Two ways to win:

1) Comment on any post on this blog and mention the Batiste Giveaway in parentheses.
2) Tweet about any post on Cupcakes and Shoes, and be sure to cc: @mepper and put "BG" in parentheses. 

I'll pick a winner at random and announce the winner in an update on this post next Friday, February 25th. The winner should send me her (or his!) address at cupcakesandshoes@gmail.com so I can mail it on over. The more you comment/tweet the more chances you have to win! 

****************************
And the winner is....

C aka Everyday Mommy!  Email me your contact info by this Sunday and I'll drop the Batiste in the mail to you.  Let me know how you like it!

Why you won't see me moping today

Feb 14, 2011

I didn’t remember it was Valentine’s Day until this morning when a Colonel walked through the office greeting everyone with, “Happy Valentine’s Day!  Any big plans?!”  My gut reaction was to smile politely and say, “No, I’m single, but I don’t really care,” but then I remembered the awesome happy hour I’m going to tonight!  I decided against squealing with delight over my plans when people began chiming, “Dinner with my husband/wife/boo!” (Yes, a man in my office refers to his wife as “boo.”) 

Valentine’s Day actually doesn’t faze me at all. This morning Lauren Facebook chatted me, “How are you today, or is it nothing to you?” and I hadn’t a clue what she was referring to.   To me, this day is an excuse to OD on candy (SweeTart Hearts are on my desk ready for my 3 p.m. sugar craving), cookies (free at Subway today!), and cake (loads of it in the office next to mine).  I’ve only been involved with someone once on V-Day, and that’s when I was 16, so does it really count? 

At lunch with my favorite lady coworker and brand new blogger, Yves-Marie (second trip of the day to Subway to get yet another free cookie), we didn’t even bring up the subject.  Instead we exchanged celebrity run-ins stories.  My meeting Justin Guarini and the Free Government Money guy were no match to her hour-long walk with Eric Braeden (aka Victor Newman from The Young & the Restless, which I DVR every day) and bumming a French cigarette from Natalie Cole. 

"I don't give a damn that it's Valentine's Day."

But then I remembered one celebrity I came *this close* to meeting, if it hadn’t been for a d-bag guy who totally blocked me then tried to be my Valentine…

I only agreed to the date because my recent ex-boyfriend happened to show up at the pool hall I was at (why was I hanging out at a pool hall?), so I had to make him jealous somehow, especially since he had broken up with me Super Bowl weekend, a mere two weeks before Valentine’s Day.  The bartender had been flirting with me, and when the ex came over and said hi, I started flirting back.  This quickly led to the bartender asking for my phone number, which I gladly gave him and then loudly said, “CALL ME!!!” to make sure the ex would hear. 

We decided to go to dinner that weekend, but The Bartender asked if I could pick him up because he’d just moved here and his truck was still down in Florida.  (Red Flag No. 1)  When I arrived he invited me in for a glass of wine and said he wasn’t quite ready.  (Red Flag No. 2 – only girls are supposed to make their date wait!)  I sat on the sofa and waited for him (so he could finish his makeup???), and I noticed a photo album on the coffee table.  I picked it up and flipped through, and I started wondering who this woman was in all the pictures. 

When he came back in the den I pointed to a photo and asked him, “Who’s this?” 

“My wife,” he replied.  (Red Flag No. 3!!!  Yet I still went to dinner with him.)  He explained they were separated and getting a divorce, hence the moving to Georgia and the truck remaining in Florida, because she was trying to keep it.

“Want to smoke some weed before we go?” he Red Flag No. 4ed me.  I declined his kind offer and STILL WENT TO DINNER WITH HIM.  (Why are college girls so DUMB?!)

Dinner was fine, but he was super obnoxious.  He tipped the waitress, like, 50%, obviously showing off, and then took me to a movie, “Hannibal,” because, you know, it’s so romantic and all (Red Flag No. 5?  Yeah, you get the idea.).  Around the time Hannibal started frying and eating Ray Liotta’s brain right in front of him, I was extremely ready to go home and a little worried that I might face a similar fate that evening. 

