Why we “goggle.” Crushing out when under the influence. And it’s not just because of beer.

I always liked the term “beer goggles,” since I heard it back in college. The notion that our perception of another person is enhanced due to alcoholic intake was not only interesting, but absolutely true. I tried those goggles on often. They were dispensed at the frat house like… other things… and they not only made the nerdy guy from my dorm more attractive, but it boosted his confidence too. Nothing wrong with that, right? But more importantly, these experiences taught me that context plays a role. The situation in which we meet someone, and the lens through which we view them (expectations and our surroundings), matters big time. 
Some examples of goggling:
1. Business class goggles:  the tan cheese-ball who can afford a business class seat is much hotter than he would be sitting in coach (which is where you’re headed).
2. Wedding goggles:  how many of you guys have tried to hook up with a bridesmaid at a wedding, or even the groom’s sister, when you would never glance at her at a local bar?
3. Writer in café goggles:  (tip: facial hair and a pocket Nietzsche in public view help.)
4. Forbidden fruit goggles: someone else’s boyfriend or husband, especially when they appear happy together.
5. Whole Foods goggles: there is something about the guy perusing aisle five, thoughtfully contemplating what to cook for dinner, with the emo soundtrack crooning over the speakers, that makes my heart flutter.
6. Guy in fancy car at traffic light goggles.
7. Office goggles:  when you’re around the same people for ten hours a day, even the short dude with the pencil neck starts to look good.
8. Dad with baby Bjorn while carrying groceries goggles:  the baby has to actually be in the Bjorn though, smiling back at dad as the sun dances along their flaxen hair.
9. Bat-mitzvah goggles:  no, no, no, not the tweens. I’m talking about the single parents attending.  
10. Carpenter hanging my shelves goggles  (toolbox not necessary).
There are also the more obvious ones like Bartender goggles, Weatherman goggles, and Memory goggles (high school crush you haven’t seen but he’s still hot in your head). And in my case, non-Jewish guy goggles, or, goygles.  Any other prescriptions?

Succsexy. Because success is sexy.

It’s one of those cute little words I thought up tonight that is probably funnier in a group setting, like the long dinner I just had, but I’m still giggling as I write this (could be the wine).  It started because I was explaining how I just started watching Californication, and how sexy I find Hank Moody to be. Yes, he’s classically sexy, but I stumbled because the first thing I wanted to say was he is sexy because he is a successful author. But the words came out all jumbled together. Classic Freudian slip.

I remember when “ugly sexy” was a big thing in the tabloids, or Hollywood, or wherever. When all these “ugly” or unclassically handsome movie stars were hot. They were called “ugly sexy.” Like Al Rickman, way before he was cast as Snipe in the Harry Potter movies (does this show my age? No matter). Okay, how about Harvey Keitel when he stripped naked in “The Piano”? So that was before your time too. But you get my point.

Now there’s a whole new breed of men! Or not. They’re the ones in their forties, fifties, and sixties…Powerful agents, CFO’s, partners in Wall Street firms, Chefs, or even famous published Grandpas. Wait, is Steve Jobs succsexy? With a name like that, he was never meant to be poor and unemployed. My point is, a successful man is and has always been sexy to women. This is not a newsflash.

I met two men tonight at a friend’s birthday dinner. This is a good friend of mine who I’ve known for years, who is established in his own right. But I never deemed him as one who frequented succsexy circles. But the friends that joined him were. On the surface (or on a Jdate profile), I’d dismiss his pals as regular Joes (I think that was one of their names). But no. One of them, a conservative looking fellow in his late twenties, when I asked him, “So what’s your deal, tell me real quick,” did so as follows:  “I graduated West Point then went to Columbia for my MBA then became a Vice President at Meryll Lynch and I just bought a house in the Hamptons.” If that guy isn’t going to have fun this summer, banging every Cougar in Southhampton – having some serious succsex – then I have it all wrong. And all along, two other men, who confirm my theory, were dining at the table next to us. Chris Noth and Zach Lalalapolis, the funny hairy Greek comedian from “The Hangover,” who no longer needs a last name because he’s been indicted into Succsexy’s Hall of Fame (I didn’t mean to rhyme just then.)

But are successful women sexy to men? That’s what I want to know. I mean, they are sexy from afar. If you have an interview with them, or see them at a movie premiere or in high heels representing you in your divorce. But I’m wondering if men want to actually marry them. Is a powerful women too succsexy for a long term relationship?

Does succsexy work in reverse? Did it ever?

It would be nice to bring succsexy back (okay I said it).

"A Hot Mess"

What is this new phrase? I’ve been hearing it a lot lately. I have no clue where it came from… probably some reality show or pop culture reference that I’ve missed while focusing my attention on blogs, Facebook, and general day dreaming.

I’m guessing that it’s a sexy way of covering up the truth of the matter, as in “f*cked up,” “bonkers,” and “kookoo bananas.” I think it’s mostly being used by men, who are themselves going through some “crazy” phase but can’t acknowledge it. Because this is a term relegated to women only. Especially women over thirty, as in cougars… cougars on the verge..women on the verge of a nervous breakdown (great movie by the way). Men aren’t crazy! Hell no. They are guilty of other things: working late, infuriatingly rational behavior, snoring, and not looking at maps. But messy behavior? The all over the place kind that scatters sense in a hundred directions? That’s our bag.

So I think men coined this term “hot mess” to soften the blow. A man can be messy, but when he is, it’s hot. It’s okay. It’s intriguing and attractive because he is showing vulnerability, and that’s unexpected. And women swoon when a man shows his soft messy side. Especially drunk at a bar (but not in the delivery room or after he’s lost his job).

The last thing I can think of, is that men came up with it because while they might criticize or reject “crazy” chicks, in reality, they freakin love it. They love that we are high on life one minute, and crying in broad daylight the next. They like when we speak openly about our mess, and then deny it an hour later. They want to reach out and save us when we are cloaked in it, and don’t necessarily know what to do with us when we have it all together. Because apparently, crazy is hot. It’s the new mess.