How to Be a Total Man-Magnet

A girl who got paid to help guys meet women shares her insights into what motivates men to make a move.

"Is it just me or is that chick checking us out?"

Do you ever go out sometimes and feel like guys aren’t giving you the attention you deserve, and you can’t figure out why? That used to happen to me too. Then I became a part-time "wingwoman" — a girl who helps guys meet chicks in bars by posing as the guys’ platonic female friend. (Wingwoman services are available in many cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, and Saint Louis.) While earning my wings, I learned lots of little tricks every single girl can use to improve her success with guys. Warning: Once you perfect these moves, you might find that you’re such a powerful man-magnet, you attract guys everywhere. I used to date a guy who asked me out at the ATM! Wingtip #1: Go out in groups of no bigger than three. Larger groups of girls are supertough (read: intimidating) to approach. Three is a good number because your two friends can keep each other company when a guy walks up to chat with you. Wingtip #2: Hold a drink in your hand. Guys don’t want to be used. Meaning: They don’t want to buy you a drink right off the bat. My clients and I used to look for the girl with half a cocktail. That way, if she finishes her beverage while chatting with my guy, he could offer to buy her another to keep things moving. Wingtip #3: Smile genuinely. So obvious, right? But I can’t stress it enough — and I can’t believe I ever acted aloof in an attempt to seem sexier. Now I know that women smile all the time naturally (when we’re nervous, when we’re trying to be polite, etc.), so if you don’t do it at all, you look like an unapproachable bitch. Wingtip #4: Work the eye contact.

To reel him in from across the room, tilt your chin down a bit and flash him a couple of sultry glances. (Guys love it when you look up at them — it makes them feel manly.) If the guy across the room is so gorgeous you have a hard time looking straight at him and are simply too nervous, fake it by focusing on the tiny area right between his eyes. He won't be able to tell the difference. Wingtip #5: Don’t immediately ask him what he does. Some men think all women are gold diggers. A lot of my clients hated being asked what their job is. It’s that fear-of-being-used thing again. Wingtip #6 Make positive small talk. Once I started studying other women, I couldn’t believe how negative some of us appear. When you’re out on the town, you’re supposed to be having fun, and any complaint (“It’s hot in here!”), pessimism (“There will definitely be another terrorist attack”), or snarky quip (“Look at that chick’s belt — so 2002!”) pretty much pokes a hole in the fun-girl aura you should be projecting. Some better small-talk topics: recent vacations, favorite bands, hilarious movies. You can hit him with your deep, dark world-view some other time.

How to Work Less and Get Wayyy More Done
You know those (extremely) rare workdays that just seem to fly by? A new book says it's possible to recreate that feeling, all day, every day. Here’s how...

Imagine that your boss offers you $100 to complete a challenging new project as quickly as possible. He then asks your co-worker to complete the same project, but without any kind of cash reward or time constraint. Who is more likely to finish first? According to the theory in Daniel H. Pink’s fascinating new book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates You, your co-worker is. What the what? We’d think that extra wad of cash would be a serious motivator. But it turns out that intrinsic motivation — the drive to do something because it is interesting, challenging, and absorbing — is far more effective in producing results than extrinsic motivation — the “if you do this, then I’ll give you that” model that most businesses use with their employees. This is because when a reward is offered, as it is in the scenario above, you become more focused on those shiny new pumps that $100 would afford you, rather than on the best way to complete the task. Drive says that the secret to being more productive and feeling more fulfilled is to enjoy what you’re doing, and to feel rewarded by the work itself. We know — easier said than done. But Drive takes into consideration that even if you’re not 100 percent in love with your job, you can still be more successful and feel happier just by figuring out which tasks truly engage you — aka those rare moments of, “Ohmigod, I missed lunch I was so caught up in my work.” Drive refers to these moments as “flow,” and offers up nine strategies to produce flow more often, and for longer periods of time. Here’s one of them: Give Yourself a “Flow” Test Here's how: Set a reminder on your computer or cell to go off forty random times in a week. Each time it beeps, write down what you’re doing, how you’re feeling, and whether you’re in “flow.” Record your observations, look at the patterns, and consider the following questions: * Which moments produced feelings of “flow?” Where were you? Who were you with? * Are certain times of day more flow-friendly than others? How could you restructure your day based on your findings? * How might you increase the number of optimal experiences and reduce moments when you felt disengaged or distracted?

The New Marriage Rule: Age Matters
Studies reveal that you should reach a specific age before you get married.

He may be Mr. Right, but are you ready?

We doubt you were shocked when Avril Lavigne recently announced she was splitting from her husband of three years. But while it’s tempting to assume the cause was her bratty persona or rocker lifestyle, comments from her friends suggested that something more universal was at play: She was only 21 when she tied the knot and later told pals that she realized she’d been too young to

make such a life-altering decision. Could fellow young celebrity divorcées Reese Witherspoon, Kate Hudson, and Britney Spears have also hit the same age-related issue? We doubt you were shocked when Avril Lavigne recently announced she was splitting from her husband of three years. But while it’s tempting to assume the cause was her bratty persona or rocker lifestyle, comments from her friends suggested that something more universal was at play: She was only 21 when she tied the knot and later told pals that she realized she’d been too young to make such a life-altering decision. Could fellow young celebrity divorcées Reese Witherspoon, Kate Hudson, and Britney Spears have also hit the same age-related issue? The Magic Number There are practical reasons for the mid-20s dividing line, and most of them boil down to two biggies: education and money. Turns out, the more years of higher education a woman has under her belt on her wedding day, the lower the chances that she’ll get divorced…and by 25, you’re more likely to have earned a degree or two. “Educated women tend to be more confident about who they are and less willing to settle for a man who doesn’t meet their standards,” explains Terri Orbuch, PhD, author of Five Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage From Good to Great. Odds are that by 25 you’re also supporting yourself, so there’s less incentive for you to rush into marriage because you’re seeking financial security from him. But the marriage-related benefits of working and having money of your own go beyond feeling secure, says Pepper Schwartz, PhD, author of Finding Your Perfect Match. Learning to budget your cash carefully when you’re single will help you avoid financial problems—one of the main causes of couple fights—for the rest of your life. And juggling responsibilities, dealing with differing personalities, and resolving conflicts on the job force you to develop skills that are necessary for maintaining long-term love. Knowing the Real You At 25, you’ve had time for some crucial life experiences, including a relationship or two that may have improved your Mr. Right radar. “You’ve probably dated enough to have a better idea of what you don’t want in a man, which makes it easier to know what you can live with and can’t live without,” says Orbuch. Perhaps the most important aspect of waiting is that you’ll know what your goals and values really are, says Paul Coleman, PsyD, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Intimacy. While you don’t want to marry someone just like you, marriage is a lot easier if you two share a similar outlook on life. Twenty-four and already married to the man of your dreams? Don’t worry: Many young marriages survive. But given the choice, you might consider putting off the big day until your mid-20s or later.

Beauty on your fingertips

apple. the latest hairstyles celebs are spotting these days. once you sign up. Step-by-step instructions complete with advice on how to try it at home makes YouTube your best friend on the internet.myskin. So don’t miss out on checking your virtual avatar first before you put on that pancake for the next party. millions of people upload and share videos of every possible thing on earth. On YouTube. the kind of lifestyle you the internet is abuzz with a bevy of beauty applications (apps) just for Want a makeover but not sure how to go about it? Fret not! Just try out a virtual makeover Now you can get advice on skin troubles at just a click of a mouse. a video sharing website. skin-care routines and lifestyle changes. YouTube www. All at a fee of course. Questions are asked regarding your skin type. upload your latest photograph and figure out whether the deep shade of purple lipstick suits you. beauty trends.teamfemina. The app uses a cool facial recognition technology and gives out make-up advice and beauty routines. the smoky eyes make your eyes look wicked or that retro fringe compliments your face or not. You can also chat and connect with other skin-worried people just like you on their community page. and your skin problems. Jan 19. just watch a video of it.06:49 PM From free makeover demos to online beauty consultations to even make up tips and tricks on your phone. and If you are the type who just loves freebies and cant be bothered to surf through endless beauty websites for advice.dailymakeover. suggest products. Daily Makeover www. Amrita Bose presents a round up. And the best part is that you don’t need to register nor do you need to pay anything out of your pocket. to how-to demos. 20 gifts that totally suck . Once done. just type in the keywords on YouTube and watch the magic unfold. 2010 .com Your phone can whisper beauty and make up secrets to you now thanks to the new Makeup application on the Apple iPhone.By beauty. How cool is that? Makeup for iPhone www. Step two involves talking about the products you use and whether they work on your skin or not. a detailed analysis is done of your skin. At mySkin. If you want to know how to create marcel waves (a vintage hairstyle) or how to apply black nail polish neatly or hide your last night’s vestiges skilfully with make up. Just upload your mug onto the phone and let your iPhone give your face a virtual makeover according to your face structure. The website also shows you a gallery of virtual makeovers people have had. the site does a skin mapping and profiling for you. right from movies to music. This helps skincare experts employed by the website to narrow down your skin app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store. At the Daily Makeover all you need to do is hop over to the Makeover Studio section. mySkin www.

