Friday, June 4, 2010

Who's Your Mommy?

As I exited from the subway this morning, I felt like a walking poster, advertising the modern, young, Working Girl of NY. A regular 2010 Melanie Griffith, minus the ferry from Staten Island and the white Reebok sneakers with socks. The sun was shining, Central Park was behind me, and my favorite "Casual Summer Fridays" work dress looked absolutely perfect with my new Manolo Blahnik sample sale heels (never mind the fact that they cross through the label with a fat black magic marker upon purchase, as if the discount means I am not entitled to full use of the name). I was nearly about to press play on my iPod, releasing Carly Simon's "Let The River Run" into my eardrums, thereby completing my "Working Girl" moment (if you haven't seen the movie, get thyself on your Netflix que now and pop that puppy to the top of the list), when - just before hitting play - I hear the following statement, complete with a thick Latin accent: "Hey, Mommy."

Now, I am a New Yorker. I live in such a state of sensory overload that I have, at times, found myself banging on doors labeled "PLEASE USE OTHER DOOR," my fist rhythmically pumping against the very sign itself, maybe 3 times before the words register. No, I am not slow (usually). I am not illiterate. I am a New York City resident, which means that I am inundated with messages, heralding from posters, hand outs, homeless people, et cetera. The sights, sounds, and smells of this City are overwhelming for some. For me, they blend into a sensory ambrosia that stirs me. Yet, as I have indicated - they muddle together, no one message standing out from the rest.

So, it is interesting that I not only registered this clearly sexual utterance, but I paused to consider both it and its source. The source was a dark, squat Latino male, sweating profusely as he smoked a cigarette and leered at me from his post on a doorway step. Hardly the Harrison Ford I needed to complete my cinematic moment. As I looked, he repeated himself, this time drawing out the syllables, as if I needed further clarification, "Heeeey, Mommyyyyyyyyy. Yeahhhhhhhh." I stared for a moment, befuddled, and he flashed me a smile containing about 50% of his not so pearly yellows. End Scene - Movie Buzz Killed.

I shook my head and continued to make my way to work. Yet, I couldn't shake this guy who looked and sounded as if he wanted to be my lover, but his words stated he wanted to be my son. WTF?! I had heard the expression before, yet it had never been directed toward me personally, so I suppose I never gave it a great deal of thought. I couldn't help but wonder - since when is it a sexual line to refer to someone as your mother? Am I supposed to be flattered? Maybe he should've shown me a picture of his mom first, before trying the name out on me. Judging by the son's appearance, I can't imagine Mom being a real looker, but you never know. If Mom is a total MILF, then maybe I should have said "thank you." But even still, I am confused how this should be an entree into sexual banter.

Listen, I went to college. I know all about Oedipus and Electra and Freud. I watched the Mel Gibson - Glenn Close version of Hamlet. I get that the whole Mommy Complex is like, a thing. But, to come out and SAY it? Ewe. This isn't a porno, and we certainly aren't behind closed bedroom doors. Really, who opens with "Mommy"?

Or, maybe I have it all wrong. Maybe I inferred sexual innuendo where there was none. Maybe my summer dress isn't all that flattering, and I look pregnant, and so my new possibly homeless friend was referring to my potentially swollen womb. Or, maybe "Mommyyyyyy" is Mexican slang for "hottie." The possibilities, I suppose, are endless...yet, they are also unlikely. I think I just got my first Oedipal cat call. And I feel dirty. I mean, you don't see me going up to guys at a bar and calling them "Daddy" do you? I am sure there are bars where that would work, but I am also pretty sure that those bars are filled with Megan's Law violators. (Note: I also never went through the Britney Spears "Hit Me Baby One More Time" Catholic School Slut phase. The only time I ever donned a pair of knee highs and a plaid skirt was to play field hockey.)

Don't get me wrong. I do want to be somebody's Mommy one day (hopefully someone who will have a full set of teeth at an adult age, and preferably not be homeless. Or a smoker). And, it would be nice if my son thinks his mother is attractive - in a very non-sexual, distant sort of way. But, never, under any circumstances, do I hope that my offspring uses me or my name as a way to bed chicks. End of story.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mo' Money, NO Problems?

An interesting dilemma, posted by one of our readers in New York. Undoubtedly a question pondered by many a young professionals in these unsteady economic times.




(I realize this is not about romantic love, but it's about love of work. A type of modern love, n'est-ce pas?)

Dear Impending Interviewee,

First and foremost - Congrats on the interview! No matter what happens, or what you decide, this is an accomplishment, in and of itself - SALUD!

