TOXIC ATTENTION: THE JEALOUS BFF

Katy Perry gives Rihanna the ol' side-eye.

Katy Perry gives Rihanna the ol’ side-eye.

LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION

My girlfriend Josie used to be sooooo cool.  But in the last three months though she has  became the biggest bitch going. We were best friends.  Truly, I love the girl. I helped her get a job in my office and we even live together.  I’m not saying she has to be slavishly thankful. But ever since Todd (the football player she likes) gave her the old razzmatazz and blew her off she’s a different woman.  Now she is so two-faced, making comments implying I’m some sort of slut just because guys like me, especially my actual boyfriend Scott.  Sorry Todd’s just not into you.  Josie’s now the biggest attention seeker going. Always lectures me on how I’m eating the wrong thing and how I am sure to get fat. She flirts with every guy with her vapid baby talk. Then storms off when she doesn’t get attention.  She stalks me and inserts herself into all my conversations, interrupting to say how she likes the colors we’re wearing and taking pictures of me and whomever I’m with (!!!). She gets wasted at parties, breaking lights off the walls, taking her top off and running around in her bra. Now she’s trying to split me and my boyfriend Scott up because she “wants me to keep my options open.” Gee, thanks for your concern. I am running out of patience.  When will my old BFF come back?

-Petrissa Q. 

Hatin'.

Hatin’.

You know that movie Single White Female?  Well, meet Single Black Female.  My boss and I are the same type — Black women in our 20s.  Except I’m a size 4 and pretty (you better be if you want a decent guy in Manhattan). My boss is a big girl, with a big nose, droopy breasts from yo-yo dieting and a bigger ego.  Because of her job title and salary she really thinks she ought to have the best of everything, especially guys.  But the only way she can is to pay for a guy — give a broke musician a place to stay, give a bar guy in Jamaica or Dominican Republic spending money or marry an ex-con mechanic.  Not. My. Fault. But I’m tired of her insisting on tagging along when I go out for drinks or clubbing.  We’re not actually friends and she’s just using me to meet men.

-Alexa K. 

WARNING SIGNS

liono

This person is a little self-hating stalker.  She is no longer a genuine friend.  Don’t be fooled — she’s a little bit in love with you and even wants your attention.  Maybe even all your attention. But right now, she hates you more than she loves you.  And she is actively seeking to hurt you

Will it rise to the level of physical violence? Time will tell.  But the undermining, gossip and innuendo will cost you at work and in your personal life.  Whether on the cheerleading squad, in the sorority, in your neighborhood, yoga class or job.

The aggression is real.  The hater hopes you are weak and will believe her negative comments.  She dreams that you will internalize her hateful bullshit.  From nasty gossip to throwing shade, eye-rolling and sucking teeth, you can’t ignore these assaults.  They are meant to trouble, hurt and intimidate you.

It’s not a surprise when, despite her criticisms she starts talking, acting and dressing like you.  Your haircut, handbag, cut of jeans.  It’ll get much weirder before it gets done.

TROUBLE-SHOOTING

As much as you can, cut this hater off.  Cut down on the information she knows about you.  Supply preposterous misinformation to make the shit she talks about you baseless and non-sensical. Tell her your arms and legs are prosthetic, you found out your family is really from Russia, tell her you’re an alien, tell her you’re wearing a wig/ weave, tell her this is not your real name, etc.

As long as the bad behavior persists, make clear to others that she is no longer your bestie and that you do not accept or co-sign her behavior.  Stop socializing with her as an automatic part of your clique.

Every time your hater says something bitchy, say “That’s not a very nice thing to say. Would you like it if I did or said something like that to you?”

Alternately, when your hater seeks attention, completely ignore her, walk away, talk to someone else – don’t even comment. And keep it moving.

Attention seekers love being the focus of attention. When they don’t get any attention, they get bored. Sooner or later they find a new target. Trust me, they don’t see you as a human being, they just see you as a tool to gratify them with attention. You’ll get rid of her sooner or later.

