Friday Night Winter Coat Woes: To Check or Not to Check?

“Enjoy the chilly weather,” a friend said in a text message. “Sometimes it seems I’m the only one who enjoys it!”

“Not so! I love the cold! It saves me blush step when I’m ‘putting on my face!'” I enthusiastically typed in reply.

Getting ready for a summer night on the town has its appeal, particularly in the lack of clothes required...

The late sunset, the empowering “good-bye” to layers, wool tights, and a multi-moisturizer makeup regime — certainly, going out on sultry summer nights has its appeal. But as any girl who has found her foundation dripping down her face and sweat stains stretching to her waist knows, getting ready for a carefree (read: humid and blistering) summer night is no carefree task. The onset of the winter chill is a surprising relief.

“Scarf appropriate” earrings must be considered (you don’t want your chandeliers snagging your cashmere), but otherwise, winter nights on the town are reasonably low maintenance. When things turn frosty, I can use a hairdryer without the extra 2 coats of antiperspirant. I can look to sensible, rugged flat boots for almost all evening occasions. And thanks to movement-friendly leggings with figure-flattering sweater dresses, I can transition from day into night with a mere swipe of red lipstick.

The catch? That whole “coat problem.”

Hats stay on heads and scarves swirl around necks as parts of an ensemble. Gloves slip into pockets and earmuffs into purses. But those long, inflated, element-proof outerwear garments don’t fade into the background so easily.

If you’re lucky to find a lounge with a coat check, problem solved. At most, all you need to worry about is a dollar tip at the end of the night. But make your way to the typical crowded bar, and things get more complicated.

Hats and scarves become part of an ensemble, while mittens and earmuffs dissapear into purses.

I walked into the dimly-lit Keats on 2nd Avenue and took a quick survey of the throbbing alleyway of pint glasses, rosy cheeks, and navy sweaters. “Are there coat hooks anywhere?” my friend asked. Apparently, somewhere at the back of the pub there were small brass hooks triple hung with peacoats and ski jackets. Was there room for her black wool coat among the sea of like-styled black wool coats? Didn’t look like it.

Sometimes, hooks are strategically pinned under mahogany bar tops. Supply is usually scarce. If you happen to find yourself at a bar with back-rest enhanced bar stools, you’re in luck – a built-in coat hanger at your seat. Find yourself at a bar sans the aforementioned amenities and your MacGyver instincts have to kick-in.

This many accessories does pose a challenge at the local Public House

I stood at the bar, with a pint of Blue Moon in one hand, my knee-length quilted mauve Burberry in the other, backless stool in front of me, and awkwardly attempted to find a solution. “You could hang it on your knee when you sit down” was one suggestion. Okay, here goes. Before I could take a sip from the glass, my coat was in a heap on the sticky floor.

Why don’t you sit on it? That seemed like a good plan until I wiggled onto the coat-draped bar stool, watching the head on my ale teeter-totter close to lip of the glass. It was then I hooked my heel on the coat’s pocket instead of the stool’s support rut.

The rip was audible and the footprint insoluble. Mild panic.

As I slipped off the stool, my butt sent my coat tumbling to the floor again. To add insult to injury, while on the ground, it had picked up the powdery remnants of a bowl of peanuts. The 5 second rule is a lie. I still had a full pint in my hand. It was too early to retire. I picked up the coat, examined the stool, and proceeded to re-drape my now wounded outerwear. Sigh. The damage had already been done, the least I could do was finish my drink and make sure I had a place to rest my feet.

How Blogging About Dating Suddenly Made Me a Desirable Date

Successful Relationship blogger? What do I tell him? Deny thy blog or confess its fame?

“You may not want to lead with the fact you have a blog about dating,” my friend Jake kindly advised me as we sipped lattes and commiserated over our recent dating droughts.

He had just brought to light an interesting dilemma: When you’ve made something of a name for yourself writing about love and its aftermath, do you deny thy blog, or confess its fame? Will guys think you’re clever or dub you as trouble?

“On the other hand,” he continued, “this whole blogging thing might just be the making of your love life. I’m worried that with your recent success, you won’t stay on the market long enough to keep They Told Me to Find a Rich Husband going. Seems now it’s a sooner, rather than a later, that you’ll land your Mr. Big.”

A recent slew of “Can I take you out for a drink?” messages from They Told Me to Find a Rich Husband’s male readership helped me make up my mind and lent a modicum of credibility to Jake’s alternative forecast.

Who would have thought that blogging about dating would make me a hot date ticket?

“What do you do?” — It’s a question we’re always asked when we meet someone and a question I always answer with caution.

“I consider myself a writer on the verge of landing a paying day job.”

“What do you write about?” The inevitable follow up question.

“Dating and relationships… I have a blog.”

