Book Review: Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

IMG_1952One would make the assumption that with times changing (along with the technology and the introduction of online dating) that things have changed in the land of pursuing romance in the modern world.

However, in reading Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari, that the author and my fellow book club ladies are in agreement that many things have not changed. Though a good chunk of communication that used to be done via phone calls have now been replaced by text message exchanges, that silly rule of waiting to call or text someone so that you don’t appear too eager/desperate still is very much commonly practiced.

Though before the internet it’s probably very unlikely that men you didn’t really know yet would send you a dick pic enclosed in an envelope to your house. As Ansari pointed out, unless you had your own photo development set-up at home most places would not have printed out a dick pic for you during the times when photos were all taken on film anyways.

Needless to say, this book definitely lead to quite an interesting an extensive discussion amongst the ladies of the book club in regards to dating in general. We all agreed that we found the field research done in Buenos Aires, Tokyo and Paris fascinating. Living in a region of the States where we have people from all over the world, it put things into perspective of how it would be a cultural shock for both parties involved when dating someone who have different views on things like cheating, chasing, etc. In spite of these differences, it is definitely universal that marriage is becoming commonly delayed in all of these countries if ever pursued. Thank goodness for the pressure easing off for us to get married by a certain age, especially for us women.

One of the things I appreciated Ansari doing in the book is the thorough illustration of the pros and cons of technology in the modern world of romance. A lot of us remember the social stigma that used to exist about meeting someone online back when online dating was still relatively new. Such stigma still exists for newer forms of online dating such as Tinder where the common view for that App today that it’s more for casual hookups. But it was interesting to have it be pointed out in the book that when we meet someone in person (ie. at a bar) you do pretty much the same thing where you make a snap judgment/decision as to whether you are interested in that person based on something superficial like their physical appearance. So the argument was that something like Tinder would be much closer to how we would decide whether we were interested in someone or not in real life.

It admittedly has been less than a year since I have owned a smart phone and one of the features I did appreciate immediately was the ability to block phone numbers. I can delete the phone numbers I used to list as “Stalker #1,” “Stalker #2,” so on. And while I am not someone interested in getting to know someone I just met via a texting dialogue, I do think it’s nice to have the kind of ease now in being able to share things like photos and videos that you can take anywhere with someone you want to share them with. But in case it wasn’t already clear to any man reading this, please don’t send an unsolicited dick pic to a lady you just met or have not even met yet.

-M

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On Figuring Out What We Really Want When You Feel “Stuck”

In about a week we will be welcoming a new year again and it’s that time of the year when a lot of people start to think of New Year’s resolutions and goals. If you’re reading this you might sometimes feel like you’re the only person in the world who doesn’t seem to know what your calling is, whether you ever want to get married or have kids, or just that feeling of being “stuck.”

Your rational side knows that you are not the only one who feels these things, as alone as you may feel in the moment. That thought alone was enough to comfort me recently when I was having a moment.

I was having a conversation with a girlfriend who decided to make the very brave decision of temporarily living in a foreign country where she knows no one and does not speak the language in order to take time to figure out what she would like to do with her career upon returning to her home country. Understandably, she too was feeling very “alone” and needed someone to talk to.

In talking to my friend, it related back to all these other things in life that often seem uncertain. I said that I agreed with Steve Jobs’ school of thought on how people don’t know what they really want until they are shown what they want. I think a lot of us – even many of those who claim they know what they want – have ideas of what we want/don’t want.

Like when we make lists of qualities we look for in a mate – I’ve done it too, and I’ve written a whole book on lists! And when we do meet someone we end up falling in love with, that person may possess some of or many of the qualities we thought we would like. But then he/she may have all these other things about them that we didn’t even think to put on our list. Or if we thought we never wanted a mate – but then someone wonderful came along and changed our mind about the whole thing …

You might have to  go through several career changes before we find something we truly love to do. Or date and kiss a lot of frogs before we find a prince. Or move thirty times before we find a place where we truly feel at home. Even then, some people never get there. But I think the important thing is that we keep trying and believing that we just might get there at some point. At the end of our lives, isn’t better to know we at least did something or anything about it?

So if you feel stuck even after all the trying, give yourself a break. Giving yourself a break doesn’t mean to stop trying. But things often take time and patience which can be trying. Even if you’re feeling frustrated because you feel like you’re not getting any solutions as you’re thinking about what you should do, you’re still doing something. There are many people in this world who never even stop to think or question these things, ignoring their gut feelings or not even acknowledge them.

