RSS Feed

Category Archives: Beer and Lifestyle

Pepper and Paprika SLAMBOOK

Posted on

Inspired by this post at Svutlana (which is a hilarious blog, and you should go read it now), we at Pepper and Paprika created some beautiful search word poetry, using the week’s top search terms. Enjoy!

Welcome Seeking Women

if you don’t have paprika

can dimples go away

after you get your wisdom teeth pulled out?

gross fish, writing on your penis

laughing animals

dominant human males

english should be the official language of the US radical racist

is paprika pepper?

nickelodeon slime poop, slime

images of slime

obgyn and fuck

american fuck you gesture

are languages other than english becoming obsolete?

mean weasel

why do people over-post on facebook?

pepper and paprika blog south dakota

Advertisements

What I Meant to Write In My Whiny Post:

Posted on

1. Damn, I am really really busy, and it’s giving me a sleepy.

2. It’s not enough to be a political feminist; you have to be a personal feminist too. You have to look at the way you treat your friends and family; you have to examine your individual biases, your contradictions. Feminism is not just theoretical. It doesn’t just apply to Other People. It should spill over into all your interactions.

3. Probably don’t tell your kid that nobody will ever love them, since, if nothing else, you should love your kid, and yes, while I get the point you’re making (“you’re a heinous bitch who no man will ever want”), 1) a huge fuck you on behalf of single ladies everywhere, and 2) wow, really?

4. Basically what I said. “Yes, he’s kind of a misogynist, but I still like him” = unacceptable. People who are sexist, racist, and/or classist are bad people. It really is that simple! Someone with biases who is working to become more understanding and aware = great! Someone who is a dick and doesn’t care = not great. Not great at all. These things are dealbreakers in much the way that puppy-kicking is a dealbreaker.

5. This part of South Dakota has some pretty scenery, but politically it is a backwards shithole, and the town is cliquey, and we suffer from a dearth of maple trees. I can haz Vermont?

6. Rape Threat Tyler is a terrible person, and I’m not sorry he got head-injured.

7. Munchausen’s Mike is also a terrible person, and I hope his life is lousy.

8. I haven’t had a normal meal since I was 12, which blows.

9. Vodka is a hell of a substance.

Also, here is a puppy with a puppy:

Hi, I Haz a White Whine.

Posted on
  1. I cannot keep working two jobs while taking eighteen credit hours.
  2. I cannot listen to family members, who claim to be feminist, going on about how I’m a huge heinous bitch for setting boundaries and cutting toxic people out of my life.
  3. I cannot listen to “you’re going to die alone, with no one who loves you, and a huge house of cats.” Not from anyone, but especially not from family.
  4. I cannot pretend to like people who are misogynist, racist, or classist for any reason, but especially not for the sake of people who want me to perform femininity according to their exact specifications.
  5. I cannot keep living in South Dakota.
  6. I cannot deal with a former co-worker, who once pushed me against a wall, held a paper towel over my mouth, and asked me if it smelled like chloroform—who used to follow me around making jokes about murdering women—who made numerous rape threats—I cannot deal with this person harassing me on the dance floor, following me around, and forcing me to stare at his stupid weasel face while he thrusts his bony pelvis out. All I can think about is being shoved against the wall with all the hanging knives pressing into my back while he presses the paper towel against my mouth and tells me he’s going to follow me home after work. I cannot deal with this person; I hope he dies.
  7. I cannot shake all the terrible things I heard from terrible Mike, all the semi-consensual physical encounters, all the hurtful bullshit he said.
  8. I cannot eat like a normal person, and I want to. So fucking much.
  9. I should not blog while drunk.

How You Know Your Restaurant Is Failing: A Series of One-Acts

Posted on

#1: Insurance? What’s That?

A four-top prepares to leave. The matriarch, a wizened old lady with two Manhattans in her system, rises slowly, leaning on her metal cane, then promptly topples over. Paprika, Parika’s bossy co-worker, and the matriarch’s daughters help her up; the woman appears unharmed, and is escorted out to her car by her daughters. They drive away, and Paprika and bossy co-worker walk into the kitchen. Paprika rolls silverware while bossy co-worker dries pint glasses.

Bossy Co-worker: Shit. I hope she’s okay.

Paprika: She seemed alright.

Bossy Co-worker: Yeah. It’s just, we don’t have insurance up front.

Paprika: Say what now?

