On Talking

I was considering starting this post off with a fancy introduction that compared me to Gretchen Weiners not just because we both got this, like, really expensive pair of white gold hoops for Hanukkah, but because we both start talking and  don’t stop. I am yet to rant on Caesar (although I did say a few ridiculously stupid things in my World History West class) but I have come very close multiple times. Wait… literally, case-in-point, I digress. I didn’t want to include some sappy and satirical opener because I thought it would be ironic to start an essay about talking too much with, well, talking too much. Yet, I managed to do it anyway. Is that an accomplishment or something to be ashamed of? Idk. Should I move on to the next paragraph? Yes.

Her hair is def full of secrets in this pic.

I have this theory that I’ve had for a really long time when I started to realize how stupid some of the conversations I’ve had with certain people are. The theory goes as follows: people talk to hear the sound of their own voice. I know, I know, totally original, right? But actually–it is. I think we want to hear the sound of our own voices for reasons deeper than just, well, hearing it. I think we talk when we’re afraid of something, and when we want to distract ourselves. Sometimes we speak and after a few minutes, we have zero recollection of what we were even saying. This is what I’m talking about (no pun intended, since that was like a half-pun).

The best, and most classic, of these situations occurs when you speak to someone you generally 1) never, ever speak to or 2) really effing hate. Sometimes I’ll start a really motivated and intense talk with a totally rando person. And we’ll both be getting super into it, like rapid fire back and forth and back and forth. Even worse, we’ll be speaking about the most mundane things too. In the moment, we don’t realize how mundane they are so we instead have a 5-minute bonding sesh over the fact that we have this thing in common, which, in reality, every babe has in common.

Now playing: Kanye West – Stronger

For example, we’ll speak about how horrible it is to go to the gym, and how much we want to go to the gym, and how much we wish we were better at working out. And then… BOOM. OH MY GOD, we BOTH hate working out. The tones of our voices will just rapidly raise until I sound like my eleven year old brother who has one armpit hair tops on a good day. At the end of our conversation, I will turn away smiling and feel oh-so productive, happy, and meaningful. That’s right, like I have a place in this world after my conversation about going to the gym with a girl I thought I always probably strongly disliked, likely potentially hated.

Last weekend, I ate at a Mexican restaurant with my camp friends on the Upper East Side. I hadn’t seen them since some devastating events may or may not have happened in my life, and they demanded that I give them the whole enchilada. I don’t really know how that relates to the grand scheme of things, but it was a punny moment I could not leave out (pun credit: Char Levy).

And I’ve gone through all of this for what trouble? Because I’m trying to distract myself from the seven books on Holden Caufield I have waiting for me at my desk at home and other silly things like arguments about credit card bills with my mom, the fact that I have only 4% battery on my iPhone, and my wretched fear of the future of my romantic and social life and the fact that yes, there is a 68% chance of everything going down in flames. But it’s really no big deal. Totally.


Flavor of the Week: Tamagotchi’s

Tamagotchi. What an on-point #tbt.

I have always been very maternal. At least I like to think that I’ve always been maternal. My mom, who is literally maternal, may beg to differ as I’ve done some not-so-responsible things over the last few years (leave my car keys and wallet in the bagel store practically every Sunday due to my obvi obsessive need for a whole wheat everything with tomato, veg cream cheese, and lox; leaving my wallet containing my driver’s license, debit card, and my mom’s credit card home after departing for a trip to Washington, D.C.; after turning around to get the wallet and bringing it with me to Washington, D.C., proceeding to lose that same wallet containing my driver’s license, debit card, and my mom’s credit card during my trip; etc.).

Oh, HELLO

However, one thing that turned all of us into little mommies and little daddies were our near and dear Tamagotchi’s. I loved my Webkinz almost as much as I loved my Neopets, and I loved my Neopets almost as much as I loved my Tamagotchi, so that’s really saying a lot. My Tamagotchi was orange and I got it from a Korean toy store where everything said Hello Kitty in Korean rather than saying Hello Kitty in English, but I insisted on getting my glow-in-the-dark diaries from there anyways.

