Why do guys think girls are so confusing? I think we’re pretty simple. I don’t get it.
Do you think guys are confusing? I don’t. Girls and guys are living with two different paradigms on most everything. That’s why we think you’re confusing. Guys like straight forward information. We like to hear things like: “I like you,” “I would like this for Christmas,” “I would like to eat at McDonalds,” “Yes, I’m upset that you left the seat up again.” Instead we hear: “I think you’re the perfect guy,” “You don’t have to get me anything for Christmas,” “I don’t care where we eat,” and “Never mind.” Guys are simple thinkers: a + b = c. Whenever we’re dealing with girls there seems to be all these others variables shoved into the equation even though in our eyes it could still be solved with aforementioned equation. The best advice I can give you is to be completely honest. Guys generally hate playing relationship games. Tell us what’s on your mind; don’t make us guess. Because you make us guess, you make us think you’re confusing. Chances are we will never understand you, and you will never understand why. We should both just learn to live with it.
Do guys just seriously think about sex all the time?
Yes. It’s how we were made. That doesn’t mean that all of us always act selfishly on those thoughts. Just make sure you’re paying attention to whether or not a guy is interested in you in ways other than his animal instincts. Just because it’s very often in our thoughts, it’s not always what we actually care about. There’s a difference between always thinking about sex and only caring about sex.
How can you tell when a guy is trying too hard? Also, is it a bad thing when guys try to hard? I’m currently talking to this guy who sends me non-stop sweet texts but all my friends say he might just be trying to get in my pants. How can I tell if he’s being genuine?
This is a tricky question because it’s so specific and in the end it really depends on the person. Most guys who only want to get in your pants won’t waste their time bombarding you with sweet text messages. If they see a lot of work involved in their quest for sex, they will simply move onto the next random girl. If anything, a massive amount of texts means that he really likes you, or that he’s clingy (which is a whole different kind of problem). I truly doubt he’s just trying to get into your pants. My suggestion is to go out with him somewhere to lunch; talk face to face. It’s very easy to be someone you’re not, hiding behind technology; however, in person it’s a lot harder to fake your feelings. Also, if you’re worried about him trying to get into your pants, then don’t allow him to. My advice is to not put yourself in situations where you don’t have the upper hand until you completely trust the person. Clearly, no sex until you at least know that’s not all he’s after.
I want to give a guy I know likes me and I like him a big Hershey kiss for Christmas and say “For Christmas, I’m giving you a kiss.” Is this a good idea or too corny for the college aged realm? When do some things stop being cute?
Awwwwwww. Honestly it depends on the type of guy he is. If you both like each other then I’d be willing to bet you could probably answer this question better than I can. I believe that cute gifts are more desirable than the gift that you get him “just ‘cause.” It will at least make him chuckle, and is much better than getting him a sweater or some bracelet or something. Some things never stop being cute… just don’t give it to him around his friends. And since this won’t be published before Christmas, if you chickened out, reuse the idea for Valentine’s Day.
p.s. I like your style.
Is it okay if a girl asks a guy out or is it a huge turnoff?
Okay? It’s more than okay, It’s encouraged. It’s a great confidence booster for the guy, especially if he’s the shy type. My advice is to do it once. The only way it would be a turn off is if he doesn’t like you in the first place or if he’s the prideful sort of guy that would get annoyed by you repeatedly asking him out.. Therefore you’re only doing yourself a favor by asking him out once; you’ll either learn that he doesn’t like you, or will show him a very straight forward sign that you’re interested in him. A minor warning: ask him at a time and place where his friends are least likely to find out that you’re the one who did the asking; it comes back to the pride issue. Let’s face it, when it comes to the dating game, your biggest opponents are the sweeping generalizations of his friends (yours too if I had to guess).
What happened to chivalry? Why don’t guys open doors anymore or stuff like that? Is that so much to ask?
Chivalry? What’s that? I’m joking; I share your frustration. In no way is it too much to ask, and it still exists; you’re just searching in the wrong guys. I know personally that my friends and I are certainly chivalrous, and I see it elsewhere. Now the problem here is that chivalrous guys are no longer rewarded for being such. The kind of guys that are popular among the girls nowadays are known as douchebags. You know the type: loves to party, loves to flirt, and loves to mistreat you. Girls are unfortunately eating up this demographic. What happened to chivalry? Girls have conditioned guys to shy away from chivalry, and jump on the bandwagon of way-too-tight polos and arm pumping to bad techno.
