I Speak Boy!

Do you ever wonder what he really means? Here are twenty things men have said to my close girlfriends or to me, with the Albany Eden interpretation:

WHAT HE SAYS WHAT HE THINKS TO HIMSELF
I’m not ready for a relationship. I don’t feel like enough other women have seen me naked yet.
I’m too busy with work to see you. And I choose to spend the little free time I do have with someone else.
We have no future. You’d make a nice second wife.
[During the first date] What’s your ideal man like? …You know, I think I could love you! I’m a sociopath.
I like your face and your body. …and that’s it! This was not a compliment.
I never realized how attracted I was to you. I used to think you were ugly.
We can’t see each other anymore because I need to focus on my new business. My inability to give you an orgasm is something I would rather shy away from than address.
Oh no, I didn’t get your message. Of course I got it. And ignored it. Why are you making this awkward for both of us?
You are the only woman I can have an intellectual conversation with and be attracted to. There is no one else at this precise moment, in this time zone, to keep me occupied.
Fine go ahead and go; I can get lots of girls! You’re the only one who will call me back, please don’t leave me!
[after one casual coffee date] Your Facebook pics gave me nice dreams last night. I am sexually starved. Do not leave your pets or houseplants alone in my presence.
Only pathetic losers count the number of women they have been with… …And I have been with 46!
My ex and I are good friends… …with benefits and I’ll run back to her the moment she forgives my sorry ass
I’m busy this weekend with a lot of work. You will never be a priority.
Sorry I didn’t call you earlier I’ve been sick. And it turns out you’re more tolerable than the others I’ve been seeing.
Can we keep being soul mates without being in a relationship? Most people only use 10% of their brains, I’m only capable of using 1%.
There’s nobody else out there like you. Please give me your undivided attention while I keep sleeping around.
That kiss six years ago was the kiss that lasted a lifetime. I will never make any effort to see you again.
I took this selfie in the mirror and could barely fit my package into the photo. Objects in mirror may appear larger than they actually are.
My soon-to-be ex and I are basically broken up. Now I have to get home, she’s ovulating!

– Albany Eden

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The Interview Date

One of the unexpected pitfalls of being a management student is that you tend to hang out with other management students and, sometimes, the guys you meet and date will also be from this crowd. Superficially, you might be thinking “jackpot” but, on closer inspection, having too much in common with a man can kill the romance.

albany eden interview date

It goes something like this:

Dale* and I were fixed up. He is a fellow former management student and an entrepreneur, as well as a close friend of a previous colleague of mine. For our first date, I told him we’d meet outside Prada, because if I am to date him, he might as well know where he would often be picking me up. I always estimate my walking time in terms of Ugg boots but today I was wearing heels. Since it had just rained and my head was still healing (see The Orangina Miser), I decided nothing more than a cautious gait would be advisable. I was thus almost ten minutes late. When I got to the boutique, I saw no one. For a brief moment, I was crestfallen but that quickly subsided as I contemplated having a look at the new collection (I am used to disappointment and thus easily get over it). Then I noticed a reflection in the store window. It was like Matthew Fox in the early 2000’s had left the set of Lost, changed into preppy clothes, lost ten pounds, grew a mole on his face, and came to meet me! I thought to myself, “if this is not Dale, and he does not show up, I sure hope you and I go for coffee!”

But it was him, and I felt very optimistic as we walked towards a café. Knowing little about Dale, I thought it would be interesting to ask him about his business. It was. He gladly and openly discussed his project, which, it should be no surprise to any recent grad, revolves around a mobile app. Like many “revolutionary” concepts, his was not really a new idea but offered what he was sure to be a better interface and more varied functionality than the dozens of apps already providing a similar service. I did not at first find anything strange about this conversation. We ended up talking for two and a half hours. Of course it was now 8:30pm and he did not invite me to dinner, however, like so many before him, I guess he might have been hoping for a firm invitation into my bedroom before forking out a knife and fork. Still, I wanted to see him again.