When I played with my Tamagotchi, I felt like a cool teen mom. When I was in fourth grade, our elementary school principal instilled a policy that we would simply just have to keep our Tamagotchi’s in our lockers during the school day because they were just that addicting.

The best part of my Tamagotchi was putting it to bed at night. I kept it on my bedside table. It was always right there when I woke up, like the boyfriend you’ve never had.

My next business endeavor is to make a Tamagotchi app for iPhone. Right now though, I’m just really trying to focus on attaining more Webkinz cash to get this amaze matching bedroom set for my lizard named Liz, you know?


On Body Image, Candidly

Body image and the way we see ourselves is like the unspoken thing that we don’t stop speaking about. Half of the discussion about the way we look, or the way we think we look, goes on in Instagram photos of our 5-star meals, tweets about being hungry, and asking our friends if they think we look fat in a dress we definitely look fat in. The other half goes on inside of our heads–what we think about ourselves, what we think about other people, and how we feel (which is, of course, usually pretty shitty).

Screen shot 2013-04-21 at 1.19.04 PM

My hibachi post-game via Instagram

Over the past 5 years, I have weighed everything from 95 pounds to 142 pounds. Today, I’m somewhere in the middle, and I’m happy about that. But body image is and always will be a shadow that is sewn to the soles of our feet–a shadow that is sometimes short, wide, and unflattering enough to send us into cardiac arrest, and a shadow sometimes so tall and thin we literally convince ourselves that hmm, moving to a nudist colony wouldn’t be so bad at the moment. On a recent trip to Florida, I realized that I had not purchased a new bathing suit since the literal seventh grade. My bikinis were all distorted and stretched, too small in some places and too big in others. After one too many nip slips, my mother decided it was OK to invest in a new bathing suit.

I found a bikini that had tea pots on it so, needless to say, it had to be mine. I have no waist but a lot of ass, so generally I would be a small in a top and a medium in a bottom. But this bikini only really fit me correctly in a large. I was a little comatose at first about being a large on top and on bottom, but once I tried on the suit and realized how nicely it fit, I didn’t really mind at all. We have always been taught that labeling is wrong, because you cannot declare anyone fits into any specific category, as we all simply are who we are. So, I ripped the labels out of my absolutely awesome teal tea pot bikini. Size didn’t matter. I’m not a “large”–in fact, I’m not anything. I just felt damn good in that bikini (especially after my 2-week break up diet).

Although I wish I were, I am not nearly this happy about the way I look so often. Whenever I get into that deep, dark place where I can’t afford a trendy liquid cleanse, I can’t put aside enough time to finish Bethenny Frankel’s book Naturally Thin (which eternally sits on my bedside table), and I can’t drink enough green tea in a day to make me look like a Victoria’s secret model or a pale, thin Olsen twin (I’d take either), I crash and burn. When I get to that place, I am so down that I cry as hard as I did when my little brother was born and I realized that the world would not revolve around me as much as it once did. I’ve never watched the Victoria’s Secret fashion show. But I will watch an episode of Girls where Hannah walks around in public sans-pants.

Bible.

 

Once, I was speaking to a friend who was on a serious prom diet. I told her that she looked good, and she responded to my compliment by saying, verbatim, “Thanks! I can totally give you some diet tips if you want!” I was not looking for diet tips. Months later,  I had managed to lose almost 20 pounds. I was at a Bat Mitzvah, wearing a tight black dress I hadn’t had the courage to wear in a long time, chatting with another girlfriend. I hadn’t seen her since I had lost the weight, and in a discussion about body image, I casually told her that I had dropped the 20. Her response? “Really? I didn’t even notice! I never would have guessed!” 

I have spent my whole life comparing myself to other people. Then, I got my shit together. It’s only important to compare me to myself. Because, at the end of the day, bitches will be bitches. Let’s all be Victoria’s Secret models. We’re all chic and beautiful. I promise.


