How to Make a Man Fall in Love With You.

IMAGE CREDIT: Google Images

IMAGE CREDIT: Google Images

Pretend to be unavailable. Except actually be available. Just don’t look available. Don’t call or text him. Except call and text him sometimes.  Don’t be needy. But don’t be too aloof either. Try very hard to figure out what any of this actually means.

Mutilate your body in a vain attempt to conform to a very narrow standard of beauty that you will probably never be able to attain anyway. Pay a lot of money to have strangers pour hot wax on your crotch so you are as hairless as a toddler. Blow your life savings to have a doctor cut open your chest and stuff you full of plastic bags. Because that’s sexy.

Pretend to be very adventurous. Fake that you like football and eating ribs and driving fast cars and risk taking. Definitely go bungee jumping and sky diving. You know, like a date on "The Bachelor." Adventurous girl = wild in bed. You definitely want to convey that you are wild in bed without actually saying that you are wild in bed because then you’ll look like a slut.

Do all kinds of kinky, freaky stuff even if you aren’t comfortable with it and it doesn’t make you feel good. You don’t want him to think you’re a prude and leave you for someone who is more fun, do you?

Never complain about anything. Men don’t want a woman who is a pain in the ass. But you should occasionally assert yourself, just not to him, because men also love bitches. So be very sweet and submissive, but also be a fucking bitch sometimes. Good luck figuring out this tricky balance.

If he tries to change or fix you, do whatever he wants you to. Dress differently, change your hair, eat food you hate, whatever it takes to transform yourself into his version of the ideal woman.  Being loved for who you are isn’t really important.

THIS IS ALL BULLSHIT.

And you know it is. You know in your very soul that every word of this is wrong-headed, toxic fucking bullshit, don’t you? But you do a lot of these things anyway, even if you won’t outright admit it.

Here’s why you do it.

Because women are told from the time that they are little girls that we have to earn romantic love, and that only the most worthy women get “picked.” But love isn’t a fucking kickball team in seventh grade gym class. You don’t stand around hoping you’re good enough at the game to be chosen, and rescued and validated and told that you are lovable. We think it works that way, but it doesn’t really work that way.

The truth is that love doesn’t work any kind of way. It’s one big, beautiful, magical mystery.

 I suspect it has something to do with a complicated cocktail of pheromones, timing, parent issues, karma, culture, fate, connection, and availability. Lord only knows what else is involved, but what I do know for sure is that when these things are all in line, it’s rare and it’s lucky. So many of these factors are completely out of our control 99 percent of the time, that it’s just pointless to even worry about them.  Let go of grasping for love or trying to force it or trying to make it happen.

Here is what else I’ve learned:

You cannot make a man fall in love with you.

Seriously, if women could do that, if anyone truly had that power, we’d all be in secure committed relationship, people wouldn't cheat, sports bars would not exist, our houses would all be clean, we’d all get cards and flowers on our anniversaries, and no one would ever get cosmetic surgery and I wouldn't be writing this.

There is no code to crack, no love spell that actually works, no secret formula. The women who aren’t alone, the ones you see on Facebook with the adoring husbands who post cute selfies together all the time so that you want to stab them in the eyeballs, they don’t know something you don’t. They don’t play the game better than you. They just got lucky. At least for now. 

And it’s not because they’re pretty or weigh less or dress cuter or are more successful or can do advanced yoga poses in public and post them all over Instagram. It’s not because they were more fun or more or less ladylike than you or because they give blowjobs with Altoids in their mouths or have multiple orgasms, hands-free, from penetration alone, and fling themselves out of puddle-jumpers at 10,000 feet when you can’t even take a comfy 777 on a three hour flight to New York without a full bar of Xanax.

A long time ago I set out on a mission to make someone love me. I went through a checklist of accomplishments (lose 20 pounds, make a ton of money, stuff like that) that I truly swore would make me rejection-proof. I worked very hard on this list. I thought of little else besides my goals of making this man love me and when I accomplished every single thing on that list two things happened:

1.       I kind of started to hate myself for doing this in the first place because I knew I was compromising my integrity.