Later, he messaged me about alumni contacts. Since I’m used this behavior, it didn’t strike me odd coming from a potential suitor.

The next day, he wrote: “would you like to have a cheap lunch with me tomorrow?”

I try not to read too much into text messages because jokes are often misunderstood. I replied: “That’s an interesting choice of words!”

He came back with: “better a cheap lunch with a good guy than a good lunch with a cheap guy.” Again, I think his humor was lost in the bandwidth but I also sometimes say stupid things unintentionally, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I accepted the date.

I really wanted to get to know him better. I was hoping we could get more personal since we had already discussed every aspect of his business, and I was unemployed, so discussing my professional life should be quick.

This time, he showed up late. When he found me, we walked to the restaurant. What started as small talk (“What did you do today?” “Oh, I sent a couple CVs”) turned into the primary axis on which our conversation rotated. I do not believe I formally asked him for his advice but I got it. Honestly, he is quite clever and has the networking bit down to a science–too much so even as he greets and chitchats with every waiter, bus boy and hostess, regardless of whether that person seems completely uninterested and too busy to deal with someone like him.

As he went on about how I needed to lower my expectations in terms of salary and the types of companies that would value a native English speaker (things I have heard many times from the school’s career counselor), I allowed my mind to drift. He was so into what he was saying and also so inattentive to me that I could probably have been playing on my mobile phone without him noticing, but that’s not what happened.

I started to think about him in other ways. He was so good looking. I pictured what it might be like making love to him. He was fit and handsome enough to make the cut but then my imagination gave me a wakeup call. In bed, I thought, he is probably a talker who gets turned on by his own words. Phrases like: “Oh, I have a meeting with the VC firm,” “Oh yeah, Porters Five Forces,” “Give it to me HBR!!!” and as he climaxes, “Mmmmmmmmmmmmarket capitalization!!”

As I thought of this, I almost laughed. I decided then and there that I might be better off with someone from a different world, a different background, to whom I am a success for merely having a management degree, rather than a failure for not having found a job yet.

In the end, I gave him the business card of my friend working in VC (Venture Capital) and decided I wanted a partner in love, not business. I’m sure we’ll remain friends and help each other network but the man I will fall for will challenge me intellectually with his own original thoughts and opinions, not those imparted upon him from a cookie cutter business school.

-Albany Eden

The Orangina Miser

File:Orangina.jpgEver wonder why some women can’t seem to stop talking about their ex-boyfriends? In some cases, the answer may surprise you.

I think every writer, regardless of his or her level, is most prolific when a certain emotion pushes the plume, or rather, the fingers on the keyboard. In my case, that emotion is a mix of hopelessness, annoyance and frustration at why the universe keeps throwing me men I could never possibly like. However, I have been incommunicado for a while because, for various reasons, I had not been feeling my blogging impetus. Don’t worry though, it’s back!

Last weekend I survived what could have been a nearly fatal head injury. It was like the powers that be decided I was not to die by slipping on the kitchen floor and cracking my head open on the rugged tiles—perhaps there was something more in store for me yet?

So after this possible cosmic message, I decided to accept a simu-date with Roland. I really had no interest in him but had small hopes that he might pleasantly surprise me.  Since I had recently suffered a head trauma, alcohol consumption was off the menu for me for the fear of giving the term ‘hammered’ a whole new perspective.

We sat down in the crowded restaurant.

“I’ll have an Orangina.” I said.
“Guess I’ll have a freshly squeezed orange juice” he said.
“That’s funny, some of the soft drinks cost more than beer and wine in this brasserie!” I pointed out. The OJ was 4 Euros and the Stella 3.90.
“In that event, I’ll have a Stella,” he decided.

He took out 3.90 in change although the bill had not come, and proceeded to play with the coins on the table throughout the ensuing conversation.

