That Guy Who Thinks I’m A Blue Alien and Other Bizarre Dating Experiences

Let’s be real, the dating world is bizarre. If you’ve ever been single and moderately preparedĀ for mingling (or awkwardly unequipped like this girl), you’ve probably had a strange encounter or two. I know pre-boyfriend, I had plenty. I was browsing through blogs today and a blogger’s recap of her strange date made me start thinking about my own weird past encounters with guys. And when I say weird, I actually mean super super strange.

Today I’m listing off some of my personal favorites. I don’t want this to seem at all like I’m trashing guys who have been interested in me in the past or anything of the sort, but some of these are just too much.

  1. The time a guy told me I looked like the princess from Avatar (you know, the blue alien one). What?
  2. The time a guy who was flirting with me asked me how much I could bench press. (Dude…)
  3. The time I got asked on a first date which consisted of a gay rights parade and then a trash clean-up at a local park. (I have no particular issues with either, but what’s wrong with dinner and a movie?)
  4. The time the school storage box delivery guy told me to call him. (I just want my winter clothes and school supplies, bro.)
  5. That time the guy next door came over and asked me if I wanted to open a lemonade stand and then make money and then use the money to go out together and buy ice cream and hang out (this was in eighth grade, and again, a proper date would have been much more simple using a cost-benefit/time-value-of-money analysis).
  6. That time that crazy man on a crowded street in San Francisco began loudly yelling like he was an announcer at the circus, “Attention everyone! This young lady has the nicest butt I have ever seen!” while pointing at me, and about twenty people looked (A. No. B. That wasn’t even my good butt jeans day. Although this one was more hilarious than anything.)
  7. That time the burrito guy at the college caf correctly identified what perfume I was wearing (although with the smell of the food, he must have had quite a nose. Props to him.)
  8. That time the security guard at Ulta told my roommate and I we were gorgeous and asked if we were sisters (We actually don’t look anything alike).

I hope these give you a good laugh to start off your Monday. Have you had any weird dating encounters? I could use a good laugh, too.

Xoxo, Taylor

PS – Because I’m currently drowning in numbers and letters (studying for finals) I’m going to be bringing in some lovely ladies for guest posts the next couple of days. So make sure to come back tomorrow, Wednesday, and Thursday for fashion, career tips, and more!


A Rock and a Hard Place? The Career-Minded and the Issue of Family

In the last hundred years, America (and many other parts of the world) has made huge social gains, particularly in the area of equality. Gender is one area where the gap has been reduced. More women are working now than ever before, and certainly more are pursuing “careers” instead of just jobs. If men and women are both working, I guess that begs the question: Who takes care of the kids?

I started thinking about this the other day, after my roommate mentioned a survey that was done in her sociology class. Men and women were asked what their job hours would look like should they decide to have a family. 68% of women said they would keep a full-time job, while 28% would stop working or reduce their hours. 4% said they wouldn’t have kids.

In contrast, 100% of the men said they wouldn’t change their hours once they started a family. I began thinking: if many people meet their future spouse in college, and this poll were to be representative of the Penn population, about 28% of the marriages between Penn alum would consist of a man who plans on keeping a full-time job, and a woman who’s willing to accommodate for the kids. But what about that other 68% of women? Are we looking at a lot of cat ladies or childless couples? And should it have to be that way?

After looking at my own experiences so far as a career-oriented young woman, some input from college guys, and even a little Google-searching, I’ve come to the conclusion that while progress is being made, women are still finding themselves sandwiched between family and career.

I’ll start with the college guys. I asked various college guys I know (via Facebook) to tell me a bit about whether or not family factors into how they perceive their future career goals. The range of answers was surprising, and of course disproved the idea that 100% of all men actually want a full-time job when they have children.

The majority seemed to say that family was a consideration, and a few even mentioned having chosen their areas of study based on what would bring family stability. A few responded that family wasn’t at all a consideration, and one actually put it as his main consideration in forming his career goals.

The men I talked to were overall more family oriented than I had expected… Which leads me to a little hard data. After doing some Googling on the subject, I found an article from CNN that says that more men are actually becoming stay-at-home dads in recent years. The articles cites that this may be in part to the sour economy, but in many cases the women are still out working while the men are at home. I was surprised by this. I know that traditional gender roles have been shifting in years past but this was still not what I expected.

Based on both my informal research and actual research, it’s clear that contrary to the sociology class’ survey, men are shifting their views toward family to accommodate the increasing tendency of women to be career-focused. While men’s views are shifting, women’s self-perceptions as how they function within the family unit don’t seem to be.

