Friday, April 28, 2006

Free Japan

Wouldn’t it be nice if the government paid for you to go out and find a suitable mate? If this is an enticing proposition then move to Japan, because the government has started paying for people to go out and meet potential partners.

According to an article posted on, Japan has started to fund some speed dating events to curb their falling population. I have my own qualms about speed dating, as well as the fact that I believe the world to be overpopulated, however the notion that a government views it’s populace as ‘too single’ is just intriguing to me.

Think about it. If the U.S. started paying for single people to attend dating events, would we be more motivated to find the right person or would we exploit the system for a free date – courtesy of the man?

It’s interesting to think that as the industrialized world moves faster and faster, people work harder and become increasingly selfish about their personal time (which is not necessarily a bad thing), it’s become apparent that finding love has been put on the backburner leading to a longer single life.

Instead of family and stability, we are increasingly seeking autonomy and success, thus building a successful and long-term relationship is absent of the traditions that went into marriages of past decades. I’ve heard many arguments that our generation doesn’t value those past traditions enough, leading us all to be nonchalant daters. Maybe it’s true and maybe not, but is getting paid to date really a solution for the plight of our generation's singleness?

Obviously, I don't have an answer for that question, however I do know one thing. Government-sponsored dates would absolutely eliminate any awkward "who pays" moments.

Japan pins hopes on 'speed dates'

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Are we becoming boring?

According to an article in the New York Observer (a paper that deserves WAAY more credit than it’s even given), New Yorkers are increasingly becoming…well, lame.

The article proposes that people are going out less and staying in more all in the name of a lack of motivation. A lack of motivation to do everything from keeping up with fashion, trading in text messaging for an actual one-on-one get-together, waiting in line for that hot new nightclub, having people over for a cocktail party and even looking for that special someone. Apparently we’ve all lost our mojo.

To our credit, the article states, “giving up is not a defeat, not at all. Because what more and more New Yorkers are “giving up” is engaging with a social and intellectual public culture that more and more fails to enchant them.”

Wow. New York culture is failing to enchant?! I thought that was that certain something about the city that keep us all going. Will we all turn the way of Seattle and start being hermits, committing suicide by the hordes? I sure hope not. After all, New Yorkers may be cynical, but we’re not known for being depressives.

In my opinion, I think we’re all stuck in an evil cycle of apathy. New York still enchants, but we’re all failing to allow ourselves to be enchanted. We’re all so overloaded with options – being busy bodies, so we’d rather just stay home, crack a bottle of Pinot, order take out and a good movie on demand.

It’s interesting to see that the Observer has successfully plucked that certain something out of the air and put it into print. Perhaps it will help in snapping us all out of listlessness.

N.Y. Beauties Collapse: Formerly Chichi We, Now Netflixed, Dumpy NYO

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The "Onesie"

I need to give one of my gal-pals a serious shout out. This past weekend, a friend of mine went balls out fashion forward and upped her trend-setting status to queen bee of daring wardrobe selections. Thankfully, she refrained from the socks/sandals trend, however she arrived at a friend’s party on Saturday wearing a black, fitted jumpsuit – affectionately known in our circle as the “onesie.”

I must admit, I was a bit concerned a couple weekends ago when I met her in the park and she spouted off about her new purchase, which was neatly tucked away in her purse in a ball about the size of a nerf football. I wondered, how on earth will this slab of fabric be turned into an actual outfit worthy of a Saturday night out on the town?

Well, I don’t know why I even questioned it, because this is the same friend who showed up at Newark airport at 4:30am in 4-inch heels. To her, donning a onesie is just a small offering to the fashion gods. All in all, she totally pulled it off, looking absolutely fabulous. I have to give her credit for looking so snazzy because I would have just looked like an overstuffed sausage.

Cheers to you my friend for setting the standard for excellence in a onesie. Now, if you’re seriously considering the zip up denim jumpsuit, I might need to see it modeled in the dressing room prior to purchase.

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Ninth Wheel

I’ve been perpetually single my entire life. Despite my ongoing circumstance, I’ve always been pretty content in my singledom. I’ve never been a serial dater, and I’ve never been one of those girls who dates a guy just to have someone around. On the contrary, I’m either 100% single or 100% in a “relationship.” Obviously none of those past relationships have worked out for me, but they were all meaningful to my life in some way.

