Ms. Man-shopper in Boozetown

Part of being an adult is having adult problems and solving them with adult solutions.  In other words, I am here to write about…

… alcohol.

I posit that alcohol is a key component to any man-shopping operation.

I cite the following reasons:

Doing away with inhibitions and sound decision-making is essential to coping with an interlocutor who is unattractive, boring, or generally repulsive in some way.  In the long run, it’s better to be civil, but sobriety makes this very difficult.

  • Sober Man-shopper : Bugger off before I rip your face off and use it as a cape.
  • Drunky Man-shopper : Oh heeeeeeeeey, fancy seeing you here.  How’s it going?  Having a good time?  You like my dress, aw shucks, oh how nice of you to say!

It’s nice to have something to do with your hands.  It’s the difference between descending into irredeemable dorkitude and actually passing for a normal human being who may even appear to have some semblance of man-shopping mojo.

  • Sober Man-shopper : < arms flailing about uncontrollably, sometimes hitting people in the face >
  • Drunky Man-shopper : < clutching glass, sipping demurely, and sometimes peeking over it and pretending to bat eyelashes >

Sometimes we would all like a way to pretend like something never happened.

  • Sober Man-shopper : Oh god.  That guy last night at McDonald’s.  He looked like a troll that was hit by a truck and then backed over by a cement roller.  He smelled like a petting zoo.  I’m not entirely sure he was even simian.  And HE TOUCHED MY ARM.  GET IT OFF GET IT OFF GET IT OFF.
  • Drunky Man-shopper : I don’t remember anything after paying for my chicken nuggets.

Man-shopping is a risky business, and we all know how easy it is to get burned.  And it’s disturbing how easy it is to not just get burned, but to get effing incinerated.  So if you’re anything like me, we don’t like to deal with our shit in a productive kind of way.  Alcohol to the rescue!

  • Sober Man-shopper : Sob. Sob. Sob.  Uncontrollable weeping.  I hate myself, and I would like to die now please.  My heart is exploding.  But I luuuuuuuurve him.  I am a fat cow, no wonder he discarded me like day-old bread.
  • Drunky Man-shopper : I am a goddess, and it’s his loss, dammit.  Leaping lobsters, I look phenomenal in this new lingerie, and he’s NEVER GONNA SEE IT.  Dance it out, girl.  Dance it out to Britney in your bedroom….  < static… >

Alcohol = courage.

  • Sober Man-shopper : < Silent and cowering in the corner of the room >
  • Drunky Man-shopper : Helloooo, sir, you are very handsome.  May I touch your biceps?

Sometimes competition over a coveted male can get a little heated.  Alcohol can sometimes save you heaps of money that would otherwise have been spent on legal representation after getting charged with assault.

  • Sober Man-shopper : That bitch just said WHAT?!  I WILL DESTROY HER.  HE IS MINE.
  • Drunky Man-shopper : Aw, she didn’t mean it.  She’s just jealous of my awesome shoes.  Who is this guy again?  Ooo, is that guacamole I see?  I LOVE PUPPIES!

Alcohol = mad skills.  We all need skills to have an edge over the competition, right?

  • Sober Man-shopper : I can’t dance to save my life.  I also can’t speak any language but English and a smattering of Pig Latin.
  • Drunky Man-shopper : I AM A BALLROOM CHAMPION.  I AM FLUENT IN CROATIAN AND FINNISH.  RAWR, BITCHES!

All that aside, however, as I try to pick my face up off the floor from yesterday’s hangover, perhaps you all should ignore everything that I have to say.

Happy man-shopping.  Don’t forget to hydrate.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This post has been brought to you by The Insomnia Club.  This edition was to take its inspiration from the image above.  Check out what my compatriots have to say on Natalie Dee’s little drawing!

Condoms: Who Likes ‘Em Anyway? – Skye Blue of Met Another Frog

Insomnia Club Strikes Again: Get Your Own Box – Nikki at Women Are From Mars

Sharing is Caring: The Insomnia Club Strikes Again – Simone at Sex, Lies and Dating in the City

We also had an additional topic this month…

Banana Pancakes & Pretend It’s The Weekend ~ Charlotte at My Pixie Blog


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Mr. Rectangles

Long-time readers and twitter friends are well-acquainted with my obsession with man-buttocks (for example, see Mr. Beautiful Bottom).  So it was only a matter of time before I passed judgment on the D.C. derriere.

And that time has come.

The D.C. derriere?

Disappointing.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m sure that there are some lovely bums in D.C.  But nobody ever gets to see them.