First conversations can be challenging and we can all ask a stupid question here and there but when idiocies cannonballed one after another from his mouth (which had chapped lips and a perpetual icky coat of saliva on it to make matters worse), I had to ask myself: “can I imagine listening to this or kissing that on a daily basis?” The obvious answer was “no,” however, it is rude to just get up and leave, so I stayed to finish my soda.

It was a painfully boring conversation.

Roland (after I told him I work in marketing): “So what if there were no marketing departments? Companies could just put their products out there, you see your whole specialty really isn’t necessary.”

Me: “Um, ok. Not sure where to start. And people would learn to differentiate products or brands how? And know about release dates and features in what way?”

The thing is though that men still tend to be the pursuers in the dating game and it can be awkward if he has a great time while you are contemplating a polite way to block his number and unfriend him on facebook. In these instances, it is useful to have such foresight and think strategically. As a former management student, I knew I had to develop my exit strategy immediately and put it into action at just the right moment. I decided the complete and totally ignorant denigration of my livelihood was the last straw.

Ladies and gentlemen, I will now share one of my lesser-known dating secrets and explain how this story relates to women who open the ex-file way too early. The less I like a guy, the more I will talk about my ex-boyfriend on the first date. It is so simple yet so effective. He will be likely not to enjoy himself and even leave thinking it was his decision not to want to see you again.

It goes something like this:

Me: “So Roland, why don’t you tell me, about your last relationship?”

Most guys will say in one sentence something like, “well, I stayed with my ex for [so many] years, but in the end it didn’t work out.” Then he will make the courtesy call, “when was your last serious relationship?”

So I went ahead and told him:

“I stayed with my ex for four years but he was totally critical of me. Whatever I would make in the kitchen, he would find fault, from overly thick split pea soup to burnt cream. He once told me that ‘real women are mothers and know that crème fraiche should never be allowed to bubble.’”

Roland said nothing as he shuffled the coins on the table. I continued:

“And so then it was hard for me but I eventually had to end things. He still calls me though, even though he has a new girlfriend now. You know what he said about her?  He says, ‘Albany, I am dating someone new. She is fat though but I still encourage her to wear miniskirts and high heels.’”

At this point, Roland seemed bored with the conversation and I hoped his eyes were scoping out the various emergency exits this hole in the wall had to offer. I thought he would be completely turned off at this point but the little engine that could gave it one last go with another stupid question.

“So, do you have friends?” he asked.

“Yes. Yes I do. [pause] Um, do you?” I didn’t know how else to respond to such a silly remark.

Then he proceeded with a short list of each of his friends and their respective cities and professions. I know studies have shown that a person cannot truly be friends with more than 150 people at a time. I probably have fewer close friends than that but am far from being able to list them all in such a manner. Roland was not put off enough by my ex stories. So, to ensure he would not think this was a magical evening, I took out the big guns.

Me: “You probably noticed I’m not drinking. It’s because I fell on my head yesterday. So far I only feel nauseous but have not thrown up but I’m telling you in case I fall down or something, so you know what happened.”

Then I proceeded to rub my head where I do actually have a giant scab and a bruise. He was totally uncomfortable. Doing something like this is actually good because if he truly were a nice guy, he would be concerned and I might give him another chance. Roland had no interest in my wellbeing.

Then the bill came. It totaled 7 euros. My cheapest date ever. Roland, with the 3.90 in his hand finally stopped fiddling with the change and left it on top of the bill. I looked at it and I looked at him. He looked at me blankly. About thirty seconds went by. Did he seriously not want to buy a piddly Orangina for a head trauma victim? To his credit he (eventually) said, “I got it” and produced the remaining change.

As we parted outside the brasserie, I had but one thought, “please keep those slimy lips away from me!” We left in opposite directions and I am confident he will not call me again. As I walked home, I was glad to be alone.