Classy perfumes are cool but deodorants are a strict no-no when it comes to gifts unless you want to get a clear message across. Gifting religious paraphernalia like idols and pictures of your favourite deity and spiritual books will only make you look like a wannabe fanatic. We might put up with your unhealthy obsession for a movie star or sportsperson but don’t test our goodness with posters. self help books only suggest that we could use some help.we like to do our own grocery shopping. . 2. A box of icky. useless and ridiculously expensive like an indoor fountain.03:16 PM Racking your brains over cool gift ideas for the holiday season? We make it easier for you by telling you what NOT to gift. it's not just the thought that counts. Fake jewellery and tacky trinkets are very likely to end up adorning our domestic help. please don’t walk into the party with a lame bunch of flowers.teamfemina. fur or any other remains of a dead animal is totally. 10. team it up with a book on “50 Cool Uses for Half-Dead Blossoms”. 6. 12. 1. Presenting cookies to a diabetic. And no.give this one a skippety skip. 8. 13. don’t bother spending the bucks. they spell “you’re not good enough yet”.the worst gifting faux pas. Mostly bought out of well-meaning intentions. 4. 11.By buzz. If at all you do. We could probably write a book on “why not to gift a vase”. 14. Buying us a ‘useful’ item is a noble idea but vacuum cleaners and toasters kinda cross the line unless they are specifically asked for. 3. Handmade stuff like that pink and black muffler (your first ever knitting project) is sweet but then… 7. Dec 18. memorabilia and autographed scrapbooks. Spare us the hassle of trying to figure out what to do/ where to place/ whom to regift that useless crystal piece. 16. We don’t need you to buy us random stuff like a box of Pringles or a bottle of Worcestershire sauce . 5. Unless you want your run-of-the-mill photo-frame from a local gift shop circulated back to you a few parties later. There are better ways to flaunt your spending power than by gifting something ugly. grease laden sweets . 2009 . awfully and extremely loathsome. Gifting ivory. A book on how to lose weight . Whatever you that to a friend and earn an enemy for life! The same goes for weighing machines or other similarly suggestive objects. 9. sticky. a bottle of wine to a teetotaler or a kitten to someone who is not fond of pets . We would rather dig ourselves a grave than commit a sartorial sin in those hideous clothes! 15. 18. 17. In short.

you’ll appear to be the center of attention and they’ll naturally gravitate towards you. making you seem instantly more dynamic. 7. Show Your Shoulders: The more skin you show in the winter. 3. other people will wish they were the object of your rapt attention. like you have a secret you’re just dying to tell. move one elbow onto the back of your chair. which comes off as insincere. As other people walk in. Hands Off Your Hair: Messing with your tresses sends a message to both men and women that you’re insecure or nervous. You want them to think that they’re the reason you’re suddenly so happy. passé and some more pass&#233. Wear a strapless dress that maximizes the amount of shoulder you show off. This subtle move amps up your sexiness factor and exudes confidence. Perfect Your Smile: The biggest mistake people make in social situations is putting on the perma-smile. grab one or two of your friends and head straight for the middle of the room. Then wait until after you say hi to someone to flash them a big smile. Touch triggers good feelings and signals special treatment — so not only will the person you’re talking to like you more. . Let Your Cocktail Do the Talking: Hold your glass in one hand and off to the side as opposed to directly in front of you with two hands.19.they always come back. 20. Doing so will show off your wrists (a move men find particularly attractive because it hints at openness and vulnerability) and leave your midsection — a power zone that communicates confidence — unobstructed. 5. fuchsia or turquoise and you’ll turn more heads than all the women in LBDs.. Take the Prime Position: When you arrive. Did you ever gift someone plastic jars and containers? You did? Gasp!Remember. Hw to b the party’s life 1. 4.. 6. 2. Get Moving: As the party gets packed. don a close-lipped smirk. which makes them suddenly get the urge to refill their drink. It can be as simple as walking from the bar over to the window or the couch. A tie and cuff set is passé. change your locale every ten or fifteen minutes. So beware! . bad gifts are like bad karma . Don’t Be Afraid to Touch: When you’re chatting with someone. the more you will stand out in a crowd. If you’re standing. Instead. 8.combined. Try This Alluring Posture: Rather than sitting with your hands at your side. Make sure it’s a solid color (patterns cause you to blend in) such as red. Each time you move to a different setting. casually place a hand on his or her arm. you’ll be seen from a new angle. you can get the same effect by leaning on a nearby bar or countertop with one arm.

transferring the bill. Here goes: 1. And it's always better to blend in rather than stand out. the easier it will be to fib your way in (i.m. who is throwing it. Grease the doorman.. Use the info you gather from your research to pick out the right outfit. Find out who will be there. or Secret Service agent starts giving you the evil eye or flat out asks you to leave. Thanks so much for having us. you can always tell the bouncer — or host if it's a raging party and you'll go unnoticed once inside — that you are having a bathroom emergency. Do your research. So we got celeb event planner and author of Party Like a Rock Star. If it's a fancy gathering. wait until your turn then step up with a $20 folded against your palm. Dress appropriately. If the get-together is at someone's house. No party is worth causing an embarrassing scene. Imagine never being turned away by an a-hole bouncer or missing a party your friend's friend's friend is throwing again. admit defeat. I'm a friend of [insert common name].or a government hearing. show up with a gift like a bottle of wine. . Bouncers will almost always say no. don't even think about getting there till 10. but you've gotta admit that having the balls and the know-how to get into an event you're not invited to is pretty awesome. Wait until the party is really going before you try to crash. As a last resort. everyone who wasn't on the list will already have tried and been turned away. 4. Before you attempt to infiltrate a fiesta." The hostess will most likely invite you in rather than risking an awkward social faux pas.. But just remember: if a doorman. Shake his hand. (Never ask first if you can give him money. "Hi. 6.) 5. The more information you have. host. and stick to a number that isn't so memorable.. 2009 at 3:25PM By Zoë Ruderman | Comments Not that we approve of the couple who crashed the state dinner at the White House a few weeks ago. 3. 2.6 Secrets to Getting into Any Party or Club December 17. and say. you're not going to get in wearing jeans.e. name drop). By that time. So save the peacockfeather cocktail dress and neon pumps for another night. If it started at 8 p. Jes Gordon to give us a crash course in party-partying. Tell a little white lie. and the dress code. Google it. And the bouncer or event planner will be much more lax about checking names. Don't elaborate since you'll just sound insincere. If you're trying to get into a club and the bouncer is turning away almost everyone ahead of you in line.

Mackenzie isn’t so worried about being heard. She Wears the Pants (and the Bra) . Mackenzie connects with some of her colleagues.” says Marilyn Manning.How to Totally Rule Your World On Commander in Chief. U. She was discouraged from stepping up to become president. in others overriding them) that can give you the edge in your quest to excel on the job or anywhere. president Mackenzie Allen has mastered a fresh set of strategies (in some cases working her feminine instincts. Mackenzie adopts this approach with every crisis she handles. Wilson.” says Wilson. president of The White House Project and author of Closing the Leadership Gap. But in an interesting twist. but it’s now gaining ground as a valuable way to make decisions. she felt she had the competence to lead the country.PhD. but strong leaders rise above that.” says Marie C. “Strong leaders combine collaboration with aggressive decision making.” says Wilson. “Intuition has often been discounted as a woman’s trait. Her Gut Gets the Final Vote After considering everyone’s opinion. “Seeking approval is a typical female behavior. and it got us thinking about why we should have a lot more power. Geena Davis’s female president has work and life tactics that you can use to get ahead. “Intent. That’s why she didn’t fire any of the cabinet members when she came onboard — their experience and commitment to the job mattered more to her than being liked. but in the end. but she’s not invested in their opinions of her. allowing others to contribute their thoughts before she bears down on the situation. A woman kicking ass in the Oval Office is the fictional premise of ABC’s hit drama Commander in Chief. coauthor of Leadership Skills for Women. Mackenzie lets her internal compass guide her. She’s the Last to Speak We’ve all had bosses who do all the talking (yawn). tuned-in listening is what engenders empathy and creates connectedness. Popularity Isn’t a Top Priority It’s tough not being liked by your workmates.S.

you don’t need to fill out a jock strap to be a serious contender for management these days. then you know this: When you freak. and Famous Ivanka Trump uses her guts. you lose your clout.Of course.” says Manning. brains. Sexy. knowing that the only way to triumph is to make sure no one sees her sweat. but you might not know how hard Ivanka Trump has worked to carve out her own success. “A good manager delivers direction without giving in to the panic — at least outwardly. How to Be Rich.” says Wilson. Ready for the ultimate apprenticeship? BY HOLLY EAGLESON You know her famous family. And now she's showing you ways to do the same. Her Face Doesn’t Give Her Away If you’ve ever had a meltdown at work. But the genius in Mackenzie’s leadership style is that she blends classic feminine traits with masculine traits. and magnetic charm — not her last name — to get what she wants. At 26. like strong communication. “Female managers are able to combine traditionally masculine attributes — such as being decisive under pressure — with feminine strengths. Case in point: When the Russian president threatens to bail on a state dinner. she’s a graduate of the prestigious Wharton School of business and the . Mackenzie keeps her cool.