Allow me next to focus on your word choice: "DREAM JOB." (I will even take the liberty of leaving the Caps Lock on for that.) My dearest Impending Interviewee, allow me to quote my fabulous mother: "Life is not a dress rehearsal. This is the real thing." And, you know what? The real thing is a short, wild ride that drives so quickly you practically get whiplash. If you are honestly in a position to take an unpaid job, then start cutting back on lattes and three-inch heels, and live your dream. 8 to 12 hours a day, every day, is a long time to spend in an office, or away from friends and family. You might as well do something you love - or at the very least - like a lot. Once you have a bit of experience under your belt, then who knows what opportunities may follow. You could end up - dare I suggest it? - getting paid for something you love. Or, alternately, live the dream for a short time, add it to the resume, and then move on when the "sock money" runs out (or when you can no longer live without chai tea lattes, whichever comes first.) Good luck, and let us know what you decide! (Oh, and ALL questions are welcome - I agree, def a type of modern love. Most dilemmas are :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

ASK MISS MAISY: "Hair Gel = Fist Pump?"

I received this from a reader, just a few days ago. A valid question, especially in light of MTV's Jersey Shore's recent popularity.

What is Miss Maisy's take on hair gel for guys?

- Ken (San Francisco)


Dear Ken,

You may be surprised to learn that I get this question from a large number of men ... and even women asking on behalf of their brothers, boyfriends, or husbands.

First, we need to address your word-choice. "Gel" is a bit off-putting, and could scare many men and women, currently not residing in Jersey (no offense to that great state), away from the idea as a whole. I suggest that you start by considering "hair product" for guys. "Product" encapsulates everything from hair cream, to gel, to spray.

Here is where it gets complicated. My thoughts (on men's hair products) depend on both the product and the man. Really, this is the same issue we women face as well. If you are one of those obnoxiously perfect men, who manage to always have good hair days, well then I say NO WAY. Let those lushes locks lie product-free! However, many men deal with curls and frizz, or just general unruliness, in which case I recommend that you start with a lighter hair cream. If you are a novice, Ken, I would recommend starting with Fresh's Sake Hair Cream. (

Don't worry, despite the name, you won't end up smelling like a karaoke bar at 2 a.m., nor will you look anything remotely like Mike "The Situation." Just try using a dime-size drop, rub your hands together, and work your magic on that unmanageable mane. Chances are, your girlfriend or wife will not only love the smell, she will want to borrow this gender-neutral product (you don't have to tell a soul, and your masculinity will remain full intact - I promise!). I am also a bit of a snob here - you don't need to spend beaucoup bucks, HOWEVER, I have often found that the $1.00 drug store pomade does not do your hair justice. You pay for what you get, I suppose.

Now, despite my seemingly open-minded nature, I want to leave you with one more vocabulary term, that is extremely important to know, as you make your entree into the hair product world: MODERATION. Excess of anything is often bad for you, and hair product is no exception. No one wants to saddle up next to the porcupine at the bar. Go easy & avoid cheesy.

Good Luck, Ken from San Fran -

Virginal Sacrifice - Part I

I first moved to New York when I was 23. TWENTY-THREE. It sounds so young now. At the time, however, I felt mature - worldly, even. I had just finished traveling around the world with my college roommate, Carrington, and I finally picked NYC as a resting spot - at least for the time being.

Having had a serious boyfriend in college, and then a series of not-so-serious flames (read: hook-ups) thereafter, I considered myself rather accomplished in the dating arena. I expected to take on New York in a blaze and dazzle them all with my sparkling personality (not to mention my rather fit 23 year old body ... God bless youth).

Little did I know that I was walking into a brutal, bloody dating arena, where the seasoned, pampered men of NYC would chew me up and spit me out, before I even knew what hit me.

I was a walking sacrifice (please allow me to take liberties with the "virginal" part of the title).

And, I even looked the part. I had chunky streaks of highlights in my dark brown hair, slip dresses, and inappropriate shoes. My boots were chunky and I could never figure out when to wear strappy or closed-toes heels. Add the fine gloss of my slighty-Southern drawl, and BAM: WALKING TARGET.

Now, enter James Roman Marks (a.k.a. "Roman"). Obviously, I should have known that anyone with a soap-opera name was destined to bring nothing but bad drama to my life. However, I was young and unbelievably impressed by this confident (cocky), good looking (relatively), rich (compared to a waitress), older (28 - practically ancient) guy who took an avid, undeniable interest in me from my first week in New York.

I almost envy men like Roman. The City is their veritable playground (as they say), and I was but one of many unwitting swings, on which good ol' Rome took a ride.