-Albany Eden

The Russian Scientist and the Mosquito Poison

“Come on, let’s go to a night club tonight!” my dear friend Angela said.

I had been in China for nine days, felt allergic to the pollution and was experiencing some kind of culture shock as I was not in Shanghai or even Beijing. I was in the north of China in a city of millions where at this precise moment, I thought I was the only non-Chinese.  I was also not feeling too great because of all the mosquito bites.

“Ok, but first I need to bathe in the mosquito poison.”
“Fine,” she said, “we leave in 20 minutes.”

China had been a lot of things: built up, bustling, buildings crumbling, dirty…I wondered what a night club would look like in a city where the local cobbler was just a woman in a club chair on the sidewalk surrounded by bags of tools and material.

That night I learned never to judge a city’s nightlife by its day life. Whatever this Chinese city didn’t spend on street repairs, it put double into the nightclub! The Sunny Sunshine club was spectacular. I wonder if I have seen such a nice club even in Europe. First, it was air-conditioned, which was greatly appreciated in the sweltering Chinese summer heat. There was a live singer with talent, beautiful sculpted watermelon fruit platters being served, what looked like a hundred Tiffany chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, cocktails with sparklers and a separate jazz bar, to give variety in the music.

Among the heads of black hair, nobody bothering us, the music, the 90’s vibe, I really started to enjoy myself. Angela was engaged but still remembered how to enjoy a night out. We danced and drank and it was she who first noticed Alexei. After she pointed him out, it was hard not to notice him. At 6’4” he towered over the Chinese and was looking straight at me.

Alexei was a Russian aerospace engineer in China for a few weeks to teach the Chinese something about building airplanes. After my coy flirtation ritual, he finally offered me a drink. For some reason, often when I meet a man I like and he offers me a drink, I will order something I have never had before.

“I’ll have a B52”
“What?” he said with his heavy Russian accent.

Alexei didn’t understand. I had to type it into his iPhone. That’s actually how we communicated that night when we had to, but for the most part we were dancing. Towering over me, the only way for him to get close was to put his nose in my hair.

“Your perfume is perfect.”

I didn’t want to tell him that I was wearing only mosquito poison. With Angela’s help, we exchanged numbers. A few dates ensued and coincidentally the pollution in China started to bother me less. Alexei was handsome and brilliant, so I couldn’t understand why he was single but he told me he had trouble meeting women since he was working in the field of aerospace engineering.

On Alexei’s last night in China, Angela, Alexei, his friend Oleg and I all went out for a drink. That evening, I had forgotten to wear my mosquito repellent and of course noticed a few bloodsuckers circling around me preparing for an attack.

Alexei was trying to look into my eyes and speak intently. Perhaps he was telling me what these weeks together had meant to him but I couldn’t hear a word because I was preoccupied by the floating insects. Finally Angela asked the waitress who gave us a bottle of precious mosquito poison. I guess she expected it to come out in drops but when Angela tried to apply the product on my legs, it all spilled out and got all over my lap and bare thighs.  Almost instantly I was upright and running upstairs to the restroom to clean myself off.

china night club albany edenAs I dried my legs in the unisex restroom (unisex restrooms are very common in this part of China), Alexei came in. There must be something in mosquito poison that Russian scientists cannot resist. Of course it was the restroom and my friend was waiting downstairs, so Alexei did not get what he wanted. We went back to the table, enjoyed the evening and after a great night with friends, said goodbye as he was going back to Moscow the next day.

For the next couple weeks, we’d message each other and he’d always send me emoji roses. I wanted to see him again. Angela offered to invite him to her wedding and I thought that was a perfect idea. It was strange that the spelling of his name that he gave me and the one in his email address (when I asked for it for the wedding invitation) were not the same but I thought nothing of it. Moments after giving her his email address, I got a call from Angela.

