Wednesday, November 30, 2016

14 Fun Survival and Relationship Tips from TNT's New Drama Good Behavior

Juan Diego Botto as Javier (the hitman) and Michelle Dockery as Letty (the thief).

Good Behavior is TNT’s thrilling new drama where a thief/ex-con/drug addict woman hooks up with a hitman to save his next target, but things don’t go according to anyone’s plan.

Least we can do is to learn some fun lessons on survival, dating and relationships in general from the show.

Most of them will be obvious to the rational person, so bear with me. It is meant for good old fun. And let’s face it: Even if we manage to stay clear of the several obvious, we don’t always take the rational road.

And if the tips intrigue you about the show, all the better. You can read my Good Behavior review and plot summary here.


1)  Don’t run away from home before you finish high school.

2) Don’t get addicted to drugs or alcohol.

3) If you are smart and beautiful, maybe try other career paths than being a con artist.  You don’t have to be beautiful to be successful, but looking at least presentable never hurt anyone. And people do tend to be more positively biased toward to more physically attractive, which Michelle Dockery’s Letty is.

4) If you insist on being a con artist and realize you’ve just stolen from a professional hitman, maybe don’t seduce him as a way of saving his target.

5) If you do seduce the hitman, don’t admit you’ve cheated him. In fact, even if you try to save his target, don’t confront him with  a shotgun.

6) If you have cheated him, maybe don’t run away with his car and money.

7) If the hitman knows where your son lives, don’t be an obnoxious brat until you know for sure he won’t come after you or your kid.

8) If you owe money to a hitman, don’t screw up his plans. You might end up being an accomplice to a second crime.

9)  If you try to save someone from a bad marriage, whose husband your love interest wants to kill, make sure they don’t have a Tesla. Teslas are awesome, but you might want to be driving a regular car that runs on gas if you are on a timeline with two dead bodies in the trunk.

10) Don’t cover for a lying junkie even if you are a former junkie. If you take the blame, it will come back to bite you.

11) Don’t be afraid of human connection. But that doesn’t mean you have to be friends with insecure, jealous people who can’t let go.

12) If you found a person who’s genuinely into you and is after your best interest, keep them in your life – just make sure they don’t have deadly career paths.

13) Letty knew what he was going in, but he didn't know what Letty was up to. He introduced himself as a philanthropist. So if a guy this cute, interesting and charming tells you he helps saves lives for a living, do check out him on Google and LinkedIn before falling for him.

14) And for the love of God or whatever you believe in, do learn how to type on a computer! 


There you go. Watching the show? Any more tips? Let me know in the comments.

*All images via TNT.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Dear Women (and Men) Who Don’t Want to Have Kids: You’re Not Alone

I have your back. Your other single childless friends have got you too. And some, if not many, of your mom/dad friends want you back in their lives. They also have your back.

I’ve just had a great vacation in a family-friendly holiday village in the south of Turkey, and I had a blast. Sure, the crying and the whining was a bit much sometimes, but overall, it was cuteness overload. I waved at them, cooed at them and made their parents happy (and reassured them that yes, their baby was indeed as adorable as they believed).

I like kids when they are all being smiley and spreading joy around almost as fast as a combination of chocolate and coffee.

However, while seeing them play around made me happy, I realized one more time that I don’t want to have kids now or in the near future. Moreover, I might never want them.

I’ve read a lot of posts written by moms. Some filled me with joy. Few nearly brought tears to my eyes. And I definitely believed them when they said you can’t really know what it is like until you experience it yourself, the good and the bad.

Why was I reading all the posts? Well, I was reading with my three different roles in mind:

1)   As a writer, I was doing market research. Do the publications that published these posts accept posts from non-mom writers that did their research? Or did they only publish writers with first-hand experience?

Also, as a fiction writer, I wanted to read the real experiences of real women, as opposed to just reading and watching fiction. That would help me create more realistic characters.

2)   As a single woman who might as a twist-of-fate change her mind about having kids, I wanted to see what would await me.

3)   As a friend who drifted away from her married friends with kids, though not by choice, I wanted to see if all mothers really wanted just mothers as friends, or were they missing “me” - me representing the single friend whose life remained more or less the same- too?

I have to say, I got satisfactory answers for all these three roles and the burning questions each role brought.

Now, to the “you’re not alone” part:

I keep reading about how lonely a lot of pregnant women or (new) mothers felt, and it baffled me a little. After all, I'm surrounded by moms of all ages, with kids of all ages. 

Expectedly, it is hard for me to empathize with moms and the sacrifices they make, especially when it comes to the lack of rest and the abundance of workload/responsibilities.