Roman was an interesting case. The older brother of a high school friend, we had met a few times when I was a teenager. He was just as cocky then, only much better looking. City life had been rough on him - adding premature weight and an extra bit of age that comes from the type of indulgence well-known to many men in Roman's position. He was a sales-man of sorts. He worked for a major finance company and his sole purpose was to woo clients. He actually got paid to go out to dinner, to bars, to strip clubs, and entertain people with his stories of high life in the big city - partying down and chasing young tail like myself.

Being young and naive, Rome presented an interesting challenge. A high school crush embodied in a seemingly powerful NYC man. Curious, I extended an invitation to my apartment-warming party. Upon arrival, Roman apologized for his tardiness, but, as he said, they had an "event" to attend at the New York Athletic Club. A gym? I thought to myself. "Oh," I said with all of the nonchalance I could muster, "I hear that's a decent place to work out. I think a few of my friends belong there. I was even thinking of getting a membership."

Now, to any of you familiar with The City, you will understand why Roman and his playpen buddies could not help but let a few snickers escape. NYAC is one of the more expensive, exclusive clubs in New York. Working out in their facilities is certainly a possibility, but it's really more of an after-thought. People (correction: men) don't join for the weight room, they join for the billiard room, the bar, the restaurant, and - let's be honest - for the prestige. Men are barred entry without a suit jacket, which is one of many things that makes this organization less than conducive to actually working out, despite it's "athletic" name. Silly little Southern girl, I was thinking of the New York SPORTS Club, which is one of the more, if not the only, affordable chain of gyms in the City.

Roman quickly, and with obvious enjoyment, took pleasure in disabusing me of any notion that I - a mere waitress - would be joining his "Athletic" Club. "Oh, darlin'," he continued, "you'll figure things out eventually." And with that, he snaked his arm around my waist, quietly claiming his next victim.

His not-so-subtle condesention worked. One could practically see the hook catching me by the mouth, as he led me over to the bar for another vodka-soda. The age old mystery continues: what is it about assholes that makes them so damn appealing?

Well, if I do say so myself, I exhibited massive self-restraint. It took him a full 4 hours to get me into bed, and another 20 minutes to talk me into having unprotected sex with him. Truly, I deserve a medal.

The funny thing is, I felt accomplished somehow. Ugh, how sick is that? I felt that I bagged this quality catch my first week on the NYC Hunt. The sex was decent, but I wasn't too put off by the lack of fireworks. He - on the other hand - was emphatic about how "great" it was, and I am sure it was --- for him, anyways. Now, I was ready to "get off" in my own way - I planned to spoon late into the morning and then let him take me out for a lazy Sunday brunch. Maybe we would catch a matinee? So many options! It would be purrrrrfect.

You, dear reader, will obviously not be surprised to know that I woke up the next AFTERNOON, caught in the web of my vicious hangover, with the morning light revealing a feeling of sheer mortification. Not to mention, I was sleeping buck-naked, curled in a tight ball on the opposite side of his King bed - while he was splayed out, spread eagle, with every inch of sheet and comforter wrapped about him.

To Roman's benefit, he caught me in an embrace when I tried to sneak out. "Where are you going?" he asked groggily. "Yes!" was all I could think. It wasn't just the vodka and my own naivete! I mentally readied myself for the day of romance that was about to ensue. Rome whispered in my ear, fluttering a God-awful case of morning breath across my face, "one more time before you go."

Oh, the sweet, sweet sounds of romance. My new fuck-buddy wanted to bang me one more time before shipping me off. Eat your heart out, Jane Austen.

And, of course, being the silly little lamb that I was, I complied. We had another bought of mediocre sex before he informed me that there would be no brunch, no matinee, no late morning snuggles. He had to "work" or attend the "Club" or some other bullshit excuse involving a plan that did not involve me. So, I put back on my little slip dress and inappropriate heels. I ran my fingers through my skunk-streaked hair, and tried my best to remove the mascara from under my eyes with a spit-covered finger.

As I completed the proverbial walk of shame back to my apartment, I could not help but find gratitude that I lived in a City that saw far more outrageous things than another twenty-something walking hangover in black lace at 1pm on a Sunday. At that very moment, an eldery gentleman on a unicycle zipped by, holding a leash that led to a small terrier trailing behind him. My mind eased somewhat, and I gripped the front slit of my dress a little less tightly. I might not fit in Roman's world, but I could definitely fit in this one.

ASK MISS MAISY: "Social Socialist?"

I recently received this email from a young newlywed walking the tightrope between social independence and eternal "coupledom."

Dear Miss Maisy,

My husband (let's call him "H") and I are recently wed and are now sharing a home. We have a lot of the same friends, with whom we hang out together, but we also have our own separate lives, which we respect about each other. Well, this week - I told H that I have a work event on Thursday, so I might be home late. H decides that this would be a great time to have over a couple friend of ours for dinner (we are both close to these people). I asked him to wait until I could join. Miss Maisy - he freaked out! He told me that he doesn't have to clear his social schedule through me, and he can't be expected not to socialize when I am busy. From my point of view, I don't have plans any other night. Can't he at least try to include me? Am I being crazy here? Please advise.