“Albany, you have to have a look at this.” Apparently, in typing his email address with the correct spelling of his last name, she was immediately directed to his Google+ page where all of his personal photos were public. It didn’t take long for me to understand that not only was Alexei married to a beautiful young Russian woman, but they had a baby together! I deleted his number from my phone when I saw a photo he posted of himself in a warehouse-like giant supermarket with a trolley full of diapers; the caption he wrote beneath this picture read: “5 minutes of pleasure, a lifetime of worries.”

I guess mosquito poison doesn’t repel married men with babies.

-Albany Eden

10 Worst Things to Say to a Girl on the First Meeting

10. “Are you a pole dancer? You look like you could be a pole dancer.”

9.  “Do you have a joint?”

8. “I really don’t like my girlfriend that much, that’s why I still keep my online dating profile open.”

7. “I am unable to father children.”

6. “I used to shoplift from the supermarket until recently, but don’t worry, I didn’t steal because I needed to.”

5. “I’ll have four beers.” [All at once and for only himself]

4. “How old are you?….No, really, how old are you?”

3. [After ten minutes of awkward conversation] “My place or yours?”

2. “Don’t take this the wrong way, because I mean it as a compliment, but you have the most adorable, character-building frown lines.”

And finally…

1. “We must have sex, tonight, for I have multiple personality disorder and don’t know who I will be tomorrow!”

 

Sadly, this list is not made up. These are 10 of the most inappropriate things I have been told on a first meeting with a new guy. Note, I’m not saying these are things one should never reveal to a woman you are in a serious relationship with, but there is a time and place, and usually, the first half hour of the first conversation with her is not it.

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Any similar experiences you’d like to share/forget? Feel free to add them in the comments!

-Albany Eden

My #1 Dating Don’t

card key_albanyedenMarried men are off limits. My friends and I don’t play by many rules in the dating game but this one is a non-negotiable, so when a married guy makes the catastrophic mistake of slipping his hotel room key into one of our pockets, he has only himself to blame for the ramifications of this act.

At this very crowded international social event, Abby, Helen and I had just wanted to extend our networks…

*     *     *

“So, can we grab a drink sometime?” said the pimply Singaporean with garlic breath. I had to again brush off my face because of the saliva droplets being catapulted from his mouth.
“I’m so sorry” he continued, “I’m a distinguished public speaker and I’m used to talking loudly.”
I couldn’t see how this explained the spitting.
“That’s ok” I said. “You believed I was 24 so we’re good. But about the drink, it would just be as friends.” I wanted to be clear from the get-go.
Coming in closer, as if thinking a stronger whiff would persuade me, he said, “I was hoping it could be for more.”
“That’s kind of you, but I’m not interested in being your girlfriend, sorry.”
“But you are available? You are single?” He was getting insistent. I just looked at him with no response. He got the message and moved on to another girl.

At that moment, the waitress brought over a note “from the guy over there.” It read, “Do you want a drink? Turn around!” I comply and while I did notice a group of guys behind me, no one man identified himself as the author of the note. I must say, it was a clever approach that could have worked, but if a guy asks a girl to turn around, he must make it clear to her with whom she will be having the drink or nothing will happen. A little disappointed, I was glad that our tapas had just arrived.

Abby seemed to be having better luck. She had been talking to a man at the bar for nearly an hour. After staring at the tapas for ten minutes, I decided I’d start to nibble without her because otherwise they would get cold. One thing led to another and before I knew it the guacamole dish was empty! I felt like a criminal.

Finally the man she was talking to made his way across the room and I could get an update from my friend.

“Well that looked promising!” I said with a congratulatory tone, as I sat on the bar stool next to hers.
With that, Abby pulled out of her pocket a small gold envelope. I took it and realized it was a hotel room card key.
“Wow!” I was not expecting this.
“I know so gross, plus he’s married!” We were equally disgusted.

Apparently this married man thought it was appropriate to invite her to his room because, he said, anyway he was “too drunk to [fill in the blank]” so she “could just use the spa until the morning when they would finally [fill in the blank].”

