Saturday, February 28, 2009

A reason to celebrate tonight

It's not easy to find a bright light in all the doom and gloom we're experiencing, but if you have a special bottle of wine (or other beverage) you've been saving for the right occasion, tonight is the time to open it.

The Wall Street Journal's husband-and-wife wine team of Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher are hosting the 10th annual Open That Bottle of Wine Night tonight (hear their interview with "Fresh Air's" Terry Gross here). The duo started the celebration because the most common question
they get from readers is when they should open a special bottle of wine. Wait too long, for example, and the wine could go bad.

"You should worry less about what is the perfect moment for the wine than what is the perfect moment for you," the couple wrote in their "Tastings" column. (They encourage readers to send their stories of how they spend the evening.)

This reminds me of the movie "Sideways." The main character, played by Paul Giamatti, was saving an expensive bottle of wine for just the right moment, but it never seemed to come. In the end, he realized the futility of his wait and took the bottle to a hamburger joint, to enjoy it with a juicy burger.

I've got my bottle ready. It's a very cheap wine, but it's my favorite, and I don't find it often. I was saving it for "later," but why not savor it now?

Friday, February 27, 2009

A reader asks: What happened to casual dating?

Alicia: Today, we pose a question: If the object of your attraction states at the first date that he/she isn't interested in a commitment, do you stick around? We ask because a reader wonders:

"What about women wanting a commitment when men state from the start they do not want one? Usually men and women do want to date, but want to casually -- this does not always mean that sex is involved. I’ve noticed it’s more prevalent in these parts that if you want to casually date, and say that at the beginning, women are up for it at first, but after three dates or so they are pressing you for some sort of commitment. What about keeping your options open? Men and women, at least this gives us something to compare, and to see who's personality or vibe is a better fit. I do think it would have both sexes thinking and looking more inward."

Deirdre: It's been said that people tell you exactly who they are when you first meet them. It's just a matter of if you choose to hear them or not. I think in a lot of cases, people turn a deaf ear to news that the person they want a relationship with is not interested in a relationship with anyone.

Alicia: Someone who says "no commitment" at the outset is closing off possibilities that haven't even opened up. Doesn't seem like someone I'd want to hang with romantically or otherwise.

Deirdre: I don't know. I think I might. I'm not looking for a relationship either, and it would be fun and freeing to hang out with someone with no strings attached. But what if I become attached?

Alicia: That's always the danger, isn't it? And isn't someone who says he's not looking for a commitment at the outset daring you not to care? I'd be headed for a lot of hurt.

And how many people have we known who have dated a commitmentphobe thinking that person would change their mind?

Alicia: I know I've broken up with a few ...

And the reader's point about why we have to make a decision after the third date -- I say: not everyone does. But the majority of women in America do want to partner up and have kids. The clocking is ticking on their eggs. Also, in general people's time is limited. They often date with a purpose now.

Alicia: That's true. Do you agree with his opinion that the expectations seem to be higher in our area than in others? I've found that it doesn't matter where you live, more people in the dating way want commitment than don't. Or maybe it's just the people I know.

Deirdre: Like a friend of mine recently said: "Women in different regions are just different kinds of crazy." That goes for men, too. It just seems hard where you are because that's where you are.

Alicia: Geographically and emotionally.

Deirdre: Also, the reader's mention of sex -- is it even possible to make it to the third date without at least a trip to third base? When I say I'd rather not kiss on the first date, people look at me like I'm a nun. There's an assumption of physical intimacy these days that makes a person suspect if they enjoy someone's company without swapping bodily fluids.

Alicia: And that's a whole other level of entanglement.

Deirdre: So, yeah, for a lot of people plenty is riding on those early dates. If it was ever a "casual" pastime, it certainly isn't now.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What you can buy at a 'slumber' party

Before my friend and her husband decided to get serious about starting a family, she held a little "slumber party" at her house.

Slumber party, of course, being a euphemism for the Tupperware-Party-like extravaganza at which women could sip some wine and buy, umm, adult toys for intimate purposes.

But the more interesting party -- really -- was on the other side of town, where the men attached to the partygoers held an anti-event. They grilled pounds of red meat, drank a few beers ... and fretted about what the women would bring home after the slumber party.

