You tell us that you’re nice guys, and it’s our fault that you can’t seem to hold our attention.

You tried to prove that chivalry wasn’t dead by holding the door open for us and by paying for an incredibly expensive dinner we didn’t ask for when we were in the bathroom, so we couldn’t even offer to split the bill. You looked disappointed when I squeezed past you to get into the doorway of the popular, crowded café – what, you’re angry I didn’t thank you making sure the door didn’t slam in my face? Would you be upset if there was a man behind you, and he didn’t offer thanks? Would you have held the door for a man in the first place?

I probably shouldn’t have mentioned the ex on the first date, but that should set off warning bells in your head anyway. Maybe I’m not over him, and maybe I claim to be, but anyone keeping score at home could have told you to chalk it up to a frustrating evening and just let me go. The wine I was drinking kept my mind from wandering back to the ex who just wouldn’t stop texting me. The steak was to show you I wasn’t “that girl” who ordered a salad; I was the girl who genuinely wanted you to like me.

And when I realized that I just couldn’t wrap my head around dating the guy in front of me, I tried to make a graceful exit. How graceful it actually was shouldn’t be a matter for discussion, and it shouldn’t be an excuse for you to insult my choices in men. Aren’t you supposed to be a nice guy, after all?

On that note, Mr. Nice Guy, let’s talk about how wonderful you were to me. Sure, you listened to me talk, and gave me your full attention. You say you didn’t expect anything in return, but you clearly expected a goodnight kiss and a second date, since you’re so still so upset about this date days, weeks, months later. If you were really a nice guy, you’d understand that this wasn’t working for me, drown your disappointment in a beer with your buddies tomorrow night, and try another date with another girl next weekend.

You think you get it, explaining my insecurities as a reason for me to consider you once more, when in reality, it just makes you as disgusting to me as the self-proclaimed jerks you hold yourself so highly against. At least with those men, I knew what I was getting myself into. And while we’re on the topic, who the hell are you to judge my stretch marks and sagging skin? You’re in your thirties and still can’t manage to shave without cutting yourself. Your belt never matches your shoes. You’re so proud of your life accomplishments, but I’ve managed to balance my checkbook and my social choices. Go ahead and show off that fancy new car of yours. You’ll be riding in it alone, you know.

As the insults keep coming, my suspicions keep rising. If you know where I’ve been, why did you want to date me in the first place? If you’re so convinced that I don’t need a nice guy, why are you still dwelling on my meager existence? If you’re such a simple guy, find a nice simple girl who’s never dated anyone in her life and will dote on you like a housewife from the ‘50s. They opened doors for women and paid their dinner bills back then – they also discouraged married women from having careers and you know, living their lives. Times were simpler back then.

If you’re so convinced that the only reason I’m interested in you is because I’m washed up, maybe you should step back and re-evaluate your own perfect life with the little accomplishments you’re so proud of. Maybe you’d notice that I’ve grown up and moved on, too, and realized that I was looking for someone I could share my life with, not my bed with. I wasn’t expecting you to be sitting by the phone for me – but since I called you, clearly you’re not finding that “nice girl” you’re looking for, either. I’m glad I’ve taught you some lessons by now, but it’s clear you’ve still got some learning to do.

Bottom line – I thought I was ready to date you, but judging by your frustration, you were never ready to date me. Stop dwelling on my own emotional baggage and learn to unpack your own. You’re not nice, honey, you’re bitter. Stop pushing for pity as The Nice Guy, and start actually becoming one. TC mark

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• I See Humans But No Humanity •
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Okay so I’m really upset. Earlier this morning I was casually browsing Facebook, liking statuses, uploading a few selfies and empowering classy, strong women by leaving comments on their pictures, (I got like tons of compliments back without even asking for one #littlemisspopular). Anyway, I was stopped in my tracks when I came across this horrid image that my friend Holly had shared to her page. It was a picture from an equally horrid Facebook page called ‘Bodybuilders Against Tipping”, that showed a short, frog-like man flexing his muscles with a caption saying something like “#notipscrew” and “servers don’t deserve tips, they’re only carrying plates.” EXCUSE ME!? WOW…Just Wow.

I was of course outraged, some of my best friends are servers and the they’re treated like today’s equivalent of fucking cotton-picking slaves from before the Civil Rights War! In fact I’d say they’re treated far worse than the black slaves in some respects — at least the blacks got to be outside and get a sweet tan. How dare these small testicled, balloon animals question servers rights to be plenty awarded for their labor?