TO TYLER CLEMENTI WITH LOVE

LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION

My name is Katya and I am loving living away at college in Chicago.  But let me tell you: there’s a lot of pressure and the strange on-campus crimes would blow your mind.  There’s one woman in my dorm — a thick, angry bruiser who acts all super-militant and righteous.  Okay.  She’s not very attractive inside or outside but whatever.  Then I  don’t see her again after winter semester break.  Then I hear she’s been busted and institutionalized for raping a smaller, fellow male student.  Male.  Student.  She raped a male?!  What craziness is in studying our midst?

-Katya W.

During my first year at Fordham, my clothes kept disappearing. From my room, from the washer and dryer in the basement.  Then I hear from other students on my floor that there’s been a rash of clothing thefts from the laundry room and dorm rooms.  Our Residence Advisor called us together to say the clothing stealer had finally been caught. Come to find out my meth-using pre-med roommate Danika had been the stealer the whole time.  She had been stealing clothes and hoarding and slashing the clothing in her room.  Her girlfriend Sarah gave her up to the campus police cuz she thought Danika was out of control. What the?!! Give me my clothing back, you lunatic!!!  Your parents better pay me back at least!!

-Merry J.

WARNING SIGNALS

Oh, college ain’t just for the sane.  Psychopaths come in all flavors.  What’s dreadful about being young is you have very little personal experience with dealing with these nutjobs one usually only sees on repeats of “Law & Order.”  And they are 100% dangerous.  Like any psychopath, the loose screws one encounters in the undergraduate dormitory.

Like Tyler Clementi, we all go to school to live our lives and further our educations and careers.  Exploring our sexuality and relationships is part of that.  How sick is it that your roommate would film, watch, clown and broadcast your private encounters?

Now no coed college student is a forensic or psychological expert.  But amplify your own sense of modesty, isolation, and shame and confronting a bully becomes the hardest thing in the world. Especially when their actions become absolutely criminal.

It is well recognized that a person who has suffered abuse will tend in life to either become a perpetrator of further abuse or become self-destructive.  So maybe there is some grain of “why” inside the perpetrator in these perilous college situations.  Or maybe that’s just wishful psychobabble thinking.

TROUBLE-SHOOTING

The greatest sin of the tragedy is that Tyler Clementi’s roommate’s malice took him by surprise.  An unfortunate part of adult life is learning to expect the worst from people.

And also understanding that the rot has nothing to do with you, Tyler.  It’s inside them.

By drawing lines of acceptable behavior, finding safety in like-minded numbers and being aggressive about complaining to authorities when we are wronged, we can start to protect our psyches and lives from psychopaths.

THE MAN ON THE WEDDING CAKE

LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION

On March 8, 2012, author and former music video model Karrine “Superhead” Steffans posted a diatribe about a husband on her Twitter account. (She and her real-life husband are currently separated.) After having dated Bill Maher, Jay-Z, Vin Diesel, Fred Durst, Lil’ Wayne, Russell Simmons and Bobby Brown, Steffans married an regular non-celebrity guy.  She is a Mom. Here are some of her rants about marriage:

Sometimes, in relationships, the pleasure is all theirs. Alone, I am a superhero. With you, I am a mere mortal. You deplete me. I’m tired of being your upgrade. We are not equally yoked. You really deserve someone more basic. I’m tired of pretending your mediocracy is okay with me. I’m tired of pretending I don’t miss G650′s. I’m tied of pretending you’re not a burden.  I’m tired of pretending I don’t deserve a f***ing BOSS! I’m tired of you driving my car. Stop telling me you love me as if you’re doing me some sort of favor. I don’t need you to love me. I love me. I’m tired of pretending like you shouldn’t be intimidated by the other men in my life. Cuz you should. I’m tired of pretending as if I support your bullshit dreams. I’m tired of pretending your d*** isn’t the smallest d*** I’ve ever seen in my life. Cuz it is. I’m tired of pretending your favorite rapper didn’t just beat it up on Friday. I’m tired of paying for everything. I’m tired of you taking all this s*** for granted as if you ever deserved any of it. Give me my Mac back. For real tho. I’m tired of washing your wack ass clothes. I hate your whole face. I’m tired of acting like the sex is good.I hate when you roll all the way over onto my side of the bed to hold me. I’m over here for a reason. Did I mention I’m tired of paying for everything? Okay. I’m tired of giving you the game. I’m tired of pretending you’re anything more than a bum. I should’ve just hired you as a cook and kept it moving. I’m tired of congratulating you for accomplishing minuscule s***. I’m tired of you begging.

