Think you’ve have some outrageous dating horror stories? You don't have anything on Shallon Lester.
Spunky Shallon Lester has accumulated more than her fair share of embarrassing stories. In this collection of hilarious essays, she chronicles her dorky, daring, and awkward journey from waitress at the ninth circle of hell known as Houston's Time Square restaurant, to columnist at one of New York's leading gossip magazines, to MTV reality star, gleefully weaving in stories of all boys she's loved, lost, and avenged along the way.
Complete with cringe-worthy tales of:
-The time a new boyfriend found the stockpile of Magnum condoms hidden under her bed
-Getting caught stealing (borrowing?) bacon from her local supermarket
-Unwittingly getting romantically involved with the leader of a mafia ring
-Being dumped on Valentines Day (for the second year in a row), just minutes before being forced to attend El Concierto Del Amor con Marc Anthony y Jennifer Lopez. Alone. Did I mention on Valentine's day?
-An unfortunate sholess, sweaty, shoe-less run in with Ed Westwick and Chace Crawford on an East Village Street Corner
With a fresh and irresistible voice that makes you want to sit down and rehash last night's misadventures over martinis, Lester speaks volumes to anyone who's even been young, ambitious, and a little bit slutty.
Excerpted from Exes and Ohs by Shallon Lester. Copyright © 2011 by Shallon Lester. Excerpted by permission of Three Rivers Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Q&A with Shallon Lester
In the book you tell the story of the time a new boyfriend found a duffel bag full of Magnum condoms under your bed. What are some other things a gal should keep hidden (though perhaps under the bed is not the best hiding place?) when a new guy is coming over?
I’ve found that when you have a guy over for the first time, you’re suddenly going to be horrified and ashamed of almost everything in your apartment: from the innocuous magnets your friend brought you back from Jamaica (“he’ll think I’m a weed dealer!”) to the way your toilet paper roll is facing (“What if he was raised in an underhand roll household?!”). This sort of paranoia is normal. But there are only a few things you truly need to hide:
1. What’s on your Tivo: Maybe wait until the third date to let him know you regularly rewatch old Golden Girls episodes and have recorded every episode of Say Yes to the Dress ever made.
2. Prescription medicine: Even if it’s just a simple asthma pill, if he doesn’t immediately recognize the drug name on the bottle he’ll assume it’s for herpes, gas or depression. Possibly all three.
3. Your laptop: Never, under any circumstances, let your guy use your computer without hovering behind him. A few quick keystrokes and he can see that you’ve recently Googled him, “Kim Kardashian cellulite” and “herpes, gas, depression.”
4. Half your scented candles: If your apartment is anything like mine, hiding 50% of your candles still leaves you with roughly 75. My place looks like a midnight mass when all lit up and sends the same message to men as, say, 4 cats or closet full of Crocs.
You recently posted on Facebook about how relieved you were that your grandmother didn’t realize that those pretty designs on your book cover are actually condoms. What is the one story in the book you were most nervous/embarrassed to have your granny read?
You wouldn’t guess it, but “Non Perishable.” She’s a devout Baptist and I knew she wouldn’t be happy about me stealing things, even if it was for the poor. I believe that years ago she came to terms with the fact that I’m a maneating tart…but she didn’t expect me to be a thief as well.
Aside from being married or incarcerated, what is the one quality in a guy you would consider the ultimate deal-breaker?
A guy who isn’t supportive of my escapades. I have a weird life so I need a guy who can ride the waves with me, not thrash around panicking every time I jet out to Sing Sing to visit my Mafioso ex. I stuck with Lord Voldemort even though he’s 5’3”and crazier than a sack of weasels because he always supported my career. Same with Penn and Kyle. Other than that, if a guy doesn’t fawn over my J.Lo booty he’s OUT. Hey, I do a lot of squats. I know what I’m workin’ with here.
