I’ve got your man card right here

So the other day I was somewhere doing something, believe it or not, and I overheard one dude going into excruciating detail to another dude about his recent china pattern selection escapades at Bed, Bath & Beyond. I was enjoying the conversation, and about to interject with a doozy of my own, when dude #2 said, “Dude, hand over your man card.” And it got me thinking. Now this is nothing new to me; I’ve heard this expression a bunch of times in the past. And I’m assuming it’s just an expression, like guys don’t really have these cards, right? Or is it the kind of thing they receive automatically and in secret on their 18th birthday, or 13th if they’re Jewish? Do they get these cards laminated? If a man loses his card, can he ever win it back?

I would think it would be a pretty big to-do to win a man card back. Maybe there would be some kind of quest, similar to a Native American’s coming of age ritual, where one is sent all alone into the unforgiving wilderness with no food or supplies and only his wits to protect him. If he survives for an entire week, then and only then will his card be returned, with a hole punched in it or something. Of course he’d have to go before the panel, in which everyone is dressed like Darth Sidious and drinks Coca-Cola products out of red cups stamped with the Coca-Cola logo on them. I’m 99% sure that John Cafferty of John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band is the high minister of said panel. If John Cafferty says you cannot have your man card back, then you must go through the rest of your life man card-less. Or base jump into the mouth of an angry volcano. Covered in fire ants.

Keep firing, Assholes

Keep firing, Assholes

And if men get these man cards and all the hoopla that goes with them, what about us women? What the hell do we get? I have never received a woman card. Unless I am to consider my Sephora rewards card my woman card and in that case you’d have to pry it from my cold, dead fingers if you want me to surrender it. Then again, nobody’s ever asked me to give up my woman card.

If a spirited retelling of a trip to a big box home goods and kitchen essentials store is reason enough for man card revocation, what would it take for me to lose my woman card? I’m pretty sure my piss poor fashion sense and fingernails that look like a fucking 60 year old Canadian lumberjack’s would render me cardless in a jiff. And the fact that Wayne’s World is one of my favorite movies isn’t helping my cause. BUT I love to gossip and the volume of my voice increases in direct relation to my intoxication level, especially when I’m out with a group of girls. So get your filthy paws off my Sephora rewards card.

Wookin pa nub

There are many questions that may forever remain unanswered. Do aliens exist? Why do people choose philosophy majors? Why did George Eads choose that super weird hair and mustache combo in Season 6 of CSI: Las Vegas? And last but not least, how do I find love? Will I ever find love? Is there anyone out there for me? Now there’s a deep well to fall in to. There are plenty of magazines and books to read which will tell you all the dos and don’ts. Just go ahead and disregard all of that nonsense. These few tips are about all you’ll ever need to know about the keeping and the cultivating of love and companionship.

Regardless of what you learn from fast food restaurant commercials, do NOT put bacon in your pockets to attract men. Or women for that matter. Especially if you live in an area heavily populated with coyotes or angry badgers. (Note: Wisconsin residents and Packers fans in general shall disregard this rule)

Do not, under any circumstances, approach a man who has a briefcase at a bar. Or a manbag or whatever. Maybe he’s dressed in a suit, maybe he just got off of the train because he is a commuter and makes a lot of money doing businessy stuff in the city but lives in the suburbs because he prefers a slower and quieter lifestyle. Oooh, how delightful. BUT, not like I’m speaking from experience here, chances are that one peek in said briefcase and you’ll find handcuffs, knives to flay the flesh off bones, warm water enemas, his neighbor’s dead cat and a box of Barnum’s Animal Crackers.

Your happy little trees can go fuck themselves

Your happy little trees can go fuck themselves

If you’ve successfully met someone who hasn’t stolen your wallet or attempted to murder you, a date is in order! Hooray! If a meal is on the docket for date number one, do NOT use a toothpick at the table. Even if there is an entire stalk of broccoli between your canine and your left lateral incisor. I cannot stress this enough. And I’m not just talking about toothpicks. Dental hygiene of any kind shall not be conducted in front of suitor #1; including, but not limited to: using fingers, floss, string, forks or any other instrument to extract food particles from teeth, gargling and/or swishing of fluids, any sucking on or cleaning of the teeth with tongue, so on and so forth. Some of you are thinking ‘why is she wasting my time with this?’ BUT SOME OF YOU are thinking, ‘OH! So I shouldn’t do that?!’ If I’ve stopped just one person from conducting a full tableside dental exam in front of God and everyone else at Applebee’s, I’ll call that a win.