One of the reasons why I am a prolific journal writer is because it is one of the ways I process my emotions and thoughts. So if you haven’t tried it yet perhaps write it all out, whatever it is that is on your mind and see how your thoughts flow out. I believe sometimes solutions become more evident when you write out the problems because you are also able to examine things like the cause(s) of the problem(s) and organize your thoughts. This is why some people go the route of writing a love letter to profess their feelings to someone because it gives them a chance to think about how they want to say what during the process of scribing it.

If it’s of any consolation, I have many times over written about the same darn things over and over in my journals. You don’t have to show anyone else what you have written so don’t be so judgmental of yourself. Just let yourself write, cry, laugh, smile, and then write some more.

As Ellen DeGeneres would say, “Be kind to one another.” And if I may add, be kind to yourself too.

-M

 

My Friend Leilani

I’ve been friends with Leilani since the first day of fifth grade. I saw that she was a new girl at the school and decided to sit next to her in class so that she would have a friend that first day of school. That’s how we always introduce each other to people.

Unfortunately, Leilani and I weren’t able to see each other on a daily basis anymore after I moved and went to a different high school.

But over the years, even when months or years would go by before we got a chance to catch up again in person we would find that somehow we ended up living lives with paralleling interests. One of these moments happened when we met up last year before Leilani moved to Seattle.

We showed up to the meeting spot we agreed on and discovered that we both coincidentally came wearing fascinators and discovered that it was something we both have become into:

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Needless to say, we both started screaming together in excitement (like the time we went to the Maroon 5 concert a decade ago) when we saw that once again we showed up to her sister’s wedding in Sausalito last weekend sporting our looks. I even managed to match my shoes to the color of her fascinator that she was wearing that day:

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While my love life has been pretty dry, I have recently been very proud of how much progress I feel like I have made in developing great female friendships new and old.

Like romance, I think movies and tv shows sometimes paint a false notion of what friendships are like in real life. I used to fantasize about having a core group of friends like the ones you see on screen where you would see them getting together every single day at the same special meeting spot.

While we give common labels to people like “friends” or “significant other” every relationship is unique. And I realize that it’s a shame for me to compare my own special friendships I have to a fake one portrayed on a tv or movie screen (even if the actors become friends in real life).

In fact, the day of the wedding I managed to attend my book club meeting with the ladies in the morning and had dinner at my friend Jackie’s after the wedding. And I also got a chance to catch up with my sister now living on the east coast over the phone during my drive up to the wedding. At the end of the day I felt blessed to have had a day spending time with different girlfriends. The girlfriend time has been more spread out on weekdays and such but I’ve noticed that it’s definitely there.

It also never ceases to put a smile on my face whenever I come home to see a letter from Canada, where my ever-so-faithful friend Ming writes to me from regularly. We can sometimes hardly wait for each other’s responses and will often have multiple chains of letters going on simultaneously! And I don’t think too many people out there can say that they have that in their lives (partially because most people don’t write to each other via postal letters).

So to all of my uniquely wonderful girlfriends out there – thank you

-M

 

 

 

On Dating Myself

Date Example #1: Earlier this year, I went to go watch the film How to Be Single. Appropriately enough, I went to go watch the film solo. Prior to arriving at the movie theater, I stopped by Whole Foods to grab a little bit of pulled pork shoulder at the hot food bar. And then I made my next stop at the grilled cheese sandwich chain restaurant The Melt so that I could concoct myself a pulled pork grilled cheese sandwich, which I snuck in my movie theater purse to devour while watching the film. It was a perfect afternoon.

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Date Example #2: The year before that, I went to Paris by myself where I spent hours upon hours smelling tea leave samples in tea shops before deciding which ones to purchase and bring back with me to the states. Unless I was on the trip with another tea enthusiast it would have probably been torturous to have a travel companion! I would read a novel in a café sipping on such delicious tea all over Paris on this trip. Note: While Paris was not listed, I did come across an interesting article on Refinery29 of places recommended for solo female travelers.

Date Example #3: Fast forward to my current day — I am spending a relaxing weekend of having the placeIMG_0759 to myself during my roommate’s absence during the holiday weekend. Reading the book Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel, I suddenly get into a sensual mood and realize that I am free to pleasure myself as I please without having to feel discreet. It may seem odd because the book is about maintaining physical intimacy and desire with a long-term spouse/partner. But I am without that partner so I decide I would appreciate my own sexiness. I then promise myself that I would continue to occasionally do so even if I were to ever be coupled up again.


It goes without saying as I mention in my own book that I would like to fall in love again and be in that “ultimate romantic relationship” at some point if I may be so fortunate enough to meet someone. However, like a photo album full of fun memories shared with that special someone, I pride in the fact that I have these fun memories of dating myself. Whether you are dating someone else or yourself, I figured why not enjoy it?

