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Who gets the door?: Zombie-neutral etiquette for the 21st century

4 Sep

Long before the H1Z1 virus turned 99.9999 percent of all men into zombies, the issue of who should open the door for whom was a hot-button topic. Opinions varied widely on the necessity and utility of chivalry in the modern world, and there were as many definitions of what it meant to be a gentleman as there were gentlemen.

Now, of course, the debate is over. Who gets the door? You.

Every. Single. Time.

The obvious explanation for this imbalance is anatomical: If your zombie boyfriend were to give you a hand with the door, he might actually give you a hand.

But the risk of limb detachment isn’t the number one reason the zombie love of your life won’t offer to hold the door for you. The sad truth is, he simply hasn’t thought of it. This might sound discouraging but take heart: Your boyzomb hasn’t thought of anything in years. His mind is a gloppy stew of decayed dendrites, atrophied axons and neutered neurons.

There is much to miss with the zombification of the male population—sparking wit, spirited conversation, even the well-thought-out zinger in the middle of a heated argument—but the loss of old-fashioned courtesy is not one of them. Don’t think of it as the end of chivalry. Think of it as the end of awkward pauses at the door. Think of it as the end of unintended offense when you competently open the door for yourself. Think of it as the end of scurrying over the threshold under the arm of a man who won’t let you open the door for him. Think of it as the end of gender inequality as we know it.

Still not convinced? That’s all right. The zombpocalypse has been hard on all of us, and we each adapt to this brave new world at our own pace. So if you don’t want to open the door for yourself, don’t. One of your fellow female human beings will be along in a moment or two and I’m sure she’d be happy to do it for you. Because it’s not the door itself that matters; it’s the portal of possibilities it represents.


First zombie date jitters? Dating coach Evan Marc Katz talks you down with these smart, simple pointers.

16 Feb

Evan Marc Katz provides pointers for the perfect first date with a zombie.

So you’ve finally decided you’ve had enough of Wall Street alpha males. Good for you! But you’re still not sure you want to date a zombie. That’s understandable. Millions of women share your concerns. Dating expert and media commentator Evan Marc Katz thinks you should keep an open mind. Here, he makes a case for dating the undead and provides pointers for a memorable first date.

As a dating coach for smart, strong, successful women, you can only imagine the number of requests I get for tips on how to better connect with zombies. Today’s working girl doesn’t need some Wall Street alpha male who is too busy climbing the corporate ladder to appreciate that she changed her hair color or needs a spa weekend to detox. Zombie men are among the most open, least judgmental and appreciative dudes on the entire planet.

So if you want to connect with that cute zombie in the next cubicle, here are 3 tips that are sure to make him grunt with delight on your next Z-date.

1. You know how normal guys like to hear themselves talk? Not zombies! So if you generally try to connect with men by being a really great listener as they prattle on about their golf games or college hijinks, stop. Zombies are all about YOU and will keep lumbering and lurching forward as long as you’re doing the talking. Make sure you tell them about your funny girlfriends and your everyday workout routine. Unlike regular guys, they LOVE that!

2. Despite their penchant to be traditional and conservative, most zombies simply will NOT pay for the first date. Some say it’s because they’re unsure about the ever-changing dynamic between men and women, and some say it’s because they simply don’t have wallets, but either way, make sure you bring a little extra cash when dining out with the undead.

3. Most importantly, just be yourself! Zombies can sniff out a Nervous Nellie as quickly as they can detect the scent of a nearby severed head. So relax. Have an extra cosmo. Try not to recoil at the pungent scent of rotting flesh, freak out when he loses a hand in his lobster bisque or scream when he attacks the sommelier. You do want there to be a second date, don’t you?

To be sure, zombies aren’t for everyone. But for the young, upwardly mobile woman who prefers the strong, silent type to today’s sensitive Peter Pans who cry when they can’t sell their Bright Eyes–inspired acoustic music, you’re in luck. A date with a zombie isn’t only a thrill a minute, but it’s likely the last first date you’ll ever go on. Have fun!

Evan Marc Katz is a dating coach for strong, smart, successful women and the author of Why He Disappeared. He has appeared on the Today show, The Early Show and The Rachel Ray Show, among other programs. Read his blog at, watch his videos on YouTube and follow him on Twitter @evanmarckatz.

Is Mom a zombaphobe? Don’t adjudicate—educate!

8 Feb

All those years of imagining that wonderful moment when you tell Mom you’re getting married, you never once pictured her trembling in horror and shrieking Dear God, no!

Disappointing? Yes. But to be fair, neither did she.

