Monday, March 31, 2008

When little girls dream of being with princes, i somehow doubt it involves sex in the back of a hummer, part I

When introducing people to one another, it’s always good to adhere to the “one interesting detail” rule. “Tommy, this is Joe. Joe is an avid sailor. Tommy has a terrific house on Nantucket- we should all sail there this summer!” These crucial details frame a conversation that would have otherwise been epically awkward, with the added bonus of getting the wheels rolling on your next vacation. 24 little words, but OH so much substance. This weekend, playing hostess at my house for some pre-party cocktails, I found myself framing a similar conversation. “Lucy, this is Flanky. Lucy, Flanky is from Lebanon. Lucy just returned from a tour of the middle east!”

“You’re Lebanese?” Lucy replied excitedly. “My friend dated a Lebanese guy- he was a prince!”

Flanky’s jaw dropped.

“Darling, there are no princes in Lebanon,” Flanky said gently breaking the news.

“Your friend got served!” I added (not at all tactfully, apparently).

This wasn’t the first time I’d heard about a guy faking being a prince (no, seriously). It got me thinking: What is it about the idea of royalty that made girls so susceptible to utterly ill suited Cinderella fantasies? Even when the prince in question is a spiky haired, Armani wearing whore of a man who’s high school GPA was so bad that his purported subjects had to pay for him to be admitted to a school as shite as GW? In a city like Washington DC that attracted students, diplomats and general crazies of every ilk, we were privy to the existence of a number of these alleged “princes.” Actually, they were everywhere. Swinging from the rafters of our favourite clubs, pouring vodka in each other’s mouths at our favourite clubs, and starting “pushing fights” at our favourite clubs (ok, all these guys did was club). And somehow, for all their visible lack of intelligence and charm, they consistently landed the hottest girls. These girls weren’t gold diggers either, I mean they spent more on a single handbag than these guys did on an entire year of clubbing. They meant business. The business of what Jane Austen would call a “profitable union.”

As an “American”, I never really understood the appeal. I viewed being a princess as a profession in which it would be harder for me to do the things I enjoyed the most: namely, acquire copious amounts of pot. Surely there were other reasons too, I just don’t really remember them, for rather obvious reasons. And also, somewhere deep down, I felt like these guys were embellishing their titles. Especially the Arab Guys.

It retrospect it’s not too hard of an act to pull off. I’m not trying to be insulting or a bitch (mainly because I needn’t try at being either) but lots of American girls will believe anything. So starved is the female population for any sort of gentlemanly behavior that any man who opens your car door is a veritable prince- and if that door just happens to be attached to a Bentley, well then ever more so. More crucially, if the Red States are any indication, Americans’ knowledge of world geography is an utter joke; it’s much easier to pull off being a prince when the country to which you’re alluding is as real to these girls as Candy Mountain.

Still, it’s so utterly pathetic to have to create a fake fucking kingdom to get in a girl’s pants that the second installment of our White Gravenor Stall writ large has just been written.

“Dear Saud al-Ahmad al-Mallak al-Blablabla,

That whole thing about you being a prince and stuff? That shit ain’t right. I’m fresh to your game and I’m spreading the word- of course its my word against those of your 80 cousins who have also paid their way into GW and armed themselves with the same lie (what are they btw? Dukes? Marquees?) but I’m pretty intent on getting the message across. So do yourself a favor and tell Chrissy, Candy and Missy the truth. Your parents are just dumb enough to give you an exorbitant allowance, one that affords you the ability to purchase insane quantities of Black Label in hopes of filling the passenger seat of your LEASED 911 turbo with some cheap tail. Shame on you for using their guilt over having sent you off to boarding school/cheated on one another to such vile means.

PS Though of course, I’ll keep your little secret quiet in exchange for 4 years of gratuitous drinks.

PPS What is that you say? We already did? Haha oh ya right. Thanks for the good times!"

Friday, March 28, 2008

What Happened to that little thing called My Priorities?

Top 7 Things I wanted to be when I was 7:

1) The Host of Reading Rainbow
2) The person who pulled the slime lever on "Double Dare"
3) Luge Gold Medalist
4) Purveyor of High End Tree Houses
5) Snuffleupagus' Secret Friend/Personal Assistant
6) A Figure Skater
7) Boris Becker

What's missing from that list? Oh yeah, whatever the fuck it is I actually do now.

Eff the Police. Big Time.

And of course, have a good weekend while you're doing it,


Thursday, March 27, 2008

What About Professional Bowlers? Or are they just too ugly to count.