Flavor of the Week: Macklemore

Macklemore is really interesting as a human. I don’t know much about him, aside from that he wrote a song called “Thrift Shop” about my thrifting experiences in Brooklyn, he’s white, his partner in crime is Ryan Lewis, Ryan Lewis has the deep voice of a black man, and he’s written some really good songs about ridding the world of social injustice and homophobia. Overall, he’s a pretty respectable guy. Here are a few fun facts along with my personal favorite things about Macklemore.

1. There is always a really good upbeat thing going on in the background of all of his songs. Kinda Chiddy Bang-esque. Always some young, small children singing like cherubs or maybe a church choir circa-MLK jr. In this example, my favorite Macklemore song, titled “A Wake,” there is a sensual indie singer doing the chorus. She werks it.

2. Once, Macklemore participated in a workshop known as “Gateways for Incarcerated Youth.” He has definitely completed his mitzvah project.

3. He is always pulling something new out of his ass. At first, “Thrift Shop” was incredible because of the Mr. Saxo-beat thing it had going for itself. I will not deny it; I was obsessed with “Thrift Shop” for a solid thirteen days. Then, suddenly, I absolutely hated it. I thought that it was generally a really corny, loud, redundant, poorly written, rude, and overplayed song. Every time someone would put it on, I literally wilted like a frail flower come wintertime. Whenever I theoretically wilted, some of my friends would be like “Shut up Hannah you said five minutes ago that this was your favorite song.” Then, “Can’t Hold Us” emerged from a commercial about technology (Microsoft? Windows? Which? And are Microsoft and Windows the same thing?) and woo’ed me all over again. It makes me feel like a man on a mission.

Congrats, Macklemore. You won your spot back on my “starred” Spotify playlist. Because fro-yo betches don’t pay for music, obviously.


On “The Glass”

I know I’m young, but I think I can say that I’ve had a good bout of ups and downs. My “downs” started in sixth grade. I had panic attacks every day at approximately 11:20 am, and they would last until 1:35. Who would’ve thought—my OCD was so intense that I was even anal about timing my anxiety attacks!!! Impressive Hannah… obv. I would have to excuse myself from my Physical Science class and hyperventilate through the hallways until I made it down to the nurse. Being in the nurses’ office made me even more anxious because I was afraid a fat kid that ate too much cafeteria food would just walk on in and start vomiting practically everywhere and then, as a sympathy-vomiter, I would vomit everywhere as well, but I’d be simultaneously hyperventilating so I would choke and die. My mom would come to school, every day, and she would usually bring me a diet, caffeine-free coke and a plain bagel with cream cheese. I wasn’t really eating those days (because I was afraid that I would vomit it back up) and, so, I would habitually refuse the food.

Me being like “MOM YOU KNOW I’M TOO ANXIOUS TO EAT”… literally

Together, my mother, the two school nurses, and I would ride out the panic attack through its peaks and drops. I swear to Hashem, one of the nurses would take me on walks around the school “to get fresh air” like I was a small, pure-bred dog. Eventually, the panic would fade and I would have missed half of science, my full lunch and Spanish periods, and half of Language Arts. I would amble late into class, exhausted after the episode, every single day. This is probably why some of my best writing work was done as an eleven-year-old. My poems about tumultuous friendships and raps about my “carefree” (yeah right) persona were truly phenomenal.

In sixth grade, I let my problems control my life. I was even nervous to leave the house most of the time. Eventually, my daily panic attack ritual faded and I became a normal child again, gaining a solid 25 pounds back that I am yet to lose. Some days I wish I had panic attacks again because, wow, was that an awesome diet. But in all seriousness, I do still get anxious once in a while. And when I do, it is scary. Over the last seven years, enduring an awful lot of work, therapy, death, love, heartbreak, therapy, and therapy, I’ve made the grand attempt at finding balance. When I spent the past summer in Turkey, I told myself that I wanted to find something because I felt it was the perfect opportunity to pretend my life was a movie. I knew that I wasn’t finding myself, and I didn’t plan to. But I wanted to find something. I think, in hindsight, that something was balance.

Me finding Mt. Erciyes in Turkey.

Soundtrack tune: “Losing My Religion” by REM. Don’t worry Rabbi, I was just “experimenting.”