A study done by a Wharton professor which looked into the attitudes of various undergraduate graduating classes found that 64 percent of women in the 2012 class agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “The demands of family life will interfere with achieving success in my career,” versus only 26 percent of the men.

The tendency of women to feel trapped between professional and personal success isn’t just observable in studies. It’s something I think can be observed pretty easily, and this brings me back to my own experiences.

Yes, I’m a freshman in college. I’m certainly a couple years away from being able to call myself a career woman. But as a woman majoring in Economics (business!) with ambitions of working for big companies and climbing the corporate ladder someday, the question of family is something that causes me to squirm.

It’s not because I don’t want a family, don’t get me wrong. I want the white picket fence and the dog, the whole works. The part that makes me uncomfortable isn’t the “what,” but the “how.” Like many women around me, I often feel like all of the work I am doing right now to build my resume and career is going to eventually collide with this suburban vision of happiness, and I’m going to have to choose: work or family. I want both. I hope by the time I get there, I’ve found a way to do both, and do both well.

Obviously I’ve got a few years before this issue becomes pressing for me, but it’s something I find extremely interesting. Women or men, please comment below. Do you think men are taking more of a role in familial affairs? Should they? How should a woman prioritize work and family?

Find my “sources” here:

Finding the Right (Wo)Man

The other day, I was scanning through my news feed and saw an article entitled “It Matters Who You Marry,” a blogger’s Christian take on how to decide if a man was marriage material. It was an excellent article, but I didn’t think much of it, until I noticed the same author had written a similar article for men, telling them how to know if a woman was worth marrying.

It seems as if women are always putting some emphasis (and maybe more than men) on finding the right man.

When I read the article for men out of curiousity, I found myself introspecting about how I’d measure up to the author’s criteria, and I realized something surprising. I had never thought about myself, or other women, as subject to evaluation on the topic of marriage-worthiness.

This might be just me. But I don’t think it is. When I’m talking to my friends about employment, I find that we all often list out our good qualities to each other, as if to make our cases to hypothetical employers. “But I mean, I worked that summer job two summers in a row. And that shows leadership. And then I worked for that day camp. Employers love that. I’m also awesome at working in teams. I have a good chance at the job, right?”

Especially in college, this is how the conversation goes time and time again. But never once can I remember women around me (including myself) ever feeling like we needed to make the same case for marriage or dating, especially when it comes to personality. I’ve often heard girls say something to the effect of “But I’m like wayyyyy hotter than her anyhow, right? So he’s totally going to choose me over her.”

I can’t say I’ve heard anything to the effect of “…but I’m a kind person, and I’m so giving, and I know I would treat him really well. I’m intelligent and strong and loyal. I totally have a chance with him right?”

Granted, maybe this is partly because we don’t feel comfortable evaluating ourselves on such a deep level (and sharing with those around us.) I think, however, that maybe we should start. Reading that article on how men should choose who’s marriage-worthy made me wonder if women spend more time trying to find someone who’s date/marriage worthy than they do looking inward.

I think that it is easy to say “There are just no good men out there these days,” but are we really good women? Are we exhibiting the characteristics that warrant someone wanting to spend the long term with us?

Men have the same need to be supported mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually as women do. While many a joke can be made about men’s tendencies to gravitate toward the physical, men who are ready for mature relationships realize that having someone with a great figure means nothing if she can’t hold an intelligent conversation. In the long run, men are looking for someone who can challenge them, support them, and stand beside them.

(Keep in mind I’m not just talking about marriage here. Even in college dating relationships, many men are past the days of hook-ups and flings. They want the same things out of a relationship as they would a marriage, albeit at less intensity and of course less commitment.)

We as women can easily fall into the trap of “He should love me just the way I am!” When it comes to your personality, that’s absolutely true, but love on any level is an active partnership between two people. Both sides (yes, you included!) will have to support and encourage each other, and if this isn’t something that falls into “just the way you are,” it’s something you may have to work at.

I’m certainly not advocating a change in personality to make sure that you fit into some “girlfriend/wife box.” But there are basic characteristics that separate the girl that the guy brings home from the girl that the guy brings home to mom and dad.

While they may not show it (via fifty-two thousand ‘Is he the one?’ quizzes on the internet or an article in every issue of Cosmopolitan), men are evaluating women on a deeper level.

At the end of the day, Mr. Right has a checklist just like yours. And the question is, do you measure up?

Find the original blog posts here: