By Dani Alpert
I think it’s safe to say that we all have friends who are more financially well endowed, so to speak, than we are, but we can also say that the converse is also true. For the most part, I don’t think about this. I’ve never been one to count anyone’s money, because I prefer that people don’t count mine, and I like to keep my eyes on my own paper.
However, sometimes the disparity rises to the surface and just like that, you are face to face with a “you have and I don’t have as much” situation.
Picking Up The Check In Restaurants
This can be a source of angst and awkwardness for the parties involved. When men are involved, it is usually about dick size and power tripping. When it is a mixed gender meal, things aren’t as clear cut. Who pays when it’s you and your wealthier married couple friends?
I went out to dinner last week with my married couple friends, who I’ve known for over twenty years. They’re very successful as well as generous, thoughtful, modest and they’ve never flaunted their material wealth around.
When we’ve gone out to dinner in the past, they have always insisted on picking up the check. Like I said, generous. I always offer but it is always denied. Last week, however, it really affected me. I am a grown independent woman, who can afford to pay for her meal. If I couldn’t afford it, I would not have accepted the invitation. This made me feel like a charity case and a child. A poor child.
How do I tell them how it makes me feel, without it sounding like a therapy session? The older I get, the more troubling this becomes. Is it a comment on how others see us? I started to wonder why these friends feel compelled to constantly pick up the check. Is there something else going on besides generosity? Is it a control issue? Is it simply easier than dividing the check?
I didn’t want to make a scene but I also had to put an end to it. I am your equal. I’m not living on the streets and singing for my supper in the subway. Let me pay for my salmon.
When the bill came, we exchanged the cursory, “No, let me get it.” “No, don’t be silly, how much do I owe.” “Really, it’s fine.” And on it went until we were both a bit embarrassed. We settled on me paying the tip. Maybe these innocent transactions are metaphors for where we stand in the hierarchy of our friendships and relationships.
How can everyone be happy?
1. Discuss the parameters before you go out. This isn’t always possible and it depends on how close the individuals are.
2. You can tell them that dinner out is your treat and pick out the restaurant.
3. Give the hostess your credit card before you sit down at the table.
4. Insist on going dutch and throw a wad of cash at your friend’s head and then get up and walk out. They’ll be too flummoxed by your behavior to do anything about it.
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By Nikki Leigh
How many times have you wondered if a person is interested in you? Many people keep their thoughts and feeling to themselves, so it is great to have another way to “read their mind.” How can a person show his affection to another person without telling him or her? How can one know he or she is indeed attracted to another person?
Body language is your way to break the secret code for romance. A person’s body language is an obvious way of telling someone how he feels and a subtle way to share what he wants to say. Your eyes, facial expressions, and body movements do express your desire to engage in a romantic or intimate relationship with another person.
Look Deep Into My Eyes
The eyes are strong indicators of romance and attraction. They can express, flirt, and even seduce much better than words. Eye contact may not mean anything if it only happens briefly. But when it lasts longer and includes an intense look, he or she is definitely into you. Winking will also work, but it requires the right timing. Another strong signal of attraction is when someone catches your eye, looks away, then looks back at you again. On the other hand, if he or she look away and never looks back again, it is a clear sign he or she is not interested.
Read My Face
The smile is one of the greatest signs he or she likes you. It means he is truly interested, comfortable, and enjoying your company. But it is important you know how to determine a forced smile from a sincere one. Raising the eyebrows, even when done subconsciously, connotes flirting.
The Magic Of Touch
Sometimes, leaning towards another person is just not enough. In these instances, we find that closing the distance between us is much better. A light tap or stroking the arm can be a great way to send electric signals to another person. Many people pretend there is a smudge on the face or lint on the clothes just to have a reason to touch. What sorts of excuses have you used to tough that special person?