I did what anyone would do, I left an angry comment, calling this juiced up douche brigade out, demanding they take the page down. The bastards didn’t even respond, instead they posted a video of a man called Myrone Pegs, who was claiming to have a PhD from Stanford, telling the camera that he’s done extensive research on why not tipping benefits your mental health. WTF???? As a feminist, I recognize that science is simply a tool of the patriarchy, used to try to disprove feminist theory. Try again dudebros. Try A fucking GAIN

Anyway, this all got me thinking about, like, how much servers totally deserve tips (it’s even in the name, serve = deserve) and that they’re justified in using any method necessary to get them.

Servers are mostly female. This should be reason enough to shower them with money, but I’m sure you fucking evil Patriarchs need a little more convincing.They’re strong, independent women with excellent resumes and qualifications and have passed a long screening tests to get the prestigious job. They’re working their butts off every night, just trying to make meets end. Most are also very ambitious and shoot for the stars in the halls of Academia, the halls of Olive Garden being a mere stepping stone to their dream jobs. Servers are truly the Elite. They are the very zenith of human existence. If Swedish House Mafia’s’ Steve Angellos ancestor, Michael Angello, were alive today, I’m sure he would would have painted great works of art featuring servers. “Servers Chapel Ceiling” and “The Tipping of Adam” would be just the tip of the iceberg.

Servers belong in the upper echelons of society, their grace, amazing sense of balance, their ability to remember table numbers, their intelligence, creativity and perhaps most of all their perseverance, should be praised, nay, worshipped by society. But what do some people do? They treat them like dirt, like bugs under their shoes, by tipping them less than 20% or even, (the thought of it makes me sick), not tipping them at all.

Most servers are only getting between 20 and 30 cents an hour! Nobody can live on that kind of money. NOBODY. So when you hold your wallet tightly you are literally withholding essentials, such as food, shelter and iPhone 5s’s from these poor servers! You think you have it hard? Try carrying two or three plates every night while simultaneously remembering numbers of tables. The phrase “It’s not exactly rocket science” should be changed to “It’s not exactly serving”, I want legislations on this, because it surely falls under the anti-discrimination act or whatever. Rocket scientists have been getting far too much cred in recent decades, it’s time for servers to step into the light and dance in glory, a glory steeped in foody fumes.

Moreover, all servers are doing our country a HUUGE favor. They’re fighting daily battles on the home turf, and unlike their military counterparts, their weapons are not dangerous, evil, guns, but tolerant, knives, forks and plates. Servers give people food. Humans can’t survive without food. Servers are saving lives daily. You know who else saved people’s lives? God. Servers are literally Gods. So, where the FUCK are their medals of honor? HUH? Our imperialist US soldiers are celebrated for their “bravery” when they kill millions of women every year in the Afghanistan, and servers, who literally give people life, get spat on? LOGIC ANYONE!? I say we introduce a national Servers History Month to make up for our horrific treatment of the server classes throughout history.

You know what? Servers are justified in spitting in your food. In fact they’re justified in shitting in your food and in relieving themselves sexually into your food if you don’t tip. Period. My best friend Mae Bae Lynn, who’s a strong, sexy server, put, like, a used tampon in the food of some greedy non-server and I was like “You Go Girl”. This kind of behavior needs to be encouraged. Kitchen Gorilla warfare is the only way to stop the greedy Patriarchs, until we get help from above.

It doesn’t matter whether the server was rude or nice to you, they’re entitled to your tips for doing their duty for their country. There’s nothing you can say about this, it’s in the constitution.

I propose that tipping becomes a legal issue, the Government is, afterall, there to make wrongthinkers realize the evil of their ways and get them to do the good things and become rightthinkers. I want to see, mandatory, 20%, 30% or even 50% percent tipping, and a several year imprisonment punishment if this law is not followed. This is the least that can be done to reimburse these, plate-bearing pillars of society for the evils we have done unto them in the past.

If you can’t afford to tip. EAT. AT. HOME. In fact don’t eat at all. Go starve and die.

The injustice must end. Help me end it, tweet under #UgotServedbyAnneGus TC mark

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There are two reasons why I hesitated writing this article:

1. By societal standards, I should be a hardcore feminist

2. I am not a boy, so I clearly do not know their feelings/struggles.

Feminism can be defined as fighting for equal rights for men and women, politically, educationally, and societally. It is no secret that historically women have struggled to be seen as equals and the majority of women believe that struggle still exists. The argument I make to that is, isn’t there a struggle for men, too?

