Just a warning: this post may be controversial. No irony intended.
I am a social media addict. My eyes are mesmerized by an endless Twitter feed and the photo icons of Maude Apatow and Lena Dunham. Gmail makes me feel hashtag-blessed (#blessed), and it has this amazing iPhone app in my favorite font. Pinterest was fun for like five minutes, but at least I tried it. I think it’s because I don’t yet have a fully-developed obsession with interior decoration, which will probably form the second I get married someday. Facebook is Facebook is Facebook is Facebook. It is made for stalking, so obv I’m always down. And ah, yes, WordPress. You, WordPress, are my new frenemy/New Year’s resolution. It was either blog or actually make an attempt to lose weight. Enough said.
As you can tell, I love social media. I love knowing everything so that my head is full of secrets, just like Gretchen Weiners’. But there is one thing to hate about this thing that I love. In my blatant, honest, and crude opinion, social media has made everyone a pussy. People have just gotten too sensitive.
Sometimes, I like to think of myself as a Nancy Drew-type. If Nancy Drew were on the school paper, I doubt she would be the Managing Editor like me because that isn’t sleuth-y enough. But as a freshman staff writer oh-so-many years ago, I pitched what I thought to be a genius idea. “Hey, everybody, let’s write about all of the pregnant teenagers in the less-gaudy town next door!” I was immediately shut down. Someone would be offended by this–some fat kid would claim I put the article in the paper to compare him to a pregnant woman, some Jewish mother wouldn’t want her daughter to start a pregnancy pact… and the list only continues. Drama queens.
But am I wrong? Is the news not the news? And how does this shitty situation all relate to social media?
Social media has not only allowed me to obsess over weird things like photos of babies with Sharpay puppies, puffins, and mice with teeny weeny teddy bears, but it has also allowed me to hide behind a glowing screen. Can I stalk the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen in real life? Hell no. So I’ll just stalk her on Facebook. When my friends and I bitch fight, we text with the utmost brevity. In person, we either just ignore each other or act like nothing’s wrong. Social media has allowed us to build up this ridiculous wall of sensitivity because we are no longer used to a good slap in the face. Today, the closest things to this startling pain are some pretty rude Emojis, probably.
Here are things that are legitimately controversial:
- When I was in first grade, I told a girl in my class that I was going to kill her. She refused to come to school the next day.
- Also in first grade, a girl in my class peed in her pants. I told this guy that I was seriously crushing on because I thought it would make him fall madly in love with me. My teacher gave me a time out. I guess I thought urine was a pretty hot topic of convo back then.
- In fifth grade, my boyfriend hacked into my AIM account. Gasp!!!!
I think it’s clear to see that true controversy doesn’t extend pass elementary school. So please, for heaven fucking sake, let me write my gossip column in the school paper. I meant, let me write about local pregnant teenagers.
Throughout my experience as a normal female, I have seen many who know the “yes’s” and many who don’t to wearing proper, feminine underwear. In my eyes, there are only a few excuses as to why one would not wear a thong: she additionally uses her panties as a sanitary napkin, she cannot control her urine, and she does not know the lingerie aisle exists (even at K-Mart).
Sixth grade was also the year that my grandfather passed away. On his birthday in April we went to visit his grave, throwing ourselves a nice little picnic. I had decided to wear my brown leggings that day, of course, neglect of thong. I remember running around the graveyard with my little brothers and cousins. It looked just like a scene from The Sound of Music. My Julie Andrews moment was shattered when I noticed my mother staring at my ass in disgust. She called me over to tell me the most beautiful, ugly truth. “Hannah,” she said, “it’s time to get you a thong.”
This day was arguably one of the most significant in my life because I became a woman. Who knew that all it took was $20 at Target? I highly recommend the 5 for $25 deal at Victoria’s Secret as well.
Here is a checklist to help the average granny-panty wearer get started:
- Do you still have wedgies?
- Do you wonder why your Kim Kardashian-esque ass hasn’t been checked out?
- Is your favorite designer Fruit of the Loom?
- Does your aging mother still shop for your panties?
- Have you been single your entire life?
- When you put on leggings, do you find yourself asking, “why does it feel like I’m trying to stuff a Thanksgiving turkey?”
If I have learned one thing from my grandmother, mother, aunts, first cousins, second cousins, and second cousins once-removed, it is how to be a hostess. In an ironic way, I find the moist, gum-stained streets of New York City comforting and the use of plastic ware at a family dinner nauseating. I have been programmed by tradition and, of course, my Jewish heritage to make sure everything is nice, crafty, and colorful. (You can read more about my OCDilemmas on @JewBoyProblem’s blog, Found at Bubbe’s.)