From Nicholas Biddle, arguably my favorite writer/blogger, who as of late has graced me with his esteemed counsel:

"Rule no. 45 on guys you should never marry or enter into Significant Other status with. Guys who play squash. I have never met any guy who played squashed who wasn't an asshole. Including my best friend growing up who became a druggy, but he was only an asshole because he was self-destructive, and otherwise a good dude. Honestly, they don't even let you on the squash court unless you cut your wrists and show your blue hued blood or can otherwise verify that you do in fact own a pair of Nantucket reds.

My uncle belongs to the University Club and it's my place to swim of last resort. Anyways, one time I went and there was some pro-am squash tourney going in and it was packed. All these people, who should have been at home with their kids and/or wives who they never get to see because they work long hours and then spend the rest of their time playing squash at the University Club, were ogling this pro-am tournament action. Seriously. It was a clusterfuck of asshole. Just navigating the pomposity in the air was difficult. Plus dudes, old dudes especially, walk around naked and shake your hand in that state and act like it's normal. Another thing I don't get. I'm ok with the male form, I just want to have a conversation with a nude guy. Ever. Just like I don't want to talk a dude in the urinal next to me."

There we have it ladies, from the source. If your man plays squash, and he just happens to have meetings that start at 6 in the morning, and that's his excuse for not getting busy in the A.M. (ok, let's be honest, or the P.M.).…well, what he’s really doing is walking around naked hitting on my dear friend Nicholas Biddle at the University Club.

Consider yourselves forewarned.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

On Euro Dining Habits

In college, we prided ourselves on the lush habits of our “International crew”, a nice name we came up with to counteract what people really thought we were: Euro Trash. Having thus all come from cultures wherein consuming meals in front of a television was a sacrilege; meals were sort of a big deal. At the risk of being late to classes (or missing them entirely) we lingered from table to table of our favourite cafĂ©, sharing Marlboro lights and clinking Bellini glasses in celebration of nothing in particular. Life was good. And more importantly subsidized.

These days, my midweek meals are more rigidly booked than Nobu and serve a distinct purpose: catching up with an old friend, going on a date, or meeting with potential clients. In short, the art of the real impromptu group meal of yore, wherein bottles upon bottles of wine are consumed and a steady stream of kisses and seating rearrangements occur, is a virtual non reality here…at least mid week.

So imagine my delight yesterday evening upon arriving at one such dinner. The night started at a Chelsea gallery opening, continued onward to drinks, and ever onward to a restaurant on whose menu I understood maybe 2 words. The point of the restaurant, like the point of the art, was that you didn’t really get the point at all. Of course one never acknowledges as much- the idea being that wherever you were, you were in familiar territory. You “act like you owned that shit” as Le Americans would say.

The best part of the night, however, was the realization that so little actually changes when you find yourself back in the Euro nook. Sure the boys have traded their Prada sneakers for driving shoes, and we’ve traded our sequined tops for subdued cocktail dresses, but the necessary elements are always there. In due form:

1) The overpriced menu that makes the $40 penne suddenly seem like a steal
2) The uncannily cozy setting- the chairs all being so close together that you have to wait for one of the (frequent) group cigarette breaks to excuse yourself to the ladies room
3) A group of 8 or more, augmented by friends who happen to be in the neighborhood and continue to pop by well into midnight
4) The fact that you’re actually having dinner at midnight…on a weeknight (who needs sleep?)
5) Not one drop of fucking conversation on “the markets” (more importantly, who really needs to work?)
6) The fact that, inevitably, someone at your table will see someone they know and a hearty “Caaaaaaarla, come stai???” will be heard over the din of 4 tables
7) That at any given point, you will hear 7 languages being slung across the table, often genuinely, but at times competitively in an effort to illustrate superior worldliness
8) That by the end of the night, you will know where everyone at the table has vacationed in the last 10 years
9) That by the end of night, you will have received approximately 4 marriage proposals, 3 of them “jokingly” green card related

As for me, dear readers, I realized I’ve been off my form for a while. I’m certainly a pro at cocktail dresses and overpriced pennes, and I’m actually rather leaning toward quitting my job in exchange for sharing a little American citizenship. But if I’m really going to get back into the swing of things I’ll need to brush up on my 4 languages (As a general rule if you speak less than 5 they’d better be FLAWLESS), meet some I-banker turned coconut grower next week on vacation (interesting-slash-inspiring vacation related fodder) and start drinking at noon. Though something tells me I’m not really going to have a problem with that last bit.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Musings on Middle Eastern Parents

"Lunch was fun, his mom was great, she reminded me exactly of mine. Which is to say, she was off her fucking rocker- fantastic outfit though."