Bossy Co-worker: We have it in the back, but not in the front.

Paprika: How the fuck does that work?

Bossy Co-worker: Illegally.

#2: Fuck OSHA

Paprika, having just washed the blender, attempts to dry it with a cloth. Somehow, she slices her finger open on one of the blades, and blood gushes forth. It’s really gross.

Paprika: What the hell? I already sliced my hand trying to cut brownies this morning. I suck.

Paprika goes into the bathroom and wraps her bleeding finger in a paper towel, then walks into the office, seeking band-aids. She is saddened but unsurprised to see that the first-aid kit is completely empty, so she improvises by tightening the paper towel around her finger and securing it in place with a hair tie. She goes into the kitchen, locates the restaurant’s one remaining dry erase marker, and kneels in front of the whiteboard. The kitchen manager walks up and stands behind her, arms crossed.

Kitchen manager: What’re you doing?

Paprika: Putting band-aids on the “need to order” list.

Kitchen manager: Good fuckin’ luck.

Paprika: I know.

Kitchen manager: Cyndi’s been trying to get me to buy them for you.

Paprika: What? I know she told you to bring your own once–

Kitchen manager: Yeah, now she wants me to buy them for the waitstaff too.

Paprika: But you’re the kitchen manager.

Kitchen manager: And she wants me to buy all the dry-erase markers.

Paprika: How about no.

Kitchen manager: How about fuck no.

#3: Nothing to Claim

Pepper and Paprika pull up in front of the “stove store,” a shifty business perpetually under construction, from which Paprika obtains her bi-weekly paychecks. Paprika exits the car, walks through the mess of construction, and finds Marlys, the dispenser of the paychecks.  Marlys hands Paprika her check, then gives her a Very Severe Look.

Marlys: You know, you need to be careful about how you claim your tips.

Paprika: Do I.

Marlys: Yes, you’re not claiming nearly enough.

Paprika: We’re not very busy. Sometimes there’s nothing to claim.

Marlys: And sometimes what you claim is less than ten percent of your sales.

Paprika (annoyed): Yeah, ok.

Marlys: It isn’t fair for you to be claiming so little–then the other employees have to make up for it.

Paprika: Right, well, have a good day.

Paprika walks out, swings Pepper’s car door open with great force, plops down in the passenger’s seat, and angrily relates the tale.

Pepper: Uh, what? Half the time when you work you don’t even make minimum, and they don’t compensate you for that.

Paprika: Oh, I know.

Pepper: And they pay you three dollars an hour, so…

Paprika: Uh-huh.

Pepper: And aren’t your credit card and check tips automatically reported?

Paprika: They sure are.

Pepper: And how the fuck are the other employees “making it up”?

Paprika: If they are it’s illegal. I don’t fucking know. Let’s go get ice cream.

#4: We Be Fancy

Paprika stands behind the bar, hunting for a bottle of the house cabernet. Bubbly co-worker starts making a daiquiri, then looks over at the perplexed Paprika.

Bubby co-worker: Are you looking for the house cab?

Paprika: Yeah.

Bubbly co-worker: We’re out. John’s having us use that Lucky Duck wine.

Paprika: Isn’t that, like, three dollars at Wal-Mart?

Bubbly co-worker: Two ninety-seven.

Paprika: So what are we charging for this?

Bubbly co-worker: Well, we’re supposed to be charging six-fifty a glass.

Paprika: What are we actually charging?

Bubbly co-worker: I haven’t decided yet.

Paprika: How about free? Can we do free?

#5: Seriously?

Paprika walks in to work, ties her apron around her waist, and immediately checks the 86ed list.  They’re out of: avocado, portabella, bleu cheese, two kinds of Riesling, spinach, feta, chocolate syrup, and bread.

Bread.

They’re out of bread.

How the fuck do you run out of bread?

Paprika: Man, I really hate being overworked and underpaid.

The Economy: Whatevs. I think it’s great!

/close curtains

I Traveled, and When I Traveled, I Did Things

Posted on

Dear Imaginary Pen Pal,

In the past week, I’ve spent about three full days on some kind of bus. My fucking neck hurts. My ass hurts. My shoulder blades are, I’m pretty sure, lodged in my ribcage somewhere. But I did sleep a lot.