I’ve just come off of a marvelous, yet bittersweet weekend where for the first time in my life, I felt an air of discontentment over being single. Saturday my friends and I celebrated the birthday of one fabulous gal pal and on Sunday we said goodbye to another who’s leaving us for the Windy City. Through all of this I noticed that it was the first time that each one of my close friends is coupled up and I’m not.

Now I must say that I’m extremely happy for all of my friends. It was this time last year when I was the one in a relationship and everyone else was single, so I’m all too familiar with how fantastic it feels to be in love (or something that lies on the spectrum). Now I’m the odd one out and I must say I’m a twinge jealous.

I’ve been the odd one out before. In college for instance, all of my roommates had boyfriends and I didn’t (most of the time). It didn’t bother me then. So why now?

Another self-observation. I’m usually one to have a hard time when a friend drops me for a guy. Even if I like the guy they’re dating, it hurts to be put on the back-burner.

To top it off, it’s springtime. Everyone is happy in love and I’m just the cynical New Yorker in the backdrop who’s making fun of (i.e. projecting my angst onto) all the happy people.

Pairing these sentiments together I can only conclude that my current discontentment is rising from the fear of being left at the end of the dinner table a la Bridget Jones spouting off about singletons being covered in scales. Alas, the joy of the possibility of being the ninth wheel. Ug.

It’s funny how the fear of something motivates people to act. In this scenario it’s become apparent to me why so many single urban women go through their twenties in a blissful state, realize they’re the only one left, and then snap into “find a husband mode.” It’s desperation at it’s finest.

Clearly, I’ve got to put things into perspective so I don’t become one of these women, however it sure does suck being left out of the couple’s club.

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Joys of Marketing

One of the little perks about working in the marketing industry is that there are a plethora of freebies involved. Purging the product closet leads to hauling home an armload of cleaning products or tampons. Sometimes we even get free beer!

On some special occasions, other companies think I have enough power in this world to send me freebies. This virtually never happens so I’ll take it when I can get it. So you can imagine my excitement when I received a package on my desk the other day from a large music label.

I shook the box, like a kid on Christmas Day, trying to discern what treasures might lie inside. I have no patience so I tore into the box and found a stack of CDs and a letter from a potential partner we’ve been chatting with. How lovely! Free music!

I started checking stuff out yesterday and some of the selections, all new artists, are just not my cup o' tea, however there are two gems out of the stack that I’d like to spout off about.

First off is Pink. Sometimes I like her “ass-kicker” music for a good workout, but otherwise I steer clear. Her new album is actually quite good with a lot of acoustic guitar and catchy rock tunes that show off how good of a singer she really is. I’m also now a fan purely because of her song “Hey Mr. President.” It’s brilliant and you must read the lyrics.

My other rave is Mat Kearney. At first I thought this was going to be a Chris Martin copy cat, but then he started rapping – of sorts. Think rapping as in P. Diddy rapping - not a hard edge and kind of wimpy. I’m not sure how, but it works.

Now that my craving for new music is satiated for the week I can happily jaunt down the street with my iPod on a loop. Note to self: must take said music label contact to big fat NYC lunch. Just think of the lovely selections I could score if I offered up free food…

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Halted Hiatus

No, I did not travel anywhere exciting. Work was not overly busy (surprise surprise). My social life has not been overly active. In a nutshell, I’ve been largely indifferent to just about everything. And sadly, I hate being indifferent. There is just too much going on in this world to be indifferent.

What’s my problem then? Well, I think I’ve just needed a break from thinking. Have you ever had those times that life just sucks you completely bone dry, leaving you with no energy? Well, I think that was my predicament in February and March. In the midst of the quest to slow my life down, which I can successfully say I’ve gotten a handle on, I’ve had more time to let my whole self do some major catch up, and when one “catches up,” sometimes it’s just nice to sit back and do nothing.

Now it's time to put a stop to my self-inflicted lameness. This weekend will be the blow out of all blow outs in the honor of two amazing friends, I’ve got some fabulous trips coming up: Vegas and London, and I’m still waiting to get more information on my life altering “thing.” All in all, hopefully the next couple of months will be an exciting time for Elle. We shall see.