“Eeeeew!!!” I couldn’t contain my disdain.

As we were mulling this over, a heavyset man approached us at the bar.

“Well hello there!” he interrupted.
Abby, always polite, looked up at him and smiled.
“Hi, um, Donald from Scotland,” she was looking at his nametag, confused because he looked Samoan.
“Oh, haha” he took the opportunity to put his hands on the small my back and on Abby’s thigh. As I saw him do this, I noticed a wedding ring on his finger. “I am not Donald, I just took his name tag so I could crash the event. So if you see Donald, warn me!”
“I’m sorry, we were in the middle of a conversation. It was nice meeting you.” I tried to brush him off politely.
“You can’t get rid of me so easily, you ladies look like you’re done with this place and could use a good time!” He was starting to bug me.
“I really haven’t gotten to talk with my friend all evening, so we would really like to just finish our conversation, but thanks though.”
“Nah, I saw you talking to those other guys. You are here for the same reason I am. But the little game you’re playing is quite cute, hahaha.” With that, he once again made inappropriate physical contact. Abby and I exchanged glances. As I moved his arm off me, I smiled.

“You know what? You’re right! We are looking for a good time. But we would rather have a good time in private. In fact, here is our hotel room key.” I handed him the married man’s little gold card key. The Samoan at first looked both ecstatic and perplexed, probably wondering which clever come-on had worked on me. As he snatched the little gold key, he was demonstrably pleased with himself. “You’re obviously too hot for this place,” I continued, “why don’t you take off, let us finish up here and then expect an evening you’ll never forget!”

-Albany Eden

My First Parisian Boyfriend

missed call_albany eden“All right, fine. I’ll drive you to the airport but only if it’s Orly, because it costs too much in gas to drive to Charles de Gaulle.” He huffed with annoyance. My first Parisian boyfriend drove a Smart car. Straight off the boat from the land of SUVs, I found it comical and when I first saw it said, ce n’est pas une voiture, c’est une mouche! Generally, his vehicle could carry either a passenger or a suitcase.

But I was going to the South of France for the Cannes Film Festival. It would be sunny and my bikinis and cocktail dresses fit comfortably into my hand luggage.

I had met Sebastien whilst out with my Swedish girlfriend. Linda actually used to wait tables at the Salon Bar near Oberkampf and still liked to go there to see her friends. Seb was the DJ at this place and he, like many other Parisian men I’d learn over the years, took himself very seriously.

If I hadn’t only been a teenager and going to my first bars ever, my ability to detect losers from the worthwhile guys might have been more developed. I saw Seb for the first time DJing at the bar, eyes closed in intense concentration with his headset over one ear. There he stood by his turntables at the back of the restaurant between the coat check and the ladies’ toilet. He was mixing a morceau of Saint Germain with the latest Madonna song (her “Music” album was just coming out) as patrons enjoyed their steak tare-tare and conversed. I wondered how many just assumed it was a CD playing.

Seb was tall, skinny, had a pointy nose, smoked a lot and pronounced h’s at the beginning of words that did not need them and silenced the h’s of words that did. “Hi habsolutely hadore aouse music!”

So Linda introduced us. He took my number and called and hung up, so I’d have his number. Little did I know that he would use this strategy throughout our short-lived relationship whenever he wanted to speak with me, so that I’d call him back and pay the communication.

“Missed call from Seb.” That’s strange, I didn’t hear it ring. It took me a little while to figure it out but I finally confronted him.

“But I am paid end of month. I don’t have budget for calling you.”

We would see each other only to go out at night. Linda was beautiful and so she would get us into the best clubs around the Champs-Elysées—places where bouncers would never allow Seb under any other circumstances.