This is due to the fact that (hetero) suiting in our nation’s capital is, in a word, tragic.

Unlike the well-reared parisians to which I refer in my post on Mr. Sexy Suit, the men in D.C. hide their tushies away in a box.

Literally.

The suits here are cut like boxes, so that the men all walk around seemingly unaware that they are bedecked in rectangles.

After five years in Paris, it appears that I have started to embrace european sensibilities about menswear silhouettes.

Where are my delightfully cuppable globes of buttocks?  Nowhere to be seen.  I am drowning in a sea of ill-fitting trousers, badly cut jackets, voluminous and shapeless button-down tent-shirts, baggy jeans, and squashy looking coats.

Dapper fitted coats, where are you?  Trendy tweeds, slick slacks, and fetching footwear, why have you all forsaken me?

In what universe does “aesthetically conservative” mean “frumpy as all get-out”?  In the District of Columbia, ya’ll.  Right here.

Someone throw me a life-preserver!  Save me!  Save me from rectangular bums!

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Mr. Seventy-Two Thousand

I know, I know, “douche” is technically a french word.  I’ll not delve into the origins of the word, nor will I contest its anglophone “urban” connotation.  Long-time readers have surely read about my brushes with parisian douche-toolery, but I hope you didn’t expect my accounts of douchetards would cease now that I’m no longer an expat living amidst Paris’ unique form of douchery.

Au contraire.

Let’s face it.  Douchery is an international phenomenon that is hardly limited by national borders, by urban-rural divides, or by class lines.  Part of the anthropological analysis of any city’s dating scene must therefore include some treatment of The Douche Problem.

Before coming to D.C., I’d heard tales of high levels of douchery in the city, most likely due to the fact that it is, after all, the national capital and, therefore, contains high concentrations of people who live, work, breathe and bleed politics.  I can’t say that this surprised me at all, but I was still in that euphoric honeymoon phase of my relationship with America, and I was reluctant to come to terms with anything that could possibly shake my faith that my interactions with the opposite sex here must, by default, be better than my experiences in Paris.

But, my first night out in D.C., I came face to face with what I now call the D.C. Doucheoisie (shout-out to my buddy, Andrew Stillman, for coining this term).

At the time, my girlfriend and I were out and about in a part of town whose nightlife demographic was well-known for being… young.  Undergraduate and recent-grad age.

< Confession for the sake of context : I am NOT that age.  Not by a long shot. >

While we matronly damsels were awaiting our shining carriage to whisk us homeward, one young lad of such age approached me and stated very matter-of-factly:

“I like your jacket.”

I was not wearing a jacket.

It was the height of summer, and the city was the approximate temperature of some of the deeper bowels of hell.

He then proceeded to ask me to accompany him to his place for drinks and, apparently “a good time”.

There really was no transition between his comment on my non-existent jacket and his transparent proposition.

While I admired his ballsiness, I was very keen on going home to bed (it was far past my bedtime), so I gave him a very simple response:

“No, thank you.  I’m too old for you.”

But he was not to be deterred.

Mr. Seventy-Two Thousand : “No, you’re not!  How old are you?  What, 25 or something?  Listen, I am 23 years old, and I earn $72 000 per year!”

Man-shopper’s brain : “Oh merciful christ, I can’t believe this is happening.”

Man-shopper’s mouth : “Oh, honey, that’s not the issue here.”

Mr. Seventy-Two Thousand : “Well, what else could it possibly be?”

I was gobsmacked.

I walked away at this point, but instead of “Oh, honey, that’s not the issue here,” this is what my response SHOULD have been:

” How much of that seventy-two thousand

are you willing to part with tonight? “

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Ms. Umbrella Warrior Princess

For those of you who haven’t heard, the eastern coast of the U.S. was recently bombarded by Hurricane Irene.  The reason I bring this up is because the torrential rains have forced us to break out our wellies and umbrellas.  From my experiences in Paris, I’ve found that the umbrella can be an essential man-shopping tool for avid man-shoppers of all levels.  Think of it this way: The umbrella is a fashion accessory AND a weapon.

When I say “umbrella”, I am not referring to those dinky foldable umbrellas that slide into a lady’s handbag.  I am referring to a proper brolly with a hooked wooden handle and a large enough wingspan to encompass both a lady and all her handbags underneath in order to protect them from the elements.  In my humble opinion, this is the only kind of umbrella worth owning.

Moving on, let’s discuss how an umbrella can enhance your man-shopping experience in Paris and elsewhere.

