Women who demand respect often get exactly that. And why shouldn’t they? We not only deserve it, we should expect it. But there’s a tipping point when a woman’s demands jump the shark from self-respecting to totally high maintenance, or, as I like to call it, highmay. There are the obvious one-name offenders: Madonna and her overnight full body saran wrapping, Cher and her multiple costume changes. And then there are women who demand maintenance in ways that are less obvious, but just as lethal. She is “the worst kind,” as Harry so clearly explained to Sally. “You’re high maintenance but you think you’re low.” So girls and guys, I’m going to be like your cool older sister who bought your sorry 15-year-old ass beer from the Quickmart and offer you a few tips on how to preemptively spot a high-maintenance girlfriend. Because those dudes I described yesterday have company.
Gals, you can write your seemingly benign behaviors off as girly or cute, or you can see them for what they are—blinking red lights indicating you’re about to take the onramp to the highmay highway.
Guys, ignore the warning signs at your peril—unless, of course, you’re a glutton for punishment; then ending up with a woman who’s just like your highmay mother is probably inevitable.
It didn’t take long for me to figure out something about Nick* was different. Everything about him was outsized, super-charming and a bit impulsive. For our second date, he seriously considered whisking me away to Atlantic City for the weekend to go gambling. After only two weeks of dating, he told me he thought I was “the one.” He chatted a mile a minute, exhausting one topic and moving right on to the next without missing a beat. On our earliest dates, I literally felt as though I was his audience — though I didn’t exactly mind, because he was charismatic and bright and his life story fascinated me. I’m not the life of the party at all, so to be with someone who is the life of the party was extremely fun. When he finally told me after several dates that he had bipolar disorder and ADD, I nearly smacked myself in the forehead. Of course he does! I realized. He’s textbook!
My older brother Eliot* also has bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression). Eliot’s behavior when he has not been taking his medication is almost exactly like Nick’s. He’s just as impulsive, if not more so; a few Christmases ago, he tried to persuade me to ditch our family and drive to Foxwoods to go gambling. Eliot is also very charming, charismatic, bright and the dictionary definition of “the life of the party.” Our personalities are so different that our friends can hardly believe he and I are related.
So when Nick mentioned that he is not taking medication for his bipolar and ADD, I nearly smacked myself in the forehead a second time. Of course, of course, I thought. And then: F**k. Keep reading »
When I was 8, some friends of my parents had a party at their house. The main attraction was a palm reader they hired to entertain the guests. “You will marry someone from your childhood,” she told me. I squirmed at the thought of love or marriage; I still thought boys had cooties. This same palm reader also told a woman at the party that she would be separated from her husband of 20 years. A week later he died suddenly of a heart attack. Keep reading »
That night at Madison Square Garden, as my date changed into sneakers by standing on his work shoes rather than the floor because “he didn’t want to soil his socks,” my first thought was, Isn’t everything about a Phish show dirty? My second thought was that while the red cashmere socks certainly qualified him as metrosexual, his unselfconscious aversion to dirt was a more finicky proclamation. And then it hit me like a box of steel-toed wing-tips. What I had just witnessed was the emergence of the metrosexual’s kissing cousin: the high maintenance man. While both metros and highmay (high maintenance) men are fastidious, the former are strictly fussy about how they dress and the latter are persnickety in myriad ways that may have nothing to do with their appearance. It’s just as high maintenance Sally — of “When Harry Met…” — so clearly explained: “I just want it the way I want it.” With the overwhelming acceptance of (or resignation to) metrosexuality, men who once feared being ridiculed for their highmay ways are stepping out of their walk-in closets onto the well-manicured path blazed by their sartorially-inclined cousins. While dating a man first in line at a Barney’s sample sale may seem like a bonus, a boyfriend should only be highmay about two things: sports and keeping his woman happy. All other forms of maintenance are flashing red lights on the highmay highway alerting women to slow down and reconsider. Thus I offer up the following list of traits for women to heed, as they’ll undoubtedly need some practical dating advice in the age of the high-maintenance man.
When you’re dating someone new, it’s obviously good advice to be wary of their exes. But since college is a fishbowl, exes aren’t the only type of people you need to be worried about. There’s tons of people who can make your life as miserable as possible or just ruin it all together.
Here are the potential time bombs just ready to mess up your relationship. Read more… Keep reading »