I went to Ithaca College, which was rain-drenched and lovely. I ate at a place called The Waffle Frolic, which, why the fuck aren’t there more of these places? One of my heels broke while I was at a ridiculous bar called Moonshadows, so I danced barefoot and ultimately found myself drunk and shoeless in downtown Ithaca, waiting for a taxi. I presented my paper on depictions of sexual violence in young adult literature to a gaggle of people, including a former professor at my university who I hadn’t seen since I was sixteen. I went over the fifteen-minute time limit while reading my paper; when I saw the student moderator at the back of the room holding a sign that said “STOP,” I audibly muttered “shit,” skipped half a paragraph, and sped through my conclusion. I ate Mediterranean food. I ate Mexican food. On the way home, I ate Denny’s. I dealt with a surly bus driver who just didn’t want to drop my roommate and me off at the Econolodge, regardless of whether it was on his goddamn route. “I’ll drop you girls at the Ramada,” he said, as though we were Ladies of the Ithaca Night, for whom one hotel was as good as another. I matched his surliness well enough that he eventually took us to the correct hotel, claiming that “I was just kidding,” and then he complained about “all those pigs from the Econolodge who bring their food on the bus and leave their plates under the seat.” I also declined an invitation to “room with” a psych major who greatly overestimated the aphrodisiac effect of his Extremely Blue Eyes.

I watched a terrible presentation about C.S. Lewis’s The Silver Chair, in which a bouncy, bright-eyed undergrad tried to argue that the numerous claims of misogyny in re: Lewis’s writing are totes unfair, because he’s just writing in a literary tradition, and also, at least the mean women in his books are powerful! (Dude, what?) I watched a nervous guy speed read a paper about punk music and William Blake; I suspect it was a good essay, but he read too fast for me to tell for sure. One of my classmates gave a pertinent presentation titled “Do Less Clothes Equal More Tips?: The Effect of Attire on Tipping,” because, that’s important! (Personally, I’m more interested in the effect of misogyny on tipping, but whatever.) Another fellow student, who looked like a blood-starved, pissed-off vampire, slouched around complaining about everything. I listened to a guy who looked like a disturbing amalgam of Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill—not one of my classmates, thank fuck—complain about the spiral staircase leading up to the Ithaca College library, not because he had a disability that made it impossible to ascend stairs (if he had, there was an elevator), but because “I like normal staircases.”

I saw my gramma the morning we were set to leave, but had to cut the visit short due to the capricious time-changing of our faculty accompaniment. (I’m still pissed about that.) My gramma gave me contraband cookies and polish liquor to smuggle on the bus. When the bus finally unloaded, I was in such a rush to get out that I left my mom’s birthday present on my seat, and the guy who found it had to run after me and breathlessly hand it over. I walked home with my massively heavy bags and immediately jumped in the shower, and then I went to Pepper’s house, ate hamburger helper, and made fun of Scott Adams.

And that’s my excuse for not blogging lately.

Love,

Paprika

I saw a slush ball resembling the bust of Cicero, and I am tired.

Posted on

It looked like this guy. It even had the epic suspicious/seriously (!?!?!) face.

This is going to be a ramblin’ shamblin’ festival of fuck my lifery. So, you know. You’ve been warned.

I am not so far from thirty, which is fine. I’m cool with that. But I have the odd combination of a very young looking face, and an expression of contempt and loathing that can fell a PUA without a word. This is difficult for people to process.

“Why that uppity young snot!” They seem to think, “I’ll take her down a peg or three!”

I should mention that this has been a lifelong situation for me, and I fully grasp that I am the cilantro of people– people that like me, really like me, and we have a rollicking good time and everything is fantastic.  And to other people I apparently taste like soap. The people who like me outnumber the people who don’t, and their kindness more than makes up for the rest.

But. The people who don’t like me, tend to be people in positions of authority. And they tend to try to take me down as many notches/pegs as they possibly can, even though it never works.

I’m not kidding. It’s not that I don’t politely do whatever I’m asked to do (within reason), I do. It’s not that I’m not polite and courteous, I am.

I do my job, I do good work, I show up on time, and that’s it. That’s all. I am not deferential. I will politely listen and do things how you want them done, but I will not be trained in how-I-ought-to-behave. I started out low, bosses, and you will never be able to push me back down.

I understand the dues paying culture of working in America. I’ve been officially working and paying in to SSI every year since I was twelve, which is well over half of my life.