Prohibition Ended Over 80 Years Ago, or Lessons in Getting over It Already

If there’s one thing I am tired of hearing, it’s diatribes against what has become of New York nightlife. How many times must I hear people lament the loss of the great equalizing clubs- where preppies, prostitutes and everyone in between used to play. I remember someone once recounting an exceptional evening at 54 where they partied with a clown, a transvestite, an ‘artiste’ and a socialite in an effort to invoke some feeling of collective loss in all of us. Well you know what? I rather enjoy spending my evenings not blowing rails with a veritable circus.

There is one nightlife trend, however, whose latent airs of exclusivity really get under my skin, and this is the “speakeasy”. The speakeasy formula is this: take one space no larger than a walk in closet, place a buzzer the size of a gnat in an alley outside, add a ‘celebrity bartender’ who carves his ice out of glaciers in Antarctica, et voila. First there was Milk and Honey, then Little Branch, La Esquina, and Old Rabbit 124…and now you can’t drunkenly make out against an unassuming door without some bitch with a clipboard making ultimate judgment as per your coolness. Apparently, you can save a lot of money on hiring a bouncer if you hide a bar so far up the city’s asshole that it disappears.

Such is the case with a new bar I was reading about this weekend, the Submercer, the “ultra exclusive”, “cavernous” club hidden beneath the Mercer Hotel. From Urban Daddy:

“To get there, pass the Mercer Hotel (no. 147) and enter a little nook in the wall (no. 147 1/2). You'll know you're there when you see two unassuming henchmen hanging out in front of a doorway—just walk on by and enter the industrial freight elevator. Two floors underground, cruise down a long dark hallway stocked with bathroom supplies, turn left, pass the boiler room and then turn right through a heavy red door. One more hallway filled with wine and the faint sounds of lounge music will lead you to the promised land.”

This is ridiculous. It took me long enough to get used to walking through La Esquina’s kitchen only to get the faint whiff of tortilla stuck in my hair for the remainder of the evening. Now I have to dodge heaps of toilet paper, sweat through a boiler room, and let rats gnaw at my ankles before I can spend a day’s salary on a drink? Like, who are these souped up drug dealers/ nightlife entrepreneurs trying to impress with this shit? And if they are really trying to cull the crowd for the makings of a good night- why don’t they do so strategically, by creating an obstacle course that weeds out the unfit, stupid and prude amongst us?

In order to properly address this, I’m thinking of opening my own place called “EatMe.” From Eff the Police:

“To get there, pass the bum who calls you “GQ” and force yourself into the sewer next to where he pisses. You’ll see a pile of leftover syringes and a woman called Shaniqua- just walk on by like you know what the fuck you’re doing and enter a room full of mats. Here you will fight an American Gladiator called Xena. Kick her off her pedestal with a big foam baseball bat. Cruise on by into the next room where you will take on a Mensa candidate in a grueling game of chess before exhibiting your diverse skill set whilst performing oral sex on a banana. Turn left, scratch a hole into the dirt wall with your fingernails, and crawl through into the promised land.”

Soft opening Thursday night, open to the public NEVER.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

You Think You Know...(but you have no idea)

In the 3rd floor women’s bathroom of the White Gravenor Building on Georgetown’s Red Square lied a veritable goldmine of information; a list of the most dateable guys at Georgetown, with colorful commentary like “minute man”, “totally full of it” and “total sleaze” next to their names. I relished paying this room a break during my History of Southeast Asia classes and memorizing the wise words on its walls. It was consistently updated and told me everything I needed to know.

How easy we had it then. In New York City, where there are about 4 million men, you have to pick up on little signals to rule people out. Last night at Ulysses for example, having some post client-meeting drinks, a man with a train schedule in hand approached and offered me a drink. In less than a second, I deduced that train schedule = he lives upstate = he is probably married = I am not going to be “that girl”…and I politely declined. It’s like pre-requisite math for girls in this city.

But what of those for whom no alarm tolls?

Ladies, consider this your White Gravenor stall, writ large.

They all started out the same- JR, Mr. Rude, Daniel, and He Who Shall not be Named : reserving corner tables in charming restaurants, opening doors, saying “I miss you” before you’ve even had a chance to remember their last names, and stroking your face whilst wondering aloud how it is that they ever found you. It sounds nauseating, sure, but after 5 Maker’s and Diet’s that’s all foreplay.