When we left the theater I realized it was after 1 a.m.  Behind me I heard a child’s voice.  I looked over my shoulder and saw in horror that some guy had brought his 6-year-old son to see the late night showing of “Hannibal”!  My eyes wandered up to see who this terrible parent was…

Ain't nobody dope as me, I'm just so fresh so, so fresh and so clean clean!

“OH MY GOSH IT’S ANDRE 3000!” I frantically whispered to The Bartender.  His neck jerked to the left to see for himself, right as I turned to go introduce myself.  But that jerk, who was just supposed to make my stupid ex jealous, GRABBED MY ARM.

“No one messes with Andre 3000!” he sternly said.  I tried to get out of his grasp but he wouldn’t let go until Dre was a safe distance away. 

I drove him home, half furious, half afraid of his anger issues and love for Andre 3000, and 100% sure I would never, ever go to that pool hall again.

A couple of days later I got a call from him.  “Hey Gorgeous, I need your dress size.”

“Why do you need my dress size?  That’s kind of rude,” I said. (Why did I even pick up the phone?!)

“It’s not rude, just give me your dress size!” he insisted.

“I’m not giving you my dress size!  It’s weird!”

“Look, I need your dress size because I’m buying you something special and taking you out for Valentine’s Day.  I want you to be my Valentine!” he barked.

But this 20-year-old had finally wised up.  “No thanks, I’m good!”

And that is Reason No. 44 why I’m not sad on Valentine’s Day.

So I know this is kind of late, but I was thinking, I’d love to hear your Valentine’s Disasters stories.  Send them to me at cupcakesandshoes@gmail.com and I’ll post the best one (or more) with a shoutout (if you want one, or you can remain anonymous). 

And if you need last-minute plans tonight, come out to James Hoban's for an awesome happy hour!  I guarantee a good time.  Plus after lunch I saw a cute Marine and asked him if he was single and looking for something to do tonight.  He said no, he is not single, but he works with a bunch of Marines who are and would love to come.  Hello Eye Candy!

Calling all Singles! I've got your V-Day plans right here.

Feb 10, 2011

If you're single, I figure you have three options this Valentine's Day.

1) Mope. 


2) Not care, act as if it is any other day.




3) Go to the "Meet My Friend" happy hour being hosted by A Single Girl Doing Single Things!

Here are the deets (from the Facebook invite):

This month's "meet my friend" happy hour will take place on Monday, February 14th 6:00pm-8:00pm (that's right--- Valentine's Day). And there will be even more singles than last time. As promised, I worked hard to get us drink and food specials. Below are the details.

Because James Hobin worked so well last time, and they thought we were a great group, the manager contacted me and asked us to partner with them to host a singles...
Valentine's Day event. I agreed, as long as they offered us some sweet deals. Which she happily agreed to do:

FREE appetizer buffet until 8pm
Extended happy hour drinks until 9pm, including:

$4 draft beer
$5 imported draft beer
$3 domestic bottled beer
$ imported bottled beer
$4 rail mixed drinks
$4 chardonnay/ cabernet
$5 absolute martinis (including my speciality drink called "A single girl")

In addition to the drink and food specials, Hobins will have various raffles and other "games" throughout the night to win free drinks, gift certificates, etc. And they are still determining whether or not to have a live band...

Bottom line: If you come to my happy hour, you will be happy that you are single this Valentine's Day!

So, please RSVP is you have not done so already (either by sending me an email, or directly through this facebook event). Invite all of your awesome single friends and get ready for a fun night!


If you decide to go with options 1 or 2, know that you're in good company, i.e., Liz Lemon.

UPDATED: Just a little crush?

Feb 8, 2011

OMG Y'ALL.  I saw Henry Cavill's American cousin/twin/brother/clone on the Metro last night.  He got on where I got on, and he got off where I got off, in my neighborhood.  To be in the presence of one so good looking, I was obviously frozen in fear and could not muster up anything to say.  I mean, look at him!

Oh, my. Hell-O handsome!

I imagine Henry Cavill's DC lookalike also looks this way without a shirt on.