Which is the crux of my complaint. Dues, I have paid them. I’ve worked cleaning toilets, I’ve painted houses and rolled around in batshit and 100 year old dust in a museum attic laying down caulk.   I’ve cleaned up more metric tons of animal shit and piss than I care to think about. I’ve been wrist deep in animal blood and puke and name-your-fluid. I’ve assisted in the euthanasia of unwanted animals, even when it broke my heart. I’ve worked serving food, I’ve worked grooming dogs, and I spent five years as collection for an evil company that shall not be named.

Five years in collections is, by the way, a lifetime. Most people burn out before the twelve month mark because it’s a hideous soul crushing job that robs you of all compassion for yourself and everyone else. I hated every single minute of it, and I stayed only because I had no other choice and hoped that I could at least be the kinder gentler more helpful bill collector. I called people with dying spouses, dying children, who had lost their homes, who were dying themselves. I heard adults beating children, and each other, while I could sit there and do absolutely nothing.

I called a woman who had found out only a few minutes before that her daughter had been murdered (and yes, trust me, it was real. It was viscerally present in her voice) and who hadn’t even had the chance to call her family, and was so polite and so lost and in so much more pain than most people can imagine. I drove home crying 4 nights out of 5. But I stuck it out, because it was what was rational for me at the time. I quit that job only when my health began to deteriorate and a supervisor began to harass me.

I have a steel backbone, for various reasons, not the least of which is growing up in a family of Jehova’s Witnesses as a public dissenter. Like my list of jobs above, I have a laundry list of insults that were lobbed at me as a child: Whore (regular), Whore of Babylon (where are my purple vestements and my kir royale in a golden chalice? And the many headed leopard thing I should be riding?), slut, witch (this is hard to explain to secular people, but yes, they really, genuinely 100% believed that I was consorting with demons), and on, and on. And on. I was taken out of school in 2nd grade and homeschooled from there until college, which wasn’t so bad in some ways since my parents were conflicted enough about their religion to have an awesome library and let me read pretty much whatever I wanted via the process of not having their shit together and not paying attention to what was going on. But it meant that I was isolated from anyone who was not a Jehovah’s Witness, until I was old enough to start reaching out on my own. I learned to be alone, and be ok with it. I learned to love nature as refuge and a friend. I had great experiences making friends online, before and after I left home, and I am still friends with many of those people IRL, a decade on.

Anyone who has had a childhood in a dysfunctional, abusive family, can pretty much fill in the rest of the hunger, neglect, beatings, poorness bingo card. I didn’t have it worse than anyone in the world ever, but I didn’t have it great. Which is no excuse to be an asshole, and I’m not. In fact, all of these experiences have made me take the position that if I cannot treat someone well, it’s better for me to leave them alone completely. My personal acquaintance with pain has made me believe that compassion and empathy and altruism are the best things about being a social creature, and I try to practice them regularly.

However. Unless my job description specifically and openly demands ego stroking, I won’t. And no amount of pushing me around will get that out of me.

Trust me, bosses, I always feel like saying, you will not succeed where an entire doomsday cult, my family, and several exes failed.

But here we are again, right now, and I am tired. I am in pain, I have no energy, I have decided to go ahead with a hysterectomy in hopes of ending the pain and feeling better, but that won’t happen until after I finish my language classes and get my B.A. (I already have my B.S., but immigration being what it is in the US, I decided that coming back to finish my last year of language would be a good way to kill time until Mr. Lee Hales was able to get here) in May. And so, right now. I am just tired.

I am tired of friendliness being a demand on my person with no quid pro quo. I am tired of being taken to task, not for failing to do my job, or doing it poorly, but for failing to defer, failing to get in line, sit down, shut up, and take it.

I realize that the common thread here is my failure to conform to expectations of age and femininity. Women are supposed to be warm and open, giving and deferential to authority. Young women are supposed to be inexperienced. The sticky uppy nail gets pounded down and so forth.

I don’t have a point here. I realize  that I’m lucky to be working at all, even if only for 10 hours a week. I know how privileged I am to be able to have the option of coming back for a B.A., to be educated at all. I have shit loads of privilege. I am also poor, and hurting and just fucking tired.

Post me some funny comments, ok? Put up silly gifs and pictures of adorbs jumping spiders. Make interesting comments. Something. Make my day less rage inducing. I’m about ready to move to the moon.

I want a cat sized jumping spider with which to cuddle. And scare assholes. But mostly cuddle.