Men And Women Use Body Language In Different Ways
Compared to men, women can send signals of attraction five times stronger. They have more flirting habits than men and most of them are done intentionally. They love to preen, play with their hair, tossing the hair over the shoulder, and using their hands to play with something such as a wine glass. Most women are quite good in seducing and teasing men, especially when they use their lips – without touching him. Biting and licking their lips, putting on lipstick, and eating or drinking slowly are the usual moves of an interested woman.
Meanwhile, men usually try to appear masculine to show their prowess to the women they like, by giving them a look at their full length. They try to stand taller, square their shoulders, and sometimes hook their thumbs into the belt for that macho aura. They also unconsciously touch their ties or collar – these are indications he find you irresistible and wants to make an impression on you.
Will You Accept The Invitation?
You can determine that a person likes you if he or she gives the following signs: prolonged eye contact, raising of eyebrows, smiling back, laughing with you, leaning close, closing the distance, imitating your actions, touching, preening, and thing like that. If you get these signs, it means there is a big possibility that you could take your interaction to a higher level.
Signs Indicating “No!”
To round out your knowledge about body language, it's important to explain the ways to determine if a person is not interested. A person is most likely not interested when he or she never glances back at you. You can also determine that person is bored or uninterested in you when his or her eyes start to wander, sigh, yawn, have passive or neutral facial expressions, and other similar actions and looks.
The signals of body language in terms of romance and attraction are easy to detect if you know how to interpret a person’s actions. Understanding the gestures and body movements of another person can definitely help you know in advance if you may have the opportunity to be intimate together or be rejected.
Nikki Leigh - Love and Relationship Coach
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By Martin Brown
Here’s something we often don’t think about but it is an essential truth:
All successful diets begin with a well-planned and carefully organized grocery list.
Let’s start with a little known fact. On average, over 80 percent of the calories you consume come from your kitchen pantry and refrigerator. And with the exception of those lucky or ambitious enough to have a backyard vegetable garden, in the modern era nearly all of us depend on a ritual of twice weekly grocery store visits to maintain a well- stocked kitchen.
So, how does your pre-shopping grocery list play such an important role in this? It allows you to make yourself a promise that what you bring into your kitchen are only those items that you have placed on your grocery list and you’re well on the way to reaching any diet goal you set for yourself.
At first, of course, you might not know everything that you’re going to place on your shopping list. If you’ve never been a label reader, you might not know, for example, that the “light” chicken vegetable noodle soup has half the calories of the “regular” soup; or that there are after meal snacks and desserts that come with a much lower calorie toll than others.
But after you’ve become a better shopper through a thoughtful and patient process of reading labels and doing some of your own trial and error product sampling, you will be able to create a well organized grocery list that meets all your dietary needs while leaving you room for snacks, treats, and drinks that will please your urge for something salty, sweet and yummy without carrying a heavy toll of unwanted extra calories.
You’re probably are wondering why it is so important to have a list and stick to only those items you have placed on your list. By observing more closely the layout of your local grocery store, you’ll better understand why being organized before you step into a grocery store is so important.
Modern grocery stores are thoughtfully planned to get customers interested in buying products they don’t need. The basics shoppers come into a supermarket to buy are invariably far apart. Bread, milk, eggs, vegetables, and meats are located in the back, and often opposite, corners of the store.
That is done in the hope that as you walk from one end of the market to the other you will see items that you buy on impulse.
Whether those items are cookies, chips, ice cream, sodas, or so much more, you can wager that they have one thing in common: they are loaded with salt, sugar, and fat. These are the three ingredients we humans find most difficult to resist.
That said, you don’t have to live your life treat-free. From nuts, to low fat frozen treats to certain fruits and reduced sugar baked goods, you can and will find satisfying substitutions.
And once you find those items that satisfy you without blowing a whole in your plan to eat wisely, add them to your thoughtful shopping list.
Your goal: train yourself not to buy grocery items on impulse. Those impulse items, will call out to you after dinner, or on a Saturday afternoon to come into the kitchen and enjoy them. High calorie, nutritionally empty food, once inside your house is almost certain to end up inside of you. One moment, you’re consuming. The next, you’re regretting.
