Monday, March 30, 2009

Mistake #42 Nannies

All you glorified babysitters out there, listen up. You are a very peculiar people. First, every other "working" girl hates that you get to watch soaps, talk shows, and Lifetime all day long. Second, guys think you're a joke. Finally, every stay-at-home mom is jealous that you are getting paid to do a piss-poor job at raising children when their only pay are in the form of hugs and kisses. True, I fantasized about hooking up with my babysitter girlfriend back in high school, but your only appeal these days are unhappily married men who believe they finally have something more interesting to check out when they return home.

When we play the "get to know you" game during FHE, nannies are the most saddening to listen to. They all consider themselves an "Au Pair." This is mainly a ploy in making their jobs seem more elegant and refined. Unfortunately the poor girls haven't the slightest clue what this means. First off, an Au Pair lives in a foreign country. I don't care how esteemed and wealthy the family you provide your services for, if you aren't from another country or are headed to another country, drop the French act.

These children are not your children. Even if you spend more hours a day with them than their parents, you still have no ownership of the little rascals. That's your job description, silly. Hearing you say, "my kids" or "my baby" is nauseating. You have no children. You are paid labor. Granted, the kids might even call you "mommy," but you probably taught them to say that because you think it's cute when they accidentally blurt it out in front of their real mother. P.S. that pisses the real mother off.

I think it's kinda okay (not really though...) when you're perhaps between 18-22 years old and a nanny. I can somewhat respect that, but when you're 27 talking about picking up your kids from school, I can't take you seriously anymore. If you like taking care of kids that much, how about making yourself available on a Friday night instead of making Spaghetti O's and tucking in someone else's 3 year old.

Please refrain from telling me, "This job will help me in the real world." No future job you apply for will ask you for nanny experience (unless you're applying for another nanny job.) Telling us that your vacation home is on Catalina Island, The Hamptons, Martha's Vineyard, or Steamboat Springs doesn't impress. First, you're not inviting us, ever. Second, we all know these are not "vacations" for you. You are inside observing little Madison and Jaxson on their Nintendo Wii's, while their parents are outdoors enjoying the real "vacation".

My suggestion would be to hang up the diapers & play dates until you have your own little tykes, and save those jobs for the real "au pairs". But hey, what do I know? I'm still single myself, right?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Mistake #41 All-Girl Trips

Hey girls, so I hear you're going on a little all-girl vacation?

First, let me get this right. You spend all winter getting in shape from your eating fiascoes during the holiday season, and to reward yourselves you head on these week-long excursions with your lady friends? Okay, got it. Seriously?

I can understand if your guy friends have other things planned. Yes, we do have jobs of substance, but we do know how to put in a vacation day or two. However, I've heard through the grapevine that a few of your guy friends have asked to tag along and you shun them like the Bubonic Plague of the 1340's. What's the deal? Are we really that annoying to be around? Do you hate it when we can add a bit of history and background to the locale you plan on visiting? Are you going to all-women cities with all-women restaurants to do all-women shopping? H-No! So what's your hang-up?

Call me crazy, but doesn't this defeat the purpose of getting to know the opposite sex? I mean you cry and complain about having too many girl friends and not enough guy friends and then you hit us with this ultimate b-slap. I hope this isn't in retaliation to us not inviting you on any trips. Sorry, but you're the planners. Not to be sexist, but how many travel agents have you seen lately with "real" Y chromosomes? We really do appreciate your travel selections and are glad to accompany you.

I know that I'm just a naive guy, but from the looks of it, these are the only probable reasons on going sans-men:

1) You only go through this whole self-improvement phase to gain the approval of other rival women (which you secretly hate btw...)
2) You're actually trying to get your groove back in exotic places with non-MoMo guys. Stella, this only leads you down a slippery slope.
3) You feel uncomfortable with your body and you feel that only a girl can relate. (If I'm not mistaken, most of the comments from girls categorize men as "fat and balding." From that perspective, I think we can all be in agreement that your muffin top won't be a topic of discussion.)
3) You're just trying to get tanned with your girlfriends so you can attract guys later. Well crap, who's going rub tanning lotion on your back then?
4) You really have some pressing issues to mull over with your girls that a sleepover can't suffice.
5) You really love telling the guy who bought you an alcoholic drink that, "I can't, I'm Mormon."