These should not have been considered elements of romance, surely; normal men needn’t resort to such cheese to ensure that we continue seeing them. They are, rather simply, signs of Mania. The heightened confidence, unparalleled energy, delusions of love, reckless desires- These are interchangeably symptoms of the disease and things we find “appealing” in a significant other - an indelibly frightening notion of which we should take note.

Alas, after 3 dates, or 3 weeks, or 3 months (bad things do come in threes), the depression sets in. Various accounts render “the other” becoming increasingly tired, antsy, depressive, and anti-sexual. The woman, being the saner of the two, comes to her senses and breaks off the relationship before the disease spreads to her, ever wondering aloud over eggs-benedict and bellinis where exactly it went wrong.

In the last few days I have been privy to a number of these stories. Perhaps far too many to count. Perhaps enough to make me go celibate if that were humanly possible. But perhaps the most excruciating story, and the one that deserves a big needless sharpie picture of a penis next to it, belongs to JR.

JR met a friend of ours, a stunning PR Director, at Tailor last week, and sparks flew immediately. He charmed her over to the next bar, charmed her into dinner, and then another dinner, and another. Things were going swimmingly, and she’d even gotten the combo face stroke/ “finding you” question, which she took seriously because one always wants to. Until this Tuesday’s dinner during which he appeared rather agitated for no reason, pleaded tiredness, and then asked her to pay her half (cardinal sin of sins). He mentioned that he’d be going to Canada the next day for the Easter weekend. And so being ever the lady, she sent him a message later in the evening when she got home, hoping he felt better soon and enjoyed his trip.

She was treated to the following response this morning:

“Yes, thanks, was pretty tired. Not going to Canada going to Jersey instead. (Editor’s note: your choice of vacation destinations is inspired) On another note, I don’t think you and I will work out. It was very nice spending time with you, but I am not feeling I want to explore it further. I am a moody lad I know. Sorry. Take care.”

Let’s try to put aside the fact that his nether regions have receded so far up into his abdomen that he didn’t exhibit the manhood to say as much in person. I take the most issue with him using the fact that he is moody as an excuse.

So here it is, my first (of many) stall entries:

JR, you fucking pissant. You aren’t “moody.” Moody is how I feel when I haven’t eaten in 12 hours, or my mother keeps calling and I don’t feel like answering, or my boss keeps asking me to make revisions on a stupid effing document even though I have to go on a date in like an hour. You, my friend, are BIPOLAR, and if you haven’t noticed, it’s not actually that hard to get pills in this city, so Get it Done, or find a way to stay manic all the time, cuz we sort of like that guy. K? THANKS.

** The actual text sent back to our dear JR…so priceless: “Fine, actually you will not work for me, I am so glad you brought it up first as I was a bit afraid how to broach the subject - have fun in jersey you big piece of shit.”

** Stay tuned, the stories just get better from here.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Good Things

Do you find yourself doing monkey work for excessively long hours, wondering if there were something more, and resigning yourself to drug abuse and alcoholism?

Well, I can't help you there. Buck up and sort it out. But I can help you to help others while spinning around in your ergonomic chair feeling important.

Do me a favor and try to beat my score- I just won enough rice for all of Kenya.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Small Town Theory

In the art of war, Sun Tzu expounds on the importance of Isolation. If the enemy can be sunk into a valley surrounded by mountainous and harsh region, ever the better with regards their imminent takeover.

Women know this. This is why they convince their boyfriends to take jobs in shit cities with unattractive people and no nightlife. It pretty much guarantees isolation; isolation which can hopefully be parlayed into boredom, resignation, and subsequently, marriage.

I pretty much thought the only women who had to resort to this behavior were ones who really couldn’t cut the mustard (even though I know a lot of these women and always secretly felt bad for thinking this about them). Boy was I wrong.

This morning, as I was looking through the party pages (as I’m wont to do when hungover and “working”) I came upon it. A picture of my friend’s ex and arguably one of the most popular models of our day, entering a benefit. He, ever resplendent in black tie, had the smug look of a man whose breeding trumped her beauty. And she, hair thrown atop her head playfully, was an insult to the Vogue editors who had spent hours in hair and makeup to achieve the same look.

Clearly, I did what any girl would do and right clicked, saved, and attached that shit before I could even take my first crucial sip of vitamin water. “You didn’t say he was dating -----?!?!?” I wrote to his ex, “See attached.”