The umbrella as a fashion accessory

  • A lady can strike quite a debonair pose while leaning on a full-sized umbrella.  I’d like to think that a worthy man would be attracted to a lady in a trench who carries a striking cane-like accessory.
  • From a practical point of view, I find it much more difficult to lose or mislay an umbrella if I can hook it on my arm or lean upon it whilst in conversation with and perhaps getting distracted by potential suitors.
  • For those blustery rainy days, maintaining dignity is difficult if one is constantly wrestling with an uncooperative foldable umbrella that turns inside-out and breaks at the slightest gust.  Without one’s dignity intact, there’s no decent man-shopping to be done, I assure you.

The umbrella as a weapon

  • In Paris, the men can be (physically) aggressive ass-wipes.  In the states, you may get cat calls and appreciative under-the-breath comments, but in Paris, you will need to beat these idiots off with a stick — namely, your umbrella stick.  With a large umbrella, a lady can do some effective damage to an unwanted suitor, should she need to make her lack of interest clearer when he attempts to grab her in the street.
  • If a lady sees a worthy man-target in her midst, but her path across the room is blocked by passers-by and less desirable suitors, she can more easily part the crowd by rapping people in the shins with her handy cane-like umbrella.
  • If a lady needs to run away from unwanted attention on a rainy day and is faced with a narrow parisian sidewalk filled with clueless people, she can easily hog the sidewalk to make a quick getaway, as other pedestrians with less hearty umbrellas would easily be intimidated and back away from the superior rain accessory in order to avoid injury.

In conclusion…

I highly recommend big umbrellas to supplement your daily man-shopping operations.

They.

Are.

AWESOME.

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Ms. Nostalgia

It’s taken a while to settle into my non-expatriate life, and blogging hasn’t been on my list of priorities lately. And, quite frankly, I’ve had a hard time finding my blogging mojo.

Words seemed to flow pretty freely for me on the other side of the Atlantic, and now that I’m back in my own country, I guess I’m eager to start anew, and blogging seems to be something that my subconscious associates with my former life as a foreigner in France.

But for your sakes, dear readers, I am determined to overcome this subconscious block.

So to kickstart my new bloggerific life on this side of the Atlantic, I’ve decided to publish a list of all the things I miss about dating in France — all those elusive, intangible things that I took for granted while I was there.

Ready?

Things I miss about dating in France:

……

………

………… Nothing.

You know that saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side”?

That’s a load of crap.

The grass is greener on THIS side, folks.

Let’s face it. If you’ve been long-time followers of Man-shopping in Paris, you must be convinced as I that there is nowhere to go but onward and upward from there.

Stay tuned. As soon as I get around to changing the above header to “Man-shopping in DC”, mayhem à la man-shoppeuse will continue to grace your internets.

Make no mistake, I am still as bat-crap mad as ever.

But trust me, I’m also still as delightful as ever, and I am ready to rumble.

The poor american lads will have no idea what’s in store for them.

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Ms. FORMER Expat

“Paris is most beautiful when one is about to leave it.”

~ 1945, Robert Brasillach, executed French Nazi collaborator

Yup. that’s right.  Consider this my official internet announcement of my big move.  In 24 hours, this Chickicus Northamericus is going home.

After almost half a decade as an expat American in Paris, I am finally moving on to the next phase of my life.  And I am happy to say that I will be starting completely anew in Washington, D.C.

I still have a few untold stories and musings about man-shopping in Paris to share with you all, so I expect to crank those posts out when I touch down in the States.  But after that, this is blog is going to go all-American.

I suppose that means that I’ll have to change the header of this blog to Man-shopping in D.C….

Paris has taken me on a long, eventful roller coaster ride, with its high points, low points and brain-pulverizing upside-down bits.  There has been much frustration and heartbreak, but there have also been lifelong friendships and beautiful moments that have more than made up for it.

If I can survive these past five years, I can survive anything.  In fact, I will triumph.  D.C., I dare you to stop me.

Stay tuned, dear readers.

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Mr. Potato Thief

The other night I patronized one of the kebab places in my neighborhood.  Two things happened: (1) I ordered a sandwich with samurai sauce (Yes, that’s right. SAMURAI SAUCE.), and (2) a parisian man tried to steal my fries.

If there is one thing that you should know about me, you should know that potatoes are my kryptonite.  Not chocolate.  Potatoes.  Fried.  Mashed.  Crinkle cut.  Curly.  Hash-browned.  Diced.  Chipped.  Baked.  All of it.

I LOVE POTATOES.

So, needless to say, when some parisian assclown tries to steal my fries as some kind of charming banter/play for my heart… this didn’t end well for him.