Now, if you're gung-ho on making these trips, go ahead. At least mull over these potential problems:
  • No protection whatsoever. How much do you really trust 4'9", 97 lbs Trisha watching your back?
  • Sorry girls, but common sense in foreign locations never was your forte. See Brokedown Palace, Taken, Return to Paradise, & Missing in Aruba: The Natalee Holloway Case.
  • Add extra risk if you're a blonde. As much as the first guy seems flattering, the next 300 Italian men fondling you make American guys seem like Prince Charming.
  • Foreign guys DO NOT understand the word "No."
  • If you're getting taken advantage of at Meineke Car Care, good luck with Cantonese street markets, the Taj Mahal vendors, Cancun taxi drivers, or some sketch cabana boy in Majorca, Spain.
  • Who will you dance with? Will it be the guy who grinds you into a full on DH, or will it be Mr. Axe cologne who's just scouring the club for his next human trafficking victim.
  • Who will give you a blessing if you get hurt?
  • What are the chances you know the language...proficiently? Rosetta Stone only halfway works in a business meeting and is a non-factor when local colloquiallism is involved.
These aren't just rantings of a chauvinistic, bitter guy, these are also valid concerns that each one of your parents (at least the ones who actually care...) talk about before you head out into the unknown. So again, think twice. Better yet, just don't give us any crap at age 55 when we take golf trip pilgrimages and pay homage to every Robert Trent Jones designed course in the country.

Bon Voyage!!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mistake #40 When the Wrapping Is More Interesting Than the Package by NM

Visualize this- It is December, there is a huge box underneath the tree wrapped in BMX wrapping paper and you are so excited! Beads of perspiration form on your forehead just thinking of Christmas morning. You just know that it is the bike you have always wanted. Christmas morning comes, you dash to the tree, ignoring all other presents and dive for the BMX box! You shred the wrapping paper, and underneath that glorious BMX paper is…WTF? This is super sized erector set? UGHHHHHH!

Might I be so bold as to parallel this sad Christmas tale with dating? I have seen it with the girls my guy friends take out time and time again. I actually suffered through a double date under these circumstances the other night. You know exactly what I am referring to- the wrapping does not match the package. When a girl has spent many years cultivating her appearance, which admittedly is in tip top condition, but sadly she has completely neglected to develop and foster a brain. She is but a hollow, albeit great looking, shell. This major omission effectively eradicates the possibility of carrying on a conversation about anything save it be other people’s appearance; and more often than not, the conversation revolves around degrading other people’s appearance.

Mike-“Hi Kimmie, how are you today?”

Kimmie (say this next sentence very bubbly, forget to breathe, and ignore all punctuation and the proper pauses that they indicate) -“Oh I am having a bad hair day…hehehe, I like your shirt…OMG look at that girls shoes, they totally don’t go with that outfit, ugh so ugly.”

I mean seriously, how dare that other girl inflict such a fashion atrocity on Kimmie and the rest of the sighted world?

Honestly what needs to happen in this situation is that Kimmie needs slapped up side the head and driven to the nearest Barnes and Nobles, while listening to NPR on the radio, so she can get a clue about life.

Ladies- the packaging is very important; looking, and smelling nice is critical- to attract a guy. To keep one, as well as prevent yourselves from being pitched off a cliff, or failing the proximity to a cliff, used as the bowling ball on your next date, you must actually have something interesting to say.