In fact, there was a list of things the men did not want to see (but we don't need to go into here), and many beers were drunk as they worried about the expectations their women might have.

Which amused the women. If the men didn't want to receive gifts from WAY out in left field, they had little to worry about. One of the attendees badgered most of the partygoers into sharing their purchases with the group. Some lingerie, some massage oils, but nothing too racy. (Not all of the women shared the contents of their brown paper bags, though ...)

But the guys' concern also left us women at a bit of a loss. Isn't a gift bag from a "slumber party" a dream come true?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Wrong author, but right message

A close friend forwarded the following to me, under the title "Maya Angelou's Best Poem Ever." I did a quick search and found out that while it's often attributed to Angelou, a woman named Pamela Redmond Satran actually penned it for Glamour magazine more than a decade ago.

However, time and incorrect attribution don't dim the message of the piece, which I pass on to my fellow womenfolk.

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ... enough money wi
thin her control to move out and rent a place of her own, even if she never wants to or needs to.

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ... something perfect to wear
if the employer, or date of her dreams, wants to see her in an hour.

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ... a youth she's content to leave behind.

juicy enough that she's looking forward to retelling it in her old age.

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ... a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra.

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ... one friend who always makes her laugh ...
and one who lets her cry.

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ... a good piece of furniture
not previously owned by anyone else in her family.

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ... eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems, and a recipe for a meal, that will make her guests feel honored.

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE ... a feeling of control
over her destiny.

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... how to fall in love
without losing herself.

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... how to quit a job, break up with a lover, and confront a friend, without ruining the friendship.

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... when to try harder ...

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... that she can't change the length of her calves, the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents.

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW... that her childhood may not have been perfect,
but it's over.

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW ... what she would and wouldn't do
for love or more.

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW ... how to live alone,
even if she doesn't like it.

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW ... whom she can trust, whom she can't, and why she shouldn't take it personally.

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW ... where to go, be it to her best friend's kitchen table or a charming inn in the woods, when her soul needs soothing.

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW ... what she can and can't accomplish in a day ... a month ... and a year.

Monday, February 23, 2009

What you get from a relationship

One of my most interesting friends dropped me a line last week.

We talked for more than an hour about nearly everything -- from our lives to our philosophies to our next steps. She's always up to something new and unusual -- learning a language, reading an interesting book, connecting with mutual friends we haven't seen in a while.

It had been some time since we last had chatted. With her, though, it's always as if I'd seen her yesterday. She has one of those ebullient, charismatic personalities: She's the flame, you're the moth. We always have such fun conversations. And we always make plans to see each other -- plans that just never seem to happen.

She's my quick-fix friendship. I hope I always know her. After we talk, her enthusiasm buoys me for days. But I'll never count on her to make good on our plans, to show up for a gathering, to send me the name of that fascinating article she insists I have to read. But I'll love her forever, and will always look forward to our next connection, however fleeting it is.

She's an interesting contrast to my most important friend -- a woman I've known since high school and someone I can always count on to show up no matter how long it's been since we last spoke.

My always-there friend and I catch up infrequently. Our conversations, spoken or written via e-mail, are short. We laugh and we cry together, and we're equally comfortable doing both.

We see each other not as often as we'd like. But our connection is always deep, our sadness at having to part is always heartfelt, and our efforts to get together always turn out.

These women have taught me about the give-and-take of friendships, about how high --or low -- to set your expectations. And to rejoice in what is offered.

That's been an important lesson.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Girls: Why don't you call back?

Yesterday I wrote about how a guy asked for my number (we were at a club) and he hasn't called. I asked readers -- in particular, male readers -- what would make them ask for contact info and then not use it. Several guys turned the question back on me in the comments. Here's a great example:

"I completely understand your frustration, however as a guy I have had the same thing happen. You meet a girl at a bar/club have a good time and you both seem interested in another meeting, the girl gives you her number you call, and she doesn't answer or call back. I would rather her just say she's not interested and that would save us both time. I think that a lot of women are afraid to say no in person and it's easier to ignore a phone call."