Don’t get me wrong, men have fooled us all into thinking they are masculine creatures who can do no wrong and who know what’s right regardless of the topic. But, when was the last time you saw a man cry? And was he judged for it? When was the last time you saw a group of dads driving mini-vans and taking their kids to the park after being home with them while their wife was at work all day? And was he judged for that? Women stand firm in the belief that men have created a “lesser” place for them in society, but haven’t we created a place in society for men, too?

I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve seen any male figure in my life cry. As much as men joke about women being “emotional” and “soft”, at least we have social permission to be so. As women, we can freely show emotions and, for the most part, not be judged by it other than being asked if it’s that time of month. Men have limitations to showing their emotions. If a man gets his heartbroken and mopes about it for a couple weeks, he’s a wimp or a “pussy”. If a woman gets her heartbroken, she has the right to cry about it for weeks and let every person she comes in contact with know how horrible the man was for doing that to her.

Maybe this is a stereotype that men have created for themselves by trying to prove they are dominant creatures, but we seem to forget that men have fears too. A woman will almost always expect her boyfriend/husband to kill the spider in the room, but what if the man is scared of the spider? Doesn’t matter, he’s expected to be the manly hero and save the woman. But sometimes men need to be saved. Sometimes, men’s hearts break, and sometimes they want to be stay-at-home dads, but now that just isn’t right, now is it? But if a man were to tell a woman it wasn’t right for her to be in Congress, well, shit, we’d have World War 3 on our hands.

Women have created an ideal man just as much as men have created an ideal woman. Most straight women have created an imaginary man who is strong and masculine and can rescue her and scoop her up in his big arms and be the hero. But that is just as unrealistic as every girl having a Barbie sized waist and Pamela Anderson-sized boobs. This crazy “perfect” image exists for both men and women, but media and society has only ever had a problem with the female side of things.

I’m not saying there isn’t an inequality between standards for men and women, because there definitely is. I’m saying it exists on both sides, and if we ever want to get rid of the stigmas put around women in society, we should probably get rid of the ones surrounding men while we’re at it. TC mark

featured image – Shutterstock

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A quote by one of my of my favorite writers, C.S. Lewis, has been on repeat in my brain over the last few days: “When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”

Now I’m assuming that most of you know who C.S. Lewis is. The guy who wrote those Narnia books and talked about Christianity being the one true religion; he was best buds with J.R.R. Tolkien. He taught Medieval & Renaissance Literature at Oxford. Oh, and he died the same day John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

Lewis was a public intellectual, a man of letters, a distinguished British gentleman. He also had a life-long love of fairy tales. He didn’t critique them, or at least not all the time, he read them for pleasure, the same way most adults read Tom Clancy, Stephen King or Gene Wolfe.

Wait, sorry, only hard core sci-fi geeks like me know who Gene Wolfe is. Or at least I assume so. If most of you reading this know him, awesome!

Anyway, C.S. Lewis liked fairy tales, which may strike quite a few as odd. Does he strike you as the kind of guy who would read kids’ stuff? The guy served in WWI, you would think childish naiveté, romanticism and idealism, would’ve been beaten out of him in the trenches. I’m not here to discuss this man per se, but the point he raised in that quote.

One of the biggest stereotypes of our generation propagated by older people is that we are immature and lazy. You can find plenty of evidence and individual examples to support this generalized view.

There’s this one guy I follow on YouTube, Phil Burrell, aka Darksydephil, who does play-throughs of video games with live commentary. That’s how he supports himself, believe it or not. He has a contract with a very popular online video game site named Machinima, and he receives money through ad revenue. I follow him because I learn a lot about video games when I watch his reviews and I think he’s a very funny guy.

But he’s a lesser known example. How about Doug Walker, aka The Nostalgia Critic, whose comedic reviews of bad shows and films from the ‘80’s, ‘90’s and ‘00s are so popular he makes a living off of what used to be a quirky hobby.

Playing games and making silly videos isn’t a job! Or at least, that’s what I assume quite a few people would say if or when they read this. Of course, doing game playthroughs and making silly videos isn’t a traditional job. Let’s be fair here; Phil has a degree in Computer Science and was laid off a few years ago, then he went onto Youtube, and the rest is history. Doug, from what I understand, used to work as an illustrator, but discovered that his talents truly lay in comedy and film criticism.

A lot of people aged 18-34 still live with their parents. Now, a big reason for that obviously has to do with the bad economy, I get that. Times are tough for everyone, including us. Millennials will be feeling the effects of the recession for years to come. You can’t blame us for the shitty job market, we didn’t decide at this time. Give a little bit of leeway here, parents, pundits and sociologists!