But, of course, balance of what? For me, it was finding the balance between ignoring our problems and highlighting them. We have been raised under the impression that ignorance is bliss, but knowledge is power. Attaining both of these “things” is utterly impossible… enough to send me into a sixth-grade panic attack all over again. When I hyper-focus on my issues, I’m labeled as a JAP-py drama queen by my mother and a total bitch by everyone else. When I ignore my problems, I let people walk all over me in an attempt to be “chill.” So many things come into play here. Is it more important to let others be satisfied than to put up a fight and, admittedly selfishly, be happy all alone? And even more importantly, are we letting our problems control our lives? Or do our lives control our problems? Which is the correct answer?

I was clearly a high-maintenance child. One of these defining qualities involved my hatred of water. I thought that water tasted disgusting, and I tried to avoid it at all costs. I liked most other beverages like Shirley Temple’s and strawberry milk and pretty much nothing else, but I absolutely despised the taste of water. Especially when I drank it out of a glass. Today, I’m so obsessively concerned with the idea of “balancing my glass” somewhere between being half empty and half full. Maybe I’m just going to pour all of my water out because I don’t even like the taste of it. My soy iced chai cup is always full, and at the end of the day, that’s what I’ve got to be thankful for. Amen.

Iced chai wheeeeeeeee

And me and my iced chai lived happily ever after.


Flavor of the Week: Artificial Sweetener

I had been exposed to coffee from a very young age. I used to saunter into my grandpa’s office at a raw seven and look at him behind his big desk with all of his fancy paperweights and idolize the power I thought he had (cue the development of my irrational feminist beliefs as an elementary-schooler). My grandpa would sit at his desk with his white, plastic cup of coffee–always black–and basically chain smoke. Once he finished the coffee, he would proceed to both ash and put out his cigarettes in his plastic coffee cup. When I think of Sweet’n Low, I think of my grandpa.

This is a beautiful photo, but WHERE IS SPLENDA

This is a beautiful photo, but WHERE IS SPLENDA

My mom was always more of the Splenda type. She’s very into things “sugar free,” as if when something is “sugar free” it is automatically at least one million times healthier for you. She liked fro-yo via Tasti D-Lite before it was cool. She’s also worn Uggs since the 80’s. HA.

I think along the way, there was some sort of a genetic defect in which aspartame recombined via transformation (are those even the correct bio terms? probs not) and became a literal part of my DNA sequence. I was always very into Splenda too. Once, I ingested a total six Splenda packets before 8:30 am. I was also very into coffee because it reminded me of my grandpa and made me feel cool enough to act like I knew how to do office-y things like use a typewriter and the really simple task of opening a file cabinet by squeezing the handle. I used to drink solely decaf coffee on occasion. It was my middle school “dessert wine.” At the beginning of this year, I decided that in order to be a grown up I’d have to convert to caffeine, which I did. Then, I decided that no, no, no, I couldn’t drink coffee just with breakfast. I’d obviously have to have a cup with every meal!!! With Splenda on Splenda on Splenda!!!! Party!!!!!

This is rude

This is rude

Then, my stomach decided to act like it was getting an ulcer and as I have an eternal fear of colonoscopies due to my history of malicious experiences with my gastroenterologist, I stopped drinking coffee. But I still use Splenda. Rarely. Like more often than rarely. Often-rarely.

I mean, I’ve gotta do something cancerous, right?


On Social Media Faux Pas

Social media is supposed to be a means through which our generation can expose themselves in the goriest of ways… witty tweets, classic muploads, and, dare I say, nude snapchats from 8th graders. We have been learning the ropes since we were in middle school, toying around with MySpace until it became borderline “catfish.” When I was in 6th grade, I managed to hide my MySpace account from my mom and her head full of secrets (similarly to Gretchen Weiners’, a reference I have 100% definitely made before). Eventually, she found out, just like how she also eventually found out about my video-chat relationship with my home friend’s camp friend’s home friend which she claimed was wildly inappropriate because this strange boy (who had the high-pitched voice of a 13-year-old Jewish kid with no armpit hair yet) could totally be a stalker and should not have the privilege or ability to see the inside of my house via Macbook. In hindsight, I wish that my parents restricted my use of social media at such a young age because I did a lot of things that I wish I didn’t.