And finally, break this cycle of over indulgence. A well-organized shopping list made and followed, can be the diet trick you thought you would never find. Just don’t forget one simple rule: If it’s not on my grocery list, it’s not coming home with me!
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Carys Brenner was living a peaceful but unexciting existence with her fiancé Steve when she started to dream about a dark and mysterious stranger making love to her. The dreams were in fact more real than she could have imagined.
The vampire Daniil, assigned to guard the humans on Cary’s side of the time portal from cannibalistic Phages, had finally decided to see the woman who lived on the other side. He is overcome at first with lust, later with love, for Carys.
Daniil discovers one evening that Carys’s ex-fiancé was in fact one of the very creatures he was hunting. Daniil knew he would have to kill the Phage and seal the portal over to protect the humans from Carys’s time. He could never see Carys again.
But he would have to save her first.
Available in digital and print formats. Novella length (16K).
Unless there was some Tall Dark and Handsome silently breaking into women’s homes, making thoughtful and passionate love to them then quickly disappearing, Carys had been having an erotic dream. And from a purely analytic perspective, Carys knew that some unidentified and sexually sophisticated man could not possibly have seduced her twice that night in her sleep as she lay next to her snoring but otherwise comatose fiancé. Nonetheless she rose from the bed to take a shower in the wee hours, scanning her nude body carefully in the full-length mirror behind the bathroom door but finding no love bites or any other incriminating evidence. Obviously she had been dreaming. She slipped carefully back into bed with heavily snoring Steve, whom she had not seen naked (not that either complained) in five years. It certainly hadn’t been Steve. No, this had been a very real and delicious dream.
Tonight, after midnight. Same place. D
The script was neatly written in a cursive style she had never seen before. D. For demon? There was nothing demonic about the visit. D for desire. That was certainly true. D for delicious. Yes. D for decadent. Oh yes. She and the man hadn’t spoken much, and it certainly hadn’t occurred to Carys to ask his name. It had been only a dream, after all. In fact, it wasn’t until she climaxed that she questioned whether it had been a dream. The few times she ever had erotic dreams she always woke before orgasm. This time she hadn’t. And then after a few minutes rest they had started again, going for round two. That certainly had never happened to her in her life, awake or asleep.
Then the man disappeared or perhaps Carys simply had fallen asleep, exhausted but exhilarated. She hadn’t heard the door or window or however he entered and left the room. When she woke later in the night the beautiful stranger was definitely gone. No one but her cat Minion curled up and purring into the groove of her naked hip, a lumbering Steve snorting away like a sated boar. A dream, she decided, giving herself a bit of a shake. A dream of course. It would be nice, but doubtful. And yet, it all seemed too real, Carys thought, remembering that night so clearly.
Enter the Goodreads Giveaway to win a paperback copy of THE COACH HOUSE. No purchase necessary (but don't let that stop you from getting a digital copy).
About the Author: Sophie Sansregret
Sophie is our Book Section Editor, Book Reviewer, and Blog Editor for Evolvedworld.com, as well as a regular writer and blogger here.
She groks cats, chocolate, and sleeping in.
Something is not quite right in the leafy Savannah neighborhood of Gordonston.
As the friends and fellow members of her afternoon cocktail club gather to mourn the death and lament the life of their neighbor, Thelma Miller, not all is what it seems.
When old friends vie for the attention of widower, Alderman and mayoral candidate Elliott, jealousies surface and friendships are strained. An old woman with a dark secret and an infamous uncle plots her revenge for a perceived wrong done over thirty years before, a once successful children’s writer with his own secret is haunted by memories of the past and aspiring model Kelly Hudd has just won the trip of a lifetime.