She replied that not only were the 2 indeed dating, and not only had she moved into his New York flat, but that she was begging him to move out to Connecticut for “her dog”. Now this made me take pause. What’s a model going to do in Connecticut? I mean I know she did a few Tommy Hilfiger ads but she doesn’t really strike me as the golfing or sailing type. Was she really such a selfless lover of animals that she would give up life in a Manhattan duplex so that little Rusty could run around in the grass?

Then it hit me. I live in this guy’s neighborhood and I’ve never seen her walk the dog. I’ve never seen the two of them sitting on a park bench, playing with the dog. In fact, I would wager rather heavily that she values the preservation of her manicure over even petting the damn thing. It was glaringly obvious that she simply wanted to isolate him to Connecticut- where all the competition is either preggers or pumped full of low grade botox. Even she had to resort to the lure of the small town theory.

And that is when it really hit me, more than those pictures in US magazine where actresses with big boobs are pumping their own gas or buying groceries:

Models, they’re just like us too. Only still considerably more attractive and all that.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Musings on WASP Parents

Courtesy of reader Bop

“They categorically refuse to eat below 14th street. They once got invited to a birthday party at La Esquina and I had to send them photographs of the “faux taco stand” accompanied by very detailed directions on navigating their way past the hipster with the clipboard. I mean, it’s a far cry from 21 Club; I didn’t know if they’d make it.”

On Defenses, However Arbitrary

No matter how ridiculous or extreme the situation, men will defend each others choices to the grave. Hence, when confronted with one another’s infidelities, inadequacies and general asinine behavior, they lend their “bros” a slap on the back, a staunch if unjustified defense, and most importantly a drink. Even when they don’t know each other at all, their defenses are ever at the ready.

This is falsely attributed to the strong sense of loyalty men have toward one another.

The real reason, however, is that wasting time drafting a dissenting argument detracts time from more enjoyable pursuits, like getting their shoes shined, or skimming the Economist for intelligent sounding headlines to use in conversation with other guys who skimmed the WSJ for important sounding headlines (“intellectual” masturbation at its best). On a shallow level, men are entirely justified in doing this – I mean, if I could reclaim all the time I have wasted thinking through my girl friends relationship issues, I could pull a gap year in Kenya out of my ass.

Henceforth, it should come as no surprise that I’ve received some rather impassioned responses to the umbrella story. My voicemail box has been flooded. “My umbrella is fucking Hermes,” man # 1 noted, “you think I wouldn’t get that shit back too?” The irony of this guy having an Hermes’ umbrella, whilst refusing to replace (or at the least, wash) the Fraternity T-shirt he’s been wearing since 2001 is not lost on me.

“Read your blog on the way up from Stamford today,” another voice hummed. “Hilarious. But seriously, what do you expect? If you left a shoe at a guy’s place, wouldn’t you want to get it back too?” At what point on the walk of shame, I wondered, would I realize I was shoeless? When I stopped by the deli to get a bottle of water because the guy obviously didn’t have clean cups and I was effing parched? I mean, inquiring minds want to know.

The most interesting response I received however came in the form of an email from a friend whom we'll call Thomas Crown.

“If I may indulge your psyche and mine. I own an umbrella. Yes I do. In fact, I bought the bastard at Barney's. The thought of losing it would bring true despair.

For me, like most men, it harkens back to better days; when men were men, they wore trousers not dungarees,your tailor was both your friend and confidant. Style was not brash but evidenced a handsome ferocity of who you were and wanted to be. Who carried an Umbrella? None other than Steed from the Avengers! Both a shield and a sword - used just as often as protection from the greys of London's rain as a tool for fighting evil. He carried no other weapon,he was a gentleman out for a stroll, that oft rose to the challenge of his surroundings. Plus, he looked damn cool opening the door with its rounded handle.

A gentleman should be graceful when soaked in the rain, throw up his collar, and enjoy the weather with a smile onhis face, no sense frowning at the inevitable. But, he should be equally be prepared for a brooding storm. A man should know how to make a one match fire, but always carry a Dunhill to light up a woman's indulgences. So why does a man want his umbrella back? Why, it would be as if James Bond left his tried and true Walther PPK at some lady's bed-side."

I immediately felt guilty for my public lambasting. Clearly their efforts to retrieve their umbrellas were symbolic of their yearning for better days: when men knew which side of the curb to walk on (curbside you ingrates) and laid their coats over puddles to ensure we’d never stain our Miu Miu’s again. Why did I always assume the worst? I let his fantasy world of side parted hair and cigarette cases wash over me. He’d taken the time to not only compose a valid argument but to paint the picture of the gentleman I’d always wished existed. I was not only proven wrong, I was sold.