Why are all guys jerks it seems? You’re probably a jerk too. I hate men. What’s wrong with them?
See my comment on the fall of chivalry. I hope I’m not a jerk; however, I’m a biased judge on that subject. If you hate men, perhaps you are playing for the wrong team? It’s rather important that you don’t hate someone before you can learn to like them, or ever hope of moving into a relationship with said person. What’s wrong with us is that we’re prideful, egotistical at times, usually aren’t aware of something unless it right in front of our faces, potentially insensitive to your needs, we think girls are confusing, we’re confusing, we think about sex all the time, we just want to get into your pants, we lack chivalry, etc… ( or at least that’s what I hear). If you want to fix us, follow the advice given on this page. You asked me a general question, and I give you a general answer. I am so not a jerk.
A reoccurring theme in this month’s questions is the negative feelings you girls have against us guys. Guess what, it’s your fault! Well, not your fault any more than it is mine that the guys you meet aren’t chivalrous. But honestly, just like I have to spend too much time looking for girls that aren’t into douchebags, you just have to spend the extra time looking for the guys that aren’t douchebags. The stereotypical college aged girl is ruining it for the rest of you, and the stereotypical, easily conditioned, college aged guy is ruining it for the rest of us. Please, don’t encourage negative behavior. Call us out if we’re not being chivalrous; tell us you would like it if we were more gentlemanly. Eventually maybe we’ll all get the message. The best thing you can do for yourself is be straightforward and honest with us. We don’t like to think too hard, remember?
Hope this helps somebody,
Want Advice from Troy? Send in your question to firstname.lastname@example.org
By Courtney Miller
So opens The Secret of the Old Clock, the first classic book in the Nancy Drew Mystery Series. Today, the bright yellow hardcover stories line the shelves of every major bookstore. Women, from young girls to grown adults, are familiar with the eager, titian-haired amateur detective.
But wait…in the original first novel, published in April 1930, things were a little bit different. Nancy was an attractive girl of sixteen driving her new, blue roadster. And she was blonde. Could something as simple as a change in hair color or type of car be the key to Nancy’s lingering fame?
Yes, it could. Nancy Drew has seen new cars, dress style, cover artists, locations and even a new age in the 70 plus years since her first publication. She has altered as decades alter; an idea born during the golden age of Hollywood first faced war in the 1940s and then saw youth culture change and take shape.
The Birth of an Independent
The character of Nancy Drew was born not out of a woman’s mind but from a man fast cornering the children’s book market in the late 1920s. Edward Stratemeyer pitched the idea of a female detective series to Grosset & Dunlap, the publisher of Stratemeyer’s popular Hardy Boys mystery series. Targeting the young girls who also read the Hardy Boys, Stratemeyer would give them a strong, female role model. For him, it was just a business model. Nancy would keep girls reading and keep them buying.
A slew of writers hosted the pen name Carolyn Keene to write Nancy Drew adventures, beginning with Mildred Writ Benson. Benson created the fiercely independent sleuth who would solve over 350 mysteries. And so we were given the blonde sixteen year-old daughter of a small town lawyer.
Off on an Adventure
Nancy Drew solves many of her cases in or around her hometown of River Heights, a fictional mid-western town with enough friendly neighbors and unfriendly strangers for Nancy to keep her amateur detective nose busy. Today, readers aren’t used to reading about towns like River Heights. Living with such social warmth and relative fearlessness is a relic of the past for many people. As caution and paranoia left the clipped suburban bushes exposed, River Heights wouldn’t have been able to meet the realistic day-to-day standards. So Nancy traveled more, to California, New York, France and even an adventure behind the Iron Curtain in the 1980s.
Inside of a 1960 publication of the third book, The Bungalow Mystery, it reads, “This new story for today’s readers is based on the original of the same title.” It is important to recognize that Nancy hasn’t simply changed through the course of the series; she’s been rewritten for the new demands. That’s why, depending on your age, you remember a blonde, dress-suited Nancy. Or a strawberry-blond Nancy with a casual blouse. Or even one wearing jeans and driving a dark blue convertible.
There are three underlying reasons why the young sleuth has mesmerized generations–the three reasons the world has needed Nancy to keep up with it.
One: she is independent like no other. She does often solve mysteries with the help of her cousins Bess and George, or her boyfriend Ned. But Nancy is a leader with a natural instinct for catching the bad guy. She goes out and does the dirty work. It doesn’t matter if it is trailing cars to gypsy camps or making a last minute informative call from her cell phone. Or pulling a bait and switch, tricking countless villains.