Socially Confused Newlywed in New York

Dear SCNY,

Unless you are leaving out some key detail -- like a double barrel shotgun or other major melodramatic theatrics -- you do not sound crazy to me. Navigating the social waters when moving from singledom to coupledom can be a process rife with such issues - particularly when you are now sharing a new home.

It sounds to me like H wants to assert his independence. Perhaps he is beating his chest just a bit to show you, himself, and the other primates that he is not losing his manhood by becoming an H, if you know what I mean. That might be frustrating, but it's OK too. Marriage is an amazing thing, but it is filled to the brim with a frightening concept: COMPRIMISE. I know, I know what you are thinking. . . NO! Not the thing where nobody actually wins!! Ahhhhh! It can make zombies seem like child's play. And, sometimes it may feel to him as though he is comprimising his independence or social life.

However, I think the key here is that these are mutual friends (of both genders, no less) being invited to the home that you share. You have the right to want to be present for this dinner party - or at least the right to veto an event that requires you to clean up your underwear from the floor beforehand, and not even reap the benefits.

So, I suggest this: try out the big "C" word (no, not the dirty one, the one I reference above). Suggest that he pick a night when you can join, or - alternately - that he meet the guys out at a bar for some beers. Emphasize that you don't want to hinder his social life, you just want to be a part of your own dinner party.

And, if possible - throw in a compliment. Men love hearing them, and it can be that extra bit of sugar that makes the Comprimise Pill go down just a tad easier.

Good luck,



An excellent fashion & comfort question!


Dear MM,

I want a pair of skinny jeans ... I think. But, then, every time I go and try a pair on, I hate them on me. I even bought a pair, and they just feel so restricting. My friends tell me that I look great, but I CAN'T stop feeling as though my legs are corseted in, by the binding denim. Do I really need a pair, or is there an adequate substitute?



Dear FB,

THANK YOU FOR THIS QUESTION. It gives me the opportunity to tout the greatest fashion invention since jeans themselves. Introducing (insert drum roll please) ...


That's right - JEAN LEGGINGS. Boy-O-Boy are you going to enjoy wrapping those thighs into these little slices of heaven!!

I must still advocate the necessity of a good pair of skinny jeans in any respectable wardrobe; HOWEVER, I know exactly how you feel. Kate Moss rocks them effortlessly, but one of my thighs is probably equivalent to all of her limbs fused together, and squeezing those bad boys into tight, constricting, skinny jeans feels a bit like bondage.

Jeggings, on the other hand, have a little less structure, and a little more elasticity. So, you have the look of jeans, with the comfort of leggings. I have heard that there are several great brands out there, including J Brand, but I stand by my COH (Citizens of Humanity).
They don't bag, sag, or drag, and you could practically curl up to sleep in these puppies. Not to mention, they have the perfect waist line - no granny pants nor Lindsay Lohan butt crack. Just a nice, tasteful, stylish fit. My only word of advice, dear FB - buy them at least one, if not two, sizes smaller than you normally wear. They have a lot of stretch in them.

In summary, the fashion holy trinity of skinny pants is (1) a good pair of skinny jeans, (2) a good pair of leggings (I haven't found anything that compares to Splendid , and (3) JEGGINGS.

Trust me, your thighs will thank me.

Thanks for writing,


I love him. I love him. I looooove him. Tell me why, then, am I currently imaging what it would feel like - correction - how satisfying it would feel, to inflict some form of (mild to medium) pain on him.

I have been married for exactly three months. Please don't get me wrong. I love my husband (as I iterated and reiterated above). He is intelligent, warm, charming, and funny. And, he COOKS. And, I don't just mean that the man can boil pasta. He is truly superb. But, right now? He's paying the bills. I should be grateful; I really should. But, I cannot find any grateful in me when he is asking me why I felt the need to spend $178.00 on Gilt Groupe last month. I mean, honestly, that's not even THAT much. I exhibited massive self-restraint during the Marc by Marc Jacobs sale. I practically saved us money.

NEWLYWED ADVICE, #1: Dear Newlywed Young Woman (NYW), get your own credit card.

NEWLYWED ADVICE, #2: Dear NYW, do not accept your husband's generous offer to handle the bills, unless you have (a) followed Advice #1 and (b) hide your own credit card bills.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Help Haiti

Ok, so it's pretty early on, but enough about ME. Help HAITI.

The following is a link to the donation page for the American Red Cross Haiti Relief and Development Effort. Every dollar counts.