That is, until he faltered and set me the following IM.

ThomasCrown: Did you get my email
Girl: Charming
Thomas Crown: I forgot the most important reason
ThomasCrown: Say some girl is walking along
ThomasCrown: You can use the handle to grab her
ThomasCrown: And its classy

I couldn't believe what I was reading, and noted that I'd be more apt to scream bloody murder than think being probed by an umbrella constituted a come on. Needless to say, the illusion was shattered, but we’d finally arrived at the truth.

The appeal of the umbrella wasn’t that it kept a man dry, or stylishly accented his outerwear with that distinguished orange hue. It wasn’t a weapon of choice for which he was willing to put his reputation on the line. It sure as hell didn’t make him Cary Grant.

It was about assaulting women on the street with a handle that whispered Baby, It’s Business Time.

This post is dedicated to JF.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Classic Conversation between a girl and her guy friends (which may or may not be based on recent conversations with my beloved guy friends): Part I

Girl: But like why did he act that way? Do you think he wasn't up for it? Or was he like SO up for it that he’s trying to over compensate and be super chill and I’m just interpreting it as him being all distant and stuff? God he’s such an asshole.

Dude: Dude, he’s fine. He probably is just pre-occupied at work. I’m always pre-occupied with work.

Girl: Whatever. I work too! I work a lot!

(Long drawn out silence derived from the fact that he doesn’t really believe that she works.)

Girl: But like do you not acknowledge that he is being a total asshole??

Dude: Maybe he’s just scared.

Girl: Scared how? Why? Am I scary? I’m like the chillest fucking girlfriend ever.

Dude: I know, I’d totally hit that shit.

Girl: That’s sort of not the point, but thanks.

(Long drawn out silence)

Dude: What are you wearing?

Girl: What does that have to do with anything!

Dude: You’re hot. If shit doesn’t work out with this guy just move on to someone else. Fuck it, I’d tap that shit on my lunch break. Are you working uptown today?

Girl: Yeah I am actually- How did you know that? ….Wait seriously though can you tell me- you’re a guy- like what is the deal.

Dude: Woman chill. You’re nuts.

Tales from my inbox: Thursday, 11:45 a.m.

Dr Spaceman called... he'd like to give you the results of your alcohol toxicology report.

I'm afraid the results aren't good.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Coworkers I will make fun of- Part I

Every week in the inane company newsletter that only I seem to have the time to read, there is an employee interview. This gives minions with no exposure to the outside world or higher ups a chance to shine. Favourite vacation destination? If you're smart you'll say Martha's Vineyard, the partners love the Vineyard. Favourite Movie? Say Schindler's List and you might be breaking Challah with the boss and his wifey next Friday. And so on and so forth.

This week's issue was from a man called Rubendran, a Systems Analyst "from" Nashville Tenessee. This guy was a real gem. Herewith, the questions, unadulterated answers, and my burning questions and commentary- below.

How long have you been with (Company Name Redacted so I don't get slapped with a lawsuit)? Where did you go to school and what was your major?

I am working in more than 3 years. I have completed the Master in Computer Application in Madras University, Chennai.

You don’t say.

How has (Company Name Redacted) changed in the time since you joined?

I learned a LOT about people mentality after joining .

I’m certain none of it was in a positive way either.

I think this will be useful to live in this competitive world.

No, actually it won’t. It will alienate you from your friends, and your parents will stay up at night wondering how they raised such a haughty little prick. I have a wealth of knowledge on the topic.

What keeps you busy outside of work?

I keep me busy by reading some technical stuff’s. Yes of course Music, playing some games with friends keeps me busy outside of work.

I actually can’t knock this; nothing gets me more hot and bothered than a guy who reads technical stuffs .

What song, artist or album must be on your album?

Artist: Maharajapuram Santhanam songs (no matter what song or Album).

It must suck when the other FOBs laugh at you behind your back because Maharajapuram was really only popular the year you moved to the states. It’s sort of like when we all went abroad that one summer and came back listening to Dragosta Din Tei thinking we were the shit. Except we actually were, and your answer just makes me sad.

In the movie version of your life, who will play you and why?

With out fail, I would like act in my role, because I know no one can fill my role. And when a movie is taking about my life, then I should be the hero, then obvious I like to play hero’s role than any one’s role.

For reals, no one could play you in a movie? Are you sure about that? I know you’re pretty unique; I don’t know many Indian guys who are techies in large financial services companies. There must only be a handful of you.