Do not put down other girls appearance to make yourself seem better, we get it; you are pretty, ON THE OUTSIDE. Do not whine to garner attention because your looks only got you so far. Try to join in and augment the conversation. The aphorism is true, people become more or less attractive the longer you know them. If you want to become more attractive, put down the latest fashion/gossip magazine. Try establishing hobbies and interests which will inevitably result in you forming complete, interesting sentences on your next date that do not involve some poor fashion impaired girls shoes.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mistake #39 Daddy's Little Girl by DS

(This is a foregone conclusion...)

Your daddy's rich. We started catching on when you mentioned your trips to the Bahamas every winter. And the condo in Park City. Oh, and the ski vacations to Tahoe. The semester abroad in Europe was unforgettable. Your 58" flat panel TV also helped. And your $900 handbag. Wakeboarding? You took your boat out all the time. The Mercedes is classy, but the Range Rover is way more fun to drive.

We recognize that you're not saying all of those things to brag. You're saying them because to you, they're normal. That's the bizarre world you grew up in. You knew, in some philosophical way, that you were privileged in a way others were not. But you never got very far past the philosophical (unless you count the time you went to Africa to volunteer in an orphanage or the two months you spent teaching English in China).

You were bred to be high maintenance.

It's not that we're intimidated by you. It's just that when we see you, red warning lights start flashing in our heads. You see, we know that the number one indicator of our future wealth (or poverty) is the woman we marry. If you've got expensive tastes, chances are you'll waste all our money. And let's be honest - you're a depreciating asset anyway.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mistake #38 Meet Your Parents? I'll Pass.

Heather has been dating Jake for the past 3 weeks. In her mind the relationship has been going well. From Jake's point of view things are going pretty cool too. They enjoy each others company and it's pretty much understood that Heather & Jake are like Diet Coke and lime...inseparable. Easter is around the corner and Jake is going to stay at school in Edmonton while Heather made plans 3 months prior to head home to Calgary. Late one night during their "quality time" Heather says, "Well...I talked to my parents today and they think it would be wonderful for you to come with me for Easter weekend." REWIND!

Okay girls, this is a major dating infraction. Why you ask? No guy in their right mind wants to visit your parents, unless he's pretty much ready to get down on one knee and and carry you off into the eternal sunset. What this also does is set you up for "The Question." It doesn't matter if you met the guy yesterday, if you bring Jake home, at least 3 of your foolish relatives will ask you point blank, "When are you getting married?" They of course add a little jovial laugh for extra effect. The next reason is that every family has a crazy. Every family. So just because you can handle uncle Steve with the meth addiction, doesn't mean Jake is super cool with him "chasing the white dragon"

Now bringing Jake home inevitably means photo album and home video time!!! This can have two distinct adverse reactions. First, the cacophony of Annie's Tomorrow on multiple occasions, your part as Julie in Saturday's Warriors, or your "guest" appearance with The 5 Browns can portray you as egocentric, diva-ish, and possibly hinting on malevolence. Or, your lack of talent coupled with your unsightly "pubescent" years brings us to pity you and garner more ammunition once this ill-fated relationship goes sour. (side note: these video/picture shows are only cute to your family that must "unconditionally" love you.)

Next you have the bedroom. Maybe your apartment room has been updated with the newest 600 thread count, Egyptian Cotton sheets from Restoration Hardware and accented with Pottery Barn accoutrements, but your room at home still has Bubble Gum Pink walls complete with fluffy bunnies, ballet slippers, and a canopy bed. No guy wants that mental image of the innocent 12 year old Heather, especially after last night's "Quality Time" was hardly innocent.