As secrets are revealed and history, both old and recent, unravel and an intertwined web of deceits and lies surfaces in the middle class neighborhood a killer lurks and is anyone really who they seem to be? A mysterious European gentleman in South America, a young Italian count parading the streets of Paris and a charitable and kind-hearted nephew recently arrived from India add to the remarkable assortment of characters in this story of intrigue, deceit and revenge. What is the secret a recently retired accountant is trying to hide and just why did the former showgirl and attractive sixty two year old widow Carla Zipp really have plastic surgery?
Soon the plot thickens and as the temperature rises we discover who is destined for an early-unmarked grave in the wooded park that centers the tree-lined avenues of Gordonston.
A mysterious organization with links to organized crime, a handsome fire fighter who can do no wrong and a trio of widows with deep hidden agendas compound a story of simplistic complexity. As twists and turns lead the reader to a conclusion that they will not see coming and a sucker punch ending that will leave readers breathless, the Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club’s top priority remains the need to chastise the culprit who refuses to ‘scoop’ after his dog walking sessions in their treasured park.
Review: 5 out of 5 stars
This book reminds me of when artwork was being restored in the Sistine Chapel. You've spent your entire life having a vision of what the Sistine Chapel looked like and then slowly, as the original colours and detail emerge, that vision is forever changed.
Gordonston is not unlike this process. Although the first images, in glorious medias res, are of a burial--surreptitious as it should be when someone's been murdered--the locale and key members of the tale are defined. Then with great care, the layer over each character is revealed to show its true face.
This is an excellent story. The characters are clearly drawn if not from persons known to the author, then persons known to each one of us readers. The story is palimpsestic, it is the story of layers as well as connectivity. And at times, one might think things are too convenient or too close for comfort, but I believe we all know such small world stories.
As one reads one cannot help but ask where one's own tragic flaw will lead. This is a mystery (peppered with wry humour) of classical proportions. One misdeed, uncorrected, or one impetuous gesture (Oedipus, did you really have to cut that man down at the crossroads?) and one's fate is sealed. Starting a book knowing someone is doomed is always a good and terrible thing. Reading a book realizing that each of us have often been steps away from doom is scary but exciting. We like to think we know better than that, would react better than that, but we don't always, do we?
I know I don't.
This book is larger-than-life while being sutured into reality. Would someone really put a hit on someone else for the insult of... well, I'll leave it to the reader. Perhaps. Any quick glance at a newspaper will tell you that yes, grudges do grow exponentially over 20+ years, yes, jealously can foster a rage blinding enough to.... and yes, perhaps that nice little old lady down the street has a secret room in her house which no one enters, not even the dog.
Tension. Humour. A tightly woven web pulling the characters in before they know it.
Innocent white lies and misunderstandings... that's the path the the everlasting barbecue. You've been warned. Now pick up after your dog, alright? Really. Always pick up after your dog.
My only lament with this excellent book is that it ended; but I've been reassured by the author, Duncan Whitehead, that there is another in the works as well as a third novel, disconnected from this series.
About the Author: Duncan Whitehead
Duncan was born in England in 1967. After a successful career in the military where he served in British Embassies throughout South America and saw service in the Gulf War he joined the world of super yachts as a Purser onboard some of the world’s largest private vessels, working for many high profile individuals, being fortunate enough to visit some of the world’s most luxurious and exotic places. Eventually retiring to Savannah, Georgia, he began to partake of his greatest passion, writing. Initially writing short stories he finally put pen to paper and wrote The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club, inspired by the quirky characters and eeriness of his new environment, the book, a thriller, which boasts an assortment of characters and plot twists, set in the leafy neighborhood where he lived. His passion for comedy saw submissions to The Onion and a stint performing as a stand- up comedian.
He is a former boxer, representing the Royal Navy and an English under 19 team as an amateur and is a qualified teacher of English as a foreign language as well as a former accomplished children’s soccer coach.
In 2011 Duncan returned to South America, spending six months in Brazil and a few months in Paraguay before travelling to the Middle-East and Europe before returning to the United States to settle in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and lists his hobbies and passions as cooking, the Israeli self defense art of Krav Maga and the pressure point martial art Dim- Mak.