Wait. I totally know you……didn’t you help me last week when I kept getting that error message because I illegally installed AIM on my computer? And you told me it was a very simple application issue that you could troubleshoot in your sleep, with one hand, backwards? I take it back Veejay, you are my hero! No one could play you in a movie.

What do you mean your name is Rubendran?

Which is the more important gadget: iPod or mobile phone? Why?

Both, it is like asking do you want left hand side eye or right hand side eye.

I’m trying to think of some sort of iPhone – Cyclops metaphor but this guy is too deep for me: I can’t focus.

What nickname do friends or family have for you?


Oh RK, I don’t know one guy who doesn’t think his initials constitute a nickname. Nice work.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Declaration of Codependence

We’ve come a long way this century as women. We’ve earned the right to wear pants, fight in the army, vote, drive cars and shatter the glass ceiling (though lets be honest about that last one kids, we’d rather just marry it). But there is one atrocious inequality that faces us still: one that makes my palms sweat and my chest heave and my blood boil:

Clubbing discrimination against the All Girl Table.

No, any group of girls that deign to achieve this holy grail of club night is labeled Pompous, Lesbian- or a combination of both. (Which really shouldn’t be surprising given these are the only 2 insults in the diverse male arsenal but I digress).

Men, those darling beings, do not have this problem. The all male table, while beefier than Chelsea market on a Saturday afternoon, can easily be compensated for with the following actions (which may be practiced singularly or in tandem):

a) Troll the bar for desperate stand-ins
b) Pass girls flutes as they walk by- a flute of champagne requiring at the least a brief conversation and at most a trip to Pop Burger with you at 4 am
c) Text your girl-friends last minute, offering them excessive amounts of alcohol. If you build it, they will come…
d) Brush it off as Guy’s Night
e) Keep asking the waitress to pour new cocktails so it appears that she is, in fact, part of the table

We girls, on the other hand, don’t get tables at clubs for the sole purpose of getting laid. In fact, this is actually adverse to the REAL point. We do so because a certain subset of us can- when we’re signing the abnormally bloated tab at the end we get a faint whiff of what it feels like to have balls.

But perhaps most importantly, girls’ night out gives us an excuse to don our most fabulous outfits, the conceptual nature of which only our fellow neurotic style obsessed women can appreciate. Somehow, when free of the shackles of ass-grabbing and general bad behavior- we feel free to don our shortest skirts, plunging necklines, and 5 inch Louboutins. In short, the appeal is thus: Girls club night both heightens our delusions of grandeur while allowing us to slut it up, while not really slutting it up at all (clearly our favourite tease).

The execution however, is where the deviation and subsequent tragedy lies. We are met with inquisitive stares and a general uneasiness the effects of which 3 bottles of Grey Goose cannot diminish (trust me, I’ve tried). The last time we got a table, even the whore (waitress, sorry) tried to pin us with some cheap fucking Stoli. Nonetheless, we were having a terrific time, until one gentleman who had been unsuccessfully eyeing us up strode over to our table and in his best slur said what all the guys around us were thinking

“You think a-yourrrr all fucking SUPERmodels don’t you??”

“Um, no, but I can understand why you think so,” my friend responded in kind.

“Well guess what??” he spat, “Your NOT!!”

Our little Zoolander in training had a point: our ability to purchase our own alcohol emasculated him just like supermodels emasculated him. Ipso facto, we obviously thought we were supermodels. (This guy clearly got an A in Principles of Logic at Georgetown- oh wait, that was me). The fallacy of such an argument would have been a waste to point out to someone whose nostrils had hoovered more cocaine in the last hour than during all of Fashion week summarily.

This past Saturday, insult was added to injury. The same group of friends booked another table at another ridiculously hyped new club. This time, the men were more incredulous than insulting. “Whoa, how often do you see five hot chicks that are into other chicks? It’s fucking unbelievable!” they gleefully yelled over the din of recycled Bob Sinclair. Were these guys for serious?!

Needless to say, my friend hasn’t given up feeling insulted about this, days later. “I mean dude,” she implored “we even had 2 guys at the table! Given they were sort of scrawny and gay looking but fucking A!”

“Geez,” I consoled her, “now I know how the guys feel when someone brings a fat chick on the table. I mean she doesn’t add anything, but MY can she detract…am I right?”

As always, I was right.

And as always, more fodder for our next chill session was amassed, but something bigger was at hand and we both knew it. Short of launching the Million Clubber March, and short of forcing all males to complete computer based training on verbally assaulting girls whose pants they could never get into, something had to be done.