Later on, you have dad's unapproved stares, mom pulling the cobwebs out of her flirting techniques, and the handicapped relative showing out again. To make matters worse, there is always the über-awkward family argument:

Dad:"No honey we just can't afford to keep wasting money on your cosmetic upgrades."
Mom:"But you'll spend 300 dollars a week on greens fees?"
Dad:"That's an investment!"
Mom:"You're 58 and will never make the PGA!"
Dad:"Well you'll never win any beauty pageants with that botched lip job!"
Mom:"You shouldn't have been cheap and opted for Dr. Jiffy Lube instead of Botox!!!"
(Mom runs to her room crying and Dad storms out the house furious)

To sum it up, bringing Jake home has more downside than up. At least wait until he says, "I Love You" before you start bringing him home. You'll have plenty of time to show off your boyfriend in due time. For now just send home a picture or cardboard cut-out of him.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Suggestion #9 Top 12 No No's in Conversation

Who needs a top 10 when I got a top 12? Here are a few suggestions of what not to say to a guy that you are starting a relationship with. As always, do as you wish.

12. When will I see you again?
Alex, I think the correct answer is "What is possessiveness?" I think he just got the go ahead to run away from the crazy train.You can refer back to that dogeared and overly quoted book or video you've already got in your queue from Netflix called, "He's Just Not That Into You." Just like Viagra, when the time is right, you'll know...

11. Can I help pay?
No. We get it, you got a job, you sold your eggs, or your daddy gave you a raise, but didn't we ask YOU to dinner? Save your dough for the guys who want to "hang out."

10. Do you like my outfit?
Unless you're trying to "slut it up," fishing for compliments should be avoided. If you look good, we'll take notice and tell you. If this is not the case, smack your roommate/sis/mom for letting you go out in public in the first place.

9. Did you know that I lost weight?
Yes, we know when you have lost weight, and we also know when you've added that muffin-top too. Only a fool would acknowledge this fact, so don't ask. You can always refer back to #10.

8. Where is this going?
Um...I'm guessing nowhere. If you need to ask this question, you already know the answer.

7. I Love You.
See ya! It's pretty much the guys responsibility to say this one. If he hasn't yet, the answer is no. If you are looking for reciprocation, just watch the bevy of romantic comedies dusting your shelves. 3 words and 8 letters have never caused such an emotional tidal wave as these have. Just wait for it. (Well, "I hate you" is a close second...)

6. I don't trust you. you're saying I need to get sneakier? Noted. If you don't trust the guy, go trust someone else then. Relationships shouldn't be like Geometry proofs, either you trust him or you don't.

5. We need to talk.
This translates into, "This is about to get ugly, so let's change the subject." Ladies, why even ask this inauspicious question? Why don't you use your sneakiness a bring out pending problems casually. You could probably eliminate our defensive

4. Who is hotter Angeline Jolie or Jennifer Aniston?
The answer is always going to be Angelina Jolie, because it's just fact. Lara Croft will always trump Rachel Green and Angelina would never do a "Marley & Me" or "The Breakup" type film. But we'll tell you Jennifer Aniston, because we all know how much you girls cling to damaged goods. If you need any tangible evidence, just ask your boy Brad Pitt.

3. Don't you want dessert?
Guys are normally paying for the dinner you are eating, so if we want dessert, we'll get dessert. You can just continue feeding your face full of cheesecake. We'll take care of it.

2. Can we watch something else?
I'm assuming that you are at his place, and watching his television. Most guys can tell if they are watching something unfavorable to their significant other, because this is usually figured out during the First Date Rundown Questions. So he is probably doesn't give a crap that you want to watch the rose ceremony of The Bachelor. If you want this relationship to last, you'll learn how to get used to this one.

1. I served a mission.
Game over. Do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mistake #37 You're Hot and You're Cold, You're Yes and You're No by DS

In this post we will explore the crippling trait of indecision. The fact of the matter is that the majority of us are indecisive. This is a trait that affects all of us, men and women. Herbert Hoover, former President of the United States of America, once said "My view of Heaven is of a place where no one ever has to make a decision." George W Bush, another former President of the United States, said "People say I'm indecisive, but I don't know about that."