The Pissy Guide to Hitting On Ladies

Posted on

I have heard many a delusional man wonder: how do I hit on a lady? If it’s not appropriate to approach them in grocery stores, where can I approach them? Why are you all such uptight bitches? Why can’t you understand that it’s just a compliment? Seriously ladies, whassamatter?

Alright, dude-bros, this is what you need to understand:

When a lady is busy doing something not directly connected to you, it’s an inappropriate time to hit on her. If your behavior could be construed as stalkerish, it’s time for you to go away. And if you try to talk to her, and she seems less than enthused? Stop.

Or, more specifically, adhere to the following guidelines.

How Not to Hit On a Lady: The Obvious

Don’t: figure out where she lives and knock on her door

Yeah, I had this happen once. A guy in my old apartment building tried to chat me up at the mailboxes; I was polite but distant; he memorized the apartment number on my mailbox and showed up at my door a few hours later. Thinking it was my pizza (that’s all I ate in those days), I opened the door wearing a hoodie and boxers printed with pictures of crabs, at which point he introduced himself and asked me out to dinner. I was a shy teenager who didn’t know how to reject people, so I grudgingly agreed, and we had a couple stupid dates. He was pretty hot, actually, until he revealed the American flag tattoo on his chest. (Also, he thought Stealth was a great film, which, no.)

Anyhow, this shit? Not an appropriate method for wooing the ladies. And I’ll tell you why.

Dude, all I initially wanted to do was get my damn mail. And then I wanted to eat my pizza. Alone. In my boxers. While listening to Deep Blue Something and thinking about my future. (Or whatever.) And using your deductive powers to find my apartment and then harassing me there is fucking creepy as shit. What the hell, man?

The creepiness of this particular encounter was compounded by the fact that I was 19—and looked it—while he was almost 28.

But then, age doesn’t really matter, because if a woman doesn’t willingly give you her address, you should not take it upon yourself to seek it out. Ever. You goddamn creepy bastard.

Don’t: use your child

I was once walking down the street when an adorable little girl waved at me and said hi. I returned the greeting, and then I heard her dad pull her over and say “ask her name.” The little girl looked confused, so he repeated it and pushed her forward. She waved at me again and asked for my name, so I made something up, smiled, and started to walk away. Her dad yelled a farewell after me, but I just ignored him because…I’m a huge bitch.

But c’mon, man. Using your kid? That is beyond manipulative, and it assumes that I’m some kind of domestic goddess in training sure to charmed by your precious crotchfruit. Yeah, your kid is cute, but you would have to be absolutely spectacular in every possible arena of life for me to even consider you as an option for anything.

Children: I like them in small doses, but not as dominant players in my life. (And lest my use of “players” seem dehumanizing and creepy—no, that’s only creepy when you try to use your kids as pawns in the tension-laden chess game of lady-harassing.)

Don’t: follow her to the gas station`

I once knew this guy I’ll call Creepy Kirby, because he is creepy, and Kirby is his name. He’d never had a real conversation with me, but for whatever reason he thought I was terrific. One day he noticed me walking to the gas station, fell into step with me, and walked me all the way down to the c-store, rambling stupidly while I rolled my eyes and wished he would go the fuck away. Once I got to the store, I saw a guy I knew and immediately went after him: “hiiiii, I haven’t seen you in ages, how are you?” Incidentally, I ended up exchanging numbers with that guy and dated him for two months, during which time he stole my broken laptop, so…thanks for that, Kirby.

This really shouldn’t ever need to be said, but here goes: don’t attach yourself to a woman and follow her around. It’s annoying, it’s creepy, and—believe it or not—it feels a little stalkeresque. I know, it’s crazy, but there you have it.

How Not to Hit On a Lady: The Should Be Obvious, But Aren’t


Don’t: at her work

I’m in a class about the films of Wes Anderson (American Modernism was canceled, okay?) and a few nights ago, we watched Bottle Rocket. Oh, Bottle Rocket—in which Luke Wilson charmingly follows a motel housekeeper from room to room, awkwardly injecting himself into her life sans invitation. Because there’s nothing creepy about that.

Look, guys of the world—if you see a woman at work, and she’s nice to you, chances are it’s because she’s at work. Where she’s required to be nice to everyone. Because work sucks. And taking advantage of that woman’s work-mandated pleasantness is a real dick move.

I used to work at a bookstore, under the direction of a crazy woman named Sharon. One day, some skateboarding douche named Josh came in to the store and hung around bugging me. Sharon was there when he came in; she left for a couple hours, and, when she came back, there he was. Bugging me.

