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Check, Please! Dating, Mating, and Extricating
by Janice Dickinson
ReganBooks, 2006

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Chapter One

Dating 101

Your Coat of Armor

Before you even get to the dating part, you have to steel yourself. (Literally would help, but that metallic look is so 1981.) The first chapter can't be about what to do after your first date, because first we need to get you ready for that first date.

Think of yourself as Joan of Arc. She didn't prance around in the medieval equivalent of a slinky little Versace number and stilettos, but not because she wasn't a hot-looking chick. No, Joan knew she was living through very tough and dangerous times, so she always left the house with her coat of armor. You need to wake up and realize that these are very tough and dangerous times as well. Take it from Joan -- let your guard down and you'll get burned.

What you need is your own coat of armor. When Joan went into battle, she grabbed her coat. When you go out on a date, you're doing the same thing. It's like you're going into minibattle. The last thing you want is to be underdressed and unprotected.

Men are tricky individuals. They are practically born with a coat of armor -- they're thick headed and hard hearted. They're warriors, and most of them have no code of honor. (Say honor to them, and most will hear "on 'er.") So you need to have your own coat of armor, too -- one that can't be penetrated until you want to be penetrated.

Your coat of armor consists of the valuable information you take with you in your brain cells, because knowledge is power and power is survival; a smart plan of attack, including an RFR (Rapid-Fire Response) system, so that no matter what the guy pulls on you, you'll be ready to react; and what you choose to put on your body plus all the other little physical preparations you make for a date. This first section will give you these pieces. I promise you -- with a coat of armor this complete, you'll be immune to Cupid's harmful arrows.

Your coat of armor is like safe sex before the sex even happens.

Lesson One

Know What Dating Is

Dating Is Never Having to Say "I'm Lonely"

I once was asked how I'd explain the concept of dating to space aliens. I guess the real answer is, "Is the alien single? Does he have a nice spaceship?"

I do think it's useful to start a book on dating by nailing down what exactly dating is in the first place. You've gotta know what you're up against before it's up against you.

Dating is one of two things. Either it's about trying to get to the next level or it's about trying to get laid. Dating and mating go hand in hand. You date, you mate. You mate, you keep the world procreating the way it's supposed to. Then, unless you stay with the same guy for eighty years and die in his arms -- which is lovely, but if that's your plan you're reading the wrong book -- the next logical step is extricating. All good -- and most bad -- things must come to an end.

Dating, mating, extricating, procreating . . . masturbating. . . . I'm a white rapper.

If dating is about trying to get to the next level, it makes sense that we take it so damn seriously. If we fail to get to the next level with a guy, it makes us feel like we're faulty, like we're broken people, like no man will ever have us. Dating is too important to take lightly. It's no walk in the park, though that can be a nice date if you're over sixty-five.

Dating is also a test of our ability to make a connection. It gives us a window into how men see us, and if they'd like to continue to see us on a regular basis.

And you were trying to pull it off without a manual? Good luck.

Lesson Two

Wanna Get a Guy's Attention?
Ignore Him!

Happy Landings

My first date? I can't think back that far, to the Jurassic Era. I guess I probably arrived at the cave and the guy clubbed me, dragged me in by the hair, and had his way with me.

My first real date was my prom date with Bobby back in Hollywood, Florida, when my date showed up on a Harley and I was on quaaludes and in silver lamé and blue eye shadow. Times are different. Dates are not nearly so chill. You have to play the game if you want to win.

Let me give you a blow-by-blow of an experience I had with a hot pilot I met recently when I drove out to Malibu with a carful of my gay male buddies. It was supposed to be a day of walking along the beach (my favorite thing in life), looking for men (a close second), and just plain old relaxing. I didn't even want coffee -- I'm forever trying to kick caffeine, but my posse needed a fix. That's when this drop-dead gorgeous pilot cruised by on the wooden deck of the little café we'd randomly chosen.

Bam! Those perfect pecs.

Bam! That strong jaw!

Bam! The sky-blue eyes . . . ink-black curly hair . . . worn leather bomber jacket resting on a firm, cute ass.

I had to remind myself to blink.

My sponsor was dangling on the other end of my cell phone (don't worry, caffeine is allowed). "I gotta go," I whispered. At that moment, I was confident that booze wasn't my problem anymore, which was a major win. But men? They were my addiction and the biggest threat to my sanity. The craving we all share for men will never change, but would we want it any other way? Oh, no. We just want to control that force of nature and make it work for us.

Excerpted from Check, Please! Dating, Mating, and Extricating by Janice Dickinson. Copyright © 2006 by Janice Dickinson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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