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This 107-Year-Old Woman Tells Joke Of The Year By Saying Secret To Longevity Is Staying Single

This one is for all the single ladies out there. For those who have an aversion to f*ckboys, f*ckgirls, and f*ckpeople, and for all the little homies out there that prefer the company of their own damned selves to anyone else, you’ll love this abuela-in-age-only. It turns out the secret to a long life isn’t some fad diet, magic pill, or even exercise, apparently. A woman who is older than a century — that means she’s lived long enough to see Jim Crow, the moon landing, World War II, AOL, Y2K, and every Pitbull music video ever made (including features) — revealed her secret to a long life. 

Hint: trust no man! 

So what are you doing for your big 1-0-7? 

Louise Signore, a resident of the Bronx, New York (editor’s note: yerrr), celebrated her 107th birthday on Wednesday. She had a lit party at the JASA Bartow Community Center in Co-Op city with over 100 of her closest friends and loved ones.

OK to be fair, Signore does maintain a healthy diet and does in fact exercise on the regular. But lots of people lead healthy lifestyles and they kick the bucket a lot younger than Signore. 

“If they have exercise, I do the exercise. If they have dancing, I dance. I still do a little dancing. After my lunch, I will play bingo, so I had a full day,” Signore, who is Italian American, told WCBS. “Italian food. Italian food is very good for you. I was brought up with very good food. No soda, no cake.”

The secret of the century… 

Signore believes the key to her youthful glow and longevity is never marrying. Do you hear that? The key to a long life is staying single and living your best life. As the saying goes: the most important relationship of your life is the one with yourself. 

“I think the secret of 107: I never got married. I think that’s the secret. My sister says, ‘I wish I never got married,” she said.

Perhaps, Signore feels she got a little more out of life than other people who had to prioritize their children and partners over other experiences. With duties more equally split amongst partners nowadays, things might be different for women who choose to marry in 2019 and beyond. 

Signore’s sister is 102 years old. It sounds like she was once married, but she is also over a century old like Signore. I am starting to think Signore’s theory might fall apart under greater scientific scrutiny. You hate to see it! But we love to see a woman who is proud of her life choices either way. (It’s also possible Signore just wanted to drag her sister’s marriage a little bit. Don’t make it hot, abuela.) 

Laughing at all those memes might grant you a long life too. 

“I said I’ve had enough parties,” Signore joked. In Signore’s community, she’s known for her dry sense of humor and being agile as ever. Fun fact: Destiny’s Child wrote a song about Signore it’s called “Independent Women.” 

“She’s got no walking cane, no wheelchair. She does all her shopping. She’s awesome,” said her friend Deborah Whitaker. 

While her sister doesn’t take any prescription medicine, Signore admits she takes one high blood pressure pill. 

Things were really popping off in 1912.

Born in Harlem, New York in 1912, Signore moved to the Bronx when she was 14 and has called it home ever since. The year she was born Woodrow Wilson took office, the Titanic hit an iceberg, and Mexico was embroiled in a revolution that would last another eight years; women still wore pantaloons under their dresses, the Dominican Republic was ending its bloody civil war, and people would have to wait another 92 years to hear Pitbull’s M.I.A.M.I. 

Abuelita is a survivor.

While Signore believes she has been lucky in life, her time on this earth has not been without challenges. She is legally blind, recently had a close call with pneumonia, and survived an assault and robbery at 103 years old. 

Life is the longest thing any of us will ever do no matter when it ends. Some of us like to be cuffed up, others prefer to go it by themselves. Just remember, being single doesn’t mean you are ever alone. Signore has a community of over 100 people to celebrate her life with. However way you choose to go through it, Signore shows that it’s the relationships we form  — platonic or romantic — that matter most. 

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Have A Virtual Hot Date? Here’s How To Make Sure It Doesn’t Suck

Culture

Have A Virtual Hot Date? Here’s How To Make Sure It Doesn’t Suck

MixMedia / Getty Images

For the single introverts among us, lockdown might seem like the perfect opportunity to re-charge our social batteries and have some much needed alone-time. But no, thanks to the wonders of technology and just how damn adaptable human beings are, virtual dating has totally become a thing. 

For better or for worse, people are dating just as much as ever – albeit through a screen. So if you’re using dating apps during lockdown, arranging video dates and looking for virtual date ideas, here’s a handy guide on how to stay safe and how to ace virtual dating.

Make a damn effort

Act as if the date was in person and get ready accordingly. Shower if you haven’t already that day — it’ll make you feel a lot better — and put on your favorite outfit. Even if it’s not seasonally appropriate, who cares? Wear the sundress pushed all the way back in your closet. Put on makeup if that’s your thing, and do your hair. 

It makes all the difference not only in how you present yourself but by how you perceive yourself. You’ll feel better on the date, more like your “usual” self. 