“If you misjudge someone. It pays to play up your differences. there’s no such thing as feminine self-expression. Think Commanding. but I see it another way.. “Don’t ever show your hand until you really have to. Learn to Read a Room In addition to being respectful.” she says. Have a Secret Weapon for Negotiating Competitors bank on an easy win with Ivanka because she’s young. Don’t Be Afraid to Make an Ass of Yourself “Some people in my industry are shocked by the brazenness of my requests. 2.” If you fight the bitch head on. But this fighter uses the underminers’ blind spots to her benefit. Emitting sex appeal on the job makes you alluring — just be smart about it. Not Demanding “There’s something unappealing about someone our age being too authoritative. nor is flirting with potential partners. “Serious cleavage is not appropriate. 4.” she says. 6.” she advises. let your boss say “Sorry.” You actually get more power by deferring to higher-ups in public or backing up a colleague’s ideas. keep your voice at a captivating low tone.”) builds a solid rep. Put them to use and you can build your own luxe existence. 1. but they’re more shocked when the answer I get from the decision maker is okay.vice president of acquisitions and development of the Trump Organization. you’ll lose.” says Ivanka.” she warns. she’s more likely to get the better of you.” Ivanka says..and she pulls it off with a brilliant set of life and work rules that allow her to be strong and knockout sexy at the same time.” By sizing up a situation with small talk — ask about their last vacation or how their family is doing — you sense whether they’re in buddy mode or need kid gloves. always take the temperature of whom you’re dealing with.. She also just launched the Ivanka Trump fine jewelry collection. 7. “Know your audience. Don’t get her wrong: “I can’t be a sycophant. Handle a Bitch the Right Way Sometimes you’ll meet a heinous beast whose number-one goal is to make you squirm.” Ivanka says. so I stake my ground politely and don’t sugarcoat things.” she says. 5. “I’ll make light of the fact that they’re an aggressive human being. “You have to rough some people around tactically so they respect you or get intimidated. no money in the budget” before you spring the fact that you know a junior coworker makes more than you do. “I’m strong yet I’ll exude feminine traits. “You have to be . So when you’re negotiating a raise. the girl has style. Let Yourself Be Underestimated “There are people who assume I’m daddy’s little girl or just a 26-year-old blond. Needless to say. Work Your Sexiness 24/7 “When it comes to the workplace. but they get tripped up because she won’t let on that she’s done her homework. 3. And when you disagree.. like keeping the peace and managing people. then move on. defuse her by using humor and your power not to get ruffled. Then the punches have more power. Instead. a little diplomacy (“You make a great point. and evoke sensuality by saying you are “passionate about a project” or have “intimate knowledge” of your industry. instead.” advises Ivanka.” she says. because you often over calculate things and want to spill information you’ve gathered to prove yourself. “Always allow the other person to throw out the first offer.” she says.. “People like aggressive styles or gentle styles or want to feel they’re your best friend.

they’ll relent on a lesser point you really want. they may be so taken aback. “It’s as basic as that. but if someone else in the room is less intelligent but wants it more. like the nicest office. such as your own private workspace. so she took charge of huge deals in Hawaii and Dubai.” Why Being Ballsy Matters Ivanka didn’t get where she is by waiting for daddy to drop plum projects in her lap. 8. let people know. Curious? Read on to find out what you need to do.willing to embarrass yourself by laying claim to something so egregious that you may get laughed at for it.” When you ask for something outrageous.” she advises. BY BETHANY HEITMAN 1 of 3 » .” The Secret to Getting What You Want in Life New research has uncovered a fascinating little strategy for achieving any goal. And use the element of surprise to catch the boss’s eye. “If you think you can do a job that is a stretch but will test your confidence.’” Ivanka says. You could be a genius. “So what if she says no?” Ivanka says. they have a leg up. “She’s never going to not respect that you asked for something above your duties. like putting an unexpected idea memo on her desk. but the family abides by this one: “My best advice from my dad is ‘Love what you do. Love What You Do The Trump business may live and die by one bottom line. The only way to succeed is to have more motivation than the next person. The Donald doesn’t like to travel.

that's easier said than done." says McCulloch. PhD. Why Secret Dreams Are So Freakin' Powerful Okay. "There's something called the fantasy realization theory that has proven to help people attain whatever they want. Move On! "If you tell someone you want to apply to a graduate program." How to Self-Motivate When No One Knows Staying on task without support from your friends and family might sound impossible. Then think about all the negative things you'll have to deal with along the way: sacrificing time with friends. McCulloch. or yogacizing your bod down a size or two — you should broadcast it to everyone you know. loved ones may have ulterior motives for being naysayers. the more people you tell. and you get a jolt of satisfaction and pride. just wanting to have something impressive to talk about at parties. Here's an example: Imagine you tell a friend that you want to train to be a long-distance runner. "By not telling anyone. writing a screenplay. you make the fantasy more realistic. "So if they can have something that is solely theirs. If you want to get into the fashion industry. "Surrounding yourself with people who have some connection to your dream is also sure to push you forward. schedule lots of . Plus. The gist is that you must fantasize about your goal on a regular basis — think about all the awesome consequences of achieving it. A study conducted at New York University found that blabbing about your goal can give you a false sense of accomplishment. If you announce that you're going to be devoting tons of time to a big goal. "But by considering both. Wilson." Not only that. right? Wrong. in fact. tried-and-true ways to do it. it can feel really special. You feel so satisfied.C. making you less likely to actually go after it. paying for expensive classes. Of course." says Susan B. wow." says psychologist Lucy Jo Palladino. Your bud has a "Oh. Why should you.It's a commonly held belief that whenever you set a new goal for yourself — whether it's scoring your ideal job. you won't run the risk of letting anyone else's opinions get in your way. And doing something just for you feels selfish in a really good way. plus tips for achieving your dream on the down-low. New research shows the opposite is true. PhD. that you lose motivation to get up early and jog. when you're already reaping the benefits of being known as a runner? The smarter strategy: Don't tell a soul. for example." says K. a life coach in Michigan and founder of Get Over It. right? Nope. etc. "What stops a lot of people from doing the things they dream of is other people. that's great!" reaction. people think about only either the really good stuff or the terrible stuff. author of Find Your Focus Zone. say. "Often. an assistant professor at Idaho State University who worked on the study." says McCulloch." Beyond that. a good friend or your significant other may worry that he or she will see less of you and subconsciously distract you from the finish line. After all. but it also helps you plan exactly which steps you need to take to get there. and it will seem more attainable. they may go on about how terrible the campus is…and you may start to believe them when you really should be trusting your own gut. you're making sure your goal is something you're really doing for yourself. Keep reading for more reasons to stay mum." says McCulloch. "Women tend to overextend themselves for loved ones. the more likely you'll do it because you don't want to be thought of as a failure. but there are some easy. so you can at least tell your BFF. That's opposed to. Two more reasons why keeping your dream a secret will help your cause: You'll be so antsy finally to be able to share it with everyone that you'll put your nose to the grindstone and get it done as fast as possible.

but being around them will keep your eyes on the prize. They may not know what you're trying to do. it’s to your benefit to adopt a fluid approach to planning your future. you no longer have to map out contentment in advance. If You Have to Blab to Someone… …Make sure you pick the right person to share your dream with.” says career strategist Cynthia Shapiro. Can't think of anyone who fits the bill? Zip your damn lips. The New Life Rules to Follow Now These truisms of today allow you the power and flexibility to get what you want. So Cosmo collected a set of modern guidelines perfect for a brazen 21stcentury babe like yourself. and job-hop. you don’t want to be so locked into a game plan that you can’t grab a fabulous opportunity that comes out of the blue. Thankfully. “Committing because you’re supposed to — whether it’s saying I do or sticking it out at a soulless job — prevents you from seeking situations that make you happy. Plus. and neither are the situations you’re facing these days. That way. and try writing an anonymous blog (just be sure to turn off the comments option). BY HOLLY EAGLESON Here’s the problem with conventional wisdom: You’re not conventional. then tweak your goals if necessary.” says life coach Valorie Burton. 1. how you want. married by 27. Another factor: Since it’s now acceptable to delay marriage.time with fashion-forward pals. Your strategy then? “Reevaluate your path every six months. have kids later. you can tell the whole world without suffering any of the negative effects of outing your secret. "Choose someone you trust completely who has never been competitive with you and has been successful at achieving her own goals." says Palladino. first kid by 30. author of What Does Somebody Have to Do to Get a Job Around Here? . You No Longer Need a Five-Year Plan It used to be that people were encouraged to set a strict time line for achieving milestones: dream job by 25.

Mixing Business and Pleasure Is Wise Not so long ago.” says corporate image consultant Sherry Maysonave.” . your 2 a. don’t feel guilty about establishing a surrogate family of friends. like height. “When you get to know a coworker. “A change of scenery may help you objectively choose the next best course of action. you used to need two things: a stellar résumé and a Hillary Clinton–style crop. coauthor of Office Mate: The Employee Handbook for Finding — and Managing — Romance on the Job.2. Thankfully. beauty and fashion sense can be assets. dating a coworker was considered career suicide. Taking a time-out to refocus after an unpleasant event — even if it’s just going to stay with a friend in Miami for a few weeks — can be an option. “Major companies now realize that a woman doesn’t have to be masculine to be powerful. PhD. and friends. author of Hooking Up: Sex. it’s a plus. they don’t have the time or patience to court for months before finding out if they click physically. and Relationships on Campus. PhD. “It’s now common for women who have acrimonious relationships with their parents or live across the country from them to create family like bonds with roommates. And don’t underestimate young dudes: Research from the State University of New York at Oswego found that college guys may prefer relationships to one-night stands. The fact is. 6. that would be a red flag to you online or at a bar.” says Cheryl Dellasega.” says Bogle. professor of psychology at Yale University and author of Women Who Think Too Much. You Can Run from Your Problems After a devastating breakup. 3.” 4. says Kathleen A. author of Forced to Be Family. so many have loosened policies against it. and 25 percent of them — including Barack and Michelle Obama — have married. If yours is more toxic than tight-knit. provided it’s not a boss/ subordinate situation. PhD. Dating.m. author of Casual Power.” says Stephanie Losee. “If he has a steady job and friends who are coupling up.” says Susan NolenHoeksema. But to convert an FWB into a BF. let it be known after the first two hookups that you want more than a fling. so they test the waters. Short Hair Is Not a Job Requirement To reach the top of your profession. experts have one word for you: arrivederci. People are so busy with their careers. In fact. “Women think they have to stay and ruminate over a problem to fix it. “It can be easier to be open with nonblood relatives. which may lead to more intimate connections. but that increases anxiety and depression.” adds Maysonave. coworkers. at least 50 percent of workers have dated a fellow employee. Well. you see past superficial stuff. Your Family Doesn’t Have to Be the Most Important Thing Not everyone is born into a nurturing clan. But companies have realized that interoffice dating actually increases productivity by as much as 20 percent.” 5. “You’re also bound to be intellectually compatible and have a built-in level of respect. you dream of escaping to Italy to drown your sorrows in gnocchi and gelato. there’s a good chance he’s relationship-ready.” says clinical psychologist Renee Gilbert. PhD. “If showing femininity builds confidence. influential businesswomen like Oprah Winfrey have shown that you can have great success and great hair. Guys may just need a nudge to take it to the next level. It’s Possible to Turn a Hookup into a Real Relationship Believe it or not. Bogle. booty call could become your boyfriend. “Women who wear makeup earn 20 to 30 percent more income.