Guys and girls, I have a confession to make. I hope you’ll forgive me.

I fit that that stereotype. Or at least, I used to.

Up until a year ago, I didn’t know how to tie my own shoe-laces . Yes, I am serious; I’ve worn Velcro strap shoes since I was four. I only bought laced shoes a year ago. Until a year ago, I also didn’t do my own laundry, I didn’t cook my own food, I didn’t book my own appointments. I’ve never earned a dollar in my life, and up until a few months ago, at the end of last year, I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. It’s very embarrassing and I’m not proud of it. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

I’m pleased to say that I’ve taken big strides on the road to man-hood since then. I can cook my own breakfast, I do my own laundry, I book my own appointments. I’ve even gotten my journalism career off the ground. Still no girlfriend, sadly; ladies, I don’t blame you, I blame myself. I am not worthy of your attentions and affections at the present time.

What changed? How did I go from whiny man-child to adult-in-progress?

Three words: depression and self-loathing.

Like I’ve mentioned before, I was depressed for a lot of reasons last year, and I started to hate myself. I had gone through four years of university, yet I still couldn’t do the most basic adult stuff. The irony was maddening. I mean that literally by the way; I was so upset at my own childishness that I almost drove myself insane.

Now, I’m not going to do the stupid thing, like blame my immaturity on low self-esteem, or my problems with social anxiety, or that I wasn’t raised right.

My mom and dad made me do chores starting around when I was twelve. Around the same time, my dad tried to show me how to barbecue, how to cook simple stuff on the stove and in the oven. I also got to stay home by myself at 13, and was allowed to watch adult movies and TV starting then too. Up until the day he died, my dad was still trying to show me how to buy groceries on special and do laundry. Sorry for being such a slow a learner dad. Mea culpa.

Now, I have to make something very clear: my parents had flaws too. Take my dad for instance. Didn’t finish high school, hated his job at the factory; didn’t like the fact that he made so little money. He had no one to blame but himself. Heck, when he got laid off for the second time, he made me write his resume! He also couldn’t do paperwork worth a damn, and he was a bad procrastinator. I’ll always love him though; he always tried to do right by me and my brother.

All I’ll say about my mom is this: she loves me dearly, she’d do anything for me, but she also coddles me like crazy. When she saw that I was struggling with laces, she got me the Velcro ones because it’s easier for me. The only reason she didn’t teach how to cook or do laundry during college and university was because she didn’t want to interfere with my studies.

Okay, so now that you sort of understand why I was a whiny pathetic excuse for a human being, I want to tell you guys and girls something else about me.

I love “kids’s stuff”. I still watch Looney Tunes, Animaniacs, Batman The Animated Series etc on YouTube. I’ve already admitted to liking My Little Pony: FiM. I read comic books and young adult novels. Hell, I watch re-runs of Boy Meets World on ABC too.

Am I embarrassed about this? Hell no! There is a big difference between watching kids’ entertainment that has multi-demographic appeal and watching Barney the Dinosaur.

Being immature is playing video games all day at home without sending in job applications, without working part-time, or doing any work at all. Being immature is whining about how the world is cruel and unfair and doesn’t appreciate your genius; you went to school, you got that liberal arts degree, you deserve a job dammit!

You don’t deserve shit; I didn’t practice my writing outside of class, I didn’t work hard to be a good writer, even though that’s what I wanted to be.

Up until last year, I was as arrogant as that hypothetical whiner. I thought my raw talent would see me through. I was lying to myself, stroking my own ego. I may not be making money from writing yet, but I’m working. This is my job; you guys, my readers, are my supporters, my patrons. I am humbled and overjoyed by every like and comment that I receive. I am no longer arrogant. I’ve learned to accept the responsibility of my choices, and am willing to make my career choice work. I’ve grown up (finally) in mind and spirit as well as body. If a small disabled Italian boy from Ontario, Canada, can do it, anyone grappling with adulthood can do it.

Don’t wait! Start making the trip out of Never–Never land today. Life is too short my friends. We should not abandon everything that made our childhoods great, but neither can we remain children forever. TC mark

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I realize 50 is not “old,” in a general sense. But I really wanted to include Anderson Cooper on this list, and he’s 46, so I begrudgingly abstained. It was painful. Cut me some slack.

1. Liam Neeson, 61

Dear Liam, I know who you are. I know what you want. If you’re looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money, but what I do have is a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a dream for refined, charming, action heroes like you. If you come to New York and marry me now, that will be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you. And I will force you into a whirlwind courtship, followed by a long engagement, a tasteful countryside wedding, and years living together in an eclectic West Village loft with two small corgis that we will purchase together and name Dobby and Stitch. Call me?