I’m tired of moaning when I can’t feel anything! I’m tired of having to think about someone else to get off. I’m tired of having to lock my phone when you’re around. I’m tired of taking showers with you. Can I get a moment! Damn! Yes. He’s better than you. Next question. All night. ‘Til 6 in the morning. Next question. Yes. And I didn’t have to pay for none of it. Next question. Presidential suite. Next question. About 10 inches. Next question.69. Next question. Like a boss. Next question. Balls deep. Next question. I’m tired of having to pretend you’re not the 3rd worst decision I’ve ever made. You should really be with that one chick who bagged our groceries this weekend. That’s more your speed.

BLIND GOSSIP 03/07

In a case where one half of a couple makes substantially more than the other, who pays for the engagement ring? Well, in the case of these three engaged couples where the woman has the bigger paycheck, it certainly wasn’t the future groom. The first couple went directly to the jeweler and cut a deal for a very impressive diamond sparkler. They worked out an arrangement where the couple agreed to make x number of mentions of the jeweler in the press for a 50% discount. Then the female half of the couple paid the balance in cash. The second couple tried harder than anyone to try to talk multiple jewelers into a free ring. When no one would agree to the freebie, she simply turned to her future fiance and said, “Here’s the money. You know what I like. Now, go get me the biggest fucking diamond you can.” The third couple knew ahead of time that they were getting engaged, and she knew exactly what she wanted. Because she likes to control everything, she picked out the ring in a secret private buying session with the jeweler, where they settled on a price. Then she later gave the money to the boyfriend, who went to the store to pay for the ring. Of course she pretended that she had no idea that there was a ring coming, that she was thrilled with her fiance’s taste, and that she was so impressed that he paid for the ring himself. So, when you see those shining baubles on the ring fingers of these lucky stars, you now know that in all three cases, the future groom didn’t have to lay out his own cash… but that he still gets to look like he’s a generous man with good taste.
first couple: Kim Kardashian
second couple: Nicole “Snooki” Pollizzi
third couple: Natalie Portman

WARNING SIGNALS

Women are bombarded daily with tales to make us want to marry our Prince Charming.  A lot of guys are charming in spades with nary a speck of prince.  We can be so blinded by our dream wedding marrying goal that we may not see the steer we are yoking ourselves to until it is sitting in our condo, on our couch, watching our flatscreen and demanding spending money from our account.  And that’s great if it is indeed what you want with your eyes open.

Too often we don’t hear about a guy’s tax lien, obsession with controlling, bad credit, retirement account depleted by divorce, disdain for working or entitlement to our material wealth until the marriage license is signed and we are pregnant.

Again, it could be a perfect scenario if you want control of your husband and his dependency on you.  Eyes wide open, my dears.  Because I’m though still not sure what Jessica Alba’s husband Cash Warren does for a living, she seems happy with their arrangement.  And so does he.

TROUBLE-SHOOTING

We know how Kim Kardashian’s marriage turned out. She balked at him moving his stuff into her LA home.  Now, according to published articles,  he’s demanding $7 million to forego embarrassing her in divorce court.  Heidi Klum would have been happy bankrolling her family life if Seal could have been happy for her to work while he stayed home with the kids.  In the end, neither of these famous couple could negotiate the right balance.

Maybe neither wife knew her husband and his priorities and b**ch-ass side well enough before they walked down the aisle.

The “man on the wedding cake” was a smidgen of the real-life burden marriage brought into these women’s lives. Also a smidgen of the blessings.

Not the end of the world but definitely worth considering.  Take your time. Ask your questions.  Consider a pre-nup.

Food for thought.

LOVE TRIANGLE: THE JERK’S FAVORITE TOY

LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION

Alana and I met Toby in a Verizon store in Baltimore. Toby was friendly and we had great chemistry right off. He asked me out for crabcakes but at the end he discovered he forgot his wallet. I paid for dinner. He’s a bartender and I teach third grade.  We saw each other every day. Within four months, he moved into my place.  I was having the best time. Things went mostly well until it seemed like he never had regular work hours.  Then I heard all about him making out with his ex-girlfriend.  When I asked him about it he turned all wet & fed Gremlin-after-midnight. He got angry and called me names. I told him if he wanted her he could move out and go be with her. But then he pulled himself together. He embraced me and said he was gonna be patient and wait for me to get over being jealous and controlling.  Between kisses and lovemaking, he convinced me everything was okay. Like a mama cat petting and cleaning her kitten, he groomed me back into trusting him.