author of When Good People Have Affairs. able to compromise. “It’s a misconception that real estate is an investment guaranteed to make money. PhD. But given the current mortgage crisis.7. “You may make more in the long run by putting cash you’d pay in interest on a home loan. they’re also capable of understanding what the little bobble head with the sound waves coming out of him symbolizes? Text back. What’s more. and you see the missed call and the voice message alert. This setup works best when the wife also has progressive ideas about gender equality and allows the husband to control some aspects of the household so there is an equal division of power. a carrier pigeon?” 4. says psychologist Mira Kirshenbaum. “What’s next. and your heart skips a tiny beat every time you get a text from him. in some cases. you get one asking what you’re up to this . right? Well. “Many young guys saw their moms work growing up. selfish. but the rest are well-meaning if imperfect people who love their partner but made a stupid mistake. Sometimes you’re in the middle of something and sometimes you just don’t feel like talking. The 10 Most Annoying Text Habits Ever 3. PhD. nearly 2 million men have chosen to stay home and raise the kids. A Relationship Can Survive After One Person Cheats Cheaters are cruel. and narcissistic. Not Lazy Asses With 25 percent of chicks outearning their spouses and childcare costs skyrocketing. an indiscretion can sometimes draw a duo closer together. it can be salvaged. says Melissa Milkie. You Don’t Have to Grow Up and Buy a House Already Once upon a time. “For some couples. 9. At present. But your phone is still working. Everyone does. So if the cheater is deeply apologetic and committed to working to improve the relationship. So why — why?! — do certain people feel the need to send a text letting you know that they just left a message? Don’t they realize that if someone is smart enough to read a text. 8. The Texting Tease You’re seeing a really cute/smart/funny/cool new guy. it may be smarter to rent. A guy who’s willing to stay home is likely supportive. property taxes. so they respect a successful woman and don’t assume that the man has to be the breadwinner. Stay-at-Home Dads Are Catches.” says Robert Shiller. In the middle of the week. professor of economics at Yale University and author of The Subprime Solution. adults who rented were dismissed as Peter Pans with negative cash flow. it could be shrewder to rent until the market rebounds. The Double Message Of course you screen calls. it takes a bomb going off to get them to address their problems.” explains Shiller. coauthor of Changing Rhythms of American Family Life. and comfortable with his masculinity — all great qualities in a partner. and repairs into investments like T-bills or inflation-indexed bonds.” says Aaron Rochlen. associate professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin.” says Kirshenbaum. 15 to 20 percent are.

but you also have to read all of their SUPER-cute texts. “Oh okay.weekend. but call my secretary if you want to schedule something. People gushing on and on about their amazing love life? Not so much. look what he wrote to me! Omg look at what he said now! Haha aww.” Clearly. cool. look at this one!!” The cure? A dose of their own medicine. Assuming he wants to do something together. thanks to your confident attitude. and now you’re ready to put your phone down for a little while. “What upppp. look what my Mom said about her gallbladder! Omg you won’t . Text 5: Around 10 Text 6: It’s gonna be me and Chris Text 7: Are you coming? Text 8: Let us know Text 9: Byeee! Text 10: lolz An example of what that exchange should look like: Text 1: Hey. It looks like this: “Soooo. and it’s another text from said person.” You stand there with a perplexed look on your face. Send a text saying. Respond “Yeah. they have nothing else to say and just want something to do. reading books. watching movies. We’re huge advocates of love and being in love and enjoying that love. 5... Does he then proceed to make a plan with you? No. (one-minute pause) Text 8: For “realz. baking.” This way.” Or. Chris and I are going to Cool People Bar around 10 tonight. But your phone dings. but ultimately you’re the one who is in charge. Let us know if you wanna come. The Bulk Texter An example of what a series of texts from this person might look like: Text 1: Hey! Text 2: What’s up? Text 3: What are you doing tonight? Text 4: Some of us are going to Cool People Bar tonight. “Hey. “Running. The Bored Texter You’ve just finished a sufficiently long and entertaining texting exchange with someone. An example of what you could text back: Text 1: Please Text 2: never Text 3: text Text 4: me Text 5: this Text 6: way Text 7: again. He responds.” Your buddy will get the point that some people actually have a life. “la la la..” 6. “Guys. Not only do you have to listen to them tell every insignificant story about how cute it was that their boyfriends ate pancakes for dinner and woke up with a funny hairdo. you let him know that it’s looking pretty relaxed so far. 7. the ball is in his court. The Show-and-Teller Love is wonderful..” Or.

Whether he’s a friend. You open the message and it says.believe how I’m planning to organize my sock drawer! Aww.” Do people not even have the decency to include the o? The offender doesn’t even need to reply to the message. But if they feel the need to. so you send back a detailed and informative reply. Hang the Do Not Disturb sign on the door when you’re out so would-be thieves will think the room is occupied. Here’s a little secret he doesn’t know: EVERYONE sees his phone lighting up. travel safety expert Marybeth Bond explains what you must know before you check in. Here. Once inside your room. 3. 1. date.. Then get ready to start running. BlackBerry. check the door and window locks. you’ve been waiting to see this movie for weeks. Then hold your palm out expectantly. to the cent. they owe you for superfluous texts the next time you’re together.. 10. especially if there are sliding glass doors — an entry point offering easier views of and access into your room. and here you finally are. no girl wants to associate the men in their lives with tween-speak. Your phone dings again. my dog is wagging his tail. You get a message asking how your day went or if you’ll be free at a certain time. 9.” tell him that he should really consider an iPhone. 2. Ask to be assigned a room above the ground floor. If the desk clerk mentions your room number out loud and there are other guests around. The Needs-to-Grow-a-Pair Texter Guys should never. ever get comfortable with using text slang and abbreviations. The Lingering K This one is especially aggravating if you’re not on an unlimited texting plan.“k. But the guy in front of you insists on ruining your experience by texting for the entire 96 minutes. Oh. call up a friend and loudly discuss how rude the guy texting throughout the entire movie was. . snacks in hand. could they not at least drum up something a little more personal/creative/not totally unnecessary? Respond by letting them know how much. he’s doing it again!!” 8. or “anything that gives you more room to text. When the lights come up at the end of the flick. Sidekick.” He’ll realize how outdated his text-talk is. The next time he sends you a “TTY L8ER” or “C U 2morrow. or boyfriend. And hears it vibrating violently every two minutes. request that you be given a different room. The Goobers-and-Popcorn Texter The previews are over. 7 Travel Secrets to Keep You Safe Freaked out that a creepy perv made a nude video of ESPN Anchor Erin Andrews by peeping into her hotel room? You’re not alone.

it's time to make a bold. The Gutsy Traveler. BY MOLLY FAHNER . don’t mark a first name or the number of people in the room — this reveals to anyone passing your room that you’re alone.4. Pull the drapes shut as soon as you walk into your hotel room. The Fierce New Secret to Success Forget everything you've heard about the importance of playing it safe right now. pack some safety pins and duct tape so you can make sure the curtains are completely closed. brazen move. cover the peephole on the interior side of the door with a Band-Aid. If you like to walk around naked in your hotel room (no judgment!). check out Marybeth Bond’s Website. 6. If you really want to succeed. If you use the preorder menu that hangs on your door all night. If you plan on staying at an inexpensive motel. have the rental car agency or hotel arrange for someone to accompany you to and from parking lots. For more safety tips. If you’re planning to arrive at night. We tell you how to take the plunge. 7. 5. This way you can easily peel it off when you need to peek out.