The man sword fights? I just don't know how you get any hotter.  Unless...

...you are cast as Superman and therefore fulfill my Unicorn fantasy.

I spent the entire Metro ride trying to think up lines to get his attention.  I considered handing him my business card and saying, all cool and seductively, "Call me."  I thought about giving up my seat so I could stand next time him and fall into his arms when the train halted.  I thought about pushing the blonde who was actually standing next to him off the train at the next stop.  But I knew I wouldn't speak up, and I knew I was passing by the closest opportunity I'd ever have to meeting Henry Cavill.

As I relayed this to The Roomie tonight, she suggested, "You should've said, 'You look like my favorite actor. Want to buy me a drink?'"

So simple, yet so genius!  But I'm wondering, how would a guy really respond to that?  And what do I do if he says yes? 

I realize I'm crazy.  But not any more so than most girls.  Case in point -- and, fellas, I could really use some male advice on this one...

My friend K and I spent New Year's Eve together this year.  Unlike last year, where I got called a prostitute and the night was overall kind of a disaster, I opted for a party with 60 of K's acquaintances at Vinoteca.  $85 got us Vinoteca's hors d'Ĺ“uvres, an open bar with three minutes or less wait time, and a DJ spinning Top 40 hits and throwback jams, like every song off of "Jock Jams," you know, the good stuff from high school (if you graduated in the late '90s). 

You may remember K from a while back -- we both broke up with our guys the same week then thought it would be a good idea to go out in public and ended up crying through our meal.  I've known K since high school, and I was sad to see her sad, but her guy was making her compromise who she was to be with him, and that was worse.  On New Year's Eve I saw the old K in action -- all dressed up, dancing, laughing, flirting with the DJ...

This isn't terrible, flirtng is fine.  I always flirt with bartenders.  Do I date them?  No.  That's what your early 20s are for.  Once you hit your late 20s/early 30s you have to date men with boring real jobs, like attorneys and analysts, who can provide emotional and financial stability. 

I recently taught K how to use Twitter, so after a night of dancing, finding out all we could about DJ Cutie Pants, and talking smack about the girl with the pixie haircut who was also flirting with him, we walked back to my place and looked him up online.  His picture looked AWFUL, like he hadn't slept in days and he had the flu and he had been drained of blood by a vampire.  But that couldn't tarnish the image K had of him in her mind.

I didn't know K was still thinking about him until this past weekend when we went to Napoleon for another night of dancing.  We asked the DJ to play a couple of songs, but that reminded K of DJ Cutie Pants and she began pining after him.  So I asked our DJ if he knew DJ Cutie Pants.  He did, and he borrowed my phone to tweet him right there, from my Twitter account.  I'm not sure what good that did, but DJ Cutie Pants did tweet with K and me some that night and told us to come see him the next time he played.  Unfortunately we'll both be out of town for a friend's bachelorette party that weekend.  That night, after we went to our respective homes (and after I gave my number to the bartender...whoops), I went to sleep, but K apparently stayed up to do a little research.

The next morning I noticed a text from her, sent at 3:40 a.m. "DJ Cutie Pants is playing in Richmond this weekend.  Let's go!"

On the one hand, I'm thrilled K is back in the saddle, even if that saddle is on a rabid horse that probably needs to be put down ASAP.  But Richmond?  If we show up in Richmond -- which is two hours away -- won't he find that a little odd?  K says no because in the DJ community people travel all the time to see these shows.  My argument is, since when are we part of the DJ community?

On the other hand, if anyone understands boy crazy, it's me.  That bartender was really hot -- forget stability!

So, dear readers, what should we do?

********************************

The tally, including blog comments, Facebook comments, and tweets was: GO TO RICHMOND-6, DON'T GO TO RICHMOND-7.5 (guys's votes counted 1.5, at K's recommendation).  That was a lot closer than I thought it would be, actually.   

If that weren't enough, I just got word that DJ Cutie Pants posted on his Facebook this morning that he's in a relationship.

Aaaaaand...shut it down.

Unicorn Shmunicorn

Feb 4, 2011

I've been thinking a lot about all this Unicorn business...mostly because other people keep bringing it up.

