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The Three Categories of Woman

June 24, 2010
I woke up today to find out that I was one of three. What’s that, you say? Turns out that my good friend LiLu, over at her fantastic blog, has whittled down the plethora of dimensions we men have (OK, maybe not that many) down to three. That, and her dare for men to do the same with women, got me thinking: can it be done? Can we classify this complex being that is Woman into easy, digestible categories?
No. It’s impossible. But I’m going to take a shot at it anyway.
The Sexy Bitch
The Sexy Bitch doesn’t necessarily have to be a bitch (though she certainly has the capacity to be one). She doesn’t necessarily have to be crazy (though she’ll definitely drive you nuts).

No, this is a woman who knows she is hot and thus knows that she can get away with anything, from making you pay her every dinner bill ever, to bossing around other, less-hot women around. This is a woman that other women hate, but secretly want to be, and that all men want, but will never ever have, at least not forever. Which is good, actually, because there is no way you’d ever leave her side, lest she be whisked away by a guy with more je ne sais quoi than you (again, see LiLu’s post).

But it won’t happen that way. Why? This is not a woman that you (or other men) have your way with. This is a woman that has her way with you, if you happen to be at the right place at the right time. So pray for that to happen.

Megan Fox is the Sexy Bitch par excellence. She says jump, you fashion a trampoline out of your own hair and do somersaults.

If you haven’t seen the Mad Men pilot, do. Christina Hendricks as Joan Holloway should carry a sign that says “Alpha Female” but that would cover her up somewhere and that would be a shame. Thank you for bringing Va-Va-Voom back.

The Husband aside (which is, by the by, the perfect example of The Lucky Doofus Theorem, but that’s for another day) you’d be lying if Jessica Rabbit's intro skit at the Ink and Paint Club didn’t stir something in you. (ADMIT IT!)

The Girl Next Door
The Girl Next Door isn’t someone who cannot be sexy. Or plain. Or in any way less than the Sexy Bitch (any GND reading this, PLEASE write that one down.) No, the GND can be defined by one single factor alone: Can you picture her, and would she be comfortable in, a hoodie, curled up in front of the TV with a beer? If you can, then she’s definitely a GND. Because the GND is all about being comfortable. She can – and will – look stunning in a dress, but she’ll still share fart jokes and make fun of other people with you. She will call you on your shit, sure, but she won’t blow you off.
She can be cute, she can be wonky, she can be a nerd. That will only add to her hotness. And – most importantly – you can be yourself around her. You’ll want to impress her, because she’s awesome, but impressing her on a daily basis is not a requirement to be with her, lest she runs away at the first sign of ennui.


Remember, this is about personality. And Scarlett Johansson certainly has that sweetness and wholeness that defines the GND.

Evangeline Lilly, aside from having an awesome name, looks like she's more comfortable in flip flops than high heels but rocks both. Further proof of her awesomeness and down-to-earthness can be found here.

OK, so this might throw people off. Joan Holloway is a Sexy Bitch, sure. But have you ever read an interview with Christina Hendricks? The woman is totally a GND. Read this and love: “We love your body. If we're in love with you, we love your body. Your potbelly, everything. Even if you're insecure about something, we love your body. You feel like you're not this or that? We love your body. We embrace everything. Because it's you.” Awesome sauce.

The Je Ne Sais Quoi
Ah, the Je Ne Sais Quoi. She’s intriguing. Intoxicating. Maybe it’s the way she smiles that completely throws you off. Or a look. She can be a Sexy Bitch. She can be a GND. But you also get a feeling that she’s beyond all that. Hell, you don’t even want to define it or pinpoint it or dissecate it – all you know is that whatever she has, you just love it. And you can never get enough.


Men around the world are obsessed about Zooey Deschanel. She defines je ne sais quoi, which is to say that she's completely undefinable. But she's fine. God, she's fine.

Oh, January Jones. What is going through your head at any point in time? Do you like cupcakes? Walking by the beach? We want to know. Now.

Kristen Bell is the new Reese Witherspoon. But cooler. Enough said.

I love this kind of research.

Any ideas? Suggestions? Comments? Is this accurate? Who would you put where?



A Letter to All Women… Sort Of.

May 6, 2010

OK, so I originally wanted to write about how the International Quarter in D.C. (where the World Bank Group, IMF and OAS operate) has suddenly found itself overrun all types of hobos, or how the duck I blogged about was mercilessly killed by a hawk two weeks ago (I WILL KILL YOU HAWK) with its ducklings fittingly saved by staff from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, but I find myself compelled to write this instead:

Dear Women of the World,


I mean, seriously. Over the past six months or so, both in my life and in others, I have seen you make the weirdest, most illogical decisions.