I also strongly believe that in order for me to be a fun, loving and sexy partner to another person, I need to be so in my own company. It’s what I would think would naturally be attractive for someone else to see in me in the first place. As cliché as it sounds, it’s true that in order to love someone else you need to love yourself first.

Here’s to falling in love with myself all over again,

-M

 

Virtual Closet Sale #3

I’m happy to say that I’ve sold 5 out of the 8 items I put out on sale in my previous closet sales so far. This month, I’ve decided to also add these one shoulder lace dresses into the mix.

They’re stretchy and I loved the design so much I got it in 2 different colors. But I unfortunately never really had a chance to wear them out. So unless I suddenly have an event that they would be appropriate for in the near future, I plan on selling them!

 

Click here to buy the teal dress

 

Click here to buy the red dress

Thank you for your support as always!

Love,

M

 

 

 

My Virtual Closet Sale

I have recently started selling some of my items that have been featured in my previous blog entries on eBay. So at this time, I am extending my closet sale to all you blog readers as well! All the dresses have been taken to my regular dry cleaning place since being worn.

My “Birthday Suit” 2014 (from the blog entry I posted August 24th of 2014) I just never wore it a second time and figured it needed to go in the “let go” pile.

Click here to buy the sequin dress

These shoes have also just never been worn much and are definitely not your average Mary Janes! I posted the right bottom photo to show that the shoes have these dainty key charms hanging from the heel. If you go to attractive wear.net you’ll be able to buy them brand new for $40.95 so consider buying them at a discounted price 😉

Click here to buy my Mary Jane shoes

As a lover of modern vintage fashion, I was delighted to see the peplum style become trendy again in 2013. I have worn this one only a handful of times and do think it would make for a perfect courthouse or modest vintage style wedding dress paired with a gorgeous white fascinator.

Click here to buy the white peplum dress

The fuchsia bandage dress below is the perfect dress for clubbing without looking too cheap (or slutty). It would also make for a great dress to meet up with friends for a drink at a bar if that’s your thing. And yes, the zipper does go down all the way – which does make it the perfect dress for stripping out of for that special someone! How appropriate that this one was my very first “birthday suit” I got for myself when I started the birthday suit tradition…

Click here to buy the fuchsia bandage dress

I have loved attending black tie parties and this one would actually make for a great alternative to a traditional wedding dress but would also be an extra gorgeous prom dress option.

Click here to buy the print La Femme gown

The dress featured in my blog entry from September 7th of last year

Click here to buy the peacock dress

Happy shopping, y’all!

-M

My Take on Brooklyn (the film)

I got tickets at the box office for a viewing of the Star Wars movie but instead wandered into the theater playing Brooklyn. This is where I tend to go off the well-trodden path and  go exploring something else that catches my eye.

The fashion from the 1950’s was as gorgeous as I thought it would be. I myself was already sporting the look in attending the cinema that night, of course.

As the film took place partially in Ireland, the main character Eilis seemed to sport the color green several times in the film as if to pay homage to her home country, including a green coat and a green one-piece bathing suit she purchased while in New York.

In paying homage to the film, I would like to dedicate the following looks to celebrate the 50’s fashion that was showcased.

My Inspiration: The green coat Eilis sported several times in the film

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(photo credit: Kerry Brown/2015 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation from fashionista.com)

My Take: Green hat instead of green coat. White and other neutral colors do allow the green to radiate so that would be my personal recommendation for the dress/outfit to wear underneath the coat as well as the color of the coat.

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Click here to buy the green fascinator hat I’m wearing


My Inspiration: Eilis got herself a bathing suit for her beach date with Tony, which she later wore again when she went on another beach outing back in Ireland.

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photo courtesy of tomandlorenzo.com accrediting Eric Kowalski/Pacific Coast News

My Take: Pink instead of a green one-piece bathing suit. These shots were taken by photographer Jon LesDeux about two years ago.

Here is a similar style one-piece bathing suit in green (like the one in the film).


I won’t spoil it for those of you who haven’t seen the film by revealing details or the ending of the film. But I highly recommend watching it while it’s still playing in the theaters and sincerely hope it does well at the Oscars this year.

Unfortunately, I didn’t find out until after I watched the movie that the film is actually based on the novel by Colm Toibin. Click here to buy the novel Brooklyn

However, whether it’s a novel or a film, I do like the theme of finding one’s true home or true love that feels like home. With that said…

Remember to EXPLORE & ENJOY the journey

-M