2.       I did not “make” someone love me.

3.       (Okay, three things happened) I gave up accomplishing things solely because I thought I needed them to earn someone else’s love, and I started accomplishing things that I wanted to accomplish purely for my own joy and satisfaction. Then I learned to love myself again, which was a way better feeling than having some guy tell me I have great legs (which I do, by the way).

Love is not something that you have to work for. You can’t trick someone into loving you. You cannot transform yourself into something more lovable. If a man doesn’t fall in love with you, no matter how much you wanted him to, or how deserving you believe you were of his love, don’t blame yourself or consider it a failure. All it means is that one or more ingredients of the mystery cocktail were missing and you had no control over the situation. So cry and eat some ice cream and listen to Adele and be disappointed and then get the fuck over it and go live a beautiful, wonderful life on your own terms without his sorry stupid ass.

Let me tell you one more time.

There is nothing you can do or not do or be or not be to make a man fall in love with you.

Detach from all of these ridiculous expectations and fears of loneliness and abandonment. Give yourself a break from the idea that love is work, because isn’t. Take a little rest from this. You need it. You’ve been struggling with this your whole life. You can stop now. Go have some fun just for yourself.

Love is a comfort, not an obligation.

Love is a gift that we give and accept.

Sometimes it is fleeting and we have to accept that too.

Love is not the highly classified code to an atomic bomb that only, like, four people in the whole country are allowed access to, so like a terrorist you have to try to crack it even if it fucking kills you in the process.

Love is not an outcome that we can manipulate to avoid imagined future suffering.

Love is the ultimate lesson in living in the present moment.

If you are in a man’s heart, you are already there. You don’t need to fight to stay because he will hold you there in that space on his own accord, and he will call you and he will text you and he will like your idiotic Facebook posts and he will make all the time he can to see you, and you will know.

And if you’re not in his heart?  Fuck that ignorant bastard.


Weekly Recap - The End of February

Okay, so I realize this is more like a two month recap, rather than a weekly recap, but be patient with me. I'm a writer. We are delicate. I got all kinds of busy since Christmas. But here are all the things that have inspired me, made me happy, and made me think lately:

Brene Brown perfectly sums up the current state of my life in this quote.

This post and especially the words on the side of this building.

Danny Bowien's ridiculous fried rice with freaking potato chips crushed up on it. Watch the video embedded in the post too. You have to make this.

My cousin Jordana in Delaware took this photo of a snowy country road at sunset, and it makes me calm and homesick.

My cousin Jordana in Delaware took this photo of a snowy country road at sunset, and it makes me calm and homesick.

All December I was in a funk and I couldn't stop listening to The National, but I'm out of my funk and I can't stop listening to the most recent Arctic Monkeys album, AM. It's sexy.

But when I write I listen to the Beastie Boys.

The staff writers at Buzzfeed, as usual, had me cracking up over this post where they make fun of inspirational home decor. This was probably the funniest things I've seen on the Internet in a while.

I got this set of three pairs of earrings and I have strong passionate feelings about them and I think they are really reasonably priced for the quality and size (they're big!). I was so excited when they arrived and looked even prettier than the picture. I can't decide which pair is my favorite, but I think it's the rubies. I like red. And no, I wasn't paid to advertise. I found these on my own.

This weekend, I found myself with a sort of psychic hangover, so I sat around on the couch and watch free documentaries on Netflix. You have got to see Kumare. For real. Like right now. It made such a profound statement about a few different things. I won't ruin it for you, but it's about a young man who decides to fool people into thinking he's an Indian guru (he was born in New Jersey) and he ends up realizing that he'd been fooling himself all along. Seriously. Go watch it now. This movie was life changing.

I also loved The Search for General Tso, which is a documentary about the origins of General Tso's Chicken. Except it isn't. The popular dish is just the lens through which the film-makers tell the story of Chinese immigrants and their assimilation into mainstream American culture. And it's fascinating and heartbreaking and occasionally funny and altogether completely interesting and important. Really really well done.