I haven’t felt my biological clock ticking since...well, never.

I haven’t felt the urge to create a helpless human being who will need me for a very long time, whose life I might enrich in some ways or screw up in others: If life taught me anything, I’d probably do both as a parent.

As a writer, I can’t offer new-mom stories to what seems like an increasing number of mom-centric publications. (In my defense, I feel the same about technology, finance and economy publications: way out of my comfort and knowledge zones).

I find myself, maybe selfishly, thinking: “Great, another magazine or blog I can’t pitch.”

But as I try to live my 30s to the best of my ability and with more baby pictures on my social media feeds than I can keep up with, I feel alone.

I feel alone, because I’m the only woman I know who most definitely doesn’t want kids. I have friends who seem lukewarm but aren’t exactly ruling the option out, friends who want to start trying, friends wanting a second baby, friends who might be persuaded given time and some more experience into their married life, and friends who know they will have kids but are too young to consider it.

But friends who are 99% sure they don’t want kids? I don’t have those. Okay, maybe one. But she lives far away.

So yes, I feel alone.

I have some good male friends, but most of them fall into the categories above. I have maybe one friend who seems sure he doesn’t want kids, but he has changed his mind a lot about a lot of things, so I don’t know.

I just wanted to give a shoutout to anyone who don’t want kids now or ever, you are not alone: We exist.

Maybe there aren’t that many of us. Or maybe we are strategically placed so it seems that way. But we are here.

Whatever reasons you have for not wanting kids, remember that it is okay to feel that way, whatever your well-meaning friends and family might think.

Of course it’s okay to want kids too, but I can’t pretend to know what that’s like. I can support the decision and feeling, but I can’t completely understand.

And it is fine.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Cynicism Explained Through the Reactions to A Lovely Bryan Adams Song: Why Do You Have to Be So Hard to Love

(Don't mind the foreign text. The song is the original version.)

I’m a romantic. Always have been. I mean let’s look at some of the evidence:

  •             As a reader, I love reading exciting romances, no matter which genre the romance is incorporated into. But yes, I also love reading romantic comedies. And watching them, obviously.
  •            For crying out loud, my favorite band is Bon Jovi. My favorite movie is Braveheart. My third favorite movie? The Crow. Also in the top ten? Pride and Prejudice.
  •          I love Bryan Adams.
  •            As a screenwriter, my specialty is romance, comedy and drama combinations.

But, and this is a big but, I’m not the romantic I used to be in middle school or high school. I had some real life “romantic” experiences, and I got a little cynical.

Image via

I didn’t have huge heatbreaks. My relationship attempts never got to that point. And maybe that is the problem. I have had major bad surprises and some stellar disappointments. Add to my experiences, the experiences of my friends and well...the cynicism level only rises.

And while at my core, I will always be a romantic, I am also a cynic. Come on. Who reaches their 30s with their romantic genes completely untouched in the 21st century?

Let me talk about the moment I knew I was a cynic.

I have pretty much all of Bryan Adams’ albums. I have seen him live twice, and if I get the chance, I won’t mind seeing him at least ten more. Not only does he have one of my favorite voices, he is also great with his audience. He is humble, funny and is a damn good rocker.

And one of my favorite Bryan Adams songs is Why Do You Have to Be So Hard to Love from the Room Service album.

When I first heard the song, I loved it. It was so lovely and sweet. And as you can imagine, the story is of a man falling for a woman who is hard to love. She is not open. She’s distant. And here is this sweet guy suffering from her behavior.

Could I be any more naive? Or more under Adams’ spell? (In my defense, I’d marry the guy today to hear him sing more. He is an awesome singer.)

But then I grew up. And while I was listening to the song, this was my reaction:

“Shut up, you whiner! Do you even know what she had to put up with before she met you? Yeah, chances are this is all her, but either way, do you love her in spite of this? Then, my congratulations, you deserve a shot. But if you are drawn to her because of this, then you deserve all the suffering she sends through your way, idiot!"

Yep. My reaction to a potentially purely fictional situation.

Don’t worry. My reaction to Everything I Do, I Do It For You hasn’t changed. And don’t mind me, Why Do You Have to be So Hard to Love is fantastic whether you are in a romantic mood, can relate to the guy’s situation, or just need to calm a headache.

But when a guy sings to/of/about a woman being distant, untrusting or cynical, it is hard for me not to question his motives. Show some empathy, dude. Take things slow. She doesn’t have to get all cuddly from the first date. She doesn't know if you are really that good, or you are just pretending until you can take her for granted. All you can do is stick around and prove you are worth her time. 