I could not agree more -- just (tactfully) say you're not interested! That would be so refreshing. But I think our first response is to say something that will either avoid confrontation or spare feelings.

Ladies, it's your turn. A guy asks for your number. Do you give him a fake one? If it's real, do you give it knowing that you won't answer when he calls? Or do you give your number with every intention of talking to him ... but then wake up the next day and think better of it? Also: any chicks out there who pull a preemptive strike and ask for the guy's number first?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Guys: Why ask if you're not gonna call?

I was at a club with friends Sunday night when I met a man. We chatted, we danced, and as I prepared to leave, he asked for my phone number.

I thought, "oh, why not?" He was polite, attractive and he made me laugh. I wouldn't mind seeing him again. So I gave him my number.

That was Sunday. Now it's Thursday. I haven't heard from him.

This is where opinion breaks down between the sexes. I'm sure there are plenty of men thinking, "Give the guy a break. It's only Thursday." I'm equally sure there are plenty of women thinking, "You gave him your number on Sunday? Girl, he is so not calling." Either way, I'm not holding my breath for a phone call.

Ladies, how many times have you given your phone number and never heard from the guy again? You're probably like me: not heartbroken, just curious as hell. Why ask for the digits if you're not going to use them?

Men, here's your chance to set the record straight. If you've ever asked for a woman's contact info and then never used it, tell us why. Did you lose it? Did you wake up the next morning and think back on how dark it was in the club, and maybe she wasn't as cute as you thought she was? Did you decide you'd rather not be bothered? Did you get back with your ex? Or do you like to ask for a chick's number, just to see if you can get it?

Come on, guys. Solve one of dating's enduring mysteries!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Friends, 18 years in the making

It took nearly 18 years of knowing each other, but my sister-in-law and I have finally formed a friendship.

More than that, I'd say Deana has been a primary lifeline for me these past two years -- getting used to juggling two children, deciding to spend most of my time at home with them, and acclimating to a new city in the midst of all the other changes.

We talk several times a week (sometimes several times a day) to share hilarious -- and not so funny -- kid stories (and maybe a husband tale or two). We blow off steam about the fleeting annoyances in our lives. We celebrate victories as we figure out how best to be a professional woman and a mom and a wife at the same time.

Why did it take so long?

I can't exactly say why. We had always gotten along when we saw each other, and we talked occasionally over the years outside of the family get-togethers. But Deana reached out a little after my oldest child was born, and I was determined to keep in touch with her with regularity.

I guess it comes down to this: We had never really stopped long enough in our busy lives to realize how much we like each other, and how much we could support each other.

And here we are, two years later, sharing a blessing of a relationship that allows us to get a window into the daily lives of our nieces and nephews, though they live many, many states away.

She gives me the reality check I need when craziness is swirling around me.

Best of all, she makes me laugh, and everyone needs a friend like that.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Your love life in six words?

Who knew so much could be said in six words? In honor of Valentine's Day, NPR's "Talk of the Nation" did a great segment on Smith Magazine's new book, "Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak." The book has hundreds of mini-memoirs from famous and regular folks. (Examples: "Don't trust a man who waxes"; "Tried men. Tried women. Like cats"; and "She got Hodgkins lymphoma. I bailed," which is brutal.) People called and e-mailed in to the show to share theirs; some of my favorites: "Beth filled gaps. My wife disagreed." "College boys are really, really awful." "Should have considered nose-hair trimmer."

I then asked a few people to describe their love lives, with cool results:

My Relate co-writer, Alicia: Getting better despite having two kids.

A single male co-worker: My ex scares away cute girls.

A married male co-worker: It's my anniversary. Try me later. (He's an inveterate smart-ass.)

A pal who's a single mom: I wish I had more sex.

And here's mine: High-strung but low-maintenance. Interested?

Get in on the memoir action! Describe your love life in six words.

Addendum: One of my best friends sent hers and I had to add it, because it's pure poetry: "She teetered between desire and disappointment."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Doo-dooter, and other terms of endearment

When you've been around someone long enough you start to develop a series of code words, shorthand and inside jokes that can even outlast the relationship.

My friend Alisa and her college boyfriend called the television remote the doo-dooter. Boyfriend's long gone, but my husband and I never call that thing a remote.