Two: she can escape any kidnapping situation. No matter how many times she is bound with rope and tossed in the back of a car or down a secret passage, Nancy will find a way to free herself and still solve the mystery at the same time. Smart and resourceful.
Three: she doesn’t have to do it. Amateur detective, no pay. Nancy always wants to help people. Even if she’s just met them, she insists on discovering the secret stash of treasure an ancestor hid and deliver the current family from monetary troubles. A lost inheritance. A lost parent. A ghost haunting.
Certain role models fade as they grow up and embody different, new ideas. Nancy’s base character is consistent—her passion and her goodness always there. A role model for any girl.
Simon & Schuster is still publishing the original series, though many are revised editions from the 1950s or later. They also publish the Nancy Drew: Girl Detective series where Nancy has become a completely modern young woman. And Nancy has discovered the computer…or, rather, the computer has discovered her.
Her Interactive Inc. has been developing and publishing Nancy Drew adventure mystery games for the PC since 1998. With titles like Treasure in the Royal Tower and Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake, Nancy is often traveling to solve a friend’s problem. In these games, the player takes on the role of Nancy. She does the legwork, talking to suspects and investigating clues. She escapes life or death situations. She solves the mystery.
She becomes Nancy Drew.
(PHOTOS: COURTNEY MILLER)
By Courtney Miller
There are books that do more than suck you in. The full sensory portrait envelops you. You taste the description and every ounce of your body insists you’ve been transported to another place. Then that place is powerful enough to become its own character. It surges with life, with madness and excitement and mystery. The artist has done her job, found a way to loose the desires from the bound pages.
Marina Fiorato welcomes you to Venice.
Venice is the eternal place of magic and mystery—a city floating on water. Casanova, Carnivale, doges, lace and glass. The latter Fiorato explores in her first novel, The Glassblower of Murano. Like her author, the main character is half-Venetian. Leonora Manin leaves her divorced English life for the Italian islands to search out the secrets of her famous glass-blowing ancestor, Corradino Manin. Murano is the island in the Venetian lagoon where glass is blown; jealousy made it a virtual prison for the maestros and their secrets. Corradino was the most talented maestro of the 15th century, at least according to Fiorato’s history of Venice. Many characters are fictional creations but it’s hard to tell when the real history ends and hers begins.
Corradino escaped commissioned death as a boy and found a salvation, though terrible, on Murano. His skill and his glass secrets kept him alive in the city that had betrayed his family. Later, he began working with the French in secret, daring his life and preparing to sell his methods to save himself and keep an even greater secret he’d been hiding. Leonora soon finds herself carried into his world of glass monkeys and maestros. A glassblower on the island embraces her family name and her talent, causing disdain for this woman in a man’s learned profession. Leonora longs to understand Corradino and she often senses his presence, but she begins to uncover centuries of familial mysteries and betrayals. Shaken even more by the way her life begins to mirror her mother’s own dream-like Italian past and a father who never existed, she clings to Corradino and the glass she blows.
But it is the way Fiorato captures the enchanted city of linked canals that makes The Glassblower of Murano impossibly alluring. Transitioning between Corradino’s Venice and Leonora’s time, Fiorato recreates Venice for the reader to experience. You’ll yearn for the smoky-hot, silver-sweat-filled fireholes where the maestros touch their lips and breath life into the glass. For the insider’s Venice, away from the tourists and the kitschy glass trinkets. The past brings alive a story of loss, glass assassin knives and a haunted man. The interwoven present line is a story of a lost woman, a glass heart and a need for happiness in unfathomable circumstances.
(PHOTO: ST. MARTIN’S GRIFFIN)
By Janie Dumbleton
With the holiday season in full swing, gather some crafting supplies and put some sparkle in that wispy winter hair. Add some sparkle to your holiday accessories by creating this easy eye-catching headband. In no time, you will be a dazzling sight at this year’s New Year’s party!