Decisive people stand out from the crowd. Decisiveness is a powerful differentiator, one that can be especially helpful for women living in areas where the women outnumber the men (Author's Note: At this moment every female who is reading this is thinking "That's me! I live in an area like that!" I don't think I've ever lived in a place where the women think there is an equal ratio. They always claim it's at LEAST 2:1 or 3:1… But every time I gaze around in Sacrament Meeting, it looks pretty evenly split to me. Sounds like an excuse...). Let's walk through some familiar scenarios and analyze good approaches.

Decision #1: The Entrée

Ladies, picking an entrée at dinner is not a very difficult decision. Your meal will last approximately 1 hour. Dinner generally occurs at the beginning of a date and can set the tone for the entire evening. No guy wants to wait 20 minutes for you to pick out what you want to eat. This is where you probably want to pay close attention to the cues your date is sending. If he decides right away, try and pick something quickly. If he's taking forever, it's a good opportunity for you to impress him with your decisiveness.

Decisiveness can be a two-edged sword, however. Women have a habit of substituting things when they order food. It's as if they can't just order the "stock" version of the dish. They'll order the Three Cheese Chicken Penne pasta from Applebee's but ask to replace the mozzarella with sharp cheddar, the penne with bowtie, and the alfredo sauce with marinara. Whoa there tiger. Calm down.

Decision #2: The Movie*

One would think that movie selection would not be the arduous process it is today. Yeah, we've received some pretty strict guidance that eliminates 63% of movies in existence. It sounds something like this: "Do not attend, view, or participate in entertainment that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way. Do not participate in entertainment that in any way presents immorality or violent behavior as acceptable." But that still leaves 37%.

The irony is that when you get to Blockbuster, you can't think of anything to rent. But when you're sitting at home watching TV or previews for other movies, you're always making mental notes of films you want to see. So why don't we bridge that gap and take care of your indecision problem at the same time? When you hear about a movie you'd like to see, write it down somewhere. Make a list on your BlackBerry Pearl or a note on your iPhone. And next time you head to the movie store, you'll be able to say "I've been wanting to see…". You'll be an instant hero.

Decision #3: The Open Question

"So… what do you want to do tonight?"** Familiar question? I bet you can guess the familiar answer: "I don't know." Or we could twist it around a bit and ask "Where do you want to eat?" "I don't care." It seems like apathy is everywhere these days. That's precisely the reason why decisive people are so refreshing. Take charge. Check out one of those event websites that tells you everything that's going on that weekend. Pull out the latest copy of Schooled magazine and look at the calendar. Oh, and have you ever heard of Zagat? How about UrbanSpoon?

Maybe you don't feel comfortable choosing an activity or restaurant for the entire group. That's fine. You can still be decisive by contributing to the solution. If you're picking a restaurant, say "I'm in the mood for Thai or Italian." The group is now a tiny step closer to making a decision. Well done.

Try it out. And then come back to WMGSS and post a comment letting us know how it went. Beneath the sarcasm and stereotyping, we really do care. Sort of.

*Gentlemen, please do not combine Decision #1 with Decision #2. It makes for a pretty lame date.

**Ladies, if a guy ever asks you this question on a date, tell him you'd like him to take you home. He's pathetic. But if you're just hanging out, it's an opportunity for you to shine.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mistake #36 Dress How You Want To Be Treated

I like to criticize. Sue me, but I can totally take criticism like a champ as well. So when you eventually locate me have at it, but until then...

Actions are created by perception. A guy's perception is usually based on physical/visual values and a girl's perception is usually based on emotional/imaginary values. We're going to forget about the female's perception, because this not "Why Mormon Guys Stay Single." This male perception also subconsciously helps a guy determine what type of girls are worth pursuing.

Since men are visual, we like to associate how women dress to how they should be treated. I'm not saying that we go all Chris Brown on you if you wear something slutty, but your dress speaks volumes on your behalf. And because we are wired this way, you will attract a certain guy and a certain attitude regardless of your social status, wealth, ethnicity, profession (or lack thereof), or education.

If you really want to bring out the whole "Girls Next Door" look Pierside Ward, go ahead. Your high school graduation silicone presents complete with 5 inch heels, bottle-blonde hair, uber leathery skin attached to skimpy Bebe Dresses will totally find it's way to that guy who digs you. He's the way "too pretty" schmoozer who has more product than you and just needs a trophy wife. If you can't keep up your part of the bargain, you'll become one of the 30 divorcees in your ward that have already "been there, done that" with the same type of guy.

Or maybe you like the "Capitol Hill" look such as my friends over in the Colonial Wards. Your pale, pasty bodice draped in a sexless Anne Klein pantsuit will definitely get you the attention you're not desiring. That 60-something congressman who dotes on you in private and pretends you are just his "right hand woman" in front of his wife and kids, will just have you around until he gets caught or your internship is over.

Hey Orem & Provo, American Eagle and Abercrombie & Fitch has a stranglehold on your cities. Because you all dress alike, I feel as if this town has about 10,000 middle-class Nadja Suleman's roaming this Wasatch area. With your childlike, vibrant stripes and strategically tattered jeans, it's no wonder your boyfriends all suffer from "Peter Pan syndrome" They'll never grow up and you'll wonder why behind your 500 colorful A&F logo tees.

The "I'm too smart so I shop at Talbots" look over in the Longfellow Park Wards is a little played out. You have girls already in mom mode with your jumpers and 1970-esque Diane von Furstenberg inspired wrap dresses. It's like you don't even care. This saddens us at WMGSS. I'm sorry Boston, they're no guys interested in that and from your recent decline in marriages the proof is in the pudding.

Ultimately it's up to you what you decide to pull out your closets everyday, so don't let me persuade you otherwise. However, cloning yourself like the next girl in your ward bores us. The effort that you put it your dress has an equal reward in the type of guy you attract. I appreciate your attempts at modesty as much as the next upstanding, Mormon guy. By the same token, seeing 3 girls show up in the same ankle boots, patterned tights and floral skirts loses our interest. You'll just attract the same d-bags that still sport their mission Dr. Martens. Refreshingly original girls attract refreshingly original guys. Just remember there will always be more of you than us, so dress accordingly.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Fresh Coat of Paint

Hi readers. Sorry for the delay in content. We at WMGSS needed an appropriate page upgrade. Stay tuned for more to come.
-Peter P.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Mistake #35 OMG! I'm 21 and not married yet!

(Don't fret girls...your time will come.)

Mindy, overcome with being overlooked again at church, pouts all the way back to her Liberty Square Apt. She slams her door and screams "Ughhhhhhhh!" Her engaged roommate tries to walk in but Mindy screams, "What to you want! You have everything!!!!" Her roommate was a little perplexed, "Hey Mindy, what's going on? Let me help." "No, you can't help me! No one can!" exclaimed Mindy as the flood gates to her tear ducts open. "I can't believe I'm 21 and not married yet. I hate all my friends telling me how happy they are on their blogs with 'husband.' Why can't they just call him by his freaking real name?!?! I'm tired of being a bridesmaid, I want my own wedding!"

Gosh Mindy, I'm sooo sorry for you. I guess it does suck being one of only 4 girls in your 2005 Provo High School graduating class not married yet. I mean seriously, compared to the last 4 years, you had a 97.2 percent chance of already getting hitched. What are going to do now? You're 2 credits away from your degree in Elementary Education. Should you change you major now or should you think about putting in those mission papers? I bet you've already picked out every single item for your Target gift registry all the way down to that matching red KitchenAid set you've wanted ever since that Good Morning Utah segment.

Well guess what? No one really cares. Get over it. I know how much you wanted to move into a basement apartment complete with 5 foot ceilings where you and your future hubby can procreate to your hearts content. I'll promise you'll see your friends in a few years. Follow my advice and take the Peter Preisthood's Single Lady Cross Country Challenge.