When your mother was young, human males were plentiful and a girl had her pick of the fresh-flesh litter. Back then, the saying “There are plenty of fish in the sea,” didn’t actually refer to fish; it referred to men.

In the wake of the great zombie plague, that sea has dried up, but your mother, like most women her age, has been slow to adapt. She wants to be there for you, but she doesn’t know how to support you through what she sees as troubling life choices. Although this problem might seem very specific to our particular zombie age, it is, in fact, reflective of the common generational wrangling every age engages in.

Before you despair, try these tried-and-true techniques. Your mom will be overplanning your wedding in no time!

Hear her out. Although you probably want to dismiss her attitude as reflexive zombaphobia, let her share her concerns. Agree that, yes, a relationship with a zombie has challenges. Consider mentioning a few that you yourself have experienced. If you find the constant little splatters of brain matter on your carpet vexing, tell her so. Knowing her concerns aren’t completely one-sided will go a long way to eradicating them.

Talk up the upside. As right as your mom is about the disadvantages, she’s equally wrong about the lack of advantages. There are plenty. Take some time and tell her what they are. Say, “You know, Mom, with this new promotion at work, I’m putting in tons of late hours. Joe doesn’t mind at all. Plus, he won’t say a word if you want to stay with us for a week.”

Get on the same page. It’s unlikely your mom understands the zombie language, let alone believes it exists. Give her lessons. (You can find a complete glossary of terms here.) Most of the “violent” and “rough” behavior commonly attributed to zombies is a product of frustration. Just like you, he simply wants to be understood. Explain that to your mom. I’m sure she’ll understand.

 Leave them alone together. Not for long at first: Take the dog for a walk, run out for a carton of milk—any quick errand that leaves them alone for fifteen or so minutes. Zombaphobia is really just a fear of the unknown, and the only thing that ever overcomes ignorance is knowledge. So give your mom a chance to acquire some.

Cut her some slack. For years, your mom has seen horrific portrayals of zombies as brain-eating monsters in the movies and on TV, and she’s just reacting to those familiar images. They have no bearing on reality, and eventually, she will figure that out. Keep a positive, love-me-love-my-zombie attitude, and with a little time, she’ll do both!

“You’re standing on my foot!” and other things your zombie is trying to tell you

1 Feb

It’s easy to become discouraged when you hear the garbled nonsense your zombie spews. (I’m looking at you, Mostly As and Bs. Not sure which “mostly” you are: As, Bs, Cs or Ds? Take our “Your Zombie Said Wha…?” quiz to find out!) But learning to decipher zombese is not as tricky as you think. Simply refine your ear to become more in tune with the subtle differences in pronunciation.

Still sounds too challenging? Try supplementing what you hear with what you see. Each word a zombie says is formed in a particular way, according to Lauren March, an Australian mezzo-soprano whose book, Decoding Zombie Speech for the Masses, is the definitive work on the subject. “Keeping a careful eye on a zombie’s mouth is the surefire method to understand his every utterance,” she says. “Ugh, for example, is formed by the slight bending of the lower lip. Its complement, ergh, is formed by a slight bending of the upper lip. Neh is made when what is left of the tongue presses against the front roof of the mouth. Meh is made when what is left of the tongue presses against the back roof of the mouth.”

March’s system is easy, reliable and guaranteed to bring you and your boyzomb closer together. Nothing fosters intimacy like conversation!  But it only works with zombies who have sufficient mouth architecture. If you are dependent on visual cues for understanding, think carefully before entering a relationship with a zombie whose lips and tongue have rotted away.

Practice is key to any successful endeavor, so study the glossary below and commit the words to memory.  Then get chatting!


Word                        Type                               Meaning

Ag                                exclamation                  conveys frustration

Argh                           statement                        “I hate flies.”

Ack                              statement                       “You’re standing on my foot.”

Egh                              exclamation                  conveys annoyance at flies circling head

Ekk                              interjection                    “Ouch!”

Ergh                            statement                        “I want to dance.”

Grr                               statement                       “I’m full.”

Igg                               exclamation                   conveys satisfaction

Igk                               interjection                   “Oh, no, a hat!”

Irgh                             statement                        “Brains good!”

Meh                             interjection                    “Good brains!”

Mrgh                           greeting                          “Hello”

Neh                              statement                       “Nice shoes”

Oog                             statement                        “I want to watch football.”

Ooga                          statement                         “I want to watch more football.”

Oogagg                      question                          “Hey, why did you turn off the football?”

Oaw                            interjection                    “Yummy brains!”

Ow                              exclamation                   conveys sadness

Ugg                             question                           “Do I smell brains?”

Ugh                             statement                        “I’m hungry.”

Uhn                            exclamation                    conveys desire to go  shoe shopping