Tag Archives: starbucks

To All The Single Old Maids

One of the benefits of living in Los Angeles is that I’m constantly bombarded by thought-provoking intellectual discourse.1 And so it happened this weekend that I came across two women at Starbucks whose conversation blew my mind.

Woman #1: Do you think I’m an old maid?
Woman #2: No, not at all!
Woman #1: I think I am.
Woman #2: Honey, you’re so not there yet.
Woman #1: I don’t know, I feel like I am.
Woman #2: You’re totally not.

Keep in mind that Woman #1 had probably just turned 22 (she was wearing knee-high boots with shorts and stretched out “uh huh” into three syllables).  At this point, Woman #2 deftly latte-swerved2 into a fascinating new topic (yoga!) and they abandoned the old maid talk. But it got me thinking: At what point do you go from being a single woman to being an old maid? What’s the lady to hag cutoff age?  And then: Jesus Christ, am I an old maid?  Wait–Why am I even thinking about this?  Why is anyone thinking about this?

Other than psychopaths, single women are probably the craziest, most irrational people in the whole world.  Our incessant desperation appears to stem entirely from our pathetic role in history:  Years ago, it was a lot easier to know whether you were packing up your hoo-ha for good.  Back in the olde days (when people added an “e” to “old” and my ancestors were building your railroads), everyone hooked up so young.  Once a girl hit double-digits, she was hiking up her petticoat and courting her cousin.  If a chick wasn’t married by 18, she was relegated to spinsterhood or thrown into a river (my ancestors).  But as we moved into the 20th century, it seems that the hag cutoff age was pushed back.  Feminists tried to suppress the entire “old maid” paradigm, because hey, women don’t need men!  We can vote now!

But of course, that’s not true.3  And so the “old maid” label persevered, bandied upon any husband-less, child-less woman with an unexplored crevasse and shriveled-up fallopian tubes.

Nowadays, the whole spinster exemplar has almost become chic.  The new-age old maid has evolved far past the cat-loving, never-been-kissed spinster of old(e).  While there are still classic examples (Susan Boyle, Susan B. Anthony, Suddenly Susan, and every other woman named Susan), there are now “career women” old maids (Condi Rice), “hot but mean” old maids (Ann Coulter), and “probably lesbian” old maids (Diane Keaton).  The old maid has become the equivalent of the expired cheese puff that you find between your couch cushions: revolting, yes, but somewhat endearing at the same time.

So back to the original question: When does a single woman become an old maid?  I don’t know.  It now seems anti-feminist to even think about such a thing.  So, I want to make a declaration, for all the single ladies out there who are so freaking worried about their descent into sad-sack spinsterhood: Girls, STOP FREAKING OUT. That thing that you want so desperately–to get married and then half-get divorced?–It will happen one day.  And if it doesn’t, well… kill yourself.4  But for now, just know that you should not have to put an expiration date on your happiness.  You should not have to settle.  Stop counting down the days to some imaginary deadline*, and just enjoy your life.  Besides, if Jennifer Aniston could be called an old maid, then we’re all screwed anyway.

*By the way, it’s probably, like, 37.


1 – If intellectual discourse was limited to only the weather, the gym, and new vegan restaurants.

2 – Latte-swerving is a fabulous conversation-avoidance technique honed in Los Angeles in which you switch topics by making a comment about your coffee. “Oh my God, I just burned my tongue on this coffee. Woo! That hurts! Anyway, enough about global warming, let’s talk about the gym!”  It’s brilliant.

3 – Women totally need men. We need men to kill things, like spiders.

4 – Do not do this unless you are Ann Coulter.


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The New and Improved Chinese Zodiac for Christmas

Over Thanksgiving break, I made the unfortunate decision to have lunch at a local “Polynesian-Chinese” restaurant. polychinaTiki Palace was dead empty when my grandmother and I arrived at noon. The waiter with the leather jacket and lazy eye further confirmed my growing suspicion that the place was a front for the Polynesian-Chinese mob. While waiting for the food and trying to catch a glimpse of illegal opium dealings, I found myself perusing the Chinese zodiac placemats. I’d forgotten how wonderfully descriptive these zodiac signs were. Born in the year of the Ox, I read that I am supposedly easy-going, fierce, demanding, and good with my hands… I would be a good hairdresser, the zodiac proselytized.

It seems like you can always convince yourself of some truth if you think about it long enough. After reading about my Ox-ness, I started reconsidering careers in which I could put my good hands to use, like becoming a concert pianist or a cardiac surgeon. chinesezodiacIt also got me thinking: if such attributes can be gleaned from something as arbitrary as year of birth, how else can we be convinced of our easy-going fierceness? So, given that this blog is inspired by exposing arbitrariness, overgeneralizations and frivolous categorizations, I have decided to create a zodiac of my own. Based on a complex mathematical algorithm, basic principles in quantum physics, and an undying belief in Santa, this revised zodiac is a marked improvement upon the old, vague, anything-goes version. My only hope is that Tiki Palace will one day carry my zodiac… and take their orange chicken off the menu.


Add up the two digits in your DAY of birth (for example, if your birthday is on the 4th, you would add 0+4 = 4). Then take the sum, and match it to the reindeer below.