Figure out your camera setup beforehand

Pro-tip: Do all this the day before, or at least an hour before, the date starts. That way you’re not scrambling and worrying about your angles. Decide if you’re going to use your phone or computer. Put it at eye-level, if possible. If you’re using a laptop, you can place it on a stack of books, but you can also DIY it by leaning your phone against your laptop screen (which can have its own book stack setup) or anything else you can find. 

And…lighting…lighting….lighting! Set yourself up with some good, flattering lighting before you start the call. Find a place that’s the most flattering in your house. Be sure you’re not backlit by a window which can wash out your face.

Simulate real date ideas

Credit: Luis Alvarez / Getty Images

Although you obviously can’t “grab a drink” together, you can simulate that. Text before the date and decide if you’ll be drinking wine, coffee, or eating dinner “together.” You can even do a twist on “Netflix and chill,” simultaneously using Netflix’s “party” function; if you go that route, choose something campy or that you’ve both seen before so you can chat easily during it.

Trust your instincts

“A nip slip may not be appropriate for a date with a new person,” Moraya DeGeare, a licensed marriage and family therapist, joked to Refinery 29. “It’s modern times, so I think there will be the temptation for people to be really bold and ask about FaceTime sex. People are horny and trapped in their houses. On one hand, that’s okay, but on the other, you’re risking someone taking screenshots,” she cautions. “Listen to your intuition and don’t do something you don’t feel comfortable with.”

She adds that you shouldn’t take the call from bed, because “you’re immediately sending all these other signals unintentionally.” Generally, she says you should conduct the date as you would in person.

Expect awkwardness to happen, because it will happen

Credit: Peter Dazely / Getty Images

Awkwardness isn’t necessarily a bad thing and, when dating is involved, it’s inevitable. First dates in real life have their own clumsy moments, so don’t beat yourself up if your camera freezes for a moment, or if you talk over the other person. It’s going to happen! Just laugh about it and move on.

Stay safe and comfortable

Although it may seem like common sense, being cooped up inside for so long has left many of us lacking some of the most basic people skills. Remember to not give out any of your personal details – think home address and bank details – and watch out for any suspicious links that might come through in the chat.

Before the date, it’s also a good idea to do some recon on your date’s social media to make sure they are who they say they are. Also, don’t show your face on camera if they’re not showing theirs, that’s a serious red flag.

And lastly, know that you can end the date whenever you want to. You don’t owe anybody anything and it’s totally fine if you’re feeling uncomfortable or in danger to just end the call. But remember, basic dating etiquete also still remains so don’t just close your computer screen without saying goodbye because you’re just not feeling the vibe.

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The Dominican Republic Finally Outlaws Child Marriage After Years of Campaigning by Girls’ Rights Activists

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The Dominican Republic Finally Outlaws Child Marriage After Years of Campaigning by Girls’ Rights Activists

Image via Getty

Outside of the U.S., some good news has occurred amidst a week that has otherwise been full of mayhem and chaos.

On Wednesday, the Dominican Republic’s Executive Branch approved a law that unilaterally bans child marriage in its country.

In the past, children younger than 18 were allowed to marry with a special exemption from a judge. These exemptions happened often. Now, no woman or man under the age of 18 are allowed to marry under any circumstances in the Dominican Republic.

This move is significant because the Dominican Republic has the highest rates of child marriage in Latin America and the Caribbean. Official government figures show that 36% of Dominican girls and adolescents marry or enter into “unions” before the age of 18. In 12% of these relationships, the female partner was less than 15 years old.

More informal “unions” where a girl simply moves into an older man’s household are also common in the DR. These are very common in higher poverty communities where many girls are considered a financial burden on their families. Unions like these will be harder to penalize because there is no formal documentation of their partnership.

There are multiple factors that play into the Dominican Republic’s high child marriage rate.

One of the main factors is the culture of machismo that informs the way that young men and women approach relationships.

According to research conducted by Plan International, 81% of Dominican girls said they preferred men that were five years older than them. This statistic is in stark contrest to 39% of Dominican men who prefer their partners 18 or younger because they found them more “obedient” and “adaptable”.

Not only that, but there is also a strong cultural expectation for girls and women to become mothers and wives. These cultural beliefs have simply stoked the practice of child marriage.

“Child marriage and early unions are seen as normal in society. It is driven by machismo that sees the role of a woman to be just a mother and wife,” said Rosa Elcarte, UNICEF’s representative in the Dominican Republic, to the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “Ending early unions will require years of work to change cultural norms.”

Feminists and human rights activists consider this law a win after many years campaigning to put an end to this practice.

But on a bittersweet note, many advocates realize that one law doesn’t dismantle the patriarchal structure of their culture that enabled this practice for so long. There is still a lot of work to be done.

“Our girls and adolescents will be protected … and cannot be forced into marriage in their childhood or adolescence, which in the past was often carried out by parents and legally allowed,” said Sonia Hernandez, an associate director of the International Justice Mission, in a statement to NBC News.

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