2. Morgan Freeman, 76

Morgan Freeman is just the best. I honestly would listen to him narrate the menu at Shake Shack, and promptly award him the EGOT. Plus, those freckles. Sigh.

3. Alan Rickman, 68

Turn. To. Page. Three-Hundred-and-Ninety Four. Snape, baby, I’ll do whatever you say. Is it weird I almost find Alan Rickman HOTTER as Snape? If it’s so wrong to love a guy who vowed to love Lily Potter for always even after she chose James Potter, who let’s be real, would’ve probably grown up to work in the stock market & wear Sperrys if he was a Muggle, then I don’t want to be right. I get filled with insurmountable rage in Love Actually when that ratchet secretary makes her moves on Alan. Don’t even try, you faux turtleneck-wearing hussy.

4. Gary Oldman, 56

Gary Oldman is so effing talented, and talent is just plain sexy. In addition to being a hugely successful film star & a celebrated stage actor, over the span of his giant career, he has managed to cultivate a massive cult following for the wicked villains he is known for portraying. I guess everyone loves a bad boy. He’s also a wildly prolific musician who once taught Daniel Radcliffe how to play the bass guitar between takes on the set of Harry Potter. I mean, I can’t even.

5. Sir Ian McKellen, 74

This picture is all you need.

6. Antonio Banderas, 53

One of my favorite movies to hate-watch is Take The Lead, that movie starring Rufio, Ya-Ya from ANTM, Paige from Degrassi, and the girl from Step Up. If you haven’t seen it, I encourage you to do so based on that cast list alone. Antonio Banderas is in it, playing a saintly teacher who reforms delinquent kids based on the power of ballroom dance. It really is a cinematic treasure. In it, there’s a scene where Antonio wants to show the tough guys that ballroom dancing isn’t a “girly” activity, so he sexy-tangos all over the detention room with a hot girl and OOF. True story #2: I usually rewind that scene about three times.

7. Mandy Patinkin, 61

Nobody understands my deep love for Mandy Pats, and I really don’t get why, but it’s fine because I can keep him all to myself. Is it the beard? Is it the stern but dignified air? Is it his charming, boyish smile? Possibly all of the above. I once took a cab in the middle of rush hour to the Upper West Side from Astoria because my friend said he saw Mandy P. working out at Equinox. I’m not proud, but I’m also not sorry. Your name is Inigo Montoya, you stole my heart, prepare to SWOON.

8. Bruce Springsteen, 63

There is a subset of people who claim to “not really get” Bruce. They run down a list of music legends they do like — Elton John, Billy Joel, Eric Clapton — but they somehow “don’t get” Bruce. To those people, I say: DO YOU ALSO NOT ENJOY PUPPIES? MAC AND CHEESE? SUMMERTIME? Because that’s the equivalent of not enjoying Bruce Springsteen. Bruce singing “Thunder Road,” dressed in artfully frayed denim, arm muscles bulging as he clutches a guitar, with a bandana holding back his luscious dark locks is basically what America is all about. God bless.

9. Colin Firth, 53

Show me a girl who hasn’t pretended she is Lizzie Bennett to Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy, and I will show you a girl who is a liar. It counts if you’ve also pretended you’re Bridget Jones.

10. Woody Harrelson, 52

Did you know his real name is Woodrow Tracy Harrelson? That just makes him hotter. Woody once got arrested in Columbus, OH in 1982 for DANCING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET, then running from the cops that approached him. The man basically got arrested because he looked at the police and said, “turn down for what?!” Be still my heart. The exact moment I fell in love with Woody Harrelson was his amazing Bill Murray scene in Zombieland. He is SO good.

11. John Slattery, 51

Don Draper who? I have always had a soft spot for Roger, SCDP’s resident silver fox. In recent seasons, he’s become more of a punchline, but early Roger Sterling was enough to bag Joan Holloway, the baddest bitch in advertising. John Slattery often plays bigwigs in TV and film, and I get it — he just has that “I’m going to totally screw you over, but you’ll let me because I’m gorgeous” thing going for him. Let’s just collectively ignore that one episode of Sex and the City, k?

12. Daniel Day-Lewis, 56

I will always remember the day we watched the movie adaptation of The Crucible in high school, and I mentally cursed out Winona Ryder for getting DDL burnt at the stake. I am so in love with DDL, I even thought he was gorg when he was method-acting as Lincoln and eating scones at Starbucks in a top hat, prosthetic nose, and fake beard. TC mark

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