1 // RUDOLPH – 2 // DASHER – 3 // DANCER – 4 // PRANCER – 5 // VIXEN – 6 // COMET – 7 // CUPID – 8 // DONNER – 9+ // BLITZEN

reindeer(1) RUDOLPH: You are a tireless optimist, filled with fuzzy positivity. You are perennially cheerful, chipper, and trusting. You’re generous with your smile and your exclamation marks. You often sing karaoke, bake cookies and use “heart” as a verb. You don’t notice that sometimes, other people want to bludgeon your sugary goodness with a baseball bat. You get along best with Dancer and Cupid. You should avoid Dasher. You will likely become a customer service representative for a company that sells rainbows and hugs.

(2) DASHER: You rush through life, never noticing a thing. You are perennially busy, edgy, and on the phone. You enjoy Starbucks lattes, walking fast, and eating hot dogs from street vendors. You probably own two phones, a bluetooth headset, and a profanity-heavy vocabulary. You get along best with Vixen and Blitzen. You should avoid children and the elderly. You will likely find yourself sobbing in the bathroom as your fortunes slip away with the withering stock market.

(3) DANCER: You love drama. You swing from extreme highs to extreme lows, from radiant jubilation to a depressing, old Sarah McLachlan song. You are overemotional, sensitive, and sometimes scary to be around. When you’re angry, you like to start fights and challenge strangers to dance-offs. When you’re sad, you like to buy a gallon of ice cream and watch The Hills in sweatpants. You get along best with Prancer. You should avoid hard drugs and The Notebook. You will likely become a high school chemistry teacher/soccer coach.

sadsanta(4) PRANCER: See ‘DANCER’. Sadly Santa was not creative enough to come up with unique reindeer names.

(5) VIXEN: You’re devious, sneaky, and utterly intriguing. You’re a Bond girl before we find out whether or not she is evil. You are mysterious and potentially harmful to others. You enjoy drinking martinis and attending masquerade balls. You get along with nobody. You should avoid everybody. You will likely get arrested, escape, and move to Fiji at some point in the future.

(6) COMET: You revel in your anonymity, coming and going as you please. You are partial to the emo-style nomads, the quiet heroes, and the courageous loners. You want to be in the choir, in the background, disrupting the world as little as possible. You get along best with yourself. You should avoid Dasher and Dancer. You will likely find yourself going down one of two paths: either becoming a) Nobel-winning genius, or b) the Unabomber.

lifetimemovie(7) CUPID: For you, the world is full of love. You love love. You love people. You think that all the world’s ills can be solved by love and diamond rings. When others complain, you immediately think that it’s because they’re not getting enough love. You prescribe Match.com, a stiff drink, and Viagara. You get along best with Rudolph. You should avoid single people. You will likely find yourself as on a TLC reality show, or as the subject of a Lifetime original movie.

(8.) DONNER: Unfortunately, you are dull, boring, and uninteresting. Because “Donner” does not translate into anything literal, you are stuck as the default outcast, the uncool kid on the block. You spend your days doing mundane things, like knitting, making finger puppets, and watching HGTV. You iron your shirts and you have great table manners. The only excitement in your day comes from guessing correctly on House Hunters. You get along best with your friends on Second Life, but you should avoid all normal people. You will likely find yourself in a charming 2BR/2BA brownstone with a leaky roof and cats.

(9+) BLITZEN: You are fifteen minutes ago. You’re brash, outrageous, and completely behind the times. You think you’re a godsend, but everyone does the eye-roll once you leave a conversation. You enjoy debating hot-button issues that you’ve read about in magazines, and you often end up disagreeing with those idiot “experts”. You’re obviously the preeminent authority on all topics ranging from GQ to Us Weekly, so we should listen up. You get along best with anyone willing to listen. You should avoid people who are smarter than you (if they exist). You will likely end up at an Alaska rally for Sarah Palin in 2012.

So, do you believe in the truths held by this zodiac? According to this, I’m a Donner (born on the 26th, 2+6). Ho hum + HGTV + cats? Sounds about right.

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Random Thoughts on… Cutting Back

During the past few months, the S&P 500 has fallen nearly 30%.  Hedge fund managers and i-bankers are losing their jobs.  Gordon Gekko is trading in his Ferragamo loafers for food.  Trendy derelictque fashion lines may soon reflect our dire reality.  We’re squeezed for some cash. 

So, let’s get out our scalpels and start thinking about what we can live without.

Here are some suggestions of what to cut in 2009:

facil1) Impulse Buys: Personally, some past regrets include neon sneakers and the Staples easy button. ¡Que facil!

2) Useless Junk: this category includes bouncy balls, rubber chickens, whoopee cushions, and finger puppets–all of which I have received as gifts in the past.  Therefore, someone is buying this crap.  Stop… for your own sake.

3) Alcohol, Drugs, and Prostitutes: Just not a good idea, especially in a down economy.  

4) Coffee: Starbucks takes about $3.50 of your hard-earned money every day.  Then it takes that cash, stuffs it in a recyclable paper bag, and lights it on fire (its stock is down 15% this month alone).  Why not keep your money and light it on fire yourself?  It would be more fun.


5) Dessert: This is a tough one to let go… I might have to offset this by buying fewer rubber chickens instead.  I’m not sure if I can do without molten chocolate cake.


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