In a short update: The Thinker never called back. But then again, I never called him either. Given some of this guy’s hang ups I saw on our date, coupled with the no call back, I’m perfectly fine with the situation. There isn’t even a sting of rejection, which tells me there wasn’t really a love connection to begin with. Next!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Have you ever gotten the feeling that your life was in for a very dramatic change? You get that pit in your stomach feeling, woozy nostalgia about how your life currently is and start freaking out about what the hell to do next? Needless to say I’m kind of feeling like I’m in this spot right now.

I can’t go into details because I can’t jinx the situation or dwell on the tiny amount of facts I do know. What I can do is tell myself to calm the eff down and not get ahead of things...hard to do considering I hate being stuck in a state of the uncontrollable unknown.

I'm being incredibly vague I know, however I'm sure I'll have more to say soon. I'll just say this for now: Avenue Elle might be in for some serious road construction…

Monday, April 10, 2006

Sticking to the Rules

A few weeks back I was in need of a major sanity kick in the pants and I instilled some ground rules to abide by. I thought I’d throw out a little update on my progress.

Here’s a refresher of the basics…

  1. Work out at least 3 times a week.
  2. Cook at home more.
  3. Instill a three drink maximum at every social outing.
  4. Get to work at 8:30am and leave by 6:30pm
  5. Start sticking to a budget.
  6. Watch less TV and read more books.
  7. Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night
There are three rules that have been immensely more difficult to stick to than the others…

Rule 3 has been difficult for obvious reasons. I’ve broken it by a smidge a couple times and I severely over did it on one occasion.

Rule 6 is hard to stick to as well considering I’m a sucker for movies and Sunday morning political commentary. I’m not one to waste away watching reality TV or entertainment news shows (although I have my moments), rather I enjoy sitting comfortably on my couch with a cup of coffee while watching Tim Russert or AMC.

Finally, the hardest one to follow has been rule 5. I will say that eating in and keeping the booze intake at a minimum are helping in my efforts for reaching devine uber-frugalness, but I’m in serious need of revamping my spending habits. To top it off, the desire for new spring fashion additions in my closet are not helping my predicament.

As for the rest of the rules, I’ve been pretty good at sticking 99.9% to 1, 2, 4 & 7. Even from just this small amount of progress, it’s obvious that setting some ground rules for myself has been a wise decision. I’ve still got a ways to go of course, but I can honestly say my goals are helping to get me back to where I feel I want to be. I’m calmer, my energy levels are higher, my head is clearer and I’m not permanently walking around with a scowl on my face. All good things.

It’s funny how it took an active decision on my part to get to this point, but that just makes it all the more clear that my current problematic state of mind won’t solve itself. As my wise mother has always said: Everything is a choice. Hence, I must chose to make my life what I want it to be.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Tears on the Job

In the vast world of marketing there are many different types of people. As one works their way up the ranks and subsequent increase in responsibility, it becomes quite apparent that many, glom into just two: 1) relatively normal and 2) beaten puppies.

Yesterday at work was the pinnacle of seeing all the beaten puppies of the world come together in the name of stress and essentially lose all emotional control. My particular niche of marketing is made up of predominantly women, so you can imagine what estrogen overload at the workplace equates to…unadulterated hell.

Yesterday I saw more people cry at work than any other day in my professional career. I wasn’t exactly having a stellar day myself, however it was made worse by tensions rising throughout the day as all the beaten puppies in the office decided to tear up and lose it. Call it an overabundance of work in a time period that is notorious for new business, planning for next year and burn out from being under the gun for end of year results. It’s a bitch, but most of us manage to keep it together don’t we?

When the little ones tear up and cry, all of us middle-level plebes start to worry about what the top dogs think we’re doing to these girls. My co-workers and I are by NO MEANS slave drivers. Quite the contrary. We are the ones that turn beaten puppies back into normal people, but this process of serving as Dr. Freud on the job just adds to my stress level.

In conclusion of my little rant. I hope all the beaten puppies went home last night, had a glass or two of wine, kicked their feet up and watched Meg Ryan movies, because I don’t think I can take another week of tears. I might just be one of them if it comes to that.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Bravo Massachusetts...

...Once again, you’re ahead of the rest of the country on being proactive about social issues. Recently, it was gay rights, now it’s universal healthcare. Brilliant.