we've got a secret for you: It takes only one leap of faith to propel your life forward for the better. And remember this: "The survival skill of the 21st century is going to be dealing with change. While other people get nervous and avoid trying anything different. Farley has devised a T scale (the T stands for thrill) to describe the distinction: At one end is the Type T.. PhD. "The upside of the downturn is that it may force you to confront your darkest fears and push through them. author of On Becoming Fearless and creator of the news-and-politics Website TheHuffingtonPost. When things are changing a lot — and quickly — it's scary. put it: 'You never want a serious crisis to go to waste — and what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you thought you could not do before." How to Make a Choice You'll Never Regret Forget the psychic and Magic-8 Ball. or fearlessness. Then ask yourself what's stopping you. Chances are." says Arianna Huffington. Who hasn't wished at times for a magic fearlessness potion. Rahm Emanuel. "Times of upheaval can indeed lead to major positive shifts in our lives. Well. Instead. Get ready not only to survive but to thrive. you can crib some crucial ballsy skills from people who do come by their fearlessness naturally. They look at chaos as an opportunity for change.." according to psychologist Frank Farley.'" So how do you incorporate that inspiration into your own life? New research is showing that you don't have to be born brave to act that way. Go with Your Gut Instincts A study found that when making simple choices (like what cereal to buy). 1.Think of one big thing you would love to do but haven't. they take action. something you could gulp down that would instantly transform you into Gutsy Girl? But lacking magic and with the world in an uncertain state. it pays to be rational. When my best friend got canned last week and everyone says the economy's totally whacked? Live Like a Type T The first step is to figure out where you stand on the spectrum of risk taking. now. of turning your life upside down. but if you have weighed the pros and cons and . an expert on thrill seekers at Temple University. you're better off listening to your instincts. it's tempting to stay in your bubble and put off going after those dreams. "Type T's are natural-born thrill seekers who live for excitement and uncertainty. it's fear — of navigating new territory. Simply using these clear-headed strategies can ensure that you do the right thing. As the president's chief of staff. That's not to say you should buy a car on a whim. now? you're probably thinking. but it also opens the door to unexpected possibilities. And here's the really counterintuitive part: This is actually the best time ever to do something fierce and bold. Read on for the four key ways to tap in to your inner tigress. and at the other is type t. "These people often do their finest work in periods of flux. But when it comes to bigger ones (like which job to take).and of failing. What." Farley says.

If the answer is no. telling your guy you cheated on him once three years ago may relieve your guilt. Hashing out your options allows you to further process the decision. Get into a Stress-Free State Go for a haircut right after you are laid off and you could wind up looking like Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men.. So if you're fighting with your boyfriend while choosing between two apartments.still can't reach a conclusion. For example. but these toxic behaviors have serious health ramifications. doing things like sitting in the sun or having unprotected sex often can feel right in the moment. 7.and consider the outcome (on your health.e. But Avoid Discussing It with Everyone So you know that running your decision past a few key people in your life is smart. Similarly. but it will probably cause him to break up with you. Before seeking someone's opinion. 6. Consider the Long-Term Consequences Some decisions make short-term sense but in the long run can be disastrous. 2. which is why people will often tell you to sleep on it. The reason being. But it's best to keep your hairstylist. more than that can cloud your judgment. on your credit-card bill — whatever) before making a controversial move. we tend to act rashly when we're nervous or upset. trainer. on a friend's or boyfriend's feelings. However. let your snap judgment be the tiebreaker and go with what just feels right.. Although one drink can relax you while you're agonizing over a choice. and hearing others' perspectives (whether you agree with them or not) can help you arrive at a more informed — and better — conclusion.. 4. wait a few days after you've kissed and made up before forking over your security deposit.. Talk It Over with a Select Few Chatting about your predicament with close friends. Research suggests that anxiety not only makes it more difficult to settle on something but also actually makes you more likely to come to the wrong conclusion. A good rule of thumb: Play out each possible scenario in your mind. Sleep on It. Put Down the Mojito There's a reason Google Mail Goggles was invented: Cocktails make it easier to act. Soliciting too many opinions — especially from people who don't know you that well — can leave you with lots of conflicting (not to mention bad) advice.but Just for One Night Researchers say unconscious deliberation (i.. ask yourself if the person is really in a position to know what's best for you. try to resolve the disagreement quickly so you can make a more clearheaded resolution. And since one study found that stress has a residual effect. . your mom. 3. belaboring a decision for too long means you aren't comfortable with any of the choices you have before you and you need to consider alternatives. or whomever you trust to give an honest opinion is a good idea. and barista out of it. 5. getting shut-eye) can help you analyze your options and come to a conclusion. keep it to yourself.

which will help you act more logically and guilt-free. Why it works: When people look at shots of a pet dog. if you should ask out a guy). And if that's not possible. it can be easy to be swayed in one direction by someone who has self-serving motives — whether it's a salesperson talking you into buying a pair of shoes you can't afford or your parents being all up in your grill about going to a particular grad school. But don't paper your cube with canines. Behold the smart. What you want: To appear more powerful in the office hierarchy How to get it: Wear a chic all-black outfit to work. It's called priming. In our rapidly changing world. Don't Leave It Up to Chance It can be dangerous to make a major.8. Research shows that by exposing people to specific words. At Work What you want: To seem like a team player How to get it: Put up a picture of your dog (or even of a friend's pup) in your workspace. the bigger stuff (dumping your boyfriend. 10. moving across the country) should not be left up to the stars. Blow Off Bullies Who Are Pressuring You When grappling with a decision. they not only tend to presume you're loyal. experts recommend assessing each new opportunity with a fresh mind-set. sneaky strategy behind this science. 9. and symbols. but they may also act more loyal toward you. body language. pretend you're advising a friend on the matter. love life. There's a subtle tactic to make things go your way in your career. . they can be affected in a way that benefits you without their even realizing what's going on. While it's definitely fun to let these things influence small decisions (which dress to wear on a date. Mind Tricks That Get You What You Want You can actually learn to use subliminal messages to make people adore you. Distance yourself from the person or people pressuring you while you sort out your thoughts. and social world — one that has nothing to do with effort or luck. Research shows that too many personal shots make other perceive you as a less professional worker. and don't smile as often as you're inclined. it's important not to rely simply on experience. Remember That You Can't Always Use the Past to Predict the Future Especially when you're making a choice that will seriously affect your bank account or lifestyle. life-changing choice based on what your horoscope instructs you to do. Here's how to use subliminal moves to get an edge. What might have been a shrewd move a few years ago — like buying a house or leaving your 9-to-5 gig to start up your own business — could wreak havoc on your life today.

And because they're looking at you.Why it works: You'll be seen as assertive and directed. or celebrity. "The sun felt so fabulously warm against my skin") to paint a mental picture about the climate. Just don't hand her an iced latte or you could trigger a frosty reception. Researchers at New York University found that when you're sitting across from someone who's unconsciously shaking his foot.. Why it works: It's a proven way to win someone's affection: Libraries and car dealerships have higher customer-satisfaction ratings when workers imperceptibly touch their clients. What you want: Your crush to fall for you on a dinner date How to get it: Subtly touch the back of his hand as you're reaching across the table for bread. In Social Settings What you want: To impress your guy's parents the first time you meet How to get it: Casually praise someone whom you're certain his mom or dad holds high esteem. What you want: To make a friend out of an acquaintance How to get it: Start mirroring her behavioral tics. feminine colors and furniture with few angular lines. like touching your hair when she touches hers. she'll implicitly assume you're an emotionally warm person — someone very likable. Touch activates the human desire to bond. while the act of keeping a neutral face is associated with higher status and power in a work environment. Why it works: According to psychologists. Studies have found that people in black uniforms (like sports teams) are viewed as more dominant figures. What you want: To bond with the boss How to get it: Offer to get her a hot cup of coffee — even if you're not her assistant — and chat her up as she's drinking it. That means that he'll be more likely to be open and disclose his true feelings to you. then the person feels more positive toward you. if you start moving yours in a similar but unobtrusive way. What you want: To have The Talk without his flipping out How to get it: Take him to a restaurant that has soft. Why it works: A recent study showed that just by holding the high-temp liquid. Why it works: We like to see ourselves in other people. With a Man What you want: To seem more alluring when you meet a guy How to get it: Talk about a beach vacation you took using sensual terms (e. your targets start to think about all the qualities they admire in that person.g. such as a political figure. Why it works: Experts say that as you talk about their hero in a positive light. Why it works: Researchers think that simply being in this kind of an environment can influence a person to behave in terms of communicating. author. this seductive I-feel-like-I'm-there speech will make him associate your personality with the lush sensations you're describing. What you want: Your slob roomie to clean up after herself more often . they'll subconsciously link you with that person's positive traits.

money and love. but many mortals are not so kind. Why it works: A Dutch study recently proved that the faint smell of a cleaning product will spur people to start picking up the area around them. but there are certain types of people who suck up your time. You can also prime her by squirting a little fluid in the bathroom sink before she goes in to use it. Cosmo IDs the toxic villains who make your blood boil. BY ASHLEY WOMBLE The Buddy Thief . They may not have visible fangs or a fear of sunlight. How to Spot a Real-Life Vampire Twilight's Edward Cullen puts his life at stake to save his love.How to get it: Spray a bit of liquid all-purpose cleaner in the air right before she enters the skanky spot in question.