Their eyes open wide, an eyebrow rises, a half-smirk curls upon their lips and they lean in a little closer.

“What’s it called? Maybe I’ve read it,” they coo.

“They Told Me to Find a Rich Husband.”

Usually, the next thing the guy will do is take a sip of his drink and pause. “So, do you want to be that Millionaire Matchmaker lady?”

“No…no, I don’t really care about other people finding rich husbands. ‘Find a rich husband‘ — that’s what people tell me to do. I’m the only person I’m really interested in. Blogging is a selfish business”

Pause.

“So does that make you a real-life Carrie Bradshaw?”

We ladies all think we're Carries chasing our Mr. Bigs. Turns out, guys are out there chasing their Carries.

Carrie Bradshaw — she’s the shadow-casting pop-culture icon we who write about dating in New York can never escape. As I chuckle and shrug, part in acceptance, part in denial, his next move is typically to put a hand on the small of my back to pull me in closer. The look in his eyes is telling. He sees his pseudonym in print.

“Carrie wrote a column called ‘Sex and the City,'” I’ve been known to reply. “I moved north of the city a few months ago. If I turned my blog into a column, eventually I’d have to call it ‘Celibacy and the Suburbs.'”

“Well, we’ll have to fix that, won’t we?” Before I have a chance to process or respond, his hand is up the back of my shirt and his tongue is searching for my tonsils. Hold your horses there, Cowboy!

“When you write about me tomorrow, make sure to call me ‘Mr. Hottie,'” more than one guy has said. If they only knew…

Apparently, the prospect of being the subject of next week’s post can be something of a turn on. Thank you, Carrie Bradshaw for making dating columnists sexy. Before you, we might have been considered raging feminists, and a dating no-go. It would just be nice if the men in this city didn’t conflate you with your side-kick, nymphomaniac Samantha Jones… because, as their roaming hands and steaming eyes make evident, it seems they always do.

We’re All Pretty, Pretty, Neurotic Princesses

Of late, I’ve found a kindred spirit in Cinderella.

Sure, I have neither an evil step-mother who locks me in an attic nor ugly step-sisters who steal my clothes and spill pizza grease on them, but I have my share of chores that keep me looking like I just rolled around in a cinder bin.

 

Every Cinderella needs her own set of seamstress mice

 

Mornings are spent makeupless in old jeans and a t-shirt running errands for the family while my mother recovers from her recent hip replacement. I race through grocery stores, power-mop the kitchen floor, dust away the cobwebs from the corners of the living room, transfer the laundry from the hamper to the washing machines, groom the dogs, and put two meals on the table while prepping the third for my return at night. The projects I’m working on have me on call 24-7, and the majority of what I accomplish during the day is done between blackberry emails on the run and conference calls from my compact-SUV. At night, I’m “training” and if I’m lucky, home in my sweats by 10PM.

In short, I’m like every other modern woman as she tries to make her way in life on her own two feet while contributing to her family’s overall well-being. There isn’t much in the way of glamor, but there isn’t much to complain about.

On the console table near my front door sits an invitation to a charity ball. The event is being organized by a woman whose generosity, strength, and heart I greatly admire, and who has recently emerged as a fairy god-mother of sorts. A little bit of sparkle is something to look forward to, especially in the name of a good cause. As for the Cinderella transformation, do you remember that scene in the Disney movie when all the worker mice team-up and create a ball-gown for Cinderella from scraps of material? Yea, I’ve got seamstress mice too. Rather than buy something new, my tailor is reviving a unique vintage piece. It is a recession after all, and I’m a big believer in “once couture, always couture.” A needle, some thread, a little bibbidi, bobbidi, boo, and I’m good to go.

Hopefully, I won’t leave a Ferragamo behind on the dance floor.

All these parallels got my friend Annie and I thinking: If the 21st century New Yorker edition of Cinderella looks like me, what would the some of the other princesses look like in today’s Grimm fairytale?

 

Grace (of "Will & Grace") is the modern Snow White, and we love her

 

Rapunzel is that girl that lets men walk all over her. She’s the one most likely to get back together with the jerk who dumped her. Because she spends most of the day locked away in her room/office, Rapunzel is bound to get into trouble when she’s partying away a Friday night. As she goes off to the bathroom to make-out with the bartender, her friends say “It’s no wonder her mother had to lock her in a tower!”

Snow White shares a flat with 3 gay guys. In fact, all of her friends are handsome gay guys who take her shopping and tell her she’s fabulous and that they can’t live without her. She stopped having girlfriends after her jealous best friend slept with her boyfriend. Snow often eats indiscriminately and feels bad about it later when she’s passed out on her sofa in an apple-turnover-induced food coma.