So here it is: my declaration. Gents, you were obviously right. It is entirely pompous and overwhelmingly lesbian of us to pay for our own grossly overpriced alcohol. I cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye that I will never, ever reach for my gold card again. This I- nay- all women, do solemnly swear.

I hope that was as good for you as it was for me.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Umbrella Boy(s)

Item #1- Men & their Umbrellas

It’s rather fitting that my first post be on New York men. They are an entirely unique and at times abominable entity unto their own and worthy of the million observations which will be due them. In short, they are fucking fascinating creatures: obsessed with success, ambiguously gay, ready and willing to engage in sexual Olympics, and very well read. Thus their prediliction to blackberries, hair products, condomless whoring, and impressive libraries. But there is one element that I really fail to understand the magnitude of- their attachment to Umbrellas.

This was brought to my attention by a friend. The scene was set thus: gorgeous, leggy fashion buyer and bad-boy turned wildly successful M&A Banker meet at a club via a very good mutual friend. Drinks were consumed, charming conversation readily exchanged, and proverbial dance cards filled. As young, attractive and/or successful people with little concern for bourgeois propriety are wont to do, girl and boy go home together and a night of what is described as terrific exploits ensues.

She awoke at 6 am to catch a last glimpse of him running for the door.

A week passed and no words were exchanged. Chalking it up to his lack of manners, she left it alone. That is, until he called the young female banker who introduced them in the first place and requested that she retrieve his umbrella from Buyer Girl’s home and not so kindly leave it with the doorman so that he might pick it up.

Buyer girl was obviously shocked and horrified.

Where, she asked, did he get off doing this to someone who was 8 notches above him on the attractiveness Richter scale? (It should be noted that for a guy to be an asshole is rude, but for an ugly guy to be an asshole to an attractive woman is unforgivable). For such a glaring display of cowardice, she reasoned, it would have at least been more honorable to ask her directly than to embarrass her further by involving their friend.

I myself was more interested in why the actual umbrella was so fucking important. He could definitely afford a new one, it didn’t seem to be molded of solid gold or have Mary Poppins-like superpowers, and it didn’t even have a compass built into the handle like the one my father carries. It was a second rate umbrella, one step up from the $4.99 variety that I buy at the bodega on a weekly basis. The man obviously had issues.

Or so I thought, until a few weeks ago when a gentleman caller of my own left his umbrella at my place. The next day, I received the following text message:

“uhh…by the way…I left my umbrella at your place. J…no rush to get it back though ”

I glanced at the umbrella in question- back, standard issue, with a slightly sturdier handle than most but definitely not warranting its own awkward text message. I laughed. Another seemingly normal man, another lame attempt to retrieve an embarrassingly insignificant item from a woman’s house.

What was this all about? Was this the modern day equivalent of “leaving your earrings on his bedside table” in the reverse? Did men leave umbrellas at girls’ apartments the city over just to have an excuse to stake the opposite claim, that they wanted no traces whatsoever of their affairs to be left behind or remembered?

As luck would have it, we’ve been out a few times since, and I’d forgotten all about it until the other evening as I caught it glaring at me: mid-make out with Umbrella Boy #2. I took pause- could he really still be dating me because of the prospect of getting his umbrella back? All signs point to yes. I have called him at 2 am, sunsequently kicked him out when other friends were coming over after the club, and made no attempts whatsoever to conduct myself in ladylike fashion. Yet he still lingers, making vague mentions of the umbrella he has kept here but has never had the keen sense to take back with him.

I haven’t quite arrived at the answer but I do know is this: dating someone you mildly like for an item that keeps you dry (and excuse my vulgarity here but the comparison is really rather apt) can’t be much worse than dating someone you hate because they make you wet.

And every reader is guilty of this on at least one occasion.

Tales from my outbox- Thursday morning, 9:35 a.m.

Last night, at circa 9:05 p.m., my mojo died.

A recount of the incident:

9:03- Kim calls. She is having drinks with two male models in Soho. She really wants to introduce me to one of them. (i think she said something like "OMG his portfolio is ridiculous. Puts Brad Pitt in fight club to shame)

9:04- I weigh the necessity of having to change out of sweatpants and pour myself a glass of makers and apple juice.

9:05- I politely decline and say I'd rather order a turkey burger and pass out.


Please children, a moment of silence for what was once vivacious and which can now best be described as that of a 78 year old woman suffering from cataracts.


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