"No. such as. How to spot: • You only see him after dark. you somehow wind up bringing the main dish. The Flaky Friend with Benefits He's lurking in your life — soaking up your love and affection — but refuses to commit. and she's still there three months later." • When she can't manage to complete a project. again?" • You constantly have to tell her. it magically lands on your desk. How to spot: • She appears to only be able to speak in interrogative sentences.She's a new acquaintance who hijacks your social life by befriending all of your pals. salad. "How do I do that?" and "Where is the copier. How to spot: . • The only meal you've ever shared is late-night pizza. How to spot: • She only wants to go out with you if you're getting an amazing group together. • You suddenly notice a ton of your friends on her Facebook page. The Drama Queen Empathizing with her takes up nearly all of your time and energy. you're not getting fired. • You don't know what his voice sounds like on the phone. How to spot: • When she invites you over for dinner. the boss doesn't hate you. • You hear from your girls that she's invited them to dinners and parties — and hasn't included you. The Mooch This friend drains your bank account by taking advantage of your generosity. she often claims to have forgotten her ATM card at home. • You tell her she can crash on your couch for a week between apartments. The Clingy Coworker Her constant need for help and reassurance tests your patience." and "No. • At bars. and wine.

and then won't so much as talk to yours. • He insists you hang out with his friends. • He thinks foreplay is a one-way street that leads to his penis.. How to spot: • He doesn't know how to turn on the oven. So instead of putting it off any longer. learn some quick and easy tips now. How to Save Your Ass with Self-Defense It's awesome if you can take a self-defense course. It doesn't feel like a normal conversation unless she breaks down in tears at least once. The High-Maintenance Boyfriend This dude likes to be doted on and insists on monopolizing your attention at all times. BY CASSANDRA KAPP .but most of us don't have the money (or time) to commit.• • • She always writes "911" text messages to be sure you will call her immediately. She asks for your advice and then promptly does the exact opposite..

Be a hard target. walk confidently with your shoulders back and chin up. . HOW TO PREVENT AN ATTACK 1. 3. CEO and founder of the Women's Self-Defense Institute. 4. chatting on your cell.and then some sharp ideas for how to react if things really do get physical. Be discreet online. leave the windows to your house open at night. Don’t go to the ATM by yourself at 2 a.. If a stranger says he needs a hand — but you get a creepy vibe from him — you don't have to be nice.m. told us.Tamara Schlesinger Did you know that only 10 percent of self-defense is actually physical? That's what Angie Tarighi. Here.. Hunching over. or being distracted by your iPod or text messages make you an easy target for a bad guy. 2.. but I really can't stop to help right now. Simply say. or walk home from the bar wasted. Make eye contact." and keep moving. how to fight an attacker before he strikes. You want to send the signal that you’re a secure chick who could kick anyone’s ass. Attackers tend to look for women who appear insecure or unsuspecting. "Sorry. Instead. Get bitchy. Don't get sloppy during after-hours. You can’t control the predators but can control the opportunities you give them. The rest of your defense is just being aware of your surroundings and taking preventive measures.

Use your palm. If he attacks you from behind. your hands are often full. an attacker or predator just wants your money. as your attacker expects you’ll go there first. 10. WHAT TO DO IF IT GETS PHYSICAL 7. throat. Try having a different profile account for your close friends than you do for your acquaintances. Aim for weak points. and alleys. Parking lots are popular places for attacks because you’re distracted. A great skill to know is the palm heel strike. Cosmo explains why you need to make a danger-thwarting pact with your posse. and put your whole body into it as you swing your hooked elbow across his jaw. twist your hips. or even hairspray. stomp on the top of his foot. Often. throw your purse as far as you can. 6. Keys can especially do a lot of damage: If an attacker comes at you. If this is the case. 9. anything can be a weapon. bushes. 8. Let them have it. Your elbow is way more effective than your fists. When fighting off an attacker. Whether it's an umbrella. go for his vulnerable points like eyes. and there aren't other people around. Throw your elbow. Make sure to bend your knees. You should hit the groin last. just below his eyes. Step into the attacker and forcefully bang your palm at the top of your attacker's nose. stairwells. and then run in the opposite direction. Use what's in your hands. Be on the lookout. Get your hands in the high-five position with the palm pushed forward and your fingers back. and knees.Avoid having your contact information on your Facebook page. scratch his face or jab at his eyes with the keys. Other places attackers hide: between cars (even on streets). The Buddy System That Can Save Your Life The saying "There is safety in numbers" has never been more true. and actually know all the friends you approve. pen. cell phone. . 5.

But when it comes to drinking. whether wild animals or chicks out for a good time on Saturday night. there are some sobering statistics to be aware of. Nobody’s going to get all finger-waggy on you. PhD.” says Ruth Anne Koenick. PhD.” says Cornell University professor Andrea Parrot.. coauthor of Forsaken Females: The Global Brutalization of Women. “The percentage of male sexual offenders under the influence of alcohol at the time of the assault is in the high 90s.” says Karen J.. an associate professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. an associate professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the author of Sexual Offenses and Offenders. it can blind you to the subtle cues that the dazzling guy you’re talking to is trying to manipulate you.Wadley These days. PhD. and at least three quarters of women victims had been drinking. director of sexual-assault services and crime-victim assistance at Rutgers University. is the creature who has wandered away from the pack. it hints at a strategy that could save your life. of course. .” explains David Lisak. Read on for Cosmo’s five buddy-system rules. As scary as that notion is. there are the date-rape drugs. it’s just as likely to be the guy sitting on the next bar stool as it is to be the unknown perv lurking in a dark alley. it’s not uncommon to hear about young females who go out to party one night and don't come back. And then. Terry. so you like to party. “The person at greatest risk to become a victim is someone who is alone late at night and is also under the influence of drugs or alcohol. And the most vulnerable prey. “It’s about showing that you value your friends and refuse to stand by and watch something bad happen to them. Vowing to follow them might just save a friend’s life. These stories share a key element: All of these women had started their evenings with friends and at some point went off on their own. RULE 1: Designate a Sober Chauffeur — Even if You’re on Foot Okay. “A predator is looking for the most vulnerable prey. As far as who might be the attacker.or your own. Call it the buddy system: a code of conduct that you and your friends should adopt to look out for one another. Being out there alone compounds the dangers that already exist on the party circuit. Not only does booze cloud your judgment.

Don’t ask your pal if it’s okay if you leave without her (“I’m fine. 30 Sexy Conversation Starters If you still have bruises from kicking yourself the last time you didn't make a move on a lusty lad. a nonprofit organization that helps survivors of violent crime. aka. someone needs to be designated the responsible person (you can rotate taking on this duty) who will stay sober and look out for everyone — be it by stopping a pal from stripping on the bar. not wanting to be a buzz kill). she will forgive you in the morning. “Resort to guilt-tripping her” by pointing out that she’s leaving you in the lurch. she sneers. a mutual gym buddy has vetted him.” your nice friend will say.m. president and CEO of Witness Justice. and before it became clear that tonight was gonna be the night. “Or explain to the people she wants to go off partying with that she promised to go home with you. and loss of memory.. Other clues include drowsiness. advises Helga West. Try a compromise: You and Gym Guy can see your buddy to her door (or her car or a cab) as promised and then continue on with your. RULE 2: Don’t Get Distracted by a Hot Dude The rules that you and your best friend made seemed so sensible five hours ago — before you ran into that guy from your gym you’ve been flirting with across treadmills for months. that’s a pretty clear sign. roofies. ..” Parrot says. You may feel pretty sure about this guy — you know him fairly well. founder of Prepare/ IMPACT Personal Safety in New York City. “If you know your friend is no lightweight but she’s falling-down drunk after one drink. or keeping an eye on your drinks. and one of your friends is about to jump into a car with a guy she met 10 minutes ago. “If you abandon your friend. So when you go out at night. you’re saying that you value your fun over her safety.” says Koenick. advises Donna Chaiet. “Who are you? My mother?” Don’t let her quip throw you off course. such as a dizziness and amnesia-inducing substance called rohypnol.According to one recent study. almost 5 percent of sexual-assault victims were given a date-rape drug. and your rules allow for the occasional hookup — but that doesn’t mean you’re free to go. ensuring that no one stumbles out of the club with a relative stranger. try one of Cosmo's irresistible lure-him-in tricks. the bartender just flashed the lights for last call..” Even if she gets pissed off. um. dizziness. RULE 3: Be a Bitch The following scenario is bound to crop up at some point: It’s 2 a. When you gently remind her of the rules. workout. She also can be on the alert for signs that one of you has been drugged. chances are.

tell a sharp shooter that you and your pal have wagered a beer on who will win. it's that time of year when the livin' is easy. and he'd better not let you down.  Go to a sports bar wearing the cap of your favorite baseball.  "Lose" one of your earrings. ask if he wouldn't mind giving you a dab. Never heard of it? That's the point. Start eyeing the ground. Don't be surprised if a friendly fella starts chatting you up to see if you really live up to your title. surprising icebreakers that will make babes eager to banter with you. while rivals will pick a flirty fight.  While he's waiting for his turn during a pool game." Ask a gorgeous globe-trotter for suggestions about where the hottest vacation locales are. or football team. lock eyes with him. look defeated. Guys who are also fans will want to bond.  Paddle up to a sexy surfer and say. then sweetly inquire if he'll be your deejay and help you pick out a few songs. There is nothing as hair-pullingly frustrating as being surrounded by a slew of delectable men and not being armed with a great strategy to break the ice and win a stud's attention — not to mention his heart. and ask him for a heavenly hand.. When you both hit the floor. huh?"  Ask a cute beachcomber to take a picture of you "to send to a friend. . Pretty sweet deal.  Get the gals together and start a rowdy game of Sandbunny." Ask him if he'll pose in the shot and pretend to be your boyfriend.. a cute moniker like Sweet Devil or Foxy Mama. planning an "upcoming trip.  Hang out in the travel section. Make up any rules you want — as long as they have you running around a lot and cheering loudly.Yes. (Just kidding. then smile when you're just inches away from each other's lips. Would you mind if I climbed on your board for a second so I can get a better view of the beach?"  When the gorgeous guy on the towel near you is smoothing on sunscreen. The beach is bustling.  Ask the guy near the jukebox if he has four quarters for your dollar. Use it anytime you see a man you simply must meet.  Ask the adorable guy in the fiction section if he can help you remember that best-seller by Tom What's-his-name. Cosmo knows that the biggest hurdle in hooking a new guy is choosing the perfect words or executing an eye-catching stunt that will launch you into a full-on flirtation. So we devised a handy chat-him-up crib sheet filled with sizzling. Say. You're at a bookstore. if you're more daring.. saunter over to him and offer a tantalizing trade..) It's Saturday night. When a circle of intrigued sporty studs forms around you and your bunnymates. but as you know. no guy will have either. ask him to recommend a high-suspense book — you love a little mystery. basketball. Rub it on your shoulders.  If you spy a cutie with a cooler of drinks. picking up a guy ain't always a breeze. a prime place to meet a cultured cutie. and the bar is swarming with single studs.  Don a necklace or T-shirt with your name on it or.. with bronzed boys everywhere. "I drifted away from where my girlfriends are sitting. challenge them to a game. When he says he doesn't know. "I'll give you half of this watermelon for a couple of sodas. Lift your hair and show him the other earring so he can help you in your search. especially near that dude you'd like to date. then strain to reach the middle of your back..