Having been given what you’ve wanted, you eschew it because there might be something better out there. And of course you get yourselves hurt. And of course you come back, because we’re always there. And of course you hurt us again, because we’re never enough…

OK, you know what? Fuck this. Let’s start over.

Dear Women of the World,

You’re awesome. And I’m sorry.

Why the sudden turnaround? Because as I was writing those words I kept thinking about you, or at least those of you who are in my life one way or the other, and realized that despite the craziness and the outbursts, you actually make sense. I’m sorry because I sometimes don’t see it.

Of course, we’re not perfect. Far from it. We are just as illogical as you are. We might put up a great show, but in the end all we want is to come home and shmoop by the TV and cuddle with you just like you do. As for myself, I’ve committed collossal stupidities in the past. Yes, I have cheated on someone. I know that will automatically reduce the value of my words to nothing in the eyes of some of you, if not all, but it taught me the biggest lesson I’ve learned in my life: that every woman is unique, worthy of boundless love and should be treated as such, and that men who cheat are scumbags. I was a scumbag. I hope I’m not one anymore.

 Why are you awesome? Because you listen. Because you care. Case in point: a deep conversation about the intricacies of life can happen with ONE guy, but introduce a bunch of guys to the mix and the conversation quickly ends with “Shut up. She’s wrong. You’re the man. Have a beer.” Which…. OK, but it doesn’t really do anything to solve the issues on the table and certainly doesn’t give me any enlightenment.

Talking to you about something deep, however, is different. There are layers. There are tones of voice. If you’re not directly involved and are commenting as an outside observer, there might even be solutions to the problem on deck. And after that, we still have the beers. How awesome is that? My point is this: Any guy who says he needs a “mancation” is incredibly disturbed. You are the perfect partner and foil. Why wouldn’t you go with us?

True, there are guys who play games and are pretty much assholes, and thus there’s a need for filtering them out. True, there’s a lot of fun in the chase, the give-and-take, the dancing that is the extended courtship (before and beyond a relationship, romantic or not). And we struggle. Esquire Magazine’s latest issue includes The Man’s Guide To Women, which may be the most comprehensive map to beginning to understand your subtleties. Of course, it is most likely a crock of shit. But it gives me hope to know that I am not alone in trying to uncover your secrets.


(Yes, there is a but.)

Sometimes there’s not a need for all that. When a guy finally gets his shit together, gets rid of all the vestigial machismo and actually, truly opens up to you, there’s no need to play games anymore. If you feel angry, say so. (No “he should know”, no. You’d expect him to tell you if he was upset, right?) If you’re keeping something to yourself because divulging it will probably hurt us, just say it; it will come out sooner or later and it will hurt regardless, but the deceit is the problem.

I mean, we don’t expect all games to end, nor do we want that. “Whether they give or refuse,” said Ovid, “it delights women just the same to have been asked.” And we like asking, too. But I will cite what Christina Hendricks said about men in the aforementioned issue of Esquire and say it back to you: “If we’re in love with you, we love your body. Your potbelly, everything. Even if you’re insecure about something, we love your body. You feel like you’re not this or that? We love your body. We embrace everything. Because it’s you.” This applies not only to bodies, but to everything. Not everything has to be a game.

On behalf of all sane, mature men (which I hope to include myself), let me say this: we love you, Women of the World. We love your quirks, your laughs, your friendship, your companionship, romantic or otherwise. We’ll meet you halfway, all the way, all the time.

So, we won’t play as many games as we would normally play (we’ll call the next day, PROMISE) if you don’t and vice versa, and we’ll all be happier for it. But even if you don’t agree, we’ll still love you forever.

Sound good?

Cuteness Alert: Duck! With Ducklings! On F Street!

April 16, 2010

I was born and raised in a developing country (a.k.a. “third world” but I dare you to name a second-world country), where little care is available to stray, lost and homeless animals – indeed, to stray, lost and homeless adults and children.  So this week I was surprised to find this around where I work:

A very elaborate net (as of today, it includes a roof and anti-rat protection) was placed around a tree on the sidewalk. To protect what? This little being:

It’s a duck! With a LOT of little ducklings! I don’t know if you can tell in the picture, but they’re all under the mom, just little fluffy things trying to keep warm.