Her response was to threaten to fire me, because “you should have told him to leave.” Yes—a guy came in, harassed me for hours, and I was threatened with the loss of my job. Of course, had I rebuffed him, I still would’ve gotten in trouble, because, customer service!

So anyway. This is an asshole maneuver because by going after a woman in an environment that demands she behave in a certain manner, you are effectively backing her into a corner, and because it could actually get her in trouble. It also suggests that you don’t respect her or her work enough to back the fuck off, but whatever.

Don’t: at your work

I know you’re bored, weird thirty-something waiter, but “Hey, you live on [redacted] street, right? In the little yellow house?” is a wildly inappropriate question. Especially since you were right about the street. The building, not so much—you thought I lived in my landlord’s art studio—but still, you were creepily close.

Like I said before: if a woman has not willingly told you where she lives, then where she lives is none of your damn business. This means that you shouldn’t find out on your own, you shouldn’t ask other people, you shouldn’t make a wild guess and then ask for her confirmation—whatever. I remember once walking through a park and bumping into some balding dad figure who asked “hey, you live in the [redacted] apartments, right?” That was the very first thing out of his mouth.

I just stared at him, then said “no.”

“Really? Are you sure?”

Well no. No I’m not sure. I might live somewhere else and just not be aware of it.

Look dude, either you’re wrong about where I live, or I’m lying; either way, leave me the hell alone.

Anyway, the point is that, again, figuring out where your dream ladylove lives is creepy, and that your place of employment is no more an appropriate place to hit on me than my place of employment.

Also, as much I hate to be That Asshole, if you don’t back off, I will talk to your manager.

Don’t: at the airport

I, like much of the world, hate the airport. If I’m in an airport, I’m probably pissed. So don’t even try it—and really, why are you bothering? You will never see me again. This is an extremely brief moment in the time and nothing more, because life is not, in fact, a rom-com.

I can only think of one time that I saw, in real life, someone I met on a plane. I was flying home next to some burly guy who was reading Twilight (yeah, I don’t fucking know), and sat quietly next to him, reading my own, less shitty book. The next day I was at work, and he walked in with his mother, stopped, looked confused, then said something like, “hey, were you on my flight from [redacted] yesterday?” We then proceeded to have an awkward conversation about what an unusually turbulent flight that had been, while his mother stood off to the side and beamed.

Nothing came of that encounter.

Anyhow, the airport. I’m busy in airports. I’m busy worrying about the status of my connecting flight, safeguarding my luggage, and imagining a world that isn’t O’Hare. That’s what I’m doing in airports. Don’t bug me please.

Don’t: at the grocery

This is a prime example of “lady busy doing something that doesn’t remotely concern you.”—and, for most people, something that isn’t especially enjoyable. Please don’t try to strike up a conversation with me about my purchase of lemon-scented Green Clean. That’s just my inner granola elitist coming out; I can’t help it.

Don’t: when delivering her pizza

That’s just awkward. Plus there’s the added creep factor of “ugh, now he knows my phone number and where I live.” Yeah, I had this happen once, got suckered into going on a date with my horribly awkward pizza delivery guy, and a few days later he left a gift-wrapped CD outside my apartment. I never called him again, and he was apparently so traumatized by the incident that he refused to deliver my pizza for an entire year. One time there were only two people working at the Pizza Hut when I placed my order, and he was so adamant in his refusal to drop off my pizza that his co-worker had to lock up the restaurant and deliver my food herself.

I actually feel a little bad about it, because I think he was more awkward than creepy, but again…don’t corner a woman in her home. Especially if she’s giving you strong “all I want is my damn pizza” signals.

Don’t: at the Laundromat

Sock-folding and pickup-lines don’t mix. That’s all I have to say about that.

And, okay, sometimes people do end up meeting in quirky places. People in coffee shops write each other’s phone numbers down on the inside covers of their moleskine notebooks; beautiful twenty-somethings bond at the deli over their mutual love of prosciutto; whatever. But as Pepper’s husband (a dude) pointed out, you can tell when someone wants to talk to you, and you can tell when they don’t. I think he added something like, “and if you can’t, you’re fucking stupid.”

And if you’re not getting obvious signals, if there is no obvious desire to chat, if the woman you’re blatantly eyeballing is just standing at the baggage claim looking panicked…just don’t.