I just got The List App, because I adore B.J. Novak and I liked the idea. I haven't made any of my own lists yet (I'll let you know when I do), but I've enjoyed reading other people's. Cheryl Strayed and Lena Dunham have some good ones.This

Last week my cousin came down to Florida to visit and we went to the Ancient Spanish Monastery in North Miami for Ash Wednesday, and it was truly a beautiful day. This year I decided to give up being an overreactive asshole for Lent. Whenever someone does me wrong, which is, alas, bound to happen, I decided not to throw a fit, and instead to react with calm, kindness and empathy, even when I want to throttle them.

That's about it for this week. I have some fun new projects that I'm working on, so at the moment I haven't been blogging quite as often as usual and I haven't been writing for any of my favorite websites lately, though that will probably change in the near future. In the meantime, I am very active on my Facebook page (I post new things there every day!) and on my Instagram. I have to say that I really love Instagram and I use it as a different sort of creative outlet than writing. It inspires me to seek out different adventures and to look for beauty and happy things to photograph wherever I go, so I do hope you'll visit me there because I like to see your pictures too. If you follow me, I will follow you back.

Last but not least, of course, my book is available for pre-order everywhere! Yay! THIS IS NOT MY BEAUTIFUL LIFE will be out June 7th.





Weekly Recap - First Week of November

We had a really fun Halloween at our friends' house. I dressed up as Frida Kahlo for my daughter. Last April we had gone to see the Frida Kahlo/Diego Rivera exhibit and she was absolutely transfixed and hasn't stopped talking about it, so I decided to dress up like her artistic hero, which worked out very well. Here is a picture.

This week I made this really yummy and easy quinoa recipe that I saw in this video. It was as good as I hoped and we ate it for several days.

My husband and I had trouble adjusting to the time change, which resulted in us getting up at at four in the morning and watching this episode of Frontline about Syria. We both realized that we knew absolutely nothing about what is going on over there, and were horrified at our own ignorance.

I made travel plans to go see my family in Delaware and Philadelphia for Thanksgiving, so I am really looking forward to that in a couple weeks. I haven't been up there in two years and I really miss my grandmothers and cousins and extended family up north. There should be plenty of Nasty-Assed Recipes.

That got me thinking that I need some boots, since I'll be in cold weather, but I have no idea what kind I might like. Living in Florida, I only have flip flops. My shoe situation is a little sad. Suggestions?

I really like this song, Riptide by Vance Joy, and I keep hearing it on the radio. It's fun to sing with, which is a little meta of me if you listen to the lyrics. The video is pretty cute too.

On Friday, some of my girlfriends and I got together and made this homemade sugar scrub with essential oils. It was really fast and easy and I think I'm going to experiment and make some more for Christmas presents. I like anything that smells good.

Last night we took our daughter, who is five, to see the new Peanuts movie, but I didn't love it. It had a lovely message for sure, and there were a couple of sweet moments and a few laughs, but it was a little on the boring side and my daughter got really antsy in a few parts. I never liked the Snoopy Red Baron stuff as a kid either.

I really, really want this plaid dress (though I hate how they accessorized it in the photo), but I cannot imagine spending that much on one thing! I need to write a lot of best selling books so I can afford my own taste, I swear.

Yesterday I suffered the ultimate in First World Problems when I lost my Fitbit in Costco, and before I could find it, someone had already deactivated it from my account and registered it to theirs. I was completely distraught. I mean, how would I know how many steps I took without it?? Luckily my husband bought me a new one for my birthday, since we were at Costco anyway and now I have a few wristbands that have snugger snaps. My old one had a loose snap, which is why it fell off.

Today I watched John Leguizamo's Ghetto Klown. He's always been one of my great literary heroes. He was the one who first inspired me to write about my family after I saw Spic-o-rama when I was nineteen and it completely blew my mind into smithereens. In his latest one man play, he actually talks about how he began writing and this revelation he had when he started reading plays. He says "I learned that no matter how fucked up your life is, that you can put that shit down on paper." Check out this interview with the great John Leguizamo where he talks about Ghetto Klown and his career as an artist.

I'll leave you with that. I plan on having lots of adventures this week since my birthday is on Tuesday!


Friday Recap - Everything That's Going On

Hey everyone. I have all kinds of exciting news and things I want to share with you, so I decided to do a weekly recap to keep you up to date. (This post does contain some affiliate links.)