Embroider floss in preferred color
About ¼ of a yard of colored tulle (a mesh-like fabric available at local craft store)
Begin by cutting three thin pieces of the tulle, about 3 inches wide and 10 inches long. Then cut about a 35 inch piece of desired color of embroidery floss and thread the length through the embroidery needle. Next, knot the embroidery floss at the end opposite the threaded needle to leave a 10 inch tail. Now take one of the 10 inch strips of tulle and weave the needle in and out of the center of the tulle to create a ruching effect. Keep the weaving in and out close together. When done, scrunch the new rouched strip down to the knot and repeat the weaving in and out with the remaining tulle strips. Scrunch all of the pieces close together so they look cohesive. Play around with the spacing and when satisfied, knot the other end of the embroidery floss at the end of the frilly creation to make it snug against the tulle. Take off the embroidery needle and your new sparkling headband is ready to adorn those lovely winter locks.
Photos by Janie Dumbleton and Holly Piper
By Janie Dumbleton
This holiday season give a rare gift that is often overlooked: a listening ear. The power of listening and truly hearing someone’s story, whether it’s a quick anecdote or life journey, is an enlightening experience that propel personal and humanly understanding. The non-profit organization StoryCorps encourages everyone at any age to tell a story, and to listen to a story as well. The mission of StoryCorps is “to honor and celebrate one another’s lives through listening.” The organization urges people to record their stories, and storycorps.org reveals that “since 2003, over 50,000 people have shared life stories with family and friends through StoryCorps.” The website gives visitors a chance to listen to other stories online and claims to be “the conversation of a life time.” StoryCorps encourages people every where to record their stories in the StoryBooths, sound proof recording studios currently located in New York, NY; San Francisco, CA; and Atlanta, GA. Mobile Tour Locations are also listed on the StoryCorps website. Communities can also sponsor on-site story recording if the StoryBooth locations are inconvenient.
StoryCorps provides every human with the inspiring idea that each person holds a unique experience worth sharing. This seemingly simplistic idea of “listening” allows people the often times lost dignity of personal story. So, this gift-giving season, challenge yourself to a rewarding experience and tell or listen to another human’s story. Instead of giving Grandpa another tie, listen to his journeys or visit an assisted-living community and spend and afternoon with open ears. We can learn so much from others by lending an understanding listen.
Information from www.storycorps.org
By Christine Stoddard
Dear Madame Fashion Fairy,
Be honest: can I wear Uggs with leggings? I have a big bet going on with a friend, so your answer’s really important in determining how much I can spend on Christmas presents this year!
Dear Miss U.G.G.L.Y.,
You can wear whatever you want, and I mean that sincerely. Even if it involves squashing a tarantula and plopping it on top of your head. As much as I sometimes wish I could, I cannot dictate what anyone else puts on in the morning. You have the freedom to choose, just as you have the freedom to choose what you eat, what you read, and what you like in general. That being said, however, I can make pointed suggestions. I’ll exercise my right to do just that right now.
Yes, wearing Uggs with leggings look good…under certain circumstances. Please, please, please do not wear leggings as plain pants, throw on Uggs and your college T-shirt, and call it an outfit. I disapprove of leggings worn like jeans, khakis, corduroys, or other regular pants, unless your top falls long enough to sufficiently cover your bum. (For further elaboration, read my response to the letter titled, “What are leggings anyway?”). Here’s an example of where the Uggs/leggings-as-pants combo works: leggings, Uggs, tunic, jacket, knitted scarf, subtle jewelry–all in the same color family. Another example: Uggs, leggings, super-long sweater, long pendant necklace, knitted hat. Here’s an extreme example of where the Uggs/leggings-as-pants combo makes me want to bury my face in my pillow and cry tears of misery: Uggs, torn leggings, cut-off/belly-bearing tank top, infected belly piercing–all in totally conflicting colors. Wow, just imagining that required me to wipe tears from the corners of my eyes. I beg of you ladies, never abandon the concept of ‘taste.’
On the note of taste, there are a couple other pretty ways to mix your Uggs with your leggings. Sadly for teeny-boppers, they still do not involve cut-off tank tops. Pull a mini-skirt over your leggings, preferably one that complements your Uggs. Solid-colored or tame patterns in tame colors generally work best. I don’t recommend pairing a “tropical splash” type skirt with Uggs; you might as well top it off with a Viking helmet and Madonna-esque jelly bracelets at that point. Here’s an example of an outfit I would support: fitted pale gray sweater, cameo necklace, lavender mini-skirt, cream leggings, light Uggs. If the idea of a mini-skirt makes you shudder, try a full-on dress instead–just keep it above the knee. A long dress competing with tall boots will crop your legs. Not literally, of course, unless you forgot to check what jawed creature started nesting inside of your Uggs. Another option is wearing a long coat over your leggings with your Uggs–just don’t remove the coat unless you have something to, ahem, cover your rump. A long, tweed pea coat with a black tee, gold necklace, black leggings, and camel Uggs would look lovely, for example.