Just pack your bags and join the throngs of single ladies in the metropolitan regions of the country. Start your trip up to Salt Lake City as you move into trendy Sugarhouse, where you secretly become a Ute fan because of their affinity to actually excel at sports. Next, take 2 years getting your graduate degree at Tufts University in Boston. Don't worry you'll be fine. Just hit up the University Ward, no need to bother the "second halves" in the Longfellow Park Wards, because you're still a baby by their standards. Get ready for the 2012 election, by moving down to D.C. Your daddy has a bank roll that has made it through the Depression of 2009-10 so he hooks you up with a townhouse in Georgetown. After unsuccessfully campaigning for yet another Mormon republican, you chill out for a couple of years bouncing around the likes of Huntington Beach & Santa Monica marketing some bogus anti-aging cream as you wrinkle up in the California sun, all the while forgetting you have a Masters in Education.

You're 29 now, so you head back home to Utah and start teaching 4th grade English, where you find yourself in an Orem singles ward with 56% of the girls being 2005 Provo High graduates. They are now divorced or divorced with kids, because marrying their childhood sweetheart that worked at Big O Tires just doesn't pay for all the Mary Kay product or scrapbooking material anymore.

Trust me, after this challenge, you'll realize how dumb you sounded at 21 and "poof" you'll be married faster than you can say, "More Jello Honey?"

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Mistake #34 Arranged Marriages (Oops, I mean Dinners) by CSL

I'm sure that someone on the activities committee pats themselves on the back for suggesting this oh-so original idea.

"I know! Let's assign dinner groups! We could do dinner parties on Sunday evenings. What better way to encourage dating in our ward could there be?!"

And so the assignments are made and the sheet goes around. Some Molly out there is eager with anticipation (heck, she's probably the one who suggested it). She's determined to put the old proverb to the test: The way to a man's heart is through his stomach. She has the menu made and already finished the place cards at Archiver's before she even knows which guy's apartment is coming over.

Molly gets the phone call (hopefully before she's done any more preparations, but sadly, that rarely happens). Its from one of the guys who has been assigned to her apartment. They're not coming. Surprisingly enough, every guy in that apartment is going home for dinner that Sunday. Yes, even the guy from Brazil will be at his parent's in Sao Paulo. How can you interfere with family dinner?

The arranged dinners raise more red flags than a Chinese airport in a guy's mind. These have the potential to be more awkward than eating spaghetti on a first date. Think of all the possible outcomes.

1. The dinner is nasty and choking it down is harder than the burnt biscuits served along side it. At least the girl is amazingly cute.
2. The dinner is amazingly good, but the cook is amazingly not cute.
3. If you compliment the chef of the amazing dinner, she may expect an invitation for a date shortly thereafter.
4. If you compliment the chef of the nasty dinner, she'll know you're lying and then there's no way you'll get a date. Besides, who wants to date a girl who really can't cook? No marriage potential there.
5. Lets entertain the thought that the dinner is amazing and the chef is amazingly cute. But then there are at least 5 other guys there trying to get in on the action as well.
6. The conversation is bound to be mundane. "Oh, these mashed potatoes are so creamy. What do you add to make them so amazing?" "How about this snow? I can't believe its this cold in December." "How about those Cougars?" Inevitably, the girls will start talking about girl stuff and the guys will start talking about sports. There might be one girl who tries to assert herself in the sports world, but no guy is gonna dare enter the female realm in that situation.

There are just a few of the things going through every guy's mind. Is putting yourself through that really worth the free meal? Nah. Stick to the ramen noodles and mac n cheese.

Now, if you can manage to get a one on one dinner cooked by the amazingly cute girl who also happens to cook well, you're in luck.

If its any consolation, this abhorred practice doesn't end when you graduate from the singles ward. In married wards, there's still always someone who thinks this is fun. Its not. No arranged dinners, please. If you want to invite someone over on your own, then fine. That can be fun. Husband and I have done that several times and its pretty successful.