In the mean time, keep in my mind that we know Pride and Prejudice is just a novel, and neither Matthew Mcfadyen or Colin Firth are Mr. Darcy. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Friendzoning: The Who, What, Why and How to Let Go

There seems to be a strange misconception that girls/women are never friendzoned. And if they are, it’s because they are not attractive.

While we, as women, might do a larger proportion of the friendzoning, we definitely get friendzoned. And let me tell you, it has nothing to do with looks. I’m giving guys more credit than that.

Finding someone good-looking, pretty, handsome, beautiful, interesting, funny, smart has nothing on attraction. You might think someone looks good, hot even, and yet not be attracted to them. Have you been attracted to EVERYONE you found cute, hilarious or interesting?

My friend favors Henry Cavill hugely over Ben Affleck. And yet, with Affleck's Batman body and face, I’d rather make a mandwich. (What? You thought threesome jokes/thoughts were only for men?)

In all seriousness though, there is a reason I gave a celebrity example. Even those incredible-looking people would not have attracted that many women and men, had we not known them to be interesting, talented or diverse. I don’t think I’d have noticed Gary Oldman walking down the street, but he sure is one of my favorite romantic leading men. The Scarlet Letter might not be a great movie, but damn, Oldman makes a great lover in the film.

Gary Oldman in The Scarlet Letter. Yes, I do like pretty long-haired men who also happen to be nice and romantic. Also, I grew up watching them. I love glam rock, in case you were wondering. Image via photobucket.

I’ve never understood the craze surrounding Leonardo Di Caprio, and I’ve only found him attractive in Blood Diamond, looks and personality of character combined.

Leo in Blood Diamond. It's not just the looks, it's the character, the transformation, the acting, the accent and the story combined. Image via pinterest.

Daniel Day Lewis might sport strange looks most of the time, but I think he is one of the sexiest, most attractive men on/off screen when he’s Hawkeye.

Daniel Day-Lewis as Hawkeye in The Last of the Mohicans. Image via

Let’s talk women. I’ve met people who think Nicole Kidman isn’t attractive. Come again?

Nicole Kidman. Image via wikipedia.

Someone whose type is Keira Knightley might very well friendzone Cate Blanchett, and vice versa.

I could never understood why Khaleesi friendzones Jorah (I’m not up-to-date with the series, but at the end of season 3 of Game of Thrones, Iain Glen’s character Jorah was still firmly in the zone.) He was like pretty much the only guy I’d have gone for in that environment. But he would have probably friendzoned me. I don’t have the long blonde hair, the stamina to change that pervert-turned-lap-husband or the love for dragons.

We are attracted to different people. Different looks, personalities and situations. Thank God for that. Can you imagine being attracted to the same people with all your friends? You wouldn't have any real friends!

Let’s talk real life. I’ve friendzoned. I’ve been friend zoned.

This is me. Whether you think I'm attractive or not is entirely subjective.

It hurts the most when you have genuine feelings for the person who has friendzoned you. You are emotionally, physically and intellectually invested. They share your sense of humor, taste in a lot of things and your favorite personality traits. Dating each other would be endless fun. You already can and do talk for hours, share inside jokes and make each other laugh till you cry.

But there is one problem: the other person believes in love/lust/attraction/flirting at first sight. You decided you’ve wanted them after you got to know them. By the time you realized that person was incredibly sexy, they had already pegged you as a dear friend. Maybe they never found you attractive. Maybe they are not attracted enough to spoil the friendship. Maybe, and this is a big one, they wouldn’t have minded the risk in the beginning, but no, any relationship you have won’t be casual. Whatever.

It doesn’t matter. What matters is, a lot of us have been there.

If the person you have a crush on or love isn’t attracted to you, there is not much you can do about it. Sure, you can try and get out, but more often than not, these people have already seen you flirting. Have already seen you at your best and worst. They don’t want, for reasons you can’t fathom, the whole package, and it is fine.

Because let’s be realistic. Best relationships stem from mutual adoration, admiration and attraction. If it's not mutual, it is not, or was not,  meant to be.

And I don’t mean it in a fatalistic way, but from a logical, fun standpoint. If you were really the couple you thought you would be, it would have been mutual in the first place.

Relax. Be frustrated and upset for a while if you like. But move on. Look around.
He is not the only guy for you. She’s not the only woman for you. The world is filled with people.

When it is mutual, you really don’t give a damn about when it wasn’t.

And for fun, let's finish it with the picture of the probably most famous friendzoned fictional character, Jorah. I can't be the only one thinking this guy is hot? Personalitywise, the last time I checked, he was wise and loyal to a fault. Seriously, K, what more do you want? : )

Iain Glen as Jorah in Game of Thrones. Image via