 Pick out a humor book. ask him to be your partner. a Thai cookbook). Lock eyes with him and let him know you're not a psycho — this book is just so funny! Lean in to show him a hilarious line. ask if he'll watch them so they don't get reshelved while you make a quick phone call.. he'll be so intrigued. and when he takes a sit-up break.  You want to try the leg-press machine. state-of-the-art athletic shoes and ask him where he bought them. Take a long time licking it off.  If he works there. Minutes later. turn to a mouthwatering man and exclaim.  Ask to borrow the movie section of his newspaper to see what's playing that night and casually inquire if he's seen any good flicks lately. enlist his help in opening a jar of olives or a bottle of wine.. sit down next to him.  If he has the latest laptop (or Palm or cell phone). but the last user left heavy weights on it. Didn't we meet at Lisa's coed naked lawn-bowling party?" It doesn't matter that he won't even know who Lisa is. . If he gets really animated during your cinema chat. Ask a buff boy to help you remove them.  Situate yourself near the hottie in your yoga class." In the coffee shop. "You look so familiar.  After breaking a sweat.  Lay your mat near a dude doing crunches.  In front of the guy who's caught your eye.. ask if there's any whipped cream on your lip.. you scope out a hunky java junkie.. At a party.  Practice some psychic savvy — read a few of your pals' palms. I can't catch my breath — I just don't know if it's the workout or the company. then ask him if he'd like you to read his. Just make sure to tuck in your shirt (or forget to). and start laughing seductively. "Any suggestions?" You're getting hot at the gym. Sit down at a table near him with a stack of intriguing books (a massage manual. When the instructor asks everyone to pair up for a headstand drill. special-order an out-of-stock book and ask him to call you — any time at all — when it comes in.  Bring a hilarious card for the host of the soiree. Glance at him and ask. add in the line. he won't be able to resist asking what exactly happens at a naked lawn-bowling party. invite him to catch a 7:30 show with you. loudly announce to a pal that you're launching a thrill campaign to add excitement to your life — and you're now officially up for almost anything. ask him how he likes it and if you could take a look since you're thinking of buying one. "Ooh.  Compliment a stylish stud on his awesome. If possible. and it's not from working out. a guide to mountain climbing.. If you're feeling bold."  After taking a big sip of your mocha so your smackers get doused with whipped cream. "I'd love to take a closer look at the merchandise. Have everyone at the party sign it — it's an easy ticket to talk to your target.  Say. type in your name and phone number. ever-so-politely ask if he can show you the best move to get six-pack abs. a man has you mesmerized.  When he comes into the kitchen for another beer.

BY ROBIN HILMANTEL Asha Fuller 10. "You know what they say about men who drink coffee. watch out for these clues that your boss might be just a little too into The Late Show. ahem.. While standing by him in line for coffee.” 8.. "Do I want a skim latte with a shot of hazelnut? Is the caramel cappuccino good? Maybe I should try that. "What?" Tell him. not that one. When he asks to see your body of work and you hand him your portfolio. He keeps talking about what the meaning of the word is is. “No.." When he smiles and asks. he says." Then gently tap his shoulder and ask. "Catch me here at this time tomorrow and I'll tell you all about it. If you’re an intern. 9. Your internship application asks for your past job experience — and your measurements." Top 10 Signs Your Internship Boss Might Go Letterman on You Some colleges are keeping a closer eye on their interns after a certain talk-show host admitted to giving some of his temporary employees. seductively utter. special treatment. "What do you think I should get?" He's sure to offer advice.  As you're walking by a hot joe-sipping stud. . debate out loud which brew to order.

Can I bring anything 4 our d8? Wine? Chocolate sauce? I'm in dressing room @ the mall.. When you grab drinks with the staff after work one day.. your desk has been moved to a new location — in his so-called Inner Office. 4.. shoes one day. I was a BAD GIRL and spent my lunch hour shopping. “It’s cold outside. Got a new showerhead — the detachable kind. Smith on the first day.. 3. The pressure's a thong. “What happens at happy hour stays at happy hour”.more than 20 times. 6. your boss says.7. When you call him Mr. he insists you call him Dick — even though his name is George. . . (c) both Was in such a rush! 4got 2 wear a bra. er. 5. Ur ass looks gr8 in those energy for L8R. “I bet you’d like to know how you could get into my pants.” 2. he says.. Sexy Texts to Entice Him Want to turn him on in 10 words or less? These naughty e-notes will do it. Making small talk about the weather.. During your “career advice” meeting..And the number-one sign your internship boss might go Letterman on you: “This job blows” doubles as both a complaint and your job description. He tells you he wants to introduce you to a “special member” (air quotes) of the staff.. TDTM (translation: text dirty to me) Don't do much @ the gym. Ur picturing me (a) naked. You can spank me later. There's a VIP-only party @ [fill in your address here] 2nite. (b) in a Jacuzzi. As a result of a switch-up in the office floor plans. isn’t it?” and stares at your breasts — but it’s a summer internship. he says.

Other ideas for what we can do in the dark? Yes. author of Gut Feelings. Splurged at Victoria's Secret. faster choices. says Gert Gigerenzer. U bring the pole. My roommate is out of town. PhD. A girl can't have too many lacy panties. even save your life. humans tend to let "rational" thinking override it.. Wink. suss out a person. Federizo You've heard of intuition. Noel J. BY MOLLY TRIFFIN Her subconscious just gave this guy the thumbs-up. Had a stressful day.m. but what you may not realize is that it's a biological survival tool. You Should Trust Your Gut You have a natural sixth sense that can help you make better decisions. wink..I'll pole dance 4 you.. HOT kiss this a. Here's the thing: Intuition can guide us to make smarter. I NEED you to help me unwind. Still fits.. . Let's throw a party tonight — for two. can she? No movies out I want to see. Found my old cheerleading uniform. We break down how these feelings operate and offer tips for harnessing their power. And while animals often heed this sixth sense. Hope you can finish what you started.

). so I guess I'll do the pants"). So if you get bad vibes from a coworker. But how can you tell if the jittery anxiety you have before boarding a plane is a subconscious SOS or just nerves? "A gut instinct isn't accompanied by fear. etc." says David Myers. listening to your inner voice will become second nature and help you out with important decisions.g. Your unconscious picks up on clues below the surface of rational awareness and communicates the info to you via intuitive feelings." notes Gigerenzer. "In unfamiliar territory. Orloff. . Having trouble tuning in to your gut? Jump-start it by making a logical decision. your job — even your safety." says Gigerenzer." How to Intuit "Intuition is like a muscle. give practical thinking added weight. Eventually. it doesn't matter which you go for." So give it a workout by following your instinct with inconsequential choices. Ways to Spot a Gut Signal An unconscious nudge often manifests physically. PhD." notes Gigerenzer. Example: While someone who cooks regularly can wing a recipe with terrific results..What Intuition Is "Gut instincts are mental shortcuts used to make a snap judgment based on experience and environment. Just remember that your intuition's power depends on the breadth of your experience." notes Dr. Assuming both look great on." Read This Before You Go on Facebook Again Having 764 friends is fun. MD. "It gets stronger with use. a less practiced chef should probably stick to the instructions. If your heart sinks. "It calmly advises you what to do. on a deeper level you might be noticing patterns between her and someone else who mistreated you. author of Intuition. "Your brain has a database of knowledge that your subconscious sifts through. It's like a little covert operation in your head. But this exercise gets you in the habit of relying on gut reactions instead of analyzing ("I wore jeans the other day. but some social-networking blunders can affect your rep. These messages are sparked by perceptual cues (e. Say you're dating two guys. take stock of how you feel about that conclusion. people can tell when a smile is fake yet can't explain why) or by past situations. such as whether to wear jeans or black pants. "The unconscious and conscious minds were designed to work in tandem. says Judith Orloff. author of Positive Energy — think a knot in your stomach or feeling the hair on the back of your neck stand on end. you know the other guy is right. Pick the one who makes more sense (has a better job. but before doing anything.