First off, my new memoir THIS IS NOT MY BEAUTIFUL LIFE, will be released on June 7, 2016 by Picador! I can't wait and I hope you are as excited as I am about this. Here is the cover, designed by the amazing Henry Sene Yee. Check out his beautiful Instagram here.

This Is Not My Beautiful Life_RGB_082515.jpg

Then I took a selfie that came out pretty well, so it is officially my new bio photo. That lipstick color is Revlon Fire and Ice. I bought it on a whim at the drugstore and ended up loving it even though it's really bright.

This week I am listening to Beach House's new song Somewhere Tonight.

After that, I made this yummy Mexican Zucchini and it was delicious.

I am almost finished reading Jenny Lawson's memoir Furiously Happy and am enjoying it very much. I was particularly moved by a poignant scene where Lawson, alone in a hotel with bleeding feet, in the middle of a terrible anxiety attack, walks the winter streets of New York City in the snow.

As soon as I finish, I am going to read Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter, and Me, a memoir by Lorilee Craker. I am really excited about this because Anne was my favorite childhood heroine. Amazon describes the book like this: "A charming and heartwarming true story for anyone who has ever longed for a place to belong. “Anne of Green Gables,” My Daughter, and Me is a witty romp through the classic novel; a visit to the magical shores of Prince Edward Island; and a poignant personal tale of love, faith, and loss."

 

Last night I learned how to roast perfect pumpkin seeds. The secret is to let them dry overnight, then oil them and roast at 300 degrees for 45 minutes.

I read this article "A Mother Alone in Target" by Katie Smith and swore she had been following me around.

My daughter turned 5 on Monday, and this week we have been researching booster seats. She is ready to make the transition and we want to be safe. Any advice? This article had some good tips.

Mary Widdicks makes some excellent points in the Washington Post about why she lets her kids talk to strangers. I loved this because I feel the exact same way. My extroverted daughter loves talking to everyone and I don't want her scared of the world. Here is Mary's Facebook.

I wrote an essay for Babble about the upside to sick days. You can find it here, along with all of my other Babble articles. I have a few more articles and essays forthcoming which I will let you know about on my Facebook page as soon as they are posted (please like if you haven't already).

This weekend we have a lot of Halloween fun planned. Tomorrow I am going to a Halloween party and I will be bringing this eggplant caponata. On Sunday I will be visiting Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens with a friend. This is a must see for anyone visiting South Florida.

I plan on doing a recap every Friday (or as often as possible), so if you have anything you think I might like or think I should share, please email me at vcf@victoriafedden.com or message me on Facebook and I will be happy to check it out. Have a good weekend and Happy Halloween!




Watching the Perseids with a Preschooler

Mommy, is that one?

No.

Mommy, I want popcorn.

Mommy, I want hot chocolate to go with this popcorn.

Mommy, now that I have popcorn and hot chocolate and am outside on top of the car, I want a blanket.

Mommy, is that a meteor?

No, that's a plane -wait! There's one. Oh, nope. That's a helicopter.

Mommy is that one?

No.

Mommy, where I am supposed to look?

Up.

Mommy, I want to see a shooting star.

Yeah, me too! Tell me about it.

Mommy, can I see a meteor?

I hope so!

Mommy? I'm cold.

I just got you a blanket! Hey! I think I might have seen one out of the corner of my eye!

What's the corner of your eye?

My peripheral vision.

I want political vision.

Please don't have any vision of politics.

I saw a meteor!

Sweetie, that is a car going down the street. It's not even in the sky. You have to look up.

Mommy, I don't see anything.

I have a crick in my neck.

(starts screaming) I don't want a cricket in my neck!!! Is there a cricket in my neck??

NO! I just meant my neck hurt. I'm old. It happens when you get old. It has nothing to do with insects.

Mommy?

No. (at this point I am pretty sure that I am hallucinating meteors and can't tell if I am actually seeing any or not.)

Mommy? I want to go inside. This is so boring. Meteor showers are boring.

Fine. Maybe we'll have better luck with the Leonids.

My view of the meteor shower last night was NOTHING like this pretty picture. Click through the photo for the original source which was courtesy of http://www.commdiginews.com/health-science/need-to-know-information-for-2015-perseid-meteor-showers-46450/