Sleeping Beauty is the girl we all hate because every guy hits on her and she’s totally oblivious. She has no idea how beautiful she is or how charming. Men stumble over themselves trying to buy her a drink. She’s nonchalant about dating because she never has to work to get asked out, but she doesn’t like to ruin a good night’s sleep by having a strange guy stay over.  All her friends secretly hope she has an eating disorder…

Woes of a Freshly Pressed Post: The Morning After

I'm your writer and you can't see me, or how publishing "They Told Me to Find a Rich Husband" as Anonymous got me no where.

When I started writing “They Told Me To Find a Rich Husband,” I had all intentions of remaining an anonymous authoress. It seemed that writing about loves won and lost, not offending anyone (that didn’t deserve it), and attaching my name were mutually exclusive requests. Convinced I could make my way in the blogosphere as another Nameless Sage, my first few “Rich Husband” entries went up sans byline and sans self-promotion. Neither a “by Kathleen”  nor facebook/gchat status with a “please read my blog!” were seen. And how do you think my little blog fared?

I got 5 hits in as many weeks.

Obscurity, thy name is Anonymous.

Now I’m a shameless self-promoter. Screw anonymity. Virginia Woolf said, “For most of history, Anonymous was a woman,” and I’m a woman proud to have a blog of my own. I have a byline and my blog has a  facebook page and a twitter account. I’m branding. Former flings, be warned: you’re fair fodder… and names will  be changed  to protect only the innocent.

A year after I first shared my opinions on and my experiences in the realm of the single 20-something, educated females, “They Told Me to Find a Rich Husband” has been lucky enough to land two spots on WordPress’s Freshly Pressed. Each placement was accompanied

poised to press another winner? my blog is good for the soul

by a giddy victory dance and a warm feeling of satisfaction. It became my day’s occupation to watch the number of hits climb and the comments reel in (they like me! they really like me!). I was buzzing. I was on a high. It was like I’d finally been discovered.

And then there was the day after…

I never intended They Told Me to Find a Rich Husband (or my flagship blog, “Meet Me in the Drawing Room”) to be a daily diary, so I never felt pressed to produce content more often than inspiration deemed necessary. But now, thanks to Freshly Pressed, I have readers! woot woot! And you claim you want to read more! Hurrah!….. or is it eeeeeek! You have expectations, and what’s worse, a bar to measure me against.

So yes, earning a spot on Freshly Pressed is every blogger’s dream, and I’m honored. But with earning the publicity comes the pressure to produce and produce with quality.

I promise, dear readers, now that you’ve found me, I won’t let you down.

my real journal and a room with a view... it's time to go to the archives to keep you entertained

My Blog is Wearing a Push-Up Bra

Yesterday, “They Told Me to Find a Rich Husband” got a Facebook page and a Twitter account. That’s right, loyal readers, your favorite social networks can help keep you abreast of my latest musings on the way we love and are expected to love now.

this is what my blog looks like when it's facebooking/tweeting

I confess that I felt a little guilty as I created the “FindRichHusband” twitter account. I’ve scoffed at such forms of self-promotion in the past. But I realized that syndicating my blog through social networks is a lot like wearing a lacey black push-up bra under a white plunge-neck shirt when you go out on a Friday night. It’s not a style approach I necessarily consider “classy,” but let’s face it — a girl can’t make it in this world on her smarts and charm alone. Sometimes to catch people’s attention, she has to flash a little cleavage. Once someone has bought her a drink, her intellectual talents and penchant for witty exchanges keep him in her corner.

Facebook and Twitter are my blog’s push-up bra: they’re a sneak-peak at the full-monty. They entice you in, and then I work it to put on a good show.

At my family’s Labor Day bbq, my mother asked me what I hoped to gain by creating a facebook profile for They Told Me to Find a Rich Husband. “Aren’t you just sharing it with the people who are already reading it?” she asked. I tried to explain how “liking” something on facebook works, how News Feeds are like mini-ads, how the possibilities of expanded exposure were endless, but I don’t think I convinced her my internet lingerie was a worthwhile effort.

To her, a facebook profile for a blog is the equivalent of wearing my black push-up bra and white shirt on a night in with my brother and first cousins — a whole lot of fuss for no action.

Maybe. Yet in this wireless age where everyone is connected to somebody with real connections, no chance at being discovered should be overlooked.

Then again, maybe I should be wary of all this internet pimping. “I worry that with all this attention you’ll end up having to kill the blog too soon to get a book deal,” a friend of mine said after liking They Told Me to Find a Rich Husband on facebook. He didn’t think I’d be on the dating market for too much longer. I chuckled and calmed his concerns.

Landing a rich husband doesn’t mean the end, it opens the door for a sequel. ‘I Found a Rich Husband. Now What?’ Stay tuned for that facebook page…

In the meantime:

They Told Me to Find a Rich Husband on Facebook

FindRichHusband on Twitter.