At the Cannes Film Festival, I met a couple of interesting men, all of whom would call me without hanging up. No one I’d ever see again but at some point under the tent of the amazing Moulin Rouge party I looked toward the VIP square where Nicole Kidman sat behind her body guards and I realized there should be more to life than “aouse music” and second-hand smoke. The next day I called Air France and switched my Orly flight to one that arrived at Charles de Gaulle. I never saw Seb again. Although he did call, he never stayed on the phone long enough for me to answer.

Nearly a year later, I had completely forgotten about him. I had a new job with a major multinational media company. Galas and VIP events had become chores to me. I was rubbing elbows with the celebrities (well, ok I was frequently in the same room with them although there was no joint on joint contact).

My boss was the marketing director. We’d get so many calls from radio stations, magazines, etc. selling ad space. I was tasked with filtering these propositions. The phone rang. “Acme Incorporated” I said.

“Hello, this is Sebastien from the Informer Magazine and I’d like to talk to you about an interesting opportunity to purchase ad space. I recognized his voice not at first but by the end of the sentence.

“Seb?”
“Yes?”
“It’s me, Albany, remember?”

A brief updating of our professional lives ensued. Apparently Seb lost out to an mp3 player and had to find another gig.

“Well, nice to hear from you, so what about this ad space?” he asked. Clearly he had quotas and worked on commission. I’m not one to get many Pretty Woman moments like when Julia Roberts tells the nasty sales girls about the error of their ways, so I was getting ready to savor every moment as I opened my mouth.

“Sorry, we’re not budgeted for that. Don’t call us, we’ll call you.

-Albany Eden

How to know when it’s really over

breakup_albanyeden

Sometimes men just leave you hanging and the only way to know for sure if it’s over is to end it yourself.

10 ways to ensure he will never call you back:

10. The first time he lets you into his home, stake out space in the bathroom and closet and let him know that that is where you intend to leave your belongings “in the future.” Bonus points: identify the items he must throw out in order to make space for your wardrobe.

9. Have the serious relationship talk early on in the dating phase. It goes something like this:
Him: “So I was thinking of ordering the salmon.”
You: “Myra is engaged. Tell me now, do you have any intention of ever marrying me?”

8. Try a dress at a wedding store and send him a photo with the message: “I also found a great suit for you with a cummerbund to match my eye makeup!”

7.  If this is too embarrassing, send him a photo of a diamond engagement ring and say: “You must make about [insert his salary guestimate] per year right? So you could totally get a loan and buy me this!”

6.  Use the Morphing Booth mobile app to see what your baby together would look like and then, on the sly, make the image the wallpaper on both of your mobile phones.

5. Print out his online dating profile he doesn’t think you know about and leave it on the breakfast table.

4. Without discussing it first, change your Facebook relationship status with him to “Engaged.”

3. Hire a private investigator to trail him and then send him the photos taken of him talking to a female colleague, demanding an explanation.

2. Gathering inspiration from the movie Flashdance, if he upsets you, break his window with a rock.

And finally…

1. Write a blog about loser guys and then, with no explanation, send him the link!

– Albany Eden

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Anything to add to this list? Any similar experiences? Please share in the comments!

An Evening with Leonard Shelby

men who forget everything

“So where are you from?” This Norwegian’s mind reset every thirty seconds like in the film, Memento. Abby was patient with him. We were on the island of Hvar at a trendy bar with outdoor seating. Three women at a square table left space for one more.

“Albany and I are from the US and Kaya is Indian,” she told him for the third time. I don’t know if he actually heard her but he took a long drag of his cigarette and enjoyed the effects of whatever drug he had used to lace his nicotine.

Island of Hvar, Croatia

Island of Hvar, Croatia

“That’s an interesting t-shirt,” I was trying to be charming like Abby. The t-shirt had a cartoon naked woman mowing a lawn.

“You’re funny!” said the Norwegian, “where are you from?”
“India, we’re all Indian!” I proclaimed.
“Nah, I don’t believe it! I’ve been to India.”
“Interesting, where did you go in India?” Kaya asked.
“I never went to India! Where are you from?”