Now run out and try out these creations! You might be pleasantly surprised by the new outfits you assemble, Miss U.G.G.L.Y.
Yours ’til the wand stops sparkling,
The Fashion Fairy
by Lucie Rutter
It seems everyone is completely crazy for Vampires right now, and I am no exception. Once upon a time Vampires were viewed as the villains of the story, which is a far cry from how we see them now. Fangs are officially in fashion and girls all over the world want a Vampire boyfriend to brighten up their love lives.
With popular television series True Blood and The Vampire Diaries the craze is bigger than ever. It is, however, New Moon that everyone is fanatical about at the moment, after a year long wait since the first instalment it is finally here, and it does not disappoint.
New Moon is the second instalment from the Twilight saga, based on the series by Stephanie Meyer. The films tell the story of Bella (Kristen Stewart) a normal, teenage girl who moves to the overcast town of Forks, Washington, expecting a dreary life in the rain but instead she falls in love with the extraordinary Edward Cullen and her life becomes far from dreary.
Twilight, the first movie in the series, shows the budding romance between Bella and Edward (Robert Pattinson) as Bella discovers Edward is no normal student, he is a vampire and part of him thirsts for Bella’s blood.
Bella is a clumsy damsel in distress who appears to be a magnet for trouble and Edward is her ice cold white Knight. It is a romance that every girl dreams of and Stewart and Pattinson portray the forbidden love in a way that grips the audience, keeping us wanting more.
The romance continues in New Moon but the passion heightens as the pair fall more deeply in love (who wouldn’t fall in love with Edward?!) But on Bella’s birthday she gets a cut at the Cullen house and finds herself facing a family of very thirsty Vampires. Edward suddenly realises the risk he has taken by inviting Bella into his life and the family leave in order to save Bella from any other danger.
With Edward gone Bella is lifeless and morose until she finds friendship in the form of Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), whom she describes as her own personal Sun and he begins to bring Bella back to life. Bella is finally waking up from her comatose state and is happy to have some stability in her life, then she realises that Jacob has a secret of his own and nothing in Forks is as it seems.
New Moon captures the audience from the start, with excellent performances from all the cast, picturesque scenery and a love that one can only dream of, you are swept into the story effortlessly and left wanting more.
New Moon brings not only the beautiful Edward Cullen but new heartthrob Jacob and his pack of muscled friends who remain topless throughout the film, much to the delight of the audience. The second instalment has everything you expect and more, it is five stars worth of action and romance and has left every teenage girl hoping to get a Werewolf or a Vampire in their stocking this Christmas.
by Lauren Miller
The Make At Home Candy. Gotta Love that in a recession!
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup White Corn syrup
1 large package chocolate chips
1 ¼ cup crunchy peanut butter
6 cups rice crisspies
Mix sugar and syrup in saucepan. Let it come to a boil with large bubbles.
Remove from heat and stir in peanutbutter.
Pour over cereal and mix thoroughly. Press into a lightly greased pan. Smooth out evenly. Melt 1 large package of chips. Spread over the top of cereal.
Let it cool- cut into bars
by Lauren Miller
This is one of my dad’s favorite recipes and a classic candy that can fairly easily be made at home
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
14 oz Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
2 T. margarine
2 c. dry roasted peanuts
10 ½ oz. miniature marshmellows
In a large saucepan, over low heat, melt chocolate chips with condensed milk and margarine. Remove from heat. In another large bowl, combine the nuts and marshmellows. Stir in chocolate mixture. Spread the mixture on a waxed paper lined 13×9 inch pan. Chill 2 hours or until firm. Remove from pan and peel off waxed paper. Cut into squares and store loosely at room temperature.
by Lauren Miller
I’m pretty sure my mother found this recipe around my 10th birthday and proceeded to make it for me every year after that. This will be the moistest cake you have ever tasted. For icing I would suggest a Cream Cheese, vanilla, or butter cream icing.
1 package white cake mix
1 4 oz cup applesauce
3 egg whites
1 cup water
Preheat over 350 degrees
Blend cake mix, water, apple sauce, and egg whites in a bowl at low speed for 30 seconds. Then beat at medium speed for 2 minutes and pour batter into greased baking pan and bake.
2- 8 inch round 32-35 minutes
2- 9 inch round 28-31 minutes
Cupcakes 18-21 minutes.