It all started when Mr. Potato Thief tried to chat me up by asking me whether he should order fries.

As a potato-lover, I scoffed at him and responded affirmatively with a resounding, “OF COURSE”.

Mr. Potato Thief ultimately opted out of fries, citing the fact that he “was on a diet”.

Again, I scoffed at him.

What a pansy.

When my order arrived, complete with samurai sauce, I was thrilled as peaches and proceeded to ignore him in order enjoy my meal.

But Mr. Potato Thief had other ideas.

He got up very close to me, reached across my chest and jokingly made a play for my fries.

All I remember feeling was this blind, hot rage, and the following things occurred:

1.  I grabbed his wrist and slammed it down on the table.

2.  With his pansy little wrist still firmly pinned to the table, I got up very close to his face and just growled, “DEGAGE”.

3.  When his friend rushed to his defense and demanded to know what I was doing to him, I finally let go of his wrist and just responded, “He should’ve ordered his own fries”.

I’m not sure what Mr. Potato Thief and his friend got up to afterward.  All I know is that the sympathetic kebab worker gave me extra fries to make up for being harassed by a potato thief.  And that made everything right with the world.

But let this be a lesson to all men the world over.

DO.

NOT.

STEAL.

MY.

FRIES.

Unless, of course, I give you permission. But that would mean that I really like you.

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Mr. Geisha Fantasy

Even after all this time, the most popular post on my blog is still Mr. Asian Fetish.  Apparently, and perhaps for good reason, this is a hot button topic on the interwebs.  Frankly, I have been reluctant to write about it again because I don’t want to give the impression that being Asian or being fetishized is the sole or primary component of my identity.

However, sometimes I think that parisian men can’t seem to think otherwise.

I recently encountered somebody whose exotification of my slanty-eyes got me so riled that he left me no choice but to revisit the topic of the Asian fetish.

To sum up my previous post on it:

  1. I don’t think of it as a fetish.  I think of it as a personal preference that may sometimes manifest itself as broader stereotyping.
  2. I don’t mind if I’m your physical type for whatever reason, but come on, fool, don’t be an asstard about it.
  3. Parisian men are usually asstards about it.

After being waylaid by Mr. Geisha Fantasy on my way out of a cafe the other day  I still stand by all three points.  I cite the following excerpts from our conversation.

He commented on my accent:

  • Mr. Geisha Fantasy : “You speak French with a Japanese accent.”
  • Man-shopper’s brain : “Kill me now.”
  • Man-shopper’s mouth : “I’m American.  That’s like saying you speak English with a white person accent.”
  • Mr. Geisha Fantasy : “No.  You do.  I am telling you.  I know what I’m talking about.  I lived in Japan.”
  • Man-shopper’s brain : “I hate my life sometimes.”

He has, I suspect, absolutely no idea what he is talking about:

  • Mr. Geisha Fantasy : “I like to work out too.  I lived in Japan, you know.”
  • Man-shopper’s brain : “What the hell is going on here??”

He clearly has some thrilling insights about pan-Asian uniformity:

  • Mr. Geisha Fantasy : “You Asians are all kind of the same, aren’t you?”
  • Man-shopper’s brain : “@$#%^~*!!”
  • Man-shopper’s mouth : “Yes.  Of course.  You’re right.  We are all the same.  You can switch me out with any other Asian.  We’d be having this same conversation.”
  • Man-shopper’s brain : “He MUST understand sarcasm, right??”
  • Mr. Geisha Fantasy : “Yes, that’s exactly what I mean!”
  • Man-shopper’s brain : “Oooor… not.

He likes an Asian in red:

  • Mr. Geisha Fantasy : “You obviously like brightly colored dresses.  You should wear bright red lipstick.  I know lots of Japanese women who wear red lipstick.”
  • Man-shopper’s brain : “Seriously?  SERIOUSLY??”

What a charmer.

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Sir Dance-a-lot

The other night I caught a glimpse of some of the most entertaining dance moves I’ve seen in a long time.  Now, keeping in mind that my own dancing skills are questionable at best, the fact that I can criticize anyone else’s dancing must mean that his/her moves must truly be trainwreckerous.

I wish that I had the skills to create some kind of video demonstration of what I saw that night.  But alas, we will all just have to live in hope that my attempt at written description will suffice.  (It won’t.  But it’s not like we have a choice here.)