” says Anastasia Goodstein. anyone who Googles you will see them. The upside to restricting your page: You’ll come off as mysterious. you’re essentially telling everyone your location and when you won’t be home — setting yourself up to have someone come by your social event unexpectedly or burglarize your apartment. or another common password to log in to your page.” says Aftab. And though letting your friends know you’re going to a specific club for the night or leaving for vacay tomorrow seems innocuous. your pet’s name. don’t friend them at all. Yet that’s kind of what you’re doing if you fully friend them on Facebook — or leave your MySpace page public — and let them see photos. You Pick an Easy-to-Guess Password Don’t use your middle name. . and the other names on your friends list. says social-media expert Ryan Hupfer. “With these details. a credit-card account can be created in your name.. like a guy you chat with at work.. And be wary of fully friending a person you only kinda-sorta know.You Friend Anyone You wouldn’t let strangers into your house and give them access to your personal things. You Make Identifying Details Public Posting a cute photo of yourself in front of your house. “Even when you use the privacy controls. So restrict access to any suggestive photos. an Internet privacy and security lawyer. any random acquaintance who knows or can guess what these are could log in and pretend to be you. says Aftab. address. You Post Pictures of Yourself Partying Hard “Almost all big employers now look up young applicants on Facebook or MySpace to see if anything surfaces that may indicate the person isn’t a good hire. with the street number in view. lets anyone with access to your page know where to find you. “If your name is attached. If you do. sending messages that are hurtful to others and detrimental to your rep. choose something less obvious. “If you don’t know someone in real life.” says Aftab. and don’t share it.” You Update Your Status and Say Where You Are The status update is a fun Facebook feature. Another reason to never post your name.” says Parry Aftab. or date of birth is to avoid identity theft. a generation-Y marketing Website. California. photos can still be tagged and copied onto another site. Instead. “He can copy your info onto his own Website or distribute it via e-mail.or don’t post them at all. founder of Ypulse. day-to-day details. with PhotoCrank in Palo Alto.” says Aftab.

“Definitely have a conversation with the guy. the list goes on.). What Would KCav Do?: She says that lying is her biggest pet peeve and when she finds out someone is being untruthful about one thing. you take it out of context. you have to admit that one of the reasons Kristin Cavallari is so much fun to watch is that she can be a bit of a bitch. it’s his fault for not making . If he denies it and you know it’s true. she says. Love her or hate her. but if they’re willing to take responsibility and change.” The Dilemma: Someone is spreading a nasty rumor about you. Unlike some of the other Hills castmembers. What Would KCav Do?: She recommends keeping a cool head until you have the full story. but don’t go snooping to find juice on the guy.. I’d have to move on. “I don’t think you should ever read text messages or emails. Y. “Tell him that you heard X. Audrina. So we got Kristin to spill when it pays to be a little bad..” she says. So we gave Kristin a few scenarios to see how she’d handle them.. you should go with your gut.” On the other hand. Read on for her bitchy little secrets.” she suggests. And we mean that in a good way. He’s probably hiding other things too. according to Kristin. “Just say.” The Dilemma: Some girl is talking to your boyfriend at a club. if he fesses up and apologizes.Kristin Cavallari’s Bitch Lessons She’s known for speaking her mind and putting people in their place (Lauren.. “If the girl doesn’t know he’s your boyfriend. the girl doesn’t let anyone walk all over her and she always speaks her mind. Hint: it has to do with Stephanie and the drug rumors. her first thought is. ‘I heard from a few different people that you’ve been saying this. (Kristin also spilled to us that she does just that in the first episode of the new season. and Z. you’re just adding fuel. they might deserve a second chance. Oh. What Would KCav Do?: “Go up to the person and confront them.’ They don’t need to know who.” Kristin advises against involving others. The Dilemma: You find out the guy you’re hooking up with is secretly talking to his ex. Jayde. because people eff up.) “Go right to the source. Ninety-eight percent of the time. I actually think that by not confronting the person.

What Would KCav Do?: “Just let it go. Then discipline yourself to put that portion in the bank. read on. We point out sneaky cash suckers and offer tips on stretching your hard-earned dollars. Dry cleaning. ‘I hate him’. don’t make a scene. I’m a firm believer that if this is the case.” she says.” she explains. You don’t need us to tell you that right now. If you’ve had a word with her and she keeps going. ‘You know. according to Kristin. IRS withholdings. but you can tell her. change your W4 filing—just ask your employer for a new form—so that you get as much money as possible up front. “When a guy wants to see you.” And One Time NOT to Be a Bitch The Dilemma: A guy is playing hot and cold with you. you can keep your wallet fatter for longer. But doing that is like giving the government an interest-free loan. The great news: With a few tweaks here and there. of course. “You don’t need to say. What Would KCav Do?: “What I love about my friends is that they’re brutally honest. it’s smart to function on a leaner. he’s just not into you. and consult this list of innocent little expenses that may be siphoning off your bottom clear. he’s not my favorite’. Well. Instead.” If the other woman does know he’s attached and your guy is clearly uncomfortable. since there’s probably a legit reason you’re not a fan.” Little Things That Eat Up Your Paycheck If the joy of being flush with dough on payday seems more fleeting than ever. “tell her she’s talking to your man and that she needs to back off.” In which case she says you should just tell your guy. “This isn’t cool and we need to go. Dropping off your nice clothes at the cleaners can cost $5 or more per item…and that adds up. he makes time. The Dilemma: You think your friend’s boyfriend is an a-hole. And this is when you should say something. But it’s hard to do that when you’re oblivious to where all your cash goes. Many people have money withheld from their paychecks in the hopes of getting a fat refund.” Kristin says it will only make you look crazy so it’s best just to get out of there— with your boyfriend. stop scratching your head. where you’ll earn interest. But thanks to such products as Tide Total Care and . meaner budget.

Dryel. Catching up with friends over dinner is something no girl should have to give up..99. will clean at least 16 garments. They’ve even gone high tech. Keep your butt in tight shape by joining a running club. you can get two rentals a month. It’s best to use them for staples you always need: eggs. Check out rrca. decided to write a book about success now: . it’s not as noticeable. Let’s do some grooming math: Getting a mani once a week can add up to $60 a month. and can be found at your local drugstore. Maria Bartiromo. They both cost under $15. As if trying to figure out what the hell you want to do with your life isn't hard enough. That’s $720 a year! Stretch your nail maintenance to every two to three weeks by picking only light-colored polishes—when they chip. For $4. But you can enjoy the fun vibe of a restaurant without racking up a big bill by eating bar food instead of pricey entrées.99 plan and get unlimited rentals. this is a must-read. it’s a good idea to sign up with an online movie-rental company. The 10 Laws of Enduring Success. such as for one in your area. Maria Bartiromo. our gen has some seriously limited career options (thank you. which is about what it costs you to check out just one flick at your local movie crappy economy).. Unless you’re pulling in a Jolie-Pitt–size salary. Manicures. you can give TLC to your finer duds while using your home washing machine and dryer. etc. but you’ll also often pay significantly less (some are free!). For anyone who's a little freaked about her future. bread. The Money Honey's Tips to Loving Your J-OB The co-host of CNBC's Closing Bell and award-winning journalist. Belonging to a decent gym costs at least $50 a month— whether or not you use it. they can save you beaucoup bucks too. Or opt for the $8. Gym memberships. Not only will you meet lots of new people and get to breathe fresh air. talks about her life and enviable career in her new book. Groceries. milk. Which is exactly why TV anchor and financial reporter. Movie rentals. so you can skip flipping through the paper and just search clipngocoupons. Eating out. Coupons aren’t just for grandmas.

" I confided. gain a single pound. Now more than ever. My dad ran his own restaurant. We live in a time of enormous change. and to really be successful. "Come on. and to control my destiny. 3. when Kitty Pilgrim (an anchor for CNN) walked in. I decided I didn't need to take myself so seriously. they would tell you that it's all about hard work. I'm proud to get promoted. crying my eyes out in the ladies room. she believes that there are certain rules you must follow in order to get ahead. and I've never regretted my decision. It was a breakthrough for me — realizing that I could be human and relax about it. . but I didn't think the new position was right for me. In the early years of being on air. Cut Yourself Some Slack I'm an overachiever. my mom also worked at the restaurant and raised a family. you have to constantly adapt. not let others control it. and in addition to her full-time job. I had a big crisis: I was told that I was getting a promotion. Read on for a few that have served Maria well on her own kick-ass career path. or make an incorrect analysis. "I don't know what to do. But I know that I got to be where I am today thanks to the work ethic that I learned from my parents.Because during a rough patch like this. and says. so adapting will be key to success during this tumultuous time. a few years later." But I know that's not true. Then. my mother rolls her eyes. 4. you're not chopping trees. If I complain that my job is stressful. I ended up turning down the promotion. Work Your Arse Off If you were to ask my parents what they thought the secret to success was. "Kitty. Own Your Destiny I started my career at CNN as an editor and producer for the business news segments." instead of worrying that a moniker like that would make me look ridiculous. I worried a lot about the impression I gave. The changes won't wait for you. You're set. I just laughed it off. 2. you have to look within and assess your skill sets. Be Open to Change Success is fleeting. People have said to me. What are you good at? How can you align your dreams with the areas in the economy that are actually producing jobs? It's critical to figure out what kind of training you may need to best position yourself for this economy. and I loved it.. It never would have occurred to them to gripe about how hard they worked. But when a reporter from the New York Post gave me the nickname "Money Honey.. have a hair out of place.. but I think I will hate my new job. 1. and hate it when I can't do something perfectly." Kitty gave me great advice: She told me to think about where I wanted to be in five years. I thought that I couldn't afford to make any mistakes. I was really upset. "You made it. Maria." I have to laugh — no sympathy there! Her quip also reminds me how lucky I am.