-Catalina H.

My boyfriend Albie and I decided to spend Christmas vacation apart.  I went with my family and he went on a cruise to Jamaica.  He called me late at night on Dec. 25th to wish me a Merry Christmas.  And then he just sat there silently on the phone.  So of course I take the bait and ask. “What’s wrong?” So he ‘fesses up that his ex-girlfriend is on the cruise with him and he cheated. Of course, he explains, “It just happened.”  Merry Christmas, y’all!

-Daniella M.

WARNING SIGNALS

I’m not gonna play Pollyanna and say cheating never happens.  And there is the school of thought that says being honest even after doing wrong is best.  But let’s consider the possibility that telling our loved one how we did them wrong is the point of the whole shady endeavor.

In this scenario, it ain’t enough to just cheat — the perpetrator thrills in rubbing Girlfriend A’s nose in the mess with Lover B.  It’s not just sex the jerks wants.  It’s not just the ability to seduce two different women either.  Keeping one secret from the other just isn’t enough. The kink the jerk really seeks is sexual power at the expense of  the other woman scenario.  Power to deprive, power to humiliate, power to scorn.

For a disordered, power-hungry man, there’s no richer set-up to derive this power than through triangulation: flaunting a new fling to his girlfriend and instigating hatred and jealousy among his conquests.  All the while he is solely to blame and can often be still highly desired by the women he wronged.

TROUBLE-SHOOTING

There’s a lot rotten with this picture.  But how do you avoid or stop it?
See beyond the glittering, desirable surface. The winning smile, the passionate embrace, the romantic talk of being together for the future are the sales points. The intensity and singular, focused attention of our lover may blind us to his or her real intentions. This is how he grooms and positions you to gratify his ego & sexual desires by using you as one corner of the love triangle.  If nothing else, the fact of the revealed love triangle should tell you he’s not quite as interested in not hurting you, or giving a damn how you feel when he clowns you by cheating.

Know your weak points. A love con artist is looking to lure you in.  He will give you something you want to position you as his victim.  Your loneliness, romantic ideals, openness to companionship or ticking biological clock are all detectable vulnerabilities.  Ruthless Romeo will zero in on and  exploit your weak spots to his advantage.

Don’t give up on your love quest.  But do tuck knowledge of these behaviors into your tool belt. Beware and take steps to nip this in the bud.

HOW TO BE ATTRACTIVE

LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION

I have a love story I’m just bursting to share.  I had just moved to Park Slope, Brooklyn and joined the organic Food Coop there.  I was racing from my 6:00 am monthly Coop workslot to the R train to go to work. I was walking really fast and I broke my heel!  I didn’t just break it — I lost my balance and tumbled into trash cans put out on the sidewalk for trash day.  The contents of my tote bag flew into the gutter and my legs ended up over my head.  Compounding the problem?  A booming male voice asked if I was okay and powerful male hands hoisted my tail out of Oscar the Grouch’s home.  Beet red I was.  Handsome and laughing he was.  I think I found my husband.  Six weeks of brunches and rollerblading later, I still think so.

-Maeve H.

Dude! All the ladies magazines say never to go out of the house without makeup while wearing sweatpants.  But I was moving from Greenwich Village up to Murray Hill.  The last few fragile items,  back and forth.  I was a sweaty New York August mess.  No makeup, dirty grey sweat pants, sweaty t-shirt, sweaty face.  I was trundling down 26th street off 3rd Avenue when I dropped  a stuffed lion wearing my college team colors.  I couldn’t manage to stoop down low enough to puck my baby lion from the gutter and ended up toppling to the sidwalk on my bum.  Somebody started snickering at my failed acrobatics.  I looked up and saw Jake.  He stuck his hand out to help me up with my burdens.  And he placed my lion on top.  I said, “Don’t laugh — it has sentimental value.  I got it at the only game the Lions won while I was undergrad.”  He said, “Oh, I was at that game.  The Tigers beat you 20 to 12.”  We both growled our team growls.  Um, yeah.  So we went out later for hot wings and March Madness.  We’ve been together three months now.