I might be too idealistic, but it warms my heart to know that there are people out there who not only fight for the rights of people, but also the rights of those who are unaware of the laws and actions of man. As far as I’m concerned, we share this world with other creatures and we should respect them as much as we do each other (which, frankly, in D.C., we should do more of, anyway. I’m talking to you, gropers.) So, thank you, Humane Society of the United States, for reaffirming my faith in the goodness of mankind.

Oh, and one more thing: if any of you decide to bother this poor little creature or its offspring, I will murder you in your sleep, remove your reproductive system and hang it from the statue at Lafayette Park (hey, it’s close to the office) with your name and address. You’ve been warned.

Happy Friday, y’all!

Old Friends + New Friends = Great Times

April 12, 2010

This weekend was supposed to be one of quiet meditation and studying in preparation for the GRE. Hours upon hours of vocabulary expansionism and frustration at my inability to do simple math.

To be sure, I made time for studying. A lot.  But it turns out the universe had other plans for me. First, I was invited to a wonderful house party by amazing new friends. Later, my roommate from sophomore year in college stopped by the city unexpectedly, even more so since he lives in London and I haven’t seen him since 2005.

Saturday was thus a flurry of activity — walking around the National Mall, fighting tourists; walking all around the Tidal Basin and witnessing a beautiful sunset by the sweet waterfall sounds of the FDR Memorial; having drinks, cigars and good times with new friends (It’s been years since I’ve exposed the world for a full-throated rendition of Sweet Caroline); closing down Rocket Bar with shots of SoCo and Lime and Long Island Ice Teas (I’m classy like that) and finishing up the night with poker and beer at my place.

In other words, I had a perfect day. Perhaps not the best of Sunday mornings since I forgot to drink my magic elixir to avoid hangovers (Alka-Seltzer and Tylenol), but definitely a fantastic day.

I cried a little today. Not of sadness, but of joy and happiness. Because the world keeps throwing signs to me that this place is good to me. I realized that there are still wonderful people out there that I need to meet, great opportunities to seize. I’ve learned to recognize that good friends never really do go away and that’s why it’s important to choose wisely as to whom to confide. But I’ve been blessed with good people coming into my life. Pericles wrote: “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” So thanks, all y’all, for weaving me into your lives and making me a better, smarter and wittier person. Hopefully you’re getting as much out of me as I am from you.

As for D.C., it is now clear: it’s awesome, but the best is yet to come. I say bring it. And make me a Hard Cream Soda while you’re at it.

TMI Thursdays: The Poop, It Is Stealthy And Deadly Like Ninja

April 8, 2010

TMI ThursdaySo here’s the dillio: back when I was on the fence about blogging again I came across a website called Live It, Love It, the master and commander of which is a quirky, wicked smart (she’s from Massachusetts), fantastic person “called” LiLu. In this blog, she’s exposed her life with her boyfriend and their two cats in this wonderful city for all to see. This was the boost I needed to start writing again. I had the pleasure of meeting them last night and couldn’t have had more fun.

One of LiLu’s “initiatives”, so to speak, is something called TMI Thursdays, and it goes a little like this:

***Alright, folks, you know the rules. Join us all in humiliating the crap out of yourself every Thursday by sharing some completely tasteless, wholly unclassy, “how many readers can I estrange THIS week??” TMI story about your life. Or hell, about someone else’s!***

Now, I have not participated in this blogroll of yuck… till now. You see, today LiLu posted her last TMI Thursday post. So in honor of her efforts, I too shall indulge in this for the first time.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a creature of habit. I wake up and immediately take a shower, every day. I keep my movies in alphabetical order and my magazines in chronological order. 

OK, I might be a bit OCD.

But one thing I love to do, when I come home, is change, immediately, into comfortable clothing. I don’t ruin my clothes that way and it helps to unwind. I usually change into a pair of crappy shorts and a t-shirt or a polo shirt, but this particular day, it was cold. Very cold. Unbelievably cold. So I broke into this extremely comfortable pair of sweatpants that I have. It’s comfy, warm enough and absolutely perfect for lounging around. (It came with a matching top that had Tigger from Winnie the Pooh on it, but, ah, I got rid of it. Yeah, that’s what happened.)

Oh, one more thing: when I get home, I forgo the underwear. You may judge me, but for me, after work I fully need to unwind, and that means giving my unborn children some room to breathe. Plus, it’s my house right? It’s not like anyone’s going to randomly stop by and visit, right?