Yesterday, the state became the first state to offer health insurance for every single one of their residents. The plan is expected to cover 515,000 uninsured people within three years, which is about 95 percent of the state's uninsured population. This will leave less than 1 percent of the population unprotected.

Massachusetts was of course motivated by the ineptitude of the federal government. In sum, they are moving on the deal as a result of a threat by the federal government to eliminate $385 million in federal Medicaid money unless the state reduced the number of uninsured people. Compassion. Out the window.

Now let’s just hope other states get onboard with this idea. It’s a step in the right direction to get this country back on track.

Mass. to provide near-total healthcare UPI

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

No More Fish In The Sea

Recall the old line “There are plenty of fish in the sea?” Well, according to an article posted last week, that old line, when applied literally, no longer rings true.

According to the study, oxygen deprived “dead zones” in the ocean are causing male zebrafish to be born, outnumbering females 3-to-1. As if the sausage-fish-fest wasn’t bad enough, the precious few females that are born have testosterone levels about twice as high as normal. The culprit? Hypoxia - a lack of oxygen in water.

Does any one else think this sounds oddly analogous to the NYC dating scene?

I’ll explain…

We already know NYC breeds uber-independence, so let’s say for argument’s sake that NYC as a whole is a “dead zone.” “Oxygen” could be any number of things. Perhaps it’s a lack of sex, holding certain attitudes toward commitment, an over exertion of self-esteem, it runs the gamut of possibilities and psychoanalysis.

So, due to this mysterious “human-hypoxia-effect,” the few precious females that are left over and available have “testosterone levels” that are twice as high leading to their undesirability. Testosterone in this little scenario could equate to success, intelligence, good looks; basically the more “testosterone,” the less desirable.

(OK…there is the possibility that some single women really do have higher testosterone levels, but that’s a different topic for a different time)

Of course there is the caveat that women outnumber men in NYC by 1.4 to 1, however that doesn’t diminish my speculation that quality female singletons are left over because of too much “testosterone.”

In sum, my convoluted analogy equates to this question: why is it that New York women that seemingly have it together remain oddly single in the city due to this “hypoxia?”

As one of two million single women in New York City, I’m hoping for someone to add some oxygen back into my wading pool…

Oxygen Starved Fish Looking for Ladies

Monday, April 03, 2006

Date Update

How does one assess how a date goes? Usually people dwell on things in hindsight and partake in ample amounts of self-reflection. To be honest, the process is nullifying. Replaying a date in one’s mind can cause a person to go crazy with questions that don't really matter. Did I over do it on that topic? Did he think I was too forward? Did I look ok? It’s a never-ending cycle of insecure assessments.

When in these situations it's important to take a step back and assess to overall feeling of the date. For example, was the conversation easy? Was there a feeling of attraction? Was there an air of putting on a front? Was there any game playing? If it was easy in an overall sense, that’s a good sign in my book.

In the case of my date with the Thinker, I can say that things were easy. At least from my perspective. Here’s the recap:

We met for drinks and sushi around 6:30…smiles and conversation came easily as we tried to catch up on the basics. In fact, the conversation was flowing so quickly, we went off onto tangents frequently and had to back track to previous topics.

Post sushi, we walked through the village and stopped for some wine. We talked about politics, history, relationships…again, all sorta came very easy. I did notice he was very passionate about certain topics, making me see that we could easily get into arguments about stuff if we weren’t on our best date behavior. By midnight, the date came to an end. He walked me to the subway and we smooched for a bit. We confessed we both had a good time and called it a night.

Would I go out with him again? Probably. Will he call? I have no idea. I’d like to think that things went well (given the easy convo, prolonged date and end-of-night smooch), however one never really does know do they? Given my post-date self-reflection and hindsight, I can definitely pick out moments of shoulda, woulda, coulda’s, however at the end of the day I know I need to just stop the dwelling and let it be what it will be. It’s this reason alone, why so many people hate dating…rejection.

At the end of the day, dating shouldn’t feel forced and we shouldn’t take it personally if the other person didn’t like what they saw. All we can do is be comfortable with ourselves, and hope someday the right one will come along.

Ah, optimism…sometimes it’s the only thing that keeps a single girl going.