“We told you, we all three come from Jamaica.” I said again, sounding annoyed now. Like Leonard did with Sammy Jenkis in the film, I wanted to ascertain the extent of the Norwegian’s brain damage.

“Hahaha,” he took another puff of his cigarette before stroking Abby’s forearm with his two fingers. He looked intently into her eyes. “So lovely lady, where are you from?”

That night Abby and I had short drinks and had long since finished them but Kaya was drinking a mojito and is a lightweight so we didn’t want to rush her but when the Norwegian’s hand went from Abby’s forearm to her leg we both stood up and decided we’d buy Kaya another drink somewhere else.

“Where are you going?” he said in his same monotone voice.
“To the moon,” I replied.

“Hey can I get a cigarette first?” he gestured toward Kaya’s Marlboro Lights. The best thing to do when a robber is after you is to throw your purse behind him so he will have to turn around to get it and you can run away. Kaya did this with the cigarette and we were all three stunned by this man’s slow reaction time. He finally stood up off the bar stool, got down on the floor. At the foot of a statue of the Venus he looked up, facing it, cigarette in hand, and said “so where are you from?”

– Albany Eden

Smoke & Leerers

20131109-135847.jpgmen obsessed with smoking

“Do you have a joint?” I was startled and mildly amused by his candor. I was wearing my pastel skinny jeans and a designer blouse. My hair and makeup were intact, as I had just arrived at the party, so I couldn’t help but take offense at the possible implication that I appeared strung out.

“Um, no I didn’t bring one, sorry. Maybe you should ask somebody else,” I suggested. He reminded me of the privileged and hot late bloomer I dated who “only snorted cocaine on weekends.” I guess the implication was that cocaine use from Monday to Friday was not acceptable but come Saturday anything goes. As a non-recreational drug user myself, I tried to be open-minded but at some point every girl has to ask herself, “would I be embarrassed to tell my best friend the truth about this guy if he were my boyfriend?” and if the answer is “yes,” move onto the next.

“Let’s leave this place,” he gets credit for boldness but this is not what a woman likes to hear ten minutes into a first conversation with a guy at a friend’s birthday party.

“No, I’d like to stay here with my friends, but by all means, go find your joint and I’ll see you when you get back. So do you smoke a lot?”

“Of course not. It’s been a week,” he reassured me. “I still have two cigarettes so I’ll go later.”

“Um, if you’re really on the hunt for an altered mental state, you could always get drunk,” I suggested, trying to be a charming girl on his wavelength because by their 30’s, many of the sober and appropriate men have been snagged by their high school sweethearts.

“It wouldn’t work, I’m Russian, I would have to drink an entire bottle of whiskey.” His chiseled face, strong body and elegant stature accompanied by such remarks created a bizarre schism in my mind.

Feeling mild discomfort at the suggestion of how his tolerance became so high, I asked something else. “So how old are you?” He looked young but this was my grad school crowd so I couldn’t quite tell.

“26” he says without flinching. So what do you do?”

I tell him what I do in the wine & spirits industry.

“Then you’re in the right place, these people at this party love to drink!” It seemed he was attempting a joke, so I smiled. Polite girls smile even when it’s not funny.

“Haha, I got you! I’m actually 23!” He was quite amused with himself. At least somebody was. So that’s why he didn’t have frown lines. I was this close to asking him the name of his dermatologist for I had realized long ago that you can often obtain useful tips even from the biggest loser.

He spoke some more about his privileged upbringing, the luxury leisure sports he practices and the high profile politicians in his family’s inner circle. I guess he was trying to impress me but all I could see was his trembling hand. Nicotine withdrawal? Worse? I was afraid to ask.

“So tell me, what do you do?” he asked again. I suppose it bothered me only because he had asked me all but two questions the entire night and of the two, only remembered that I did not have a joint.

– Albany Eden