Here is the breakdown of the most embarrassing things I have ever put on the internet.

  1. Tweeting at @JewBoyProblems and not being replied, favorited, or retweeted. Everyone knows that there are rules to posting things on all social media outlets and applications… only post if you know your post is going to get legit positive feedback. Everyone is so hyper-aware of what they put out there and how others will receive it. The first time I tweeted at @JewBoyProblems, I was at a Maccabeats concert so I was pretty confident I would get that retweet. It turned out that I did, and I had my 15 minutes of JAP fame in the tri-state area. We formed a pretty good Twitter relationship, @JewBoyProblems and I, over the next few months. Then one time I tweeted at him for #TextsFromMomTuesday and got zero response. I was embarrassed and depressed. Boo hoo.

    Fame

    A collage of fame. 

  2. (so-called) Illegally campaigning for class elections on Facebook. When I was a freshman, I ran for my first term as Class President. So, obv, I made a “Vote for Hannah” Facebook group to get as many people in the grade to like it as possible because it made me feel like such a true politician with a hearty campaign backing. I was told that I couldn’t give out merchandise to advertise, but I figured that Facebook wasn’t merch because we are all very obsessed and involved in it. My opponent took my Facebook group very personally and offensively, so he inboxed me and demanded I delete it, or he would report me and disqualify me. I won, but I guess cheaters always do.
  3. Making Facebook photo album titles song lyrics, and other ways to super self-consciously name an album. I feel like I don’t even need to expand upon this one. Some of the personal faves I have regarding my own albums have been “Recently,” named after the Dave Matthews Band song (so alternative for an 8th grader, like OMG), and “Just Waiting ‘Til the Shine Wears Off,” a lyric taken from the song “Lost!” by Coldplay. It took me and my friend a solid hour to come up with that one. We also cannot ignore the phase everyone went through where album titles had to be capitalized. Capitalization or death.

    The album still exists......

    Why does this still exist

  4. When I would take photo shoots with my friends, and then name those albums with song lyrics. “Just Waiting ‘Til the Shine Wears Off” was an album consisting of “pretty” pictures taken of me by my friend and of my friend by me alternately. We used my mom’s Nikon… that was before the days when I convinced my grandma to buy me a Nikon SLR of my own so I could have photoshoots whenever I wanted. Woah… the possibilites were totally endless….. (!!!)
  5. I did not look pretty in my promposal mupload. This is a very touchy subject. I am not happy that my hair was gross in a ballerina bun, I am not happy that I was wearing an oversized flannel and leggings in the middle of June, and I am not happy that it was taken from an extremely awk position. I am also not happy it was taken during my eat-my-feelings phase.

    I also have a significant beer belly-looking thing here... what

    I also have a significant beer belly-looking thing here… what

  6. When it looked like I was naked on Facebook but I wasn’t. Twice. 

    This is one of them. TUBE TOP, PEOPLE!!!!!

    This is one of them. TUBE TOP, PEOPLE!!!!!

  7. When I decided to get a Tinder. This is a long story. But as a wannabe social media connoisseur, I heard about Tinder on Twitter, and I really didn’t know what it was, so I just had to download it to figure it out. As soon as it finished loading after 135546 million hours, I signed myself up and got all ready with my username and Facebook info and whatever else Tinder requires. Then, after about 6 minutes of flipping through pictures of boys that I def knew by Jewish geography, I realized what I had gotten myself into. When I realized what I had gotten myself, into, I tried to delete my account (for those of you that don’t know, Tinder is basically a match.com-esque app). When I tried to delete my account, the app told me there was an error and I could not. When I could not delete my account, I got a very angry and confused text from my then-boyfriend, who had received a confused text himself containing a screenshot of my Tinder profile from his friend, that made me laugh so hard I cried. Of course, this would only happen to me.

This post gave me serious anxiety. I need an iced green tea and a large fro-yo, stat.