When a kitchen counter or dishtowel might have been contaminated with raw chicken (or some other icky foodstuff), we say it has chickenosis, thanks to our friends Eric and Joletta.

We also have:

Funkatosis: An offshoot of chickenosis. Used to describe anything smelly. If that smell resulted from gastrointestinal distress, the culprit is said to have Foggy Bottom, a holdover from when we lived in D.C., where one of the Metro stops was Foggy Bottom.

Crouch: Popularly spelled, and pronounced, crotch. But my husband's mother mispronounced it once, so "crotch" is no longer part of our vocabulary.

F.P.: Short for "freakin' problem." As in, "What's your F.P.?" Used in particularly exasperating situations, like when your beloved won't give you the doo-dooter.

W.E.: Short for "whatever," also courtesy of Eric and Joletta. Used when you don't want to waste breath or effort on an argument.

Those are part of my relationship lexicon.

What's on your list?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A little love knowledge

Opinions abound as to who was the original Valentine; the most popular theory is that he was a clergyman who was executed for secretly marrying couples in ancient Rome (going against the orders of Emperor Claudius II, who thought marriage weakened his soldiers). In any event, in A.D. 496, Pope Gelasius I declared Feb. 14 as Valentine Day, and St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers. Esther Howland, a Massachusetts native, is given credit for selling the first mass-produced valentine cards in the 1840s. Here's a quick quiz, courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau, which seems to track everything:

1. What’s the average length of first marriages that end in divorce?
A. 3 years
B. 8 years
C. 18 months
D. 5 years

2. How many dating service establishments are there nationwide? Include Internet dating services.
A. 85
B. 904
C. 300
D. 1374

3. How many marriages took place in 2007?

A. 800,000
B. 5 million
C. 1 million
D. 2.2 million

4. What state ranked the most in marriages that year?
A. California
B. Nevada
C. Texas
D. Massachusetts

5. What was the per capita consumption of candy by Americans in 2007?

A. 11 pounds
B. 57 pounds
C. 24.5 pounds
D. 104 pounds

And just so you know ...

-- Fifty-seven percent of American women and 60 percent of men age 18 or older are married. (That includes people who are separated).

-- The median time between divorce and a second marriage is 3 1/2 years.

Romantic-sounding places to spend Valentine's Day:

Roseville, Calif.
South Heart, N.D.
Darling township, Minn.
Lovejoy, Ga.
Valentine, Neb.
Loveland, Okla.
Romeoville, Ill.
Loving, N.M.
Romeo, Mich.
Love Valley, N.C.


1. B, 8 years. Maybe there is something to that "seven-year itch."
2. B, 904. So why are so many people still single?
3. D, 2.2 million. That breaks down to a little more than 6,000 a day.
4. A, California. Although so many couples tie the knot in Nevada that it ranked fifth nationally, even though its total population that year among states was 35th.
5. C, 24.5 pounds. No word on how many dentist appointments that adds up to.

Monday, February 09, 2009

What you remember, what you don't

While her husband was out of town last weekend, my sister and her two children stayed at my mom's for a few days.

It gave my sister a few days of help and relief from playing single parent, and it gave my niece ample opportunities for playing "hairdresser" with two grownup women.

Which led to my mother brushing my sister's hair for the first time in several decades.

Which led to my sister remarking how nice it was that Mom wasn't rapping her atop the head with the brush because she wasn't sitting still.

They both cracked up laughing, as I did when my sister told me the story. Mom was a little stressed back then, and she didn't always have patience for a wiggling kid.

But I also was a little surprised that I hadn't remembered Mom doing that.

Isn't funny what you remember of your childhood, and which memories you leave behind?

I remember dancing and singing all the words to the Beatles' "Hello, Goodbye" with my siblings -- so much so, I gave them copies of a Beatles compilation a few years ago.

They didn't have that happy memory at all.

My brother is convinced I was the one to wrap him up with the ribbon from a broken cassette tape and smear his face with peanut butter, even though my sister has explained she and her friend Kelly did it. I was the one telling them to stop.

And my sister remembers the hairbrush.

A few weeks ago, someone asked me what I recalled of how my parents punished us when we acted up.