-Carlyle K.

WARNING SIGNALS

You’re just doing you.  You’re in a great mood.  Life is moving right along.  Like a train, you pause at a random station and hey, some guy would like to *ahem* join you.  The universe bes like that sometimes.  And sometimes that is a very good thing.

TROUBLE-SHOOTING

Be clean.  Be well put-together.  Have style even in simple jeans, t-shirt and ballet flats.

Take care of yourself well.  Eat, sleep, exercise, wear sunscreen.

Be confident.  You are the best you around.

Show a bit of body curve.

Feature one lovely body part. Cleavage, great hair, pedicure, smile OR derriere. Not all at the same time.  Less is more.

Love life and you might just find someone to help you love it more.  ;-)

I HAVE A “HEART-ON”

LOVE SCENE INVESTIGATION

Daydreaming. Lusting. Wanting.  You have to forgive me because after meeting Justin yesterday at the beach, I’m feeling a little boy-crazy. I was just sitting in the sunshine watching guys skateboard and grind rails against a background of grafitti and waves.  Some burnouts I know were giving all us gals free shoulder massages  Word to the wise: not every free masseur is a good masseur.  Then Justin sat down next me quietly.  After a long while he said: “Hi.”  Glorious green-hazel eyes and a calm vibe.  Like a pretty puppy you’d want to rub behind his shaggy ears.  Amber hair shaved into a mohawk that’s grown out.  Cool threads.  Tall, lean, angular.  He smelled good.  But, y’know — it’s the beach & I gotta be on my guard.  Chicks get drugged at the beach, ass-kicked at the beach and raped at the beach.  The loveliness of the scenery is some straight Deceptacon shiz-nit.  Ya gotta keep your eyes open.   But scruffy, adorable Justin somehow broke down my defenses.  How?  He offered to give me a bicycle.  I protested, “But you don’t even know me.”  He explained he didn’t need it.  Purple.  A beach cruiser.  Suddenly I wanted nothing more than that purple bicycle.  And to nuzzle Justin’s tanned neck adorned with coppery curls.  I wanna snuggle with him in the tent he sleeps in on the beach. It’s like that simple gesture — the unexpected gift (likely stolen and unneeded) — made me mad with desire for him.  Still.

-Nellie K.

I went to get a spare key made for my Mom’s visit and I fooled around and fell in love.   Yeah, I never saw it coming. Sweaty and toting heavy bags, I visited one of those parking lot locksmith kiosks.  A plump, swarthy man in overalls gingerly took my keyring and proceeded to tell me about my life based on the keys I had.  What kind of office I worked in, what kind of house I lived in, my gym habits and my car.  Just by looking at my keys. What an unexpectedly interesting man.  I dunno — I had always figured locksmiths to be like maintenance men.  Unskilled, illiterate, maybe even a former jailbird who went straight after a lifetime of picking locks and hot-wiring cars.  Not so.  This locksmith is travelled, speaks three languages and is a Navy veteran whose favorite TV show is “The Unit.”  Nice hair, nice vibe.  I stooped.  I slummed.  I had coffee with him at Fred Segal.  This locksmith nursed his mother through her slow death from cancer.  This locksmith gives his diabetic doggie insulin shots everyday.  This man is a real man. And now I’m just gaga over him. Not that he can read in English.  Not that he can spell or text.  I know.  But let me have my locksmith!

-Rachel P.

WARNING SIGNALS

Sometimes the time between running into the right man and recognizing the right man is the most painful time.  But then the unexpected hottie sneaks up on you and life is just like a song.  These guys might not be perfect.  But the charm and appeal of a nice man is hard to resist.  Maybe in the end it’s better to be rational.  But darn if it isn’t fun to imagine, feel and toy with the possibility of the greatest love of all in overalls!

TROUBLE-SHOOTING

Connection is powerful.  Even if fleeting, it makes you feel so darn good all over.  Happy to slog through drudgery and traffic just to see him again.  Le sigh.  Enjoy it when you find it. Enjoy it while it lasts.

FINANCIAL ABORTION

Gallery

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