Its just not a good idea to get any group of strangers (or at best, acquaintances) together and have them eat. You have to make small talk, and someone always asks a question when your mouth is full. And heaven forbid someone burps.

Aren't there cruise lines out there that use the fact that they don't do things like that as a major selling point?

If you're still convinced that a dinner party is the way to go, here's what you do. Invite some guys over, order some pizza and stick in a movie that everyone has seen before. That way, you all get fed and if the company is dull, at least there's a movie to entertain you. If the company is good, you can ignore the movie and not miss anything. And if you want to show off your cooking skills, have a good dessert available. You can't go wrong with a good batch of chocolate chip cookies.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Mistake #33 Maybe she's born with it by DS

Sometimes Mormon girls don't get asked out because they have horrible names. One would think that with all the time parents have to pick a name (approximately 9 months - for those of you who were wondering), they would pick good ones. Yet there are a staggering number of girls, especially in the Mormon community, whose names suggest that their parents were either illiterate or had some problems with the Word of Wisdom.

At the heart of the issue lies the desire to be unique. Expectant parents look around and say "No, no. My child will not be a Rachel or Jessica. Too normal. There were eight girls named Rachel in my 4th grade class. But what would happen if I combined the names? Rassica? Perfect!" It is precisely in that short-sighted moment of triumph that the unborn child in the womb is doomed.

What the parents failed to take into account was the long-term perspective. That single decision to choose a "unique" name has effectively doubled the amount of time it will take their daughter to introduce herself, forever. "What's your name?" "Rassica." "Excuse me?" "Rassica!" "Sorry, could you say that one more time?" "Rassica!!!" If you were to add up the total time a uniquely-named girl spent repeating herself, by the end of her lifetime it would likely amount to several days. What a waste, merely to satisfy a parent's selfish whim.

Confession time: I was once set up on a blind date with a girl who had a made up name. It wasn't just any made up name, though - it was similar to a real name that could be pronounced two different ways (cue Brian Regan "Carolyn v. Caroline"). She was beautiful, smart, and fun, but for the life of me I couldn't remember how to pronounce her name. The whole night I would wait for someone else to say it and then make a mental note, but when I tried to remember, that mental note was gone. I was so worried about saying her name incorrectly that I forgot to have a good time. There was no second date. It was such a traumatizing experience that today I have absolutely no clue what her name was, much less how to pronounce it correctly.

This topic wouldn't be complete if I didn't address the serious offense of changing the spelling of an otherwise normal name. This epidemic tends to afflict two types of parents:

1) those who aren't bold enough to entirely invent a name, and 2) those who invented names until they realized the damage they were doing to their children but couldn't give it up completely. The upside of having a misspelled yet normal-sounding name is that you don't have to repeat yourself much. Just embrace the fact that people will have difficulty finding you on Facebook and your name will never be spelled right in you friend's mobile phones. Finally, a short list of names and spellings that should be banned:

Amberlyn, Andreina, Andria, Angelle, Annaliese, Arianna, Aubrianne, Breanne, Brenna, Brianna, Britta, Bryn, Cambria, Camilee, Camilyn, Caren, Carlee, Cecily, Cedar, Chanti, Charlee, Cherise, Christen, Colette, Dawnelle, Denae, Doneen, Donelle, Gemma, Genna, Hana, Janalyn, Janelle, Janessa, Jayden, Jayme, Jeannine, Jenica, Jewell, Joelle, Julaine, Julene, Kami, Kandra, KaraLyn, Karin, Karlee, Karyna, Kayleen, Kelsy, Kimberlee, Kirtley, Lacey, Lara, Lieren, Loralee, Maegan, Meegan, Meka, Merilee, Mickelle, Mindee, Mitzi, Monika, Rebekah, Rhyll, Salina, Savanna, Shaelyn, Shalei, Shalena, Shandi, Shayla, Sheena, Shellee, Sherstin, Shirene, Shyanne, Sommer, Tanda, Tessa, Tiare, Wittney