I couldn't remember a thing to mention. I know there had to be something -- my mother could stop us in our tracks with a look when we were kids.

My sister reminded me of a few things when I asked her the same question.

But I guess I have left those memories in the past.

Friday, February 06, 2009

When he says, 'I won't lie'

Alicia: So, D, which red flags start waving when a guy begins a conversation like this: "I won't lie to you"? A reader writes that she has an ex who always responds like that -- as if he's doing her a favor. Or trying to sell her something. And as if him saying it wasn't annoying enough, her kids have started saying it, too. It's like she spends her days surrounded by sleazy used car salesmen.

Deirdre: I know she wants to punch her ex in the mouth every time he says it, too. To me, "I won't lie to you" falls under the same category as "no offense, but ...": no matter what comes next, you're not gonna like it.

Alicia: Absolutely. And my thought is that you shouldn't have to announce that you're not going to lie. It means that you are going to lie, and you can't be trusted in general.

Deirdre: Or that maybe you're not lying this time, which isn't much better.

Alicia: So is there anything to be done with this guy (except for having the reader anonymously send him this link)? I bet he can't be reasoned with, given his ex status.

Deirdre: And if he's evil, he might use it just because he knows it bugs her. But she can do something about her kids. She can talk to them about it and tell them that the phrase is useless. Just as they've learned to use it, they can unlearn it.

Alicia: Hope she can convince them. And while she's at it, maybe she can warn them off some other conversation-ending phrases, "I don't know about you, but ..." "Like I always say ..." What else?

Deirdre: "I don't mean to be rude, but ..." and then they proceed to be rude! Or, "I know it's none of my business ..." and then they get all in your business!

Alicia: "Don't take my word for it, but ..." means I have no clue, but I'm going act like it, nonetheless.

Deirdre: If I shouldn't take your word for it, why are you saying it, then? I think these phrases have become so ingrained in conversation that people either A) don't even realize they're using them, or B) think they can say anything by using such a phrase first, as if that'll make it OK. Except it doesn't.

Alicia: Right. If you're going to say something that might make someone uncomfortable, take ownership of it or don't say it at all.

Deirdre: Words to live by, sister!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Women, spend some time with 'Money'

Ladies, if you haven't already had a "come to Jesus" talk with yourself about money in this recession, now's the time. And Liz Perle's "Money, A Memoir: Women, Emotions, and Cash" is just the book to start the conversation. I've been recommending it to friends and co-workers, and now I want to suggest it to you as well.

Let me tell you up front that this is not easy reading. After the prologue I had to put the book down for a day or two, to steel myself for what was to come. This paragraph is partially what did it:

"Long ago, and not entirely consciously, I made a quiet contract with cash. I would do what it took to get it -- work hard, marry right -- but I didn't want to have to think about it. I simply wanted to know I would be financially secure. This intentional avoidance eventually exacted its price. In the service of sidestepping, whenever possible, my anxious feelings (if not my facts) about money, I've signed over a lot of power to anyone or anything that promised to make me feel financially safe -- no matter what the consequences. I've left my emotions about money -- the fears and ambivalences -- largely unexamined. I've avoided facing my contradictory feelings about the whole subject, such as the fact that I want to have my own money with the independence it gives, while simultaneously hoping someone or something will step up to the plate and take care of me. I've invited these highly emotional and unstable sets of feelings into every relationship I've had, and they have silently accompanied and influenced each one -- with my father, my work, my friends, my bosses, and my husbands. (there have been two -- oddly, both named Steve.)"

Any of that sound familiar? I thought so. And that's just in the prologue. It came soon after Liz talked about how her husband decided he didn't want to be married any more ... and they'd already sold their apartment in New York and had all their belongings steaming across the ocean to join them in Singapore, where they moved for his job. Liz's husband told her to go back to the States and take their 4-year-old son with her. He gave her $1,500. And that was it.

Most women's financial problems aren't as dramatic as that, and Liz interviewed plenty of them for the book. Trust me, as messed up as you think your situation is, there are chicks in the book who will make you feel better about it. Women who get into credit card debt because they buy pretty things to make themselves feel better. Women who are the breadwinners in their family, and they resent their husbands because of it (and the husbands resent them right back). Women who steal cash from their husband's wallets to squirrel away, "just in case." Women who've grown up thinking they'll "marry well," and that's their career plan.