Picture this combination of all the following dance moves, performed simultaneously… BY ONE GUY…

  • Index finger dancing : You all know what this is.  This is when you stick your index fingers out, point up to the ceiling, and pump your arms up and down like pistons, as if pointing upwards actually serves as a locomotive force for your existence.
  • The twist :  Yes.  The 1960s dance craze.  You know what I’m talking about.  We’ve all seen those movies.
  • The foux da fa fa dance à la Flight of the Conchords : Now, for this one, I actually do have video evidence, at the end of the video below.  (But if you haven’t seen the whole 3 minute episode, this is a must-see.  It.  Is.  Hilarity.  CUBED.)
  • The hunchback :  This is the time-honored awkward dancing position in which someone hunches his/her back over while performing all other dance moves in his/her repertoire.  My guess is that Sir Dance-a-lot thought that hunching would increase his overall cool-ness.

Now… picture all these dance moves being performed by a man wearing the following:

  • denim shirt doubling as a jacket
  • denim-colored walking shorts
  • red and yellow loafers… without socks
  • bottom-lip-biting dance expression

Here’s the thing, as a not-so-great dancer myself, I am all for pulling out the jokey dance moves and embracing my lack of skills.  I’ve contorted my body in any number of embarrassing ways at the club.

But the whole game changes when you take yourself seriously.

Sir Dance-a-lot really seemed to think that he was breaking out some truly swoonworthy gyrations on the dance floor as he attempted to make eyes at all the ladies in the room.

I’m sorry, but I just can’t help but be a judgmental cow here.  When I saw this guy, all I could think was:

With moves like that, there is no possible way that this man could be any good in the boudoir.

No way.

NO POSSIBLE WAY.

Any perceptive woman would likely NEXT this guy before he could open his mouth.  My guess is that he would never stand a chance with any woman with blood alcohol content below 0.39, which, according to wikipedia, means that she is experiencing symptoms such as “loss of understanding”, “impaired sensations”, “stupor”, “unconsciousness” and “possible death”.

That is all I have to say.

Carry on.

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Ms. Honeybabylovelylumps

Pet names can sometimes be a touchy topic, as the value, efficacy and general feelgoodiness of any pet name is purely subjective and based entirely on the arbitrary criteria of the individual being pet-named.

In general, whether or not I enjoy being called a pet name in French is determined entirely by whether I find the pet-namer horribly sleazy or gloriously attractive.

Given my history with the parisian male population, which is a separate species that I like to call parisianus asstardanus, it should come as no surprise that there are precious few French pet names that I find particularly appealing.

French pet names I like

  • ma belle
  • mon coeur (I’ve never been much of a romantic, but I have to say that “my heart” really has a certain ring to it.)
  • princesse (This is not to be confused with the possessive “MA princesse”, as I don’t intend to be anyone’s princess for as long as I can help it.  It implies a certain sappy dependency that I find cringeworthy.)
  • cherie (Harmless.  But again, not to be confused with the possessive “ma cherie”, which I have decided that I dislike for no good reason)=

French pet names I don’t like

  • mon amour (A man needs to EARN the right to call me this.)
  • mon ange (Ugh.  Hate it hate it hate it.  Someone who calls me his angel must surely be cheating on me.)
  • ma biche/bichette (Firstly, I’m no doe.  Secondly, it sounds too much like “bitch”.)
  • ma puce (Who wants to be called a flea??)
  • mon petit chou (Everyone knows that cabbage is evil.)

There are some contradictory overlaps between this french list and the following english list.  I know.  But I don’t care.  I told you that this was going to be arbitrary.

English pet names I like:

  • beautiful (It makes me feel beautiful.)
  • gorgeous (It makes me feel gorgeous.)
  • my lady/milady (It makes me feel like a genteel lady.)
  • sugar (Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that this one, said with a southern drawl, melts me on the spot.)
  • babe (I am indeed a total babe!)
  • my love (Nobody has ever actually called me this except some Irish women in a totally platonic way, but I don’t think that I’d mind of a man were to call me that.)
  • honeybunch (Come on, it makes me laugh!  I can’t help it)

English pet names I don’t like:

  • my beauty (That’s what you call your car.)
  • honey (Sticky. Icky.)
  • baby (Think about it.  It’s creepy!)
  • baby girl (Creepier.)
  • babycakes (Ew.)
  • woman (This is fun as a joke, but call me this seriously, and I will likely hurt you.)
  • slut (Do I even need to explain this one?)
  • dear/my dear (This sounds patronizing.  In a great-aunt kind of way.)

And thus I now (abruptly) conclude my random post about pet names because snack time absolutely cannot wait.

What about you all?  This topic is clearly subjective.  Feel free to discuss your feelings about pet names in the comments section below.  Bust my balls if you want.  I’m feeling feisty today!

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