Carrying this value true to form, my mom threw my dad a 50th birthday party last night. It was, more or less, a Bar Mitzvah for adults. Honestly, I used to think 50 was old. I don’t really think so any more. Now it seems kinda cool. Like you’re in that George Clooney phase (or so you hope) where your hair is perfectly salt-and-pepper and your life could be a scene taken from my favorite Meryl Streep movie, It’s Complicated. Even though this sort of So. Cal lifestyle will only be blessed upon a bare 1% of us (cue the “we are the 99%!!!!!!”) it doesn’t seem that bad at all.
Now’s the time where I turn shit around and use a smooth transition to make it all about me. Hence, watching my dad bask in his age made me think about my own. I am on the horizon of adulthood, yet I have no idea of the value of where I stand in life.
We are told that we can vote when we’re 18, buy a pack of cigarettes when we’re 19, and legally drink when we’re 21. So, politicians, when will I become a real big girl? When will I grow up? I can’t decide if I’ll feel it upon the burdening loss of an unlucky lottery ticket I used all of my babysitting money to buy or when I receive my first jury duty summons.
Today, adulthood is broadened into so many different categories–going to jail, voting, drinking, smoking, buying cars, renting cars, renting hotel rooms, having my own phone bill. We are even defined by seeing a rated-R movie. It is almost as if they want me counting down until the next big milestone where I can look back and say, “Hey! Remember the good old days when I wasn’t allowed into the teen club on that cruise ship?!” Cough, cough, fuck you, Royal Caribbean.
I don’t know if society is trying to boost my ego by rewarding me with age, or making it harder and harder for me to feel like I’ve really grown up. Who the hell knows? When my dad gets his first letter from AARP, I’ll ask. Then I’ll steal his rewards card to get discounts at Dunkin’ Donuts. I guess that counts for the positive side of something.
Before I begin, I would like to define a word I will use often: JAP. JAP is an acronym for Jewish American Princess. In other words, a Cher Horowitz via Clueless type that typically resides on the East Coast.
When I was in middle school, the JAPs in my grade carried Coach wristlets. So, naturally, I wanted a Coach wristlet as well. Then, the wristlet became a small, boxy Coach purse. The purse became a Hervé tote and the Hervé tote became a Longchamp tote. And come next year, the Longchamp tote will become the classic Louis Vuitton tote. I don’t recommend trusting my instincts, however, as I’m so low on the food chain of JAPery that I gave up asking my mom for new bags after I was finally gifted the boxy Coach purse (3 years after everyone else, of course).
I always told myself that one day, none of this would matter. We would all grow up and get jobs and families and be our own people and I could do whatever I wanted without feeling like I wasn’t JAPpy enough. Well, times have obviously changed. And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that you can take the girl out of the JAP, but you can never take the JAP out of the girl (whatever that means).
In other words, the JAPs of the world are staying huddled together like a weird school of fish with a lot of David Yurman bangles. As my future is literally on the horizon, I’ve put together a pretty interesting order of events in which a JAP will stay JAPpy, starting with her college education:
- She will attend any university featured on Betches Love This or I’m Shmacked. The list of possible college options will not extend much further than this.
- She will intern for any major magazine one would read during her mani-pedi (i.e. People, US Weekly, etc.) or some sort of rent-a-dress-yay fashion company.
- She will make a Twitter account. 25% of JAPs will have a witty, funny account (these are the JAPs from UPenn) and 75% of JAPs will complain about the constant need of a bagel, sunglasses, and Advil.
- She will make a blog.
- She will get a book deal.
- She will get married, live happily ever after, and give birth to a baby JAP that comes out of the womb in a full Juicy Couture sweatsuit.
See some of my fav examples of this:
Babe Walker, A.K.A. @whitegrlproblem
Leandra Medine, A.K.A. @ManRepeller
@SororityProblem and her famous hashtag #sorrynotsorry
I know that I may have skipped the crucial part of life where I’m supposed to buy all of these tote bags. But will I suffer from PTSD because of it? Will I not be a true “betch”? Will I never own an expensive pair of leather pants and a faux-fur vest? Who the hell knows.
But JAPs around the world, I will meet you at the end. When we are both sitting in the waiting room at Hyperion, waiting to meet with our respective editors, you can look at my size 4 ass and my floral Doc Martens while I strut out of that room with a million-dollar book deal.