Duncan has written over 2,000 spoof and comedy news articles, under various aliases, for an assortment of web sites both in the US and UK.
As well as his other activities he performs volunteer work, as a hospice volunteer visitor and teaches English to refugees arriving in South Florida.
He has penned a further novel; a comedy set in Manhattan, The Reluctant Jesus, and of course the second and third books in The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club trilogy.
By Lucy Vonne
The kids have their yearly Easter egg hunt, but what’s in it for the grown-ups on this famous spring fever holiday? Well, Evolved World has rounded up some Easter bunnies for the ladies – yes – you know what I’m talking about! Get the facts and decide for yourself which set of rabbit ears will come home with you this season.
Lunar Rabbit by Evolved Novelties
This mid-size powerful rabbit is part of Evolved’s popular Dream Maker line. Its sophisticated, state-of-the-art design and multi-function capabilities allow you to use it in the shower and bath – it’s completely submersible! The gentle rabbit ears work wonders for clitoral stimulation while the smooth pearly beads inside the shaft never get stuck because they’re built on a track. It uses 4 AAA batteries and is completely phthalate and latex free. All Evolved toys come with a five year warranty. Sweet Dreams! http://www.lionsden.com/dream-maker-lunar-rabbit-pink-1.html
It’s always a safe bet to check out this original rabbit featured on the hit show Sex and the City! It’s a 5-inch vibrator with dual-action for penetration and clitoral stimulation and the tumbling pearls add a nice textured effect to your experience. It’s got a long-lasting quiet motor and its vibrations are controlled from the base instead of a separate handpack. It runs on 3 AA batteries. And in case you were wondering, the design pays homage to the Japanese "animal face" art form from the Shogun era. You can find it here: http://www.thepleasurechest.com/vibratex-rabbit-habit-elastomer-6360-prd1.htm
Calexotics Rabbits have been procreating like, well…rabbits! They started with their original Jack Rabbit and grew to include waterproof, thrusting, and even an ‘Impulse’ one that has light-up red ears! You are sure to find one you like. The newest bunny to the Calexotics warren of Jack Rabbits is the ultimate rechargeable Jack Rabbit! It’s luxurious with an all silicone design and has three motors strategically placed in the tip, shaft and rabbit with three speeds of shaft rotation and three speeds of shaft vibration. You can even charge it on your computer with the included USB charger! http://www.calexotics.com/p-23717-black-label-jack-rabbit-anniversary-edition.aspx
Lvibe Rabbit by Doc Johnson
This classic rabbit comes in pink or purple plastic and has three different functions with over fifty variations. Pearl beads swirl around the vibrating soft shaft and the vibrating, pulsating clitoris oral tickler is pretty awesome! http://www.amazon.com/Doc-Johnson-i-Vibe-Rabbit-Vibrator/dp/B0007N5DNY
Honey Bunny by Evolved Novelties
This powerful, stylish vibe boasts three quiet speeds and can be completely submerged in water. It has a luxurious feel and because it has a flexible shaft, it conforms to the contours of a woman’s body. Two bullets in the toy give it maximum power. Plus, the bunny is adorable! And it’s comforting to know that every Evolved toy comes with a five year warranty and is completely phthalate free and latex free. It uses 2 AA batteries. http://www.cirillas.com/browse.cfm/honey-bunny-rabbit-vibrator-purple/4,3144.html
So paint those eggs and enjoy your chocolate confections, but this year you have no excuse not to take home the ‘Easter’ bunny of your choice for some seriously good times!
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Josey Vogels is the author of two syndicated sex and relationships columns -- My Messy Bedroom & Dating Girl. She has written five books on sex and relationships, including her most recent, Bedside Manners: Sex Etiquette Made Easy. Her sixth book will be published in Spring 2011.
A popular radio and TV host, Josey’s fresh and frank take on matters of the heart have made her Canada’s most popular sexpert.
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