A few friends live on my building and they like to stop now and again, which I love. It’s kind of like “Friends”, only with everyone being less good-looking. So a few friends stopped by and it was fun and enjoyable and blah blah blah fishcakes. And all of a sudden…


It was quiet, and sudden, and nobody seemed to notice it, or smell it (“Quiet like ninja!”) but I certainly dealt it. And also…

You see, I had been eating a lot of fiber that day, and at that particular moment, in fact, I was in the middle of a delicious FiberOne yogurt. Which might have been a mistake. Because my wind breaking, like a tornado, had a bit of debris.

Yes, for the first time since I was 4 years old, when I was at the beach and couldn’t make it to a bathroom in time, I shit my pants. (That’s a completely different story.)

What to do? Normally I would’ve stretched out my pants to avoid further exposure, but there were too many people in the room to do that and have people not notice. If I didn’t move, the smell would definitely hit people and my ass would be toast, no pun intended.

And then, a miracle. People went into the kitchen, and I was able to casually run back to my room, wash my sweatpants (ew) and take a quick shower to, ahem, remove any excesses of my excess.

The lesson here, folks? If you eat fiber, use protection, cause shit happens!

Witnessed At: 19th St. & Pennsylvania Avenue

April 6, 2010
…But exactly HOW did the bumper end up UNDER the car?

Getting back from lunch on Tuesday I came across the situation above; a situation not dissimilar to what happens with a dog when it chases its own tail for an inordinate amount of time.

So this woman goes up to the policeman and asks: “What happened?” His answer?


DC cops are incredibly charming.

Identity crisis? Don’t think so. Or, How I learned to love D.C.

March 30, 2010

Like many Beltway residents, I’m a transplant, born somewhere else and brought to this city by both ambition and fate. When I first landed in the District — not to visit, but to live — I was seeking answers to a lot of questions. I had graduated from college the year before and was going through what people now call a “quarter-life crisis”.

From all the questions in my head, however, one was pounding like no other, begging to be answered: Who am I?

Fast-forward to today. I share an apartment with a Slovakian and a Puerto Rican. My boss is Nicaraguan; her boss is Canadian. I work in an area of the District in which it’s absolutely normal to hear Pashtun or French being spoken on the streets. My life is a melange of languages, nationalities, personalities.  Any way you see it, I should be more confused, less focused, begging for my own definition, my own self.

Wrong. Quite the opposite.

Case in point: the other day someone asked me why I don’t apply for American citizenship. I live here, don’t I? And I have no plans to leave any time soon, especially given my recent desire to apply to a Master’s degree program. Seeing my discomfort, the person chose to lighten the mood with a joke. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a very good one: “Hey, it’s the only place worth having citizenship of.” My reaction was not pleasant.

I was born in Lima, Peru, at 9:22 a.m. on July 1984, and have lived there all my life until college, and then a year after graduating. Legally and emotionally, therefore, I am Peruvian. My father’s mother is the daughter of Italian immigrants, and because of this I also hold Italian citizenship. I have two passports and two legal identities. Beyond that, however, they both say a lot about who I am and where I’ve come from. To ask me to part with either would be to take away my soul, erode my core, turn me into an emotionless cipher.

Unlike New York, which demands that you adopt its own banner above all others, however, Washington has not taken anything away from me. Instead, it has embraced me with open arms as it has done with every member of its diverse population, and has given me a sense of clarity and purpose.

And that is the beauty of this city. For all the talk of Washington being a polarizing place, it actually does the opposite: it allows people of all creeds, races and beliefs to come together and remain themselves while living in the center of the American political sphere. It allows us to become its citizens since its whole purpose is to bring people together. Capitol Hill, the (theoretical) center of the city, is populated by people who live their days being identified by where they come from and yet they hold a larger bond, a unique unity of purpose. Despite appearances to the contrary, D.C. serves as a comity of nations for adopted Washingtonians of all corners of this country and the world.

E pluribus unum, indeed.

And as for me? I am Peruvian. I am Italian. I kill for oysters, bodies of water and well-prepared gin fizzes. I have finally discovered that when it comes to your own deepest core, there is no compromise or sacrifice to be had, only clarity and understanding. I am thankful to this city and its inhabitants for showing me that one does not have to lose their core and be defined by others in order to coexist, but instead one needs to define oneself for others to truly appreciate what one brings to the table.

When I was in college I used to say that I lived in Peru and studied in the States. No longer. Why? Because no matter how my day goes and how many doubts I might have over trivial matters, in the end, I have found and remain myself, and still feel part of this great city and its people. Peru is my home, but so is Washington. And I’m loving it.