I’d love to get your take on the age old question that has long plagued women of mild to medium sluttiness. When you wake up in some dude’s apartment after a one night stand, do you:
a) Slink out
b) Leave a lipstick blot on his forehead and your number on his nightstand and then slink out
c) Get up, put on one of his old t-shirts, and make him breakfast?
d) Get him up and demand that he make you breakfast?
Clearly, it needs to involve slinking out in some fashion. Remember, you are in no way as hot as you were last night under a MAC force field of makeup, dim lights and a sloshy river of whiskey. Do not give him the chance to discover this for himself. I vote for B.
In some of the stories in the book you don’t always tell your friends the 100% truth about all the details about the guys you date (for their own good, of course!). What’s the biggest lie you ever told your friends and family about a guy you were dating?
Usually I lie about a guy being good in bed/non-douchey/texting me back. For some reason I’d rather lie than admit that yes, he is hideously racist or yes, he does look like all the Jonas Brothers rolled into one.
But by far, I lied the most about Penn, though this time it was for different reason. I actually downplayed a lot of what went on in our relationship because when you love someone, they become private and valuable. Talking about him feels like talking about a dream you had—the more you focus on it, the faster it slips away.
Every single girl has been set up by her friends at one time or another. In one episode of Downtown Girls, your friends take this a step further and actually go so far as to interview potential suitors on your behalf. Tell me about the worst and most awkward blind date you’ve ever been on.
My friends should know that I’m extremely shallow. If a guy is going to be a douche, he should at least have the decency to be hot, in the NHL or obscenely rich.
But one friend did not get that memo and set me up with a guy she described as “sweet and sensitive” and “built like a football player.” What that actually meant was “body like a gummy bear” and “will burst into tears at dinner over his ex-girlfriend named Bernice.”
It’s truly appalling that people have the audacity to be both pudgy and impolite. What is the world coming to?
In one of the stories in the book, you accidentally go out with a gay guy (twice). What advice would you give women everywhere for how to tell if their date is actually gay (even if he doesn’t know it)?
My theory is this: if you have to ask, he’s probably gay. First of all, any guy in musical theater is a homosexual. Period. Even if, by some miracle, he has touched a female breast, then he’s still undateable because, well, he’s in musical theater.
If a man orders white wine or a coffee drink with more than two modifications, he’s gay. If he says “totes” or “obvs”, gay. If he posts Maya Angelou quotes on his Facebook page—GAY. If he uses emoticons beyond, L, J or ;) he’s both a douchebag and a homosexual.
What’s the best part about being a straight (single) gal on an all-lesbian hockey team?
Even after a triple-overtime game, when you get off the ice and look like a rotten tomato that’s been left out in the sprinklers, you’re still the girliest girl in the locker room. That’s a good feeling.
Not that you wish anyone bodily harm, of course, but if you had to choose, of all the exes you talk about in the book, who would you most like to see run over by a giant zamboni?
Jon. God do I hate that guy. He was (and remains) haughty, vile and cruel. He got an advanced copy of the book (as all my exes did—you’re welcome, boys) and was the only one to call up my editor and demand that certain lame details be changed. AS IF anyone cares to deduce his real identity. He’s a cheater and textbook narcissist, but judging by his sexual prowess (or lack thereof), I have no idea why.
How do you expect this book to be received by said exes? Do you think your constructive, honest assessment of their flaws and failings combined with your brilliant, sparkling wit will make them come crawling on their hands and knees begging you to take them back?
Ya know, I used to have a list—and actual, hand written list—of the boys I desperately still adored and wanted back, and then another list of boys I wanted back just to break their necks.
But after writing and reading the book, I realize that for the most part I only loved the idea of these boys. Giant Douche represented glittering New York success at a time when I was an ignominious waitress. Penn inspired me, and I felt understood by Voldemort. But in reality, I loved only small parts of them, not the whole man. So I try to scribble those little notes in the margins of my two lists to remind myself that hindsight is 20/20.