Can everyone agree to not discuss exes on the first date? I understand you are still hung up on Suzie; she was wonderful, almost perfect. But I don’t want to hear about your time in the Peace Corps together or her amazing job in the city or how she ran the Chicago Marathon. Hell, the last time I ran was through an alley trying to escape a gaze of hungry raccoons that wanted my pastrami on marble rye. Let’s focus a bit more on ourselves and a little less on Suzie. Eyes on the prize.

Jokes are great. Everyone likes jokes. But there are types of jokes that are not particularly well suited for first dates or second or third or hundredth dates. Such topics include, but are not limited to: racism, rape, semen-all-over-the-place, knock-knock, etc. Boys, I’m looking at you here. Though, to be fair I’ve known quite a few gals who have told some pretty heinous knock-knock jokes.

I realize that not many people have an arsenal of funny yet non-offensive jokes at the ready. So I have one to tell you, and feel free to use it. It’s basically a surefire panty-dropper: So a guy is sitting at home and watching TV when the doorbell rings. He opens the door but nobody’s there. He looks around for a package but sees a snail instead. He picks it up and throws it across the street. About a year later, the guy is sitting, watching TV again when the doorbell rings. He opens the door and it’s the same snail. And the snail says to him, “WHAT THE FUCK?!”

You’re welcome.

It’s a super sparkly new year, everybody

2013. Was a year. Boy, was it a year. Here’s my year-end recap: I did some stuff, I saw some stuff, I felt some stuff. I. Accomplished. Nothing. Nothing but maintaining homeostasis. And that’s nothing to be proud of, because so did that hobo who lives nearby and drinks himself fucking stupid every day. Ergo, I resolved to be a more productive member of society in 2014. It’s a new year and anything is possible, right? But I’m a smart person, despite my liberal arts degree. I know that one can’t just make a resolution that ambiguous and accomplish it with no plan, no parameters. So here are just some of the ways in which I will become a more useful citizen this year. It’s a work in progress, so feel free to give me some feedback.

Starting my own business. I figured a productive citizen of the United States would take advantage of the Free Market Economy and start his or her own business. So I was thinking, what are some things that are popular today? Well obviously pampering oneself and kitty cats. Therefore, the next logical step was opening a kitty cat massage parlor! Still working on names, but I’m thinking about Kitty Cat Moments or Get Your Paws on Me. It would work both ways, see. In one wing, patrons can bring in their stressed out cats for a personalized, therapeutic massage complete with happy ending (read: catnip). BUT in the other wing, stressed out people will receive massages from a herd of [trained] felines. Tiny paws all over the place! How relaxing and ethereal and wonderful, right? And the happy ending is imminent because you just got a fucking massage from a group of adorable cats! Anyone seen leaving Get Your Paws on Me with a frown on his or her face is in all likelihood a sociopath.

Business cat will be in charge of marketing

Business cat will be in charge of marketing

Drinking less. No, just kidding.

Volunteer. I’m sure there is some sort of big brothers, big sisters deal around here. I could totally be a big sister. I’d be the really cool big sister who drinks and smokes and sneaks out of the house. I’d also be really jaded and beyond my years and all that. I’d tell these kids how it is, “You know how people say you can be anything you want if you put your mind to it? That’s bullshit. With your IQ, looks and personality, you can be almost anything you want to be in the hospitality industry, or maybe in a factory or something.” Embroider that on a pillow.

Opening a gym. So I know this is kind of similar to the starting my own business bullet point, but hear me out. Physical fitness is very important; especially in the first few weeks of January when people are delusional enough to believe this is the year they will finally get in shape. So for all of those folks, I will open a gym. In my own home. There are plenty of things to do around my house that will [eventually] melt away the evil Christmas cookie weight. Scrubbing my dog’s pee out of the rug on one’s hands and knees is a great core workout. So is crying in terrible pain when you roll your ankle on the choo-choo trains my daughter has inevitably left laying all over the floor. And you can clean out my oven. I’m sure that will burn some calories. Everybody wins here.

And, when all else fails: Faking my own death.