First there was the Twitter conversation.  Then City Girls World posted an autonomous analysis on the same subject (Amazing! We're not the only city girls who feel this way?!).  At a recent happy hour, a Twitter pal brought to my attention that a male blogger had written a post responding to the Unicorn chatter.  A few days later, while perusing another blog, I noticed a similar post

I began to wonder who all was writing about these so-called Unicorns.  So I did a Google search.  Bad idea. There is some WEIRD $#!@ out there (well, that link is actually pretty funny).  Mostly Japanese, but with a little bit of the vampire/zombie/fantasy obsessed white kids.  At first I thought it would be cute to compare what people think real unicorns are like to the fantasy that we girls dreamed up, but that was a bizarre stretch.

The point is, this chatter obviously stirred up other conversations, and I'd like to address a few things.

1) I started it.  That's right, I was on my Man Search and I complained over Twitter that I couldn't find a single, employed, taller-than-me guy.  Then Bourbon Toddy picked it up and said that's all any of us want, but "he might as well be a unicorn."  (She can be now be considered an expert on this subject, and you can read all about her dates with a Unicorn here.)

2) The criteria for a Unicorn are purposeful.  Earlier that week I'd heard on the radio that women are too picky and should have five criteria for a mate and compromise after that.  I decided upon single, straight, employed, taller than me, and Christian.  And I have specific reasons for each one of those criteria.  I get hit on a lot, but the men are usually not single.  I've been propositioned by a really great guy who happened to be gay.  Cute Boy was a terrific boyfriend, but he preferred to be unemployed.  Taller than me is just a bonus at this point, but if I get five criteria, daggommit, it's gonna be on there.  And Christian is a must because I'm Christian and if I'm going to find a match he's going to be Christian too. 

3) The “criteria” are really just guidelines.  I’m sure there are exceptions to all my rules.  The only guy I’ve been truly close to marrying was barely taller than me, pudgy, balding, and didn’t make much money.  Being in love with him was the first time in my life I really didn’t care what other people thought.  When we broke up – which was my choice because I moved across the country to pursue a life experience that I needed to experience on my own – and I fell to pieces and questioned myself every day for a year, my friends told me I made the right decision because he was short and fat.  That kind of talk didn’t help me at all!  Because…

4) The No. 1, ultimate rule is you have to be attracted to the person.  And when you are, everything else doesn’t matter so much.  Single?  Well yes, that is necessary.  I’m not interested in being a home wrecker.  Straight?  Yes, also very important for obvious reasons.  Employed?  I’d think the right one for me would be employed since that matches me.  I’m employed.  I enjoy working hard and taking pride in that work.  Taller than me?  It would be nice.  As independent as we women are, we all want to feel protected by the man we’re with.  If he’s taller than us it gives the feeling that he is a protector.  Also it generally makes us feel petite and skinnier than we may actually be, and that makes us feel desirable.  Christian?  I’ve dated the non-Christian and it doesn’t end up working out, so that’s an immovable trait.  If I were being really honest, my list would have at least a hundred other “criteria.”  I’d like him to have dark, curlyish hair, blue or green eyes, fair skin, swimmer’s build, muscly arms, enjoy theatre, know how to cook, understand the importance of nice jewelry, never ever let me pay for dinner, prefer to live in the city, want kids, not be too hairy…



HOWEVER. 

This is all moot if I’m attracted to the guy, and I never really know what will attract me.  But here’s a tip for any guys reading – girls live by their feelings.  Make a girl feel beautiful and you will automatically intrigue her, no matter what you look like. 

5) We all just want somebody to love.  Living in DC has made me afraid to be honest about this, but you know what?  It’s true.  I turn 30 in less than two months, and I’m a bit lonely.  I’m not as worried about getting married and having babies as I was when I was 27.  Actually, if that never happens I’m not going to shrivel up and die.  I just want somebody who is mine and who I belong to.  And I don’t think I’m the only one.

And now I shall listen to Justin Bieber and Usher, because as long as I'm being honest, I kind of lurv the Biebs.