But there's also examples of women who have their lives together, and input from financial experts and sociologists and psychologists who offer explanations of our behavior and some guidance. And throughout, author Liz tells her own story, and shares how she overcame her own manias and misconceptions. Women, no matter where you are in your life, "Money, a Memoir" will open your eyes to your own financial foibles. Oh, and it's available for free at the library. :o)

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Love being a family, but ...

Friday night is date night for me and my husband.

We decided a few months ago, when my work schedule changed and we needed our babysitter less often during the week, that we'd hire her to give us a regular break from "family" and a chance to once again be just "couple."

It has been amazing.

We escape only for about two hours every week (by Friday night, we're both too tired for major partying), but we've taken the opportunity to try new restaurants. Ones that generally do not serve chicken fingers and fries.

We've also visited our favorite restaurant (we're both Vietnamese cuisine freaks) often enough that the servers recognize us and, most times, can guess our drink order -- something that was status quo before children.

We spend most of our time (on a good night, all of our time), talking about something other than children. A wish list of vacation destinations. Career goals (and, in today's environment, worries). The books/magazines we're reading.

After all, it's one night a week to reacquaint each other with the individual adults that are part of our family.

It's a chance to remember why we got married, and why we stay married.

Worth a few hours of babysitting fees a week, don't you think?

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The sad side of social networking

Facebook was fun.

Though I haven't been the most devoted of posters, in the span of a few weeks, I was able to:

-- Get instant access to photos of my niece and nephews in Indianapolis, a blessing since we see them only once or twice a year.

-- Reconnect with an old co-worker from my D.C. days, who told me he's now married to his longtime girlfriend (though, back then, they said they never would take that step), he had to bid farewell to two of the greatest cats to walk the planet, and he heard some juicy tidbits about a former colleague who seems not to have tempered her crazy dating ways.

-- Track down a friend from junior/senior high who honestly looks like she hasn't aged a bit, and one of my college roommates, who's married with kids now, too.

But tracking down Patty from college is also how I found out about Maureen, a girl I lived with my senior year at the University of Dayton.

That's when Facebook stopped being quite so much fun.

Maureen and I didn't have much in common except for Patty -- and a shared living space, of course. She was a year behind me, and we got along fine. We just didn't click, and so didn't keep in touch after I graduated.

But Maureen was always there for you with an offer of help. She told jokes all the time, and she was always happy-go-lucky when you needed a laugh.

While responding to Patty's message last week, I followed a link to something called Mission4Maureen.

I found out that Maureen died about four years ago after a long battle with brain cancer.

She was only 34. She left behind a husband, three children, and family and friends who still grieve over her loss.

Mission4Maureen is the charity her family started to help others diagnosed with brain cancer pay for medical treatment. It was one of her wishes, fitting for someone who cared so much about others.

Farewell, Maureen. I regret I had to learn about your battle this way.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Passing the, um, scream test?

The friend I refer to as Gabrielle, aka "the club kitten," called last night after the Super Bowl to commiserate (we both rooted for the Cardinals) and to share a dating story.

At the all-girl Super Bowl party Gabrielle attended, talk turned to dating during halftime. One of the stories involved a mutual female friend. It seems that when this woman is on a first date, she imagines screaming her date's name during sex. If the name doesn't just flow off the tongue, her interest dims. It's not a deal-breaker, per se, but it doesn't help the date's chances if they have a multisyllabatic moniker.

Gabrielle was floored. She couldn't believe such an assessment was used on a first date. It's rather shallow, no?

Also, "you should see this girl," Gabrielle said. "She is so mousy. To look at her, you wouldn't think she would even scream during sex, and then to imagine her screaming out someone's name?"

The girls at the party saw the look on Gabrielle's face and burst out laughing. Then they started yelling her name in a faux orgasmic frenzy.

The sad/funny/weird thing? After telling me that story, Gabrielle said that she'll probably imagine herself screaming out her next date's name. And now I will, too!