Since you can't seem to figure it out for yourselves, I'm going to be like your cool older sister who bought your sorry fifteen-year-old ass beer from the Quickmart and offer you a few tips on how to preemptively spot a high maintenance (or, as I like to call it, highmay) girlfriend.
You can write these gals' seemingly benign behaviors off as girly or cute, or you can see them for what they are -- blinking red lights on the highmay highway urging you to slow down and reconsider. Ignore the warning signs at your peril -- unless, of course, you're a glutton for punishment, Italian or Jewish; then ending up with a woman who's just like your highmay mother is probably inevitable.
1. Long, Decorated Fingernails -- Manicures make women feel good. When our hands look nice, we feel nice. But the gal who opts for the crazy-glued, Wolverine-length nails decorated like the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, if RuPaul had painted them, has just taken a play out of the highmay handbook. Her very expensive, plastic works of finger art render her incapable of performing the most basic of tasks. She'll expect you to wash the dishes, open anything with a top and dial her phone. Never expect a back scratch from this woman. And, as if it needs to be said, a hand job is out of the question.
2. Fur-Lined Jackets -- There is no reason for fur to line the outside of jacket's hood. Really. It doesn't keep the face warmer; its function appears to be to wave ever so slightly in the wind -- like wheat over a field or a beauty pageant contestant's hand. Fur situated on any jacket's exterior regions should be a warning to men: Whether she's a hipster in a vintage Jackie O number or a well-heeled fashionista in Dolce & Gabbana, she's telling you, "I expect expensive touches, and if you don't believe me, get a load of my vagazzling."
3. Heels Over 3 Inches -- Diamonds aren't a girls best friend, that distinction belongs to high heels. Besides elongating the leg, they tone the thigh muscle -- which means women get to skip yoga and the meditation/Tourette's refrain running through the mind over the course of the class. But any heel over three inches is simply a disaster waiting to happen. Even if you're not drunk. Clowns go to school to learn to walk on stilts, yet certain women persist on teetering around in them without training whatsoever. One pavement crack away from a broken ankle, they walk slower than Jesus, always needing a man's hand to get down the stairs or help her up from the curbside onto which she fell. These sky-high stilettos indicate that she's more interested in how she looks than getting anywhere on time -- even with the assistance of her Sherpa posing as a boyfriend. I am not saying women should wear sensible heels, no self-respecting hottie would, I just think any pump that can be registered as a lethal weapon should be left at home above the mantle next to the samurai swords and the gunrack.
4. Pink Rhinestone Cell Phone Covers -- Something about this item screams vagazzled to me, but that's another conversation. Here's the thing, the cell phone is a sleek, utilitarian, futuristic piece of machinery. And if she's dressing it up with a cover she ordered from the pretty, pretty princess catalog, guys, you might as well resign yourselves to a lifetime of pink monogrammed towel sets and kitten-heeled slippers (that are lined with fur). What this girl really wants is for a prince (you) to ride up in his white BMW and rescue her from having to work for a living.
5. Hair Weaves/ Extensions -- Sort of like the fingernails, but hair weaves and extensions are even more incapacitating and infinitely more expensive. When the hair can never be touched, not a tender stroke or a tug in a heated moment of sexual apogee, it's perhaps the ultimate expression of highmaydom. Plus, sitting half a day in a chair to have Indian hair shaved at a temple to honor Shiva weaved onto your head, or adding long blonde locks to your broken roots from years of dye jobs, makes me think you'll find their faces (and long locks) in the dictionary next to "narcissistic personality disorder." This also leads me to believe that weaves and extensions are a gateway to botox. I think you can see where this is going.
6. Off-The-Boat Russian or Eastern Europeans -- Like modern-day La Femme Nikitas, the women of the Eastern Bloc are totally sexy -- only their target isn't assassins, it's the local mall. The classic highmay Slav embraces consumerism, commercialism, the gauche, luxe, and pretty much everything that is wrong with America. At best, they're shameless flirts who value flash over substance. Anna Kournikova never took the time to volley her way into the top ten, but she did make the time to land several large-scale modeling contracts and an Iglesias to boot. At worst, they're man-eaters, gold-digging their way into a man's bank account, walking that fine line between prostitution and intentionally marrying well. While you have to respect a woman for using her wiles to get what she wants, when these Red Sonjas tell you they love you, it's not your sense of humor.
7. Royalty-Infused Throw Pillows -- Unless a woman's listed in the phonebook with the letters H.R.H. before her name, she is not a queen. And when you see a dame's throw pillow with words like "princess" or "throne," or expressions like "Queen of the Castle," it is, essentially, her down feathered vision wall. She hopes to be or thinks of herself as a person of nobility and will expect you to lavish her with present and gifts befitting someone of her status. Due to the burdens of noblesse oblige, she'll treat anyone in her company like footmen, jesters, handmaidens, and eunuchs of her royal court. If you end up with this woman, your buddies will end up buying you a wedding present, a throw pillow inscribed with the words, "I'm My Wife's Bitch."
8. Stuffed Animals -- I can't speak to stuffed animals lining the back of car windows. I don't know these people. I don't ever want to meet these people. But stuffed animals perched on a woman's bed or vanity table is another story entirely. Childhood toys should be left in the attic or in the room in which one grew up, not displayed like a Gunt menagerie in any sort adult living situation. I think anyone who passed Psych 101 could empirically deduce that ladies who do as such are saying they are children and want to be treated as such. So if you want to play Big Daddy, well then, by all means, go for it. But if the stuffed animal in question is more of a large plushy type of situation, well, I'll just leave that up to you and your particularly peculiar peccadilloes.
9. Orders Fruity Drinks -- Sangria is a traditional Spanish drink with fruit in it enjoyed by many. The Cosmo is a fruity martini enjoyed by women stuck in the 90s, Katy Perry aficionados, and for those that thought Legally Blonde wasn't a movie, but a documentary about their college sorority lives. When she orders a fruity cocktail on a first date, it means she likes things sweet, not just in her drinks, but in general. While sweet is good in kittens, fudge and grandparents, in life, you want a girl who's been known to tipple a drink that will put some hair on your chest.
10. Dog in Purse -- Like the woman who can't go to the bathroom without a friend (highmay-esque, but not a serious enough offense to make the list), a small dog in the purse indicates some serious co-dependency issues. You see, this girl sees herself as the dog, and she wants to be coddled, petted and looked after at all times of day from the safety of a very expensive handbag. Dogs, like the stuffed animal, should be left at home or in the backyard, not brought into human settings like the supermarket, a plane or a cocktail party. If she can't get through the day without someone, or something, making her feel loved at all times, imagine what she'll be like at 3AM when you're not there by her side. Text-stalking, multiple calls and jealous Cosmo-infused rants are not only likely, they should be expected.
Follow Emily Bracken on Twitter: www.twitter.com/emilybracken